I know most of you (including me) have been using phTwitter / phPlurk to send updates to our Twitter and Plurk but there have been problems with them lately. Updates are delayed, or worse, not posted. Some say that the telcos have been blocking their numbers or maybe, just a simple case of network congestion. Now here's an alternative way for Sun Cellular subscribers to update their Facebook and Twitter status. Introducing Sun ALERTZ from Sun Cellular. Sun ALERTZ allows any Sun Cellular subscriber whether postpaid or prepaid to update their Twitter and Facebook status for only P1 per message. You can also subscribe to 3 unlimited packages to receive alerts.
- P15 for 1 day - P50 for 7 days - P150 for 30 days
For Twitter users, text LOGIN [twitter username] [twitter password] to 2555. To post a tweet, text TW [your message] to 2555. Example, TW I am mobile.
For Facebook users, go to http://apps.facebook.com/sunalertz to verify your number and add the Sun Alertz app. To update your Facebook status, text FB [status] to 2555. Example, FB eating at a pizza parlor.
To subscribe to any of the unlimited packages, text BUY [# of days] to 2555. For more info, just text HELP to 2555.
Here's one very good reason not to get a Smart Bro internet connection.
Even with the occasional minor hiccups, I’ve always been happy with my SmartBro DSL connection at home, and I’ve always recommended the service to friends, colleagues, clients. But lately, this Internet company has been spamming their subscribers! Not via email, but in a way that’s much worse.
The image above is a screen-capture of an insidious Web page automatically loaded by SmartBro. There is no warning, and there is no opting out — the page just loads by itself as you browse the Web. It’s happened to me twice already, and it seems to be a once-a-month nuisance. The first time, I was just reading a friend’s blog, so it wasn’t such a big nuisance. But the following incident, I was editing one of my own blogs: so when I clicked on the save button inside my WordPress admin area, that despicable SmartBro page took over my browser!!
There is no way to proceed out of it, either. Are they not aware of what browser cookies are? Or about browser sessions?
What if I was in a shopping cart system, purchasing something online? What if I was withdrawing funds from PayPal, and that SmartBro page was loaded after clicking on a transaction button??
Smart Communications is supposed to be a 21st-century corporation, an Internet service provider for crying out loud! Don’t these people think? Don’t they realize the potential harm their intrusive marketing gimmicks can cause?
Globe Telecom today announced availability of the highly anticipated BlackBerry® Storm™ smartphone for its customers in the Philippines. The BlackBerry Storm features the world’s first “clickable” touch-screen and is packed with powerful communications and multimedia features.
The BlackBerry Storm smartphone boasts exceptional performance, and it comes with a stunning display and wealth of features including fast network access, a first class phone, desktop-style browsing, advanced multimedia, a 3.2MP camera, built-in GPS and the industry's leading email and messaging capabilities – all designed to give users an exceptional mobile experience. Globe will offer the BlackBerry Storm smartphone to business customers at flexible corporate postpaid plans through Globe Business. Globe Business provides wireless and wireline data and voice solutions relevant to the needs of enterprises from diverse industries, including top corporations in the Philippines.
“We are pleased to announce that the BlackBerry Storm is now available on Globe’s corporate plans offered by Globe Business. We equip our customers with the best and latest mobility solutions that will help them be more productive and competitive at work, regardless of where they are or at anytime of the day,” said Jesus C. Romero, Head of Globe Business.
He added, “Powered by Globe’s 3G network, the BlackBerry Storm smartphone will allow our business customers to accomplish more by keeping them connected to colleagues and clients and enabling them to instantly access information they require, thus extending their workplace.”
The BlackBerry Storm will also be available for retail customers with various postpaid plans that fit their needs and lifestyle. With the launch of the BlackBerry Storm, Globe is introducing its new Personal BlackBerry Plans.
“The BlackBerry Storm will allow consumers to keep their connections close at hand through instant messaging and access to social networking sites. This, coupled with the handset’s rich multimedia features, makes it an excellent choice for both work and personal use,” said Ferdinand M. Dela Cruz, Consumer Wireless Business Head at Globe.
“Globe Telecom is very pleased to offer the BlackBerry Storm smartphone to both business and retails customers. People can purchase from Globe Business Centers nationwide and select one of the newly launched Personal BlackBerry Plans. These are unique plans that combine phone calls, text messaging and mobile Internet access so that customers can fully enjoy the exceptional BlackBerry smartphone experience,” he added.
“We are very excited to launch the first touch-screen based BlackBerry smartphone in the Philippines with Globe,” said Gregory Wade, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific at Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry Storm provides the unique combination of a full-featured smartphone with a large vibrant display and a truly tactile touch interface, making it a perfect choice for both personal and business use.”
Globe’s consumer and business customers will both be able to maximize their use of the BlackBerry Storm smartphone through Globe’s HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) network, which allows users to experience wireless broadband connectivity.
