Sunday, December 26, 2010

MVDIT I.T. Person of the Year 2010

Vidit Bhargava
Julian Assange. That was the "Buzz" word all over the globe. From a low profile hacker, only shown in good quizzes as a tough question to a completely household name that was his transition throught the earth. Born on 3 July 1971 The Whistleblower is primarily the owner of WikiLeaks.

Assange was born in Queensland, Australia and served much of his life living on the magnetic island. In 1987, after turning 16, Julian Assange began hacking under the name "Mendax". He and two other hackers joined to form a group which they named the International Subversives.

In response to the hacking, the Australian Federal Police raided his Melbourne home in 1991. He was reported to have accessed computers belonging to an Australian university, the Canadian telecommunications company Nortel, the USAF 7th Command Group in the Pentagon and other organisations.In 1992, he pleaded guilty to 24 charges of hacking and was released on bond for good conduct after being fined a certain 2100 Australian Dollars. Here is what the prosecutor had to say about him:

"There is just no evidence that there was anything other than sort of intelligent inquisitiveness and the pleasure of being able to—what's the expression—surf through these various computers".

So you see Assange's Magic had already begun. Later in the 20th Century Assange was involved in various activities but none was too big as What would come in the future. Assange once commented that he was actually proud of the hacking phase of his life, and wasn't in the least embarrased.

Wikileaks
WikiLeaks is easily the most important thing that has happened to Julian Assange. In 2006 Wikileaks.org was born. The site claims to have been "founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa". So you see it is a complete misconception that wikileaks is Assange's creation. There is no formal identification of the Wikileaks but is only represented by Julian Assange and others since January 2007. Assange describes himself as the member of the advisory board.

In March 2010, WikiLeaks released a secret 32-page U.S. Department of Defense Counterintelligence Analysis Report written in March 2008 discussing the leaking of material by WikiLeaks and how it could be deterred. In April, a classified video of the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike was released, showing two Reuters employees being fired at, after the pilots mistakenly thought the men were carrying weapons, which were in fact cameras. In July, WikiLeaks released 92,000 documents related to the war in Afghanistan between 2004 and the end of 2009 to The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel. The documents detail individual incidents including friendly fire and civilian casualties.

Following on from the leak of information from the Afghan War, in October 2010, around 400,000 documents relating to the Iraq War where released in October. The BBC quoted The Pentagon referring to the Iraq War Logs as "the largest leak of classified documents in its history." Media coverage of the leaked documents focused on claims that the U.S. government had ignored reports of torture by the Iraqi authorities during the period after the 2003 war.

In December 2010. The wikileaks.org domain was killed and just 4 hours later Wikileaks was up again with a completely new domain. Wikileaks.ch . Now thats what you call determination.

So er.. This is what Wikileaks has been doing throughout the year. The rapid growth in the visitor levels have been seen throughout 2010. From a mere hacker Julian Assange had turned into a public figure. Launching leaks one after the other. Ripping (or Opening, whichever you might love to call!) the US Government through the largest leaks the world has ever seen. And All this while sitting at home and sipping a coffee in front of his computer. (ER.. That's not actually true, but Hey it really does sound epic. Ain't it?).

For all that Assange did this year. The James Bond of Hacking. The Whistleblower, Julian Assange gets the MVDIT I.T. Person of the Year Award.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hero of the Year 2010

In a sense, Zuckerberg and Assange are two sides of the same coin. Both express a desire for openness and transparency. While Assange attacks big institutions and governments through involuntary transparency with the goal of disempowering them, Zuckerberg enables individuals to voluntarily share information with the idea of empowering them. Assange sees the world as filled with real and imagined enemies; Zuckerberg sees the world as filled with potential friends. Both have a certain disdain for privacy: in Assange's case because he feels it allows malevolence to flourish; in Zuckerberg's case because he sees it as a cultural anachronism, an impediment to a more efficient and open connection between people.

After reading the extract you won't be surprised at the title. You know now what Time wants to convey through that message. Assange was considered d-villain. Call him the bad guy or Call him James Bond of hacking, its up to you. But the truth is he is the deserving PERSON OF THE YEAR. Even if TIME gives it to the 'Hero', Zuckerberg, who did those supposedly 'good deeds'.

P.S. - Zucker's sure to get on the good kid list of Santa this year :P .

** The post is in no offense to Mark Zuckerberg and intends at causing no harm to the prestigious TIME. These are just the personal views of a blogger.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

ARTICLES! MORE ARTICLES!

Vidit Bhargava
Have, you ever wondered if you could get your article published in that coveted tech-magazine that goes on every bodies doorstep? You might not have had such good luck at that...
Ok, You all are aware of MVDIT TECH BOOK (Our e-zine which gives the most unbiased view of the latest trends and technology). Fine even if 'you' don't know: in a gist, me and brother started creating this monthly e-zine three years back. It is meant to give only the month's first-rate news. What happened... What was the new game that came... How was that mobile anything and everything is there on this roughly 20 page long eZine.

What we need now is contribution, we have only two permanent writers (that's me and brother), while some of our friends contribute once or twice. We are in search of young bloggers, who can write constantly on technology (Like an article once per week) with a little bit of wit.

You just need to keep writing, and keep submitting, we will put the best articles in our eZine while others go straight to the website atleast (Some still wont make it, though "Since we moderate the stuff we publish").

The only requirement here is your writing skill, your text should be yours completely, it should not be plagiarized or even partially plagiarized from any other source. There is no age limit. This program is open to all the people of world with a computer and an internet connection.
The content should be in English language only.

To register yourself for the program : Send us the following details at: viditbhargava@live.in
Name:
Occupation:
Age:
Email Address:
PenName: (optional)

** Your articles will be published on the basis of how regularly you write to us.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

DECRYPT Answers

Vidit Bhargava
Time For DECRYPT 2010 - Answers:
1. WELL DONE! (I used the CAESARS BOX over here!)
2. Xkcd.com (I used ROT -1 to generate a hinting, random name)
3. Not Even an Encryption Standard
(The answer refers to ROT 13, used to encrypt the text).
4. Number for is correct/right (Again, the Caesar's box)
5. Pass Key to Round Two (Encryption used, ROT 12, but it is of no relevance now, due to the lukewarm response)

Ok so you know What Rotation Text is, we just shift the alphabet a certain number of spaces to get the encrypted text. (Like Using ROT -1, we shift B to A, C to B, D to C, and so on...)

There is another more powerful method used and that is CAESARS BOX. Ok what is Caesars box? You'll observe that the letters (All added up) make a perfect square i.e. the 1st Question has 9 letters. So if you arrange each group of (3 letters) one below the other, it creates a box and gives a message. This is the way Julius Caesar used to communicate and it is believed to be one of the first encryption standard.

The answers are in reference to the following post : [LINK]

PUFFIN 2010

Vidit Bhargava
Puffin 2010 was conducted in Delhi, on 15th November 2010. Here is an archive of the prelims:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hotpot For Hotspots

Vidit Bhargava
Google Hotpot was unveiled today. Here's a video that Explains the Google Hotpot:


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P.S. All content shown in the video was for demonstration purposes. I may not have necessarily visited the place.

The Fatal Error

Vidit Bhargava
Mark Zuckerberg -24% , ______-6%, Eduardo Saverin 5%, Microsoft 1.3%
Ans.Dustin Moskovitz...

It was a unique experience going into Exun 2010, without anyone else from my school. I had to participate alone in a junior quiz. (you see if they don't want to go, its their problem, I won't sacrifice an awesome upcoming event for that.)
"Woah! You're Brave" - That's what Yash Singh, one of my gyaan[dot]in friends, said to me after the quiz.
So what was experience like? You see, going alone doesn't affect much, as you'd probably have friends from other schools. "Which I had, Prempal, Apratim, Aman (and other NEPS participants) and Yash were the one's with whom i had a nice time!". Bien Then How was the event like? Hmm... i gotta say something about that too, Na!


