Oct 30, 2010

The controversy about plastic bottles made of BPA takes a striking turn!

A study of Chinese research has now published striking findings showing without a doubt that BPA the chemical that is ubiquitous in all our plastics that is needed to make the bottle harder does in fact have estrogen like effects and makes reproduction harder by bringing down sperm count in men! This chemical is so common in everyday use that its all around us and its literally impossible to stay away from it. IT is even in our oceans thanks to the waste that is discarded there. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the effects of this chemical, you should know that in response to this study the Chinese government is contemplating going ease on the one child per family law! Some researchers say that the effect of this chemical will be slow long lasting that one day we will be worrying about under population rather than over population of the planet! To me it just seems like the horrific scenario show in the movie Children of Men is going to become a reality if all this is true!

Google Android - First Look!

Over the past few years in sure we have seen this little robot in many blogs and news posts. It is all the rage with the geeks and techies these days. Although it is a simple design, it stands for something that is quickly becoming the biggest thing in the mobile phone industry since the, well, mobile phone itself!

As some of you probably know by now, Android is Google's proprietary operating for touchscreen smartphones. It was first developed by Android Inc. a firm that was purchased by Google in 2005 for an undisclosed amount of money estimated to be around $50 million which is peanuts compared to its current worth. The OS was launched 3 years ago on the first smartphone and is a very young OS in the smartphone stage. Even than, it is the most sought-after and rapidly spreading OS. It is proving as a worthy competitor for industry heavy weights from the market leader Symbian from Nokia to iOS from Apple. The most novel property of Android is that it is open source which means that besides certain limitations, the complete code for the OS is open to the public for alteration and improvisation leading to endless possibilities.

For the full article, please click on the read more link.

Car Straddling bus system - a permanent solution to traffic jams?

Well what do we have here? It is the future is closer to us than we can imagine. This May the Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co Ltd. introduced a very novel idea that brings a futuristic idea to combat a very current problem in many leading metropolitan cities of the world.
What we have here is basically a buss that is elevated above the road so that it can allow most of the vehicles that currently are on the road to pass from beneath them without any reduction in speed. Although it seems that technologies to achieve this sort of thing are far off from now, the fact is that this system is supposed to go under construction by the end of this very year! What wonders would this do to Pakistan's busy roads and railways. Essentially the Pakistani Government wouldn't need to invest in new infrastructure and the load on the current infrastructure wouldn't be increased as well. Plus, this is a very green technology as well. Pakistani regulatory authorities, if you are listening, it sounds like a win-win here! Oh, and since you are here, where are the CNG buses you promised us a while back? 

Oct 25, 2010

Microsoft Office sent into the the Cloud by Microsoft!

So we have it here. Adding to the huge number of services available on the cloud, we now have a quality office suite as well. Microsoft has announced to make Ms Office available on the cloud for small and big businesses alike for $6 a month per user. This is a nice deal as the up-gradation as well as the technical aspects of the applications will be the responsibility of Microsoft while the user just has to log in and start using the services! Services like these are helping start up costs for businesses to a minimum and are going to further fuel innovation. This launch comes in direct competition to Google's Google Docs which was launched in Feb 2007 and will be covered in a future review by us. Yet again Google is leading the IT industry with cutting edge technology and is forcing the big boys of the industry to play by its rules!

Oct 24, 2010

Terabit Ethernet - The internet of the future!

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) have come together at the Terabit Optical Ethernet Center (TOEC) to develop the technology necessary for a new generation of Ethernet a thousand times faster, and much more energy efficient, than today's most advanced networks. They are under development of technologies that will one day send the data that is transferred in all the networks in the world combined today through just a single fiber optic! The main limitation right now is the usage of a huge amount of power that is being dealt with. This is a natural progression that is required for cable intensive tasks that are coming up as technology marches ahead towards cloud computing! They are planning to develop and implement this speed by the year 2015 which isn't that far from today! Just to give you an idea of what a terabit is. All of you having the standard 1MB connection right now should know that 1TB would be a million times faster than that!

Zong launches the Huawei Ideos Android Smartphone for a price of Rs.16000/-

Here is a treat for all you android fans out there in Pakistan! Ever since the launch of Android from Google, every handset that was introduce with this OS was so high in features to compete with the big boys for the market of high-end phones that manufacturers almost over-looked the budget end of the market. The cheapest offering with Android in the Pakistani market for a long time was the HTC Wildfire we reviewed previously. Now all that comes to an end, everyone say hello to Ideos!

Please click on the read more link for the full article!

Oct 22, 2010

Wondering how you could cut mp3 files online? Use Cloud Computing!

