aol gold rush breaks new ground

Sigh, I wish we had something like this in the Philippines.

Check out “Gold Rush,” the groundbreaking interactive reality game from reality TV king Mark Burnett. It’s now live on

It’s a game that tests your pop culture knowledge, offering clues by pointing you to TV episodes you can watch and magazines you can read.

See, Mark gets it — it’s his first time to produce an online competition, and the level of integration of New Media with print and TV is amazing to see. Let’s see if this online competition can get more people to watch those shows and read those magazines, and if it will encourage more Netizens to explore AOL.

You need to be a US resident to register for the actual “Gold Rush” competition and get the chance to win the US$1, 000, 000 grand prize. Of course, you can still explore the site and enjoy the online games and other interactive content even if you can’t participate in the competition.

aol gold rush breaks new ground

cyberpress aims to make a difference with it

Here’s an excerpt from my CNET Asia tech blog post:

CyberPress (Information Technology Journalists Association of the Philippines) elected its 2006-2007 board members last night in a general assembly held at STI‘s iAcademy office in Makati City.

Founded in 1996 by then tech journalist and now Microsoft Philippines official Sam Jacoba, CyberPress is the country’s pioneering organization of IT journalists.

The idea behind CyberPress is that even though we work for competing publications and naturally want to outscoop each other when it comes to IT news, we could cooperate to achieve the common goals of making technical information accessible to more readers, educating the public on IT issues, and using technology to make a difference in the lives of Filipinos.

Read the full story.

cyberpress aims to make a difference with it

state of play iv update

The “State of Play IV: Building the Global Metaverse” site is now online. I’m one of the invited speakers at this conference that will be held in Singapore from Jan. 7-9, 2007.

Here’s the current list of confirmed speakers:

Confirmed speakers include, but are not limited to:

  • Joey Alarilla (Founding President of Asian Gaming Journalists Association)
  • Peng Hwa Ang (Chair of School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University)
  • Richard Bartle (co-designer of the first MUD)
  • Betsy Book (Makena)
  • danah boyd (UC Berkeley)
  • Greg Boyd (Kenyon and Kenyon)
  • Erik Champion (University of Queensland)
  • Vivien Chen (Nanyang Technological University)
  • Kevin Collins (Indiana University School of Law)
  • Aaron Delwiche (Trinity University)
  • Julian Dibbell (Play Money)
  • Cory Doctorow (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom)
  • Kjartan Emilsson (CCP Games — Eve Online)
  • John Erskine (Vice President, NCSoft Austin)
  • Steve Goldstein (Flagship Studios)
  • James Grimmelmann (Yale Law School/New York Law School)
  • Ge Jin (Director of Gold Farmers)
  • Yehuda Kalay (Center for New Media at UC Berkeley)
  • Raph Koster (A Theory of Fun)
  • Greg Lastowka (Rutgers School of Law)
  • Pathfinder Linden (Second Life)
  • Peter Ludlow (Only a Game: Virtual Worlds and the Journalist who Knew Too Much)
  • Thomas Malaby (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
  • Jeff Malpas (University of Tasmania)
  • Jane McGonigal (42 Entertainment)
  • Jessica Mulligan (Developing Online Games: An Insider’s Guide)
  • Joshua Fouts (Director of USC Center for Public Diplomacy Annenberg School for Communication)
  • Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong (Giant Robot)
  • Beth Noveck (New York Law School)
  • Cory Ondrejka (Linden Lab)
  • David Post (Temple Law School)
  • Ren Reynolds (Terra Nova)
  • Constance Steinkuehler
  • Neal Stephenson (Snowcrash)
  • Alice Taylor (BBC Worldwide)
  • Mark Wallace (Second Life Herald)
  • Sue Yang (Shanghai University of Sport)
  • Nick Yee (Palo Alto Advanced Research Center)
  • Judge Unggi Yoon
  • Frank Yu (Microsoft Research Asia Advanced Technology Center in Beijing)
  • Jonathan Zittrain (Oxford Internet Institute)

You can also check out Terra Nova, the conference’s official blog.

It’s truly an honor to be part of this. Somebody pinch me, I think I’m dreaming, heh.

state of play iv update

proud dad alert

Proud Dad Alert: The results of Sam’s first exams are in (she’s turning five in December and is a St. Paul Pasig Kinder 1 student — they call the exams for Kinder 1 the Paper Games, go figure), and guess what? She got a perfect score in all her tests!

Ellen and I are so proud of Sam!

Funny thing, I think she might become a scientist when she grows up, though usually she’ll say she wants to be a doctor — or a fashion model, depending on her mood. I’ve always loved science, and it’s always a thrill when I see her perform experiments or hear her talk about them.

The other night, she told me she was going to perform an experiment to create “futer matter” (fewter matter? Don’t ask me for the spelling, she was the one of who came up with the name).

“I’m going to make an experiment and make futer matter. You take insects, then you put them in a bottle. Then you take perfume. Then you add salt. Then you have a battery. You can make the insect a battery. It’s an Internet battery.”

She said the battery would be a circle, obviously referring to the small button cell batteries in some of her toys.