There you go! The ever so awesome After Effects edited video of Exun 2010. The event began with a nice bang. From there on there was a nice group discussion with not so nice topics. "Do You think Social Networking sites should be banned for kids?", "Are these new Indian Mobile companies going to survive in the future?", "Should technology come first or should Health be the priority?". The discussion was nicely conducted by a guy in grey T-Shirt (and two others, the ferrari t-shirt guy who looked a little rude, and the curly haired one who was almost very silent.)


Next up was recess, and their came the much awaited, delicious Pizzas! I got a chance to stretch my legs and click some pics:


Just after the delightful pizza, came the surprise. I was certainly a surprise to see what the event was. So they had given us a sheet of paper, which had all those pictures and stuff. You had to find 5 keywords to win the the event. Fine There were a few obvious clues like "Android", and "Blade Runner" and there was a Nexus One also. So i got two right first. and then I tried, making four continuous errors. With 5 continuous errors, I was gone. "Ok, but the deal doesn't include making 5 consecutive errors in different attempts!" So, I went for the next four. And came the invigilator's voice..."You're disqualified!" That was the Shock quotient. "The deal doesn't included making 5 consecutive errors in different attempts!".


Some time back in the day I had even given a certain Junior Quiz, The questions were rather tough, I thought, for a junior quiz but I knew some. One of them was a question about Facebook's founders having shares, I wrote Dustin Moskovitz, I was certain it was correct. But in the last moments of the quiz, something happened:

Mark Zuckerberg -24% , ______-6%, Eduardo Saverin 5%, Microsoft 1.3%
Ans. Dustin Moskovitz Chris Hughes

ta-da! The Fatal Error!

The error cost me my position in finals (I had 5 and the cut-off was 6) and I still regret my decision to cancel out Moskovitz for Hughes, and yearn for a time-machine that could correct it.

Congratulations to my friends, Prempal, Aman and Apratim for winning that Junior Quiz.

Times NIE Fundamental 2010

Vidit Bhargava
Derek's Quizzing may not be like the one's you experience when attending a Cradle Sports or School Quiz. They are different, certainly very different from what Derek does. Here you have nicely organized and humor filled quiz, which keeps the audience seated and not just the quizzers.

Here are the prelims of the NIE Fundamental Quiz, where I came third!


Project Titan - Explained in one Video

Vidit Bhargava
Yesterday, Facebook launched a new service which they had been developing for as long as one year. Internally codenamed as Project Titan, the new messaging feature of Facebook is very complex. This post should make it simpler for you!

The Upgrade now page explains a little about what this new thing is about.

But there is still more explanation to be given, so here's a video from Facebook's side to give more information:


Monday, November 15, 2010

DECRYPT Season 2

Vidit Bhargava
Remember Season 1? It was long-long back. It was then called "Decode This" (Being in 6th I didn't know what is Decryption and Encryption). That, decryption test of sorts was just a set of character toggled text. Not much manual work. You just needed a word processor and keyboard and Voila! Here is the answer!

But, DECRYPT is back and it's not going to have such silly decrypting tools that i quoted above!

Get ready, with a pen, paper and your brains

Thees is Round 1.
1. WLN-EDE-LO!
2. Most random in the CC world: wjbc.bnl
3. ABG RIRA NA RAPELCGVBA FGNAQNEQ.
4. N R I R R - U F S E I - M O C C G - B U O T H - E R R / T
5. BMEE WQK FA DAGZP FIA.
The round is very simple, so you'll need to give all the answers correctly, to go to the next round.

The last date of submission of answers is: 18th November 2010 at "vidit.best@gmail.com", please don't submit the answers in the comment box.

The Quizzing Season at Delhi

Vidit Bhargava
November this year, is the month of quizzing. There are just so many of them that it is tough to keep a track, when they are coming! With half the month, already gone. Some have actually finished. So if you are a quizzer and looking for information on the greatest quizzes happening in Delhi. This is a post for you!

Already Conducted:
Times NIE Fundamental 2010
Date: 10th November 2010
Venue: Siri Fort Auditorium
Eligibility: Open
Quizmaster : Derek O'Brien

Results:
1. DPS RK Puram
2. Bal Bharti School
3. Manav Sthali School R-Block

Archive: [Prelims], [Finals]

Exun 2010 [Computer Symposium]
Venue: DPS RK Puram
Date: 13th and 14th November 2010

Quizzes:
Junior Quiz (Upto Class X)
Senior Quiz (Open)

Results:
Junior Quiz:
1. New Era Public School, Mayapuri
2. New Era Public School, Mayapuri [Team 2]
3. The Air Force School

Senior Quiz:
1. DPS Vasant Kunj
2. New Era Public School, Mayapuri
3. DPS Dwarka

Puffin Quiz
Date: 15th November 2010
Venue: Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Lodhi Estate
Eligibility: Open
Quizmaster: Derek O'Brien

Results:
1. Gyan Bharati School
2. Sardar Patel Vidyalaya

Upcoming Quizzes
Limca Book of Records Quiz, Delhi 2010
Date: 19th November 2010
Venue: St. Thomas Girls School, Mandir Marg
Eligibility: Open
Quizmaster: Derek O'Brien

Keshav Maha Vidyalaya Quizzes
General Quiz and Business Quiz:
Date: 22nd November 2010
Venue: Keshav Maha Vidyalaya
Eligibility: Preferably 11th and 12th
Quizmaster: Parnab Mukherjee

More Details Here.

Texas Instruments, Jack Kilby Science Quiz, Delhi
Date: 24th November 2010
Venue: Chinmaya Mission Delhi Chinmaya Centre of World Understanding 89
Eligibility: 8th to 10th Class

More Details Here.

Dynamix 2010 [Computer Symposium]
Date: 26th November 2010
Venue: Ramjas School RK Puram

Brainwave [Science Quiz]
Date: 26th November 2010
Venue: Manav Sthali School, R-Block

TCS IT Wiz 2010
Date: 27th November 2010
Venue: IIT Delhi Dogra Hall

Friday, October 22, 2010

Those Mysterious Happenings - Peril At the End House

Vidit Bhargava
Ingredients of an Agatha Christie Poirot classic, are simple.
Queer Happenings, Murder, Inquest (with no certain outcome), Japp, Hastings, Poirot's Special Remarks, Poirot's own style of Investigation, Talk -Talk, Arrest (of the wrong person), Poirot's Little Comedy, Murderer's Denial, Poirot's Explanation.
Occasionally when not Japp, some other Scotland Yard Officer comes up and is often correctly predicted as egoistic. The books in which Agatha Christie had shattered those ingredients and chosen new paths, she had succeeded, succeeded not only in surprising the reader but also turning those books into best sellers. (Take the examples of 'Murder on the Orient Express', 'ABC Murders', 'Death in the Clouds', 'Murder of Roger Ackroyd' they all were nice and of course the mysteries were 'Jaw Dropping').

Although, she might have been 'fed up with Poirot' (As christie's grandson explains), Agatha Christie never left writing Poirot Novels. This book, Peril at the End House was however one of her earlier creations (1932). Peril at End House, sounds haunting (thanks to the cover also, which makes it look like one). But, it isn't.

Bien!, the plot goes like this:
Nick Buckley has had three accidents (three escapes from murder) recently, (An Oil Painting that came crushing down on her bed, a boulder that just missed her and a car whose breaks had failed). She is fortunate to meat the great Belgian, Poirot! (Who is by the way on a holiday, with Hastings). What follows next, is Poirot's Attempts to find the murderer, before he commits the murder.

The murder mystery is narrated rather "Stylishly" by Hastings this time & is engrossing in most of the parts, even though you may know the murderer half-way through. Moreover the Novel always urges you to read more, 2 chapters a day won't help you, you're anyways going to read more to suffice your growing hunger of reading. The swiftness of the book is also a factor which acts a bonding agent between you and the book.

