Monday, December 26, 2011
Interesting video that links our craze for consumption from fossil fuels to current wave of debt related recession waves that do not seem to stop, the answer lies in our own action rather than waiting for someone to act.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I wanted to forget the bad experience of watching MI:3, memories of the rabbit foot were very irritating. Thankfully I was not disappointed with Mission impossible 4. The story is fast paced, takes little time to pick up at the start of the movie. Movie plot is not extraordinary, save the world from a missile launch is becoming an overboard patriotic plot with lot of movies and even video games these days.
The cast does justice to the plot, Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn has enough arsenal of muted antics to bring out the laughter for you, and yes in a small role Anil kapoor also delivers on his "Jhakas" persona without even actually saying it. Tom cruise was lot subtle in his role this time around to do away with his antics from the last movie. The story manages to hold your interest however I am still awaiting a movie like MI:2 with the kind of stylish action that was orchestrated by John Woo, and yes a fitting background score from Hans Zimmer made that movie very memorable for me.
Action and thrills falls little short in my opinion towards the end of the movie when it was required the most, and as a foe to Agent Ethan Hunt the role of crazy nuclear strategist played by Michael Nyqvist as Kurt Hendricks does not look very menacing or threatning in any way. Watch it for once, you would not regret.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
If you thought something shown in the movie Curious case of Benjamin Button as a human could not exist, you would be wronged by the condition in which a Brazilian woman Maria Audete do Nascimento has being living for the past 30 years of her life trapped in a body of a 9 year old. She is living in Ceara, Brazil with her step mother and father. She suffers from hypothyroidism which could have being reversed during her childhood that would have allowed normal development of her body and mind.
University of Ceara has offered help to this family to assist Maria in developing her walking, sepaking skills also helping her learn feeding self which would enable Maria to lead a little independent life, it's really painful to see her in such condition whereas the family has happily accepted it as a god's will for them to be of some service to her.
A California resident Pat Moorehead celebrated his 80th Birthday by sky jumping 80 times out of a plane in a duration of 7 hours, it was not just celebrating his birthday but he also contributed towards a fund raising effort for construction of a National Skydiving Museum in Fredericksburg in Virginia. Surely this guy deserves all the respect for the guts he has to follow his adventure at this age.
Monday, October 24, 2011
My summer vacations at school turned out a challenge for my dad to keep me busy and engaged, for which he found a solution I would be thankful to him for rest of my life. He got me enrolled to a library which opened door's to my creativity through comics, If not just library, i used to visit Wheeler stand at Mulund railway station to grab my favorite comics and every time I used to travel during my vacations I always carried a good collection of comics to pass time during train travel. It was great to relish few days off school embracing stories of Spiderman, Batman, Superman and host of Indian comic characters from the house of Amar Chitra Katha, Diamond Comics and Raj Comics. There came a time I was not ready to let go off my growing comic book collection right from my childhood to the time I was in college, I never missed out on catching up to comics even after I started working and a event like Comic Con was just the right recipe to get my tastebuds tingling for the love of comics.
I enjoyed 2 day Comic Con Express event held at World Trade Center, Mumbai, Cosplay participants got the mood of the event going. 1st day at the event saw decent crowd, there were close to 40 Exhibitors at the event which included popular brands like BSA, Funskool, Amar Chitra Katha, Diamond Comics, Inkfruit.com, WYO, 9XM, Buzzinga, Animagic. I was impressed by the effort made by upcoming publishers like Vimanika Edutainment, Holy Cow Entertainment, Sufi Comics, Level 10 comics who have the potential to get our generation hooked to gadgets and gizmos into reading a comic book once again.
An event which saw launch of close to 15 new titles, VJ Cyrus Broacha, VJ Manish Anand and VJ Juhi, Ankit V from TechGuru were spotted at the event with a stage appearance by Irrfan Khan for the launch of Munkeeman comic title created by Abhishek Sharma (Director: Tere Bin Laden). Some stalls also had live artists, Mario De Miranda's art collection was impressive with lot of curious audience turning up at Sufi Comics stand to take a look at spirtualism in a totally new avatar, Sunday saw more crowds drawing in with lot of kids as well with their parents enjoying the event. there were few independent artists too who had set up their stalls showcasing their talent which is truly a great platform to bring out your creative talents and get "Discovered". Amar Chitra Katha has made a foray into Animation which was showcased with a promising sneak peek feature for Sons of Rama series.