So you suddenly fall in love with this song, and you absolutely need it on your phone right now as your ring tone. The only problem is that there is a long music sequence in the beginning that you wouldn't really want your ring tone to begin with. So you want to cut the mp3 but you don't have a software installed on you PC that does that. Welcome to the 21st century! In come Cloud Computing. You can simply go to this website, upload your song, cut it exactly where you want to, and download the cut file. All this without downloading or installing a software on your PC! This is one of the simplest and most helpful utility that you can find provided by vendors who are progressively shifting their business to the cloud!

What is Microsoft Windows Phone 7 and how is it different from Windows Mobile?

Lets begin this article with a little history of Microsoft operating systems. As some of you would remember, just a few years ago we had devices in Pakistan from manufacturers like Imate, O2 and Acer called PDAs. These devices were usually for niche audiences and a normal mobile user rarely came across someone using these. Mostly people in business environment or tech-savvy people would be seen with these. Almost all of these used Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system which according to its User Interface was somewhat like a stripped down version of Microsoft's Windows for desktop PCs. This OS wasn't that user friendly and navigating the menus and the applications was a pain, but since this was the only OS present at that time, there was nothing people could do and they just learned to accommodate. At this time Microsoft was an absolute leader in the mobile OS space. From the year 2000 till 2010, Microsoft enjoyed a monopoly with little competition for a solid 10 years.

Click on the read more link to read the full article.

Oct 21, 2010

What is Cloud computing and how can it can change the way you use the internet!

You are probably wondering if crowd computing is so far off a technology that it wont affect you in a long time to come. Well nothing could be further from the truth. The last time you shared your photos on flickr, kodak or picasa online. Or you used an online converter to convert the video you just found into audio, or you just simply like to store your data online on Microsoft's Skydrive so they can be safe from problems that can occur while storing them in your own hardware. Guess what? These are all the most basic forms of computing on the cloud!

For the full article, press the read more link!

Oct 20, 2010

Drinking water for Disaster hit areas powered by the Solar Energy!

The biggest problem that has been reported from areas which have been hit with a natural disaster or otherwise is that due to the block of the supply chain there is usually a severe shortage of drinking water! Melissa Mahony from Smartplanet has reported that researchers from MIT have created a method of making clean drinking water from sea water powered completey by the Sun in a cost effective and safe way. This technology is bound to help out many as there is a potential to supply water to 10,000 people from an $ 8000 unit!

What is Quantum Computing and its relevance!

Quantum computing is something that most people will feel is right out of a science fiction book rather than reality. By many scientists it is seen as the future of computing where processing power can be increased exponentially. This sort of technology is essential to keep Moore's Law true which states that

Moore's law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware. The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years. The trend has continued for more than half a century and is not expected to stop until 2015 or later.
So while conventional computers process data at a nano scale, quantum physics is all about subatomic scale! Lets see what wikipedia has to saw about Quantum Computing,

A quantum computer is a device for computation that makes direct use of quantum mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. 
To know further press the read more link.

Real world application of Augmented Reality - Military

Remember what we discussed here about augmented reality a couple of days ago? Well we have come across a very practical implication of the technology. Where else can such a technology be invaluable than in the military. Imagine military head wear that has built in projections in front of the eyes of the soldier. When the soldier looks at a building these projections can point out where friendly or enemy forces are located by highlighting the windows in different colours! Also maps of and area or blueprints of buildings can be seen right in the goggles of the soldier! How effective this technology can be, and how efficient it will make war by reducing civilian casualties can only be seen after this technology is implemented. As far is Pakistanis are concerned, no matter how badly we don't want drone strikes on out soil, what is even more important to us is the cessation of civilian casualties that take place with them. What we can say for sure is that this technology is VERY promising !

The Chevrolet Volt!

The Chevrolet Volt is the first plug in hybrid vehicle announced by General Motors in July 2007. This announcement fundamentally changed the landscape of hybrid cars! It got all the other auto companies into a race that was basically for the benefit of the consumer in the end!

It got all the companies to release highly efficient versions of their existing models and when that was not enough, they started using Hybrid ( battery plus engine) technology to improve fuel efficiency even further. In the meantime all of them were developing plug-in hybrids of their own. As history has it, the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Roadster and other cars beat GM to the finish line but the most anticipated car was the Volt due to numerous press releases as well as unofficial news leaks made by the company which kept the car in the spotlight for so many years.

Preview of Nokia E5!

