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Weren’t mobile phones supposed to be small?

When we start scourging the Web for a mobile phone, browsing through various websites like GSMArena, Univercell, FoneArena, YouTube, etc.., we keep an important factor in mind – the form factor of a phone. At some point in my life, I’m sure that people’s opinions seemed to favour mobiles that were small in height, width and weight. Nokia sensed this and made some of the tiniest mobiles around. And they were the market leaders for quite some time. I mentioned “were”, because Nokia isn’t the leader any more, thanks to competition from Apple, HTC, Sony, Blackberry and, most importantly, Samsung (fan-boys, cheer!). I’m not sure when this trend changed, but I can guess that mobile operating systems changed it all. With the introduction of touch screen phones, people preferred the User Interface and applications provided by the manufacturers.

When the Java operating system was introduced, integration with social networking sites and chat became possible. With power comes responsibility. The operating system for mobiles had to handle a large quantity of data and processing speed needed to be faster. Also, the User Interface had to be intuitive so as to enable the users work seamlessly with their phones. With mail exchange servers such as Microsoft Exchange, RIM’s server, etc.., working with email on mobile phones became easier. And then, Apple introduced the iPhone, a paradigm shift in the world of mobile phones. Now, a touch screen mobile included an operating system, a truckload of applications and, to the surprise of users, was bigger in size. Notice the turn around? Touch screen mobiles are best experienced when they are big enough. The UI becomes more intuitive, watching videos, taking photos, reading books, etc.. is realistic and gives you an awesome experience. Naturally, it attracted a lot of users and made a lot of fans. Now, many manufacturers took this cue, but it was Samsung and Google, with their powerful combination of hardware and software, turned it on big time, that led me to this discussion. With their wide range of touch screen phones, the Galaxy series, and the highly customizable Android operating system, Samsung made an impression in people’s minds that bigger is better. Google didn’t make a big impression in Desktop operating systems, but in mobile operating systems, I don’t find a person who doesn’t know Android.

Damn. I’m an Apple fan myself, but I’m under the impression that Apple has to release more phones, or at least, quicker – after working for a year on iPhone 4, we have the iPhone 4S, with only specific upgrades like the camera, iPad’s processor and a voice assistant, which we don’t REALLY need. Okay, I don’t want to divert from the topic, but the point is, by this time, users had already forgotten that at some point in their lives, they believed that the smaller the mobile, the better. Now, I see people with exceptionally large mobiles (not anything smaller than 3.5″ touch screen – and hey, anyone remember the stylus?). The stylus is making a comeback with the Samsung Galaxy Note.

Getting back to the topic (I think I have ADD – I get distracted real easy), mobile cameras also contributed their part in bringing about this change of opinion. When a phone is large, you get enough detail to view the picture and click it as you intended. Video cameras speak more. Fitting 720/1080p into a thin and small mobile phone would be an anachronism. Imagine a Motorola W270 (just for discussion sake, as it doesn’t even have a camera) clicking 5 MP pictures and 720p video. That would be friggin’ hilarious.

The processor is going to make a big difference as well. You don’t believe me? Ask the Apple fan boys! After waiting for a year expecting nothing short of a quad-core processor, all we got is a dual-core processor! But wait, isn’t a dual-core processor good enough? Heck, many work stations and laptops have a dual core processor, and that isn’t going to be a big deal. But as the quote says “Yesterday’s luxury is today’s necessity”, we want nothing short of all of this. Even though the iPhone 4S is great (please take some time to look at its specifications as a normal phone, leaving aside the manufacturer – it”s great, I assure you), it would still get a low rating owing to the delay in its release. And how does it contribute to the size of a phone? Obvious, big processor, big size. And you need more memory as well? Be my guest.

Finally, I’d say that sometime later, all of this is not going to be enough and people are going to need more than just jolly applications, UI and 1.4 GHz processor (all the characteristics of a touch screen mobile these days). They’d need more in the business end as well. More businesses are focusing towards cloud computing and applications are being developed for this too. To satisfy all of this, tablet PCs might just be the key – they have a bigger touch-screen, a better support for hardware and better impression throughout.

-Suresh Gururajan
 
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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Mobiles, Other, Trends

 

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Song of the month – It all comes down to this (Oru Naalil)

Movie: Pudhupettai

Lyrics: Na. Muthukumar
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Singer: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Pudhupettai

Oru Naalil - Pudhupettai

Oru naalil vaazhkkai inge

engum odi pogaathu…
maru naalum vanthu vittaal
thunbam theiyum thodaraathu
eththanai kodi kanneer
mann mithu vizhunthirukkum
aththanai kanda pinnum
boomi ingu poo pookkum

ho….oh……ooh……
karu vaasal vittu vantha naal thottu
ho….oh……ooh……
oru vaasal thediye vilayaattu..
ho….oh……ooh……
kan thiranthu paarthaal pala kuthu
ho….oh……ooh……
kanmudi kondaal…………..

