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The veteran and the prodigy.

A veteran runner makes his way to the starting line. He walks past a crowd that blow kisses with respect and recognition for his history on the track. Failing always to a silver medal for a suspicious number of attempts in the past five years, his reputation as a sore loser isn’t the worst they say about him. Needless to say, this final run could change the course of his career. He could no longer be the media joke and avoid his girlfriend’s scrutiny. He could eat some KFC without having to ask them to include whatever he needs. Anyway, his opponents are experienced athletes training for years to win the same thing he was aiming for.

Right next to him is an African man running for this particular title for the first time in his career and is set to break a newsroom. He hails from a village in Sudan where he lives in a hut with his mother and 6 sisters. This guy’s been breaking records for the past year and this is supposed to be his day of definition to his struggles. His family’s in the crowd and his cheering him on as is the rest of his continent hoping for him to be the first of his kind. A blank breaks the silence and the stadium erupts. Like ridiculously fast squirrels, they paced towards the ribbon… string, whatever. The veteran meets his skills on the track and pushes himself back to second place. Is it motivation that makes an athlete faster or just steroids? The brother from Sudan is at least 50 meters ahead of everyone else and is sure to win it. Maybe not. He trips. He falls. It’s bad. His days of finally living his dream of winning for his country came to an end. People all around the world were screaming at their televisions and friends.

Meanwhile the veteran saw the stairs and a light. The gates of paradise were open in front of his eyes and there was nothing stopping him from Netflix now. Ahead of him is a man crawling to the victory line with his coach, mother, pet Dog Pedro and his childhood nanny in a wheelchair screaming at him to make ‘it’. Needless to say, there was a whole country watching the event on one screen. No, really. If he stopped to help the prodigy cross the line, he could gain recognition on the internet. If he ran across, he could win a medal and maybe chew on it? What does one do with a medal anyway? He’d find reason in what he’s been doing for an objectionable amount of time. What do you think he would or should do?

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The Moto G review

It’s been a while since I’ve done this,  I’ve been posting impressions and reviews on Facebook,  but I felt the moto g deserved a place on its own.
Almost a year ago,  I had the chance to use  the nexus 7,  a very robust device providing the stock Google experience,  but since I wasn’t around wifi much,  I decided it was pointless having it. 
I also got myself a Samsung s2 plus,  which was basically the good old s2 with android jelly bean and a better battery backup (thanks to the crappier processor).  The s2 plus was fine,  but almost 7 months in I could feel the crappiness Samsung loads into their devices starting to eat it up from inside.

I wanted the nexus 7 experience but on a phone.  Nexus 4 and 5 were around,  both way too pricey in Kuwait.
And then Motorola and Google teamed up and came up with this…

image

After 3 weeks of using the moto g..  I can safely say I may be in love with her.

First off,  she is gorgeous.  She isn’t all sleek and sexy like the powerhouse divas from Samsung and Apple.  But there is something “just right” with her,  the moment you hold the moto g,  you feel it. The screen is beautiful and though relatively small,  has amazing pixel density and brightness. The back is made of a smooth,  almost matte finish. Its a no bullshit,  “this is what I am, deal with it ” design.  The back panel can be changed to a wide selection of colours but it does come in black 😉 

She is smart. The moto g comes with a very modest but highly capable snapdragon 400 quad core processor.  Which is surprisingly able to hold its own against the Much more expensive big players in the market. (benchmarks show it to be just slightly lesser in capability to run apps)
Nevertheless,  I tried pushing it,  and so far it can run everything silky smooth. Only heavy multitasking seemed to make her have some cute hiccups (which I forgive)

image

She is delicious . Moto g comes with the latest android version,  4.4.2,  Kitkat . This is what Google wants you to experience,  everything is super smooth and fast. Stock android is a joy to use and though it takes a while to get used to if your coming from a Samsung or other devices,  once you learn its flow,  there is no going back.  Plus you can compile it with 3rd party launchers (Nova, apex) to make it look like whatever you want it to be. It even updates itself,  the inbuilt apps like the gallery, calendar, music player all updated themselves into much better indistinguishable versions . Plus being stock Google,  I’m expecting a lot of system updates into the future.

