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XBOX ONE controller

Sat, 01 Mar 2014 22:31:00 +0000

I have been using the new xbox for many days now. The most important part of the console is obviously it's controller as this is the part we interact with most. In comparison to the xbox 360 controller the build quality of this controller seems slightly compromised. There is little counter weight in the wings of this controller and therefore it does not feel quite as sturdy in hand as the old one. However the shape has been elongated a bit and this actually probably compensates for the weight issue. All the buttons are within reach of my fingers which is good. One thing I have liked about the xbox controller is the snug fit in my hands. This is unlike sony's six axis controller. Those are obviously made for smaller hands. The sony controllers are much sturdier as I have learnt over the years I have had the play station. They took a lot of beating but came out winning. I don't think I expect same quality from the xbox controllers. 
Also I have been getting a taste of Microsoft way of software in this xbox. I have already suffered from the black screen of death once. Apparently this issue started after the earlier update from Microsoft. Also quite few times the system hangs up for a few seconds. Quite a few times apps crash while opening. I have noticed that this happens ever more so as the time from purchase increases. Just like windows the software doesn't seem to be so steady. But then I should not complain I have managed to hang up my Mac book several times in the past as well. Maybe it's my hands!
(image)



Xbox ONE

Sun, 29 Dec 2013 21:47:00 +0000

I have recently purchased the newest version of Microsoft's gaming consoles, the Xbox One. This is a shift from my prior gaming system which was Sony's PS3. I loved PS3 and preferred it over Xbox 360 for many reasons. It was smarter looking, faster, could play Blu rays, good games and all my friends had PS3s. However the most like able thing about it was the free online game play that Microsoft does not allow. Things I did not appreciate in Sony were its user interface. The move bundle was a waste of money for all intent and purposes as I used it once in the past two years.So this time around I decided to go with Microsoft's game console. The decision was not easy. Obviously PS4 has some good press out there and it is a step forward in technology. However now Xbox can play blu rays too. Also now both consoles require a subscription service for online game play. This sort of made me feel like Sony didn't care for us anymore. I guess paying money might mean better experience but I am not sure about that given how Sony dealt with the security breach fiasco. The deal breaker for me was the no integration of other media into PS4 ecosystem. I mean if I am going to spend so much money I would like to have something that can integrate my TV watching habits in there. Play station just does not want to do that much. Also I was sorely disappointed by the move system. I say all this from a point of view of someone who is not a hardcore gamer. For those PS4 seems like an obvious choice. But I think for someone who is looking at a more integrated experience Xbox is a better choice. Well I was able to buy my console from Costco and was not disappointed. I think setting up the system was not all that difficult. The linear system just blows me off with its ability to recognize me the moment I enter the room. Thankfully when you buy from costco you get all the accessories with the machine and this means no last minute trips to the nearest store which in my case is about one hour of travel. The annoying part is the among an xbox live account and paying them money to even watch netflix. Without that membership you are not able to do anything with this console. So I went ahead and bought a three month deal. Costco again is the rescuer here as they have a discount offering on this. I was very easily able to set up my satellite tv with the console. Once live membership was up and dunning the console was able to display programming guide which looks so much better than what dish has to offer. The plus side is I can control my TV with voice commands. This process is quite smooth. Actually setting this up so that the gaming console controls both the dish and tv was very smooth and took about five seconds. I was able to use Skype and this offers a very real experience. Now instead of carrying the iPad everywhere and allocating one person as the cameraman we can all chat with family back home very easily. Kinect is able to follow and zoom in and out based on who is talking and interacting with it. For example if someone enters the larger frame the camera zooms out to get them into the frame and keeps on adjusting if people move around. This is such a great experience. Game play is good. I have only played CoD on it yet. No game play without disc yet. I did not try broadcasting gameplay yet and primarily because my gameplay is pretty pathetic. The new controller just is very different from PS six axis. All in all this is a good experience so far.  [...]



Tax skirting by hospital systems?

