Stories about technology

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 ...

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‘If I delete this message, would it be a sin?’

I am 18 years old, and I am a regular receiver of Faiza’s Islamist text messages. Every other day, I can be sure of being forwarded a Hadith, or a prayer or advice, sometimes about the path to happiness or in other cases, about maintaining modesty. Whether I read them, delete them, forward them, or watch as they pile up in my phone inbox, is irrelevant. This electronic message is not the kind of message carried by a paper flyer from a mosque, or a dars pamphlet invitation from a relative. They are mass produced, more old-school, and definable events. These ...

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Jawwad Farid and risky business in the IT sector

Whenever we dicuss the IT sector in Pakistan, the conversation is usually about what we lack and not what we have. Then we compare it to India with all its government subsidies, state of the art infrastructure and lament all the catching up we have to do. While there is nothing wrong with making that comparison because competition is healthy, we need to realize that Pakistanis have been blazing trails in the IT industry for some years. Even with all the hurdles we have in our way, the sector has been providing niche services and is often unnoticed. There is ...

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Infinity and beyond: Space exploration for Pakistan

July 21, 1969 was seen by many as the culmination of man’s evolution from a cave-inhabiting savage to an astronaut. That landing on the moon owed more to the imagination overdrive of the Western civilization than the technological advancements of the time. Looking at it from a purely economic point of view, it would be safe to say that space programs around the world have introduced spin-off technologies that have actually sped up human technological evolution and had a major impact on our daily lives. Now let us descend from the lofty heights of the western civilisation’s achievements in space and have ...

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So what’s wrong with being connected?

Look at the picture above. It was taken at an event attended by the most connected people in Pakistan, sitting row upon row, young and old alike. Something tremendous may be happening on stage, but all of them are staring into devices that are gobbling up their lives. When I was growing up, the biggest sci-fi thing out there to marvel at was the ‘tricorder’, which existed in the fantasy world of Star Trek. According to Wikipedia, a tricorder is a multifunction handheld device used for sensor scanning, data analysis, and recording data. A tricorder from Star Trek was about as capable as the ...

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In Arfa’s name

There is need to change Arfa’s dreams into reality. The entire nation is mourning the sad demise of the world’s youngest IT professional Arfa Karim Randhawa. She died on January 14 at the very tender age of sixteen. No doubt, she was an extraordinary genius, and a committed and intelligent individual. The grief caused by her untimely death is likely to stay embedded in the collective national psyche for some time, especially given that people like her are born one in a billion. Also, she died too young, before the nation could have benefitted from her talent and prowess in ...

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The fall of Blackberry

Research in Motion (RIM) is a smartphone manufacturing Canadian firm, which has been operating since 1999. Its product, the Blackberry, is currently the fourth most popular smartphone in the world, with 11.7% of the market share. It sits behind Ericsson, Google, and Apple. This is surprising because Blackberry started as the market leader, introducing push e-mail, internet faxing, web browsing, and other wireless information services back in 2003. It started off as a professional smartphone and soon gained commendable publicity worldwide. However, lately the BlackBerry’s popularity has been declining significantly and it is losing market share, especially to the Android and iOS. So, ...

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Relax and let Siri look after you

“Hi Siri!” “Hey honey! What can I help you with?” OK, so this particular assistant isn’t quite as ‘personal’ as that, but admittedly, does sound a touch seductive, especially if you are into the whole android – pun intended – female from the future kind of thing. Siri is also smart, funny and very useful, and essentially, is like an aide for your pocket. But I am getting ahead of myself. What exactly is Siri, you ask? Well, Siri is voice-recognition based personal assistant application, integrated in the iOS5, and offered only on the iPhone 4S smartphone, which is manufactured by Apple Inc. ...

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What do Pakistani atheists mean for Pakistan?

“How does one begin to write a blog about atheism in Pakistan?” This rather tricky question was posed to me by a web sub-editor  after the discovery that not only are there atheists and agnostics alive and well in Pakistan, they are in fact running their own website and using social media to stay in touch and multiply. I call the above question tricky for a number of reasons. For anyone who is not aware, the most dangerous minority to be in Pakistan is not (contrary to popular belief) an Ahmadi, but an atheist, a disbeliever in any form of God(s); ...

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Who is @FarhanMasood ?

A  single dad to a 6-year-old princess Farhan Masood is the founder of Go Green Pakistan, a campaign aimed at connecting patriots in the country. He enjoys putting smiles on people’s faces and loves Pakistan. When did you join Twitter and why? I joined Twitter on July 2, 2009. I was known as Baba-e-Facebook due to my following and large numbers of comments on my funny statuses and then Talal Masood (@Taalz) introduced me to Twitter and I loved it. Twitter is like a text-based radio and every account holder has his or her own station. You can broadcast the text of your ...

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