Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Saturday, February 04, 2006

‘Cybercrime in RP is worse than you think,’ -- IT lawyer

By Alexander Villafania, INQ7.net

Despite Republic Act 8792 or the E-Commerce Act supposed protection against digital crime in the Philippines, the degree of cybercrime in the country seems to be worse than reported by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), says a top IT lawyer.

Atty. Ivan Uy, former director of the Supreme Court’s Management Information Systems office, said there are many cases of hacking even among the big industries in the country. A large number of these incidents were perpetrated from within a company by disgruntled current or former employees.

Company owners also fail to prosecute those caught hacking from lack of capability to find evidence. Those caught are often simply discharged from the company and the owners are left to conceal the damage done to avoid creating panic among customers and business partners.
Uy said major enterprises and some banks have fallen victim to techno-savvy employees who manage to funnel money elsewhere.

“I don’t blame them if they don’t report it to the PNP or NBI because it is humiliating if customers find out their lack of security measurements. But then, it is unawareness that is still the major stumbling block against hacking,” Uy added.

He also fears that this trend could worsen as hackers find it easier to conduct their modus operandi without fear of going to jail. “These hackers get emboldened even more and they can easily find victims,” he said.

Uy, recently retired from 14 years of service at the SC MIS, is currently the Philippine Judicial Academy ‘s technology director. He has also gone into private practice and is organizing some IT law practitioners to provide IT security consultations to corporate clients.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ubuntu founder asks gov't to support open source advocacy

Ubuntu founder asks gov’t to support open source advocacy
By Alexander Villafania, INQ7.net

The founder of the new Linux operating flavor called Ubuntu is urging governments to advocate open source technology, not just in a corporate setting but more on the average consumer level.

In the Philippine leg of his Asia-wide tour, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth said government should spearhead the use of open source platforms among ordinary consumers as an alternative method of home computing.

Shuttleworth emphasized consumer reaction to government use of technology as role model to its citizens. He also stressed that open source applications can be made immediately available to consumers who may need more cost-effective alternatives to costlier proprietary applications.

Educational institutions can also benefit from open source since many school-related applications can be customized and delivered faster, he added.

“It’s important that users can get accustomed to both proprietary and alternative platforms. Governments and educational institutions can do that,” Shuttleworth observed.

The Ubuntu founder will be giving a series of talks in several Asian countries in the next few days.

During his one-day visit to the Philippines, Shuttleworth met with service providers and computer builders who could package Ubuntu Linux on their computers.

He also met with members of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology to discuss potential partnerships to advocate open source.

Though he did not specify numbers, Shuttleworth said the Philippines is one of the company’s biggest distributorships in Asia Pacific. They were able to ship 57,000 CDs of Ubuntu Linux in the last 12 weeks, compared to just 52,000 in Australia and 16,000 in Japan

Researchers find worm infecting blogs

Researchers find worm infecting blogs
By Erwin Lemuel Oliva, INQ7.net

Internet security researchers have found a new worm infecting blogs worldwide.

The blog worm, found at http://www.moox.nl/blogworm/, is currently being propagated manually by bloggers who are copying HTML code from the author's website and integrating it into their blogs.

The code includes a cute animated graphic of what appears to be a computer bug that says, "Hello," along with other messages, including how many blogs have already been infected.

The code also points back to the blog worm author's blog website.

This worm blog has apparently infected about 5,000 blogs, including one maintained by news.com, the author says in its website.

The blog worm also hopes to infect the real world through merchandising. It now sells t-shirts on the website.

The worm is actually an animated GIF image. Bloggers all over have embedded it in their blogs and link to the creator's Web site. To infect your blog, you have to copy and paste a piece of HTML code into your blog.

A blog entry on news.com (http://news.com.com/2061-10789_3-6031795.html) said that this might be funny.

"But on the flipside, however, there could be some security implications if the hoster of this worm decided to upload a malicious image that took control of the PC's that visit sites that show it. (Or if the hoster's site was hacked.)," the news.com blog posting said.

News.com quoted blog worm author Robin Schuil as saying that there are no malicious plans with the blog worm.

"However, it is a self mutating worm. From day to day it will say different things," the author told news.com.

