Technology: Fear and "INNOVISION"

The technology sector has a significant impact on any country’s economy. So what is technology? It is not just computers or iPods or android phones, but much more than that. It is a social practice that personifies the capacity of societies to transform themselves by creating and manipulating not just physical objects but also symbols and cultural forms. We knew that knowledge is power, imagine what happens when knowledge gets an upgrade and becomes more powerful by technology. This is what Apple, Microsoft, Android, Google and other tech giants ever dreamt of since their very inception. As Steve Jobs said once, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”. In order to strive in this world merely staying a follower may make you the richest man in the cemetery, but a leader might always go to bed by thinking that today he did something wonderful.

Fear - it can do two things, either destroy you or make you, it can only make your character if you follow the footsteps of courage. Jobs followed these footsteps and his intuition, when he lost a quarter of a million dollars in a year. In the legend’s life he followed his heart and Innovation with a vision, which I would like to quote as “Innovision”. Apple was always a step ahead of IBM in innovision and gaining social support.

Scientific and socioeconomic drivers are important elements determining the destiny of a technology, but the way in which the human community ‘metabolizes’ a new technology is equally important in the modern era. Present technology is developing without a sound cultural framework that could give technology a sense beyond mere functional considerations. Fear then end up being a privileged way to incorporate technology into a meaningful context.

What is fear where does it come from?

There are basically five reasons why people get scared.

The first, and most fundamental, is that it’s in our nature. Fear is a psychological process that first evolved in reptiles to allow them to react to threats in a much more flexible way. Whenever we are scared, it is this innate threat perception mechanism that is at work.

The problem is that what helped our stone age ancestors to pass on their genes to the next generation isn’t necessarily what helps people in the modern world to fulfil their dreams (assuming they’ve got round to defining what they are), so it’s important to also look at what triggers this mechanism.

The first and most direct trigger for fear, and therefore the second reason we get scared, is signals coming from our bodies. Any kind of physical discomfort is likely to provoke a fear response. Furthermore, since fear itself causes physiological changes that often cause discomfort (knot in the stomach, tightening of the throat etc), a positive feedback loop can easily be established. This is basically why people get panic attacks.

The third reason we get scared is external stimuli. Drilling next door, a family member or colleague who is upset or angry, even a busy street can, depending on how sensitive you are at the time, trigger the fear response.

A fourth reason we get scared is what Russ Harris in The Happiness Trap refers to as “control strategies”. These are things we do habitually to make ourselves feel better, without necessarily being aware that that’s what we are doing, such as arguing about religion on IEET comment threads. For example, one of the things I often do when I’m feeling anxious is to pace up and down thinking. This often calms me down at first, but by keeping my mind stimulated and active it can also be exhausting leading to further anxiety later.

Only at the bottom of this list, in my view, comes actual perception of real risk. Everybody with the slightest self-awareness knows that many of the things they worry about aren’t really that important. We get things out of proportion, we worry about the wrong things at the wrong time, we worry about things we can’t really do much about anyway, or we complain and then reject any suggestion for actually doing something about it that anyone is unwise enough to throw at us. Once again, what might actually constitute a real threat to the realisation of our goals is not, in general, what our Stone Age brains are given to worrying about.

None of this would matter quite so much if we were better at recognising fear for what it is, rather than always trying to justify our fear by insisting that there really is a risk, while simultaneously denying that we are actually scared (because we are scared of losing social status). But unfortunately the latter is what we tend to do, and among all of our control strategies one is probably more dominant than anything else: reliance on tried and tested routines.

What does fear mean for technology then?

If there is one obstacle in the way of those wanting to promote the proactive use of technology to create a better world it is, very simply, that people are scared of technology, especially new technology. Technology disrupts the tried and tested routines that give our leaves meaning and make us feel comfortable. And instead of “feeling the fear and doing it anyway”, we simultaneously deny that we are remotely scared of technology, and invent all sorts of scare stories to justify the fears that we claim we don’t have. Often, although by no means always, these scare stories take the form of religious taboos, which in turn form part of whole structures of thought whose main purpose is to justify the associated religious rituals and behaviour patterns (read: tried and tested routines). And because of the powerful psychological factors at play, using reason to break down these thought-structures is like using a feather to move a concrete block.

