Sep 30, 2008

My Amazing Singapore Weekend

Now I am back from a very grand party at Singapore - the 2008 Grand Prix! Here are some of the beautiful photos I took.

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Sep 27, 2008

We're off to Singapore F1 Night Race!


This is the weekend I have been looking forward to and making advance booking for plane tickets and hotel reservation. Me and my three other brothers will be with me to watch this huge, huge event.

As to what I have heard, this race will be the first of its kind - a night race. That is an even more challenging race than most of its previous F1 street races we see in the past.

When I come back, I will be posting more interesting pictures of the race, the cars, Singapore and the beautiful race car models - hehehe!

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Sep 20, 2008

How do you recover after being fired?

jobloss When do you pull the plug and say it's over in a nice way? Hard as it may seem but sometimes when you have stretched your limit to give an employee several chances to shape-up, there are not much option left but ask the staff to leave.

I mentioned in my previous blog post that one very critical factor for a successful leadership is having a very very good members in your team. A team is as strong only as its weakest link. Of course we do not only stop there, it takes nurturing your employees to make them stronger and competitive.

I have been fired several times by my former employers for various reasons and I know exactly how it feels like to be rejected - really! But looking back, it has taught me life's valuable lessons and how I was able to pick myself up and learned from those adversities. Here are some very useful advice to those who has been laid off from work and hot to deal with them.

  1. Change your outlook. Rejection is never easy but blaming yourself, your boss or the company won't help either. View it as a crossroad to new opportunities. Opportunities to learn and make new things. Seize this opportunity!
  2. Start refocusing on things you should have done but can't while employed. If writing or consulting is a hobby that you do on the side, now is the time to go full time on them. Most successful business start up as a hobby and surely this is something you wanted to do all along.
  3. Leave the bitterness behind. Who can't feel some bitterness after being laid-off? Every body does, but leave this negative feeling behind as you walk out the door and embrace a new life. Dwelling more more about it certainly will make your days ahead even more bitter and may put you in depression.
  4. Keep busy. The only way to fight bad thoughts from coming back is to keep yourself busy. Do something healthy and fun like taking out the kids to a park, play basketball, a date with you girlfriend or wife. Just keep busy.
  5. Avoid being alone. Ask for peer support. Be with your friends and ask them to accompany you during these hard times. Being alone will only increase the chances of you feeling sorry and blaming others or yourself.
  6. Read the Bible. I guarantee you, this is the ultimate medicine. All concerns, fears and questions are answered in this sacred book! Just pick it up, open and read any page that opens up in front of you and behold - the answer is there. It's no coincidence God is speaking to you.

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Sep 15, 2008

Would you buy anything made in China?


I wouldn't, if I have a choice. Almost everything we use on a daily basis are now made in China. From toiletries, car accessories, office supplies, computer parts, children's toys to a whole lot more - everything is made in China. I wouldn't have a problem if it is made in some Timbuktu as long as they are of high quality products and manufacturers are trustworthy.

What is this new controversy (see news) where milk formula made in China are tainted with melamine? Melamine on milk formula for babies? Melamine are organic compounds use to manufacture floor tiles, fertilizers, white boards, retardant fabrics and commercial filters. Several hundreds of babies (reported so far) who fed their babies with milk formula Supplied by Sanlu Group Co., have dies because of this. Many of their milk are now exported to several countries namely Taiwan and some other unnamed countries.

Protect your babies. Protect your family. Never trust and buy again products made in China.

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Sep 12, 2008

An inside tour of the world's supercollider - The LHC.

After the Large Hadron Super Collider was in the front page of every news source a couple of days back, I still don't quite understand what its significance was. The talks about quarks, guons and Higgs particles it makes it more confusing. The lecturer, Brian Cox, so beautifully explained what the supercollider does and what its purposes are. Watch to fully appreciate.

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Parenting: Doing things together and having fun.


Very recently and so suddenly, I got interested on picking up a new hobby that I can share and do together with my family on weeknights. I remembered my son asking me to buy a telescope so he can see the stars closely and his incessant interest never stopped asking me questions about the sky and planets. This has somewhat gave me an idea to have astronomy as my new hobby, after all; space fascinates me as well ever since I was a small kid just like what my son is now.

And so the search for a good telescope began. My criteria for a good startup telescope must be of a high-quality and not over $US1,000.00. In the process of searching and filtering for the good ones, I got overwhelmed with the choices because there are simply a lot of really good ones you can buy on the internet. Some even have computer-based directional system!

I was also looking for an astronomy club here in Cebu and wasn't successful on that either. However, I stumbled on a website of one bigtime astrographer (Mr. Christopher Go) here in Cebu and started to amaze on the photos of the planets he took. I was somewhat envious also on the battery of scopes he has which must have cost fortunes to acquire one. I contacted the guy and asked for advice on how, as a beginning hobbyist, should start and what I would need. This was what he advised me in his email:

Hi Dan,

I would recommend that you purchase a star map and binoculars to start with.  Familiarize the stars, planets, constellations and some deep sky objects.  After this you can move up to telescopes.  Don't buy junk telescopes normally sold is department stores or sports shop.  These are difficult and frustrating to use.  When you are ready to invest to a good telescope, you have hundreds of choices all of which depends on what you want to do and your budget.  A telescope can range from US$300 to US$30,000.


I was very thankful for his very practical advice and I'd say, that is how we (my son and I) should start. So there I have it. I should only be buying first, a good pair of binoculars and a star map.