The Nokia E5 is an indirect successor to Nokia E71. An E71 for the masses, if you will. It runs on symbian and has a large 5 MP camera with WiFi and full QWERTY keyboard. This will seal the deal for many while others will not consider this device at all. Allow me to explain. I say this because of the design, unlike the sleek elegance of the E71 or even E63, this phone has a somewhat funkier look in its design and will not appeal to many such as business users, they would most likely want to wait for the Eseries version with a more business look or switch to a much more contemporary Blackberry. As for others its a slam dunk. I would like to admit that I stand in the latter but that is only because I fall in the younger demographic. As for the rest, the phone has selected metal accents which give it a slightly more expensive feel overall. One other thing i would highlight here is the phenomenal 13 hours of talk time that the company boasts for this device which would really be a big plus for the device.
At the price of Rs. 21,000/- this is a good replacement for your E71 especially because it runs an upgraded version of symbian!


The Nokia C3 is an inexpensive alternative to the E5 which runs on nokia S40 operating system rather than its much more feature rich symbian operating system. This is done obviously to keep costs low. In my view, the only major disadvantage that this OS robs you of is the absence of multi-tasking which can be a major deal breaker for some customers, while the majority of customers wont really have this feature on top of their priority list, especially the target market. This phone offers the cheapest Nokia QWERTY candybar to date. I believe that the target market here is teenagers and early 20 somethings as apparent due to the options of colors available and the general design of the phone. Also it will be a delight for heavy texters (again,teeneagers) and people who use email regularly, although using email on S40 wont be very comfortable. As for the built quality, its made of plastic rather than metal to keep costs low so it will give an impression of a cheaper device. Still, considering Nokias reputation the built quality will be better than competing models from Samsung.

Oct 18, 2010

A introduction to Augmented Reality!

It is exciting to live in a time where technological advancements are taking place at a breathtaking pace and science fiction seems to come true everyday. Here is one of the things that will amaze you. As you can see in the picture above, just holding a display in front of the real world object gives you an image of the object in real time as well as addition of information such as the name of the building, its details like the number of floors or perhaps the blue print. All this is done right there in real time. This mythical device isn't a piece of science fiction and the truth is that such devices have not only been made but are commercially available for everyone to buy. Nokia has a portfolio of softwares in their OVI store where augmented reality can be used on your smartphone to maybe point at historical buildings with the camera and the information comes on the screen regarding historical significance and such. Google as always will not let anyone outsmart them and has introduced a product called Google Goggles. It comes as an application that is available for all android phones and the iPhone. What this application does is, it attaches the search function to augmented reality. In essence, you point you camera at a Snickers bar in a grocery store and it will search online for all the close locations where the chocolate is available and will let u know through GPS the nearest and cheapest location!

Preview of HTC desire!

So, this is the current flagship device for the company HTC in Pakistan until HTC Desire HD arrives. The desire is an amazing device. This device has a 1GHz Processor which is blazing fast and makes browsing the Internet a breeze on this phone which cannot be compared to any other phone available in the market today. It has full flash support unlike the iPhone which makes viewing web pages on the phone identical to the computer. Also you can capture High Definition videos on the phone at 720p which is going to be a definite plus for a lot of people. This device has been a killer device in HTC's portfolio since under a year and is still competitive or better than current releases from other manufacturer's.
the HTC sense User Interface deserves a separate mention. This is basically a skin over the normal android UI and adds so much more to the overall experience leaving rival LG, Sony and Samsung android phones way behind. A video of the sense UI is attached below.

In Pakistan this phone will currently set you back RS. 39,990/- rupees as you can see here. This phone will be out of the reach of many because of the price but at this price is in your range, this is an absolute editor's pick for now!

See full specifications and videos after the jump!

A preview of the HTC Wildfire!

The HTC Wildfire is HTC's cheapest android smartphone to date. It is a stripped down version of its current flagship device the Desire but it doesn't leave much to be wanted as the basic functions of this device are more than enough for the everyday user. If you are new to HTC, this is also a good device for you. If it is compared with the iPhone, well, the touch and the swiftness of the User Interface leaves much to be desired but iPhone cannot stand a chance against the offer of Android on this device.

Let me say a few words about Android. This is the fastest growing smart phone operating system in the world right now. The only reason why it is not a common name here in Pakistan is that not many devices are offered here right now. In fact officially i cant think of any, but that is about to change.

The new nokia N8 has made its first entry into Pakistan!

So, the long awaited Nokia N8 has finally been released. It has been a long wait since it was announced 8 months ago. And since then there have bin a lot of things going on in the technology world.
As a result, the specifications of this device are not cutting edge.But this device will find its way into the hands of many Nokia loyal customers.

As for the positioning of this device, it is going to be for the absolute cream of our society and it will not become a common sight until 6 months from now when its price drops. From then onwards, it will be seen very commonly.


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