Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Relieved Novak living the dream

By Bren O'Brien

Men's Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic has spoken of his relief at breaking through for his maiden Grand Slam title after his four-set win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Rod Laver Arena.

While he is only 20, Djokovic had desperately wanted to take his chance to open his Grand Slam account having made the semi-finals or better at the past three tournaments. Having realised one of the best moments of his career, Djokovic said he felt a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

"It's an indescribable feeling, something that I always dreamed of, of course. I think every player dreams about winning a Grand Slam. It's something special. It's a special event. It's two weeks long, all the best players in the world playing. Then you come up in the end as a champion, you know, only one guy to win the tournament. I mean, I'm still not aware of the big achievement I have had in these two weeks," he said.

Djokovic revealed that he felt under enormous pressure coming into the final as favourite, having defeated Roger Federer in the semi-finals.

"It was kind of strange feeling to get into the match as the favourite. As I was saying in the pre-conference, it's always dangerous to play against the underdog, the player who doesn't have really anything to lose," he said.

"You get to the final, you know, final match, you just want to make another step and win it. I was nervous and there was pressure, and I think it's understandable. But I'm very happy the way I deal with that pressure," he said.

Djokovic hasn't had time to consider whether his success ushers in a new era in men's tennis after breaking the duopoly of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

"I mean, it's not possible that only one tournament is changing the history. Of course, I mean, I played amazing tennis here, so I think I absolutely deserved to win, even against him (Federer) in the semifinals," he said.

"I'm gonna take it easy, you know. I'm not gonna try to think about reaching even higher goals right away. I'm not in a rush. I want to enjoy in my success and just celebrate with the people I care about. From then, I'll see what it goes."

The past three years have been dominated by the Swiss and the Spaniard, with no other player able to claim a Grand Slam title since Marat Safin at Australian Open 2005. Djokovic, the poster child of the new generation, believes the Swiss master and the determined Spaniard will fight as hard as ever.

"Everybody who wins a Grand Slam, you have to give them a lot of appreciation and respect. I just felt it now, what it feels like. Hopefully, you know, in the future I'm gonna feel it more," he said.

"He's (Federer) gonna come back in a big style, of course. He's still planning to be the best player in the world, so we all know how good he is. We're gonna see a lot of him this year."

Djokovic becomes the first player from his proud sporting nation to claim a Grand Slam title, inspiring the local Serbian community into fanatical support for the 20-year-old from Belgrade. There are 30,000 people of Serbian origin in Melbourne, and each and every one of them was behind their man as he overcame injury and a first set slip-up to secure victory. The thought of those fans, plus all the people back in Serbia, puts a smile on the proud young man's face.

"I think everybody was really surprised with the amount of the players we produced from such a small country with no tennis tradition. So I think it's still unexplainable, because there was no system whatsoever in our country for tennis and we didn't get so much support needed in that stage, mostly needed," he said.

"We've always had I can say strong support from our closest family, from our parents. And I think this hunger for success and the times and things we went through made us stronger."

With plenty of strength both in the women's and men's game at the moment, Djokovic believes that Serbian tennis could well be set for a golden era.

"Until now, we still didn't have a Grand Slam champion. Now I don't even realise how big deal this is. I really am overjoyed with the victory and very happy that the people in Serbia appreciate what we have done. Not just myself, but everybody," he said.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sharapova savours sweet success

By Luke Buttigieg

Australian Open 2008 women's singles champion Maria Sharapova says her victory is just reward for all the hard work she has put in over recent months.

Sharapova struggled with injury for much of 2007 but finally managed to shake off most of her ailments in the latter part of the year and returned to some of the tennis that she's renowned for when she reached the final at the WTA Tour Championships.

And having avenged her defeat to Justine Henin in that final in Madrid when she won her quarter-final against the Belgian world No.1 earlier this week, Sharapova completed her third Grand Slam win with a 7-5 6-3 defeat of Serbian Ana Ivanovic.

"So exciting, it's amazing," she said of her feelings about her latest triumph. "Sometimes you just … when you're putting the work in it just seems so, so hard, and you never know when that work's gonna pay off."

