App in Focus: Gyro

Posted: 14 Aug 2012 04:28 PM PDT

Games come in different forms. Some are complex and requires certain level of finger dexterity and intelligence to be enjoyed. But most of the successful games in any platforms are those which are simple and free. Gyro certainly has all the makings of being a successful game and a must try game especially if you're a casual gamer. A fair warning though, this game is addictive.

Gyro is a simple color matching game that involves a spinning tri-colored wheel and matching incoming colored orbs to its corresponding color on the wheel. Every successful color match is rewarded with points and increase in points multiplier.

Points given are dependent on the size of the orb you've matched with the wheel and the multiplier increases after matching certain number of orbs. As the multiplier increase, so does the number of orbs required for it to increase it to the next digit (i.e 1 orb to x2, 2 orbs to x3, 3 orbs to x4 and so on).

Fail to match the orb and you'd be penalized dearly. 1 multiplier every missed orb and a deduction of armor on the hit color of the wheel depending on the size of the orb missed. The game is over once a part of the wheel doesn't have any armor left. Here's a short clip that demonstrate how the game works.

Seemed pretty simple right? Well not so much. At the beginning of each game the number of orbs and its speed is fairly slow in order to for anyone to get the hang of it. But as the game progresses the number of orbs increases as well as its speed. To keep things interesting the game also features special orbs that either grant powers or distractions and achievements which are unlocked by reaching certain points.


Is Piso Net really a lucrative business?

Posted: 14 Aug 2012 05:39 AM PDT

Piso Net has been making quite a buzz in the metro since early 2010, but it's not only until recently that the enterprise got the attention of business-minded folks. So what is Piso Net and how are things from a business standpoint? Is it really a viable source of extra income? YugaTech investigates.

Piso Net is basically a merge of PC rental and Arcade rental services wherein customers can pay the services by inserting coins to the machine. The rate is typically 4mins/peso which also amounts to the typical Internet Café rate of Php15/hr. This rate can be tweaked higher or lower either to be more competitive and entice customers or gain more income by decreasing the minutes/peso.

So if there's not much difference in pricing, what is the advantage of Piso Net over traditional Internet Cafes? Well some internet cafés have a fixed rates and minimum minutes of usage, this makes for not-so ideal scenario for budget-conscious Pinoys. And although the rate is the same, Piso Net offers a much flexible alternative that most internet cafes don't and that is to have more control on how much time and money a customer is willing to spend at a given time.

The setup is rather simple with the bare PC parts are inside a wooden box similar to that of an Arcade machine or Videoke machine. Much like the Arcade machine, it is activated by inserting coin/s which triggers the machine. Once the time is consumed, the machine cuts off the display and will resume when a coin is inserted. The bottom wooden part inside the machine has a carved hole to collect the coins.

Now that you have a better perspective of how it works, let's delve in to the business side of things. PC Express is one of the known providers of Piso Net machines. They offer a variety of configurations pegged at different price points.

Here are the available configurations on their website.

Intel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz dual-core
4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
NVidia GT430 1Gb DDR3 VRAM
18.5" BenQ LED Monitor
Creative 2W speakers

Intel Pentium dual-core G620 2.60GHz
4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
Radeon HD5570 1GB DDR3 VRAM
18.5" BenQ LED Monitor
Creative 2W speakers

There are also other providers who offer the same configuration for a cheaper price. Depending on your market, which is most of the time your neighbors, you can choose a configuration that suits your market's needs (internet, gaming and/or document editing). Needless to say that gauging your market and choosing the right configuration is crucial to the success of the business and the amount of time to spend to return the investment.

We did some research on how things are going on a revenue standpoint. We interviewed a housewife married to an OFW who runs a 3 Piso Net units business for little over six months now. She got it for Php20,000 apiece and placed it in small space inside their house. According to her the monthly revenue averages at Php17,000/mo. If we break down on a per week and per day, the revenues averages at Php4,265 and Php610 respectively. So a Piso Net unit generates more or less Php5,600/month, Php1,410/week and Php200 a day. This revenue is based on 16×7 operation on a not-so developed areas.

