Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another Hoax or For Real? Piratebay Sold for $ 7.8 Million


It can't be....

It must be a hoax.

But then again, this comes after their court judgment.

Who knows?

It sounds legit.

That seems to be the only way they could pay the fine that was meted to them.

For the whole internet - except maybe for the RIAA, this seems like a slap on the face.

Remember Napster?

Day 1044.b HowTo: Install Firefox 3.5 on Debian Lenny (Stable) 5

download and install firefox 3.5 on debian lennyWhy Do You Want to Install Firefox 3.5 on Debian Lenny 5?

One Word: Plug-ins. (Are those two words or is that just one word???)


1. Download Firefox 3.5 for Debian: -or-


$ wget http://www.mozilla.com/products/download.html?product=firefox-3.5&os=linux&lang=en-US

Don't Click On The Blue e!: Switching to Firefox2. Change Directory to /usr/local. That's where we're going to put it:

$ cd /usr/local

3. Untar/Decompress the Firefox 3.5 bzip2 file you just downloaded:

$ sudo tar -xvjf /directory/where/you/put/the/file/firefox*

* Note, it would be best to make use of TAB COMPLETION on the terminal to make sure that you specify the correct file rather than the asterisk.

4. Make a symbolic link

$ sudo ln -s /usr/local/firefox/firefox /usr/local/bin/firefox3

* Note, you can change 'firefox3'to something more convenient like 'ff3'. Either way it works.

* FINAL NOTES: If you get a "No Display Specified" Error or any "Display" related error - simply reboot.

Day 1043: Use Miro in Ubuntu/GNU/Linux to Subscribe to Pinoy Tech Podcast

Miro is a very versatile multi platform media player that could very well be "THE Media Player" for GNU/Linux, Mac and even Windows systems.



Pinoy Tech Podcast is a laid back podcast composed of Dean Berris, Jon Limjap, Migs Paraz, Aileen Apolo and Jerome Gotangco about Filipinos, Technology, a little bit of Linux and Open Source. Highly recommended for those of you who are sitting alone in a coffee shop with only your laptop as a companion. You'll actually feel that you have companions.

To subscribe to their podcast using Miro:

*Install Miro
$ sudo apt-get install miro

1. Copy this url: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/PinoyTechPodcastRSS
2. Run Miro
3. Click on Sidebar > Add Feed
4. Paste the url you copied earlier
5. Click on the "Audio" radio button
6. Click OK

There you have it :) Happy Listening



Or if you are in a hurry - just head on to their website and play the embedded audio. Much easier :)

http://www.pinoytechpodcast.com/

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 1042: Which e-Commerce Site is the Most Famous?


RJ David, adorably known as admin by millions if not hundreds of thousands of sulitizens, the owner of sulit.com.ph is a seo genius, beating other prominent Filipino owned eCommerce websites at their own game. It even beat ebay.ph.

Further proof of sulit.com.ph's success is it's ranking in Google for the term: buy and sell.


Why is the term "buy and sell" important?

Because it's the name of a popular Free Ads Magazine. Notice however that Buy and Sell Magazine's Official Web Page now ranks #1 for the term "Buy and Sell". Their corporate head may have panicked upon seeing that another website has capitalized on their pet keywords and coincidentally the popularity of their offline free ads magazine.

For the SEO experts out there, we may learn that it's not only seo as in "Search Engine Optimization". It is primarily "Social Engineering Optimization".

Sulit.com.ph has a very unique way of generating numerous links in, around, and all over the internet for promoting itself through a click induced reward system that is delicately intertwined with the service that if offers.

This method of generating value is very novel and it is this brand of social networking and search engine optimization genius that propelled Sulit.com.ph into its current status as the genuine leader in eCommerce here in the Philippines.


Here are more stats as of 14:27 pm 29, June 2009 of sulit.com.ph:


Total Members: 430535
Registered Last 24 Hours: 667

Total Ads Posted: 1458556
Posted Last 24 Hours: 2193 Extended Last 24 Hours: 4109

Total Ads Messages: 1569508
Posted Last 24 Hours: 3645

Total Private Messages: 2188422
Sent Last 24 Hours: 6856

Updated every 5 minutes

Those are formidable numbers indeed.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 1038: [Summation] How to Get Venture Capital Money from the General Public for your Project

How to Start a MMORPG Development Company Using Other People's Money

Without Having to Actually Give their Money Back...

