17 May 2013

Panasonic launches P51 smartphone

Panasonic launched P51 smartphone in India priced at Rs 26,900. The new device has a 5 inch screen with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. The P51 is powered by a Quad Core 1.2 GHz processor and running on Android 4.2 (jelly bean).

The P51 is equipped with 1.2 GHz Quad Core Processor that allows users to experience super fast response without any lag and a seamless performance.

A large 5-inch screen gives users a HD experience and the high definition (720 x 1280p) display provides utmost clarity and sharpness.
The P51 comes with a 8 megapixal rear camera and 1.3 megapixel front camera that allows users to capture high quality images.
The P51 is equipped with 1GB RAM and 4GB of internal storage which is expandable upto 32 GB RAM.
The smartphone comes with a stylus that allows users to write, draw and perform rest of the functions with absolute ease.

16 May 2013

Ford EcoSport Road Test and Review

The Ford EcoSport has been an object of infatuation since it broke cover at the Delhi Auto Expo in 2012. It basked in the limelight for a year and a half for three reasons – an unconventionally attractive design, the 1-litre EcoBoost petrol engine and the sub-Rs 10 lakh price tag. In a sign that the wait is finally over, Ford has recently conducted the pre-launch test drive for media in Goa.
I know most of you have already seen the EcoSport in-person as part of Ford’s pre-launch campaign and formed an opinion about its design and features. But does the 1-litre EcoBoost engine pack enough punch to take this urban SUV to the top of its game? Read on to find out.

In appearance, the EcoSport is unmistakably avant-garde. The front end features a large, ‘gaping fishmouth’ grille flanked by slim headlamps and big fog lamps, reflecting Ford’s global design language. Two bold lines on the bonnet flow onto the roof, highlighting the car’s aerodynamic prowess. I particularly liked the muscular fenders, tailgate-mounted spare tyre and the sleek roof-rails that enhance the vehicle’s SUV stance. The tailgate handle is beautifully integrated within the tail lamp and that’s a nice touch. The only thing missing is a pair of sidesteps that could greatly accentuate the SUV’s ruggedness. Overall, the EcoSport has a quirky design -- love it or hate it, the car certainly makes a statement on the road.

Step inside and you’ll discover a welcoming combination of contemporary design and intuitive technology. Dials and knobs are ergonomically appointed and the Ice Blue dashboard illumination looks cool, too. However, I was less enthused about the hard-plastic dashboard and door panels.
Space, Comfort and Convenience
Frankly, the EcoSport doesn’t look as big in flesh as it does in pictures. It can comfortably seat five but going by the SUV standards, the fifth person wouldn’t be really happy. However, those upgrading from a hatchback would find ample head, shoulder and leg room in the EcoSport. The boot that Ford claims could accommodate even a washing machine is expandable up to 705 litres, with the rear seats tumbled.

The driver seat offers a commanding position and excellent outward visibility. Ford seems to have employed a wide range of sound-deadening features in the EcoSport - there’s very little noise intruding on your comfort.
The EcoSport is the first vehicle in its segment in India to feature Ford SYNC® connectivity platform, which provides customers with the convenience and flexibility to control their media players and mobile phones with voice commands.
SYNC takes safety to new heights with a life-saving feature called Emergency Assistance. When an airbag is inflated or the fuel pump is shut off following an accident, SYNC sends a voice message to 108 (emergency phone number) from the paired mobile phone. SYNC also sends the GPS co-ordinates of the accident location and lets the occupants speak to the emergency operator -- how clever is that!
Performance, Ride and Handling
The EcoSport’s strongest selling point is certainly the 1-litre EcoBoost engine. It is hard to imagine a 999cc three cylinder engine under the hood of an SUV, but guess what; this engine delivers the power and performance of a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre engine. Helped by a turbocharger, direct injection and variable valve timing, the EcoBoost motor develops 123 bhp of power at 6000 rpm and 170 Nm of torque from 1,400 to 4,500 rpm.