Features of the BlackBerry Storm smartphone from Globe include:
· Sleek, stylish design with chromed frame, contoured corners and stainless steel back
· Large (3.25-inch), "clickable" touch-screen with 480 x 360 resolution at 184 ppi, delivering sharp and bright colours
· A powerful media player that can play movies smoothly in full-screen mode, display pictures and slideshows quickly and manage an entire music collection (including the ability to create playlists directly on the handset)
· Support for high-speed network connectivity
· Full HTML browser that works in either portrait or landscape orientation and support for mobile video streaming on sites such as YouTube (mobile.youtube.com) and other mobile entertainment portals*
· Purpose-built applications for easy access to popular IM and social networking services such as Facebook®, Windows Live™ Messenger, Yahoo!® Messenger, Google Talk™ and Flickr™
· 3.2 megapixel camera, with variable zoom, auto focus and a powerful flash that also provides continuous lighting when recording video
· Ability to synchronise with iTunes® and Windows Media Player to enjoy music on the move** or through a home stereo using Bluetooth® and the BlackBerry® Music Gateway
· A 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, support for the Bluetooth stereo audio profile (A2DP/AVRCP) and dedicated volume controls
· An ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the backlighting and an accelerometer that allows the BlackBerry Storm to be used in either a portrait or landscape orientation
· Built-in GPS that supports location-based applications and services, as well as geotagging photos
· 1 GB of onboard memory storage and a microSD/SDHC memory card slot that supports up to 16 GB of additional storage per card. An 8GB microSDHC card comes preinstalled
· Preloaded DataViz® Documents to Go® allows users to edit Microsoft® Word, Excel and PowerPoint files directly on the smartphone
· Support for a wide range of lifestyle and business applications
· Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery that provides approximately 6 hours of talk time on 3G networks and 15 days of standby time
· Support on BlackBerry® Internet Service and BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
As everyone who reads my blog knows, I maintain several active mobile numbers ---3 to be exact. Globe, Sun, and a prepaid wireless landline from PLDT. Globe and Sun are my active lines, meaning, I regularly reload prepaid credits whenever it reaches zero. While I only reload my PLDT Landline Plus whenever the need arises (frequent travels, business transactions, etc.)
I reloaded my Landline Plus P300 3 days ago since next month would be the 180th day of my last plan's expiry. FYI, PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid has a life of 180 days after the last plan expiry so I need to reload now to avoid permanent deactivation. And so I visited a PLDT Load retailer and asked him to load P300 worth of prepaid credits to my PLDT wireless landline SIM.
The PLDT Load retailer tried 3 or 5 times but failed to reload my account. He kept on receiving a text message about my SIM being inactive or disabled. And since he cannot send the prepaid credits I need, I dialed PLDT's #101328 access number to check my account. Here's the exact voice message I got:
The number 101327 is non existent. I tried calling it with my PLDT Landline Plus SIM and with our own fixed landline at home. I called up 101328 instead and I was told that they'll be checking it and would call me as soon as they found the problem.
Yesterday, still no call so I called up 101328 again. The person I spoke to said that my account is STILL ACTIVE and their support group is still tracing the problem. This afternoon, still no call. I then managed to talk to another CSR from 101328 and told me that my account is indeed active and I should try re-loading atleast P30 first. If the reloading is still unsuccessful, I should call their hotline again.
I went to a PLDT Load retailer and still, reloading failed. The same error was encountered on the retailer's part. I called the hotline again and this time, the person I talked to said that the last reload I had was on October 2008. He said that it's already past the 180 days reloading period and my SIM is already deactivated in their system. To his surprise, I told him that I am actually using the "deactivated" SIM on our conversation. I then pointed to him that the 180 day period should start on the expiry of my plan and not on the day I last reloaded.
The expiry period is clearly stated on the PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid manual:
I was then placed on hold for about 15 minutes and then he told me that they'll be checking my account for problems and I would expect a call tomorrow.
A few minutes later, I received a call on my Globe mobile number from a person named Gwen. She said that she's from PLDT and would like to inform me that my account has already been disabled since I last reloaded on October 18, 2008. My account was disabled because I failed to reload within the 180 day reloading period. She said that there's no way to get my account back.
I then again pointed out that the manual clearly states that the 180 day reloading period would start on the day my last plan expired which is on November 19, 2008. There was a long pause and then she said, she'll "forward my concern again" to "proper groups" for checking.
For all the curious, here's the photo showing the SMS message I received from PLDT reminding me of my account validity.
As you can see, my last plan expired on the 19th of November 2008. From November 20 to this day, it's only 154 days.
November = 11 days
December = 31 days
January = 31 days
February = 28 days
March = 31 days
April = 22 days (as of April 22, 2009)
TOTAL = 154 days! (as of April 22, 2009)
It's still almost a month before they should have disabled my account. Why? Check the table taken directly from the PLDT Landline Plus manual:
From Day 1 to 30, this is the time my plan was active. Day 31 to 210 is the 180 day period my account needs to be reloaded. Now they're all telling me that my account is already disabled and I cannot do anything to get it back?
I paid for that number, gave it to my friends, colleagues and business associates and now PLDT's telling me they're taking it back for some stupid reason? FYI PLDT, you have no right to disable my number for another 26 days.
