Stories about technology

10 terms desis on the internet need to stop using

 1.Dis/Dat/Dere: Every time I see a “dis”, a “dat”, or a “dere”, I can hear a Pakistani English language teacher crying softly somewhere. Here is a hint: try using those words with a “th” instead of a “d”, and the next time you pick arguments with Indian cricket fans on YouTube, you might actually sound less moronic! It is just *one* more letter people! 2.‘Nuff said: Short for ‘enough said’, the correct use of this phrase is to complete a very short, usually emphatic sentence. Instead, what we do is end a sentence with ‘Nuff said, and then follow it with a ...

Read Full Post

10 things I hate about communication in 2011

Ever wondered what life was like before we got so dependent on computers? Yes, we wrote letters that took weeks to reach. We wondered who could be calling when we answered our landlines that had no call waiting or caller ID and left messages on answering machines or voice mail. And as we didn’t write random texts, emails or tweets on the spur of the moment; those of us in school scribbled notes passed around class. Today, we rely heavily upon email, social networking, text messaging, Skype and mobile Internet browsing to support our daily interactions with our virtual communities. However, these ...

Read Full Post

Parenting the digital generation

It is normal now days to see very young children in Pakistan confidently operating technology, possessing cell phones and using social media. A seventh grader can multi tasking; constantly uses SMS to communicate, spending a lot of time online, staying connected with people through the social media and surfing the net and checks out brainpop.com to get homework help while simultaneously listening to his/her iPod. Many young people have blogs by the age of 13-14 years now. So, even if their essays or stories do not receive a good grade in class, or their ideas and thoughts are not entertained ...

Read Full Post

Angry Birds, the Pac-Man of our times

“It is too hot!” my father sighed, as our waiter jotted down our orders. Having waited for nearly 30 minutes, we were finally seated at Arizona Grill, an insanely popular steakhouse in Karachi, Pakistan.  My father winced, cupping his ears: “It is so noisy.” I glanced at the smiles on the faces of my siblings and my mother, as they all nodded in agreement. While I was enjoying the atmosphere, I had to admit that it was rather uncomfortable. At half past 10, on a Saturday night, the basement floor of the eatery was overcrowded. The compact hardwood surroundings made it difficult for the ...

Read Full Post

A review of the Decision Review System

The Decision Review System (DRS) was part of the agenda in the recent International Cricket Council’s (ICC) annual meeting in Hong Kong where the administrators and executive members tweaked many rules of the game, only to compel cricket-pundits to turn cynics. Two bodies, the ICC and the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), are ruining cricket, by altering the game’s norms – the former is doing this through sheer absurdity while the latter, through tyranny. The DRS along with the Hot Spot (infrared technology) was made mandatory by ICC after their annual meeting. But the system, in its current form, ...

Read Full Post

What’s a little sovereignty worth?

Our country has failed its citizens. In a world where South Korea just spent tens of billions of dollars to ensure that each citizen has high speed broadband connections, fewer than 20 per cent of Pakistanis have access to the internet. Think about this: more than 75 per cent of our population does not know what Google is. And yet, in 1947, South Korea was as poor as we were. So what do we do? The current state of affairs One would think that, like Indonesia, we should be spending as much money on education as possible (Indonesia devotes a whopping 20 ...

Read Full Post

Five hottest gadgets for 2011

1. Blackberry Playbook Weighing less than a pound (425g) and being just 0.4 inch thick, this WiFi enabled device has already hit the market on April 19, 2011. The BlackBerry PlayBook is the world’s first professional grade tablet with its industry centric performance which includes multitasking capabilities, support for Adobe Flash 10.1, high definition multimedia, and out-of-the-box enterprise support. The device which is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions has been priced at $499, $599 and $699 respectively. The pricing is similar to its competitor, the Apple iPad 2 which is supposed to make its launch on March 2, 2011. 2. ...

Read Full Post

Two thumbs up for Pakistani techies

The lack of success is somehow discussed and internalised more than the sweet taste of victory. But let’s sip this sweet nectar one sip at a time and savour it, just this once. The fastest brain in the world The world of information technology has found an abundance of fresh blood from the fertile Pakistani soil. The fastest brain in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records is Mamoon Tariq Khan, our very own wonder boy from Islamabad, now working on an inter-disciplinary IT solution to the problems of poverty and class divide through uniformed IT access from ...

Read Full Post

My Blackberry and me: A love-hate relationship

I was meeting my friend after 18 months. We hadn’t seen each other since our college days and athough we had kept in touch, Skype is really not an adequate substitute for a face-to-face conversation. Needless to say, I was looking forward to meeting and catching up. Conversation started, we laughed, we talked but she devoted an absurdly large amount of attention to her BlackBerry. Every three minutes there would be a ‘ting’ after which she would pick up her phone and read something, smile, giggle or frown, and type furiously. The first few times, I waited patiently and listened to ...

Read Full Post

Video can’t kill the radio star

I was talking to a friend about my favourite means of entertainment and told him I prefer reading books and listening to the radio. To this he said that television and the internet have made the radio obsolete. Despite all my attempts to convince him otherwise, he failed to accept the radio is a mainstream means of entertainment. “How many people listen to the radio these days?” he argued. “About 100? Two hundred, at most?” Though his ignorance astounded me, it made me think: is this really what people think about the radio today? In the early 1950s or so, before the advent ...

Read Full Post