Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pacquiao Devastates Dela Hoya

MANNY PACQUIAO WINS in the 9th round of his non-title boxing match against Oscar dela Hoya as the Filipino fighter totally overcomes dela Hoya throughout their fight.

Dela Hoya suffered a cut to his face with Pacquiao's quick and strong left straights. Pacquiao's speed and power was just too much for the Golden Boy despite the latter's advantage in height and weight.

See the blow-by-blow account here.

Congratulations to the Pacman!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Contest For Change: World Challenge 08

It's amazing how some people can race to the moon and stars while others remain languishing in pitiful conditions. However there are initiatives that are improving the lives of many people in what would be considered as less than fortunate communities.

This is what World Challenge 08 is all about. Now running in its third year of competitions the challenge, which is spearheaded by BBC World News and Newsweek, with the help of Shell, seeks to highlight projects and small businesses that promote a sustainable positive impact at the grassroots level.

In 2006 a Sri Lankan papermaking firm won the award for its innovation of using elephant dung as raw material for paper and providing opportunities for community members to take part of the earnings. For 2007, the Peruvian T'ikapapa enterprise bagged the World Challenge top prize for helping the local potato growing communities in the Andes mountains reach a larger potato market.

This year there's a good mix of nominees from South Africa, Colombia, Nepal, Pakistan, Brazil, Paraguay, Kyrgyzstan, two from India and another two from Kenya. Their stories are just awe inspiring from promoting local grassroots livelihood projects to pursuing education for underprivileged communities.

Know more about the incredible and wonderful finalists for World Challenge 08 and be part in helping them continue their life changing initiatives by voting for your favourite project or enterprise. Online voting will end on November 21, 2008. Winners will be announced on December 20, 2008.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Paul Newman Remembered

Thanks Doc.
Paul Newman, 1925-2008
I don't consider myself a fan of this multi-awarded thespian/racer/humanitarian but growing up and catching glimpses of old movies of Paul Newman, there is no denying that he was such an admirable character.

The typical cowboy -- macho, unflappable -- you'd want to be on his side, whether he played a robbery gang leader as he did when he was Butch Cassidy in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, with Robert Redford), a pool shark like Fast Eddie in The Hustler (1961) and The Color of Money (1986, with Tom Cruise, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor), or as mob boss John Rooney in Road to Perdition (2002, with Tom Hanks).

For those whose memories can't go farther back than 3 years, Paul Newman was the familiar husky voice of that bitter former race car and reluctant mentor Doc Hudson in the 2006 Pixar animation Cars. Newman's career spanned about 6 decades. He personified multi-tasking even before the term became popular. Paul Newman was an actor, writer, director, producer, businessman, race car driver, and philantrophist.

Paul Newman passed away September 26, 2008 due to lung cancer. He was 83 -- and as Cool Hand Luke in Somebody Up There once said, "I thought it was a nice round number".

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lessons From Lehman

With the global markets scrambling for safety in light of the latest debacle that was the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers, it seems that the end of the financial meltdown, brought about by the US mortgage crisis, may not come earlier as hoped for. The expectation is that some more financial companies may fall in the coming months. Although, authorities are saying they know more now than they did when Federal Reserve bailed out Bear Stearns months before, the statement does not provide any reassurance.

One theory is that Lehman Brothers, a century and half old top investment banking institution, may have been hoping for the Fed to step in as it did with the Bear Stearns case, to avert the Chapter 11 filing.

However, Federal Reserve would not be able to sustain bailouts in the medium to long term. Makes me wonder what if Lehman beat Bear Stearns to the punch and filed for bankruptcy earlier. Would the Fed otherwise helped the failing financial institution?

But I'm past speculation at this point. If there's anything that can be gleaned from our current global financial woes it's that you can't put so much at stake on risks. You put up some, you gain some. This way, if you do lose, your losses won't be too damaging. In the case of Lehman Brothers the losses were just so overwhelming that stockmarkets everywhere are tumbling like a house of cards.

We are in the midst of a worldwide crunch and it is clearly not the time to blindly hope for big gains and jackpots in any financial dealings. Track records are reset to zero in circumstances like these, as the Lehman's case clearly shows. People and business should just focus on buckling down to increase productivity, save up as much resources and patiently wait for this financial storm to blow over. Only then can we attempt to reshape our financial futures.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Laptop Goes Green: The ASUS Bamboo Series

There's an indigenous Filipino creationist myth that says "Bathala" (the great deity) sent down a bird to split open a giant bamboo and out came "Malakas" (the male, translated as "strong") and "Maganda" (the female, translated as "beautiful").

