Nilesh Gonsalves

Jan 292017
 

All of you belonging to the middle generation, that’s those born abound the 80’s surely still have the soft spot for radio. It doesn’t matter if there is a bit static but radio gives us something which the stored music cannot give. No matter what algorithm they use, a music player on a “smart”phone will never be able to top the unpredictability the radio offers. You start playing something on a music player and it keeps on looping the same music which you heard yesterday, even with “shuffle” on. Doesn’t matter if you have hundreds of gigabytes worth music on your phone.

But you start radio, and tune in to “Disco Station” and you know for sure that you will hit upon a jackpot of songs, old and new, played one after another to your satisfaction.

The only drawback the radio has is that it is limited by the region in which you use it. How good it would be if you could play any music on the radio around the world. You do have internet radio, where even commercial radio channels stream their content.

But I just discovered a website which offers you a true world FM reception online, all at one location. Literally brings the radio, mapped on a globe, at your fingertips.

 

image

 

Radio Garden provides this service. You can now shuffle across any streaming radio station across the globe, visually. Its makes selection a lot easier. Just rotate the globe and place the crosshair on the particular city from where you want to stream you radio feed.To change the feed, just move the globe around. You can zoom in/zoom out to assist in precise selection.

And the coolest part is the sound of static when there is no feed.

Go ahead, try it out.

(Found not working on google chrome on laptop. Works well in microsoft edge and internet explorer. Works well in chrome on smartphones)

Jan 292017
 

This is India. A country with a special meaning to the word Family. We have many types of family setups in India. A nuclear family has its own set of living styles. It is small, it keeps to itself and handles its own problems. A large family meanwhile is totally different organization in chaos. It works on its own different set of rules and principles which are unlike a nuclear family. In a large family, all the members stay together with an important part to play in the smooth functioning of the family wheels. But what happens within a large family which has broken up to go nuclear, but is still bound together by a frail thread called relations? Ventilator, a Marathi movie depicts exactly that.

Though it’s a bit late for this, as I had seen it quite some time back, it’s never to late to log a review. Especially a movie with a region constrained viewership. And one never “wastes time” writing.

A renowned film maker, RK(played by Ashutosh Gowarikar) is called up from an important film screening to attend to his uncle who is hospitalized and attached to a ventilator, probably breathing his last. The hospital is filling up with the relatives, but many more are yet to come. The film depicts the various scenarios, intentions, agendas which pull the relatives to the deathbed of a relative who holds an important place in the family tree.The intentions could be to get the last glimpse of  the “alive him” or it could be a far more selfish motive of finalizing the property distribution. Whatever be the case, relatives start flocking the hospitals, and bring along their usual din. The lobby fills up with the relatives, grouped by intents, few chatting away discreetly while other announcing their presence to the world.

The immediate family members meanwhile are weighing their own decisions. The decision to pull the plug and let God take over or to keep the hope alive. They have to make it quick so as not to inconvenience other during the ongoing festival. But its a hard decision for the son to make, given the evidently strained relations between him and his father. The relatives add confusion to the matters. The doctor presents his practical point of view which doesn’t help much except that and ultimatum for the decision is set. He has support of the close relatives who have been in constant touch with him but the decision is his to take. His sister and his mother meanwhile cling to the thread of hope.

It all boils down to the final minutes of the movie, where the son is brought back to his senses through some poignant insight to his early life provided by his uncle. The decision is finally taken.

If you read again, the above, you will note that a renowned film maker is mentioned earlier, but with no worthwhile reference to him all along. That’s because he himself is not the center of the storyline though the story is loosely seen from his vantage point. It’s about the strained relations amongst family members. He himself has issues of his own and the events at the end of the movie help him solve those.

Priyanka Chopra in her in her production venture has managed to make a good one. Directed by Rajesh Mapuskar with another hit, Ferrari Ki Sawaari under his belt and association with other hit Bollywood movies like Munna Bhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munna Bhai and 3 Idiots, this film provides him with the crown he deserves.

This one deserves a 4.5/5.

Aug 162016
 

2000 was the year when I bought my first computer. 550 MHz Intel Pentium processor, 64MB RAM(wow…..back then), 20 GB HDD(another wow…..again back then) along with all the gizmos(read modem, multemedia speakers, cd drive….no not a writer or DVD rom…..just plain cd drive) had cost me(my father actually) about 40,000 rupees. I was quite fascinated by its capabilities(current midrange phones beat it by miles). Technology didn’t stop evolving ever since. While I was sailing at a speed of 13 knots mid of Indian ocean, technology was evolving million times.