Stall owners / Publishers were keen enough to answer queries and interact freely with audience/ visitor's, SRK's Ra.One also made it's presence felt at the event selling Ra.One merchandise, Vendor's like Bombay Merch and Buzzinga had a great collection of poster's, tee's and comic figurine's to choose from. I got myself good collection of comics after a quite long time, hardly remember if I went shopping for comics.
Upcoming event is again returning to Delhi next year, Destination Delhi next year ??? Comic Con just got me back to my passion for comics. check out some links to pic albums/ promo videos for this event.
Promo Vid 1 | Promo Vid 2 | GadgetCurry at Comic Con
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Kaas Plateau is growing as a popular tourist hotspot branded as valley of flowers.I had Kaas trip on my radar since last year, I was in two minds going there this year with the extended rainfall spell continuing in Pune, however my new Canon EOS 550D DSLR I got last month got me motivated for a day's trip to Kaas last weekend also few office friends had already been there recently. Route: It's roughly 140 kms away from Pune, you need to head towards old katraj ghat via Satara road and connect to NH4 on the Pune Bangalore highway, I did not take the Ramnagar route via a right turn from NH4 at service road junction before Khed Toll Naka that skips Satara city circle, I entered Satara by the Khed toll route following sadar bazaar road you would reach a chowk in Satara city, take a right turn from the effiel tower replica at the chowk and again a left turn on Rajpath road which would lead you to nana chowk ahead.
Don't take the straight road via tunnel, take the road on the right and you would begin your trip uphill towards Kaas Plateau. The view on the way is very scenic with proper sunshine it looks more amazing. Road condition is okay, thankfully very less potholes but very narrow so drive cautiously.
We stopped on the way up to click pics which are a treat for a landscape photography enthusiast like me. Once you reach a checkpost made by forest department you can choose to park your vehicle there and walk a distance of 2-3 kms or take a 5 min ST bus ride to the plateau plying at an interval of 15-20 mins to and fro at the plateau, It had being ages since I had last boarded an ST bus. If you are planning to vist Bamnoli village ahead you can take your car via the Kaas Plateau route and park your car ahead of the plateau and climb back up the slope. In case your are inquisitive about knowing the flower names that grace the Kaas Plateau, you can buy a pocket guide leaflet some local kids would be selling at the car/bus parking area.
There are quite a few forest department rangers and police officials patrolling on the plateau to make you feel safe and enjoy exploring Kaas landscape.Terrain on the plateau is walkable, please make sure not to step over the flower beds there are enough rocky patches for moving around freely. Forest department has done a commendable job putting up temporary fencing around the some patches restricting entry to certain spots on the plateau.
The best time to visit Kaas Plateau is between Aug - Oct, I visited Kaas probably towards the end of blooming period here still it had quite good flora present to make my visit worthwhile, please ensure you move early morning to catch the flowers blooming, afternoon heat can be little taxing and not the best time to click pics. Have your breakfast/lunch in Satara city or while travelling via NH4 route you would spot quite a few eateries on the highway after moving out of Pune, carry your liquid refreshments with you once you reach the parking area as Kaas Plateau is still developing as a tourist spot which is seasonal and does not attract too many visitors as of now, do not expect toilet/food facility once you reach there.
You can check out my pic gallery here for more pictures
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
A possible specs leak on galaxy s3 sound very promising with a 12 megapixel camera and 1.8 Ghz processor.
[Rumor] First Information About Samsung Galaxy S3 Leaked Online? - AndroidPIT
iPhone 4S has achieved an unbelievable feet of crossing 1 million preorder sales in 24 hours, which is quite a feat considering a lot of technology fans were not so happy with the announcement of iPhone 5 still not in sight, a lot of critics felt it does not give a iPhone 4 user a real reason to upgrade to iPhone 4S. After the news breaking out about Steve Jobs death it looks as if every consumer is pledging some kind of support or god knows what to Apple as a brand which saw it's fortune changing with the vision of Steve Jobs, read more about this here
Some cool stuff being put up at the CEATEC 2011 event in Japan, DoCoMo has displayed a prototype technology touted as "Future Station" enabling 3D call conferencing, also take a quick look at some other futuristic technology being showcased at this event.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Karen Eland, a former employee at Barista is a budding artist. She is becoming popular with her paintings not with just the normal colors, she had posted work earlier made out of coffee and now she has made paintings out of beer, check out the video below and link to her new website showcasing paintings made out of beer.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Both Honda and Hyundai are up for important launch in the compact car segment with Brio and Eon. Global car manufacturers are taking note of the taste of Indian consumers for design and decor while buying a new car which could turn out to be the differentiating factor beyond the bells and whistles of features that may turn out to be common over a period of time. While every car consumer zeroes in on a vehicle choice with a specific budget, they definitely look at Value for Money proposition offered by a specific variant of the same car model.
