The Dangerous XI

Watch out for these players this World Cup

ARGENTINA

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Gonzalo Higuain: He’s in top notch form in Serie A, a darn good player, always living in the shadows of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez, he is the most dangerous Argentine.

 

BRAZIL

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Neymar Jr.: He is “the” player, whom everybody is talking about, and his form and Brazil’s chances of winning go hand in hand.

Ricardo Kaka: The veteran Brazilian is a brilliant playmaker, and has the ability to break into any defense, if he finds his old form back, Brazil will be unstoppable.

 

ENGLAND

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin: The Arsenal attacking mid-fielder has impressed everybody, and can cause trouble in the group of death.

 

FRANCE

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Franck Ribery: The Ballan d’Or nominee’s visionary ability to storm the ball through the defense wall is unimaginary.

 

GERMANY

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Mario Gotze: The former Dortmund and the current Munich playmaker Gotze, is in sublime form, and will be the backbone of the German mid-field along with the experienced Bastian Schweinsteiger.

 

ITALY

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Andrea Pirlo: The veteran is according to me the best mid-fielder in the world right now.

Gianluigi Buffon: Another Italian Vet, master goal keeper, his temperament can come in handy in crucial stages like the penalties.

 

SPAIN

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Diego Costa: The Brazilian Spanish forward is having his dream run right now, and he brings life to Spain’s otherwise lifeless attack

 

Jesus Navas: He considered as the fastest player in the world right now, and is a key player in the star studded Spanish mid-field.

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URUGUAY

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Edinson Cavani: The Paris Saint-Germain winger can create a goal out of nothing. Beware Rest of the World!

 

A “Brazilliant” World Cup

 

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                                            (Kaka and Neymar have to shine if Brazil wants to win the World Cup)

                 Okay, so what’s all this fuss about Brazil being the favourites in this year’s World Cup? After all there are other star studded countries, Right? Well, if we see the anatomy of the group stages, it is quite clear that Brazil might get the toughest draw in the Pre-Quarter Finals and the Quarter Finals, as they have to lock horns with either Spain or Netherlands (the two finalists of the last world cup) in the Round of 16, and possibly Italy in the Quarters..

Forwards:

Now, first let’s talk about the wonder boy “Neymar de Silva Santos Junior”. We all know that Neymar is a fantastic player, but what makes the force to reckon with this summer is the support and the playing style of Brazil as a team, which is very different from the way his club Barcelona plays. He has the support of Fred, Jo, Lucas Mora and the mighty Zenit striker Hulk. Everybody compliments each other wonderfully, they are a prime example of team work unlike their neighbours Argentina who boast of the best forwards.. (Tevez, Higuain, Aguero, Messi, and Lavezzi) but fall a little short when team work is considered. 

 

Mid-fielders: 

 

Brazil do not have the best mid-fielders in this World Cup, Spain are the undisputed title holders in that category with the likes of Navas, Xavi, Xabi, Iniesta, Thiago, Javi Martinez, Javi Gracia, David Silva, Juan Mata, Raul Gracia, Isco, phew! and the list goes on and on.. (Seriously what’s the obsession with the mid-field Spain? Go get some strikers.). Germany comes a close second in the mid-field category, but coming back to Brazil, Fernandiniho, Oscar, and Ramires are talanted players without a doubt, but only time will tell whether they are good enough on the big stage, I think they need a player with imagination, skill, talent, and experience of playing in the World Cup, and there are only two players who fit that category: Kaka and Ronaldiniho, but being realistic and seeing the current form, Ronaldiniho is out of the  equation. So we’re left with Kaka, and I’ve watched him closely ever since he’s back in Milan, and I think he will be the trump card of Brazil this world cup, provided Scolari picks him the playing XI.  (Well, he should!)

 

Defenders:

 

Just like Spain is to mid-fielders, Brazil is to defenders. Maicon, Thiago Silva, Dante, Rafiniha, Marcelo, Dani Alves, David Luiz and the goal-keeper Julio Cesar. Possibly the best defending side in the WC. (Need I say more??)

