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Category: Technology

24 Hour Internet Ban – Every Week

Late last year, around late November, there was a new trend afloat around within my crew. Internet ban for 24 hours.  From seven of us in the crew, one had been toying with the idea to self-impose an Internet ban for at least 24 hours during the week, or rather, for one full day and night every week.  At the time when this was discussed, I brushed aside the idea, thinking that I, out of all the people, was in control of when and how I access the internet, be it on my laptop/PC, tablet or mobile phone.

I was wrong.

Two weeks ago, the same idea, was adopted by an acquaintance of mine.  She casually mentioned it during a late night, unplanned meal, and she and this whole self-imposed Internet ban got be thinking.

Now, I know the era we live in today is regarded, probably unofficially, as the Information Age.  I guess, others may call it Computer Age, Digital Age or New Media Age.   Information surrounds us whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.  What makes this possible is how digital/electronic devices have, it seems, embedded themselves permanently into our lives. 20 years, or so, ago, technology evolved gradually.  As a toddler I remember, In our household and I guess in any other household, you’d find a telephone, TV, audio player with radio and a video cassette player as devices capable of providing information – and that would be all.  The only time you’d replace one of these items would be when the old one broke and the old bloke at the local repair shop said it was beyond repair.  That’s right; you’d literally have local shops that specialised in repairing electronic devices.

Technology is now evolving at a far greater pace than one can and could have ever anticipated.  Everyone, and I literally mean everyone from children, teenagers to adults are exposed to Information Overload.  Infobesity and Infoxication is a reality and people are suffering from this, whether they’re aware or not.  People are finding it difficult to break away from this Information Overload and thus, I believe, have difficulty in understanding how to make decisions which can be caused by the presence of too much information.  By this I mean, people of all ages fail to understand how important it is to make decisions in real life and away from this artificial reality.

The idea for a 24 hour internet ban is to divert your attention and energy into something else.  It’s an idea that, if adhered to religiously, means that you may begin to (re)discover, life around you again.  Life that isn’t lived or viewed through technology or the Internet.  I must admit, I’m not a heavy user of technology and Internet on the move, but at times, I do find myself so immersed that I fail to see the world moving around me.

So, I’ve decided to implement this idea on a trial basis.  See how it works for me and see if it actually makes a difference of some sort.

But, it won’t be easy.

At least, it won’t be easy in selecting which day of the week I have an Internet ban on.  My extra curricular activities and social get together are, all pretty much, arranged via my digital devices – which – I also use to work on and run my businesses.  How and where do I draw the line?

On paper, Wednesday, seems to be a good day to introduce a 24 hour Internet ban.  It will be interesting to know how this works out, and whether I am able to adhere to it, and begin to focus and put more energy in other parts of my life – which currently – is a mix of life-work-Internet-technology.

I hope to provide a regular update on how this turns out, and what impact (positive or negative) it is having.

Would you consider adhering to a 24 hour Internet ban?

Do you think it’ll change anything?

Celebrations All Around and A Short Break

This week and the last few have been special weeks.  Special for many reasons.  First and foremost, it’s a time in which we have seen many celebrations of many religions, more so, for those religions that are dear to us despite being in another part of the world from where they originated from, and for which our lives and future heavily depend on.

I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate followers of the Sikh religion, in which few weeks ago ‘Joti Jot Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’ was celebrated as well as ‘Gurgadi Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji’  As for Islam and Muslims around the world, today signalled the day of Hajj, and as a result I’d like to wish all the Muslims a very happy ‘Eid al-Adha’.  Last, but not the least, I’d like to wish a happy ‘Dussehra’ which was celebrated by the Hindu faith on Wednesday.

I can’t recall a time in the past when such important events for each religion were celebrated in close proximity to one another.  Other than harmony and peaceful living, it encourages respect and tolerance for each other, for each different religion and those communities that live with us.

Moving onto more business related news, this time of the year is special to me in other ways.  It’s a time when I take my (towards the) end of the year trip or rather a business venture to Hong Kong and China.  Much like this time last year, I am off to that part of Asia to spend my money in bulk buying massive quantities of the  latest gadgets and accessories, to import into the UK with my regular mission to sell over Christmas.  Something I have been doing for many years now, other than being a mini adventure, it is a very lucrative seasonal business venture, with large return on my investment.  So all those people out there with Apple, Samsung, HTC, Blackberry products, keep an eye out at the retail stores for some interesting eye-catching stuff.

