Monday, November 24, 2014

Questioning Rotten Apple Not Approved In PC (Politically Correct) Fawning Media? - IMRAN™

I have been an Apple user for 30+ years, and a Mac bigot since 1984. Even though my day job is at Microsoft and I use Windows laptops, Surface, Windows Phone Lumia, my personal life's work is invested (and sort of locked) in the Apple ecosystem.

Even my MS colleagues know, I would often be the only guy at an airport with a PowerBook laptop in a sea of Windows machines, which I was no fan of. But the decline in innovation and quality at Apple has been shocking. I’ve had MacBook laptops that had manufacturing defects that Apple hid and then stopped patching after warranty. I had to replace my iPhone 4S (a great device) three times because of static noise issues.

I cannot even buy an external fingerprint reader for Mac OS that would work while I have it built in my PC laptops. I have no touch on the latest Apple MacOS devices. The gorgeous near perfect keyboards of previous MacBook Pros now have been replaced by plastic types that even PC users match or exceed.

iOS and its boring icons are still brain dead and have not evolved since iPhone started. I barely have to life my WindowsPhone screen and still can see who emailed me, what the weather changed to, what the latest news are, what someone said on FaceBook, see my photos rotate, ALL on the home screen without touching the phone. Yes, the Apple ecosystem still has a million more apps but after my initial craze which led me to have 1100+ apps on iOS, I have been aggressively deleting apps since only a handful are actually used. Of those about 80% are available to me on WindowsPhone too. 

My latest iPhone 6 Plus has a lousy 8MP camera while my year+ old Windows Phone Lumia 1020 has 43MP that runs rings around it. But worse of all is the sheer number of painful experiences I have had and seen people report on Apple's own boards is mind boggling.

I used to complain about Windows control-alt-delete but with Windows 8 and now Windows 10 coming plus Windows Phone and super cool Live Tiles the user experience is far more innovative than Apple’s. Samsung users tell me even on hardware that company is beating Apple in new features. But the latest shocking defect in Apple hit me today.

You know how Bluetooth connects different vendors products for 15 years but can you believe Apple's latest MacBook Pro & iPhone 6+ fail to connect to each other even with latest Yosemite and iOS 8.1.1 !

In the old days all media did was predict Apple's death and I would argue against it. Now I see Apple non-stop defect laden launches but hardly any media express outrage or show coverage over it. I am not hating on Apple because someone at MS wants me to. After all, as I said, I have been invested in the Apple ecosystem and even my most used Mac apps are from Microsoft, including Outlook, Office/Word/PowerPoint/Excel and especially OneNote.

It is a pretty incredible switch of roles that I did not have any mail loss, data loss, issues moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8 and even Windows 10 Preview but I lost days of effort to resolving about a dozen separate known bugs and defects in upgrading the MacBook Pro to Yosemite and the iOS devices to iOS 8. That is definitely not how the yesterday’s gold standard of user experience and quality, Apple, worked. Is anyone a clear winner in that user experience war. Not right away. But at least today Apple’s clear lead in that area is gone. 

That is why the next personal devices I am lusting for are not Apple gadgets but the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, an Xbox One and a Microsoft Band. Hint, hint, if you really love me, and of course you do :-) , Christmas is around the corner. Just kidding!

What do you think?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Berliner Dom DOMinating Berlin Sky - IMRAN™

Berliner Dom DOMinating Berlin Sky - IMRAN™

Berliner Dom DOMinating Berlin Sky - IMRAN™ on Flickr.

I love Berlin, Germany, and every time I am in Berlin since my first visit 27 years ago, I always enjoy visiting the Lustgarten area and seeing this imposing structure of the Berliner Dom.

I was able to take this awesome composite photo by combining a few photos taken with my Windows Phone Lumia 1020 and photmerging them in Photoshop. It is amazing how much detail can be see if you view the 55 MB 11000x7800 pixel image on a giant screen.

