Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Study bares 11 BPO sites outside MM

The well known alternatives are Baguio City, Clark and Subic, Cavite City, Sta. Rosa in Laguna and Lipa in Batangas. These are certainly easy to reach from Manila, with good infrastructure and connectivity to boot.
By Riza T. Olchondra - Philippine Daily Inquirer

THERE is no more question that the Philippines is a prime location for outsourced services, tasks for which a company hires another firm to do, and for offshore services, so called because the services are contracted to a company located outside the country where the client is headquartered.

A study by the Institute for Development and Economic Analysis Inc. (Idea) said that the Philippines is earning over P3 billion annually from the outsourcing and offshoring industry, with most of the players located in Metro Manila.

As these companies expand to cope with exponential growth, rental rates and labor costs skyrocket in Metro Manila, the study said. This raises the pressure to find new locations where there is enough labor pool.

The well known alternatives are Baguio City, Clark and Subic in Pampanga, Cavite City, Sta. Rosa in Laguna and Lipa in Batangas. These are certainly easy to reach from Manila, with good infrastructure and connectivity to boot. But what of others?

Idea chief Cayetano Paderanga Jr., former director general of the National Economic and Development Authority, said that outsourcing and offshoring companies have 11 other sites to consider.

Up north, Tuguegarao City and Cabanatuan City were found to be viable alternatives to Baguio.

Going to the Visayas, the Bayan-commissioned study showed Iloilo, Bacolod, Camarines Sur, Dumaguete and Leyte to be the best sites south of Batangas.

Further down south, Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and South Cotabato are giving Metro Manila a run for its money.

"What these locations offer are relatively lower cost of doing business, nominal minimum wage, and population density compared with Metro Manila. While Manila still have more graduates in offshoring-related fields who are fluent in English, these locations have enough English-speaking graduates to sustain supply. They may even offer less attrition because the young graduates would be employed near the home, unlike their counterparts in Metro Manila," Paderanga said.

He noted that in general, the alternative sites present minimal business risks from natural calamities and crime.

In the end, though, studies can only serve as guides and it is up to outsourcing and offshoring businesses to check out the alternative sites for themselves, said Paderanga.

"We cannot endorse a certain location, the company has to look through the data and decide where it will actively scout for a suitable site. The Philippines has many locations to choose from, even some with tourist attractions thrown in as a plus-factor. The important thing is that alternative sites are maximized to sustain supply for this fast growing industry and at the same time spread development outside Metro Manila," he said.

The study was commissioned by Bayan Telecommunications Inc., a local phone company which offers telecommunications products and services geared for outsourcing and offshoring companies.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

DepEd not ready for CyberEd


DepEd not ready for CyberEd

Experts cite serious implementation problems

By Rene Q. Bas, Editor in Chief , Manila Times

Top-ranking information and communication technology experts who participated in the full-day November 9, 2007, roundtable on the Department of Education’s Cyber-Ed Project (CEP) say the department is not ready to handle the $465.5-million project.

They find serious problems in the CEP.

They are urging DepEd planners to restudy the project and make it truly responsive to the real needs and problems of the country’s education system.

This special report, which will run in three-installments, is the first time the discussion papers generated at the roundtable held at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, are being released to the public.

DepEd presentation

More than 50 roundtable participants listened to Assistant Secretary of Education Jesus Mateo describe and explain the project through a PowerPoint presentation.

A team of experts supported Assistant Secretary Mateo, who is also the DepEd’s director in charge of the Cyber-Ed Project.

Chief of Staff Glenn Sumido of the Office of the Secretary of Education was also a roundtable participant.

Of the 50-plus participants more than 30 are educators and education-ICT experts. University presidents, vice-presidents, heads of faculties and school principals also actively took part in the roundtable.

Forbidden to submit text

The full text of Mateo’s presentation, complete with slides and additional amplifications, should rightly be in this special report. Mr. Mateo was, however, forbidden by a superior to submit his paper to the organizers for inclusion in the complete Report of Proceedings of the Roundtable.

The Mateo presentation was more thorough than those he had given in other venues. It gave roundtable participants new elements not found in the pre-roundtable version of the DepEd website’s pages promoting the CEP.

