Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why so insensitive?

Two incidences that happened in last 48 hours near my house made me write this post.

The movie shooting 
So early in the morning of 9th June (may be around 7am), I heard some one yelling 1, 2, 3 .. start and then there was a roar of cars and again someone yelling ... Cut! I didn't pay attention. I am generally too busy early in the morning. Then came the kids flocking and shouting and then I came to notice that they were actually shooting a movie - some Hindi movie. So far so good. The problem started when people actually wanted to go out, including me - mostly to work. And these people who were field guys behaved somewhat curtly telling people they should not go out now and wait for some time. At first, I had an instinct to call local police station and complain. But then I realized that they had taken some 'police permission' and I could see some guy in uniform. You can easily see the problem. These guys come from outside and behave curtly, something that is obviously going to raise some temperature. But that is not the point. The thing is if people in the area were informed before hand (say the earlier day), that there would be general inconvenience to people going out of their home due to some movie shooting, it would have gone a long way in the right direction. But that simply doesn't happen. People are simply insensitive towards others. In this case the whole crew who were shooting the movie as well as the police. In fact, even putting a mere "Sorry, inconvenience is regretted" by either the police or the crew would have done a good job. But hey why should I care about you? and how does it matter? It matters. And it matters a lot when a citizen looks upon the people in the society. Hence forth, I will always have a skeptical look at any crew people from Bollywood, just because of this one incidence. With police it is a different matter, I always had a good experience with police (and Pune police in particular), with the exception of what I would have expected from them yesterday.

The marriage party
That day did not end there. There were more mysteries at hand. When I came back from work that day, I could hear some dancing and fireworks going on near a prominent hotel in the area. That was around 8pm. Thought that was some regular marriage function. But then this 'band-baja' and fireworks escalated to a height around 9:30 pm and continued  probably till 10:30 pm near the Zircon housing complex near my home. This 'band-baja' was so loud that lots of things were vibrating in the cacophony, and there were so many loud sounding fire crackers that there was a think smoke. Of course, you guys are happy about the marriage, and so must every one in the human society be. But to create a cacophony and genuinely trouble people around is a big sign of being totally insensitive.

"I don't care about what others have to say"
"I don't care about what others have to say about me"

Is being insensitive good? Probably, to some extent. And probably only when the in-sensitiveness only affects you not the people around you, not the society you live in. And it is definitely a no when that in-sensitiveness is harming others, and is doing ill in the society in which you live in.
Being sensitive to others in society starts in small ways: help otherwise-able to cross roads or politely give seats to seniors in public transport. I do so. But I also feel immense joy when I see others do it. Being sensitive, is what makes us a society, without which we do not exists.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Inconsistent pinning behaviors in WP 8

While I have moved to an iPhone as my daily driver device, I keep hopping to my WP device; I just like the live tiles concept.

One of the great advantages of the live tiles is the ability to deep pin in an application. For instance one may pin a ticket that was booked via an app to the home screen. The concept is nice, but the issue is that even system apps do not support it properly or consistently and I have always wondered why. One typical use case is messaging application, where I would like to have the ability to pin a conversation thread directly to home screen. This is very useful especially for a SMS thread or a single SMS from say IRCTC that gives ticketing information. Currently it is very messy to search for that one particular SMS. It would be very handy to just pin that SMS thread or a particular SMS to home screen.

The same applies for the email client was well. These are some simple things that would bring more consistency to the OS. For for those who are overjoyed with the introduction of notification center in WP 8.1, no notification centers do not solve every problem on earth.

Monday, June 02, 2014

OS X Yosemite : it has got really more advanced than Windows

I love staying up late to watch the tech events live. And the latest one is that of Apple: the yearly WWDC.

Of all the presentations I watched this year, the one by Apple yesterday was simply in a whole new league. It was pretty long, but not a bit boring. In fact it was more entertaining than a long spidy movie I had watched recently. It was that good. The best part of the presentation for me was the continuity feature demonstration on OX Yosemite and iOS 8. People who remember the Nokia Symbian may say that similar phone and message integration was provided on Windows back in 2006. That is true, idea is not new, but Apple has nailed the implementation ( search for my own app, btsms, to see how arcane was this back then, and then have a look at the Apple implementation - similar idea, miles apart in implementation ). But that is what Apple does, and known to do it extremely well, so well that all the 'credit' goes to them for inventing something that was already there. OK not really. But you get the point. Others are simply not able to take an idea and execute it in the best possible way, the Apple way.

After the demo by Craig Federighi, I can safely say that Yosemite blows Windows 8 in terms of usability, to the level that I am seriously thinking of shifting my home PC to a Mac (already use a Mac at office). By focusing on touch screens, Microsoft has lost all the time and energy to bring real usability to it's desktop. The thing is so bad right now that your desktop apps are called legacy apps. And that too when they are the most usable and productive of the apps. By focusing on touch first in Windows, Microsoft brought down the learning curve for a new user, but completely alienated an experienced and power user.

With continuity, Apple has shown how desktop and the mobile device can work in harmony, something that Microsoft has been trying to do, but never made it (may be 8.1 fixes some issues and probably 9 will be a lot better, but then precious time was lost). OSX usability does not stop at this feature, it goes on to everything from spotlight search to notifications to improvements in the mail and photos apps, all of which are simply quite superior to what is there on Windows 8.

The story on the developer side is an equal mess for Windows, but seems to be  quite a harmony for OSX and iOS. And with the introduction of a new programming language, Swift, Apple has not only made programming a joy for existing developers, but is sure to attract a lot of new learners to the platform.

PS :
// has become hit, I think it will over take printf("Hello, world!"); -)