She gets shit done. Google has further fine tuned their Google now search assistant.  She is just a flick away and so far her success rate with whatever I ask her to do is mind blowing. The moto g came to me at the right time , cause I had to find a new house within a small time window frame and I was in a town whose place names I had difficulty saying. All I had to do was,  flick up,  “okay Google”,  “navigate me to the Avenue reagent Kochi..” ,  2 seconds later I was on my way to the place with she guiding me.
It’s amazing how easily and Accurately she is able to decipher my voice. Searching has never been this fun . You can even make hands-free calls and messages with her.
If You combine the moto g with a good 3g cellular network,  you don’t need anything else. Heck I’m writing this review from my moto g using the WordPress app for android.
( I use idea 3g, in Kerala it seems to have a 3g signal everywhere,  EVERYWHERE!,  – Leon the professional reference )

She doesn’t give up on you.
I’m on 3g high speed  network 24×7,  all notifications on, auto/medium brightness (which itself is brighter than most devices), Whatsappin/facebooking,  takes at least 3 photos a day, at least an hour of searching/browsing the net and finally a plethora of calls.  And St the end of the day,  it’s still got juice left!
I think it’s black magic or something,  cause my  Samsung s2 plus,  with its supposedly better battery backup,  would never have made it a day if I did half of the stuff I mentioned above. From the benchmarks I saw online, it is actually able the  hold its own against the big note 3s and s5s,  this is thanks to the lesser intensive processor and smaller screen.

She is fun. Great hd screen so high definition videos look lovely. The audio quality is excellent,  punchy and loud. The device comes with its own built in equaliser in the audio settings that affects all the music apps. The loudspeakers are very loud and I honestly can’t ask for anything more from the device in this regard.  Streaming services are also just a few touches away in the play store so with a good data connection and favourable data limits,  you have music on the go.

She needs glasses. Back Camera is 5 a mega pixel shooter and not a very good one too.  BUT,  she does have some tricks up her sleeve,  HDR is available and so is multi shots . The camera is easy to use and take pictures quickly.
I dunno,  if this is available In other devices,  but the moto g’s video recording has slow motion capture!  I was at a party,  and this led me to capture some highly terrific fun videos.
The low resolution shots make it a breeze to upload onto the net. There is also a built in image editor with filters and stuff like that.

She can go duos. Yup,  the moto g has support for 2 networks and even the data connection from both of them at the same time. I can’t say how much it will effect the battery life though.

And finally..  She is humble. ( I didn’t want to call her cheap).
At 13,000 INR ,  she is very affordable and at that price point you won’t find anything else like her. Heck you wont need to,  once you use the moto g, you begin to wonder,  do you really need a better camera or larger screen?  Are they worth paying 10 k more for?

I kinda feel bad even putting a price on her,  the moto g is an amazing experience and one I won’t be putting Down for a very long time.

(Sorry for the poor edit,  doing it over the phone)

The nexus 7 review

SONY DSC

Two weeks ago I was in a dilemma, I was in Kuwait and returning to India after my vacation without a new computing device was almost taboo.
I had to get something to show for my 2 months of stay here and the problem was that, I was in a moment where I was completely satisfied (gasp!) with all the devices I have.
I have my galaxy ace for my whatsapp + calls and my laptop for my entertainment and productivity (games) need.

I was initially inclining towards a new phone, the nexus 4 (the only phone in the market that excited me, the Samsung galaxy S line is way too common now). But reviews and complaints by customers spoke of terrible battery life. Plus I just got my ace a year ago, so I was in no rush for a change.