"When you're going through tough moments, you never know when you're going to have good moments. I'm just so thankful that I got this one."

But having been humbled by unseeded American Serena Williams in the corresponding match 12 months ago when she was the No.1 seed, Sharapova denied that she had any extra motivation this time around in an event in which she didn't drop a set.

"No, just satisfying, period, to win a Grand Slam, and to win one that you've never won before, especially after some of the tough losses that I've had," Sharapova said when asked if she was more satisfied to win it in light of her loss in 2007.

"The feeling is just so weird, because with every match you play, you finish the match and you think, there's one more to go and you've got to concentrate. Although you just beat a top player, you played really good tennis, you always feel like there's one more to go."

"And right now there's no more to go, and I just can't feel that yet, you know. I feel like I still have to get up tomorrow and play another match," a smiling Sharapova added. "But it will settle in - I hope - really soon. I mean, I don't have a match till next week."

Having come close to being ousted in the first round in 2007 when a scorching Melbourne day almost brought her undone, Sharapova was much more comfortable in the warm conditions on Saturday.

"When I was in Singapore a couple weeks ago it was so hot and humid out there," she said.

"I got to practice there for about three days outdoors. It was great, because when I got out on the court today, I was like, 'This is a piece of cake'."

"Even though it's hot, it wasn't nearly as hot as it was over there. You know, just mentally going into the match I didn't really care. Whatever it took, I was just gonna try to do everything I could to win that match."

While unsure at first whether she could say that her greater Grand Slam final experience had helped her, Sharapova did confirm that to be the case when she cast her mind back to the pivotal 10th game of the first set.

"When I was down 0-30 on my serve, when she had that opportunity to break me and win that set, I think experience definitely helped me because I didn't get impatient," Sharapova said. "I was just steady. I knew that, you know, it was for her to take."

"I mean, she's two points away from winning the first set in a Grand Slam final. You know, if you want it, take it. And she didn't. Was that experience? I was just calm. I just did the right things."

Having also revealed after her win that she has regular contact with former star Billie Jean King, and was in touch with her both before and after the final, Sharapova ominously warned her rivals she thinks her game can still improve.

"I know I've already won three Grand Slams, I know I keep saying this, but I don't think I'm at the peak of my career yet," she said. "I don't think my body has 100 per cent developed into its own."

"I've got many more things to learn, you know, in my tennis, and many things to build and improve. That takes time. It's not an overnight process. It's something that I look forward to.

Sharapova is obviously confident any time she enters a Grand Slam that she can go all the way, but two of her biggest goals for the rest of 2008 would surely be trying to complete a career slam and also success at the Beijing Olympics.

And if she can maintain the stellar form that took her to this breakthrough on Saturday, few would bet against the Russian being right in the hunt at the business end of many major tournaments for years to come.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hantuchova hammers past Radwanska

Slovakian No.9 seed Daniela Hantuchova has advanced to the semi-finals with ease as she eliminated Polish Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2.

Radwanska, 18, had enjoyed a spectacular run at Australian Open 2008, overpowering second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round.

But her Australian Open hopes were demolished as Hantuchova dominated the match with her powerful serve and groundstrokes.

Hantuchova broke her opponent's serve in the third game of the opening set, giving Radwanska little room to move as she controlled play from the baseline.

The No.9 seed had six break points in the seventh game but her opponent fought back to hold her serve. But the Slovakian finally got her way, winning the set in 40 minutes.

Radwanska showed glimpses of her natural talent in the second set, winning with some impressive drop shots from the net. But her serve let her down, and Hantuchova capitalised, breaking early in the set and again in the fifth game.

Radwanska broke in the seventh game to trail 2-5 but any hope of a revival was quickly snuffed out by her in-form opponent.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sharapova outclasses Davenport in Australian Open Tennis Championship

It was billed as the blockbuster showdown of the first week, but unfortunately it failed to live up to expectations, with Maria Sharapova easily accounting for Lindsay Davenport in their second round match.

The Russian coasted to a 6-1, 6-3 win in the first night match on Rod Laver Arena, in an impressive performance that displayed her sharp form and focus.

