Reader Advisory

Some articles posted in The SlickMaster's Files may contain themes, languages, and content which may neither appropriate nor appealing to certain readers. READER DISCRETION is advised.

Thursday, July 11, 2024



Multi-talented singer-songwriter Chris James is set to captivate audiences with his new single, “Roses”. An upbeat pop song that blends adult contemporary with bedroom pop, Chris James explores the theme of genuine love versus shallow actions, inspired by the realization that maintaining a relationship requires more than just superficial displays of affection over melodic guitars, a driving basic drum track, banjo, and piano.

Newsletter: ‘Death Is Not a Failure’: Enhancing Dolphin Disease Knowledge Through Hands-on Training


By: Eunice Jean C. Patron

Veterinarians measuring the length of a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) (Photo credit: Eunice Jean Patron)

Albeit disheartening, scientists said the death of a stranded dolphin is not entirely a setback during the “Cetacean Pathology Training and Workshop: Pathogenesis of Common Diseases in Stranded Dolphins,” held on June 24, 2024, at the University of the Philippines – Diliman College of Science’s Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (UPD-CS IESM), Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Laboratory (MMRCL).

The workshop aimed to equip veterinarians with the proper practices and skills for documenting and collecting information about dolphin diseases, ensuring that a dolphin’s death contributes to deepening knowledge about these diseases. It was organized by the MMRCL of IESM, the Microbial Ecology of Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems Laboratory (METAS Lab) of the UPD-CS Institute of Biology (IB), the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network (PMMSN), the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP), and the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA). 

“We conduct these sorts of training to build the capacity of local government units (LGUs) and concerned agencies in their marine mammal rehabilitation and post-mortem response,” said IESM professor and MMRCL head, Dr. Lemnuel Aragones, who is also the president of PMMSN.

Data presented in the workshop show that human activities, particularly underwater noise pollution such as blasts, significantly impact dolphins. Dr. Leo Jonathan Suarez, PMMSN treasurer and Head of Veterinary Services at Ocean Adventure, mentioned that apart from body tissue injury, blasts can also cause acoustic trauma. “The ear has the most sensitive tissues for pressure-induced damage,” he pointed out. “An adult may not experience or sustain injury from the blast itself. But, of course, the sound travels really far. So, they may actually suffer the consequences of the explosion through that sound.”

As Dr. Suarez showed several examples of suspected acoustic trauma cases, he reiterated that deaf dolphins can survive, yet they will slowly suffer due to hearing loss. “If they cannot echolocate, they cannot find and catch food. They cannot avoid predators. They cannot navigate. They cannot communicate. So basically, all of their skills and abilities to live in the wild are removed,” he added.

Focusing on studies of marine mammal diseases, PMMSN advisory member Dr. Christopher Torno, who mentioned that dolphin deaths are not truly failures, highlighted the importance of dolphin disease knowledge. “Sometimes when people talk about these things, take it with a grain of salt. Tignan niyo rin. As much as possible, I try to superimpose what I've learned. And you should too. ‘Yung mga templates natin sa pathology na you might think are useless, they are very useful,” he expounded.

Dr. Torno also reminded the workshop participants to double-check the dolphin’s organs when investigating the cause of its death, even if suspicions already exist. He shared how he has made mistakes during necropsies, illustrating that veterinarians can learn a lot about dolphin diseases through these examinations. 'The information you're bringing us will benefit not just you, but this entire network. We're learning from this, and I'm so happy I can share it with you,' he said.

Dr. Marie Christine Obusan, an IB professor and one of the heads of the METAS Lab, emphasized the need for more research on dolphin rehabilitation response. “Our country represents one-third of the world's cetacean diversity,” she explained. “And there is an increasing trend of stranding events over the years.”
As a scientist mainly focused on assessing samples from marine mammal stranding events, Dr. Obusan shared her experiences working with veterinarians in the field. “I’m very appreciative of the inputs I’m getting from different experts and being mentored by different veterinarians,” she said, underscoring how collaborations with people from various fields and expertise, as well as citizens themselves, can be helpful in better understanding marine mammals such as dolphins.

Workshop organizers and participants gathered in front of the IESM building for a photo after the morning session lectures. (Photo credit: Eunice Jean Patron)

Veterinarians from different LGUs across the Philippines, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and private veterinary clinics participated in the workshop. After the morning session lectures by the speakers, the participating veterinarians conducted a dolphin necropsy in the MMRCL room during the afternoon session.