Thu, 04 Jul 2013 17:10:00 +0000

The issue of avoiding federal taxes is in the news these days with Apple being in the spotlight.  Most of the times big companies avoid paying US taxes by skirting their profits to tax havens.  Healthcare giants can do the same theoretically.  Imagine if there were a health care giant that opens up shop in tax haven islands and then uses the same technique that commercial entities use to skirt their profits out of the country, thereby avoiding taxes.  This is very much possible.  The of shore clinics can be potentially used to complicate the tax return filing system here in US.  I could never understand why a completely US hospital system would like to open up a clinic in Bahamas.  These clinics are portrayed as the global reach of the entity but who do they actually serve.  We never hear about them in press or public.  These clinics are apparently manned by some doctors we never hear about.  How does this system work?  I really don't know.  I think this needs to be investigated further.(image)



PTI and MQM in NA250

Sat, 25 May 2013 15:55:00 +0000

The contest between PTI and MQM has been very interesting to me. The fact that unlike Lahore PTI has been able to win a National Assembly seat in the city of Karachi in itself is harbinger of some interesting and revealng news. Everyone is so ecstatic on the PTI wagon about breaking MQM monopoly in their own back yard. I will come to this later but the fact that PTI was unable to do so in Lahore is more telling of future that is to come. I think Lahore will now see the emergence of a different kind of PMLN. The kind that is built more and more on the work ethics of MQM. Anyone who resists will meet stiff and violent resistance at the hands of the overlords. I mean why is it so difficult for the PTI worker to win a seat in Lahore - Imran Khan's home town?  I think the reason Nawaz Sharif met with Imran Khan was different than what was broadcast. I think he had a message for Imran Khan that must have been a lesson for him in politics. I think there was an offer of truce in exchange for a fairer election in NA-250. Obviously I have no way to prove this. But I think I find it convenient that Imran Khan has called off the protest in Khwaja Saad's constituency while his own Awab Alvi was on his way to win a seat in National Assembly in the south of the country. I think Imran Khan accepted this offer from Nawaz Sharif in exchange. I think Nawaz also had the nod of the military or even some pressure from the military to make this offer to Imran. In order for him to govern his favorite state Nawaz needs PTI to shut up in Lahore. He knows very well that the ground reality in Punjab is also different and in stark contrast to the results on display on the website of Election commission of Pakistan for the election 2013.Imran Khan accepted this offer as this will help him start from somewhere different than the province where the party that is ruling the center is in power. I think he thinks that he can continue with his tsunami in the most logical geological way- starting from the port city!  This also gives him a chance to battle with his long time rival MQM. I mean this is just funny that the candidate who won more than 100000 votes in the first election could only muster the support of 33000 in the rematch.  I think there is part of a bigger picture emerging here.  I think some more powers have intervened to calm down MQM as well.  I think the Altaf Hussain's untimely remarks in his speeches have to do something with this as well.I think Imran Khan should realize that he has a better chance at winning over Karachiites than rest of the country.  The best trump card he could have is to market himself as the saviour of the urdu speaking against the Sindhi oppression   This is one single factor that has kept MQM so popular in the port city in-spite of the incessant terroristic activities its foot soldiers carry out against the people of the city.  If Imran Khan can convince the Urdu speaking majority of his loyalty to them in face of the Sindhi overlord he can win big.  I mean non one in their right mind want to be as idiotic as Punjabis after all.I do think that it is unfair to blame Punjabi for every calamity that befalls the country.  After all it was not the Punjabi who elected PPP in Sindh yet again.  Punjabis just did what they thought was the right thing to do - keep Shahbaz Sharif going as long as the cancer lets him.  All in all Shahbaz Sharif has done many good jobs in Punjab.  He has devoted his time to the province and the province has paid him back.  Some of his plans might be lofty but most of them are not.  Essentially Punjabis have given Imran Khan one message.  The message is you have no right to rule us until you show off your performance and acquire some experience in real politics.I do feel sorry for other provinces though.  I do know now how smaller provinces feel when a Govt. is imposed on them from a majority that has nothing t[...]



