Straight Angle™: September 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007

iPhone Bricked by Apple! 

As I am writing this, I am staring at a screen that says, "iTunes has deducted an inactive iPhone. Please restore the iPhone to the blah blah.....". What the latest firmware update to the iPhone had done to my iPhone is, to brick it (well, almost nearly). All my data has gone- including all my songs, my notes, calendar information, SMS's, browsing history, bookmarks - its as good as a new iPhone. Thankfully, my contact list is still intact. But my voice mail settings and all the voice mails that I had saved, are gone- I am distraught- I didn't expect this from Apple- to brick my phone- my confidence in Apple is taking a second nasty blow- after the now infamous price slash.

I did read commentary on the firmware update- all it said was that, an active AT&T Sim was necessary to get the iPhone working post update. But, I hadn't unlocked the phone in the first place- So, I don't understand what went wrong. Do I have any recourse for this?

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007


தொடக்கம் மறந்த கவிதையின் நடு வரி,

தூக்கம் தொலைத்த கண்களின் வலி,

அழுது அழன்ற மழலையின் கண்ணீர் கறை,

நாவினடியில் பதுக்கிய ஆவற்க்காயின் ஒரு கடி.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why Apple is better without ATT!! 

I just got my second iPhone bill-and it wasn't the shock that others were subjected to. But, this is a shock of different kind. Right from the beginning, I am not too satisfied with the EDGE network reception and the Internet speed with iPhone- I don't think AT&T is the best fit for iPhone or for Apple. May be they need to go for a better service provider.

The second AT&T iPhone bill, just goes to prove why AT&T is such a misfit for Apple. Along with the bill, I got couple of flyers for......well, see it for yourselves!

An advert for Samsung mobiles with iPhone bills!!- Well, thats AT&T for you!- I also wanted to prove a point- these are pictures taken with the iPhone- enjoy the clarity(!!) of the pictures! I understand its just a 2MP camera- still, I would want a better clarity picture than this!- Sample this!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Nationalistic Jingoism! 

It baffles me time and again, when non-issues can be stroked to such propositions, that they tend to occupy prime time in our media. CNN-IBN practically needs nothing to stroke sentiments like this. Remember Sunitha Williams?- Yeah, the second "Indian" woman in space- put there by an American Agency- an Indian as much as Musharaff is one :)

Now, see this video news item from CNN-IBN:

You know what is the most pressing issue on hand in Gujarat and in India?-
Why isn't the Gujarat government according a state reception and welcome to Sunitha Williams?- Is it because she is a relative of Haren Pandya?

I am sorry to say this, but WTF?- We have her "relatives" coming up on TV and saying that, she is the daughter, sister of Gujarat, India and the World- I mean why are we so hell bent on this "national" back smacking? What is there for India to be proud in what Sunitha achieved?- Why should Gujarat Government even be concerned about her visit, except may be for providing security?

Just hearing the words like "We dont mind it"-(when commenting on the Gujarat Govt's supposed unwillingness to welcome her), "It shows their smallness, hallowness"etc, makes me hot under the collar. As I had already written about this earlier, it is absolutely none of our business to ask questions like,"Is it becoming a camp for anti-modi campaign" and get answers like, "We dont mind because the Government is not welcoming her- it shows their smallness, hallowness", when the person is supposedly here on a personal visit- Gosh- what is the government for- to roll out red carpet welcome to some fake national pride?

Here, in the US, there is hardly any mention of her or the other astronauts who had gone with her to space- I can atleast understand all the euphoria, if she had been put in space by ISRO, with our own rockets and science. We have absolutely no connection what so ever to what she has achieved than fathering her father in some distant past- then I guess African tribes should be celebrating for every damn thing that we achieve- after all, all humans came from Africa only- right?

The ending of the interview was a piece of cake- the host says, "Hope her visit remain a personal one"- simply amazing- do these guys have any such thing as common sense?- I am sure not!

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Grand Post! 

At last, I have managed to sort the 1500 odd photos that we three of us (Myself, Mouly and Vivek) had shot during our trip to Grand Canyon this Labour Day weekend. It was a wonderful trip to say the least and one of the most adventurous that I had ever taken so far. Even when we planned for the trip early in the month of July, we had Rim-Rim hike on plan. Though we were not sure if we would really take the hike- because we had read that the Rim-Rim hike was extremely strenuous and should not be tried to be completed in a day, we were very skeptical on taking the hike.