The workshop organizers have also collaborated on other medical management training programs for marine mammals. “The need never ends, as we know that the frequency of strandings continues to increase through the years,” Dr. Aragones mentioned. “We focus on topics we believe are lacking or needed to enhance local capacities.”

Dr. Aragones and his team will soon release a scientific paper detailing marine mammal strandings in the Philippines from 2005 to 2022.


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Newsletter: UPMV K9, Vanguard Makati push better health for people and pets


Hundreds of pet owners were able to avail of free medical checkups for themselves and free anti-rabies vaccinations for their pets at the recently-concluded Luntian at Pula held at the UP Diliman DMST Complex last June 29.

Newsletter: UP Mathematician Develops Model For Heat Propagation Through Rough Surfaces


By: Harvey Sapigao

Model for two materials with a rough interface (Photo Credit: Avila et. al. 2024)

Suppose you have a pair of pants you need to wear tomorrow. The problem is, you just washed them, and they’re still damp. So you resort to a handy tool: the flat iron.

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Newsletter: Barbie Almalbis confronts deep pain and longing on eclectic new song “Desperate Hours”


Barbie Almalbis (Photo credits: Niña Sandejas)

After collaborating with indie-folk band Munimuni on “Tupa” and co-headlining the Mist Music Festival in Canada, Barbie Almalbis gears up for a new era in music with the release of her new song “Desperate Hours.”

Newsletter: Kaspersky finds botnet prices starting at $100 on dark web market


Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence experts analyzed botnet sales on the dark web and shadow Telegram channels, and discovered that attackers can acquire ready-made solutions starting at $99. Besides one-time purchases, botnets can be hired or acquired as leaked source code for a symbolic price. In some cases, custom botnet development is also available. 

A botnet is a network of devices infected with malware, ranging from smart toothbrushes to advanced industrial internet devices that attackers use to organize automated mass attacks such as DDoS. “Mirai is one of the most infamous examples of a botnet. It scans the internet for IoT devices with weak default passwords, uses a set of known default credentials to gain access, and infects them. The infected devices then become part of the botnet, which can be controlled remotely to perform various types of cyberattacks,” explains Alisa Kulishenko, security analyst at Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence.

Botnets like Mirai are created by cybercriminals to sell and have individually tailored infection processes, malware types, infrastructure, and evasion techniques. The fraudsters sell them to other criminals on the shadow market, with botnet prices depending on quality; this year the lowest offers started at $99 and the highest reached $10,000. 

Botnets are also available for hire. Prices range from $30 to $4,800 per month. “Potential earnings from attacks using botnets for hire or sale can exceed the associated costs. They allow for activities such as illegal cryptocurrency mining or ransomware attacks, and more. Open sources report that an average ransom payment is two million U.S. dollars! In contrast, renting a botnet costs significantly less and can pay off with just one successful attack,” adds Alisa Kulishenko. Since the beginning of 2024, Kaspersky experts have observed more than 20 offers for botnets for hire or sale on dark web forums and Telegram channels.

Other options: leaked bots and custom development 

Besides purchasing a ready-made solution, there are cheaper ways for nefarious actors to access botnets. Just as legitimate data can be leaked, the source code of a botnet can also be publicly released by malicious actors. Access to this leaked source code can be obtained for free or a fee of $10 to $50, based on information from approximately 400 dark web and shadow Telegram posts observed since the beginning of 2024. However, leaked botnets are generally considered an option for less sophisticated actors, as they are more likely to be detected by security solutions.

A threat actor can commission a botnet to be developed from scratch. Development costs start at $3,000 and are not confined to any specific price range. “Most of these deals occur privately, through personal messages, and partners are typically chosen based on reputation, such as forum ratings,” elaborates Alisa Kulishenko. 

To avoid threats related to cybercriminal activities in the shadow internet, it is worth implementing the following security measures:
  • Use Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence to help security analysts explore an adversary’s view of their company resources and promptly discover the potential attack vectors available to them. This also helps raise awareness about existing cybercriminals threats to adjust your defenses accordingly or take counter and elimination measures in a timely manner.
  • Choose a reliable endpoint security solution such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business that is equipped with behavior-based detection and anomaly control capabilities for effective protection against known and unknown threats.


Monday, July 08, 2024



Baygon, the leading insecticide brand in the Philippines, and Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippine men's basketball team, announced a partnership signed to educate the public on the prevention of dengue during the peak mosquito season. 