Business Intelligence being an awesome technology advancement in data criticality, still managers do not prefer using BI applications, the fear of not using Microsoft Excel and updating spreadsheets religiously for data storage flow through their blood every day. In other words, assume that your firm wants to satisfy both the Excel-centric and the worksheet-phobic: Does that condemn you to a less-than-optimal (or, worse, self-defeating) multi-vendor approach to Business Intelligence?

It should be possible to satisfy all your objectives and users—provided you have a strategy in place that can “make Business Intelligence better” by using technologies you may already own—like Excel, almost certainly, but also Tableau, QlikView, along with SQL Server, SAP HANA and other relational databases. Using Excel and developing BI apps is what I call ‘Innovision’, give the users what they want to extract the fear out of them, and then with time, propose and make them use what you desired from the incept.

Answer to Fear: ‘Innovision’- Wonder, Curiosity, Scientific Communication as a means of vision to innovate.

Think of a basic human experience, the fear of the dark. We overcome this fear not thanks to light, but thanks to stories, stories that become a path, a curiosity to explore that path. A significant change of that exploration, experience and communication of this fact to the brain helps skip the myth and face the fact, that there is no need to be afraid of the dark. This is how I exactly want to portray ‘Innovision’. Wonder is an effective instrument for conveying a new world picture because of its extraordinary suggestive power.

If Thomas Edison wouldn’t have wondered to have electric lights that lasted for a longer period, I doubt of the invention of a light bulb. So how does wonder play a role in innovision, lets refer to the Edison example again, he was not the one who invented a light bulb, electric lights at that time were unreliable, expensive and short lived. Edison innovated on the idea with a vision of turning his wonder of storing the light for a few hours,and this curiosity led to the invention of a light bulb. Of course this wouldn’t have been possible if scientific communication of finding the right filament to use, and running lower voltage through the bulb to make it last for a few hours was done.

Hence wonder, curiosity and scientific communication go hand in hand with each other to explore the path of innovision. Hence wonder about practical things and curiosity to explore the fictional path with the magic stick of scientific communication can do wonders in the field of technology and overcome fear of adapting oneself to that technology. Today, people don’t fear the bulb, who knows… in the older age they would have thought a bulb to be a witchcraft.

It is necessary for an individual to uncover his blanket of fear and explore things, he might be the next Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison or Bill Gates and many other renowned personalities in this wide and interesting field of knowledge.

Facebook enters payment transfer services – Making Payments over Facebook Messenger

Facebook seems to have taken a cue from the fast becoming popular payment service Apple Pay. While it is a closely guarded secret as to how much money Apple makes for every transaction parsing through Apple Pay service, there is no doubt that with more and more transactions taking place, Apple is bound to make a lot of money out of it even if the transaction fees is a very small fraction of the total amount.

Image Courtesy: Facebook
Facebook, arguably the most popular social media website has taken hints from Apple Pay and have quietly rolled out their own payment transfer system via the Facebook Messenger app on 17th March, 2015. Before you get too excited about it, the first and foremost thing that you should keep in mind is the fact that this is currently only available for customers in the US and hopefully will be made available for other users in the future.

How do payments over the Messenger work?

Well its really simple if you don’t have any fear of storing your credit card details on Facebook. Here are the steps:
  1. As a prerequisite, you need to enter your card details on a desktop or laptop that opens the desktop version of Facebook. URLs starting from will not work.
  2. Go to Settings < Payments < Payment Methods < Manage. Add your relevant card details and close the page. On your phone, make sure you have updated the Facebook Messenger to the latest version. For iOS devices, the latest build is Version 23.0 and 4.0 for Android Devices.
  3. Enter the chat with the person to whom you wish to transfer the money.
  4. Just above the keyboard, you will be able to see a $ symbol.
  5. Click the symbol, enter the amount and you’re done.
For additional information, you can visit the Messenger’s in-app help center by going to Settings (you must be in the home screen of the app where you can see all contacts) < Help < Payments in Messenger. The page details a list of helpful FAQs that can answer a lot of your questions.

Currently, Facebook has decided not to monetize the service and there will be no charge per transaction on any amount of money that you send. Over the years the Facebook Messenger app has made serious gains in its amount of functionality with the app being a source for free calling, voice messaging and now transferring payments. Facebook can be extremely successful in terms of revenue once they start monetizing the service and release it to users worldwide.

