Nilesh Gonsalves

Jan 082015
 

It was my first love affair. That was 10 years back. I had never wanted anything else in my life. But circumstances/influence of stars can force you into acting against your wishes. So in line with the wishes of my family I had to make peace with my desire.

10 years on and I felt I had an opportunity to rekindle my old love affair. So I went for it and booked “The Bull”. Booked the Royal Enfield Bullet Electra yesterday. Now for the long wait to get the delivery.

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Excited. Especially since all stars(including family approvals) are in favor this time.

(P.S. : Don’t go nuts congratulating me. Its just a booking and the photo is from the test ride. I updated my Facebook profile with the below photo and I got many likes and comments just because I had a Royal Enfield Bullet Rear View Mirror in the frame)

Profile

Jan 012015
 

Clouds 1001

Shady Skies

(Taken from a moving Train. Timing Evening. Post processed in Digital Photo Professional)

The Zoo

Hyderabad Trip 100

Come…Let’s be Friends……

Hyderabad Trip 101

……..Sullen after Rejection
Hyderabad Trip 104

Your Majesty Marches

Hyderabad Trip 107

In search of the Greens

Hyderabad Trip 110

Amongst the Long list of things to do…..Eat out of a tall Tree

Hyderabad Trip 112

Territorial Warfare…?

Hyderabad Trip 113    Hyderabad Trip 114

We Slither

Hyderabad Trip 122

Look Maa…..Lacoste

Hyderabad Trip 123

Anymore colors in the Rainbow?

Hyderabad Trip 106

The Way to Travel in a Zoo

(All photos clicked at Nehru Park, Hyderabad)

Delicate Beauties 

Hyderabad Trip 519

Hyderabad Trip 520
Hyderabad Trip 516

Hyderabad Trip 517

Hyderabad Trip 524Hyderabad Trip 518
Hyderabad Trip 523

Feeling Feathery

Hyderabad Trip 527

Hyderabad Trip 530
Hyderabad Trip 531

Hyderabad Trip 529

With Color comes Beauty

With Beauty Comes Ego.

(Photos clicked at Ramoji Film City)

Nov 132014
 

Floods of phones released every month, with India being attacked from all sides in this regards, it sometimes get difficult for Indians who are by now, spoilt for choice. Hundreds of screen sizes and as many hardware configurations has driven the online retail competition in recent times and more is set to come. Though Samsung, Nokia(now Windows), HTC and Sony were the safest bets in past, bravery is being demonstrated by Indians in accepting local brands like Micromax, XOLO, Spice etc.(most of them selling rebranded Chinese Phones) or even accepting chinese entrants like OPPO, Huawei, Xiaomi etc(very Popular in China). The smartphone killer, Oneplus One, is said to have generated so much interest in India that Oneplus has planned a full scale Indian base and the necessary staff for this is being manned. One important aspect which may be lagging is the after sales service in India.

Another company which is quietly making inroads into Indian market is Lenovo which has acquired Motorola just recently. It had launched quite a few impressively configured models in past but it has started gaining traction only in recent times. One such model very recently launched is the Lenovo Vibe X2 with the “Multilayered design for Multilayered life” as proclaimed by its punchline.

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The design and color combinations shout different layers without the need of handling the phone. The layers are actually fancy strips on the edge, but Lenovo also has some thing call Xtensions to transform the mobile boombox or a power reservoir. These Xtensions clip on the back plate of the phone, and though they increase the thickness by as much as 5.1mm, they are designed to serve their purpose. AS of now, the two extension layers announced are the Vibe X2 Speaker(JBL powered) which doubles up as a stand and Vibe X2 Battery which gives your phone the much need refueling stop on the go. A first of its kind by any manufacturer since all previous such addons were aftermarket 3rd party manufactured. Its not yet clear whether both the Xtensions can be attached together, which would make more sense since speakers will consume more power. Also no news on any other Xtensions under developement. Is this due to lack of ideas? Here are a few:

  • Electronic ink Screen Xtension( similar to one on Yota Phone)
  • 3D camera module Xtension
  • NFC Xtension
  • QWERTY Keyboard Module with Single line screen Xtension
  • Simple phone keypad Xtension if you need to call more often and don’t want to wakeup the screen
  • External Memory Card Xtension
  • Various Combinations of above Xtensions to reduce thickness

What the heck. Am being creative.