This is stupid PLDT. This is stupid. FYI, you still haven't fixed our 3 decade old landline and you still haven't given us rebates you've promised in our email exchanges. Now you're disabling my number for no valid reasons.
PLDT, I have this number even before you formally launched the prepaid service and I want my Landline Plus number back! Give it back now!
Do you want to earn from hacking? Well if your answer is yes, then better start dusting off your books as Philippine Senator Allan Peter Cayetano recently filed a resolution setting aside P100 million as an incentive to anyone who can convincingly demonstrate the weakness of the approved automated poll system that will be used in the upcoming Philippine election in year 2010.
Cayetano, in a press conference, said that any IT Security expert can establish that the automated poll systems to be used in the 2010 polls is not secure, then the Philippines' Commission on Elections (COMELEC) should cancel the contract, save P11 billion and sue for damages the contractor in the event of such successful hacking. Cayetano said the resolution was in response to a statement by a Commissions of Elections official challenging cyber security experts to test the system for weaknesses.
"The most effective way to test if indeed a system is credible, reliable and tamper-proof or fraud-proof is to offer a sizable prize to whoever can hack and convincingly show the weaknesses of the system, Cayetano said in his draft resolution. "To make the said incentive system work, there is a need to authorize the Commission on Elections to set aside the amount not exceeding P100 million to be utilized as a prize money for the said successful hacker," he said.
If you want to join Senator Cayetano's challenge, you must first learn Ethical Hacking. Being a hacker is just that ---being a hacker.
Ethical Hackers are different though, these are guys that test the vulnerability of a network of a company from attacks. They are authorized and recognized by governments here and abroad. The EC-Council is currently offering classes online to become the perfect hacker our good senator needs.
Globe Telecom brings the BlackBerry to Filipino consumers as for the first time, individuals can now get their very own BlackBerry Plans. Starting April 20, consumers can subscribe to Globe’s new Personal BlackBerry Plans for their BlackBerry and BlackBerry Connect handsets.
The new Personal BlackBerry Plans are ideal for frequent email users and can also be used for instant messaging and mobile Internet surfing. "Getting a personal BlackBerry service is now made easier by Globe. Consumers can get the latest BlackBerry handsets available with Globe’s postpaid plans at Globe Business Centers nationwide. Just subscribe to a Personal BlackBerry Plan of your choice and start receiving your emails instantly wherever you are," said Ferdinand M. Dela Cruz, Consumer Wireless Business Head at Globe.
He added, "The new BlackBerry Storm will also be available to Filipino consumers and Globe subscribers. Consumers can make the most of their Blackberry Storm and other Blackberry devices by subscribing to Globe’s new Personal Blackberry Plans. These are one-of-a-kind plans that, combined with our GPlans and GFlex Plans, put together a call, text messaging and mobile Internet package in one so customers can fully enjoy their BlackBerry handsets."
The Personal BlackBerry Plans are add-on postpaid plans that offer consumable data. Globe’s Personal BlackBerry Plans are available at Plan 700 for 5 MB of data, which is approximately 55 emails per day. The Plan 850 gives subscriber 8 MB of data for approximately 90 emails per day. The Plan 1100 allows 10 MB of data so its user gets approximately 115 emails per day. Number of emails per day is based on estimated emails using a BlackBerry handset.
Globe’s new Personal BlackBerry Plans provide postpaid subscribers more economical rates for Internet usage using their favorite BlackBerry handsets. Regular mobile Internet browsing rates of P0.15 per KB apply in excess of the plan.
Visit the Globe Business center and get a Globe postpaid plan and subscribe to the Personal BlackBerry Plan to start enjoying the new BlackBerry Storm. Globe Extension Plans, Load Tipid or Allowance Plans, Time-based Plans, iPhone 3G Plans, Corporate and SME managed accounts, and Prepaid accounts are not eligible for this offer at this time.
--- Disclosure: Blog owner is a forum administrator of myGlobe, a website of Globe Telecom.
Globe Postpaid Subscribers can now experience the rates being enjoyed by Globe Visibility users with the newest Mobile Surf Plans. Surf for as low as P0.25 per minute on a Plan 149 compared to the standard P0.33 per minute. Mobile Surf Plans:
- Plan 149 - 10 free mobile Internet hours - Plan 399 - 30 free mobile Internet hours - Plan 799 - 60 free mobile Internet hours
How it works:
Mobile Surfing Plans are postpaid data plans that offer free mobile Internet hours (with no voice minutes or SMS). These are add-on plans to any existing Globe postpaid plan and are NOT standalone postpaid plans. Surf for as low as P0.25 per minute on a Plan 149 compared to the standard P0.33 per minute!
The charging rate is time-based, meaning you are charged for every minute you consume using mobile Internet.
After consumable plan hours are consumed, regular mobile Internet browsing rates apply - P0.33 per minute.
