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  1. Virat Kohli is arguably the best ODI batsman in the world of cricket for the past year or so and has enough silverware to support this argument. 2018 was probably his best year as a professional athlete ever since he was picked as one of the Men in Blue in 2008 and slowly escalated to become the leader of the team late in 2014. Having said that, the Delhi born had made a name for himself as a bit of a hot-head in the early years of his cricketing career and when he was made the captain of such a prestigious and famed team, people began to criticise his overzealous attitude and inability to control his temper. Indian fans of the game thought that Kohli's abusive language on the field brought disgrace to the uniform he wore, the same uniform that all-time great skippers like Sourav Ganguly, Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni had donned so proudly in the past. But according to the skipper, ever since Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma and he tied the knot in December 2017, his methods of both playing the game and leading the team have changed for the better. Today we have promised each other to be bound in love for ever. We are truly blessed to share the news with you.This beautiful day will be made more special with the love and support of our family of fans & well wishers. Thank you for being such an important part of our journey. pic.twitter.com/aobTUwMNAK — Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 11, 2017 “You become extremely responsible in your life and you start putting things into perspective a lot more. It has not only made me a better player and a better captain but also a better human being outside the field,” said Virat Kohli about the changes in him after marriage, in an interview with the International Cricket Council (ICC). And surely, the 30-year-old has transformed his etiquette as a cricketer and put a lid on his anger, especially under pressure situations and foreign soil in the presence of a hostile audience. Be it bowing in front of a shrewd Australian crowd or asking the cricketing fans to stop booing Steve Smith (for the sandpaper gate in South Africa) and urging them to cheer for him instead for the brilliant cricketer that he is, Kohli has taken a 180 degree turn. Sure, there are times when Kohli lets one or two 'gaalis' out in excitement or frustration, but that's the competitive nature of an elite sportsman that will not (and should not) ever get away from him.
  2. Nearly 50 games into the tournament, the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is already proving to be a big success. For one of the biggest T20 leagues in the world, the ongoing season did suffer a minor hiccup with the general elections raising security concerns. But, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL Governing Council have done well to segregate the tournament in phases to avoid problems. Keeping that in mind and of course the dew factor, the Indian cricket board has announced the revised timings for this season's Playoffs and the all-important final. Like last year, the BCCI has now decided to advance the 8:00 pm (IST) start to 7:00 pm (IST) for the knockout stages of this year's edition. NEWS: Change of Timings for #VIVOIPL Playoffs and Women's T20 Challenge Full details here https://t.co/KsukeSIpCA ðð pic.twitter.com/bJIP8Rq8ov — IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 29, 2019 Meanwhile, the BCCI also confirmed that the Qualifier 1 will be played at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on 7th May. It will be followed by the Eliminator on 8th May at the ACA VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam. Further, the Qualifier 2 will also take place in the Visakhapatnam stadium on 10th May, while Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium will host the IPL 2019 final on 12th May. On the other hand, the timings and dates for the Women's T20 Challenge have also been revealed. Comprised of some of the biggest names in women's cricket, three teams - Supernovas, Trailblazers and Velocity - will be seen competing against each other. The games will be held from May 6 to May 11 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, in Jaipur. While the matches scheduled on 6th, 9th and 11th May will start at 7:30 pm (IST), the second game, scheduled on 8th May will commence at 3:30 pm (IST). Schedule for IPL Playoffs & Final 7th May – Qualifier 1, Team 1 vs Team 2 at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai 8th May – Eliminator Team 3 vs Team 4 at ACA VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam 10th May – Qualifier 2, Winner of Eliminator vs Loser of Qualifier 1 at ACA VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam May 12 – Final at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad Timings – All Matches Will Start At 19:30 IST Schedule for Women's T20 Challenge 6th May – Supernovas vs Trailblazers 8th May – Trailblazers vs Velocity (3:30 pm IST start) 9th May – Supernovas vs Velocity May 11 – Final
  3. With a brand new season of 'Game Of Thrones', comes a brand new opening sequence that holds a few clues about forthcoming events. The new season comes after almost two years and this time around, the opening sequence has been overhauled completely. The opening sequence does focus on key locations like previous sequences, but there were plenty of additions to the opening sequence in the premiere episode of the final season. If you haven't seen the first episode of the final season, this is your only warning about spoilers that we will talk about below. © HBO It's probably the most detailed opening sequence we've ever seen and the creators may have embedded a few clues that might unfold in future episodes. Here are some of the new spots we noticed and what they might mean: The Wall Is Broken © HBO We all know that Viserion broke The Wall last season under the Night King's control and the broken wall comes right in the beginning of the opening sequence. However, we all knew that moment from the previous season and the clue seems to be somewhere else. © HBO As soon as the animation of the wall falling is completed, we see the Last Hearth overtaken by ice extremely quickly. This may just be a clue to show how swiftly the Last Hearth will fall to the Night King in the next episode. The Winterfell Crypts © HBO This is the first time an opening sequence of GOT shows the interiors of Winterfell. In fact, it's also the first time we get to see the crypts below Winterfell for the first time. There have been leaks in the past two years that suggest the crypts have a major role to play during the Long Night. In the season premiere of the final season, the crypts are also the location where Samwell Tarly tells Jon about his true identity. The crypts are also where the Starks keep their dead and it may play a larger role when the Night King finally arrives at Winterfell. It is quite possible that the Night King may resurrect the dead Starks if things aren't going his way. It's just a theory but it is a very plausible one. These tunnels are going to be important this season and we can't wait to find out why. The Weirwood Tree © HBO The opening sequence then moves to the Weirwood Tree once it is done showing Winterfell in all its glory. The signature tree with red leaves is where many major moments of GOT took place. Jon reunited with Sansa and Bran spends most of his time there to have visions. The tree is also said to have the power to destroy wights which may be the reason for its importance in the opening sequence. We don't know yet how the magic of the Weirwood Tree works but it may just come handy in the upcoming battle. King's Landing © HBO When the opening sequence pans to an animated version of King's Landing, there are three dragon heads shown right before we get a glimpse of the Iron Throne. This may be a hint towards one of the two Targaryens possibly ruling over the capital of Westeros. The baffling bit is that the intro shows three dragons, and we already know that Viserion is under Night King's control. Is the third dragon's head just symbolic or has it been added purposely for a reason? © HBO We also get to see inside King's Landing in the opening sequence with a special focus on the Iron Throne. There is a sigil of a lion right above the throne denoting the current house Lannister's rule. This sigil may change in future episodes once Cersei loses power and is overthrown by one of her enemies. We can only know for sure when the final seasons ends in five weeks.
