I absolutely adore this song
2008 gave birth to two independent revolutions in computing: apps, pioneered by Apple’s iPhone, and HTML5, which provided the tools for rich webapps allowing one to move all one’s computing to the browser. Google has bet its future on both of these revolutions through the app-targeting Android and the webapp-targeting Chrome OS.
Whilst the age of apps is now thoroughly underway, the same isn’t true for HTML5 (and therefore webapps.) The HP Chromebook 11 is, like all Chromebooks, thoroughly reliant on HTML5 in order to function. Whilst the quality of webapps has improved since the first Chromebooks, they still struggle to match the quality of native apps such as those on an Android tablet.
Chromebooks face another challenge to their adoption: the industry shift away from netbooks towards tablets. iPad and other tablets such as Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire have mostly ended the mid-2000s growth of netbooks, and has killed Asus’ Eee PC.
In light of these two handicaps, one might have thought the HP Chromebook 11 was dead on arrival. No apps, no touch screen, and no Windows make this device seem dated. In contrast, this machine offers the portability of a tablet with the functionality of a laptop makes for an essential device for web addicts like myself.
At first glance, the Chromebook looks as if Apple had decided to base the MacBook Air design on the old white MacBook rather than on the MacBook Pro. Thinner than a retina MacBook Pro, it’s silent too, because of its fanless ARM processor.
The white design appeals to me in the same way the white MacBook did because it oozes simplicity in the Jony Ive-sense of the word. The design aids functionality instead of hindering as the designs of similarly priced netbooks (or even competing Chromebooks) often do.
Sound quality is not up to a true audiophile’s standard, but then neither is the sound quality of any laptop. It is, however, notably better than the Samsung Chromebook’s tinny output, and the speakers are cleverly hidden underneath the keyboard.
The 11” display is an IPS display, which means the perception of quality is not affected for 176 degrees. Colours appear clearer and blacks are truer too, and the display generally looks fantastic (whilst, of course, not being anywhere near the levels achieved by the retina MacBook Pro.)
The device weighs just 1.04kg (2.2 pounds), which is about 40g fewer than the 11” MacBook Air. Moving from a 13” white MacBook, the weight difference is almost an entire kilogram. Suffice to say, I could take it anywhere.
The thing which, to me, makes a Chromebook appealing is actually one of the more mundane things to find in a personal computer. It’s the keyboard. A full sized chiclet keyboard made with the quality one’d expect from Apple is not to be taken lightly; it makes for a compelling case for a Chromebook.
With this device in tow, you can forget silly keyboard docks and Touch Covers. The keyboard has excellent traction and has almost transition period when switching from another laptop. Furthermore, the Chromebook has an idyllically sized touchpad. It doesn’t suck, like it seems the touchpad of every OEM except for Apple sucks. Indeed, it supports and excels at two-finger scrolling, two-finger right-clicking and back/forward gestures.
On to the software aspect, I’ve found it quite difficult to find use cases I can’t manage with the Chromebook. Documents are perfectly manageable in Google Drive, not to mention the availability of Apple’s quite effective iWork in the Cloud.
Skype remains a glaring omission. Google’s attempts to push Hangouts may not have totally failed, but they have failed to displace Skype as the go-to videochatting service. Skype have promised a webapp in the form of Microsoft’s Outlook.com, but apparently it’ll work via Silverlight, which Chrome OS does not support.
Complex Word documents are another issue. Edexcel, a British exam board, provides mark schemes for its exam papers in Word format (instead of PDF, for some reason), and neither Google Drive nor Quickoffice can effectively format the document, especially with mathematical symbols present.
Other than those two issues, most things possible on a Mac have been possible on a Chromebook. Printing would have been an issue had it not been possible for a Raspberry Pi to be used as a Google Cloud Print server. Printing relatively basic documents now works completely fine. Evernote has a surprisingly nice webapp.
The ARM processor which allows a fanless design does hold the Chromebook back, unfortunately. Whilst powerful enough to do almost anything on its own, multitasking is difficult. Playing Spotify or Google Play Music works to an acceptable degree, but random frames of music are skipped. Ironically, I suspect that Spotify has better performance than Google Play Music.
I started this review by talking about the success of the “App revolution” vs the “Web revolution.” I don’t think the HP Chromebook 11 will significantly challenge the developing hegemony of smartphones and tablets, but I don’t think the two revolutions overlap in their use cases either. Having a Chromebook does not eliminate the need for a Nexus 7 and vice versa.
Instead, it’s my belief that Chromebooks and tablets will, instead of cannibalising each other, become increasingly deadly to the traditional PC market. Chromebooks in conjunction with tablets are far superior to traditional PCs and laptops in almost all usage cases, and are becoming better by the day.
For these reasons, the HP Chromebook 11 is yet another pebble in the long road to the mobilisation of personal computing. Yet Google and HP have managed to make more than just a cheap bargain basement product; the Chromebook 11 is a capable, beautiful and most importantly functional device.