Then I decided to check out the “tablet” options. I was focusing on using it for its E-book reading capabilities (I’ve got tons of books I need to catch up on) and to use it as a media player device for my travels.
After researching on a lot of products at different price points, I had no choice but to settle on the   Google Nexus 7 (made by Asus)

Google_Nexus_7
and was boy was I right on getting it.

price and models : 

2 wifi models :  16 and 32 gb
1 3G   model  :   32gb (does not make calls , the 3g is just for mobile internet)
I got the 16gb wifi model for 63 Kuwait dinars or 11000 rupees (I hear it costs 16k in India) .

The form factor and build quality:

It’s perfect.  The 7 inch HD screen is gorgeous and the size is just right for a tablet.
The device is ample thin too and it fits in a jeans pocket easily. The back of the device is made of a rubberized texture material that feels great to hold. The device weights a bit, but also has the necessary heft to make it feel like a quality device.  Almost apple-like.

GoogleIO2012-2261


 The only physical buttons are the power and volume buttons. Don’t worry though u won’t need others. The bezels (black bars) around the screen are great as they let you hold the device without blocking the screen. There is a micro-usb port for charging and data transfers, a 3.5mm jack for music, front facing camera and 2 mics for calls (Skype).
There is no rear camera.   

User interface and performance:

Google_Nexus_7_in_hand
First of, the screen has very high pixel density (better than the ipad mini) so everything looks amazing on it.  It’s quite bright too, but I did feel the colors were a bit washed out especially when compared to the more expensive galaxy tablets vibrant displays.
Its great for reading books (even if the font is small, u will be able to read it without flinching) and comics look gorgeous on here too. The form factor supplements the screen too.

The OS on here is the stock android4.2.2   jelly bean and it works flawlessly. Its google’s baby and how they want you to experience it, pure android, so no bundled unnecessary apps or launchers running on top (like Samsungs touch wiz).
Google’s “project butter” was implemented here, so the interface is smooth and seldom do u experience any form of lag.
You could play a game, listen to music, browse the net, all in the background and u still wouldn’t make the device slow.

SONY DSC
It’s also thanks to the 1.2 GHz quad core nvidia tegra processor that’s powering the device. It’s quite the beast, and nothing seemed to have been pushing it enough. Even installation of large software happens in a blink of an eye.
high end 3d tegra games work flawlessly with almost console like graphics (gta 3, max Payne)

Music player is the normal music player u find on the other jelly bean devices (your free to anything else, I use playerpro) and the video player supports mp4 but doesn’t play .mkv and other HD files but all u need is mx player (free) and it runs them flawlessly.

If you have a Google account , life becomes much more easier ,  all your devices  integrates itself . My contacts(from my ace) , my settings , even the bookmarks in my PC sync automatically into the nexus 7 .

Battery life:

The device comes with a 4235mah battery and holds up quite well even with high usage.
The wifi seems to be the biggest battery consumer followed by the bright screen.
Google promises 8.5 hours  , real world results don’t agree to it , I’d say about 6-7 hours of good use  u should be able to draw out of it .
Videos don’t seem to be taking a lot of battery life, so I think the nexus would make a great companion for flight.
(Go for the 32 GB one for filling in TV shows)

The competition:

I had the opportunity to use tabs of other companies (hcl, Acer, huawei, Samsung) and even the more expensive tabs couldn’t hold a threat to the nexus. Even the much more expensive Samsung galaxy tab ranges are much inferior.
The lesser powered ipad mini (no retina display) 16GB model could cost u around 100 KD (21,000 INR).
4o KD more than the nexus 7!

The nexus 7 is the best value for money tablet out there. This tablet was meant to be ultra-affordable yet powerful – it has done that and then some. If you look at the tablet market today, you won’t find many that can compete with the Nexus 7 in specs, let alone price.
If you want a tablet and do not want to spend a lot of money on it, this is a must buy.