Anyway, the phone packs some punch, albeit via MediaTek Chipset. Here are a few important hardware aspects.

Configuration:

Screen : 5″ IPS LCD, 1920×1080 full HD 5 point touch. No mention of a gorilla glass so be ready with a quality screen guard

SIM: Dual SIM(Micro/Nano)

Memory: 2 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM, No external memory card adapter.

Chipset: MediatTek MT6595m True8Core

CPU: Octa-core 2.0 GHz

GPU: PowerVR G600

Camera: Primary 13 MP, Secondary 5 MP(Are they significant or just numbers? real world tests will tell)

Connectivity: The usual Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS, USB along with 2G, 3G and 4G

Pros:

Price: Rs. 19,999 in India which makes it quite competitive

Size: Just the right size that sells in India at this moment

Display: Full HD display

Connectivity: 4G connectivity will enable people to access 4G network which is to be launched soon

Horsepower: Latest MediaTek chipset which boasts of battery saving features.

Cons:

Display: No Gorilla Glass

Memory: No provision for external SD

Xtension: Only two Xtensions without any information when they will be out for sale

Layer: The screen layer is bit smaller then the border and person using the phone one handed will feel it on his thumb base.

Battery: Built in

OS: Android Kitkat 4.4

All in all the phone seems to be good for the price point. That’s being demonstrated by the high demand on flipkart. But then flipkart seem to have struck the sweet spot in advertising and creating a hype, so much so that Xiaomi, which was not well known before flipkart flash sell, is now a wishlist for many who are unable to lay their hands on it, sale after sale. A lot needs to be seen about its performance and of course the timely upgrades.

Nov 122014
 

Technology had advanced at a mind boggling pace, more so since the introduction of mobiles, and it’s inclusion into our lifestyle has invariably opened up our homes to the world. Top tech firms are known to “mine” user data in as simple form as a cookie. This data is later used for financial gains to ultimately please their shareholders. This, though anticipated, is not excusable. There is an ongoing war against privacy invasion via digital media.

Mindless to all the protests, tech firms keep on introducing such privacy invading features in their applications/websites. One such latest update is the double blue tick in whatsapp chat.

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Some might argue what’s the big fuss about. So lets see how it functions.

When you send a message to your contact on whatsapp, once it is delivered to the whatsapp server a small tick appear on the bottom right corner of the chat message. Once your contact receives it on his/her phone, another tick is added and now you have a double tick, signifying that the message has been delivered to your contact. In past, you had no way of telling whether your friend has read the message. This was ok since the transmission of message was more important.

But introduce a double tick which signifies that your friend had read the message and the scenario changes. You expect a reply. Your friend has chosen not to reply at that moment. You start the seemingly never ending wait for the reply, while your friend is busy with something important and chooses to finish this conversation later. Meanwhile, you come up with all the possible reasons, including neglect on the part of your friend, while the time starts weighing on your mind. Meanwhile your friend is busy in an important business meeting and doesn’t realise all this. But does he need to realise?

Repeat this scenario and one day you start feeling that your friend is not longer your friend.

Whats the need of this feature. Why should anyone know whether I have read his message or not. I can take my own sweet time to reply. But, Whatsapp, through this tiny feature, is forcing me to either reply to all the messages that I read, or quit whatsapp alltogether. I checked the settings but couldn’t find any that could disable this feature.

Now don’t say that I should get lost from whatsapp. The company itself wouldn’t say that publically fearing drastic reduction in its valuation.

Wakeup whatsapp. Give us our privacy.

Oct 262014
 

No, there is not mistake. Yes, the title says Dual Screen phone. Not the dual SIM phone which you are very much used to reading.