DISCLAIMER: I am writing this not as a how to. I am writing this out of experience. I am sharing what I observed as a failed investor myself. This post is specially dedicated to the newbie aspiring young entrepreneurs and prospective OFWs who have made a living abroad and are thinking of investing their hard earned money here in our scam ridden country. I call these kind of scams - legal scams. You signed it. Here is what happens or what could happen if you do not consult the experts:


I. Section I - Software

Making a half-baked product.



a. Get at least 2 programmers. One is the software lead and the other is the assistant (The one who makes the coffee).

b. Get them to use premade software tools or engines so that development is faster - but don't finish it.

c. Make sure that there are plenty of bugs - so you can use them to delay later.

d. Make sure that there are plenty of shiny buttons in the web page to impress the investors

e. Ok now when the game looks impressive enough - stop.

II. Section 2 - Investors


When the program is half-ready attract some investors.



a. Word of mouth

b. Rich Friends/Relatives

c. Advertise in the newspaper and claim that it is like another famous game that's been an addictive hit with teenagers and kids - specially in the US. But give it a twist - say that it's different or special because ----

d. Tell prospective investors that the product is only half finished and that you need money so that they can finish it to make it like that famous game.

e. Tell investors about how much money it is making in the US and that they can earn the same - hell not even the same - just 1% - because 1% is enough.

f. Pretend that you are not putting pressure on the investors by saying, "It's ok if you do not invest, there are other interested parties."

g. Name drop. This nephew of bigshot head SVP (Super Vice President) MVP (Mega Vice President) [insert name of company - preferably a bank or a telco] is investing too, so we don't really need your investment but it's ok if you do invest.

At the same time have your wife pretend that she is concerned about the well being of the investor. Make them feel like they are in good hands...

h. Go in for the kill - make them sign a stupid Memorandum of Agreement that they will never escape from.

i. Laugh out Loud

III. Operation

When you've got the money - delay delay delay delay - then the Catch 22

a. Once the investment is made, start developing again, slowly...

b. Make sure that there are many glitches to buy time. Pretend that you are fixing it.

c. Hold promos to keep the investors happy that you are promoting the product

d. Pretend that you are stressed out that you don't even have time to take a bath because you are too busy, too busy.

e. Make yourself unavailable - Get a freaking secretary - you can afford it now

f. Make sure you promote moderately public - but not too public - the government might notice that you do not have business registration.


By now, the investors are already getting impatient with your delays. Know when dissent is starting - use that to your advantage.


IV. The Catch 22

a. If an investor is getting impatient privately - do this:

a.1 Use a proxy - or pretend that you are an investor too and befriend the investor via email.

a.2 Once you got that disgruntled investors trust - use that to your advantage.

a.3 When that investor can't take it anymore - use the proxy to insert some notions like "this looks like blackmail." or "this might make other investors nervous" That should keep him patient for a while.


b. If an investor will go public do this:


Repeat after me: intimidate, accuse, exacerbate. Again!!! intimidate, accuse, exacerbate.

Did you get that?

b.1 Go on the attack - accuse him of blackmail

b.2 Find dirty stuff about his life use it too.

b.3 Accuse him of sabotaging your operations.

b.4 Accuse him of being the reason for sagging sales.

b.5 Accuse him of insurrection, rebellion or demonic possession.

Lawsuits.

c. By now, some dissent would be stirring that's perfectly fine. Just be prepared.

c.1 If someone threatens you with a lawsuit - just be calm and look for the stupid Agreement that the investor signed. Read aloud.

c.2 If someone files a lawsuit - it's okay, they signed the stupid Agreement.

Now for the most interesting part - tada! The Catch 22---


Declare Bankruptcy

Inflate your records to show that you are no longer liquid - while of course having some of the investors money stashed away under your pillow or somewhere in the bahamas. Inflate expenses. Inflate costs. Inflate. Inflate Inflate. Appeal to the common public about your plight. Pretend to cry ala Jun Lozada - and wail "I did my best. I'm sorry. I don't have money anymore." Use God's name. Become religious. Go to church every Sunday wearing simple clothes. Lie low for a while until public furor has died down. Be sure to hide that money somewhere.




