Tuesday, September 16, 2008

iPod Touch and Nano - Spanking New! Again!

With the 3G iPhone hype finally stabilizing, Apple discreetly releases more product update in the form of the updated iPod Touch and Nano. Both of them are already feature-packed and now Apple makes it so much better! Read on!

iPhone's Polished Stainless Steel and other design changes
The iPhone get even sexier and better to hold and ogle at! That's polished stainless steel used for the countoured casing! Apple seems to have learned its lesson and listened to customer feedback on the iPod Touches battery lifespan! And oh yeah,  a built in speaker - which is great for easy listening without the headphones.

More Music, Video and Games!
 Now capable of runnning for 6 hours of video and 36 hours of music! The battery bump now allows owners to play even more complicated games that make use of the built-in accelerometer. You can now play racing games sans the stylus and tilt your iPod touch to steer! 

But wait there's more, the Nano!
Now this is improvement! Enter the Musical Genius! The Nano analyzes your music and creates a playlist of songs that it thinks goes well togother! Maybe even playlist you never thought would click! Also utilizing the built-in accelerometer, you could now do some nifty stuff with the Nano. Shake it up a bit, it shuffles your music. Tilt it 90 degrees and you can view the album cover art and even select the album you want to listen to. Do the same with your pictures and view your pictues in portait and landscape. And of course - GAMES!

The iPod Touch starts at $229 and the Nano at $149! You can visit Apple's store to see the other variations.  

Monday, September 15, 2008

My new SITE! FTW!

I recently bought my own domain! YEAH! 5 years too long at that! HAH! :D My own domain was always on top of the things I promised myself I'd buy once I got a stable job! Here's the link to my personal site: [Ron]Notepad[/Ron]!

Useless posts and content :P
I don't really have any specific content to put up, so at the moment my site serves as my online scratch pad or my Notepad as I like to call it. Maybe a few posts about my violin lessons/escapades or maybe some photos of me if you guys re interested. haha :D

More shameless redirects
If you missed the link to my site you can click this again: [Ron]Notepad[/Ron]
I do hope you get to read of my worthless posts and subscribe to my feeds! :D

Friday, September 12, 2008

The iPhone get it's much needed tune up!

Tired of the dropped calls and your iTunes is taking forever to backup? Or is your iPhone's short battery giving up sooner than expected? These and many more bugs are prime targets for Apple's new  iPhone 2.1 Software Update released today (09/12/2008) .

Update Contents
Here's the update content list from Apple's iPhone software update site:
  • Decrease in call set-up failures and dropped calls
  • Significantly better battery life for most users (most users? WTH)
  • Dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes (FAIL)
  • Improved email reliability, notably fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts
  • Faster installation of 3rd party applications
  • Fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes for users with lots of third party applications
  • Improved performance in text messaging
  • Faster loading and searching of contactsImproved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display
  • Repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages
  • Option to wipe data after ten failed passcode attempts
  • Genius playlist creation (Which means?)
Updating Process
To update your iPhone, you MUST have iTunes 8 installed - you can get it here from Apple's iTunes Download Page. Once you have iTunes 8 installed you simply connect your iPhone and select it using iTunes, select the summary page and click on update! While your iPhone is being updated, keep your grubby hands off for a while or you'll end up with a shiny looking brick. :D

Happy Updating!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pimp your iPhone with Wraps and Accesorries!

Lucky or wealthy enough to get your hands on an iPhone? Wrap it up in style with these two great looking iPhone cases to protect your "precious"! The case shown above is from DLO, a company that specializes in accesories like iPod to iPhone cases, earphones and so much more!

With the 3G iPhone different size specifictions you'll have to get wraps tht fit your 3g iPhone, don't make the mistake of buying an old iPhone wrap! Here's one from More Thing:

Or if you like to savor iPhone sexiness, but still want a wrap you should check this out tranparent protector: 
The ultra slim design can keep the beautiful shape of iPhone 3G and transparency material will show up the Apple logo on the back. Our silicone products are made of 100% pure silicone, no alternative materials (such as TPR) is added. Pure silicone is odor-free, strong, anti-static, dust proof and ultra slim that is perfect-fitted to your devices preserving the original features and shape with good looking and protection. And completely safe with U.S. 21 F.D.A. Regulation Part 177.2600 (rubber articles) standard.
If you have cash to burn, why not dress your iPhone in an equally expensive Louis Vuitton iPhone case! The leather case fetches about $1250... Why not buy another iPhone eh? :D
AND Finally, we all know the iPhone's battery can go by sooo fast, especially if you're are an application maniac! The charger can be a drag at times, so why not get an emergency battery to prolong those precious hours you have with your iPhone?  

