…but too expensive and too late to save Blackberry, without cheaper, sub-20k keyboard-based siblings
Behind the Z10′s iPhone-like exterior is fluid continuity from the existing BlackBerry feature-set, as well as smart new features, including better touch-type and auto-correct than the iPhone’s
And so, we finally have a BB10 BlackBerry. The Z10 came to India end-Feb, listing at Rs 44k.
That pitches it right against the iPhone 5. Though it’s bigger, some do mistake it for an iPhone. But look closer: there’s no home button.
Last month, I had unpacked the Z10 with trepidation. I wasn’t looking forward to an all-touch handset from a company famous for it keypad and infamous for its touch experience. I was pleasantly surprised.
The Z10 is solidly built, despite a plastic back (versus the iPhone’s alloy). The back has a rubberized feel and texture, for a good grip.
“Nirbhaya” is dead. Her fighting spirit was overwhelmed by her injuries from the most brutal of gang-rapes, which left her intestines hanging in a mangled, gangrenous mess. The charge against her attackers has been, as expected, enhanced to murder. Yet her youngest (and reportedly most brutal) attacker may even walk free, because he claims to be just under 18 years of age.
In the unprecedented outrage, what’s sometimes lost between the “we want justice” demands and “hang the perps” lynch-chants, is a clear, practical set of steps to ask for.
Here’s my draft set of suggestions, which I believe are practical. They are not legally validated, and I’d be happy to have inputs and suggestions from lawyers, activists and others.
Ram Singh, affectionately called “Mental” by friends who joined him in the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi on Sunday, deserves to die.
I say this not just out of the sense of outrage and revenge that’s triggering the “death for rape” petitions, but out of my considered view that this particular crime falls into the rarest of rare cases that deserve the death penalty.
But this is not a legally-tenable view. For IPC sections 376 (rape) and 307 (attempt to murder) do not allow for capital punishment. Ram Singh will almost certainly get life in prison, with his friends getting 10 years to life.
If the severely-brutalized victim does not survive, the charge moves on to IPC 302 (murder), and a death sentence for Ram Singh becomes almost certain.
On December 3, in the Indian capital of Delhi, five men gang-raped a 24-year-old Rwandan woman. They robbed and assaulted her when she was returning to her home in a residential area close to the University of Delhi.
The local police tried to keep the assault under wraps. They refused to file a “first information report”, or FIR, a prerequisite for action in a reported crime. Most bizarrely, they told her to “come back after two days”.
A non-governmental organization, which was assisting the Rwandan national seek asylum in India, escalated the matter. A senior Delhi Police officer ordered a departmental enquiry. The case was finally registered three days after the incident, and four of the five rapists tracked down and arrested. The police inspector responsible for the delayed FIR and action was suspended.
On the face of it, a series of things happened in this case. A rape, not uncommon in Delhi. A reluctance by the police to take action, even more common. Pressure from a a non-governmental organization. Corrective action by the police, including punishment of the official responsible.
A closer look suggests a deeper issue: that of persistent racism in Indian society.
In response to Hindustan Times’ lead story today:
Conned: Is the Aakash 2 Made in China?
I asked Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli to respond. He did so immediately, a response he has also shared with Hindustan Times. I am reproducing this without comment here. My comments are quoted in the Dataquest news item on this issue.
Datawind’s Suneet S Tuli writes:
“This sensationalist article is inaccurate and misleading. We deny the allegations made therein from unnamed ‘sources’.
This young Stephanian is struggling to build a 100 km road in the North East
“A 2005 graduate from St Stephen’s College in Delhi, Armstrong Pame is the sub-divisional magistrate of Tamenglong, his home district, and the first IAS officer from the Zeme tribe. He has, of his own volition, begun the construction of a 100-km road that would link Manipur with Nagaland and Assam. The Centre had sanctioned Rs 101 crore in 1982 for the construction of this road, but for some reason the project never took off. ” from the Times of India. Read the rest of the story here and see end of this post for FAQs. Click here to retweet this story.
For those wanting to help with funds, please send via NEFT or crossed cheque. Enter the following details if possible on the NEFT, or write on reverse of the cheque:
TFRP (or, Tamenglong Halflong Road Project)
1. For electronic fund transfers
NAME: LUNGTUABUI PAME
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 20091213537
BANK: STATE BANK OF INDIA
Address: DIST SENAPATI, MANIPUR 795106 Continue reading
India’s four metros are moving to digital television.
