Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Circular Monopoly

Apparently, the monopoly board is going to be re-invented for it's 75th birth anniversary. The two major innovations:
1. A circular board
2. Debit cards instead of banknotes
I'm not sure about either move. The monopoly board is one of the most iconic and easily identified boards on the planet. Generations have grown up playing on that board; this change merely breaks that tradition.
As for replacing banknotes with debit cards, hmm, that's trickier. It's a reflection of our times; our dependence on paper money is steadily declining. Future generations will most certainly be more familiar with plastic money... but, the traditionalist and purist in me is not happy. I was really fond of those colourful monopoly banknotes as a child, and it's really a shame that a part of my childhood will cease to exist.
Perhaps it's time to move on...

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Two items in the news recently caught my eye.

The first is in an article in the independent which suggests that human being's innate fondness for drunken revelry was the catalyst for the civilisation of prehistoric man. Ironic, considering how, in modern society, alcohol is what reduces perfectly normal people to the level of apes. While I don't question/doubt the veracity and authenticity of the author's scholarly work (I do not possess the background knowledge for such a task), I do find it's conclusion rather amusing.

The other article that piqued my interest is right up my alley of interest; technology and cellphones. The article reports that Gartner predicts cellphones will overhaul computers as the preferred gateway to the internet by 2013. While this would seem like an obvious statement to those who have observed the industry in recent times (especially the staggering success of the iPhone), the consequences are profound - especially in developing countries.

It is worthwhile to remember the importance of the internet in our lives. For the vast majority of users, most of their time on a computer is spent on the internet (outside of work). Thus, this prediction means that mobile phones will be THE dominant computing platform halfway through the decade. So far, laptops and desktops have enjoyed this position. They have had pride of place in the hierarchy of household consumer electronics, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with the venerable television. The humble cellphone has slowly but surely risen through the ranks and now stands at the threshold of dominance.

Ignore that rather stupid analogy ;) The point is, cellphones are always with us and that in itself is a huge advantage. In recent times, improved user interfaces, interaction methods and greater processing power has made it possible for us to realistically use cellphone for extensive internet browsing, not just an occasional read (as was the case in the past). The introduction of the iPhone was the watershed moment. And I say this not as an apple fanboy, but as someone who has never owned an iPhone. Credit where credit is due. The iPhone was a game changer; it turned cellphones into miniature computers.

I will comment more about the implications of this seismic shift to developing countries in a future post, for that is where the impact will be the greatest.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

That's it?

So, Apple unveiled it's refreshed iPods today at an event titled "it's only rock and roll but we like it". Interestingly enough, the most important announcement was not that of a product, but the reappearance of the irrepressible Mr. Jobs. He's back and slimmer than ever before (almost as slim as a Nano).
On the whole, I'm slightly disappointed with the announcements. Sure, I like the new Nano and the price drop/capacity bump for the iPod Touch. I think iTunes 9 is cool, too.
However, the upgrade to the Touch has left me rather under-whelmed. No camera and still no in-built mic and speakers. The nano has it, but not the touch. Think about it. The touch runs iPhone OS 3.1. The possibilities for apps are endless. The most obvious ones would be proper VOIP and camera integration with flickr, facebook and youtube. There are a few possibilities for why Apple hasn't put a camera and mic/stereo in the touch:
1. Some hardware constraints made it impossible for them to do so.
2. They weren't able to do so in time for this event.
3. Jobs is shitting his pants that people might start buying the Touch instead of the iPhone
Well, I think reason 1 is total BS, so it comes down to the other two. Either way, I do think the touch is already a great device and would benefit from having these features.

Tomorrow is also a big day, though its not likely to attract the same sort of hype. Motorola is expected to announce its first Android handsets. If it does so, it'll be the third major manufacturer to commit to the platform after HTC and Samsung. Android does seem to be gaining ground now, but has a really, really long way to go if it intends to seriously challenge the iPhone. As Jobs mentioned in his keynote, iPhone OS is now on 50 million devices. Android is nowhere even near that. I put it down to a lack of compelling devices, but thats just me.

