Stories about technology

About a time when friends were real and life was simple

One of the most vivid memories from my early teen years is of my best friend at that time and me, sitting outside his building near the pavement, drinking  Coke and eating sandwiches. I used to take a cab from my house to his and then we would sit outside on our usual spot and talk. We used to talk about nothing in particular and yet, we had so much to say; so many ambitions, dreams, goals, small and big challenges, love affairs, infatuations and yes, personal philosophies and beliefs (even at that age) to share with each other. We were ...

Read Full Post

If Pakistan acquires drone technology from the US …

Regular militant attacks have now become a norm in Pakistan. The situation on the ground suggests that tracking and hunting militants is difficult, whereas for militants, carrying out their activities at will is easier. In terms of numbers, drones have killed more militants in FATA compared to on ground operations, but these drones do not conform with legal parameters set by the Pakistani constitution. A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on drones and the need for the Pakistan government and the military to come out clean on the issue. On July 8, 2013, it was reported that the Pakistani government is considering ...

Read Full Post

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