How to avail:
A subscriber must have an existing Globe Mobile postpaid plan, i.e. GPlan, GFlex and Time-based plans, Advantage Plans, Legacy Plans, Plan 100, etc. Extension Plans, Load Tipid or Allowance Plans, or iPhone plans are not eligible for this offer.
A customer may apply for a regular postpaid plan and apply for a Mobile Surfing Plan at the same time.
Subscribers can avail of the service through Business Centers.
There will be a 6-month lock-up period, subject to pre-termination fee of P1,000.
Mobile Surfing Plans are not yet available for the following:
1. Prepaid accounts 2. Corporate and SME managed accounts 3. Globe Service Units
--- Disclosure: Blog owner is a forum administrator of myGlobe, a website of Globe Telecom.
Dream Satellite TV may have another problem besides their usual "friends" from Raon, Manila. The same guys who introduced Smart myTV has launched Cignal Digital TV last February 2009 to directly compete with Dream TV. Cignal Digital TV will also be introducing HD broadcasts by June 2009. For only P390/ month you will get access to these channels: ABS-CBN, NBN-4, ABC-5/TV5, GMA-7, RPN 9/CS9, QTV 11, IBC 13, Studio 23, Net-25, etc, 2nd Avenue, BTV/Basketball TV, PBO, HBO, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, CNN, Viva Cinema (Viva Prime?), AXN, and bio.
Besides the P390 per month rate for either prepaid or postpaid, there will be a one time charge of P5,500 which includes installation, decoder box, satellite dish and cables.
Last week, I've shown you how great magicJack is. The ability to send and receive calls to the US and Canada for only $19.95 per year is a blast. Now, I'm going to teach you how to squeeze more awesomeness from your magicJack by enabling it to make free 5 or 10 minute calls to 55 other countries via PokeTalk. PokeTalk is a service fully owned and operated by Parrot Media Ltd - a privately owned company based in Tel-Aviv, Israel. PokeTalk serves millions of free minutes each month, to over 55 destinations worldwide - providing users with the highest quality of service at zero cost.
Calls are paid for by the sites advertising and all you have to do is sign-up and put in a request giving the number you are calling from and the one you want to connect to.
PokeTalk can be used for free in 13 countries as long as you have a working landline:
Canada (mobile included)
Singapore (mobile included)
USA (mobile included)
From these 13 countries, we can call 55 landline destinations for free with each call lasting around 5 or 10 minutes.
Countries that can be called for free are:
Canada + mobile!
Guam + mobile!
Hong Kong + mobile!
Puerto Rico + mobile!
Singapore + mobile!
Thailand + mobile!
USA + mobile!
Since magicJack provides us with a local US number, we can use PokeTalk!
Assuming you already have a magicJack, sign up for an account at PokeTalk.com. Enter your magicJack assigned number during signup and that's it. You can start calling other 55 countries for free.
To initiate a call, just enter the number of the person you're trying to call on your accounts homepage on PokeTalk.com
After you click on the Call button, you will see a message on PokeTalk telling you to pickup your phone. Your phone (or in my case, my magicJack) will ring in about 5 to 7 seconds. Pick it up.
You will hear a dialtone and the message on PokeTalk's website will change to "Connecting..." Wait a few more seconds and your call will be connected. Wait for the other party to pick it up.
Once the call is connected, the status message on PokeTalk's website will change to "Call in progress..."
Each call will last for about 5 or 10 minutes. The call duration depends on the location and you will see it before you make a call.
Call will be terminated immediately after your allotted minutes. You can make another call to the same number as long as you haven't used up your call limit. Free accounts are entitled to 50 free calls per month. PokeTalk will introduce a PRO version of their service in the future so you can remove your limit as well as call other countries for a very small price.
Subscribers of Vonage can also use this to make free calls. In fact, anyone who has a local number from the above 13 countries and can accept incoming calls can use PokeTalk.
If you already have a magicJack or Vonage, you can try out PokeTalk below. Just enter your number and the number you would like to call.
People who don't have a magicJack or a VOIP account like Vonage or Packet8 can also use PokeTalk. If you know your way around DID, SIP, and other VOIP terms, then I believe you can find your way without help. As for others, I'm still thinking of sharing this info. As everyone knows, people have a tendency to abuse everything free. But, lets see.
Visit PokeTalk.com, get your free account and start calling for free!
Besides T'Pol (Jolene Blalock), Sasha Grey is definitely one of the sexiest Vulcan I've ever seen! She "tweeted" this picture last week while standing infront of what looks like a "Star Trek set". She doesn't play as a Vulcan in JJ Abrams' upcoming Star Trek prequel though. She's part of Hustler's porn satire, "This Ain't Star Trek XXX" starring several other porn stars.
On The Set: Hustler Video's This Ain't Star Trek XXX By Mark Kernes 04/03/2009
CHATSWORTH, Ca. - While Hustler's latest satire, This Ain't Star Trek XXX, doesn't exactly go "where no man has gone before" - Cash Markman famously directed several volumes of his Sex Trek series - it is where director Axel Braun has never gone before.