© 2014 IMRAN

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

(Flying In) A New York, New York, State Of Mind - IMRAN™





(Flying In) A New York, New York, State Of Mind. --- Stunning Manhattan Views In Fall. Come fly in to New York City and enjoy the spectacular sights of the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge, Statute Of Liberty, New York, cruise ships, downtown ‪#‎Manhattan‬Freedom Tower NYC‪#‎Brooklyn‬, the major bridges, ‪#‎Queens‬Citifield - Mets Stadium, as well as the 1964 New York World's Fairand other landmarks you have seen in movies and on TV, on an early Fall day with the beautiful foliage showing different colors before winter sets in. Recorded with my handheld Microsoft Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 1020 with NO color editing of any kind. Click the gear button on YouTube to see it in HD or 3D. 
 
 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Juma Isha Azaan Kaaba Mosque During Hajj Season




The Islamic call to prayer, Azaan, recorded during my Umrah during Hajj season, on Friday (Juma) at night prayer (Isha) time. I was able to say all 5 prayers in Mecca on this Friday. A blessed experience that remains with me for a lifetime.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pakistan's Head Case Of Maligning Malala And Denigrating Its Noble Nobel Prize Winners - IMRAN™

It boggles my mind how a once proud and capable country like Pakistan has worked extra hard to become a nation of self-loathing, miracle-waiting, pedagogue-worshipping, people who refuse to take responsibility for their actions, expect Allah to step in with a magical leader to fix the problems the people themselves cause and accept, while blaming everyone on the planet for the issues.

A majority of my fellow Pakistanis, including supposedly educated ones, are the only people who can detect things that even scanning electron microscopes or the Hubble Telescope cannot see. They see conspiracies everywhere. If there was a Nobel Prize for conspiracy theories, Pakistan would have dozens of recipients of the award. 

Sadly, Pakistan is the only country I know of that goes out of its way to malign the only two Pakistanis to win Nobel Prizes. They spit on Dr. Abdus Salam (Physics, contributing to understanding of the forces that make the universe work) because he is from a non-Muslim sect. They despise Malala because obviously she must have won the Nobel Prize (that she deserved to win solo last year even more than shared with someone this year) as a tool of the anti-Islam West and Zionist forces.

These Pakistanis come across sounding like Taliban apologists. The irony is that the first word that was spoken in The Message of God to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was “Iqra” — READ. How tragic that evil Taliban and their Al-Qaeda cohorts malign true Islam by shooting education seeking teenager girls in the head and blowing up children and schools in Pakistan. 

Even more hilarious than the funniest monologue by late Robin Williams or any standup comic in the world are the faux-rational questions people ask, or reasons they give, for why Malala won the Nobel Prize. They see a massive global conspiracy of everyone on the planet in what happened. For them, here is the absolute truth which I am certain will make perfect sense to them. 

One evening Malala and her family were sitting at dinner and said, how can we get rich and famous.

The father said, hey, why don't we arrange to have you shot in the head and it will all work out great. She said, Awesome!

They flew to Switzerland and had a meeting with the Rothschild family, which obviously leads the group of Jews that run the new world order. They got into a conference call with Benjamin Netanyahu (sadly a real life war criminal) and President Obama, who agreed to fund the project to insult Pakistan.

Then they invited every member of the Nobel Prize committee from Sweden to Switzerland for high tea, to get agreement they would give her the prize as an insult to all Muslims.

A Jewish doctor came and examined Malala’s head and pointed to the exact spot she should be shot with a gun.

She was so happy… knowing she would soon be able to make speeches, after a little bit of a headache of course!

The family then took a briefcase of Dollars from Obama (who happens to have had a Muslim father) and a gun from India’s Modi (sadly, a murderous politician in real life, responsible for a massacre of Muslims in India).  

They took out a help wanted ad in Taliban Daily Noose. They picked the applicant to shoot Malala in the head.

The rest, as they say, is (a) history (lesson).

I repeat what I have said many times before. “A nation that does not recognize its own problems, that does not take control of its own destiny, where every single individual knows, believes, and acts to do what he or she can to change and improve their part of society and their nation, is bound to continue into a death spiral. Where stood what was once a great nation all that would remain is a pile of waste, destruction, chaos and blame.”  

Until Pakistanis wake up and smell the reality, it starts with the man in the mirror, Pakistan will continue to be populated by people whose entire energy and creativity is spent on coming up with conspiracy theories that are funnier than George W. Bush’s idiotic utterances, or Joe Biden’s retarded faux pas; that are more complex than the inside of Optimus Prime in Transformers; and more creative than the “Final Unifying Theory Of The Universe." 

