Saturday, April 16, 2016

AlDub's 9th Monthsary!

Photo: Official Eat Bulaga
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Today marks the 9th monthsary of the Philippines' favorite love team, AlDub, and in that very event in the recent Kalyeserye segment on GMA's longest-running noontime variety show, Eat Bulaga, the love team uncovered the big revelation inside the box they got yesterday. So, what's in the secret box? Keys to a house and lot? A sketch for a wedding dress? A baby doll? No, no and no. The biggest surprise is none other than...a movie announcement! You heard that right, AlDub will star in their very own movie soon!

With surprises come in all sizes, it seems that all surprises come with great results for AlDub and thanks to such surprise, their road to their "tamang panahon" is closer to perfect! Keep watching Eat Bulaga every weekdays for more Kalyeserye antics!


On the April 15, 2016 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Campaign gags

- Hugot lines for the election campaigns!

- Criminals staging their own party list

- Mang TaƱong thinks he's a big fan of Power Rangers

- Two friends got involved...

- Bubble Gang PSA about politicians this election period.

- More misjudgments examined in WAG JUDGMENTAL

- Touch therapy

- IKAW AT ANG INA takes on...Be Like...whoever that is.

- A taste of what the boys may expect...

- More news reversed in OPPOSITE NEWS.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Let's Do The News! (April 15, 2016)

- The National Grid of the Philippines declared red alert for Luzon, signifying that power demand is higher than the available supply. According to Department of Energy Undersecretary Mylene Capongcol, the alert was declared from 1300 to 1500 hours in Luzon after some hydropower units and state-owned Malaya oil thermal reduced their capacity. The power demand reached 9.746 MW on Friday afternoon while supply only amounted to 9,771 MW.

- Ousted MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol has asked the Sandiganbayan to issue a gag order on Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas to stop the latter from making accusations against him over the MRT maintenance contract fiasco. Vitangcol said his name was mentioned by Roxas during the second presidential debate in Cebu last month.

- US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is set to visit an aircraft supercarrier in the South China Sea following his Philippine visit. In his remarks at the closing ceremony of the Balikatan exercises, Carter said the US will continue to stand up for their safety and freedoms and those of America's allies. Carter will be aboard the USS John C. Stennis but its exact location remains unclear.

- Over a hundred aftershocks from last night's M6.5 quake continued to rattle near the city of Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu, Japan and residents got a fuller look at the widespread damage from an unusually strong quake that hurt 800 people and nine were reportedly died. The quake struck about 1,300 km southwest of Tokyo.

- The Russian Defense Ministry argued back against the US Department of Defense criticism that a Russian fighter jets repeatedly flew close to a US navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea. The US military said that Russia's Su-24 Fencer planes flew near the US guided missile destroyer several times on Monday and Tuesday.

- At a recent presidential debate in preparation for the New York primary, democrat rivals Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clash each other over their ideals about diplomatic ties with Israel, the minimum wage, campaign finance, tax returns, Wall Street, and many others.

- Aston Martin unveiled the lightweight Vantage GT8, a lesser version of the GT12 packed with an upgraded 4.7 V8 engine producing 10hp more than the Vantage S, capable of 0-60mph in 4.4 second and 190mph of top speed.

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

- The first Doubutsu no Mori (Animal Crossing) game launched in the Nintendo 64 console since the 14th of April, 2001. 2016 marks the series' 15th year and to commemorate, Nintendo showcased a special video in honor of the series' milestone.

- Believe it or not, there's a South Korean drama adaptation of THE IDOLM@STER in the works as auditions for a new idol group will commence this next month. It will be an original story that draws inspiration from Bandai Namco's hit franchise.


THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: NoKor missile launch presumably failed

The North Korean Missile Launch meant to celebrate the birthday of the founding father, Kim Il-Sung, was presumably failed, according to South Korean and US officials, an humiliating setback in what was reportedly the inaugural test of a new, powerful mid-range missile.

According to reports, a Musudan missile, which could one day be capable of hitting US military bases in the Asia-Pacific, exploded in the air a few seconds after liftoff. Despite the failure, the North has another Musudan loaded on a carrier and Pyongyang will likely fire it according to authorities.

The launch comes as the two Korea's trade threats amid Pyongyang's rage over annual US-SoKor military drills that North Korea calls it a rehearsal for an invasion. The North has recently fired numerous missiles and artillery shells in to the sea as an act of protest against the drills.


Forza Motorsport 6 - Chronicling the Clio


The Renault Clio, the B-segment midsize compact hatchback in the Renault range, is currently on its fourth-generation and while driving this hot RenaultSport version, I realized even though this hatchback's good as a track-day car, there's somewhat lacking in the enjoyment department aside from the double-clutch gearbox that takes more than I hoped for to change gears. Probably it's the heritage that the best Clio per generation had in its two and a half decade tenure when the first Clio launched in 1990.