"I never wanted to do a parody unless I could do it right," Braun told AVN, "and finally, I came up with a script I could be proud of."
Describing it as "more of an homage than a parody," Braun said he studied the mainstream series carefully, noting everything from the extensive use of primary colors in the fabrics to the bare-bones look of the spaceship's staterooms, to the signature camera moves by the TV series' regular cinematographer Gerry Finnerman. ADVERTISEMENT
"In making this movie, we decided to play it straight," Braun said. "In writing the script, I stayed away from all the porn clichés. I wanted to make it as faithful to the original as I could. But I knew this was a very expensive project I was asking them to do, so when I presented Hustler with the people I wanted in my cast, I first took their pictures and Photoshopped them into their makeup and costumes."
"I really wanted Evan Stone for my captain," he continued, "I knew he'd be perfect for the part but he had really long hair, and I didn't want him wearing a wig; that would look too fake. So I called him and said, 'Look, I've got this great part for you, but you can't play it with your hair like that.' And when he found out who I wanted him to play, he said, 'I'm there.' So we brought him in and shot the hair stylist as she was cutting his hair right on the set. That'll be included as one of the extras on the DVD."
Likewise, Braun got Tony DeSergio to shave his eyebrows for his role as "Spock."
Others in the cast include Jada Fire (as "Uhura"), Jenna Haze, Codi Carmichael, Sasha Grey, Aurora Snow, Anthony Rosano ("Scotty"), Cheyne Collins, and Nick Manning as the villain "Khan."
We saw several elaborate sets, including the multi-sectional "bridge" with all its control panels, video screens and lighted buttons, and the "transporter" pad, where special effects will be used to teleport the crew into the action.
"We're going to keep them all as standing sets," Braun informed, "because we'll be using them again for at least one sequel, as well as webisodes, promotional shots, etc."
The four-day shoot concluded yesterday at Hustler's Chatsworth studios with a volcanic scene between Aurora, as the beautifully-coiffed crewperson Marla, and Nick, clad in an austere grey tunic.
After lapping his cock with her talented tongue, Aurora is all smiles as she bends over so Nick can take her doggie style, his hand wrapping around her thigh and rubbing her clit until she squeals with delight. From there, she climbs on top, camping on his peg cowgirl style and reverse, wiggling her butt to capture as much sensation as she can before the couple fall over into spoon position, him slapping her on the thigh and she sucking his fingers sensually. It's one hell of a beautiful coupling before she kneels down to take his splooge on her tongue.
Braun said that some video clips from the movie will be posted within the next few days, and that he hoped that the movie could be in stores on the same day that Paramount's newest Star Trek film, Star Trek (original, eh?), opens in theaters, May 8. However, others at Hustler said that the release date for This Ain't Star Trek XXX will more likely be somewhat later that month.
This Ain't Star Trek XXX cast,
Kirk - Evan Stone Spock - Tony DeSergio Sulu - Ero Sennin Bones - Cheyne Collins Scotty - Anthony Rosano Khan - Nick Manning Uhura - Jada Fire Ruth - Jenna Haze Christine - Codi Carmichael Chandra - Sasha Grey Marla - Aurora Snow
Need to share your photos with style? Why not try MyLiveGallery.com from Alex Kaul. MyLiveGallery.com enables you to instantly create live galleries, photo albums and slideshows online. Use it to turn your photos into attractive galleries and share them with others. It is as easy as 1-2-3. Just specify the name, upload your pictures, select a theme and the gallery is ready!
I've been fascinated with VOIP ever since I made my first free call via Dialpad a few years ago. I remembered calling my mom using Dialpad on my old dial-up internet. Quality was bad but one fact remained, I made a call to the United States for free! When Dialup was bought by Yahoo!, they removed their free calls and replaced them with "cheap" per minute rates. Then there was Skype. For some time, I was using Skype so my grandma can call my mom and my uncle. And since my mom and uncle aren't that tech-savy, I bought SkypeOut credits so we can call their landlines and mobile phones for about Php1.00 per minute instead of doing Skype-to-Skype calls. Compared to PLDT's normal US$0.40 per minute rate, SkypeOut is cheap!
One of the disadvantages of using Skype though was whenever my grandma needs to call someone, I should always be with her since she doesn't know how to operate a computer. If you want to receive calls, you have to pay extra monthly for SkypeIn.
I heard something called magicJack around May last year. It's a device that apparently offers FREE calls for 1 year to the United States and Canada for only $40 and $19.95 every year after. And it also allows you to receive calls without an added fee. So, I ordered one online last December and got it in January when my grandma returned home from Maryland.
I've been using magicJack for 3 months now and guess what, what they're advertising is true. Free calls and lots and lots of savings!
MagicJack is a small device that plugs directly to your computer's USB port. When first plugged in, it will automatically install the magicJack software to your computer. Installation would take around 5 to 10 minutes or depending on your computer. Mine was installed within 3 minutes.
Once magicJack is installed, you will be required to register (name, address, email) and an option to choose your area code. In my case, I chose Los Angeles' 323 area code.