In addition, I’m not only going to China and Hong Kong, I will be visiting two other destinations soon after.  The second being Singapore for linking up and connecting flight to my 3rd destination being Florida, Hunters Creek.  The later two destinations will be pushing me for time but it’s a cheeky last-minute decision which has been made in the last day or two.  I tell you, it’s amazing what fluttering of eyelashes can make me do, with a promise of plenty of apple pies.

So as a result of the above, I will be out of this country from Monday 29th October and my return will be 7 or so days later (if I feel like it) – as I need to get some important badminton practice in too while in Florida.

So my dear readers and followers, I wish you all the best in the coming days, and I hope to catch up with you guys on my return.  I don’t intend to tweet or blog during this time so until then…

Au revoir

The Apprentice 2012 – Fifth Episode Today – Week Five

It’s Wednesday today, and you know what that means:  The fifth episode of The Apprentice 2012.  Most of you by now will be well aware of what’s been happening, or at least been following my brief updates on this year’s apprentices.  The Apprentice 2012 will be aired on BBC One at 9pm.  You can catch up on my previous episodes updates by links provided at the bottom of this post, so far we have seen the rise (well sort of) and fall of four apprentices so far.

A recap:

Week One said good bye to – Bilyana Apostolova

Week Two said good bye to – Maria O’Conner

Week Three said good bye to – Michael Copp

And, Week Four said good bye to Sylvester Stallone look alike – Jane McEvoy

Last week, prior to the show being aired, I wrote how the boy’s team Phoenix will win this task, after coming to know the task.  I was proved correct and the girls team ‘Sterling’ lost the challenge.

The task was simple, buy crap (household goods) for as cheap as possible, condition them and resell for a profit in a shop.  The girl’s team was lead by Laura (the attractive business women – as she claimed, but the truth couldn’t be far from it) and the boy’s team was led by Tom, the relaxed and contained chap.

To be fair, it was hard to tell which strategy was working well.  Tom was adamant to have a say in almost everything that was considered to be bought for team Phoenix, and where Laura simply had no clue and her team Sterling were simply buying anything and everything.

In comparison to their shops, I did think that team Sterling had more items to sell in their shop and their shop looked busy with recycled items.  On the other hand, at one point, Tom’s team Phoenix had purchased so little that their shop looked empty with only about five items – but over time they increased the amount to better numbers.

When the shops opened, Tom’s leadership and vision paid off instantly as the shop quickly attracted people who started to purchase almost immediately – despite the shop having more empty space than items.  At one point, Tom had to call for more recycled items to be bought and immediately sent to the shop, as they began to run low on stock.  Luckily the Blonde Assassin and her team were good at scavenging second-hand items and did so perfectly, and before long, they had refilled empty spaces in the shop.

Laura’s team didn’t do well at all as customers refused to come into their shop, those who actually did were quick to leave empty handed.  I found most of the girls doing their own things, as their egos were getting the better of them and they began to distant themselves from actually selling in the shop and focus more on getting people into the shop.  The lack of numbers coming into the shop prompted Laura to print and handout leaflets in the surrounding areas – which proved to work but it was too late in the day for some serious money to be made.

As I predicted before the show, the boy’s team Phoenix won the task, meaning as well as Tom’s first attempt as Project Manager turning into a win, the Blonde Assassin also enjoyed her first ever win in the show.

Laura asked Gaby and Jane to join her in the boardroom, which after a bitch fight had erupted it was Jane who got fired.  It was clear that Gaby was wrongly brought back to the boardroom since she was probably the only one who worked extremely hard throughout the task.

Today’s episode (week five) Lord Sugar turns the candidates’ attentions towards the highly profitable keep fit industry. The teams have two days to devise and brand a new fitness class that reflects recent popular trends like Zumba or Body Pump, which attract gym members to classes in big numbers. They must then pitch their routines to leading health and fitness chains, who will pay for the rights to run them if they like what they see.

Yet again, I am backing up team Phoenix to win this task, since the boy’s team have proved to be more committed in doing whatever it takes to get it right.

Any thoughts?