PLDT to venture into Internet TV

By DARWIN G. AMOJELAR, The Manila Times Reporter
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. plans to venture into Internet-based Television and Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite television service despite having failed to acquire Dream, the DTH company of businessman and PLDT minority shareholder Antonio Cojuangco.
Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT president and CEO, said the company "is exploring the most efficient" technology that could provide better services to consumers but not as costly to the company."
"We’re studying closely IPTV [Internet protocol TV] and DTH," Nazareno told reporters.
IPTV involves delivering digital television service to subscribers using the Internet over a broadband connection. This service is often provided in conjunction with video-on-demand and may include Internet services such as Web access and Internet-based voice calls.
DTH, on the other hand, uses either satellite or cable in providing access to TV programs.
Dream, the country’s only DTH satellite company, services its subscribers through the Philippine Multimedia System Inc.
Earlier, PLDT said it is in the process of installing an all-Internet, next generation network (NGN) over the next two to three years.
"One of the key benefits of upgrading to NGN is the ability to enhance our voice and data service offerings as well as expand our product range to potentially include video such as Internet Protocol Television. In this respect, PLDT continues to look into new opportunities from advances in technology and analyze business models being undertaken by other fixed-line operators who are also rolling out broadband services," PLDT said.
The company had been eyeing a joint venture with US-based Echostar to provide cheaper and pervasive DTH satellite pay television service in the Philippines.
In line with its planned foray into DTH, PLDT would sell its stake in the cable industry, Nazareno said.
In 1999. PLDT acquired Home Cable for P3 billion. It sold the assets to Lopez family-led Central CATV in exchange for shares in the cable TV operator.
"We would like to sell it if we can," Nazareno said, without disclosing details.
Tie-up with Microsoft for corporate solutions
Meanwhile, the Philippines’ biggest telco and Microsoft Philippines have entered into an agreement that will provide corporate solutions and services for both firms’ clients.
Under the memorandum of understanding, PLDT and Microsoft will combine their strengths, with the telco providing the telecommunications infrastructure and the international software company offering its technology and its knowledge of the global market.
"The objective really is to give more value to our customers through relentless innovation. Together with Microsoft, which is a very innovative company, we can have more meaningful innovations that would benefit the consumers. It’s a win-win-win situation for us," Nazareno said.
PLDT and Microsoft will take advantage of the facilities of the PLDT InnoLab to develop these new corporate solutions.
InnoLab undertakes research and development in telecommunications technologies together with the academe, government and other business firms. It is also a venue for demonstrating various solutions for the corporate clientele.
Antonio Javier Jr., Microsoft Philippines managing director, said this is part of the software company’s efforts to look for alternative distribution models for its products.
"We’ve realized that in order to reach a broader set of the market, we have to look into a more innovative business model, a model where both business users and consumers can get to enjoy the benefits of our products on a pay-per-use basis," he said.

Online extortion syndicate busted

By Nestor Etolle, The Philippine Star

A 28-year-old scion of a well-to-do family and two Marine reservists, allegedly members of a well-entrenched online extortion syndicate, were nabbed by intelligence operatives in an entrapment operation in Malate, Manila last Wednesday night.

Manila Police District (MPD) director Chief Superintendent Pedro Bulaong presented yesterday the suspects identified as Jose Monico Tanseco, the gang’s operator, of San Juan; and Junius Loderico, 25, of Navotas, and Rey Leyretana, 36, of Quezon City, both Marine reservists.

Tanseco later identified a Manila policeman, a certain SPO4 Mar Cuaresma, as the leader of the gang, according to Chief Inspector Joselito Sta. Teresa, chief of the MPD’s District Police Intelligence Unit and the leader of the arresting team.

Bulaong said the modus operandi of the gang was to look for rich individuals on the Internet, chat and make friends with them online before offering business deals. They later extort large amounts of cash from them through intimidation.

Several police badges, identification cards, a caliber .38 revolver with ammunition and marked money worth P100,000 were recovered from the suspects.

Authorities also recovered a Honda CRV (XNG-545) belonging to victim Ryan Ty, 29, a businessman, of Binondo, Manila, during a follow-up operation in Potrero, Malabon.

Police said Ty and his brother sought police assistance after Tanseco started to harass them unless they come up with P2 million.

The harassment started when Ty personally met Tanseco after communicating on the Internet.

The victim said Tanseco, who introduced himself as a Marine officer, handed him a caliber .38 revolver and threatened him with illegal possession of a firearm unless he comes up with P2 million.

Fearing arrest, Ty agreed to pay, but settled to do so by installment at P50,000 a week.

The victim also surrendered his Honda CRV as initial payment.

After cooperating with police, Ty and his brother contacted Tanseco for the payment of an additional P100,000.

Tanseco, together with the Marine reservists, were nabbed by authorities along Quirino Avenue near San Andres after receiving the marked money from the Ty brothers.

The two Marine reservists denied knowledge of Tanseco’s illegal operation. They said Tanseco only sought their assistance to be able to collect the payment for a loan.

The reservists said Tanseco personally came to Fort Bonifacio for assistance and was even introduced to them by ranking officers at the camp.

Charges of car theft, robbery extortion and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition were filed against the three suspects.

Police launched a manhunt against the gang’s leader.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

NTC: Telcos paying for permit to operate 3G

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said it spreads out over a period of time the permit fees paid by telcos that operate 3G (third generation) mobile phone communications to assure Filipino subscribers of "consumer friendly-rates."

The regulator emphasized that it did not give out communications licenses for nothing.

