First looks at Jaiku Mobile Beta

Installed Jaiku Mobile Beta, played with the menu in the order that made sense to me, and basically felt I would rather do my calculus.

For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to post Jaiku messages, or read my contact’s posts for that matter. There is something called “Presence,” the mystery of which I have yet to resolve.

Most of the functionalities seem to revolve around location-based services (GPS, locating friends “near” you, etc.). Take a peep at your coordinates, and I won’t be surprised if it scares the hell out of you. Someone need to assure me that these coordinates are not sent automatically to Jaiku.

In fairness, I didn’t read the user manual (C’mon, would you?) And, this is in Beta. Hopefully some sense come out of it in the final release.

They do have a kick-ass website. There is still hope.

By the way, in case your interested, which you’re probably not since I’m as interesting as a taco shell, my jaiku username is chette.

Smart Decode – Not quite ready, but seems alright

Smart Communications launched Smart Decode yesterday. Although it’s probably going to be used for a bunch useless promotions (Ringbacks? Seriously?), I just realized that this is actually The Solution to all the senseless typing of VAS (“value added services”) commands.

Let me give you an idea:

“Type DUMMYKEYWORD space REGISTER space your FIRST NAME space YOUR LAST NAME space asterisk space YOUR ADDRESS space asterisk YOUR LANDLINE space asterisk, and send this to 999.”

Sounds familiar, no? Of course it does. This is the language that we Earthlings have learned from Pluto. Coincidentally, this is the same language that content partners decided to use in order to confuse, er, help users in using their SMS-based mobile services.

Need to download a wallpaper?
Type DUMMYWALLPAPER space PHONE MODEL space WALLPAPER NAME, shake it to the left, jump ten times, and send to 999.

With Smart Decode, this insanity will pretty much be eradicated. The content partner will simply generate a code (which can be printed in their posters, fliers, and print ads).

When you, The User, see this code, all you have to do is take its picture using your phone’s camera. Almost instantaneously you will be presented with a nice interface where you can fill in forms, download your operator logo, etc. — all in human readable form.

The code is called an mcode (“mobile code”). It’s a 2D barcode which stores information in a bunch of dots.

But ooh-la-la, mcode is not just for those boring content partners who can’t seem to make a decent mobile application. We regular users, The Much Cooler Ones, can have a little fun of our own:

  • Contact information. Definitely a lot more hip than sending a vcard thru bluetooth. Make your friends take a picture of your mcode (which you conveniently printed out & kept in your wallet). Voila! Your contact info will automatically be saved in their address books.
  • SMS message. You can have an mcode to generate a specific SMS message. You can also have it sent to a predefined number.
  • URLs. Your mcode can contain the URL of your website. When your friends scan it, they will be shown a link (which they can click to launch your website in their phone’s browser).
  • Phone numbers. You can scan an mcode to automatically dial a specified phone number.

“Naku, kailangan ko tawagan si Procopio! Ano nga ba ang number nya?”
“Ito o. I-decode mo na lang!”

(And that, ladies & gentlemen, is the reason why no ad agency was stupid enough to hire me as a copywriter.)

In order to scan an mcode, you need to download & install Smart Decode (don’t worry, you won’t get charged for the download). Using your phone’s browser, go to Click on the link on the website to install the software automatically (no need to mess around with those jar and sis files).

Take note that you need to use your Smart cellphone to download Decode. You cannot download the application using a Globe or Sun SIM, or even your good ol’ DSL connection.

Some observations on Smart’s credit (give two points for Smart over here!):

  • The application loads real fast even on a crappy Nokia 6600.
  • It takes an average of 2 seconds for the software to “decode” the mcode.
  • You can actually scan the mcode even if its tilted (it will just take a little longer to scan it).

There’s something missing in the equation, though (gimme back those points, dear): The ability for users to create their own codes.

C’mon, Smart, share the love. Help us look cool with those mcodes in our pockets.

Let’s try it out

I was able to generate my own mcodes only because I was a resourceful & nice little girl. Try it out below:

Check your Smart prepaid balance.


This is the most popular SMS I receive on my phone

Wow! Ang galing mo na mag-decode!

My contact info (goodbye vcard!)

Laugh out loud

Globe’s IMEVRYWHR: Somewhere or nowhere?