[oooh ooooh.............. 'music]

por kalathil piranthu vittom
vanthavai ponavai varutham illai
kaatrinile vaazkinrom
mutkalin vali onrum maranam illai
iruttinile nee nadakkaiyile
un nizhalum unnai vittu vilagividum
nee mattum thaan intha ulagaththile
unakku thuNai enthru vilanggividum
theeyodu pogum varaiyil
theeraathu intha thanimai
karai varum nirum paarththu
kappalil kaaththiruppom
erimalai vanthaal kuda
yeri ninthru por thoduppom

[oh.....oh..........'music]
antha theiva ragasiyam puriggirathe
ho….oh……ooh……
inggu ethuvum nilai illai karaiggirathe
ho….oh……ooh……
manam vetta veliyile alaiggirathe
ho….oh……ooh……
antha kadavule kandaal …………
[ooooooh ............'music..]

athu enakku ithu unakku
ithayanggal podum thani kanakku
aval enakku ival unakku
udalgalum podum puthir kanakku
unakkum illai ithu enakkum illai
padaithavane ithai eduththu kolvaan
nallavan yaar ada kettavan yaar
kadaisiyil avane mudivu seivaan
pazhi podum ulagam ingge?
baliyaana uyirgal engge?
ulagathin oram nindru
aththanaiyum paarththiruppom
nadappavai naadagam endru
naamum sernthu nadithiruppom

ho….oh……ooh……
pala mugangal vendum sari maattikolvom…
ho….oh……ooh……
pala thiruppam theriyum athil thirumbi kolvom..
ho….oh……ooh……
kathai mudiyum pokkil athai mudiththu kolvom..
ho….oh……ooh……
maru piravi venduma..
ho….oh……ooh……
 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Music Review

 

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What’s luck got to do with injury?

This is an excellent article I found at Cricinfo, written by Sanjay Manjrekar -

Over the last few days MS Dhoni has been fending off questions about his team’s fitness about as frequently as some of his young batsmen have had to fend bouncers in England.

I’m certain Dhoni has his own views on fitness, and I would love to hear them one day, for he is one of the fittest men in international cricket, but as captain – well, he has to say the right things, doesn’t he? His patent response to questions about injuries to his key players has been that they are unfortunate and there is nothing one can do. I agree with him that injuries are indeed unfortunate, but I hope he does not really mean it when he says there is nothing one can do about them. There is plenty you can do about injuries, and there is a very good, logical explanation for why some cricketers suffer more of them than others.

When a player gets injured, it is often termed unlucky, and he is generally spared criticism, on the assumption that it was beyond the poor cricketer’s control. I have seen, during my playing career, cricketers take advantage of this mindset of the fans and media to tackle their insecurities as players: you would often find a short period of poor form quickly followed by an injury absence.

Except in obvious cases, like where fingers are broken while batting or fielding – like with Yuvraj Singh at Trent Bridge – I really think most injuries should be held against players, as you would a poor performance on the field. Injuries too largely happen because of poor performance – off the field. A player who does not forget that he is a top-level international cricketer, even when he is not playing matches, simply does not get injured often.

Kapil Dev, the great Indian allrounder, who I had the privilege of playing with, was one of the fittest Indian cricketers there has been, and there is no better role model of a fit Indian cricketer than him. Was Kapil lucky that he could play 131 Test matches as a fast-medium bowling allrounder, missing only one Test in between, when he was dropped for playing a wild slog at a delicate stage in a match? No, he wasn’t. There was a good reason for why he was so durable.

Kapil’s greatest asset was that he was an outstanding athlete. Unathletic cricketers tend to suffer more injuries than athletic ones, and there are numerous examples in Indian cricket of fast bowlers who were talented but not good athletes. Should the lack of athleticism of a player not be held against him? Wouldn’t the lack of a natural flair for numbers be held against a chartered accountant who keeps bungling up balance sheets?

Kapil was a superb athlete, and admirably, it was an advantage he never took for granted. He may not have given you the impression of being a thinking batsman, but when it came to his bowling, fielding and general approach to fitness, there was no one quite as sharp. He knew his body well and he made sure that he never pushed it beyond a certain limit, but he was also careful to not keep it in cold storage for too long.