Well, them technology gods at ASUS just came out with a bamboo fashioned laptop that is supposed to be both strong and environmentally beautiful. The bamboo finish reminds me of my old computer table. I never saw it coming that one day the bamboo would actually be the computer itself.

The bamboo-cladding seems amusing at first but the folks at ASUS are serious, especially in the matter of using biodegradable materials for its products. There's no word from the manufacturer's press release just how environment friendly this particular piece of technology is but the specs would easily rival many top of the line laptops in its class. The Bamboo series comes in both 12.1" and 11.1" models. Furthermore, if you split this Bamboo, you'd find an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and DDR-2 RAM, expandable up to 4GB.

ASUS claims that the Bamboo computers are energy efficient due to its next generation "Super Hybrid Engine". They stretch the pitch further by saying it "is the first notebook to have survived the unforgiving conditions of snow-capped Qomolangma Peak". That's Mount Everest for those of you who didn't get the chance to read on my previous posts on the Olympics.

A few questions come to mind. How does the bamboo surface fare in terms of the heat generated by the device? Wouldn't it warp as most organic materials do when subjected to heat? Just how much of the skin is made of bamboo? For that matter, the question still remains on how much of the notebook is actually biodegradable and how much of it is just marketing hype?

At any rate, I'm keeping tabs on this innovation. Anything that puts emphasis on going green should be given the chance to prosper, I think.

Personally, I would love to give this handsome equipment a test run. Ahem... attention ASUS. (wink!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

2008 NFL Season Kicks Off: Giants Scalp Redskins 16-7

Defending Superbowl champions the New York Giants defeated the Washington Redskins at the Giants Stadium in New Jersey opening the 2008 season. The kickoff game was attended by almost 80,000 spectators and was remarkably commemorative of Gene Upshaw's recent passing. The great NFL Player's Association director's initials "GU" and jersey number 63 was there on display at the halfway mark and on every players' uniforms.

The Giants had a tremendous starting drive capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Superbowl XLII MVP and Giants quarterback Eli Manning. The Giants then gained 10 more points from veteran kicker John Carney off the extra point and 3 consecutive field goals, the longest measuring 47 yards. The 44-year old kick specialist, currently the oldest player in the NFL, had a 100% season last year with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Before the half, Washington managed a touchdown by way of a 12 yard pass from Jason Campbell to Santana Moss, double coverage and all. The extra point came from 26-year old Shaun Suisham, now in his third season in the NFL and in his second year with the Redskins.

Both teams had a scoreless second half as both defenses played pressure football all the way. However, Washington's defense played big with 2 sacks against Eli Manning and 1 interception by Fred Smoot, the 8-year defensive cornerback. Other than that, the Giants had their way at home for their first title defense of the season.

As a side note, over in the Philippines there's a new group that's out to popularize the NFL. Pinoy Gridiron is a startup organization that seeks to establish and promote gridiron (NFL variety football) games in the Philippines. For more NFL game highlights, head over to the Pinoy Gridiron group on Multiply.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Google Chrome: Reinventing The Browser

Internet technology giant Google recently released the beta version of their latest effort towards Web dominance which they call "Chrome". Google Chrome is being touted as the next generation Internet browser designed from the ground up to accommodate the future of Rich Web Applications. With Google Chrome now available, Google seems intent on placing itself firmly as the leader in providing web-based applications.

Explaining their motivation for creating Google Chrome, the development team at Google had this statement posted at the Google Chrome download site.
...We needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build.
Google started out as an indexed search engine in the late 1990's. Today it provides dozens of Web apps from the online email service Gmail, to the Google Docs and Spreadsheets, the Picasa Web Albums, the Orkut social networking site, and online video platforms Google Videos and YouTube, just to name a few. Oh, and by the way (put sheepish grin here), Google also runs the web logging platform Blogger also (duh).

Keeping that in mind, it is easy to see where they are going with this new Web browser. the folks at Google Chrome say that they have built "the foundation of a browser that runs today's complex web applications much better." It is also claimed that they have developed new methods to power future web applications, which are not at all feasible with the Web browsers existing today.

