Adrian's Posts

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May 20, 2017

I hope you could've been open to solutions first before asking to be removed from Basecamp and declaring that it’s not for you.”

It was almost dawn and I was still in front of my desktop, staring at the note I just received… and slightly regretting – just for a second – that I was an introvert allergic to constant communication.

I was busy sifting through a multitude of messages that flooded my inbox while I was on vacation when I finally got to that one email that echoed the world’s reaction to people saying no to what I call “tech pressure.” It also reminded me that as someone whose work depended on the internet, I loved being online...

...And I also hated it.

My potentially pathologic, love-hate relationship with the internet isn’t unique. Ask the many people whose loved ones are addicted to Facebook and they’ll tell you how much social media is ruining their lives… while they type about their hatred for Facebook on the very platform they despise.

Yes, the irony is strong, but so is the need to resurface from the flood of technology, lest we drown in it.

tech pressure

I realized that learning to untangle myself from the web (pun not intended) started with one skill: the ability to say no. So, at four in the morning, I stuck to my “no”. And I had to live with the consequences, including a rather disappointed message that told me I wasn’t “open to solutions.”

Intuitive, not intrusive

January 16, 2017

Imagine the wealth of information you have already uploaded online: photos, game preferences, personal milestones, job information, relationships, and even favorites and dislikes. Now, imagine all of that data being collated and processed to create a likeness of you – a virtual, but very accurate, version of you.

So very Matrix-ish, eh?

Sounds like science fiction, but in an article written by Jules Verne entitled In The Year 2889, he described technology that did not exist until after a few decades (more of his writing that came true here). Prophetic as his writing was, it was all, once upon a time, science fiction.

When life imitates art through tech

A lot of the things we now take for granted used to be science fiction: video chat, touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. It might just be a matter of time before what we deem technologically impossible becomes part of our reality.

mind blown
Me, whenever I realize that much of our tech was inspired by Star Trek.

Is it possible to upload ourselves – or at least our consciousness – to a system that can create an autonomous program capable of making the same decisions (and even having the same personality quirks, down to your dislike of broccoli) as you?

July 22, 2016

There is more to mattresses than meets the eye. Ergonomics, state-of-the-art fabrics and materials, machines that can tell you where your pressure points are during sleep – these are all part and parcel of designing the perfect mattress.

If you want to choose the perfect mattress, you need to understand a little bit about the technology behind it. Choosing a mattress, after all, is both a science and an art.

Dindo Medina of Uratex
Here, I stand beside Dindo Medina of Uratex Philippines as he shows me the tech behind the pillow that keeps sweat and stiff neck away.

During the 2016 World Sleep Day forum at the Lung Center of the Philippines, I had the opportunity to interview Dindo Medina, corporate sales director of Uratex Philippines, so I asked him how I could choose the mattress that’s just right for me.

Here are the highlights of what we discussed.

The science of soft and firm mattresses

“Our science shows that it is best to sleep the way you stand. When you lie down, it shouldn’t be any different from when you’re standing,” says Medina.

“A mattress [that’s too soft] will make you slouch more. Imagine slouching for eight hours! A mattress that’s too firm is not comfortable, either.”

So, which is it, firm or soft? According to Medina, it depends on how you sleep.

“Your physique is unique. Maybe you’re on the heavy side, maybe you’re not – that matters when you’re choosing a mattress. The position you sleep in also dictates what type of mattress is best for you.”

People who prefer sleeping on their side may benefit from a softer mattress that molds to the body’s curves, therefore maintaining a straight spine. Those who sleep on their backs, however, may find themselves sleeping more comfortably on a firmer mattress.

“Regardless of sleeping position and physique, your mattress should promote sleeping in the same way you stand.”

Trial and (no) error

You’ve seen furniture stores that tell you not to sit or lie on their beds. That’s the worst place to buy a mattress, according to Medina.

“Buying a mattress is an investment. You will be living in it in the years to come. When choosing a mattress, don’t go to places that don’t allow you to test the bed.”

If you want to find out what mattress is best for your needs, try visiting any Uratex showroom. Their showrooms have X-Sensor machines that map out pressure points in the mattress as you lie down.

“It puts a science to our art. It helps us determine which mattress is your perfect match.”

Cool factor

Many mattresses have special features. For instance, if you want a mattress that helps lower temperature, there’s one made of a cooling fabric called Hydragel.