  4. If you are a fan of some long shots that give the ball-collectors present in the stands a literal run for their money, then you have to appreciate the knock played by the West Indies cricketer and interim Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Kieron Pollard in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Ravichandran Ashwin's Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). His thunderous innings which included a 83-run-barrage in just 31 balls with 10 humongous sixes and three fours successfully delivered on the expectations of all of 33,000 MI fans present at the Wankhede Stadium and millions watching at home. Hardik: Kieron Pollard is a legend. Only one man could've done this.#OneFamily #CricketMeriJaan #MumbaiIndians #MIvKXIP pic.twitter.com/YcUKauYTWv — Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) April 10, 2019 When the 6'5'' tall beast of an athlete had stepped in, MI's chances of winning seemed to be extremely slim as they had to score 142 runs in just 70 balls. However, when the captain got dismissed by getting caught out by David Miller off of an Ankit Rajpoot delivery in the final over, MI had to make only 4 runs off 4 balls. Such was the impact of Pollard's bat. Ashwin and the rest of the bowlers of Kings XI tried every single trick from their book but could not shake the batsman's concentration. Hardus Viljoen tried to get under Pollard's skin by walking up to him and checking for a ball's print on his shoulder but couldn't. Rajpoot himself tried to irk the veteran ahead of the final over when he took a long run-up down the ground only to stop in the middle with a smile on his face followed by a wink directed across the pitch to the man. In return, Pollard sent his delivery (which turned out to be a 'no-ball') for a six and a four in the following free-hit delivery. Things became so frustrating for the losing skipper that he even tried a different bowling action after Pollard swung for another maximum in the previous ball. Now, despite having a decent IPL season, Ashwin has been in the news for his odd behaviour on the field. Earlier being thrashed for 'mankading' Rajasthan Royals' batter Jos Buttler and getting a photo of his face shredded by Buttler's English teammate James Anderson for the same, later on. So when the Chennai-born all-rounder changed the way he bowls, the cricketing world wanted to know what's up: What is wrong with Ashwin! He has 3 actions to bowl now. — Miraj. (@MirajMUFC) April 10, 2019 Pollard's reaction changed Ashwin's action #IPL2019 #MIvsKXIP — Vivek (@say2vivekkk) April 10, 2019 What type of action was this by Ashwin to Pollard?ð#MIvKXIP pic.twitter.com/aIA4x9YvPK — Yash (@imyash19) April 10, 2019 Ravi Ashwin trying different type of actions (including round arm) and deliveries in order to bring variations. Good thought but I think he is trying to hard. #IPL2019 #MIvKXIP — Arpit Rastogi (@arptrastogi) April 11, 2019 What kind of an action was that from Ashwin? #MIvKXIP — Satish Pandey (@SatishKTM) April 10, 2019 Ravi Ashwin does it again can't keep him out of action#MIvKXIP #MIvsKXIP — SAMRAAT (@DynamiteXI) April 10, 2019 More action variations than bowl variations for Ashwin tonight. #MIvKXIP — Zen Master (@Wee_shal) April 10, 2019 #Ashwin just did a Shoaib Akhtar action. Possible chuck action?#MIvKXIP — Rohit S.K. (@skrohit) April 10, 2019
  5. If you look at evolution within Bollywood, in terms of good content, it has been slow yet progressive. Various celebrities have held on to the idea of evolving content and they've tried to deliver the same over the years. Somehow though, only a few have managed to stand out with their ubiquitous panache and acting prowess, while delivering some excellent quality content on-screen. One of the fewer actors who comes to mind when I pack these sentences together is Aamir Khan and at 54, he's made a huge mark on the entire cinematic experience in India. © Pinterest He started his journey in 1988, with a romantic drama 'Quamat Se Quamat Tak' and went on to do several others like 'Raja Hindustani', 'Akele Hum Akele Tum', 'Dil', 'Love, Love Love' etc. till he stumbled upon his impeccable comic timing in 'Andaaz Apna Apna', which is talked about while he's praised for it, till date. Over the years though, Aamir encapsulated his finesse as a good actor by doing some pertinent roles both in the 90s and the early 2000s. Films like 'Sarfarosh', 'Rangeela' and 'Ghulam' made him popular amongst young people, for donning relatable roles time and again. But because he's a visionary, he always looked far ahead and looked at how his passion for acting could also make a large-scale difference in society. © Pinterest Aamir takes story-telling as an art that can also change someone's life along with changing the trajectory of cinema in India. Through his stories on real-time issues that plague society, he connects with a larger audience who appreciate his work and acknowledge the sentiments behind it. Here are 8 Aamir Khan movies that have greatly impacted Indian cinema with a great story-telling landscape for the audience! (1) Lagaan (2001) © Sony Pictures Network 'Lagaan' marked the beginning of Aamir's 'films with a social cause'. The film was a historical epic sports drama set in the colonial British era, where a village bound by high taxes, found a way to evade them by beating the Britishers in a Cricket match. The film was nominated for an Oscar award as well. (2) Dil Chahta Hai (2001) © Excel Entertainment DCH was definitely the defining film for Indian cinema with its forward outlook and relatable characters. It promoted deep and meaningful friendships, love and travel all at once and the songs still ring a fresh bell, every time they're played. People still rave about how classy the film was and trust me, 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara', another travel based film has nothing on it! (3) Rang De Basanti (2006) © UTV Motion Pictures The cult classic is one of Aamir's most talked about and liked film, and we couldn't help but mention this one. The film revolves around a bunch of young people who revolutionise the idea of Independence while trying to make correctives with the 'system' as outiders. Aamir's role as DJ is very pronounced because he doesn't stand-out as a superstar in the film but as someone who shares equal role responsibility with the rest of the cast. The film also promotes more action to change something than sitting at coffee shops talking and debating about 'change' and maybe that's why the