Philips GoGear


I had a portable audio/video device in my wish list for a very long time. A lot of my friends have ipods. When it came to ipods, there are cheaper ones in the market but I did not want to go for a cheaper one and run behind those guys for service in case of any problem. Then I decided to leave out the video option as I convinced myself that I will not have time to watch videos that frequently (cost is also a reason). So finally I decided to get an audio player (mp3). I had a look at the brands like Transcend and other mp3 players but I was not satisfied or rather convinced, the main thing I was looking was the reliability and quality of the product and the after sales service options. I came across Philips GoGear – SA 1356/97, a slim and sleek device that can hold up to 1 GB of data or songs. It looks simply stunning. The device can be directly plugged into the system for data transfer. This feature, I feel is an advantage because some of my friends had problem with other players with cable, as frequent usage of the cable loosened the socket and therefore resulted in connectivity malfunction. The SA1356/97 has voice recording facility. The display is cool with backlight. The other features are customizable equalizer with preset settings like Classic, Dance, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz & Rock, FM radio (30 preset channels) with auto digital tuning and FM recording with keypad locking facility. The device can store 250 mp3 tracks (128 kbps) and 380 WMA tracks (64 kbps). Overall, this device proves to be a very good one except for the headphones. It is priced at Rs. 2499 and its really worth the money.

Benazir’s Assassin?

The death of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, Ms. Benazir Bhutto, is still clouded by huge controversies. The Scotland Yard has probed into the case and they have reported that Benazir’s death was due to the aftermath of the bomb blast. Benazir’s supporters refuse to accept this report suspecting a foul play from the government and they are requesting a better and fair investigation on the incident to find out the actual cause of death. Earlier, Pakistan’s government said that Benazir died due to a massive head injury and nobody shot her, but video footages clearly shows that a person armed with a pistol is seen near the vehicle of Benazir and she ducked her head even before the bomb blast took place. Whatever may be the case, whether she was shot or killed because of a bomb blast, Pakistan’s future is shaky and the country is in chaos. I believe President Pervez Musharaf’s hide and seek game is going to end soon. Soon he is going to be cornered either by the fundamental terrorist groups or by the international communities (particularly USA) or his own people might rebel against him. Mr. Musharaf get ready for the climax!

Louisiana Campus Crime

Campus crimes are increasing day by day in the United States. In Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge, a female student shot two other women and finally killed herself in a classroom on Friday morning at 8.30 a.m. Police sources said that the shooting happened only inside that classroom and the other students in the campus are safe. The Police is probing the motive for the killing and the names of the students who were killed are unknown. These types of crimes happen in schools, colleges, and universities and the crimes include murder, robbery, sex offences, negligent manslaughter, drug abuse, illegal possession of weapons, etc. One major reason for murder and manslaughter is that students get easy access to weapons. Another major concern is the mental makeup of the students studying in schools and colleges. Lack of proper guidance and counseling at the young age leads to such crimes.  

Nano’s International Debut


Nano, the small car that rattled the global automobile industry, is going to make its international debut at the 78th Geneva Motor Show in the first week of March 2008. Nano, nicknamed ‘The People’s Car’, the world’s cheapest car priced at Rs. 100,000 (US$2500) was launched earlier this year at an Auto Expo in New Delhi. Nano will be available in the market from the second half of this year. With Nano being affordable, meeting all the safety norms (as per Tata Motors), there is no doubt that the People’s car would replace majority of the two wheelers as it will be a fortunate thing to happen in the lives of middle class and lower middle class families making them proud car owners.

Hats off to Tata Motors and Ratan Tata for placing India on the global automotive map!

The Lethal Mix


Medicines are meant to cure diseases but sometimes it may be fatal like the one happened to Heath Ledger, a 28-year-old Hollywood actor. Last month, Heath was found dead in a mysterious way in his apartment in New York City. Initially the investigating officers started probing the incident in every angle as to whether it was a natural death or suicide or murder etc. Yesterday the medical examiners who examined Heath Ledger’s body have found out that it was an accidental mix of prescription drugs. The combinations of several drugs have caused the death of the actor. The authorities have revealed that traces of ibuprofen, a painkiller, and anti-anxiety drugs were found in Heath’s blood. A tragic end for a brilliant actor, who is basically an Australian. Let us all be careful in taking medications. This is an alert particularly for persons who do not visit a doctor in case of any illness and just get the medicines over-the-counter in drug stores.

