Monday, December 22

N97 unveiled

Image representing Nokia as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

Wow.. so the ultimate device for mobile 2.0 arrives?

The N 97, first qwerty for Nokia in N series line up and this one comes with S60 5th generation touch screen interface. Claims to have the biggest memory (upto 48 gb) and the best in multimedia capabilities including the DVD quality recording and playback and its seamless integration with service.

  • 640x360 resistive touchscreen
  • qwerty keyboard slider
  • customizable desktop widgets
  • 32GB of on-board memory
  • Maps 3.0 app and a compass
  • e to begin shipping in the first half of 2009 at an estimated retail price of EUR 550 before taxes or subsidies.

Setting aside the 5 mp camera and big screen with horizontal qwerty keyboard, whether N97 can take on iPhone in user interface needs to be seen. Gizmodo's report already indicates a not so perfect touch screen response.

HTC touch diamond, SE experia, Blackberry Storm and many more tried to out do Apple iPhone with more features and hardware but failed to make a serious dent to iPhone's leadership in Lifestyle device segment.

Expected to hit EU and Asian markets in H1 2009, this might reach US by the second half or 09. And Mr. Jobs would be announcing iPhone 3.0 by that time.

Read more
Techmeme - Nokia N 97

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Thursday, December 18

God of War 3 - VGA Trailer (HD)

Just awesome!!! The world's best game series is going HD. The fifth one in God of War series - God of war III is the most anticipated game for year 09 and is exclusive to PS3
Kratos takes on mighty Zeus himself.

This is one game that will extract the full potential of PS3's hardware and blue ray discGhost of Sparta in high definition is going to be the new bench mark in console gaming and can tilt the console war in favor of Sony.
Check out this video on YouTube:

Watch the HD version of this video. This GOW III teaser gives a preview to the new weapons, moves and the game environment. Its just awesome.
Sent from my iPhone

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Sunday, December 14

vurnerable like a Goliath

Google Maps HybridImage by Telendro via Flickr
There is a big debate going on the misuse of tools like Google maps and messaging platforms like twitter by terrorist organisations. Many have called for restricting the availibility of google maps and similar services including global positioning systems. 
Instead of being restrictive like Taliban, we should use the same technology and information to our advantage. Had mumbai police been better equiped with gps and similar navigational and command n control aids, we might have possibly save more lives. From managing traffic for quick movement of armed forces and fire engines to locating and alerting the nearest police team, the scope is endless. 
We should be using our edge in IT in building an intelligent survillence network that can cover our huge shoreline and the porous borders with pak and bangladesh. 
Make it mandatory to have gps onboard all small n large vessels for entering indian waters. We have every right to know who enters n exits. If there is a deviation from pre declared routes, then our survillence software can alert the nearest coastguard vessel. 
Such an approach to adopting technology to leverage the best of our existing infrastructure would be far more productive than investing 100s of billions in an aged russian aircraft carrier.
Our enemy is not one country anymore. What we are dealing with is a small agile group of perverts who probably have more funding than the whole of Indian army. They remain so small and obscure that they still manage to evade even american search lenses. Like micro organisms they disperse and regroup across the globe, like mutants, they strike in different locations in different forms.
Our intelligence networks and security setups were designed for the coldwar period, for spying on countries, to fight invasions. Infront of these small groups, we stand vurnerable, like GOLIATH.
We must embrace technology to be one step ahead of terror groups.  Else all our measures to combat terrorist threats will be only reactive and cannot pre empt such an event.

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A Restrictive mindset wont help fight terror

I read an article about an advocate filing a public interest litigation against google n similar saterlite imagery based mapping services, sighting use for terrorist activities!
They are just providing information that already exists in public domain. Gmaps increased accesability of information. Detailed hardcopy maps have always been available for purchase at any bookstore since ages.
Technology has always been a Two sided coin. This debate has been going from the day man started using science to his advantage. Probably from the time man tamed fire. Atomic energy has been the subject of another major debate.
Registering case against google cause gmaps were used by terrorist is ridiculous. would someone register a case against cycle manufacturers cause cycles were used for the serials blasts across our country a few months back? Nor do we think of stop making planes because it was used for 9 / 11.
We should be using our edge in IT in building an intelligent survillence network that can cover our huge shoreline and the porous borders with pak and bangladesh.
Such an approach to adopting technology to leverage the best of our existing infrastructure would be far more productive than investing 100s of billions in an aged russian aircraft carrier.
What you and I can do for better security?
CO Operate. Co operate with security agencies, follow their guidelines while hiring a servant or while renting out an apartment.
AND VOTE. Exercising one's right to vote is now also one's duty to society and the Nation.

