Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Paranoid or not, Definitely Android.

Hello all,

Days are hectic. Not much time. The two months have gone faster than it ever has...and I presume it will speed up ahead. Ahead of me comes the regular college exams after which I've got two major tests back to back on 3rd and 4th of October. SAT on the tenth of next month.
Trouble comes with the fact that, these tests include what I've learnt last year, which means I need to pretty much revise what I did back then, and also improvise upon it.
Here is a rough compilation of what I've been doing in the past 2 months during my breaks, free time and other times when I'm not locked up in my room.
(FYI, the PC is NOT in my room.)

On the first of June, I promised myself that I would pick up no non-academic work that would be time consuming, which includes reading novels. SAT requires quite a good vocabulary and language command, but with just a couple of months left to spare, any new effort would make no substantial difference IMO. The promise also covers restriction on jobs such as continue writing my novel and regular replies on forums.

I come online mostly only to reply to my friend's messages and listen to webcasts and podcasts of some of the sites I follow.
From what I've heard...
1) Looks like SUN has turned down IBM's proposal to acquire it.
2)Sony's announcement of PS3 slim version.
3)iPhone 3GS released sometime in June...runs on an Samsung Processor.
4)RIKEN is busy building a supercomputer that is expected to reach speeds of 10Petaflops.

The real me, or the non-digital ego inside me has been lately into a lot of music. I've also watched a couple of movies this year. Here are short reviews about them. The grammar would be erratic. No Pictures. Reason: Shortage of time. However, the list seems to be quite long, hence those who are not into much of music, please avoid this section of the blog.

On Movies

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (English)
Contains least usage of special effects, more realstic picturization with a darker theme portrayed without the gimmicks of direct violent horror. Closest to the book, and also the best in the series.
Rating: 4/5

Kaminey (Hindi; Indian)
Story revolves around twins - one is a lisp and the other stammers - is far away from the general emotional sequences. Dark theme of underworld intertwining with story of love. High violence. Blood and Gore. Figuratively a Tarantino inspired flick. Probably the best this year.
Rating: 4.5/5
(This is the first indian movie ever to have risen this high in my personal charts)

On Music

I've not put up the album covers since time does not permit that. Anyway, it's all about what you listen to.

OK Computer - Radiohead
An album that set a new direction to the trend of music in Britain during its time. Dotted with dark tracks, it's a treat to every alternate rock lover.
Rating: 4/5
Must listen: Airbag, Paranoid Android, Karma Police, Subterranean Homesick Alien, No Surprises

Tonight - Franz Ferdinand
The band has explored Europop and has come out with excellent tracks. Light hearted album with a carefree attitude.
Rating: 3/5
Must Listen: Ulysses, No You Girls, Send Him Away

Veckatimest - Grizzly Bear
One of the most innovative albums released this year, with a weird setting of darkness and abyss beyond the surface of the music.
Rating: 4.5/5
Must Listen: Southern Point, All we ask

The Bends - Radiohead
Very thoughtful usage of the tremolo pedal. Radiohead comes out with the wonderful atmospheres that the BritPop kings like Oasis have somewhat failed to create.
Rating: 4/5
Must Listen: Planet Telex, The Bends, Just, My Iron Lung, Street Sprit(Fade out)

Pablo Honey - Radiohead
Heavy, repetitive. Being Radiohead's debut album, it is a dead giveaway of the band's chief inspirations like Nirvana.
Rating: 2/5
Must Listen: Creep

Definitely Maybe - Oasis
A Beatles inspired band. The band's debut album with straight hit towards Nirvana; tracks having an attitude contrating to that of the latter.
Rating: 3/5
Must Listen: Supersonic, Live Forever

Fantasies - Metric
Outstanding vocals by Emily Haines. Guitar heavy tracks far away from Metal, but rocking! The quieter tracks are awesome too.
Rating: 3.5/5
Must Listen: Help I'm Alive, Guns Gold Girls, Help I'm alive(acoustic)

Kid A - Radiohead
The band's turning point. A venture into experimentation using french electronica instruments, computerized effects and icy beats, Kid A wins every patient mind's heart (:P).
Rating: 4.5/5
Must Listen: Everything in its right place, The National Anthem, How to disappear completely, Idioteque, Morning Bell, Motion Picture Soundtrack

Amnesiac - Radiohead
Dubbed to be Kid B, the album is referred to as the twin of Kid A. Tracks contain lyrics expressing depression, resent and longing for suicide, all the same, it's one of Radioheads most innovative ventures.
Rating: 4/5
Must Listen: Packt like sardines in a crushd tin box, The pyramid song, You and whose army, I Might be wrong, Amnesiac-morning bell.

Yellow House - Grizzly Bear
Secong studio album of the band. Ed Droste and bandmate Chris Taylor suggest that: "there is not really a theme with the lyrics but the theme of the album is us figuring out how to work together and recording in that house, which is what brought it together in that weird way."
Rating: 3.5/5
Must Listen: Lullabye, Knife, Central and Remote

Revolver - The Beatles
Band stands second in my top faves. Revolver explored the emerging genre of psychedelia. Loop tape effects, Reverse Guitar, repetitive drum beats. The band is also known for this album, as one of the earliest precursors of Electronica.
Rating: 4.5/5
Must Listen: Taxman, Eleanor Rigby, Doctor Robert, I want to tell you, Tomorrow Never knows