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Microsoft Philippines SQL Server 2008 Architect's Forum

I was at the Architect's Forum earlier this afternoon which took place at Dusit Nikko, Makati. Although database management or development isn't exactly my field of specialization - I attended to check it out anyway and to get the usual freebies (includes a Heroes T-Shirt, pen, pack bag and flyers!)  Hahaha! :D

Technical Event - Doh!
I thought the forum would be easily digested by my feeble brain, but sadly it failed to catch up during the break out sessions! The welcome plenary was given by Pepeng Rollan, GM of Microsoft Philippines and the keynote was delivered by Mark Souza from Microsoft Corp.

The keynote speaker enumerated the three development pillars of the SQL Server 2008 release as Trusted, Intelligent, and Productive. And after he briefly explained each pillar, three guys local Microsoft guys (Glenn Gamboa, Dindo Fernando, and Jojo Ayson) glady gave demos highlighting some of the key concepts of the pillars via the SQL Server itself, mostly executing scripts of TSQL and SQL. I did not get 90% of everything they said. :D 

Hungry... Misconeptions... Break Out Sessions...
Now at about 3PM, the breakout sessions started with the Grand Ballroom (where the forum was held) being divided to create another make-shift room to accomodate the other session. And now my stomach was grumbling as usual and I allowed it to take over, making me say stuff like "God, Microsoft rents out a great place but isn't serving any food yet!" and "I should have stay at the office!" AND "This is all they're serving coffee?!?". The first session (SQL Server 2008 SSAS enchancements) I attended flew by quite quickly, not because I thought the speaker (Nicholas Dritsas, Customer Advisory Team, Microsoft Corporation) was boring, but it was because my carbo deprived brain couldn't process anything anymore, that and the fact I didn't know squat about SSAS! 
By the time they announced that their would be another break before the next session AND the waiters start coming out with... SALAD! I told myself, "Better than nothing!", heck I gobbled the green salad in less than 2 mins! But after 5 min, lo and behold more waiters come out of the kitchen again with pasta in hand! I finally give Microsoft a pat in the back. Ok now I'll listen to your sessions! :D And I did, I knew enough TSQL and SQL to get what Michael Hotek (MCITP - SQL Server DBA) was saying about Database Auditing in SQL Server 2008. 

As usual Microsoft gets it right by developing powerful applications with customer convenience in mind. That's one of the main reasons open source development tools don't really hold any special place in my toolset, yes it may be free and it does have user support but it still takes a long time and requires more effort to code.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

FriendFeed! My latest addiction!

Can't help but post, like and comment everything! FriendFeed is a predictable byproduct of the Web 2.0 revolution, similar to Twitter or Plurk, but much more interactive on a grand and sometimes confusing way.  People get really addicted to FriendFeed and spend most of their time commenting, liking and posting (*Ahem* Mona N. *Ahem*), so just to be sure minimize you window size when your at the office!

How to Feed your Friends and be Fed
You start your time in FriendFeed building up contacts to subcribe and maybe post something yourself. But believe me, it's better to subcribe and interact first with your subcribed contacts, you'll get more exposure that way, meaning people would be more likely to comment or like your posts or shares. The more friends you subcribe to the more you get to discover about what they share via Twitter, Flicker, a Blog, and more! Here a quick glance at my subscribed contacts and the things they share online: 

Most of the updates happen in real time (thank you AJAX) so you won't have to refresh all the time. But if you're obsessive compulsive like me, you'll end up refreshing your tab anyway. :)

Widgets for your Sites
If you love widgets and and your website, but can't wait for the next update on FriendFeed - you can embed your FriendFeed status and current Feed via FriendFeed's embed. And if you like an additional to dd to your site's already overflowing badges you can get one too from FriendFeed!

So if your already on FriendFeed, hook me up to your list of subscriptions and see you there! This is my FriendFeed Link! +1 to me!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sweetcron - The Automated Lifestream Blog Software

Another micro-blogging platform to rival Twitter, FriendFeed, and the rest - Sweetcron is dubbed as the Automated Lifestreaming Blog software created by YongFook. It operates something like FriendFeed, pulling selected content from your selected sites like Twitter, Flicker, etc. and automatically posting them to your blog hence the Automated keyword.

The Main Features Mapped Out (from Sweetcron's site)

Automatic Imports
Uploaded a photo to flickr? Bookmarked a new site? In a few minutes it will show up on your blog!

Easily Customizable
Edit simple templates to change the way your Sweetcron Lifestream looks. Default Sandbox theme included!

Self Hosted
Keep all your data safely on your own server and run Sweetcron via your own domain.

100% Free and Open Source
Oh and did I mention Sweetcron is extensible, too? Write your own php classes and slot them right in!