Men are allowed to like this song
I believe in democracy. Really, I do. Democracy is one of those things to which I believe every society is entitled, regardless of history or other societal factors which may be cause for concern. I began with that in order to truly illustrate how displeased I was with Mr. Mohammed Morsi’s victory in the Egyptian presidential election of 2012, and how pleased I was to hear of his ouster.
My view is generally the one shared by the majority of protesters in Egypt. Democracy is not enough. Democracy can, and has, lead to a tyranny of the majority with the effect of oppressing the minority. One therefore requires checks and balances in the system.
Furthermore, I believe that a constitution with a religious ethos is a bad constitution. Moreover, theocracy of even the most limited kind is bad. Yet, the Egyptian constitution which was recently suspended forbade insulting the Prophet, and required the press not “contradict the principles on which society is based,” a carefully coded reference to sharia law.
Discrimination based on gender was effectively decriminalised under the new constitution, and the main source of legislation openly being described as “the principles of Islamic law” mean the Egyptian constitution was a theocratic one showing that Egypt’s 2012 election had voted against democracy and in favour of Iranian-style “democracy” with a hint of Allah.
The disgruntled liberal secularists thankfully disliked the constitution too, and the Army stepped in on their behalf. A bad day for democracy? The contrary. Morsi’s rule and constitution threatened to set Egypt on a one-way course to Iran-ville. There is no such thing as a moderate and tolerant theocracy. Eventually, they all turn extremist.
I am a bit disappointed to learn that Adly Mansour is aiming straight for elections, because I believe a constitution should be drafted and approved first, preferably by plebiscite. A secular constitution not too far from Turkey’s, which is race, gender and faith blind. A constitution in which the higher deities are not invited.
Nevertheless, fresh elections are another chance for the Egyptian people to choose the correct choice. For that, I am pleased.
I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind today on Netflix. I decided to watch it because of this Polyphonic Spree song “Light & Day” which isn’t actually in the movie, but is in the soundtrack. Oh well, I’m glad I watched it because I have a new favourite rom-com.
Strictly speaking calling Eternal Sunshine a rom-com is a bit of a stretch. Sure, it’s got the “boy meets girl” element and there are moments which made me laugh (Jim Carrey… he’s my lobster), but it’s more of a really dramatic science fiction film with elements of psychological thriller.
Still, I’m including it as a rom-com because the film has just so much heart. And it does a fantastic job handling the rom, even if the com part was probably unintended. Until now, my favourite rom-com had always been (since ‘09, of course) (500) Days of Summer but I honestly think Eternal Sunshine has knocked it off the top of my list.
The two films actually have quite a bit in common. Both are told in a nonlinear style, so as to deliberately annoy those unfamiliar with indie flicks. Both feature a male protagonist (from whose perspective the story is told) who is brooding and “lacking something.”
Then, the two films diverge. Eternal Sunshine knocks down the “manic pixie dream girl” trope which Zooey Deschanel has become known for playing. Clementine, played by Kate Winslet (whom I don’t like in anything but this and Titanic), breaks down the MPDG trope eloquently with “Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours.”
The two films end with completely different messages, too. In Eternal Sunshine, Clem and Joel get back together after accepting the other’s critiques of them as flaws they can move past. In (500), the film ends with
Jess Summer talking to Tom about how she’s discovered all the feelings she wasn’t sure about with Tom.
One of the reasons I particularly like Eternal Sunshine is the awesome ensemble cast, whose role is expanded upon through the film. Elijah Wood, everybody’s favourite Hobbit, appears as Patrick, who unethically uses his knowledge to seduce Clementine. Mark Ruffalo, of Hulk-y fame, has a profound but somewhat disappointingly lacking role. Kirsten Dunst’s affair with her boss is the catalyst for Clem and Joel’s realisation they’ve already met. (500) is an especially indie film, so an A-list cast is obviously difficult, and Tom’s sister was charming. Nonetheless, I do feel Eternal Sunshine handles the supporting cast better.
Somehow, this piece has turned from a review/critique of Eternal Sunshine into a comparison with (500). I’ve got to be perfectly clear that both movies deserve a place in my “if you love this you’re probably awesome” list, and that anybody who liked (500) will freaking dig Eternal Sunshine. Although, since it came out in 2004, they’ve probably already seen it.
9/10 would recommend.
(PS. Jim Carrey really shows that he can do dramatic roles that are light on humour. I wish he wasn’t typecast as the “comedy guy” so we could see this side of him. Perhaps he’ll show his dramatic side in Kick-Ass 2, although I somewhat doubt it.)
(And I plan on using it like a blog.)