Without going into a detailed review, some of the new features of Google Chrome include the Dynamic Tab, Crash Control and the Incognito Mode. All in all these features aim to serve up an easy and secure browsing experience centered on getting users off locally installed desktop applications and to have them avail of the growing number of online users for their various Web applications. 

There are certainly more to come from Google Chrome in the months and years ahead. Currently, Google Chrome is a beta release so expect some bugs and issues to appear. Learn more about Google Chrome's many features and other stuff about the Web at our partner blog Sandbox Central.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama Promises A Changed America

He was the face of change in more ways than one as US Senator Barrack Obama addressed tens of thousands of Democrats in attendance at the Invesco Football Field in Denver, Colorado, USA, and millions more by television worldwide, as he accepted his nomination to be the Democratic Presidential Candidate for the upcoming 2008 US elections.

I haven't heard such a stirring oration since Michael Douglas portrayed an embattled re-electionist in the movie "The American President". Whether or not Mr. Obama's vision will be realized should he take on the post come November is something that would have to be left to the course of history. But being the first African-American presidential nominee is already quite a cinematic historical moment.

Would he be able to have his cake and eat it too?

Obama touched on the legacy of past Democrat presidents citing Franklin Roosevelt and Kennedy in his speech and urging on the audience to bring back the "American dream". Towards the last part of his speech however, Obama drew on his roots as an African-American, not naming the "preacher" he spoke of but obviously referring to Martin Luther King Jr. in his famous "I have a dream" speech.

Definitely the battlecry of the Democrats in this election is change. Mr. Obama himself personifies such a huge change in American politics, one cannot wonder just how ready America is to embrace this change. Once such a segregated nation in terms of its history with blacks, will America now embrace a man of color over another 4 years of what is perceived by some as a lackluster 8 years of Republican rule.

Skin color aside, Mr. Obama boasts of a record that is impressive enough for a relatively young achiever in public service. In his acceptance speech, he identified with the average American's struggles, even drawing on his familial experiences, as his motivation to pursue the highest post of public office. He promises to change so many things from the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq to tax cuts for 95% of American workers, to an aggressive environmental policy. He even categorically declared to end America's dependence on Middle Eastern oil within a decade.

There are of course other issues other than color in this elections but for now, the Obama saga continues. Will the promise of change convince enough Americans to look beyond deeply rooted racial bias and vote for a young candidate of African-American descent?

We'll know the answer this November.

Here is an excerpt from Mr. Obama's acceptance speech:
"I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer, and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. That's to be expected, because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters.

If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things."

For a complete transcript of Barrack Obama's speech visit the

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2008 Olympics: Bye-bye Beijing, Hello London!

The last of the fireworks fizzled out late August 25th as the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games came to a very spectacular close. Despite its many detractors, the Beijing Olympic Games would remain a historic, fantastic and the most grand Olympics of the global sporting meet.

Already, London, which is up next in hosting the games by 2012, have its mayor Boris Johnson almost half-apologetically expressing to the effect that the next instance of the Olympiad would be quite modest compared to the just finished Chinese version. Says Johnson thru the BBC, "This is not going to be a cost-cutting Olympics, but it is essential we watch every penny to deliver a Games that is value for money."

Olympic Medal Tally Results

The top 5 countries dominating the games were the USA, China, Russia, Great Britain, and Australia. Germany, France, South Korea, Italy and the Ukraine rounds up the top 10.

Overall, there were 87 countries that ranked with a medal out of the 204 states that participated for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Catch the Games results and other Olympic statistics in detail at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) website.

The Philippine Performance

The Philippine delegation did not succeed in bringing in any medals in the official Olympic competitions. However, Filipinos have a consolation in Wushu athlete Willy Wang who brought home a gold for the demonstration sport.

This is the second gold for the Philippines in a non-official sport in the Olympics. The first one was bagged by celebrated bowler Arianne CerdeƱa during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

With another medal-less Olympic campaign the Philippine government pledges to overhaul the sports program of the country.

Bolt and Phelps Victorious

The athletes who stood out at the Beijing Olympics were of course, Michael Phelps of the USA and Jamaica's Usain Bolt.

Michael Phelps has now reached legendary status for taking 8 golds in swimming, breaking 4 world records as an individual and helping to break 3 more records in the men's relay events. Phelps now stands as the person with the most gold medals for a single Olympics, overshadowing his predecessor and compatriot Mark Spitz.

