Friday, January 27, 2012

10 commandments for Apple fanbois



10 commandments followed by all Apple Fanbois everywhere in the world

1. Thou shall publicly denounce Flash whenever possible.
2. Thou shall proclaim 3.5" to be the perfect screen size.
3. Thou shall not compare features with an Android device.
4. Thou shall proclaim all features unnecessary if they are not on your iCrap.
5. Thou shall spout foaming hate at all Android users.
6. Thou shall not miss any chance to point to the world "It's a sexy device!" about  your iCrap.
7. Thou shall think of "replaceable battery" as the work of the devil.
8. Thou shall not use logic to evaluate thy iCrap device.
9. Thou shall consider it a privilege to pay shitload of money to buy obsolete technology.
10. Thou shall always reply to an Android users' boasts with "I don't need that feature!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop SOPA - Freedom of speech is more important than corporate greed.


Adding my support to Wikipedia, Reddit and other sites protesting SOPA today on 18th January 2012 I have decided to add this banner to my blog as my own protest.

More information here: http://viewpointsofasagittarian.blogspot.com/2012/01/anti-sopapipa-blackout.html


Monday, January 16, 2012

Wikipedia going dark on Wednesday!



Yes, this is not a joke. In protest of the Internet censorship bill SOPA, Wikipedia community had decided to make the website offline for 24-hours. Anyone who uses the internet knows how popular and how valuable Wikipedia is when you want answers to casual questions or research queries.

If it is going to affect your work, you can take steps so you don't lose access to the massive knowledge-base. Just Google "Offline wiki" and you will find several solutions to download the entire content of the Wikipedia to your personal device. These solutions are available on various platforms from Android to Windows. I think it's a good idea to have an offline Wikipedia anyway for those moments when you are not hooked up to the internet.

More information on the link below:
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2012/01/wikipedia-go-dark-wednesday/47467/

Sign Into Your Google Account on Public Computers Without Typing Anything



This is why I love Google. Absolutely ingenious and so useful. I have just tested it, from my own computer of course, but it works like a charm. Amazing!

http://lifehacker.com/5876559/sign-into-your-google-account-on-public-computers-without-typing-anything?popular=true

Bullshit Omniscience Principle


This is a principle that I have come up with. In says that like God, "Bullshit is everywhere." Let me elaborate.

You must be familiar with the old quote, “It’s love that makes the world go round.” Some jaded people hold the view that “It’s money, not love, that makes the world go round.” Actually both are wrong.
 
My principle, Bullshit Omniscience Principle, says that "It’s not Love and it’s not Money, it’s the Bullshit that makes the world go round. If it weren’t for the bullshit that we constantly hand each other the civilization as we know it would cease to exist."

I know, I know, you are not convinced yet. I will prove it with examples from real life. But before that, let's define what constitutes bullshit. I'd say that anything which you say but don't mean, all the half-truths, all the white lies, all the things you say just to please someone...etc. etc. that's all bullshit. 

So when you go visit a friend couple and see their child for the first time, the first words out of your mouth are, "Oh, he's sooo cute! Cho chweet!", even when you are thinking, "God, they can use HIS photo to scare Gabbar Singh!". Bullshit! 

When you meet a friend's wife or girlfriend for the first time, afterwards you tell him, "Shefali seemed really nice!" Bullshit. Actually you were thinking, "Such a control freak! She's going to make his life a living hell. And doesn't he see those teeth or what?"

When ladkewale talk to the bride's father at the planning stage they always say, "We don't want anything..." Bullshit! They think the bride's father will give them more than they can ask for. 

When you are sitting in front of the interviewer for the job, your words are and I quote, "I don't worry about overtime, the work should be finished." But after you get the job, you make sure if you enter the office at 9:01 then you leave by 17:01 not 17:02 even if you have to shut down everything 20 minutes in advance. And any day when India is playing Pakistan is a day for you to fall sick. 