Come Grand Canyon, all this changed. We reached Grand Canyon driving from Phoenix at around 5:30 a.m and what a sight it was. Truly magnificent. I couldn't resist my urge to hike down till the river- now the Rim-Rim here means, South Rim to North Rim or North Rim to South Rim, along a well established trail- there are numerous trails to do this-but the point is, if you plan for a Rim to Rim, you would have to trail atleast around 8 miles along the river before you start your hike back to the Rim[This is because, you can take only the North Kaibab Trail to reach the North Rim and this is a 14 mile trail, which is more than the 6.3 mile South Kaibab Trail that you can use to come down and claim up the South Rim]. This is different from hiking from South Rim- River and come back to South Rim. This would save you the hike along the river and would save you much time.

But, we decided against going for a Rim to Rim- we would remain with the South Kaibab Trail only to go down and come up. But, there are few words of caution- if you are planning for a hike, to the river, make sure that you have planned it comfortably well in advance. I had been to hiking and trekking a couple of times-but Grand Canyon is unlike anyother trek- its unlike any other hike- the extreme temperatures coupled with abysmal humidity, makes it a deadly combination- the South Kaibab Trail has no water source till you reach the Colorado River, which is like 6.3 miles down- it might not sound much- unless you start walking and find the sun beating down on you mercilessly.

Certain things to keep in mind when you hike in the canyon.

Carry liquids- I am not saying just water precisely for a reason- though you would loose lot of water due to sweating, it is wise to carry salted liquid- or some salty stuff, like Glatorade or Lemonade- rather than just water- It is not just loss of water, it is also loss of bodily salt that can cause much harm and tiredness.

Carry lots of dry fruits, nuts and salted peanuts to supplement your food. Take more than enough food- eat twice as your normal- its not just lack of water that is dangerous, it is also lack of good food.

Wear cotton clothes- that can stay wet for a considerable time. It is advisable to wet your dress before you start the trail, if you are planning to start it after the Sun rise. It is wiser to hike during early morning and late evening/nights- if you are carrying a flash light, it is better to start your hike after 4 p.m.

Don't carry biscuits or glucose or stuff that would require even more water to digest them :)- the best food that you can carry are probably apples, oranges and fruits like that, which would quench both the thirst and the hunger.

When the temperature around is hovering around 100+F, the water in the river is near freezing- which might lead to hypothermia.

Last but not the least- never plan for a rim-river-rim hike in a day- never- and I mean it :)

All said and done, we did plan for the hike in a day- and we had to sleep on the trail, get lost in the night without a flash light, curse the silliness and sleep without water.

But then, all this apart, it was a wonderfull trip, that I would cherish for a long time to come- not the least because, it offered me good lessons.

For all things apart from the lessons, do take a look at the collection that I have got!

Grand Canyon
As I am at it, please let me raise a toast for the 500th post of this blog- what better way to celebrate that, but a post on The Grand Canyon- Grandness deserve Grand things!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


It's no secret of my love of Malayalam. It's been a long time though, that I even heard someone speak that language. Infact, it is so worse that, I might even forget all that Malayalam that I learnt with so much of love and passion. Its indeed painful to see a language that you cherished, wither away from you, just because you are not speaking in it anymore or there is absolutely no touch with that language anymore.

I was browsing through someother blog somewhere, when I chanced upon some wonderfully composed Malayalam Songs. That, indeed opened the flood gates of my thirst for Malayalam- esp a couple of songs, that had been my favourite for a long time- which I used to listen to repeatedly- but didn't have in my iPod-somehow I had missed these songs.

What else is Raaga if not for this??

Here you go, my favourite songs from the Malayalam cinema- incidentally, both are from the same film- Meesa Madhavan.

Ente Ellam Ellam Alle, Kari Mizhi Kuriviyae

Feeling blissful, after a long time!!

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

iPhone, Price- Is it Worth it? 

