Monday, March 29, 2010

Farewell

I started this blog a long time ago and I do not remember why I did that. The first few posts were emails from my college on a pressing issue at that time and here, it will always remain on the internet. I started writing on this blog because at that time, I was enamoured with writing and I had a lot to say. I still do have a lot to say but I have lost the will and energy to do that anymore. Somewhere along the way, the ebbs and flows of life, I have accepted that I cannot continue writing. Or rather, I cannot write at this point in my life. Even though I have a lot to say. I feel it is pointless and I will concentrate on what I feel is a more natural expression of myself. Even though I haven't written much on this blog for a long time and even though, I promised myself to write more this year, I think I have reached to the conclusion that this blog is over for me.
I will continue writing but for myself and maybe someday, I will share that with the world.

With that note, I will say thank you and farewell.

FIN

PS. I just realised that my grammar and punctuations have gone totally haywire. :)

Monday, February 08, 2010

Some movies I saw in the past month

Sherlock Holmes - Rewriting Holes as an action hero seems so weird and American but I guess it is an enjoyable movie if you forget all your pleasant memories of reading Doyle's character. A fairly decent plot with some nice action sequences.

Broken Embraces - The Pedro Almodóvar movie continues in the same vein as Volver. A soap opera-ish drama about a writer and his tragic love affair with the mistress of a rich, old man. A very well made film and entertaining for a little bit. And Penelope still cannot act. She should really consider some advanced acting classes that will teach her to add more dimensions to her character than to be an attractive lover/mistress. I think Pedro accepts this fact when the Mateo character casts her as the leading lady in his film (this is a film within a film) mainly because he is enamoured with her. So, Pedro, are you planning on doing an RGV? :)

An Education - It revolves around a school girl who has a whirlwind romance with a silver tongued older man who turns out to be married and she decides to go back to school and to Oxford. Some really nice performances by Alfred Molina and Rosamund Pike (who will probably will not get the credit she deserves). The film itself is so deceptively conservative that it is bourgeois.

Surrogates - Poor Sci-fi. Nothing makes sense in this movie and I am not even sure why they chose to make it. Seems like a poor allegory for the fact that people are spending more time online/playing games on the computer than sniffing the polluted air outside.

Avatar - Eye candy.

Law Abiding Citizen - Another Hollywood action film about a man who decides to take on the corrupt justice system and cure it by killing all those he considers rotten. Could have been interesting but it seemed to run out of new ways of killing people and the end was abrupt and unexpected.

There were more movies I saw on the in-flight entertainment system. I cannot seem to recall which ones I saw. I was probably half-asleep through most of them anyway. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The iPad

It's called an iPad and "iTampons" is trending on twitter right now. Looks like an enlarged iPod touch.

Important things to note:

* It does not have an USB port or any other port other its own, which means you need to buy an _adapter_ to connect a USB device.

* Priced at $499 for the basest model which comes without 3G. With 3G, it is $630 and remember, this is AT&T. What this means is that you do not have the option to use a different service provider. For the two weeks that I have been on the AT&T network, I can tell you that it is, without a doubt, the _worst_ network I have seen anywhere. Forget about taking calls indoors anywhere. You want any voice clarity, you have to go outside! Of course, this is voice data and not 3G but I would assume that it would be just as bad. And what about other countries? So, if I take it back to India, the only way I can use the internet is to connect to a wifi network? No way I can use my USB modem? Will my USB modem even work if I buy the USB adapter and connect it to the iPad via that? I would doubt it. For $630, you can get yourselves a really good, powerful laptop that will allow you to do lots more than the iPad ever will.

* Still no flash. So, basically, if you want to watch videos online, it is either youtube or vimeo or any other html5 compliant website. No Daily Show for me. :(
Importantly, you cannot play any free flash games, ie, no FarmVille. :(

* What about battery life? Apple products have some of the worst battery life in any electronics. There is no reason why they should have such a pathetic battery life but they do and for some reason people forget that for a mobile device to be truly mobile, you shouldn't have to carry your charger every where you go.

* Lots of comparisons with Kindle. With the Kindle DX selling at $489, it was inevitable. But remember the DX comes with 3G support! So, it is competing with the iPad that is at $630! The Kindle is definitely overpriced but that will change very soon. I do not think they can sustain that price with the iPad deceptively marketing itself as something priced close to it. Kindle DX's battery life is supposed to be a week, which is impressive. Of course, Kindle is an e-book reader and is designed to be so whereas the iPad looks like it is designed to be.. actually, I have no clue as to what it is designed to be.

As a compulsive email checker on my mobile phone, I know how useful it is to have a device that allows you to surf the net but touchscreen devices are always limited and if you want to something which will involve a little bit of typing, a touchscreen device is a pain in the ass. There is no way you can type on a touchscreen as fast as a physical keyboard. Also, there is no way you can _type_ in a moving vehicle. Even a phone with a numberpad and predictive text is better for typing while in a vehicle than a touchscreen! So, yes, I am not convinced that the iPad is really worth the money. I believe a nice netbook, which is priced around $300, will do the job and much more than an iPad.

Nothing revolutionary, IMO. Just an overpriced toy.

Full disclosure: I own an iPod, which I think is a very good music player and a portable hard disk. I used a MacBook for over an year and would prefer it to a Windows laptop anyday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Marketing

Marketing, I think, is a tricky business. Advertisements have been a standard approach to the problem of notifying potential customers about a product but over time, consumers tend to play down hype created by the ad and stop believing the claims that the ad might make about the product. Some products are needed and consumed by almost everyone, like soaps but quite a lot of technology products are not necessary and the job of the marketing folks is to get people to buy something they may not need. For example, who the hell needs an overpriced phone that looks 'beautiful'? All I want is something that I can use to call and check email on occasionally. Admittedly, the iPhone has brought better user experience to the mobile phone users and has made other phone companies sit up and fix their stupid phone softwares, but one cannot argue that paying 600 dollars for a phone is a little outrageous, unless it has superpowers.

Now, Apple is coming up with a new device. It is top secret and nobody is supposed to know about but of course, everybody seems to know that it is coming and that it is going to be a tablet PC. Quite frankly, the idea of a tablet PC is somehow beyond me. Even if it is an amazing computer, the ergonomics of the device (ie, being a touch screen device) will make it very hard to use (people are going to start going to the doctor because now they have tendinitis in their neck!). Of course, one can hope that Apple will make a revolutionary product that will actually be kind on your splenius but given the nature of the idea of netbooks itself, I would doubt that it would be possible.

So here is a product that is going to be pain in the neck, big enough to make it impossible to carry around in your pocket and will probably burn a hole in it too and how the hell do you market it?

Simple. You leak a story that Steve Jobs thinks it is the best thing after sliced bread! And one can expect all the Steve Jobs fanboys (and girls) will rush to get that overpriced slab of touchscreen goodness and help make Jobs richer than he already is. I am sure that the netbooks will disappear in a year or two and Jobs will be searching for the next shitty piece of overpriced junk to offload onto the masses. It is forseeable that one day Steve will find a market for a product that he produces everyday in his own house and call it iShit.

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