Alright, let me get back to where it all started and since this game had four of the best Renault Clios per generation, it might be the ideal chance to know about the best Clio per generation had in its 25 or 26-year career. Is that right? Anyway...

clio (3)

The best model offered in the first-generation Clio was none other than the legendary Clio Williams. Although this car has nothing to do with the Williams F1 team, it uses the 16S model as the base and then fettled by the Renault Sport division. It comes with a 2.0L engine producing 147PS of power output and capable of 215kph of top speed. Aside from that, the Clio Williams features track-oriented handling upgrades well fit for this hot hatch hero.

After all 3,800 units sold out, insistent public demand prompted Renault to build 1,600 more. Later on, Renault created the second and third batch of Clio Williams models, leading to a total of over 12,000 units built.

clio (4)

When the second-generation Clio came out, the best version was the first and only mid-engined hot hatchback, the Clio V6. Specifically, the Phase II of the Clio V6. When the folks from Renault wanted to develop a V6 powered hot hatchback, they faced a key issue and that is their V6 engine couldn't accommodate the front hood and what they did here is get rid of the rear seats, place the V6 engine midships, make it rear-wheel drive, and this is the result; the world's first and only mid-engined hot hatchback. The Phase II version of the Clio V6 features an updated version of its V6 engine, developing 251HP of power.

clio (2)

Onto the third-generation model, the best version offered is the Clio RS 200. This model is the last to have a naturally aspirated 2.0L petrol engine and conventional 6-speed manual gearbox and although gone, some drivers believed that a good hot hatchback needed to be pure like this, that's why there are hesitant to embrace the latest model and its turbocharged 1.6L engine and EDC gearbox with paddle shifters. Although an improvement to the pre-facelifted model, the Clio III RS 200 features better downforce, capable of tracking down corners with its precise movements.

Anyway, with the history lesson done, the best Clios per generation have been gathered to settle the issue of which Clio is the best and that's why I am at Brands Hatch to settle this issue once and for all. Question is, which Clio is the best? Let's find out.

At the end, I had the results...

Clio Williams - 2:07.028
Clio V6 - 1:59.065
Clio RS 200 - 1:58.827
Clio RS 200 EDC - 1:58.708

clio (5)

Needless to say, despite its flaws, the fourth-generation Renault Clio RS 200 EDC is the ultimate improvement over the past hot Clios through the years. It maybe prone to understeering, its double-clutch gearbox may had some delay tactics on its own, but above all, this Clio managed to withstand through the test of time with historical improvements and it's clear to say that this Clio is a track-honed hot hatch in its own right. Let's hope Renault can make the Clio RS even better to keep the enthusiasts longing for more.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Japan, Russia urge N. Korea to refrain

Nations are warning North Korea to refrain from additional provocations in response to Pyongyang's possible ballistic missile launch movement.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Japan's defense minister Gen Nakatani said it cannot deny the possibility that North Korea will carry out more provocations while Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo is gathering intel on the North's nuclear and ballistic missiles with its SDF in ready position. Lastly, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov also said he hopes Pyongyang will listen to the voice of reason and refrain from taking additional irresponsible steps.

Source: Arirang News

Fallout 4's Rocket 69 is coming to FM6

Fallout 4's Chryslus Rocket 69 in FM6 

Fallout boys in the world, rejoice! Because following last year's announcement about the XBOX One-exclusive Forza Motorsport 6 game collaborating with Bethesda's recently launched Fallout 4 (got your special Pip-boy designed Ford F100?), the long-awaited arrival of the special machine as seen in the world of Fallout, the Chryslus Rocket 69 is coming to Forza Motorsport 6.

With its jet fighter-inspired cockpit, single-speed gearbox, and bizarre performance that rockets through speeds at over 200mph, way once reserved for army space rangers, the Rocket 69 adds a little Fallout charm in the world of Forza.

Fallout 4's Chryslus Rocket 69 is listed as an event car so if you want to get your hands at this special Fallout machine, made possible by the wicked folks from Bethesda, pick up a copy of Forza Motorsport 6 and/or Fallout 4 XBOX One game between now until the end of April and wait for the DL code to be sent via XBOX Live message beginning early May. Or, if you have already played either Forza Motorsport 6 or Fallout 4 prior to the announcement, expect DL codes for the special Fallout car to arrive within a week.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Let's Do The News! (April 14, 2016)

- Onto the clash at Basilan, the Armed Forces of the Philippines coordinated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front prior to its operation in the village of Baguindan in Tipo-Tipo on the 9th of April that left 18 soldiers dead and 56 others injured. According to the Western Mindanao Command, the coordination was part of the mechanism to maintain the ceasefire between the government and the MILF and prevent miscommunication that could lead to fatal encounters. 

- After his farewell battle against Tim Bradley last weekend, the recently retired boxing champ Manny Pacquiao returned home to Manila on Thursday morning. Pacquiao arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 at 0501 hours local time on board flight from Los Angeles, accompanied by his family.