9/10  …
1 point deduced for the battery (Google should’ve put in some battery optimizing software) and the lack of a rear camera
(imagine you’re reading a book in the train on the N7 during a train journey and u see a something worthy to be photographed , the N7 with its amazing speed would’ve made a brilliant camera at times like these (now i have to use another device to take the pic ,but by then the moment could be gone)

Oh and I’m typing this on my nexus 7 , using the word press app (i love how there are tons of free apps for android).
Toodles 

One of the most anticipated movies of all time, avengers is a movie event that comic book fans will love.
At the end of the first iron man movie, hints were dropped that marvel were putting in place plans to bring the avengers on screen. Later, individual superhero movies were made to set up characters like the hulk, Thor and Captain America. With the additional members, Hawkeye and black widows playing minor cameos in other hero’s movies.  So a lot of credit has to be given to marvel for pulling this off, they’ve been building this thing for ages, and now they can finally reap their rewards.

The story revolves around “Loki” (brother of Thor), as he decides to invade earth with an alien army. His first act was to attack “shield”, a military organization led by general nick fury (Samuel .L. Jackson), a wounded shield then has no choice but to invoke the “avengers initiative” to bring about the special heroes to join together as a team.
Since the characters have already been set up in their previous movies, no introductions are in order, and we are sent directly to the warzone. We get to see the heroes meeting each other for the first time , and  as in every time heroes meet in comics , they fight (though quite unnecessarily) .
Though predictable, these are all moments that fans of these characters have been dreaming about. The only character development, is that of the team as a whole, and you do see some of it by the end of the movie.

And no person other than Joss whedon is perfect for bringing scenes like this to life.  He has done an excellent job writing these characters as they should be, though I did feel captain America was a bit off. The tension between the heroes is apparent, and whedon has just the right lines to make it not seem boring. He has even instilled some great humor that came along with all his former TV shows (angel, Buffy, firefly). Since 6 characters are fighting for screen time, I felt whdeon did them all justice, even the lesser used “Hawkeye” is given his fair share of moments in the second half to balance his absence in the first half. And the movie does feature the best iteration of the hulk (personally my favorite character in this movie) that has ever been created on screen and he steals the show.


The visuals are spectacular, and the best among all comic book movies made till date.  The fighting, character movements, explosions have been well choreographed and are quite comprehensible. (Michael bay should learn a thing or two)

But it’s not all good news, the story though good, was completely predictable. (Comic book readers should’ve seen this coming ages ago from the trailers).
I felt the 3D was a  distraction , quite annoying  too , I was more concerned  on whether I was watching it right than  watching the movie.
I felt Thor was underutilized , for a Norse Demigod (he is supposed to be in the same league as superman), he spend way too much time fighting alien foot soldiers among humans , while iron man went around battling the bigger aliens.
Also, this is made as a sequel to the preceding individual superhero movies, so for the normal audience that are newly introduced to these superheroes, they will find it a bit hard to grasp their individual characterizations.

I give the avengers   3.5/5 (or B+) for being an awesome visual and fun experience.  Summer blockbuster
material, released early cause let’s face it, this year’s summer belong to just ONE superhero 😉  .

I was able to see a joss whedon (creator of Buffy, angel, firefly, avengers) movie called “cabin in the woods”, and it is the most original take on the horror genre I have seen in ages. It is clearly a movie made just to insult the typical modern age horror movies where monsters have been replaced by in whedeon’s words “torture porn”.

The story starts of as a much expected typical “group of friend’s visits cabin in the woods” scenario, but what you don’t expect is that the entire thing is set up by a government organization that governs this “ritual” event annually.
the entire movie feels like a joke , so on the acting front don’t expect much , but some of the mysteries of horror movies like “why are the teenagers in horror movies this stupid ?” are answered here. There is star cameos from all of whedons past shows. And that awesome “whedoni-ian” humor has come with them.
There are monsters from all fronts of the imagination joining along too, and their brief moments onscreen makes you realize how awesome it would be if all of them had their own individual movies.
Zombies are ridiculed to an extent, and the ones that do appear are given personalities.

Rather than scares, you will be laughing most of the time, and that’s a good thing. this should be enough to shake up the movie producers n studios before they decide to green light another saw/resident evil/hill have eyes movie . There are a lot of metaphors here that you will recognize as ridicules of the entire modern age horror genre, and in one way this feels like a tribute to his fans.