While this is all happening, make sure that your other project is humming secretly now in another place. Give it 1 or 2 years. Use the REAL MONEY that you stashed away to complete it. When it is half baked - Get more investors again.


Get Another Name.

Start the Cycle Again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 1037.C: [PART II] How NOT to Invest in a Software Development Firm in the Philippines

We entered their big house to meet with 'the doctor'. One of the housemaids, ushered us into the office cum clinic cum investment room. My wife and I stared at each other and I said to her softly, "This is their office?". To our back was a white curtain that covered half of the room. I was a little concerned that there might be some people there hiding waiting to grab us or something.

Then the door opened and were greated by 'his wife'. She shook our hands, smiled and said, "The Doctor will be with you shortly."

She asked "By the way, do you know about Ragnarok? How about the World of Warcraft?"

I nodded in confirmation to her query and tried to ask her, "What is this thing really?"

"Well, it's like World of Warcraft but with robots. It's still in the development stage. It's an MMORPG where you get to customize robots and fight."

I was excited at the prospect. Wow, I mean literally W.O.W with robots. Forgive me for my nerdiness, but I grew up with games.

She left the room, and smiled at us, "Just a second."

Then in came the 'Doctor'. He was a plump guy who always smiled. He was actually very nice. He carried with him some Gaming Magazines which he showed to us. I got the impression that this guy actually read the magazines.

He knew a lot about games, and he knew a lot about how much the gaming industry was making in the United States. The number was in the billions of dollars.

At the time I didn't care about the numbers. I cared about the prospect of a robotic World of Warcraft. The kid in me felt very excited. Customizable 3D robots, moving around a 3D World. W.O.W.

The Doctor then went serious, he said, "We are only aiming for 1% of that market."

"You will get 1% of 1% the gross income. He went on to crunch big numbers which my mind couldn't really compute that fast without a calculator. And he said out in the air - this is it "300,000 Pesos. Because the intended audience is international they will be paying in Dollars."

I was like, "Hey wait a second, that's too big a number."

But the Doctor assured me, "If you like you could take a look at our books. We'll update you monthly."

I knew I had to be cautious because I would be risking my family's future.

So my wife and I decided to wait. While waiting this happened in the news:



The Peninsula Siege.

At the time I wondered. "Could this be a sign?"

Then I got a call from the wife. She followed up on the investment and reassured me that "We have to think positive. These are all just political noise. We should ignore it and proceed."

Being the hard headed idiot that I am, I believed her. I knew that this Peninsula siege would blow away, Trillanes and company were simply desperate. But that's another story.

So, on the fateful day of November 30, 2007. I signed a Memorandum of Agreement with them.

I will retype it for you hang on a bit (I'll scan this later):



MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT


This Agreement, made and executed by and between:

NAME OF SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY. a business organized and existing under Philippine laws, with principal office at address of software development company, Quezon City, Metro Manila, represented herein by Name of Software Development Company, herein referred to as the FIRST PARTY.

