Paddle to the Grave

guest-post-iconThis is a guest post from Raymond.

I’m an Upsilonian. And the last thing in my mind right now is to act self righteously and pretend and declare that my fraternity or this and that fraternity is pure and pristine.

Like the rest, I and my fraternity, condemn that stupid and senseless act of violence that transpired last Sunday during the Bar Exam Salubong. Those responsible should have their heads cut off in return since apparently they’re not using them anyway.

My point is that I hope the rest of the citizenry would not be that sweeping in generalizing that the entire fraternity system is all evil – because it’s certainly not. The same way establishing network and “connections” is not the be all and end all of everyone joining a fraternity – because that’s certainly lame and shallow.

The (not a few?) bad eggs unfortunately cast a very dark cloud on the entire fraternity system; pretty much overshadowing all the noble ideals and undertakings that fraternities are founded on and are living by.

But the police shouldn’t be abolished just because there are Mendozas, Binayugs, Jeuteng and kotong cops within their ranks. The justice system shouldn’t be scrapped just because there are hoodlums in robes within the august halls of the courts. And how unpopular this may be, Congress shouldn’t be abolished just because there are Arroyos, Singsons and a host of other shady characters who are in the House.

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I still believe that it is pea-brained individuals who destroy a system; not really the other way around. So is it just fair that these individuals / sub groups a.k.a. thugs, be held liable and accountable, and not the institution / system in its entirety?

I’m not that sure though if I’m in the best position to talk about what is fair or not; for lives and limbs have been lost throughout the years. And whether I like it or not, I’m part of the system people have typecast as the root of all this mess.

Until people realize that there’s still a line (no matter how thin) separating fraternity members from paddle swinging, lead pipe wielding, gun toting and pillbox throwing blood thirsty gangsters, I and all fraternity members will have to bear the stigma of being no different than your common thug.

As a parting shot, allow me to end by shooting out this question:

The late Ninoy Aquino was my brod. Is he a martyr, or was he a thug?

Twitter's OAuth Authentication, Twikini, and Windows Mobile

As early as April this year, Twitter announced that it will drop third party applications’ authentication other than OAuth to connect to Twitter, and it happened in September 1, 2010. That means that authentication methods like keying in your username and password will not work anymore.

The OAuth method means that in order to use a desktop, mobile or online application to interface with Twitter, you will need to click a link that will bring you to the Twitter page (see sample screenshot below) to authorize the connection.

Examples of desktop applications are Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Twhirl, etc. Examples of online applications are Twitter on Facebook, Friendfeed, Twitpic, and even the various WordPress plugins. For Mobile phone, well, there are different applications for each operating system (e.g., iOS, Android, BlackBerry’s RIM, Windows Mobile, Symbian, etc.).

I have read or heard from various blogs about Twitter’s absolute use of OAuth authentication. But I ignored it, thinking that I don’t develop twitter applications and so that should really be least of my concerns.

Until now, when I found out that I couldn’t use my Twitter app for Windows Mobile, Twikini, anymore.

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Twikini

Twikini is a Windows Mobile client for Twitter. It’s actually one of my favorite WinMo Apps that I paid $4.95 for it to the developers, Trinket Software. It’s lean and fast, just as the developers describe:

FAST! Unlike other Twitter apps for Windows® Mobile, Twikini is written entirely in native C++ code for maximum performance and the fastest load time possible.

The software I paid for comes with free future upgrades, should there be any. Actually, without further upgrades, that latest version of Twikini I installed was already fully functional in its own right. There were a few bugs but ignorable, which usually only occur when there are connection issues.

However, starting September 1, I discovered I couldn’t open Twikini anymore, and it kept asking for my Twitter login credentials. I supplied the correct username and password –yes, but nothing is doing right. Then I read around and it has got to be because of Twitter’s new authentication policy.

And the worst thing about it is Trinket Software already stopped updating the software for my version (6.5) of Windows Mobile.

Sorry guys, with the shape WM 6.x is in, we've moved on to other projects. Twikini will be back on WP7.

Pls note: Twikini will likely stop working later this month (see http://www.countdowntooauth.com). No further updates are planned.

Now, ain’t that great? I paid for a software thinking it comes cheap for a fully functional Twitter application, when it was actually worthless to begin with. I felt like I was robbed by Twinket Software with a few dollars by selling me trash.

The Blame Game

Yet, at the end of the day, Twikini stopped working to connect to Twitter in Windows Mobile. Who’s really to blame?

On one hand is Twinket Software, the developer of Twikini, for reasons discussed above. On the second is Twitter for dropping authentication methods other than Oauth. The third and the last, Windows Mobile, for being abandoned by users and application developers alike.

More related readings about Twikini and Twitter’s OAuth

The Easiest Way to Install WordPress and Other Web Applications

If you are like me who keeps installing WordPress from time to time, to accommodate various projects, then this simple tool would probably fit the bill.

Instant Install explains how this works:

Just upload our tiny PHP installer to your server where you want the app installed, load the file in your web browser, choose an app and follow the instructions.

Once you’ve selected an app, our installer then downloads and extracts it to your server and then forwards your browser to the setup.

There are other utilities for auto-installing WordPress like Cpanel’s Fantastico and Bluehost’s SimpleScripts. The matter is: the former is hard to customize and does not always carry the latest version of the software, while the latter is a paid service unless you are a Bluehost subscriber.

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I have tried installing WordPress using this script, and the installation was a breeze. You just have to be ready with the database, the database user credentials, and your login information.

I have not tried installing other apps, but the website tells us it can likewise automate installing (in so far) the following applications:

CCTV Cameras and Security

The use of CCTV camera is a detective form of security. It isn’t as effective as the preventive ones like putting up security guards in the premises to secure the area or perimeter from unauthorized entries (and exit). It only allows you to review and take action AFTER the wrong has been done.

That’s why putting up CCTV cameras alone will not ensure security of your office or building. They do require the attentiveness and skepticism on the part especially of the lobby guards.

Videos from these cameras can only be used to identify the culprit. That is, if the culprit is from the same building at all. What if he/she were a total stranger, just like in the video below.

This video was recorded from our company’s CCTV camera, which faces the office door fronting that of our neighbor’s.

CCTV cameras ensure that you have a record of any crime that happened. Certainly, they do not prevent crime from happening.

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