If these people actually believe in all their conspiracy theories, I am told there is more funding available so they can volunteer to have their teenage daughters shot in the head to become famous and rich.

My fellow Pakistanis, please stop being a head case. Stop maligning people that bring far more honor to our country and religion than the Taliban whose actions you seem to justify or the pseudo-religious and populist people you are following as leaders. Stop those who seek to destroy what opportunities we have to become the honest, responsible, educated, hard working, God-fearing but tolerant people our Prophet would smile on, and make Pakistan a country Quaide Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah would be proud of having founded. 

What are YOU going to do starting today, to be a better person, and to make your part of Pakistan a better place?

Sunday, October 05, 2014

SideWalk™ : Brandenburg Gate Germany At End Of Berlin Marathon At Dusk - IMRAN™



SideWalk™ - Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany - IMRAN™ by imrananwar on photosynth

This is one of the coolest things I have done during my travels.  I am calling creative items SideWalk™ projects. 

It was great to spend an afternoon, evening and early part of the night watch the scene, lighting, mood and crowd change at this historic spot in Germany. It is always a great experience to see this place but it was a special time of year. It was the start of Oktoberfest, the end of the Berlin Marathon, and the start of Fall.  

This magical effect was created by taking 25 photos step by step walking sideways across the width of the landmark Brandenburg Gate, without bumping into people, going around obstacles but trying to stay in a straight line. It was done soon after the race ended there, so the place was crowded and also littered by visitors who can always mess up a nice place. 

Imran Anwar© 2014 IMRAN

Friday, October 03, 2014

Can't See The (de)Forest(ation) For The Trees? - IMRAN™

I love trees. I love and grew up on and near rivers, waterways, and canals, since my late father, Chaudhry Anwar-ud-din, was in the Irrigation Department. He and my late mother, Nargis Anwar, always loved to plant trees wherever we went. We used to drive along remote parts of Punjab along private department-owned roads, with trees dotting the landscape, but never seeming to be enough for the levels of forestation the country needed.

So I was intrigued by an article written by a columnist in News International -- a newspaper that I had helped the Jang Group's owner launch almost exactly 25 years ago, on October 1, 1990 I think it was, and in which I have been published and written about many times in the past.

The writer was commenting on the trees that have had to be cut along some major roadways that now connect an ever expanding city of Lahore, catering to an ever growing population. But his slant was about criticizing the political leadership, with whom he and others may have other differences.

I am sure the political leadership, at the federal and all provincial levels, in Pakistan leave much to be desired and need to be held accountable. But complaining about trees along just one particular road may seem to be driven by people whose home values may be impacted by such trees being cut. But that is just conjecture on my part.

In my opinion, having escaped death many times on the roads of Pakistan, narrow, poorly lit road cause millions of hours of delays, health issues for people stuck daily among idling engines pouring smoke and poisonous fumes in the air, and cost hundreds of lives in traffic accidents. Those are far bigger issues than saving some trees that happened to line Canal Bank, a popular road in Lahore that is now almost a central artery. This is a road I used to go drive on after late nights in the Jang office, and it would be almost like driving on a private country road late at night. Today, you could go miles beyond what was then wilderness and not run out of homes and communities still springing up.

When I was living in Pakistan, first studying at Aitchison College in the late 1970s and later working at Jang Lahore, The Mall (Road) was narrow but wonderfully tree-lined. I did mourn the trees that had to be taken down over the years to expand that roadway. But as population and traffic increase, and a city built for a few horse carriages is now teeming with millions of vehicles, expanding roads is a sad fact of life. That applies not just in Pakistan but everywhere.

The writer mentions some activists opposed to these trees being cut. I believe the "do-gooders", as the writer calls them, would serve the nation, economy, ecology and environment of Pakistan far more by focusing on efforts to plant more trees nationwide, not just trying to protect some along a busy road that will only get busier.

Deforestation is a global problem. What Pakistan has always lacked is enough trees. I believe that with enough people working together, that is the problem that needs more attention than a particular set of trees, In My Humble Opinion.

Imran Anwar