Usain Bolt ran away (literally and figuratively) with 3 gold medals corresponding to 3 world records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay track and field events. He is the world's fastest man despite the disapproving remarks of IOC President Jacques Rogge's regarding Bolt's bragging attitude over his wins.

The Beijing Olympic Games will be a memorable celebration for the 10,000 athletes who played in the events and the tens of thousands more who presented the pageantry, the fireworks, the men and women flying on strings, the neon-lit monocycles and the singers and dancers who represent the billions of dollars spent for hosting the 2008 Olympics. For the millions of viewers worldwide who watched the games on TV, special effects and lipsyncing aside, and anticipated the results on the Web (over 16 million tuned in at IOC's You Tube channel), the Beijing experience is finally over. We can now go on with our lives undistracted by what was the most fantastic hosting of the Olympics in all of history.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Five Blogs Friday: Olympic Blogs

Marathon blogging was removed from the
Olympic games as it tended to damage eyesight.
Marathon blogging was removed from the Olympic games as it tended to damage eyesight.
I'm going to start a new recurring feature for Daily Dotventures which will henceforth be called Five Blogs Friday. Got this bit of inspiration from Blog Day 2007 where upon registering at the Blog Day site, you get to cite five other blogs in keeping with the celebration (as well as to spread some "love").

This time however, Five Blogs Friday will feature themed or topical blogs every week. Hopefully this will spark some interest in you folks into exploring thousands of other blogs you otherwise would not even come across in your regular blog searches. I also hope that this new mid-year resolution will keep these blogger fingers of mine busy, at least once a week. :)

While the blogs we will feature here are mostly random uninitiated picks, if you have any suggestions for future editions of Five Blogs Friday send me an email (see my profile below).

For this initial salvo, let's look at five noteworthy blogs that have taken on the sometimes controversial, always nostalgic, and mostly hyped up 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Matt in Beijing

This one is hosted at Windows Live Spaces and is the blog of Matt Plowright, "MSN UKs man" to the Beijing Olympic games. It's got nice pictures and well-written commentaries although it lacks the blow-by-blow coverage other Olympic-themed blogs offer.

Deadspin - 2008 Olympic Coverage

From the friendly fellows at Deadspin, an edgy collaborative work on everything sports. Their coverage of the Beijing games are an entertaining read. That is, if you find no-BS, in-your-face sports editorials entertaining. I for one do. I'm bookmarking this one.

Beijing Olympics Blog

Over at Wordpress, "Bob" gives us a spectator's look at the Beijing of the 2008 Olympics. It's a rather intimate behind-the-scenes perspective that began way back in December 2007. You may want to look at the Olympics Blogroll here for more resources on the Beijing Olympic games.

Beijing Olympics 2008

If you want detailed accounts of the games, this niche blog at Blogspot got game. It's simple, straightforward, all text, all news about the Beijing games, and even more text. It's just text after text of every breaking update on the Olympics. Enough said.

Beijing 2008 - Olympics News and Info

Here's another Olympic results-oriented blog like the previous one mentioned but with a bit more pizazz. It's got color, it's got pictures, and the texts are shorter. Just the highlights, just the stuff at the finish line.

So there you have it. Our first Five Blogs Friday. Enjoy and have a safe and happy weekend.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Catch the Olympic Fever

With only less than 3 days left before the biggest and grandest sporting spectacle the world has ever seen, just about everybody on the Web is all in wild anticipation about the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Mark that date if you haven't yet, 08-08-08.

To get you sprinting off to everything Olympics here are some smashing sites that are right on target to pole vault your online experience of the Games of the 29th Olympiad.

If you want to dive right into what the Olympics is all about, this is the official website of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). When I first visited this site about a year ago, it was more of a corporate presentation. Although, it contained a very rich history about the Olympic games (and still does), it was back then somewhat in the doldrums.

Now, it is a very interactive resource for all things Olympic -- from an exhaustive database of all Olympic records and medalists since its 1896 beginnings, to the most current news about the Beijing 2008 Summer Games. There is a digital magazine called the Olympic Express that's very informative. Then if you want to learn more about the basic rules of the various Olympic events, browse over to the Sports Animations section and go over the games in a flash (pun intended; you will need Adobe Flash to watch the presentations).

Then if you want a taste of the competitive Olympic spirit, try out the Olympic Mini Games. Its a fun preview of the Sega video game Beijing 2008. You can rack up scores in three events -- archery, weightlifting and diving. Then see how you fared against the best mouse-clickers in the world. I tried my hand at the archery event (see accompanying image). Though I had a perfect 10/10, I only ranked 159. Not bad for a first try though.