Mateo’s presentation, as does his DepEd website, reviewed the problems of Philippine basic education. He stressed the need for government to take drastic measures to make sure that all learners are provided with the resources they need to learn while also improving the effectiveness of the system.

Overarching framework

He said, as Secretary Jesli Lapuz has been telling audiences, that DepEd sees the Cyber-Ed Project (CEP) as the “quickest and most cost-effective way to deliver high quality education to all learners” and “a total solution to multiple persisting educational problems.” CyberEd will be made the overarching framework for all education ICT initiatives in the public basic education sector.

Mateo told the roundtable facts that we also reported in our first special report on the CEP (published on August 19, 2007). CEP will have a nationwide network utilizing satellite technology; 12 video channels, wireless wide area networking and Internet made available to schools, even in the remotest areas.

As many as 37,794 elementary and secondary schools will be benefited but only 26,618 of these will receive equipment. The other 11,176 will be covered by means of a “clustering scheme” through less advanced audio and video devices.

CEP will cover all elementary grades and high school levels.

Panel of reactors

Mateo’s presentation was immediately followed by talks and presentations made by the expert panel of reactors.

The panel was made up of Dr. William T. Torres, president of Mosaic, Inc.; Dr. Merle C. Tan, director of the UP NIS-MED; Dr. Allan Bernardo of De La Salle University’s College of Education; and Dr. Alexander Flor, dean of the UP Open University’s Faculty of Information and Communication Studies.

Satisfactory answers

Mateo and his support team gave satisfactory and frank answers to questions raised after his presentation. His team did so again in the formal open forum that followed the talks of the panel of reactors. Asian Institute of Journalism president Romulo Tuazon was the moderator.

Workshop groups

The participants broke up into three workshop groups, each group assigned to discuss a different set of essential areas of reform and development in basic education.

The conclusions and recommendations of the roundtable emerged from these groups and were aired and further assessed at the plenary session.

The Manila Times School of Journalism in partnership with the University of the Philippines’ National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NIS-MED) convened the roundtable. It was held in the UP NIS-MED conference hall in Diliman, Quezon City.

Dr. Fe Hidalgo, former DepEd secretary and now president of The Manila Times Education Group, served as lead convener of the roundtable.

Dr. Josefina Patron, consultant to the National Broadband Network, headed the organizing and management committee.

The complete proceedings of the roundtable will be available on The Manila Times website beginning January 14

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IBM predicts 5 life-changing innovations in next 5 years

Melvin G. Calimag - Manila Bulletin

Buoyed by the enthusiasm it got for the first list it issued, technology giant IBM has released the second annual "IBM Next Five in Five" list of innovations, which it said have the potential to change the way people work, live, and play over the next five years.

According to the US-based tech firm, the list was based on market and societal trends, as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Labs around the world that could make the innovations a reality.

Below are the technology innovations expected to change people’s lives:

1. It will be easy for you to be green and save money doing it:

A range of "smart energy" technologies will make it easier for you to manage your personal "carbon footprint". As data begins to run through our electrical wires, dishwashers, and more will be connected directly to a "smart" electric grid, making it possible to turn them on and off using your cell phone or any Web browser.

Technology will also provide you with up-to-date reports of electrical usage, so you can monitor how much you are spending and how much energy you are putting out, just like you can track your cell phone minute usage today.

2. The way you drive will be completely different:

In the next five years, a coming wave of connectivity between cars and the road is going to change the way you drive, help keep you safe, and even keep you out of traffic jams. The cities you live in will find a cure for congestion using intelligent traffic systems that can make real-time adjustments to traffic lights and divert traffic to alternate routes with ease.

Your car will have driver-assist technologies that will make it possible for automobiles to communicate with each other and with sensors along the road. Your car will automatically tell you where traffic is jammed up and find you an alternative route to take.

3. You are what you eat, so you will know what you eat:

We’ve all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’, but with foods being sourced across international borders, the need to ‘know exactly what you eat’ has never been so important.

In the next five years, new technology systems will enable you to know the exact source and make-up of the products you buy and consume. Advancements in computer software and wireless radio sensor technologies will give you access to much more detailed information about the food you are buying and eating.

