Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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2007 May

  • Elections 2k7

    I still don't know how I am voting on Monday. Or even if I am voting at all. I'm thinking of voting for those 3 guys from Kapatiran, simply to reward the sheer chutzpah of their candidacies. The GO and TU coalitions seem largely irrelevant to me, you can be fairly sure those coalitions won't mean squat after the elections, so all these surveys keeping score of administration vs opposition seem a bit useless. I'm no lover of the GMA administration, but the opposition's offerings don't leave a very good taste in the mouth either. I'd much rather bring in

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  • Wowowee

    So, I was there in the taxi with my youngest brother Brian. And I brought up the topic of the noontime TV show Wowowee, which we had just seen about half an hour of before we got in the taxi. I told him that I thought of it as a really terrible show. Sure, poor people win relatively-large cash prizes and stuff from it, but it feels so exploitative. Hundreds, maybe thousands of poor folk from god-knows-how-far-away queue up outside the studios every day hoping to get into the studio audience to participate in the cash giveaways. There are probably

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2006 September

  • Emerging From The Darkness

    Like a howling banshee, typhoon Milenyo tore through most of Metro Manila last Thursday, leaving chaos and devastation in its' wake. The Philippine Star's headline was most apt: ‘Milenyo' shuts down Metro. Literally. Most places in Luzon lost power before noon of Thursday, owing to ravaged electrical transmission lines and substations. As of last night, at most 60% of areas have had power restored. Luckily it included both my place of work and place of residence, as losing access to electricity makes me feel like a peon in the dark ages. I wonder what peasants did back then after nightfall,

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2006 June

  • Driving in Taiwan and the Philippines

    I read this awesome article on driving in Taiwan , apparently written by an American living in Taiwan. Lots of pictures, and very descriptive. I suppose any foreigners coming to the Philippines would say that the situation in Metro Manila is pretty much the same as the one outlined in the article, but after I read it I can't help but feel that it's just a little bit worse over there. But then again, I don't actually drive here anyway -- I just take public transportation and doze off or something. I suppose the situation is better here because we

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2006 March

2006 February

  • State of National Emergency

    Lest I be accused of avoiding the real world by writing about TV shows while events start to unfold which may or may not plunge our nation into chaos , I suppose I should put my two cents into the matter. For those who read this text in the future at a time when all these links are broken, the current President of the Phillipines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has declared a state of national emergency today, claiming that a broad alliance encompassing traditional oppostion groups and the far left and the far right are trying to bring her down. Ironically, she

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  • Open Up and Say Yumburger. Open Up and Say Yumburger. Awesome, awesome blog post about some "Ugly Americans" and their um... "unique" experience dining at Jollibee. Highlights the world of difference between the American palette and the Filipino one. While they make a good point that Jollibee is the "crappy burger joint food" of the Philippines as compared to McDonald's which is the "crappy burger joint food" of the US, I don't think I've ever heard any Filipino reference Jollibee food in any such disparaging manner. Of course, I like Jollibee too, which is proof that I am a Filipino. :p I don't think

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  • Deadly Noontime Shows

    In a few months people will forget anyway. Yesterday 74 people died in a tragic stampede. The reason? Crowding to get into the one-year anniversary show of a local noontime variety show. Wowowee. This is ridiculous, an obvious barometer showing how desperate many of our countrymen have become. The show was offering prizes in the form of raffle draws and contests, and many were hoping to win a house and lot or at least some cash to help them get by. Many of them were poor and coming from far-flung places even outside the metro. Shocking how these people look

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2005 December

  • Music - Ultraelectromagnetic Jam

    I'm no music critic; often I can't even carry my own tune. But I do know what I like, and I know I like the Eraserheads' music. If you don't know who the ‘heads are, they're basically the Beatles of the Philippines, galvanizing the local music industry and serving as an example and inspiration to numerous other bands that followed after them. It's only fitting then that many of the current crop of Filipino performers pay tribute to them in the form of Ultraelectromagnetic Jam. This fantastic album features several artists performing their own versions of some of the Eraserheads

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2005 September

  • Manny Pacquiao

    I saw an interview with Manny Pacquiao on Rated K, apparently after his celebrated win last Sunday. Korina referred to him as a millionaire because of his share from the match, but Manny said he's going to be giving a lot of it away. People told him to donate to Katrina, but he says there are also a lot of needy people in his own country so he's giving to them first. He's giving away food and stuff to poor people in his hometown. Man, that guy's got heart. No wonder he's a local hero.
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2005 July