I love all of joss whedons work, though he may not be the classiest, he does know how to make any scenario much more enjoyable. And his writing is excellent too; I have yet to find a character of his that has sounded stupid (without a reason).

I give this movie a 4/5 for being such a nice surprise and for the final scene. Or A+

Naalu Pennungal (Four Women) by master filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan is a story retold with restraint about the struggles of women within Kerala homes between the 1940s and ’60s. The movie is comprised of four vignettes: of women in different social roles – the prostitute, the virgin, the housewife, and the spinster. A fragmented narrative that allows Adoor a kind of liberating space in terms of story-telling. The movie has no linear plot, and staves off closure in different ways, giving the director freedom to explore women’s differing positions under different times and in different social strata in Kerala society. Quartet of tales, profiling a domestic/sexual dilemma suffered by women in subservient positions, tend toward repetition while stoking similar thematic points, and extending any one of these to feature length, particularly the finale starring Nandita Das, would have been a smarter option.

The first part of the film is sub-titled ‘Oru Niyamalankhanathinte Kadha’ which means ‘Story of a prostitue’. The woman in this part is Kunjipeenu (Padmapriya) who plays the role of a sex worker who later chooses to live by working as a road worker. The storyline later moves on to what happens when Kunjipennu at last finds someone who loves her dearly and who wants to lead a life with her, as her husband.It portrays how the society treats such women even if they have decided to live in good lines in one part of their life. The story predictably has an ironical ending where the couple is separated and punished for aspiring to build their future together without any official sanction. But, the sweet gist of the story lies in the portion that shows the intimate relationship between the couple, where they discuss their wage or their dream of having a roof on their heads.

The heroine in “The Virgin” is a business-savvy young woman whose parents arrange a match with a man whose reputation in business is her equal. The viewer wouldn’t expect how the husband’s business skills affect their marriage (although the title provides a hint). The changing phase of the society is depicted when the friends of the bride-to-be demand that the girl should have a look at the prospective groom before disclosing her decision.

The third part of the film named ‘Chinnu Amma’ is about the life of Chinnu (Manju Pillai) who does not have children in her life. She is a naive yet strong lady trying to protect(or prevent) herself from commiting a sin.

The fourth story Nityakanyaka is about Kamakshi, a girl from an affluent family, who remains a spinster even after her younger sisters and younger brother get married and live with their families. The plight of Kamakshi and the way society sees her and the way she reacts to the responses of those around her forms the plot. The story of this character occupies the longest space, but compared to others, this is the meekest of all. This is also the story that remains fresh in our minds long after we leave the theatre, maybe because it is the last one to roll out in the sequence of stories. It is also the most conventional and stereotypical story of the lot.

The cinematography was by M.J Radhakrishnan and he has succeeded in bringing the raw realities of life on to screen. The director lets the characters play out scenes instead of prodding their movements. The editing, art-work, sound recording, costume-designing and the background score make the film stand out.

The helplessness and vulnerability of the fairer sex, the inherent strength they have, and the vicissitudes of Fate to which women often fall prey in a male dominated society are some of the issues that get discussed in Naalu Pennungal.

4/5

Haneyl Jacob : 

Ending the first day at the film festival with all it’s glory, Kanasemba Kudureyaneri was shot on the outskirts of Bijapur in the southern Indian State of Karnataka, and follows the life of a grave-digger, Irya (Vaijanath Biradar), and his wife, Rudri (Umashree). Literally eking a living off the dead, Irya worships, Siddha, the messenger of death who appears in his dream every time  someone in the village dies. Alerted about the death of the old landlord, Gowda (Akki Chennabasappa), Irya begins to prepare the grave. But he is faced with a difficulty when Gowda’s caretaker, Mathadayya (Sadashiv Brahmavar), denies that his master is dead. Irya and Rudri begin to worry about the dreams going wrong, and their lives get even more depressing.