Flipkart , a couple of days back, has exclusively launched the Yota Dual Screen Phone in India.But then there were few other phones in past which had two screens(big or small). So whats different about this one?

The world has moved on from wired lines(I still use one, but primarily for ADSL connection) to wireless big bricks which could just exchange calls and SMS to java then symbian and now to Android/iOS/Windows at this moment. The phones have first reduced in their form and after reaching the miniature possible, have started increasing in form, more so due to the nature of interaction. Technology has advanced.

What had been lagging all along the evolution is the ability of the battery to satisfy the hunger for power of these mobile phones. The iphone has been able to have an upper hand in this regards, but ultimately it too dies off.

The biggest culprit of this power consumption is the mobile screen. The need to keep the screen illuminated in case of TFT screens results in short battery life. The compromise is to reduce battery brightness, thus affecting the visual experience or, less use of phone, thus conflicting with its purpose.

Yota Devices has come up with an innovative idea to help solve some part of the problem. They have introduced a dual screen phone, called the YotaPhone. You would say that the problem has doubled!

Well, that’s not so. The Yotaphone is an android based smartphone in a bar form factor with screens on both sides. The primary screen is a normal 4.3″, 1280 X 720 pixel, IPS LCD display capable of displaying 16 million colors. Nothing out of the world there.

The second screen is the USP of this phone, along with the things it can do. The second screen is a 4.3″, electronic paper display with 640 x 360 resolution and 16-grayscale color reproduction ability.  It is the always on type of display which cannot be blacked out like your normal screen. The important feature of this e-paper display is that once anything is displayed on the screen, it does not require any power to sustain it on the screen. The power consumption takes place only when the screen is changed with new contents. This technology is being currently used successfully by e-book readers(Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook) which boast a battery life of somewhere around 3-4 weeks.

Now, who would want a grayscale screen on a high end mobile? Well, Answer few questions.

  • Do you need to read your SMSes on color screen?
  • Do you need to get alarm notifications on color screens?
  • Do you need to check your stock prices on color screen?
  • What about weather. Do you want to view weather updates/news on color screen(unless the news contain graphics which need to be seen in color)?
  • Do you read your ebooks color screens?

I guessed not. You spend lots of time on your mobile screen doing all the above activities. But do these activities really justify the use of power hogging color screen? If not, the YotaPhone is for you.

Make no mistake of undermining the abilities of this phone with its main screen on. The phone packs punch in the following manner:

Processor :Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1.7GHz dual core

RAM : 2 GB

Memory : 32 GB

Connectivity : 2G, 3G, 4G, USB, BT, Wifi(all latest standards)

Camera 13 MP with Autofocus and flash capable of 1080p video at 30 fps and a secondary 1 MP camera

GPS : A-GPS, GLONASS

Primary Screen : Full touch screen

Second Screen : Touch zone under the display for control gestures

OS : Android 4.2.2(Jelly Bean)

Battery : 1800 mAH (The manufacturers are confident that you will love the electronic paper display)

As you can see the phone is at par with many mid-range phones. The cost, at Rs. 23500, may seem prohibitive but the battery boast, if used in the fashion that this phone is meant to be used, may help you overlook the cost.It may feel odd at first but compare it with nokia N-gage and you will feel at home with YotaPhone.

So if you are in a process of buying your next phone, take a look at this one. It may be the one you want.

Pros:

Promise of good battery life

Good specifications

Makes a tech statement

Flipkart support

Cons:

No real world feedback as yet

No word on updated to the OS

Cost bit high for these specifications(But then, money is not everything)

Buy YotaPhone at Flipkart

Oct 232014
 

Couple of weeks back I had written regarding a goofed up case of two tablets, exclusively launched on two different websites. Such things happen between overzealous rivals. But sometimes, things go out of hand when you start competing with yourself.

Such seems to be the case with Flipkart, which has just come out of the big billion business/dare/scare/whatever you prefer to call it. Though I felt that Flipkart did a commendable job, managing the deliveries of the tsunami of orders on The Big Billion Day, internally, it seems to have implemented a sales algorithm which contradicts itself and shows flopkart flipkart in poor light.