Have fun.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm giving up on lunch

I have decided to give up on lunch.

It's much too time consuming and completely redundant. I've found I can make do with a massive and slightly late breakfast followed by a massive and slightly early dinner. The advantage, obviously, is that I don't have to cook twice. Plus, I can eat something interesting for breakfast, for example a pizza. Breakfast tends to be boring. A bowl of cereal, some bacon, an omelette, a glass of orange juice, etc. Not good enough.

Arguably, I could have a pizza for breakfast anyway, but there's a certain amount of guilt that I experience if I have something like that for breakfast. In my current setup, I can fight off that guilt based on the excuse that I'm not having lunch, so it's okay to have a pasta and a cheescake for breakfast.

As a result of my new policy, I had Garlic and Coriander Naan with Tandoori chicken for breakfast. Enough said.

You know you want to.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The unthinkable has happenned

After a nearly two year break from blogging, I'm back. Let the drums roll, bring out the champagne.

Obviously, there's a lot of catching up to do. I mean, the last time I wrote on my blog I was 18 years old, living in Delhi and just out of school. Things have changed since then, and I'll soon bring everyone upto speed, but sadly today is not the best time. I have an exam tomorrow (Compilers) and I will probably get my ass kicked (along with the rest of my esteemed colleagues) as my lecturer thinks he can divide by zero... don't ask, that'll be a separate post as well.

Anyhow, I'm sure people have two questions on their mind right now and I'll attempt to answer them.

1. Okay, you're back but... WHY?

Ans: Well, I like blogging and I like reading my old posts, they give me an intimate insight into who I was in the past... so, basically, I'm doing this for myself, for the future. I really don't care if anyone is interested in reading it!

2. Isn't twitter the place to be? Brevity is the soul of wit and blogs are passe, right?

Ans: I'm not going to question the phenomenal success of twitter, but twitter just doesn't cut it for me. Perhaps I'm too verbose, but I like expressing myself with more than 140 characters!

That's all for now!

P.S. I do realise there should've been an accent on the e in passe but it's inconvenient to find and, frankly, I don't care.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The beginning of the end

The end is nigh.

Yesterday, I dropped TCA (he's off to Xavier's Mumbai) off at the airport, said Good bye and it suddenly started to sink in. He's first to go; one down. Those days are over. And this is just the beginning. One-by-one, all of us will be gone. Dispersed. The good-old days are gone forever. Those vodka-fueled mornings have come to an end. It was fun while it lasted.

Sadly, this "realization" is always a little late coming. By the time I realized that school was kick-ass fun, it was nearly over. Same thing with class 12-H.

I'm leaving this lovely city on the 14th of July. And now that my exile is about to begin, I've even started to "miss" New Delhi, even the most despicable places in town. Such is life; life is like custard.

At this point, let me also say that dropping off another guy at the airport is kind of awkward. Embarrassing, too. An awkward handshake and an awkward 'it was nice knowing you' and a slightly-less awkward "don't forget the vodka" sealed it.

On a brighter note, I have a series of posts planned in which I plan to blow the lid off DPS MUN, the CBSE and explain why DPS RKP is the biggest scam since... (well, something, but it's a scam). As an insider to all three of the aforementioned, I have a good deal to say.

Ah yes, I'm back. And I'm not "living in the past"

Monday, May 21, 2007

The inevitable is here

The results are upon us. The 25th day of May (sounds funny) is judgment day. At 8:00 AM, we shall have our collective asses kicked.

I knew the results would be announced some time, but I didn't figure it'd be so soon. Time flies, as they say (I don't know who 'they' are, so don't ask me)

It's like being jerked out of a restful slumber. You're snoring your butt off and some weirdo comes and jabs you in the ribs and says "AHA!".

Recently, I've noticed that the most of my posts are labeled "Random". It makes me wonder whether I'm an extremely random person or awful at writing descriptive labels. Maybe both, but I'm going to change that w.e.f the next post.

P.S. Why is judgment spelled without an 'e'?