-and-
MR DANIEL ANDREI R. GARCIA, of legal age, a resident of the Philippines, with postal address at I'm not putting my address here, Paranaque City, herein referred to as the SECOND PARTY.
Whereas, both parties agree to the following conditions:
1. The FIRST PARTY agrees to develop an on-line computer game and is in the process of publishing the said game on or about four weeks from signing of this agreement.
2. The title of the on-line computer game is NAME OF COMPUTER GAME.
3. The FIRST PARTY will allow the SECOND PARTY to propose or suggest any business procedures, promotions or strategies that will help hasten the completion of the on-line computer game or improve the chances of success of the business. However, the FIRST PARTY holds the right for the approval of such suggestion/s or proposal/s.
4. The FIRST PARTY will allow the SECOND PARTY to look at the accounting journals of the FIRST PARTY for proper monitoring.
5. While in the process of developing the on-line computer game, the FIRST PARTY will provide the SECOND PARTY monthly progress report.
6. During the publication/operation of the said on-line computer game, The FIRST PARTY will provide the SECOND PARTY monthly sales report.
7. The FIRST PARTY will give the SECOND PARTY a one percent (1%) share on the gross monthly sales for one hundred twenty five thousand pesos (Php 125,000) the SECOND PARTY will invest.
8. The FIRST PARTY will pay the SECOND PARTY of its share of one percent (1%) of the gross monthly sale every seventh (7th) of the month.
9. The FIRST PARTY will pay the SECOND PARTY of its share of one percent (1%) of the gross monthly share in the form of a MANAGER'S CHECK.
10. The FIRST PARTY will deduct a 12% VAT from the SECOND PARTY'S one percent (1%) share on the gross monthly sales of the FIRST PARTY.
11. The SECOND PARTY will commit and obligate himself to invest one hundred twenty five thousand pesos, (Php 125,000).
12. The SECOND PARTY'S participation is purely as an investor, thus she is free from any legal action/s or litigation/s that may be filed against the FIRST PARTY in the event of any untoward incident.
13. The SECOND PARTY has the option to refund her investment subject to the following schedule:
a. The option for refund can be done after 180 days of operation.
b. The FIRST PARTY will pay the SECOND PARTY twenty five thousand pesos (Php 25,000) a month for (5) months.
c. The FIRST PARTY will pay the SECOND PARTY twenty five thousand pesos (Php 25,000) on the sixth (6th) month after the initiation of the refund.
14. If the SECOND PARTY did not ask for a refund after 180 days of operation, the SECOND PARTY is deemed to have waived her right for refund.
15. In the event that the SECOND PARTY demised or become invalid, or incapacitated the investment of the SECOND PARTY is transferred and assigned to {my wife}.
16. The effectivity of this agreement will last for the entire duration of the publication of the said on-line computer game.
17. That we have read and understood the contents of this memorandum of agreement.
18. Signed this 30th day of November, 2007.
In retrospect, this document is obviously not written by a lawyer. Or maybe it is  - by a retarded lawyer. 
But in it lies the complex web of deceit and maneuvering. I shall say that in it's stupidity is its brilliance.
The sick and painful truth of the matter is, I signed it. 
So in turn you my dear reader, will have to logically say that ... nevermind.
Let's fast forward a bit to May 2009. I got this email from their Administrative Whatchamadingle:
These, and other kinds of failures and excuses all point to the happiness of the whole situation. Are you happy? I am.
Why? Because I already forgive them. Ayoko na. I know I am not going to win against you people. After all, if you have 30+ investors who invested 125,000 each - wala akong ganoong pera pang laban sa inyo. 
For me it looks like a grand charade. The guy who emailed me earlier - if he is really a real investor and if he is really going to sue - is going to lose. 
I am not a lawyer, in fact I dropped out of law school only two weeks into it and most of all I am not going to pretend to know the law. This is what I know - upon signing that damned piece of paper. Wala na akong magagawa. Why?


1. Section 7 (Grade 1 ba ang nagsulat nito?)




The FIRST PARTY will give the SECOND PARTY a one percent (1%) share on the gross monthly sales for one hundred twenty five thousand pesos (Php 125,000) the SECOND PARTY will invest.




Simple lang, they can declare any amount that they want to declare. Even if they showed me the accounting journals - accounting journals can be faked. Digging into these is next to impossible specially if the transactions involved are electronic. For all I care these people could declare a 1 peso gross income and give me 1 % of that which is 1 centavo and then deduct 12% from that.


2. Section 12


The SECOND PARTY'S participation is purely as an investor, thus she is free from any legal action/s or litigation/s that may be filed against the FIRST PARTY in the event of any untoward incident.


I have never read anything like this before. Really? Who puts the words "any untoward incident" in a business agreement? What untoward incident are they expecting? Not one end user license agreement I have read is written as sloppily - yet ingeniously masterful as this. It's like written in such crude language because that is its precise aim - to protect itself from "any untoward incident". 


3. Section 13


The SECOND PARTY has the option to refund her investment subject to the following schedule:
The direct to the point use of the phrase "has the option to refund her investment" belies the fact that such an occurrence is expected. 