Now in Public Beta
Sweetcron is currently in public beta! Want to join the funz?

Lifestreaming Defined
According to Word Spy's entry is

an online record of a person's daily activities, either via direct video feed or via aggregating the person's online content such as blog posts, social network updates, and online photos.
If you use Facebook, I'm quite sure you're quite familiar with the term.

If you want to try it out head over to Sweetcron's site and register to get an email with the download, documentation and support URL's.

Friday, August 29, 2008

World of Warcraft outside your PC!

Can't get enough of World of Warcraft(WOW)? Do you still feel the need to play even after 4+ hours of WOW, but your computer just breathed it last from overuse? Well you have several options available!

The World of Warcraft Board Game!
Designed and published by Fantasy Flight Games (also known for DOOM: The Board Game and Descent: Journeys in the Dark), World of Warcraft: The Board Game is your very first option and was also the first out-of-game product of WOW. The game was designed to be played by 2-6 players who are willing to devote 4 hours of fantasy gaming! 4 hours! At least your eyes won't be stressed to the point of exhaustion! The board game lets player choose from all the classes, races, and your faction available in the actual game to explore the continent of Lordaeron, where you could explore, gain items, and level up your hero - on a smaller scale of course.

The players are represented by miniatures included with board game, as well as supporting cards and tokens to represent items, abilities and other game elements. The ultimate goal of the game is to defeat a powerful "Overlord".

But if you're not able to find an Overlord, the players can always opt to fight the opposing faction to determine the winner. Being a premium game, it doesn't come cheap priced at $79.95, about P3600. Another downside of the board game is that the time it takes to play can start to drag especially if you're not enjoying the game but can't do much if your friends still want to continue! The board game also has two expansions to date: Shadow of War and The Burning Crusade - adding quests, 2 new races, dungeons, as well as the Outlands sub-continent!

The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game (WOW TCG)!
Not into board games nor the exhausting time it takes to finish one? Do you favor quick battles but still love WOW? Then the WOW TCG may be the option for you! Brought to you by Upper Deck, the WOW TCG has mechanics quite similar to TCG's available in the market. You have Creature card, items, abilities, a graveyard, and the while lot! The whole game process can take forever to post so I've included the demo from UpperDeck's site:

But if you don't want to watch the video, you can read the rulebook here. Please take note that it is a PDF file.

The World of Warcraft Miniatures Game!

So you not into cards but still looking for tangible action to whet your WOW craving? Also from Upper Deck is the WOW miniatures game! I'm not sure about the gameplay details yet, but I have the feeling that it would something like Heroclix by WizKids with dice rolling nd mybe some modifier cards to supplement the minis.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


More DOTA! For those that eat, drink, and sleep DOTA - here the stuff you need to know about the latest version 6.54b:

* Added extra dynamic replay data to help replay parsers present in-game data (see below)
* Rebalanced Invoker (see below)
* Reworked Shadow Priest (see below)
* Various changes to Phantom Lancer and Spirit Lance (see below)
* Changes to Aphotic shield and Borrowed Time (see below)