Earlier, Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano said the government lost an estimated P15 billion when NTC awarded licences "for free" in violation of Republic Act 7925, the law liberalizing the telecommunications industry. The lawmakers added that NTC, by not auctioning the privilege of operating 3G, put the government at a disadvantage.

The NTC earlier awarded licenses and frequencies to Smart Communications Inc. Globe Telecom Inc, Digital Mobile Phils. Inc and Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprises (CURE). "The NTC did not violate the law (Section15, RA 7925) by disregarding public bidding or tender process of the 3G licenses/frequencies, which would have ensured that the best qualified telecommunications companies will receive the same," the regulators said in its position released Wednesday.

"The licensees continue to pay yearly spectrum user’s fee throughout the lifetime of their authorizations," the NTC added.

It said that by spreading out the fees over a long period of time, the Filipino 3G subscriber is assured of more consumer-friendly rates that, in turn, do not threaten the economic viability of a 3G network.

The NTC further said that the five licensees will pay a total of P375 million for spectrum fees (SUF) a year for the four operators with 10 MHz x 2, worth P65M multiplied 4, and one operator with 15 MHz x 2 worth P115M .

"In addition, the 3G operators have to pay SUF for the microwave radio links estimated to be P100 million a year for the 3G base station transceivers. Additional SUF of P1 M for every additional 100,000.00 users/subscribers after the first 4 M users/subscribers is imposed on the 3G operators," the regulator’s added.

It added that SUF increases as the number of users/subscribers increases beyond 4 million subscribers. The NTC streesed that other than earning huge revenues, "it is also in the national interest that Filipinos subscribing to the 3G services should be able to avail of such services at affordable rates.Fundamental business principles dictate that a 3G operator will for sure recover the cost of its acquiring the spectrum by passing them on to their subscribers."

The NTC also said the Commission has adopted the system called "beauty contest process" used in other countries in allocating 3G mobile licenses. The countries include Finland, France, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Spain, and Sweden.

Regulatory authorities in the countries of Greece, Hong Kong, China, and Italy use a combination of both the beauty contest and auction process in the allocation of 3G licenses. Darwin G. Amojelar - ABS CBN NEWS


MANILA, Asia Pulse - Get ready to trade online. The Philippines is on the verge of a new Internet boom driven by cheap dial-up and broadband access.

"We expect Internet use in the country to grow by leaps and bounds in the months ahead as low-priced dial-up and broadband Internet services draw more subscribers," said Catanduanes Rep. Joseph Santiago, former chief of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and vice chair of the House transportation and communications committee. ADVERTISEMENT

Inexpensive, conventional, as well as high-velocity Internet access through landlines and mobile telephones would trigger a fresh surge in computer and Internet use by households and small businesses nationwide, he predicted.

This, in turn, would drive business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer electronic commerce, he said.

The growing popularity of broadband access has forced traditional dial-up Internet service providers (ISPs) to drastically reduce their monthly fees, thus making web browsing within reach of even more Filipinos, according to Santiago.

"Actually, the cheapest dial-up Internet access now is P160 monthly," the solon said, referring to Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.s (PLDT) recent "all in" offering -- P840 monthly, a bundled service that covers the basic monthly landline service and unlimited Internet access.

Thus, a landline residential subscriber now paying about P680 monthly would have to add just 160 pesos to get unlimited dial-up Internet access.

"Outside of PLDT, we now have independent dial-up ISPs offering unlimited Internet use for as low as P13.30 per day or P399 monthly. Before this, the cheapest Internet service was P24.94 daily or P748 monthly," Santiago said.

Santiago said he expects telecommunications providers to draw tens of thousands of new broadband and dial-up Internet service subscribers.

"Broadband is attractive to existing landline subscribers because they can use their telephones for voice calls while staying connected to the Internet all the time," Santiago pointed out.

This is because in broadband, a wire carries several data channels. A digital subscriber line (DSL) service, for example, combines separate voice and data channels over a single telephone line. Voice fills the low end and data fill the high end of the frequency spectrum.

PLDT reported a total of 76,000 broadband Internet subscribers as of September 2005, an increase of 54 per cent over its 49,500 users in September 2004.

In addition, Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. had between them about 20,000 wireless broadband subscribers as of September 2005.

Another "leading indicator" of an Internet boom is the rapid growth of web shops, according to Santiago.

"Netopia is putting up 71 new branches this year. Obviously, Netopia will not be expanding that aggressively if it does not see a pent-up demand for high-speed Internet service among young Filipinos," he said.

Netopia is the country's largest Internet cafe chain, with 220 branches and about 5,000 workstations nationwide as of 2005.

Netopia reported P192 million (US$3.7 million) in revenues in 2004, 175 per cent higher than the P70 million it posted in 2003. The company has yet to report its 2005 revenues.

Santiago, meanwhile, said third-generation mobile telephony would eventually give the Internet boom a big push. "It will all depend on pricing -- how the new 3G handsets and services will be priced. And pricing will depend on the amount of new capital service providers are prepared to risk," he said.