The other factor that favour Brazil and other Latin teams is of course the “home advantage”. Although it is a matter of debate. Considering other teams, I think Germany is a very very formidable side and a very potent title contender, apart from them, Uruguay (as always) is the dark horse, and being a Latin American team, I think it has better odds of reaching the semis as compared to European giants Spain, Italy or France, the only downside on Uruguay is it’s defence. It needs some fresh legs. Other title contender is Argentina, it can beat any side on a good day, but the presence of so many star players can lead to a clash of egos, difficulty in choosing the right combination, et cetra, defence is one portion on which they can work on. 

All in all, my FIFA WC Prediction is:

                                                       

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Where should we live?

House

Once, I was having dinner with a successful property dealer (who is a millionaire) I asked him how he convinces his customers in buying his property?
He said – “I always tell them a story which I read somewhere, I’ll tell you that story, this is an extract from Bhagvad Gita although I’m not too sure of it”
He continued- The warrior Arjun asked Lord Krishna before going to the battle, that why are we going thousands of miles to Kurukshetra to fight the battle, if we can fight the battle here in Hastinapur or in Indraprastha?
The lord replied- “Some things are meant to happen, and there is a specific time and place for that which is destined. Now you tell me, where should one live? Arjun- I don’t know
Lord Krishna- One should choose a place by keeping these four things in mind-

1. Water: We should live in such a place where we can get clean water, for without it we cannot survive
2. Fertile Soil: We should choose such a place, where there is a fertile soil, so that we have abundant food and water
3. Air: The third most important thing is clean air, with clean air, clean water and fertile soil we can create our own little heaven
4. People : The fourth most important thing to keep in mind should be that the people around us should not be greedy, as greed is one of the most dangerous vice, and it can destroy the best of the heavens

The Pilgrimage

 

 

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People don’t know how to go on a proper pilgrimage. Being on a pilgrimage doesn’t mean that you will go there just because you have to, and then come back and be your regular self, indulging in the same routine again, as if nothing has happened. What’s the whole point of such a pilgrimage?.

        A pilgrimage means a journey which you have to earn, rediscovering yourself on every step, and when you’ll finally reach there, you’ll see that the journey was worth it, it cleansed your soul. Pilgrimage means when you become overwhelmed by emotions after seeing that magnificent structure which you were destined to visit. because only you know how hard it was to get there. 

      There are lot of holy places- The Great Mountains of KedarnathKailash, in India, the Road to Santiago in Spain, the Hajj Pilgrimage of Mecca, we can travel at all of these places by foot, cleansing our souls, experiencing new things, because this is life all about. ‘ New Experiences’, but then also, some people choose to go there by car, by bus, even by personal charter, they don’t realize what they are missing.  Some people might say that we are old, we can’t get there by foot, so we need a charter. Okay, but what were you doing when you were young? Poverty is an exception, but what about all the other people who had the money to go there, but they kept saying – ‘ Maybe next summer’

              There is no next summer. There never will be any next summer. The time is now. Make the most of what you have, because life can take unexpected turns very quickly. 
Bon Voyage!

CAN THE NEW RAZR SERIES BRING BACK THE OLD MAGIC?

Motorola Mobility recently announced a few new phones in it’s Razr series. The Razr M, Razr HD, Razr Maxx HD and RazrI. Apple also announced their flagship phone, the much awaited iPhone 5, which undoubtedly took the limelight. The iPhone maybe a better alternative for the iPhone 4S, but with it’s hefty price tag, the Razr series may come in handy.