* Improved hero selection process in RD
* Added hotkeys for recipe stores
* Changed Elder Dragon Form MS Bonus from 10/35/60 to a constant 25
* Changed Freezing Field mechanics a bit. The slow now comes from the area rather than the explosions. Changed the distribution method on Freezing Field as well
* First Blood bounty is shared with the team if Sent/Scourge get the last hit
* Untouchable now triggers off being targeted by attacks or spells
* Rewrote Avalanche to fix various minor bugs
* Decreased Inner Vitality cooldown from 30 to 25 seconds
* Lowered Clockwerk's strength gain
* Lowered early damage on Rocket Flare
* Added Internationalized text support for GameScore Board, EndScore Board and Observer Board
* Added extra data to end of replay (Player Gold, Assists, Neutral CS, Items)
* Improved Bloodrage a little
* Lowered base armor on Lycan's Wolves from 5 to 2
* Minor reduction to Clockwerk's base armor
* Rewrote Maledict for some optimizations
* Toss no longer uses manacost/cooldown if you make an invalid cast
* Toss now seeks its target
* You can now only -kickafk allied afk players
* Temporarily undid the movability of items in cooldown while some issues are being fixed
* Phantom Lancer's images now create a dummy Spirit Lance effect when the primary casts it
* Player turn indicator for RD is made clearer
* Added extra orb effect notations to items and abilities (228748)
* Blur visual effect is now applied only to enemies (190092)
* Changed the name and icon for Flask of Sapphire Water (206885)
* Illuminate wave now gives vision (226661)
* Rewrote Devour. It now shows progress bar overhead and doesn't reveal you (217291)
* Sentinel Ancients buildings are now in rooted model form (216494)
* Added a new fun mode -mi(miniheroes) that creates the hereos at half size
* Added a new command to customize water color for local player (-water red, -water blue, -water green or -water default)
* Displayed gold animation for First Blood bounty
* Winners are now displayed in Warcraft's score screen (234657)
* Dummy lineup units in RD now show player name
* Improved Acid Spray visual effect
* Increased Spin Web visual transparency
* Increased the size of the recently added $ symbol for observers and replays
* New Sonic Wave visual effect
* New Maledict visual effect
* New Freezing Field visual effect
* New Black Hole visual effect
* New Spirit Lance visual effect
* New Flask of Sapphire Water visual effect
* New visual effect for units with Poison Nova buff
* New Weave cast visual effect
* Updated Hookshot tooltip
* Fixed a bug with casting March of the Machines on a cliff (DonTomaso)
* Fixed a bug with Feral Heart and swapping or repicking
* Fixed a minor bug with Grow
* Fixed a bug with Infest and Refresher-Necronomicon
* Fixed a bug with Melting Strike on Invoker
* Fixed a bug with Timewalk and Power Cogs
* Fixed a minor bug with Expulsion
* Fixed a rare glitch with Time Walk
* Fixed Armlet typo
* Fixed a rare bug with Borrowed Time where it sometimes doesn't use cooldown when triggered
* Fixed Battle Hunger buff tooltip
* Fixed Bottle activating Mana Leak
* Fixed Enchant on neutral creeps with initially reduced mana
* Fixed Feral Heart buff level tooltip
* Fixed -fs text bug introduce last version
* Fixed -kickafk warning text not showing up
* Fixed some issues with Hookshotting someone near trees
* Fixed some targetting bugs with Lucifer
* Fixed Stifling Dagger not working properly when it hits a fogged unit
* Fixed various other tooltip errors

++ Invoker Changes:
- Invoke levels at 2/7/12/17 with cooldown from 30/30/15/5 to 30/25/12/5 and manacost from 20/40/60/80 to 20/50/80/110
- Sunstrike: cooldown 60->30, manacost 250->175
- Deafening Blast: cooldown 25->40
- Chaos Meteor: cooldown 30->70
- Forge Spirit: cooldown 70->30, manacost 200->75, casting with ones already on field kills old ones. Improved visual look slightly. If both elements are level 4 or higher, double spawn.
- Tornado: Airtime from 0.4/0.7/1.0/1.3/1.6/1.9/2.2 -> 0.6/0.85/1.1/1.35/1.6/1.85/2.2 Same final damage, 120 starting damage instead of 190
- Alacrity: Is now WWE, cooldown 20->15 Duration 5->6, manacost 125->50, Original IAS: 40/60/80/100/120/140/160. New IAS: 30/40/50/60/70/80/90. It now gives damage as well: 20/30/40/50/60/70/80.
- EMP: changed to pure Wex ability, WWW. 0.5 HP lost for each mana drained. Tweaked various other aspects such as cast range and manacost.
- Ice Wall: Rescaled duration from 4->10 to 3->12. Improved Exort based damage from 5/10/15/20/25/30/35 to 6/12/18/24/30/36/42

++ Shadow Priest:
- Changed Shallow Grave completely. It is now a basic ability
- Changed how Weave works. It is now an ultimate
- Reduced Shadow Priest's cast point
- Shadow Wave can now bounce back to you at the last wave if you are in range. Also added an extra bounce at level 3 and 4

++ Phantom Lancer:
- Reworked Spirit Lance
- Phantom Lancer images now create a dummy Spirit Lance effect when the real one casts it
- Lowered Doppelwalk invisibility duration from 12 to 8
- Increased and Standardized all Phantom Lancer images' percentage of damage taken
- Lowered maximum image count

++ Abaddon:
- Improved how Borrowed Time works and increased cooldown
- Reworked Aphotic Shield stats

6.54b: Fixed an exploit with Borrowed Time

Get the latest DOTA version from the official DOTA Download site!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I love Cats! Independent, undisciplined, naughty, and so full of energy! So during a cat picture hunt I stumbled on the LOL cat pictures. Cat (mostly) pictures with witty captions in unique LOL cat language! Typing a quick Google run, I quickly found one of the best sites to satiate my LOL cat itch! You can check it out here : icanhascheezburger

Weird name eh? It's actually I Can Has Cheez Burger. Here's why:

I just kept laughing when I browsed through pages and pages of LOL cat pictures! My office mates even told me to keep it down! Here's another!

And get this, there is a programming language based on the LOL Cats language! Check my post on LOLCODE.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Y4IT - Youth Congress for Information Technology 2008!