Honda's Brio could land up giving competition to Hyundai's i10/Chevrolet Beat/Ford Figo/Nissan Micra. It comes with a 1200 CC engine and claims to deliver a mileage close to 18 kmpl with an entry level model pricing at Rs 3.95 Lakh. I liked the rear windshield design of the car which gives it a tall look and enhances rear view visibility for the driver. Noticeable curves streaming from the front and rear section of the car, compact grill in the front with a wide stance complement the interior of the car as well. I noticed 4 fan blowers on the front dashboard of the car in the 360 interactive view on their website, which also is an intelligent feature allowing cooling to be available equally for the driver and passenger on the front seat. With the kind of quality and customer service Honda is known to deliver, Honda Brio should be able to find a sweet spot with consumers with their new launch offering with the sales picking up by the arrival of Diwali festival.
Hyundai too is ready to take on Maruti in the small car segment directly with their upcoming car Eon scheduled for October launch pitching it directly against Alto, It has got ARAI ceritified mileage of 21.1 kmpl which goes beyond Alto's 19 kmpl benchmark. Powered by a 814cc petrol engine it is aiming entry level variant pricing at Rs 2.5 Lakh. This car looks well styled for a small car segment category. Hyundai could be looking at a potential winner on hands for offering a much needed option for small car buyers interested to look beyond Maruti, given that Hyundai is the 2nd largest car manufactuer in India today after Maruti with a very strong after sales and service network. Personally i never liked Hyundai Santro/i10 in terms of the design, post the launch of i20 Hyundai made serious efforts to enhance the wow factor for consumers and they now seem to be committed in this direction with Eon's upcoming launch.
Hopefully amidst rising petrol prices and interest rates, these new launches could bring the much required cheer to both consumers and car manufacturers during the upcoming festive season.
Sunday, September 04, 2011
Saturday, September 03, 2011
It's rumored to be priced around $800 (INR 36,000) so one can expect the price to touch INR 50,000 by the time it releases and IF it makes it to the Indian market. You can use this HMD with your television, gaming console, or laptop, check out the hands on video review by IGN below.
1) Billboard campaign by a reality TV show in Japan.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Windows 7 Launcher provides a nice interface of Windows 7 phone theme which can be customized to map your favorite apps to the home screen tiles, you can also customize the tile colors. Transitions work smoothly on Galaxy S2, There is a AD based free version and paid version for this App, check the video below for a demo.
Great app for setting animated notifications for your SMS, Gmail, Twitter and Facebook alerts, It is a free to download app which currently has limited set of animated packs you can download however you can set your own custom video clips for notifications too.
Music & Audio
Saavn music app is free to download app that gives you access to vast library of Bollywood music, Bhangra, Bhajans and more. Creating customized play list is quite easy and the song library is extensive from tha tracks I tried checking out, I liked the App interface and the ease of searching tracks and adding to your customized play lists for listening music on the go which works seamlessly on 3G connectivity.
Instagram is a very popular app for iPhone users and Android market does have some notable photo apps that allow adding image effects to your pictures and instant sharing options, check out some of them below which I have being using recently.
Little Photo Picplz
FX Camera MOLOME
More app features coming up on my blog, keep checking
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Mobile handset and software market has undergone a major transition from the past year and the not so well known OS Android now captures 50% of the smart phone market globally, Nokia is pinning all it's hopes on windows OS to revive it's crumbling market share which still stands strong on top position in BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China. Samsung has good potential to rush ahead if Nokia provided it adapts to aggressive marketing and sales strategies in emerging markets.
