Category Archives: Technology

Have you ever seen a funeral live on social media?

By Sunil K. Vaidya

Recently, I was surprised to see a ‘live’ funeral being broadcast on Facebook.

Seing that post, in a way, took me back in time. When we were young, every day we would meet at a naka (street corner in Mumbai lingo). It was the routine and the naka was our local grapevine. We would exchange news and views about everything under the sun. At the naka, we talked about which building had caught fire, where burglars had struck, heard the buzz around elections, movie releases, how a batsman had batted (we spent more time discussing cricket than anything else). We talked about everything, from mob beatings of gold chain snatchers (a big menace then), to births, birthdays, marriages, as well as break-ups and deaths.

Continue reading Have you ever seen a funeral live on social media?

Bye-bye, ASIMO, the original robot, retiring after 18 years

By Keith Pereña

Wow! An astronaut! I told my grandmother as ASIMO, a humanoid robot, appeared on our boxy television’s screen. His white figure walked in measured steps to reach a spotlight where he finally waved hello to the rest of the world. Grandmother adjusted the antenna on the tube so that my brother and I could view the spectacle clearly. The advert ran for a minute before regular programming of the news and afternoon dramas resumed. Continue reading Bye-bye, ASIMO, the original robot, retiring after 18 years

A week without mobile data freed me up to enjoy the real world

By Keith Pereña

Modern horror story: for a week, I was ‘forced’ to speak to other people on the phone because I had run out of mobile data to send them a message. As I write this, my phone is at a table across me, not within arm’s reach. During that week, it was nice to finally have some peace, even as I was thinking how sacrilegious it must be for a journalist to not know what was going on around the world.

Continue reading A week without mobile data freed me up to enjoy the real world

Stalker, Crybaby or Expert? What kind of troll are you?

By Allan Jacob

Last month, a friend on a school WhatsApp group quit in disgust at the treatment meted out to him for his full-throated support of a global political leader that often bordered on the naive and emotional. I thought what he did was brave — cutting off virtual ties with his old pals for his political (and religious) beliefs. His dogmatic and dogged defence of recurring issues that concern many of us — migration, politics and religion — got me thinking. “They picked on me for my beliefs,” he wailed. I did, too, I reminded him, and said he was often blinded by fawning over a man who had his good sides and bad. “There is no rationale in your arguments, be reasonable, take a neutral line,” was my unsolicited advice to him, which he deftly threw out.

Continue reading Stalker, Crybaby or Expert? What kind of troll are you?

Happy birthday, Pokémon GO and thank you for the exercise

By Alvin R. Cabral

Depending on how you look at it, Pokémon GO is either an exercise app disguised as a cute game, or a time-consuming, data-and-battery-sapping game masquerading as a walkathon. A favourite of mine, I play Pokémon GO for about half-an-hour on the way to work, plus during idle time at home. That’s two-three hours a week. Naturally, my gaming activity increases if I am at a place with free Wi-Fi.

Continue reading Happy birthday, Pokémon GO and thank you for the exercise

What you should know about killer drones and peace doves

By Allan Jacob

Forgive me if I sound like a doomsday prophet when I launch into the dangers of excesssive technology. Neo-Luddite suits me fine. There is always this hovering feeling that peace is in peril when individual and community spaces are being watched in an air of suspicion. In this scenario, I feel challenged to be peacenik, or a dove when it comes to drones — my current fleeting objects of attention. My desire is not to possesss them but to admire these magnificent miniature flying machines from afar and proclaim: Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Continue reading What you should know about killer drones and peace doves