4. Your cell phone will be your wallet, your ticket broker, your bank, your shopping buddy, and more:

In the next five years, your mobile phone will be a trusted guide to shopping, banking, touring a new city, and more. New technology will allow you to snap a picture of someone wearing an outfit you want and will automatically search the Web to find the designer and the nearest shops that carry that outfit.

Your phone will also guide you through visiting a city. When you turn on your phone in a city you are visiting, it automatically provides you with local entertainment options, activities, and dining options that match your preferences, and then make reservations and purchases tickets for you -- like a personal concierge.

5. Doctors will get enhanced "super-senses" to better diagnose and treat you:

In the next five years, your doctor will be able to see, hear and understand your medical records in entirely new ways. In effect, doctor’s will gain powerful technologies that will allow them to gain x-ray like vision to view medical images; super sensitive hearing to find tiniest audio clue in your heart beat; and ways to organize information in the same way they treat a patient.

An avatar -- a 3D representation of your body -- will allow doctors to visualize your medical records in an entirely new way, so they can click with the computer mouse on a particular part of the avatar, to trigger a search of your medical records and retrieve information relevant to that part of your body, instead of leafing through pages of notes.


Google RP’s Year-End Zeitgeist highlights hot searches in 2007

Google RP’s Year-End Zeitgeist highlights hot searches in 2007

Jose Rizal, boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and actress Angel Locsin tops personality searches

Edison D. Ong - Manila Bulletin

Without question, Filipino celebrity boxer Manny Pacquiao is one of the top, much sought-after personalities in 2007. So is Angel Locsin among female actresses.

But for National Hero Jose Rizal to score higher than Pacquiao, that’s an interesting fact revealed in Google’s Philippines YearEnd Zeitgeist highlights hot searches in 2007. However, Locsin tops the two heroes.

A report furnished by Google Philippine’s local PR counsel to InfoTech, stated, "With the end of the year in sight, it’s time to reflect on what made 2007 special. Today we’re releasing our Zeitgeist for the Philippines the fastest-rising search terms that people have been typing into Google.com.ph in 2007.

"Zeitgeist means spirit of the times and because people use Google to search for what's new and interesting, their queries, when seen in volume, tend to be a good reflection of what's on everyone's minds.

"Amazingly enough, as many as 25 percent of the search queries we get on any given day are new meaning we have not seen them before. The Google Zeitgeist is calculated by looking at the aggregation of the most popular and fast-rising search queries being typed into the Google.com.ph search box."

Here are the major results.

Top personality searches are: Angel Locsin, Avril Lavigne, Jose Rizal, Katrina Halili, Manny Pacquiao, Britney Spears, Vanessa Hudgens, Paris Hilton, Akon and Kim Chui.

Top searches are: Friendster, YouTube, Wikipedia, Cebu Pacific, SSS (Social Security System), games, dictionary, Naruto, Philippine Airlines, and NBA.

Fast-rising searches are: imeem, friendster-layouts, Inquirer.net, iPhone, crunchyroll, Granado Espada, Facebook, Princess Hours, esnips and YouTube.

Top local female actress searches are: Angel Locsin, Katrina Halili, Kim Chui, Diana Zubiri, Angelica Panganiban, Marian Rivera, Ehra Madrigal, Toni Gonzaga, Maui Taylor and Maja Salvador

Top TV show searches – local and foreign (excluding sports and news programs) are: Naruto, Pokemon, Princess Hours, Pinoy Big Brother, Bleach, Heroes, Jumong, Prison Break, American Idol and High School Musical.

Top Tagalog word searches are: tula (poem), talumpati (speech), maikling kwento (short story), salawikain (proverbs), bugtong (riddle), panitikan (literature), alamat (legend), wika (language), alibata (traditional alphabet) and tayutay (figure of speech).

Top travel and tourism-related searches (excluding airlines) are: Boracay, Singapore, US embassy Manila, Enchanted Kingdom (a local theme park in Sta. Rosa, Laguna), DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), WO Philippines, Bohol, Cebu, Puerto Galera and China.

Top music-related searches are: Imeem, lyrics, Emo, Avril Lavigne, ultimate guitar, iTunes, My Chemical Romance, Britney Spears, mp3 and High School Musical.

Top sports-related searches are: NBA, PBA (Philippine Basketball Association), pacland (official website of Manny Pacquiao), WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), Manny Pacquaio, UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines), boxing, Nike, ESPN and UFC.