There's more to explore at the website. Be sure to check out the stunning multimedia gallery and the Olympics quiz contest for a chance to win the Beijing 2008 video game.

The Beijing 2008 Official Website

This is your ultimate web destination to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Know the news, view the sights, swim in the intricate details that surround this enigmatic event, the biggest ever Olympics in Asia.

Follow the footsteps of the most controversial Olympic torch relay in history, one that was marred by protests at every major city in its world route and even scaled the heights of the highest spot on Earth at Mt. Qomolangma (Everest). See blogs contributed by common folk at My Olympic Story, showcasing their interest and passion for the Olympics.

Discover the feats of engineering that transformed Beijing to become Olympics central this year. Enter the infamous National Stadium or "Bird's Nest", and the magical "Water Cube" that is the National Aquatics Center.

Watch the 29th Olympiad online through This is the first live Web coverage of the Olympic games, thanks to the global growth of broadband Internet, and MSN/NBC got the exclusive go to broadcast the games online. The NBC Olympics site contains news and information about the games, the individual sporting events, key athletes, country profiles as well as photos and videos to give you a comprehensive ring side look at the Beijing Olympics.

Lastly, stay tuned here at Daily Dotventures for more Olympic updates.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pacquiao Captures Lightweight Belt

Photo from
Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao made history June 28 as he slugged it out on the square ring, outboxing then Lightweight Champion David Diaz and finally sending the Mexican-American fighter's face to the canvass late in the 9th round, to win the WBC Lightweight Championship of the World. Pacquiao is the first Filipino and Asian to capture the title, his fourth world title in four separate divisions, proving without question that he is the best pound-for-pound boxer of this age.

Pacquiao showed he was at the top of his game at the lightweight division -- considered for years as the holy grail of Philippine boxing. Filipino greats fell at this level, even the legendary Gabriel "Flash" Elorde.

But "The Pacman" was lightning fast at 135 pounds. The slow-motion replay could barely track a blur of a left hook that was the knockout punch smashing into Diaz's chiselled jaws. His gloves went limp as his face hit the ring floor. And while Pacquiao went to a neutral corner, referee motioned for the ring physician as Diaz struggled to get on his back. Just before the cornermen jumped into the ring -- Diaz's in bewilderment, Pacquiao's in jubilation -- the gentleman warrior approached his fallen foe and tried to help him get up.

Manny Pacquiao's red right gloves flashed warning signs for the "Dangerous" David Diaz all through the first 8 rounds. But in the end, it was an unsuspecting left that leveled Diaz.

It was a convincing end. There were no scorecards to count, no controversial headbutts. Diaz took the fight to Pacquiao and stood up valiantly against the famed Filipino fighter. But this time the challenger proved too fast and too strong. Truly a lethal combination for the defending champ.

Get the blow-by-blow account at Yahoo! Sports.

And here's some great stories of the fight over at Pacquiao's own website.

Congratulations to the pinoy boxing hero Manny Pacquiao!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Domain Gold Rush Is On

Soon enough you can get your very own top-level domain (TLD) name on the Internet.

Domain regulator Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved unanimously a proposal to open up restrictions on top-level domain names. This means that Web addresses won't be limited to just the ".com", ".net", ".org" or some of the other popular TLDs in existence. With the new system anyone can apply for having a customized TLD like ".cars", ".paris" or ".blog". The news is eBay is already poised to take ".ebay".

Currently there are 21 top-level domain names, 7 of which may be used without restrictions - ".com", ".net", ".org", ".info", ".name", ".pro" and ".name". The other TLDs are either reserved for special purposes or otherwise considered sponsored and limited to select groups only.

The new ICANN gTLD Strategy will pave the way for a huge expansion of the Internet with thousands of new domains available for every conceivable industry and purpose. Global brand names are expected to lead in this virtual gold rush. Various industries will be competing for control over their respective fields, for example ".hotels" or ".shipping".

The other important innovation of the strategy involves allowing the use of non-Roman characters for Internet addressing. Thus, Asian countries like China, Japan and Korea as well as Arab nations and Eastern European nations that use different character sets may soon have Internet addresses in their own languages.

