30 May 2011

Dhoni: From Ticket Collector to Alchemist

Few would have put their money against Dhoni picking up the IPL 4 trophy last week. The man, as they say can simply do no wrong. Under him we've now won both the One day and T20 World cups. We are the No.1 Test team with significant overseas success. Add to that the back to back IPL wins and Champions trophy triumph. He is No.1 on the ICC top ODI batsmen list and is a two time ICC ODI Player of the Year. Sachin thinks he is the best captain ever and the Time magazine just included him in the top 100 most influential people in the world. Endorsing an upwards of 22 brands, he is also the richest cricketer in the world.

The basic upshot you ask? This young lad from Jharkand who once collected railway tickets at the Kharagpur station, is well and truly sitting on the pinnacle of success in modern India.

26 May 2011

iPhone 4 to finally launch in India on May 27th, price starts from Rs.34,500

So its finally official that Airtel and Aircel would be launching the iPhone 4 in India tomorrow.
Aircel is offering the 16GB model of the iPhone 4 at a price of Rs 34,500 and the 32GB model at Rs 40,900. Pricing details from Airtel are not out yet but are expected to be on similar lines.

The Reverse subsidy model
With this iPhone, Aircel is trying an innovative hook. They are offering a reverse subsidy plan under which the buyer pays the full cost of the handset upfront and recovers the entire amount over a period of two years through monthly credits on the subscription plans. Atleast this is now it is being pitched. (more on this in a separate post)

Is it unlocked?
Yes, it is factory unlocked which means you can use it with any operator. The only hook here is this reverse subsidy model where you would be tempted to remain with the operator for a period of atleast 2 years.

Where can I buy it from?
From Airtel and Aircel showrooms. It would also be available in  Apple premium stores.
Should you buy the iPhone 4?
My guess is that if you had wanted one badly, you would have got it already. Anyways, its still some time for the iPhone 5 to come up (Sep-Oct this year), so if you want an iPhone, you should get this one. Some people have expressed concerns over the antenna issue, but its no biggie. You should also look at some of the cool Android phones which have come up this year, specially the Galaxy S2 from Samsung.

And if you are not in a hurry, wait for the next generation iPhone 5 which promises to be a very exciting launch and then get some of your folks in US to get it for you. While folks in Delhi can always visit the Gaffar market for the latest and brightest in consumer tech.

Looking for an iPad 2 instead. Here's what you need to know.

24 May 2011

Shauk hai (Guru): The magic of Rahman

I am not sure if you've heard this one before. I was watching the movie Guru when I heard this song in the background and immediately fell in love with it. Featuring minimum instrumentals, Rahman creates magic with the rhythms we've heard earlier in tu bin bataye (RDB) with gentle light piano riffs throughout the song and a soothing female voice.(Soumya Raoh)
Kaash ye zindagi Khel hi khel mein kho gayi hoti
Kaash ye zindagi binkahe binsune so gayi hoti
Bezubaan os ki boliyon ka; Shauk hai
Roshni ka shauk hai, oh shauk hai

The song where a dying Meenu (Vidya Balan) hopes if she could just die peacefully as she yearns for all the little joys of life, urges you to take a step back and enjoy all the simple things in life while they are there.

A quick search tells me that the song did not release with the soundtrack but was later released as a full song in 'A.R.Rahman - Greatest Hits' by Sony-BMG.

21 May 2011

[Movie Review] Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Pirates of the Caribbean has never been your run of the mill Hollywood movie. Its weird, witty, quirky and disgusting all at the same time. But if you've seen it, you'll agree that its one hell of a joy ride. So how does the fourth installment fare?

The setting of the film is mouth watering. You have three parties, the irreplaceable Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) combined with his ex-flame Angelica (Cruz) and the deadliest pirate on earth, the Black Beard, the English led by Captain Barbosa and their colonial rivals the Spanish - all sailing high waters to reach and claim the mysterious Fountain of the Youth. For all that could have been done with this exciting premise, its almost disappointing to see what they've ended up with.

18 May 2011

[Best @TED] Jake Shimabukuro plays "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Jake Shimabukuro strums monster sounds out of the tiny Hawaiian ukulele, as he plays a cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." A sensational performance from TED2010 -- it'll send shivers down your spine.

14 May 2011

Chromebook vs. iPad. Does it stand a chance?

So this is the value proposition of the new Chromebook. Is it only me or all of this sounds familiar? How about the iPad - Instant On, 10 hr battery, always connected, content anywhere via iTunes and free updates. The more I read into the Chromebook announcement, the more I am confused about the product category Google is trying to define here. As usual, let's try and break this down.

11 May 2011

How the Microsoft Skype combination will change your life

So as many of you would have heard by now, Microsoft bought Skype for a whopping $8.5 billion yesterday. Let shave a quick look at what this means for you and me: 

08 May 2011

My Top 10 Best Ever Sci-Fi Movies

1) Jurassic Park

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

X-Factor: Second coming for Dinosaurs, awe and fear-inspiring sights never before seen on the screen
Favorite dialogue: John: "All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956 nothing worked."
Dr. Ian Malcolm:  "Yeah but John, if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down the pirates don't eat the tourists."

IMDB Rating: 7.9

2) Terminator 

The cyborg who once tried to kill Sarah Connor must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from an even more powerful and advanced Terminator. 

X-Factor: The ultimate action sci-fi movie ever.Period.
Favorite dialogue: "Hasta la vista, baby"
IMDB Rating: 8.6

  3) The Matrix

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

X-Factor: Ingenious blend of Hong Kong action cinema, innovative visual effects and an imaginative vision

Favorite dialogue: "You take the blue pill -- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill -- you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."
IMDB Rating: 8.7

02 May 2011

What Hitachi can learn from Apple

When it comes to most consumer electronic devices, I have always believed that if a product requires a manual to operate, then it still has a long way to go. Apple products have minimal reading material in their packaging because they believe that their user experience is natural and self explanatory.
Makes a ton of sense...should be easy to implement right? Not quite. As it turns out, this new Hitachi room AC that we got this summer, drives home the point quite effectively.

Since the time we got this thing, I have been quite baffled by its over the top complexity of operation. Its like some Japanese Hitachi engineers saw this thing and went over the - 'We have? No Tanukasa' routine many times over. The result? We have an over-complicated AC which is excellent in doing its core job but with all these functions, features and buttons making the overall experience less than desirable.

So how complex can one make an AC?  Hit the break to read more.