Vaijanath, a popular comedian in the Kannada film industry shows his audience another dimension to his acting persona. Also accompanying him is veteran actress Umashree who plays a sweet yet powerful role as Irya’s wife, Rudri. The film is a brilliant study of “Faith” in rural India and how one’s beliefs change when tempted with troubles. It also depicts how one person’s dreams can paint guilt on another‘s life, which eventually turns out to be his nightmare, as in the case of Mathadayya. Kasaravalli draws a moving comparison between Irya’s righteous principles and those of the landlord’s rich son, Shivanna (Shivaranajan), who callously leaves the father’s corpse to rot while he completes his main priority — a long business engagement.

Girish Kasaravalli’s Riding the Dreams (Kanasemba Kudureyaneri)  is a perfect example of the finest Indian movies up to date where the Director analyzes every bit of the storyline and decides to experiment in a non – linear narration. It’s not surprising that Kasaravalli’s movies aren’t box – office successes, considering the type of crowd that could grasp a movie like Kanasemba Kudureyaneri, undaunted in the face of the current item song/ Bollywood generation of movie watchers in India.

4/5

The “Samsung Galaxy Ace” review


Before buying a phone, I spend a lot of time searching other reviews and user opinions. But you can never be sure of any device until you try it for a week at least on your own.  This phone retails at around 14000 rs, so I was a little doubtful when I saw the other reviews, considering that most medium – high end android phones were more expensive.

This phone is actually Samsungs answer to the mid-range category of android phones. This is more of a medium end version of the galaxy s-2, with a lot of features dropped, but retaining a lot of features too , so that  it helps maintain the android experience.  I did not root (hack) the phone yet, because an important official update is coming soon, so I don’t want the phone to be incompatible with the update, plus the phone is just a week old, so i’m not taking a lot of risks, not yet anyway.

the iphone pose

I will begin with the look and feel. This thing looks like the love child of the galaxy S and the iphone. It’s beautiful at one end, and practical on the other end. At this price point, you won’t find a better looking device.

I love the back cover, it’s not glossy, but has an almost carbon fiber texture, that just feels great to rub your fingers on and it provides excellent grip.  The phone comes with an extra white glossy back cover too.
At the front, besides the middle button, there are also 2 touch sensitive buttons for “options” and “return” that show only during usage, they work fine and I haven’t found any problems with them so far. The phone weighs pretty light too .

Calling and messaging, both are good and I haven’t encountered any problems.
There are 2 keyboards for messaging, the standard iphone-like keyboard, and Samsungs swype keyboard.
The swype keyboard is Amazing. You just swipe your fingers across the letters to form a word, and the phone predicts the word , Its almost like playing snake . In case you want to enter a unique word, you can just type the word, instead of swyping. I don’t think I can go back to normal phone keyboards ever again.


On the performance side, the phone runs on the android 2.2 froyo operating system and runs fine. The phone has an 800 MHz processor (underpowered these days), but runs most apps run fine without any problems. I’ve tried a lot of quite demanding games (asphalt 5, PES 2011, speed forge and plants vs. zombies), and all of them work at full speeds.
The menus and home screens are fluid , work relatively smooth and is pretty much iphone-like . The only slowdown I’ve encountered is with angry birds at certain later levels of the game , the game is not optimized fully for froyo, but should be running fine when the gingerbread (the next version of android, 2.3.4) update arrives for the galaxy ace. The ram is slightly lesser than needed, so a lot of heavy multitasking isn’t recommended.

The stock android music player is decent , and sounds great ,  But it lacks support for a lot of high definition  audio formats  and the equalizer that comes along with it doesn’t make a lot of difference .  But, the android market is filled with music playing apps that can solve these problems. I use Poweramp, a 3d party music player that plays everything just great.