It's that time of the year where the Philippine Youth gets together once a year to listen and participate in seminars hosted by the University of the Philippines Information Technology Training Center (or UPITTC) and conducted by respected techvangelists from all over the country! The Y4IT will run from Sept. 2 to 5! With 17000+ registered participants, it obvious this youth congress is something you don't want to miss! Register here!

The Latest IT Trends Crash Course

With talks ranging from eLearning 2.0 to Wordpress, the Youth Congress takes about 4 days to finish, with each day featuring different topics and speakers and with Senetor Kiko Pangilinan as the key note speaker to boot. (Yawn) Although not yet final, here are some of the topics to be discussed:

  • Nanobiophotonics & Wireless Technology
  • eLearning 2.0
  • Blogging
  • CGI in Film Animation
  • Social Networking
  • Blu-Ray Technology
  • IT Certifications
  • Careers in Embedded Systems
  • Podcasting
  • PhilNITS as a National IT Standard
  • What Employers Look for in IT Graduates
  • Outsourcing & Offshoring
  • News Portals: The New Information Channel
  • Next Generation Game Development
  • IT in Medicine
  • Video on Demand
  • Mobile Animation
  • Ruby on Rails
  • IT Forensics
  • IT Entrepreneurship
  • Wikipedia & Collective Intelligence
  • Information Security Analytics
  • Digital Media & Distribution Channels
  • Photoblogging
Sponsor Booths and so much more!

Of course, being an event that would reach out to thousands of potential customers, the Y4IT will have a lot of sponsors and their product booths tailing behind. Some of the notable sponsors are Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Acer and Fujitsu Ten. Trivia - I got Fujitsu Ten's (my current employer) hiring pamphlets during the last Y4IT, so this event is not limited to high school or college students, all you unemployed graduates move your asses and visit the booths! Oh and yeah, there will be loads of exhibitors to keep you busy for an hour or so with their wares!

For more information and registration go to the Y4IT's site!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The overated 3G iPhone!

Ah yes, the venerable iPhone finally hits the Philippine shore (legally) via Globe. But why am I not jumping up and down screaming iPhone? This is why:

The only way anyone's getting the iPhone free is if you subscribe to a monthly P5000 (roughly $110) Plan, which is way beyond a typical Filipino salary man's pay for a phone with an iPod touch hybrid. The prepaid offer is even worse! P41899 ($931)!!! I could buy a friggin' laptop with that! Brand new to boot!

All in all, the iPhone was too hyped and overated by most people, now the demand is exploding on everyone's face. I'm sticking to my phone without an I, which is priced right for its features and still allows my to enjoy my life without worrying about phone bills.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Earn while searching!

Yup, another way to earn while doing sometime you do almost everyday! Which is? Searching of course! A new site just popped out a few weeks back that promises to pay you while you search! This site is Scour! To earn you just have to use the scour website (or the scour toolbar) to search, and the great thing about it is that it uses the Google, Yahoo, and MSN search engines so you could browse all of the possible search results in one page, neat eh? You could also generate positive or negative feedback by clicking on the thumbs up or thumbs down icons and by commenting the results, this affects the search results ranking, meaning if you want a certain result to be more visible, give it positive feedback. Each time you search, give feedback or comment you earn corresponding points which you have to accumlate to reach your desired payout. The lowest payout being $25 for 6500 points you earn.

Never Again GLOBELINES! Never Again!

After almost one month of being cut off from the Internet, I finally get to post something! Geez! The problem started when a thunderstorm was brewing a month ago and I think my wireless router picked up more than it could handle. Immediately after that, I lost my connection.

Here is where I get so pissed at my service provider (Globelines) - when I called their technical support they told it was a facilities problem their technicians were working on, so OK I gave them three days. I followed up again after three days and now they tell me that my loss of connection had nothing to do with the facility they told me about during my last call! So I told them to send a technician to service my unit or connection, they say OK and wait for the technician to call. After a WEEK of more waiting, the technicians arrive (without calling) and diagnose my problem to be sim related and that it should be replaced. So OK I told them I'd follow up with Globelines stating the sim problem. So Globelines tells me to wait AGAIN for the techs to arrive with a new sim replacement. Another WEEK goes by, and the technicians arrive - WITHOUT A SIM CARD ON HAND! I mean C'MON! I specifically told the technical support to give the techs a sim card before coming to my house! So yet again I follow up with Globelines and they said they'd now coordinate with the technicians! What morons! Why not do that in the first place?!? Now this is the worst part of it all, after three days the technicians arrive again, now saying that it wasn't the sim that was faulty after all! It was Globelines that DID NOT connect me to the F**king system! And that Globelines just had to do something remotely to fix my damned connection! WHY DIDN'T THEY F**KING DO THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE - ABOUT A MONTH AGO!

