When Social Media meets a Burger

14 Jan

When Social Media meets a Burger

Twitter: I am eating a Burger.
facebook: I like Burgers.
YouTube: This is how I eat my Burger.
LinkedIn: My skills include Burger eating.
Instagram: Here’s a classic picture of my Burger.
Blog: Here’s my Burger eating experience.
Pinterest: Here’s a Burger recipe.
Four Square: This is where I eat Burgers.
Snapchat: What Burger? you’re too late.

Adapted from a comment I saw on our internal corporate social network. Can you think of any more to add?

The GoPro conundrum

07 Nov

Sunday morning is one of the best times of the week for me. I usually set out on a Bike ride every week. The traffic is low and the weather in Bangalore adds to the experience. The peace and tranquility this brings is indescribable. I also get to see and meet fellow Bikers which makes it all the more purposeful.

Last Sunday I set out to ride towards Nandi Hills, near Bangalore. Over the past few weeks I had been experimenting with my GoPro Hero3 Black Edition camera which I mount on the Bike to take video and click photos during the rides. That day, I mounted the camera on the right side of my Helmet. It gave a brilliant perspective while capturing video and taking photos. Excited at the prospect of how this would turn out, I headed out that morning.

The onward journey to Nandi Hills was largely run-of-the-mill. The Bike ride in itself was exhilarating. Of course, I managed to attract a lot of attention, much to my discomfiture, but I had called for it, hadn’t I?

On my way back to the city, I had just crossed the Airport flyover and was coasting to the finish line, so to speak. To my left, I noticed a parked Police Hoysala vehicle. “Hoysala” is the name given to Police vehicles in Bangalore. A cop was standing beside it and had his eyes glued to me from the moment he saw the weird object protruding from my Helmet. As I came closer, he signaled at me to stop. I dutifully complied and moved to the left of the road. I surmised this would be a routine traffic stop. This was the first time I had been pulled over on my morning rides and my rhythm was somewhat broken. Amidst the confusion I completely forgot that I had the Camera attached to my Helmet. I wasn’t capturing any Video at that point.

The Cop came over and asked me to show my license, emission test certificate and insurance papers. I wasted no time in presenting him with all the paperwork. He did ask me how quick I was going, to which I shrugged and replied, “Around 60”. He smirked as if to say “yeah right!” Everything was in order and he gestured at me to move ahead. I put my Helmet back on and rode away.

A couple of kilometers ahead, I looked over at my RVM and noticed someone flashing their headlights. Rather annoyed, I scanned the RVM for who it was and noticed the same Hoysala vehicle. I wasn’t sure it was following me at that point. However, I backed off the pace and kept glancing at the RVM. The vehicle kept getting larger in it and now I could see the same Cop waving at me to stop. I moved to the left again and screeched to a halt. The Hoysala Van stopped a few meters ahead of me. I had a puzzled look on my face. Our Cop hurriedly walked over to me and asked me sternly what I had mounted on my Helmet. I removed the Helmet and showed him the gizmo. I said it was a ‘Sports & Action Camera’. He took the Helmet and walked up towards the parked Hoysala. While he was showing it to the other cops, seated inside, I waited nervously, wondering what on earth was wrong. Minutes ticked by and I was getting anxious. He walked back towards me and asked if the Camera was recording any video. I nodded my head. What ensued was a barrage of questions about why was I recording and what the Camera was used for. The discussion happened in Kannada, of course.

Now just envisage trying to explain to a Cop what a GoPro Camera is. Not easy. That was my predicament. Despite my irritation, I had a grin plastered all over my face. The bewildered look of the Cop was priceless. After, what only can be described as a tutorial on the use of action Cameras, I was on my way home. The only difference was that the Camera was no longer mounted on my Helmet; it was in my backpack 🙂

 

Samsung Galaxy S4 – My First Take

21 Mar

Recently at a function in New York’s Time Square which was watched by millions around the globe, Samsung announced the Galaxy S4, the latest in the range of top-end flagship phones which have propelled Samsung to the top position globally (4Q12 market share – according to IDC. See here)

The device packs some serious hardware. It would come with 1.6 GHz Octa-core ARM Cortex processor/ 1.9GHz Krait 300 (2 variants), SuperAMOLED Full HD display, 2 GB RAM, 13 megapixel Camera, 2600 mAh battery, Infrared Port, Temperature/Humidity sensors and a range of new software features like Smart Scroll,  Smart Pause, Air Gestures, S Health, Samsung KNOX et all. Samsung would’ve thought that they’ve probably done enough and more for the S4 to remain the torchbearer in the race to beat the iPhone brand (someday perhaps!) after a credible contest by the Galaxy S3 & S2. However, I have my reservations about the phone.

Don’t get me wrong. The Galaxy S4 is a definite improvement over its predecessor. There is little argument that it beats the S3 in every single specification. The display is bigger and better. The processor has 8 cores (better multi-tasking and faster processing), the camera and interface is significantly better, the battery has more juice and the device is even slimmer, lighter and smaller than the S3, despite having a 5 inch screen. That’s a job well done. Connectivity features  include 2G, 3G, 4G  (certain markets), Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB 2.0. Even the design of the S4 is marginally better than the S3. Sadly, this is where the advantage of the design element ends. Samsung has used Plastic as the material for this device. Honestly, in the design element, this beast feels poorly built and inferior to all other latest flagship phones like the HTC One, LG Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920, BlackBerry Z10 and of course, the iPhone 5.  As the competition gets hotter, Samsung’s reluctance to use premium materials in the making of their flagship phone may finally come to hurt them.

Next, the software & user interface – Samsung has been criticized by many for its Touchwiz UI layer that works over the Android OS being used. Many Galaxy users simply detest the Touchwiz experience. While some changes in the UI of the S4 seem evident, I am not sure if they are enough for people to change their mind about Touchwiz. In order to distinguish it from other flagship devices, Samsung has packed the phone with an array of new features. However, one feels that these features can only be used in extremely specific scenarios. I would stop short of calling these features a gimmick but I’ll be surprised if anyone chooses the S4 over other phones purely based on these new features. Again, I like the idea behind these features. Samsung is looking to make the life of the user easier. However, the execution and application of the features is where it struggles. When the Galaxy S3 first arrived, many of its features didn’t work too well. Similarly, during the launch several analysts, bloggers and others who were able to experience the S4 were slightly disappointed because features like Air Gestures just wouldn’t work, as previously demonstrated. Perhaps, this is due to the pre-final firmware and hopefully Samsung is able to iron out some out the creases. Let’s reserve judgment until the Phone is finally out in the market and it can be reviewed.

It seems obvious that Samsung appears to have settled towards making progressive changes to the top-of-the-line Galaxy range, similar to how Apple does to the iPhone. But Samsung needs to realize that it isn’t Apple. At least not yet. Therefore, it’s essential for the company to deliver the ‘wow’ factor consistently not only by hardware specifications but software and design as well. Hardcore Apple fans may disagree passionately but Samsung is already being seen as a competitor which could give Apple a run for its money down the line. There is no question that Samsung will sell a lot of S4 units. However, if this is the iPhone killer that the world is still searching for, is the bigger question. I think we already know the answer.

Domain – Decorus

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