After the installation and registration procedures, you can now call anyone within the USA or Canada for FREE. Whether they're using mobile phones or regular landline phones, as long as they're in USA or Canada, the calls will be free for one full year. You can also receive FREE incoming calls anywhere in the world. They'll only have to dial your own magicJack number.
And since magicJack users will be issued their very own USA numbers, calls to other magicJack users are free. Mark has a magicJack connected to his BayanDSL and we've talked for about 30 minutes. :)
You can either use a computer headset with the magicJack softphone or plug a regular phone with an RJ-11 connector at the other end of the MagicJack. All PLDT / Bayantel / Globe / Digitel-issued landline phones or even cordless phones being sold anywhere are compatible with magicJack.
If you want to display the Caller ID information on your physical phone, I recommend using a Bayantel-issued unit. PLDT's Caller IDs don't work with magicJack. The caller ID information is displayed on your softphone anyway, so this isn't a big deal.
I use an old Panasonic cordless phone so my grandma can talk wherever she wants and not sit infront of my computer the whole time. This cordless phone was bought by Lalaine's uncle in the USA so the caller ID is compatible with magicJack.
magicJack's call quality is awesome and it's even better than Sun Cellular. Of course the quality also depends on the ISP you're using so I took the liberty of testing MagicJack on 4 different ISPs ---Destiny Cable, PLDT myDSL Plan 990, BayanDSL and Globe Visibility / Tattoo prepaid.
Destiny Cable is far the best since it's cable internet. Cable internet means lots of available bandwidth. PLDT myDSL plan 990 comes second while Bayantel comes third because of frequent disconnections resulting in drop calls. Globe Visibility / Tattoo prepaid is far the worst. Disconnections are of triple or quadruple compared with Bayantel and the up stream bandwidth is too low resulting in poor audio quality. The person you're talking too has a great chance of not hearing you completely when using Globe Visibility.
Other running programs on you computer can also be a factor. Since magicJack relies on your internet bandwidth, call quality may suffer if you're downloading something on torrent or other P2P sites. If you have a slow PC, I also recommend not using too much applications that hogs your processor or memory since it can affect quality or performance of the magicJack softphone.
Now lets check out the savings you'll get when you use magicJack for 60 minutes. Let's assume that US$1.00 is equal to Php 48.00. I bought my magicJack for $40.00, so it's about Php1,920.00.
Normal PLDT IDD rate to USA is US$0.40 or Php19.20 per minute, so 60 minutes of call would amount to Php1,152.00. Only a few more minutes and you'll get to your break-even point with magicJack. PLDT Budget Card's rate is Php3.00 per minute or about Php180 per 60 minutes. Break-even point will be reached after 10 hours / 600 mins of calls.
Globe Telecom's special IDD rate is at US$0.20 per minute. So, (0.20*48) * 60 minutes = P576 per 60 minutes. Break even point with magicJack will be reached with 3 hours or 180 minutes. While with Globe's TipIDD rate of Php2.50 per minute (Php150/60mins), BEP will be reached after 12 hours or 720 minutes of call. Globe's IDD Sakto per second rate is Php0.15 per sec or about Php9 per minute (Php540 per 60mins). BEP point will be reached after 3.5 hours worth of call
Sun Cellular's Top 10 IDD rate is US$0.10 per minute. So, (0.10*48) * 60 = P288 per 60 minutes. BEP with magicJack will be reached after 6 hours or 360 minutes worth of calls to the USA.
Bayantel and Sky Broadband also offers VOIP services. Bayantel has 799 minutes for Php195 or about Php0.24 per minute or Php14.4 per 60mins. BEP will be reached at 133 hours or about 800 minutes. Sky Broadband's VOIP has 100 minutes for Php99 or about P0.99 per minute (Php59.4 per 60mins). Sky's BEP with magicJack will be reached with 32 hours worth of calls.
As you can see, all local offers whether mobile, landline or VOIP are expensive in the long run compared to magicJack. Now, since magicJack is unlimited, let's compare it with other VOIP providers that provides unlimited calls to the US and Canada. Three of the most popular ones are Vonage, Packet8, and SkypeOut Unlimited.
Vonage offers their service for $9.95 per month on the first 3 months and $24.99 per month thereafter. Vonage's first year costs about $224.91 (Php 10,795.68) compared to MagicJack's $40.00. That's a savings of $184.91 (Php 8,875.68) on the first year!
Packet8's unlimited service is $199.00 per year plus an activation fee of $29.99. It translates to $228.99 per year or about Php 10,991.52. You can save at least $188.99 (Php 9,071.52) with magicJack.
SkypeOut Unlimited is $6.00 per month. So in 12 months, you'll be paying $72 or about Php3,456. magicJack is still cheaper by $32.00 (Php1,538)
The only disadvantage of magicJack is you need a computer to make it work. Vonage, Packet8, BayanVOIP and SKY Voice offers their service via an ATA device. You only need a broadband connection and/or a router. Since my computer is turned on almost 24/7, power consumption is really not an issue.
magicJack can also be used on an ATA device but it's not for the faint of heart. You need some tools and basic knowledge of your computer's registry to extract your magicJack's SIP information. So far, I've already extracted mine. I've tested it on another VOIP software called X-Lite and it works.