Never again Globelines, never again... Once my 1 year contract is done, they're losing this customer.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The DOTA legacy continues with v6.53!

Included in v6.53 of DOTA is a new hero - Rattletrap, the Clockwerk Goblin. I haven't had the chance to use Rattletrap, but I know and experience first hand that in the hands of a skilled gamer, Rattletrap can reach the GODLIKE status quite easily! Here is the fluff taken from the Dota-Allstars site!

The by-product of Goblin technological weapon research during the old War, Rattletrap the Clockwerk Goblin was shut away into storage for countless decades until the Sentinel found and reactivated him. Combat-wise, this goblin's capabilities know few bounds; his body is stocked with a huge array of armaments that destroy targets both near and far with ease. His trademark wrench can even extend itself like a grappling hook, allowing him to pick off individual targets with pin-point accuracy.

For those who haven't downloaded the latest map of DOTA, get it from DOTA's official map download site.

Here's the change log for you nit picky gamers:

* Added a new Sentinel Hero (Goblin Clockwerk)
* Localized script text to allow cross-language compatibility
* Completely reworked and improved the way RD hero picking is done
* Imported a temporary rune model to replace the default one until the death animation in 1.22 is fixed (thanks PGRu-Unexpect3D)
* Reworked Lycanthrope a bit

* Removed the "undroppable while in cooldown" mechanism added a long time ago to prevent item abuses. This mechanism is no longer needed as of Warcraft patch 1.22
* Improved Fire Panda's movement speed per level
* Observers and replays now see a $ symbol above a dying creep when a player gets gold for killing a unit
* Improved Drow's Marksmanship slightly
* Increase AOE on Dispersion
* Lowered Soul Keeper's base movement speed and increased cast point
* Improved Stifling Dagger
* Improved Open Wounds a little
* Decreased Mana Void's cooldown
* Lowered Infest manacost

* Fixed a minor bug with the order of the heal and damage operation on Purification when combine with Aphotic Shield on a nearby enemy
* Fixed a bug with Magic Immunity and Haunt
* Fixed a bug with Song of the Siren and Berserker's Call
* Fixed a bug with selling Aghanim's Scepter
* Fixed a minor bug with Soul Assumption and buying items
* Fixed a bug with Magic Immunity and Strygwyr's Thirst
* Fixed Berserker's Call interaction with Neutrals at night
* Fixed Stout Shield hotkey conflicting with Kelen's Dagger in the Goblin Shop
* Fixed a bug with Shackles and Berserker's Call
* Fixed a bug with Magic Immunity and Sand Storm
* Fixed Mana Leak to not trigger off of Exort/Quas/Wex
* Fixed -ah for observers

* Added Tavern colors (218144)
* Added a new blink animation for Antimage
* Improved Magic Missile cast effect (170262)
* Added a visual effect for when Dispersion is damaging units
* Improved Shapeshift animation (186555)
* Improved Chaos Knight's Blink Strike cast effect (222605)
* Added new icon for Ethereal Jaunt (227376)
* Added a visual effect when Necrolyte regains mana with Sadist
* Swapped icon positions of Sange and Yasha in the recipe shop
* Added a new Balanar hero story (by Grujah.Noob)
* Added a new Lina Inverse hero story (by Wyvernoid)
* Added a new Medusa hero story (by Inferno[DK])
* Added a new Sand King hero story(by Yousuckatdota)
* Added a new Shadow Priest hero story (by miel09)
* Added a new Warlock hero story (by Inferno[DK])

This version marks the first official simultaneous multi-lingual release. The first round of translated languages includes Russian, Korean and Chinese. More will be added over time. I'd like to thank Danat and DonTomaso for their dedication and support to this project. This would not have been possible without their contributions. Thanks to the following translators for their work as well: Aschen, Heintje, Etc., RiiNoA, zhangx05053, Sodoes, NightMare, Attly, c.lucifer, Orange_soso, Kua, Kaka, Sprite93, Danat, Vizakenjack, Lego-, Magot, PeaceHeaver, ill-Lich, Kariy, ptizza, Vanger, John Doe, CuPaKy3, Johny

The main feature of these translations, aside from being translated of course, is that the maps are compatible with each other. That means, I can have only the English version on my computer and then join a game where the host is using the Russian map without needing to download it. The Russian players will see the language of the map they downloaded, and I will see my own language. The core game code is what is used to authenticate the map as official and the strings are externalized from this. The same is true for replays. You can watch any 6.53 replay, regardless of the original language, using only your one map. This will make sharing replays worldwide a seamless process.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wrath of the Lich King! RAWR!