Dip the clutch and press the start button, the engine fires up smoothly and idles without clatter. It has enough low-end grunt to nip in and out of traffic but once you floor the pedal, there’s detectable turbo lag. However, once past 1800rpm mark, the engine revs happily and displays good power delivery. On the flipside, it becomes very audible at higher rpms. Overall, the 1-litre EcoSport is more of a practical cruiser than a fun-to-drive car. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox that offers slick gearshifts. Two other engine options will be available, too - a 110bhp 1.5 petrol and a 90bhp 1.5 diesel. The diesel EcoSport will have more takers and I’m sure, be more fun-to-drive.

Fords are generally regarded as great handlers and the EcoSport is no exception. Dampers and springs achieve an optimal balance between handling and ride comfort. The car stays absolutely pinned to the tarmac even at a close corner. I didn't think twice about rolling over big potholes or pesky curbs, thanks to the all-absorbing suspension and the 200mm ground clearance.
The light steering is a blessing in city, yet precise enough at high speeds and around tight corners. Ford's Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system is equipped with ‘Pull Drift Compensation’, which automatically makes imperceptible steering corrections when it notices a pull caused by wind, potholes or even differences in tyre pressure.
Ford has quoted an ARAI certified mileage of 18.7 kmpl for the 1 litre EcoBoost variant. However, I rarely saw a double digit figure on the real-time fuel consumption monitor; blame it on the performance tests and aggressive driving. Otherwise, the engine is definitely capable of returning an average of 13-14 kmpl in normal conditions. The 1.5-litre petrol and diesel variants return 15.8kmpl and 22.7 kmpl respectively (ARAI figures).

If I were to sum up the EcoSport in one word, it would be: intriguing. It has got all right ingredients to stay true to what Ford calls it – the urban SUV. Although the long wait of almost 17 months has led to an inevitable loss of interest, I’d dare to say that the EcoSport is indeed worth the wait.  If Ford manages to price this sub-four metre SUV very wisely, it could be the beginning a new revolution in the Indian automobile market.

15 May 2013

Iron man 3 movie review

Iron Man 3 is the first big, bloated, summer blockbuster of 2013, or should I say the Year of the Snake, in order to please China? The producers of Iron Man certainly think this concern is legitimate, and have extended a mandarin-language subplot for a custom cut of the film that will play specifically for the Chinese. This Mandarin language sequence should not be confused with the “The Mandarin,” (Ben Kingsley) the film’s primary villain, a terrorist who is, in fact, not even the slightest bit Asian. Confusing? Not exactly, No, but still messy. And there you have it, the modus operandi of this third installment, which clocks in at a lengthy 130 minutes, and runs all over the place during that time.

When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) finds his personal life in shambles, he must don his Iron Man suit to track down the confusingly named terrorist, at the risk of his personal life and the people he cares for most. Although this sort of plotline would seem to be a simple one to digest, there is a certain hodge-podge of ingredients that only risk spoiling the soup, but never properly do.

Various contributing elements throughout the film are faithfully extrapolated from the original Marvel series, perhaps to soothe the wanton needs of the notorious fan boy base. Where did these self-healing Wolverine wannabes come from, and what is their motivation? What happens to Stark’s Siri-trumping robot companion Jarvis (voiced by Paul Bettany)? Why does the finale take place on an oil rig? None of these questions matter, because everything ends up wrapped neatly in a tight bow, but any discerning viewer will still pick at the seems and find the plot logic easily un-raveled. Worst of all, there are even a few awkward, contrived mentions of the events that happened at the end of The Avengers, which existed in a far more fantastical world. Yes, Tony was there, but wouldn’t it have been better to simply omit mention of the Aliens, the wormhole, the giant airship, and Thor, rather than to try and bring the wake of those ridiculous plot elements to the more real-life oriented Iron Man series?