It is all well but what disappoints here is the mystery. As usual, Poirot plays his little comedy first (Like he has done in many others like the Blue Train mystery). There are a lot of twists, turns and truth to be blurted out till the last moment. Its all a mess in the end, till Poirot Explains and others listen. Though, out of so-much that's left to be unraveled by Poirot, you'll find a few things surprising and shocking but at the bottom of it all, the final solution is not very pleasing. Why do I say that? The Book itself reads at the back, quoting a critic's message that the final solution is ingenious. Its not. As a matter of fact, it can all be nice and surprising if you read this as your first Poirot Mystery, but looking at it in a sequence you're bound to know the murderer very easily.

There you have it, Poirot Investigated another murder after his apparent retirement, but failed to surprise me. I had known the murderer even before Poirot realized what had happened (you can say that I boasting to him here, but you see Mon Ami, even he is also not a modest chap!)

Rating: *** 1/2

Monday, October 11, 2010

Your Travels at Delhi

Vidit Bhargava
The CommonWealth Games are going on in Delhi. The Players, Officials and Supporters have arrived and as usual there are a few tourists also. The Games will be over by 14th, but i guess all others will love to take a break and visit places at Delhi.

Not Exactly dirt and filth: If you're prejudiced that you'll find dirt, filth and poor all around, break that. Delhi's is not all about that. It's got some really cool places that you can visit.

Connaught Place - If you wish to get the best-stuff in town, just come to Rajiv Chowk (The offiical name of CP) via Delhi Metro or any other transport. The Circular market is all about the best things in town. The best food joints, be it Indian or any other cuisine or maybe you'll love to have some entertainment? The best cinemas are here. About Clothes? You'll find all the pepe jeans, and levis stores, with the FabIndias in the main-circle.
Places of interest at Connaught Place:
Food - Indian
Haldirams - Gives you everything from North indian to South Indian
Sarvanabhavan - Delhi's best for South Indian food
Moti Mahal Delux - The Restaurant which got Tandoori to Delhi! The best place to eat North Indian

Food - Others
Zen - Traditional Chinese and Japanese Cuisine
Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza and McDonalds - You all know what's that for!
Parikrama - The Revolving Restaurant of Delhi!
PiccaDelhi - Mutli-Cuisine. Note: under a wonderful Cinema hall!

So that was Food: Now about Cinema Halls:
The Best in town:
PVR (Priya 'Village Roadshow'): Plaza & Rivoli
Big Cinemas Odeon
There is also a single-screen theater known as 'Regal', but i wouldn't personally recommend that.

Also you'll find shops to buy some Indian clothes everywhere in CP. I'd suggest FabIndia for Indian Outfits. Apart from that you'll get Pepe Jeans, Levis, etc.. also.

From the mega-market of Delhi, you can take a metro to almost anywhere. Even any CWG venue. So if you've got plans for watching the ongoing CWG 2010 (which i hope you do!) you can go to any stadium. If you have a ticket already, you'll also get a free Delhi Metro ride. And the venues, needless to say are wonderful! (and without any filth!), The Delhi Metro connects to every stadium!

You can also take a ride down to Noida and Gurgaon, and visit some fantastic malls. You'll find the Great India Place (Noida) and Ambience Mall (Gurgaon) particularly very interesting.

You can also goto the Akshardham Temple, a really very interesting place to visit. Its completely spiritual and a trip to Akshardham is bound to mesmerize you.

There are of course, many other monuments in Delhi. I've made a list of the best of them:
India Gate
Humayun's Tomb
Qutb Minar
Lotus Temple
Lodi Garden's
All of them can be Googled about and searched on Wikipedia.

There are some food's you otta have (even though, they might not please your stomach much! :) ). Being in Delhi, you won't want to miss the street food! You can have Chole Bhature, Bhel Puri, Matra Kulche anywhere in Delhi! Apart from don't forget the Dal Makhni, Shahi Paneer, and all the other Tandoori foods of Delhi, which you can get in any good restaurant of Delhi.

You can visit all these places of Delhi, without any problems. You can visit even more (if you've got time!) but these are the best places, particularly you won't find anything dirty or filthy here. You'll enjoy the visit throughout and find people very helpful. You can take a metro ride and go any where around the city. I hope you like your visit to Delhi! (Do share your experience in the comments box below!)
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P.S : Up next my review on the mozart of madras' creation : the soundtrack of Jhootha hi Sahi

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Robot - Review

Vidit Bhargava
"Robot dekhne jaa raha hai? Best of luck!" That was the message by my friend to whom i suggested watching the movie with me. Of course this would have been completely different in Chennai, where these movies are a real hit. So what made me watch a tamil movie dubbed in Hindi. Bien Messieurs, it was the sci-fi plot and Alan Scott's special effects that attracted me.

The movie has a simple 'followed by many' plot, about the debatable existence of Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Vaseegaran (Rajni), creates an Android (A human like robot) named Chitti! (Also Played by Rajnikanth), which doesn't have AI and fails at many crucial tasks of human society. Vaseegaran, does that impossible thing (that every actor of a such a sci-fi has done before), and adds AI and 'Feelings' into Chitti. Guess what? The predictable happens, Chitti now loves, Vaseegaran's girlfriend (Aishwarya Rai) ... yank yank yank yank You can complete the plot mostly by yourself its mainly very predictable.

After I got used to the dubbed movie feeling, and Rajnikanth's Super-natural make up. The movie started taking its, shape and I started enjoying the movie. Robot is entertaining. The Rajnikanth Action, which gets more realistic as the character is a robot, is an experience you won't like to miss. What Robot also does, is add a slight sprinkle of humor. So, you're certain to have a few good laughs.

The first half of the movie is nice, its entertaining, action packed, and fun. It is also very interesting, even with its predictable plot. However, the predictable plot works against Robot in the second half, the movie slows down for about half an hour, and just when you start feeling bored, the special effects and the newly designed Rajnikanth comes to the rescue.

What follows next is a sequence of breathtaking super effects and brilliant action sequences. You can't just stop praising the special effects. You see, that's what they spent 162 Crore on! There hasn't been anything like those special effects in hindi movies before. The special effects also make the whole climax very interesting.

You can catch a glimpse of the effects, here in the teaser!

Talking of acting, Rajnikanth is the hero, villain or whatever you'd like to call, of the movie. It's because of him, that the movie is so engaging (needless to say that really!). Aishwarya Rai has not much of acting to here but whatever little she's got to do in the movie, she does it well. The wicked Bohra played by Danny Denzongpa involves some super acting on the actors part and makes his character much less monotonous.

Praises and Praises everywhere, eh? Well, not so, when it comes to music. It's A.R. Rahman's after all what bad can it be? Well, the tamil version is nice but it gets lost in translation in Hindi. The music is very melodious, not doubt! but when it comes to lyrics, Swanand Kirkire (of the 3 Idiots and Paa fame) fails bitterly. The tracks, 'Naina Mile', 'Pagal Anukan' and 'Kilimanjaro' still stand out because of sheer brilliant composition.

On the whole, the movie is an interesting one, which is well researched and meant for both the entertainment loving and sci-fi watching audiences. There have been sci-fi hindi movies earlier but this one makes an impact.
Rating: *** 1/2 [Interesting and Entertaining]

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FIFA 11 - Demo First Impressions


Vidit Bhargava
Bien!, what do I say? It has been a long and tiring two months for me. First the online Tech Quiz, then viral and then the CBSE CCE Exams (about which I'll write but later!), I got time and played the FIFA 11 - Demo. Here's what's my First Impression about it.

FIFA 11 will be coming at your nearby store this week, we got a copy of the FIFA 11 Demo, just a few days back and here's what we have to say about the game:

Graphics: That's the first thing you'll notice about the game. The game has the same graphics engine, that they are using for XBOX 360. It certainly does take FIFA PC to a new level, the previous two graphics engine (FIFA 07,08 and FIFA 09,10) look amateur in front of the new NEXTGen Graphics. What you'll notice here is that not only the graphics engine is of XBOX 360, the whole game works on XBOX 360 Gontroller commands, which you need to tweek for your Keyboard. Although for the Gamepads All is well.

