Friday, March 26, 2010

Anne Curtis' Swimsuit Malfunction and Nipple Slip

I received an annoying letter this morning from Viva Entertainment's legal counsel regarding the recent "swimsuit malfunction" of Anne Curtis while doing a dance number for the show ASAP XV. The malfunction caused Anne's breast to be exposed supposedly for about 10 seconds in front of the live audience, while she unknowingly continued with her dance number.

What does that have to do with me, you might ask. That is a very valid question. It seems that one of the online showbiz gossip sites to have "broken the news" and spread the image is, a former Mozcom DNS and webhosting client. The domain was registered through Mozcom back in 2005 for 6-years. Naturally, Mozcom appears as the "registrant" when you perform a whois query. But this client has left us back in 2008 and has not been doing business with us since then. They transferred their site apparently to

What made the incident annoying is that the letter to me was immediately set in a threatening tone -- basically: take down the picture or we'll sue you. One would normally expect at least some courtesy from these legal people before they put the blame on someone and just assume they are guilty. There have been a couple of incidents wherein Mozcom has worked with the NBI's computer crime division to resolve certain issues. At least the people at NBI observe basic courtesy and protocol to sort out the issue, and do not immediately pass judgment. But alas, not so with these corporate legal types.

On the topic of Anne's nipple slip incident, while I feel sorry for her, I also can't help but feel irritated by these showbiz people who basically thrive by being in the public eye all the time. Then if their privacy gets "violated", it becomes such a big issue. If you want a life of excitement and thrill, do not become an accountant. If you want a stable, 9-to-5 desk job, do not apply to be a policeman or a fireman. And if you don't want your privacy to be constantly invaded by the public, don't join showbiz. Its that simple. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the frying pan.

Lets take a look at last year's biggest scandal -- the Hayden Kho / Katrina Halili / Maricar Reyes sex videos. Katrina Halili made such a big fuss about it, whereas Maricar Reyes just admitted her mistake and moved on. After several months, where is Katrina now? Still attending court hearings to dis-bar Hayden? Look at Maricar -- her career is soaring. TV series, movies, guestings, magazine covers, you-name-it. Paris Hilton did not go around hiring legal types to sue people who distributed her sex videos. In fact, those sex videos propelled her popularity into new heights.

These people just have to learn to accept the nature of their profession and move on instead of crying over spilled milk all the time. Several months from now, nobody will even remember this nipple slip incident -- which by the way, does not seem to be the first time that this has happened on Anne based on a simple Google search!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Last Day with Grandpa

We woke up early to be a Paz by 8am where there will be one last Christian service. Based on feng-shui, the coffin has to be wheeled out of Paz by 9am, and has to be buried by 11am. Don't ask me why. It doesn't make any sense to me.

It was a slow funeral convoy from Araneta Ave. all the way to Heritage Park in Taguig. We got there in about 1.5 hrs. We came down from the cars at the cemetery gate and walked from there with the horse carriage carrying the coffin to the burial plot. There was a short message from the pastor then grandpa was lowered down.

There were no major crying as what I originally expected (especially from Dad). I guess everyone was really expecting it given his old age and long bout with lung cancer. From Heritage, we proceeded to Hai Shin Lou in Arnaiz Ave. for the customary lunch for the guests. We filled up about 8 tables.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 3 of Wake

This morning/noon was Pacquiao's fight against Ghanian Joshua Clottey. Same as every day when there is a Pacquiao fight, very few people are on the streets. So I imagine most of the visitors to the wake today came after the fight. Altogether, the fight was pretty boring. Clottey was avoiding contact and seemed content to just finish the 12 rounds, with Pacquiao winning by unanimous decision. We did not actually watch the match. I just recorded it on my Philips DVDR, as usual for latter viewing.

There was a Christian service tonight at Paz organized by Tito Edward's contacts at BSOP and GCF. Shortly before the start of the service, Tito Edward came to me and told me to do a eulogy. Now, I've never given a eulogy before in my life since it is not very common in the Philippines. Also, we haven't really had a death in the immediately Chiang family since... well, since my brother died back in 1980 (that's 30 years ago!).

I quickly gathered my thoughts and decided to just talk about grandpa based on my (little) memory of time spent with him. I probably talked for about 10 mins then it was Tito Edward's turn. Despite the lack of preparation, my eulogy seem to have been well received. We stayed at the funeral until close to midnight.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 2 of Wake

Grandpa's coffin was moved down to Chapel 1 on the ground floor for easier access. Flowers started coming in. While hanging around, I was reading some brochures about La Funeraria Paz. It seems that this funeral has been around for about a hundred years and has had the "honor" of holding the interment of such historical dignitaries as Apolinario Mabini and Melchora Aquino (aka. Tandang Sora).

While the facilities in general has not been upgraded much to modern standard at par with neighboring mortuaries like the Sanctuarium or the one at Heritage Park, they have at least installed Wifi access that can be accessed from the chapel. It was pretty slow though so Nikki couldn't really use it for Skype. It was ok for GMail.