public really enjoyed this one. (4) Taare Zameen Par (2007) © Aamir Khan Productions Talking about Aamir's films that have impacted social norms and given rise to content based on good causes, 'Taare Zameen Par' tops the list for sure. The film explores the life and imagination of 8-year-old Ishaan, who is dyslexic and tries to cope with life through his shortcomings, only to discover his talent elsewhere. The film made a huge impact for people suffering with the same condition and it became a beacon of hope for many. (5) 3 Idiots (2009) © Reliance BIG Pictures '3 Idiots' was based on a Chetan Bhagat novel by the same name and the film did remarkably well. Again leaning toward a social stigma, the film talked about flaws in the Indian education system and how parents and students both blindly fall prey to it. The film was funny in doses but the message was well received by the audience. (6) Dhobi Ghat (2011) © UTV Motion Pictures Aamir's first art and parallel cinema film, 'Dhobi Ghat' didn't do well with the audience but the critics absolutely loved the film. It was also long listed for the 65th BAFTA Awards. The film revolved around the lives of four individuals and how they intersected at some point in time in the movie. It was a beautiful directorial debut by Kiran Rao, Aamir's wife and Aamir produced the movie as well as acted in it. (7) PK (2014) © UTV Motion Pictures Aamir played an alien who comes down to Earth and falls prey to religious fanatics, self-proclaimed God men and blind faith. The film touched a sensitive nerve and became an important topic of discussion but it also showcased how most people blindly follow a religion, in order to believe in something. Aamir did get critical acclaim for the film as it was the first film that initiated debates about some stubborn religious views. (8) Dangal (2016) © Walt Disney Movies Motion pictures At the a time when most of Aamir's colleagues are still romancing actresses half their age on the big screen, Aamir took a rather challenging role and played the least glamorous role of a father to two girls, in his most talked about film Dangal. Aamir plays the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat, an amateur wrestler, who goes against 'what people think and speak' and trains his two daughters Geeta and Babita Kumari Phogat to become India's first world-class wrestlers. The film nailed it at the box office and everyone raved about it, as it was one of his finest films ever. The actor also had to work hard on his physique to build a wrestler's body and surely enough, his hard work paid off well. © Twitter Apart from creating a stern chance for philanthropic work on grave social issues in society, through his films, Aamir believes in his art so much that he never attends a single award function. His vision and ideologies go hand in hand with his dedication towards cinema and we're glad we have someone amidst us who understands the importance of some great cinematic experience. Here's wishing to see some more great work from one of the best actors we have in the industry today.
  6. The World Wide Web is a fascinating place to step into. There are a gazillion “addresses” you can visit and explore, and yet it holds no physical dimensions around it to vouch for its existence outside the pixelated and LED lit screens of the myriad gizmos that allow access to it. WWW, as it is most popularly known, was brought into existence 30 years ago today, by British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. Today there are close to 2 billion websites connected to the World Wide Web online, and life without the web seems almost impossible. (c) Thinkstock Given the raging wave of digitization that has engulfed our world far and wide, the web today has become almost as vital for our survival in the urbanscape that is constantly changing and evolving all the time, as is food or shelter. So, on the WWW's 30th anniversary we decided to go around asking young millennials what are they most grateful to the internet for, and how the web may have changed their life beyond repair. (c)Thinkstock The answers, as you shall be witnessing, range from poignant to funny depending on what these young men and women think is the biggest boon of the internet's existence in 2019. With a majority of the young (and old) around the world heavily depending on the web and its services to get sh** done on a day to day basis (basically exist), the 30th anniversary of the WWW sure holds a lot of importance for all those who make use of it, and rely on its magic as if lives depended on it. Here is what these 7 millennials have to say: (c) MensXP We have all been there and I suppose all of us are forever indebted to the web for the depth of information it has in store, and the umpteen times it has saved our a** when it comes to last minute “research” and assignment submission throughout school, college and even at work! (c) MensXP Online dating and socialisation have seen the biggest boom in the recent years, and with all the thrill that it brings into our life, there is no denying the dangers and misadventures one might come across in the virtual world. But the internet really does help us to get a heads up, and often saves us from nuisances and dangers. (c) MensXP How can we say anything else after this? This is so relevant to all regardless of whether we are millennials or not. The web has really changed our lives by exposing us to some of the greatest melodies and artists from around the world, which would have otherwise been lost to us. (c) MensXP Again, Facebook and Google have been complete game changers when it comes to the existence of the internet. What would we do without Google and all its “relevant” answers, and Facebook - that allows us to do a lot more than “stay connected”. (c) MensXP Touché. Not just Harshleen, but there must be a million other people whose lives changed forever thanks to the magic that is YouTube. So many of us have been able to get done so many things all because of this blessing. (c) MensXP Exchange of ideas and connecting with like-minded individuals from around the world, who share the same dreams, hopes and aspirations could only be made possible due to the existence of the web. The number of ideas, people and innovations that the internet furthers in beyond our imagination. (c) MensXP We have already been told about what a blessing Facebook is for millennials, but Netflix? We have no intention of adding anything to what Shwetabh has spoken of. Netflix is a true friend indeed.