Top tech gadget-related searches are: iPhone, PSP (PlayStation Portable), iPod, Nokia 6300 and Nokia N95.

Top Government agency searches are: SSS (Social Security System), POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Agency), PRC (Professional Regulation Commission), PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office), PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Commision), NSO (National Statistics Office), Comelec (Commission on Elections) and TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority).


Intel severs alliance with One Laptop Per Child

Agence France-Presse

SAN FRANCISCO -- Computer chip giant Intel said Friday it has severed its alliance with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative aimed at getting computers into the hands of children in developing countries.

Intel said it parted ways with OLPC after the non-profit group insisted the US firm abandon its own low-cost laptop, the Classmate PC.

"We are still very much in alignment with the mission and objective of OLPC," Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy told Agence France-Presse.

"We wish them well but because of a philosophical impasse we left their board of directors."

OLPC downplayed Intel's importance to the coalition of firms devoted to the organization's mission and accuses Intel of violating a pact.

"We at OLPC have been disappointed that Intel did not deliver on any of the promises they made when they joined OLPC," OLPC said in a written statement.

"While we were hopeful for a positive, collaborative relationship, it never materialized."

Intel maintains that it honored all of its promises to OLPC and recently completed a prototype laptop based on its computer chips.

The fallout between Intel and OLPC is due to a demand that the chip maker commit itself exclusively to the organization's XO laptops, according to Mulloy.

Intel has licensed technology to a Taiwan company that makes Classmate PC laptops, which compete with OLPC's offering in the low-cost arena.

It is estimated that a billion affordable laptops are needed by children and teachers in poor and developing countries and Intel maintains that the goal will best be met by multiple marketplace offerings.

"For years we have said there is no single solution," Mulloy said.

"We agree with OLPC that the need is tremendous. The difference is how to deal with that need. It is not one size fits all. Our Classmate PC is an option and we think others will emerge this year."

Intel says that tens of thousands of Classmate PCs costing nearly 300 dollars each have been sold.

OLPC says it has sold approximately 300,000 XO laptops, priced at $188 each and powered with chips from Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices.

OLPC accuses Intel of not working cooperatively on software development and coming up with an XO laptop design that was an expensive electricity guzzler.

"We view the children as a mission," OLPC said in its statement. "Intel views them as a market."

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'It was not a hacking incident'--PLDT

By Erwin Oliva - INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines -- There was no hacking incident, a spokesperson of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) told INQUIRER.net, as it reacted to news of several government websites it hosted being redirected to a website of a Philippine theme park.

“It was not a hacking incident. We had problems with the software managing these websites,” said Ramon Isberto, spokesperson of PLDT, as he explained how the website of the Department of Justice (DoJ), and dormant websites of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police (CIDG-PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Information Technology and E-commerce Council -- now a defunct body -- were found to be redirected to the official site of the Enchanted Kingdom theme park in Laguna.

Isberto said that the DoJ website was part of a cluster of websites whose management software had gone bad.

“The DoJ website was in the same cluster as the Enchanted Kingdom website. There were problems in the configuration [of the system hosting these websites]," the PLDT spokesperson added.

Isberto said the other government websites are also part of the same cluster of websites.

PLDT has also given the DoJ a written explanation of what happened.

Earlier, an Internet security expert from TrendLabs Philippines and a director of the Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team agreed that the recent redirection of at least three government websites to the Enchanted Kingdom website could be due to a “network setup problem.”

As of Friday, the ITECC website was restored, while the PNP website has been taken down.

Government websites affected by the redirection were www.itecc.gov.ph, which is an old website of the defunct ITECC; the www.cidg.pnp.gov.ph, a dormant address of the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the www.doj.gov.ph, which was fixed immediately. All government websites were redirected to the official website of the Enchanted Kingdom, a popular theme park located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

The Enchanted Kingdom website is hosted by Infocom Technologies, a local Internet service provider owned by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. The "itecc.gov.ph" domain is hosted by Infocom Technologies, a local Internet service provider owned by PLDT, a check on host of the domain name "itecc.gov.ph " revealed.

Infocom Technologies also appeared as host of the DoJ and the NBI websites.

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