However I wonder why such a great player who is hailed as the best in the world, needs a coach. Paul Annacone has recently been 'coaching' the great man, after a certain drop in form which resulted in Federer not even making it to the semifinals at his favourite tournament, Wimbledon. But one wonders what would a coach tell a man who has already won 16 grand slam titles, has made a record 10 consecutive grand slam finals appearances and is believed widely to be the greatest man to have hit the tennis ball. Well I dont know, maybe because I'm not a tennis player. But anyway, there must be some utility in hiring the coach who coached the great Pete Sampras. Being a Federer fan, I honestly hope Federer overcomes this slump and emerges as a stronger player, with the help of his coach.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
"There are hundreds of conflicting estimates of how many Linux machines are out there. Knowing how many people are using Linux is important because larger numbers provide leverage when we go asking for drivers from hardware manufacturers, apps from software makers or try and convince OEMs to bundle Linux."
Thursday, August 26, 2010
This has happened time and again to people and two of the brightest examples I can cite right now are Aishwarya Rai and her hubby. When Ash 'hit' the west, she almost immediately lost her accent. Maybe she got a voice coach or something. Or accent coach actually. I think these are the ones who get paid big bucks in the BPOs for raining newbies, right? Anyway, so I guess when these accent coaches get tired of their job they become coaches for celebs! And of course the pay scale is better. Greener pastures you see.
Anyway, back to the point. If you havent already, take a look at Ash on David Letterman video. Its on youtube and its already gotten quite a few thousand hits from some sane and many perverts. Ash almost behaves like a true phirang woman! At least accent wise.
The other day I saw Rajeev Masand of CNN IBN doing the same thing while interviewing James Cameron. He almost seemed like the perfect NRI! Cant we just be proud of the way we are? Is it all that necessary to American-ize our accent?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Hari Prasad, a security expert from Hyderabad, demonstrated on Live television the severe security vulnerabilities the Indian EVMs suffer from, shattering the very basis of the boastful claims by the Election Commission. The video has since then become almost viral and the debate has risen to a different level altogether.
There is also a debate about how Mr. Prasad aquired the EVM, supposed to be under strict security vigil. However instead of addressing the basic issues, the Government has committed a blunder by arresting Mr. Hari Prasad for theft. That Prasad exposed a serious issue is of no value to the government or the commission. Both have found an easier way out by trying to bury the incident. Both would have won over the hearts of the countrymen had it made an announcement about patching the security loopholes and going public with the source code. Pity this isnt the election season and hence, winning hearts is the last thing on the government's agenda right now.
Friday, August 20, 2010
The problem with the tablets is that since they have an LCD display, there is a considerable amount of strain on the eyes on prolonged usage. The eInk on the other hand doesnt do colour, so thats a potential let down.
Enter Notion Ink. A revolutionary product in the making which seems to have solved the problems of netbooks and tablets all at the same time. Its powered by android and has a pixel qi display. Pixel qi is something quite revolutionary which inspite of having a brightness comparable to LCDs, has the ability to reflect direct sunlight and also reduces strain on the eyes. Seems too good to be true doesnt it? Even I didnt believe it until my friend Abhirup convinced me about this truly amazing development going on in this country. A lot is being promised and lot of interest has been generated thanks to this cutting edge device and thanks to its really attractive price tag of $498 for the 3G with wifi version. However, no release date for this device has been announced as yet although its expected that it might release by the end of this year or early next.
Incidentally even Infibeam is ready with its tablet offering. They call it the Infibeam Phi (the eInk edition is the 'Pi'). The Phi has Android as well as Windows versions and is decently powered. However since it has an LCD display, its difficult to call it as an ebook reader. The dual screen technology of pixel qi is far superior than the traditional eInk and almost as good if not at par with LCD brightness, this is where I think the Notion Ink tablet scores over the Phi. But even the Phi hasnt been released yet, although Infibeam is taking preorders.
Hence my conclusion that this is indeed the worst time to buy an ebook reader. The suggestion would be to stay put and abstain from investing in any such devices until both the Infibeam Phi and Notion Ink hit the mainstream market.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Pakistan is yet to take a decision on the Indian aid, $5 millions which has been offered by the Indian government. Although to be fair to Pakistan, they have thanked the Indian government for the offer. It is a shame that bilateral relations between two of the most important nations in the subcontinent have reached such a low that even accepting aid for flood victims has to be thought through by taking diplomatic relations into consideration.
However, if one does think deep, there are valid reasons for not accepting Indian aid. India has forever been regarded as the biggest enemy by Pakistan, accepting Indian aid could potentially weaken its anti-India stand, and maybe it would invite the ire of fundamentalists in a country already reeling under immense international pressure for not ating tough on terror.
