readers heart i heart 360

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my column piece “I heart 360” was the seventh overall most-read column for the week Aug 20-26.

Yup, “I heart 360” was somehow sandwiched between Recah Trinidad’s “Why Pacquiao is a favorite in pool parlors” (Bare Eye) at number six and Ruben Nepales’ “Will Fil-Am Cheryl Burke win at the Emmys?” (Only in Hollywood) at number 8.

Thanks to all those who read it. I really appreciate your support.

Here’s the complete list of the overall Top 10 columns.

Check out my column piece for this week, “So long, Pluto, and thanks for all the flat fish.”

Here’s an excerpt:

What I can’t agree with, however, is the insistence of some people that Pluto should remain a planet because it’s tradition. We grew up knowing that Pluto is a planet, and our sentiments should carry more weight than a bunch of scientists. I’ve heard it in one form or another being raised by various pundits: What do they know?

But even though Pluto’s fate was decided by a vote, this is science, not a popularity contest. This isn’t American Idol where you can vote for your favorite and keep trying to make him or her win even if your candidate isn’t the most talented one. We are making new scientific discoveries all the time, and our knowledge of the solar system is quite different today than it was years ago.

so long, pluto

Well, what do you know — they voted off Pluto.

This after the International Astronomical Union adopted a new definition of what a planet is after a long and sometimes bitter debate. Originally, it looked like the solar system would have 12 planets instead of 9, but now there are only 8 after Pluto was relegated into the new category of dwarf planets. Check out this BBC News FAQ for answers to some of the burning questions you might have on why Pluto’s no longer a planet.

At least the widow of the scientist who discovered Pluto is taking it relatively well. She’s frustrated by the decision, but said that her late husband, being a scientist, would have understood.

Some scientists, however, including Alan Stern, who leads the NASA New Horizons mission that was launched in January to send an unmanned space probe to Pluto and its satellite Charon, have criticized the decision.

Online petitions like this one have also been launched to save Pluto. Meanwhile, enterprising individuals are cashing in on little Pluto’s demotion.

And jeez, what happens to astrology now? Not to mention all our textbooks.

Thank God we live in the age of the Internet. Wikipedia’s already updated. Here’s an excerpt from their Pluto entry as of this writing:

Pluto is a dwarf planet (until 2006 classified as a true planet) in the solar system and the prototype of a yet to be named family of Trans-Neptunian objects.[1][2] From its discovery in 1930 to 2006, it was considered the ninth and smallest of the planets of the Solar System by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). However, after contemporary observations, recent discoveries and currently available scientific information were evaluated and debated, the IAU decided, on August 24, 2006, to reclassify Pluto as a dwarf planet, requiring that a planet must “clear the neighbourhood around its orbit.”[3] It had qualified as a planet under a draft definition[4] that had been proposed by a committee of the IAU, but which was not accepted by the IAU General Assembly.

Is Neptune next?

Damn, this getting to be like the ultimate reality show. Survivor Solar System, anyone?

read more | digg story

advertise on sacha chua’s laptop

Here’s a crazy idea from one of my favorite geek girls and tech evangelists, Sacha Chua, heh.

Yup Sacha, thanks, this did add “a little craziness to [my] day.”

Check out my CNET Asia tech blog post “Cute geek girl wants you to advertise on her laptop.”

Here’s Sacha’s post:

Advertise on my laptop!

Want to reach the hippest geeks at BarCampEarthToronto? Advertise on the back of my laptop!

I’m Sacha Chua, and I’m a tech evangelist. Give me something cool to talk about. =) Looking for people to hire? Want to get your product or service in front of geeks? Just want to do something cool? Buy an ad on my laptop!

The back of an 8.9″ laptop screen *really* doesn’t seem like much space to advertise on, but *everyone* looks, believe me. It’s the irresistable combination of cute geek girl _and_ insanely tiny laptop.

And it happens *every* *single* *time.* It helps that I have small hands. Most people just can’t deal with gadgets that small. Sure, black Macbooks are trendy, but they’re not as rare as a *teensy* little laptop that a geek girl is happily typing away on. (In Emacs, no less.)