The early-round meeting between these two giants of the game was because Davenport was unseeded following a lay-off from the game in which she gave birth to her first child.

However, Sharapova was not going to underestimate her recently-returned opponent, quickly racing to a 5-0 lead on the back of powerful groundstrokes and dominant serving.

The American, much to the crowd's delight, was able to hold serve to get on the board, but Sharapova closed out the set in the next game to win it 6-1.

It was a closer affair in the second set, with Davenport settling into the baseline exchanges and managing to score some spectacular winners of her own.

But her time away from the game clearly showed, with uncharacteristic errors littering her game.

The No.5 seeded Russian took advantage of this, breaking twice late in the set to run out a convincing winner.

Match Facts

-Sharapova hit 26 winners to Davenport's 10.

-Davenport made 16 unforced error.

-Sharapova recorded the fastest serve for the match at 181km/hr.

-Davenport earned no break points during the match.

-Sharapova won 86 percent of points on her first serve.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 available to the Public!

Microsoft has reversed field and opened public access to the latest beta build of Vista Service Pack 1. Users can now download Vista SP1 RC Refresh from Microsoft's Web site.

Users can install the beta via Windows Update, but Microsoft is providing a list of procedures users should follow to avoid problems.

Microsoft originally released the Refresh beta on Jan. 9 to approximately 15,000 beta testers that included corporate customers, consumer enthusiasts, software and hardware vendors, and others, according to a company spokesman.

The spokesman said on Jan. 10 Microsoft decided to make the beta open to everyone with an interest via its TechNet Web site. Microsoft said its intention was to get the widest and deepest feedback it can before releasing the software.

The spokesman said Vista SP1 is still slated for release before the end of March.

More Popular in Businesses?

The beta news comes on the heels of the third phase of a year-long study conducted by Walker Information for IT services and product supplier CDW, which shows Vista gaining popularity in the business market. The study shows that 48% of respondents are using or evaluating Windows Vista -- up from 29% in the previous poll from February 2007 and from 12% in the first poll taken in October 2006.

Microsoft first made Windows Vista SP1 RC Preview available on Nov. 14 to 15,000 testers as part of its private beta program. In December, the company opened the beta to the public.

Microsoft hopes to align SP1's availability with Windows Server 2008, which Microsoft hopes to ship on or before its Feb. 27, 2008 launch event in Los Angeles.

Vista SP1 will include a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements but no new features, Microsoft said. Microsoft also is updating its set of Vista migration tools, including the Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0, Windows Vista Hardware Assessment 2.1 solution accelerator (formerly called Business Desktop Deployment), and Microsoft User State Migration Tools 3.0.

Microsoft officials said the Vista SP1 RC includes changes that streamline setup and installation. It also includes all previously released updates since RTM, performance and reliability improvements such as file copy, network browsing and improved response time to resume from sleep, and change to administration features, including changes to BitLocker that allow encryption for multiple volumes.

Over the years, SP1 versions of any Microsoft products have become a traditional milestone that some corporate users wait for before they even consider rolling out the software.

Uptake of Vista has been slow by corporate users, many of whom have standardized on XP and are reluctant to undertake another migration.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

GM's Self Driving Car

Welcome to the future! A Car that drives itself: The 2008 Opel Vectra.

Driving is not that complicated at all if you own a car that drives itself. Hassle FREE and worry FREE! More relaxing and will surely make driving safer. check it out!

The car will be capable of piloting itself at speeds up to 60 mph in heavy traffic without any input from the driver sitting behind the steering wheel.

GM claims the system, called Traffic Assist, will make driving safer and more relaxing. It uses lasers, a video camera and plenty of computing power to "see" signs, bends, other vehicles and lane markings, and to control the engine, steering and brakes to keep the car in the correct position on the road and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

The system is to become available on more models by the end of the decade — initially other cars on the Epsilon platform, including the next Saab 9-3, Cadillac BLS and Saturn Aura. Whether it will be launched in the U.S. will depend on whether administrators deem it safe — product liability laws are different in America.

GM expects the package to be about 50-percent more expensive than conventional active cruise control radar equipment, which controls distances but cannot steer the car.

