August 24, 2011

India a Ban-Anna Republic?

August 24, 2011 Posted by Vijay 2 comments
A bill supposed to free up India of its corruption menace. Or a man's obsession to be a national hero. The Lokpal bill has been in the backburner for decades together. But it looked like the right time to push the agenda, with a government reeling under heavy corruption scams - the 2G scam and the CWG scam especially. Anna Hazare has taken up the case of acute corruption in India, but has lost his focus completely. What cannot be refused here is his mass popularity and support.

The 74 year old Hazare, claimed that this was the second freedom struggle. In conjunction with the day of his fast being immediately after India's Independence Day, August 15. What baffled me is that, India's freedom struggle fructified on August 15, 1947, when Hazare was just 7 years old. Not sure how he could have been part of that freedom struggle? Was he just senile or trying to trump up the post Independence Day fervour in India? At 74 without a family to support, his motivation for such a noble cause is indeed commendable.

What became alarming and disturbing was the method used to shove his Lokpal bill form down the Government's throat. Anna doesn't have to announce his fast was not unto death. Keeping his age in mind, any fast beyond 5 days is literally a fast unto death in itself. Having had the Baba Ramdev incident of midnight eviction fresh in mind, it was easy for Anna to force his way into getting nationwide support when he was sent to Tihar Jail. While all what the government did was arrest him to prevent any untoward incident. Anna reached out to the masses by his tech savvy self, by playing up his video, vowing to push the Jan Lokpal bill (his own draft of the Lokpal Bill).

June 6, 2011

Baba Black Sheep

June 06, 2011 Posted by Vijay No comments
Are we Indians so naive to believe anyone who fights the cause of corruption? It is true that India is almost corruption personified. But that doesn't mean anyone who fights against corruption is doing a favour for the country. Baba Ramdev had already planned to launch a political party. So it was not surprising to find that he chose an issue irking all Indians, to pick up and launch an agitation - black money. Obviously through corruption.

Baba Ramdev's fast looked more stage managed and theatrical, than with a true cause which arguably Anna Hazare had. The Baba has thousands of followers of his yoga antics across the country, and would have been dying to get a cause to fight against. What better an option than corruption, to get an entire country on his side besides his own followers. That he chose Delhi as the venue for his fast certainly caused flutters in the Government corridors. No wonder ministers were sent out to woo the Baba at the airport even. The Baba went ahead with his fast, and the next day morning, news was making headlines that the Baba was evicted. I, for one found it right on the Government's part to evict the Baba.

Baba Ramdev being a yoga guru, would have followers across religions. With the crowd supporting Baba's fast swelling past the Ramlila capacity, even a minor scuffle amongst the crowd could have led to a dangerous riot like situation. The presence of RSS could have made the Government equally tense. Once the eviction was complete, the Baba had more options to garner support from follwers and the like - for the cause his fast was for, and the untimely evction he had to go through. It speaks a lot about how we Indians side with anyone powerful enough to fight for a cause. Irrespective of whether the person is genuine or not.

For me, the action taken to evict the Baba was appropriate, for no one can come to the capital and pose a challenge to the country's governance. It could have been a nightmare had things gone out of hand. It was a swift action, to dispel any problems that could have arisen. Whether this is a blow to the fight against corruption, only time will tell. But with someone like Baba, it was never a fight against black money. It was just the break Ramdev would have prayed for, and he has now a bigger following of naive Indians to get a big  enough vote bank.

May 22, 2011

Ideos The Ideal

May 22, 2011 Posted by Vijay 2 comments
It was now time to explore Android on the Ideos U8150. In the U.S it is better known as T Mobile Comet, and is clearly one of the cheapest smartphones available. I bought the Ideos keeping in mind the affordability and the price point it offered. The features were on par with those offered in other smartphones. Wi-Fi (b/g/n), Bluetooth, AGPS, Android Market, 3 MP camera, 3G enabled and it can be used as a mobile hotspot. The hardware is of more modest nature, with 528 MHZ processing speed, with a 256 MB RAM.

