Daily dose

Justice Antonio Carpio: Defending Philippine Sovereign Rights in the West Philippine Sea

A must-watch for every Filipino, this lecture of retired Supreme Court senior associate justice Antonio Carpio eloquently demolishes the 9-Dash line claim of China over the West Philippine Sea.

Using historical and legal evidence, he presents a very strong case in which China’s claims over the Spratly islands is built on a false narrative designed to suit the Chinese government’s expansionist desires.

Through this lecture, Justice Carpio makes it easy to understand the Philippines’ historic victory against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016. The full lecture can now be watched on Access Online’s YouTube account here.


LIFE Hacks with Atty Chel Diokno

It’s been a tiring, busy yet very fulfilling week as together with good friends and colleagues, we’ve launched the first installment of our ‘LIFE Hacks‘ series of webinars last June 27, 2020.

Our keynote speaker is none other than the venerable human rights defender, nationalist and founding Dean of De La Salle University’s College of Law, Atty Chel Dionko in which he talked about the Anti-Terrorism Bill and the recent cyber-libel conviction against veteran journalist Maria Ressa.

The webinar series is the inaugural project for our little volunteer group Lasallian Initiative for Empowerment or LIFE. Our mission is to help our fellow Filipinos, especially the youth, to better understand current issues and take part in the national conversation.

Despite the speed bumps and misses, we were surprised that the event exceeded most of our expectations given that we only had almost a week to put it all together. It was also my first foray into moderating or hosting a webinar and the experience has been a humbling and inspiring learning experience for me.

Apart from managing the logistics of the webinar and hosting it, I also handled the technical production – learning how to use and setup OBS Studio to jazz up our zoom webinar the night before and live streaming the event on our Facebook page. All those years of tinkering with computers, sound mixers and DIY-community theater really helped a lot.

We’re now working on our next event which would be a lot smoother and better thanks to all the valuable lessons we learned from the pilot episode. I’ll be talking more about this soon in the coming days.

If you’re one of those who joined our first ‘LIFE Hacks’ thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We look forward to seeing you in the next installment soon!


A more stable home network with the TP-Link Archer C50

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about tips on how to boost your WiFi signal at home one of which is to get a new WiFi router especially if your existing one is of an old model. A new device would give many benefits like a more stable home network, power efficiency, security, easier network management, and even more refined parental controls if needed.

That’s exactly what I did yesterday when my new TP-Link Archer C50 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Router finally came. It’s not the bleeding edge model but it’s more than perfect to upgrade our home WiFi network.

Main features of the Archer C50 are as follows:

  • Supports 802.11ac standard
  • Simultaneous 2.4GHz 300 Mbps and 5GHz 867 Mbps connections for 1200 Mbps of total available bandwidth
  • 4 external antennas provide stable wireless connections and optimal coverage
  • Easy network management at your fingertips with TP-Link┬áTether
  • Supports IGMP Proxy/Snooping, Bridge and Tag VLAN to optimize IPTV streaming
  • Supports Access Point mode to create a new Wi-Fi access point

It took less than 30 minutes from unboxing to putting up a new home WiFi network complete with a Guest Network and parental controls for the kids.

After all of our devices: smart TV, two PCs, 4 smart phones and a tablet have been moved to the new WiFi network, I took down the old one by disabling the WiFi on the three-year-old router that came from our ISP.

Now the entire house gets full WiFi coverage and my Bluetooth Awei headphones have been working flawlessly with my Lenovo notebook because it’s on the less congested 5GHz network while the rest of our devices are on the 2.4GHz network.

Best of all, I can control the Archer C50 with my smartphone via the easy-to-use and intuitive Tether App which is available for Android and iOS devices. WiFi bliss without breaking the bank and maximum convenience.


The joy of customizing Ubuntu

One of the best things about Linux is the freedom to do almost anything you want with it. So when I started using Ubuntu Linux, one of the first things I did after a fresh install is customizing it to look and behave like Apple’s OS X. It’s a hack to get the best of both worlds: a taste of the OS X experience because it is a great operating system and still be able to use free and open-source software that is Linux. Both OS traces its roots to Unix so that should take care of any philosophical hang-ups and make customization easy.

There are a lot of good tutorials out there, just make sure that it’s up to date and it matches your Linux distro or flavor of Ubuntu. As for me, I’ve stopped customizing my Ubuntu installation to look & behave like OS X mainly for two reasons: appreciation for the GNOME desktop environment and my minimalist attitude towards software, eye-candy like fancy animations or icon sets should be as light on system resources as possible. It’s also the reason I loved Google Nexus phones because it ran on stock or pure Android.

More than a month since going back to using Ubuntu as my main OS and it’s only been a couple of days since I changed the default wallpaper and the biggest customization so far is the installation of GNOME Tweaks tool to refine small bits of the OS: showing what day of the week it is, the battery percentage, managing Workspaces and replacing the default dock with Dash to Dock.

The last piece of customization is installing “Albert” an app launcher similar to macOS Spotlight. Everything was wrapped up by adding shortcuts to my most-used websites and apps. With that, my personal Ubuntu setup is now complete.

My customized Ubuntu 20.04 with GNOME Tweaks and Albert app launcher

If you’re also using Ubuntu and have made your own customization, feel free to share about it in the comments below or slide into my inbox with some screenshots. I’d love to see what you came up with.