Monday, August 29, 2011

Anna Hazaare and freedom

I love the word Freedom. It is my favorite word in the entire english vocabulary. I have been seeing and hearing a lot about how Sri Anna hazaare has held the government at ransom to achieve a seemingly impossible task of impressing the parliamentarians or the law makers as to how a law should be made. Below mentioned are my and only "my" rants on Sri anna's movement.

1. To start with I congratulate Anna in taking freedom and democracy to a new level. It has shown our country men(including me) how strong people are and by how much we should value our freedom. I had noticed that people take freedom for granted. If they are allowed to earn their salary, their food, their morsel of entertainment, sleep, rest, they care a damn about the fact that "freedom" is what is making them do all that and much more without much botheration from an authoritarian third party.

2. Freedom is to do what one likes to do. Democracy is based on freedom. If all the world is embracing democracy, they are in-fact embracing and feeling the warmth of freedom. People in autocratic countries will definitely yearn for that "ethical" approach to living once they taste it during their visits to democratic countries.

3. Democracy is by definition, of the people, by the people and for the people. We see that Democracy is full of "people". Secularism is the kohinoor diamond studded crown for a democratic body. Luckily, having born in India I have tasted Democracy, secularism, their warmth and their pitfalls.

4. Sri Anna has shown the path to the younger lot who were dissolutioned by the way, the country was being led. He has shown the youth that instead of cribbing, make yourself heard. I believe this is a start. The present youth, I believe have got the point. You dont have to be within the framework of the elected government to frame laws. You can be made yourself heard in the most ethically possible "gandhian" way.

5. Sri Anna has shown to the younger lot a sample of how Sri Mahatma Gandhi was able to exert pressure on the British empire just by fasting and following the non-violent way. In-fact sri Narendra modi tweeted to tell that all the naxals who have taken to arms should take a leaf out of sri anna's campaign and choose non-violence. If naxals are a bunch of disollusioned youth of our country it is their time to voice their issues in a similar manner. Get the attention of the media and spell out their issues in the most positive manner.

6. By this I am not telling that "anna's way" is the only way. What I am telling is anna's way is the most constructive way. His movement did not burn any buses, kill any innocent people, etc...

7. I would like to end this post by thanking all the brains behind sri anna in drafting the jan lokpal bill. If implemented it would go a long way in improving the "strongest" bureacratic system in this country. If implemented properely, I believe that the number of people yearning for "government" job would come down drastically. We will have only service minded people who are ready to sweat it out in improving the living conditions of our country.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

karen sandlers presentation at oscon

A very dangerous account of issues involving propreitory software. The presentation by karen sandler who has joined the GNOME foundation after leaving the software freedom law centre is simple and straight forward.

I like the fact that Karen discussed more about the philosophy of FLOSS than the product which she was representing. All the people involved in FLOSS activities will always highlight that the concept and philosophy of "freedom" software is important than the software itself. Well, shed did like the beauty of the GNOME3 desktop( I also like the G3 desktop environment, except that it is treating power users and new users the same ). It indeed was very cheeky of her to mention that the majority of the attendees had a Mac. Did her speech make any effect on the attendees such that they would change their propreitory platform, My answer is NO. It is always better to attract newer developers and users towards the FLOSS ecosystem by teaching them the ethics of "freedom" before they learn any development or usage.

Karen and people like her( in such postions ) should spread the ethics of "freedomm" software. The byproduct of such a movement would definitely result in a world which would make people like karen, more comfortable and confident on technology.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

sony ericsson x10 mini pro and xperia mini pro

First let us talk about sony ericsson x10 mini pro.

xperia x10 mini pro(my previous phone) was a great android phone in terms of looks, the processing power and the "slide in back jeans pocket" size. The cons were it ran android 2.1, it had phone memory of ~125 MB(So, u are limited by this memory in terms of number of apps u run on the phone. 2.1 does not support transferring apps to sd. So, there you are stuck with a few apps. You have to uninstall and install any additional app u require), It had a 5 MP autofocus camera but could not record videos in HD, The screen size was very yesterday (240x320) and 2.5" screen size(The first GNU/Linux touchscreen phone, from motorola, a motorola a1200 had the same resolution and screen size), No multitouch, Flaky bluetooth functionality, Support for external memory limited to 16 GB. The most important negative is there is no custom built distro(cyanogenmod) to replace the OS,which is complete. All custom roms have issues related to the camera and fm radio.
No adobe flash vides support(thanks to android 2.1 and processor with armv6 architecture running at 600Mhz. Thanx also to the adobe developers who cannot develop the flash player for this architecture)
Four corners with quick launch(one app in every corner), sony ericsson's custom UI.
No front facing camera.

Now, let us come down to the xperia mini pro(without the x10)

We have the same great looks, albeit, a little less chrome and some change in the location of the physical keys. Out of the three "required" hardware keys for android phones, only the home key is mechanical, the other two come with capacitive touch.
It is running android 2.3.3( Move apps to sd card(if they are coded to support that feature))
The phone memory is given as 400 MB, But after I installed few default apps, the phone memory remaining was about 250MB. So, I dont think there will be any issue with the number of apps we would install owing to good phone memory and android 2.3.3 apps to sd feature
It has a 5 MP point to focus, face detection, HD video recording
Screen size is 320x480( 3" screen size ). That, IMHO, is perfect.
Multitouch fully enabled with pinch to zoom(courtesy android 2.3.3)
Improved bluetooth functionality
Support for external memory upto 32GB.
DLNA support(courtesy android 2.3.3), Good if you have a playstation3 or other DLNA compliant devices.
The sound quality is nearly the same as was on the x10 mini pro, though a new term has been coined to ride on its excellent sound quality called xLOUD(tm).
The killer feature for me is the widget "type to share". If u are on the home screen with this widget, you just open the keypad and start typing whatever you want to share, without opening any app. Once u have finished typing u just go to options and choose the app through which u want to share twitter, facebook, g+ etc... Fantastic and cool.
The keypad has good feedback but should have been silver in color(like in x10 mini pro). Black keyboard on the black phone made it look monotonous.
We have the 3.5mm audio jack port(At last, somebody put some sense into the handset manufacturers to come out of their propreitory audio out port)
Here we have the same custom UI from sony ericsson with four corners for quick launch of apps.But what is different is that now every corner can house a maximum of 4 shortcuts.
There is a front vga camera for video chat.
Complete flash support, v10.3 avl from the android market(Thanx to android 2.3 and flash being developed on arm v7 and above by adobe)
The core is a 1 GHz, arm v7 processor.

I have to add one negative here. It comes bundled with timed, bull shit, trial applications which cannot be un-installed. I cannot even delete the shortcuts. I firmly believe that these apps should be installed once the user buys the phone and he accepts to install them.

There it is. U have the first hand comparison. I will add further info as I come to know. Thanks to all the android developers(google and more importantly, the independent developers at cyanagenmod) for making android the poor man's smartphone OS.