Back in the mid-1990s, mobile handsets priced for less than P2,000 helped to drive the cellular telephone boom, Santiago noted.

"In 3G, many Filipinos previously uninitiated to the Internet will be exposed to the web for the first time via mobile telephones," he added.

Last month, the NTC awarded 3G licenses to Smart, Globe, Digital Telecommunications Inc. and Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprise Inc. They must offer 3G services within 30 months or by mid-2008.

3G is seen to drive Internet use since the new technology enables advanced connectivity and greater multimedia applications via mobile telephones, including real time large data transmissions, streaming video and music and ultra high-speed web browsing.

The International Data Corp. projects Internet users in the Philippines to almost double to 20 million by 2007, from only 11.8 million as of end 2004. (PNA)

NTC cannot take down Faeldon's website--official

By Erwin Lemuel Oliva, INQ7.net

AN OFFICIAL of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC, www.ntc.gov.ph) said the agency has no power to take down the website of Marine Captain Nicanor Faeldon (www.pilipino.org.ph).

"We have no power over the Internet. The law [Republic Act 7925] is silent on this," NTC Deputy Commissioner Jorge Sarmiento told INQ7.net on Wednesday.

Republic Act 7925 is a law promoting and governing the development of Philippine telecommunications and delivery of public telecommunications services.

Representative Marcelino Libanan of Eastern Samar and Eduardo Veloso of Leyte, both pro-administration lawmakers, asked the NTC on Tuesday to shut down Faeldon's website.

INQ7.net reported previously that the website is hosted by a firm run by a Filipino based in General Santos City.

Philippine security researchers from the Philippine Honeynet Project (www.philippinehoneynet.org) said that they have traced Faeldon's website to a web server in Virginia, USA, owned by ServInt Internet Services.

However, the security researchers also noted that one of the servers hosting Faeldon's website is leased to a Filipino company called Network of Known Internet Addicts Hosting Sol (www.nokiahost.com). They further revealed that the company is a hosting provider based in General Santos City.

Job Oberio, owner of the Network of Known Internet Addicts Hosting Sol, said that he has not personally received orders or inquiries from government or anyone else asking the website to be shut down.

Oberio said Faeldon's website is still up because "they are still paying for our services."

"I own the Nokiahost [service]. But Faeldon is not the one transacting or subscribed to the service. We cannot give details since we have privacy rules. But when they first subscribed to our service, we didn't know it was Faeldon," said Oberio told INQ7.net in an earlier interview.

Oberio suspects that friends of Faeldon had subscribed to his company's web hosting service for the latter.

House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo warned pro-administration lawmakers and the NTC on Wednesday against any move to take down Faeldon's controversial website.

"Faeldon's right to put up and maintain a website is protected by the constitutional provisions on free speech and free expression. Calls to shut down the Faeldon website do not have any legal or constitutional basis and seem aimed only at pleasing President Arroyo and vainly shielding her from legitimate criticism," Ocampo said in a statement.

"What is the administration afraid of? If they do something to Faeldon's website, it would be viewed locally and internationally as nothing more than censorship," said Ocampo.

The congressman stressed that the government has no right to interfere, impede or hamper free expression by the people.

"Everyone has the right to criticize the government and even call for civil disobedience, as what Faeldon had done through his website. It is not a crime. Those who say otherwise do so because they are at the receiving end of the criticisms and protests."

Ocampo added that if the NTC shuts down the Faeldon website, it could be a bad precedent to the closure of other websites and blogs, a growing number of which have become critical of the Arroyo government.

The fugitive leader of the Magdalo group, who escaped last December 14 after a court hearing for leading the foiled military mutiny in Oakwood, has been calling for the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through his website.

Apparently taunting government, Faeldon even posted pictures and videos of his alleged visits to military and police installations after his escape.

He was recaptured last week but the website was updated afterwards.

Cell phone betrays snatcher

By Rhodina Villanueva, The Philippine Star

The cell phone he stole also gave him away.

Magellan Boaloy, 26, jobless and a resident of Barangay San Isidro, Parañaque City, was arrested nine days after he was placed under police surveillance with the help of the phone’s tracking capability.

Superintendent Ronald Estilles, Parañaque police chief, said Boaloy was tagged as the man who took the Nokia 6630 belonging to the granddaughter of the late Speaker Ramon Mitra Jr. last Jan. 17.

Monica Ann Mitra, a resident of Parañaque City, was with friends at a fastfood restaurant along President’s Avenue when Boaloy grabbed her cell phone and wallet.

The victim tried to run after the suspect, but was threatened with a caliber .38 revolver.

Mitra reported the incident to the police, whose job was made easier since the phone had "tracker" features provided by the network operator.

