Nov 16, 2011

CyberPress elects officers for 2011-2012

The Information Technology Journalists Association of the Philipppines Inc. (CyberPress) elected its new set of officers in a general assembly held Monday at Jump Experience Center at Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

Elected to the 20011-2012 board of officers were: Paolo Montecillo of Philippine Daily Inquirer (president), JM Tuazon of TV5/ (vice president for internal affairs), Jing Garcia of TV5/ (vice president for external affairs), TJ Dimacali of (secretary), Verns Joven of (finance committee head), Marlon Magtira of (membership committee head ) and Melvin Calimag of (election and constitutional amendments officer).

“The new set of officers looks forward to another productive year. In today’s connected world, now more than ever, we take our role as industry watchers more seriously,” Montecillo said.

“We have slated several activities this year, in line with our goal to bring the awareness about the importance of IT in our daily lives to a national scale,” he added.

CyberPress was formed in 1996 with an aim to unite IT journalists in bringing technical information more accessible to non-technical readers and educating the general public on issues concerning technological developments and industry. A goal of the organization is also to promote the use of various technologies that are creating an impact to modern Filipino society.

CyberPress is the pioneering organization of IT writers in the country working together to achieve common goals of promoting responsible journalism in the IT beat and fostering better appreciation for technology while cultivating a harmonious IT ecosystem in the country.

Sep 25, 2011

ABS-CBN: No reason to delay DTV rollout

Lopez-owned broadcasting giant ABS-CBN, which has been undertaking digital terrestrial TV (DTT) test broadcasts since August, said last week that the public is already clamoring for a shift to digital TV and that there’s no reason to further delay its rollout.

DTT is also known by the term digital TV or DTV.

ABS-CBN marketing executive Miguel Mercado said in a media briefing in San Fernando, Pampanga that “test broadcasts on DTT have convinced free-TV or non-cable households that digital TV migration will give them clearer and better quality viewing experience.”

Mercado said the wide channel options enabled by the digital multi-frequency platform, as well as the dramatic improvement of signal quality or reception, is key source of satisfaction for viewers of DTT.

Ninety percent of the total Philippine viewing public is on non-cable free-TV, according to an ABS-CBN study.

The TV network began its DTT trial broadcasts in August this year in selected households belonging to D-E sectors in the towns of Mexico in Pampanga, and San Miguel, San Ildefonso, and San Rafael in Bulacan.

The DTT trial broadcasts were spurred by a National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) memorandum circular in 2010, which picked the Japanese standard ISDB-T (Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial) as the country’s DTT platform.

In its circular, the NTC noted ISDB-T is much affordable over Europe’s DVB-T or Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial.

An ABS-CBN report, for instance, quotes an ISDB-T set-top box as 60 percent cheaper than DVB-T at P2,500.

Other broadcast networks that have undertaken DTT test broadcast in the country include Net-25, GemTV, and government TV station NBN (National Broadcasting Network).

The NTC decision, however, is still under review by Malacanang as the government is reportedly is keen on giving a second look at DVB-T.

GMA-7, which has also relayed its intention to migrate to digital TV, is supporting the European standard DVB-T.

Jul 2, 2011

IPVG to transfer assets to new private firm

While its subsidiaries are going public, tech conglomerate IPVG is doing the opposite — it is going back to being a private company.

In a press briefing Friday, the Yuchengco-led firm announced that it will take on a new business plan that will transfer all assets and liabilities of IPVG to a new private holding company, which will retain the same technology conglomerate ownership structure.

The purpose of the restructuring plan is to increase shareholder value and raise more cash for IPVG, the company said.

IPVG CEO Enrique Gonzalez justified the move by saying that the current IPVG share price does not reflect the value of the company.

“We intend to replicate IPVG under a private scheme, so we can properly value based on net asset value method and we can tap private equity. The new plan will position us better to fully unlock and realize our true values at the holding company level,” Gonzales said.

“Our group has evolved much over the years. In the beginning, we incubated all these start-up businesses under IPVG. It made sense to bulk up and raise money at the parent level during those early years. Now that we have grown into a full-blown tech conglomerate, our subsidiaries are either public or on the way to going public.

“Our philosophy has changed. We are now focused on taking the operating companies public. This changes the role of our parent or investment holding company quite a bit, hence the new plan,” Gonzalez said.