The problem is in the phrase "after 180 days of operation". Going back to Section 1, it is said that:


The FIRST PARTY agrees to develop an on-line computer game and is in the process of publishing the said game on or about four weeks from signing of this agreement.


This puts the timeframe to an indefinite period covered by on or about four weeks from signing this agreement. Experience shows that this is also made problematic by the fact that the game was launched several months after the agreement was signed. When in fact it was launched, they claimed that it was alpha launch, pre-beta launch, beta launch and finally a commercial launch. These were spaced  several weeks apart. So when is the start of the operation? 
 

NEXT UP: SUMMATION: WHAT IS THE LESSON AND HOW THE HELL CAN WE AVOID THESE KIND OF PEOPLE? 

Bukas na...

Day 1037.B: [UPDATE] I Got An Email Today

Sorry for the delay in publishing PART II of my sad tale in tech investment. I got an email today, from someone whose name I won't disclose until he would come out in the open or until I find out that he is a real person in the first place.

Mahirap makuryente so to speak.

Whether he is a real person or not, I am sure that there are others like me who "invested" 125,000 pesos in this sad joke of a company and are now fuming mad because their reported earnings are:

0.00 Philippine Pesos.


Here is the email, whether if its a real investor or what, I guess I would see in the following days. And so begins this war.


Drama ko no?



Well, all I want is closure and justice.

I'll keep you posted for Part II.

Day 1037: [PART I] How to Make 300,000 PhP a Month - The Anatomy of a Bad Financial Decision

Here's the deal breaker:

YOU CAN'T 

...unless you do something illegal or immoral.

But that was the catch phrase of their ad in Buy and Sell Magazine.

Here's the true to life story of how I invested 125,000 Philippine Pesos in a Philippine Game Software Development Firm and got duped - legally. This is my life and it almost crashed because of this one single mistake. Learn from my investment mistake. Read more on how NOT to make an investment. I pray that with my bad experience you will learn something that I had to learn on my own.


~o~

It all started with a little bit of money, and the promise of starting a new life. With the passing away of my father on the 22nd of October, the year of our Lord 2006, I, as the first born in our family knew that I had a legacy to fulfill. More than that, I had a dream to pursue.



I said to myself, and publicly during the wake of my father, "I will not let what my father built with his own hands be destroyed. If I have to build it again brick by brick so be it."

Those were my famous last words.

My father was a giant. A well respected lawyer among his peers, well liked in the church, active in community service, active even in fields not his own. He was everywhere yet not here. He was busy all the time, but had no time. He has been to the world.

Those were mighty big shoes I knew I could not fill.

His wake was attended by no less than several billionaires, CEOs, church leaders, friends, colleagues, IT professionals, farmers, pastors, priests, lawyers, clients, accountants, foreign nationals, family, and me.

It was a shock to everyone.

He died in his office of myocardial infarction one Saturday night. I was the third person to get there on a Sunday morning. It was too late.

I once overheard someone speaking to one of the lawyers,

"It's a portent of the things to come."

Fast forward to a few months after, I got a job in BPI, resigned from my job, with some money I joined a franchise, put up a business, made a small investment here and there and then sometime in 2007 I found this unique advertisement in Buy and Sell Magazine:

INVEST IN THE PHILIPPINES FIRST MMORPG.


I said to myself, "This is GOOD." This is the breakout that I needed. I knew that I had to be in something that is unique - something that would not turn me into a corporate slave. Something that would help me fulfill what my father failed to do - to break into the tech industry.


I did all my research (well apparently not enough), and the prospects for the business was International. The prospects were huge, very huge, internationally, - absolutely mind boggling. All indicators were up, up, up, up. There can be no down to it.


Or so I thought.


Never underestimate the power of HUMAN GREED.


Going forward, I emailed them to inquire:


 
At the time I was doing a very bad job of doing my "online due diligence".
Yes, Yes, I know I really should have checked SEC, BIR, for these sons of a ...
But I didn't.
Yes, please call me stupid.
I deserve it.
That was my first mistake.

