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Mark Isaiah David

The Joys of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is here… kind of. In recent weeks, we’ve been inundated with news about the Oculus Rift, the Samsung VR, and just about every other tech company hoping to cash in on this latest trend. Steam, one of the world’s biggest gaming platforms, even put up a page specifically for the promotion of the HTC Vive - one the most advanced virtual reality platforms available today. It’s a strategic move. While the virtues of buying current-gen VR products is still debatable, there is no doubt that the technology is exciting. And even though the product can be prohibitively expensive ($800 or so), every day, more content is being generated specifically for VR tech. So if you’re wondering if you should jump in now and buy a VR device, you could …

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The Carry-On Conundrum

Flying in an airplane can be a trying experience – you basically allow yourself to be hurled through the atmosphere inside a metal tube, and that is an intrinsically unnatural thing. The long lines, the interminable wait, the mediocre food, the helplessness of being trapped inside a cramped space with a couple of hundred people for long hours… the experience can easily turn into a nightmare. Fortunately, technology can help save your sanity or simply help you pass the time. Your trusty gadgets can help you survive the ordeal of a plane ride. However, a new challenge comes up whenever you bring something inside a plane. Repeated security checks (and locally, the threat of laglag-bala) are always a hassle. Compounding this annoyance is the fact that the rules change in every airport. …

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Stop data drain

Unless you’re Scrooge McDuck rich or one of those lucky guys who still has that ultra-rare, almost-mythical unlimited data plans, keeping a close watch on your mobile data is a must. It’s a monthly ritual. You limit your browsing activities and think you’re keeping a tight lid on your data consumption, and then, BAM! Suddenly, you find yourself way beyond your monthly limit that you can’t even see the line that you supposedly crossed. You don’t know what you did wrong and your telecom provider won’t help you. The long and short of it is -- you’re screwed. To help prevent unconscionable data charges, here are some things you might want to keep in mind:   FLY WITH WIFI It’s common practice to connect to WiFi networks to avoid racking up data costs, but it’s …

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Earphones etiquette

When it comes to earphones, I have one for every need. My RAZER 7.1 Chroma is permanently hooked to my home PC, enabling me to unleash the beast when I’m gaming without having my neighbors complain about the guttural shriek of eviscerated monsters. My BOSE over-ear headphones always come with my office laptop to make sure I don’t bother my teammates beside me when it’s crunch time and I need to beat those pesky deadlines. When I run during weekends, my trusty SONY waterproof sports headphones keep me company as I pound the road – and I can also use them when I swim. And when I’m just walking in the mall or waiting for my ride home, my LG stereo headsets are wirelessly tethered to my phone as I enjoy …

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Hobbies for techies

When your job is all about ones and zeroes, computers, and the latest digital trends, spending hours hunched on your workstation can not only be boring, it can also be detrimental – both to your work and to your health. All work and no play, after all, can only be bad for you. Fortunately, there’s an easy and fun solution to burnout and physical inactivity: hobbies. Whether mundane or downright awesome, having an activity that you love is important in having a balanced work-life. When it comes to hobbies, techies seem to excel in their choices. Curiously enough, there’s a trend of focusing on the physical instead of virtual things. Seth Porges of Forbes articulated that, “the more time you spend immersed in technology, the more likely you are to seek a …

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Love in the season of swipes

Twenty one years ago, I was riding a jeepney with my friends when I chanced upon this quiet, curly-haired young girl who looked like a nymph that couldn’t hurt a fly. After a month’s worth of research (all I had to start with was the village she got off on and her school uniform), I was dropping off hand-written letters to her cousin (so she could give it to her) every day and praying that I get to bump into her again. These days, such effort and pace in pursuing a relationship is unthinkable. Apparently, romance has changed. Social media, our persistently-connected lives, long work hours, and even the deplorably significant amount of time we lose stuck in traffic has evolved how we do romance. For example: STALKING MADE EASY Getting to know …

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The falsebook

Two out of 37 – that’s the number of selfies that usually make it past my friend’s brutal selection process and get uploaded. She jokingly calls the process 'finding her angle' but there's no denying the truth: what is seen online does not necessarily reflect what is real. The practice isn’t exactly new. While Lonelygirl15 of YouTube may be one of the earliest/most famous examples of an elaborate lie on social media, we have always been wary of letting other people see the ‘real’ us. We present our best foot forward in our CVs and on interviews; we sweep the floor and wipe the counters when we know someone is dropping by our house; and even the #nofilterphotos that we boast of have been cropped to our minute specifications. Nevertheless, even if …

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Siri, an interview

I began to jog the moment my car door shut. I’d hate to look flustered, but I was already 12 minutes late, and I couldn’t afford to be unpunctual – not with this interview, which I’ve been pursuing for several weeks now, and not with this woman, whose time, I am positive, is far more precious than gold. The café, overlooking the marina, was airy and spacious. Instead of piped-in music that often permeates such establishments, there was only the sound of waves and the familiar smell of coffee being expertly brewed, and enjoyed in peace. There were only a few people about - if that was a function of the early hour, or if she made sure that the place wouldn’t be crowded by reserving the whole place, I don’t …

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What to look forward to in 2016

Even with all the tech tools at our disposal, it's hard to keep track of everything happening in the world. There's simply too much to mind, too many dates to mark, too many things to remember. We can't help you with your personal stuff — birthdays, anniversaries, meet-ups with friends, the never ending deadlines. But we can make things easier for you by making a list of things that you definitely shouldn't miss - movies, concerts, TV shows, games, and other notable events in 2016. You have your calendar ready? Here we go —   1 STARS OF THE SMALL SCREEN With access to legit TV and movie services like iFlix and Hooq, and our own (cough) ways (cough) of gaining access to international shows via the internet, watching our favorite shows have never been …

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