Tag Archives: Apple

Movie Review: Jobs: A Complex Man, A Complex Story

jobs movie review

By Ankush Kumar

Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, and Josh Gad.

Introduction: Steve Jobs was a complex man as long as he lived, the film is no different.

Premise: JOBS is a competent retelling of Steve’s life till he took control of Apple Inc. in the nineties.

Plot: The film opens in 2001 at the launch of the iPod. And then traces the journey of the greatest innovator from his formative years in college to his wayward actions to his making of Apple. Likewise an apple product the movie keeps moving to one big aspect one after another.

Technical Insight: The background score in the opening scene, through its speakers is one of the best to be heard in recent times. The make up of Ashton Kutcher is a very believable Steve Jobs. The editing disappoints as the director tries to squeeze in too much of everything in one movie.

Acting: Ashton Kutcher plays the role near perfectly, the star in him is not visible as he plays Steve Jobs just well, the supporting cast is good but the man who takes home the honors is Josh Gad who slips into the role of Steve Wozniak beautifully.

Kela moment: The direction overall. Too much has been squeezed in.

Citizen Kane moment: The opening sequence.

Brownie points: 2.5 out of 5.

Greed Becomes Indistinguishable From Human Life

greed

Sarvesh Mehrotra in this classic writes how greed is the new God. Read on

I was reading an article today about how technology is the new religion. It explored how people gather at Apple conferences with a sense of anticipation and euphoria at a new product launch, and how a shared world of technology that was common between everyone created a sort of tribe that celebrated the “god” and worshipped together. I believe that is because in today’s world, two fundamental beliefs form the basis of our world-view and lifestyle: first is that there is no continuity to our existence beyond birth and death.  We are born, we die, and that’s it. The second one, which actually in some ways follows from the first, is that only what is experienced through the senses is important and real. Everything else is either overrated, or unimportant, or at least dispensable.

These two fundamental beliefs give rise to the next set of beliefs, some of which are: a human being starts his/her life as a blank slate, and must achieve or become something to make their life a success; a successful life is one in which there are signs of material prosperity and a relatively large ability to possess material things; the aim of life is to make it successful in this manner; problems in life must be resolved through application of the mind; any course of action of decision taken in life can be evaluated through its impact on one’s ability to possess material things; every right/good thing, person, or decision can, must, and should be measured in material terms; failure is a decrease in the ability to possess material things; all available time must be utilized; and so on.

This structure of beliefs then gives rise to a value system, in which we categorize things, situations, decisions, and people as right/wrong, good/bad, etc. which then becomes the basis of our decision-making in everyday life. Examples of thoughts that form this value system are: the creation and consumption of material things is a great way to fill the time available in life; increase in the ability to acquire material things is good and decrease is bad, unless it can later help take a decision that leads to an increase; the best way to solve problems in life is to use the mind’s logical and analytical abilities; anything not perceived by the senses is most likely a hoax or hallucination and therefore not to be trusted; success is good and failure is bad; time spent not working to increase one’s ability to acquire material things is time wasted; and so on.

Living in a world where the belief and value system described above is commonly shared, it is natural that things become our saviours from the uncertainties of life, and anyone who creates great things becomes a hero or god, which is where Apple and Steve Jobs (and a host of others) currently are in popular mindset. And while it is true that things have resolved problems humans have faced for survival on the physical plane, I believe we’ve taken the fascination with things too far at this point because anything that’s not a thing isn’t important anymore. In today’s world for an artist to matter, their art must sell; for a sportsperson to matter, they must win; for a worker to matter, they must bring the greatest profits to their employer; for a parent to matter, they must leave the greatest inheritance for their child; for a partner to matter, they must bring the ability to earn money to the relationship; for a forest to matter, it must be attractive to tourists; for a tree to matter, it must provide wood or fruit or leaves or pulp or sap which can be sold; for an animal to matter, it must be eatable, or have the ability to be a pet, or an attraction in a circus, zoo, or a wildlife sanctuary; for the rain to matter, it must increase the yield  of our farms; for the air to matter, it must provide ventilation in our homes and offices and electricity in our windmills; and for the planet to matter, it must fulfil the unending and ever-increasing greed of its human inhabitants.

