Category Archives: laptops

A Google off-guard moment…again. (April 1)

Of all the April Fool’s Day jokes I eagerly await for, it’s Google’s that makes or breaks it for me.

Google Motion (Beta) Apr 1, 2011

Google Motion (Beta) Apr 1, 2011

Ever since its first April Fools Day joke pulled off to very unsuspecting users like myself in 2000, of its “Mental Plex” page (back then, the term “‘netizen” was still so much in vogue, preceded by the clichéd “information superhighway”, and “broadband speed” at home was a dream state we all wished to have), Google’s April Fool’s Day pages were the ones that’d get women like myself, inclined to a little bit of geeky-ness, happily face-palming and getting like-minded discussants into hours-long analyses, Google easter egg lists and such, in forums and chat rooms (it was even more fun when newer members joined in).

Eleven years into this tradition with a few hits and misses — TISP‘s description was so obvious it was corny even before I clicked on the link — Google’s April 1st jokes rank among those diversions that make hours of soaking up information online delightful.

Thinking that 2011’s Google’s Motion (Beta) could be a Mac-specific feature similar to LiquidMac, a fun, novelty app that mimics the movement of liquid in a computer by its orientation (using Apple laptops’ built-in sudden motion sensor technology), I thought , falling into the Apple-user snob mode I realized I hadn’t completely shed off yet (and feeling a little sorry for it), “So, is this cross-platform?,” yet something ticked the instant curiosity pushed the button.

This time, Google caught me off-guard. And a smack on the cheek to go with it. Fun!

My favorite April Fools Day Google joke so far are:

  • Scratch and Sniff (2008) and its reference to books vis-a-vis print getting more digitized;
  • Jobs at Copernicus Center (2004) with its nice illustrations and great geek-y copy;
  • Gmail Paper (2007) and how it resounds so much with life around email;
  • Gmail Custom Time (2008), in relation to above entry;
  • the CADIE (2009) project;
  • last, but certainly not the least, Google’s life-changing Gmail announcement (in relation to (2007) and (2008); see image grab above again for details).

Finally, a shoutout to Google and YouTube’s April Fools Day continuing collaboration. In celebration of Jackie Chan’s recently wrapped up film 1911 (ironically, Jackie Chan was just the subject of a Twitter hoax two days ago), YouTube’s wayback window and logo are too good to miss, I can’t let this pass.



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Filed under Apple, April Fools Day, Google,, internet, internet activity, laptops, Mac, Mac Apps, online tool apps, Sudden Motion Sensor, Video, YouTube

low-tech gets hi-tech

In May when my cousin was here for a visit, one of her concerns was charging purchases using her debit card at gas stations. No, it wasn’t that her card would not be honored; rather, the concern was perhaps the fact that the staff at our gas stations – greasy and poor lit as they are in some branches, the stations – might commit identity theft, whether intentionally or otherwise, as may have been the unfortunate experience of some of her friends and acquaintances back in the US.

Of course we assured her that incidence of card fraud was nearly unheard of in Manila. Ok, that may not be entirely true. But at least for us whom she was with, none among our circle of friends have so far been victims of such incidents.

Identity theft have been rarely reported in the news; some cases have been topics for late-night TV docu-series that told of MOs at ATMs or swiped payments made by shoppers in malls or department stores using credit cards, but even these establishments have put in place certain measures of verification prior to receipt of payment.

So, it does not mean that consumers are safer because we do not seem so hi-tech and covert – even the Love Bug author was supposedly found to be not much of a techie himself.

However, there is a bigger danger to unconcealed illegal activities in that the victims are far at risk because they face direct assault to their persons and properties. And when the low-tech lowlifes decide to go hi-tech, the consequences are instant, unsavory, and more damaging.

The irony to low-tech crimes on hi-tech properties – laptops in this case – is that the items stolen are [1] of no use to the thief [2] because the thieves themselves may be computer-illiterate. This does not mean, however, that the thieves are totally technologically challenged, as they reaffirm the dialogue on Invention. Therefore, in being so challenged by the prospect of getting their hands on a piece of technology, they resort to primitive means: smashing windows, unhooking car locks with wires, distraction (“What time is it?”) &mdash the usual, low-tech MOs, ho-hum, but it seems to work effectively. The overall irony, though, is that these thefts have been occurring more regularly lately, yet none have been reported in the news.

Could it be that the victims are not wont to bother filing a police report? Could it be because some see stolen laptops as merely a case of losing expensive toys and nothing more? I think what is missed out is the fact that laptops have become the equipment of choice for serious work by some people – no, make that most people here in the Philippines – my friends included. And what an investment in time, money and productivity it took them to make this choice possible. Caveat emptor!

Culled Stats:
• The price of a workhorse laptop (Apple or PC) is almost equivalent to a second-hand car.
• The most incidents of stolen laptops are from unattended vehicles parked in public places.
• The second most popular places for stolen laptops are in public cafés.
• There have been rare cases of Macintosh laptops being returned to their owners because they were password-protected.

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Filed under Apple, laptops, Manila