Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Knight – Enlighteningly Dark

Why So Serious?

Holy Smoke! Till now I thought that superhero movies are all about action, bloated egos and special effects but not deep. The dark knight which is sequel to the 2005 Batman Begins is without question one of the most demonic, pure incarnations of nightmarish instant classic movie.  I am so very over awed by the movie and still so very reeling that I cannot even put my own thoughts together and pen down anything which could be coherent even at the slightest level. I am just putting together below what I’ve heard other people say or write about it. The Dark Knight' offers a glimpse into the darker places within each of us, which might be cathartic for some, but others will simply be afraid. It is a supreme achievement in its genre. It doesn't transcend its comic book origins, but rather faithfully represents them, wholly unembarrassed to deliver its story on its own terms.

It deals with the so-called post 9-11 era and America's response to 9-11 if you want to look at it with a political undertone. Think about it - joker is the ultimate terrorist, all he cares about is destroying order; he doesn’t care about tangible things such as money or gaining power like the other mobsters. He tells us that when he burns huge pile of money in front of the mobsters, he’s introducing us to a different class of villain. That’s what the terrorists did on 9-11; they didn’t attack America because they really wanted to kill a couple thousand of people in the world trade centre or in the Pentagon, but wanted to destroy symbols of our society. They wanted to set off a chain of events, change the world order that they perceived to be unfairly dominated by America. These people and the joker are despicable and deserved to be stopped because killing people is not the way to effect change but the parallels are impossible to miss.

The political undertones are so obvious, Lucious Fox objecting to batman's use of the sonar technology to hack into to all of Gotham's cell phone conversations. Batman stating its only for this short term use, this movie is a social commentary on the patriotic act, use of torture to combat terrorism, and just the entire way the world has gone about attempting to stop the threat of terrorism.
Heath Ledger's Joker self-mutilated danger junkie, misery loves company chaos freak in hellish warpaint may be gone, but will never be forgotten. The oft-mentioned violence is not of one of gore, but more of the heart—and thus potentially more terrifying. 

The main thing is that it is a very dark movie. So dark that it binds you to your seat even when the show’s over.

Monday, July 14, 2008


You have probably read these "rules" before, but when I received them today I decided to put them here as a tribute to a man that I thought was a one of a kind, rare person. He was no "saint" - he never professed to be one. He just always told it "like it was".


New Rule: No more gift registries.  You know, it used to be just for weddings... Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting. 

New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for classmates.com! There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days --- mowing my lawn. 

New Rule: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Lobster?

New Rule: If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you're a dope. If you're a kid, the cards are keep sakes of your idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of men. 

New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: Do you have two of them? Good! We're done. 

New Rule: There's no such thing as flavored water. There’s a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket... water, but without that watery taste.  Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That's your flavored water. 

New Rule: Stop screwing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis. 

New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a 'decaf grandee,  half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low, and One NutraSweet,' Ooooh,  you're a huge asshole. 

New Rule: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from  sliding my card, entering My PIN number, pressing 'Enter,' verifying the  amount, deciding, no, I don't want Cash back, and pressing 'Enter' again, the  kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy. 

New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you Spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to 'beef with broccoli.' The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

New Rule: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN Recently televised the U.S. Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait, they're already doing that. It's called 'The Howard Stern Show.' 

New Rule: I don't need a bigger mega M&Ms. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two. 

New Rule: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what’s playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie. 

New Rule: And this one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint like I just had sex with George Michael. I can't even tell if he's supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. I don't want to be on your webcam, Dude. I just want to wash my hands.

New Rule: When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to hear '27 months.' 'He's two' will do just fine. He's not a cheese. . . . And by the way, I didn't really care in the first place. 

New Rule: If you ever hope to be a credible adult and want a job that pays better than Minimum wage, then for God's sake don't pierce or tattoo every available piece of flesh. If so, then plan your future around saying, 'Do you want fries with that?'

Rest in Peace, George.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

iPhone3G – Phone, iPod, Internet and More

iPhone3G – Phone, iPod, Internet and More
Go ahead and get yourself one. Seriously! I mean it.

You have to admit (I too have to admit it and I do so vehemently and irrespective-of-my-previous-post) iPhone definitely has the Wow factor!

