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Archive for the ‘science/technology’ Category

Kindle: Some Limitations

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I’m currently reading Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabiaon my Kindle and have encountered problems and limitations the reading device offers; though not displeasing it’s definitely annoying.

  • Often times I have encountered words that are treated as one when they are clearly suppose to be separate. For example, ‘and less’ reads as ‘andless’, which is not correct. This is due to the publisher’s sloppiness.
  • Since this is a biography, it is littered with footnotes. Accessing footnotes on the Kindle is a chore, as they are listed at the end of the chapter instead of the bottom of the page in the printed book. Kindle does offer a hyperlink, but it doesn’t link to a specific footnote, just the general one. Again this is due more to the publisher’s laziness then anything else.
  • This books contain a plethora of pictures which are just not as clear or vibrant on the Kindle as they are in the book. This is an example of the Kindle’s many limitations. Digital ink is great for words but lousy for pictures.

The technological limitations is an hindrance, but I still love my Kindle, knowing full well the technology will only get better with time.

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Written by niraj

July 15th, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Posted in books,science/technology

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Yahoo Mail’s Redesign

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Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has updated its e-mail interface:

It has a cleaner, less cluttered look; and fewer ads. Yahoo has also decided to add a new application window containing many of its applications just a click away. All in all, I really like it.

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Written by niraj

September 18th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Video On-Demand Cures Boredom

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Was perusing TVGuide.com to see if there was anything worth watching tonight, but found absolutely nothing that interested me.

I need to watch something! Reading at night is not an option for me (I prefer to read in the morning), and I have no hobbies to speak of. And listening to music for the sake of listening to music is not my bag. I need visual stimulation, and television is the only effective delivery system.

Then I realized I have video-on-demand through my cable company. So I’ve decided to watch a couple episodes of No Reservations I somehow managed to miss. So the night is not a total loss at all. Thank you, Anthony Bourdain and video on-demand

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Written by niraj

September 3rd, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Addicted To Twitter?

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I use the following Twitter services:

And I publish to Twitter via txt, im, web, and e-mail. I guess you can call me a Twitter maniac.

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Written by niraj

April 25th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Twitter Is Back. Thank God!!!

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Twitter has been facing some growing pains this weekend with an outage of some kind. Thankfully, it’s back up and running, and all lost posts returned to their rightful place. It’s strange. A technology I once dismissed as trivial and overly simplistic is now a critical part of my life. I love Twitter.

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Written by niraj

April 22nd, 2008 at 1:19 pm

An Analyst On Crack: Apple To Sell 45 Million iPhones?

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An analyst is predicting that Apple (APPL) will sell 45 million iPhones in 2009. He gives the following reasons:

  • By introducing a 3G iPhone within the next 3 to 6 months
  • By offering a family of 2 to 3 iPhones — including lower-priced models selling for $200 to $300 — by Jan 2009 at the latest
  • By entering new countries, effectively doubling the addressable market every year for the next two years
  • By adding new features, such as games (Tiger Woods Golf, played by swinging the iPhone?) and remote purchases (Starbucks lattes without the wait?) starting in June

I think this analyst’s predictions are a bit on the optimistic side, in my opinion, and I will hit on two reasons why: first, in the U.S. market, the iPhone is only available through AT&T (though an unlocked iPhone will work within any GSM network, say, T-Mobile, but not Verizon), which seriously limits its appeal; and second, the barriers of entry are so low, there are scores of competitors who are bringing out clones of the iPhone, and at much lower prices. And then there’s Google…

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Written by niraj

April 1st, 2008 at 10:24 am

Amazon Kindle: Sold Out After Heavy Demand

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I thought Amazon’s Kindle was one in a long line of electronic book– or eBook– products that have failed to catch on; and, at $399, a bit on the pricey side. But, it seems, Amazon cannot make enough of them. No sales figures are available, but this article in Popular Mechanics is simply fawning.