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Oriental Bank of Commerce – Commitment Redefined


I hold a corporate account with Oriental Bank of Commerce, Chennai. Before opening the account, the officials came to our office to brief about the bank and the services they offer. Normally for any corporate account in any bank, maintaining the account at zero balance is quite common. But in Oriental Bank of Commerce, they have deducted nearly Rs. 140 for not maintaining the minimum balance of Rs. 1000. This deduction has been done over the past two months, which I was not aware of and was not told by the OBC officials when they came to our office. I came to know this only through my colleagues and while withdrawing cash today; I took a mini-statement and found that they have deducted the amount. Moreover, I could not make out anything from the transaction slip, (i.e. the abbreviations against each transaction) what these guys have actually done. Another issue is that this bank has only a very few ATMs and most of the times these does not work also. I had a very annoying experience when I visited the bank. I reached the bank to withdraw cash. I went in by 1.20 p.m. The bank personnel told that 1.00 to 1.30 p.m. is the lunchtime, and they asked me to wait and said that after the lunchtime they would call me. So I waited patiently. After 1.30 p.m., I was sitting there expecting that someone would call, but till 1.45 p.m. nobody called me and I was restless, and after 1.45 p.m. I gave the cheque to the concerned person. He collected the cheque and again he asked me to wait. It was 1.55 p.m. and I really got irritated. The person who received the cheque from me collected it and he was busy doing some other work making me to wait. And finally after 1.55 p.m., the cheque was verified and signed and I got the cash. What made me more furious was that I was the only customer during that time, i.e. between 1.20 p.m. to 1.55 p.m. What a great customer service that I was offered by OBC. The funniest part is that they have a tagline saying “Where every individual is committed.” I think they have misunderstood the word “committed.”

Some of the other customer experiences

Sachin Tendulkar – The Run Machine


Sachin Tendulkar reached another milestone of crossing 16000 runs in limited overs cricket, the first player in the history of the game. This feat was achieved in today’s match against Srilanka at the Gabba. Sachin now has 16007 runs in 409 matches with an average of 44.22 with 41 hundreds and 87 fifties at a strike rate of 85.42. He remains unchallenged as nobody could ever break this mammoth record. The prime reason for this is that Sachin still loves the game very much even after playing 19 years of competitive international cricket. His journey as a cricketer has not been a bed of roses. He has had failures, rough patches, had been in pressurized situations, injuries, accusations and what not… He has overcome all these things time and again with a lot of courage and confidence, and now has emerged victorious. A great lesson that we need to learn from Sachin is that if we have a passion for something, be it a game, academics, profession, dream, ambition or whatever it may be, we can definitely overcome all the hurdles and be a winner. Sachin is one of the greatest cricketers the game has ever had. No wonder why the great Don Bradman admired the Little Master.

M.S. Dhoni & Co Thrashed


Does Mahendra Singh Dhoni exhibit his power and arrogance only in TV commercials and ads? Is the recent T20 performance a manifestation of arrogance or complacency? A very very poor performance by the “young” Indian cricket team, the team that is termed as the “Future of Indian Cricket.” All the batsmen crumbled like ninepins and there was lack of sheer common sense in terms of shot selection and sticking to the basics. Playing in Australia is not an easy joke. If the selectors were very keen to build a team for the future then why did they operate the test series with the big boys? They could have very well played their young side. BCCI has very well complimented players like Sourav, Dravid and Laxman for their contributions to Indian Cricket. The exclusion of senior players will definitely make a huge difference in the upcoming ODI series that starts tomorrow. Dhoni & Co. will have a tough time during the ODI series because if they could not play the full 20 overs what would be the outcome in 50-over matches. No idea as what the young and energetic Dhoni & Co would do with bowling and fielding skills if they do not have enough runs on the board!

Shoaib Malik – Liar Liar


Pakistan cricket captain is into a new controversy, this one off cricket. Yes, this is truly personal that has been brought into broad daylight. Shoaib met with an Indian girl Ayesha in May 2000 at a Dubai restaurant and from then on, the two had fallen into love. Two years later on May 2, 2002, the two got married over phone (which Islamic Shariah law permits) with witnesses on both sides. When Pakistan toured India in 2005, Shoaib met his Indian wife along with his team members at her residence in Hyderabad and had a good feast. Both the parents had agreed and said that the couple would live together after a formal ceremony. But now the girl Ayesha has accused Shoaib of not letting her divorce him. The cricketer’s reply for this allegation is “No nikkah (marriage) took place between me and Ayesha”. Smart reply isn’t it. What is Shoaib trying to do by denying the fact that he married Ayesha over the phone in the presence of witnesses, which was apparently reported in all news media. Is he trying to cheat Ayesha or is he violating Islamic laws? No third umpire, no Hawkeye – your conscience is the umpire captain!