  7. Despite the stories of The Undertaker dying 7-8 times only to return to WWE, it may come to a lot of people as a huge surprise (maybe even an emotional trauma) that wrestling is NOT REAL. The in-ring performers do not have real life rivalries (not usually) against each other and let's face it, nobody in their right mind would want to have a personal beef with someone as massive and scary as Brock Lesnar. No, Kane didn't roam around with a scary mask back in the day, nor is Dean Ambrose a real-life 'lunatic fringe', going around the city with a cane stick. In wrestling terms, these are gimmicks and are known as 'kayfabe characters' that wrestlers don in order to entertain the audience as good or bad guys. While in a sector as competitive as WWE, wrestlers tend to work on their characters time and again in order to stay relevant with time, there are some stars who struggled to relate with the wrestling fans initially but finally found their calling in some of the most unique personas that anybody had the imagination to come up with. Here are the top 4 times WWE wrestlers changed their in-ring gimmick that led them to all the fame and fortune in the world: Rocky Maivia To The Rock You know that we aren't kidding around when we start our list with “the most electrifying man in the business”, Dwayne Johnson who is not only one of the biggest names in the wrestling world but also a Hollywood icon and his gimmick as The Rock had a major part in propelling him to such heights. His charisma and the ability to come up with the greatest of insults instantly got him his millions and millions of followers. But before he became 'The Rock', he was 'Rocky Maivia', an over-friendly guy with noodles for his hair (his words, not ours) who was literally hated by the WWE Universe so much that they'd chant “Die Rocky, Die” everytime Maivia stepped inside the ring. Evil Dentist To Kane The Big Red Machine and The Undertaker's brother Kane was a scary big man with a mask and the physique which was that of a monster. Never the one to spend too much time behind the microphone and not indulging too much in comical backstage cuts was Glen Jacobs thing and it worked for him like a charm. But before being one half of the Brothers of Destruction, Kane was known as Dr. Isaac Yankem, an evil dentist employed by Jerry 'The King' Lawler in a mid-90s feud with Bret 'The Hitman' Hart. With rotten teeth, curly hair and an awful French beard, Jacobs admittedly hated his character of Dr. Yankem to its core. The Ringmaster To 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin Beer drinking, limp-walking baldy with an ego probably bigger than WWE as a business, that's the Texas Rattlesnake 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin for you. The leader of the 'Attitude Era', Austin's feuds with Vince McMahon and The Rock continue to be fan favourites and had led WWE to the pinnacle of its weekly viewership. However, Austin 3:16 wasn't always the egomaniacal badass we remember him to be. Before donning the jeans-shorts and scary knee braces, he used to be known as 'The Ringmaster', a clean shaven wrestler who used to fight in green tights and was hired by Ted DIbiase 'The Million Dollar Man' as the next of kin for his Million Dollar Belt. The Ringmaster was a disaster. The Prototype To John Cena Probably the closest wrestler to command a reaction as dynamic as The Rock, John Cena has been on top of the food chain in the modern PG era. His brilliant physique combined with his microphone skills and the ability giants like Mark Henry and Big Show on his shoulders for an Attitude Adjustment led him to creating his own Cenation of John Cena fans. But that wasn't always the case for the Champ. Before coming into WWE, Cena was known as 'The Prototype' which basically meant that he was more of a cyborg. Forced to move like a robot, Cena had to talk like a machine as well. Cena described his 'Prototype' gimmick as “50 percent man, 50 percent machine, 100 percent crap”.
  8. Back in 2009, BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) was the most trending tool for instant messaging. But, it was restricted to BlackBerry phones and relied on a PIN system to communicate with others. SMS (Short Messaging Service) was still actively used by most, and till date, a character limit drastically reduces the amount of data we can send in one go. For multimedia files, MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) or email were the only options. Sure, web messengers like Yahoo and Facebook Chat were incredibly popular, but you had to rely on a PC or laptop to use them. Instant messaging wasn't new, but "mobile" instant messaging was. And don't forget, every SMS or MMS incurred a charge. © The Global Mail Then came WhatsApp, an instant messaging application that realized the potential of Apple's App Store and leveraged it to the fullest. Within a short span of time, the service was a hit. The ability to immediately send messages over the internet meant no more additional SMS charges, and your data pack had you covered. In fact, WhatsApp was a paid service for a brief period due to the massive growth. The app's growth has been unmatchable, and it's no surprise Facebook acquired it for an unimaginable US$ 19 billion. Let that sink in, an app-based instant messenger was sold for $19 BILLION. How Did It Revolutionize Instant Messaging? © iSource 1. It focused on simplicity: BBM had a PIN system and worked only with BlackBerry phones. Hence, if you wanted to ping someone, you'd first need their PIN (which just wasn't easy to remember). Also, being restricted to one mobile platform meant you'd still have to rely on other services. Lastly, it needed a separate BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) connection from your telecom operator. All these hurdles were instantly removed by WhatsApp since it relied on your mobile number as a unique ID. Hence, anyone with your contact details could also reach out on WhatsApp. The app also operated over a normal internet connection and required no additional offerings. © MensXP 2. Focus on messaging: A lot of competing apps over the last decade have started out as messengers, but lost focus when they tried to do multiple things at once. WhatsApp always stuck to their core product - messaging. Hence, the UI remained simple and straightforward. A whole generation that skipped usage of computers were able to adapt and learn the simple app. © WhatsApp 3. Reliability: WhatsApp has suffered multiple outages, but none of them has been over an extended duration of time. The users know the app may get slow during peak hours of the new year, but it'll still work in a few minutes. This trust was a huge offering back in the day and the service has built a reputation for itself. The app also has a remarkably well-built network in the back, and its lightweight protocol means messages get transferred with the slowest of data speeds. © MensXP 4. Send anything hassle free: Want to share your birthday celebration pictures? Done. Too tired to type and want to send a voice note quickly? Done. Want to send a PDF ticket instantly? Done. There's almost nothing that WhatsApp can't transfer. And, its compression helps in reducing storage requirements as well. Emails often don't sync easily with a low network or slow data speeds, but WhatsApp will come through. © WhatsApp 5. Don't type, just speak: In 2015, WhatsApp rolled out voice calling as an in-built feature, followed by video calls. This meant you could not only send texts but also talk in real-time without incurring additional charges from the telecom operator. © WhatsApp 6. Going cross-platform: Last, but the most important factor. WhatsApp started out with iOS, but was quick to adapt to upcoming Android OS. Then, it gave a shot to Symbian, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone, and more. This ensured that a maximum number of users were covered. By the time BBM opened up, WhatsApp had already snatched the throne. Even today, Apple's own iMessage is used regularly in selective markets only. And a closed-door policy never works for anyone. Let's hope upcoming RCS standards are able to bridge this gap and offer an option by-default to all users. © WhatsApp Critics would argue that WhatsApp has always been comparatively slow in rolling out new features, and they are right. But when you have a user base of a billion people, sudden additions are a risky move. And WhatsApp has always played safe. Like I said, the service has a sharp focus on "messaging", and doesn't wander off. BBM had encryption years before WhatsApp did, Telegram and Skype offered video calls much earlier than WhatsApp did, and even stickers took an extremely long time to come. But, consider WhatsApp to be a government policy. With so many different clients involved, the company needs to think about everyone, right from a budget phone user to a flagship user. That too across multiple platforms. © TIME While WhatsApp has made communication quick and simple, it has been mired in controversy recently. The ease of use also meant the uncontrolled spread of fake news and unverified messages. These "forwards" have already costed many their lives due to mob justice, and the service has done little to curb this epidemic. On one side, its encryption ensures that everyone's messages stay private. But it also means monitoring or moderation is impossible. And the platform has been under immense pressure from government bodies lately. The service has tried to bring in a few countermeasures like limiting forwards, but it's like using a bucket of water to douse a forest fire.
