Navigating the Challenges of Mobile Payments: A Lesson from GCash Spam SMS

Paying bills has never been easier, thanks to the advent of mobile payment solutions like GCash and Maya. However, my recent experience with GCash highlighted a significant issue that needs addressing.

The Issue with Spam SMS

Recently, I was paying for my Globe Postpaid plan and decided to use GCash for the transaction. However, in the past few days, I’ve been inundated with spam marketing SMS from GCash. The frequency and irrelevance of these messages were frustrating, so I decided to block GCash in my Google Messages app.

The Unintended Consequence

When I attempted to pay my bill via GCash, I didn’t receive the OTP (One-Time Password) required to complete the transaction. It quickly dawned on me that GCash was blocked, preventing the OTP from coming through. I unblocked GCash temporarily, but the OTP still took too long to arrive. This delay was unacceptable, especially when trying to complete a time-sensitive transaction.

Embracing Text-Based Content: Efficiency and Clarity in Digital Learning

In a digital landscape dominated by videos, sometimes simplicity and speed are all you need. Leo Laporte, the Tech Guy, once lamented the frustration of clicking on a video only to wade through minutes of unnecessary intros and prompts to like, subscribe, and hit the bell icon.

Consider scenarios where you’re in a quiet environment or simply prefer to read instructions quickly. Opening a video might not always be practical or preferred. This blog focuses solely on text-based content, ensuring you can access information swiftly and without distraction. …

Why You Should Avoid Installing Obsidian via Snap on Ubuntu

If you’re an Ubuntu user and have installed Obsidian, the popular note-taking app, using the Snap package, you might have encountered an unexpected inconvenience: when opening links from your notes, they launch in a separate browser profile labeled as ‘Profile 1’. This profile is distinct from your default browser profile, complete with its own set of cookies, bookmarks, and extensions.

This behavior can be frustrating, especially if you’re used to seamlessly integrating your browsing experience with your notes. Here’s why this happens and what you can do about it:

Understanding the Issue: Snap Package Peculiarities

Snap packages are known for their sandboxing approach, which aims to enhance security by isolating applications and their dependencies from the rest of the system. While this isolation can be beneficial for security reasons, it also means that applications installed via Snap may behave differently compared to their counterparts installed via other methods like Flatpak or .deb packages.

One notable difference is how Snap handles application interactions with the system, such as opening external links. In the case of Obsidian installed via Snap, opening links from within your notes triggers the opening of your default browser in a separate profile. This ‘Profile 1’ is independent of the profile you typically use for your browsing activities, resulting in a disjointed user experience. …

House of the Dragon Season 1 Recap: Everything You Need to Know Before Season 2


As we eagerly anticipate the release of “House of the Dragon” Season 2, it’s essential to revisit the intricate and dramatic events of Season 1. The series, a prequel to the acclaimed “Game of Thrones,” plunges us into the tumultuous history of House Targaryen, nearly 200 years before the rise of Daenerys Targaryen. Season 1 masterfully sets the stage for the epic civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, a conflict that threatens to tear the Targaryen dynasty apart. Through political intrigue, personal betrayals, and spectacular dragon battles, the first season captivates and prepares us for the storm that is about to unfold. …

Understanding SharePoint Indexing: When Does SharePoint Automatically Index Columns?

SharePoint automatically indexes columns in several instances:

  1. Primary Key Columns: When you create a list, SharePoint automatically indexes the primary key column (ID field) for faster retrieval.

  2. Unique Columns: Columns marked as unique are automatically indexed to enforce uniqueness.

  3. Lookup Columns: Columns used as lookup columns in other lists are automatically indexed to optimize lookup queries.

  4. Managed Metadata Columns: SharePoint automatically indexes managed metadata columns to enhance performance when filtering or sorting by these columns.

  5. Indexed Columns in Views: Columns included in indexed views are automatically indexed to improve view performance.

  6. Indexed Columns in Large Lists: In large lists, SharePoint automatically indexes frequently used columns to improve performance.

  7. Date and Time Columns: Columns with date and time data types are automatically indexed to optimize date-based queries.

These automatic indexing features help improve performance and efficiency in SharePoint lists and libraries.

UITF Historical NAVpU Data – Making them Readily Accessible

The Trust Officers Association of the Philippines (TOAP) maintains a comprehensive website at, which is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the performance and Net Asset Values per Unit (NAVpUs) of various Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs) managed by banks and financial institutions. The site provides up-to-date NAVpU data, usually available by the next banking day, alongside detailed profiles of each fund and their historical NAVpUs, albeit protected by a reCAPTCHA.