I can’t help it. I get attention. I might as well make use of it.

More to the point: _you_ might as well make use of it.


Basic: USD 1.00 for 0.5″ x 0.5″ (USD 4.00 for 1″ x 1″)

Reach more than 50 of Toronto’s geekiest people during BarCampEarthToronto (Saturday, Aug 26) and lots more on Sunday (Aug 27) with an image of your choosing! (I’ll put it in a “Sponsors” area.)

If people ask me about your ad at BarCampEarthToronto, I’ll give them your URL or contact information.I’ll link to you from this page and at least once on each of the blog pages for the two days of BarCampEarthToronto.

If people allow me to share their contact information with you, I’ll e-mail you after the event with the names and contact information of people who were interested. You get pictures of me posing with whoever asked about it, if they agree.

Premium: USD 2.00 per square half-inch (0.5″ x 0.5″)

Basic benefits, PLUS: If people ask me about your ad, I’ll tell them you sponsored it and then enthusiastically deliver your elevator pitch (approximately 40 seconds) and then give people your URL or contact information. You get a special mention on this page and in each of my blog entries about BarCampEarthToronto during the event.


So what are you waiting for? BarCampEarthToronto is this weekend – get your order in now! I’ll accept orders until Thursday, August 24, 2006, 11:59 PM EST (and maybe a little later depending on how late I sleep).

Buy some adspace on my laptop now! E-mail me at with:

How many blocks of 0.5″x0.5″ would you like? Basic or premium? (Feel free to bid more than the suggested price. =) ) What URL do you want your ad to link to?You can e-mail your graphic to, or if you want me to add plain text, just ask. I’ll get in touch with you by Friday morning to discuss your order (and your elevator pitch, for premium advertisers)!

Advertising space is also available on my skateboard, although I won’t be bringing it to BarCampEarthToronto. =)

I reserve the right to refuse ads I find offensive or way out of character. Be nice or I’ll boo you.

Think Sacha’s idea is cool? Digg it!

i heart 360

Here’s an excerpt from my INQ7 Infotech column piece:

Some gamers might insist on waiting for the Sony PlayStation 3 or the Nintendo Wii, which are scheduled to come out this November, but man, you could be happy playing on a next-gen console right now. And getting my hands on an Xbox 360 reinforces my belief that Xbox Live is the killer app. This is where the real money will be, not necessarily from the sale of game consoles or retail titles.

Xbox Live is becoming an online community, marketplace and advertising network all rolled into one. Now that I’m on the new version of Live, I can tell you that this is a vast improvement over the old one which we had access to through the original Xbox. One of the coolest things about Xbox Live is that you can download demos of a lot of Xbox 360 titles. Xbox 360 titles don’t come cheap, so the ability to try before you buy is a welcome one.

Read the full story.

state of play iv: law, games and virtual worlds

I’m happy to share that I’ve been invited to be one of the speakers at the “State of Play IV: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds” conference which will be held in Singapore from January 7-9, 2007.

The conference is sponsored by Harvard, Yale and New York Law Schools in cooperation with Trinity University in Texas and the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

I’d like to thank conference organizer Dr. Aaron Delwiche, assistant professor at the Department of Communication of Trinity University, for this great honor.

Check out my CNET Asia tech blog post for more details.

we’re turning japanese, we really think so

Japanese game developer GaiaX invited a few Filipino gaming journalists to an informal lunch meeting organized by Chester Chi, representative director and CEO of Truly Asian Partners Co. Ltd. We had a great time with Chester and Misayo Kurata, game business division sales manager of GaiaX.

Here’s a photo of me and Sansan de Leon of Studio 23. Thanks to Jayvee Fernandez of GAME! magazine for the pic.

GaiaX provided us copies of the Twinkle trailer and other press assets, and since Mike Abundo has already uploaded the movie to YouTube, I’ll just embed the video file here so you could check out Twinkle in action.

Check out the full story over at CNET Asia.

read more | digg story