The screen is a normal LCD (the higher end phones have amoled ) and the resolution is HVGA and not high definition (HD), so the screen clarity isn’t up to mark with the galaxy s or the galaxy s2 but should be on par with the iphone 3GS. I also noticed a slight lack of color. But the lack of a high def screen does help retain the battery life.
(I did try out the elder galaxy S  recently and its screens are much richer in color and supports high definition videos )
The video player doesn’t come with built in support for divx/xvid video formats. I found this to be quite disappointing. I tried getting other video players that support the formats, but to no avail. The standard iphone (mp4,m4v) and 3gp formats work fine and without any problems whatsoever.  I tested 2 movies (the adjustment bureau and Rio) on this, and both ran fine.

There are a lot of free android apps that are just a treat to use. I personally love the adilko eBook reader, which is just great for me, because real books take a lot of space while travelling  but now I have the entire game of thrones (“a song of fire and ice” series) eBook collection in my phone, and is a breeze to read.

On the gaming side, because of its comparatively smaller screen size, it is quite hard to find games that support the HVGA resolution. But I found a lot of games ported to hvga resolutions on android forums.
The galaxy ace has a 5 megapixel camera that is good enough for casual photography. It is accompanied by a not so powerful led flash, so night shots are slightly bearable. The video capturing is not that great. The camera shoots only at 15 fps, but I heard rumors that the gingerbread update enhances it to 30fps and at higher resolutions.

this quick access widget helps shut off battery draining features of the phones without having to search the settings

The battery life , this was the part that worried me the most cause the last Smartphone I owned was the nokia n95  which was an awesome phone but probably had the worst battery life of all time .
The galaxy ace in comparison to all my previous phones is just phenomenal. I’m easily getting a day and a half of moderate (eBook reading and hearing music) to heavy usage (browsing and movie watching) with one charge.
I tested the movie watching battery backup while travelling from manipal to kerala , I was able to see both movies , one after the other , after which   it still had battery charge left for me to read a couple of chapters from a eBook , and the rest of the way I just put it on sleep , and used it only to make calls and check Facebook , I charged it only when i got back to kottayam .
I am following the charging schedule strictly , I make sure the battery is almost empty before, I put the phone to charge fully.  Keep in mind that, during long travels I put the phone on airplane mode, because searching for networks by the phone takes a lot of useful charge.
The phone comes with a whole list of nifty features to enable maximum battery life. There is a widget to help easily disable heavy battery draining features such as GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There are even options to switch of data transfers (internet) while on roaming.

The galaxy ace’s direct competition is the apple iphone 3gs 8gb (apple has reduced its price to 19000 rs) and its elder brother  last years galaxy S (now old , but still quite powerful).
So , if you pay around 3000 rs more , you can get the iphone 3gs 8gb , but specs wise the iphone 3gs is far behind ( but then again the entire android vs. iphone , is like comparing a Mac to a PC )
There are 2 other options in the mid range segment ,  the HTC wildfire and LG optimus one , both of them look ugly, have lesser features and cost cheaper .

If your tight on budget, but want a phone that can pretty much hold its own, look no further. This seems like a perfect time to get the ace, cause in august the gingerbread update to ace is arriving, bringing with it a whole list of improvements and features.


The finale of the movie series delivers with more punch and epicness than even its own source material. (I don’t want to spoil this for the first time watches, please go see the preceding movies, or read the books to better understand the plot)
The movie shows harry and friends out hunting the remaining horcuxes, and fighting the final fight against voldemort at the place we grew up loving so much, Hogwarts.

Being a person who read all the books, it was weird seeing everything tie up in ways I’ve never imagined it. I’ve always imagined Hogwarts to be a more brighter , more yellow  less grey place  (mainly because I only started reading the books , once I’ve saw  the first 2 movies made by Chris Columbus )  . I still remember the first time I saw the sorcerer’s stone (the first movie in the series), I had gone to a friends birthday party, as a kid, I went in anticipation knowing I would be able to see the movie, but instead they played dr. Doolittle (that dumb Eddie Murphy flick), but by the end of the party I was able to sneak their copy of the movie out of the house, and watch it at home.
Ever since movie 3, everything’s been darker, with little hints of humor. My favorite in the series is still movie 6 , because I loved all the little details of studying in Hogwarts , I loved the interactions between slughorn and harry , the potion making classes and that awesome half blood prince chemistry book .

