Saturday, October 15, 2011

BlueStacks - Run Android apps on your PC

Ever wanted to try out android apps without messing up your android phone or tablet ? on your Windows PC ? With the BlueStacks App Player you can do just that. It is currently in alpha and 10 apps are available out of the box. You can install 26 more apps on to it. Syncing of apps between your droid and PC is another major feature of BlueStacks.
BlueStacks runs Android OS and apps on Windows PCs with instant switch between Android and Windows - no reboot is required. End consumers can now enjoy their favorite Android apps on Windows PCs. Android apps can appear either as icons on the Windows desktop, or within a full-blown Android environment.
             The seamless user experience, simultaneous use of Android and Windows apps, and multi-touch enablement are built on ground breaking virtualization technology which requires zero configuration and is transparent to the end consumer.

You can download the app player for free, from here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Nokia C1-02: Mama's Boy !

This is something your mom would love. It is cheap (just Rs.1649), it can play all her bhajans (store upto 32 GB), the screen is not too small (1.8 inch TFT, 128 x 160 pixels), it has bluetooth (for about Rs.700 more she can go wire less, and be on the phone 24x7), and it is a Nokia (well she wouldn't want anything else, right ?). Believe me, it's time she gave up the trust worthy 1100 (If you own a M800, then keep the 1100, it probably runs in the family.. :D). You can't possibly be thinking about the specs, so just skip that and go to, grab it with the free Diwali gift and ship it to her, make her happy man. It doesn't have a camera (a VGA camera is just too lame, so get over it) and torch (max out the brightness, and there you have it :D).

Here are the specs (just in case):
  •  Series 40 OS
  •  1.8-inch Screen
  •  Alphanumeric Keypad
  •  GPRS Enabled, Bluetooth
  •  FM Radio With Recording
  •  Music Player
  •  Expandable Storage Capacity Of 32 GB
Warranty: 1 Year on Handset, 6 months on accessories
Sales package:  Nokia C1-02, Nokia Battery BL-5CB, Nokia Compact Charger AC-3, User Manual.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Light On : Blogger Lightbox is back !

If you own a blog in blogger, then you must have noticed that a few week back, images were opened in a lightbox (a small box appearing on the center of the window, with the background faded out). This feature was removed temporary after users complained that they would like to use their own implementations of the same and many bugs were reported.

Now it is back, with an option to enable/disable it. If you don't have implemented one by yourself, you'll see that the images are now opened in a lighbox. If you already have one, then better disable it from the settings page. The lightbox loads all images from a blog post and lets readers browser through them using the keyboard shortcuts (arrow keys).

Original post blogger blog:
When we enabled a brand new photo viewing experience, called Lightbox, by default a few weeks ago, we heard from a number of Bloggers who preferred to use their own, previously installed Lightbox solution, or who simply wanted to continue blogging without the new feature.
Thanks to your feedback, we turned Lightbox off temporarily, and we’re re-launching it today with the option to disable it, along with a handful of fixes to bugs that you reported.
To learn more about Lightbox and how it works, check out the original blog post or visit the Blogger Help Center.
If you’d like to disable Lightbox on your blog, log in to Blogger and select “No” next to Lightbox in the Settings | Posts and Comments section (new interface) or the Settings | Formatting section (old interface).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Olympus E-PL1 : Deal or No Deal ?

Want better images every time you snap something but hate lugging a DSLR where ever you go ? Then a mirror less camera would be just the thing for you. Unlike DSLR's which uses a set of mirrors and prism to project the image to the viewfinder, mirror less cameras usually use an electronic view finder (EVF), making it very compact. So what you get is a compact camera which can match the image quality of a DSLR with some goodness of a DSLR as well. Like a DSLR you'll be able to change the lens based on what you are intending to photograph, control everything from exposure to white balance and mount lot of accessories like flash, microphones etc.

Samsung NX, Sony NEX, Panasonic G series, Olympus Pen and recently launched Nikon 1 are some mirror less camera series. Out of these, Olympus and Panasonic uses the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) sensors which are a bit smaller than the APS-C sensors used by Samsung and Sony but larger than the Nikon CX sensor. But in real life usage this things doesn't matter much unless you are a pro, so you can't go wrong with any one of these. You can read more about this here.

Now what if you get one of these for less than Rs.18,000 ? E-PL1, the 12 Mega pixel MFT compact from Olympus is the real deal. It boasts built in lens shift image stabilization ( less blurs), a dust reduction system to protect your camera sensor from dust accumulation, has 11 Auto Focus points (so you can focus where ever you want in an image, a great feature if you ask me) and supports ISO 200-3200 (good low light performance). It has a retractable flash (unlike some other models which needs an accessory for flash) which pops up when ever the lighting is in adequate. The turn off for me is the lack of Full HD recording, but it is something you won't use often (video using a still camera leaves a lot to be desired). The package includes a 4 GB SD Card and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 L Kit lens (not bad either).

If you are still interested head over to and buy it before it gets sold out. (If you are looking for a DSLR, Canon 1000D is less than INR 20k and Nikon D3100 is available for less than INR 26k).

Asus unveils Zenbook

Asus has unveiled its Macbook Air competitor named Zenbook (aka UX). It is an ultrabook developed in association with Intel. It has an ultra-sleek design and weighs just 2.4 and 2.9 pounds for the UX21 and UX31 respectively. They will be available in 5 variants - two models for UX21 and three models for UX31.

