Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220

The latest offering from BlackBerry, the Pearl Flip 8220, is the first clamshell from Blackberry. This handsets operates on quad band network and can be on roaming internationally. Being a smartphone, it supports up to 10 e-mail accounts (including 10 personal and corporate e-mail accounts), picture messages, instant messaging services and is Wi-fi enabled. On the multimedia front, it has a 2.0-megapixel camera with flash and video recording and advanced media player for music, video and pictures with full screen video playback. Along with a 2.4 inch internal display, the Flip comes with a semi-QWERTY keypad. The screen size is a fairly good 2.4 inches. The phone weighs 102 grams and has an upto 8 GB expandable memory.

Click Here, here and here for more reviews!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Forget iPhone, the Palm Pre is here!

At the Consumer's Electronic Show in North America, Palm - a company many thought was dead, came up with a killer. 

The company unveiled a new touch-screen phone called the Palm Pre, and it’s all the tech writers could talk about. 

Every company and its brother has tried to duplicate the success and the magic of the iPhone. But they’ve all been working from checklists. Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, touch screen — yawn. They never get the importance of elegance, fun, whimsy, simplicity, design.

Palm does. Led by the ex-Apple engineering executive Jon Rubinstein, Palm has created a spectacular, beautiful, joyous machine.

The Palm Pre rips off the iPhone in plenty of spots — multi-touch, pinch to zoom in or out, flick to the next photo, online software catalog and so on. But it also brims with one completely new idea after another.

For example, you’re not limited to running one program at a time; you can juggle multiple programs, e-mail messages or Web pages by flicking your finger through a spread of cool little “cards” on the screen. As an option, you can get a wireless, magnetic charging dock: you just set the phone on it to recharge. No cable to find or plug in.

The address book automatically sucks in your contacts from Outlook, Gmail and Facebook, so you have only one unified little black book for all. Same with your calendars from work, Google and Facebook — all on the same grid. Same with e-mail accounts (everything in a single in-box). Same with real-time messaging (text messages and chat messages in a single scrolling dialogue with each friend). It all makes perfect sense.

The software is fast, fun and flicky, and you can master it in six minutes. Gotta love the single button on the top, too: tap for Sleep, hold for Off or Airplane Mode (wireless off), slide to the side to shut off all sounds.

Oh, and the Pre also does away with the usual iPhone gripes. There’s a slide-out thumb keyboard, and it has a wonderful, rubberized clicky feel; you can pop the battery out yourself (the phone is smaller but thicker than the iPhone); and yes, there’s copy and paste. Best of all, there’s no five-year exclusive carrier tie-in with AT&T this time; the phone is only for Sprint, but that’s a limited-time exclusive.

Click Here, here and here to read more reviews of Palm Pre.

Books on Barack Obama

As Barack Obama gears up to take oath, a lot of publishers, book-sellers and authors are also gearing up to make some money - by releasing Barackabilia, as the Washington Post calls it.

The New York Times also carries a similar story - Books About the Rise of Obama and reviews not one, not two, not even three but FOUR books. With the Americans around the world caught in an Obama frenzy, the authors have understood that a golden way to monetize Brand Obama.

These are the Books :


The Inspiring, Combative 2008 Campaign and the Historic Election of Barack Obama

By Evan Thomasm, Illustrated. 220 pp. PublicAffairs. $22.95


Big Ideas for Change in America

By Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed

201 pp. PublicAffairs. Paper, $13.95


How Bottom-Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle-Down Economics

By John R. Talbott

218 pp. Seven Stories Press. Paper, $16.95


America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency

By Robert Kuttner

213 pp. Chelsea Green Publishing. Paper, $14.95

5. Barack Obama: 44th President

by Avery Krut (Whitman, $49.95)

The fifth one, according to Washington Post is - Not so much a book as a cupboard between hard covers, it is full of tickets, bumper stickers, reprints of speeches, penciled letters from admiring kids and all sorts of other electioneering byproducts, each tucked into its own envelope-like slot!

According to the New York Times  -  For sheer speed and competence, the most impressive of these recent books is Evan Thomas’s “ ‘Long Time Coming,’ ” compiled from the reporting of the political writers of Newsweek (a magazine for which I occasionally write). A perceptive, smoothly written and generally fair- minded account of both presidential campaigns, it is, nevertheless, a contribution to the creation of the superhero image that has surrounded Obama over the last six months. In describing his important speech on race in March 2008, for example, the Newsweek writers (who are far from alone) describe a “tour de force,” the “sort of speech that only Barack Obama could give.” Afterward, “he found everyone in tears — his wife, his friends, hardened campaign aides. Only Obama seemed cool and detached.

Happy Reading!

Busby Berkeley

Busby Berkeley (November 29, 1895 - March 14, 1976) born in Los Angeles, California was probably the most flamboyant and influential Hollywood movie director and Musical choreographer. 

As Wikipedia Says - 
Berkeley was famous for his elaborate musical production numbers that often involved complex geometric patterns. Berkeley's quintessential works used legions of showgirls and props as fantastic elements in kaleidoscopic on-screen performances. He started as a theatrical director, just as many other movie directors. Unlike many at the time, he felt that a camera should be allowed mobility, and he framed shots carefully from unusual angles to allow movie audiences to see things from perspectives that the theatrical stage never could provide. This is why he played an enormous role in establishing the movie musical as a category in its own right.
His carefully choreographed dance sequences, expensive sets and immaculate geometric formations took the world by a storm. The New York Times rightly carried a tribute to his cinematic vision by calling him "The Dance Master with Kaleidoscopic Eyes".

Berkeley’s scope is still astounding. He wasn’t the first to shoot his numbers from above, but his agile camera changed the way dance and musicals were filmed. In his work the power is not rooted in the individual dancer, but in the majestic force of the group. Somehow the notion of rhythmic precision is also poignant; for all their symmetry and rigorous construction, Berkeley’s dances are not merely inanimate designs or cinematic artifacts frozen in the past. After all these years they remain alive, paired with an invisible partner: Berkeley himself. In his glorious array of pas de deux, it is the camera — with an almost cheeky elegance — that dances with the group. 
Click Here for the complete story on The New York Times

Mozambique: Condoms for Making Footballs?

Somewhere on a dusty soccer pitch in Mozambique, a group of boys are playing a game of soccer. Suddenly a man runs onto the field shouting. He stops the game and accuses the boys of stealing his condoms. There are different ways to use condoms. In Mozambique, young boys are great consumers of them…

In a country which struggles to combat AIDS, twenty million condoms are distributed every year. Considering that at least 4 million Mozambican men are sexually active from a population of 17.4 million inhabitants, this makes a personal allowance of five condoms for the whole year. Directed by Mozambican filmmaker Orlando Mesquita, The Ball was one of the films showcased on PangeaDay and presents a lighthearted - and surprising - view of condom use in Mozambique: thousands of them are ingeniously turned into footballs, only one of the examples of how children use condoms for fun.