Again, the objective here is not to get any of you readers to jump intro astronomy right away. You can pick-up any activity which your kids and your wife can share on weeknights. The fun part here is when you share and do things together as a family.

Have fun!

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Sep 11, 2008

LHC: The Ultimate "Killer App"?



Yesterday marked a very historic moment to mankind. We finally have THE machine to understand how the stuff of everything are made of and how it all began. It's the grandest celebration not on what we have built, but our CAPACITY to seek higher learning on the very fundamental laws of nature and build things to achieve such knowledge.

We have built the most expensive experiment that requires the very brightest minds around the globe to answer the very basic question. Many doomsayers  says this will definitely be the 'killer app' that will bring mankind to extinction or that mankind will destroy our galaxy by creating an uncontrollable blackhole. Is this the end of the world? I'd say it is not!

The end of the world will dawn upon mankind if our quest for learning dusks. This is precisely the reason why we as mankind evolved to be a superior being and ruled over for thousand of years. Our quest for learning is what makes us human everyday.

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Sep 6, 2008

How I hit 5000+ visitors in 72 hours with StumbleUpon.


I have always wondered how many blogs sites really create a significant visitor traffic and create revenue through advertising posted on them. I tried several suggested techniques to create traffic such as: improving design, submitting sitemaps to search engines, joining social bookmarking and some other stuff. I also experimented on different social sites to promote my blog and there are quite a handful of them like: Digg, Technorati, MyBlogLog, Delicious and none did stood up to its promise until I began experimenting on StumbleUpon and hit 5000+ visitors in only 72 hours!.

How it started

  • The Posting: Last August 24, I posted on my blog site a news article taken from another site which has inspired me so much an decided to copy and use it for my future reference.


  • The "Thumbs-up": Since I'm a registered member of StumbleUpon, I clicked on "thumbs-up" recommendation on my own posting and forgot about it since most of my own StumbleUpon recommendations didn't help in the past anyway.



  • The Traffic: Immediately after that, traffic increased quite consistently until after 24 hours it hit 1,103 viewers. The following day, it still continued to increase and reached 2,461 visitors and finally on the third day a whopping 5,018 visitors! I know this may not be much from professional bloggers but it is to me specially since I'm quite a newbie on this thing.




  • The Surprise: What is even more surprising to me was, a week after it's first peak, visitor traffic peaked again but this time the traffic was even better than the first. So, it wasn't just a one time thing after all.


Observation: What went right?

  • The Post: The post's title was "Do what you love doing. - Jobs says". It's a very inspiring speech delivered by Mr. Steve Jobs about his life's challenges and successes.
  • The Category: I tagged or categorized this post under Lifehacks. Take note, I has another original post under this category that also made significant traffic.
  • The Source: Among all social media sites that I joined in, only StumbleUpon has referred a significant number (93% to be exact) of people to my blog and majority of which came from the United States.
  • The Recurrence: This totally caught me by surprise but the recurrence of increased traffic was due to my accidental mistake on resubmitting the same post after the first peak has subsided six days after.

Lessons Learned: My Analysis

  • Search engines don't help. So don't bother submitting your site map to major search engines because they only bring in 1% to 2% of your total site traffic.
  • People like to be inspired. Inspiration spans nationality, race, age, gender and even time. Blog postings that make people inspire will surely be a hit and it is never seasonal. If you want to appeal to a greater mass, then inspire them often.
  • Focus on the 'Stumblers' and drop the rest. Focus only on things that matter to you and forget everything else. If it's traffic you want, then just use and be involved in your network of StumbleUpon users. If you don't have one, register. I guarantee it works, at least for me.

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Sep 4, 2008

Why a Firefox fan switched to Google Chrome?


I just downloaded the new browser from Google called  Chrome and the very first thing I noticed was it's amazingly fast page rendering capabilities and significantly low memory usage. Something I had been complaining about on Firefox.

I have no accurate benchmarks to show and compare with other browsers but on a user's point of view, here is what I have to say:

1. Incredibly fast.

We're using a lot of Google's products and services in our daily office tasks particularly Google Apps. Google Apps leverages on AJAX to improve its usability features of its products, when using a regular and traditional browser, it takes some time to load everything. With Google Chrome, everything almost instantly appeared in a snap!

2. Low memory usage.

I normally open up and use 8 to 10 tabs all at the same and, you guessed it, sooner or later my browser just hang-up on me. When I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL to check, it has hit as high as 210 MB! Just for a browser. Memory leaks on Firefox is very notorious.

With  Chrome, all tabs runs on a separate process and memory usage is significantly lower that any browser I know and used.

3. User Interface Design

I admit, it's not as pretty as IE or Firefox but it gives me all the viewing space I need without the unnecessary clutter. This was intentionally designed this way so users can get to focus more on the content rather than buttons you see on a browser's toolbar.

4. Security

Well there is no real way to test this feature initially but according to their product specs, everything in Chrome is 'sandboxed' so no rogue or malicious programs can write on your disk or spy on what you type on your keyboard. I'd say, this security design is unique and very well thought of.

5. Application shortcuts

Even with the absence of my favorite extensions and plug-ins, suffice to say I am contented with the Application Shortcut feature of Chrome. It creates a shortcuts of my favorite sites as if it were a real application. I made a few shortcuts for my Google Mail, Google Reader, and Google Docs.

Chrome will has huge, huge potential in the browser market and it will create a massive followers soon after it has its developers develops plug-ins and extension for it. Why another browser? That I will write about on my next post.

Oh yes, I have now switched to Google Chrome.

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