Boxed

Mon, 01 Apr 2013 03:39:00 +0000

I have been resisting the urge to expand my cloud imprint. It becomes a useless exercise when not a lot of storage is being offered free of cost. Therefore today I took a plunge and boxed myself onto the drive. This adds considerable online storage for use. Now all that is left is to wait for a day when otixo like file manager becomes available for free. Then it is a party indeed.(image)



Nexus 4 vs iPhone 5

Sun, 10 Mar 2013 05:53:00 +0000

My iPhone 4s has been giving me troubles recently.  Out of no apparent reason the volume rocker has become self sufficient.  Whenever the phone is unlocked to do any work on the screen the volume starts increasing on its own.  I do not press on the physical volume rocker and the volume just increases on its own.  Just as if some one was keeping the volume up button pressed on the phone.  Sometimes if i just lightly touch the volume down or up button this is sufficient to trigger the volume issue.  This is very annoying as i do not like the volume on my phone to be high at all and now while i am talking on the phone all of a sudden the volume is at maximum and the voice is blasting through the speaker.  This problem has been driving me nuts.  Finally i was able to find something on the Internet.  It seems that this is a hardware problem with iphones.  Apparently their antennas ground the volume buttons and this causes the issue to arise.  Nonetheless i spent a fortune on this phone and i get  worthless quality from apple.  I am abundantly dissatisfied with Apple's craftsmanship in recent months.  I had to exchange an iPhone 5 because of issues and the replacement was no better.  Still have problems with it.  Now this issue.  So much for buying into the abhorrently expensive ecosystem!I am thinking that my next phone will be an unlocked phone.  I do not want to continue to get raped by the big wigs of telecommunications all the time in the name of telephone service.  I want to be able to change my carriers when I want to change them.  My first experience with android was not very pleasant   the software was clunky but the phone was horrible.  I am sure of one thing.  I am never buying a Motorola phone ever again.  I am inclined to buy the new Nexus 4.  The problem is there is no place to check it out and try it.  I want to get a feel for it before I make the investment of this magnitude.  I will continue my search into a viable option.  Hopefully there will come one phone that i will not have to replace for the next 3 to 4 years.  I was really hoping to keep this iPhone 4s for good 4 to 5 years but it seems this is not so much a possibility. [...]



Pakistan vs India 2012-13

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 03:08:00 +0000

It was a refreshing series.  I did not get to watch it online.  I blame Dish Network for being guilty of greed.  They make us pay arm and leg for their programming but could not get us the coverage.  I am paying for a cricket channel's package but still was asked to shell out money if I wanted to watch this series live.  I think dish Network should be ashamed of these policies.  I do not believe they alone are the ones who adopt this kind of strategy though.
I was pleasantly amused by the results.  It has been a long time since Pakistan and India met in a bilateral series.  I would have liked to see a test series as well but Indians do not want to oblige us that much.  I do appreciate even this little series.  It was such a show.  Such a short lived stint but interesting nonetheless.(image)



Qadri March

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 02:48:00 +0000

Tahir-ul-Qadri is trying to rally Pakistanis to come out in his support and march towards Islamabad.  His million march started last night from the posh neighborhood of Model Town, Lahore.  He left in his bomb proof and bullet proof 150 million Rupee vehicle.  It is also reported that accompanying him in this march is his own palace like mobile home.  The home has been custom built to have a sleeping area, bathroom with own water supply, air conditioning, media outlets for entertainment and is bomb proof.I am astounded by the need of a so called mullah to travel under such heavy guard.  I am also astounded by the fact that he touts this as a movement of the commoner.  If he really believes in this then he should not need protection form this common man of Pakistan.  Yet whenever he speaks on stage a huge void and thick bullet proof glass separates him from his 'followers'.  His die hard fans who supposedly will do anything on his command need to be kept away from him due to fear of death and destruction.I caught a few glimpses of his charade on TV this morning.  Most of the vehicles I could see were those of security personnel.  His caravan of bullet proof vehicles was surrounded by about 20 to 30 or maybe more police and security vehicles.  The common man had no contact with their leader.  The common man feels no connection with this despot sent from outside to dictate and disturb the process of democracy in Pakistan.All his demands so far were a farce to hide one important target.  He came up with this final demand last night in an interview.  His real purpose, for which he has been sent here to Pakistan, I believe.  He has demanded that the election commission be dismissed and a new election commission be appointed. I think there is some one out there who really wants to get rid of the current election commissioner and install one who is in complete cahoots with him and his controlling parties.I also believe that MQM joined his Lahore rally at the request of the big powers to lend him a kick start by sending a few of their own men over to Lahore.  However few they might have been they still counted towards the final count.  Also the MQM killers got a rare chance to stand on a stage in Lahore and have a respectable number of people look at them.  Never done before.I think that PML-Q met him last night not to dissuade him from the march but to send a message of support from the current Govt.  They really met to finalize the way they were going to make a fool out of all of us.  I think Qadri has been invited by them to get rid of the current Election Commissioner.If he was a man of his salt he should have instead taken his Long March to Quetta.  He should have shown solidarity with the ones who are bereaved.  He would then have won more than a million hearts right away.  But no this could not be done.  The blood of those people is on his hands too.If he was a man of his salt he would have started a social struggle of reform.  He should have set an example by leading from the front for the ignorant masses that like to follow him.  If he is really about change for good then the right path would have been fighting and bringing about social reform in the society so that the very fundamentals of the general thought change for good.  If he already knows the ultimate truth then he should have enlightened his followers so that come next elections they cast their votes for the right candidate.We always complain about how Chief justice does not take suo motto notice of this thing or that thing.  But we never ask ourselves the same question when we get a chance every five years to take a suo motto notice on our candidates.For the longest period of time now I have worried my self with the fear of Pakistan s[...]