A listing of Canon EOS 1200D appears on its website with stock lens kit for Rs. 27,196 whereas they have also listed a Canon EOD 1200D with stock lens and a 55-250 mm lens for Rs. 26,500. Both listed side by side.

Absursd!! But true. Here is the link(might be corrected by the time you see it hence the screenshot below). It will take a person with abilities to overlook details and/or understand simple arithmatic to go for the costlier deal.

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It could mean that:

Either the double lens kit package has some manufacturing defects

or

Flipkart simply goofed up.

There cannot be any other explanation. Both the listing are by WS Retail (Flipkarts own listing, not a third party seller listing)

Wake up flipkart. Unless you do not intend to have many more successful Big Billion Days.

Oct 112014
 

I handle my phone in a ruthless fashion. Right from the day I bought my Galaxy SII till today, the “settings” icon of my android phone has been the most accessed icon. I try to extract every ounce of computing power available in the phone and in doing so, I’ve become a fan of flashing and installing customised ROM. My phone is about 2 years old and provided I get proper updates, I feel it will be good for one/one and a half year more. The next phone I buy may not be the flagship at that time but will surely be a top end one, probably something like the Oneplus One.

Not so with my wife. She uses it for all the basic needs like calls, messaging and light entertainment and such stuff. So pouring a good amount of money into mobile purchase is not an idea she likes. But whatever you do, your mobile is a hardware which after some time, and constant mishandling(read throwing on the ground in an attempt to break it in to pieces) by our two year old kids, stops working the way it should. That’s what happened with my wife’s phone about a week back. Luckily the big billion day was around the corner and this auspicious day(an auspicious day for e-buyers) I bought a Motorola Moto E for my wife. On a regular selling price of 6999 rs I got a discount of 1500 rs so the final price on that way came out to be 5499 rs. Received the delivery of the phone two days back even with the huge amount of orders that flipkart had with them, so this was a commendable job. Keep it up.

Anyway the point is, I have the Moto E in my hand and here’s the review.

Unboxing

The Moto E comes in minimalistic packing.

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Upon opening up the box, the Moto E glares at you right away.

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The box contains a Moto E handset with battery built in(no user replaceable battery), a charging kit, a hands free kit and the necessary startup leaflets. Gone are the days of the software cd and bulky booklets. An unsurprising omission is that of a data cable since at this price point, it would be hard to squeeze in.

IMG_20141011_104703

The backside

For inserting the Micro SIM cards and Micro SD card, you need to pull off the back plate by prying in your fingernail at the charging port. Motorola warns against using tools as it might damage internal components. Motorola also instructs to use more force without hesitation. The trick is to use index finger nail for opening up the cover while using the thumb to press the Motorola logo on the cover.

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Upon removing the cover, you will find the two SIM slots and a micro sd slot one below the other on the right side. Also notice that the battery is enclosed inside the casing.

Around the Phone

On the top the phone has a standard 3.5 mm hands free pin port and a pin hole for secondary mic. On the right it has the power/lock button and the volume rocker. At the bottom it has a micro usb port for charging and data transfer. The front face has two metallic strips, one on top and another on bottom which are for the speaker and the mic.  No other physical buttons all around. The camera is housed on the back, centered, without a flash.

Specifications

The important specifications are as below:

CPU : Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 on Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 with Adreno 302(decent enough)

RAM : 1 GB

Internal Memory : 4 GB(2 GB available for user, supports 32 GB expandable memory)

SIM : Dual SIM dual standby

Camera : 5MP primary(no secondary)

OS : Android 4.4.2 upgradable to 4.4.4(upgrade already seeding)

Screen : Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 4.3”, 540 X 960 pixels

Detailed specifications at gsmarena

Usability

This phone is targeted towards beginners to the android world. Hence the price has to be kept below a certain value. The result will never be a feather light phone. But the weight gives a feel of sturdiness to the phone. My current phone is almost similar to Moto E in terms of processing hardware so I am happy that such is available for 1/5th of the price of my phone.

