Currently Browsing: First Look

FirstLook: Lumia 920, 820 Windows Phones, Nokia Hopes For A Comeback

This month’s all about technology launches.. Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Nokia’s Lumia Phones, Samsung ATIV WP8 Phones, iPhone 5, Amazon Kindle Fire 2, Apple iPhone 5, Apple iPad Mini (still rumored), iOS6.

Nokia announced it’s much awaited flagship Windows Phone 8 phones – the Lumia 920 and 820. Just like the Apple iPhone 4S, Nokia wishes to sell it’s new Camera capabilities (PureView) in these new phones.

The phone comes with a great dual core processor, 1GB RAM, wireless charging, PureView camera and a few other Nokia software.

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DreamStarts helps you find Startup Jobs in India

Have you ever wondered how people become CTOs and Chief Architects at 25? Did you know there are multiple companies developing exciting Android/iOS games in India? Would you like to work in modern technologies and programming languages like Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Python/Django, Scala, Clojure and MongoDB? Do you wish to be part of a  company that grows from $10 to $1 Billion right in from of your eyes?

If this excites you, DreamStarts.in can help you in shaping up your career.

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An Awesome Compilation of Bollywood Covers of Popular Western Songs

We all know how our music directors get inspirations all the time. It was about time that someone compiled all of these inspired songs. Bollywood Cover Songs developed by Gaurav Oberoi does that pretty darn well. As it’s apparent from the name, in the spirit of decency, they call the Bollywood version a cover instead of blaming the music directors of stealing.

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All You Need To Know About HP’s Pre 3, Veer and TouchPad

HP officially announced a pair of webOS 2.1 smartphones and a tablet. The Pre 3 is the successor of Pre 2, the Veer is a tiny touch smartphone and the TouchPad is well, a tablet. If you are interested in any of these devices or just plain curious, read ahead for a first look.

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What is Aircel WiFi?

Aircel WiFi

Every time I see the new Aircel WiFi ad (see ahead), I’m so lost in the song that I ignore whatever they are saying. But this time I decided to actually find out what is it and is it any good?

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Want A Sturdy Weather Proof Phone? Motorola Defy Is Here

Motorola Defy

Remember when Mobile Phones were a luxury? Remember how you used to care about them and got panicked when they fell down 2 feet? Those days have gone  past.Nowadays, I drop my phone pretty much once a week. If that’s not enough, the phone has to go through smudges and scratches and splashes of water and dust every frickin day. Every time that happens I wonder why no one is making sturdier phones anymore. On the contrary, manufacturers like Samsung are famous for making phones whose parts come apart and fly off the moment they hit the ground. Apparently Motorola, with it’s somewhat solid and sturdy image, is coming up with a phone that may well start the trend. Don’t quote me on this, but it’s arguably the first smartphone (definitely the first Android-based one) that is made to, well, last.

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Blackberry Playbook Browser Demo Video Is Oh-So-Nice

This is the third browser demo video in continuation so I’ll keep the talking to minimal.

Blackberry has released the second detailed browser demo video for their upcoming Playbook. The first one got us excited but we had issues with the size of the Playbook as compared to the iPad. But this time it’s only Playbook and that makes the video, in my opinion, much more exciting.

[via TNW]

BlackBerry PlayBook beats iPad in a demo browser test!

In this new video released by BlackBerry, they compare the PlayBook browser to the iPad and well, the PlayBook performs comprehensively better!

Here are the key things to note:

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First Look: Sony Vaio VGN-CS24

vaio_cs_logo

Sony India launched its CS series of laptop in India some time back. The CS series has been doing pretty well in the US and Sony has added a lot of laptops to this range in India. Today we look at the VGN-CS24.

Configuration:

Microprocessor Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T6400 (2 GHz)
Memory 3 GB DDR2 SDRAM
Memory Max Up to 4 GB
Video Graphics Mobile Intel GMA 4500 MHD
Battery Life 2.5 hours
Hard Drive 250GB Serial ATA 5400 rpm
Multimedia Drive Built-in DVD±RW/±R, DL/RAM Drive
Display 14.1’’ Wide (WXGA:1280 x 800) TFT Color Display
Operating System Windows Vista Home Basic
Network Card 100 MBPS
Wireless Connectivity IEEE 802.11b/g Draft n
Weight 2.6 Kg (including the supplied battery)
Built-in Camera Yes