Newsletter: GCash unveils groundbreaking innovations at FutureCast 2024: transforming fintech for every Filipino


(L-R) G-Xchange Inc. president and CEO Oscar Reyes Jr., GCash International general manager Paul Albano, B2C product management head Fatima Javellana, wealth management market education head Mark Ilao, head of digital experience Michelle Fernandez, chief technology and operations officer Pebbles Sy, chief marketing officer Neil Trinidad, president and CEO Martha Sazon, VP and group head of new businesses and wealth management Winsley Bangit, sustainability head CJ Alegre, international transfers and disbursements product head Alex Dizon, lending product development manager Den Ramos and chief data officer Sarah Venturina

GCash, the Philippines' leader in digital financial services, unveiled groundbreaking innovations at this year’s GCash Futurecast, revolutionizing the country's fintech landscape and elevating consumer experience.

Sunday, July 07, 2024

Newsletter: STAYC Unveils debut full-length album Metamorphic on 1st July


(Photo credit: Highup Entertainment)

 K-Pop sensation STAYC finally released their highly anticipated debut full length album Metamorphic on July 1st! This release comes after a month of tantalising teasers on their social media, with images which showcased the members in leopard patterns, with black-and-white tones highlighting their stunning visuals.

Newsletter: SB19, a five-member boy band from the Philippines, on THE FIRST TAKE!


The latest episode of YouTube Channel THE FIRST TAKE has been announced.

Episode 449 welcomes SB19, a five-member boy band from the Philippines, to make its first appearance on THE FIRST TAKE.

Saturday, July 06, 2024

Newsletter: Steve Aoki Drops His 9th Studio Album ‘Paragon’ Featuring collaborations with NE-YO, Lil Jon, Kid Cudi


Renowned producer and 2X GRAMMY-nominated artist Steve Aoki has unveiled his 9th studio album, ‘Paragon.’ The story of ‘Paragon’ builds off of the expansive Hiroquest universe Aoki has established through his music, trading cards, and a newly released graphic novel. The album showcases the contemporary global dance sounds Aoki encounters during his 200+ concerts each year. It features his latest collab with Kid Cudi, the vibrant sounds of South Africa on “Mad” with Moonchild Sanelly and the Amapiano-heavy “Visa” in collaboration with Major League DJZ. “Bum Bum” with Natalhão highlights Brazilian Baile Funk, while “Get Lower” with Lil Jon blends American hip-hop with EDM. Accompanying the album, Aoki released the vibrant music video for "Heavenly Hell," a collaboration with three-time, Grammy award-winning hitmaker NE-YO. The video vividly transitions from heaven to hellish scenes. Watch the video HERE



Music collective 1999 WRITE THE FUTURE has released their latest single “Gasoline” with South Korean rock singer/songwriter LØREN. Out now via 88rising and RCA Records, the single is accompanied by a high-octane music video. Listen to “Gasoline” HERE

Friday, July 05, 2024

Newsletter: Honoring Super Dads | PLDT, Smart hold special talk with DadBudPH, fathers in the workplace


DadBudPH founder Joey Ong recalls his experience as a dad during the pandemic at the “Connecting, Understanding and Guiding Everyday Parenting” workshop organized by PLDT and Smart’s People Group.

As part of its commitment to empower employees and make the workplace a happy space, PLDT Inc. (PLDT) and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) held a hybrid parenting workshop, particularly for dads in the company.



Grammy-nominated singer, rapper, and producer, Blxst, announces his debut album, 'I’ll Always Come Find You', is set for release on July 19 via Red Bull Records/EVGLE. The news arrives with the project’s next single, “Dance With The Devil” featuring Grammy-winning multi-hyphenate, Anderson .Paak. The duo are a match made on the dance floor, bringing their quintessential SoCal vibe to a groove-laden track; rich with live horns and climactic strings. 

Thursday, July 04, 2024

Newsletter: Watch SB19 and as they host an epic house party on “Ready” music video


SB19 and are throwing a massive house party on the music video of “Ready,” the dance-pop track released under Sony Music Entertainment. 

Newsletter: Papa Obet sings of love and loss in “Naghihintay”


Barangay LS 97.1 radio DJ and singer Papa Obet returns with a touching new single under GMA Music, “Naghihintay,” a song that captures the emotions of longing, love, and loss. The song was set to be released last June 28.