Media Warlords

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 15:43:00 +0000

I think most of the overseas Pakistanis today miss a reliable source if news that connects them to Pakistan. Sure we have multiple media outlets that are trying to make us believe that they do the most reliable reporting but this is not true. In fact it is the farthest thing from the truth. Whenever I watch a TV channel from back home or try to read a newspaper I am disappointed by the level of dismay, disappointment and self blame all the opinion makers suffer from. All I can read is the things wrong with the society. All of them want to profess they possess the ability to identify all the ills of our society. They are so enamored by the onslaught of the media war that they just can not see any positivity in the daze of their own negativity.
One almost feels like distancing one from all the bickering, blabbering of these actors. These actors who for small amounts of money are committing a monumental crime by disillusioning this nation. I guess that fault is our own that we are playing along. But then if we learn anything from Mussadiq overthrow it is that the general masses do not have the sense of the blatant lies they are being told in this media acting.
I think eventually they will succeed in doping us in a sleep of slumber hoping that we will never wake up. I think eventually we will become the robots that live their lives always in the fear of credit scores and credit cards. Eventually we will be able to see a TV show about absolute wonderful pet care techniques and tolerate it, rather relish the ability to enjoy such a act. This is not in very distant future. I can see it. Can you?(image)



Landscape view in iPhone

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 22:17:00 +0000

I would really like it if google stopped treating blogger as an orphan child. I mean they have updates for all the software with new innovative designs every day and they can not come up with a decent blogger application. This is sad. I would really like it if the current app would allow typing the post in landscape mode as that is easier on my thumbs and faster to type.(image)



Coursera

Sat, 14 Jul 2012 04:37:00 +0000

This experiment in education of masses, by coursera, seemed very intriguing to me from the very beginning. The upside of the experience was that it was free and endorsed by some big names in the education arena. I jumped onto the ship from its onset. Currently I am enrolled in a course that is eight weeks long and I think I am enjoying it. My goal for enrolling in the course was many fold. I wanted to educate myself about the health care act and I thought that there was no better person to learn from than Obama's health secretary. I also wanted to reap the benefit of free education. Then there was this desire to see how the education system works in America from a student perspective.
So far it has been a rewarding experience. I have learned a lot about Medicare and Medicaid and the discrepancies that exist in the health care system in united states. I have also learned to more effectively compare our health care systems with others around the world. I now have a better idea of what to look for when comparing different styles of medicine.
In no way have I turned into a czar who advocates for quota system or rationing of medical help to the community. I think there should be more equitable distribution of health care like many other things. There is enough resources for everyone to enjoy all we need to do is learn to use them in a more efficient manner.(image)



Rain and drought

Thu, 31 May 2012 02:09:00 +0000

The second half of last year was exceptionally and unusually dry. There was hardly an inch of rain for good nine months. Then there was brown thanksgiving and Christmas. Even the new years was bone dry. But then came march this year. It has rained more than eleven inches since march this year. I do not mind the rain much. Infact I look forward to some rain as it keeps the grass green and our water bill down. However once my roof started leaking I was really disappointed. Especially so since the apartments we moved into were supposedly brand new and modern in construction. They were not supposed to dribble like an incontinent man so soon in their life cycle. I think there are nineteenth century homes in this town that have more continent roofs than ours. It is also very disconcerting to think that all this leaking roof is going to breed a lot of mold eventually and then there will be no stopping the upper respiratory infections. I am disappointed to say the least. The bummer is that there is no place to rent in this small town so we can not just move on to a more continent house. This just sucks big time. I am not happy.(image)