None of these slight flaws are enough to crush Iron Man 3, because it still retains its explosive action, and, better yet, its sense of humor. Tony Stark is the Tucker Max of superheroes, and his loutish sensibilities are matched to the tee by his right hand man Happy (Jon Favreau), his fellow suit-wearer James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), and the previously damseled-out but now much more significant Pepper Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow). Even The Mandarin steps up to bring a couple laughs. This spices up the action endlessly, and makes the experience feel more like a Blockbuster than satisfy the proper pleasures in life. 


Uwasa no Midori-Kun manga review

Warning: Advised readers are 18+ due to some explicit content
English: The Rumoured Midori-kun!!
Synonyms: Uwasa no Midori-kun!!, Shounen x Cinderella
Type: Manga
Volumes: 10
Chapters: 44
Status: Finished
Published: 2006 to 2008
Genres: Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Sports, Gender Bender
Authors: Ikeyamada, Go (Story & Art)
Serialization: Sho-Comi

Uwasa no Midori-kun! is a great Shoujo, Sports, Gender Bender, Romance that should not be overlooked, due to its hilarious comedy and heated romance. Though it would have been better if the sports gender bender aspect were more realistic (like the movie ‘She’s the Man’), rather than your typical shoujo romance.

The story follows the high jinks of our tomboy heroine (Midori Yamate), who wants to seek revenge on the guy she once loved and admired (Hino Tsukasa), by entering an all-boys High School and joining their soccer team. It isn’t long until her ploy involves an unsuspecting guy from the soccer club (Kazuma Shinbashi) and they work together to keep her secret. From reading this I’m sure you’ve already guessed the kind of manga this is; a sports gender bender about a girl trying to enter a boy’s world but eventually it becomes a fully blown shoujo romance. The story can be very clichĂ© and unrealistic at times, seeing how Midori is the most unconvincing boy ever. Nevertheless if you can ignore these imperfections then you’ll certainly enjoy this manga for its romance, full of surprising developments.

I must say that Gou Ikeyamada must enjoy doing love triangles, because here we get just that. The story mostly revolves around pretty much the only girl in this manga Midori, who’s an interesting change from all the typical shoujo leads. Not to forget the guys; Hino the malicious, sleazebag type and Kazuma the straight-laced, gentleman type. Also there are quite a lot of important side characters, probably enough to make up 2 soccer teams, so getting to know them all is a major feat.

If you’re just coming from this mangaka’s previous work (Moe Kare!!), then you can expect the same old typical shoujo style artwork. The characters are all pretty cute in their own defined way; however I think it spends too much time in chibi form, just for comic appeal.

Overall Uwasa no Midori-kun! without doubt is a very enjoyable shoujo romance manga to read, with plenty of laughs to be had, but it really sucks at being a gender bender. Also the whole revenge thing never really gets off the ground, because she spends most the time smitten over the guy she supposedly hates. It’s a shame that more focus was put into the romance and typical shoujo devices (e.g. emotions) than into actually recreating a realistic game of soccer.

Oblivion movie review

In the year 2077, humans no longer live on Earth but instead reside on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Left behind are Jack (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), a clean-up crew of sorts who are tasked with repairing drones before they, too, can join the rest of the surviving population on Titan. But Jack's mission changes when he rescues NASA astronaut Julia (Olga Kurylenko) from her ship's crash. It's clear that Jack may not have the complete truth -- and that the alien "Scavengers" roaming the Earth may not be the threat that Jack and Victoria have been warned about. After meeting the head of the Scavs, Jack must decide whether he's going to follow the mission's assignment or to believe strangers he feels inexplicably compelled to trust.

Director Joseph Kosinski does a better job with OBLIVION than he did with his debut film, Tron: Legacy, but it's clear that he's a filmmaker whose strength is stylized, visually arresting storytelling. The cinematography is terrific, with sweeping landscapes of post-apocalyptic New York, and the action sequences are pulse-pounding thanks to Cruise's mastery of the genre. Cruise manages to have decent chemistry with not one but two women -- the prim rules-follower played by Riseborough and the enigmatic woman of Jack's dreams, Kurylenko. It takes an extraordinary leading man to pull that kind of emotional connection off, and Cruise is up to the task.