Initial views on the new MacBook 12” Retina Display

Butterfly buttons, 3 colour options, crisp retina display and the latest USB type c port for charging and transferring data. If that is how one sums up the new MacBook 12”, they are hugely mistaken. Yes, what I wrote above are the new features of the new MacBook but that is not where it stops. It’s an ultra thin, ultra lightweight full-fledged Apple laptop capable of performing the same activities as the MacBook Air (or even the MacBook Pro for that matter).

Image courtesy: Apple
The Design

The new MacBook now features an edge-to-edge keyboard design with the speaker grill being placed above the keyboard. To achieve the thinness, Apple has pulled the guts out of the MacBook Air and reduced them by nearly 67%. This means, the logic board is now 2/3rd smaller in size than the current MacBook laptops, meaning more space for the batteries, thus helping them to maintain the legacy of the MacBook laptops.

The laptop will be available in 3 different colours, much like the current iPhones and iPads, i.e. Space Grey, Silver and Champagne gold with the 1st one being a personal favourite. Colours are not the only things that have aesthetically changed in the MacBook. It is 0.4 cm thinner and 160 grams lighter than the lightest 11” MacBook Air.

The track pad in the new MacBook that has also made its way to the MacBook Pro, is slightly larger than the track pads in the current Apple laptops. It now features a new technology called forced touch, which allows users to press the track pad at different intensities to get different responses. The response being more tactile in the sense that it now provides a ever-so-slight vibration that allows to get a much better feedback.

What comes as a surprise to many people is that the MacBook only features 1 port for charging, transferring data or connecting to other peripherals. This means, you will not be able to connect a USB device to your laptop while charging your laptop. You will also not be able to connect your current pen drives or hard disks to the laptop and will be left scourging for a wireless solution. However, Apple suggests using a USB-C to HDMI/VGA/USB adapter to use your old transferring devices.

Technical Specifications

As mentioned earlier, the new MacBook now features a logic board 1/3rd the size of the current MacBook motherboards. The Intel M processor is truly a beast of a processor when it comes to mobile (real ultra) laptops and can very well give the i3/i5/i7 series Intel processors a run for their money.

The laptop continues Apple’s legacy of providing impeccable battery life of nearly 9 hours during web browsing. What comes as standard is 256 GB of SSD disk space and 8 GB of RAM, which is pretty neat. What has taken a backward step is the FaceTime camera that is a standard 480p VGA camera unlike the current FaceTime HD cameras that are 720p.

Technically, the buttons on the keyboard have also undergone a change from a scissor design to a butterfly design, which means lesser pressing but still retaining that satisfying clicking of the buttons.

Final Thoughts

Apple believes that everything should now start becoming wireless and this fact is quite evident from the design of the latest MacBook. What Apple has done very well is to make sure that consumers are pulled further into the Apple ecosystem by tying the services offered by their products to the products themselves. For example, to transfer data between 2 laptops, Apple suggests using airdrop instead of the traditional pen drive or hard disk option. Or, sync your iPhone wirelessly with the ‘Sync over Wi-Fi’ option in iTunes.

While the USB-C is seen as a big hassle, it will soon become the industry standard, much like the lightening connector did when it was first launched with the iPhone 5. Soon dock manufactures phased out the 30 pin connector docs for the lightening ports. My guess is that the USB-C is going to be implemented in the future designs of all Mac laptops in Apple’s conquest for thinness in their products.

Image courtesy: Apple

Many would question the benefits of the USB-C connector over the current USB 2.0 and 3.0 and to justify, its faster (up to 10GB/sec transfer rate with Apple capping it to 5GB/sec), provides power to and from the devices and much like the lightening connector, its reversible. Yes, you can plug it in any way and never have to look at the port itself if you’re plugging it in the right way.

Come to think of it, using a technology that was just finalised this year itself (2015) at CES 2015 is not a bad thing. It just requires other companies like Lenovo, Acer, Intel, Microsoft, etc. who have also worked on the USB-C technology to start implementing it. There onwards, it’s only a matter of time before the general masses start welcoming the future of USB ports.