SPO3 Elpidio Soquiña, officer-in-charge of the follow-up unit of the Parañaque police, said his team was able to recover the phone from a certain "Richard," who provided them with the address of the man who sold him the phone.

In the afternoon of Jan. 26, police conducted an operation at the Lovewind Compound in Barangay San Isidro and apprehended Boaloy in the Bicutan area.

Apart from cell phone snatching, the suspect is also involved in pickpocketing, and robbing sari-sari stores and other commercial establishments.

Police also learned that the suspect has a pending warrant of arrest for attempted homicide.

Estilles said that the suspect was positively identified by the victim as the man who took her cell phone and wallet.

Boaloy is now detained at the Parañaque police station as robbery charges are being readied against him.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Niche providers will be big in ’06--outsourcing matchmaker

SMALLER outsourced services providers are expected to dominate the outsourcing industry in the Philippines this year as more US-based clients look for more specialized offerings, according to an executive of an outsourced services matchmaking firm.

Philippine IT Offshore Network (PITON) chief operating officer Ralf Ellsperman said in an interview that enterprising companies wanting to enter the outsourced services industry should start by looking at niche demands, particularly in the field of logistics, billing and collection, human resource, retail, travel and hospitality, among others.

Ellsperman explained that the Philippine outsourcing industry has seen a tremendous growth in the last three years, with the outsourcing requirements of Fortune 500 firms already being distributed to established outsourcing firms.

Ellsperman noted that the Philippines has also achieved a level of competence that many US firms are looking for, though new demands for back-office requirements are prompting them to find outsourcing providers that have specific capabilities.

“The large services have been played out already. Smaller firms can start by looking into more niche services. They don’t have to think big, only to look for what is in-demand from US clients,” Ellsperman said.

Ellsperman also predicted that there would be an increase in acquisitions of smaller service providers by bigger companies in the Philippines, a typical trend in the IT industry where bigger hardware or software makers acquire smaller companies that are offering specific solutions.

“These big outsource providers could be on the lookout for small companies to buy. That’s how the IT industry works. I see [a] continued upward trend in this industry in the next three to five years and it’s no surprise that new types of services offered by niche outsource service providers will come out,” Ellsperman said. (INQ7 - Asian Journal)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

NTC: Globe and Digitel plan to invest $700m in 3G

Globe Telecom Inc. and Digital Philippines Inc. (Digitel) will invest a combined $700 million in their 3G (third generation mobile technology) network, an official of the National Telecommunications Commission said yesterday.

Edgardo Cabarrios, NTC director for common carrier and authorization department, told reporters Globe plans to invest $400 million to $500 million while Digitel is spending about $240 million.

Globe and Digitel earlier received licenses to operate a 3G network. Globe said it would be ready to start commercial operations as early as the first quarter this year.

Rodolfo Salalima, Globe senior vice president and corporate and regulatory affairs head, said Globe’s investment would depend on the number of cellsites to be constructed.

“Now that we have been given our desired 3G frequency, we can rapidly deploy our 3G service at the shortest possible time. With 3G operations, we are now ready to provide the public state-of-the-art technology,” Salalima said.

William Pamintuan, Digitel senior vice president for legal services, earlier said the company started to laying the groundwork for its 3G rollout. Digitel is the parent company of Sun Cellular brand.

“We are confident that Digitel will be a major player in offering the 3G technology to mobile phone users,” Pamintuan said. Alena Mae S. Flores - Manila Standard Today

Do-not-text registry needed in RP, says solon

By Erwin Lemuel Oliva, INQ7.net

THE PHILIPPINES should follow the footsteps of United States regulators and come out with its own national do-not-text registry in order to further protect Filipinos from unwanted and unsolicited text messages, a lawmaker proposed Monday.

Catanduanes Representative Joseph Santiago said that Filipinos are still being bombarded with unwanted text messages despite steps taken by local regulators to discourage it.

The US regulators have established a national do-not-call registry that gives American consumers the choice not to receive telemarketing calls at home for five years.

The Philippine National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has come out with regulations on broadcast text messaging, which gives local consumers the choice not to receive broadcast text messages from local operators. Operators use broadcast text messages to push advertising and value-added services they offer.

"We haven't seen his proposal. But if it's going to solve text spam, I'm all for it," said NTC Deputy Commissioner Jorge Sarmiento told INQ7.net, reacting to Santiago's proposal.

Santiago said that local mobile telephone subscribers, including him, are still getting unsolicited text messages, despite initial steps taken by regulators to curb the sending of unsolicited text messages.

Santiago, vice chairman of the House transportation and communications committee, says that he receives three to four unwanted text messages each day.

"And it appears the messages increase shortly after one avails of a service, such as downloading a traffic report. Worse, in some cases, subscribers actually get billed for receiving uninvited messages," he added.