And no matter what the Non-iPhone-Cell-Phone-User community (myself included) has to say or crib about its limitation (read my previous post), people will buy it, no matter what! Most of them will buy it just for the Zing, and I hate it. Like one friend of mine who has the 1st Generation iPhone uses it to simply text and call. He eternally hopes that his flashing of his iPhone in clubs will get him the much needed attention from the fairer sex. Get real dude! On other thoughts, let me know if it works! I can do with some female attention myself. It might be the motivation which may drive me to buy an iPhone.

Then there are those (who command a lot of respect from me in a way) who probably have dissected their iPhone ‘n’ number of times and put it back again and have uncovered features which Apple Developers wouldn’t  know themselves existed (few of them helped me list down the limitations of the first Gen iPhone). Like the one who’s been desperately trying since the dawn of iPhone to somehow get some crappy local GPS software to work with his iPhone. Good luck pal!

So why Am I writing this post? 
Well, one to let those know who’ve taken a hint from my earlier post that iPhone sucks! I admit – it doesn’t suck that bad and you never know what the next-Gen iPhone has to offer (on the limitation side yet!). Go ahead and buy one if you want to, personally I don’t care. Apple isn’t going to pay commission to me for every iPhone they sell nor will they stop me from blogging against it. They perhaps (if ever they visit my blog) would know that hardly anyone actually reads the stuff I put here.

So why buy the iPhone? I’ll stick to my earlier post and still say that don’t get the 1st Gen iPhone even if someone gives it to you for free. I won’t - I’m kinda’ idealistic that way. It’s not worth the trouble of moving your contacts, mails, settings etc to a new phone and then frustrating yourself with it later. And I’ll be smirking and saying “I told you so…”

Okay, coming back to point again, why buy the new iPhone? 
Well, for starters, it’s half the price (at least with the AT&T plan). I’m not sure if it’s available without a plan in the States, but it sure is available in other countries but with a heavy’ premium’ price (of course)! Then it’s twice as fast because it’s 3G. Or at least that’s what they (at Apple) say. My Nokia N70 is also supposedly 3G and it’s still the slowest phone I’ve ever owned. Anyway, so no more clicking on your contact list, going for a cup of coffee and coming back hoping that it would’ve opened.  I thought of putting some technical details about the speed test but that would be a bore and as if this blog isn’t already such a drag.

Also, they’re kind of clairvoyant – they fixed quite a few of the limitations which I cribbed about in my previous post (even before I posted it)  :D

You now do have a text box search support in the contacts along with the older cute index thingey. You can now select MULTIPLE items at least in the mailbox and do mass move and delete.

They have a better (than before) email attachment support. You can now even open power point files in your mails. They’ve thrown in a scientific calculator and complete dictionary sets for multiple languages (I care only for the English one still).

They’ve added push email, calendar and contacts from work if they’re on a Microsoft exchange server. Lookey here, Apple’s endorsed Microsoft. Who says, MS sucks. Well I do, but then that’s beside the point. So with these features and plus a few more like enterprise-grade networking capabilities for Cisco IPSec VPN, WPA2 and even 802.1x authentication. So if you own a blackberry you might ‘just’ think of trading it in for an iPhone.

Then they’ve got GPS as a standard application and you can access the App Store (applications for iPhone from Apple) through your iPhone. And if you’re ready to pay and subscribe to MobileMe, you’ve got your synchronizing problems solved. Well, I personally think MobileMe will be a really cool feature, especially if you're a geek like me who likes to tow a dozen of devices everywhere you go.

If you’re still speculating whether to buy an iPhone (rudely ignoring whatever I’ve already said) then you might want to consider Samsung Instinct too. It comes with a plan from Sprint in the States for about $129 USD (even when iPhone was priced at $399 and above).  It’s quite a competition to the iPhone as well as to the LG Vu. 

Otherwise, go ahead and buy one if you want to. With the price cut down, one can venture into the unknown. You know what - I might even go ahead and pick one too for myself. If nothing else, I can still try flashing it around in a club trying to get some female attention.