One of the best moments in Oblivion is when viewers first hear co-star Morgan Freeman's powerful voice before the lights turn on and his face is revealed. Few actors can exude Freeman's gravitas with such few words. Game of Thrones fans will also be pleased to see Nikolaj Coster-Waldau make an appearance. But in the end, this is a Cruise film all the way. How entertaining you consider the movie depends greatly on how good of an action star you consider him, because the third act does border on the overlong and unsatisfying. Still, despite its subpar story resolution, Oblivion is good enough to remember.


The Vampire Diaries Finale: Julie Plec Teases Elena's Choice, Bonnie's Sacrifice and "Dynasty-Style" Fight

Four vampires, one witch-ghost and one human-as-apple-pie quarterback graduating from high school? Only on The Vampire Diaries! The CW hit's beloved characters are all set to receive their diplomas and toss their graduation caps up in the air...all while dealing with some serious supernatural craziness going down in the season-four finale on Thursday night. You know, just another typical day in Mystic Falls.
We chatted with executive producer Julie Plec about the season four finale, including Bonnie's (Kat Graham) "bittersweet sacrifice," Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Caroline's (Candice Accola) future now that he's off to headline The Originals spin-off and Elena and Katherine's Dynasty-style fight that was years in the making! Plus, will Elena and Damon's (Ian Somerhalder) sire-bond come back into play when she makes her choice between the brothers?

Elena's Choice, Take Two: While season three's finale also featured Elena making a choice between the Salvatore brothers, Plec previews that our heroine isn't the same human girl who chose Stefan (Paul Wesley) just before dying and coming back as a vamp. "I think that in last year's finale it was very clear that Elena was struggling with feelings for both brothers and needed to make a decision about what she wanted her life to be and who she wanted to share that life with," she explains. "This year, she's had a very traumatic roller coaster of life experience and it's changed her irrevocably—and at the center of it all was the diehard belief that she loved Damon, that she loved him more than she'd ever loved anyone.
She continues, "Her struggle has been with the realization of the sire bond that she couldn't even trust those feelings to be true. So it's more about answering the truth of those feelings and as a result does that mean her distance from Stefan was also not real and not true? She handles that realization pretty well and it's a great, great, great scene."

Doppelgänger Dragout: Fans who have been salivating over the possible Katherine and Elena fight will not want to miss the finale, with Plec teasing, "Ever since we introduced Katherine, we've been waiting to have a knockout, dragout Alexis and Crystal Dynasty-style fight between these two women and it definitely doesn't disappoint. There's no ball gowns and swimming pools, but otherwise I think we do it justice!" Can we get an amen?!

Crossover Lovers?: "There's a moment between them in the finale that basically makes it clear where Klaus stands and where Caroline stands," Plec teases of the fan-favorite couple before  Klaus heads off to New Orleans for The Originals. "Rather than completely shutting any doors, it actually, if anything, opens a new one. We've never wanted to compromise the Klaus-Caroline with the idea that there would be this other show she wouldn't potentially be on, so we're making decisions as though we would continue their journey in perpetuity, for better or for worse, whether she ever cared for him or not, and if we need to cross over between the two shows than we will."
As for Caroline's beau Tyler (Michael Trevino), Plec says his future in Mystic Falls will be addressed. "That is definitely resolved. We'll understand what Klaus' intentions are as they relate to Tyler and we'll get a sense of what we might see in the future," she previews.