The Philippines has about 35 million mobile phone subscribers, making it the fifth largest mobile telephone subscriber base in Asia, next to China, Japan, India and South Korea.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Deadline set for rival telcos to settle call-promo issue

By DARWIN G. AMOJELAR, The Manila Times Reporter

The National Telecommunications Commission has given rival telecommunications companies two weeks to resolve issues regarding a promotional call-rate offered by market leader Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.

"If there is no agreement, complainants can file an administrative case against PLDT, whether we will issue a cease and disease order or not," Ronald O. Solis, NTC chief, said.

Citing the representations made by Innove Communications Inc., Globe Telecom Inc. and Sun Cellular, Solis said PLDT’s rivals claim the telco’s offer is unrealistic.

He said PLDT set a benchmark whereby access rates are supposed to go down if rivals achieve a volume traffic of 15 million minutes.

Approval of the PLDT promo, Solis said, depended on the telco offering preferential rates to other carriers that would seek inclusion in the promo.

PLDT’s rivals said the market leader’s P10-per-call promo, which allows its landline subscribers to call subscribers of unit Smart Communications Inc. at a discount, is "cut-throat competition that would lead to a monopoly.

"We feel together with Sun Cellular, that [the PLDT promo] is cut-throat and anticompetitive," Froilan Castelo, Globe assistant vice president for corporate and regulatory affairs, told reporters following an NTC hearing last week.

Castelo noted that the PLDT P10-per-10-minutes promo cannot be sustained with the existing P3 to P4 charge the market leader imposes on rivals. "How can you earn for a P10 per 10 minutes call [if you’re supposed to pay] P4 a minute [using] a mobile phone," he pointed out.

He noted that Globe pays PLDT a P3 to P4 access charge a minute. "They might [be] subsidizing each other. [It is] bad for the industry, cut-throat is essentially an evil in any industry and in fact is illegal," Castelo said.

"The purpose of cut-throat [competition] is you are operating at a low cost in order to kill competition. Cut-throat competition would lead to [a] monopoly, [which] is worse," he added.

Castelo said Globe is willing to sit down with PLDT, but the market leader should disclose the access charges and settlement arrangement.

Bill Pamintuan, Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. legal counsel, said PLDT’s promo renders other telcos unprofitable.

Pamintuan added that Sun Cellular is willing to interconnect if PLDT will disclose the terms of reference of its promo.

"Digitel will participate in the P10 unlimited [promo] only if access rates are reasonable," he said, without specifying what amount would be reasonable.

Ongpin telco increases capital

Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprise Inc. (CURE) has raised its paid-in capital as required by the National Telecommunications Commission in line with its 3G (third-generation) technology operation.

In a letter to NTC dated January 27, Eric O. Recto, CURE president, said the company’s paid-in capital was increased to P451.442 million, from P119.302 as of end 2004.

Recto added that the money was raised from the company’s shareholders.

Under the NTC memorandum order, CURE shall be required to increase its paid-in capital not later than thirty days from the date of assignment of the frequency.

"With this increase in paid capital, CURE has fulfilled all the requirements in accordance with its award of the 3G frequency," Recto said.

CURE, a company controlled by former trade minister Roberto Ongpin, plans to provide services within 12 months from the grant of authority to operate 3G, touted to be the next biggest thing in telecommunications as it allows much faster connection to existing wireless telephone networks and faster Internet access for the transfer of volumes of data in various forms.

In a document submitted to the NTC, the company said its capital expenditure for a five-year roll-out plan amounts to P11.55 billion: P3.95 billion in the first year, P1.93 billion in the second,P2.48 billion in the third, P1.66 billion in the fourth, and P1.85 billion in the fifth year.

The company also expects to generate an estimated P143 billion in revenues in five years.

The company also said it plans to install an initial number of 280 base transceiver stations, which will serve an initial market niche of at least 200,000 subscribers in designated areas for the first 12 months of operations from grant of authority.

Alvin Geli, CURE chairman, said the company committed to cover 95 percent of the provincial cities and municipalities and 90 percent of chartered cities.

The commission earlier gave CURE a score of 20.5, making it the fourth applicant to be awarded the 3G license, trailing Smart Communications Inc. with a perfect score of 30; Globe Telecommunication Inc., 29; and Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc., 28.

Other applicants that failed to secure a license were the Lopez family-led Bayan Telecommunication Inc., Multimedia Telephony Inc. and Pacific Wireless Inc.

US Internet companies snub congressional hearing

Agence France-Presse

WASHINGTON--The leading US-based Internet companies are showing little interest in attending a congressional briefing on worries that the firms are bending to the wishes of China's censors.

Microsoft and Cisco Systems have refused to attend the event, while Google and Yahoo are non-committal, officials said.

The firms were asked to attend the February 1 briefing by the Congressional Human Rights Caucus following uproar caused by search giant Google's decision last week to censor websites and content banned by China's propaganda chiefs.

"We have heard from Microsoft that no representative from the company will attend the briefing. So, with Cisco Systems, this makes two companies that have confirmed they're opting out," Lynne Weil, spokeswoman for caucus co-chairman Democratic Representative Tom Lantos, told Agence France-Presse.

