Starbucks and Doha

Maybe, I was just being too sentimental last Sunday as I sipped a Java Chip Frappucino in Starbucks in the Doha Citi Centre.

Last Taste of Starbucks in Qatar

Yes, that was supposed to be my last taste of Starbucks in Qatar.

More pictures….

Signage

Currently

Currently, I’m here in the waiting area in the airport ready to fly back home. Adieu Qatar! See you friends when I see you!

Gilbert Arenas Loves NBA Live 2008

NBA Live 2008 Gilbert ArenasI don’t know, but a good game should be a good game. On his blog, Gilbert Arenas has this to say:

Loving NBA LIVE
I played NBA LIVE ’08 against Kevin Durant and I lost bad. I sucked. It was the first time I played it though. I didn’t play ’07, I didn’t play ’06, I didn’t play ’05. After a while I thought that it wasn’t getting better so I became a 2K fan. But then the people at EA Sports came and told me they wanted to make the game better, I came on board because my first basketball game was NBA LIVE ’95. So once they started getting out of character it was like they weren’t progressing with the game so I became a 2K fan and then now I’m back to LIVE and I think all the 2K fans are going to come back to LIVE again because they’re going to see they made progress. It’s a lot smoother. It’s not as choppy as it used to be. It’s realer now. It’s not like, “Oh, this is fake. That doesn’t happen.” That’s all you used to say. You can’t say that now.

Well, what I say is let the veterans play it and let’s hear what they have to say. As for me, I’m starting to doubt EA Sports.

There are some trailer videos of the game in youtube. One example:

NBA Live 2008

And it looked really good. However, videos like the ones below make me really think twice:

NBA Live 2008 – Go To Moves Trailer

O c’mon EA, you have always been into that. “Signature moves!” Haven’t you had enough? Haven’t you perfected that aspect yet. We need a revolutionary change especially in the gameplay settings!

Finally an Upgrade

Finally, I’ve made the much needed upgrade of my wordpress intallation from WordPress 2.0.4 to WordPress 2.2.2. After more than a year, I was able to finally carry out the upgrade.

In concert with the upgrade, I also brought in some new features into the site for a better browsing experience. Visit the homepage to find random quotes at the top of the page and some sideblogs.

Furthermore, we are introducing more new features. Well, they’re not really that new. They have long been in the development phase. I was just waiting for the right time to formally launch it.

  • Forums
  • In this blog, I initiate all the discussion and everyone can participate. In the forums, any member can initiate discussions based on topics that interest them. Of course, anyone can still participate. That is, if you visit the forums.

    The forums are organized according to categories and forum topics related to deuts.net.

    Marky and I actually have a good discussion there regarding: if you were given a chance, the resources, and an informed judgement, which set of lenses you should have in your camera bag? (Ultimate set of lens – Dream set) Anyone can join the discussion.

  • Gallery
  • I’m actually trapped into this dilemma about which gallery should I retain:

    1. Gallery based on wordpress and falbum plugin; or
    2. Gallery based on satellite stand-alone program

    Both programs use images hosted in my flickr account. That way, I don’t have to maintain two galleries. So, for people without access to flickr, either because they’re denied access to flickr by their network servers (e.g., office networks) or their countries’ internet service providers (e.g., UAE), I’m afraid you can’t test out both galleries.

    To help me with this dilemma, I would really appreciate if you find time to test the two galleries out and judge them according to their look, the interface, the speed by which it loads images, in short the whole browsing experience. Please leave your comment below.

Even though the pagerank of deuts.net recently slid down from PR4 to PR2, well, we are not actually after pagerank position at all. Deuts.net primary reason for being is to connect. So, till next time!

Canon New Releases

I call it hot releases! I can’t help myself from drooling over these new Canon products:

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

1D Mark III

There are only two lines of products in the Canon EOS series that have a full frame sensor. That is the Canon EOS 5D and the 1Ds series. Now, Canon is introducing the latest in the 1Ds series, the Mark III, bragging a 21 megapixel image resolution. This 1Ds Mark III, though, is not as fast (5fps) as its counterpart in the 1.3x crop body, 1D Mark III (10fps). Nevertheless, this is a full frame body we’re talking about.

Read all the new features here.

