Author: Venkatram Harish Belvadi (page 1 of 29)

The Joy of Missing Out

I had never really made the connection before this, but Sherlock Holmes practices a form of the so–called Joy of Missing Out. I’ll come to that in a moment; first we need to understand what JoMO is and, parenthetically, what FoMO is.

The Fear of Missing Out, or FoMO, was added to the Oxford English dictionary in August of 2013. It is defined as anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website. I think we can do away with that last clause: FoMO is not restricted to social media alone and is as rampant offline as it is on the web.

Read more →

Bad move, Amazon

Amazon is, first of all, a retail marketplace. Market equality dictates that the platform selling products does not align itself with any of its sellers so as not to cause a bias in sales and unfavourably impact other sellers. This, at the least, is an ethical question.

The same has rarely been spoken about platforms taking a stance against its selling clientele. What if the platform itself wishes to sell a product that would compete with its sellers? Is it right to intentionally harm, or even block, sellers? What happens to market competition and antitrust laws?

Read more →

Quick budgeting apps — Pennies, My Finances and Next for iPhone

Whenever we talk of apps it helps to draw a fine line between apps that are designed well and apps that function well. But that line turns out to be hazy at best: some great–looking apps can be a pain in the neck to use; and some really powerful and promising apps can be such a sore sight that they become discouraging to use.

This sort of categorisation becomes especially meaningful when it comes to budgeting apps because they have — in my eyes — certain basic requirements to fulfil: first, they must be quick to use and enter data; second, they must be flexible in handling data; third, they must provide a good overview/usage statistics; and lastly, they must have robust import/export options.

Read more →

Ad-blockers are a good thing

The concept of the web being free comes with strings attached. Although most websites are free to read, their owners need to pay for storage space and servers (besides various licenses), and storages and servers and networks run on electricity. In order to keep website content free to read, these expenditures are met indirectly.

Broadly, there are mainly two things that pay for the web: advertisements and paywalls. Bots track your usage via your browser and tell advertisors what you like so they can show you ads you are most likely to click on. Websites act as platforms to show these ads, possibly coax you into clicking on them and exploring advertised products or content, and make money in turn.

Read more →

Photographic sharpness: an obsession

I somehow came across an article by Connor McClure where he talked about how far too many people blindly use VSCO filters to process their photographs and call it a day. What he said about VSCO is true (and is something I strongly believe in myself) — they are a convenience, and not much more than trends; and trends pass on. McClure says it best: “They are trendsetters, and I don’t believe in latching too tightly on to trends.”

In addition to filters in general (not to target VSCO, whose filters I use rarely, but do use nonetheless) there is another misdirection I feel we ought to address in today’s photography scene: mindless obsession over sharpness.

Read more →

Mountain roads: photo book in print, available on Amazon

Earlier this month I wrote about my new photo book, a simple 7″x7″ paperback featuring a collection of 25 carefully handpicked black and white photographs, revolving around the theme of mountains.

I do not quite remember where I read this, but someone advocated printing out your photographs — at least select ones — even in the digital era, because printed photographs have their own charm and heightened value (even if the latter is only in our minds).

Read more →

Time to be super-productive

Having begun my month-long iPad-centric lifestyle experiment and having found myself somewhat free this morning, I proceeded to install Denys Yevenko’s Pomodoro Time Pro app (free version also available) and try my hand at the famous efficiency technique.

What I realised was probably not eye-opening, but it did make me completely rethink my time-management approach.

Read more →

iPad is more than just a consumption device

Ever since the first iPad came out in 2010, people have hailed it as a stellar consumption device: something you use to watch videos, browse the web, occasionally read etc. To some of us, the folly in this argument is immediately apparent.

The iPad has the potential to be so much more than a device you just stare at all day; you can do things with it. And Apple’s tablet apps store is second to none, so why do more of us not use the iPad to do things as opposed to just consume information?
Read more →

An e-mail reply from Tim Cook

Steve Jobs was known to reply to every e-mail he got, often tersely, but reply nonetheless; or at least he would direct it to concerned employees to handle issues immediately.

The practice has stuck with Tim Cook taking over the company as CEO. I, for one, have come to look at Tim in the same light as Jobs, as a capable leader, a dedicated worker and an analytical mind seeing whose decisions and lifestyle we can all take home something. And a couple of days back, he replied to an e-mail I sent.

Read more →

Review: OmmWriter Dāna II

As writers, there are essentially three things we need for our craft: a place to sit, a calm environment, tools with which to put down our thoughts. Some of us prefer silence while working, while most listen to some sort of music — it is not an inspiration so much as an encouraging environment to write in, to let our thoughts flow and to spark newer thoughts.

Music, like silence, is not a necessity, merely an advantage. In the 21st century, we all too often take down our longer thoughts on electronic devices: we may blog it, write it to showcase, or publish it, or whatever else it may be. And we turn to word processors all along to note and save and retrieve and edit and store again. Enter OmmWriter, the zen master of notepads.

Read more →

Let’s talk about pet peeves

We all have those tiny things that bother us. Little habits, acts and everyday nuisances of society. Things you can curse, but cannot complain about. Things you end up tolerating and then blogging about.

These are some of my pet peeves; you may find some things you find just as irritating, some you never thought of but they will start irritating you after you read about them here. In either case, this is one dangerous list.

Read more →

5 things Donald Trump can teach you

You may hate Donald Trump or support him with a passion, but you can hardly be indifferent about his run for US presidency in 2016.

Trump has been everywhere and done everything, from accidentally retweeting pictures of British serial child-killers to not doing the e-mail thing, (“I don’t do the e-mail thing.”) but he stands first on a seventeen-candidate list of campaigners for presidency, which clearly means he is doing something right.

Read more →

Britain is not a smartphone society

Earlier this week The Telegraph’s technology briefing newsletter (as well as their website) carried an article asking if Ofcom’s recent survey suggests Britain is a smartphone society.

Although the figures do point to great smartphone usage, I would argue that it takes more than just usage numbers to make a true smartphone society.

Read more →

Polonius and Kipling

Everyone has beacons they seek when they are lost at sea. It may be humans, it may be pets, it may be thoughts, it may be quotes, it may be proverbs, poems, books or music. There are things that can drive us, things that can simply lift our spirits, things that point us in a direction, or things that simple say, “hang in there”.

I have many such, like almost everyone else, I suppose; and it goes from humans to pets to thoughts all the way to music. And two of those I particularly like and go over almost on a daily basis, stem from writings, which I elaborate on here.

Read more →

The Mountain Roads project

Having travelled a bit earlier this month, I have been spending the past couple of weeks wading through a few hundred photographs, picking, flagging, editing and storing away safely. In the process, an interesting idea struck me.

When I first began photography I had a deep love for black and white pictures. (One of my first serious photographs was black and white.) I still do, but having understood the complexity and weight of colours, I make many more colour photographs nowadays.

Read more →


Join over 15,000 subscribers for free monthly updates

We respect your privacy and hate spam. You will receive only one e-mail a month.