Death Can Wait, I Need to Graduate: After her shocking death in last week's episode, Bonnie the ghost is on a mission in the finale, to bring the veil back up...even if it means crossing over to the other side for good. "It's a bittersweet journey for her and she has to prepare to make that sacrifice knowing that it will be the thing that separates her from her friends forever," Plec says. "But in the midst of it all there's graduation. [Laughs.] And there's her friends together and she's going to make damn sure she doesn't miss that!"
Slow Burn: In a departure from the first three seasons, TVD played it slow and steady with season four's big bad, Silas, a conscious choice made by Plec and the writers.
"We definitely knew that we wanted to slow-play the beginning of the mythology this season and rather than instantly set up a bad guy and an agenda, it would be a mystery not only to our characters, but to the audience as well," she explains. "Being able to unfold the mystery of Silas over the course of a season had its pitfalls and also its benefits, and I think ultimately, when the audience sees how it ends in this episode, they may start to understand the choices we made and why we made them."
The Vampire Diaries season four finale airs tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on the CW. Check back with us tomorrow for more exclusive scoop from Plec on "Graduation"!

Ian Somerhalder 'Faces Travel Nightmare Following Rumoured Nina Dobrev Split'

Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder has been left upset after his baggage has been left in Belgium after an apparent strike, just more drama to add to his life following his alleged split with co-star Nina Dobrev.

The 34-year-old star, who has been travelling the world after wrapping season four of Vampire Diaries, has run into a nightmare with his luggage and has taken to Twitter to plea with baggage handlers in Brussels to return his belongings.

Following his trip to promote the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which aims to educate people on issues affecting the environment, his trip quickly turned from “magical” to misery.

After flying to Toronto in Canada, Ian reportedly found out that Swissport Handling had gone on strike, which means that his luggage could remain in Brussels until union workers agree on a deal.


According to Expatica.com, meetings between the union and Swissport officials ended without an agreement on Monday.

Ian is said to have split up with his girlfriend of three years Nina Dobrev, with the pair last being seen together outside of work in March. Although neither of their reps will comment on their love life.

Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson Have Fight On His Birthday

Oh no! Rob and Kristen reportedly had a huge fight on his birthday, May 13. Are they heading for a split?
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have certainly had their fair share of ups and downs throughout their relationship — most notably with K-Stew’s cheating scandal in July 2012 — but after the Twilight actress was spotted looking very glum on Rob’s birthday, May 13, we’re a bit nervous the twosome may be heading for splitsville!

Kristen, 23, was spotted at a friends house on the afternoon of May 13, arguing on the phone. According to a report by X17 Online, it appeared as though K-Stew and Rob, 27, were breaking up.

“Kristen was pacing back-and-forth in her friend’s apartment, smoking. She looked really upset, talking on the phone for almost an hour — I’m guessing she was talking to Rob. She was really animated, like she was trying to explain something. She was getting frustrated and seemed very emotional,” a photographer tells X17 Online.

After ending the heated phone conversation, Kristen and her friend drove to another friend’s house, where they ended up talking in the car for almost 45 minutes.

Kim Hyun Joong’s international fans gift the staff of ‘Barefoot Friends’

Kim Hyun Joong‘s fans from all over Asia gifted the staff members from his variety reality show, ‘Barefoot Friends‘!

The official Twitter account of SBS‘ posted the above photo and wrote, “Kim Hyun Joong’s fanclubs from 6 different countries gifted a surprise present to the staff o #BarefootFriends~ >_< The fans’ love was sent to the staff who were filming in Indonesia. Thanks to you, we felt strong~^^*”

Fanclubs from Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, China, and Thailand had gifted the staff members with sunblock and moisturizer while they were filming in the scorching heat of Indonesia. The PD said, “Thank you for thinking about the staff. We’re going to work hard to give back to the fans who came so far to visit us to give us strength during the hot weather.”

The episodes that were filmed in Indonesia will begin airing this Sunday on May 12.

Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Reunite In Los Angeles

Are the on-again, off-again couple back on? Justin & Selena were both spotted in Los Angeles this week, so a reunion is definitely a possibility!
Selena Gomez recently told Boston radio station Kiss 108 that she was completely available, but she was spotted wearing a super-sexy outfit in L.A. on May 13 — the day after Justin Bieber!

Selena Gomez & Justin Bieber: Reunited?
Selena, 20, was spotted heading into Sony Studios in a sheer white t-shirt, showing off a hot pink lacy bra. She matched the look with black skinny jeans and flats — and she looked sexy!