They are targeting on one thing which most of the other android phones aren’t. (In the mid-range market) That is good. Battery. The Razr series, boasts mammoth 2500-3300 mAh battery, which is a big advantage over the other manufactures especially Sony and Htc. (Phones like Xperia P and Desire VC doesn’t promise nice battery life)
Talking about the processor, three of these four phones offer Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 1.5Ghz Dual-Core Krait processors which in SOME benchmark tests ran by GSMArena here , surpassed the likes of Galaxy SIII and One X. And the fourth one, the RazrI features Intel’s Midfield processor clocked at 2.0 Ghz. Although it didn’t performed brilliantly in some benchmark tests, it boasts of 1 second camera boot up time and can capture 10 pictures in less than a second

Another reason to consider the Razr series is the new MotoBlur ICS UI which is a lot better than the previous one and everybody is liking it too.. It resembles a lot to the stock Ice Cream Sandwich UI, and since it is a part of Google now so it will get updates soon.. (Not to forget that it will get updated to Jelly Bean soon).
It is unlocking boot loaders, (only few models till now), every user had this complaint…
The only problem that I can think of is that all of these phones are not offering anything unique like the SmartStay feature in the Galaxy SIII, and Siri in the iPhone, but the main advantage of Razr M apart from the Kevlar, Krait processor, etc. is the price tag. It is priced at $99 for two years (US Only) on contract with Verizon Wireless. I contacted Motorola India, and they said that in India it might arrive in December. So, it will be interesting to see wether the US buyers will go for the Droid or not. What do you think?

The Right Path

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I was walking along the streets, on the highway between Dehradun and Mussoorie, on a beautiful evening, admiring the magical landscapes, pondering about my life, talking to myself, thinking about Love, Dreams and Personal Legends, when suddenly a car stopped and a man came out of it and asked me -”Can you tell me wether this road goes to the famous waterfalls located here? I’m a tourist”, So I told him the right direction and moved on, after a few miles another man came to and asked about a college, I pointed him the college and said that it’s just a two minute walk from here, He thanked me and moved on, and then another man came on a bicycle (and since I was the only person walking there), he asked me about a famous tourist spot, I said that you are going in the wrong direction, it is in the opposite direction, he also thanked me and went away…By that time, I was about to reach my destination.

After a few minutes, I thought about that little incident, and what was the significance of that?
Then it occurred to me.. The exact same thing happens in our lives, we come close to our destinations, but then we don’t know where to go, and sometimes we start moving in the wrong direction.. And then we meet our guide, may it be God, our mentor, our friend, our spouse, or our relative, they help us going in the right direction. But in the end we have to compete that journey all alone, nobody will be there with us, although they can help us in showing the right path….

Sony Xperia P Review : As Xpected


INTRODUCTION

After acquiring Ericsson, Sony needed some good quality engineering and some luck to stay in this competitive smartphone market.
And I have to say it did came pretty close with it’s new 2012 Xperia series.
Let’s look at the key features first

Bright 4″ 16M-color capacitive LED-backlit LCD touchscreen of qHD resolution (540 x 960 pixels) with Sony Mobile BRAVIA engine and WhiteMagic (fourth white subpixel); Scratch-resistant glass
Android OS v2.3.7 Gingerbread, Android 4.0 ICS update coming soon
Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, 1 GB RAM, Mali-400 GPU, NovaThor U8500 chipset
8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash and geotagging, Multi Angle shot
1080p video recording @ 30fps with continuous autofocus and stereo sound
VGA front-facing camera
Built-in GPS receiver with Assistant-GPS
NFC connectivity
microHDMI port, dedicated TV launcher
Adobe Flash 11 support
Deep Facebook integration
WHAT I LIKED

  • Metallic unibody design
  • Brilliant screen
  • HDMI Port
  • NFC

WHAT I DIDN’T

  • No expandable memory
  • Poor battery life

UNBOXING

The Xperia P comes with a big nice box, with key specs like HDMI, White Magic Screen, NFC etc. written on it.
Inside it consist of our phone, an earphone, a USB-cum Charger and few NFC tags

HARDWARE & DISPLAY:
“REFRESHED AND ELEGANT”