What this means to you:
No, it's not April Fool's Day; GM really has developed a self-driving system. Great for traffic jams, but we're not sure about a car driving itself at 60 mph!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Earn! Earn! Earn! It's just a browse away

Wanna earn while browsing? click the link below and sign up!
It's free and true! Earn while just browsing.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Microsoft's Tabletop Computer

Say goodbye to keyboards and mouses with Microsoft newest technology.

Microsoft Surface (codename: Milan)

Microsoft Surface is multi-touch product from Microsoft. Developed as a software and hardware combination technology a single or a multiple user to manipulate digital content by the used of natural motions, hands gestures or physical objects. Announced on May 29,2007 and expected to be released on 2008.


Surface is essentially a Windows Vista PC tucked inside a table, topped with a 30-inch reflective surface in a clear acrylic frame. A projector underneath the surface projects an image onto its underside, while five cameras in the machine's housing record reflections of infrared light from human fingertips. The camera can also recognize objects placed on the surface if those objects have specially-designed "tags" applied to them. Users can interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and objects such as paintbrushes across the screen, or by placing and moving tagged objects.

Surface has been optimized to respond to 52 touches at a time. During a demonstration with a reporter, Mark Bolger, the Surface Computing group's marketing director, "dipped" his finger in an on-screen paint palette, then dragged it across the screen to draw a smiley face. Then he used all 10 fingers at once to give the face a full head of hair.

In addition to recognizing finger movements, Microsoft Surface can also identify physical objects. Microsoft says that when a diner sets down a wine glass, for example, the table can automatically offer additional wine choices tailored to the dinner being eaten.

Prices will reportedly be $5,000 to $10,000 per unit. However Microsoft said it expects prices to drop enough to make consumer versions feasible in 3 to 5 years.

The machines, which Microsoft debuted May 30, 2007 at a technology conference in Carlsbad, California, were set to arrive in November 2007 in T-Mobile USA stores and properties owned by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. and Harrah's Entertainment Inc. But with delays in developing custom applications for each of the partners, it will take until spring 2008 before the machines start showing up at these locations.


Microsoft notes four main components being important in Surface's interface: direct interaction, multi-touch contact, a multi-user experience, and object recognition.

Direct interaction refers to the user's ability to simply reach out and touch the interface of an application in order to interact with it, without the need for a mouse or keyboard. Multi-touch contact refers to the ability to have multiple contact points with an interface, unlike with a mouse, where there is only one cursor. Multi-user is a benefit of multi-touch -- several people can orient themselves on different sides of the surface to interact with an application simultaneously. Object recognition refers to the device's ability to recognize the presence and orientation of tagged objects placed on top of it.

The technology allows non-digital objects to be used as input devices. In one example, a normal paint brush was used to create a digital painting in the software. This is made possible by the fact that, in using cameras for input, the system does not rely on restrictive properties required of conventional touchscreen or touchpad devices such as the capacitance, electrical resistance, or temperature of the tool used.

The computer's "vision" is created by a near-infrared, 850-nanometer-wavelength LED ight source aimed at the surface. When an object touches the tabletop, the light is reflected to multiple infrared cameras with a net resolution of 1280 x 960, allowing it to sense, and react to items touching the tabletop. Surface will ship with basic applications, including photos, music, virtual concierge, and games, that can be customized for the customers.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

GIMP Portable

GIMP Portable - image editing on the go.

GIMP Portable is the popular the GIMP for windows image editor packaged as a portable app, so you can take your images with you and do your editing on the go.


The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

click here to download

The Pussycat Dolls Live in Manchester

The Pussycat Dolls performing there last three
songs in Manchester, on February 4th 2007.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Quantum and Information Technology Convention

Welcome to Quantum & I.T. Convention!

The QITC is an acronym of Quantum and Information Technology Convention—an innovation of the two ground-breaking activities of the two well-recognized organizations of Xavier University united to accomplish a common goal.