Reactions to the new Internet system are mixed. Many express a sigh of relief as this would allow registrants to take on a domain which may already have been taken mostly by so-called Web squatters and domain hoarders. It also means that the importance of ".com" will be diluted over time and websites will be more uniquely addressed. Many new TLDs have been applied to the ICANN body in the past due to the limitations of the handful of TLDs available to the Internet. Attempts at a similar multiple-root domain system have been proposed before most notably by the UnifiedRoot group.

On the flipside, there are those who foresee a fallout of confusion as Internet users might have a difficult time distinguishing which website to go to after a search much like trying to figure out which John Smith to call up when looking at a telephone directory. Some brand owners are also concerned with an anticipated bedlam in registering their brands across an endless range of TLDs and how that will affect the protection of their respective intellectual property rights.

ICANN officials are dispelling the worries saying that they have taken all aspects of the strategy in consideration and are essentially prepared for any inevitability. The ICANN cites they are putting objection-based mechanisms in place to ensure viability of the new domain system. You can peruse the ICANN official statement from their website.

As a final note, it would take a while before domain buyers can place their stake at a brand-new top-level domain. ICANN estimates the infrastructure to be setup and functional by late 2009 with registrants required to shell out top-dollars in the 6-figure amounts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefox 3 Launched

Mozilla's much maligned yet more beloved web browser launches it's third full version June 17th worldwide as the Firefox 3 tries to set a new Guinness World Record for the most downloads in a single day.

Before the start of Download Day 2008 it already had over 3 million pledges for downloads from Firefox fans around the world. The campaign ends June 18th at 5PM UTC. With a few more hours to go it looks like its well on its way on hitting its mark. However, a handful of pledgers have expressed disappointment for the lack of organization for the Download Day event with complaints ranging from the availability of downloads being late by as much as 17 hours to "Page Not Found" errors for certain language versions at the official download site. Some have even stated that their installation crashed.

Personally, I've beta-tested the FF3 prior to Download Day 2008 and it worked with no hitches thus far. I've thus made my download June 18 Philippine time and it's so far working fine. What I appreciate most about this version is the Bookmark Tags feature which lets you organize your bookmarks with keyword tags. So you can have for example a bookmark folder labeled "Blogs" but you can still tag individual blogs into regions or topics like say "Blogging Tips" or "Cooking". Entering the keyword tag on the address bar will bring up all bookmarks tagged as such even if they were saved under different folders.

Another interesting feature is the full-screen mode which is really full-screen. Previously when pressing F-11 (full-screen mode short-cut) the navigation toolbar and tabs remain on screen. Now everything hides off your screen's edges, leaving only the unobstructed website page in all it's glory.

Pity though, Firefox 3 is no longer available for lower versions of Windows. So I'll have to be content with the FF2 series for my other ancient P-III Win98 machine.

Firefox as we know it have been around since 2004 with its 1.0 release. This latest Firefox 3 is boasted to contain more than 15,000 improvements and is expected to be faster, smarter and more secure with the latest anti-phishing, anti-malware and pop-up blocker technologies.

Go get your Firefox 3 today.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

100 Days To The Beijing 2008 Olympics

The 100-day countdown begins for what is highly anticipated as the biggest sporting event in the world -- the Beijing 2008 Olympics. It is certainly projected to be the grandest staging of the international sporting competition to be held in an Asian country. Arguably, it may very well be the most spectacular Olympiad yet.

But no grand goal is not without an opponent just as great. Not since Berlin 1936 did the Olympic games receive extensive media mileage for swimming in a pool of controversy. Ever since 2001 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded China the honor of hosting the 29th Olympiad, protests have been thrown from all sides ranging from issues of China and its relation to the Darfur conflict, to allegations of human rights violations, to China's strained politics over Tibet and the issue of the environment as several Olympic sites are said to be heavy in smog.

Yesterday, the international leg of the Olympic torch relay ended at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. But prior to reaching the China-allied nation the torch relay was marred by huge protests in key cities along the torch's route -- San Francisco, Paris, New Delhi, Canberra and London among others. At the end of April the torch relay will start its China route starting in Hong Kong. The route of the China leg includes an ascent to Mt. Everest, another controversial first to watch out for in this epic prologue to the 29th Olympiad in Beijing.

Earlier, thousands of participants joined in the Sports for All Marathon Relay marking the 100-day countdown to the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing. The run started near the National Stadium (also called the "Bird's Nest") and also finished at the main Olympics venue.

