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 VoilĂ . 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.
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!!!!!!


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.

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

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Housefull - Movie Review

Vidit Bhargava
Director: Sajid Khan
How much will you pay for a decent laugh? Did you like Akshay Kumar's previous two movies : De Dana Dan & Kambakht Ishq? Its no need to feel embarrassed if you liked them. After all they grossed a fare amount of money! but from a movies point of few they were a torture. But here comes 2010 and here's Housefull. And I've seen it.

There is not much plot in the movie, the director never actually took pains to write any proper script. It also doesn't matter much, All the Best was a good movie and it didn't practically have any script at all. Same is with Housefull, no script at all. But the problem is no such thing as sense also. Nothing makes sense in this movie.

Remember it is a comedy movie, so all that matters above all is the comedy. All this movie depends upon is its comedy. There is fair enough comedy. There are many laughable gags nicely embedded into the movie but when the actors are not making us laugh, trash is thrown in. Perhaps the director knew about it and intelligently placed the best comedy scenes *Which weren't many!* at regular intervals, keeping us in the theater for most of the time. But there is not much comedy and hence the trashy part increases.

Housefull comes as a ruthless murderer of originality, everything is lifted. Everything is tried to be pushed in. The comedy which together forms the best part of the movie, is lifted from various sources. As review writer Mayank Shekhar puts it, "here filmmaking becomes a culinary art of marinating spices and scenes together". Ofcourse it will be too hard to remember all the bunch of scenes which were lifted copied and joined together in the movie. And none makes sense (a couple of exceptions excluded). The music surprises me, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, who've made original music for sometime now, lift music from cartoon (yes, you heard it!) series of Tom & Jerry and Popey also the Fools Garden Lemon Tree song is added in the background. I could barely find anything original in the movie. Doesn't matter to many, but it does to me. When spending so much on watching a movie which is provides nothing new.

They also decided to add Santa Banta! A way to throw in those SMS PJs you any way receive every day. And guess what they could merely make us smile, giving an example of how bad they were:
Santa : We've come to Buckingham Palace!
Banta: B Silent
Santa: Ok Ok Uckingham Palace..

The Climax is a smack on the viewers intelligence. These Santa Banta carelessly add Nitrous Oxide instead of the coolent in the A.C. of Buckingham Palace and everyone starts laughing and the movie ends everyone laughing! Just imagine the magnitude of sense involved in the movie.

Coming on Acting, Boman Irani & Akshay Kumar try to save the ship from a complete wreckage, and the succeed some what, they've done fairly good acting and all credit to them. Others merely try to make you laugh. Arjun Rampal looks out of place, he's acting as a serious government officer in this comedy where nothing like that was required. Nevertheless he does his best!

My Friends liked the movie and I think there will be more to that lot. After all, the likes of De Dana Dan & Kambhakht Ishq got many viewers who like the movie.

Summing all this up, There is nothing much in this movie except some parts of comedy. People suggested me to leave the brains at home but a person with absolutely nothing for brains will realize the movie is far too senseless. I'll give it 1.5 stars. If you're so desperate to watch comedy, I suggest watch a bunch of comedy scenes from a few previous comedy films, on youtube. That will be equivalent to the movie itself. Its comedy but at a very heavy cost.

Rating : * 1/2