Aisha (2010) - DVDScr - x264 - 1CDRip - [DDR]


I thought Aisha was really cute. As an Emma adaptation, I thought it was excellent- they kept all the important elements of the story in, and I saw a few homages to Clueless in there as well. I like that Aisha wasn't 100% likable, as she shouldn't be- she is a girl who's been given everything in life, which doesn't always lend itself to peachy sweetness. Of course she's going to be arrogant! Nobody other than Arjun ever says no to her.

Because this film is about a very wealthy girl and her matchmaking pursuits, which do often come across as very superficial and celebrating monetary pleasures, and the characters are very shallow at times (their problems are hardly anything, compared to the very real struggles other Indians face) I can see how some people might not like it- my dad thought it was absolutely ridiculous (his exact quotes were "I can't believe filmmakers would waste celluloid on this trash").

However, the essence of the film is to show how silly Aisha's attempts are at forcing what cannot be forced, regardless of how much she tries to manipulate the situation or how much money she throws at it. She is portrayed as an arrogant girl, but we are shown that doing so ultimately alienates her friends from her. Do the filmmakers celebrate what could be labeled as "western excess" in the process of telling her story? Sure, but who doesn't like seeing pretty clothes and hairstyles once in a while? Aisha Kapoor is not one of the "mango people"- who would expect her to be?

The music was terrific, and the supporting cast did a wonderful job- especially Amrita Puri, who played the character of Shefali. For those who have seen Clueless, I definitely felt echoes of Brittany Murphy's character Tai through her performance- in a great way. She was really cute! And Ira Dubey played Aisha's sarcastic friend Pinky (Dion in Clueless) to a T, and Abhay Deol and Cyrus Shankar were great as Arjun and Randhir.

I personally highly recommend this film if you're looking for a fun, escapist Jane Austen adaptation with great clothes and danceable music.

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The common view amongst "professional" reviews is that the movie is average. scoring below 50% from Rotten Tomatoes, and MetaCritic, and notably a 2 out of 4 stars from Roger Ebert. The average user ranking on MC puts it at 9 out of 10.

Most reviews range anywhere from 8 out of 10, to as low as 2 or 3 out of 10.

If there's one thing critics can agree on, its that the movie is clichéd, borrowing elements from plenty of epics based in the Middle East and fantasy alike, and that it's loads of fun.

The one thing no one can agree on is whether that's good or bad.

It should be pointed out that this film is produced by the same company/studio that brought us 'Pirates of the Caribbean', and it certainly shows.

With that said, I'll lead into my thoughts on the film. The first "Pirates" scored on average a 7.8 - 6.4 of 10, while the sequels averaged anywhere from 4.5 to 5.3. I'd say this movie is better than the sequels while not as good as the first.

So, I'd give it roughly a 7 out of 10.

The story is fun, for what it is. Which is a rough retelling of the video game "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time", while incorporating elements of the following two sequels, as well as incorporating stylistic elements from the following game and the first three of the original trilogy. Thats right! Based loosely on one game, borrowing elements from SIX more. The movie is stretched too thin, and it shows.

The movie feels like your prototypical "sword and sandal" action flick, borrowing heavily from films like "The Thief of Baghdad", and stories found in "1001 Nights". So think 'Arabian Nights', Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Aladdin, all mixed with some Steve Reeves 'Hercules' and Robert E. Howard 'Conan' flash.

Is it as cheesy as that sounds? YES! Is it as awesome as that sounds? YES!

But it's still well edited, well acted, well scored (Harry Gregson-Williams never fails), and overall well done enough to merit an enjoyable experience.

The ONLY complaints I can think of are few, but here they are: A bit too much CGI, not on the stunts (not much CGI there surprisingly) but on things like demonic-esquire snakes (you'll see). Too much random slow-motion. The sexual-tension seemed too forced (too many of those really slow "they're about to kiss but don't" moments). And whereas yes, the ending is supposed to have a "Deus-Ex-Machina" feel to it, in the game it is much more thorough and more explained, in the movie you're just expected to roll with it.

Other than that. A fun night at the movies! Grab your over-priced candy, soda, and popcorn (or do like me and sneak snacks in) and have fun with friends, family and loved ones, recapturing the fun escapism of your childhood with an epic but cliché action movie.

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Dell Studio XPS 16

Currently the most powerful laptop offered by Dell short of an Alienware, the Dell Studio XPS 16 is a sleek, performance-class machine. Recently, Dell refreshed the machine, adding Intel’s new Core i-series processors and a more powerful ATI graphics card. However, depending on the selected options, it can also bear a hefty price tag.