Apple has grown from a market share of 14.2% to 19% with iOS it enjoys a stable growth in the US market and it does not see any immediate threat from Android considering the hype around iPhone 5 which is peaking amongst consumers eager to find out what Apple is going to come up with, Nokia is placed third falling from a lions share it had of around 41% of market share with Symbian which Nokia is now bidding farewell to and embracing Windows OS ahead seeking a new lease of life. RIM also is struggling to Android OS and iOS onslaught in American market which is visible by its market share falling from 18% to 12% from last yearThis situation was not the same last year in August 2010 which is reflecting from the graph below an article(via www.seekingalpha.com)
Google has woken up to a bitter reality of going easy on aquiring patents that are essential to safegaurd growth of Android OS, Apple is flexing it's muscles going hard after Android tablets and phones alleging manufacturers like HTC and Samsung of lifting designs meant for Apple phones and tablets. Luckily google also realised that it needs to act swift on unifying different versions of Android OS into one version touted to be named as Ice-cream Sandwich that makes it easier for developers to focus on developing apps for Android.
Indian Smartphone market would provide Nokia enough time to get their act straight with Symbian OS and its dream to build an ecosystem akin to Apple with Ovi services has not met desired success. Sony Ericsson once had the potential to come close to Nokia's market share in India lost the path midway with a series of mediocre phone launches which gave Samsung good chance to rise further with BADA OS and it started offering value for money products in different price segments. Samsung has also discussed options with google for developing desi version of Android OS in Indian market.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Here’s my review for Samsung Galaxy SII after using it almost above a month now, let’s find out if this new flagship phone from Samsung is a worthy contender to be amongst the best smart phone launches in year 2011
Content/Packaging: Almost all phone manufacturers have resorted to smart packaging, getting eco conscious and doing away with a thick manual booklet, unwanted CD’s etc, Galaxy SII packaging is no exception to this. Along with the phone you get a standard charger, USB data cable, Samsung headphones which I haven’t tried out yet they also come with spare headphone ear bud attachments, a KIES software mini CD, Black leather pouch and finally a 1650mAh battery.
Hardware and Design: A prominent wow factor that catches your attention while holding this phone is its 4.3” Super AMOLED Plus screen and weighing 116 grams it is way lighter than Nokia N8 I have used prior to owning this handset. With a minimalistic design Galaxy SII sports a touch interface based menu and back buttons, you’ve got a home screen button and on the sides you have volume keys with power on/off, lock button. Surprisingly Samsung has not included a button on the phone for camera.
Gorilla glass looks durable and I suppose it can resist minor scratches and smudges in general. The rear cover provided with the phone is made up of flexible plastic material which has a matte finish and though it has got a scaly look to it, it does not help in getting a firm grip. A Word of caution for slippery palms, please get a case as soon as possible to avoid any damage to your spanking new phone accidentally.
The overall design of the phone does not spell class instantly, what amazed me was the slim factor for a powerhouse phone like this one, weighing just at 116 grams against N8 I used earlier which I thought could be the least smartphones could get slim which weighs 135 grams.
OS / Phone interface
Current OS version of Android available on Samsung Galaxy S2 is Gingerbread 2.3.3, phone icons, screen layout etc. leave an instant impression of apple rip-off’s no doubt Apple has locked horns with Samsung on the legal front accusing them of lifting their iPhone designs/interface for upcoming Samsung phones.
Samsung has refined gyroscope function in the phone which I feel is slightly better in terms of response even compared to Ipad 2, adding option of motion based gesture control. Swiping through phone menu, home screens, working across multiple applications happens in a jiffy which goes to show what amount of processing power is really packed with 1.2 GHz dual core processor under its hood. I found Galaxy S2 offering ample features to customize the way you control power settings, using various applications which leaves a lot to be explored while using the phone. Videos look vivid and crispier and I have played some 720p HD videos which look amazing on the SuperAMOLED plus screen. I found the onscreen keyboard slightly difficult to operate while holding the handset vertically, on horizontal orientation it felt laid out properly and easy to use while composing text.
Using phone for navigation via Google Maps it latched on to GPS signal in no time and got my accurate position displayed on the screen, no difference in performance while using it over Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity. Flash support on the default Android browser comes with smooth integration and it just couldn’t get any better. It also allows you to view flash content on websites on demand in case you want to do away with flashing ads on a webpage and just focus on the content
Samsung Galaxy SII supports 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps, I have tried recording videos at 720p resolution (1280 x 720) which did not turn out to be jerky and 8 mega pixel camera captures images with different settings provided in the phone and I found camera performance satisfying enough for my experience moving away from N8’s 12 mega pixel Carl Zeiss lens. You can juggle between image capture pre-sets or define your own settings to click images.