  • Gloriagate -- Now is not the time

    I remember the atmosphere at UP around the time of the infamous second evelope at Erap's trial. Even the normally apathetic Engineering students were being woken out of their political stupor by outrage at the turn of events by the Estrada-friendly senators. Everywhere you go in UP, people would be asking you if you were coming to the big rally on EDSA. Today? Today, the conversations are like this: "Mag-gimik dapat kami bukas sa Makati eh... " "May rally daw bukas ah?" "Oo nga, bad trip nga eh" That's the biggest problem facing the power-hungry vultures looking for a quick

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  • Gloriagate -- Notes on the PCIJ Transcript

    I was going to ahead and break my blog silence on the whole Gloriagate thing, but I realized I should read the whole transcript at PCIJ first, boring as it is. That way, I can at least say I'm basing my opinions on known facts unlike roughly 90% of the rest of the participants in this debacle. I went through it in about thirty minutes, skimming most and picking out only the parts that seemed most interesting, and skipping anything that was too vague or that I didn't strictly understand the mechanics of. The primary question about this transcript is

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2005 June

  • Download recordings of alleged destabilization tape -- Transcript at PCIJ blog I don't do much politics, but for those out of the loop, the government has recently released some tapes of conversations allegedly edited to make it look like the President has been participating in electoral fraud. I'm actually more interested in the tech part of this -- these are supposedly mobile phone taps, so I guess they should have come from the mobile service provider? I remember reading in a Hardy Boys volume way back when I was a kid, how each person's voice signature was unique, such

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2005 February

  • Bomb blasts rock RP Cities

    Bomb blasts rock Davao, General Santos, Makati -- Makati City, three people were killed while at least 20 others were injured after an explosion rocked a bus plying EDSA as it passed underneath the Metro Rail Transit's Ayala Station, Metro Manila police chief Director Avelino Razon Jr. said. What a way to celebrate Valentine's day. And here I was just blogging about security issues. (Although looks like this incident wasn't actually in the MRT.) These are the sort of things they should be focusing on, not optical media piracy. On a personal note, these things happen at weird times

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  • Optical media and the MRT/LRT I'm pretty sure what is described in the above blog post (confiscation of unlabelled optical media from LRT/MRT commuters) is obviously stupid, though probably not illegal. The rail authorities can probably refuse entry to anyone for any reason they consider valid. It's probably legal, but I doubt it's enforceable though. Anyone who's ridden the MRT during rush hours knows what I'm talking about. Security inspections last roughly half a second for every three passengers; the security personnel will simply make a quick pass through your bags with their stick. Any containers inside the one inspected

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2004 July

  • RP troop pullout not cowardice, at least not according to Malacanang. The whole world knows by now that the Philippine government has capitulated (or intends to, at least) to the demands of terrorists kidnappers holding Filipino truck driver Angelo dela Cruz hostage. Even Jay Leno took his shots at our country, with the following quote from opening monologue of Wednesday night, July 14, 2004: For the 2nd time in the past few days, a new world record has been set in the 100 meter dash. It was set by Filipino troops fleeing Iraq. Even more embarassing, I would think, was

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2004 June

  • Pinoy Culture: Thank God It's Over

    ... that disgraceful slow-count of an election canvass that is. I can't help but wonder whether anyone actually bothered to follow the last few days of the canvassing on TV... I mean, the proceedings are boring as hell! You know what would have been better for the country as a whole? When I saw a small portion of it, the only thing I could think of was that we should have WWE's The Rock on the National Board of Canvassers! I know he's no Filipino, much less a Senator, but he can be like guest chairman for a day or

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2004 May

  • Halalan 2004

    I'll probably leave for the voting place in a half an hour or so. Anyway, my choices are already made: PRESIDENT : Roco, Raul VICE-PRESIDENT : SENATORS : Alvarez, Heherson T. Barbers, Robert Biazon, Rodolfo Chavez, Francisco Escudero, Salvador Gordon, Richard Herrera, Ernesto F. Hussin, Parouk Mercado, Orlando Pimentel, Aquilino Jr. Q. Roxas, Manuel ‘Mar' II Yasay, Perfecto Jr. PARTY LIST : AKBAYAN! CONGRESSMAN/REPRESENTATIVE : MAITE DEFENSOR MAYOR : SONNY BELMONTE VICE-MAYOR : HERBERT BAUTISTA MEMBERS SANGUNIANG BAYAN MUNICIPAL COUNCIL: JORGE BANAL JAIME BORRES DANTE DE GUZMAN WENCY LAGUMBAY TINA MONASTERIO LALA SOTTO A few notes, I suppose. First, the

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