Asia Cup 2012

Sun, 08 Apr 2012 18:52:00 +0000

Pakistan faced Bangladesh in the finals of Asia cup 2012.  I had a chance to watch some part of the final live on TV.  Bangladesh lost the game after a good fight.  The game was over in due time and everything went back to normal.  Only that it did not.  No one knew that Bangladeshi crowd and the board are such sore losers.  Having reached the finals of Asia Cup, they thought they were crowned the winners as well. Since that time Bangladesh has left no stone unturned to sour the taste of victory for the Pakistani team.One must realize that Asia Cup was scheduled after long and tiring tours for Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India.  Bangladesh team was the only relatively fresh team in the tournament.  I also think that Sri Lanka had no interest in winning the tournament after a long but pretty successful tours of South Africa and Australia.  Indian team was in Australia for about three months and lost almost all games there.  Pakistan had returned from a home away tour with world number one test team.  So, Bangladesh tigers really fought with tired enemies and won a few games and then though of them as big winners.  I think they reached the final is a miracle in itself for the time being.  I think they should be content with that.  I think they should stop complaining.  More so if they want to be recognized as a reasonable team in the world of cricket they should start acting like one.Bangladesh as a consequence of their loss in the Asia Cup have refused to visit Pakistan.  This is such a shame after all Pakistan cricket has done for these sore losers.  I hope that some sense prevails and they are reminded of their current true status.  I am sure they would not want to let a chance go by to win against Pakistan in Pakistan.  If they really think they have the metal then bring it forth... [...]



Pak vs Afg 2012

Sat, 11 Feb 2012 18:44:00 +0000

Pakistan played a one day against Afghanistan in Sharjah.  Sharjah is the adopted home ground of the Afghanistan team since conditions are not suitable for home games in Afghanistan.  Both teams had something in common, both do not have home grounds available for playing games.  This is a sad situation.  But this also makes this match up interesting and unique.  Afghanistan did better than my expectation in the game.  They were able to score more than 100 in the game.  Then they bowled well as well and were able to take three Pakistani wickets.  So I would say that Pakistan win was good and expected but not thoroughly impressive against a non test playing nation.  Then again Pakistan's record against non test playing nations is not a very good one.I do think that Pakistan should have rested its experienced players and played with a different one day squad.  This way new players would have received some exposure.I was also interested to see that the crowd was almost all for Afghanistan and there were hardly any Pakistani flags.  This is most likely because Pakistani spectators didn't make much of this game to begin with.I think this game is good for both countries.  I was listening to an interview by the PCB chairman the other day.  He was talking about how BCCI has intentionally attempted to deprive other Asian boards of income from the game of cricket.  I think PCB made the right move by playing with Afghanistan.  These games are bound to bring more spectators to the ground as compared to the test series we played with the number one test team in the world.  I think it would also be very nice if Afghanistan could be the team to play us in Pakistan.  I would really love to see them play us in Peshawar and Quetta.  That will be a very good gesture from both teams and this will also patch up many sores.  In fact I think PCB should have insisted on this game being played in Pakistan.  Afghan team has no fear in Pakistan, especially when Taliban are sending them messages of good will before the game.  I think Pakistan should play a full series with Afghanistan in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Decrease the amount of hatred that prevails across the border. [...]