- US Defense Secretary Ashton carter revealed that at least 200 American servicemen will stay behind after the Balikatan exercises for a joint patrols in the South China Sea. At a press conference with his Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmin, Carter bared that the US and the Philippine militaries started joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea, a move decided at a ministerial meeting with Gazmin, US State Secretary John Kerry, and former Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario in Washington three months ago.

- The ruling conservative Saenuri Party lost the parliamentary majority in Wednesday's general election, giving way to a tripartite political system for the first time in two decades. The sudden outcome came after months of political arguments over the redrawing of election maps, legislative inaction, and nomination feuds, prompting young South Korean voters to head to polls and traditional support bases to turn the other way. This loss will be a major damage to South Korean leader Park Geun-hye as she is left without backing from a ruling party majority.

- About fifty people have rallied outside the Mossack Fonseca offices in Panama City, demanding further investigation over the Panama Papers leak that exposed the offshore financial dealers of the world's wealthiests. The demonstrators called for justice on Wednesday as they handed out leaflets describing Panama as a paradise for the rich and also one of the most unequal in terms of wealth distribution in the world.

- The UN human rights office demanded the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram to free the group of missing girls it abducted in Nigeria since 2014. The UN and human rights experts issued a statement asking Boko Haram to immediately reveal the location of over 200 schoolgirls it abducted from a school in Nigeria on April 14, 2014.

- More problems arose in the making of a new Top Gear series as the latest deals on the ongoing feud between presenters Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc, saying that the Friends actor severely damaged the brand following the Cenotaph drift fiasco during shooting.

- Boy band Coldplay confirmed that they will be performing in the Philippines this year. It was confirmed via social media about last night and as part of their "A Head Full of Dreams" concert.

- The first trailer of Marvel's Doctor Strange film has arrived. This film hits theaters this autumn.


Disney Art Academy

Following 2014's Pokemon Art Academy, Nintendo's Art Academy series welcomes a new addition for aspiring illustrators; the wonderful world of Disney.

Disney Art Academy is an educational drawing lesson game available for the Nintendo 3DS and in here, aspiring illustrators and painters alike can take on lessons on how to draw your favorite characters from the wonderful world of Disney; from the iconic Mickey Mouse, Disney-Pixar hits like Toy Story and Inside Out, Disney Princesses like Cinderella, Snow White, and Frozen, Disney Villains like Jafar, Cruella De Vil, and Maleficent, and so much more.

Lessons in Disney Art Academy include simple portraits, angled portraits, full-faced portraits, full-bodied portraits, paintery, sketchy pencil drawings, and so much more; from beginner to advanced. Try learning different drawing techniques and put them to good use by drawing pre-prepared ones or do-it-yourself on free paint. You can save your work onto the 3DS' SD memory card or share it to the world via Miiverse. Since this is Disney Art Academy, sharing your best Disney drawings is a plus!

It's now available for 3,996 Yen.

M6.9 quake struck northern Burma

A Magnitude 6.9 quake struck Burma on Wednesday with tremors felt at some parts of India and China.

According to the USGS, the quake struck 396 kilometres north northwest of the capital Naypyidaw.

So far, no immediate reports of casualties .

About four years ago, a powerful M6.8 quake struck central Burma, killing 26 people and injuring hundreds.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Let's Do The News! (April 13, 2016)

- The Cebu City Council declared a state of calamity s the prolonged drought destroyed P13.4 million worth of crops and reduced the city's water supply in residential areas. The declaration stemmed from the head of Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and they're expecting the damage to still increase also based on PAGASA's pronouncement that the El Nino phenomenon will last until the end of May. Based on reports, the dry spell either destroyed or damaged P13.4 million worth of crops planted in 87.4 hectares of land in the city's 28 mountain barangays.

- The Philippines expressed full support with the G7 nations' statement calling the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. Foreign ministers of the G7 and the high representative of the European Union recently released a joint statement on maritime security.

- Camarines Sur representative and vice presidential aspirant Leni Robredo warned that the Philippines will be heavily humiliated should Bongbong Marcos elected as vice president, making it possible for the ousted family to return to Malacanang. Despite her warning, she conceded that the son of the late president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos might win the vice presidency.

- The US branch of Arab-based news network Al-Jazeera finally signed off midnight Tuesday after 32 months of covering news reports from its offices in New York City. Although Al-Jazeera America gained numerous awards, it failed to gain attention of the American audience and the news station was embroiled in controversial issues. Three months ago, Al Jazeera America announced that it would shut down this month and today, AJAM is bidding farewell to the American viewers.

- Top defense officials from the United States and India agreed to step up military collaboration amid China's increased maritime activities. US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar met in New Delhi and announced that they have agreed in principle on logistical cooperation between their militaries.