Gameplay: What FIFA has immemsely improved at is its gameplay. They keep on making changes to it every year, to make the game look realistic, but fail bitterly. This year's FIFA 11, does the trick. It is 'realistic' with all those players who keep on moving around the field and not stand like plastic puppets, and that is peppered with the brilliant graphics. Which makes it a visual aswell as core delight to play the game. Also, the AI gameplay has improved, It takes time to figure out how to battle it to a perfect goal finish add to that the thrilling matches which are only possible because of AI's ruff and tough play. 360 Dribbling is also a neat addition, it gives you the advantage of keeping the ball out of the AI's way!

Pro-Camera: One thing you'll find with FIFA 11, is its new pro-camera. What's new about? It gives you the players eye when playing the game. So what basically happens is, that it becomes easier to score a goal or defend it. Pro Camera also has this really cool feature of accelarating the camera speed when you make your player sprint which gives an even better experience.

Crowd and Commentary: Though this is not something very important but it has still got better than most of its previous versions.The crowd is now 3D and keeps on screaming and whistling. (The full version will have custom crowd chantings), commentators remain the same but their style of commentry has grown into something more world-class. All this, multiplies the thrilling experience of the game.

But is all well with the game? The answer is a decisive no. Although, the game may be brilliant in most of the areas but it still has some bugs. To begin with, there is a prevailant passing bug, now when you pass to a player, it happens that almost 70% of the times he'll miss the pass between his legs, also sometimes the players pass the ball, even when their not said to do so, another bug which was encountered by many was the alien player bug, Here, one of the players of the demo displays no-face instead shows a green-black color instead. There are still many big and small bugs in the game apart from these two.

Apart from the bugs, the camera swing also has a problem. When using the Dynamic V2 Camera modes, you'll see that you cannot see the defenders image when defending a free kick or you may not even be able to see your goalkeaper taking a kick. When passing it happens almost all the times in the dynamic camera that your fellow player to whome you are passing isn't visible. The same is prevailant many a times in the 'new Pro Cam' mode. I also feel sometimes that referee is potentially biased!, he never gives a free-kick, penalty or red-card to the user's benefit, and even for the tiniest of tackles you'll be punished bitterly!

My first impressions of the game are very good. Even though the game has minor and major hiccups, but it is still one of the best FIFA Gaming Experience on your Personal Computer. I hope they fix the bugs before the game's official release.

And please this is not a review. I'll be reviewing the game, and posting it in a month's time. These are just first impressions

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P.S - I couldn't post the actual game play screenshots, because of the brilliantly bugged windows 7 which doesn't allow for Game Screenshots. Oh and a Belated happy Birthday to my blog, which just got 4 years old on 30th August!

Friday, August 27, 2010

MVDIT TECH QUIZ - All our Invited

I know, i've been busy working for the TECH BOOK. Here's what I was working for and for what I coudn't post for so long:

Monday, August 02, 2010

3 Years of MVDIT TECH BOOK!

Vidit Bhargava
On July 28th 2010, it was my e-zine MVDIT TECH BOOK's 3rd Anneversery. Yeah, the e-zine which started right here, has now completed 29 editions and 3 yeas of monthly technology coverage. My post here will give you an exclusive in-sight to the much popular e-zine.
Once again : here's my URL : www.mvdittechbook.co.nr . you can download all the latest editions of my e-zine, and the archives from here.

.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

MacBook Pro 13" - Review

Vidit Bhargava
Product : MacBook Pro 13"
Manufacturer : Apple Inc.

I am quite aware of the fact that as soon as I bought the macbook pro 13", it got updated. Quite Sad! However, I still write this review. Why? Eh Bien, Apple has merely updated the RAM, Hard - disk space and Graphics of the new MacBook Pro. There is no change in exterior, looks and processor. Everything else remains the same. And my review guides you about the new MacBook Pros also. Don't Worry!

To Begin with lets start with the most important of the lot: Hardware Specifications

The MacBook Pro I am usingThe MacBook Pro, Updated
Size 13"
Intel Core Duo 2.4 Ghz
2GB Memory4GB Memory
160GB Space250GB Space
NVIDIA 9400 MNVIDIA 320 M
Battery Life : 7 hoursBattery Life : 10 Hours

You can see the specifications given in these products are far lower than the standard specification that comes with any Dell or HP laptop. Well, those run Windows and this is a MAC. The Specifications of the Old MacBook Pro which I am using for three months is less, however when I use it, it doesn't make me feel so. I mean, even on Running heavy softwares on the MAC OS X, it didn't hang. In fact, even with this specification I have never faced a hang issue. And that is quite an achievement.

So on paper the MacBook Pro may be weak on Specifications but when you use it, its more powerful than any Dell or HP laptop in this range. It is simply the difference of the OS.

NEW : The new MacBook Pro 13" has a 4GB RAM, 250 GB Solid State Drive, 10 Hours Battery life and better graphics. The RAM adds to the speed, however the 2GB RAM wasn't slow at all. 250 GB was a necessity, at this stage when MAC's use is in Professional industry, 160 GB is too less. About the Battery life and Graphics I'll talk later.


Exteriors:
Starting with the outside shell. It's Uni-Body Aluminium and its great. It demonstrates the sheer class of design Apple has. There is nothing over the top but its simple. Simple enough to look stunning. The shell is very thin and the weight of is quite appropriate for ultimate Portability.

Now lets come to the technical aspects : First the ports
The Ports given are decent. There are 2 USB ports with a FireWire 800 and Ethernet Port. The SD Card Slot is also there. And at the end sitting nicely is the MagSafe Adaptor which is revolution itself. There is also a mini - Display Port.

MacBook sacrifices The HDMI port for Slim Looks. You gotta buy the mini-display to HDMI dongle for that. That is quite bad.

Second: Keyboard and Track Pad
Here too you can see class. The Black Backlit Keyboard is a delight to write on. I've written many of my long blog posts on the same, with no pain. The Back Light is helpful but its only a neat addition. I personally don't use it much. The feel is 10 on 10, though.

Talking of the Track Pad, its really helpful for those brilliant multi-touch gestures which you need 'time' to learn if you haven't used the iPhone. The lack of Buttons for left and right click is another genius work. Which more and more laptops are adapting now.

Third : The Screen
The iPhone has the retina Display, the iPad has the IPS panel, all very bright. All Bezel Bound. MacBook Pro is no exception. Except the Fact that the bezel looks stunning here (unlike the iPad). The screen bright enough, Has a maximum resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It is again awesome!

Above the screen sits, neatly fixed in the center: The iSight Camera. Which can record in-depth 480p videos (though it is at an awkward position to record them) and VGA photos. One of the best web Cams I've Seen.

***
Summing it up, Everything is nice and classy in Terms of design and yet there are no fancy colorful backs. However, a problem that you can face with the sharp design is that the design is quite literally sharp, The sharp edge at MacBook's latch can cause a little problem. It is actually very sharp.

Battery Life:
The battery life is stunning. The MacBook Pro promised 7 Hours and I get it every time. The new promises 10 Hours and reports suggest its accurately given.

The MagSafe adaptor is one of the best parts, even if I trip on the charger, (which i usually do) the MacBook is left untouched. Its brilliant.

Software:
The MacBook has the MAC OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard pre-installed. Which is arguably the best most secure operating system to date. Also as I mentioned above, it actually uses a lot less memory and hangs very little. And I can go on and on praising the legendary OS range...

Also you get iLife 2009 - which is again filled with a basic set of software. For amateur development.

Sound Quality:
The Sound Quality on the speakers is average. It is not very promising. Apple hardly concentrated on that!