Canon EOS 40D

EOS 40D

The EOS 40D is an upgrade from what I own, the EOS 30D. How much upgrades were? As far as I’m concerned:

  • 10.1 megapixels over 8.2 megapixels
  • 6.5 frames per second (fps) over 5fps
  • 3″ LCD preview screen
  • EOS integrated cleaning system, that which already exists in the 400D to remove dust particles from the sensor
  • LCD with live view mode, that which is like a compact digital camera that you may frame the image by looking at the LCD screen, not the viewfinder only

I said “as far as I’m concerned” because these are the new features I would have opted should I have the choice between the two (30D and 40D). There are more new features or upgrades from the previous system, which I find not that important to me. You can see all those features here.

The Live View Mode, although will more likely drain your battery faster, would be very helpful while shooting from awkward angles such as ground level macro or mounted tripod shots.

New Lenses

Canon also introduced lenses. I find these lenses not interesting, though, and I don’t intend to acquire one. Yet, for the sake of info, here they are:

  • EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM
  • EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS – an upgrade from the former packaged kit lens. I guess the IS at the longest 55mm would not be that effective
  • EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS – this will be the longest focal range in the EF-S series

Interestingness

Unfortunately, DSLR’s are not like mobile phones. You may be capable of getting the latest in the Nokia series at anytime, but I don’t think so for DSLR’s. They are not that cheap. So, this post is actually just for the sake of info (again! LOL).

Deuts Into the World of Photography

Lens CollectionThis represents my lens collection (Click on the picture to enlarge). This is, of course, exclusive of the lens I used to take this particular picture, the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM.

So far we have the following:

– Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM
– Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
– Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
– Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM

Focal Range Coverage

These lenses cover a focal range from 17mm to 300mm in a 1.6 crop body. In a full-frame body, this translates to an equivalent 27mm to 480mm. Just enough (I guess) for my needs.

Lenses that almost complement each other

I said “almost” because I should be lucky to be so sure. Yet, I have this feeling that this collection complement each other in a symmetrical manner. There appears to be a pattern. To wit:

  • I have two primes (fixed focal length) and two zooms
  • The zooms have IS (Image Stabilization), while the primes don’t have. Yet, the whole range described above is covered by the IS
  • The primes are basically for low-light photography both with maximum apertures of 1.8, one for wide-angle (28mm) and the other for medium telephoto (85mm)
  • The zooms both have maximum apertures at f/4-5.6, one for general walk around (17-85mm) and the other for super telephoto (70-300). The two lenses overlap at negligible range 70-85mm.

No L Lens

What? No red stripe in any of my lenses? No L Lens?

Yeah, unfortunately, unlike Mark, who already have the EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM and EF 70-200 f/4L USM, I don’t have any L-series lenses in my arsenal. I think that’s fine, sour grapes aside. Anyway, from the start I thought that if I should get an L lens, it would be for the superphoto lens, just like Mark Q’s EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM.

I’ll be fine with my EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM for the following reasons:

  • It is capable of delivering quality pictures already, provided that you take the shots at well lit places like outdoors in a sunny day.
  • It is very much lighter compared to those L lenses and easy to carry around.
  • It is black, as compared to white L lenses, that helps you keep a low profile. It can be inconspicuous if you don’t want to blow your cover while sneaking around taking pictures.
  • You get an extra 100mm focal range at 300mm, which converts to extra reach, as compared to the 70-200’s

Yet, if the time comes when I have virtually unlimited access to resources (who knows! LOL!), I might as well collect the best in the L-series.

Fill in the bag

A sneak peak into the contents of my camera bag, you will get to see the gears as shown in the picture that follow:
What's In The Bag

The next lens

I guess so far I’m satisfied with what I currently have in my arsenal. And oh, a macro lens. What do I think of the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM? Hmmmmmm…. let me check…

  • No budget
  • No more room for it in my bag
  • Redundancy, focal length already covered, it will most likely serve only as a macro lens

Yet, pretty interesting lens, huh….LOL..!

Your Battery Could Overheat While Charging

Nokia BL-5CNokia released a product advisory regarding Nokia BL-5C batteries manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. Ltd. of Japan between December 2005 and November 2006. More than 100 incidents of overheating of the said battery while charging have been reported globally.

I’m reposting the advisory from Nokia website here in verbatim:

Dear Nokia Customer,

This is a product advisory for the Nokia-branded BL-5C battery manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. Ltd. of Japan between December 2005 and November 2006. This product advisory does not apply to any other Nokia battery.

Nokia has identified that in very rare cases the affected batteries could potentially experience over heating initiated by a short circuit while charging, causing the battery to dislodge. Nokia is working closely with relevant local authorities to investigate this situation.