- South Koreans are voting in a general election on Wednesday as President Park Geun-hye is hoping to maintain her grip on the country ahead of the December 2017 Presidential Race. Parliamentary elections held every four years, 300 seats in the unicameral legislature are up for grabs in individual constituencies and the proportional representation system. Candidates made their final choices yesterday. The SoKor president's Saenuri Party has been criticized for the disagreements between her supporters and those who are not close to her during the candidate selection process but the party is expected to win a majority.

- Tesla's Model S saloon has been given a minor change for the 2017 model year. Apart from its new face inspired from the Model X and the upcoming Model 3, the new update comes with new interior, new air purifier inherited from the Model X, improved base charger, and much more.

2017 Tesla Model S

- The 2017 Ford GT is now available to order for the first 500 customers, each costing $450,000. Because only 250 will be produced each year, the first 500 will find new owners through concierge service, allowing customers to personalize their own GT.

2017 Ford GT

- For those who love idol girls as seen from anime; you have two choices; the first choice is FREEing's new figure of Rin Hoshizora from Love Live! School Idol Project. She's now available for booking if you have 9,074 Yen plus tax to spare. If you do, wait 'till she arrives this November. Or, if you're on the Cinderella Girls side, Max Factory's figure of Ranko Kanzaki as Rosenburg Engel is now open for booking for just 12,778 Yen plus tax. She's also arriving this November as well. Choose your side, idol girl enthusiasts.

MAX FACTORY Ranko Kanzaki
-Rosenburg Engel-
FREEing Rin Hoshizora

- In case you missed the recent Eat Bulaga Kalyeserye; as the lolas are taking a break, Divina just lost her copy of a book called Romeo and Juliet, to be used on her school project. Alden, meanwhile, was very busy at a moment, thus making Divina upset on Alden until things are getting simmer down a bit. Meanwhile, while the other Rogelio is away to a certain province for something, a replacement Rogelio has arrived in a form of a muscular, gayish, male. So, what's in store next? Tune in next time and find out!


Forza Motorsport 6: Back for more?


Last time, I managed to get behind the wheel of Dodge's ultimate masterpiece, the Challenger SRT Hellcat, and when compared to its superior stalwarts such as the new Ford GT and the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the Challenger Hellcat, despite its high power output, got left behind at Laguna Seca.

challenger (2)

So the main question is, why did this Hellcat back for more? Something tells me that the Challenger Hellcat isn't the only Hellcat offered in Forza Motorsport 6. In fact, it forewarned me of another Hellcat coming out in the world of Forza via DLC.


Oh, that explains the scenario right now because thanks to the game's Top Gear Car Pack, the all new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is here, completing Dodge's Hellcat duo and they all share the almighty supercharged V8 engine that will make Europe's finest bow to their knees...or so I thought.

charger (2)

But first, what's it all about this four-door monster saloon? Following the unveiling of SRT's ultra-powerful Challenger Hellcat, its four-door equivalent, the Charger Hellcat was unveiled as part of the recently-facelifted Charger lineup for the 2015 model year.

This ultra-powerful saloon inherits the same Hellcat 6.2L HEMI V8 engine as the Challenger, resulting to 707HP of power output, making it the most powerful four-door saloon ever made. With this power, the Hellcat-powered Charger is able to do an NHRA-verified quarter mile time of 11 seconds and 204mph of top speed.

Just like the Challenger Hellcat, the key to unleash all that power is via the red key fob because it comes with two key fobs; the black key fob which restricts the Hellcat's engine power output of just 500HP, and the red key fob which lets all the power output from its V8 engine unleashed. The Charger Hellcat is mated exclusively with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

charger (3)

So, any further explanation why we need another Hellcat in the game? No one knows why but because this a 707HP V8 saloon destined to unleash a coup de grace to European super saloons, it's no wonder why the Charger Hellcat makes a wondrous addition to the roster, despite being a four-door relative to the Challenger Hellcat. Sure, I can compare that to the old, aggressively-styled Charger SRT8 to see how much it improved but this isn't a time for that because while I am not here to be bow down to the four-door Hellcat's temptation, I came here to expose its weakness just how I did to the Challenger Hellcat a while back. Sure, it maybe a track-honed V8 monster that can roar away the Europeans but it's somewhat too tricky to tame the feral beast of a saloon. Despite being heavier than the Challenger Hellcat, the Charger Hellcat sure is a quick car that can shred both the track and the tires, whichever comes first.

Having spent a few minutes with the four-door Hellcat, I'm still trying to find its secret weakness and that brought me an idea. Sure, I can invite some European sport saloons but because of the Charger Hellcat's 707HP power output, every one in the world backed down...except for one.

model s

Well, this is an unexpected turn in development. This is an all-electric Tesla Model S, with the ludicrous P85D variant equipped with four-wheel drive that transformed into an all-weather zero-emission sports saloon that makes a silent getaway from points A to Z. This could be an interesting comparo because what we have here is a ferocious beast up against...a ninja assassin. Gasoline power versus electric power, all for the entrustment of the future of automobiles...whatever that is. Anyway, let's get this show on the road.