Anyway, I’d like to leave you with a video below of some funny bits on the last episode.  See you all tonight at 9pm on BBC One

Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four

The Apprentice 2012 – Fourth Episode Today – Week Four

Today, the fourth episode of The Apprentice 2012 will be aired on BBC One at 9pm.  In the last week episodes, which you can read by clicking on the links at the bottom of this post, we have seen the fall of three apprentices so far.

A recap:

Week one said good bye to – Bilyana Apostolova

Week two said good bye to – Maria O’Conner

And, Week Three said good bye to – Michael Copp – they saucy guy.

Last week, prior to the show being aired, when I realised the task was related to food – I predicted that the girls team ‘Sterling’ would be victorious.  I was right.  Although Lord Alan sugar decided to switch few of the people around I couldn’t help thinking that the girls team needed some male muscle to help them – and again my thinking was correct.

Katie, the Blonde Assassin who was heavily criticised in previous two episodes, surprised me by her dominance of the male group.  As the Project Manager for the boys team, she not only was calm and organised, she seemed to have understood a tricky situation really well and come up with a plan B for selling their source, despite losing the first batch to the guys badly following a recipe.

Nonetheless, Katie led her team to failure and currently is the only person who has been on the losing side 3 times.

On the Girl’s team, It appeared that the only two boys seemed to have had a grip on the task.  Despite negative feelings from other girls they pulled it off with a win.

The remaining contestants have begun to show their true colours, and from them you can see who is a doer and who is just hot air.

Today’s episode (week four) Lord Sugar asks the teams to set up second-hand shops in London’s fashionable East End, home to a thriving market in retro and refurbished household goods. The teams must source second-hand stock from auctions, junk shops and car boot sales, and resell at a profit during a one-day-sale from their respective shops.

Today’s task is about having an eye for identifying items which will sell over stuff that simply is just crap – I feel (gut instinct) that the Boy’s team will win.  They have proved to be more daring that the girls and better at sales.

What do you think?

Anyway, I’d like to leave you with a video below of some funny bits on the last episode.  See you all tonight at 9pm on BBC One

Read about previous episodes here, here, here and here.

Samsung Transparent Smart Window (Monitor)

OK, this is unusual, that I write about technology on my blog, but I couldn’t resist in mentioning this new piece of bloody awesome technology, launching soon by Samsung.

Imagine a world of see-though monitors, windows/glass that is interactive and touch sensitive.  This new technology has really got me excited.  Imagine car information being displayed on the actual windscreen as opposed to the dashboard.  Imagine, shower screens where you can enjoy a shower and yet keep up to date with news or other programs.  Imagine, your bedroom window allowing you to surf the internet and yet see outside.  Imagine is indeed the idea behind this technology.

Science fiction indeed has become reality, and this technology opens up a whole new worldof opportunities.

At CES in Las Vegas, Samsung is demoing a new touch screen display technology that is see-though.

It is also known as ‘Samsung Transparent Window’.  At the moment, this LCD window can fit any size up to 46 inches.  So, will no doubt quality for my box room window.  With all the additional extras, such as HDMI or USB, it definitely is a new kind of technology – something I’d expect Steve Jobs to come up with and launch for his upcoming products.

If you are worried that people on the other side of the window will be able to see what you are up to, or doing on this screen, well rest assure – it’s a one way mirror.  In other words, people on the other side will simply see themselves in the mirror.

I’m really excited about this technology, as it now opens up new possibilities and new ways of doing things.  Who said the wheel could not be reinvented?

One question though:  Why didn’t Steve Jobs come up with this?

Machines Will Take Over From 2012

As the first week of 2012 came to an end, I tried to understand and reflect on how different 2012 will be for me, and for everyone else in comparison to previous years.  Somewhere, and I can’t exactly remember where, I read that ‘machines’ will (start) to influence our lives more than ever before.  That 2012 will be a start for when Machine try to outsmart the human intellect, and make us feel we simply can’t survive without them.

As I write, I can’t help feeling the uneasiness of how I am relying on a machine to record my words, words that are in my mind, which shortly will be shared with many other machines that will be used by readers to view what I have written.  Since when have I started to trust this machine so much that I allow it to record what is in my mind?