The next day, 19-year-old Justin was seen driving around Hollywood in his white Ferrari with BFF Lil Twist.

Now that Justin and Selena are finally back in the same city, could a reunion be in the works? Many assumed that two had split (again) after Selena told Kiss 108 that she would be “available” if she was asked out.

Selena Makes ‘Available’ Comment To Make Justin Jealous
A source EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife.com that the reason behind Selena’s interview was to make Justin aware that she wants respect! The source tells us:

Selena felt like a booty call after she came back, and then Justin went back to his old games by ignoring her calls, etc. She did that interview to remind him that she’s a precious princess and he needs to respect her. Is she trying to make him jealous? Hell yeah. She needs to feel wanted or she will cool things off again. If they didn’t have the history they do, she would not be putting up with all of this.

Well, maybe it worked! I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the two rekindled their romance in L.A.! Do you think they met back up? Let me know!

Taylor Swift Talks 'Red,' George Jones, & Cat Memes in Billboard Music Awards Q&A

With the 2013 Billboard Music Awards rapidly approaching, we caught up with BBMA finalist and performer Taylor Swift to help recount the incredible high points, new discoveries and memorable moments that caught her ears during the past 12 months.

Swift is the only woman to have had two albums (2012's "Red" and 2010's "Speak Now") sell at least 1 million copies in a week. Her single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. She is a finalist in 11 Billboard Music Awards categories including Top Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album (for "Red"), Top Female Artist and Top Hot 100 Artist.

Watch the 2013 Billboard Music Awards Sunday, May 19th at 8|7c on ABC live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as host Tracy Morgan welcomes the biggest names in music to the stage.

Looking back on the past year, what was the highlight for you?

Taylor Swift: For me, the highlight of this year was that fans went out and bought more than a million copies of "Red" in its first week of release. That was such an unbelievable feeling, knowing that many people wanted to hear about the last two years of my life. When I put out an album, it’s like me releasing my version of events, the way I felt at my highest and lowest points. Sharing that with the world is a vulnerable position to put yourself in, and having it be so celebrated by my fans was almost an indescribable feeling of joy and relief and "Oh, good, they understand me."

What song really made an impact on you this year?

I’m obsessed with "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line. It’s the catchiest thing I’ve heard in years, and I love the Nelly version too. They’re out on tour with us right now, so I get to hear it all the time. I’m also absolutely smitten with “I Love It” by Icona Pop. It’s the way reckless abandon sounds in my head. I play it right before I go onstage.

What new talent emerged or came into his or her own this year that blew you away?

Tegan & Sara have been around for years and I’ve always loved them, but I feel like they really stretched sonically on this new album, "Heartthrob." I was just so impressed by it, and there isn’t a song on it I don’t love. So I guess, in my mind, I categorize them as the new Tegan & Sara. To see artists evolve like that is so inspiring.

What to you was one of the biggest losses this year in music?

I think losing George Jones deeply saddened everyone in Nashville. His influence on country music and his legacy will last forever. On top of all of that, he was a very sweet man and I'm so sorry we've lost him. George Jones never stopped wanting to be onstage. He played live shows until the day he died, and that passion for performing is something I look up to.

What was your favorite music-related meme or viral video this year?

I like the app where you can make your own memes. I make memes all the time and send them to my friends. I also love basically any cat-related YouTube video. Yes, I’m that girl. And I thought the goat video for “I Knew You Were Trouble” was brilliant—I showed it to everyone on my tour.

Was there a surprising sound or music trend that pricked up your ears?

I love that ballads became huge hits this year and that unexpected songs and artists got lots of airplay. Ed Sheeran, the Lumineers and fun. are some of my favorites right now, and they’ve all had big hits with songs that have substance and real instruments. I like it!

What music trend hurts your ears?

I don’t like to feel like I’m in a club when I’m in my car and I turn on the radio. Anything that ceases to be a song and just sounds like house music kind of stresses me out.