Oh snap! The duel between two different powerplants made it into one of the most exciting comparisons I've ever made and it's a good thing why I played this game for so long, just for the love of cars. Anyway, after a lap round Laguna Seca, the Charger Hellcat did it in 1:49.561 while the Tesla Model S, in its ludicrous P85D model, did it in 1:48.430, a second quicker.

The Model S's electric powertrain  results to less wheelspin rather than the Charger Hellcat. Less or no wheelspin start at all means quick getaway from the starting line, making it a quick advantage, but because the Model S's extensive use of batteries, it's heavy to handle through the corners even if it has four-wheel drive, meaning the Hellcat can catch up within a split second. It's amazing that despite a second gap, both of America's super saloons managed to do similar results round Laguna Seca and it's clear that no matter the powertrain, it's the skill that counts to master these super saloons.

I have high respects about Tesla's Model S because of its technological advancement only Silicon Valley's finest thought of but the Charger Hellcat is an all-round saloon that managed to handle big power in a convenient package. Sure, it maybe lost to a zero-electric saloon made by nerds but there's a lot in store for the Charger Hellcat.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: N. Korea claims Seoul "abduct" defectors

The Pyongyang-based Red Cross said Seoul was behind the latest mass defection of North Koreans who worked at a state-run restaurant in China, marking the first time for the communist country to make a comment on the issue.

In a statement delivered by the stare-run KCNA, Pyongyang claimed that South Korea abducted its citizens, adding that Seoul must make an official apology and return the defectors, or else some countermeasures from NoKor will be taken if Seoul fails to return the defectors.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministry has announced that another round of high-level talks will be taking place between South Korea and US next week to discuss North Korea sanctions and denuclearization.

The National Security Office's deputy chief, Cho Tae-Yong, will meet with his US counterpart, Tony Blinken, on the 20th of April in Seoul. This is the second time such talks have taken place between the two, after Presidents Park and Obama agreed at a bilateral summit last year on more cooperation in response to North Korean provocations. The possible deployment of the THAAD is also expected to be a topic of discussion. The talks will take place a day after trilateral vice-ministerial talks between South Korea, the US, and Japan.

Source: Arirang News

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: More on the defection of NoKors to SoKor

Further details on last week's group of thirteen North Koreans, including a male manager and 12 female employees, entered South Korea, are emerging as the group reportedly have links to North Korea's Ryugyong Hotel and are the son and daughters of leading officials within the North's Workers' Party of Korea and other administrative bodies.

Citing sources in Pyongyang, the online newspaper Daily NHK reported that the North Koreans had been working abroad for years to fund the hotel's construction and the Workers' Party. The group is reported to have flown to South Korea from a certain Southeast Asian country after leaving China on the 6th of April.

In the first three months of 2016, about 342 North Koreans defected to South Korea, a 17% jump from the same period last year, suggesting a recent rise in instability within North Korea's Kim Jong Un regime.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (April 12, 2016)

- Despite reports from a tech security firm, COMELEC assured voters that sensitive biometrics date weren't included in the alleged database leak by a hacker group. COMELEC knew the data they claimed to have and they know that date doesn't include biometrics. They also called out TrendMicro for taking advantage of the situation. A report published by the tech security firm said the leak puts 55 million registered voters in the Philippines at risk. Last month, two hacktivist groups consecutively breached the COMELEC website while releasing the poll body's entire database online.

- Back to the money-laundering issue, more RCBC officials have been dragged into the alleged $81 million heist as former branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito continued her testimony at the Senate on Tuesday. Contrary to allegations, Deguito said she didn't rush the withdrawal of the alleged stolen funds from Bangladesh when the money was credited to its beneficiaries two months ago.

- The top officials of the G7 expressed concern over the rising tensions in the South China Sea and called on the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the disputed waters. During the meeting at Hiroshima, Japan, the top officials from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, and High Representatives of the European Union released a joint statement on maritime security. The G7 ministers urged concerned states to refrain from conducting massive land reclamation activities, building of outposts and using them for military purposes.

- China, meanwhile, backstabs against the recent G7 meeting, urging them to stop making irresponsible remarks. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the G7 should have focused on global economic governance and cooperation instead of dealing with the issues on Chinese waters.

- Prosecutors in Panama have begin investigating the Panama Papers scandal, about how large sums of data on offshore financial dealings was leaked from a law firm in Panama. Public prosecutors visited the law firm, Mossack Fonseca, in response to its complaint that the tax haven data had been stolen by hackers. The prosecutors are thought to have questioned officials of the firm and examined records.