Dell Studio XPS 1645 had the following specifications:

Obsidian Black

16” 1080p (1920x1080) RGBLED screen w/web cam Intel Core i7 720QM (1.6GHz/2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Intel Smart Cache)

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4670, 1GB

6GB DDR3, 1333MHz (4GB + 2GB)

500GB 7200RPM hard drive with freefall sensor (Seagate Momentus 7200.4/ST9500420ASG)

Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5300AGN

Slot-loading Blu-ray Rewritable drive

9-cell Li-ion battery (85Whr)

Weight: 6.3 lbs (as listed on Dell website)

Dimensions: 15.15” (W) x 10.02” (D) x 0.95”/1.34” (front/back H)

Unfortunately, getting the 16” RGDLED screen is a bit tricky lately, since many configurations do not seem to offer it. The last time I checked, one way to get the screen would be to order it from the small business division of dell (which means that you have to be content with a Core i5 processor). The other available 1080p screen is the 15.6” WLED LCD.

I received this machine a few months ago as a refurbished warranty/ADR replacement for my aging Inspiron E1505, which began to break down. Therefore, this review will reflect my impressions of the machine over the course of several weeks.

Build and Design
The Dell Studio XPS 16 is a study in contrasts: sleek but large, and stylish, but bulky. The silver trim and black gloss paint make it classy without being garish in the least. Unfortunately, since the finish is high gloss, it attracts fingerprints like crazy. In addition, oil from your hands (and anything else on them) rubs off on the finish and is transferred to the screen when you close it (since the screen is not recessed).

The build is mostly plastic (even the metallic-looking trim), but it is reasonably robust. It creaks a bit if you grab it by the sides, but it doesn’t feel like it will fall apart. Some of the trim near the screen doesn’t line up perfectly, and tends to put a tiny scratch at the very bottom of the screen (hard to see unless you really look for it). I am not sure whether this is a defect in my machine or a general issue. The hinges are quite strong, and the screen takes a bit of effort to open. Ripples show up on the screen if moderate to heavy pressure is applied to the lid, a consequence of having such a large screen. Being a 16” machine, the Studio XPS 16 has a bit of heft, necessitating the use of two hands to carry it.

If you get the impression that this notebook has questionable build quality, please remember that this is a large 16-incher, and it is therefore quite robust for its size. I carried this machine around in a padded Messenger Bag to and from classes at college for a few months now, and it is serving me very well (my shoulder originally had a different opinion, but I acclimated quickly). However, I would agree that it could be somewhat more robust. As a side note, the Studio XPS 16 fits (barely) in a Messenger Bag designed for 15.4” laptops.

The entire bottom cover can be removed to access the hard disk and memory. While this makes for a much sleeker appearance, it does make changing upgrading a bit more work. However, unless you are taking out the keyboard (or something similar), it is nothing terribly annoying.

Screen and Speakers
There is only one word for the screen: WOW! This is quite simply the best screen I have ever seen, and it has spoiled me horribly. The native resolution is 1920 x 1080 (1080p, full HD) Color saturation is extremely high (maybe a bit too high, particularly for the reds), and the contrast is excellent. While the backlighting is ridiculously bright, it has the upside of keeping the screen usable even under bright indoor lighting. Unfortunately, I ran into a little issue at this point, as the screen flickers occasionally when the brightness is ~50% or below (only when large regions of white are present on the screen). It occurs so quickly, that I found myself questioning whether it really occurred. At any rate, it is only mildly annoying, and the solution is to get used to the higher brightness levels.

The viewing angles on this screen are very impressive. Horizontally, the screen’s brightness falls off somewhat at ~50 degrees, and the screen tone becomes a tiny bit redder. However, it still looks great, and remains legible even when viewed from almost 90 degrees to the side. This makes it easy to have multiple people view the screen at once. Vertically, the viewing angles are very good, with the colors inverted at 50 degrees above or below the screen. The screen is glossy, and actually has a layer of glass in front of it that extends to the very edge of the frame (and is thus a “frameless” design). Reflections can be an issue, but the brightness can be increased to counter this. There is a webcam and dual-array microphone in the screen. The webcam has a slow refresh rate, and produces grainy images. It can be used with face recognition to log into the computer, but this feature seemed to work intermittently. I did not test the microphone.

As impressed as I was by the screen, I was satisfied but not blown away by the speakers. My old Inspiron E1505 actually had pretty good speakers, but they lacked bass. The Studio XPS 16 definitely has a subwoofer, and the bass is impressive for a laptop. However, the speakers sound a bit on the tinny side (like they are small, which they are). The volume has a nice range, and can easily fill a small to medium-size room. There is little to no distortion at high volume. The speakers have a bit of a directional effect, with some volume drop-off at certain angles. The two headphone jacks have no noticeable static.