However, Apple covers it with the Headphones. On that even half the volume is enough for good listening.

***
WiFi and Bluetooth both are nice. So far I have had no problems with any of them.
***
Gaming :
The graphics of the new version of MacBook are good. I mean core gamers can now play their COD 6 and others on the laptop, and its really fast too. But hey, most of it is not on the MAC OS!

So, Lets Sum up:
As you might know, the review was nothing but praise of Apple's Class product. The MacBook Pro 13" is classy, sleek and offers the right perks. Overall, i believe it is worth to spend $1199 but Rs. 70k in India is high! on this product. Gamers beware, its strictly for business.

GoodBad
Strong and sterdy feel.
Brilliant battery life and MagSafe
Amazing trackpad and keyboard
Bright display and Good Graphics
Nice selection of ports on the Side.
Mac os x!
Slightly sharp edge on the latch
Speaker sound could have been better
Higher hdd space is necessary.
HDMI Port Lacking
Cudve concentrated on Indian pricing.

9.2/10
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P.S. Credit to Engadget for the Idea of Review Cards, Images by Apple Inc.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mystery of Pulpo Paul - The Oracle Octopus

Vidit Bhargava
Paul? Who doesn't know about the little kid entertainer from Germany. I dunno what made his trainer, make Paul Predict the outcome of football matches, but I do know how he predicted them!

To start with let's know who this Octopus is : Paul is a common octopus living in a tank at a Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, who is an animal oracle and now retired predictor of football matches, usually international matches in which Germany was playing.

I think that extract from Wikipedia should be enough! And I know you all know what an octopus is. As a matter of fact he is from the species of : Octopus Vulgaris (Ah, no I don't know much about it, except the fact that they are highly intelligent).

So lets come to the point. How did Paul predict the outcome of all German matches correctly? I shall tell them in the form of theories. Which our scientists have entitled as possibilities. (and none includes him being Physic or Physcokenitic).

Theory 1:
This is a matter of mere chance. Paul's predictions can be referred to those of flipping coins. Means, its just like flipping the coin and predicting the outcome, none of which involves much brains. So a normal octopus can do this perfectly well.

Theory 2:
This is the most convincing theory I've seen. This also involves chance (it is basic to any theory we have heard or will hear). The theory 2 is actually based on 'Potential Bias'. It is evident that Paul has been biased to Gemany in many matches. 'Except a few' but there is more.

Paul, is an Octopus Vulgaris, who are in all probability Color blind. However they do understand brightness and are queerly attracted towards Striped images (or stripped flags in this case.). We can see Germany has vivid Stripes in their flags. Compared to other countries, Australia, Ghana, England, Uruguay, and Argentina (which has stripes, however, as i mentioned before Germany is still more vibrant than him.).

With Serbia the stripes had a particularly Dark color and were natural more vivid to the Octopus. This made the Octopus choose Serbia over his favorite Germany.

And when Paul was said to predict whether Spain or Germany will win the Semi Finals, he got confused which explains the theory even more clearly. Paul, had been confused in the similarities of Flags, however he soon recognized that Spain with its more vibrant broad stripes was more vivid. So he chose Spain.

Vyacheslav Bisikov, a Russian biologist admits that octopuses can get attracted towards Striped Flags.

Other Theories:
Other theories also based on Potential Bias suggest that the Octopus, was trained to smell the water of the two boxes and chose one accordingly.

Another potential bias may be spatial preference or related factors such as light intensity. On six out of seven predictions for the World Cup (no information about Germany-Australia) the octopus chose the right-hand box (from the camera point of view), skipping only the box with the English flag. On four out of six predictions, the German flag was also on the right-hand box, the exceptions being matches with England and Spain. Thus choosing which flag would be placed on the right-hand box may have influenced the predictions.

So, all you guys thinking him being Physic are wrong here. Although this octopus had performed well this year in the FIFA World Cup. He did predict in the Euro Cup and lost two matches. This justifies are saying its Chance. And since all studying him have agreed on one point, he practices Potential Bias.

However, Since Paul has retired now and Paul predicted one match at a time. Its not possible for the scientists to make a thorough research on him.

But for now lets just Agree on the most confident theory of all : Theory 2: The theory of Stripped Flags. Who knows extra research could reveal surprising results of Physic evidence and make room for new fields of Wide Research or they could as simple as flipping a coin and predicting the outcome.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Raavan - Movie Review

Vidit Bhargava
Director : Mani Ratnam
Produced by: Madras Talkies
Actors: Vikram Kennedy, Nikhil Dwivedi, Govinda, Priyamuni, Ravi Kishan, Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan

I've been excited to right this review. Critics have just given bad reviews. To start with, i went today to the Big Cinemas Odeon (one of the best movie theaters in Delhi) great hall and great sound. Good setting to watch the movie anyday.

Let's begin then, the movie's plot is known by virtually every Indian and some indonesian's and south asian's also. The Ramayan remember? Unlike Raajneeti which was just partially based on Mahabharatha (Another Epic, involving Pandavas and kauravs...) Nothing has changed much. Except for a few twists that come later in the movie.

You can imagine the shock i received when in a setting of Kerala the characters started speaking a north Indian Hindi Dialect (aparantly though shot in Kerala, the movie had always been set in North-Eastern Parts)

The movie began with one of the most thrilling starts, I've ever seen in recent movies. That couldn't last more than 10 minutes. The movie from then starts the downwards steep slope of the pace. It slugs and bores you. The only things then left is the other world, the world of the troop led by the Ram (i.e. Dev) of the movie, Vikram Kennedy, where they do have a few interesting sequences. That pace the movie began at, is restored by the end of the first half. So you are not leaving the theater then anyway.

However, there are other things in the first half which keep you in the seats. First the scenic beauty of the whole rural setting of the movie. Second the acting of Vikram Kennedy and Nikhil Dwivedi (See I didn't mention the 'Raavan' himself anywhere.) and the last is Govinda himself who plays the part of the forest guard and with his wity dialogues and good acting.

The second half is much more entertaining and much more gripping than the first one. The director here has carefully shuffled through the parts of the past. The last half an hour full of action and twists and turns is also the best part of the movie. The whole part of the story of 'Beera's' Sister has also been done well.

The background score of the movie, throughout is very good. A.R. Rahman is back with one of his better compositions. So that helps the movie a great deal.

The director as said before gets a twist. He tries from the beginning to give sympathy to our Raavan (Beera). The cruelty of Raavan has vanquished. The good side is only visible. And as my brother puts it "Beera is too vegetarian to be called Raavan".After all you just don't become evil by being called evil (that's what's done in the movie) And when the title of the movie is Raavan you don't expect that. The acting of Abhishek Bachchan is also only average.

The acting is one of the major parts in any film. Actors Vikram Kennedy, Nikhil Dwivedi, Govinda, Ravi Kisan (who by the way is playing 'beera's' brother) and Aishwariya Rai Bachchan do their roles very well. Abhishek Bachchan is average. Priyamuni is good in the small cameo she gets to play.

Overall, Although the movie has a sluggish pace in some parts and the Raavan himself is not that cruel to be called one. The movie is watchable. And provides some good entertainment. I can recommend this one, its not very bad. However, its not Mani Ratnam's best movie. There have been worse movies in the recent past this one is surely far above them.

Rating: *** Stars [Good]

Death in the Clouds - Review

Vidit Bhargava
Written by: Agatha Christie
Genre: Detective Novel, Mystery
Method of Murder: Poison

I post this one before the review of the much anticipated 'Raavan'. Won't spill the beans just now. :) (that review comes in a few hours). Eh Bien lets get to the point, 'The review of Death in the Clouds'

Plot: On a flight to London from Paris, a sleepy Hercule Poirot awakes to find fellow passenger Madame Giselle murdered by a poisoned dart. The murderer must be one of the ten passengers and two stewards aboard the flight, but when the facts lead Poirot nowhere fast, he realises that there is a real danger the case may never be solved.

