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Microsoft Ends Support of Windows XP, Office 2003 in 2014!

With just one year to go before it pulls the plug on Windows XP, Microsoft is giving users of the popular but aging operating system an incentive to upgrade: an upgrade discount.

In a promotional website, Microsoft said it is ending support for XP by April 8, 2014 – meaning XP users by then will no longer get security updates.
windows xp  office 2003
“Without critical Windows XP security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage your business data and information. Anti-virus software will also not be able to fully protect you once Windows XP itself is unsupported,” it said.
Also, it said many software and hardware vendors will no longer support their products running on Windows XP since they cannot get Windows XP and Office 2003 updates. 

No Girlfriend? No Problem! Japanese Students Invent ‘Girlfriend Coat’ to Hug Lonely People

A team of Japanese engineering students has invented a ‘fulfillment coat’ that may be perfect for those lonely souls in search of girlfriends — like, for example, Japanese engineering students.


 The girlfriend coat is called the “Riajyuu Coat,” which comes from the slang term meaning “someone who is pleased with their life outside the Internet.”

The device looks like a normal coat except for its neon-colored belt, which users fasten around the waist. A machine then winds the belt to simulate the feeling of being hugged from behind. As you feel the squeeze, the headphone that comes with the coat whispers pre-recorded words such as “I am sorry, were you waiting?” and “ Watch your back!” into your ears.

“The concept of this device is everyone can get the feeling [of] having a girlfriend,” hardware engineer Hikaru Sugiura said.

Looking to add this device to your personal wardrobe? Don’t hold your breath. For now, it’s unclear whether the coat is a serious product or joke among friends, although the YouTube video’s lighthearted tone suggests the latter.

Would you use the girlfriend coat? 🙂

Watch the Girlfriend coat video here:


Japan’s FamilyMart to open 1st Philippine store

TOKYO – Japanese convenience store operator FamilyMart Co. said Friday it will open its first Philippine store in Metro Manila on Sunday.

family mart

The store in Makati City, the country’s financial district, is located in the Glorietta shopping mall and contains 26 seats where customers can eat.

FamilyMart plans to increase the number of stores in the Southeast Asian country with growth potential to 30 by the end of this year.

Last November, FamilyMart and trading house Itochu Corp. established a joint venture in the Philippines with property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), through SIAL DVS Retailers Inc., to start the convenience store operation in the country.

SIAL is a joint venture between Varejo Corp. and Specialty Investments, Inc., wholly-owned subsidiaries of ALI, and Rustan’s Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI).


Public warned on Heat Stroke in Manila

The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP) yesterday urged the public to take precautions against heat stroke as most parts of the country continue to sizzle.

PHAP president Rustico Jimenez said there has been an increase in heat stroke cases since last month.

“Before summer, you would usually see one case of heat stroke in a hospital per month. But starting last month, five to 10 patients have been coming for consultation,” he said. “Most of the patients, however, were allowed to go home after being rehydrated.”

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines heat stroke as the “most serious heat-related illness” and can cause death or permanent disability.

“It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106ºF or higher within 10 to 15 minutes,” according to the CDC website.

The warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include an extremely high body temperature (above 103ºF); red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion and unconsciousness.

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Fewer jobs for Pinoys, Foreigners in Singapore

The country’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is tightening some requirements for work passes, imposing higher levies on companies hiring foreign workers and lowering the maximum ratio of foreigners allowed in certain sectors.

“It’s very difficult now. There are many companies who want to hire Filipinos but the problem is (getting) the work passes (for them),” the Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Minda Calaguian-Cruz told Rappler in Filipino in an interview Wednesday, April 3.

“It’s not focused on the Filipinos. It’s foreign talents as a whole and we’re just one part of that,” she added.

Liz Peruda, a customer service representative with Apple, said she is grateful her work pass application was approved. Her husband wasn’t as lucky. After his application was denied multiple times, he had to return to the Philippines to look for work.

“We’re just really taking advantage of whatever time we have here in Singapore,” said Peruda.

“For Filipinos, even if we hold a good job, even if we hold a high-ranking job, even us, we’re scared. When it’s time to renew our passes… we’ll have that 10% chance that it might not get approved,” she said.

What will change?

In a release from the MOM, the Singaporean government is introducing the following changes, to limit the inflow of foreign workers:

  • By July 2013, the minimum qualifying salary for the S Pass, a work pass for mid-skilled foreigners, will be raised from SGD $2,000 to $2,200
  • By July 1, 2015, Employers will have to begin paying a higher monthly levy for S Pass Holders, with the following average increases:
    • S Pass (all sectors) – $90 per S Pass holder 

    • Manufacturing – $50 per Work Permit holder 

    • Services – $90 per Work Permit holder 

    • Construction- $160 per Work Permit holder
  • The Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC), the maximum permitted ratio of foreign workers to the total workforce of a company, will be lowered as follows:
    • Services sector DRC – limited to 40% from 45% by July 1, 2013

    • S Pass sub-DRC for Services – decreased to 15% from 20% by July 1, 2013

    • Marine Sector DRC – lowered from 1 local: 5 foreign workers currently to 1 local: 4.5 foreign workers starting January 1, 2016 and 1 local: 3.5 foreign workers effective January 1, 2018

Restrictions on the renewal of applications will also become more severe.

The government has become more strict about employment requirements for foreigners in recent years. It also tightened up on the number of permanent residence (PR) visas it gives out. Government record shows that from a high of 79,000 PRs in 2008, the government now grants about 30,000 each year.

North Korea to foreigners in South: Prepare to leave

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea on Tuesday, April 9, urged foreigners living in South Korea to consider evacuating, saying there was a risk of “thermo-nuclear war” breaking out on the Korean peninsula.

The warning followed a similar evacuation advisory the North gave Friday, April 5, to foreign embassies in Pyongyang, saying it could not ensure the safety of their personnel if war broke out.
Spread template 2013
“The situation on the Korean peninsula is heading for a thermo-nuclear war,” said Tuesday’s statement which was attributed to the North’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.

“In the event of war, we don’t want foreigners living in South Korea to get hurt,” said the statement, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

It urged “all foreign organizations, companies and tourists to work out measures for evacuation”.

After last week’s embassy warning, most governments involved made it clear they had no immediate plans to withdraw personnel from their Pyongyang missions and some suggested the advisory was a ruse to fuel growing global anxiety over the current crisis on the Korean peninsula. –