Keyboard and Touchpad
The keys are fairly flat, with a ridged shape. This permits the keys to be spaced very closely together while keeping your fingers sufficiently spaced apart. The keys have a fairly short throw and are fairly quiet unless you strike them with a fair amount of force. Pressing very firmly on the keyboard yields no discernable flex. The Studio XPS 16 lacks a numpad (unlike my E1505, it is not even embedded in the middle of the keyboard and activated by the fn key), and the Home, PgDn, PgUp, End keys are positioned just to the right of the backspace and enter keys. A nice bonus is the backlighting, which has three settings (high, low, and off).

The Studio XPS 16 sports touch-activated media controls above the keyboard. Their white backlighting remains on regardless of the keyboard backlighting settings, but I found it tasteful. One nitpick is that I often hit the ‘eject’ button by mistake when attempting to press ‘Delete.’ The touchpad is almost completely smooth, with just a tiny bit of texture. The buttons require very little force to press, but are recessed enough to prevent accidental clicking. Like the keyboard, they make little noise when pressed.

Ports and Features
The Studio XPS 16 has an impressive array of ports. Most notably, it possesses two headphone jacks, an eSATA/USB combo plug, a Display port connector, and an HDMI port. One nitpick I can find in this department is the fact that it has only three USB ports. Another is that the power cable has an annoying habit of falling out of the plug if it dangles a certain way (a problem I experienced with my old machine that probably involves wear on the plug).

Left Side: Kensington Lock slot, VGA out, 1000Mbps Ethernet, Display port, HDMI, 2x USB 2.0, microphone and 2 headphone jacks

Right Side: Expresscard port, Media card reader, Mini IEEE 1394, Slot-loading Blue-ray RW drive, eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port, and Power jack.

Front: Indicator lights (Hard drive, Bluetooth, WiFi, and WLAN)

Back: Battery

Life and Bundled Software
I achieved a time of 2 hours and 40 minutes of
battery life in ‘balanced’ mode with screen-dimming disabled, a respectable time for a large media notebook. The laptop had little bloat ware on it as far as I can recall, but I did end up rebuilding the system to solve a software issue (a good idea anyway).

The Dell Studio XPS 16 is a good-looking entertainment notebook of reasonable build quality and decent portability (considering its size). It packs a stunningly vibrant screen, along with some gaming punch. While it has some minor flaws, particularly the amount of heat it pumps out during gaming, it is a great buy for those who can afford.

As a footnote, during the composition of this review, the speakers started blowing out intermittently (I believe due to a loose wire). Therefore, I contacted Dell support via chat, and they tried re-installing the audio driver to no avail. I also reported the issue with the uneven trim marking up the screen and the flickering issue. The tech then told me that it would be easier to replace the whole machine with something comparable or better. Contrary to what many others say about Dell Tech Support, I say that it rocks ... if you are under complete care.


  • Sleek Appearance
  • Gorgeous and spacious screen
  • Impressive performance for a non-gaming laptop
  • Decent battery life for a 16” machine
  • Great warranty tech support


  • Pricey
  • Gets very warm under heavy stress
  • Could use another USB port
  • Build quality could be a bit better
  • Shows fingerprints and dirt

Your Office Photocopy machine could be a digital time bomb

Have you ever used your office photo copy machine to scan important personal document? like your credit card, income tax papers, social security document, medical records, bank records etc. If the answer is yes then you have a potential threat of these critical data to be stolen.

Did you know most of the digital copier built after 2002 has a build in hard drive and it stores an image of every documents copied, scanned or emailed by the machine on the copier's hard drive. This makes any office copy machine packed with highly-personal or sensitive data and a potential digital time-bomb.

Over a period of time most of the office copier machine are sold out to third party vendors and if somebody is in a identity theft business it seems this machine would be a pot of gold. Retrieving images and data from the copier's hard drive is a very simple process.

Advanced technology has opened a dangerous hole in data security, specific precautions can help to minimize risk. The first step could be sharing this awareness.

Also get your office IT dept. to periodically clean the copier's hard drive data.

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Indian Government may ban Gmail in India

Indian Government may ban Gmail in India... Unbelievable ? but it might happen if Gmail does not agree to make data going through their networks available to the Indian security agencies in a readable format. The data services being offered by companies like Gmail and Skype are highly encrypted because of which Indian security agencies are finding it difficult to keep a watch over the content being transmitted through them.The Government has also decided to amend the IT laws would force companies such as Skype to give complete access to their networks or set up a local server in India to allow security agencies to track content.

After China-made telecommunication equipment, after bringing the satellite-based mobile communication services under tighter security norms, it probably time for internet.

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