I wanted to try if this could work on an ATA device, but unfortunately, I can't find a cheap one locally. So if someone is selling a cheap Linksys PAP2 or SPA-3102 ATA device, please contact me ASAP!
Viruses and bad windows installation may cause an unpleasant experience with magicJack. So, if you're planning on getting one, better check your computers first to avoid any hassles in the future. magicJack's technical support is bad. It's worse than Destiny's technical support. The only support magicJack offers is through a web-based chat system. And as I've read somewhere, their support agents are all located in the Philippines.
So far, I haven't encountered any major problems with my magicJack besides the minor annoyance of requiring a computer to work. But if you know your way in and out your computer, then this product is awesome!
My magicJack is plugged into my Pentium 4 2.4ghz computer running on Windows XP. My internet is Destiny Cable which has a maximum speed of 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream and my router is a Linksys WRT54G. But for the curious, here's the minimum system requirements as specified by the magicJack manual:
Computer with Windows XP, Windows Vista or an Intel-based MAC
High-speed internet (atleast 128kbps upload bandwidth)
1 USB Port
Free calls to any USA and Canada mobile or landline for only $40.00 on the first year and $19.95 per year thereafter.
Receive incoming calls via your own USA number
Voicemail. New voicemail is also emailed to you as an attachment.
3-way conference calls
Uses ANY ordinary telephones (wired or cordless) and even computer microphones and speakers.
International calls can be free if the person you're calling also has a MagicJack
Computer must be turned on to make or receive calls.
Lacks competent technical support.
No way to uninstall software on your computer
No "official" way to use on an ATA device. Can be used on any ATA device but you have to "hack" your way through just to get your SIP credentials.
You can order your magicJack online at magicjack.com for only $39.99 (approx. Php 1,920) or you can contact Lalaine. I believe she's selling some magicJacks so you guys may want to contact her instead to save on shipping fees and the uber expensive customs and duty taxes.
You can reach Lalaine at lalaine (at) gameops (dot) net / cell# 0922-7474398 / landline +63(2)3310010. Others are selling this at an absurdly high price... as high as Php6,500!
I'll teach you guys next time on how to call other countries for FREE using your magicJacks but in the meantime, you can watch this cheezy magicJack infomercial :)
I got an email from Esquire.com editor Matt Sullivan informing me about their latest issue featuring Zoe Zaldana, the new actress who will play Uruha on the upcoming Star Trek movie. He included a snippet of their interview with Zoe which will definitely give geeks some boners.
ZS: There's nothing better than meeting a handsome geek.
ESQ: That's in the official Star Trek PR handbook.
ZS: I've developed a real respect for Trekkies.
ESQ: Talk to me after your first Comic-Con.
ZS: I've already had a [fan] come up to the door of my house. And I had a driver for another movie who brought all of his Star Trek memorabilia with him. He opened the trunk and there was this shrine. He had stacks of pictures he wanted me to sign. He ended up being the nicest guy, but it definitely freaked me out at first.
ESQ: That miniskirted uniform has a weird effect on men.
ZS: During the shoot it kept getting shorter and shorter.
ESQ: I'm sure that wasn't intentional.
ZS: Right. For some reason I always end up in casts that are me and a bunch of dudes. But I love it.
Handsome geeks please raise your hands! Read the complete interview at Esquire.com
Japan's old PHS (Personal Handy-phone System) mobile phone technology is back with a vengeance. Recent upgrades to the twenty-year old technology promises connections of up to 43Mbps. That's way way faster than current HSDPA technologies from our local telcos (Globe, Sun and Smart). The XGP (eXtended Global Platform) is an extension of the existing PHS that uses networks of micro cells that are much closer together than standard mobile phone towers. The result is better call quality and that impressive data throughput.
39 firms, including Hitatchi, NEC and Toshiba, have already formed the XGP forum with a goal to let the whole world know about this Asian technology.
Bayan Telecommunications (Bayan) recently announced the expansion of their broadband service to other parts of Metro Manila through its new wireless service. Bayan Wireless Internet is a 3G wireless technology based on the CDMA platform and its 1xRTT has the capability of providing broadband internet connection up to 256Kbps. "BayanDSL has been the choice wired broadband service of those in our franchise areas of Quezon City, Manila, Malabon and Valenzuela, and it is with great excitement that we are now able to offer the same Bayan Internet experience to other people in the Metro through wireless technology," said Mr. Tunde Fafunwa, Bayan's Chief Executive Consultant. "After all, it has always been in our sights to deliver more services to more people and our new wireless broadband product allows us to do just that."
Bayan's new wireless broadband service uses its existing Bayan Wireless Landline infrastructure using Evolution-Data Optimized (EVDO) technology to deliver unlimited broadband service with speeds up to 256kbps to households beyond Bayan's traditional data service areas including Makati, Pasig, Pasay, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Taguig, Mandaluyong and San Juan. Going wireless is also an option for people in Quezon City, Manila and Malabon.