The interviewer is no fool either, he's paddling his own bullshit. "Our company has an excellent employee growth program.." when he's really thinking, "Yes, we will give you a score of C+ on appraisal and give you a 3% raise or tell you to go find another job." 

This is even more interesting in the case of girl candidates. She would serve up some bullshit wrapped up in nice words, "I am very focused on my career, I am hard-working, a team player and totally dedicated to my work." When actually, she's thinking, "My father is looking for a boy for me, as soon as the engagement is done, I will be out of here so fast there will be a hole in the air."

And the interviewer is thinking, "So what if she doesn't know anything about automation and answered 7 of the 10 questions wrong. She's cute, at least there will be some good-looking faces around here, the male-to-female ratio in the testing team is already so pathetic!" 

The examples are too many and time too little. But let's take one more. 

You are on a date with a beautiful girl with a figure like your favourite bollywood goddess. You say, "My god, you have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen!" Bullshit! You were looking at boobs, you don't even know what colour her eyes are! 

On the other hand, she is saying, "Awww, you are so sweet!" but thinking, "Thank god, I Googled him before coming on this date. If he didn't make so much money, I'd out of here like a scared rabbit...what a geek!"


Okay, I must stop here, as you can see there is absolutely no shortage of examples from our real life and I think I have made my point now. 

Let me summarize by saying that bullshit is the lubrication that keeps the wheels of the civilization turning smoothly, it's the glue that holds this world together. In fact if there's one thing that separates us from the Neanderthals it's our capacity to paddle bullshit all day, every day, ad infinitum

But you know, if you want some no-bullshit material you can always come read my blog. ;) 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Why the fuss about Siri?


I have tried to ignore it so far but I have had so much mention of Siri on blogs, from other iPhone users and from other Android users that I thought I should put my own thoughts here for reference.

So, why the fuss about Siri?

Just one word - money!

Or if you prefer two words - marketing budget!

Yes, the only reason Siri has appeared so much on the radar lately is because Apple paid for it. Apple have their own technology blogs and they have their well-established strategies to place their product in the limelight. It's easy to do when you are paying for the light and the stage, either openly or discretely.

Then what's my beef with Siri? Actually, nothing. It's one useful feature in an otherwise useless piece of crap. That it doesn't work as well as advertised and in typical Apple fashion you only get to hear the good news while the problems are suppressed is another matter.

But Siri is basically just a voice-command and voice-dialling system. As I said, it's a good thing. I don't mind it. It's time iCrap users had something that was useful. I do, however, mind the fact that Apple is trying to act like they have just invented the wheel and given it as a gift to humanity! No, sir, that you have not!

In 2005, when I was using a phone called JASJAR, on Windows Mobile, I had a voice command application that could play music, dial phone numbers etc. Even before that when I was using phones that had just the Java-based mobile OS, I had voice commands and voice dialing, including customizable voice shortcuts. I remember having voice dialing as far back as January of 2001.

And on Android, I have had voice commands including voice dialling for a long while, at least a year. But because there was no multimillion-dollar marketing hype to release such things, nobody made a big deal out of it.

What Apple has done, is to re-use that existing functionality and packaged it well, then hyped it until it sounded better than Second Coming. Typical Apple!

To be fair, I don't want to go into the details of how rarely it's possible to use a voice-interface properly as that applies to all of them not just Siri.

P.S. 1. Siri doesn't work in UK if you ask anything like "Where's the nearest Pizza Hut?" It will tell you it can only find things in North America. Now how great is that for the British and European users, and Indian sub-contitent..and Russia..and..well, basically rest of the world. For Apple only North America matter. And is this fact mentioned anywhere in the fancy Siri ads or specs?

2. I have found web articles that Siri doubles the data usage on your phone. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So the Apple customer rep said...


