Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Noise, Noise, off the wall..

An interesting read by Purba.

She is quite right though. We do love our noise. It doesn't even have to be music, but usually we need something that can masquerade as music. I have even heard truck drivers on the highway honk their horns in short bursts of their homemade "melody".

While you do run into pubs and clubs which are too noisy for conversation the same thing is not so common in restaurants. Although, there are restaurants that have very loud music playing, the more classy (read expensive) ones have only subdued, soft music that is a good backdrop to conversation without getting in the way. I know some of these, but I have also been known to ask the management to reduce the volume if I go to the other kind of restaurant. I eat quite often in mall food courts during my India visits anyway.

The thing that drives me up the wall is the incessant hoking! During my recent trip, I had the pleasure(!) of being stuck in many traffic jams (Delhi traffic is off the charts right now!) and people honk for no reason at all. They are all stuck in traffic and everybody is moving as and when they can. But these people would still honk. Seems to me like they are clutching the last dregs of sanity by venting their frustration with their horns. Or they have gone crazy and think that the horn is a video game. I can't decide which!

One thing I thankfully did not run into this trip was a "mata ka jagran" near my house. They play what seems like a fake-bhajans, i.e. songs engineered from latest movie songs with religious words pasted on them. The only "mata" they would remind you of would be Katrina Kaif or Sunny Leone! And volume would be loud enough to rouse the whole neighbourhood, which I think is the idea. It's not limited to any one religion or god though. During Ramzan you can hear the azaan and the call to "sehri" just as loudly.

But coming back to music, it can sometimes be a real nuisance. During one of my India visits I had a young boy in a shop opposite my parental house who liked the song "Main tera boyfriend, tu meri girlfriend, tu mainu kehndi na na na na" a little too much. He put it in a loop and played it at top volume morning, noon, evening, non-stop. Normally, I am a "live and let live" kind of guy but that did get my proverbial goat. Finally, I went there and told him "Dude, change the song or reduce the volume! Or else!" It worked for a while!

You would find the same 5-6 songs playing all over the place - on the radio, in weddings, parties, discos and on TV channels. But new songs have a burnout time of about a month. They get phased out by other equally meaningless, blase songs in due course. Only the most obnoxious, loud and obscene ones would be remembered past 3 months, example Sheila ki jawani and Munni ki badnami.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Note 7 Catching Fire is Boon to Apple

I moved away from Samsung last year when they went in for a stupid double edge for the Note edge 2 but still this seems like a huge set back for the company especially in terms of reputation. And a setback for Samsung will be god's gift to Apple. I hate that.

Here's the official Samsung link -

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

LG V20 - Complete Tech Specs - First Thoughts

Sometimes I wonder if everybody except me is an idiot. For example, why does everybody keep comparing the new LG V20 to the LG G5?? It's a clear successor to the LG V10, by name, by design and by the company announcement, so why are you comparing it to something completely unrelated, morons?

Well, with that off my chest, let's talk about the new LG V20. The model was officially announced yesterday and the specs are as follows:

Release date September 2016
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions (mm) 159.70 x 78.10 x 7.60
Weight (g) 174.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 3200
Removable battery Yes
Screen size (inches) 5.70
Touchscreen Yes
Resolution 1440×2560 pixels
Pixels per inch (PPI) 513

Processor 1.6GHz  quad-core
Processor make Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
Internal storage 32GB
Expandable storage Yes
Expandable storage type microSD
Expandable storage up to (GB) 256
Rear camera 16-megapixel
Flash Yes
Front camera 5-megapixel
Operating System Android 7.0
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi standards - 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac
Bluetooth Yes, v 4.20
Infrared Yes
Headphones 3.5mm
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes
Compass/ Magnetometer
Proximity sensor

As an upgrade, it's quite good. It's not a mind-blowing upgrade but as I mentioned to my brother only 3 days ago, what can they really upgrade in a phone that already has everything. And he mentioned these 3 things, RAM, Processor, Display.
LG has done just that and a little bit better.

The three things I wanted them to keep were:
The second display (it's more useful and less obtrusive than an Edge display)
The removable battery
The microSD card slot

I would not buy a phone without the last 2 things.

LG kept them all. Good job.

The three things I wanted them to improve were:
Display (I wanted 4K screen just like every other geek)
Battery (that's one weak part in the LG V10, but thanks to the removable battery, I can carry spares and be covered)
OS (Android moves leaps and bounds with each version and we always want the latest one)

LG gave me the 4K display but only improved the battery from 3000 to 3200mAh. On Android they did great, we get 7.0 right out of the box.

They have also added a wide-angle back camera and removed the front wide angle camera. I preferred it the way it was but it's not a deal breaker.

So, all in all, it might not be a radical upgrade, it's still worth it for me. I am one of those people who like to upgrade their gadgets at every opportunity and I have been looking for one but not finding any worthwhile contenders. I am very picky, I would not go for a screen .1 inch smaller, I would not touch a phone with a fixed battery, I would not spend money on a phone with no expandable storage..etc. etc.

That made me wait for LG's offering in the series and given that it's a nice upgrade even if not a spectacular upgrade, it's worth buying for me.

What about you?

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