During fielding drills, even before matches, Kapil would always throw the ball back to the keeper with real pace, while most fast bowlers I saw, would want to rest their bowling shoulders. Kapil thought different. He made sure his shoulder was always ready and never surprised – in case he had to throw hard for a run-out first ball of a match, for instance. Damage to a body often happens due to such sudden acts, resulting in the player missing games because of an “unfortunate” injury. Mind you, Kapil was not injury-free through his long career, but he planned the rehabilitation well, so he was always ready and raring to go for the next Test. Playing for India meant a lot to him.

Kapil did not let anyone influence him into changing his natural bowling action – though it had the potential threat of creating lower-back problems. He believed that if his body was allowing him to bowl without discomfort, it had to be the right action for him. I wonder, when I watch some of our Indian seamers who keep breaking down, whether they have strayed from their natural actions so much that their bodies have started protesting.

Rest to the body, as we know, is as critical as physical training, for a long, relatively injury-free career, and that is the big challenge for modern-day players: to get time off to rest their tired bodies. But it is also true that a cricketer opting out of an international series is not as big a deal as it used to be; players are usually given their time off without it being held against them. There is always a tour of West Indies or Bangladesh to take a break from, as we have seen.

I saw a couple of Indian players come into the England Test series off a period of relaxation, with chubby faces and bulging midriffs. That’s not something you’d ever see with Rahul Dravid. The only international cricket he plays these days is Test cricket, and he often has to come into the team off long periods of “inactivity”, but each time he turns up, he looks lean and mean. Dravid is another player with an excellent record of long-term fitness in Indian cricket, and he does not even have great natural athleticism to thank for it. What he has plenty of, though, as we all know, is discipline. He is the perfect example of that cricketer I mentioned earlier, who even when he is not playing reminds himself every day when he wakes up that he is still an active international player, only waiting for his next international assignment.

Players who are willing to make sacrifices, I have found, sustain fewer injuries than others, so the next time we see a cricketer suffer yet another pulled muscle, let’s pause for a moment more before saying, “That’s unlucky.”

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Cricket

 

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Avan Ivan – Movie Review

avan-ivan-reviewIt’s been a long time since I’ve written a movie review. Avan Ivan, directed by Bala, starring Vishal, Arya and others, is a film where the maverick director ventures into a genre, less explored by him. Inexplicably, this film doesn’t live up to its hype. Set in the villages of Tamil Nadu, Vishal and Arya are stepbrothers, constantly bickering, cursing each other, shouting (and insulting their father, which is quite hilarious). They work for a king, whom, they affectionately (or otherwise) call ‘highness’ (I could make out the word only when the king took a group of foreigners for a trek. Until then, I didn’t understand what they said. It sounded like INS). Ok, let me get this straight -

The bulk of this movie concentrates on humor, which could be easily shunned if not for the performances of the actors. Bala’s films already have a taste of humor which led to the question of why a maverick director like him needed to make a full-length feature film which trusted on humor alone, while skipping the storyline. The movie had incredible scope for a great story, which is unfortunately, not built upon. There are quite a couple of occasions where a brief history between the court case against the ‘highness’ could have been explained. It is all too apparent to observe these potholes.

However, some of the positive scenarios included a wonderful display of acting by Vishal and Arya – though the latter didn’t have much scope, Arya tried to justify his role and must be critically applauded. Vishal’s acting, though flawed, seemed to capitalize on the scope and the platform laid by the story. Perhaps, Vishal must be taking on less-commercial films and must try to focus more on building his career by establishing himself as an actor who doesn’t give just commercial films, but also critically-acclaimed movies. And he’s teamed up with just the right person in this venture. Arya, as always, gave his best shot and lived upto the scope of acting offered by the role. If not for the subtle acting, the movie might not have justified the ticket’s price.

Bala, being one of the trend setters in Kollywood, is just 5 films old and has a long career ahead of him. It would be unfair to negatively criticize him in venturing into a genre not suited to him – rather, not explored by him. He has tried his hand at a new genre that would add variety to the otherwise dark films that he’s directed (it should also be noted that you don’t miss the presence of Bala in the film as the gripping last 30 minutes of the movie was typical Bala’s tale that ends with a twist in the tale). Bala, I’m sure, must have learnt a lot of things and took away a lot of points from this movie.

Despite numerous negative reviews, I’d say that Bala hasn’t refrained in a corner and avoided a good story altogether. It’s just that he’s failed to build up on the plot, which isn’t a big crime – come on, let a man make mistakes sometimes. One cannot argue that the movie isn’t spectacular in the visuals. His direction isn’t bad at all. Considering the number of occasions that he’s revived the careers of many actors like Vikram, Surya, Arya and now, Vishal, it’s best to give the director a break and let him think things over so that he continues to deliver the kind of movies that he does.