  9. Indians are not new to the coffee experience, even when a steaming pan of chai remains a common sight at the tea stalls we spot in every nukkad in town. Yet, the narrative around coffee has undergone major developments in the last few years, as a result of which the appreciation for this darkened gold has made its way beyond the southern borders of the country, where it has been ruling over the hearts of people for the longest time. One of the key game changers in bringing about this notable change in how Indians enjoy their coffee is courtesy to to the makers of 'Sleepy Owl', a specially brewed, gourmet coffee brand that was co-founded by Arman Sood, Ashwajeet Singh, and Ajai Thandi in 2016. © Facebook Before the trio introduced Indian coffee drinkers to the rich and novel taste of cold brew coffee, co-founder Arman by his own admission said that, “up until law school he didn't even know coffee was a bean, that had to be roasted, then ground and brewed.” So we wonder how these three young men came across the gold mine of taste and the high of caffeine discreetly guarded by a select few who had discovered this beauty. Ajai's stint at JP Morgan in New York, stirred his love for coffee for the first time, and in the time he ended up spending there, the love turned into a solid affair. So of course he was more than interested when Ashwadeep show the slightest interest in introducing cold-brewed coffee to people back home. Soon Arman joined the dua, and together the kick started 'Sleepy Owl'. © MensXP So from the very beginning the trio had a very simple agenda, “we wanted Indians to have a fantastic coffee experience, but we wanted to bring it to them in a convenient way for them to enjoy it. So that's what Sleepy Owl does - we make very convenient coffee products,” Arman tells MensXP. 'Sleepy Owl' became a 'corporate-household name' when it came to great tasting coffee which could be freshly delivered to their work desks. The bag-in-box format of 'Sleepy Owl' played a huge part in this, its convenience and quirky packing only adding to the brand's offerings. © Facebook But thankfully, even with his academic backgrounds in law, Arman's family was more than supportive of his decision to transition from law to entrepreneurship. But there is one element that makes the co-founders' and Sleepy Owl's journey all the more special, and it's the fact that Sleepy Owl sources its coffee from within the Indian subcontinent. Proud of this fact, Arman tells MensXP that, “being a startup in India, we wanted to be rooted in the spirit of make in India. With India being the 4th largest coffee exporter in the world, we had to go with its fantastic Arabica coffee. We consistently source 100% of our Arabica coffee from Indian farms. © MensXP The makers of Sleepy Owl work with an aim to create delightful customer experience, yet the initial challenge of getting into retail stores did pose a hurdle. The brand decided to make use of social media popularity and built the hype around the brand online first, and followed it up with customer feedback. So once they had taken care of that along with the daily struggle of roasting, grinding and brewing coffee for that perfect blend, they launched on 16th June, 2016. What started in Ashwajeet's home kitchen in Dwarka, soon moved out to a larger facility in South Delhi, and today they are available in 120 stores in Delhi NCR. But that is just not where they want to draw the line. With the projection that coffee industry will be a 5 billion dollar industry by 2020, Sleepy Owl wants to have a very big portion of that pie. © MensXP So for Arman, every budding entrepreneur must keep this in mind that, “entrepreneurship is like jumping off the cliff without a parachute and building it along the way.” But he also adds that don't listen to the naysayers no matter what they say.
  10. When I was in school, running sprints was what made me happy. Although sports was an integral part of my school days, I used to have breathing problems constantly. But when I finished my college and started earning, I started eating junk and drinking alcohol like there was no tomorrow. I thought this is what every working professional does and earns for. Work hard for 5 days and party harder over the weekend. I had stopped any possible physical activity in my routine. Realization It all started when my pot belly was made fun of, at a party with my friends. All of that made me notice a big bump coming out of my T-shirt. There comes a point in your life when some incident or a moment hits you hard and you decide to change your life for the good. This was exactly that moment for me! Initial Uneducated Strategies My initial goal was to merely lose body weight and look good in all my clothes. As guided by everyone, I started hitting the treadmill after my work for 45 minutes. Although some weight was lost within 2 months of cardio, I used to get exhausted after my cardio sessions. This was all due to my limited level of recovery and more fatigue. After years of looking like a large potato, now I resembled a small potato. Every newbie wants bigger biceps when they join the gym. Likewise, this was my wish too. Following that desire, I started doing cardio, bicep curls (pathetic form combined with weights) and hundreds of crunches daily. Nothing worked out. I looked the same. I had consumed almost every supplement available in the market by the time I was a year into training. A New Era After a while, I started reading some articles and watching YouTube videos in the hope to better my situation. This made me aware of the correct way of performing exercises and the foods to eat in order to lose fat and build muscle. Hiring coaches made me learn more about the importance of calorie counting, macronutrients and micronutrients. After the education and awareness, I started bulking with a surplus of 300-500 calories over my maintenance and gained some size with unavoidable body fat. The bulking continued for almost 10 months followed by cutting, where I was eating around 1600-1800 calories. This approach of calorie counting brought results in no time. It felt encouraging when I could see muscle definition and separations all over the body. I saw abs on me for the first time in my life. Though I got criticized by the people in my circle about me looking unhealthy, they weren't aware of the fact that losing weight brings a lot of health markers back to baseline levels. This means fewer diseases! My friends had never seen me looking so much in shape before. However, I was really happy with my physique when the measurement of Body Fat showed 11%. I had come a long way down the line as I started from 35 % body fat! My Advice To Those Struggling There is one thing I want to tell people who are ready to start their fitness journey. This shit takes time. You learn a lot of things on this journey and eventually, you become a better version of yourself- Every week, every month, every year. So, stays aligned and never give up! Hang in there, you will make it. PAKKA!
