The (almost) two decades old graduated tax table that defies inflation

Back in 2008 (7 years ago!), I called for a major revamp of the ‘then’ decade old and obsolete tax law, specifically for the part pertaining to individual income taxes. Since then, minor revisions were made, like the exemption of minimum wage earners and adjusting the 13th month pay and other benefits ceiling excluded from the computation of gross income.

[Read: Rappler—Aquino signs law raising tax exemption cap for bonuses.]

NIRC of 1997
National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 book July 2009 Edition by Danilo A. Duncano. This book may need revisions, but not as much as that of the law itself.

Yet, the gist of individual income taxation remains, that is — the (almost) two decades old graduated tax table that defies inflation. Continue reading “The (almost) two decades old graduated tax table that defies inflation”

Knockoffs are nowhere near the real deal

GooPhone is one of those Android device manufacturers that make clones of the iPhone. With the recent unveiling of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, GooPhone has come out with the GooPhone I6S, which is the same size and form factor as that of the iPhone 6S and made to appear to run iOS 8.

Here is the video review of the GooPhone I6S for reference:

I have tried customizing an Android device (a Samsung Galaxy S2) before, changing the launcher and icons to make it look like the latest iPhone. Then, after spending quite a number of hours customizing its appearance, it struck me–no matter how much time I spend on customization, no matter the extent of every detail I copy, it is still an Android device pretending to be an iPhone.

So, heed my advice: if you want an iPhone for a smartphone, save and spend on an iPhone. Custom-making an Android device to make it look like an iPhone is just a pathetic way of showing how much you really want an iPhone. After all, knockoffs are nowhere near the real deal.

The role of technology in chess and cheating

At the start of the 2015 World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, where security was tight so that watches and pens were not allowed in the playing hall, GM Hikaru Nakamura of USA tweeted:

I beg to differ. The proliferation of cheating in chess tournaments was brought about by the level of sophistication in our technology today, so that watches (or smartwatches for that matter) and even pens can be used to cheat in chess games. Thus, it is not cheating per se that forced players to part with their watches and pens during games. Instead, it is advancements in technology that made cheating more accessible, thus thrust tournament organizers to be stricter about their rules.

2015 (Chess) World Cup is happening in Baku, Azerbaijan 

The 2015 Chess World Cup is happening in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, from 10th September to 5th October. It is a 128-player knock out event where the top two players qualifies for the Candidates tournament next year, the qualifying tournament for the World Championship.

Continue with the knockout pairings tree»

Make Space for iPad Pro — the 12.9-inch Apple tablet

Stayed really late last night to watch the Apple Event on my Apple TV. After the boring discussions about the Apple Watch, Tim Cook eventually introduced the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad Pro during an Apple media event in San Francisco, California, September 9, 2015. Reuters/Beck Diefenbach
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad Pro during an Apple media event in San Francisco, California, September 9, 2015. Reuters/Beck Diefenbach

At 12.9-inch diagonal size, the screen is much like most laptops there currently are in the market. I surmise it is now positioned to take on the laptop market this time. That is, if those who consider replacing their work laptop with the iPad Pro are not deterred by the idea of expending additional dough for the Smart Keyboard and/or Apple Pencil.

Quick specs of the iPad Pro after the jump»

Colinear WordPress Theme and the broken ‘Related Posts’ section

Update (September 11, 2015): I submitted a ticket to WordPress Support about this issue, and it appears they have acted upon it promptly. Kudos to a certain David who responded to my ticket. The related posts section design is now fixed in Firefox.

I’m using the Colinear theme right now, and so far I’m loving it–except for the broken design when using a ‘large and visually striking layout’ in the related posts section.

Here’s the screenshot of the options window complete with the preview of how it is supposed to look like:


And this is how it actually looks like: Check out how it actually looks like after the jump »

‘Featured Images’ is a WordPress feature that badly needs fixing

We’ve seen WordPress improve over the years. Unfortunately, not all these improvements help better our experience. Indeed, you cannot please everyone.

Take for example the Featured Images feature. A lot of themes display the Featured Image, should you have tagged one in your post, as is right before or after the post title. These are not magazine-style themes and the featured image is presented nowhere near special at all. Why didn’t they just remove it altogether?

Below is a screenshot of my blog post with a Featured Image using Colinear theme: Check out the screenshot after the jump »

Philippines’ National Holidays for 2016

The Philippine Gazette published an Infographic that lists the 2016 holidays in its Twitter account.

Continue reading “Philippines’ National Holidays for 2016”

Thinking Twice About the Features We Want in Our Cars

According to Top Gear Philippines: Study shows carmakers are pouring money into features we don’t even use.

The more high tech the cars have, the more things that could go wrong. This is exactly what Phil Edmonston was talking about in this CBC News video:

So don’t fret if you can’t afford that shiny new luxurious mid-size SUV. It is a valid excuse, although I sound sour-graping by saying so.

Why I’m reluctant to install a dashcam

Top Gear Philippines (TGP) writes: Every driver should now get a dashboard camera; here’s one for your consideration.

Photo by Top Gear Philippines
Photo by Top Gear Philippines

I have to say the TGP article isn’t really about selling the idea of why dashboard cameras are a must for all drivers, but I myself am totally convinced that indeed I should get one. In fact, the same Transcend DrivePro 200 is in my short list.

The only problem I have with that is dealing with the cables that go with the setup. Not that I always keep a nifty car dashboard and/or console, but the nasty wirings is surely an additional item to worry about.

So, unless there’s a dashboard that enables a nifty setup, I’m holding off my purchase.