The phone once started, guides you through a setup wizard to get you ready. The user interface is minimalistic, hinting at a pure android experience apart from the standard motorola addons like the Moto migrate which is a boon if you want to transfer your old phone to any moto phone.

The device interface feels smoother. All the necessary google apps are inbuilt.Login with your google ID and you are good to go.

Competitors

Karbonn Sparkle V, Micromax Canvas A1, Spice UNO. These phones are google initiative to promote android to the Indian masses while helping local brands create a brand image. Though these manufacturers are well known in India, Micromax is the only company to have made a breakthrough in gaining confidence of the Indian massed.

Final Say

At this price point the phone is a good starting point for android beginners.

Buy Moto E here

Oct 062014
 

Couple of days back I posted about the upcoming big sale day on flipkart called as the Big Billion Day. Today is the day and if you were not ready for it, you missed buying Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 for 1400 Rs….Yes 1400 rs, a discount of 90 %. News papers also list(via flipkart ad) that they will have 2TB ADATA HDD for 600 rs(90% discount). There are lots of other discount offers and exchange offers which are very good. You can have Moto X 1st Gen for 18000 or Moto G second gen for 9000(under exchanges), apple macbook for 49999 and lots of other offers in variety of products. There are various catagories of offers like limited stock, limited time ,crazy deals etc.

Another surprising advert in the papers is by snapdeal which says that for others it may be a big day but for them its an ordinary day. An on this ordinary day, they choose to sell apple iphone 4s for 14600, iphone 5s for 25000, Samsung Galaxy S5 for 26000, Canon EOS 1200D for 14000 and many more similar offers. Snapdeal has listed these day under the Diwali Bumper Sale and it keeps on changing hourly with limited stock.

Hurry up and buy the product on your wishlist while these e-tailers are willing to be looted.

Oct 052014
 

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I went to the theatre to watch this film as I heard that it was critically highly rated. Even IMDB rates it to 9/10 with 5,664 votes(and counting).

I literally had to sit through it for 3 hours since i had paid. The only beauty in the movie is the snow clad Kashmir. I may be wrong since this is my personal opinion(and also the opinion of my friends, total 5 others who accompanied me for this film)

I read somewhere that the movie was a poignant love story in the disputed Kashmir. I assumed that it was about Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor. Later I realised that it was about Tabu and Kay Kay Menon.Though the actors were at their best, it was a waste of their talent(I speak of Tabu, Irrfan Khan and Kay Kay Menon).

The storyline may be based on Hamlet but the the director is confused whether to stick more towards Hamlet or towards the Kashmir dispute. Here again I would hope that the production house has done enough research into the truth of what has been depicted. Lots of messages are circling the social media asking people to abandon this movie since it has shown the Indian army in bad light. People have questioned the censor board why this movie was  passed at their end. I actually went to see the movie after I read one such message. I would say that I didn’t find the controversy. I just ask censor board why they didn’t stop the movie so that people like me wouldn’t have been tortured.

At times, the film feels more of a comedy genre and not drama. I remember couple of decades back when comedy, unrelated to the plot of the film, used to be the essence of a bollywood film. Since then I’ve felt that bollywood has come of age. But the makers of these movie chose to stay in early 90s. What’s with the Salman, Salman and Salman, or the word Chutzpah, or even Shraddha Kapoor unable to pronounce “Loved”, or for that matter any verb in past tense, in a proper way?

I would have been more happy if Kulbhushan Kharbanda was given few more dialogues.

Too much of unwanted suspense since the storyline had been tilted onto one side from mid-film itself. The songs were nothing to speak about(I remember Maniratnam making good use of the locations in Roja).

In the end I would say, I was happy when I saw the theatre staff opening the exit gates. The time I spent on this movie in a theatre felt longer than the time I spent watching Titanic(At the least I am much wiser about Einstein’s “Theory of Relativity”)

My Rating 2.5/5(2 for the scenic locations and 0.5 for the trio of Irrfan, Kay Kay and Tabu)

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