POSTSCRIPT / April 30, 2002 / Tuesday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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Javier: They can’t hide Carpio’s link to Jancom

RETORT TO CARPIO’S PAÑERA: Pro-environment and anti-corruption organizations called down yesterday a partner of the then Carpio Villaraza Cruz (now Villaraza Angangco) law office reacting to our report on objections to the controversial $350-million garbage incineration contract of Jancom Environmental Corp. with the government.

Gideon L. Javier, spokesman of Bantay Kontrata and the Clean Air Coalition, said that the letter-writer, lawyer Ma. Jacqueline P. Swann, “has deliberately changed the issue.”

The real issue, he said, “is not whether Justice Antonio Carpio had a hand in preparing Memorandum Order 202, nor whether it is wrong to create an inter-agency body to handle Solid Waste Management Projects, but rather, the pathetic attempt of the Supreme Court Third Division to cover-up Mr. Carpio’s involvement in the case and its violation of Supreme Court Circular 12-94-A by not having the Jancom case re-raffled to another division.”

In its resolution dated April 10, 2002, the Third Division said, “A painstaking scrutiny of the record would show that Mr. Carpio and his former law firm have never been counsel for any party in the case….Moreover, Mr. Justice Carpio resigned as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel on Feb. 15, 1996, while the bidding for the waste management project was held almost a year later, on Feb. 12 1997.”

Javier said: “A real scrutiny would reveal records which shows that Mr. Antonio Carpio was consulted by former NCR-CORD Chairman Dionisio de la Serna on how to fast-track the project. (Minutes of the 3rd PBAC Technical Working Group Meeting June 27, 1995) For the Third Division to say that the bidding was held on Feb. 12, 1997, when Carpio had already resigned is such an insult to our intelligence. Antonio T. Carpio was involved and consulted about the project when he was still Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.”

“Further, to say that Mr. Carpio ‘was never counsel for any party’ is ludicrous! It was Justice Carpio himself who admitted being former counsel of Vivendi, Jancom’s partner and 80-percent owner. This is the reason why he inhibited himself from the case and this is the reason why the case should have been re-raffled to another division.

“It is simply insulting and offensive how Mr. Carpio and his colleagues, in their vain attempt to resurrect the Jancom contract has used and manipulated people like Ms. Swann, Mr. Ismael Kahn and even the Third Division of the Supreme Court to distort and twist the facts in order to cover-up their misdeeds.”

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A-V SHIELDS AT WORK: Since more than a week ago, we have been bombarded with cryptic messages bearing viruses. This has kept our Norton AV shield busy fending off the virus attacks that average seven daily. Norton also checks outgoing messages for viruses piggybacking on them.

We also have to mention with appreciation the tight-guarding that epldt.net (the PLDT Internet company) has been quietly doing to protect us subscribers. Epldt.net scans all incoming mail collected by its server, before the messages are downloaded to subscribers.

The epldt program takes proper action, which is usually deletion of infected items that cannot be cleaned or repaired, and promptly shoots a report to our mailbox. If some viruses still get through epldt, our Norton software is waiting for them.

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CRAWLING WITH WORMS: Among the worms crawling around us the past several days and trying to disable our PC are of the Klez variety.

If you receive a short, nonsensical email ostensibly from us, most likely that is the handiwork of a virus that indiscriminately sends itself by using email addresses at random. Most likely, the virus had picked our email address from the files of an infected PC somewhere and used us as the supposed source.

As we’ve said, our Norton AV software that is on live-update also scans outgoing mail. “Live update” means automatic updating in the background of virus patterns while we’re online, which in our case is all the time that the PC is on.

We hope it assures you to know that no mail is sent from our machine if Norton finds it infected.

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WHY MAIL BOUNCES: Another administrative problem we want to talk about is the bouncing back of some of incoming email with the reason given that our mailbox is full.

There is a cap to the mail volume that we can or want to handle. The servers of our three ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have set maximum capacities for our use that are big enough but sometimes abused to the limit by outside parties.

When the servers are filled up or almost full, mail that won’t fit anymore bounces back with an explanation. This now happens to our incoming mail almost weekly.

As soon as we learn about the space problem, we purge our mailboxes and/or go to the ISP server itself to delete in advance the extra large items (usually even without bothering to open and read them) that are crowding out everything else.

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SECOND BARRIER SET UP: There is a second limiting barrier to the volume of mail coming in. We have set a limit to the message size that we’re willing to download. Any message beyond 100 kb is either rejected by our PC (the item stays in the overburdened ISP server) or is truncated and only its first part is sent down to us.

So, if you see that the message you’re writing is already beyond 100 kb, please shorten it if you want it to reach us.

We think that some malevolent individuals, when not sending viruses, are deliberately sending us huge (usually useless messages packed with attachments) precisely to clog our mailbox, block legitimate mail, and mess up our work. It’s much like the old trick of some idiot calling your number and hanging the phone.

Except for some inconvenience and a delay in mail delivery, we’ve been able so far to go around this naughty trick of these Internet hoodlums. It’s okay, we tell ourselves, this is part of the game. And we keep learning things as we play it.

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ATTACHMENTS ARE OUT: This brings us to the subject of attachments. Despite our repeated advisories, some correspondents still send us attachments. This is a big waste of time, effort and resources, because, believe us, we do not bother to open attachments. We delete them without bothering to check the sender and the actual content.

We don’t mean to be a wet blanket, but even Christmas, birthday and other greeting cards sent by friends and well-wishers are shunted straight to the trash bin without being opened. Added to the heap are prized pictures of the baby of proud parents, the vacation shots of friends out on a junket, and valuable documents being shared with us.

The only exception is when the sending of the attachment was prearranged by an individual whom and whose hardware/software we trust. These are rare cases.

Not only are attachments the active carriers of most viruses, they are also one of the reasons why the ISPs’ servers are readily clogged. Unlike plain text, images (pictures, artwork and the like) attached to email eat up considerable space.

In the case of text attachments, the sender is advised to instead copy/paste the document to his message proper. Pardon our saying it, but attaching text to email is pure laziness.

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REDUNDANT LINES: Since technically savvy players will assume it anyway, we don’t mind our disclosing that we are simultaneously using three ISPs that we have interlinked. The redundancy ensures us of some fallback when one line fails or is torpedoed.

When we encounter a problem on one line, we close it and go to another line — which has been pre-configured to have exactly the same settings, updated mail content and address book as the one we just closed.

The three ISPs we’re using are apart from the personal website ManilaMail.com that we’ve created to carry an electronic extension of our Postscript column printed in the STAR. When we launched ManilaMail.com, we were thinking basically along the idea of redundancy.

If technical trouble suddenly renders the PhilSTAR website inaccessible, as it had happened a few times, our suki readers who are equipped for surfing can just go straight to our website — and there’s Postscript (plus the back issues) waiting with its easy-to-read layout.

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FAST, SIMPLE OPERATION: Because we upload the online edition of Postscript right after we send the manuscript to PhilSTAR at Port Area, readers can actually access Postscript from any computer or cellphone equipped for browsing before our column sees print in Manila.

For the information of the curious, the ManilaMail.com server is in the United States. I transmit the updated files and pages by satellite after I compose/create them in Manila using HTML (hypertext markup language). It’s a fast simple operation.

We want to add a few more useful features to ManilaMail.com, but lack of personnel and resources holds us back. Whatever the plans lead to, however, we will keep ManilaMail’s layout simple, uncluttered and fast on the download.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of April 30, 2002)

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