Next I bought my first laptop, the Dell XPS M1530 which was a gaming monster(at reduced graphic levels and only few select games which already had their graphic details at the lowest). I was quite happy playing Crysis which played quite well. And NFS of course. Other than that, the Rs 55,000  that I put in the laptop just gave the pleasure of owning such a ‘powerful’ system.

I have matured ever since and currently own a Lenovo B50-70, which I got at a throwaway price and which satisfies my current needs.

But tech world has not stopped evolving. While they continuously strive to design monster machines capable of unearthly things, they have also managed to reduce the size of my first computer to a thumbnail. Meet Omega 2, the tiny computer. I was quite impressed by the specifications of Raspberry Pi 1/2/3, the credit card sized computer with all the required peripherals. But this one goes a step ahead.

This tiny computer is a quarter the size of Raspberry Pi

(Picture Source : techradar.com)

The Rapsberry Pi would beat my first computer in terms of computational power any day, but the Omega 2 matches my first computer and beats everyone else in terms of size. That sheer brilliance of the brains behind these tiny things. The possibilities are endless in this age of ‘Internet of Things’.

 

Raspberry Pi 3

(Picture Source : techradar.com)

And the best part. Omega 2 beats everyone else in terms of price. $5. Forget the usability, I would buy this one just to own a tiny computer and use it to make a doorbell if i wanted. Or a gaming console!!

So what’s next?! An invisible computer?

Jul 232016
 

Reliance is on the verge of launching its 4G services to the general public. Since december 2015, they started their beta tests by allowing selected employees to access the network and later it was extended others on invite basis. But until now, the service was available only on their LYF phones. 

Last week they launched the service for qualifying Samsung devices. But there is no word yet about the availability of SIM for rest of the population. That seems to have changed by a small backdoor. If you carry out the following procedure in order, you should be able to generate a coupon code to procure a SIM from their service centres.

So here it is:

    • Download the MyJio App from the Android play store
    • Download all other Reliance Jio applications listed in the MyJio App
    • Once all apps are downloaded, switch off the data and WiFi.
    • Close down all the Reliance Jio apps.
    • Switch on Data/WiFi.
    • Start the Reliance MyJio App Portal.
    • Inside you will find MyJio App listed on top. Open it.
    • You will get an option to generate a coupon code. Follow that link to generate a coupon which can be used at the stores listed in the app to get a SIM

      Good luck and happy 4Ging

      Jun 142016
       

      Mobile make OnePlus, which took the world by storm two years back, saw two more iterations of this smartphone last year. Continuing with the technology upgrade, OnePlus is all set to launch tomorrow, 15th June 2016, in its most valued market, India. But we already have the details regarding pricing and few features of their third phone.

      The OnePlus 3 will be sold for 27,999 INR and will be available on Amazon exclusively. But for the first two hours of the launch(1000HRS IST), it shall be sold on their virtual reality platform OnePlus 3 launch : The Loop. The app is currently available on Google playstore for download. The phone shall then be sold on Amazon India and OnePlus website. This is supposed to be a first one of the kind experience of shopping.

      Salient features of OnePlus 3:
      Snapdragon 820 processor
      6GB RAM
      64 GB Internal Memory
      Fingerprint sensor capable of unlocking device in 0.2s
      16MP/8MP camera

      The phone is said to be bundled with lots of goodies for sometime. Keep your fingers crossed and be ready for it as the goodies may get exhausted soon.

      May 182016
       

      We are just fresh out of the freedom251 news and related doubts and political interventions. While freedom251 is yet to be delivered, another firm, this time in Bengaluru, claims to have a smartphone which they will sell for Rs. 99(thats less than 2$). The mobile is named as Namotel Acche Din as reported by the newsgroup publishing the story. The name of the mobile hints to having connections to the PM of India (break up Namotel to Namo+tel, Namo being the acronym used for PM Narendra Modi, and the addendum “Acche Din” was the tagline for BJP election campaign.) It can be said with certain level of confidence that there is no such connection between the PM and this new venture of selling the phone at about Rs. 2900. discount.

      I am not going to list out the overly exaggerated specifications since I personally feel that its impossible to sell a phone with such specification for so cheap. I also caution you all from signing up for such offers/schemes as it is a gamble which will never be won.

      The websites namotel.com and bemybanker.com which can be used for registration and and upfront one time subscription payment of Rs. 199 are not running as of this moment. Whois lookup for namotel.com and bemybanker.com doesn’t shows the the administrator names for these websites are withheld. But surprisingly, the admin details for namotel.in point to one Mr. Madhava Reddy as the owner. A Similar name appears in the news article as being a promoter of the company selling these phones.

      Beware all.