IPVG operates 12 subsidiary companies in the country with about 3,000 employees. In the group of 12 companies, 3 are public, and another few are in joint ventures with large organizations including PCCW Teleservices, GMA7, and Kennet Partners (USA), Western Union,, and Google Enterprise Solutions.

In the first quarter of 2011, IPVG generated over P300 million in net income, surpassing its 2010 performance of P145 million.

IPVG acquired Netopia chain of internet cafes in the country, and secured agreements to acquire the CyBr and I.T. log chains. IPVG owns the Station 168 and i-Hooked barnds of i-cafes, bringing its total retail stores to about 200 establishments nationwide with approximately 8,000 seats, which make up almost 10 percent of total seats in the Philippines.

IPVG’s remittance business under the Western Union brand has reached 407 outlets as of July 2, 2011.

“When we look at our retail business, we want to become the dominant player in our category. We think in thousands not hundreds over the next three years,” Gonzales said.

May 17, 2011

Epson holds 2nd ‘Fusion’ media event

Epson Fusion Media Adventure 2011 brought us to Mabini, Batangas last weekend. One of the highlights of the event was scuba diving at Twin Rocks off Anilao’s coast.

This years’ “fusion” is the second of Epson Philippines’ annual event intended to sum up the highlights of the company’s marketing and sales efforts in the country (The first “fusion” was held in Bicol last year). The event also provided a glimpse of what’s ahead for Epson in the next few months.

According to Jay Lavarias, Epson Philippines’ business systems group head, the company posted 14 percent over all sales growth at the end of fiscal year 2010 versus 2009 with the following breakdown: inkjets and laser printers, 17 percent; business systems, 11 percent; visual instruments, 13 percent; and commercial and industrial, 18 percent.

Lavarias said that Epson product offering will further address lowering of total cost of ownership in 2011 with 13 new models that set to be launched for the corporate market.

“With focus on the corporate segment, Epson’s first foray into digital label press addressing the labeling and packaging business will be introduced, while expanding our product range of A3+ and roll media for large format papers,” Lavarias said.

New POS printers designed for other applications outside retail including aviation, healthcare and logistics will also be offered by Epson in 2011.

New all-in-one models previously designed as passbook printers for banks will be made available for related industries such as bills payment centers and education sectors.

For visual instruments, Epson is geared to expand beyond traditional use of projectors by enhancing its portfolio of home theater projectors equipped with 3LCD technology. “3LCD is a sophisticated, innovative technology that uses 3 chips to deliver vibrant, true-to-life images for the most demanding business and consumer audiences,” Lavarias said.

Epson Philippines’ targets 17-percent over-all sales growth for fiscal year 2011 with 73-percent growth for the commercial and industrial group and 47 percent for visual instruments. This is due to expansion of product portfolio for new markets that are expected to bring bigger sales growth. Targets for inkjets and laser printers  and business systems are 17 percent and 8 percent respectively.

Roe Dillera, Epson Philippines’ marketing communications and public relations head provided a sneak preview of the global corporate vision of the company dubbed “SE15 Vision” of Seiko Epson 2015 Vision.

“We will pursue perfection of our three precision mechatronics-based core technologies – Micro Piezo, 3LCD, and QMEMS technologies) and create products and services that exceed customer expectations in the printing, projection, and sensing domains,” Dillera said.

Aug 19, 2009

Take the Norton 50K Challenge

Green footprint is all over the tech world

Green is in. The recent noise to make computing efficient and friendly to the environment has pressed the IT sector to hook up on a new paradigm of providing “Green IT.” From enormous equipment in high-tech data centers to consumer products such as mobile PCs and phones, the IT world is abuzz with green initiatives.

Encouraging the practice of using technology resources efficiently, reducing the use of hazardous materials, and promoting recyclability or biodegradability of defunct products and factory waste, the green hype has caught up with IT companies to take their share of making this world a healthier place to live in.

Technological innovation thrives with
social responsibility and efficient resource use

Studies show that the energy need of the rest of the world out paces renewable and non-renewable resources. Production of toxic materials thereby heightens while toxic wastes and Greenhouse gas emissions increase.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations agency with the task to standardize and regulate international radio and telecommunications, affirmed in a recent conference in Indonesia that information and communication technologies (ICT) can both be a cause and a potential cure for climate change.