But frankly, a disaster of this scale requires politicians and leaders in both countries to rise to the occasion and act as good politicians and good leaders for their own respective countries.
The doubt however remains as to why no one is willing to order a probe into the whole scam now, when the games havent started. Kalmadi leading the organising committee is a bad example being set infront of the nation. Someone who is accused of corruption running into hundreds of crores of rupees. Isnt that a shame? Isnt it a shame that the best person India could come up with to head the committee for organising the games is a corrupt politician who is so invaluable that he is not removed from his chair even after prima facie evidence clearly points towards his involvement in perhaps the biggest scandal this nation has seen.
If Kalmadi is allowed to head the panel, even after all these allegations, it will set a bad example for not just India but also about perceptions about the country. Can we as a developing nation poised for exponential growth and hailed as the superpower of the future afford to do that?
Monday, August 16, 2010
However the neglect and perhaps the lack of innovation in this regard is quite astonishing. Nokia's once flagship device, the N95 had a fierce reputation of having the worst battery life among mobile phones of the age. The same reputation is being carried forward by the new generation touchscreen devices of the company. The N97 Mini has a hilariously short battery life for a smartphone. Its not just Nokia which is facing problems. Even the hallowed iPhone 4 has battery issues, as in the battery life isnt as impressive as the 3GS. The same problem can be found with the Samsung Galaxy S. Reason? Well for starters, its the super heavy duty processor and battery life-unfriendly OSes. Now tell me somerhing, whats a smartphone which cannot be used for extended hours? Whats the use of a device which requires you to carry chargers or cables as daughter packages wherever you go?
Now would you go back to a simple good old blackberry, or a N70? These truly had awesome battery lives. I guess most would say no. Hence whats required is a better battery management system where every single app will be able to utilise the battery power only as per the minimum requirement. I am hoping that the manufacturers already have this in mind and are working towards a solution. This also goes with the 'green' theme everyone's suddenly obsessed about, hence makes good marketing sense. Else we consumers would be forced to used dated devices with poor functionality.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The tablet is apparently decently powered with 2GB of RAM and running Android. The touchscreen is (perhaps as expected) a resistive one. The OS isnt sluggish and thats mainly because of the hardware that has been put in.
And yeah, it gets better. In time, the minister hopes, due to rising competition and demand, the price of this tablet would come down to $10! Now when did one get last hold of $10 tablet?
All is not hunky dory though. First of all, the tablet, because of its no frills design, does look ugly and dated. Finesse is something which you cannot expect from this device. The device lacks a hard drive and although this is primarily the reason why its prices have been kept low, I doubt if this is something which will be appreciated. The presence of resistive touch also does complicate matters and spoils the fun of the touchscreen experience. Also the tablet in its current form and price is meant for educational institutions and its students. The mass market version might be priced higher.
Finally, its a mixed bag to be honest. Mediocre functionality/quality of hardware vs extremely low price. The choice as always lies with the consumer.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Oh those were the days! A bunch of boys who experimented with rap and hip hop and metal and came up with an absolutely breathtaking combination of the three, which was unlike anything we had ever heard! It was clear to us all that we were going through something new. An uncharted territory where no one else had previously ventured. The realm of Nu Metal. A new genre in its own right.
Although one might argue about its origins, there absolutely no doubt that it was Linkin Park (and Limp Bizkit) who made the genre popular and acceptable. The lyrics were potent, the music strong and the effect was a heady dose of rap and metal.
In its formative years leading to release of their first album, Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park could be classified as a bunch of superb musicians who knew exactly what people wanted to listen to. When Hybrid Theory was released, it became an instant hit. It was certified platinum in 2003, quite an achievement conidering that it was the debut album. Their next album, Metero, took them to astronomical heights of popularity. MTV named Linkin Park as one of the greatest bands of the music video era. Things only got better for them. Tours were a success, concerts sold out and popularity rivalling any of the then popular acts.
What happened a few years later, 2006 onwards, is quite a mystery. Their sound changed, the lyrics stripped down, mellowed, the rapping reduced, overall it was clear that Linkin Park was no longer the same. Many say this led to their music becoming more mainstream. But frankly, thats a lame argument. Mainstream doesnt necessarily denote good music. Infact it does denote quite the opposite. Hardly anyone would call Justin Bieber or Kesha's music revolutionary.
The death knell, in my opinion, came after the release of their song Catalyst on yotube. It sounded so horribly wrong, so un-Linkin Park, so like every other album out there. The comments on the page reflected my concern perfectly well. Many (if not most) felt that Linkin Park was no longer THE group, THE band, THE musicians. Perhaps its not their fault at all. We all know about record companies and their business attitudes. Its no secret that all they care about is maximum number of hits (read mainstream success). Athough I will still remain a fan of the band, I will perhaps cherish what Linkin Park was rather than what it is.