In terms of cost of operation, she said that the 3 units' electricity consumption amounts to Php2,700/month and Php1,000 for the internet service. Since she's not paying for the location, the total cost of operation only sums to Php3,700/month. So if we deduct the TCO from the monthly average revenue (17,000 – 3,700), you'd have an average net revenue of Php13,300/month. At this pace, the turnaround for the return of investment is only 5 months.

Another benefit of Piso Net is that it requires less effort to maintain unlike with Internet Cafes. All the personnel need to do is to make sure that he/she has more than enough stock of 1 peso coins and units are pretty much on auto-pilot. I only wish that the future iteration of the machine supports coin amounts bigger than a Peso because it can be a pain in the neck to drop a coin every now and then.

So is the Piso Net a lucrative business? Given the breakdown of revenue and the right circumstances, yes we think it is a viable source of extra income. But in any business there will be potential drawbacks, we'd like to hear your thoughts on what are the potential disadvantages of running a Piso Net business.

3600mAh High-Capacity Battery for Huawei E5

Posted: 14 Aug 2012 02:57 AM PDT

I’ve been using a pocket WiFi since last year and have gone thru so many models from Sapido to, Dlink, ZTE and Huawei. The biggest problem so far is that the 1500mAh drains so fast and degrades in a matter of months if you use it on a daily basis.

So when I found out that there are actually high-capacity batteries for the E5, I ditched all the other pocket WiFis and stick with it. Before this, I would bring several external/portable batteries which is shared with my other smartphones.

The 3600mAh high-capacity battery is more of a permanent solution. That’s more than twice the capacity of the regular battery which is just 1500mAh.

Based on experience, I could get somewhere between 8 hours to 24 hours of usage on a single full charge (really depends on usage pattern).

The benefit of the high-capacity battery was evident during the recent floods where some parts of the metro also experienced some brownouts. So I got two of these charged and ready to go the next time there’s another brown-out.

The 3600mAh high-capacity battery sells for Php2,180 over at TipidPC (see listing here).

Disclosure: Hot Gadgets provided the units for free.

Jabra outs Supreme UC Bluetooth Headset

Posted: 14 Aug 2012 01:32 AM PDT

Jabra recently launched the Supreme UC Bluetooth headset. This wireless headset are designed with mobile workers in mind. Find out more about the Supreme UC after the break.

The Jabra Supreme UC is basically a revamped version of the Jabra Supreme, the first mono bluetooth headset with Active Noise Cancelling technology, which was introduced last year. The main difference be is the addition of the UC functionality to the headset. UC stands for Unified Communication which is what this Bluetooth headset is all about. The headset supports popular communication applications such as Cisco, Avaya, Skype and others.

In addition to this, Jabra understands that an individual usually brings more than one gadget in their day-to-day activities. So whether that be a phone, tablet or a computer or a combination of the three, the Supreme UC makes it easier for a user to handle multiple gadgets by pairing to multiple gadget at the same time thanks to it Multiuse technology. The headset supports pairing for up to two handheld device and computer and can remember up to 8 different Bluetooth profiles for easier pairing. So basically, users can easily move from device-to-device and from app-to-app.

Much like the first Supreme, the Jabra Supreme UC also has a built-in voice assistance which makes it easier for users manage incoming calls. With these headsets users, can manage incoming calls and make outgoing calls through voice commands. The voice assistance also prompts the user of its battery life and who is the caller on the line.

Jabra promises the best possible sound quality for when listening or talking with the Supreme UC thanks to its Active Noise Cancelling and Noise Blackout v.3.0. In addtion to the ANC technology, the wireless headset is also equipped with Wind-noise reduction and Advanced DSP technology for a clear conversation even when outside.

In terms of battery life, the Jabra Supreme UC has a 6hours talk time and 8 – 15days of stand-by time under its belt. Charging won't also a pain in the neck because the wireless headset only requires 15mins to be fully charge.

Although the company is also considering to take on the consumer market because of the wide-spread use of smartphones and tablets, it was mentioned in the conference, Jabra products are more geared towards the enterprise market.

This may explain the steep pricing of the Jabra Supreme UC. This wireless headset, that comes with a Bluetooth dongle and a hard carrying case has an SRP of $USD149 and will be converted to our currency when it hit the local retailers. The company didn't mention an exact date when the wireless headset will be available but it is said that it will initially be offered on Apple stores for the first few months and then be released on other retail stores.