There are multiple advantages of choosing this phone. Having been launched in U.S and internationally, it has been explored across the world various times, and the number of custom ROMs for this device are remarkable. It gives a sense of confidence that this phone is indeed decent enough. When I unpacked the phone contents, it was obvious that Sangeetha mobiles were selling off the Aircel tied up Ideos. The logo was there on the box, and a prepaid sim card as well. I was also pleased to find a 2GB micro sd card inside the box.

The battery cover was blue, and the phone felt quite light in my hands at 102 gms. It was annoying to find the Aircel logo flashing when I booted up the phone. I have a Vodafone connection and I wouldn't want another network provider's logo flashing on. Moreover, in this phone, the phone maker's logo or name is nowhere to be seen. It just says Ideos by Google, which makes it more of a personal phone. I liked this aspect as well.

May 21, 2011

Touchy affair with Android

May 21, 2011 Posted by Vijay 1 comment
So finally, I got tempted into the world of touchscreen phones. And to add to my dilemma, there is the choice of the resistive one from the capacitive one. My Archos 70 tablet is a capacitive one, and I have been mighty impressed with it. I wouldn't let myself be subjected to peer pressure of touchscreen mobiles, would I? So I started the hunt for a sub 10000 touchscreen phone.

The Indian market is swelling with various mobile phones, from varying handset makers. From Spice to Micromax to Lava, and then the ubiquitous Samsung, LG, HTC, Nokia and even Dell. I had made up my mind on getting an Android phone, so Nokia was ruled out. All the other contenders had Android phone offerings. Samsung would have been an obvious choice, with its highly popular Samsung Pop (better known as the Galaxy mini). With Android's Froyo and Samsung's brand name, it was very tempting indeed. The price was just about 9000. The other options were Micromax Andro A60, Dell XCD28 and LG Optimus One, which was just over budget at 11000.

I narrowed it down to LG Optimus One and the Samsung Pop, with the latter being first choice. Then came a quite unusual option, Ideos. I had known that Ideos U8150 (by Huawei) was launched with a tie up with Aircel in India, and I did have my eyes on it while I was in U.S earlier in the year. The most striking features were the pricepoint (8500) and the vanialla Froyo Android firmware on it. This meant, no unnecessary apps of the handset maker, and plain Android. Besides, it had a capacitive touchscreen too.

April 25, 2011

January 19, 2011

Time to Pop a Tab?

January 19, 2011 Posted by Vijay 1 comment
The new year is here, and has ushered in another flurry of technological frenzy. The just concluded CES event at Las Vegas was home to hordes of tablets. Of course Apple was conspicuous by its absence. This only led to more excitement and attention being drawn to the other tablets at CES. Motorola Xoom was launched as the first tablet with Google's official Android Platform, Honeycomb. And then there was the impressive Blackberry Playbook, Toshiba's upcoming tablet, Viewsonic, Archos, Asus and the list just goes on.

The first decade of this century may have belonged to Apple and its technology innovations. But towards the end of the decade, Google had quietly sneaked in on Apple and suddenly is as prepared and equally innovative as Apple is today. This doesn't augur well for Apple's products, particularly with Android handsets marching on ahead of the iPhone. Of course, one should not compare a zillion Android smartphones to one iPhone. Perhaps, therein lies Apple's problems. The sameness in its line of products will eventually drag it down, because the consumers have choices galore with Android.

When the iPod was a big hit, anyone who purchased a non-iPod mp3 player would be asked - "Oh, you got an iPod"? Oh well, an iPod is an iPod, which is an mp3 player. But the synonymous reference was more an appreciation and acknowledgement of Apple's innovative technology, than the lack of other mp3 player options. And a decade ago, the press coverage and the technology awareness among the public at large was much less. This decade is different. The consumers know they have choices, and its not just an iPhone or an iPod out there. There are the Droids, the Evos, the Incredibles.