- The Brazilian lower house committee has voted in favor of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff over he alleged involvement in manipulating government accounts. The majority of the special committee agreed that an opinion papers complied by one of their members provided grounds for her impeachment. The whole lower house of Congress is scheduled to vote later this week if the upper house should take action and if so, the Senate will next debate whether to impeach. Brazil will face the brink of political turmoil as it prepares this August's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

- The Hennessey Venom GT Spyder reached a max top speed of 265.6mph down a 2.9-mile runway somewhere in California, marking it the fastest the world.

- Last April 3rd, Kouji Wada, the singer behind the TV shows from the Digimon franchise, passed away at the age of 42 due to cancer in his upper pharynx. With the farewell event happening this month, here are some people involved in the anime industry shared messages about Wada's passing. CLICK HERE.

- Dolce Amore actress Liza Soberano got bashed by netizens after calling her co-star Enrique Gil as her "best friend". Liza and Enrique played as the series' main characters Serena and Tenten. About last week, Liza shared a short video interview of an American singer-actress, when she was asked ot rate three local actors; him, James Reid, and Daniel Padilla.


Third-generation Toyota Passo/Daihatsu Boon

It's been six years since only a select few taste the second-generation Toyota Passo and Daihatsu Boon compact twins, well only the Asian markets that is in the form of the Perodua Myvi. Now, with Toyota gained complete control of Daihatsu to further experiment the small car market, the new partnership try to experiment the category with the new, third-generation Toyota Passo and Daihatsu Boon compacts. So, what's it all about?

2017 Toyota Passo
2017 Daihatsu Boon

The previous egg-shaped model was nothing but a complete mess because while the previous Toyota model have two different styles, the Daihatsu model gets one. Now, for the third-generation model, it's back to the usual two-style format and yes, there are two different styles to choose from, starting from the normal model which has a similar front view seen from the sixth-generation Mira but with the rear view looks broadly similar to the Subaru Levorg and the side view harshly similar to the old Toyota Sienta. The same thing goes to the stylish model (MODA for the Passo, CLIQ for the Boon) but it has round-shaped lamps similar to the previous model with the hexagonal shaped grille, again, similar to the Subaru Levorg. It all seems mashed -up, isn't it?

2017 Toyota Passo interior
2017 Daihatsu Boon interior

Apart from the questionable exterior, the interior still as simple as its predecessors. Although nothing special about the inside, the new Passo or Boon still has that bench seat on the front, the one nearly no car has anymore these days. The bench seat is quite the ideal interior part where you can freely move yourself in one way and another without even bother. Space-wise, the new Passo and Boon can handle boot space very well. With all seats present, the rear space, although small, is big enough to fit five gas bottles, camping gear, and a golf bag. Convenient, I dare say?

2017 Toyota Passo
2017 Daihatsu Boon

Onto the performance part and because this is a small car with fuel efficiency in mind, the only engine offered in the new model is the improved 1KR-FE engine carried over from the previous model. With dual intake ports, twin injectors, and enhanced fuel spray atomization as well as reshaped pistons, fuel economy is now 28.0km/L for front wheel drive models, a best-in-class for a liter car, while 4WD models, featuring a new idling stop feature, return only 24.4km/L.  Another main reason for its improved fuel economy, is not just because of your average CVT gearbox but also its improved lightweight, high-rigidity body and with the new suspension, it drives slightly well so it's kind of good to drive but don't get too jumpy on this one because despite having the suspension updated for the new model, you can't feel its cheerful character from within. So, it may not be a bad car to own but its cheerfulness is left denied in a cheap city car.

The new models now come, as standard, with the Smart Assist II collision avoidance assist system. This system uses a collision warning function, collision avoidance brake assist, false start control, line deviation warning function, and a feature that notifies drivers that the vehicle ahead is moving forward. It's amazing that despite being a cheap little city car, no one does it better when it comes to the tech featured, in fact, I'm getting dazed by the new model's technological advancement fit for drivers of all kinds, although there is a major disclaimer about taking advantage of these features for granted, in fact, it's not advisable to take them for granted while driving.

Should you buy it? The new Passo starts from 1,150,200 to 1,830,600 Japanese yen while the new Boon starts from 1,150,000 to 1,853,280 Japanese yen. Consider these two a well-priced city car for a start but don't get too comfortable because when it comes to being a fun car in the city, you'll be sorry for just how bland it behaves, although some optional dealer-specific accessories can slightly hide the fact that you've owned just another city car.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation/Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.

Super GT 2016 - Okayama

The first round of the 2016 season of the Super GT series kicked off at the Okayama Circuit last weekend and following last year's come-from-behind win, the #1 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R, driven by Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli, approached from third place to its first win of the season in the GT500 career. Meanwhile, in the GT300 class, the #65 LEON CVSTOS AMG-GT, driven by Hiroki Kurosawa and Naoya Gamou, scored its first win for the team this season.