I’m sure everybody would agree with me when I say that the design is drop dead gorgeous in whatever colour you prefer. Its ultra lightweight design means no heavy lifting (as if the MacBook were any heavy in comparison to other laptops) and this is a laptop that your friends and foes would envy.

EDIT 1: Solution to the Portable Hard disk backup

Western Digital (WD) offers a 1TB solution for $247 AUD to back up your data. It is formatted for Mac and Windows and can connect up to 8 devices. Since the laptop does not have any SD card slot, this hard disk is a perfect solution for photographers wanting to buy this laptop. It is available for purchase at OfficeWorks.

Apple enthusiasts in India who would be keen on purchasing the new Macbook would be a tad disappointed at the availability of this hard disk and would probably have to ship it from overseas e-commerce websites like

Unable to make Handoff work on Yosemite and iOS 8? Here's the fix

Recently, Apple launched the public version of Mac OS - Yosemite. With the latest OS came the much talked about feature continuity/handoff where you could start doing something on one device and finish on the other (of course only for the supported applications). While it was a great feature that would increase productivity, it had one problem - it "just didn't work"!

I tried for a solution for days and finally much to my relief, Apple launched iOS 8.1 which enabled the great feature. However, as excited as I was to try it out, much to my dismay, the problem still persisted and I was unable to make it work. When something doesn't work(specially when the company claims that it just works), it annoys me to no extent and I must find a solution. I again set off to find a solution and after almost 2 days of trial and error, I was able to make handoff work.

On your Mac machine running Yosemite, make sure you're running the latest version (10.10.1 as of 15th January, 2015). If you're not sure of the version, click on the  logo on the top right corner of the screen and select 'About this Mac'. Update from the App Store if necessary.

Once updated, Follow the below instructions:


  1. Before you change any setting, make sure all involved devices meet the system requirements.
  2. Make sure the bluetooth on your iOS device and Mac machine is turned on and all devices required for the handoff to work are connected to the same Wi-Fi connection. This is a prerequisite for the Handoff feature.
Once you've set up your devices, perform the following actions:

  1. Go to System Preferences < General and make sure the 'Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud Devices' checkbox is ticked.
  2. Make sure you're signed into your iCloud account on the Mac machine. Check by going to System Preferences < iCloud.
  3. Restart the Mac machine.
  4. On your iOS device, make sure you're signed into your iCloud account.
  5. Go to Settings < General < Handoff & Suggested Apps and make sure Handoff setting is turned on.
  6. Restart your iPhone/iPad.
Once you've restarted all involved devices, you should be able to see a small app icon for the corresponding app on the bottom left corner of your iOS device on the lock screen.

Handoff feature on the lock screen of iOS device
In case the device is unlocked, you can double press the home button to bring up the multi tasking window and you'll be able to see the respective app icon screen to the left of the home screen window.

Handoff feature on multitasking window of iOS Device
The handoff feature on a Mac machine is visible on the left side of the dock where you can see the icon of the app pop up.

Handoff feature on a Mac Device
So far, the following apps seem to work with the handoff feature (in no particular order):
  • Notes
  • Messages
  • Maps
  • Mail
  • Safari
  • Calendar
  • Keynote
  • Numbers
  • Pages
I am not too sure about the iLife apps which include iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. Though it seems highly unlikely that these apps would receive the ability to perform Handoff as that would require a lot of data to be transferred at blazing speeds.

Nikon D750 Review

Photograph by Sahil Nanda

Let's rewind a little and go back to when the Nikon Df was about to be revealed. People thought it would replace the highly famous D700 and sit between the D600 and D800(predecessors of D610 and D810 respectively) in Nikon's full-frame line up. But as we all know, that wasn't to be. The Nikon Df turned out to be a retro-styled premium offering from Nikon. Now, when the rumour mill started churning again about a new full-frame camera, people started expecting the same - a replacement of the D700. A D710 maybe. But what we got, was a beast of a camera called the D750, which is not a D700 replacement. I'll explain why in some time.

First, let's take a moment here and think about this. With the launch of the Nikon D750 I think Nikon has sent out a clear message that there is not going to be a replacement of the D700. I think it is about time we gave it a rest. It was undoubtedly a superb camera, leaps and bounds ahead of it's time, but it's time to move on.