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Monday, October 27

A muted Diwali???

Fireworks on day1 of Diwali as seen from marine drive, Mumbai. This Diwali seems to be rather muted thanks to the Sensex crashing down from 22k to 9k in a month leaving many retail investors and small time brokers take extreme steps like suicide.

As mumbai is the hub of Indian financial market, home to the biggest stock markets in India, no wonder why this Diwali has been less glittery and colorfull.

However, I wonder why all are so much worried about this market crashing affecting the retail investor, after all, its the greedy who would have put borrowed money on a inflated market at 22k, expecting to make a short term killing.

for people investing life time savings on stock markets that were at the peak of a bull run, I have a question.

Would you start a hotel, without knowing to cook or without having a good cook? If not, then why did you invest without understanding the basics.

Would you give your Honda or Ford to someone who doesnt know to drive or doesnt have a liscence? No right, then why did you put your money on stocks just because your neighbour made some quick money!!!

I am sure, all the guys out there, who knows exactly how to invest in stocks would'nt be worrying. They might have made money in this bear market.

Hope, the next Diwali brings the Bull along

Sunday, October 19

Blackberry Storm: will it storm?

RIM's latest in its blackberry lineup and its first in touch screen phones, is being launched in USA on Verizon and later in Asia and Europe through Vodafone during over the next 3months, hitting India in December.The blackberry Storm has been the most anticipated smart phone since the launch of iPhone 2.0 in July. 
Storm looks like an acknowledgment of Apple's design prowess. It is identical to iPhone in size, shape, weight, screen resolution and even the home screen.
Touted as iPhone killer, Storm's advantages include RIM's acclaimed email service and a Haptic onscreen keyboard. RIM claims the Haptic keyboard to be a revolutionary innovation which will change the current notions about onscreen keyboards. Storm's onscreen keyboard gives a response or feedback similar to physical keyboard. A clickable screen!
Storm will surely take the business phone market by storm, thanks to the deadly combination of iPhone like UI and RIM's email service and email client that the current BB users are used to.But whether it can shake up iPhone's un rivaled position in lifestyle segment is something we need to wait and watch.
With its pedigree, STORM will be built and can live up to the high expectations. But can it can match iPhone's USPs? - The ultra simple and minimalist UI, seamless graphics and response to touch gestures, iPod and multimedia capabilities and the best ever mobile browser.

RIM has worked on iPhone's shortcomings like cut-copy-paste, video recording and MMS. But that wouldn't be enough to rival iPhone. For sure, Mr. Jobs would have got his boys work on iPhone 3.0.
Competition is good!!!
Sent from my Nokia e71
Images : Thanks to Engadget and Techtree

Sunday, October 5

Jumped the camp to Nokia

Its been 4 years since I used a Nokia, the last being a Nokia 6630, the bulky wierdly curved s 60 device that was as slow as a snail. S60's slow response and Nokia's bulky designs made me a fan of Sony Ericsson, which at that time came with the K750, which immediately caught my fancy was naturally a big hit.

Since that time, I have been through the w800, w810, w830 and was happy with all off them. At that time, I think no one could rival w 800 on music playback quality. so was the w 810 and w830. In the mean time, nokia kept churning out even bulkier phones which all looked and felt the same s60, though renamed as N series and Music editions.

Sony Ericcson kept out doing the competition with its cybershot series k800 and k10. But somewhere, after k 810 launch, SE got complacent or whatever, k 810 and w830 being the last of its latest models that would have sold resonably. While Nokia marched ahead continously refining the features it packed on its N series phones, SE kept loosing ground in its own USPs - the Walkman and Cybershot cams. 

SE's K850 5mp and w910 series was infested with too many bugs and had terrible reliability issues. Though both devices managed to get some awards in Europe ( I still wonder how), it made many SE diehard fans (including me) feel disheartened and switch camps. Apple iPhone launch and N series ensured that SE's key USPs never remained theirs anymore. 

Sadly SE didnt learn from its mistakes yet, and continues to churn out devices like c 902 with tiny screens, when the whole world is getting used to wider screens on their devices. In the mean time, SE also got it wrong on the business phones department also, with P990 and P1 failing to entice any interest in the market.