Because greed is so common today and percolates and suffuses the entire mental, emotional, and social experience of human existence, it has become indistinguishable from human life. In today’s world, to be human is to be greedy. To be a good human is to be greedy with a little bit of conscience. In today’s philosophy, greed is good and is our saviour. Greed is the definition of modern and the new model of idealness.

However, the negative impact of greed is all around us. Increase in crime, breakdown of relationships, pollution of the planet, ecological disasters like floods and famines, increase in stress and obesity-linked health problems, and poverty are all related to the increase in greed. Ralph Waldo Emerson had once said “Things are in the saddle, and riding mankind”. His prediction has direly come true and is evident in front of us. The solution to the world’s problems lie not in complex technological solutions, but a simple change of human emotional orientation – away from greed and towards compassion as the model of life.

Canvas 4 Review: Super Phone For A Super Price

Micromax-Canvas-4-specifications

Micromax today has 18% market share (IDC) in the Indian phone market, only second after Samsung. One of the primary reasons of it scaling fast has been its Canvas series of smart phones. The gadget has everything that best smartphones have in the country, good hardware, great screen size and resolution and the pricing is just suitable to a country like India.

Now they have brought another one out from their cupboard as an extension of the series. Canvas 4 aka A210 looks a superphone at first glance. Let’s look at some of its primary features and gauge the capability better.

Screen: The use of Gorilla glass puts the phone a notch above others in the mainstream. Despite its large 5-inch screen, the phone settles smoothly in your hands and gives an uber cool feel. For an 18k phone, the screen is awesome. The resolution could had been improved (still 1280*720) but the quality of picture is better. The phone’s ability to show saturated colors is better than Canvas HD. Good resolution means better clarity in text. Touch is also better and phone’s refresh rate is refreshing for the user.

Built: A notch above Canvas 4, the glossy plastic with a bit of Aluminium is definitely adding to the look value of the phone. The back cover which is removable looks good too and overall the phone looks premium and polished which was needed as this is the highest priced phone from Micromax till date. The aluminium strip adds to the sturdiness of the phone. The power button is also done with aluminium which is a good change from most of the other phones, even expensive ones.

To sum up the built and looks, at the price tag of 18k no mainstream phone has better stuff than this one. No doubt there is scope for improvement but as mentioned this is the best at the point of entry i.e. the price.

Camera: 13MP camera in an 18k phone? Yeah you heard it right. Before you get excited hear this though. The quality of pixels ain’t great so although the news of 13MP makes good hearing, the feature ain’t upto the mark by the standards. The pictures captured lack depth and detail. Bad light is further bad news and close-ups are not good either. There are focus issues too especially during close-ups. Videos are marginally better although recording in MP4 format would had been better than the 3GP it uses.

Android 4.2.1 or Jelly Bean: Smooth functioning like all Canvas series phones highlight the Android in this one. The default user interface works well as compared to customized interfaces that other makers have put on their devices. The phone’s speed is good too and while switching between tasks also the lag is not much. Games perform well and browsing is smooth.

The speaker is good and sound is good as well. Voice quality is good and signal strength at first usage also looked decent.

Differentiation Indexes: To differentiate and to showcase innovation the phone makers have come out with a few features like blow to unlock and video pause. The features are not very user-friendly though and it would had been better had testing would had been good before throwing these into the open. Thankfully the makers have given ways to turn off these features.

Battery life of the phone is decent. With 3G, the battery lasts around 12 hours.

Verdict: A good phone overall sans the camera features. Good speed, brilliant screen and fantastic performance make it a good buy at 18k. If you are looking for a great smartphone sans brand image of big phone makers like Samsung and Apple, this is the phone to go for.