Pak vs Eng 2012

Sun, 05 Feb 2012 00:12:00 +0000

Almost ever game night I think of a most probable outcome to the ongoing series and almost every time I am proved wrong.  Just last night when I went to bed I had thought to myself that the result will be forthcoming in the third and final test between Pakistan and England during the second day of the match.  However, it seems, that I was wrong once again.  No sweat as I do not consider myself a cricket guru.  My know how of the game is no more than knowing the names of few players in my home side.  The keen interest that I used to possess appears to be there no more for well over a decade.  I do not sweat that either as for most part of the decade it has served me well to remain distant from the following.  Had I remained a die hard fan, I would have run into countless moments of dejection and despair.  But then again that is the whole point of the game.  To hope for the best and not get the exact result you want.  My reason for not following the game is slightly different.  I just can not stand the fact that my players be-fraud me again and again for money.  This is unacceptable.Anyways I did watch Younis Khan get his 100 runs.  It was a good knock.  Not world class but good I think.  I also watched the 20/20 between India and Australia.  Finally India were able to win a game on this tour.  I am sure this will not be the only win for them as the one day series coming up will provide them with at least 15 more opportunities and they have a worthy side.Now if Pakistan are able to white wash England in this series it would stand to reason in my mind that we should send at least one of our players to English gallows every year.  I mean if it takes a player to be behind bars for his misconduct for our team to perform then I do not think that it is a bad bargain.  At least it will keep the playing eleven honest and away from the bookies for a short period of time.  We might as well become the number one team in every format of the game this way in the next three years. [...]



Pak vs Eng 2012

Sun, 29 Jan 2012 17:26:00 +0000

Pakistani team has done it again.  They have pulled off another win against the number one test team in the world.  They have, technically, achieved this feat on a pitch that is away from home.  The conditions are similar but not the same in the middle east.  Pakistan has beaten England in the second test in Abu Dhabi.  I just watched the highlights of the final day of the game on Ten Cricket.  It was a treat to watch.  There has been no good news coming out of Pakistan or about Pakistan for such a long time that every little news that is good catches our fancy and makes us happy.  I think there is double reason for us to be happy on this win.  We beat the number one test team in the world and we beat the country that has given us relentless pain and agony for the past few years in the game of cricket.  English are shameless in the game of cricket.  The way they behaved with the test match controversy involving Inzamam and then our top players ending up in the gallows for crimes that are as prevalent in the world of cricket as HIV in Africa, did not please a Pakistani fan.Just a few months ago we were the punching bag for the whole cricketing world now we are a force to reckon with.  We are being compared to the likes of big cricketing nations.  Based on my experiences from the past I would think that this stint will be short too.  We will soon fall back to the routine of losing every important game.  Everything will be back to normal again.  But until then I think the nation has every right to celebrate and enjoy these moments.  Happiness has become a commodity in our country and any piece of it is welcome.Some one also needs to shut up Adnan Akmal behind the wicket.  I think the best thing to do would be to actually have a mic installed inside his helmet.  He can then continuously be engaged as a commentator on a radio broadcast.  This way he will get more use for his incessant shouting behind the wickets.  He is no help to Misbah, the captain, when he shouts on almost every delivery.  He might be a big hit in the world of cricket commentary.  Amir Sohail was evidently very annoyed by Adnan's shrieks.  He hid no part of his annoyance in his commentary. [...]



-34

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 03:55:00 +0000

The temperature outside, tonight, is minus thirty four degrees Fahrenheit. This includes the wind chill factor as the non stop wind engines seem to have turned up a notch. This is nothing unexpected of the arctic tundra but we had been spoilt in the last few weeks. The temperatures had been unusually mild. So mild infact that our neighbours were grilling outside the other day. I thought that was an unusual sight. Last year we had a reasonable snow cover. This year there is hardly any snow on the ground. But it seems that winters have finally decided to come with full force. The weekend ahead doesn't look any better either. I don't think they make cars for these extreme weather. I hope mine doesn't break down in the next few days. I have not seen temperatures this low in a long time. A run from Walmart to the car tonight was miserable experience. But I did get one thing done. I bought a warmer steering cover to keep my hands from freezIng.(image)



Blogger over iPhone

Sun, 08 Jan 2012 00:06:00 +0000

Blogger is finally available on iPhone. I think this adds a lot of value to the application as for me sitting on my computer to type a post was not a very bright idea anymore. I think this saves me time in terms of logging in and opening up new windows.
The application is pretty limited in its functionality. There is no landscape mode.
This is my first post.(image)