The Quantum

Quantum is a tradition of Xavier Computer Enthusiasts’ League (XCEL) of Xavier University since 1994. It is a pure competition participated by different schools in Mindanao. Its main objectives are to test the level of knowledge and literacy of high school and college students on Computer and Information Technology and to develop a science and technology culture among the youth.

Quantum is composed of 3 segments. First are the MS Paint and the GIMP Competition which will be participated by one grade school and one high school student as a representative of each school. Second is the Quiz Show which is exclusive for high school students consisting of three bona fide students of each school and the last one is the Programming Competition which will be consisted of three bona fide college students equipped with programming skills.

The IT Convention

The City-Wide IT Convention of the Ateneo Information Management Society (AIMS) started in the year 2002 and will commemorate its 5th year of gathering the IT students of Cagayan de Oro City not just to test their competence but to guide them with additional knowledge and to develop their skills in Information Technology.

This is usually a 2-day and 1-night activity which comprising sessions and discussions on IT related topics with distinguished resource speakers. A fellowship or social night was usually held in the evening with delightful performances from the delegates. In the following day, a short quiz bee and receipt of certificates wrap up the convention.

Registration Fee and Payment Procedures

All Schools, Colleges and Universities in Mindanao are invited to join the First Mindanao-Wide Quantum and Information Technology Convention (QITC).

Registration Fee:

1st Cut Off : January 11, 2008
- Students = PhP 2,500.00 (Stay-in)
- Students = PhP 1,750.00 (Stay-out)
- Professionals = PhP 3,000.00 (Stay-in)
- Professionals = PhP 2,500.00 (Stay-out)

Deadline: January 21, 2008
- Students = PhP 2800.00 (Stay-in)
- Students = PhP 2,200.00 (Stay-out)
- Professionals = PhP 3,300.00 (Stay-in)
- Professionals = PhP 2,700.00 (Stay-out)

- Students = PhP 3,200.00 (Stay-in)
- Students = PhP 2,600.00 (Stay-out)
- Professionals = PhP 3,700.00 (Stay-in)
- Professionals = PhP 3,100.00 (Stay-out)

High-school and Grade-school participants for the Quantum competitions are NOT REQUIRED in the payment of the preceding fees. Such participants are engaged only for the competition which is a 1-day activity only unless they prefer to join the 3-day event.

For outside Xavier University/Cagayan de Oro City, please deposit your payment at:

  • Account Name: Jim Paul Padayhag & Camilo Lozano III
  • Account Number: 0156-1954-21
  • Bank: Land Bank of the Philippines

After depositing the payment, please send your scanned bank transaction receipt (keep the original copy the receipt, will be check again at the actual event) at or mail at the address below:

Mail Address:

Quantum and Information Technology Convention
c/o Xavier Computing and Information Services Group
CIT Building, 3rd floor,
Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan
Corrales Ext., Cagayan de Oro City, 9000

Join the biggest I.T. enthusiasts gathering on January 25 to 27, 2008 at Country Village Hotel, Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City.

Speakers for QITC

Name of the Speaker: Yolynne Medina
Position: IRC Channel Consultant and Online Networking Staff
Company: International Open Source Network ASEAN+3 Sub-Regional Node
Company URL:
Topic: OpenSource

Name of the Speaker: Aileen Apolo
Position: Philippine Country Consultant
Company: Google Inc.
Company URL:
Topic: Google Applications

Name of the Speaker: Jan Michael IbaƱez
Position: Software Architect
Company: Orange and Bronze Software Labs
Company URL:
Topic: Java Management Extensions

Name of the Speaker: Matt Arnilo Baluyos
Position: System Administrator (also KLUG President)
Company: Syntactics, Inc.
Company URL:
Topic: Current and Emerging Web Technologies

Name of the Speaker: Calen Martin D. Legaspi, SCEA
Position: Chief Executive Officer
Company: Orange and Bronze Software Labs
Company URL:
Topic: Careers in Software Development


You will learn how leading IT specialists have applied IT management principles and best practices to leap from the competition.

You will learn how the application of IT management techniques has produced 100% productivity in large, complex IT environments.

You will learn how to show off your IT skills in the competition events.

You will learn important and reliable topics from the speakers. Knowing what’s in and what’s out.