Now, coming back to the D750. I had been wanting to buy a new camera for a long time now, to replace my D3000. I was impressed by the D610, but wasn't ever truly satisfied with specifications that it offered. Then, came a long the D750 and I immediately started lusting over it. I had to get it, and I did!

The first thing that I noticed about the D750 when I took I out of the box was, that it was compact and it was light! It is smaller and lighter than the D810, which is not a big deal but what is surprising is that it is smaller and lighter than the D610 as well. This is thanks to Nikon's newly developed monocoque body design and use of special light weight materials. In order to keep the size in control is probably why they went with two SD card slots and not one CF and one SD card slot as is the convention.


The D750 has a 24MP full-frame sensor with an anti-aliasing filter, which helps reduce moire in videos. Nikon says it is a new sensor, but there's a strong possibility that it is the same sensor as that of the D610 with a few tweaks here and there.

This sensor, allows the camera to have a native ISO range of 100-12,800. That's a huge margin to play around with. And you can from time-to-time get some useable shots in the 10,000-12,800 area.


D750's focusing system is something that really needs to be talked about. It is the best in it's class, probably better than it's higher priced cousins. With it's 51 focus point(out of which 15 are cross-type), it is quick, it is accurate and just never disappoints. Now this depends a lot on the kind of lens that you have on your camera. When I use the kit Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens, the focusing is almost flawless. But when I use my AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED, there is quite a bit of focus breathing. That is because this is an old, old lens not built for this fast a focusing system.

The Group Area focus that has been taken from the D610 and D810 also works quite well for tracking moving subjects. What it basically does is it uses 5 focus points at once to find subjects and focuses in on the closest one. This is in contrast with the D5 system which uses the surrounding focus points only when the centre one can't lock in on the subject.

Low-light focusing in this camera is exceptionally good. It claims to focus down up to -3EV, which is even better than the flagship D4s. To put this to the test, I switched off all the lights in my room(at night) and tried to focus in the almost pitch dark environment. Guess what, the camera was able to focus with great ease.

The only issue that I have with the focusing system is that all the 51 focus points are too concentrated in the middle. A larger spread would have been great. This is not a deal breaker though, just something that will take a shoot or two to get used to.


Being marketed as a sports camera, the D750 comes with a continuous shooting frame rate of 6.5fps. This is 0.5fps more than the D610 and 1.5fps more than the D810.

The buffer reservoir on this camera(though not huge) I think is sufficient for the average shooter. With a nice, fast 90mbps you can get about 12 continuous shots(losslessly compressed RAW) before the buffer fills up.


Along with keeping the running and gunning sports shooters in mind, Nikon has also kept in mind the video enthusiasts while making the D750. It comes with the ability to shoot 60fps at 1080p for a maximum of 20 minutes, has an external mic input and all of that usual stuff.

What makes this camera unique is the introduction of a tilting screen(first time ever in a full-frame DSLR). I decided to talk about this in the video section because though the tilting screen can be used to take stills as well through liveview(I personally don't do that), I feel the tilting is best utilised when recording videos. Taking those above-the-head and low-angle shots will be much easier now.

Another great feature is the ability to change aperture while shooting videos in liveview mode. This was missing in Nikon cameras for quite some time and has now started showing up in it's new line-up.


Along with all the other goodies that this camera comes with, it all has a built-in Wi-Fi adapter. This allows you to connect your smartphone with your DSLR(as long as you have the Wireless Mobile Utility app) and click photographs, view photographs on your camera or download them to your phone in order to share them on the internet. This is a feature that I am really enjoying, especially for uploading images to Instagram.

A GPS module is missing though.

Okay, let's sum this up:


  • Small, light-weight body
  • Great auto-focusing system
  • Tilting screen
  • Power aperture
  • Wi-Fi
  • 6.5fps


  • Centred auto-focus points
  • Maximum shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second
  • No GPS

D750 is a camera that I would recommend to someone looking to buy his/her first full-frame camera upgrading from a cropped-sensor one. If you want the higher resolution and pixel count, go for the D810. At this point I see no point in buying the D610. Save up, pay the extra amount and buy the D750. You will not regret it.


All images taken with D750 and AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED lens.