For analysts and investors like myself who require historical NAVpUs for deeper analysis, it would be ideal to have an API or a JSON format feed for seamless data retrieval. Unfortunately, TOAP has not yet provided such a feature, which adds a layer of complexity to data collection.

To address this gap, I have developed a PHP script that automates the downloading of these pages from various banks and financial institutions daily. The script then saves the data in JSON format on a server, making it readily accessible. Currently, I’ve focused on banks where I have UITF accounts (BPI, BDO, MBTC, RCBC, and SBC), but this can be expanded based on utility and demand. …

Encoding and Decoding Data: CSV vs. JSON

In general, CSV (Comma-Separated Values) is more efficient in encoding a table compared to JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). This is because CSV is a simpler and more lightweight format designed specifically for tabular data.

CSV files are easy to read and write, and they typically consume less storage space compared to JSON due to their minimalistic structure. On the other hand, JSON is designed to store and exchange structured data in a more verbose and human-readable format, which includes key-value pairs and nested structures.

If the primary goal is to store tabular data or exchange data in a format optimized for tables, CSV is usually the more efficient choice. However, JSON provides more flexibility and features for handling complex data structures beyond simple tables. …

Actual Budget is the opensource selfhosted alternative to YNAB


I used to love YNAB (You Need A Budget), especially the classic desktop version, because of its fantastic features. The app’s zero-based budgeting system, real-time synchronization, and comprehensive financial reports were indispensable in managing my finances effectively. However, when YNAB transitioned to a cloud-only version and stopped supporting the classic desktop app, the sync became spotty. Additionally, the price of YNAB eventually turned me off, prompting me to look for a more affordable alternative. That’s when I discovered Actual Budget, a free and open-source option that offers similar functionalities.

Overview of YNAB

Key Features:
– Zero-based budgeting system
– Goal tracking and progress visualization
– Real-time synchronization across devices
– API for data extraction to tools like Power Query and Power Pivot
– Native mobile (Android and iOS) apps …

Why Dokuwiki is Still Better Than Bookstack in 2024

When it comes to choosing a documentation platform, two popular options often come to mind: Dokuwiki and Bookstack. Both have their strengths and unique features, but for many users, Dokuwiki still holds a superior edge. Here’s a detailed comparison of the two, highlighting why Dokuwiki remains a better choice for many.

Advantages of Dokuwiki

1. Extensive Plugin and Template Support

  • Extensions via Plugins: Dokuwiki boasts a vast array of plugins that extend its functionality, making it highly customizable.
  • Themes and Templates: Users can easily change the look and feel of their wiki with numerous themes and templates available.

2. User-Friendly Editing

Automating Google Sheets Downloads to Excel: A Simple PHP Script

In the digital age, managing data efficiently is crucial. Google Sheets, a widely used tool for collaborative data management, sometimes needs to be converted into different formats for further processing. One common requirement is to download a publicly shared Google Sheet as an XLSX file, which can then be used in Excel for advanced data analysis. Here’s a handy PHP script that automates this process.

Why Automate Google Sheets Downloads?

Downloading Google Sheets manually can be tedious, especially if the data is updated frequently. Automating the download process ensures that you always have the latest data in your desired format without repetitive manual effort. Additionally, the XLSX format is compatible with Excel’s powerful features like Power Query, making it easier to transform and analyze data. …

Multiple Retirement Fund Managers

It is not necessary that a company maintains more than one fund manager for its retirements fund. But nothing prohibits them from keeping more than one either.

Maintaining two fund managers for retirement funds can have both advantages and disadvantages:


  1. Diversification of expertise: Having two fund managers can provide diversification in terms of investment styles, strategies, and expertise. Each manager may bring unique skills and perspectives to the table, potentially leading to better risk management and overall performance.
  2. Risk management: By spreading your retirement funds across two different fund managers, you reduce the risk of being too heavily reliant on the decisions of a single manager. If one manager underperforms or makes poor investment choices, the impact on your portfolio may be less severe.


  1. Increased complexity: Managing retirement funds with two separate fund managers can add complexity to your investment strategy. It may require more time and effort to coordinate and monitor the performance of both managers effectively.
  2. Potential for conflicting strategies: Fund managers may have different investment philosophies or objectives that could potentially lead to conflicting strategies within your portfolio. This could result in inconsistencies in your overall investment approach and hinder your ability to achieve your retirement goals.
  3. Higher costs: Employing two fund managers may lead to higher management fees and expenses, ultimately reducing the returns on your investment. This additional cost could eat into your overall retirement savings over time.

Ultimately, the decision to maintain two fund managers for retirement funds should be based on your specific financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment preferences. It’s essential to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages to determine if this approach aligns with your retirement planning objectives.

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