On the afternoon of 23rd December 2011, start of Christmas weekend, I went to an electronics store with a friend of mine, Currys, if you must know. This friend was in the market for a tablet and even though he had asked my advice, I knew he was the type who'd deliberate for months and then fall prey to Apple's marketing. But I went with him anyway, it's fun in itself for me to roam an electronics store with all those gadgets and devices around. I love to just browse there.

I should mention that I was wearing the tshirt that you see in the picture.

While looking over the iPads (it does sound like a sanitary napkin when said like that) we ran across the in-store customer representative from Apple. I had forgotten about the tshirt but he of course, noticed it.

So, he asked me if I didn't like Apple. I said, "No, I just love Apple. iCrap is my favourite crap in the world." He didn't get it.

I have noticed that the Apple people or even most fanbois don't directly say that Android sucks or it's bad or anything, they start something like, "Android is really great, some of my best friends are Android users, but...". Yes, they are sneaky about it lest someone discover their secret that they have sold their sole to Apple.

That's how this guy started, "Android is good, but it's become too fragmented now. Everybody is coming out with an Android device."

I swear to you I was not looking for an argument! Mainly because I have realized this tendency in me to jump down the throat of anyone who pulls out an iPhone in front of me or says that it's a good device. Also, my friend knew that I am a jumper-down-the-throat and he was watching me, waiting for me to pull out my bazooka and blow this guy away. I could almost hear him thinking, "Okay he talks so much in the office about this crap, always badmouthing Apple, let's see if he can stand up to an actual Apple guy." Because everybody knows that marketing guys are fast-talkers and they have all the facts about their devices and all the weaknesses of the competition.

Because of this I was trying to stay civilized and let the Apple guy live. But he continued. He (the Apple rep)  asked for my opinion! It was like he had a deathwish! So I replied to one of his comments. He replied and then...I had to shut him up. It's a shame I didn't record the conversation but I had no idea it would be long, I was going to "walk away from the conflict". Honest, I was trying to spare him.

Even though I didn't record the conversation and don't remember all of it, I remember a few major points that he tried to make, like, "It's all about the user experience. Nobody goes and says if they have a good experience with a phone, you only hear the problems..." I told him that's not true. He countered, "Who goes and says that they like a phone."
"I do."
"Really?"
"Yes."
"You go and point out the positive things about your phone?"
"Yes." He looked incredulous so I added, "Do you want a URL to my blog?"
He, prudently, declined that offer.

Not only is that true (anyone can read my reviews of my phones on this blog) but iPhones users very often gush about their phone how they love it. That's my guff with them, the company tries to hush up the problems.

I agreed with him that's all about the experience, "If your phone's battery dies, me, I can go buy a 10 quid replacement battery and be up and running, but you will have to send the whole phone to Apple and pay a big amount to get it replaced. If your battery has never died on you, this won't matter to you. If one time the battery dies on you, you will always curse the non-replaceable battery."

He had no choice but to agree.

He mentioned that iPhone was simple, not everybody was good with these devices. I laid a trap for him, "So you are saying that Apple devices are made for the technologically challenged?"
He didn't see it, walked right into the trap "Yes." I insulted his whole userbase in one sweeping statement and he agreed with me!

In "The Big Bang Theory" the main characters who are these genius scientists often talk about "Apple's devaluation of the word Genius" because apparently Apple store employees are terms "Apple Genius" in US. While talking to this guy I could see what Sheldon and Leonard mean.

After a rest he came back with his favourite, "But Android has become so fragmented now."
Now that the guns were drawn I didn't let it pass, "It's not called fragmented", I told him, "It's called taking the market by storm, it's called pissing on Apple!" I pointed to the tshirt.

He gave me a sheepish grin and shut up!

So, think about it, even a paid customer representative cannot defend the crap that Apple makes, what good is it then? Anybody else want to take me on?


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Shut up about Lokpal already!


Indian people need to shut the fuck up...about corruption!

What was it that Jesus said - "He who is without sin shall cast the first stone!" or something like that.