Later a musical concert will be held to showcase the Beijing Olympics Theme Song "Beijing Huan Ying Ni" ("Beijing Welcomes You") along with the top entries for the Olympic song search. Guests include international martial arts superstar Jackie Chan and other Chinese stars such as Andy Lau and Stephanie Sun among others.

Officials from the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) express confidence that everything is on track for the Olympic Games come August 8. Venues have been completed in record time, transportation issues are being addressed with new airports and subway systems. In addition, the pollution levels are steadily dropping with the closure of factories and heavy industry facilities within and around the vicinity of the sports venues.

Subscribe to our feed and keep track for more developments on the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pacquiao Wins By A Point Against Marquez

Philippine boxing hero Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao braved the onslaught that was Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez of Mexico during last
Sunday's "Unfinished Business" championship fight for the WBC super featherweight title, to come out the victor by a lone brow-raising point.

The bout lasted 12 rounds filled with blood, sweat, spit and pure guts from today's most evenly matched, 130-pounder champions of the square ring. Their last go for glory against each other back in 2004 ended in an unsatisfying draw. This Pacquiao-Marquez II slugfest was just as confusing as the first, with both fighters holding their own versus the other's determined force - toe-to-toe, pound-for-pound, blow-by-blow.

It was boxing history being carved-out, albeit live on pay-per-view.

There were rounds taken by Marquez, while other rounds showed clearly Pacquiao making his mark. Marquez even hit the canvass on the third round. For the totality of the fight however, both Marquez and Pacquiao were even - Marquez showed impeccable skills; Pacquiao branded speed and power; and both bore the hearts of lions.

Nonethless, at the end of the 12th, the judges had to make a decision. It was an inconceivable decision that could never measure nor quantify the battle that was waged inside that boxing ring. After that fight, the injustice was watching 3 judges subjectively score the very souls of the greatest warriors on earth that very night.

And as the scores were being announced, the Filipino pugilist, beaming with utmost respect toward his battered foe seemingly conceded his pride with outstretched congratulatory arms for Marquez. The Mexican though didn't seem to welcome his foe's gentlemanly gesture. Then Pacquiao grimaced - not with pain from Marquez's blows to his body nor the cut on his right eye. His face pained knowing that he must now bear the consequence of his efforts that night. Manny Pacquiao wrested the championship from Marquez by but a sliver of a point.

I'm proud that Pacquiao won. Nevertheless, I cannot say that Marquez was in any way a loser. He was strong to the very end and was just as deserving for that single point as were Pacquiao.

Nothing short of a convincing victory would really settle the score between Pacquiao and Marquez. Will there be a third meeting? If so, may the 12th round never come.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Superbowl XLII - NY Giants Win; Denies NE Patriots Sweep

Eighty-three yards in under three minutes. That's what came between the New York Giants and the Vince Lombardi trophy during the last minutes of Superbowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium, February 3, in what will remain the NFL's greatest upset in recent memory.

Quick rewind. The New England Patriots dominated the AFC with a record-breaking 18-0 undefeated season, which included the division title played against the San Diego Chargers. As such, the NY Giants, after besting the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional championships, came into the Superbowl clearly the underdogs.

First Quarter. The Giants drew first blood with a record nearly 10-minutes / 16-plays / 63-yard drive capped midway by a 32-yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes that gave New York a 3-point lead against New England.

By the second quarter, New England found themselves on the Giants end zone - scoreless, but not for long. Running back Laurence Maroney defied the Giants defensive line for the last-yard rush and a touchdown.

Tom Brady and the Patriots enjoyed the 7 to 3 advantage coming off the half and all throughout what was decidedly a very defensive 3rd quarter, with neither team scoring. But by 4 minutes into the 4th, Eli Manning threw a 5-yard pass to David Tyree for the touchdown giving the Giants the 10-7 lead.

After changing hands twice, the ball once again was in Patriots possession. Brady and the New England offensive marched up the field in a determined charge which included a Superbowl record tying 11th reception for Wes Welker, and punctuated by a 6-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss. After the extra kick, the Patriots led, 17-10 with only 2:42 left in the game.