Wifi access also requires a password that one can easily acquire by calling the admin office. But given that there are really no neighboring office buildings, I wonder why even bother. Its not like anybody would drive by Paz Funeraria just to get free Internet via Wifi.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Kong Kong Passed Away

Our phone rang at 2:30am (yep, that's "AM"). Mom called to tell us that grandpa just passed away at his hospital bed in Cardinal Santos Medical Center. Dad stayed with him overnight and was there when it happened. He died peacefully from his cancer at 89 years old without much pain. He has lived a long life and I guess we just have to be thankful that it was a painless farewell.

Cols and I immediately went over to the hospital. Grandpa was still on the bed although his body was starting to get cold already. They wrapped his jaw to his head just like they do in the local movies to prevent his jaw from opening, I guess. Because once it opens and locks, its very difficult to close it again. His body was cleaned first with a sponge bath, then wrapped while waiting for the cashier to open so we can pay the bill and the funeral parlor can come and pickup the body.

From the hospital, we went back home around 7am and prepared to attend Ethan's last day of school at Links School for Life. Its their closing ceremony and they had a program. Ethan was awarded the most cheerful kid at school title.

From there, I went through the rest of the day without any sleep -- dropped off prints at True Colors; attended a meeting with our HR; then off to La Paz Funeraria along Araneta Ave. in QC at night. The body was placed at Chapel 8 in the 2nd floor of the annex. Its a temporary location as we will move down tomorrow.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Our New Samsung ML-1640 Monochrome Laser Printer

I finally decided to buy a new laser printer for our home/office. The old Brother HL 2040 has served us faithfully for the past 6 years or so but its constant paper jam problem is just too much to bear already. I was mainly deciding between the P3k+ Samsung ML-1640 laser printer and the near P6k HP laser printer. Although I was a bit partial in favor of the cheaper Samsung, the fact that the HP was out of stock at PC Express made it a simple decision for me to buy the Samsung.

Installation was straightforward. Below are my observations:
  1. This printer will not win any speed test that's for sure. Compared to our old Brother and the HP at the store office, this unit churns out prints maybe 1.5 to 2 times slower. Its ok for typical home use. But if you plan to do high volume printing for the office, this is too slow.
  2. Unlike the Brother HL2040 which has a manual paper feed, this one does not really have one and if you try to feed a short paper (8 inches or less), you have to nudge it a bit to keep it within the paper sensor range. Otherwise, the printer complains there's no paper.
  3. In fairness, its paper tray and printer roller design is simpler than the Brother and is very similar to HP's. I think Brother's design, while flexible, makes it prone to paper jams.
  4. The Samsung printer did not even ship with a manual anymore. Not that I really need one. I guess it lessens the cost. Installing the software also installs a PDF version of the manual. I had to check the manual though because the panel buttons and lights are not obvious as to what they do.
  5. Unlike the Brother printer also, this Samsung laser printer does not seem to have an auto power-down feature when left idle for an extended period of time. You really have to manually shut it down.
The toner cartridge costs P2k+ -- almost the cost of a new ML-1640. But then again, the HP's toner cartridge only costs about P100 cheaper. Here's hoping it will be easy to find an ink-refilling station who can service this Samsung.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Movie Reviews

I've been catching up on some movies lately that I've missed. Here's a quick movie review of what I thought about them (in no particular order):

The Night Watch / Day Watch series - I decided to give this movie a try after hearing so much about it. Its supposed to a big hit based on a series of novels written by Russian author Sergey Lukyanenko. Its yet another movie whose plot revolves around vampires (or vampire-like creatures) who lives amongst us humans without our knowledge. The "light" and the "dark" ones are constantly keeping each others in check. And a child with great powers is prophesied to arrive and tip the balance.

Don't get me wrong -- I actually like watching these types of movies, but I have to say -- Night Watch (1st movie) and Day Watch (the second of the trilogy) are two really, really b-o-o-o-o-ring movies. I felt that since I've already invested a lot of time watching part 1, I might as well finish part 2. But it was just so lousy. It was like watching the Russian version of Ghostbusters without the funny antics of Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray. I guess I won't be watching Part 3 (Twilight Watch?). Big waste of time. My rating -- two thumbs down.

This Is It (2010) - This is the behind-the-scenes video of Michael Jackson's supposed last concert at O2 Arena in London before his untimely demise. It showed footages of the dancers auditions, as well as, Michael rehearsing. The man is really a musical genius. He is very hands-on with his production and has a very clear idea of how he wants his music and show to appear. A far cry from a large majority of canned artists today who just follow what they are told.

I was expecting them to include the footage of the Cebu prison inmates doing "They Don't Care About Us" in the main video. Michael's choreographer came over to teach the inmates the dance steps and the video has been uploaded to YouTube. I don't know if they just used the video material as a "teaser" or as a "bonus feature" to the full video. For all fans of the Gloved One, this one is not to be missed. My rating - 1 thumb up.

Up (2009) - I can understand why this Pixar animated movie is not going to make millions of bucks in merchandising deals unlike Cars or Finding Nemo. While the characters are lovable, the movie seems to be targeted more towards an older audience unlike the aforementioned movies. Its not really something that you'd watch over-and-over again (I can't count how many times Ethan has watched Cars before he got tired of it). Overall, its ok and it did get the Oscar nod for Best Animated Film for 2009. My rating - 1 thumb up.