  11. Zara, this year, along with new trends and a new collection in stores, has also changed its logo. via GIPHY The Spanish fashion retailer has got a new logo with its letters overlapping each other at each end and the beginning. Designed by the French agency Baron & Baron, the logo has transformed from what looked like this to this. Usually, a change in the logo of a brand means a systemic change in their services to symbolize a different perspective from the former. For example, Celine recently let go of the accent to show the functional change in their system and Bhane added another 'a' and became Bhaane. The new logo features a minimalist typeface, very similar to the previous one released in 2011 with wide spacing and the new version is less kerned. Now, a change isn't always warmly welcomed, which is exactly what's happening with Zara. Take a look at how Twitter lost it when they saw the new logo: Zara have updated their logo. pic.twitter.com/GhhQziNV1D — Fabio âï¸â (@fffabs) January 26, 2019 The new Zara logo is YIKES. pic.twitter.com/UOWz5xDN0C — Brian Latimer (@briskwalk) January 30, 2019 Whoever is responsible for the new Zara logo, I just want to talk. pic.twitter.com/DHoff5pLBT — Impact. (@mindofimpact) January 28, 2019 User's: the new Slack logo was awful ZARA: hold my beer... pic.twitter.com/8NmOK3Pqfp — Abdulsamad Umar (@justabdulsamad) January 27, 2019 Seriously #ZARA, what the hell?? You forgot the spaces! #zaralogo #WhatHappened #failrebrand pic.twitter.com/cljuTrp8bS — Silvia Sguotti (@SilviaSguotti) January 30, 2019 Thank-you for coming to my TedTalk #Zara pic.twitter.com/BqiJMWefmH — Taya Try ð (@soyuxr) January 29, 2019 However, like any change, this too should be digested soon. What do you think?
  12. Living in Southern California, after growing up in Detroit, I've always played a lot of sports, been active, and always been someone who considered himself to be “really into health”. I had been lifting weights and thought I knew what I was doing, but I had no direction and accountability. Even with the right workout philosophy and knowledge of what's good for the body, I learned that one can't get ideal results without executing a perfect formula. Akash and RNT knows that formula. I was eating “healthy foods” but not getting the results I wanted. I learned there's a big difference between eating for body composition and eating for nutritional content. Eating for nutritional purposes left me wondering why I wasn't also getting physical changes despite working out. It was a pretty frustrating process. There were so many foods I thought were innocent, that were incredibly malicious. I also needed to rebuild my habits and discipline. RNT's process has helped me with the habit and discipline formation necessary to achieve the results and they have passed on to everything I do. I remember when I first came across RNT's work online. I sampled the workout plan a bit after my exposure and read some of their articles. The more I learned, the more I got hooked. After a few weeks I decided to get some accountability and sign up. I was too forgiving of myself. If I messed up, I would tell myself I'll make a better decision next time. I needed structure and an expert to answer to. Working with Akash and RNT has been easy, low stress, flexible and educational. RNT provides everything you need and will guide you step by step to the results you're looking for. For me, I needed flexibility, and so we worked together to incorporate my lifestyle into my goals. My background as an IV sedation dentist with a nutritional science degree really helped in understanding the concepts being taught. It was really enjoyable to discover a new way of life that includes both freedom and life satisfaction. I now feel great. I can now eat guilt free and make up for it when I make a bad decision. I'm still training hard so my body is really responding well to the increased food. I really feel like my result would never have been something I could imagine when I was first starting. I have never been so satisfied, energized, and in control of my body. I have to give a big thanks to Akash and RNT. You can read about my whole journey here.