SE's target customer base, the ones looking for a bit of exclusivity and ownership experience went in for Apple's iPhone ( ME too) and the ones looking for features went in for N series. In the mean time, Nokia kept learning how to attract the SE customer base in Asia and Europe and its E series killed the SE P series and M series. 

As I write this, I am trying to bring back to life, a w910, which I had gifted to my sister, when I was still a fan of SE (just around 5 months back). My terrible experience with K850 and W910 coupled with the ownership experience of Apple iPhone has now made me a SE hater. 

In the midst of all this, I was happily suprised to see a slim and sleek e71 from Nokia. Within 5minutes of trying it out, I knew this one will keep me busy for atleast 6months. 
Nokia improved many folds in the last four years, s60 v3 is such a beauty when compared to first s60 editions and has learned to make devices for all segments of the market. They are now ensuring that customers remain loyal by introducing OVI sharing and Nokia music services like iTunes. their latest attempt at remaining market leaders in music phone segment with pre loaded music makes sense. Moreover, in a country like India, it will help the content creators generate some income from Nokia atleast (else 90% music content in India would be pirated).
With the new touch screen 5800, Nokia is moving ahead fast, while SE is grapling with firmware issues and a eroding customer base. Its anxeity is fell seen from the delay in announcing the SE experia series. 
Poor guys, they should poach some good product managers from Apple or Nokia. 

Till that time, I will be happy with my iPhone and e71

Saturday, October 4

intelligent keyboards??

Optimus Tactus keyboard

cool design that makes sense. Imagine adaptive keyboards on our laptops and UMPCs. That means we can have extra large keys based on applications! While using calculator, we getting a huge number pad instead which shrinks of and gives way to big keyboard shortcut or bookmark buttons as we open the browser application.

I think the possibilities are unlimited.

Friday, September 19


Neighbour's envy
Owner's pride

But the Sad part is, I m the neighbour this time ! :(

Technorati Tags: ,

Thursday, September 18

g Phone launch nearing???

 Gphone - courtesy oHGizmo

 I just read on the Independent that Google had showcased its Android mobile operating system to the press on a iPhone sized touch screen device which also has a slide out qwerty keyboard.
Though Google didn't comment on whether the device itself is entering production, speculations are rife of this device "G Phone" reaching retailers for Christmas or even as early as thanksgiving week.

Its said that, the device showcased by Google is to be manufactured by HTC nicknamed the "Dream" and to launch on T Mobile. Hope the dream becomes reality soon. 

Well, the said post on Independent had many comments, mostly comparing it with iPhone and calling the Google version as a me - too device. As usual, my small comment became too big in the end, exceeding the character limits. 

Check out the post on Independent and the video of the Google press meet on android.
So here is my take on g Phone-

Why not, should try this out. the only thing I missed on my iPhone was a slide out keyboard, especially when surfing on landscape mode.

me - too, i don't agree to it. does that mean, all other than
Martin Cooper and Motorola are me - too companies?. After all someone would have made or invented a thing, but it can always be improved upon. Lets hope Google succeeds in exceeding iphone's interface simplicity, aesthetics and accurate response to thumb commands while bringing in the plus points of win mobile like copy paste, folder browsing etc.
Another recently launched "iPhone wannabe" was HTC's Touch Diamond. I tried it out days back, and when compared to my iPhone, its response to touch commands was a disaster. 
I think HTC knew very well that Diamond's 3d touch flo cant be trusted upon, cause they have also given hard keys for navigation and zoom!! Add to that, HTC diamond's interface, other than part skinned by 3d touchflo, looks awfully dirty and cluttered. Ex: its calendar.

There are hundreds of things that an iPhone cant do, but there isn't any phone currently in the market that rival iPhone in its core features - an excellent touch interface, super fast file browsing, both in i Pod mode and photo gallery, etc. 
An N95 or SE c 902 can take excellent photos, but cant match iPhone's image gallery n full screen browser with auto rotate and quick population of hundreds of thumbnails. iPhone image gallery glides so smoothly even with thousands of thumbnail being populated ( i have 2000+ images in its photo gallery). Its so simple to use, not having to dig deep into the menu to send as email or set as wallpaper. 

Another winning feature is i Phone's browser and number of iPhone optimized websites available. Yes, it cant copy and save images or text, but which other phone lets you use G talk on its native browser or have optimized websites for almost all social networks and productivity apps. 

The app store from Apple, with ever populating list of silly to excellent applications as made iPhone even more unrivaled. All said, iPhone is an iPod too, with excellent video playback and a sexy cover flow for music.