The next round for the 2016 Super GT season will commence at Fuji Speedway on the fourth of May.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Let's Do The News! (April 11, 2016)

- As of now, thirteen members of the Abu Sayyaf Group were killed during the AFP's "no let-up operation" in Basilan. The encounter between the two groups happened around 0800 hours Philippine time, outside the village of Baguindan, the same area  where the 10-hour bloody encounter last weekend that left 18 soldiers killed and 56 others wounded.

- Philippine vice president aspirants Bongbong Marcos and Chiz Escudero said Sunday that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump may not be the ideal American leader when it comes to diplomatic ties with the Philippines. During the COMELEC vice presidential debate, the two candidates fell short of naming an American candidate whose policies are likely to benefit the Philippines but the two agreed that Trump will not benefit the nation's longstanding security alliance with the US.

- The Supreme Court ruling allowing Senator Grace Poe to run for president "lacks doctrinal value" according to former senator Francisco Tatad during the second motion for reconsideration filed. Last Saturday, the high court released its resolution affirming that Poe is now able to run for next month's election. By majority, the SC stated that there is no material misrepresentation on the part of Poe when she declared in her certificate of candidacy that she is a natural-born Filipino and a resident of the Philippines for 10 years. 

- The Islamic State militants have regained control of the al-Rai town in Syria, showing that the terrorist organization's capable of launching counterattacks even as the extremists come under pressure on different fronts in areas the IS controlled in Syria and Iraq.

- The fate of Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff is reaching on a knife edge as the South American country is facing a vote if she would be impeached or not. The decision starts with the congressional commission's non-binding vote at around 5:00 pm local time on whether to recommend impeachment. Then on Friday, the full lower house is expected to open debate, with a vote either the 17th or 18th where two-thirds majority would send Rousseff's case to the Senate.

- British Prime Minister David Cameron released a summary of his tax records following the Panama Papers leak and the criticism that he benefited from a fund set up by his late father in an offshore tax haven. Cameron published the income and tax report for the past 6 years on the website of the prime minister's office. The records show that Cameron received no stock dividends five years ago. An accounting firm notes in the report that he has no sources of taxable income or gains from either UK or overseas.

- A one-of-a-kind Audi A8 L Extended saloon was made for a certain client. This king-sized special measures 6.36 meters in length and a wheelbase of 4.22 meters. It can accommodate up to six people inside.

Audi A8 L Extended

- The official trailer of the brand new Star Wars spinoff film ROGUE ONE is here.

- The launch for the upcoming BIOHAZARD UMBRELLA CORPS third-person shooter game has been moved to June 23rd.


Forza Motorsport 6: SVR!

Those who witnessed last year's Bond movie 007: SPECTRE might remember the part that Hinx's men kidnapped Madeleine Swann and being pursued by Bond in a snowy Austria. One of the cars the henchmen drove is none other than Land Rover's most powerful SUV in the range; the Range Rover Sport SVR. Now, I got the chance to be what is like to be one of the SPECTRE goons by taking behind the wheel of the new SVR via Forza 6's Top Gear Car Pack.


The second-generation Range Rover Sport was premiered at the 2013 New York Auto Show and the new model is now a a performance-oriented SUV that clings out to its namesake in terms of offroad capability and sporty handling.

The ultimate version of the Range Rover Sport is the SVR, created by the Special Vehicle Operations, and the high-performance version is the quickest of its class with its 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds and top speed of 162mph, thanks to its 5.0L Supercharged V8 engine that produces 550HP of power and 502lb-ft of torque, mated with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Apart from that, the SVR features performance-oriented upgrades to its dynamics such as enhanced suspension and steering, Active-Roll Control, and the new Adaptive Dynamics with Magnetorheological dampers. Such upgrades had resulted to its Nurburgring lap time of less than eight minutes and fourteen seconds, one of the fastest SUVs to lap round the track.

Inside the world of James Bond, the Range Rover Sport SVR appeared in 007: SPECTRE and it was driven by Hinx's men upon kidnapping Madeleine Swann and being pursued by James Bond in a snow plane on a snowy Austria.

svr (2)

Having a little taste Bond villainy, I was going to think that the Range Rover Sport SVR is out of synch in the world of Forza due to its weight that all SUVs suffer but because the Range Rover Sport shares the same weight loss as the standard Range Rover, this car is not afraid to take on corners. In fact, it kinda reminds me of the Top Gear episode when the normal RR Sport lapped quicker than the hot Mini. Just how amazing is that? Anyway, since this is the SVR and this is one of the fastest SUVs to lap round the Nurburgring, this super SUV can barge through any given track like a normal car. It's kinda fun to drive, you know what I'm saying?

svr (3)

Anyway, no time to reminisce that SPECTRE moment in Austria because it's time to do some serious business at the Top Gear Test Track because I'm going to compare the brand new SVR against...


...this one. A normal supercharged Range Rover. It will be like a sibling rivalry to decide who is the superior of the two. All right, let's get cracking!