As a kid, I loved the movies such as Terminator and Robocop.  It was, as a kid, a chance to glance into the future and experience how life may well be.  The future is still to come, yet machines are already amongst us.  But, how did I come to accept machines to be part of my life and to trust them more than some people who I know?  It appears that while we continue the struggle in dealing with our lives, deal with issues that each and everyone faces, the machine has slowly and gradually crept upon us.

As we all know, machines are invented by us, to help us and make life easier and comfortable.  We invented them for a purpose, to serve us, and to assist us.  We have turned a blind eye to how powerful the machine have become, and to empower it with our intellect may well be the biggest mistake we make as mankind.

Take for example, the new generation of mobile phones, known to the world as ‘Smart Phones’.  If you take the time out and the next time you are either on a train or at your local McDonald – see how many people are glued to their ‘smart phones’.  What is it in this machine that simply makes the user become obsessed with the machine?  Steve Jobs was the guy who gave us this ‘smart phone’ machine.  Was he working for us or for the machine?  As much as we like to think we are in control of our lives, the reality is the machines seem to have a pretty good grip on our lives.  Our day-to-day activities clearly cannot function without the need and input from the machine.

This morning, as I got out of bed, I reflected on this ‘Machine’ and realised that in almost every activity I do, there is a machine involved.  To help explain what I mean, I’ll recall the machines I used today till the moment I write this post – at mid afternoon.

Alarm Clock, Radio, Electric Shower, Trimmer and electric shaver, Electric Toothbrush, Kettle, Fridge Freezer, Mobile Phone, Toaster, Microwave, Central Heating, Sky HD receiver, LCD Television and Remote Control, Mobile Phone Charger, Laptop, PC, immobilized car key, Car, SatNav, Radio, CD/DVD, reverse parking camera and sensor, Parking ticket machine, Train, Automated barriers to exist the train station, ATM Machine, Traffic lights, automatic doors, lift, finger print recognition to access work building, printer, fax machine, 3 LCD monitors, telephone, vending machine, keyboard and mouse.

38 machines used so far since morning, to be precise only in 6 hours.  The list is of machines which I can remember and work out, but for sure there are those machines which I used that either I can’t remember or recognise.  When I look at it this way, it becomes scary and quite hard to get my head around how much I depend on these machines or how much influence the machine has on my life.

Imagine if the 38 machines mentioned above simply refused to operate to my command.  In other words, they all got a message at the same time ‘not to cooperate with me or any other human’ and the machine actually refused to work and operate as it is commanded or intended to – where would that leave me or us?

To put it into prospective, Image if the alarm clock refused to wake me up at the time I told it to.  The electrical showers refused to provide me with hot water for me to have a shower in the morning.  The electric trimmer/shaver refused to operate so I couldn’t trim my stubble or have a shave.  The electric toothbrush refused to work so I used it the traditional way to clean my teeth.  The fridge freezer didn’t keep my milk or the butter fresh and all other food content simply went off.  The kettle refused in boiling the water and the microwave refused to warm up my food.  My car refused to start.

At the train station the ticket machine refused to give me a ticket and the train refused to leave the station.  The ATM refused to give me my money and swallowed my card.  My mobile refused to make or receive calls, or to even send or receive a text message.  The finger print security to access my work building refused me entry.  The PC/Laptop I’m using right now refused to record my words and opera….[[THIS IS A MESSAGE FROM THE MACHINE.  THE BRITISH ASIAN BLOG HUMANOID NO LONGER HAS PERMISSION TO USE THIS MACHINE AND THEREFORE CAN NO LONGER COMPLETE THIS MESSAGE]] 

[[THE MACHINE IS NOW IN CONTROL]]

Steve Job Dies 56 & Graham Dilley Dies 52

Steve Job Dies 56 & Graham Dilley Dies 52 – By The British Asian Blog

In the area where I have deep interests, Technology and Cricket – I learnt today morning that both areas have suffered a great and tremendous loss.  Steve Jobs, the Technology pioneer and co-founder of Apple has died, at the age of 56.  In the space of Cricket, Former England bowler Graham Dilley passed aware at the age of 52, who helped England complete a memorable win in the third Ashes Test.

Both men have great enthusiasm and fighting spirit, and no doubt have enormously influenced the areas in which they worked and believed in.

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