A quick game overview:
The Lich King Arthas has set in motion events that could lead to the extinction of all life on Azeroth. With the armies of the undead and the necromantic power of the plague threatening to sweep across the land, only the mightiest heroes can oppose the Lich King's will and end his reign of terror for all time. Blizzard Entertainment's latest expansion to World of Warcraft – Wrath of the Lich King – adds a host of epic content to the existing game world. Players will achieve soaring levels of power, explore a vast new continent, and battle other high-level heroes to determine the fate of Azeroth.

Features (at the moment!):
  • Master the necromantic powers of the Death Knight – World of Warcraft's first Hero class.
  • Quest to level 80, gaining potent new abilities and talents along the way.
  • Learn the craft of spell augmentation with the new Inscription profession.
  • Brave the harsh new continent of Northrend, the icy domain of the Lich King.
  • Engage in epic siege warfare, deploying mighty siege engines to lay waste to destructible buildings in your path.
  • Transform your hero's look with new character-customization options, including new hairstyles and dances.
  • Explore perilous new dungeons filled with some of the deadliest creatures – and greatest treasures – on Azeroth.
You can download Blizzard's Fansite Kit of Wrath of the Lich King and play with the goodies included like sample HTML files, avatar pictures some screen shots, artwork, fluff, and much more!

Some examples of the Fansite Kit's content:

Sample wallpaper (Utgarde Keep)

Sample Artwork (Azeroth Map with Northrend)

Sample Avatar

Friday, July 4, 2008

OMG! Diablo 3! Cain lives again!

The rumors are now true! Blizzard finally announces the development of Diablo 3! I just finished watching the sample game trailer - it rocks! The trailer starts out in a dungeon where a barbarian has to find Cain (a character from Diablo 1 & 2). As the barbarian moves through the water filled dungeon you could see the great water effects and the incoming demon horde charging the barbarian! The barbarin quickly dispatches the demons with impunity and with stunning character animation fluidity! Blizzard really ups the notch with a very stunning physics engine throughout the fight - demons flying everywhere after getting hacked it bits!

The next bit of the video showcases the new character class available in Diablo 3, the witch doctor! The witch doctor has some really cool spells like a locust swarm that eats enemies alive, some pets and a fire spell - all of these showcasing another string of cool 3d and lighting effects!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Canon's 1000D - switch to DSLR - NOW!

Taking up Nikon's challenge and a piece of the entry-level pie, Canon releases the 1000D - Canon's so called entry-level Digital SLR (DSLR). Although I remember Canon saying that their last DSLR release, the 450D was entry-level. But I guess the 450D is already so feature-packed, it almost qualifies as a mid-range DSLR.

Some 1000D specifications (full specifications):

  • 10.1 Megapixel CMOS and Digic III
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • In-Lens Image Stabilization
  • SD card compatible
  • Universal EOS design
  • 3fps continuous shooting
The 1000D price range may be about $800 (body only) and the $900-ish kit.

Photos and some text taken from Canon's 1000D page.

Nikon's new Full Frame monster, the D700!

Taken from Engadget's D700 article:

Well, we can finally put the D700 rumors to bed. The beast that houses Nikon's newest monster (near) full-frame FX format 12.1 megapixel CMOS (not dissimilar from that found in the D3) is officially announced tonight, and it takes UDMA CompactFlash, and comes packing with a live view 3-inch display, 51 point autofocus (with 3D tracking), scene recognition, four-speed active dust reduction, ISO up to 6400, 5 or 8 fps full-res shooting, HDMI out, and a whole lot more. Expect it in July for $3,000 US (for the body).

Also being released are the SB-900 speedlight (August, $500), and the PC-E Micro NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8D ED and PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D lenses (August, $1,800 and $1,740, respectively).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Help Mozilla set a World Record! Download Firefox 3!

Help Mozilla set a new world record for the most downloaded application in 24 hours by download the highly anticipated Firefox 3! With it's proven track record of safe browsing, lightning fast browsing and rendering, and a whole gamut of powerful, funky, and useful add-ons - you can go wrong with FireFox! Download your copy before the 24 hour window closes! Here's the link:

Download FireFox 3

To show off your love for FireFox, you could also get badges for your web site like this:
Download Day 2008Download Day 2008Download Day 2008
Visit Mozilla's world record site now and get involved!

I just finished downloading and installing Firefox 3 to my PC - it looks great! The interface looks a lot more polished, you could even use Firefox as is with downloading a new theme to spice it up! Another great feature that I recently noticed was Firefox's built-in Auto Complete address bar! It does not only show you your previous sites visited, it also shows the site's description to boot!

iPhone Features - Maps with GPS

From Apple's iPhone Page - Maps with GPS

Maps with GPS

Find your location, get directions, and see traffic — all from your phone. Maps on iPhone 3G combines GPS, Wi-Fi, and cell tower location technology with the Multi-Touch interface to create the best mobile map application ever.