I have not yet tested camera performance in low light settings yet however have tried macro, landscape and normal mode pics with some fiddling with outdoor visibility and auto contrast features. Digital zoom up to 2X does not land up in grainy images but 4X zoom does impact image quality and it would be better to resort to manual ISO settings to check the quality on pictures taken with digital zoom. Front end 2 mega pixel camera is suitable for video calling, not useful enough to snap pics.Stock music player on this phone offers equalizer pre-sets and custom settings with 5.1 surround feature that does not work well on all genre of music, still the default music player along with radio deliver decent performance.
With all major features covered for the phone a note on some issues that surround the current version of Android Gingerbread OS 2.3.3 are mainly battery backup problem which even I encountered during first few days of using this phone.
Using apps like Juice Defender and getting the settings right for your phone display, Wi-Fi settings, Background data sync and 3G usage would make a lot of difference and I have seen improvement from 7-8 hours of battery backup improving to almost a day now on medium to heavy usage. As a blogger and social media enthusiast this phone is a boon for people like me as it provides you sharing options from browser, from various other apps falling into social media category and abundant options to play around with themes, widgets and screen customization features.
It does not stop there, Samsung has also provided Social, Game and Reader’s hub that aim to integrate your experience with regards to configuring twitter/Facebook notifications, listing popular news feeds, subscribing to magazine and book reading subscription based services from Kobo and Zinio and for Game downloads you would spot Game loft games available to try and buy.
Phone body tends to heat up around camera area for weird reasons at times you can keep a watch on battery stats through few free apps available to download from android market, Android marketplace is brimming with lots of apps available in different categories still it has a long way to go in meeting standards set by apple for their app store, the issue being around governance of the quality of apps that get launched on the marketplace, a technically not so savvy user can get confused checking if the app is really compatible with his/her android phone OS and device.
Samsung Galaxy SII has already crossed 5 million units in sales even before hitting US market and poses a good challenge to iPhone 5 which is about to release somewhere in Sept/Oct this year in USA. Android OS needs serious tweaks and bug rectifications in the upcoming Gingerbread 2.3.4 OS version that should address battery and heating issues to some extent and truly the phone has a galaxy of features you would have not imagined in a smartphone before.
*(more tips/ app suggestions / videos/ camera snap samples coming up)
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Losing 2nd test to England badly, I was surprised TOI writing off Indian team as a non deserving team for top spot in test rankings.
We raised toast to the same team on winning world cup, should we with play always charged bots thay would never fail instead of human players?
Possibly this series could be taken up as a learning lesson to re-look our bench strength of players which managed to grab success in west indies but struggling in england.
Now is the right time to experiment and fail which would help us prepare a new breed of quality players.
Friday, July 29, 2011
A recent survey stats by Nielsen group has revealed that Android phones now have a share of 39% of the US Smartphone market, coming out as a top OS amongst various Android phone manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and Samsung, However no company can come close yet in dethroning Apple as a top phone manufacturer in US market with it's iOS software platform which comes second after Android now.
Another interesting stats that have emerged about Android OS based phones was from a survey conducted by ChangeWave Research which found close to 50% Android phone users were very satisfied with their Android Smartphones, still the green robot has a lot of catching up to do against Apple's iOS platform which is leading consumer satisfaction with a clear lead of 70% users satisfied with the iOS platform using their iPhones, what Android OS needs is a serious line up of apps/games with dedicated support from not just Google but other big names from telecom industry as well that would help this OS mature and drive software/ hardware sales numbers for companies pitching in to support this platform.
Read more about Nielsen survey result here and stats from ChangeWave Research here
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I really kept wondering what happened to paid apps on Nokia Ovi store which went off the store that were available to download at least in Euro's, after I got to know what happened in past few months, what could have being a foolish move by Nokia by entering into a tie up with R com offering paid content solely to it's subscribers. Indian mobile handset manufacturers are already gobbling up a good share of Nokia's low end handset segment, Nokia has already lost smartphone top end segement to Apple and Android phones. Mid-Range handset segment has strong line up from Samsung and Sony Ericcsson that rivals Nokia's pricing strategy.