“We have foams that lower temperatures by one to two degrees because they absorb heat. Because a cooler environment accelerates sleep, you sleep earlier with a bed that keeps you cool.”

Beds with benefits

Maybe you need a mattress that conforms to your body. Maybe you need one that allows you to toss and turn without waking your partner.

Maybe you need both.

“With mattresses that use gel foam, you have the benefit of a water bed conforming to your body but none of the bouncing movement. Unlike water beds, gel foam mattresses don’t move even if you do.”

Doing the math

“We spend one-third of our day sleeping but we spend more time deciding on a party shoe than on a mattress,” observes Medina. Something’s got to give.

People need to spend more time (and yes, more money) when deciding on what mattress to purchase. For a lot of people, the first thing they look at is the price. Next is durability.

However, with a bigger budget, a person’s demands change. “Physical appearance starts to matter: How does it look like? Then, they look for comfort and quality. They look for orthopedic beds or those that keep dust mites at bay.”

The most mature customer also considers carbon footprint, something we all should think about, in my opinion.

Lastly, before you head off to the nearest mattress showroom, you might want to read up on the five elements of a good mattress. Rich or poor, we all need to sleep like kings and queens!

May 26, 2016

The more you use your smartphone or tablet to read online, the more you learn – and the more you damage your brain.

Wait, what? Which is it? Are you keeping your brain fit by exercising your mental muscle or are you hurting it when you use the internet?

Dr. Gary Small“Internet causes mental symptoms, such as fatigue and memory problems. People [who are always online] are focused on their devices and are not paying attention to the outside world,” says Dr. Gary Small, director of UCLA Longevity Center and editorial board member of the Herbalife Nutrition Institute.

Dr. Small is saying the brain is pretty much like many relationships: complicated. What a weird paradox that the more you feed your brain when you use the internet, the more you may be damaging it.

Digital dementia: big idea from Dr. Small

Digital dementia – that’s what Dr. Small calls the phenomenon. He arrived in the Philippines on April 25, 2016 to discuss the relationship between brain aging and internet use.

November 10, 2015

Something arrived in the mail that made my day – it’s the new ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser! I was so excited to try out another promising gadget. Setting my excitement aside, however, I was actually trying to quell my anticipatory grief.

I had fears that it might disappoint. What if it didn’t meet my expectations? What if it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be?

ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser

Meet the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser. (By the way, that’s pronounced a-SUS, not EY-sus.)

But after about a week of tinkering with my new toy, the verdict is finally in: I believe this wonderful smartphone is actually underpriced.

I can almost see your jaw dropping. Well, allow me to explain myself.


5 reasons the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser should be more expensive

For the sake of people who want a great phone, I’m positively happy that the Zenfone 2 Laser is available at an affordable PhP7,295. Finally, a gadget I can afford to buy for my brother!

Just so it’s clear: The fact that it’s underpriced is actually a good thing. Finally, gadgets aren’t as ridiculously expensive as they used to be.

Here are five reasons the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser should come with a bigger price tag.

October 30, 2015

In the previous write-up, we tried to find out what Acer Liquid X2 had to offer the hardworking yuppie. It’s time we got to know Samsung’s bet for the Android-loving conyo who won’t mind dishing out more moolah: the Galaxy S6 Edge+ phablet.

Samsung Galaxy UnpackedTwo months ago, Samsung released the Galaxy S6 Edge+ worldwide. With a price tag of PhP39,990, is this phablet for you?


What’s Special About Samsung

If you have the money to burn, why not spend it on an Android believed to be the best in its class?

Samsung Galaxy Philippine launch 2015I’ve seen what Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus can do during the Philippine launch on August 14, 2015 at Marriott Hotel.

Samsung doesn’t just think of it as a benchmark-worthy phone, and perhaps rightfully so. This phablet also boasts of a dual-edged screen (just like its not-much-older counterpart, the Galaxy S6 Edge).

I’ve always wondered why Galaxy S6 Edge+ was launched just months after S6 Edge. If I had purchased Galaxy S6 Edge and I found out that Samsung came out with a bigger, better Galaxy S6 Edge+ less than a year after, I would be royally disappointed.

October 23, 2015

I bet you have at least one friend who’s a diehard fan of either Android or Apple. Android users say iPhones are overpriced; iPhone loyalists say Androids come cheap, because they are.

