Wednesday, May 25, 2011

iPhone 4 in India - 27 May

Indian mobile carrier Airtel has been taking pre-registrations for the iPhone 4 since earlier this month, but now competitor Aircel is going to hit the market first.
Aircel is launching the iPhone 4 on Friday for both pre-and-postpaid plans. The retail price isn't cheap -- you can expect to pay Rs 34,500 (about $763) for the 16GB iPhone 4 or a whopping Rs 40,900 (about $905) for the 32GB model.
There's something that should make the sting of paying for the iPhone price up front a bit less painful. Aircel is using a reverse-subsidy program, and you can recover the full cost of the iPhone 4 in monthly credits over the next two years.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

How Do Polaroids Work?

It does seem like a particularly miraculous feat that a tiny sheet of photo paper can have a photo printed on it instantly. But how does it happen? And how do pinhole cameras work? Photojojo sketches the explanations. Photojojo

Facebook Fails

Facebook wants to be your life. They want you to chat, exchange messages and publish your photos using their services. That's ok. It's a good concept. It's just too bad their technology sucks to the point of being unusable at times.
There's plenty of reasons to hate Facebook. And then some more. But I don't care about those. To me it's not about the privacy, their terms of service or Zuck's dog.
The main reason is a critical one: Reliability. That's where Facebook fails.

Being good is not good enough

At this point Facebook has 500 million active users. 50% of those login every single day, and they have an average of 130 friends each. They are associated or interact with 900 million objects, including pages, groups, events and community pages. Together, Facebook users create and share 30 billion new links, articles, wall posts, notes and albums. 30 billion new pieces of content every month. Breath.
Those are staggering numbers. All that information is stored in a giganormous distributed database, which ties everything together. The fact that a system like this works on a daily basis may seem impressive to most people, and it is. And the fact that it very rarely goes down—unlike other less-complex systems like Twitter—is good too.
But if you want to take over every aspect of people's lives, good is not enough. Being just "good" is a failure. You have to be absolutely perfect, and that requires—first and foremost—that your messaging and chat facilities work flawlessly, with no loss of data whatsoever. Sadly, that is not the case.

Broken messages

For years now we have been suffering Facebook's chat system, perhaps the worst in the industry. You can't maintain a conversation without you or your buddy being logged off. Sentences, entire paragraphs don't get delivered. I can't count the times I've wanted to punch the screen and given up. Everyone else I've spoken to has had the same experience.
But now, with the merging of chat, the message box and their new mail address, things are even worse. During the last few weeks, some messages have been lost. Gone. They show up in the notifications panel, but they are nowhere to be found in the actual inbox. This problem is actually the number one problem in their Help Center's messaging section, labeled as "known bug." How can this be a known bug and not be fixed?
You get the first phrase but can't access the rest. You see you have received a "Hey! Yes, I definitely would love to..." but nothing else. Would love to what? Would love to go out to the movies but can't? Would love to strangle me? Would love to get me in bed? Would love to bake a cake? Would love to spread some jam on my monkeys? What would you love? What? What's going on, in the name of the Holy Underpants!

While you may think that Facebook communications are inconsequential, the fact is that they are not. Many people depend on Facebook to keep in contact with very important people in their lives. They carry all kinds of information, from the trivial to emotionally charged messages. A message has the potential to make or break marriages and friendships. Many people depend on it just like Facebook wants and, for them, any reliability level below 100% is completely unacceptable. No computer system that wants to be an integral, irreplaceable part of our lives can fail like this. And data loss is absolutely out of the question.
On top of all this, there's the issue of their user support. Facebook support pages are a joke, and critical issues like losing messages redirect you to a feedback form. I'm still waiting for an answer to my request, sent days ago. If you want to have people depending on you, you need to provide instant feedback. Not a black hole and the promise that your problem may get fixed one day.
Zuck and crew: Get your act together. It has been years since Facebook has had chat and it's still unreliable. Messaging fails too, a "known bug" according to your own help pages. Now you want to further get us inside your cave with your mail services. But how can we trust you with yet another part of our communications when you have not been able to get the basics right in years?
We can't. You can't pretend to be the planet's digital life hub and then offer services that fail and no technical support. Your objective requires that your system's reliability is absolutely perfect. Less than that is not acceptable.
Until then, you are Failbook.

Watch This Stunt Pilot Shave a Man With a Helicopter

I don't know how practical it is, strictly speaking, to be able to open beer bottles, balance a glass of water, and shave another man's face with the helicopter you're piloting. But man is it fun to watch.
This Siberian pilot does some of the best stunt helicopter flying I've ever seen—not saying much, but still. Although I will admit, I'm more impressed with whoever first volunteered to get his whiskers trimmed by a hotshot and his wingless flying machine.

Clickfree C2 hard drive can fall down

There's just something about the phrase "built to strict U.S. military standards" that makes us want to go positively medieval on a rugged device. Sadly, the aforementioned qualifier doesn't mean that Clickfree's new C2 Rugged Back-up Drive is capable of withstanding, say, a hail of gunfire, but the rubberized diskwill continue to work after being dropped from four feet. The peripheral also features the company's Easy Run software, which will start automatically backing up your PC when you're done showing that storage device who's boss. The 500GB C2 is available now through Clickfree's site for $140 -- or $100, if you're one of the lucky 100 first people to buy, so maybe buy two, in case you go a little overboard.

Google's CR-48 apparently shipping again, doing the prototype death rattle

Reports are trickling in that Google has begun shipping the CR-48 to eager testers who've thus far been empty-handed after signing up for the units back in December. Could it be? Is the plucky prototype Chrome OS laptop getting a stay of execution after being declared all dried up back in March? That's pretty unlikely, given the impending release of the Samsung and Acer netbooks that we saw announced during Google I/O. It seems a lot more plausible that the company is just exhausting the supply, so if you signed up late last year and haven't received one yet, we wouldn't recommend holding your breath.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Unlock your iPhone remotely

CYS now offer Remote iPhone Unlocking Services for certain carrier locked iPhones.  Please make certain when selecting this service you choose the carrier that your iPhone is LOCKED to/Originally purchased from.  See list of supported carrier locked iPhones at CutYourSim.