Now Nokia has opened up a beta version of paid apps for consumers in India through credit card purchases, still waiting to launch commercial version of the revised Ovi store which is way too late and Nokia does not seem to learn from it's mistakes from the past. It has already lost the throne of top smartphone company to Apple now globally, wonder what way it is headed in India
Tata sky has introduced a mobile app on iOS platform across iphone, ipad and ipod touch which allows users to use their device as a universal remote and also share programs they are watching on Social platforms like Twitter and Facebook. You can use this app to view 4 days program listing as well, use recording function on Tata Sky + and Tata Sky HD + set top boxes. For this you need to get a infrared attachment which costs Rs 350 including shipping charges and can be ordered by current Tata Sky subscribers for which amount gets deducted from your account balance.
Android version of this app is yet to arrive, iPhone user population could be on a lower side compared to android platform based phones being launched by various companies currently in India. Do you think this tata sky app really adds any value as an accesory for your smartphone/ tablet?
You can read more about this here
Friday, July 01, 2011
Market for 3D Televisions was not buzzing last year when Samsung started off with 3D television launch in India, with televisions shifting to a smarter breed by incorporating web and wireless features, LG has launched an impressive range of 3D televisions under their Cinema 3D range. Specs like battery free 3D glasses, better 2D to 3D signal conversion with 100 Hz display features it looks to be good proposition. You could land up good deals online, a 42 inch model which is retailing for around INR 94K is available for INR 75K online from letsbuy.com, also there is a 32 inch 3D tv model which does not feature in the available product list on LG india website but is available for sale on letsbuy.com at an attractive price of INR 49K.
3D content currently is very limited in India, also the madness of releasing 3D movies with no real 3D stuff is not helping the cause of promoting 3D content yet, entry of 32 inch 3D televisions could give a boost to pushing 3D tv sales what companies have being aiming for.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Pune's municipal limits have swelled beyond control in last few years. One would find endless hoardings of construction projects (along with birthday wishes hoardings for local goons or so called karyakartas and leaders) on Pune roads. Property price correction is nowhere in sight in Pune with the builder lobby which is hand in gloves with the politicos for a government run jointly by NCP-Congress combine with BJP, Shivsena and NCP sharing power in municipal corporation it could get no worse for city. There is no actual opposition party that exists in city's political set up right now.
Shahid Balwa the head of DB realty group under scanner for alleged role in 2G Scam has 2 big projects in Yerwad currently under construction, after his arrest there was halt that was put to one of the projects that was being carried out on a land owned by a trust which was supposed to build a park in public - private ownership model silently made a deal of this land with DB realty, PMC washing off their hands and when the actual order came from Maharashtra CM the work was halted on this land for some time as they hype died down, construction work has begun on slow pace. Sharad Pawar and his family members name keeps coming up in almost all land scams in Pune which goes to prove what kind of control this family has on the property market in Pune.
Names of family members related to Narayan Rane, Ajit Pawar have also come under limelight for some or the other land scams, Pune's previous commisioner Mahesh Zagade was quitely replaced due to his relationships that got sore with the builder lobby in Pune. Builder's in Pune are not even willing to touch 1 BHK projects due to the presence of large count of IT, ITES workforce that is willing to pay for amenities and for flats starting from 2 BHK. Once a pensioner's paradise is slowly urning into concrete jungle like mumbai now. Luckily there are few high rise buildings in the city but the rapid growth of malls, commercial places and residential projects is creating pressure on pricing of property which is seeing only way up and people looking out for affordable housing have to look at areas in the outskirts of the city or satellite areas near PMC or PCMC municipal limits.
Lavasa project which came under environment ministry's radar for the wrong reasons was nothing that state government or central government would not have being aware of all these years. Land grabbing by politicos and rampant exploitation by builder lobby in Pune is what defines pune's real estate scenario currently.
Some links to read Below
Mid-Day article on land grabbing | Forum based news on tricks played by pune builders
Monday, May 02, 2011
I had never used an Apple product apart from a 2nd generation Ipod which i had won in a competition, the plain white piece of music playing device did not excite me much, i am a bass junkie and prefer to toy around with customized equalizer feature in any music player which kinda made me sell off my Ipod shuffle as soon as i could. After all these years i resisted the idea of buying an Iphone or an Ipod touch, I kept following the tech news of the growing app market for Iphone over the past few years, and one important thing which kept lingering in my mind was the evolving gaming capacity of this device.