PS: This is a very ‘iPhone’ cool link I found. The very first 10 people to own a 2nd Gen iPhone in the world. Check ‘em out!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Why I hate iPhone

Why I Hate iPhone

I love Apple. Seriously. I in fact, would endorse and with quite a bit of pride too, different products Apple has to offer. Take for instance, I prefer using Apple Safari on my Windows box and not IE or firefox; iPod is a must when I workout (Fitness One plays pathetic songs) or when I am on those long haul, you-can-do-nothing- while-on-board, international flights. And I was quite ecstatic when I heard the first time iPhone’s being released. 

Why? Well, for starts it’s from apple; then there are those cool ads you see on the net and on the TV as how and what all you can do with your iPhone; then the fact that I am a total complete gizmo freak that too in a typical ‘nerd’ kind of way. (I have like a dozen or more cell phones; My PC is jam-packed so badly with peripherals that most of them just hang out of the box with a mesh of wires so tangled up that I would’ve have to cut through half of them if ever I have to move it to someplace else… you get the idea).

So my friends were surprised when they saw me coming out of an apple showroom without an iPhone. And while iPhones are still a rage, I was surprised to find that the iPhone is a lot more limited than I expected. And I’m not talking about lack of wireless broadband support, either. Perhaps, I should’ve put this post earlier. You never know – it might’ve saved someone’s green-backs.

It turns out that, despite Apple’s claim that “This is not a watered down version of the Internet” on the iPhone, it is a watered-down version. I don’t even need to get overly technical. The iPhone doesn’t support Flash. Seriously? No Flash support? I can't live off YouTube videos. Even when using YouTube, you can’t save the clip on the phone. Its support for JavaScript is limited to five seconds. It doesn’t handle frames well. A lot of Web sites won’t display properly, or even well, on the iPhone.

Then why can't you select just a specific bit of the text? Why delete all those characters?

I am browsing the web or perhaps, visit the iPhone Wallpaper gallery. I find my image I want. And then I... wait, I
can't download it? I can't choose to set it as wallpaper? I have to go to my PC, browse to the URL again, download the photo, purchase and install iLife, import the photo into iPhoto, set it to sync with the iPhone, open up iTunes, hit sync, then browse to it on my iPhone and set as wallpaper? 

Let’s talk about the camera now shall we? My girl friend’s ancient Sony Ericson k750i has better quality than the iPhone’s 2 MP camera! There are absolutely no options available – No zoom, no exposure and no resolution control. I take a little pride in my photography skills but c’mon, any movement and you get a blurry image. No video capture? That does it!

How we all love texting! So here are some notes on iPhone’s SMS incapability. No MMS - which century are we living in btw? You can't forward the SMS; can’t call chat-buddy from SMS view - WTF? Can't send phone numbers via SMS; when receiving phone numbers/contacts, e.g. VCARD, you can't save them to contacts; crashes if receives alphanumeric SMS sender; can't click on MMS notification to go to Safari to view.

Other not so nice limitations

You can't select multiple ANYTHING, which becomes most prevalent in Mail. So if you have 10 messages you want to delete, you have to individually delete every one of them.

No Contextual Menus - Where are they? You'd think holding your finger on an item for a couple seconds would bring up a contextual menu with items like Delete, Copy, Move, etc depending on what you had selected. These menus are also not available via a button anywhere - they just aren't there. This brings me to the lack of copy and paste functionality.

There is no way to save files which are attachments in your Mail, nor from Safari.

They want Business users? I am a power user and I can do with a text box kind of search which can find names, company, categories, anything?

They give you a Bluetooth headset, a f***ing expensive Bluetooth enabled phone and no voice Dial? Bluetooth stereo headsets work perfectly well when you are on a call. But due to a redundant Bluetooth stack, you cannot stream your music. What good is Bluetooth then? You are not calling people all the time, but you are listening to music all the time.

I agree that iPhone is still quite a buy due to the wow factor, but I guess, I still would want to stick to my O2 XDA II for some more time.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Beer Prayer

(Found it floating on the web and had to put it here.)

Our Lager,
Which art in barrels
Hallowed be thy drink.
Thy will be drunk,
I will be drunk,
At home as in the tavern.
Give us this day our foamy head
and forgive us our spillages
as we forgive those that spill against us
and lead us not into incarceration.
But deliver us from hang-overs,
for thine is the beer,
The bitter and the lager
forever and ever