Both of these Range Rovers are benefitted to their weight loss courtesy of their aluminum bodywork, resulting to even better handling, but whereas the normal Range Rover is focused on comfort, the Range Rover Sport is focused on sportiness and with the SVR model, there's no telling how precise this heavyweight is and with performance-oriented upgrades to the dynamics as well as added power to its V8 engine, this car gets the job done and I have managed to record the lap times.

The normal Range Rover did it in 1:33.598 while the RR Sport SVR did it in 1:30.345. In conclusion, with that kind of track-oriented record, I gotta say that this should be their next favorite SUV to keep on driving in FM6. The new Range Rover Sport SVR is one of Britain's finest examples that gets the respect it deserves from being one of the fastest track-capable SUVs elsewhere, even in the world of Forza.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Manny Pacquiao wins his final battle against Bradley

Manny Pacquiao's third and final match against Tim Bradley truly is his final battle before his inevitable retirement from his career. The two boxing adversaries faced each other twice and they did it for the last time as these primed fighters thrown everything they got to ensure that this trilogy reached its climax.

At the end of this 12-round battle to what is known to be Pacquiao's last fight of his career, the fighting pride of the Philippines won the match against Bradley...twice via unanimous decision.

This fight has been one heck of a career for Pacquiao. He faced the biggest names in boxing history and he doesn't really quit without a clean fight. His career as a boxer maybe over but the real battle has just begun.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class W213

Now more technological than ever, the newly regenerated Mercedes-Benz E-Class is going to shock familiar drivers with its highly-advanced driver tech that is smart enough to track down roads with precise movements. I wonder how precise this technologically-advanced masterpiece is as a quick examination will showcase what's what.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

For a normal E-Class user, the loss of its four-eyed look is something of a witchcraft. One look and you'll say that that's not the E-Class everybody knows. Hey, at least it isn't the only one this car faced, perhaps its rival car the Lexus GS faced its fate when it lost its four round-eyed look in favor for a more sharper tone. Anyway, the new look is more of a bulked up C-Class and looks if the vice principal has taken a cup of coffee while busy reading some mystery novels...with a dystopian taste for sure.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class interior

Now, the uniform interior that Mercedes saloons adored since the present-day S-Class is lavished on the new E-Class like a tidal wave of money pooled in by some Monopoly-playing tycoon who invests in some offshore companies in the Caribbean. Sure is topical but all that gadgetry pooled on the new interior really means business for the driver and passenger themselves. It can respond to your sense of touches and access you to a wide variety of features that sounds complicated at first but you'll get used to it the more you know how. Speaking of interior comforts, the seats are well-trimmed for an executive saloon of this caliber and once you're inside, you really can't tell the difference on how nice it is or how cozy it is.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Time to delve deeper into the tech fest because with the future is drawing nearer for us, drivers, the new E-Class is the first to introduce an autopilot feature called DRIVE PILOT. Recommended for highway use, this bizarre feature with Distance Pilot DISTRONIC allows the car to handle road types to keep it in the correct distance behind vehicles in front automatically as well as following them at speeds up to 210kph. It kinda reminds us of Tesla's AUTOPILOT feature in so many ways but don't get too comfy about stupid things to do about whistling while letting your car works because with all those next-generation safety tech implemented on the new E-Class, especially the brand new Remote Parking Pilot feature, Car-to-X  communication, and PRE-SAFE, the new E-Class is about great power with great responsibility. It may have some artificial intelligence planted on this car but mastery is the key if you want to get the most of when or where to use it.

Because intelligence is the top-priority for the new E-Class, looks like there's little known about its performance. In this new model, only three models are available for launch with more to follow, including a PHEV and an AMG model. The R200, is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L petrol engine that produces 184PS of power and 300Nm of torque. The E220 d, meanwhile, comes with a 2.0L turbodiesel engine that produces 194PS of power and 400Nm of torque. Lastly, the E350 d comes with the 3.0L V6 turbodiesel engine that delivers a powerful 258PS of power and 620Nm of torque. All models are mated with a brand new 9G-TRONIC gearbox.

As expected, the new E-Class's body is now lighter and stiffer than the previous model, resulting to a better handling as you would expected for a German executive sports saloon in its class. Couple that with the new Direct-Steer system, the new E-Class can truly track down corners with precise movements. Yep, it really is that precise without breaking a sweat for the drivers and passengers alike and I think that's enough for that.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Should you buy one? The new E-Class W213 from Mercedes-Benz starts at 45,303 Euros, making it too expensive to own than the Audi A6 and the BMW 5-Series, but nevertheless, the new E-Class is a quantum leap through the better future of driving thanks to its clever intelligence planted in this sports saloon. You know that this car makes sense as long as you are not throwing too much criticisms about this car is too smart for its own good, like what you experienced with Tesla Model S's AUTOPILOT hijinks through the days.

Photo: Daimler AG
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