My desktop pc finally conked off after 6 years of use and i was no longer interested in upgrading my desktop, so i got myself a decent laptop upgrade in HP G62-455TX replacing my old acer laptop which had started giving me enough trouble with the battery and overheating issues. I had a plan to upgrade my phone from Nokia N8 to Samsung Galaxy SII because i was planning to shift my mobile OS experience away from Symbian and check out the Android OS catching up to popularity world over. Still my desire to own a good portable gaming device was still pending. I shelved my plans of the phone upgrade and freezed upon two tablet devices.
Apple Ipad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which is due for late June release in India. I was heavily moved with my decision to choose Samsung GT 10.1 and wait for it, however i knew that with an improved dual core processor Apple Ipad 2 would be a good device for portable gaming that i have being looking for all this while.
I began my extensive research on both these devices for few days and finally decided to buy Apple Ipad 2. I got my Ipad 2 from Reliance Digital Istore at Jewel Square mall in Koregaon Park on the launch day itself, a black 16 GB Wi-Fi Ipad 2. The store representative first called me to inform that due to octroi issues their stock had got stuck and i would get my delivery on Saturday, luckily i got a call again in the evening and got my Ipad.
- 0.34 inch in thickness
- 9.5 inch tall
- 7.3 inches in width
- Weighing close to 600 grams
Powering up the Ipad 2 it boots within roughly 20-25 seconds. Swipe unlock familiar to Iphone and Ipod touch is also present in Ipad 2, factory preset model comes with limited apps like Photo Booth, You tube, App Store, Game Center and FaceTime app. The first thing i did was to download Itunes software on my laptop and load the system updates available from Istore, registered my device and synching the Ipad to Itunes is pretty swift. I got started on the App Store instantly and exploring different useful apps, downloaded few of them.
Using Ipad 2 virtual keyboard is easy in general however you would have to rest the Ipad on a desk or some support because it starts feeling bulky after a while switching palms and hands becomes obvious. Ipad 2 is zippy and does not struggle with orientation changes, home screen swipes opening up multiple applications which i tried with a HD game and camera application and 2 other applications all open while i kept switching between them. the A5 1 Ghz dual core chip within this device handles multi taksing without much issues, still need to check as to what limit would the processor get maxed out. While using the FaceTime app for placing a video call i notice Ipad 2 heating up slightly after almost close to 1 hour of video call.
Ipad 2 scores low on having decent camera for taking photos, HD video recording is almost up to the mark, since taking videos and photographs was not on my priority list of what i was looking from a tablet device so i gave this feature a miss, you can take a look at the sample video and pics i have taken from Ipad 2.
Apple Ipad 2 sample pics
With 512 MB RAM on the house playing games is much sought relief for me to move up from playing on small mobile screen to a proper portable gaming device, i always kept giving Sony's PSP a miss because i did not want to get tied down to a small screen device for gaming which a lot of new gen smart phones are getting better at. I have downloaded few trial games to see how they look on Ipad2 and i must say it delivers pretty well as a portable gaming device.
Watching movies, video clips also looks great. The default video player would only accept MP4 format videos and that too copied via Itunes, you need to buy a seperate camera connector adapter to copy images and videos from a SD card, USB drive. for playing video format other than MP4 you can either download some free apps like Ipad video converter from Aleesoft, which would work for small videos but becomes a tedious process for converting full movies if you have got them in popular formats like DivX or Xvid etc. So i brought a paid app for $3 from the App Store called CineXplayer which is a good and stable software to play your movies without the trouble of conversion, however it does not support .mkv video and AC3 format yet. Unfortunately Itunes store for India does not feature music downloads, you can still download audio and video podcasts for your device. There are some paid apps that are available on the app store to allow viewing of microsoft office documents, not sure how many of them allow creating word, excel and powerpoint format docs as ipad does not have a Microsoft supported office productivity app.