Nokia has several suppliers for BL-5C batteries that have collectively produced more than 300 million BL-5C batteries. This advisory applies only to the 46 million batteries manufactured by Matsushita between December 2005 and November 2006. There have been approximately 100 incidents of over heating reported globally. No serious injuries or property damage have been reported.

Consumers with a BL-5C battery subject to this advisory should note that all of the approximately 100 incidents have occurred while charging the battery. According to Nokia’s knowledge this issue does not affect any other use of the mobile device. Concerned consumers may want to monitor a mobile device while charging that contains a BL-5C battery subject to this product advisory.

While the occurence in the BL-5C batteries produced by Matsushita in the time-period specified is very rare, for consumers wishing to do so, Nokia and Matsushita offer to replace for free any BL-5C battery subject to this product advisory.

The BL-5C batteries which are subject to the product advisory were used with the following Nokia models or separately as accessories:

    Nokia 1100, Nokia 1100c, Nokia 1101, Nokia 1108, Nokia 1110, Nokia 1112, Nokia 1255, Nokia 1315, Nokia 1600, Nokia 2112, Nokia 2118, Nokia 2255, Nokia 2272, Nokia 2275, Nokia 2300, Nokia 2300c, Nokia 2310, Nokia 2355, Nokia 2600, Nokia 2610, Nokia 2610b, Nokia 2626, Nokia 3100, Nokia 3105, Nokia 3120, Nokia 3125, Nokia 6030, Nokia 6085, Nokia 6086, Nokia 6108, Nokia 6175i, Nokia 6178i, Nokia 6230, Nokia 6230i, Nokia 6270, Nokia 6600, Nokia 6620, Nokia 6630, Nokia 6631, Nokia 6670, Nokia 6680, Nokia 6681, Nokia 6682, Nokia 6820, Nokia 6822, Nokia 7610, Nokia N70, Nokia N71, Nokia N72, Nokia N91, Nokia E50, Nokia E60

“Nokia” and “BL-5C” are printed on the front of the battery. On the back of the battery, the Nokia mark appears at the top, and the battery identification number (consisting of 26 characters) is found at the bottom. If the battery identification number does not contain 26 characters, it is not subject to this product advisory.

If you have a BL-5C battery, I advise you to visit the Nokia website as you can check there particularly your battery whether it is one of 46 million batteries affected. You might want to submit your battery’s serial number and the site will return whether your battery is affected or not. Then, if your battery’s affected, you might want to proceed with the process of requesting for a replacement battery online.

Note, however, that although Matsushita is in Japan, this advisory does not apply to batteries with labels “Made in Japan” only. I submitted mine’s serial number and it was “Made in China”, and it said that mine’s as well affected.

100 Years of Academic Excellence

The University of the Philippines is celebrating its 100 years of academic excellence next year. That’s from 1908 to 2008.

Received the following through email, which by the way can also be found here.

Description of the UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES CENTENNIAL LOGO 1908-2008

UP Centennial LogoThe Oblation is a symbolic icon representing the UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES. It captures the UP spirit, which has endured for a century: the country’s youth sacrificing itself in the service of the country. This figure is in the foreground of the UP Centennial logo.

Behind it is the Sablay, the sash worn by UP students upon their graduation. It is distinctive, in that across it is inscribed the word “UP” in Alibata letters. This is symbolic of the University’s commitment to remaining the country’s premier institution of higher learning.

Behind the figure of the Oblation is a globe, with the map of the Philippines highlighted. This represents the University’s taking its rightful place in the world as the National University of the Philippines.

Colors:
The University’s official colors – forest green and maroon
Alibata inscription on the Sablay – yellow

PNP Found Use of Youtube

In an effort to inform the public on how members of syndicates, street criminals and just plain hustlers ply their trade and how not to become victims of crimes, the Philippine National Police has found a good use of youtube.

These are really informative videos. I just wish, though, that these videos find their way broadcasted in mainstream media or more specifically major TV stations, as the latter will find more audience that will most likely fall victims to crimes demonstrated in the videos.

The videos were hosted by P/Supt. Gilbert Cruz and production done in Tagalog or Filipino. Here are some of them:

Criminal Modus Operandi – ATM Scam

Criminal Modus Operandi – Kotong (The Money Shortchange)

Criminal Modus Operandi – Street Actor’s Syndicate

Criminal Modus Operandi – Fake Plate, Sticker and License

The complete set of videos can be watched from here.