Yuvan Shankar Raja can be easily forgotten in this movie as his background music doesn’t live upto the expectations, atleast not for me. His father, the Maestro Ilayaraja, could have handled it better. Again, Yuvan Shankar Raja must have explored a lot from composing music set in the villages.

Overall, the film is interesting, but has failed to live up to its expectations. The actors have given a performance of their lifetimes. It is safe to say that Vishal’s career would take a turn. It’s a great learning experience for the others.

Verdict: Good performance let down by a loose storyline.
Rating: 65%

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Movie Reviews

 

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The Rorschach Inkblot Test

This article is taken from this link. If you want to take the test, click here.

 The Rorschach inkblot test is a method of psychological evaluation. Psychologists use this test to try to examine the personality characteristics and emotional functioning of their patients. The Rorschach is currently the second most commonly used test in forensic assessment, after the MMPI, and has been employed in diagnosing underlying thought disorder and differentiating psychotic from nonpsychotic thinking in cases where the patient is reluctant to openly admit to psychotic thinking.

There are ten official inkblots. Five inkblots are black ink on white. Two are black and red ink on white. Three are multicolored. The psychologist shows the inkblots in a particular order and asks the patient, for each card, “What might this be?”. After the patient has seen and responded to all the inkblots, the psychologist then gives them to him again one at a time to study. The patient is asked to list everything he sees in each blot, where he sees it, and what there is in the blot that makes it look like that. The blot can also be rotated. As the patient is examining the inkblots, the psychologist writes down everything the patient says or does, no matter how trivial. The psychologist also times the patient which then factors into the overall assessment.

Using the scores for these categories, the examiner then performs a series of mathematical calculations producing a structural summary of the test data. The results of the structural summary are interpreted using existing empirical research data on personality characteristics that have been demonstrated to be associated with different kinds of responses. Both the calculations of scores and the interpretation are often done electronically.

A common misconception of the Rorschach test is that its interpretation is based primarily on the contents of the response-what the examinee sees in the inkblot. In fact, the contents of the response are only a comparatively small portion of a broader cluster of variables that are used to interpret the Rorschach data.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Ebooks Versus Paper Books: The Pros and Cons

This is an interesting article I found here: http://hubpages.com/hub/Ebooks-Versus-Paper-Books-The-Pros-and-Cons. Here is an excerpt of the article -

What Makes a Book?

In essence, the two formats are very similar. Both allow you to do the most important thing – read a book. The text is the important thing, not the medium. Reading Sumerian legends on clay tablets can feel more “authentic”, but doesn’t necessarily enhance your understanding of the subject matter – just your experience.

Depending on the type of material you’d like to read / look at, however, one does have advantages over the other.

The “Classic” Paper Book.

Paper books offer multiple advantages:

  • They’re easily obtainable (Bookstores are everywhere).
  • They’re easily portable.
  • They don’t normally cause significant eye-strain.
  • They’re cheap.

Okay, that much was obvious. Specifically, some types of content paper books are better for are:

  • Textbooks (or any books which are generally large-format).
  • Picture / Photo books.

Another factor to bear in mind is that paper books don’t need power to function. They can be read anywhere with sufficient light, and are perfect travelling companions for exactly this reason.

The rest of the article can be found on this link.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The All New Yahoo! Mail Beta

This post is taken from SPY’s blog and is found here.

Everyone would have created a Yahoo! mail account and probably left it untouched for years. The main reason for this is the interface and functionality which is irksome in yahoo! when compared to Gmail. Gmail have been ruling the email world and is considered the most functional email client. But Yahoo! has done a recent breakthrough with its new Yahoo! Mail Beta which is still under testing and has a beta tag. But it is tempting the trial user to shift his focus towards it. The interface is simply beautiful and smooth.

But the problem is that many people in India have not got the invitation to try it out. Only some countries have received the invitation. So now I describe how to get the new yahoo! mail beta without their invitation.

  • Open your Yahoo! account.
  • Go to your account information page (by Clicking Your name hyperlink and then "Account" below it)
  • Go to "Account Settings " tab and click "Set language, site and time zone "
  • Set the "Regional Site and Language" to "Yahoo! UK"
  • Then save the settings and log off.
  • Log in again and go to the mail page
  • There an invite to get the new Yahoo! beta will be present next to your name hyperlink
  • Click it to get the new Yahoo! mail beta.
  • After all this , set your "Regional Site and Language" to "Yahoo! India"

Now you are all set to enjoy the new yahoo! mail beta. Good luck !

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2011 in Other

 

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