Social media lounge

New year is the time of year to party and celebrate. Thanks to Facebook we all got power to be page 3 celebrities!  After all, Social media is the new generation lounge.

So don’t be surprised when you hear about Facebook’s record breaking fact– 750 million photos got uploaded on New Year’s weekend by users.

Every status update, every photo album we upload is to show to the world, how awesome our weekend is going, how much hard work we do in the office and where we go for vacation.
Facebook now speaks about the life that used to be told earlier with personal touch. I wonder what we are going to talk when we really meet in person! Other than of course talking about people who are not updating status message or one who don’t have any new photo album from past one week!

How many times we login on facebook just to see the new activity! If life was actually so interesting, why would you update about it the time you are actually enjoying it.

Social media has real disadvantages; just other day I read how people started irritating others by sending fake ‘blood needed’ message. Funny how a live person dies, because of an unconfirmed tweet.

Social media really made a common man a self-certified media guy! He can publish his own page-3 content, and break out breaking news that can create panic in one tweet!

For sure sometimes social media helps. But was life not moving when we were not aware how much traffic is on which road or where what incidents happen? We were updated then also but now we are overloaded with information and when this overload becomes a burden, it directly hampers our lifestyles.

With an attention span of less than 5 minutes, who are we fooling when we can’t sit to do single task peacefully! Has someone tweeted back, or has a new like/comment been made on the last photo or is an unread mail in the inbox popping up every second!

You global personal reporter and trendsetter, better take life lightly.

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a Pro Hobby!

Since childhood one of our favorite question to ask while making friends is – ‘whats your hobby‘. When we entered in graduate school then also we didn’t mind sharing our hobbies and had long discussions on the same. Once we started working, we started trying to find time for our hobbies, infact creating new hobbies.

It is a no brainer to see that the most popular hobbies are – Reading, Listening Music, Video games apart from Watching TV/ Cinema, playing musical instruments and internet surfing & sleeping (yup, it’s a serious hobby). But in the past few years, photography has emerged as a serious hobby (also for some extra money making :)). Digital cameras, and mobile cameras has given birth to so many budding ‘Photographers‘. We started clicking with some mega pixels without worrying about dark rooms hassles or how many roles were used to get a perfect picture. Digital camera is a one time investment and you learn composition, light and many more things while clicking. Gradually you don’t mind buying not-so-better looking but better result giving ‘Digital SLR‘ (DSLR).

Journey by Paavani Bishnoi

Earlier SLR and photography books were not readily available (read expensive) and there was no concept of social media. Now you buy a cool gadget during your foreign trip or order from amazon and then keep clicking thousands of shots and upload the best one on Facebook, get ‘likes’ from friends and get ‘wah – wahi’ for your photography skills. Gradually you start using those photo editing softwares and even create a Facebook XYZ photography page to actually say, photography-is-not-your-hobby & you no more want to be tagged as an amateur photographer and  want to get paid for your hard work. After all you invested money in buying those big huge lenses!

Something which was a profession and something which was not sought by everyone, gradually became  ‘PRO hobby’ of technology aware people! Every other day, I see so many awesomeness on my Facebook page, tweet links on my twitter that I wonder how challenging it has become for a real photographer to survive & give a competitive pricing. As an example, a wedding photographer finds it hard to differentiate from a newbie photographer who got a cool- flash -website and whose work looks awesome in that wordpress theme, due to his last vacation (office) trip with variety & exposure. Will it differentiate from someone who is really enthusiastic, learned from scratch, walked a lot at 4am to get that perfect sun rise shot from mountains? Not until he first learns to be social media savvy.

Due to emerging breed of amateur photographers, few started going back to roots to differentiate themselves. They really started learning basics of photography from developing a role by using analog camera to printing with polaroids.

Someday, I will share my own photography journey. For now I will just say, I love well taken photographs even if it’s direct imitation of Steve McCurry’ Afghan girl or inspired from Henri Cartier Work.

Keep spreading the awesomeness in black & white or colors or with Bokeh or in panoramic shots, just keep clicking. You never know, someday while pursuing your hobby you may click a ‘master piece‘.

Are colors important in Mobile Phones!

Few days back I got a chance to meet Axel Meyer, Head of Nokia N-Series Design. He was in town to talk about latest Nokia’s N97. There were lots of questions about operating system, camera, battery, storage and touch screen.