I hope the G phone becomes a worthy competitor to iPhone. 
 HTC Dream - courtesy Engadget
Check this link for a image gallery from the highly reputed and followed tech blog Engadget, claimed to be of G Phone aka HTC Dream.

Monday, September 15

HTC Touch HD

Woo ow, engadget has come up with pictures of the HTC Touch HD, and they claim, its from HTC website itself. HTC Touch HD, is in all respects 2 times cooler than the Touch Diamond. This one seems directly aimed at the Sony ericsson experia X1 and comes with a similar 800 X 480 resolution screen, all kinds of radio receivers packed in and powered by 288MB of ram. 
The 3D touch flo seen in HTC Touch models will play its part in skinning the boring Windows mobile 6.1 pro interface.
I pray, this ones response to touch commands aren't sluggish like the HTC diamond. In fact after the initial HTC touch, I haven't found any HTC model that can better it.
Check out Engadget's coverage on HTC touch HD here and their image gallery here

Saturday, September 13

Sizeasy : cool way to compare sizes


Looking around for more news on the Sony Ericsson Experia X1, I just found this awesome web app site called SizEasy.
It lets you compare sizes of different products before buying, I think, it makes sense, now that many more people are open to the idea of buying online. 

Size easy lets you compare between the various models you are eying with a nice and simple interface that lets you look at the comparison from top, bottom, left, right and a perspective view, that they call 3D.
I find this one, a small, sensible and actually useful web app. 

Check it out here Sized UP

Goan Beauty

A Goan temple against the setting sun. I liked the lighting and thought of having it here.
The last picture is Konkan Railways, all green in monsoon.

Images by: Rakesh on a N 95

Wednesday, September 10

Apple's Nano 4G

While Tata's Nano is still stuck in Singur controversy and political mileage games, Apple's iPod Nano has got another upgrade.It grew taller and now comes with apple's new "genius" function, which identifies and plays tracks of similar tempo.

Apple yesterday showcased its 4th generation iPod Nano series. Check this link for Engadget's live coverage of the event. Engadget has detailed the new additions to this 4G Nano here.

Well, there is no relation between Tata's Budget car Nano and Apple's iPod Nano other than both of them sharing the same name and are aimed at the lower end of the market.

The Apple also came up with the second generation iPod Touch along with a moderate price drop. New iPod touch looks a tad better and also comes with the latest "Genius" function. 
After the launch of iPhone2.0 in july, everyone was expecting the second generation iPod Touch, and most speculations were that, iPod touch entry level will be re positioned at below $200 mark. Check the link for full coverage by engadget.

Wednesday, August 27

A Dream called Vizhinjam

I chanced on an article called Vizhinjam 2050, and liked it. It was posted on Trivandrum Rising, where Ajay (author) has imagined a rosy scenario for Vizhinjam Seaport by year 2050. In fact, I am really impressed by the research he has done for the article and also his concepts which are radical yet seems to be ideal solutions. 
ON his post, Ajay talks about Vizhijam Seaport in Kerala becoming one of the most busy seaports in South east Asia by 2030 and how de congestion of this sea port by using Kollam and Kolechal ports will help Vizhijam becoming the leading transhipment port by 2050. 
He also talks about other innovations that can turn advantageous to Vizhinjam, although most of his views seems very radical now, they might be the rules that change the game in 2030. Check out his post here at TVM Rising
I liked the post and wrote a small comment which then went on to be a post in itself. here it goes:
I really wish Vizhijam grows into such a great port, at least become an important port for India by 2020. Vizhijam nevertheless is bestowed with natural advantages like a very deep sea floor and other locational advantages like being close to international sea routes.  

But there are problems that are centric only to Kerala. Its thickly populated geography and a highly politically aware society. Kerala has always faced the problems of a powerful leftist political liking and also a very high resistance to change and to accept change. 

On the Tangaserri Port:

It was initially touted as a major achievement by the state goverment, when the central government gave approval for the port. It was inaugurated with much fan fare and zero infrastructure. Suddenly a sleepy fishing harbor was being touted as a international sea port. It was inaugurated without even having a road that can bring in a multiple axle trailer truck, let alone turn it.!!!!!!!!
My home is just a km from the said site and during my last vacation , dad said, the port  haven't taken off due to protest from near by fishermen and also public in general. They don't want trucks moving around with containers, will loose sleep, you know!!

I could just laugh.. what else can be said..But then they shouldn't have even thought of that place as a port, its so thickly populated, Government wont be able to acquire land for a four way access road, let alone hinterland for cargo. 