As the briefing date gets closer, "others are still unfortunately keeping us in suspense," she said. "It is mystifying why these companies would not want to take part after all this is an opportunity to clear their names," Weil said.

Google agreed to censor websites and content in its search service launched Wednesday in China.

The move followed similar actions by rivals Microsoft and Yahoo in cooperating with Chinese censorship.

Cisco's technology-savvy machinery allegedly censors Internet messages and helps Beijing track down Chinese cyber dissidents.

Americans believed Internet growth will bring about greater freedom of expression and political openness in China but instead of promoting these values, some US firms have been charged with aiding -- or at least complying -- with Chinese Internet censorship, said a statement by the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

Its briefing is scheduled to be chaired by Democratic Representative Tim Ryan, lead sponsor of a bipartisan legislation seeking to address China's "manipulation and undervaluation" of its currency.

Weil said all five non-governmental groups invited to the briefing had confirmed participation. They were media watchdog Reporters without Borders, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Toronto University and Harvard Law School.

"It is a sham that the American Internet firms are refusing to be accountable to US Congress and at the same time working hand in glove with the Chinese authorities," said T. Kumar, Amnesty's advocacy director for Asia.

"It is also a paradox that while US multinational companies are for example prohibited from doing any business or trade with Myanmar following human rights sanctions there, Google and others are colluding with the Chinese government in human rights abuses," he charged.

Kumar called the US Congress to enact laws preventing American firms from joining any state-sponsored stifling of human rights to give credence to US foreign policy.

Amnesty is treating as "prisoner of conscience" a Chinese journalist jailed last year by Beijing following information provided by search engine Yahoo under court order, he said.

Google and other US Internet companies have also been invited for another Congressional meeting on February 15, convened by the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations.

Chris Smith, the Republican Representative chairing the panel, is considering legislation requiring Internet companies to locate e-mail servers outside "repressive countries," his spokesman Brad Dayspring said.

Also being considered is legislation to prohibit the export of Internet technology to countries restricting free speech, and to establish a government office solely to counter Internet jamming by these countries, he said.

Google's Chinese site restricts locals from searching for information about Tibetan independence, the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, the banned spiritual sect "Falungong," and Taiwan.

"If you search Tiananmen Square on the google.cn, you get these colorful pictures of a place that looks like Disneyland but if you search google.com for Tiananmen Square, you will find the pretty pictures but will see the real story of the government led slaughter as well," Dayspring said.

"The story of the students who stood up to their government and were consequently slaughtered should not be erased from history as Google has empowered the Chinese government to do," he added.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I C E in your cellphone


I C E in your cellphone

It maybe helpfull someday....

Subject: ICE in Your Cell Phone

The London bombing incident has promoted concerns and I share
with you what one of my European colleagues just sent.
As long as everyone knows what ICE stands for, it is
not a bad idea. A useful thing to add to your mobile
address book!

It was thought up by a paramedic who
found that when they went to the scenes of accidents
there were always mobile phones but they didn't know
which numbers to call and he thought that it would be
a good idea if there was a nationally recognized name
to file "next of kin" under.

Following the disaster in London . . .East Anglian
Ambulance Service have launched a national "In case of
Emergency (ICE)" campaign with the support of
Falklands war hero Simon Weston.

The idea is that you store the word " I C E " in your
mobile phone Address book, and against it enter the
number of the person you would wa nt to be contacted
"In Case of Emergency".

In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff
will then be able to quickly find out who your next of
kin are and be able to contact them. It's so simple
that everyone can do it. Please do.

Please will you also email this to everybody in your
address book, it won't take too many 'forwards' before
everybody will know about this. It really could save
your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest.

For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc.

Paramedics will turn to a victim's cell phone for
clues to that person's identity. You can make their
job much easier with a simple idea that they are
trying to get everyone to adopt: ICE.

ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. If you add an
entry in the contacts list in your cell phone under
ICE, with the name and phone no. of the person that
the emergency services should call on your behalf, you
can save them a lot of time and have your loved ones
contacted quickly. It only takes a few moments of your
time to do. Paramedics know what ICE means and they
look for it immediately. ICE your cell phone NOW!

Michelangelo "Mike" Cayabyab

Informatics to offer medical transcription courses

By Alexander Villafania, INQ7.net

IT education institution Informatics recently signed up with the American Academy of Medical Transcription (AAMT) to start offering its first medical transcription training program in the Philippines.

The training modules intend to improve both English communication skills and medical knowledge from basic to intermediate in students hoping to work in the medical transcription business growing in the country.

Among the modules are English grammar and style essentials, foreign accent dictation, human anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, diagnostic procedures, laboratory medicines, medical word building, and medico-legal concepts and ethics.