Axel MeyerLots of comparison with phones available / or releasing soon in same segment also happened, like HTC Magic, Palm Pre, Toshiba TG01 and  Apple iPhone 3G S.

Form and design of all these mobile handset looks similar- thinner and rounded corner. But N97 has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Talking about QWERTY, people aren’t excited about the shorter spacebar and awkward placement. With huge storage capacity 32 + plus 16GB microSD, it could lead the pack but operating system choice make it less attractive to geeky guys. People were looking forward for LINUX based web OS.

Though N97 got both touch (resistive) + QWERTY, it is way behind iPhone which has capacitive multi-touch screen. In fact, Palm Pre has the best offering – Capacitive multi-touch screen + QWERTY. I also heard people’s opinion on slow response of resistive touch if they have used iPhone or own it. Now coming to the camera, being a DSLR holder, I can never enjoy the camera phone but let’s see what everyone is offering. N97 has 5 MP with Carl Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 optics and dual LED flash but N82 is going to launch with 8MP. Same time Sony’s Satio will have 12.1 megapixel camera with Xenon flash.

He talked a lot about India, culture and designing gadgets keeping in mind their needs. One important question was asked by someone-What are the most important aspects that you keep in mind while designing a phone” and Axel responded “It’s all about people; always taking into account people’s needs as a driving criteria”. Axel also said, “All Nokia N-series devices are aware of beautiful solutions”.
And when I asked why such a high end gadget fitted with lots of features & user friendly interfaces comes only in Black or white colors, I did not get a proper answer from him.

Why doesn’t smart phones come in user’s choice of colors? Take example of Dell, Sony’s laptops or digital cameras, which offer a choice of colors. Thankfully, Sony is quite a leader in matter of colors, heard Sony Ericsson Satio will come in multiple colors.

I also did a small survey to know people opinion- would they like more color choices when buying high-end mobile? The results were interesting- Black is the most popular choice, closely followed by wine. Other preferable colors are blue & silver.

Nokia N97

Final verdict– I doubt N97 design team did an in-depth research for colors. Like white color for Indian market and climatic condition is not so good. It’s not an appliance like washer, refrigerator that people will buy for neat & hygiene white feel. Form & design need more fresh approach to look different in league. Immediate improvement needed on multi-touch, camera and OS. It is expected to be priced at Rs. 35,000 +, pricey for sure but most phones are in the same bracket.

I see, AC!

In summer days all we want, as we enter the home, is a cool zone. Cool breeze, natural or artificial, flowing in the room and no more sweating or noise pollution. Thanks to present days Air-conditioners, they are energy efficient, make low noise, are slimmer and cool in looks.

This weekend I went to check split AC in the Indian market, and I was not surprised how AC companies are filling their pockets by talking to half-aware, half-confused customers about vitamin filter, dual display and filter with this and that technologies which hardly a customer understand but still pay his hard earned money to get some coolness (pun intended).

So what is selling in India-: If Indian Brands like Godrej has come up with Mirror and Silver finish, then Chinese Company Haier has come up with vitamin filter and AC’s remote with fluorescent buttons. An earnest plea Godrej – please improve the red logo print quality, it looks pathetic on all white AC.

Top image- Samsung Split AC, bottom one is Haier

Korean champion Samsung’s Air-conditioners have bio sleeplus feature. In finish, they are offering all silver panels on the front and also wine other than classic white. Nothing great but overall look is cool, due to neat & clean form.

LG latest Split AC range

Other Korean company LG, as usual is offering last year old floral patterns apart from latest engraved baroque style floral pattern on gold and white. This gives quite a traditional and rich look. But it is not suitable for most of apartment’s interiors. Their Vogue series offers cool big display for showing current room temperature. Color scheme is white & grey with one more flowers option on same.

Whirlpool has nothing new to offer other than wide silver panel but their energy meter card is good for consumers to understand the star-rating and monthly electricity bill savings.

whirlpool- Energy meter

Hitachi AC, Ace
Best of best is Japan’s company Hitachi, which rules with ‘follow me’ feature that follows your every movement and circulate air accordingly. Slimmer, neat and clean elegant look also set it apart. Off course, for all this, you have to pay higher price too.

So enjoy the Indian summer 🙂