My wife and I met with them, curiously in their office house or house office whatever , somewhere in Quezon City. It was a big house, with a big lawn, with lots of helpers, no cars though.
I was not impressed. I was expecting a corporate suite somewhere in Makati.
But I thought to myself, what the heck - I watched Pirates of Silicon Valley and thought Steve Jobs starting something in his garage. Maybe these guys could do the same.


 


I thought that this would make for a nice story:

The first Philippine company to ever launch an online MMORPG started in a garage somewhere in a little known place called Quezon City, in a tiny third world country called the Philippines.


I thought I would be a part of history... It turns out, I would be burned.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 1035: Busy Week Last Week

Hi again Internet!

Had a very busy and stressful week.

1. IP Masqueraded 4 boxes - in short shared Internet connection with the other 3
2. Struggled to fix my sister's PC which in the end had RAM problems
3. Business ...
4. Father's Day
5. Had to bring mom to hospital 2 times

 Yes, I also has my cheezburger dezpite the stressorz. (Actually I had Jollibee champ) Its been ages since I've had a champ, and now I am happy. Why? Mom's doctor said:

"What mom eats - YOU ALL EAT." 

That means vegetables, with no ginisa.

So I snuck out of the house without anyone noticing and ate a champ!

Mom is ok now, and yay 4 computers connected to the interwebzors, woot!

Here are a few posts I'd like to share and hopefully read again in the future:

1. Beginner's Guide to Slackware

"Give a man Ubuntu and he'll learn Ubuntu. Give a man Slackware and he will learn Linux."

2. Useful Tutorials for Linux and Unix 

3. Ubuntu Philippine Head Dax Umaming Holds Software Freedom Day in Baguio 2009

4. Father's Day Special - Bill Gates and Dad

Sunday, June 07, 2009

This Free Awesome Template Provided by Ray Creations...More Inside

I've always been happy to share whatever I could and this time I've decided to give something back in return. I've been getting a lot of feedback about the nice new template.

I made it.

Nah, I am just kidding.

These absolutely cool guys at RayCreations.Net made these and for that I am really grateful.

So, I guess I will be expecting more blog sites to look like mine. Eh, what the heck.

To download the absolutely cool ++ free blogspot themes click on the pictures.
Clicking on them would take you to the source of these templates.

http://www.raycreationsindia.com



http://www.raycreationsindia.com/template-details.aspx?templateid=17



http://www.raycreationsindia.com/template-details.aspx?templateid=16



http://www.raycreationsindia.com/template-details.aspx?templateid=15



Whew. That took me 30 minutes to get a screenshot, edit the pictures, upload the files, then edit the tags. There are plenty more at:

RayCreations.net

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Day 1019: Do Not Install Google Chrome

Just kidding. No really, they said don't install it.
Anyway, here's how to install it:


If you want to install it on an Ubuntu 8.04 or up machine. Simply click the following debs:

*Install it with Gdebi
*Warning. Google really did say don't install it unless you're the tinkering type.

If you are running a Debian based system and would prefer to do this via the cli. Here are the steps.


1. Download the appropriate deb file



        For 32-bit
$ wget http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/eula_dev.html?dl=unstable_i386_deb
        For 64-bit
$ wget http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/eula_dev.html?dl=unstable_amd64_deb
2. Install it via dpkg


$ sudo dpkg -i name_of_debfile_you_just_downloaded.deb

OPTIONAL: If you want to add the chrome directory permanently to the environment path variable add the following steps:


a. $ sudo gedit ~/.bashrc

add this at the end:


b. export PATH="$PATH:/opt/google/chrome/"


c. Restart the terminal

So instead of typing /opt/google/chrome/chrome on your terminal you just type 'chrome' and it will run, hopefully.

Here are a few screenshots of Google Chrome browsing the websites of egads! other browsers!

Friday, June 05, 2009

TECH SOURCE FROM BOHOL: Tweeting via Pidgin on Ubuntu

TECH SOURCE FROM BOHOL: Tweeting via Pidgin on Ubuntu

Here's a micro post for Jun Auza's How to post to Twitter using pidgin.

Gotta love pidgin. I use it for chikka. I use it for IM. I use it for IRC. Now I use it for twitter.

Awesome post Jun!