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Mark Isaiah David

Internet trolls and how they can ruin your day

My first memories of trolls were delightful and endearingly innocent. I was 12, going out of my wits thinking of a gift for my crush’s upcoming birthday. I already bought a gaudy pink teddy bear and some overly fragrant stationery when my father pulled through and saved me from pubescent mediocrity. He brought home a Troll – the furry, up-combed hair doll beloved by many kids – and encouraged me to give that to her instead. It was different, it was unexpected, and it was a hit with my crush. With one gift, my father taught me not only to think creatively but also to inject humor into romance, which would be very useful in my life later on. Nowadays, no one would associate innocence, fondness, and goodwill with the term …

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Does a cookie crumble?

In this social media age where we all overshare, worrying about privacy is a practice we often neglect. And while it’s relatively easy to vet what we share on Facebook and check if there’s anything incriminating on the photos we upload on Instagram, there are other, sneakier ways how companies, websites, and other outfits keep track of our browsing habits. You have probably heard the term ‘cookies’ before – if you’ve ever read a piece on internet privacy, the article probably mentioned cookies. If you’ve visited a reputable site lately, you might have encountered a form where they ask you if it’s ok to leave cookies in your computer. And if you’ve watched clips of ‘news’ programs trumpeting the dangers of the internet, they might have painted cookies as an evil …

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When life gives you lemons

Congratulations – your new device is finally here. You’ve saved up for months, researched all the reliable sites for compelling reviews, compared and contrasted it against competing models and brands, found the best deal available in your area, and you’ve exchanged your hard-earned money for the gadget of your (recent) dreams. You know this baby like the back of your hand, and you can’t wait to take it for a spin. But after several days of bliss, you notice some things are amiss. It starts with the small stuff – an app hanging for no reason, a mini delay when you press the Home button. You ignore it at first, because after all, didn’t you get the best of what’s out there? And then you notice the battery emptying earlier than it …

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The volatile truth about Smartphone batteries

Samsung’s been having a grievous time with its Galaxy Note 7 – a phablet with impressive specs and performance ratings, if not for one fatal flaw. The Korean company had to implement a worldwide recall of the Note 7 handsets due to exploding battery fears. Memes and jokes making fun of the product abound in the Internet, and airlines even issue warnings against bringing the Note 7 on their flights. Intended as a flagship product, the Note 7 is turning out to be a marketing nightmare. However, Samsung’s problem is hardly unique, with modern society overwhelmingly dependent on ambulatory power consumption. Rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries are the standard now, and we use them not just in cellphones but also in cars and in airplanes. And any Lithium-ion battery – regardless of the …

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Etiquette for Pokémon Go players

After quickly becoming ‘Game Of The Year’- material for its impressive number of installs, time spent in-app, and raising Nintendo’s market value by $12 billion, Pokémon Go’s daily users has dropped and plateaued, but the game still boasts an impressive amount of dedicated players. You can chalk it up to nostalgia, the sheer fun of augmented reality, or even to its simple game mechanics, but Pokémon Go is here to stay. When a huge number of people begin engaging in a new activity, problems naturally arise. For a game as active (you have to walk around in the real world) as Pokémon Go, the potential for social gaffes increase. A man mesmerized while trying to catch that ultra-rare Blastoise, after all, is a man who suddenly loses awareness of what is …

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Searching for truth in social media

A popular social media page for car enthusiasts recently crashed and burned for revealing the identity of a suspect of a crime – which later turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. The unfortunate victim of the gaffe got his reputation shredded within hours, and even received threats against him and his family. Later, the car magazine uploaded a single post sharing that the owner of the misidentified car stepped forward to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to clear his name, but stopped short of owning up to its own error and irresponsibility in its post. And while the editor of the car magazine posted on his own social media account that the blunder was his fault, the apology came too late. Damage, as is often in …

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Pokémon Go For Old(Er) Players

Illustration by Pamela Lim-Kwok For the past two weeks, the Internet has been hijacked by a new game for smartphones.  Everyone is talking about it. Jokes and memes can be found on every corner of the web. Even more impressive, local news and tech sites can’t seem to stop talking about it – even if the game isn’t available yet in the Philippines. It’s the age of Pokémon GO. Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game where you can ‘catch’ cute little ‘pocket monsters’ that will suddenly appear on your phone while you’re using the app. The game is based on the basic premise of Pokémon, a Japanese videogame and anime series where adventurers travel the world seeking Pokémon (yes, there is no ‘s’ in the plural form) to train and battle with …

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Tech for tots

Mixing technology and toddlers can be a complex issue. On one hand, there are those that worry about the effects of screens on critically-developing minds – saying that screentime for children, especially toddlers, should be severely limited, if not outright eliminated. Parents are concerned about how living in a world inundated with technology affects the development of their children. It was not so long ago, after all, when children used to play outside all day, riding bikes, having actual friends, playing sports, and getting into all sorts of adventures. Proponents of a #childhoodunplugged say that natural play brings a host of benefits for the child that technology cannot emulate. Children learn to grow into their bodies, enrich their imagination, learn how to properly interact with other kids, and enjoy their days …

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Pokémon Go hits the streets!

The idea behind Pokémon Go is as simple as it is brilliant: leverage on the technology of smartphones to bring a beloved Nintendo classic game to life. By using a smartphone’s GPS, camera, and internet connection, players can now catch Pokémon by walking around in the real world, vigilantly watching their smartphones, hoping for a rare-type encounter. Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that works. It has no shortage of fun: you face familiar, cute monsters, there’s always a thrill when your phone vibrates to inform you that there’s a Pokémon nearby, and it actually makes you want to catch them all. You collect your Pokémon, enhance and evolve them, gather items from Pokéstops, and do battle in Pokémon gyms. The wonder of finding Pokémon superimposed on the real world …

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Manila: more fun than a 1st world city

Visiting a 1st-world city can be a bittersweet experience. Sure, you’ve waited so long to finally have the chance to travel, but once you see how far advanced they are from us – how fast their internet is, how efficient and reliable their mass transport systems are, and how proficient and impressive their public services can be, you can’t help but ask yourself, “why can’t we have these in the Philippines?” But not all disadvantages are in our country – there are some things distinctly Filipino that are better. Things like –   CHEAPER COST OF LIVING Sure, you can argue economies of scale or cheaper labor or a thousand other factors – but the long and short of it is: it’s cheap to live in the Philippines. A 337ml Coke bottle, for example, …

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