Stories about technology

Budget2013: Research and Development in Pakistan

The initial prognosis of the recent budget by pundits is positive, with the phrase “business-friendly” or some other variant prefacing their every breath. While that’s an italicised development from past years, let’s hope there is a noticeable change in the fields of research, development and technology as well. To say the least, Pakistan has had its share of intestinal economic and political disruptions. Incessant wars, military rule, flogged bureaucracy and corruption represent some of the determinants of Pakistan’s snail-paced economic growth. Recognising these factors, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar during his budget presentation speech invoked the word “development” 26 separate times, but ...

Read Full Post

My mother’s lost letters

One memory from my childhood was watching my mom sit at the kitchen table with a pen and stack of lined loose-leaf sheets of paper to write one of her three sisters a long letter, handwritten in attractive Arabic script. This was one of the only activities that could draw my mom away from her rigorous daily routine of managing every family affair and caring for three daughters with boundless dedication. Taking the time to write letters was a rare respite for our supermom. She would become immersed in her thoughts and intently focus on the blank sheets in front of her, ...

Read Full Post

Beware of email and SMS spoofing: You could be impersonated!

I recently came across an article about an ‘evil mobile software’ on sale in Pakistan that is being used to send out fake SMS messages using other people’s mobile phone number. This act is commonly called ‘SMS spoofing’ and has both legitimate uses (setting the company name, your own mobile number or a product name from which the message is being sent) and illegitimate uses (such as impersonating another person, company or product). The article states that the software is being advertised and sold openly in the market without the notice of any law enforcement authorities. It is being used to send out spam and phishing messages. To ...

Read Full Post

Demystifying the myth of full HD smart phone screens

2013 is witnessing a rapid growth in smart phone technology with a number of exciting features added to the phones. Despite the amazing features in recent mobile phones that include, high speed quad core processors, large screen sizes, high-fidelity Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) and innovative designs, the mobile phones manufacturers are desperately trying to surpass each other. A number of marketing tactics are being used to get us all excited, and persuade us to upgrade our phones. Due to the tremendous advancements in hardware and software technology and the challenges posed by a very competitive market, the smart phone manufacturers are left only ...

Read Full Post

How technology in Pakistan should be used safely

The public-private debate in Pakistan is a hard creature to get a handle on. Being a Pakistani male, when I was approached by Take Back the Tech — a Bytes for All Pakistan initiative locally — to develop a set of comic strips for their campaign focused on how concepts of public and private affect ICTs and violence against women, I was initially stumped.  I was told the debate was a wide one, including right to privacy, lines between private and public in online spaces, state surveillance, sexting and more. I wanted to focus on this with an emphasis on technology, media (especially the online space) ...

Read Full Post

Is the iPad mini all that great?

The global market is responding to the seven inch mini tablets better than to any of the 10-inch standard tablets and are flooding the stores worldwide. While Apple’s Ipad 4G is still the best tablet by a mile, it is the mini tablet that is proving to be the game changer in the business. The mini tab is a cross between a smart phone and a tablet, more portable and makes a better eBook reader than a standard tablet. So grab some pop corn and come along with me as I take you to a trip inside the mini tablet world and ...

Read Full Post

Newsweek going digital: Will the fall of print mark the end of reading?

When the Sumerians began the organising, collecting and establishing the first ever libraries in the history of mankind, the reaction must have been interesting. What were these strange new methods of collecting information? What were these new-fashioned ways of gathering the hieroglyphs? Surely the age-old way of letting them stay in the caves would suffice, right? Perhaps this is the kind of automated reaction the world is going through again as Newsweek announces the culmination of its print edition. Come next year, one of the oldest magazines of our generation is going to go online and pretty soon you won’t be ...

Read Full Post

iPhone 5: What really matters

After days of speculation and hype, finally came the moment when Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 along with a new range of iPods and iOS 6 on September 12. Being an Apple enthusiast, I had expectations of a revolutionary product that would yet again re-define the phone industry. Obviously, however, no such revolutionary product was launched and what we saw was an improved iPhone. I was disappointed, and so were many others that expressed their emotions on Facebook and Twitter. As the Foo-fighters concluded their performance and iPhone 5 event came to an end, I switched off my screen and ...

Read Full Post

Is the iPhone 5 after Jobs doomed to failure?

With the ever increasing trend of smart-phones, Apple’s iPhone has definitely bagged the top position in the list of favourites – and why shouldn’t it? With an amazing set of features coupled with a slim and sleek design, excellent touch system and thousands of apps which you can download from the Apple Apps Store, the iPhone has everything desired to gain mass appeal. Apple was formerly recognised for its computers and MacBooks, until 2007 when our very dear Steve Jobs introduced the exquisite iPhone, which was a combination of the iPod and the internet-enabled smart-phone. It took around a $150million to ...

Read Full Post

The devil of miscommunication

You’re talking to your best friend and despite the fact that he’s taking out the time to be with you, he’s constantly alert when that familiar red light blinks on his smartphone. You get annoyed and refuse to go on and an altercation ensues. The time you expected to spend catching up and having fun invariably becomes about how he’s always reaching for his phone. Sounds familiar? It really has become the story of our lives. We have stopped living in the moment and are constantly glued to the mini-screens on our phones. After losing out on three very close relationships, I ...

Read Full Post