Perceived as a major part of the problem and a key to the solution, the ITU stated that ICT can play a vital role in combating climate change. They can be used for remote monitoring of climate change and gathering important scientific data like using telemetry or remote sensing by satellite. New smart technologies can also usher in a whole new generation of energy-efficient products, notably in next-generation networks (NGN).

The ITU pointed out that the proliferation of ICT products in homes and offices, and their deployment throughout the world, places an increasingly heavy burden on energy consumption. Energy demands caused by high-tech lifestyles in some countries are now being replicated in others.

The late night glow in homes and offices emanating from computers, DVD players, TVs and battery chargers is all too familiar. And the move to "always-on" services, like broadband or mobile phones on standby, has greatly increased energy consumption compared with fixed-line telephones, which do not require an independent power source.

The ITU underlined an active commitment to promote the use of ICT as a positive force to reduce greenhouse emissions and to find ways to mitigate the effects of climate change. The agency said it will support and facilitate scientific studies aimed at implementation of new measures against the negative effects of climate change.

Tech companies tumble in green list

The latest edition of Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics saw the rankings of the world’s biggest consumer technology companies drop significantly as a new criteria that measures impact on climate change was added. The list was first launched in August 2006 as a challenge to electronic companies to “green” their products, from production to disposal.

In the new list, out of the 18 electronics companies evaluated, eight companies including Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG Electronics, Toshiba, Motorola, Philips, and Sharp scored above 5/10. Last year, only two companies, Sony Ericsson and Sony scored above 5/10.

Aside from introducing the new criteria, Greenpeace said it also tightened the requirements on electronic waste (e-waste) and toxic chemicals. The newly added energy criteria, the group said, require companies to show their political support for global mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In the previous survey, improvements in the take-back programs of mobile phone manufacturers Nokia and Motorola provided a big lift in their standings. The Greenpeace scorecard cited Nokia’s improvements in its take-back program in the Philippines and Thailand.

Gaming company Nintendo remained in the cellar, not moving from last place since Greenpeace started the survey. It managed a paltry score of 1 (0.8 in 2008).

In a statement recently released to the media, Greenpeace stated, “the information and communications technology (ICT) sector currently accounts for 2 percent of global GHG emissions, equal to the aviation industry. As one of the most innovative and fastest growing industries, Greenpeace expects the sector to take leadership in tackling climate change by reducing both their direct and indirect climate carbon footprint.”

Listed below is the score of the 18 technology companies surveyed in Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics:

Nokia (7.45 points) – Scores top marks for leading competitors on toxic phase out

Samsung (7.1 points) – Holds second position for commitment to reduce absolute emissions

Sony Ericsson (6.5 points) – Up two places with better product energy efficiency reporting

LG Electronics (5.7 points) – Up two places but needs to eliminate hazardous chemicals from all products

Toshiba (5.5 points) – Moves up two places with an extra point for promising to cut GHGs

Motorola (5.5 points) – Scores higher and climbs two places because of use of renewable energy

Philips (5.3 points) – Falls from 4th to 7th position and needs to put its commitment to responsible recycling policies into practice

Sharp (5.3 points) – Rises from 9th to joint 7th place with its energy efficient products

Acer (4.9 points) – Put 16 new models of a monitor that are almost free of hazardous chemicals and climbed two places from 11 to 9 but still need to sort out the power cord

Panasonic (4.9 points) – Advance from 12th to 10th place for energy efficiency and pvc free product range but still bad on e waste

Apple (4.7 points) – Drop one position to 11th with no change in scores but get kudos for their green MacBook

Sony (4.5 points) – Plunges from 5th to 12th place for inadequate commitments on eliminating hazardous chemicals, e waste policy and cutting GHGs

Dell (3.9 points) – Stays at 13th place because of backtracking on toxics phase out

HP (3.5 points) – Is at 14th position and has no products on the market free of toxic substances

Microsoft (2.5 points) – Loses a point for a poor recycling policy but stays in 15th position

Lenovo (2.5 points) – Down two places with no set timeline for toxics phase out on all products

Fujitsu (2.4 points) – Debuts second from last with no products that are free of hazardous chemicals

Nintendo (1 point) – Stays put in last position with a glimmer of hope with partially pvc free consoles