Globe Telecoms‘s IMEVRYWHR had a lot of hype — KC Concepcion smiled at us thru the ads, and newspapers & its online counterparts where blasted with the most glowing press releases about its launch & Globe’s partnership with Fastmobile.

And they got the spelling right: it’s not IM Everywhere, it’s IMEVRYWHR! Forget the fact that cellphones have degraded all written communication skills in the country — they’re sticking with it. In all caps.

Weeks after its launch, notice how very little information you can get from actual users of IMEVRYWHR. That’s not the norm for a community which practically sleeps with their mobile phones, and I decided to check it out.

I have tried accessing IMEVRYWHR with 2 SIM cards — a postpaid and a prepaid line. I didn’t get much luck on the postpaid line. It kept on giving an error that my mobile has been previously registered in MyGlobe, & that I must use the same username.

Of all the mental retardation in the telco industry, this is probably one of the biggest — they actually want me to publicize the same username that can access my billing account? And, if a teenager uses a phone which is under the name of his mom (which is common over here, by the way), they actually expect that guy to use his mom’s username & password?

Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan?

Two things are wrong here: First, the cellphone number is actually tied to one, and only one, account. You can’t use another SIM & expect to keep your identity. Lost your prepaid SIM? Tough luck.

Second, they had the intelligent idea to tie it up with MyGlobe, the crappiest website in telco history. It took me 15 minutes of fidgeting around the website, just to figure out how I can retrieve my darn username & password. Until I was told that I can conveniently retrieve my username & password by calling the customer hotline.

But I persisted on … I wanted an account. I was able to get hold of a brand new prepaid SIM. Nothing like a clean slate, huh?

I was oh-so-wrong.

The new APNs that Globe sent right before Christmas didn’t work. But I didn’t spend all those years doing QA for nothing: I tried it out with all possible APNs (,,, etc), removed the proxy settings, used both prepaid and postpaid SIMs, etc.

The error messages just became more creative: connection error with, connection to proxy server failed, gateway timeout, etc.

Finally, I realized how stupid I was to actually believe that P20.00 of unlimited use is actually a good thing. Heck, I spend less than that using IM+, Agile, or YB — and they can all connect to Yahoo & MSN.


So, does IMEVRYWHR really work? Maybe it does. I probably will never know.

I do know one thing: Telcos over here has a habit of launching half-baked products. Forget repeat customers: They have a quota to meet, and they don’t know of any other way except by launching something new. It’s an endless let’s-launch-and-forget-maintenance game.

A little bird told me that the product was indeed rushed — because Globe received a rumor that Smart was coming up with its own IM service. Did fear of competition throw all common sense out the windows of Globe Telecom?

Pick it up, Globe. It’s probably still along Pioneer street.

Globe Advisory: Incorrect GPRS settings?

Got this SMS from Globe Telecom on Christmas Eve:

Globe Advisory: We will be sending the correct settings for ur unit w/in the next 24 hrs for u to experience GPRS/MMS services on ur phone. Pls save the settings even if u have previous settings to ensure that u have the complete GPRS/MMS settings.

I wonder if this has something to do with IMEvrywhr? Or maybe they merely figured out they were giving the wrong APN all along.

For the other Globe users out there, you might have noticed that whenever you request a GPRS setting over-the-air or contact Globe’s customer support, they give the APN This, of course, does not work for mobile apps (except maybe for wap browsing), and we figured out for ourselves that we should use instead.

By the way, I did receive a setting configuration for Globe within 24 hours. I also got a “feature not supported error” on my Nokia phone when I tried to open the message [insert smirk here]

Below are my current internet settings for Globe:


Data Bearer: GPRS
Access point name:
User name: (none)
Promt password: No
Authentication: Normal
Connection security: Off
Session mode: Permanent
(Advanced Settings)
Proxy server address:
Proxy port number: 8080


Data Bearer: GPRS
Access point name:
User name: (none)
Promt password: No
Authentication: Normal
Connection security: Off
Session mode: Permanent
(Advanced Settings)
Proxy server address:
Proxy port number: 8080


Data Bearer: GPRS
Access point name:
User name: (none)
Promt password: No
Authentication: Normal
Connection security: Off
Session mode: Permanent
(Advanced Settings)
Proxy server address:
Proxy port number: 8080