2009 May | baratillo @ cubao : www.baratillo.net

baratillo @ cubao : www.baratillo.net

Proxy Regulation

Posted in Blogging & Technology by juned on the May 28th, 2009

At first read, the news seemed very positive: Censored Web Critic wins Chinese court Case - by Kathrin Hille, FT.com. Indeed it would seem a victory. Read it here:

Censored web critic wins Chinese court case
By Kathrin Hille in Beijing
Published: May 25 2009 19:12 | Last updated: May 25 2009 19:12


Well it is:

Economics professor Hu Xingdou was sent enail by ISP Beijing Xin Net informating that because his site’s content were illegal and because of this it his was shot down. According to the court, Beijing Net failed to present evidence to its claim and futhermore the company failed to present proof that it informed the Hu was asked to change the content before closing the account - This was the contract.

The company was fined $201.00 . They (Beijing.net) could appeal the case in a few days - 15 days from May 20.


Mr Hu was said to be happy with the verdict and it paves the way Internet in China is regulated having a set of clear rules and less with arbitrary, opaque decisions. Mr Hu does not seem interested in filing a case against the Internet Surveillance Authorities citing it might just be dismissed.

The interesting point here is that in certain countries Internet regulation is implemented through the ISPs. It is rare for a blog or website to be shutdown by the government. This is done by the vendors - acting through orders or via self-censorship.

It seems to be a very effective way of muzzling on-line media.

It is a kaleidoscope world indeed or is this the future? Will we see this happen here?


San Miguel has opened two new websites for San Miguel Beer fans and aficionados at San Miguel Beer and Red Horse Beer. And they are running a number of online contests.

Anyway, I like viewing this commercials, They are funny and very good stress relievers.

What is your favorite?

Periphery Notes on a Scandal

Posted in Politics and Culture by juned on the May 26th, 2009

Last night we were on a boat cruising along Manila Bay when the singer on board started singing George Michael’s Careless Whisper. Now in any other country the song might no get noticed. There would be a few who would look bemused and there would be some would have the what-the-F do I care. However, In the Philippines and at that time May 25, 2009. The song elicited a gush of laughter, snickers and almost very much amused face from the listeners - all who were trapped in the middle of Manila Bay listening to Careless Whisper. Some were even were sort of slow dancing to the song.

Ah to understand this phenomenon one must wind back the clock and go back a few weeks when the private sex videos of a local celebrities and company - varied and many came out. A video scandal came to be around five to forty videos viewed and up for view for those interested.

And there seems to be a lot of people interested:

1. From the politicians wanting to investigate, make legislation and defend the oppressed sometimes all in one go.

2. From some appalled individuals apalled and disgusted with the video but are very familiar with the video. A somewhat ironic and humorous predicament.

3. From those who condemn people who delve into the issue, but in the process are actually delving into it. A non-participating participation.

4. From those who download it because of curiosity and for academic reasons. And for those who download it for … other reasons.

And the interest is nearly universal. Sons and Daughters are somewhat shocked that their Mothers and Fathers asked, “Have you downloaded yet the video?”

To meeting and sessions suspended to see and investigate the video.

To jokes like:

Question: What do you call a camera used to record sex scandals?
Answer: A Hayden (Kho)mera

And even debates have began with friends and colleagues about it.

Sociologists, anthropologists and all kinds of academic -gists are going to have a field day with this. And who knows ironically this might find itself being adapted into a telemovie or even a movie. The Senate has not even started the formal investigations.

Its interesting how a scandal can generate an interesting national story and at the same time provide a mirror image of our society and us.

As the late Raul Julia said in a movie, “But for me… it was Tuesday.”

I need reading glasses

Posted in Politics and Culture, Readings by juned on the May 23rd, 2009

The past few weeks I noticed I am finding it hard to read the fine print in most medicine bottles. And also the fine print in most forms. Next week I will have to buy myself reading glasses. A sign of old age but I am still lucky because my younger sibling sported glasses while still a teenager.

Seeing is important. Both with eyes and the heart. One is empirical in a sense something we learned from the hilosophers and Scientists from Ancient Times. To observe is to learn. And you learn a lot of things by just observing, which actually seeing, hearing and using our other senses. And then there is seeing with the heart, A phrase borrowed from Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye..”.

Taken from the book called The Little Prince. It is a book I highly recommend you read. There are probably several copies about.

And seeing with our eyes and hearts we can often generally discern whether our loved ones - may they be friends or family is in pain or is in trouble. And more often it also pains you to see this. Specially, if the friend or loved one decides to keep it to himself or herself. All you can do is wait till your needed and/or subtlely tell the person that you are there - ready.

I am just here is the phrase I think.

And that in a sense is one of the essensce of friendships - which can exsist between friends and family members. And this reminds me of Saint-Exupery’s book and one of the more poignant passages contained within.

Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .

and further down…

My life is very monotonous,” the fox said. “I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . .

Ah the problem and joy of taming and being tamed. What a nice euphemism for Friendship.