I am yet to test the 10 hour battery claim, so cannot comment much about it right now. You can feel the fluidity in the accessibility and navigation while using the device which is a pleasant experience and i must say that i have got hooked to my Ipad in no time. iOS 4.3 does not herald any significant changes from it's previous versions again i cannot delve much into it because i have not being a iphone or ipod touch user before. ipad 2 also has Airplay feature which enables wireless broadcast of songs, images, videos and other media content on an apple enabled device which supports airplay technology. Using FaceTime app is great and pretty simple to use which i liked the most. Applications like Garage Band, MovieTime also seem to be interesting from the videos i have watched over Youtube not planning to spend much on apps right now, as getting a decent cover with screen protector is the priority right now. Was just amazed by the plethora of accessories and stuff available on the web for ipad 2, no wonder Apple products sell like crazy in US and Europe.
If you already have the first gen Ipad it is really not worth going for Ipad2 unless you are really willing to let go of your previous device and opt for a faster, improved graphics enabled ipad 2 that comes along with front and rear camera. ipad 2 falls short on lack of flash support, no USB connectivity for external HDD devices, missing SD/micro SD card slot (for heavy downloaders storage could easily become a challenge), the same missing checkpoints is where Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was scoring on with also being a telecom device along with tablet i decided to enter the world of iOS opting over Android as it has a long way to go in garnering developer support to build a strong app library like iOS currently has and also user base that would further drive the success of Android. Samsung GT 10.1's rear side 8 megapixel camera and front 2 megapixel camera with a stunning AMOELD screen almost tempted me but i think i am not regretting by choosing ipad2, people like me who have never used an apple product like macbook, mac pc, ipod or ipod touch and are seeking a good tablet device that provides a rich experience of media viewing especially gamers looking for a cool portable gaming device you can undoubtedly go for ipad2.
Check the video review below
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Interesting read from an article courtesy indianexpress.com highlights how the domestic help is becoming an important part of urban families which have shrunk in size over the years and couples with kids working to fulfill their dreams and desires are heavily relying on domestic help to take care of their household chores along with taking care of their kids.
Link here to the article
Showcased at MWC 2011 Barcelona, take a look at the No Glasses 3D Optimus phone hands on video from LG, smartphones are pushing the envelope with respect to gaming and 3D. I just feel 3D devices are just being pushed down to consumers without much of the genuine 3D content still not available yet, and consumers yet to decide of they want to accept 3D technology as a mainstream tech addition to their digital life.
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Pune is touted to be a fast growing IT hub that has placed the city amongst an important destination for retail sector to take note of. When i settled in Pune from Mumbai by the end of year 2004, The eastern corridor in the city was nowhere close to development and it was then the outskirts of Pune city. As the city grew and expanded it has now become the most happening spot in the city and this area of the city came to limelight nationally post the Pune German Bakery bomb blast incident.
A lot of major retail groups set up their shops in this area of the city which now has a host of malls, as a electonics and gadgets enthusiast i always knew Pune definately could not match the charm of Lamington road in Mumbai when it came to electronics market, however even it came to buying a simple cable extension and misc electronics need these so called electronics megastores never used to have any and it required me to do some searching in nearby places to get a fixed source for buying or rely on ebay.
Recently Croma electonics closed down their outlet at Ishanya mall and even Dass Electronics has closed few outlets in the city along with a branch at nagar road, if you check their website today it has not even being updated i suppose from last Aug-Sep'10. These stores opened with lot of promises but somehow they could just not afford to pay huge lease amounts on commercial property compared to the sales that may not help them break even over a particular period of time. There were some small time laptop shops too which opened in the fortaleza society vicinity, opposite Gold Big Cinemas even they closed down soon.
The retail story is somewhere not clicking right in Pune, if you are even lucky to find what you need do not expect good after sales service from the stores in malls. Once you are out of the bright and airconditioned atmosphere of the mall with your product you have brought, as a consumer you are history. The so called "IT crowd" is not sufficient to register impressive sales, Pune has a higher share of student population too which comprises of high footfalls and low spend category that's hurting the growth of retail sector here.
Every time i visited Croma or Dass a disinterested or overexcited salesman would come to you suggesting you stuff that you are not seeking, pushing products of some brand that their store is endorsing. At times these sales guys would form their own groups strolling in the store chatting and having a gala time. Same kind of attitude prevails with sales staff at Big Bazaar, Hometown, Lifestyle and Housefull stores which i have visited and experienced.