Participants with medical backgrounds would have 150 hours of lecture and 160 hours of on-the-job training. Those without medical skills would have 220 lecture hours and 160 hours of on-the-job training.

The program intends to train about 2,000 medical transcribers to enter the workforce this year, according to Informatics director for corporate learning Paul Dumaguin.

Statistics from the Medical Transcription Industry Association of the Philippines indicate that over 7,000 medical transcribers are needed to meet the demand of the medical transcription business.

The US is currently the biggest source of medical transcription and 45 percent of the work is being done by India.

Dumaguin said that medical transcribers can work for existing firms, but have an option to work at home as independent transcribers.

“Trainees typically obtain employment with an MT outsourcing firm, but with the growth of the industry, they have other options as well, such as putting up their own MT businesses,” Dumaguin said.

The worldwide medical transcription business is expected to grow to 25 billion US dollars within the next three years.

Exec to cable network: Screen explicit shows

THE Bacolod City Council, in an approved resolution, told Sky Cable Channel television to screen or prevent explicit shows from being shown to the general public.

Councilor Lyndon Caña, chairman of the committee on environment and ecology, said the cable network should install or make possible the installation of channel selection devices that would enable their clients from choosing channels they would like to watch.

Caña, in his resolution, said it has come to the attention of the City Council that some shows over SKY Cable TV are outrightly vulgar, immoral, and explicit.

The resolution said that "unlike in other places, like the US, there is no facility or device made available by this cable TV that would allow parents to lock or screen out undesirable shows especially from the access or view of their minor children."

It added that there is no doubt that the right to business and earn profit carries with it a corresponding social and moral obligation. (RLB) Sun Star

US is top spam-relaying country, says Sophos

Anti-virus firm reveals list of ‘Dirty Dozen’

By JOEL D. PINAROC, Manila Bulletin

The US has remained the top spam-relaying country in the world, a new report by anti-virus firm Sophos said.

Sophos, however, said that although the US remains on top of the chart, it has made significant reductions, and for the first time accounts for less than a quarter of all spam relayed.

Spam or ‘junk mail’ have been plaguing Internet users worldwide, as the unwanted e-mail can be easily relayed to millions of computer users in a matter of minutes.

About 24.5% of all spam is coming from the US, with China a close second with 22.3%, the Sophos report said.

Rounding up the top five spam-producing countries are South Korea, with 9.7%, France, with 5%, and Canada, with 3%.

Sophos also said the list gives an indication as to the nature of the spam problem, as "zombie" computers, responsible for relaying more than 60% of the world’s spam, can allow spammers to escape country-specific legislation, as they no longer have to be located in the same country as the spamming machines they operate.

The Sophos report further said that the level of non-English language spam is continuing to increase, with the vast majority now being relayed by computers hijacked by Trojan horses, worms and viruses under the control of hackers.

The report said sizeable increases are also happening in "pump-and-dump" stock spam, designed to artificially inflate stock prices before spammers sell shares at considerable profit.

The Sophos report meanwhile said the US has led the way in imposing severe penalties and fines for those found guilty of spamming. Recently, an Iowa-based Internet service provider was awarded .2 billion in a judgment against Florida-based spammer James McCalla, while another culprit, Daniel Lin of Detroit, is currently facing a sentence of at least two years imprisonment for his actions.

"It’s good news for the US, the tougher sentences being dished out are clearly making spammers feel the heat," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

The anti-virus firm recommends that computer users ensure they keep their anti-virus software up-to-date, as well as using a properly configured firewall and installing the latest operating system security patches, to reduce the risk of their PCs becoming part of a zombie network.

New broadband-over-power lines technology kicks off in Bataan

BALANGA CITY - A United States-based firm and the Peninsula Electric Cooperative of Bataan formally launched on Friday a new technology that will make use of electric lines not only for electric power but also for Internet connection, telephone lines and cable television.

Nextream Broadband Philippines, a US-based firm with Filipino-American businessman Tyrone Javellana as chairman and chief executive officer, introduced broadband-over-power-lines technology in Bataan.

Ronald Fesalbon, Nextream’s chief technical officer, said the towns of Pilar and Abucay and the City of Balanga, the base of the project, are already on-line and ready for commercial operation before the second week of February.

He explained that with the use of a modem priced at P1,200, one can have Internet access or telephone connection anywhere by simply plugging it to any electric convenience outlet available in the house or at the office.

Fesalbon said that with the use of BPL, overseas call to the United States will cost only five cents for every minute as compared to 40 cents charged by other cell-phone companies.

Penelco general manager Loreto Marcelino said the Bataan electric distributor is honored to be the premier and pilot partner of Nextream in the noble venture aimed at empowering the people in the rural areas.

"Penelco is the first in the country which registered 100-percent electrification for Bataan in 1997 and we are glad to be part of this project that will make Balanga the first ‘wired city’ in the Philippines," Marcelino said. - ABS-CBN NEWS