2012

Sun, 01 Jan 2012 20:37:00 +0000

2012 started ticking last night.  A year has come to an end and another starts spreading its sunshine for the next few months to come.  Mayans thought 2012 would be it.  What I find interesting is that some of us in this world are hell bent on making this come true.  This is the sad state of affairs that we are entering 2012 in.  I think if this world would just realize how precious this life on earth is it would be very helpful for all of us as a whole.  But then there would be no fun if everyone agrees with everyone else.  No movement forward.  Contrast and contradiction is indeed the essence of life.Then there is this concept of new year's resolution.  I could never personally grasp the idea of a resolution that is made at the beginning of the year.  I think we make resolutions every day and all those resolutions should carry the same level of importance in our mind, or it beats the purpose of making resolutions.  We decide about doing one thing or the other every movement of our life and each of those decisions are important.  The butterfly effect.This year I need to grasp the idea of economics.  So someone out there should suggest a good book.  Maybe I will have our book club read that book too.  Economics is overwhelmingly the hot topic in these times of economic depression all over the world.  I think monetary decisions that we make today carry even more weight than in ordinary times.  But then no time is every ordinary.  At least that is what our political leaders would have us believe.  Every since I have entered this life I have heard a politician shout at the top of his or her voice telling all the listeners that times are tough and not ordinary at all.  If it were for him or her they would make changes that would make times extra ordinary.  But then when given a chance all of them completely refuse to accept that it is no ordinary time.This inevitably brings me to the topic of politics.  Hell yes no conversation is complete without mention of the filthy slimy creatures we call politicians.  2012 is important in the first three months.  Things can make and break in the first three months.  All government after that should be business as usual.  So let us see who wins.  There is enough momentum behind one and the other rolling stone is gathering some moss as well.  Will they continue to collide or will there once again be a marriage of convenience? [...]



Conflict of interest

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 04:53:00 +0000

I have been trying to follow the general assembly proceedings through various media outlets.  It is nothing new but still is heart wrenching to see how differently various media outlets have covered the stories that have come out of the proceedings.  Be it the right of the Palestinians to bid for a state or the nonsensical defense of the rhetoric that the other side spews so readily.  The same president who was lecturing the world about how useful the common platform has been in sharing the burden of war in Libya used the same breath to point out that looking towards the United Nations is not going to solve the conflicts that plague the middle east at this time.  I sense certain fear in the leader.  Perhaps he is worried that the elections are near and he needs all the support he can get from the lobbies that are instrumental in helping shape the public opinion.  The poor man, thought to be the strongest single person in the world, is yet so weak.I do not feel that there is any end in sight to the conflicts of the middle east.  Not at least in my lifetime.  This drama will continue to marginalize and eventually radicalize people on both side of the border and peace will then have little chance to work its magic.  This indeed is unfortunate.Our first crop of home grown all natural cucumbers has been harvested.  Surprisingly it took little effort and the fruit is none the less sweet and fresh.  We are really enjoying the freshness of the cucumbers and have forgotten about the rotten product that is sold in the mega malls.  However this fun is short lived as winter is approaching fast and soon everything will turn white again.  I think that the experience gained this year will certainly help in the coming spring when I plan to expand the variety in the garden.  One thing is for sure there is no alterante for good soil and that potted plants are never as good as the ones rooted in the open. [...]



Gingerbread 2

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 23:31:00 +0000

It has been quite some days since I updated my droid x to gingerbread. My experience with the update has been anything but optimal. I think the battery life has been decreased on the phone easily by twenty percent or so. The battery prior to this update used to last for about twenty four hours or so with very mediocre use. I mostly use my phone for web and data usage rather than as a phone. I am not that famous as you can tell. The battery on the new version of android has gone terribly low. This is unlike what I had expected or read. However I am pretty sure that the phone is not lasting as long as it did prior to the update. Also my phone is relatively new so I do not think that this is a problem with the phone battery itself.I have also noticed that the phone is running much hotter on the backside as compared to before. If the gps is turned on for a little bit it heats the phone to an extent that it can not be held in the hand. This is a serious issue in my mind. Just returning from a recent trip we had to literally hold the phone in front of the ac vent to keep it cool. I did not expect this kind of craftsmanship from motorolla. Simply subpar.The user interface has received some upgrade in that the motion effect on the home screens is much less clunky and is much more smooth when transitioning from one screen to the other.Facebook application is routinely crashing on the phone.All in all I think I will not buy an android again unless it is a nexus or samsung. I have been dissuaded from buying a motorolla phone for some time. [...]