  13. Childhood is always special for a number of reasons! Those are some of the most carefree days we ever get to live honestly. Age brings with itself a hell lot of work and responsibilities, and no matter how many “sabbaticals” and vacations you end up taking as a grown up, things never seem to be the same. Now, while childhood evokes a lot of happy memories and fills our almost passive heart with nostalgia, there are certain quirks all of us grow up with. Over the years we end up letting go of some, while others we carry with ourselves and bring up with our personality over the years, and into adulthood. Since this aspect of our life cannot be true for just the likes of us, we reached out to 9 20-something office going peeps, and asked them about that one childhood habit that hasn't changed over the years. Here is exactly what they said, and some of them are so relatable, you'll be tempted to say “thank god I am not the only one”. 1. “Being woken up by mom.” “This really was a childhood habit that grew on me. Even though I have moved out of my parents' place and live alone for work, I still have my mom call me every morning to wake me up. Guilty but not ashamed at all.” Kunal, 26. 2. “Saving my best friend a seat right next to me.” “I can't bear to have my bestie sit away from me when we are chilling in a large group. How do you share all the gossip across the table in front of all those other people? Well, so for the reason I always save her a seat.” Mimi, 22. 3. “Having my own language to talk to my pet.” “I suppose a LOT of people besides me do it all the time. But often you choose a language different than the ones known to mankind to talk to your buddy. Well, as a kid I made one up, but guess what I think Tazo understands that language now!” Marina, 28. 4. “Clumsiness is a way of life.” “Ever since I was little I was in the habit of falling off surfaces and hurting myself. I think I might just be the most clumsy person in a room full of people. And guess what? I just spilled Coke on my lappy the other day. Some things just don't change.” Hinakshi, 23. 5. “Never closing the lids of cans and bottles.” This one has stayed with me, much against my parents' liking. I somehow seem to never get around to closing the lids and caps of the jars and bottles that I open up. Forgetfulness? Maybe. Laziness? Pretty much.” Zain, 28. 6. “Biting nails and having imaginary fights.” A common habit to cite otherwise, but that's a prominent one I have been carrying around with me all this time! Also, I am big into imaginary fights in the shower that I always win. Hell YAS!” Sowrav, 27. 7. “Talking to myself & dancing in the shower.” Many of us are guilty of talking to ourselves as kids, but well I still do it as a 26-year-old. Also, dancing in the shower is another tradition I have maintained over the years.” Rimi, 26. 8. “Watching a Harry Potter movie to better a sullen day/mood.” “ I watch a Harry Potter movie to better a sullen day/mood and it works like a charm every single time! I have been doing this ever since I discovered the power of magic as a 10-year-old, and it continues to make my life better even today!” Harshleen, 27. 9. “Decluttering every 6 months.” “This is something I am personally very proud of. Every six months I have this habit of decluttering my wardrobe and donating stuff I no longer need or find use of. I have been into this ever since I was a child, and continue to do it even now.” Sunaina, 29.
  14. The year is about to come to an end and it's time to look back and cherish the amazing memories we've made. Smartphones have become our de facto companions and are a core part of our everyday life. For the nerds out there, 2018 has been a spectacular year, given the number of new things we've seen. 2016 was all about removing the headphone jack, edge-to-edge display, and faster fingerprint scanners. 2017 was all about dual cameras and AI-based features. But 2018 has brought a number of new aspects, along with a tonne of devices. Every week we saw companies launch new products. Xiaomi itself held launch events every other month, Realme made a surprisingly quick launch (like a rocket), ASUS is back in the game with Stock Android, and OnePlus continues to rule over others. The flagship maker Samsung was seen cruising at a constant speed while Huawei tried to gain as much as possible. OPPO and Vivo were in an alternate universe, trying new things with their offerings like a kid who just can't get enough. Oh, and how can we forget the Pixel leaks! While a lot has happened, these are the primary new trends we saw in 2018 and expect them to slowly become mainstream in the coming year as well. 1. The Notch: © MensXP / Shivam Vahia It all started with the Essential Phone that was launched in 2017, but the iPhone X made it mainstream. And we all know, once Apple does it, everyone follows. Since the beginning of 2018, every brand was busy slapping a notch on as many phones as possible. Thanks to the notch, everyone had a slightly better screen-to-body ratio to boast. The only company to stay away from this trend is Samsung. Well, their flagships displays are already too good, they just don't need any more space. © MensXP / Shivam Vahia By the end of the year, phone makers started working on making the notch smaller (Google rebelled against this, it's still young!). The BBK family that includes OPPO, Vivo, and OnePlus got onboard the water-droplet notch and even included their cousin, Realme. Within a short period, a notch-less phone started giving very ancient vibes, and the notch helped in making 18:9 aspect ratio mainstream. The notch was welcomed by some and hated by the rest, but it just wouldn't go. The demand was so high, Google was quick to include support in Android Pie as well. 2. Sliding / Moving Modules: © MensXP / Akshay Bhalla Apple implemented a notch because there was no space for a 3D infrared array. Other brands followed, irrespective of the fact that they didn't even have these sensors to use. The notch soon housed the front camera, earpiece, ambient light sensor, and just a few selective phones had a small infrared sensor. But we all knew, the notch is a makeshift solution, what are we going to do next? Moving Modules. BlackBerry was a laughing stock when it launched the Priv back in 2015. Who would've thought Android OEMs will be messing around with the age-old concept in 2018? Well, Vivo, OPPO, Xiaomi, and Huawei took this seriously. How do you remove the notch, put in an edge-to-edge display, and place multiple sensors on the front, all in one go? You use a sliding mechanism! The Vivo APEX was a concept phone and it made it to production within a few months. Soon, the Vivo NEX was in the market with a sliding camera module. A small block slides out of the top when you open the camera app and conveniently goes back in when not needed. This was a eureka moment for the Chinese. © BCCL In the next few months, we saw the launch of OPPO Find X and it had a much bigger sliding mechanism. Xiaomi has the Mi MIX 3 and it basically slides the back, similar to the BlackBerry Priv. Even the Honor Magic 2 is suspected to have a similar build. Though, we still don't know how durable or reliable these moving parts are, only time will tell. Also, these companies are still trying to figure out a practical setup for these modules and all the phones launched till now are pretty much crash test dummies. 3. In-Display Fingerprint Scanner: © The Verge By the end of 2017, we were sure these are close by and we expected Samsung to be the first one. Though, Vivo took the first spot by joining Synaptics and launching the Vivo X21. The scanner was soon seen in the Vivo NEX as well as the V11 Pro. The major concern everyone had was speed, how fast and accurate can this technology be? The X21 was fairly slow but accurate. The recognition speed did gradually improve and even OnePlus went on to use it in the OnePlus 6T. For OnePlus, this year was all about speed and using onboard AI, the sensor got faster over usage. © AndroidHeadlines Though, this wasn't as groundbreaking as we expected it to be. Even the end user didn't actually care whether the scanner is located on the back, or inside the display. For phone makers, it's a huge deal because an in-display sensor takes up lesser space. This authentication method was also backed by a much improved facial recognition process called Face Unlock. When the two offerings were combined, the user experience remained unhindered. 4. Multiple Cameras: © Huawei Dual cameras are a thing of the past. We've seen a dual setup on the rear as well as on the front. But this year, Huawei took it to the next level with the P20 Pro. In a normal setup, you have a primary lens along with the option of a telephoto sensor, monochrome sensor, or wide-angle lens. The P20 Pro brought in a primary lens, a telephoto sensor, as well as a monochrome shooter. When the three were combined and used, the output was exceptionally good. No other phone came close. In most cases, you won't be able to distinguish between a picture shot on a DSLR and the phone. Huawei followed the same trend with the Mate 20 Pro as well. © MensXP / Shivam Vahia Out of all the ongoing trends, the multi-camera trend caught Samsung's attention. Not only did it launch the Galaxy A7, a midrange phone that sported a primary lens, a depth sensor, and wide angle lens but also the Galaxy A9 that brought in four cameras on the rear. We expect to see more phones coming up with these setups in the future given the amount of attention they have garnered. Even though the feature is technically a niche, sales have been extremely positive. 5. Gaming Phones: © Variety When we usually hear about gamers, a high-end PC or console usually comes to mind. Now, we're making way for a completely new genre of gaming: Mobile Gamers. While mobile games have been present for decades, the new trend has been kicked-off by huge games like PUBG and Fortnite. Players are addicted to these games and spend hours playing every day. This has suddenly opened up a completely new market segment for smartphones. There is a demand for phones that have the incredible processing power, cooling, and battery. While the Razer Phone was launched last year, the latest demand has opened up doors for Redmagic, Xiaomi, ASUS, as well as Huawei. © YouTube In fact, Honor Play was a beast at a midrange price. Many even consider the POCO F1 to be in a similar category. Liquid cooling has let OEMs slightly overclock the processor and add a better display panel. These phones are built for gaming, and hence portability isn't really a primary point of consideration during the design process. Hence, companies have also managed to add a bigger and heavier battery in them.