It’s almost like the plot of just about every teleserye on TV: rich versus poor, can versus can’t afford. I’m not surprised that lately, even international Android brands are now saying they belong to opposite sides of the spending spectrum: Samsung for high society, Acer for the working class.

Between Acer Liquid X2 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, which one fits your lifestyle?

“Sam” vs “Ace”: Who’s Your Bae?

Imagine two guys: Sam, the rich heir, and Ace, the humble worker. (Imagine that both are handsome hotties, of course.) If you were the protagonist in a drama series, who gets your matamis na oo?

Acer vs Samsung smartphoneAcer and Samsung: Which do you prefer?

Choosing your phone might be as tricky. I know it’s never enough to just compare specs, so let me try to make sense of the competition between the alleged winner and the underdog. Below, you’ll see a dramatized rundown of what you’ll get if you buy an Acer Liquid X2 versus a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.

Hold on. Dramatized?

Yes, dramatized. Theatrics and all, complete with protagonists to choose from.

If you’re looking for a highly technical dissection of both Acer Liquid X2 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, this is not the blog for you.

We do not have delusions of grandeur – unless my brother Adrian, engineer and co-founder of this website and obviously the more technical sibling, begs to disagree.

“We cannot hold a candle to CNET or PC Advisor. We do not have delusions of grandeur.”

However, if you’re someone who wants to find out what phone to buy despite not having an in-depth comprehension of the technology behind every phone in the market (put bluntly, you have no idea what the difference is between a megabit and a megabyte but you want a phone that suits you), read on and enjoy this smartphone teleserye.

Oh, and make sure you have popcorn.

August 08, 2015

Never heard of Sony’s Smart B-Trainer before? I know what you’re thinking: It’s just another one of those expensive, wearable running gadgets.

Okay, it is an expensive, wearable running gadget. However, it’s so much more.

Smart B-TrainerIf the Smart B-Trainer wasn’t awesome, it wouldn’t make it to our website, would it now?

Of course, don’t just take my word for it. Allow me to tell you a little bit more about the Sony Smart B-Trainer.


Smart B-Trainer: Four things you ought to know

Getting to know a new gadget can be frustrating. You go to the store and you think you know what you’re looking at, only for you to realize once you get home that you still don’t understand what it’s really about.

Funny how a smart gadget can make you feel stupid! I know the feeling.

Here are four things I do understand about the little complex techie invention that is the Smart B-Trainer. If you like running, get ready to fall in love.


1. It’s smarter than your music player

smart gadget for runners

Have you ever heard of a music player that speeds up if you’re moving too slow, just to get you to move faster? Yeah, me neither – until I saw the Smart B-Trainer in action.

August 06, 2015

Yes, the Philips Airfryer is quite fancy. But would I spend my moolah on it?

It's a question I had to ask myself because frankly, I'm not about to dish out PhP14,000 for any kitchen appliance. With my humble writer’s wages, I can't afford it!

But when you want to save money, you're going to have to do smarter than just look at the tag price.

If you use the Philips Airfryer in lieu of a stove for cooking, how much will you save on electricity? How much will you save on meds for diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and weight loss because you're finally eating healthy, homemade food that didn't swim and meet its untimely kitchen demise in cooking oil?

Philips-AirfryerSee how small it is?
Imagine your kitchen with just this.
No bulky stove, oven toaster, or microwave.

“The digital quick-clean airfryer costs PhP15,995. It's quick-clean because it has a non-stick surface,” shared Reah Ronsayro, Philips Home Living business development manager. “The manual airfryer costs PhP13,995.”

Before you roll your eyes and resign to sticking with your low-tech, oil-guzzling frying pans, take note: With the Philips Airfryer, you spend just a third of the time it takes you to cook the old-fashioned way.

Reah Ronsayro“Using the Philips Airfryer costs just PhP19 per hour’s worth of electricity.”
– Reah Ronsayro of Philips


Deep-fry to Air-fry: Ready to Make the Big Switch?

Just in case you're as much of a tightwad as I am, here's more good news: you can get the Philips Airfryer for as much as 40 percent off! “The Big Switch promo allows you to swap any turbo broiler, deep fryer, or frying pan set – working or not, and of any brand – for a black manual Philips Airfryer at 30 percent off. If you want to swap for the white manual airfryer, you get a bigger discount of 40 percent.”

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