The design and finish of the phone is pretty good, infact it’s more than good. It has a curvy design, a little thick in the middle, it is made of Aluminium, which gives it a premium feel, better than the plastic body handsets. The bottom portion of the phone is made up of plastic with the Xperia logo embedded on it. On the right side it has got the speaker, the volume rocker keys and a good addition the shutter key (Not seen in most of the phones these days)
The left side consist of the MicroUSB port, the HDMI port and the MicroSIM port. On the top there is a 3.5mm audio jack. It has got the three capacitive buttons on the transparent bar above the Xperia logo, which are pretty responsive. The front VGA camera is on the left side of the earpiece, and all the usual sensors are besides it. Blackberry users rejoice because it also has a LED indicator positioned near the earpiece. It blinks when any notification comes, the thing which I liked about it that the colour changes when you receive any email/message from a different account. It blinks green on a gmail message, a pink on a Yahoo! Message and Yellow on Hotmail.
The not so good part about the phone’s hardware is that the battery is non-removable, and it is only of 1306mAh which is way below the average, although the company boasts a 475 hours of stand by (2G), it is not the case, it lasted only 4 and a half hours on heavy usage and 8 hours on average usage.
But the screen is gorgeous looking with ~275 ppi it’s pretty crisp and bright, the colours are vibrant and lively, the viewing angles are good, and thanks to the ‘White Magic’ technology (as Sony likes it to say) the sunlight legibility is very impressive, impressive from most of the phones I’ve seen.
The screen resolution is of 960×540 (qHD) which is good.
The 8 MP camera is at the back of the phone with a single LED flash on top of it.

SOFTWARE
“TIMESCAPE DOES THE JOB WELL”

The Homescreen

The main page

It was pretty disappointing to hear that it doesn’t comes with Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, it runs on Gingerbread version 2.3.7, but they promised an update in late Q2.
The home screen only gives us an option to add 5 screens, but thankfully you can change that, there are many apps available in the play store for that, (for example Go Launcher ). We can add shortcuts, live wallpapers, Xperia widgets etc. There are not many themes to chose from most of them are almost the same just the primary colour differs, my personal favourite is the silk one. The menu is pretty simple, I liked the Timescape UI, although it’s not like the ultimate Sense UI, but it does the job well, and is definitely better than TouchWiz and MotoBlur. The Timescape option gives you the chance to see all your Twitter and Facebook on the same screen, you can also add other feeds like that of Mashable etc. from the Play Store. The pinch to zoom works well on the home screen with all the widgets comes floating at one screen. Multi-tasking is good thanks to the 1 Ghz dual core NovaThor processor, but more on that later.

CONTACTS AND TELEPHONY
“DEEP INTEGRATION WITH FB”

I was pretty impressed with the contact adding system, thanks to the deep face book integration, we can link the facebook account to the phonebook, Google Plus contacts are automatically synced abd added onit, if you want you can add your Hotmail contacts also. We can view the contacts’ facebook photos and interests in the contact info section.
The calling facility is good, it includes smart dialing. Just type the number and it will search and display a list of matching contacts. The sound quality was good, although sometimes I recorded a drop call, but that should be the network’s fault. Thanks to the proximity sensor the phone locks itself while attending any call.

PERFORMANCE
“NOT BRILLINAT BUT DECENT”
Well, Sony made a brave move to make their own line of processor – The NovaThor processor, but it things weren’t as sweet as I expected. Although the phone is capable of handling most of the apps or games, it sometime lags when returning on the home screen and it freezed when I was returning back from one app to another too fast and then it became normal after rebooting it again.
Multitasking had no problem at all, games like fruit ninja and temple run worked smoothly.
I ran a few benchmark tests and it didn’t performed well in either of them. In both the Quadrant and the AnTuTu bemchmark test it was below the LG Optimus 2X, and the Optimus 2X was launched almost two years ago, it was the first ever dual core device, and is one of the latest device.

