Thursday, August 18

Promo TV ad for Bharatanatyam Recital (Priya Hema Bhawaneedin)

Friday, October 1

Tech Review: King Mobile Phone

Time and money. These are two things which most of us lack and lust after. The product of time and money gives convenience. King Mobile Phone is a small business that specialises in the phone unlocking and debranding industry.

Having needed to use my mobile phone abroad recently and not having time in abundance I needed to unlock my HTC Hero from my network operator. Utilising King Mobile Phone's services in the past to unlock a previous handset I had some confidence in turning to them again. However, this time I needed the job done remotely, i.e. didn't want the hassle of taking it to their premises to have the unlock done. Having had bad experience with other remote unlocking companies in the past I was sceptical about this. I proceeded cautiously.

In hindsight I needn't had worried as everything went smoothely. The site works by the user sending the make and model of their handset along with the IEMI number on their very easy to use form. This information is then used to deliver you a release code, via an email with instructions, which unlocks the handset from the network. The turn-around time is quoted between 1-24 hours depending on the handset. Whilst there also exists an option of you purchasing the software from the website to unlock the mobile phone yourself, it is more worthwhile to purchase the 'release code' option if you are looking to unlock a single handset. This added option will be appeciated by more tech-savvy users.

The website also provides a debranding service along with a postal and an on-site service on their premises in South London.

Whilst my release code took slightly longer than had been estimated I was definitely happy with the quality of the service provided and the ease of which it was to unlock my handset. Once I had received the code it was just a matter of minutes before I was able to use a sim card belonging to another network. The site also provides support via a forum and instant messaging such as msn.

Simple process
Relatively cheap
User section showing the progress of the order

None, although if you're in a hurry to unlock your handset having it done on-sight might be a better alternative.

Wednesday, August 4

Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first instalment of the Millennium Trilogy, by Stieg Larsson.

The captivating crime thriller focuses on how a murder from the mid-19th century brings together two parallel storylines. Mikael Blomkvist, once a reputable journalist, is duped into publishing slanderous material on a corporate hot-shot. He finds himself facing a jail sentence, a burning hole in his pocket and a ever tarnished reputation. Through a series of events he becomes involved in finding out about the disappearance of Harriet, a girl of the prestigious Vanger clan. He finds himself in too deep when he discovers a stark secret.

Lisbeth Salander is the anti-matter to Blomkvist. Portrayed as an unnerving, unpredictable and exciting character she balances and complements Blonkvist's calm yet bold personna. Her troubled and horrifying past draws sympathy from the reader despite her hate for mankind, in particular men. Despite somewhat resembling the chewed-up remains of a broken society, Lisbeth is a strength that epitomises Stieg Larsson's own childhood and experiences.

The story dwelves into two main themes: neo-nazism and and feminism in Sweden. This again is influenced by the author's upbringing, with the locations in the book being based on actual places in Sweden.

The Girl with the Dragon Tatto is a murder mystery that, in theory, is easy to coin up: throw in a murder, with heaps of complexities and plenty of potential suspects. Stieg Larsson surpasses expectations by not only developing the two protagonists' story but also creates a dark plot that Mikael and Lisbeth walk into. The entrawling novel takes the two characters on a journey that, perhaps, they would have avoided with hindsight.    


Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder - and that the killer is a member of his own family. He employs journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate.
When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

Friday, June 11

Stand Up Bafana Bafana, Stand Up and Be Proud!

Friday the 12th of June will be seen as an important day, not only is it the start of the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup, but it is the first ever World Cup to be held in Africa. It has been a long time coming.

It’s sometimes easy to forget South Africa’s troublesome past. The Soweto uprising in 1976 resulted in FIFA expelling their national football team. It wasn’t until the Apartheid regime was finally demolished that the South African team ended their 25 year exile from football.

Football is much more than 22 players kicking a football around a field. They say that sports unify a team and its fans. Long before a ball had been kicked in South Africa the celebrations were under way. It doesn’t matter where you are; whether you’re in the capital of Cape Town or the agricultural Rustenburg or bustling Durban, you will know the World Cup is here. Hearing the sound of vuvuzelas unleashed into the air, flags flapping around passionately and seeing people singing and dancing on the streets you would be mistaken to think that South Africa have already won the World Cup. They say that sports unify a team, hosting the World Cup has unified South Africa.

Behind the hype, glamour and money lies a nation aching to show the world what it can achieve. South Africa has created an atmosphere that hasn’t been felt during the World Cup for a very long time. On the eve of the World Cup thousands have attended the first ever World Cup concert, graced by top artists such as Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Alicia Keys, K’Naan and Shakira who performed the official 2010 World Cup anthem, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”. The stage also made way for Joseph S. Blatter, president of FIFA, Jacob Zuma, PM of South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu. The feeling of being emotionally drawn to Africa is perhaps fitting, since it is probably where all of humanity originated from. It makes us proud of who we are, inspired by what we can all achieve and most importantly grateful of South Africa and all it stands for.

Never has an African nation been crowned World Cup champions, is this their time? Witnessing a nation that has overcome such adversity and challenges in their recent history brought together in racial serenity, solidarity and jubilance only highlights the importance of the World Cup in bringing people together.

Who knows how South Africa will react should they actually win. For some South Africans, they may not even care if Bafana Bafana doesn’t win, for them, their nation have already won.

Monday, May 31

Book Review: Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child

Gone Tomorrow is the thirteenth book in the Jack Reacher series by  Lee Child. Reacher, an ex-military personnel, finds himself on the New York subway at 2am faced with the scenario of being in a carriage with a suicide bomber. Does he want to intervene because he truly cares for human kind, or whether it’s what he’s been trained to do, or even because he wants to save his own skin, it’s not clear and perhaps not relevant. What he does next leads him to discover a government conspiracy, one which was meant to be locked forever. Finding himself in a position where his own government would prefer him dead, Reacher needs friends he can trust and ones that won’t kill him. A series of twists and turns puts Reacher into a corner where he either kills or be killed.

Lee Child jumps straight into the thick of the excitement from the first page. He introduces us to the main character, Jack Reacher, from the outset and how he recognises a person that matches the criteria of a suicide bomber. The following few chapters reveals a a riveting sequence of events that not only captivates the reader but leaves them wanting more.

After the pulsating, attention grabbing start the story addresses the historical background of the plot. This takes a slow, meandering look at how and why the characters that are revealed later on serve a purpose in the story. unfortunately this resembles a history lesson; one which not all may appreciate. It also deflects the good work of the absorbing start and potentially puts the reader in 'skim-mode'. Having read the book from cover to cover you do realise later on that the gradual revelations are necessary to the final outcome but shouldn't mean that the reader has to wait until half-way through the book for the next significant event. The second half, however, is well written and does the opening few chapters justice. We discover more about the main character and his purpose in the story. Reacher's quest for answers is met by many twists and turns, always leaving the reader guessing until the very end.

A worthy read and despite the slow start Gone Tomorrow finishes strong with an enthralling story that will leave you wanting more from Jack Reacher.

Suicide bombers are easy to spot. They give out all kinds of tell-tale signs. Mostly because they're nervous. By definition they're all first-timers. Riding the subway in New York at two o'clock in the morning, Reacher knows the twelve giveaway signs to look out for. Watching one of his fellow-passengers, he becomes sharply aware: one by one, she ticks off every bulletpoint on his list. So begins the new heartstopping new thriller starring today's most admired action hero, the gallant and enigmatic loner Jack Reacher.