Click on the images to enlarge them

With iOS 8, your time-lapse video will never be over 40 seconds

In what can be called as the most hectic time for Apple, iOS 8 was released to the public amongst much fanfare and one feature that is captivating the masses is time lapse. Going by the definition of time lapse over the Internet, it can be defined as:
A photographic technique that captures frames at set intervals for an event that takes place slowly over time.
To take a time-lapse video, just open the camera app and slide your finger from left to right to change the capturing mode to time lapse. All you now need to do is place the phone at a convenient position and let the app do its magic.

While its fun to capture and view videos that seem to be running in fast forward mode, you will never get bored as the video will only last for a maximum period of somewhere around 40 seconds. Why is it so? Well, Apple believes that people’s attention span is decreasing and users might not want to watch long videos.

The company behind the tripod stand for smartphones has revealed how the time-lapse feature in iOS 8 actually works. They claim that Apple uses a technology called ‘dynamically selected intervals’ that doubles the speed of the time-lapse video and halves the images taken per second as the recording duration of the video is doubled.

The following table probably explains it better:

Image Courtesy: Studio Neat

Simply put, if you take a 5 minutes video or 10, the resulting time-lapse video will only be around 20 seconds. As the recording length increases, the app will automatically switch frame rates and drop frames from previously recorded sections to match.

Time-lapse video recorded over a period of 5 minutes, which resulted in a 20 seconds video at 30 frames per second.

This is a time-lapse video recorded over a period of 40 minutes, also resulting in a 20 seconds video at 30 frames per second but 8 times faster than the previous video. For comparison, notice the speed at which the clouds are moving.

iPhone 6 Unboxing and Hands-on

iPhone 6


iPhone 6 Gallery

7 essential mac OS tricks users never knew about

Just like windows, Mac has its own set of tricks that it can perform with the shortcuts it provides. These 7 tips and tricks are extremely useful. Yet, you never knew about them!

Incremental Volume

Often when you’re listening to music or watching a movie, either the volume is too loud or too less. Mac offers the perfect solution with ¼ volume increments. This trick works with brightness as well.

Increase/Decrease volume or brightness by pressing the function buttons (F1/F2 or F11/F12) with option + shift key.

Negative Display/Dark Mode

Even though apple now plans to add a ‘Dark Mode’ to its latest Mac OS X offering –Yosemite, there is a way you can run your Mac device running Mavericks or earlier versions with a dark theme.

To make this feature work, you need to first go to System Preferences < Keyboard < Shortcuts Tab < Accessibility (from the list on the left) and select the option ‘Invert Colors’. Once selected, you can press Control + Option + Command + 8 to activate the feature.

Silent Turn On/Off

If you’re like me and hate it when your Mac device makes a sound when it is turned on, you can make it boot in silence by pressing the mute key (F10) + Power button.

Clean Text Paste

When you’re copying text from one source to the other, sometimes, hyperlinks and format of the text gets copied to the clipboard too. Too avoid this, copy the text as you normally would (Command + C) and press Command + Control + V to paste unformatted text. It’ll save you the hassle of formatting text all over again.

Define Anything

Did you know, your Mac and iOS devices come with an in built dictionary? To use it, either select the text and press Command + Control + D to define the selected text or just use this shortcut and the text around the cursor or mouse pointer will be defined for you.

This feature works well in browsers (including the address bar) and within default applications like any PDF opened with preview. Unfortunately, this does not work with 3rd party applications like Microsoft Office.

Special Characters

Sometimes you want to type or search words with special characters but weren’t able to figure out how to type them with the default US keyboard that Apple provides.

Well, the simplest workaround is that you long press the alphabet and get supporting special characters; then, just press the number against the character you desire and boom, it gets typed for you. Thankfully, this feature seems to be working with at least some of the third party applications (Microsoft office).


The preview app in Mac supports multiple formats. However, unlike windows, you cannot scroll within the folder to view different items. As an alternative, select one of the items within the folder and press spacebar. You can now scroll through multiple items within a folder by simply pressing the left/right direction keys.

You can now proclaim yourself to be a pro mac user! If you've got any shortcuts that you find extremely helpful, share them with the world and help fellow Mac users.

All GIFs courtesy BuzzFeed.