I asked her if she saw this futer matter experiment on TV or something, but she said, “No, I made it up.” Then she went on to gleefully describe how you can take broken pieces of stuff like glass, and pieces of insects like dead cockroaches (yuck, hehe) and make batteries out of them. Then she said something about making the batteries in America and Malaysia.

Good Lord, maybe she’s found the answer to the energy crisis.

Then, last night, she amused me with her usual game of pretending she’s working in an office. She would say stuff like, “Did you get my e-mail?” and pretend to answer calls on her toy cell phone, while turning her study table into an office desk.

I was teasing her, and pretended to be someone from a fastfood outlet calling her up.

Me: (makes ringing sound)

Sam: Hello? Who’s this? I’m in my office.

Me: This is Mr. Noodle.

Sam: Oh, hi, Mr. Noodle.

Me: So you ordered siopao for delivery? (I just finished reading her this children’s book on siopao that don’t want poor, grimy kids to eat them, go figure.)

Sam: No.

Me: But somebody called me up and asked me to deliver siopao.

Sam: I didn’t call. We have food here. We have lots of food, sorry.

Me: You don’t want siopao?

Sam: No sorry, we have food here. Sorry, wrong number. Bye!

Then I called her up again, pretending to be someone else.

Me: (makes ringing sound)

Sam: Hello? This is Sam.

Me: Hello, I wanted to ask when you’re delivering my siopao.

Sam: Oh, sorry, I don’t want siopao.

Me: No, no. I want siopao. I asked you to deliver it 20 minutes ago. Aren’t you Mr. Noodle?

Sam: No, I’m not Mr. Noodle. This is an office. The other office is a restaurant.

Me: But what about my siopao?

Sam: Sorry, wrong number. Bye.

Then I tried calling again, making a ringing sound. Sam kept pretending to write something. I kept making the ringing sound.

Without turning her head or stopping what she was doing, she said, “Missed call.”

proud dad alert

download games, movies via itunes 7

In all the excitement over Apple’s announcement that you can now download movies using the new iTunes version 7.0, you might overlook the fact that you can also buy casual games such as PopCap‘s Bejeweled, EA‘s Tetris and Namco‘s Pac-Man from the iTunes online store and play them on your iPod.

I’ve updated my iTunes app, and as you can see from the screenshot above, you have another good reason to get an iPod. Of course, it’s irritating for us in the Philippines because you need a credit card with a billing address in the US or the other countries where iTunes is available. Arrggh!

I’m probably one of the few people who don’t have an iPod, haha. Everytime I think of buying one, I can’t help but feel that, apart from the cost, I’d feel cheated because I can’t download the stuff I’d want to buy from iTunes.

Yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses, I know, but the iTunes online store is really part of the magic of iPod. Though the new iPods look tempting (not the pink one, I swear, hehe)… And of course, I am on Xbox Live even though it’s not officially available in the Philippines.

Wonder how Microsoft will now up the ante with its Zune iPod killer after Apple’s announcement?

And damn, how about that sneak peek Steve Jobs gave of the iTV box, which will allow you to wirelessly transmit the music and videos you download to your TV? The iTV box is supposed to come out in 2007, with an expected price tag of US$299.

Yup, another reason not to watch regular TV programming on your boob tube, hehe.

download games, movies via itunes 7

social networking, filipino style

Check out our hackenslash feature on GrooveNet and There Philippines, and the startup’s plans to export this Filipino-developed social networking system to other countries.

Here’s an excerpt from the article I wrote:

AFTER developing original intellectual property in creating the social networking system for There Philippines, Makati City-based startup GrooveNet has also disclosed plans to export this Filipino innovation to other markets in Asia and possibly Latin America.

“We would like to launch GrooveNet and There in other countries around the world, once we’re successful here in the Philippines and hit certain milestones,” Greg Kittelson, president of GrooveNet, told hackenslash.

Oh, and you can check out my profile, er, there, heh.

social networking, filipino style

who’s watching tv?

Here’s an excerpt from my INQ7 Infotech @Play column piece this week:

Would you scoff at brilliant work, simply because it was shown online rather than on TV or the cinema? Which is why I find it funny that some broadcast network types seem smug that they will automatically produce the best online video content. What we are seeing as the online revolution democratizes the production and consumption of content is that, just as in the case of newspapers, often it’s not real talent that’s the edge of mainstream media, but rather access to technology back when it was so expensive that you had to be rich to afford them.

Now that you could shoot high-quality video using a cheap digital video recorder or even a camera phone, and upload them to YouTube, Google Video, iTunes or any of the many video sharing sites, you no longer have to be a Lopez or a Gozon to have your own broadcast network. With tech leveling the playing field, real talent can shine.

To give you an example of how online video can change the balance of power, a sitcom that the former WB network (which has since merged with UPN to create The CW) passed on has gained a second life on YouTube. You can check out the pilot that “Scrubs” creator Bill Lawrence shot for WB together with “Scrubs” and “Family Guy” writers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, and decide for yourself if the network executives were off their rocker. It’s generated so much online buzz that it seems the network is now considering airing it, after all. Here’s Part I, Part 2 and Part 3.

Read the full story.

who’s watching tv?