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Newsletter: From local to global - mastering runtime security in geo-distributed businesses


Runtime security, the practice of protecting containerized applications while they are deployed in the orchestrator, is essential for defending against real-time cyber threats that can compromise active workloads. For geo-distributed businesses, operating across multiple locations and regions, the challenges of managing runtime security are more complex than for companies without branches. In this article, Kaspersky explores these challenges and suggests strategies for countering runtime security risks in geo-distributed organizations.

Newsletter: Jolianne returns to her roots with the release of R&B ballad “I’ll Be Somebody You Want”


Rising singer-songwriter Jolianne gears up for her new era in music with the release of “I’ll Be Somebody You Want,” out today via Sony Music Entertainment. 

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Newsletter: PLDT, Smart lead rehabilitative child protection initiative with FFH, first in Philippines


PLDT and Smart, in partnership with Football for Humanity (FFH), hold a training-of-trainers Better Today Psychological First Aid training with the FFH coaches, who will serve as the first-line of psychological support for the children and youth survivors of Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC).  

Together with Football for Humanity (FFH), PLDT and Smart strengthen their child online protection initiatives and the multi-sectoral fight against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children or OSAEC, by providing Psychological First Aid (PFA) training to football coaches. As a pioneering event in the Philippines, the PFA training for coaches is aimed at mobilizing these volunteers to be the first-aid responders of psychological care for the children and youth survivors of OSAEC.

“In PLDT and Smart, we aim to promote a safer digital world to our children and youth. Through this PFA training, we hope that our coaches will be able to provide a safe space by becoming a first line of support for the children and youth who may be experiencing mental distress due to their situation. We hope that this training will serve as a rehabilitative care for the children-survivors of OSAEC,” according to Stephanie V. Orlino, AVP and head of Stakeholder Management at PLDT and Smart.

FFH is a sport for development organization that uses football-focused interventions to tackle complex social issues affecting children, including OSAEC.

The Better Today Psychological First Aid training is facilitated by registered psychologist and psychometrician Riyan Portuguez or more popularly known as ‘Your Millennial Psychologist’.  

The PFA training is a non-intrusive, practical care and support that helps identify the needs and concerns of individuals by assisting them with their basic necessities and listening and paying attention to individuals without forcing them to speak. Moreover, the PFA helps soothe and calm people by connecting them to information, recourses, and social support. The PFA training for the FFH coaches was led and facilitated by Riyan Portuguez, more popularly known as ‘Your Millennial Psychologist’.

“We are very proud of our enduring partnership with PLDT and Smart, through their Better Today program, which places a strong emphasis on mental health. Given the persistence of OSAEC, the practice of Psychological First Aid has become increasingly crucial. Providing communities with these learnings allows them to manage high-stress scenarios, enabling them to address trauma effectively and promptly – all for the good of the children under our care,” said Chris Thomas, Football for Humanity Founder and President.

“It’s been a privilege to be able to join this training as we learned informative, insightful, and inspiring lessons. PFA provides us with knowledge that allows us to be more productive and more responsive as coaches. With this training, we will be able to become more effective coaches to the children and the youth as we cultivate a safe space for them,” said Senior Coach Floyd Jofferson Crisologo.
The senior and junior coaches from Football for Humanity are instructed to do a role-playing activity to help them gain knowledge on how to conduct the Psychological First Aid training by themselves.  

PLDT and Smart continue to deploy programs designed to uplift and improve the mental and overall digital wellness of Filipinos. These initiatives are part of PLDT and Smart’s continuing commitment to help the Philippines contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly UN SDG 3 that stands for good health and well-being.


Newsletter: Munimuni to mark new era with a concert at the UP Theater


Filipino indie-folk collective Munimuni is set to headline their third major concert this Saturday, July 20, 2024, at the UP Theater in Quezon City, Philippines.

Monday, July 01, 2024

Newsletter: PLDT, Smart enhance livelihood opportunities for MSMEs in Pangasinan, Baguio, Bicol


Event attendees and representatives from PLDT, Smart, channel partners BLDV Telecom Mktg. and OS Tech Communications, Soprano, and TikTok pose for a group photo.

Over a hundred owners and managers of micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) gained new learnings from a training series organized by PLDT Enterprise, aimed at helping MSMEs enhance their financial and market access, develop their skills, and adapt to tech innovations. The latest runs of the PLDT Enterprise series were held in Manaoag City, Pangasinan; Baguio City; and Legazpi and Naga in the Bicol Region.

Newsletter: Globe celebrates Inside Out 2 movie release with special offers


Globe is celebrating the highly anticipated theater release of Disney and Pixar's "Inside Out 2" with special offers and events for the whole family to enjoy.