Quadrant Test (Higher is better)

Quadrant Standard Test

AnTuTu Test (Higher is better)

AnTuTu Test

CAMERA & RECORDER
“LIVED UP TO MY EXPECTATIONS”

Sony is always known for it’s good camera, and this phone is no different. First the UI.
The UI of the camera is pretty simple, changing from rear camera to the front camera is quick and easy.
The camera is good, it is capable of producing 3624×2448 resolution pictures the colours were lively, and bright, the shades were also decent. The flash was good, pictures were good in the night also. The phone also comes with panorama and “3D Camera” view.
The only problem with some pictures was that the noise reduction was poor and the detailing was not as good, and we can clearly see that while zooming any picture. Apart from that everything worked like a charm. It’s not as good as it’s bigger sibling, the Xperia S, and certainly not better than the Nokia N8 or the Htc One X, but it’s quality is way better than most of the other phones in the market.

The camera options

The recorder’s UI is similar to that of the camera.
It is capable of recording HD (720p) and Full HD (1080p) videos. And it did it’s job well. It recorded at 30fps, and the bit rate was 15-16 at Full HD mode which is quite good. Here again, noise and detailing was the problem but not so much.
Budding photographers won’t be disappointed with this little beast.

GALLERY & MEDIA PLAYER

It has got the usual stock android gallery. Pinch to zoom worked flawlessly but the photos take some time to load which can be a little frustrating. The default gallery is in no way bad, but then also I would recommend you to download Scalado Album or QuickPic.

The stock media player is pretty good but when I played Michael Jackson’s Hold My Hand (.mp4) the screen went black and the audio was coming, so I tried to play it with MX Player and it ran smoothly, all the other formats like Avi, DivX, Xvid, Mkv ran beautifully.

The music player is very good, it has the option of downloading music information (album art etc.), google the lyrics directly, or to find the Artist information on Wikipedia, and to like it on facebook.

CONNECTIVITY, BROWSER AND ORGANISER
“NFC IS A WELCOME ADDITION”

The connectivity of the phone is good, both GPRS and WCDMA worked fine. Wi-Fi is also okay. Bluetooth 3.0 makes file transfer fast, and NFC is a good thing to brag about for this phone.

The stock Android browser is good but was a little bit crappy and sluggish while opening some sites. We can use multiple windows at the same time. Unfortunately we can’t save any web page, but there is Firefox Beta for that. (It saves the page in PDF format)
I would recommend you to download the Dolphin HD browser, A much better alternative to the stock one.

The organiser is good, the calendar synchronised the Google Calender and the Hotmail calendar, my only complaint is that it looks quite small, when comparing it to Motorola’s or the Htc’s calendar app. Everything else is fine.

VERDICT

Here comes the most important part of the review, the verdict.
The camera is good, screen is good and the looks are more than good. If you are looking for a decent mid-range smartphone, this might be the one for you, but here’s the catch, if you are a heavy user then you will be seriously pissed of by it’s battery performance and the lack of a MicroSD card, apart from these two flaws the phone decent. If you are not that much into gaming and exploring the market then it’s is almost perfect for you.
The competitors of this phone are the Htc Sensation, Motorola Atrix 2, Htc Evo 3D, Samsung Galaxy S Advance, and LG Optimus 3D. All fall in the same price group, and most of them are getting the taste of Ice Cream Sandwich. If you can shed a few more bucks you can go for the classics like the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Razr XT910, or it’s bigger sibiling the Xperia S Let’s see how it performs with the ICS update
coming in late Q2

Exploration

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People earn money thinking that they can spend it anyway they want, thinking that they have control over their money, but in the end money ends up controlling them.
     Everybody has stress in their life, and the best way to calm your mind is to not think about that (according to the doctors), and the best way to do that is by traveling and exploring. When we travel we take a break from our daily boring life routine. It rejuvenates our soul.
   I would advise you not to book a guide or go by the map. Explore, meet new people, indulge in their culture, Walk, don’t hire a cab, when we walk we are more conscious about the things and events that happen around us. Don’t post every photo on facebook, don’t tweet every two seconds. Switch off your smartphone, throw away your camcorder and start exploring. Take risks, and face your fears.
  As Paulo Coelho says it – ”Travelling is never a matter of money, it is a matter of courage”