Gingerbread

Sat, 28 May 2011 02:17:00 +0000

I have been hearing reports on the Internet that Verizon wireless and motorolla will be pushing software updates for the droid x today. Engadget and other blogs have been ripe with chatter about this information. This update is badly needed and sorely missed on this phone. I have been trying to update my phone but keep on getting the message that there is no update available. So I called Verizon wireless and met the most clueless operator. She could not understand a word of what I said in three different tries. Finally when the message got to her she was blunt and told me that she had no answer to my question because Verizon wireless is not responsible for pushing this update to the phone but the maker of the phone will do this. Even though it is the Verizon wireless document that is everywhere on the Internet about the update. Anyways I went ahead a chatted with the motorolla representative who was someone sitting in india reading the Internet to help answer ny questions. It seems like both of us were googling the same webpages for answers. Anyways I was told that motorolla is still testing this on few phones and there has been no update released for the general public. He also told me that I should expect an update in the next two weeks at best.
This wait is killing me. I mean they have made us wait so long and still no clear news from anywhere.(image)



iPad 2

Mon, 02 May 2011 01:51:00 +0000

The new iPad is worth it's money. Sleek slender design is a plus and so is the light weight. I am not really impressed by the camera as the pictures with both front and back cameras are pixelated and very amateurish looking. It's handy in the sense that I can carry it around while making rounds and access patient information on the go. This makes life easier and for someone like myself this means much less paper waste. I think one added advantage is that I will waste less time on writing down all the information on a piece of paper every morning and will be able to pull it up anytime I want to do so or need to do so. This gives me more time to think and reflect on the patient and spend more time with the patient rather than time in front of a bulky computer.
There are new apps I am discovering every day. However there is still dearth of good medical apps that have been modeled for iPad. This makes the productivity of the iPad a little less but still the benefits of having a walking EMR plus iPod plus iPhone plus chat client plus Facebook client plus newspaper plus kindle is a big plus.(image)



Domino

Sun, 20 Feb 2011 16:56:00 +0000

The snow is falling yet again. There was in interval of time in the past one week when spring seemed to be a fulfilling reality; alas! no more. In the next 24 hours the white cover will engulf everything that had dared to raise its head from the snow dunes. Everything will be fresh and white. For some a delight and for others another torment. I belong to no particular group when it comes to snow. All I care about is my drive to and fro from work. If that goes smoothly there is no reason for me to be alarmed.While we are knee deep in snow in the north western part of the world the warmer climates are souring with the tempers of their inhabitants. From Iran to Senegal there seems to be a wind that will settle scores of counts in just one blow. The forefront of the change happening there is fancier than the real change. I am a reluctant believer. I see similar faces and similar cronies replacing older tired ones. Democratic struggle, it seems, has become a farce. People are joyous but to what end? Everyone has to go one day. This is not important. The important thing is who replaces the ones those leave. As for now, it seems, similar faces and attitudes are in order as the ones that have left.I hope I am inexperienced and impatient in drawing these preliminary conclusions. I hope that the dominos are falling for the batter and I hope a new better pattern emerges. There is lot to be drawn in this picture yet and a lot to be erased at the same time. Let us see who has the final stroke. [...]



NY Trip

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 04:25:00 +0000

I was away on vacation to NY for the past few days. The purpose of the trip, mainly was to acquire a new passport in face of the current one expiring soon. In any case I used Expedia to search for a place to stay and was directed to a place in Queens area. This was perfect since there is a lot of Pakistani community living in Queens and one can feel at home in such a place. I landed in NY and got to the hotel. To my amazement it was nothing close to the one in the pictures. Small cornered building and even smaller corridors and rooms. It reminded me of out dorms in the medical school. The room was smaller than out apartment bedroom and it was crowded with furniture. Flat screen TV had some channels that did not work and the channel line up was very limited. Towels were old and not very clean. I guess they were washed but still had some stains on them.The good thing about the hotel was that it was about 10 minute walk from the subway and the walk was safe even in late night as one had to pass through a residential area.I was shocked when the receptionist placed a bill for me at check out. The bill was for three nights and four day stay and was around 207 dollars. The bill that I had paid through Expedia was 282 dollars. When I told the receptionist that I had already paid the bill she realized her mistake and quickly took the paper away from me and tore it into pieces. In essence Expedia had charged me around 80 extra dollars for the stay. Either this or the hotel is charging higher rates on Expedia. In any case I felt the fraud in the air and this was not nice. Left a bitter taste in my mouth and I am going to write to Expedia about this. Let us see what transpires through this. [...]