Here’s answers to the most frequent questions I’ve been getting.
What is digital TV?
Digital TV transmits audio and video as digital signals, instead of the older analog system. All it needs is a digital TV service to your home, and a digital set-top box. (Music went digital in the 1980s, with CDs replacing analog cassettes and LPs, and finally everything giving way to iPods and MP3 players.)
Is this a good thing?
This is the biggest advance in television since color TV. It means far better quality of picture and sound, even in the lower-quality mode called standard definition (SDTV). And it allows high definition (HDTV), which wasn’t possible on the older analog system. Digital also gives you individual channel subscription, and more bundled services, including data, games and other interactive services. And finally, it uses scarce radio spectrum far more efficiently.
What is this ‘deadline’?
October 31 was the last date for Phase I of TV digitization in India – where all four metros switch to digital TV. As of November 1, all television in the metros is digital, and you will not be able to watch TV without digital equipment (barring Chennai, till Nov 5). This deadline was earlier March, then pushed to June, and finally October. In Phase II, 35 cities including Bangalore, Chandigarh and Pune, will switch over by March 2013. Phase III covers all other towns and cities (November 2014), and the rest of India is Phase IV (March 2015).
Windows 8 has launched, and is now shipping.
Here’s a quick primer based on your questions.
What’s new in Windows 8?
The smart touch-ready Metro interface, now called Modern UI, with “live tiles” that auto-update with information (great on tablets, but not on PCs without touch). At its core, Win 8 is all-new: it’s lighter and quicker, loads faster, and is more power- and CPU-efficient. New features include Windows To Go, which fits your work environment and files securely on a bootable flash drive; Windows Store, which stocks Metro-style apps; Microsoft Live ID sign-in, which lets you back up your data and photos to SkyDrive and configures email; smartphone-style refresh and reset, and lots more. Win 8 is really all-new, and the learning curve is steep without a touch screen (there’s no Start button, either).
What will it cost in India?
For Rs 699, you can upgrade to Win 8 Pro from any version of Win 7 on a PC bought between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 (except for Win 7 Starter). All other Win 7 users or users of Win XP or Vista can download the Win 8 Pro upgrade for Rs 1,999 or buy it as a retail (DVD) pack for Rs 3,499. Upgrades are now available (since October 26). For a PC which has no Windows (or no legal Windows), or for an iMac or MacBook (if you want to add Windows) you’ll need to spend a whopping Rs 11,999 to install Windows 8, so I don’t see very many doing that.
What is a respectable amount for a scam involving a senior union cabinet minister? And a Stephanian, at that? Surely Rs 71 lakh is too small?
These and other subjects were being discussed in the St Stephen’s alumni group…in hushed tones, until last Monday.
It’s rare for my fellow-alumni to be accused of crimes or scams, but when they are, shouldn’t they maintain some minimum standards? Probably the only Stephanian to face murder charges, Moninder Singh Pandher, did not dabble in lollipop jobs: he was accused of masterminding India’s biggest serial killing.
But on Monday, Mr Khurshid’s ministerial and party colleague, union minister of steel Beni Prasad Verma, has said it honestly, candidly, and mincing no words. Rs 71 lakh is chicken-feed.
“I believe Salman Khurshid could not have embezzled Rs 71 lakh. It is a very small amount for a central minister. I would have taken it seriously if the amount was Rs 71 crore,” Beni said.
I’ve used a Windows 8-loaded Samsung Slate 7 for two months. Not exclusively, though: I had to split my time between my new MacBook Air 11, a UbiSlate 7C (the Akaash 2, more or less), and a few other gadgets. But, yes, off and on.
As a tablet…I don’t like the Slate 7′s stretched-out, widescreen shape. It’s not the best form factor for a tablet – this is among the biggest of the tablets around.
But on the desktop, placed horizontally in its dock, it’s a natural.
That versatility is the nice thing about this package, and this would apply to most Windows 8 tablets that ship with a dock. It transforms from tablet to desktop in a jiffy, with its pocket-size dock and a full-size keyboard (I’m using a Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard).