26 June 2008

iPhone launch in India on 22nd August

I guess the front page Vodafone ad yesterday would have excited many. " Apple iPhone 3G , Coming Soon. " Both Airtel and Vodafone had earlier announced their tie-ups with Apple to bring the iPhone in India, and have now started pre-bookings.Since then Apple has launched the new iPhone3G, with 3G and inbuilt GPS.

The good news is that we will now get the new iPhone3G in India.Some of the new additions in the iPhone 3G are:
  • Slimmer, Sleeker
  • 3.5 mm standard headphone jack
  • Integrated GPS unit ( Can't wait for this !!! )
  • Better battery life
  • Lower price, iPhone 3G 8GB for $199(Rs.8500),16GB for $299(Rs.13000 approx.)
Assuming that Steve keeps his promise of pricing the iPhone same anywhere in the world, a 8GB Apple iPhone3G would be a steal.But hang on.For people who are wondering why the iPhone is being launched by Airtel and Vodafone and why not Apple itself, the iPhone will come bundled with a service contract with the network operator for a specific period of time (2 year etc.) .The phone will work with only that operator, like a CDMA phone.( Obviously I'm taking about the Genuine ones, one can always go and help himself with an unlocked version...).So that will take its cost much higher than the price of the phone.Looking at India, we have no 3G services, so we will not have any Data Plans(for Internet), like in the US.Anything under 10k would be very well lapped up by the Indian Mobile buyers.

In the meanwhile, current market leaders are already feeling the iPhone heat.Nokia's CEO has already made his fear's public.Motorola and Samsung are already planning their iPhone Killers.

Nonetheless, I wait eagerly for the iPhone debut in India!

19 June 2008

Top New Firefox 3 Features

There are a lot of sites already up describing the features in detail, but some of them which I thought would really help are:

  • Pause and Resume Downloads is a feature that used to require a third-party add-on. Now the Downloads window has a simple pause/play button, letting us stop and start all we want. The resume function also works if the system crashes or is forced to restart.
  • One-Click Bookmarking via the star button in the location bar.

  • Better Add-on menu: Now we can search and install extensions and themes right from the pop-up box, no browsing required. Also, a new plug-in manager lets us enable and disable third-party helpers like Flash, QuickTime .

  • Better Zooming: Now we can zoom the entire page (rather than just text).Try it by pressing Ctrl and ++, -- on this page.

  • No remember password Pop-up: It will now appear on top of the page and the will not hinder the page loading process. Wonderful!!!

  • Save tabs on exit: Now when we open Firefox, the tabs and windows look just like they did when we closed it down. No need to reopen all our windows each time we start a session. Good one.

  • Drag & Reorder Tabs: Not sure whether FF 2 had it, but we can arrange the order of our tabs by dragging them right or left.

  • Integration with antivirus software: On downloading a file, computer’s antivirus program automatically checks it to protect against viruses and other malware.
  1. Search Keywords: To set a keyword, click the search bar dropdown and select “Manage Search Engines…” For ex: If we set w as the keyword for Wikipedia, we can just type w sachin into the address bar and it will redirect to the Wikipedia search results for Sachin. Wonderful!

  2. Tags: Label a site with names or categories that are meaningful. For example, we can label the site www.bbc.co.uk with the “news” tag as well as the “foreign investments” tag, plus give www.nytimes.com the “news” tag, too. When we enter “news” into the location bar, both sites will be shown as results. A single site can have multiple tags, and there’s no limit to the number of tags we can create. This is a wonderful feature as far as I am Concerned.

18 June 2008

I have a Guinness Book Record...

ok...Its shared with 8 million people worldwide

The much hyped Mozilla Firefox 3 finally released on the 17th of June with about 8 million downloads in 24 hrs since launch, in a bid to set(rather than break) a Guinness book record for the most downloaded software in a day.

I was pretty much the part of the firefox frenzy as I repeatedly refreshed my download window hoping for a download which was scheduled to start at 10.20 p.m. in India but refused to load.The servers finally went up at around 11.30 and I officially downloaded the new version of my default browser.

08 June 2008

'SarkaR Raj ' Movie review

I haven't seen 'Aag' but people said that anything would be better than that, ( though Tashan did give a good fight..). I had seen Sarkar, the original, and quite liked it. It was a different movie, which had a unique tone and texture, almost no dialogues, no songs, but power packed expressions and screenplay.

Sarkar Raj is no different.The movie carries forward the legacy of Subhash Nagre, with his son Shankar carrying the beacon.The plot revolves around a power plant project, which is shared dream of Anita(Ash) and Shankar (Abhi) , and how it turns into a dirty Political minefield with the opposing forces determined to bring down Shankar and the Sarkar Raj.

The storyline is gripping but largely drags, throwing intermittent surprises. The highs of the film include the carry forward ' Govinda govinda .....' background chant which acts as a perfect filler for the silent zones.The political intricacies, twists and turns, specially towards the end are superb.

Ram Gopal Varma continues with his awkward camera angles, oscillating between chairs, full close-ups, sepia tones, saturation, and black and white images.Amitabh is routine, as one expects a powerful performance from the veteran actor, Abhishek and Ash are both impressive, though a overdose of glycerin might have hurt those gorgeous blue eyes !!

All in all, an Ok movie, but with this script, better could have been done.Watch it if you have a flair in politics, or have nothing else to do in the weekend, otherwise wait for the T.V. Premiere.


05 June 2008

Of the unusual Delhi rain...and monsoons

I'm sure all Delhiites and much of north India is quite relishing this unusual rainfall we've had this season.Being in Delhi for over a decade now, I have never seen it rain so heavily and consistently in the month of may and June, even in the monsoons, If I may add.

The fact of the matter is that Delhi was becoming hotter and drier every year.The monsoons have been shrinking each year, and last year, If I recall correctly, they never came to Delhi !! A squall here, a drizzle there was all we got, after braving the scorching heat and life sucking hot winds for over three months.

But this season, its been quite different.It seems the rain gods have seen enough of Lord Surya! We have had the wettest May ever in the capital's history with a total of 164.8 mm rainfall recorded. The previous highest rainfall during the month was 129.3 mm in 2002. Weathermen have attributed this unusual weather to the influence of an upper air cylonic circulation, which has caused the bountiful rainfall, but yes that was an explanation and not a forecast.

The rain has continued into June, which is by far the most dreaded month in Delhi. Yesterday night too saw a huge downpour, with me getting stuck by the road side.

As I stood under a shelter watching the rain gaining force, more and more cyclists and motorists stopped by, drenched in water. The rain continued and so started the talk.Many were enjoying this unusual rainy Delhi summer, while others were already worried about the Monsoons, which might not come to Delhi now, due to such heavy rainfall. It was then that it occurred to me, about this very special bond we all share with the monsoon, the dark clouds, the shattering thunderstorms, the first monsoon drop and the smell of wet mud, the joy and happiness associated with it, probably one of the most satisfying connections with nature.

With these thoughts, I decided, for once, to re-connect this link, and walked out from the shelter in the drizzle.