On Vizhinjam Port:
1. If it even grows to become half the size of JNPT, then the tourist centers of Kovalam and even Varkala could be destroyed.
The environmental impact might be very large and much more noticeable in a state like kerala. But if we look at the economic gains, then certainly a huge port can bring in 100 times more revenue than Kovalam, so we can sweetly ignore that issue.

2. If at all Vizhinjam grows to big, then feeder terminals at 100 km vicinity becomes viable.

In Such a scenario, Kolachel and Tangaserri ports will be important for vizhinyam port's long term success, . As the business plan is based on ships with more than 10m depth, dedicated rail /road corridors into vizhinjam port's  massive hinterland stretching upto kollam and kolachel will be required. These corridors will be critical in de-congesting vizhinjam, ideally all feeder ships should dock only in kollam and Kolechel, and transhipment happens through the corridor. 
The Kerala Challenge:
Such a huge port, means it will engulf the entire districts or Kollam and Trivandrum, let alone parts of Tamil-Nadu. Supply chain demands will require the major container managers including the government owned CONCOR to acquire massive tracks of land in the thickly populated areas of Trivandrum and Kollam, land tracks of minimum 500 acres each.

Will our LDF or UDF goverments bite the bullet to help build such a port by relocating lakhs of people?

Bigger challenge will be the change in lifestyle, the relaxed malayali having tender coconut and discussing international politics at the bedi kada will suddenly be surrounded by super huge cranes, trucks and aggressive people..

Companies and contractors who wont heed to nota kuli, and our poor atimari thoyulali will have to start working in a port that runs on delivery efficency, not votebank.

As the current revenue sources for labor community "so called vote bank dries up" ( there wont be much cocunut trees to climb or individual houses being build or small markets), they will inevitably have to take up jobs with the port and allied industries which wont give them the current liberties like 80 + hartals an year.

So the underlying fact is, none of the left wing political parties will be really interested in effecting this change, as it will nullify the reasons for thier very own exsistence.
Words from a Former Communist "SaKhav"
Some time back, my very senior uncle said, Communism and marxism thrives only in the land of poor (economicall backward and poverty ridden regions). As people grow up the value chain, their association and liking for communism also reduces. Well there are a few idiots (so called idealist) and another few cunning ( pro communist industrialist) that exsist for very obvious reasons.

If Vizhinjam works, I will be a billionaire, if it doesnt, I am still a Billionaire ( how many in this world can afford a a month vacation to the prestine beaches and back waters of kerala, let alone own a lake front villa, a buch of coconut or rubber trees, and let the paddy fields lie barren, for the migratory birds to come a nest, all through november, year after year. 

Somewhere, a Selfish me says, Kerala should remain the way it is now, be it  80 or 100 hartals, there shouldnt be industrialisation. its beaches and lakes should remain sparkling. The sky always blue.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia, Jaxer, googlemaps

Saturday, August 23

Thanks for purchasing iPhone 3G.

The Welcome mail from Apple on 3G iPhone purchase

The reason why i have it here is because, I didnt purchase one recently, but they have send me an email saying thank you!!!
From: Apple <>
Date: 22 August 2008 9:32:36 PM GMT+05:30
Subject: Thanks for purchasing iPhone 3G.
Welcome to iPhone 3G. We can't wait to show you Retail Store
Learn quick tips and tricks.Tips & Tricks is a user's guide that's also user-friendly. It'll walk you through how each feature works. Learn more
Check out new applications.Over 500 incredible games and applications are ready for your iPhone on the App Store. Learn more
Tap into more info.The iPhone User Guide is bookmarked in Safari, ready for you to tap into on the go.
Take a tour of your iPhone.Sit back and see a full demonstration of the features on your iPhone 3G.Watch a guided tour
Come to shop. Return to learn.Learn better in person? Stop by your local Apple Retail Store and take a workshop or get free technical advice and support from a Genius.
See what we've got in store for new iPhone owners.Pay a virtual visit to an Apple Retail Store, and you'll find it's a lot more than a store. Take a tour
Find top-rated iPhone gear.The reviews are in. Discover which accessories fellow owners really like. Shop now
This email does not serve as proof of purchase.
Some applications are not available in all areas. Application availability and pricing are subject to change.
Space for workshops is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Copyright © 2008 Apple Inc. 1 Infinite Loop, MS 303-3DM, Cupertino, CA 95014.