Saturday, April 30, 2011

Does drinking cold water cause soar throat?

People got this wrong idea. Soar throat is an infection, and is not caused by a physical insult (that too just bit cold water). There are few references available. see the link below:

Read these references

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Friday, April 22, 2011

New member in our family

Veena had her second cesarean yesterday (May 22nd.) Dr Jayakrishnan was the anesthetist. Dr Vinod was Pediatrician. Everything went on smooth, baby cried immediately, Veena was fine afterwards. (Though she was quite apprehensive in the begining)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An Introductory guide to Android phones

I was quite skeptical about smartphones, and believed mobile phones are best used as only phones. In the past I had tried windows mobile phones (about which I was quite impressed) and moto rokr linux phone, but still, I thought they will never take over the functions of a computer.

Then iPhone (by Apple computers)  came along, which was quite expensive, and then Google Inc- the company that does everything right- ventured into making smartphone operating system, Android, about two years ago. The company started with its search engine, Google, which became synonymous with data search on the internet, for which computers are primarily used by most of the people. Android phones too, were quite expensive, but recently many mid and lower end androids have come to market, and become quite affordable, which offer almost the same functionalities of an expensive phone.
Samsung Galaxy Android phone

Android or iPhone:
Both phones are quite impressive, and fans argue vehemently on either side. A comment on Youtube best summed up the comparison of two phones as: iPhone is sturdy, impressive in style, and  easy to use, but limited in customisation and the user is confined to what Steve Jobs (Apple founder and CEO. Please see his great speech here) gives him. Android is endless power to end user, runs on sturdy lnux platform, but not so user friendly and easy as iPhone. So, if you want to have a nice cute easy phone, go for iPhone, but if you want endless power of a mini unix computer in your hand, go for Android.

Android Operating system:
Android runs on the famous Linux operating system, which is a Unix derivative. Unix operating system long preceded any other operating system known today, including windows, and still a major operating system, that's amazingly scalable, used from small embedded systems to super computers and satellites. It's underlying idea is so simple and beautiful, that, unix enthusiasts refer to it as Unix Philosophy. Google created a layer on Linux operating system, to make it easy for programmers to write programs in Java, a popular programming language.

Endless Options:
When you install a third party application in android phone, it gets the same privileges of the stock programs (if you grant it). That means, you can replace the dialer interphase, sms application, everything. You can make the phone look and behave like a windows 7 phone or iPhone! Android applications are created as diffferent components, which can be invoked by a particular message (Intent). If you write a particular application to send sms, and you want to use it's second screen (activity, in android lingo) in some other application, it's possible. Android is true multi-tasking environment (which, surprisingly, is not the case with iPhone), and user simply switches the apps. The apps remain open in memory, and android closes them, when memory is to be recovered, user doesn't have to close a program. In iPhone, if you switch apps the first app is immediately closed; and if the first app is to be opened again, it has to be loaded again to memory.

More than a Computer:
Beyond the normal use to browse, email, chat and social networking, androids can be used to make phone calls! LOL.
And beyond these normal functions, the phone has sensors, which sense orientation, acceleration, temperature, pressure, proximity etc. The Google sky is an application that uses sensors in a great way, and when you turn the phone to any direction, the apps shows you the stars in the sky in that direction. Layar is an application that superimposes the location details (such as coffeshops, ATM machines) on the phone camera view. If you just point your phone to a building, you can know what it is, what all interesting places it contains etc! Sensors are used in gaming too, like in car races, where steering done by tilting the phone to either side.

to conclude, I love my Android.