Ok. Lets get this thing straight. I was indeed following the Steve Job-"The Beat Goes on" speech, where he slashed the price of iPhone by around 30%. I was following it in Engadget and I was excited with iPod Nano, iPod Classic and all. It was very exciting to see iPod Touch- but then, why was I squeaking in the chair, with so much happening around?
  • Now, there is very little difference between an iPod Touch and an iPhone (looks-wise), and iPod Touch comes cheaper, with no monthly charges :)
  • While I don't mind paying the 600$ that I paid for iPhone, I do expect a comfortable zone of exclusivity, when I can be the "Cool-Kid" in the block.
  • True- when you are the early adapter, you are bound to be made obsolete soon- but how soon is the case in point- Apple had traditionally been a brand that would let you enjoy this for quite sometime.
  • 66 days off the launch and the price is reduced by 30%- this is too soon and too steep.
  • There were no appreciable updates for iPhone itself- except the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store and the ringtones. I am not interested in buying a ringtone for .99$ and not interested in the iTunes Music Store too. I was expecting something along launching iPhone internationally- though I know it might be launched in Europe, Asia (India) is largely out of Steve's radar right now.
I did enjoy the period of "unrestrained enthusiasm" for the phone even with strangers- when I would proudly show off. I just wanted it to last a bit longer than this.

I am as well excited by the $100 credit that Jobs had offered- but I just can't help but marvel at the marketing stunt that he had pulled off. It is not easy to antagonize your ardent followers and then pull it off with minimum damage. I don't think the 100$ credit that was offered is a "I-see-the-reaction-and-then-offer" act. It must have been a carefully planned out strategy- the price reduction is an eventuality, a certainty waiting to happen. Only the timing was unexpected. I am sure Steve would have factored the angry reaction from the early adopters that followed the announcement and would have already formulated this credit offer long before he even announced the reduction.

Now, he had made even those who were disappointed with the price reduction to buy and thus keep buying more from Apple. Had this been a knee-jerk reaction to the angry feedback, he might have as well given a reimbursement. The fact that Apple had made only a credit available for future purchases, speaks volumes about the planning. I don't buy the argument that this is reflective of the disappointing sales of iPhone. Though I think 600$ is a steep price to make it a mass product, I do believe the sales had been well towards the target- Time would say if that is true or not.

In the meanwhile, I am looking out for 10 more iPhone early birds to share the 100$ credit with me, so that I can buy an iMac! ;)

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

IBN With its Feet in Mouth- Still! 

Why do I get a nauseating feeling when I read this piece of crap called Journalism? Why can't CNN-IBN hire people who can write sensible stories? Why would I even want to read anything like this? I am sure even a pre-school kid be able to write a better, cohesive story than this piece of crap.
Luckily and surprisingly, this story has an attribute- this story is written by one Pranshu Sikka/Pranshi Sikka- Pardon me for the spelling- but the Tag for the story says Pranshu Sikka and the attribute inside the story says Pranshi Sikka- may be this guy is like our Honourable MP- or may be he is an MP already.[Not to suggest anything about his alleged criminal background- just the change in names].
Look at this sentence:
Abusive phone calls, persistent physical and emotional incursions and unprecedented trauma, some banks have woken up to the spate of criticism and resorted to regulatory intervention like these.
Looks to me, that this is more like an combination of words sounding "Oxford-ly"(if there is any word like that), than a meaningful, sensible, logical sentence. I wonder, if this is the sign of things to come?- "Regulatory intervention"??? like "these"?- Words hanging in open- disjointed rambling, some sort of a kichidi story!
I see strains of this in "Oh-So-The Hindu" too. Look at this story:
Almost all senior BJP members including Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh,Deputy Leader Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi, Arun Shourie, former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha, AIADMK new leader in the House Dr V Maitreyan, and Samajawadi Party's Amar Singh and Janeshwar Mishra were among signatories asking for the discussion to be raised.
Am I the only one reading these??

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:: Adam Smith's Controlled Greed ::

Swarnasrikrishnan/Male/28. Lives in India/Tamilnadu/Chennai, speaks Tamil, English, 

Malayalam, German, Hindi(??). Eye color is black. I am a god. I am also optimistic.
It's me machan:

Swarnasrikrishnan, Male, 28, India, Tamilnadu, Chennai, Tamil, English, Malayalam, German, Hindi(??)

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