The book is third person narration, so you'll find the focus hopping from one person to another. Poirot doesn't play much of a part in the first half of the book. The second though, is Poirot and Poirot himself.

The book has a steady start where its not that interesting as some of Christie's other books (Lord Edgware Dies one example) The interest actually builds when Poirot takes to solve the whole thing himself with the help of Japp and Fournier. It keeps you hooked from mid-way to the end.

The major part of the mystery is how does one kill a person, in a plane of 10 passengers (+2 stewards) without being seen by anyone. And when Poirot tries out using a blowpipe, in front of a plane full of people was very funny.

Last time when my brother read "The ABC Murders" he actually solved the mystery. That according to me was very ingenious of him. This time I tried the method which my brother used. The result disappointing. Christie outwitted me ever so convincingly. I was left with my mouth open, and so stunned by the climax, that even now (after a 4 days of reading the book) it forces me to think did he/she actually do it? And then I remember like always : Certain points gave the murderer away.

On the whole, its jaw dropping, mouth opening, and thrilling to read such a book. I wonder why it never featured as a must read? Bien, its a must read for my side at least.

Rating: **** [Awesome]

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The New MAC Mini

Vidit Bhargava
Apple just yesterday launched the new MAC MINI. They've updated the whole thing quite a lot. For they've updated the design to a uni-body Aluminium enclosure. The specs have been upgraded and 'there is' an option to manually upgrade the RAM.

So what is this 'MAC mini'? Apple itself doesn't provide computers like we have, either they have an All in one iMac range or they have the MAC Pro which is for the server people. Mac Mini is a mini CPU of sorts. Of Course its branded so you cannot customize much. This is how a MAC Mini looks:

Lets get to some technical specifications.

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo2GB memory320GB hard drive8x double-layer SuperDriveNVIDIA GeForce 320M graphicsMac OS X Snow Leopard$699 (nearly 35K in India)

The specifications are good. The only concerns are the Processors and the 2GB RAM. The Core 2 Duo Processor is good but when you can get the Core i3, i5 or i7 why not add to the mini? The 2GB RAM is also just par. A 3 or 4GB RAM would have been excellent. Also a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are there and that adds to the + points.

The new Addition to the MAC mini is the Rotatable Lid at the bottom, it opens up to reveal the CPU, and then we can change 'only' the RAM. So if you're unhappy with the RAM config just get hold of a Mac ram and replace it. (Supports upto 8GB only). Other things like the Graphics card and the fan are only for viewing, you can't change them.



At the back of the MAC mini you now get a black panel, which includes:
Power On and of switch, A power plug (no bulky power supplies this time!), 1 Ethernet and Firewire Port, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, SD Card Slot, Headphone and Mic Jacks, A mini -display Port and an HDMI port.

So everything is fine when it comes to the back panel.
Overall, the Device Technically has improved a Ton. However, these are all on the paper, I dont have the actual device.

So now we can ask the question, whether to buy a PC or MAC Mini?

Talking of the Price first:An assembled CPU of the same configuration as of MAC Mini with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and others will cost around : Rs. 25K/- (approximately $600). Now we add the software to that : Windows 7 ultimate original for : Rs. 11,000 (i use the original price to make a comparison of equals, pirated versions do come but since I am comparing the two, it will be unfair to use pirated prices) and you would want the latest Office suite : that comes for Rs. 7,000 (again original prices quoted.). So The total Price of the CPU and the Software included comes around : Rs. 40,000/-

Now to the MAC Mini : iLife and OS X come inbuilt in the $699 package which in India after all the duties and taxes will come for nearly : Rs. 38,000 (I may be wrong but this is what I believe going to be the price). You need an iWork Suite which is another : Rs. 4700.
Total Price: Rs. 42,700/-

So the competition in the prices is very close. Other things include the big debate of MAC and PCS. (For me the MAC wins)
[FOR CORE GAMERS : THE PC IS THE BEST OPTION, NO MAC FOR THEM, CASUAL GAMERS CAN CONSIDER THE MAC AlSO]

The verdict :The new MAC mini update is awesome I like it and to the question of whether a MAC Mini or an assembled PC. The competition is close. Its up to you to decide, which one do you want. The price matters very little here.

Image Credit : Apple
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P.S. There were other big announcements this week : Project Natal (Microsoft Kinect), Nintendo 3DS, PS Move and all the E3 Games. A post on that coming soon! (once the E3 is ove)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

iPhone 4 - Revealed

Vidit Bhargava
Brace yourself There is much to talk about
The much anticipated WWDC 2010 - Event finished a while ago. WWDC was specially kept for the iPhone. No Updates on any other devices. (The iPad an exception.). And since it was mainly on one topic iPhone & Apps, we are sure to have the new iPhone and it is called the iPhone 4.

1st up, the iPhone that gizmodo leaked was real. It was the actual thing! Looking at what new does the iPhone offer to us, lets go in the order they told it to us.

Design: Steve Jobs at the WWDC made a remark "Stop me, if you've seen this before!... believe me you ain't seen this! *followed by heavy roars* ". By this he first addressed the Gizmodo leak and then told the audience that just getting the outer look they didn't spill all the beans. Apple Still managed to surprise us.

They've ripped apart the curves. Its flat and at the back there is no plastic, its glass (the same glass at the front and back). But doesn't that make it fragile? Well, here is the first blower! The glass they've made is 30 times stronger than normal plastic (atleast, they say so.) . It is of the same material as of helicopter windshields. Also, Apple has made a Stainless Steel alloy rim around the phone. The glass back is not only for design, It provides network signals to flow better. Making the 'Phone' even better.

The biggest thing here is the retina Display. When iPhone 3GS, Nexus One and EVO 4G sat together, iPhone's screen was the dullest. They've corrected that. They've introduced this cool Retina Display with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. And the pixels go quite small in size, only 78 micrometers across. So the pixelated text we see (only sometimes) is much better and much smoother. Like the iPad they've added the IPS panel. All this makes this display by far the best. (dunno how fast the rivals catch up but certainly not in the near future.).

And when Steve was showing how bright the web looked! The wifi went off... puff... Have you seen that before?

Other enhancements include Front Facing Camera. 5 megapixel back camera with LED flash. Extra mic for Noise Cancellation and yes, not to forget the Micro-Sim tray. For which if you want to use your existing sim. You'll need a mechanical SIM Cutter. And the iPhone is even more thinner than the previous ones. Making it the thinnest smartphone ever.

A Gyroscope. Yes A gyroscope has also been added to the list of sensors. Making this term simpler, The Apple Website explains "More motion gestures and greater precision for an even better gaming experience."

Honestly speaking when the Gizmodo leaked it, I wasn't impressed with the design. It looked raw, to say the least. But now, knowing the technical things in this phone. It looks better. It looks more technically right and technically sound.

2. Coming to the inside hardware: They've added the great A4 chip. This is bound to make it 'fly'. The battery life has also increased: 7 hours on 3G, 14 on 2G, 300 hours on Standby; 40 hours of music ... whew! what else do you want?

3. Software: If Froyo was 'tasty' this is bound to melt it! Packed with iOS 4.0 features, iPhone 4 also has in addition iMovie and 720p video recording. With all that, and the Gyro, and RD added. The iOS 4.0 on iPhone makes Froyo look ordinary.

4. For The Photographers: Nothing new about the 5 megapixel + LED Flash camera with 720p recording. But there is something new also "The backside Illumination Sensors." No grainy Pics! Not even in the Dark! That is what I would say 'cool' enough.

5. The one more thing: FaceTime: Just when our minds where questioning why is there a front facing camera with no video calling. Jobs, announced this. Its the same video calling thing from the front facing camera and what's new? You can go to the rear cam to show what others are doing. Its great but there is just one hiccup. It is currently Wi-Fi only and only for iPhone 4 - iPhone 4 surely, we need that corrected (Apple's working on that) or its waste of good technology.