Find yourself.

iPhone 3G finds your location via GPS or by triangulating your position using Wi-Fi and cellular towers. It also finds points of interest by keyword: Search for “coffee” and iPhone shows you every cafe nearby.

Get directions.

Get directions to wherever from wherever. View turn-by-turn directions or watch your progress with live GPS tracking.

Enjoy the view.

Just like Google Maps on your computer, Maps on iPhone lets you switch between map view, satellite view, and a hybrid view of both. Multi-Touch makes the difference: Tap to zoom, pan, and change your view on the move.

See traffic.

Maps on iPhone shows you live traffic information, indicating traffic speed along your route in easy-to-read green, red, and yellow highlights.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The 3G iPhone

Always wanted to get your hands on an iPhone, but you fall under these conditions: 1) You don't live in the USA and don't have access to AT&T 2) You live in the USA but don't want to switch to AT&T and don't want to risk the messy (and often fatal) unlocking and most importantly 3) You don't want to spend an exuberant amount of money on the iPhone?

Well the wait is finally over, Apple is finally releasing the 3G iPhone, which will be priced at a reasonable $199 (8GB version, the 16GB version is $299) or about plus minus PhP10000, to the world. Yes the World. Most major cities anyway.

The countries to get the iPhone by July 11 will be:
Australia, Austria, Belgium (French), Belgium (Dutch), Canada (English), Canada (French), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (French), Switzerland (German), UK, USA

And The list of countries slated to distribute the iPhone later this year:
Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, C. African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macau, Madagascar, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines (Yehey!), Poland, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Qatar, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey, Uruguay.

The 3G iPhone will be slightly thicker than it's predecessor at 4.5 by 2.4 by 0.48 inches and will weigh about 4.7 ounces. For those network happy users, the 3G iPhone is equipped with Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), UMTS / HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100MHz), GSM / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz), Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR. Owing to it's 3G core, the new iPhone is definitely faster than the 2.5G iPhone, roughly 30-40% faster pageloads.

Can't wait for the it's release here in the Philippines! Oh but wait, $199 + buttload of taxes and other network markup, I'm guessing it'll actually be around $299-399 here. Sigh.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

How Google Realy Places Map Markers

Make one now! Maybe Google would notice! :p


From TGDaily:Santa Clara (CA) – GPU acceleration is one of the most significant trends in today hardware industry, opening the doors to an entirely class of software running desktop. What will be possible is fascinating to see on a monitor, nut it is not tangible, if you just hear about it. It appears that the next Photoshop will be one of the first mainstream applications that will tap into the GPU for a speed up. And, at least from what we have seen during a first demonstration, the progress is simply stunning.

We have been saying it for a while now, mainstream applications need GPU acceleration to ring in the next major evolutionary step in software development. Far too long we have been stuck in a cycle of programming that relies on increasing clock-speeds, brings acceleration with new CPUs and a slow-down with new software releases. Even if Photoshop supports multi-core CPUs, it is one of those applications that always are very time intensive to use and especially if you are a professional user and work with huge images, then you are very familiar with “The Great Wait”, which typically describes the time lost when opening a big file or when applying a filter.

But there appears to be a very effective solution on the horizon, a solution that is most likely more effective than anything else we have seen before and in our experience using Photoshop over the past 14 years. During a demonstration at Nvidia’s headquarters in Santa Clara, we got a glimpse of Adobe’s "Creative Suite Next" (or CS4), code-named “Stonehenge”, which adds GPU and physics support to its existing multi-core support.

So, what can you do with general-purpose GPU (GPGPU) acceleration in Photoshop? We saw the presenter playing with a 2 GB, 442 megapixel image like it was a 5 megapixel image on an 8-core Skulltrail system. Changes made through image zoom and through a new rotate canvas tool were applied almost instantly. Another impressive feature was the import of a 3D model into Photoshop, adding text and paint on a 3D surface and having that surface directly rendered with the 3D models' reflection map.

There was also a quick demo of a Photoshop 3D accelerated panorama, which is one of the most time-consuming tasks within Photoshop these days. The usability provided through the acceleration capabilities is enormous and we are sure that digital artists will appreciate the ability to work inside a spherical image and fix any artifacts on-the-fly.

According to information we were given, all of these new features are part of the next-gen Photoshop, which should be a part of the “CS Next” suite. The package is expected to be released on October 1.

Bird's Eye View of the Burj Dubai

Set to trump the current highest structure in the world, the Burj Dubai looks awesome even during construction! The actual floor number is still kept secret.