This movie was dark and gloomy, just as how it should be, to show how much is at stake for the heroes and to show how overpowered they are in front of the villains. Most of the scenes were shot brilliantly and with so much power in the acting department.

Daniel Radcliffe is still brilliant as harry, and in some scenes really brings out all the reasons why we love harry potter so much. Scenes like the one where harry prepares to face death, is just excellent, maybe even more powerful than I could’ve ever imagined it to be. Some of the more dramatically intense scenes in the book (especially, Dumbledore’s back-story) have been omitted entirely; I don’t mind it though, because it may have really slowed down the pace of the movie.

Special effects, felt lesser, but all of them looked great.
The battles are well done, and are on par with the hold-the-fort battles from the lord of the rings series. Considering the last movie didn’t show even a bit of Hogwarts, it was great to see Hogwarts come alive to defend itself. To see all the students and harry wearing their old school cloaks really brings out that nostalgia feeling.  Also the climax scene just reeks of nostalgia and made me want to see the first movie one more time.

It’s a great thing, that even if I read the last book more than once, the movie still felt fresh and had my attention entirely.

Overall rating: 9.5 /10   or    A,
Better than expected.
There were rumors of the dark knight teaser trailer premiering with this movie . I wonder if it shows in India

It is highly recommended that you see the preceding movies or read the books, at least figure out the preceding story from your friends before going in to watch this movie.


lakers fans ?

Salt n’ Pepper is a great love story but could’ve been much better.

The story revolves around a bachelor (kalidasan played by lal) and bachelorette (Maya played by shwetha menon), both quite aged, and trying to work up a relationship. Both of them live life as it comes, enjoying it, you could say event-driven in a manner. Things aren’t as simple as it seems. Both have good reason to be not married. They both have certain complexities that govern what they think of themselves and what others should think of them, thereby not preventing them from taking the initiative to start working on a relationship. But fate in the form of “great food” creates the necessary spark to ignite the flame of a relationship.
Food is something you will see a lot in this movie. The idea is to live life to enjoy its flavors and experiences. The two leads end up meeting by phone when Maya ends up calling kalidasan’s number thinking it was a restaurant’s delivery number. And then begins the flame. The relationship grows, as they both start cooking recipes.
But things get a little harder as when it gets time to meet in person, they send their younger relatives as substitutes to do some recon work. The subs fall in love (not knowing their real identities) and block the older couple’s relationship from continuing.  The rest of the story revolves around how the flame is reignited and overcoming self-doubt.

The good:
The dialogues and writing is well done.
Story, though slightly predictable, had a few surprises along the way.
The character development is excellent, and acting by lal and swetha menon is perfect. They were perfectly cast .Pretty much every actor, even the supporting cast brings a whole lot to the table.
Asif Ali plays the nephew of kalidasan who plays the substitute, he has really developed in his acting skills, his character is supposed to represent the pre-adult post-college days and along with Maya’s younger substitute creates an example for young age relationships that probably won’t go very well.
The editing and direction are also great and feels completely fresh .
This movie has one of the best opening credits of all time 😀

The bad:
The young couple (the subs for kalidasan and Maya) get way too much screen time, nobody want to see their relationship work, and we even have to see a lame romantic song involving the 2, when we know that both of them just wont work in any sense (she’s smart, he’s an idiot, it’s that smart girl falling for the really dumb guy relationship). It’s not bad per say, but it feels like it just wastes time , all the audience wants to see is lal and swetha.
The movie felt really short, and was ended way too fast. The ending is a music video, which should be in the credits. (Old people got frustrated)

overall:  7.5 / 10 or   B

It’s a good movie, for having a great time with friends. Older people might find this quite boring.  Do not be surprised if you feel hungry 5 minutes into the movie .