To Kill an Android

Back when the first-generation iPad was released, Apple somehow opened the world to new computing possibilities through tablets. And, like any Apple release, this created a market with a solid number. As an attempt to enter the market, Samsung released a 7-inch tablet, the Galaxy Tab built with Google’s Android.

However, it is visible enough that its release didn’t put a serious dent on Apple’s market share. Other tablets were released but Apple still managed to hold onto their share of about 70-80%.

Last Friday, a rather tragic day because of the earthquake an tsunami in Japan, Apple released its new-generation “Thinner. Lighter. Faster.” iPad 2. But what’s more amazing is that they managed to price it starting $499. With all the features, upgrades, specs, and, more importantly, fixes they are boasting, it is such a wonder that the device manage to end-up having that price. Given the price that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has, it is almost foolish to opt for it over the iPad 2.

Sources state that it costs Apple about $340 to make the most basic model. This doesn’t include marketing, promotion, etc. Basically, it is a give-away. Apple reasons that it is the App Store that more than covers everything. Still, it raises the question whether Apple created the iPad 2 as an attempt to kill the Android.

This only not questions the Android platform but also the general future of tablet computing. Samsung’s new 11-inch tablet will have a very questionable fate given what already is and the possible market price.

As it stands, it would seem as if Apple is attempting to monopolize a market that it already holds the majority of. We can only wonder, and hope for something good, what any competition can come up with to even be called “competition”.

1.3 meters of Panic

March 11, 2011. Japan was rocked by an earthquake that hit 8.9 on the Richter scale. Fires followed. Later, tsunami that reached up to 33 feet hit land.

An earthquake of that magnitude will certainly reach other lands and affect them in one way or another. So, some provinces in the Philippines were given an “Alert Level 2” by the PHIVOLCS. This list includes the place where I live. It’s not a time to start evacuating or to be doing forced evacuations, according to SOP, but some people from select places were told to evacuate.

See, according to a representative from PAGASA who spoke on the radio, the alert levels can be interpreted as “Ready. Set. Go!”. This relates to evacuation. On one, everyone should be ready for anything. On two, everyone should already be set and prepared to run, if the need be. On three, people should already be fleeing.

This is the information they kept on repeating during the radio program. At the same time, reminding people not to panic. However, there is this little curious information that I only heard once. It is about the estimated height: 1.3 meters.

Exactly how high is 1.3 meters? How much damage can a wave of 1.3 meters do? Why are we being given that much of an alert level?

This is not just some rant or an attempt to vent out the worry I’ve felt because of these alert issues. It is a call to the authorities to give accurate, proper, and complete information so as not to ensue panic.

What happened today was very similar, if not exactly the same, as what happened during the Haiti quake. An alert was raised, local government officials moved about to give out information, the police sirens were wailing about, and people were trying to get to higher ground.

It was midday when I got
Is this really something that people should be made to panic about? No matter how much you say, “Don’t panic”, there will always be people who worry too much. A worry which will soon spread like the domino effect.

If this will always be what we get at times like these, people might get tired. Soon enough, they might just stop listening altogether just like the ones the boy who cried, “Wolf!”, were calling to.

The Fall of Traditions

Traditions are a significant part of what makes a culture. It is like one of the colorful threads that weave together to form the pattern that is a nation’s culture. And this culture is also a very significant component of a people’s identity. Sadly, some of these traditions are gradually declining in practice. And some of them are already but a part of history.

Religion is, more often than not, a strong identifier of a nation. In our small town, it used to be that the people cared more about religion and its traditions. I remember those nights, when I was small, when we would pray and sing hymns and praises in honor of a saint. After that, we’ll have a procession from one house to the next with the image with us. We’ll be doing that every night until the days are fulfilled.

Now, I no longer see that happening. Though, I can still hear the prayer leaders singing hymns and praises and praying the usual prayers. But the difference is clearer than a transparent sheet. This time around, they do it in the middle of the afternoon. A time which is hardly any good if you wanted more people to join in.

When I was small, us kids were encourage to go with them, to pray with them, to learn about the traditions of our place with them. Now, it’s just the old people, the prayer leaders, a few people.

Worse still, they’ve reached the point when they no longer send the image from one house to another. Instead, they let it stay in one house and the prayer leaders will just go their. My mother told me it was because they are already getting old and are old enough to reason that they tire easily. It’s not exactly some sound reasoning given that, usually, the houses in our place are hardly even five meters apart. But, yes, they are already old.

That’s just one of those that are gradually nearing non-existence. There also used to be theater in our place. A tale of kings. I’m rather certain I never understood what that story was all about because they used a deeper form of the local dialect and I was too small then to understand such. It used to play around the time of the local fiesta, about the end of May.

Now, I cannot see even a shadow of it. Even if it was a small town production, I know I can give them credit for the costumes and the effort they give to make the play successful. But theater has died in our town.

I have also heard of stories, read some, and watched some on TV and movies about a courtship practice called the harana. It’s when the guy visits a girl’s house with a song to sing to her. The guy throws some rocks into the girl’s window to get her attention and open up, then, he starts singing and playing his guitar while she watched him, and he tries to win her heart with a song.

No, I can never say for myself if those things ever happened because it was already dead when I was born. Or, they never really happened that way.

Perhaps, if I look deeper into the history of the Philippines, I’ll find more of these things – traditions that were once integral to the lives of Filipinos. And if I do, it’ll be sad as it can only mean the undoing of centuries worth of traditions, history, and culture.