Model UX21 UX31 
Z-height 3mm at the front; 9mm at the rear 3mm at the front; 9mm at the rear
Screen 11.6 (16:9) 13.3 (16:9)
CPU Intel Core i3-2367 / i5-2467 /    i7-2677 Intel Core i5-2557 / i7-2677
Backlight/ Resolution 450 nits HD 1366x768 450 nits HD 1600X900
Instant on Always resume in 2 seconds Always resume in 2 seconds
USB charger+ Y Y
I/O port 6 (USB2.0 / USB3.0 / audio jack /   DC jack / microHDMI    / miniVGA) 7 (USB2.0 / USB3.0 / audio jack / DC jack /        microHDMI / miniVGA / SD card reader)
USB3.0 1 Port 1 Port
SSD Generation SATAIII SSD (64G/128G/256G) SATAIII SSD (128G/256G)
BT Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.0
Battery 35W (5+ hrs) 50W (7+hrs)
Mic MEMS MIC (Digital MIC) MEMS MIC (Digital MIC)
Keyboard 268 Chiclit KB 286 Chiclit KB
Camera 0.3M 0.3M
Audio Bang & Olufsen ICEpower® SonicMaster Bang & Olufsen ICEpower® SonicMaster

Asus Zenbook

Windows Phone Officially Launched in India

Microsoft has launched Windows Phone in India at an event held in Taj Mahal Hotel, Delhi. At the event held this morning, Microsoft execs talked about the features of WP 7.5, marketplace and also introduced some regional apps like TOI and Snapdeal.

Talking on the device front, a total of 3 Mango smartphones will available to choose from at the beginning. HTC Radar has been launched at a price tag of Rs.23,990. Samsung Omnia W and Acer Allegro will follow in November. Omnia W will be sold at a price of Rs.19,990 and Allegro handset is said to be an affordable one.

Meanwhile, Nokia India Managing Director D.Shivakumar has told ET that Nokia Windows Phones will hit the Indian Market in the first quarter of 2012.

 ”Work for the Windows phone is on track and it would be launched in the first quarter of next (calendar) year.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Adobe Photoshop Image Deblurring [Sneak Peek]

Adobe has given a sneak peek of its planned Photoshop Image Deblurring feature in the MAX 2011 conference. It works by analyzing the blurred image and finding out how the blur was caused i.e the type of motion that occurred. After that, it negates the blur by applying effects that nullify the movement. The demo looks amazing. Have a look at the video below.

source: Gizmodo

Nokia Tune Remake

Italian DJ Valerio Alessandro Sizzi has won the Nokia Tune Remake Contest which aimed to re-imagine the classic Nokia tune. The Italian who made a dubstep version of the Nokia tune will receive a prize amount of $10000 and 5 runner-ups will receive $1000 each. The remake contest was announced on  September 5, 2011.
This is the first time Nokia is inviting people to work with the iconic tune with the winning tune to be placed next to the standard Nokia Tune in a selection of the company 2012 product portfolio. The tune should be fresh, expressive, original, creative yet distinctively a Nokia Tune. All collaborations are welcome.
Out of the 6000+ entries received, 10 of them were shortlisted and the decision was left to a 7-member judging panel which included:
  • Kai Bronner, one of the founders of Audio Branding Academy
  • Julian Treasure, known for his TED talks and author of ‘Sound Business’
  • Mark Dewings, head of Brand & Marketing Communications at SoundCloud
  • Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia’s own SVP of Design
Speaking of the winning tune, Nokia Sound Design Manager Tapio Hakanen said:
“The winner represents very much the sound of now with its energetic dubstep take on the Nokia Tune. It uses the 24-second running time cleverly having a clear intro, mid section and ending, all sitting nicely next to each other. This was one of the many examples of the Nokia Tune’s melodic flexibility.”

You can listen to the winning entry in the player below.

Also check out the Top 10 tunes and all the submitted entries here.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Give Your Headphones A Bit More Oomph.

Owners of portable media players often complaint about the low volume of their device, when paired with a large headphone. The reason ? these devices are meant to be used with earphones and when paired with larger headphones, the small one just fails to deliver. But like everything else there is a solution, a portable amplifier (If you didn't know such a thing existed, well you know now, thanks to me :) ). Chinese manufacturer FiiO has a range of amps for all your needs, and your wife will approve; they are incredibly cheap and gives your little guy a lot more oomph.

As everything else that is awesome, they are not officially available in India (actually they are, but the distributor sells online and some buyers says stay away from the store, so its up to you); you'll have to get it from the grey market and it would cost you around INR 1000. I particularly like the E-6 (an upgrade of E-5, which had the same design as Apple shuffle), which is small (41mmx40.2mmx9mm), light (just 16g) and gets the job done. It is powered by a built-in lithium battery, so you don't have to worry about powering this unit using a heavy battery. Here are the specs (if you understand all the numbers) :

  • Output power:150mW (16Ω Loaded);16mW (300Ω Loaded)
  • SNR:≥95dB(A weight)
  • Distortion:<0.009%(10mW)
  • Frequency response:10Hz~100KHz
  • Headset impedance:16Ω~300Ω
  • USB power supply port:DC 5V/500mA
  • Power supply mode :Built-in rechargeable lithium battery.
  • Size:41mmx40.2mmx9mm
  • Weight:16g

There are lot of other models to choose from depending on your requirements, check them out here.