Led Zeppelin IV (Zoso) - Led Zeppelin
World renown album, and the final one by the band. The tracks have more of the bands native folk influence. This band happens to stand right behind the mighty Beatles.
Rating: 4/5
Must Listen: Stairway to heaven, Rock n Roll, Blackdog, Battle of Evermore

White Blood Cells - The White Stripes
Revisit into old style garage rock. Noisy and nostalgic, light minded music with probably not much sense.
Rating: 2.5/5
Must Listen: Offend in everyway, The Union forever, Aluminium

Urban Hymns - The Verve
Breezy album with hangover of the shoegazing movement of Britain. Peppered with positive and soothing tracks, all the same doing justice to the basic features of rock such as heavy drum beats.
Rating: 3/5
Must Listen: Bittersweet Symphony, Sonnet, The Rolling People

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
Another revolutionary album from Seattle after Nevermind (nirvana) and Ten (Pearl Jam), but deep into the indie genre. The tracks have a lot in common with retro indian songs in terms of the tunes and synthesizer usage.
Rating: 3.5/5
Must Listen: Ragged Wood, Tiger Mountain Peasant Song, Your protector

I'm currently listening to:
Actor - St.Vincent
You could have it so much better - Franz Ferdinand
Abbey Road - The Beatles
These are my twiseted words - Radiohead
Seven Nation Army (off an album) - The White Stripes
All is Full of love(off an album again) - Bjork


Face off - Blackberry 8110, Sony Ericsson G502, Nokia 5130 Express Music

The mentioned phones are those that are presently at home and one day I set out compare them. I know, they're poles apart, but I just wanted to see which one of these excels the most.

Looks: G502. This little instrument is sleek and small in size but gives sufficient space for a two inch screen. BB's pearl is attractive, but on the whole, the phone is big and fat, and hence stands second. The Nokia instrument is curvy all over and gives an unpleasant impression.

Display: BB 8110. The three inch screen is almost as attractive as the tiny pearl placed in the center of the instrument. The larger screen with very good resolution makes BB top. The next is G502 and Nokia comes last again for its disfugred LCD display that gives weird shades at different angles when holding the phone vertically.

Security: BB 8110. Now that's quite obvious; all Blackberrys are renown for their strong security and real dense encryption of data. The Bluetooth is a main cause of lack of security in the other two, worse in G502 since the option to switch off Bluetooth is deep within a number of menus and in case of emergency, it could be too late.

Music/Sound Quality
>>On Speakers: Nokia 5130. It's quite surprising to be able to hear the bass line from the speakers of the phone. The volume range is quite big and is enough for the music to be audible around a standard sized dining table. Blackberry second.
>>In Earphones: G502. All Sony Ericsson phones (and Sony Walkman) are popular for the music quality, and this one isn't any less. The sound quality as very much comparable to that of an iPod. One small hitch is that the earphones are a bit too big and long time usage could hurt one's ears. Blackberry second.

Media Player Interface: G502. The Sony Ericsson's default media player gives complete track information, album art and a two way runtime. It's also easy to access the playlist. BB comes next. Both the phones have an integrated media player from where one can access music, video, podcasts, photos and voice notes. Nokia does not have a very good media player. The playlist is difficult to access simultaniously while playing a song.

Overall Interface: Tie. Both Nokia and Blackberry hit a tie here, for their own charm. Blackberry wins every techie's heart with its glowing pearl set strategically for optimum utility. It's amost like a mouse, but is thankfully not like the red dot in the middle of old IBM laptops.
Nokia 5130 attracts users with its media interface (not to be confused with the player interface) which includes buttons on the sides of the phones which control play/stop, next, previous and volume adjustment. The unique flashing effect when one opens the media player is also as good!
Sony Ericsson has a pretty bad interface; it would take sometime mastering it. Pressing the 'C' button could sometimes delete some particular data. It would take more than just common sense to operate the phone. Instructions on the screen has to be meticulously followed.

PC Suite: G502. The Sony Ericsson does not actually require a PC Suite, while the other two do. In the former, one could chose between Phone mode and Mass Storage mode. The Phone mode requires a PC Suite, but the Mass Storage mode makes is act just like a flash drive, which makes transfer of data way easier. The other two require a software on the PC, and of them, Nokia has a more user friendly desktop interface.

Final Face-Off

Format: First Place-1 point, second-0.5 point(s), third place-0 point(s)

Sony Ericsson G502: 5 Points
Blackberry Pearl 8110: 5 Points
Nokia Express Music 5130: 3 Points.

Which quite conveys that Sony's G502 and BB's 8110 are equally good in their own ways, while Nokia is behind.
One more factor that I've not mentioned is cost, where quite obviously Blackberry tops (most expensive). Nokia is the most economical of the three, costing not too much for all the also-run features it has. All the same, I've all the three, and this was just an analysis I did to satisfy the 'Templar' in me.

Alright then, time's up.

Hang on, here's something I wish to say before I sign off. All those of you who read my blog, please comment/reply to my posts in the COMMENT SECTION ONLY. When I receive replies through other media, my alter ego is put off and the real me at times fails to convey the point on cosidering factors such as social reputation, respect, courtesy etc. The internet is primarily a medium to share knowledge and we must hold on to its basic purpose.
Facebook users who might read this blog as a 'Note' on my profile may comment on this blog only. The link can be found in my Facebook profile.

Time varying magnetic fields affecting a rod lying on a horizontal plane with the magnetic field creating concentric electric fields that create a potential difference, and induce a static electric field inside the rod.....integration...'s the real me taking over...
Till my next blog...

Templar AKA Sumanth