The laptop is targeted at students and home users. Clocking at 2 GHz with an ample amount of RAM, this laptop should be able to handle our daily surfing and multimedia tasks with ease. Students should be able to work seamlessly on MS Office and their school projects. The 250 GB HDD should be sufficient for those photos and media. Need more? get a portable USB hard drive.

vaio_cs_24_black

This is not a high end machine, however, the good amount of RAM and a sound processor should be enough to run heavy applications like Adobe Photoshop, Flash etc. it will also be able to do your seldom video compression tasks. I wouldn’t count on this as a serious gaming machine, owing to the standard graphics, however, you should be able to play most games at medium or low settings. Although, Counter Strike, AOE etc. should run pretty smoothly on this.

vaio_showcase

A screen resolution of1280 x 800 should be enough for document editing, playing games and watching movies. The isolated (Macbook type) keyboard makes typing easier and faster. The wireless card supports “802.11 Draft n” networks which means that it will be compatible with the upcoming high speed wireless networks (802.11n).

The only downside is the bundled Windows Vista Home Basic OS. We would recommend installing Windows XP to leverage the full potential of the hardware.

vaio_cs_colors

With a decent battery life of 2.5 hours, this is a good choice for students and home users with casual multimedia needs. The laptop is available in 3 colors – Jet Black, Blazing Red & Noble Brown. The MRP is INR 49,990, but you can get this for approx INR 46k at most retail outlets and probably for even lesser at Nehru Place.

First Look: HD Radio

hd_radio_logo

HD movies, HD TV, HD audio, and now we have HD radio.

There is a new radio technology around the corner. Its called HD radio. Despite the fact that it has nothing to do with the High definition (HD) term used in HDTV, HD movies and HD audio, it is definitely better than our old school radio technology and delivers CD quality sound over FM and FM quality sound over AM.

According to wikipedia:

HD Radio technology is a system used by AM and FM radio stations to digitally transmit audio and data in conjunction with their analog signals. This system enables AM and FM radio stations to simulcast both digital and analog audio within the same channel (a hybridized digital-analog signal) as well as add new FM channels and text information. Although HD Radio broadcasting’s content is subscription-free, listeners must purchase new receivers in order to receive the digital portion of the signal.

According to hdradio.com:

It’s the most significant advancement in radio broadcasting since the introduction of FM stereo more than 50 years ago. HD Radio technology enables AM and FM radio stations to broadcast their programs digitally – a tremendous technological leap from the analog broadcasts of the past.

Work on the HD radio technology started way back in 2001 when satellite radio came into the arena offering much more stations, CD quality sound, strong reception everywhere and channels without any commercials at all.

How it works:

how_hd_radio_works

Basically, digital radio works the same as conventional radio. There’s a signal on one end and a receiver on the other. But there are a few key differences.

[1] Instead of sending out one analog signal, stations send out a bundled signal – both analog and digital. Because it is digital, textual data such as traffic, stock info and song titles can be sent out, as well.

[2] The digital signal layer is compressed.

[3] The combined analog and digital signals are transmitted.

[4] Inevitably, radio signals bounce off objects, causing what is called multipath distortions. This is what causes the static in conventional radio receivers. HD Digital radio receivers are designed to sort through reflected signals, reducing static, hiss, pops and fades.

[5] Finally, the signals reach their destination. Both broadcasts are free, with no subscription fee. To hear the digital broadcast, all you need is an HD Radio receiver.

HD Radio offers a lot of advantages over conventional radio:

  • Digital signals ensuring much better audio quality
  • Multiplexing of analog and digital signals for backward compatibility with old radio receivers
  • Shadow channels on the same frequency
  • Free!

Apparently, HD radio is not gaining much popularity due to a number of reasons:

  • You need a new receiver. No matter how much the quality improvement be, it is very difficult to convince people to invest in a new device
  • Clumsy controls. You will need to tackle a lot of buttons to take full advantage of features such as shadow channels
  • People get confused with so many options at their disposal. Standard radio, Satellite radio and now HD radio.
  • Lack of quality content

HD radio is slowly gainig popularity in the US. There are more than a thousand radio stations broadcasting in HD radio and over a hundred receiver models available. Many cars also come with HD radio compatible music systems.

It will take some time for HD radio technology to come to countries like India where there are a lot of barriers to entry for new technology. Till then, we have the option of satellite radio which, despite based on a subscription based model, is gaining popularity here owing to better content and audio quality.

[Via NYTimes]

[Portions from wikipedia, hdradio.com]

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