Lately there has been a lot of discussion and shooting of mouth about corruption what with the Lokpal bill and Anna Hazare's movement and everything. It surprises me how little common sense is there in the world and how otherwise sensible people can be idiots. Yes, I am going to say "idiots" because I am pissed off right now.

Let me ask you something, you, who is sooo dead-set against corruption and cannot curse the corrupt politicians enough..who do you think you are?

When you are stopped by a policeman on the road, why do you say "Sir dekh lo kuchh ho sakta ho to.." instead of simply paying a challan like an "honest" citizen should? You don't even want to go to court and challenge it because you'll have to take a day off work. It's much simpler and easier to slip a 50 Rs. note to the constable on duty with your driving licence and be on your way.

When you need a ration card, do you go and stand in the queue for half a day or you pay an "agent" to deliver it conveniently to your house?

When you got your driving licence, did you really take the tests or did you "ensure" that you passed?

When a family member is sick and you have a chance to bypass the queues because the nurse on duty lives down the street from you, do you NOT take it because it would be unfair to others?

When you get a parking challan, do you go and pay it or do you find a way to "get it settled"?

When you have to pay "donation" to the private school to get your child admitted do you think even for a minute NOT to do it because it's corrupt and admit your kid to the government school?

When you buy something expensive do you waive the receipt because it'd mean paying 2% sales tax if you took the bill?

Have you ever lied on your expense account to the company?

Is your income tax statement 100% accurate?

Then who the hell gave you the right to talk about other people's corruption? 

The politicians are blamed because they are caught, and they do it in such horrendously large amounts but isn't that the only difference between you and them? A small thief and a big thief? They are both thieves and you know it.

So what is it? What is this big devotion to the Lokpal or any anti-corruption movement? Isn't it you trying to quiet your conscience about your own corruption by pointing fingers at the bigger thieves?

What I am saying is that it MIGHT be possible to find an honest policeman in India but it would be next to IMPOSSIBLE to find an honest member of the public!

I have no knowledge of the Indian politics, never did, never will, but if Anna Hazare is a politician, I would doubt IMMENSELY that he is without reproach. It just means that he hid it well.

And what would happen if the Lokpal bill was passed? Do you think it's LEGAL now for cops to take a bribe? Tell me in which department it is legally allowed to take a bribe and then tell me in which department bribe system is not in place!

Do I need to list out the activities that are 100% against the law and still each one of them flourishes in every city in India? Prohibition only drives the activity underground and drives the price up. Corruption is already underground, so what do you think will happen when one bill is passed?

In a country where a corrupt politician can get out by bribing the right people, it is absolutely stupid to pin so many hopes to a piece of legislation.

The law doesn't fix a problem, the culture does, at present we have a culture of corruption and it's not going away any time soon. So wake up and shut up!

'nuff said. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Happy "New" Year?



Happy New Year to all my readers, all my blogfriends and all people who read this. If you don't get to read this, still I wish you have a lovely new year.

"Happy New Year" are the most used formula at this time of year, everybody wishes everybody they meet happy new year, but what does it really mean? We are wishing each to have a happy "New" year only? Well the wish is not for the whole year surely, simply because the year will not be "new" for the whole 12 months! So how long does the newness of the year last?

Or is the wish just for the New Year's Eve which is only on 31st December of the "last" year? That seems too short for all the fuss we make about it. Some people do actually wish "Have a wonderful year" or "Have a prosperous 2012." but that's only a minority.

Would anyone care to explain what this "new" year mean really?

My opinion, if you care to ask, is that the newness of the year lasts only until you are full of vigour and enthusiasm and don't give up on your ideas and dreams. When you start feeling tired and overcome by problems, the year is beginning to get old. That way some people manage to enjoy the "new" year right up to the midnight of 31st December because their enthusiasm never wanes.

I wish you a whole year full of dreams and the will to make them come true! 

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