      (Disclaimer : This article is based on the article published in the TOI and as such, the authenticity of the data contained is purely based on the authenticity of the news article. The details of Whois lookup have been personally checked by me. Both the web addresses mentioned in the article were checked and found to be non functional.)

      May 172016
       

      The launch of Moto G4 has been adequately covered on various forums including those which predicted its configurations, design language, pricing etc. The phone, rather phones, were launched today by the new owners of the Moto brand, Lenovo. Some predictions came true, but it seems, Moto G, the budget phone which ruled the android market for three generations, is about to be lost in the crowd. What will remain shall be the name.

      For a change, the phone had a huge bump in its specifications, right from the processors, RAM, camera, screen resolution etc. But there were few shockers too. For a start, the home button, which never was a part of Moto lineage, has arrived. I had shifted from Samsung (Galaxy SII) to Motorola (Moto X Play) and the transition couldn’t have been smoother. The home button was not missed on Moto X Play since android LP and MM were ready for button-less interface. So why the button now? All it might do is increase the non-screen real estate. Having a button in upgraded phone seems like moving back to prehistoric times of kitkat. Anyway that’s not all.

      The screen has gone up to 5.5”. Moto G4 used to be the phone for people who wanted handy phone which was useable enough without being crammed for room. A 5.5” Moto G4 leaves a huge gap between the low budget  Moto E lineage and the more premium Moto X. It just doesn’t make any business sense. First of all you create a gap and secondly you pitch your product to compete against another product by you(Moto X Play. Moto X Play may now be forgotten for good since you get better configuration for less). A more sensible strategy would have been launching the second phone with 5.5” and keeping Moto G at 5” – 5-2”(5.2” being the sweetest of them all)

      Moto G4 at Amazon

      That brings us to a third shocker. They launched two Moto G4s. A Moto G4 and a Moto G4 Plus. Both have similar configuration, save for the RAM/Storage combinations. The plus version has the option of 16/32 GB ROM and 3/4 GB RAM, while the version without the plus moniker has 2GB/16 GB capacity. The plus version has an addition of finger print reader, integrated in the home button. What could/should have been done is to create 2 configurations in 5” model without the home button(so have a good screen to body ratio) and 2 configurations in 5.5” model ( which would have justified the “plus” moniker)  and each configuration would in turn deal with the memory capacities for each size. but that didn’t happen. So we have a Moto G which is not 5” anymore and effectively competing with Moto X Play( midrange) and lots of other 5.5” smart phones in the marker, including those by Lenovo. Is Lenovo out to kill its own lineage(K series) or the Moto lineage?

      Speaking in terms of camera, the G4 Plus has a bumped up 16 MP camera. But those are just numbers. I personally like the 8 MP camera on Galaxy SII against my Moto X Play. So wouldn’t claim that the 16 MP upgrade would do much difference.

      If you remember, there was another iteration of Moto G3, the Moto G3 Turbo, which was the first to introduce the Snapdragon 615 processor as against SD 410 in Moto G3 and 2 GB RAM as against 1 GB in G3. Other than that, there was nothing much to speak about.

      And I personally dislike the addendums in name like plus, pro, Turbo etc. They seem to hint a lack of creativity.
      Moto G4 at Amazon

      Brief comparison between the three phones(Moto G3, G4 and G4 Plus):

      Specifications Moto G3 Moto G4 Moto G4 Plus
      Processor SD 410 SD 617 SD 617
      RAM 1/2 GB 2 GB 2/3/4 GB
      Storage 8/16 GB 16/32 GB 16/32/64 GB
      Screen 5” 5.5” 5.5”
      Resolution 72p 1080p 1080p
      Battery 2470 mAH 3000mAH 3000mAH
      Fast Charge No Yes Yes
      Camera 13 MP 13 MP 16 MP
      Android Ver. 5.1.1 6.0.1 6.0.1

      Moto G4 at Amazon

      May 172016
       

      Moto G4 is one of the most anticipated midrange phone for which people have been waiting. With the anticipated killer upgrades like SD617 octacore processor, 3GB RAM, full HD display, you could never ask for more. Today is the day that Lenovo announced the phone and  Amazon India has updated their site stating that they are ready.

      Moto G4 and Moto G4 has been launched. At screen size of 5.5″ and models ranging from 2GB to 4GB, micro SD slot along with 16/32 GB storage this phone is as good as Moto x play. And with fast charging capability, the phone comes at 13500 – 15009 INR.. Quite a steal.

      One shift away from tradition is that the phone is launched in multiple configuration on same day. The G4 plus has a finger print reader which is absent in G4.

      More on it, in some time.

      Mar 272016
       

      Mar 192016
       

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