2012 (2009) - Yet-another-end-of-the-world movie. And yes, once again, the culprit is the sun. I was actually half-hoping that this movie would talk more about the Mayan culture and calendar which predicted the end of the world by 2012, but the movie hardly made any reference to it. Unlike other doomsday movie, there was also no attempt to stop the impending disaster (not that anyone can really stop the sun).

The whole movie was like an extended car chase scene with John Cusack's character constantly running a few inches away from buildings, debris, mountains, etc. being thrown at them -- and he constantly escapes without a scratch. The effects were "ok"; nothing really that blows away the mind, or maybe all the recent computer-generated effects have already dulled my senses. My rating - no thumb up and no thumb down either. Its a popcorn movie that you can watch if you have nothing better to do.

The Passengers (2008) - This movie came out a couple of years ago but I did not even notice it. Maybe that's a sign already of its quality and popularity. The movie stars Anne Hathaway as a psychiatrist counselling the crash victims of an airline disaster. Then each of her patient started disappearing mysteriously.

When I downloaded this movie from, some guy hinted away the movie ending already. So that really spoiled the "surprise" twist, if there ever was one. For those of you reading this, well too bad because I'm going to reveal the ending! Bwahahaha! The Passengers is a poor copy of the Sixth Sense's plot. Yes, Anne Hathaway's character also died at the plane crash and she was not aware that she's dead. Hoo-hum. Basically, each dead person had to accept the fact that he is dead so he can "move on" to the next stage.

But what made the movie a poor copy of Sixth Sense, is in this one, the dead people were actually interactive with the "live" people which completely made no sense. When Patrick Wilson ran across the street to his dead pet dog, the car stopped when it almost ran over him, and the driver even stared at him. Now how was that possible if the "live" world could not see these dead people. Then there was the airport incident where one of the "dead" people was confronting the equally "dead" airline pilot, and the "live" people surrounding them were watching the argument. Again, how can that be possible? My rating - 1 thumb down.

Horsemen (2009) - Dennis Quaid stars in this Seven-wannabe. Unlike Seven where the serial killer used the 7 deadly sins of the Bible as his theme, this movie follows the theme of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The plot is lame, and the ending is equally lame (what exactly happened? Was the killer captured and imprisoned?). Zhang Zhiyi's character was pretty creepy. I've been a fan of hers since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Its good to see Asian actors making it to mainstream Hollywood movies. My rating - 1 thumb down.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009) - this is probably the surprise of this batch. This indie film is actually a remake of a really old movie of the same title. Its about a tv reporter who is out to expose the District Attorney whom he suspects of manufacturing "irrefutable" DNA evidence to close all his string of convictions. Michael Douglas stars as the DA in a supporting role, while the main role of the TV reporter went to a lesser known actor. Douglas' performance, nonetheless, was riveting. When he plays the bad guy, he's really makes you hate him.

The movie would have already been perfect were it not for the "twist" at the ending. Ok, I won't spoil this one in case there are some who want to watch this movie. The "twist" did not make much sense to me though as there seem to be nothing in the movie that supported it. My rating - 1 thumb up.

Surrogates (2009) - This Avatar-meets-District 9 movie likewise did not make a big splash in the box office despite having Bruce Willis as its lead star. The basic plot of an "evil corporation" out to replace humanity is also a tired subject. And I really hate it when movies use computer viruses to explain something as complex as frying the brains of people sleeping in their pods remotely controlling their "surrogate" robots. My rating - 1 thumb up.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Simulating Keyboard Input with C# Part 2

A week ago, I was discussing how to simulate keyboard input into another application with C#. While the method of using GetProcessByName() works fine, it seems to be dependent on the Windows performance counters being enabled. I'm not sure if its just my Comodo Firewall which is blocking the writing to the restricted Windows area or its something else, but my old Visual Studio 2003 application could not successfully use the GetProcessByName() method that I used with my Visual Studio 2005 test. The FindWindow API call seems to be the more universal approach of getting the handle of another running Windows application.

To access, FindWindow or FindWindowByCaption, use the following pinvoke declarations:

[DllImport("user32.dll", SetLastError = true)]
static extern IntPtr FindWindow(string lpClassName, string lpWindowName);

[DllImport("user32.dll", EntryPoint = "FindWindow", SetLastError = true)]
static extern IntPtr FindWindowByCaption(IntPtr ZeroOnly, string lpWindowName);

Use FindWindow() if you are searching using the registered "Class" name. Otherwise, if you want to use the text that appears on the Windows title bar, use the FindWindowByCaption() API call.

IntPtr hWnd;
if (externalAppType == "CLASS")
hWnd = FindWindow(externalAppName, null);
hWnd = FindWindowByCaption(IntPtr.Zero, externalAppName);
if (hWnd != IntPtr.Zero)
if (SetForegroundWindow(hWnd))
System.Windows.Forms.SendKeys.SendWait(id + "{ENTER}");