Pricing? It remains the same for Contract users 'AT&T' $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB. That's great, but I've heard from my friends in the US the AT&T plan is exorbitantly priced and their service is poor. For that you can give $499 (16GB) and $599 (32GB) to get the iPhone 4 without contract. That's good.

How can I get it in India? iPhone 4 comes in September in India. Here Airtel and Vodafone will sell the device, by then 3G 'will' be available with these careers and probably they'll correct the video calling thing and history reveals its gonna be above 30K (in Rs.).

If you are one of the impatient ones and have a friend in US. you can get this contract free version and use it in India. ($499 is roughly 23.5-25K).

First Impression: The iPhone has a reputation of providing the 'best touch screen display' and with all these new features things look brighter. Lately, phones probably better than the iPhone 3GS were introduced (Nexus One, EVO 4G, blah blah). iPhone 4 is a solid answer to that and once launched these phones are ready to be knocked out in a single kick!

Here's the launch

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P.S. Feel free to comment, and do tell how this Extra Long post of mine was (921 words for a fact!). Do tell if I missed something.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Iron Man 2 - Review

Vidit Bhargava
Movie: Iron Man 2
Ah, Finally I was able to watch Iron Man 2. Had been waiting to see it for the past two weeks. So I went to the Fun Cinemas Pitam Pura this Tuesday for the movie (The theater, i must say is as dormant as the Mall it is built in). G0od Seats & ready for the Action To Begin.

The Plot: With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts, and James "Rhodey" Rhodes at his side, must forge new alliances - and confront powerful enemies. Ok that's the IMDB version of the synopsis however there is more to it. Now Stark who has this electro-magnet attached to his chest is both living and dying because of it. Stark is also under Rival Pressure (Hammer industries) which want to replicate the Iron Man Suite or make something more powerful than that. Above that there is this Ivan Vanko who is really after Starks life.

This Sci-Fi Movie about the Famous Iron Man, surprisingly has more of talking than actual real action which is there but a little less. Can the movie be Interesting then with all that blabbing around?



When you've got Robert Downey Jr. as the actor, the above it not a question. Downey is in full form after the entertaining portrayal of Sherlock Holmes (which according to me was one of his best performance) He is now playing Tony Stark. Downey is one such actor which adds life and enjoyment to the movie. With his brilliant acting Robert Downey Jr. makes the character of Tony Stark much more enjoyable added with the witty sense of humor. So even if the movie does get a little boring in between, its Robert Downey who flies the whole movie out of that (Yeah, just like Iron Man!). Downey makes his presence felt. When he's on the screen he attracts all the attention, when he's off the screen you wish he comes back fast. Surely, when there is Robert Downey Jr. in a movie it isn't boring.

This is not to say that other Actors didn't do well, Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman is very good. Ivan Vanko portrayed by Mickey Rourke is amazing. Others also do their role very well.

Now lets come to the Sci-Fi effects, Of course they are much better than the previous movie. Also they are very good.

The Action here is at its supreme. Tiny Tit-bits of action do keep flowing In the first half which are really good. The last 15-20 minutes are full of both Sci-Fi and Muscle action. Both are phenomenal.

All in All, Filled with awesome Sci-Fi Effects, Brilliant Acting, Wity humor and a fairly good script. The Iron Man 2 is 124 minutes of Extreme Entertainment. Believe me, You won't get Bored.

Rating: ****


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nokia 1202 - Review

Vidit Bhargava
Mobile Phone : Nokia 1202
Manufacturer : Nokia
Body Make: Mainly Plastic
Operating System : Primitive Nokia OS
Screen : Monochrome

In the age of the Touch Screen Multimedia Devices which have an Application called the 'Phone', here is a phone with the most primitive settings of all, nothing absolutely nothing at all when it comes to third party applications and Slick looks. No Touch Screen, Not even a Radio App. Absolutely nothing at all. Yet it is a phone I have and I own. Is it worth the money spent?

To Start with lets begin with the Hardware. It is a small, slim phone with the a plastic back and a small screen of just 1.3". The keypad is comfortable and the speakers are also fine. Since it isn't a fancy music phone you won't find that good a speaker quality also but it is decent. Overall it is a sturdy simple design which works for me.

The Flash light to is very handy!

Coming to the Most Important part: The Phone: The Operating Frequency is EGSM 900/ GSM 1800 with Automatic switching between GSM bands. So this works with most of the SIMs out there in the market. The Voice Clarity in phones is really very good. Although by default the volume is set up to a really high volume and you may end up telling your most private conversations to the world, this done the phone works pretty well.

Battery Life : This is a real stunner, well not really. Since the device consists of a monochrome screen and very primitive features the phone is bound to run for a very long time. It does and does well pretty convincingly. The phone runs for maximum 5-7 days (that's is awesome when a college student uses it, too many calls I tell you!).

Software : Not much to talk about here. A Simple Primitive Nokia Software, well designed for the monochrome screens. The software includes a few handy utilities like the Calender, Calculator, Timer, Stopwatch and Alarm. Yeah, those things every phone has but having them on this phone is good enough! Oh and yes you get the Snake game :D

What Suprises me though, is that the Phone comes bundled with a Set of A.R. Rahman Classics (as ringtones and alarm tones!). Yup! Something the most advanced phones today won't give for free. The whole Of Connections album is present here. This is one of the things which make this thing just Awesome! :P (n that's only in India!)

This is a "Phone" and it does an awesome job doing that. That's its plus point.

I will suggest this phone to those who want to buy a phone which has a good call performance. Not a phone which is good at playing Games and multimedia stuff.

At a price tag of Rs. 1500 ($30 approximately), it is a phone worth the money. There is just one thing that does pinch, is the blue-grey color model, it is pathetic. I prefer Black (much better!)

Rating: *** 1/2 [Worth the money Spent!]

Thursday, May 20, 2010

iPhone's Internet Tethering Put to Test

Vidit Bhargava
Thanks to Airtel last night we had no Internet. Some technical Errors from Airtel's Side and we all know how 'No Internet Access' can trouble us. The only option left was not to use the internet until 2 this morning and then it suddenly struck my mind to test how good the iPhone is when it comes to Internet Tethering. One of the low key features of the iPhone but really very useful.

So if you are in this kind of a mortal peril, the iPhone comes to the rescue.
There are two ways out, for using Tethering on your computer.
1. The USB Port Method
2. Bluetooth

But before we start we must make sure that the iPhone has this option 'On'. It is quite easy one can do so by following these steps.
On Home Screen
Goto - Settings > General > Network > Internet Tethering > On
So lets consider the options for tethering. The first one is surprisingly the easiest one. This is the one where with minimal (next to no work at all!) work you can get your Internet Working. Just plug-in and Voilà. Your internet is connected.

However there are a few problems in this type of tethering. One of which is that unless you have an iPhone with a white back get ready for the iPhone to heat in almost fifteen minutes of surfing. Then there is the iTunes which of course is not a problem but every time you connect it to the computer the iTunes pops up and starts backing up the iPhone (can be corrected though by unchecking the option to launch iTunes at connection in the device panel > settings.)

If you want a more seamless connection, there is bluetooth Internet Tethering also, It works the same but you need to follow a few extra steps
First make sure the bluetooth is on!
To Connect over Bluetooth
1. Pair iPhone with your computer
2. On iPhone, tap Accept or enter the code displayed on your Computer
3. Connect iPhone to Computer.

When connecting to your Mac you need to make sure that the Bluetooth is on, and on the top tray just click on the Bluetooth Icon and connect the iPhone to the Mac. After doing that, goto System Preferences > Network > [iPhone name with bluetooth icon] > Connect. And your internet gets connected. Once connected you can seamlessly access the net.

For Windows they are almost the same steps, once you successfully pair your Computer to the iPhone you can easily access the internet instantly.