As if there was not enough pressure on the Giants, the Patriots defense didn't simply kick back and relax. In that 12-plays drive about the 2-minute warning mark, Eli Manning passed incompletes, scrambled in the pocket at least twice and even got sacked by Adalius Thomas. Nonetheless, the Giants' offense persisted and the key plays made all the difference - an almost sack escaping from three Patriot linebackers results in a 32-yards pass from Manning to a Brandon-Meriweather-entangled-David-Tyree for a first down at New England's 24-yard line; and later, a 13-yard throw deep in the rear left corner to an almost uncontested Plaxico Burress.

When the smoke cleared, Burress was on his knees. Answered prayer indeed.

With only 39 seconds left to play, there was not enough "hail mary's" left for Tom Brady and his teammates scampering, albeit with double / triple NY coverage, towards the end zone.

Blood ran thicker that night at the 42nd Superbowl, evidenced by Eli Manning succeeding his older brother Peyton for the Superbowl MVP award. For two years in a row, the Manning family have provided fine professional quarterbacking excellence to the sport.

As for the Patriots, it was a valiant stand. However, perfect glory was not to be had.

Final score - 17-14. The New York Giants prevailed over the New England Patriots.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Superbowl XLII - New York Giants vs. New England Patriots

So, who indeed wants it more? The question is particularly relevant to the current quarterbacks leading their respective teams for the sports' most coveted distinction - the Vince Lombardi trophy of Superbowl 42.

Will it be the Superbowl first-timer Eli Manning and the New York Giants? This, notwithstanding him being the third in a family of professional quarterbacks in the NFL, after his father Archie Manning and older brother not to mention last season's Superbowl winner and MVP Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts.

Or will it be the regular season perfect team New England Patriots with Tom Brady at the helm? Brady has had 3 Superbowls notched up with 2 Superbowl MVPs in his 7 season career. However, the news is Brady is suffering from a shoulder injury and is listed as "probable".

Superbowl XLII - a super upset in favor of the Giants or a 19-0 perfect season for the Patriots?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2007: Year At A Time (Part I)

The year 2007 does not stand out in history as much as say 1776 with the US Declaration of Independence, or 1945 with the atomic bomb destruction of Hiroshima, or for that matter the year 2000 celebrated as the turn of the millennium although some argue that 2001, said to be the first year of the 21st century, is the "actual beginning" of the new millennium.

For the most part, 2007 is as regular a year as the sun regularly rises in the morning and sets in the evening. The machinery of governments kept rolling, the expected world events kept in pace with tradition, and for certain humankind grew in numbers but also fell to disease, disaster and dreadful conflicts.

However, despite being a relatively lackluster year, 2007 had its own moments -- instances of note which, to some marks a good year, to others bode ill omen, while for the rest holds memories void of reward and relevance.

Peace Elusive

The world was in conflict in 2007 as in the years and decades previous. It's nothing new, that is to say its nothing particularly disturbing. But as in all human conflicts marked by violence, it is a matter of serious discourse.

The US campaign in Iraq continued even as hundreds died relentlessly by the works of suicide bombers all year-round. Britain, one of the pillars of the "coalition against terror" that gave the thumbs-up for the US to invade Iraq in 2003, began withdrawal of its troops off Basra. And while troop withdrawal from Iraq is the current sentiment of a vocal segment of the international community, the US (even as Bush had agreed on sending some US soldiers home during the holidays with certain limitations) is still reluctant to let go of Iraq, pointing at neighboring Iran this time as a growing threat in the region.

Other regional conflicts and unrest included the ongoing Taleban insurgency in Afghanistan, ethnic wars at Darfur in Sudan allegedly fueled by support coming from China, the age-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict even as the Annapolis Conference took place last November, the 2007 Lebanon conflict, the continuing insurgency in Southern Philppines, the violent crackdown on anti-government protests in Burma (Myanmar), and the war in Somalia among others.

Tension also marked the issue of North Korea's nuclear program which started with Pyongyang's alleged nuclear tests in the last quarter of 2006. By January 2007, Japan and South Korea along with other concerned nations decried a nuclear North Korea and sought sanctions against Kim Jong-Il's regime. A month later, NoKor have committed to nuclear disarmament in exchange for aid and have since been under the watchful eye of the US and the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) all throughout 2007. Also, in August, North and South Korea signed a peace declaration which sought to establish a permanent treaty to replace the truce which led to the cessation of the Korean War back in 1953. By the end of December 2007 however, tension resurfaced as North Korea missed its deadline to bare-all as promised its nuclear plans.

Next on 2007: Year At A Time (Part II) - World Finance and the Environment in 2007.

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