The new Bayan wireless broadband service offers unlimited wireless service with speeds up to 256kbps for only P699/month.
There's a new plan at Globe called Plan DUO. Plan DUO allows you Unlimited Calling to and from any landline number as well as Unlimited Calling to and from any DUO postpaid mobile subscriber within Metro Manila and Cebu. As of now, Plan DUO is only available to Globe Postpaid subscribers. Duo Subscription is priced at Php399 per 30 days and is charged on top of your monthly phone bill. Once a postpaid subscriber subscribes to DUO, he/she will be issued a second number in the format of (local area code+XXXXXX).
Postpaid subscribers will NOT be issued a second SIM once subscribed to DUO, instead, a second "landline" number will be assigned to your current SIM. In effect, your postpaid SIM will have 2 numbers. One is your regular 0917-xxxxxx mobile number and the other is an "alias" or forwarder for your landline calls.
If you remember, a dual line/one SIM card subscription was offered by Smart before wherein you must switch lines in order to use the other. DUO does not require switching. :)
Subscription to DUO Service is •399/30days on top of a Globe Plan.
Once you are subscribed to Duo, you will be given your Duo Landline number. Now, your mobile phone and SIM will have two (2) numbers: your current mobile number (i.e. 0917-XXX-XXXX) and your Duo Landline number (i.e. 02-XXX-XXXX).
Upon activation, the following calls are rendered free of charge: DUO to any Landline calls, any Landline to DUO calls, and DUO to DUO calls. Calls made to other mobile numbers are charged regular mobile rates.
Everytime you call, no need for a keyword or special prefix:
To call any landline just dial the area code and the landline number
To call another DUO number just dial the area code and the DUO number of the person you are calling
For any landline to call you a person will just dial the area code and your DUO landline number
Service is initially available in NCR and Cebu only. All other calls outside the area code (02 for NCR or 32 for Cebu) will be charged regular mobile NDD rates.
How to avail Duo:
Promo is open to all Globe Postpaid subscribers.
Subscriber can avail of the service through the Business Centers or Register via SMS (with required SMS acceptance of Terms and Conditions). Simply text DUO to 8888.
There will be an initial 90-day holding period for new activations, subject to pre-termination fee of P1,200.
You can only avail of one (1) active DUO landline number for every active Globe line, at any one time.
After the holding period, subscription is auto-renewed on a monthly basis unless otherwise requested by the subscriber.
In cases of fraud, Globe reserves the right to discontinue the DUO service, and any of the subscriptions. DUO is not available for International Service Resale.
Duo is currently not available for prepaid or corporate accounts.
G-Plan subscribers can subscribe now by going to the nearest Globe Business Center or register by sending DUO to 8888! Promo period is from April 5- July 3, 2009 only.
--- Disclosure: Blog owner is a forum administrator of myGlobe, a website of Globe Telecom.
Our dog Dark just gave birth to a cute puppy named Lucky this morning. Why Lucky? Because last time Dark gave birth, she had 9 puppies. Now, Lucky's the only one... and by the way, because Lalaine said so. :~)
Globe is launching exciting summer promos this April and one of them is the Globe Summer Load Promo. Load P40 and get 20 TEXTS FREE to ALL Networks starting April 3 until May 2. The P40 load is valid for 2 days while the 20 Free texts have no expiration.
Promo is open to all prepaid subscribers of Globe and Touch Mobile. Per DTI-NCR Permit No. 1535. Series of 2009.
--- Disclosure: Blog owner is a forum administrator of myGlobe, a website of Globe Telecom.
Quezon congressman Danilo Suarez of the House Oversight Committee said yesterday that they had a meeting with officials of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to reduce the price of local SMS from Php1.00 to Php0.50. Rep. Suarez said,
The resolution will be binding on NTC, which will fix the maximum cost of text messaging at 50 centavos per message based on our agreement. The current average cost is about P1.
Our estimate of the telcos’ text messaging cost is 18-19 centavos. If you include the five-centavo tax, the net cost should be about 25 centavos. So if they offer text messaging at 30 centavos per tax, they have a profit of five centavos
Since Filipinos send two billion text messages per day, making us the texting capital of the world, a five-centavo profit translates to P100 million a day, P3 billion a month and P36 billion a year
If telcos offer text messaging at 35 centavos, their net profit would soar to P72 billion a year on this service alone.
Suarez revealed that President Arroyo, Speaker Prospero Nograles and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile are supporting his text cost proposals.
GameOPS in partnership with Globe will be offering anyone (postpaid or prepaid) unlimited calls and texts for one day! Unlimited calls and text can be used to Globe and all other GSM or CDMA networks in the Philippines!
To register, text GAMEOPS [space] UNLITXT to 2299. Unlimited offer is open to all Globe and TM subscribers only!
Hurry, unlimited offer is only valid until midnight (11:20PM / 23:00) today. Take note, MIDNIGHT!