Coming to the speed of the internet, I tested it using Edge. So the speed wasn't really very fast but yes I was able to do most of my tasks. Though not at that speed of course. And running a flash file? Well, its deadly annoying to run that. it goes So... Slow.

The U.S. users and users from some other countries also, will have to wait till tethering comes to their country with the launch of OS4. Meanwhile, we here at India have fun with it :)

All in All, the iPhone Internet Tethering is a hit. You can use it on the move, where there is no WiFi Coverage or when no electricity at home. However it is strictly for urgent surfing, You cannot Get your crops harvested on Farmville (it simply won't load) or play games on Miniclip. Also I would mention the battery life, it really takes a lot of battery out of the iPhone. So be careful you may end up missing an important call.
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P.S. Since all don't have an iPhone. Please do tell which other phones provide this option in the feedback

Monday, May 17, 2010

What Ratan Tata did for the Mumbai victims what every Indian should know!

Vidit Bhargava
To start With this is not covered in Any News Channel through out the world:

Ratan Tata is the chairman of Indian Hotels who own the Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai, which was the target of the terrorists on 26/11/08.

Hotel President a 5 star property also belongs to Indian Hotels.

The following is really touching.

What Ratan Tata did for the Mumbai victims.... Don't miss!!!!!!

SALUTE TO MR. RATAN TATA

A. The Tata Gesture

1. All category of employees including those who had completed even 1 day as casuals were treated on duty during the time the hotel was closed.

2. Relief and assistance to all those who were injured and killed

3. The relief and assistance was extended to all those who died at the railway station, surroundings including the “Pav- Bha ji” vendor and the pan shop owners.

4. During the time the hotel was closed, the salaries were sent by money order.

5. A psychiatric cell was established in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences to counsel those who needed such help.

6. The thoughts and anxieties going on people’s mind was constantly tracked and where needed psychological help provided.

7. Employee outreach centers were opened where all help, food, water, sanitation, first aid and counseling was provided. 1600 employees were covered by this facility.

8. Every employee was assigned to one mentor and it was that person’s responsibility to act as a “single window” clearance for any help that the person required.

9. Ratan Tata personally visited the families of all the 80 employees who in some manner – either through injury or getting killed – were affected.

10. The dependents of the employees were flown from outside Mumbai to Mumbai and taken care off in terms of ensuring mental assurance and peace. They were all accommodated in Hotel President for 3 weeks.

11. Ratan Tata himself asked the families and dependents – as to what they wanted him to do.

12. In a record time of 20 days, a new trust was created by the Tatas for the purpose of relief of employees.

13. What is unique is that even the other people, the railway employees, the police staff, the pedestrians who had nothing to do with Tatas were covered by compensation. Each one of them was provided subsistence allowance of Rs. 10K per month for all these people for 6 months.

14. A 4 year old granddaughter of a vendor got 4 bullets in her and only one was removed in the Government hospital. She was taken to Bombay hospital and several lacs were spent by the Tatas on her to fully recover her.

15. New hand carts were provided to several vendors who lost their carts.

16. Tata will take responsibility of life education of 46 children of the victims of the terror.

17. This was the most trying period in the life of the organization. Senior managers including Ratan Tata were visiting funeral to funeral over the 3 days that were most horrible.

18. The settlement for every deceased member ranged from Rs. 36 to 85 lacs [One lakh rupees tranlates to approx 2200 US $ ] in addition to the following benefits:

a. Full last salary for life for the family and dependents;

b. Complete responsibility of education of children and dependents – anywhere in the world.

c. Full Medical facility for the whole family and dependents for rest of their life.

d. All loans and advances were waived off – irrespective of the amount.

e. Counselor for life for each person

B. Epilogue

1. How was such passion created among the employees? How and why did they behave the way they did?

2. The organization is clear that it is not something that someone can take credit for. It is not some training and development that created such behaviour. If someone suggests that – everyone laughs

3. It has to do with the DNA of the organization, with the way Tata culture exists and above all with the situation that prevailed that time. The organization has always been telling that customers and guests are #1 priority

4. The hotel business was started by Jamshedji Tata when he was insulted in one of the British hotels and not allowed to stay there.

5. He created several institutions which later became icons of progress, culture and modernity. IISc is one such institute. He was told by the rulers that time that he can acquire land for IISc to the extent he could fence the same. He could afford fencing only 400 acres.

6. When the HR function hesitatingly made a very rich proposal to Ratan – he said – do you think we are doing enough?

7. The whole approach was that the organization would spend several hundred crore in re-building the property – why not spend equally on the employees who gave their life?

Source: Kusumakar Dwivedi

Sunday, May 09, 2010

4th Generation iPhone. What to expect?

Vidit Bhargava
Since we all know that the iPhone WILL be launched in the WWDC 2010 Conference on the 7th of June. Many are speculating about how the iPhone will look like or what is it bound to pack in. Here is the round up of the things which can be expected to arrive, with the arrival of the new iPhone.

1. What is almost certain?
The new iPhone is most probably going to give us the Video Call feature. Hence, providing a front facing camera. A back camera with larger mega-pixels and flash is also expected. This may range from 5 - 12 mp. Half HD video recording is highly probable. We can expect a larger display and the iPhone might just get even more thin. iPhone might just have a different type of back (a change in appearance is also very certain). The front however remains the same. Better Battery Life is obvious.

Inside, the new iPhone is likely to carry an Apple A4 chip but whether it will be 1GHz, it is still uncertain. the new iPhone will come packed with the iPhone OS 4.0 and with a host of other features.

II . Things that are still to be answered.
Continuing the inside, the apps which are only for the new iPhone are quite uncertain. I have a certain probables:
1. iChat : Speculated by most and the most likely. When a front facing camera arrives, the iChat app also makes sense. The app will allow users to Video Chat.

2. iWorks : if Apple packs the A4 Chip, iPhone will become capable enough to run the iWorks app.

3. File Management : Apple might just decide to give the users File management. This might just work on the principle of of other file managements apps like Air Sharing. Where you can map your iPhone to the computer wirelessly and transfer files. With Apple bringing this app, this will mean that you can also download a few formats of files and save them in your virtual disk. Apart from File Viewing, Files may also be edited if iWorks is introduced.

4. Home Sharing : Quite simple, like you can share your music between all PCs and MACs you can then also share it with the iPhone.

III. Gizmodo
Not many leaks regarding Apple's product are considered seriously. Every bunch comes up on a forum, and has a set of grainy pics. However, when Gizmodo the tech journalism site announced that they had foundas the real next generation iPhone Prototype, it was different. They've come up with a solid story of a lost iPhone which is the next generation iPhone but Whether fake or real we have only Gizmodo's word on it.

Gizmodo's 'leak' tells of a tale of an innocent Apple employee who had lost his iPhone on a birthday in a bar, and some one had picked it up and when he saw all the data wiped of. He tinkered with the covering and found a new iPhone beneath. He gave it to Gizmodo @ $5000 and yank yank yank yank... one can go on and on about the depth of the story.

Is it the real thing? Many evidences indicate its the real thing. First of all, there is an FCC code on the back side and a where the capacity is printed is this : "XXGB" these things point out it is real. Also Gizmodo claims that it received a letter from an apple executive to return the iPhone. The design some how looks a real.

While many evidences point its real, many point its not. First of all, the design doesn't seam to be an Apple make, it just doesn't look like Apple's work. A rounded-edged cuboid with a shiny aluminium rim and aluminium buttons, with all those many cuts and wholes. Also, Would Apple's employee be so careless as to take the new iPhone in a bar filled with all that lot of crowd? Even if he was, would Apple allow a '20 year old employee' to use the iPhone outside the vicinity of 1 infinite loop? And the story has many loop holes

Whether or not the Gizmodo leak is actual we don't know. We'll come to know about it on the June 7th. But we're certain about many things which will definitely arrive in the iPhone and we speculate the others.

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PS. We use Gizmodo pics because they are the most convincing.