Ecommerce Weather Report for Manila in 2017

This is a follow-up to my 2016 post.

Not much new in mid-2017 for online shopping sites, but Honestbee is doing the first grocery home delivery now in the Philippines. The dominant grocery chain is Robinson’s, but they don’t offer home delivery. Honestbee will mainly shop for clients at Robinson’s and other specialty food providers.

The Manila area is interesting for home delivery for 5 reasons:

  1. large, high-density urban population
  2. relatively low adoption of cars, full trains and buses, traffic jams (exacerbated by Uber contractors), typhoons
  3. large available workforce of “Honestbees” (concierge shoppers and delivery bees) at very low wages
  4. large nuclear families, lots of kids – moms should welcome delivery to the door
  5. restaurant chains (McDonald’s, Shakeys, etc.) deliver, but nobody else does.

Also some recent payment processing changes to checks, credit cards and Philippines Check Image Clearing System (CICS):

  • Checks are now settled in one day nation-wide using check images instead of returning paper to the issuer, requiring new checks with an updated waiver statement on the face. Checkbook holders can only use old non-waivered checks until June 30, 2017. (So checks issued for pre-pay of insurance, etc. after June 30 must be destroyed and re-drawn.)
  • Robinsons Bank ATM cards now use the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) smart-card standard.

Robinsons Bank CICS Check Notice

Robinsons Bank EMV Notice

Robinsons Bank Debit Card Notice

Family Ties Bind Philippine Banks


  • Note: NAIA Airport cancelled the P750 (USD $17.00) airport departure fee a while ago, and still hasn’t replaced it. They seem to have working AC throughout the airport now, as this was the most pleasant departure that I can remember from Manila.

  • Some Manila hotels are using Hi-Wire Wifi as their wireless ISP (WISP.) They use a non-standard provider architecture: the same server for both the routing gateway and local/public DNS. That means that unlike most wireless ISPs, DNS access is also restricted until authenticated.
    To get online, you must use DHCP for their DNS server, or set your DNS and gateway to If your networking setting DNS is set to for example google DNS ( only, login will silently fail and it is beyond the ability of hotel IT staff to troubleshoot. :)
  • Fastest wifi in the Philippines! Shhhh…”
  • Gateway and San Lazaro Malls both have publicly available wifi if you know where to look, but still not Magnolia, which is undergoing major renovations despite being built only a couple years ago.
  • China Eastern Airlines’ hub, Shanghai Pudong Airport, requires registering your phone if you want free access. An alternative is the business lounge wifi if you can obtain the password. Most people would want to use their cell phone instead. (T-mobile USA seemed to work there, as I received travel update SMS.)
  • China Eastern Airlines’s main gate at Pudong seems to be Gate 16. The arrivals and departures display is obscure, but there is a small 2-screen display outside the store located across from Gate 16.

Apple Pay and the rise of the five-party network
For Western Union, Refugees and Immigrants Are the Ultimate Market
W: Honestbee Last year, $1.2 trillion in mobile payments were made through WeChat, with each user averaging about $85 a month in peer-to-peer transfers

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Truly Seamless Reloads with HAProxy – No More Hacks!

Landmark “corporate” technical blog post from Willy Tarreau titled “Truly Seamless Reloads with HAProxy – No More Hacks!”

Summary is that there is progress concerning HAProxy zero-downtime reloads on linux, even under heavy connection load.

Interestingly, microservice owners doing frequent updates and reloads have been driving the interest behind this.

Thanks to Willy for both the improvements, and the very detailed (and lengthy) blog post explaining the history and status of the fixes.


Posted in API Programming, Cloud, Linux, Microservices, Open Source, REST API Programming, Tech | Leave a comment

Percona Live MySQL Conference 2017

Percona Live 2017 was again a well-organized and well-attended Open Source database conference this year in Santa Clara.

Percona Live 2017 Keynote Day 3 by Peter Zaitsev
Peter Zaitsev, Co-founder and CEO, Percona

Each year a different conference theme emerges. This year I would say it was timeseries databases, as there was a track dedicated to it, a keynote announcement on Facebook’s Beringei, and half of the expo booths were monitoring and related product vendors (VividCortex, InfluxDB, Timescale, ScaleDB, Grafana Labs, Solarwinds, etc.)

VividCortex actually had the primary expo real estate for the first time, as well as delivering multiple talks. Congrats!

Keynote Videos
Conference Videos

Some other interesting topics were:

These were the BoF Lightning Talks:

  1. “Successful stories around MySQL and MariaDB Multi-Source Replication” by Mariella Di Giacomo
  2. “What is Sharding” by Manjot Singh
  3. “Use slow logs to collect unique queries and their performance continuously” on Percona Server using log_slow_rate_limit with Michael Wang. (Feature to do sampled slow query analysis)
  4. “The two little bugs that almost brought down” by Jean-François Gagné. Impact of recent application bug and server replication panic bug due to a memory leak on their complex fanout topology. Possibly bug #69848. Possibly related.

The MyRocks BoF was very popular and lively. RocksDB is used internally at Facebook, and is in MariaD 10.2 as MyRocks. Mark Callaghan answered several questions and talked about Linux IO accounting as being inaccurate for SSD according to his customized version of fio, and generally lacking in performance-tracking features. Some audience members acted keen to adopt MyRocks, but it sounds like early days for public use. There was a session on MyRocks.

Thanks to Continuent for hosting their “customer appreciation dinner.” It was interesting talking to the CEO/owner, Eero Teerikorpi, about the history of Continuent over the years, MySQL replication and other major features used by enterprises.

Eero sold Continuent to VMware as a component in their cloud hosting plans, but when those plans were cancelled bought it back in 2016. So Continuent is independent again. (Robert Hodges and Giuseppe Maxima stayed at VMware.) They plan to invest more in their replication product. (I’ve used it previously for MySQL to Vertica replication.)

Posted in Cloud, Conferences, Linux, MySQL, Open Source, Oracle, San Jose Bay Area, Tech | Leave a comment Moose (OO Perl)

Tonite at Silicon Valley Perl Mongers, Venugopal gave a talk on “Moose (OO Perl).”

It was a dark and stormy nite, but a dozen members still arrived.

Venugopal did a great job explaining how Moose works, with admirable patience.

Moose is an extension to Perl5’s built-in OO syntax that is more like what programmers from other languages expect when OO programming.

As a programming example, he used a File parent class with Text and Binary subclasses.

His plan is to add some examples to the slides and release them for public use.

Thanks again to Nvidia for hosting.

Getting there by public transit: take Caltrain to Sunnyvale station, then VTA 304 limited bus at 5:36 pm to Scott and Space Park. Nvidia Campus is at 2800 Scott Blvd., Building E. Depart with the VTA 60 Great America bus at 8:17 pm and 8:50 pm to the VTA Light Rail.

Posted in Open Source, Perl, Tech | Leave a comment

Blog More Awesome than ‘Enumerated’?

Just revelling in Nick Szabo’s awesome essay blog, Unenumerated.

The world’s oldest gold artifact – a small bead from the lower Danube river basin (4,600-4,500 BC). [Source]

My favorite essays so far:

If you know of any other blogs of this caliber, please post a comment.

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