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Written by niraj

March 21st, 2008 at 11:03 am

Bloggers Are Writers Too

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JK has written a great post about the writing process, something I’m keenly interested in as well. JK says that we bloggers can benefit from a more disciplined approach to writing as practiced by professional writers like Orhan Pamuk, Suketu Mehta and Kathy Sierra, all of whom JK profiles. An important quote:

Pay attention to the structure of the post, spend time editing it and finally make it interesting to read.

Lessons I have repeatedly learned and forgotten (often within seconds of each other). It’s hard enough to write something interesting on a daily basis that the blogosphere demands, but writing and then editing is a never-ending struggle for me. This is why I write so infrequently, and when I do, the most I can manage is a few paragraphs, often only a couple of sentences (that is why I like twitter and tumblr so much). Writing is not easy. I can take comfort in the fact that writing is not suppose to be easy– even for professional writers!

There are two things in my mind that can make a blogger better: reading and writing Obvious, I know, but hear me out. It’s no coincidence that good writers are often good readers. Good readers in that they not only read widely, but pick good books to read. Quality is important here. After all, reading John Grisham, Tom Clancy, cereal boxes, and People magazine will only take you so far. Not surprisingly, most writers read the classics. Classics are classics for a good reason, they are a fount of good writing. Bloggers should read more of them.

But reading takes time. Time is a precious commodity in our fast-paced culture, where bite-sized blog posts is all we have time to digest. We value doing many things as possible in the shortest span of time, hence the mantra: volume is more important than quality. I suffer from this problem acutely. I’m always obsessed with reading as many books as I can before I die, only realize that there was no way I was going to read all the books I wanted to read, even if I did nothing but read and live to 200. It’s just not possible. So I have become more pickier in what I read. And instead of trying to read a book as fast as I can. I read slowly. Letting the author’s word sink-in. To meditate on the books meaning. In my opinion, a good book cannot be read once, but twice, even thrice. Each time something new, absent in previous readings, comes to the surface.

The second part, of course, is writing. Reading provides a foundation, in that you learn what good writing is. Nevertheless, reading and writing are two different functions. I’ve read Charles Dickens or Jane Austen and wonder why I can’t write like them. My writings are consistently filled with choppy sentences (or run-on sentences), grammar mistakes, misspellings, incoherence, or is downright banal. The only way to improve my writing, I find, is practice, practice, and more practice.

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Written by niraj

February 28th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Yahoo! Mail And Spam

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I don’t know what the deal with Yahoo! Mail is lately but the increasing levels of spam is troubling. Ever since the switch to an AJAX-powered model, spam has been simply out of control. Much of the spam are porn-related and dealings with prescription pharmaceuticals (the usual suspects).

I would gladly switch to another e-mail provider, but switching e-mail addresses these days is akin to switching phone numbers– a royal pain in the ass; something to be avoided at all costs. Yahoo! Mail is my lifeline in this electronic world, so I’m willing to to tolerate a certain level of spam. Nevertheless, I have my limits, and unless Yahoo! rectifies the situation quickly, I will be forced to go elsewhere, like GMail, whose spam filter works much better than Yahoo’s.

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Written by niraj

February 14th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

India: No One Writes Letters Anymore

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Excellent article in The New York Times about the dying industry of professional letter writing in India. The article profiles one G.P. Sawant, who claims he hasn’t written a letter in three years! The culprit? Globalization, internet, and high mobile phone penetration.

I remember when my mother use to write letters to Bangladesh and India on those familiar blue air mail paper slips, and receive them in turn. Those days are long gone, of course: now calling costs pennies a minute, IM and e-mail are equally intimate—as a result, no one writes letters anymore. Hence there is no need for professional letter writers like Mr. Sawant, who, long retired, idyllically passes his time away at his stand, just in case that one person might need a letter written.

[via kottke]

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Written by niraj

December 27th, 2007 at 12:33 pm