Sunday, April 24, 2011

Free Mac App: MacX iPad iPhone DVD Video Converter Pack

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From April 20 to May 3, 2011, this $35 Mac app is FREE as an Easter giveaway.

Maybe you're wondering if there's a need for this since iTunes and QuickTimeX offer iOS export settings. But this application comes in handy for formats that both programs above may have a hard time recognizing. It's a pretty nifty utility for converting video formats into those compatible with your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. 

The download gives you two free two-in-one programs:

DVD Ripper
Just load your DVD into the Mac, select your output format (iPad, iPhone, iPod, mp4, MOV or even Music) and click "Start" to begin conversion. EASY!

Video Converter
With this second application, you can likewise convert video files into the output formats as in DVD Ripper above, with the additional output format suitable for YouTube.

Note: Since this is being given away for free, the site says that no update or technical support is provided with this version.

To download this free dual pack, go to the link HERE and use the generated license code to register your app after download. Remember, you only have till May 3, 2011 to download this for free.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Malungai Life Oil


Book Launch: [R]evolutionaries

[R]evolutionaries book cover

When I hear the youth being cynical about their future in this country, I feel sad. After all, they will live out and be part of the future generation. Of course, I cannot blame many of them, who have seen how deep-seated corruption has made life a lot more difficult for the ordinary Juan and has distorted the values that they have learned from their families and from school.

So when a book is launched about how innovative-thinking Filipino youth have spent their time finding new solutions to old problems, testing how far their skills and creativity will take them, daring to go beyond the normal call of duty in life, and proving the status quo wrong, I become hopeful that there is indeed a future for my children.

Good friend and writer Nina Terol-Zialcita and Silvie Bandiola-Agravante took two years to complete the writing of the [R]evolutionaries book but it is all worthwhile as you will read below.

Author Nina Terol-Zialcita

More than just a collection of stories, the [R]evolutionaries has 14 chapters dedicated to innovative thinking, resourcefulness, teamwork, passion, initiative and leadership. It is testament to how the youth are showing the way in breaking barriers, building bridges, confronting issues and solving problems within different communities and fields of expertise.

For 6 years now, the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Foundation has been conducting annual searches. This book features those winners.

The book is an easy read and filled with inspiring pictures of our youth in action. You'll read of their work in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and NCR spanning areas such as education, disaster response, environment, women's rights, social services and livelihood.

I believe this is a book that every Filipino home should have because it is meant to be read by everyone, most especially our youth. If they are one of those who are cynical about whether the Philippines is ever going anywhere, this book will hopefully inspire them not to just keep whining but to actually get up and do something on their own.

Here is what Nina Terol-Zialcita has to say about [R]evolutionaries:

And TAYO Awards Foundation, Inc. President, Bam Aquino, also has a few words:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Royal Wedding Apps Flourish!

Prince William and Kate Middleton
(photo by Mario Testino)
The excitement over the upcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton this April 29 has given birth to so many 'royal' apps - some free, some for a fee (yes, this is clearly business for some).

Even Buckingham Palace will be releasing today, April 18, its first "Royal App" by the Royal Collection. And it has a royal wedding website as well! Goes to show that the British monarchy is now adapting technology to help bring them closer to their loyal subjects. What a change from the distant, put-on-a-pedestal-to-be-admired-from-afar royal family of old.

In my other blog, Here's To Life!, I wrote about why this royal wedding is particularly fascinating to me. And, since I own an iPad, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the official app from Buckingham Palace. For starters, I've already got the FREE app, The Royal Wedding by Hello! on my iPad.

Here are some of the more interesting ones I've found (pls note that not all these apps may be available to Philippine users):


1. The Royal Wedding by Hello! (Hello Ltd), iPhone and iPad - So far, this is the best app I've seen. The UI is very clean and the info is almost comprehensive in nature.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Public Service: ATM Schedules for Holy Week Downtime


Some banks are using the Holy Week to do maintenance work. I received email from BDO and BPI on this.

Do take note of the scheduled ATM downtime. Better, make sure you withdraw enough money to cover for your Holy Week plans.


BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO) will undergo a nationwide systems upgrade during the Holy Week (from April 20 to April 23) to further improve its service to all valued clients.

The Bank, in an official advisory, is requesting all its clients to be guided by the following schedules:

- The use of BDO ATM cards will not be available in all ATM machines and payment terminals in retail stores from 11PM of April 22 (Friday) to 7AM of April 23 (Saturday). For BDO Dollar Account Holders, the use of ATM cards will not be available from 11PM of April 22 (Friday) to 6PM of April 23 (Saturday).

- Bills payment using ATM, Internet, Mobile Internet, Mobile and Phone Banking will not be available from 11PM of April 20 (Wednesday) to 11:59PM of April 23 (Saturday).

- Other transactions using Internet, Mobile Internet, Mobile and Phone Banking will not be available from 10PM of April 22 (Friday) to 6PM of April 23 (Saturday).

To avoid any inconvenience, BDO is encouraging all its clients to schedule their transactions prior to the commencement of the systems improvement.

To enable us to continuously deliver world-class service levels, we will be conducting a short maintenance activity for Express Online, Express Mobile, and Express Phone on April 17, 2011 from 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM. These transaction channels will be unavailable during this time. Thank you for your understanding.

I will try to update this post in case I hear of other banks scheduling maintenance work as well.

(Bank logos taken from their respective websites)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Buon Giorno has a new home at Rockwell Business Center!

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Nestled in the newest business enclave in the Ortigas, the Rockwell Business Center (RBC), is this Italian restaurant which we were recently invited to. This was my first time to visit RBC and was actually pleasantly surprised at its mixed-use ambience. Many restaurants dotted the surroundings of the business center which seemed vibrant and teeming with office people way into the evening.

This is where Buon Giorno found its second home (the first one being in Tagaytay). Host of the bloggers for the evening was Buon Giorno's proprietor, Mark Floro, who regaled us with stories about the beginnings of Buon Giorno and how its many dishes were concocted by his wife, Linda.

Mark Floro
Before it found its place in RBC, Buon Giorno was located at Liberty Center along Shaw Boulevard (so if any of you are wondering where they have relocated, read on).

Buon Giorno's decor is typically European and very warm.Tiffany lamps lend a very romantic mood while lighting up the place, with strategically located pin lights adding brightness to the place.

In typical Italian fashion, the walls were artistically painted depicting country scenes and open fields to give that homey feel to all diners.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How do I love Samsung Smart TV? Let me count the ways...

Ok, I admit that title is probably too cheesy. But really, I am such a gadget lover (even if I can't afford it most times) and we've been hearing about convergent technology for some time already.

I think we're now getting very much closer to total convergence -- where just one device has the features of several gadgets combined like TV, internet, mobile. And I saw it at iblog7 in early April.

Samsung, one of the sponsors of iblog7, brought in this eye candy, 46-inch smart TV that caught my eye all the way from the back of the theater. Who wouldn't ogle it? It was W-I-D-E. And thin (like the side view of my iPad).  During the break when they took it to the lobby of Malcolm Hall, I was one of those who stood around and admired it - not just from the front but from the side AND from the back as well. Here's that "quarter turn please" look:

Now, a quarter turn, please?

And....another quarter turn, please?

So from the aesthetic point of view, I'm already in love with this Samsung smart LED TV. I know just the spot in my home for it -- almost anywhere!!! Because if it is that thin (see those 4 legs?) I don't need a special TV stand or table that is over a foot deep. This TV will be such a space saver for me. For a mommy with 4 kids, I'm always running out of space. This space-saving feature, for me, is TOPS!