You mightn’t know this, but I’ve actually had a Tumblr account in some shape or form since 2010. Heck, even I didn’t know that during some phases. I never really used my Tumblr account because I was probably a bit too immature to blog regularly and I was a highly opinionated jump-to-conclusions douchebag.
This did change in late 2011, when my friends started to get into Tumblr and specifically the fandom-side of the site. Frankly, I don’t get BBC’s Sherlock. It’s not one of the shows I really dig. To an extent, I think Tumblr’s made me feel this way regarding Sherlock, but that’s another blog post.
Anyway, I started getting tonnes and tonnes of Sherlock animated GIFs all over my Tumblr dashboard. This quickly expanded to include Harry Potter, Supernatural and other assorted pieces of media.
This is pretty much where whatever blog I had, and it was not a very good one at any case, died. As in, it stopped being about long walls of text and started being about photosets and GIFs. I kept the same “blog” URL and became a fandomer (this only accelerated when I found the extensive Community fandom, and got really, really, really into that show.)
I’ve subsequently been in a really irritating no-man’s land regarding blogs. I’ve had essentially no idea where to put what. But today, I’m “launching” (nobody cares, so a launch is definitely hyperbole) the Word of Shay again as a blog full of blog posts, as opposed to GIFs.
I’ll end up posting here purely according to my own discretion. This means one oughtn’t get angry if I don’t post on regular schedules. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, if you exist!
I thought I’d make a long list of
showsstuff I absolutely recommend. They’re categorised, and listed in descending order from most loved to least loved, although I love them all. If bold, stop what you’re doing and start watching/doing them. This list isn’t conclusive, and is constantly being updated.
- Cougar Town
- How I Met Your Mother
- New Girl
- Happy Endings
- South Park
- Parks and Recreation
- Family Guy
- 30 Rock
- The Big Bang Theory (up to season 3)
- The Office (UK)
- Modern Family
- Party Down
- Arrested Development
- American Dad
- Fawlty Towers
- Fresh Prince of Bel Air
- The Simpsons
- Veronica Mars
- Silent Witness (forensics yo)
- Grey’s Anatomy
- Nashville (idk but my friend likes it)
- Breaking Bad
- SimCity (2013)
- SimCity 4
- The Sims 3 (+expansions)
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Pokemon (any version)
- Portal (+sequel)
- Feed the Beast (minecraft mod)
- Civilization V
- BioShock (and probably Infinite assuming reviewers aren’t suddenly dumb)
- Super Mario Bros. (any version)
- Railroad Tycoon
- Any kind of tycoon game, even goddamn Cinema Tycoon
As you can see, I like comedies a lot. They make me feel happy. This list is TBD as time passes.
Last day of mandatory schooling, I’m the Asian guy on the left.
Hey. My name’s Akshay Bilolikar and I inevitably sound arrogant when I try to describe myself. See? I did it again. I’m 16, I’m British, English, Indian, European, Asian and more importantly, just another human being.
I live in a relatively wealthy small town in the “heart” of England which makes my life both dull and incredibly privileged. My political views are, as any good political view should be, derived rationally from real life observations across the years.
I like normal things:
- Sitcoms (Community, Scrubs, Cougar Town etc.)
- Procreation and related activities
- Apple products
- Cartoons (Futurama, Clone High anyone?)
I like nerdy things:
- SimCity (4) and the Sims (1,2&3)
- Star Trek (only since recently)
- Politics & Economics
- Philosophy & Ethics
- (Editing) Wikipedia
I dislike certain things too, sadly:
- Internet Explorer (I even banned it from blog until recently)
- Adobe Flash (Please. Stop. Crashing.)
- Smokers who smoke around me
- Peer pressure
- The 2012 Spiderman film reboot (I miss Tobey Maguire, that’s all.)
- 3D films.
- The Star Wars prequel trilogy
I just like liking things, y’know?
(I have a more Tumblr-like blog over at the-j-dizzle.
I am not saying that this is not a huge problem, nor that we shouldn’t fight it, nor that it may, in fact, be the biggest problem with today’s America and a sign of deep, systemic racism, and a kind of division between two different Americas and a desire to keep one of those Americas where it is while promoting the other one.
I have no idea what the first statistic means. Let’s break it down. Five times as many whites are using drugs as African Americans. OK, that, at first, sounds like a surprising and damning statistic. White people are apparently INSANE drug users.
Actually, there are 200 million white people in America and 37 million black people in America. So there are 5.4 times more white people than black people. So the /rate/ of drug use is about the same among black and white Americans. That is /not/ surprising, and is a much more accurate and truthful statistic.
This is not to say that I don’t believe the war on drugs has been a terrible thing for minority and poor populations in the US. Yes, it absolutely has, and I believe it should end. There are lots of damning statistics (for example that African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense (NAACP.)
There are enough shocking truths that we shouldn’t have to make the numbers look worse than they actually are.
People who correct misleading facts/stats even though it goes against their cause. <3