  15. 12 Years ago, Google bought a little known operating system still in development by Android Inc which was later transformed into the leading OS in the world. Android was first unveiled in 2007 and launched officially in partnership with HTC on 23rd September 2008. Since 2011, Android has been the best-selling OS in the world and has over two billion active users today. It has the largest installed base of any operating system and today the Google Play store features over 3 million applications. The first smartphone that was available over the counter featuring Android was the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1. In celebration of Android's 10th anniversary, here are 5 ways it changed our lives. Android Made Smartphones Affordable © MensXP Android as a platform is now offered by almost every technology company on the planet. Android launched as an alternative to Apple's iPhone which was priced exorbitantly even a decade ago. Android enabled companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, OnePlus, Samsung and many others to develop smartphones that could be sold at a much cheaper price. Being an open-source operating system, it let companies take advantage of Google's offering and deliver products that are now loved by consumers all over the world. Android Re-defined Customisation © Wikipedia Commons When Android first launched, it let users customise their home screen on the HTC Dream, a feature that was absent on the newly launched iPhone. It was a way for users to customise their home screen to their own liking, which was not a feature that Apple offered on the first iPhone. Apple later caught up with Android and today lets their users change the home and lock screen wallpaper. Android was also the first operating system to allow users to manage apps into folders which was later introduced by Apple to iOS. The open-source nature of the platform, also let developers and smartphone makers customise launchers, themes and tweak certain features that we still cannot do on iOS today. We Got Bigger Screens © BCCL Android-based devices started the trend of offering big screens even before it became the norm today. Android made it easier for smartphone makers to introduce larger screens at an early stage and today we cannot imagine smartphones having a 3-inch display. Larger screens meant a better internet browsing experience, better video content consumption and more real estate for managing apps and functions. Thanks to Android smartphones, Apple was forced to rethink their design ethos and started offering large-screen smartphones. Android Made Navigation Easy © Pexels Android introduced a dedicated Google Maps application to all devices which changed the way we navigate today. Google Maps on Android made it convenient and accessible to every user regardless of what device they were using. You no longer needed a fancy device for your car in order to use GPS to get around. Google Maps today can also be used to estimate your travel time enabling users to plan their journeys well in advance. It paved the way for companies like Uber and Ola and today we can't imagine travelling on the road or the streets without Google Maps if we don't know where we are. The App Factor © Reuters Even though Apple announced plans of launching the iTunes App Store for the iPhone, the HTC Dream already had a marketplace installed in the smartphone out of the box. It paved the way for the Android Market which was later renamed to Google Play. The rudimentary app store on the HTC Dream already let users download some games and applications. Today, the Play Store features over 3 millions applications that serve a variety of purposes. It may not be as good as Apple's App Store, however, it has come a long way ever since it was first introduced.
  16. History was created in India yesterday and it is being said that this can be a move towards real change, which would put the nation on the world map as a progressive torchbearer. We believe that the journey has only just begun and there still remains a long journey ahead of us, in terms of securing the rights of the LGBTQ community. Nonetheless, the ripples of change shall be felt in the years to come and push the nation and its youth to move towards building a more welcome and compassionate society, that treats all its members equally and ensures they get the respect and love they deserve. © Reuters However, while we rejoice over the verdict today, we must not forget the incredible people who deserve all the credit for this monumental decision and that has to be the five-member constitutional bench that ruled out the prolific verdict yesterday and changed the fate of millions. Meet the five heroic judges who upheld the essence of justice and liberation in its truest sense: 1. Justice Indu Malhotra © Twitter An empanelled lawyer, who sought protection for the LGBT community from sexual harassment, Justice Indu Malhotra also happens to be the first female lawyer who was upgraded directly from the Bar as a Supreme Court Judge. She became the second woman who occupied the chair of a senior advocate in the Supreme Court, after Justice Leila Seth. Justice Indu Malhotra also spearheaded SC's 2015 verdict that ensured unmarried mothers could have legal guardianship of their children without the father's consent. Upon yesterday's verdict, she said that “history owes an apology to the members of the LGBT community for all the persecution they had to go through.” 2. Justice DY Chandrachud © TOI Justice Chandrachud is the former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and is also a former judge of the Bombay High Court. He was also a part of the nine-member bench that declared Right to Privacy as a fundamental right in the country. Yesterday, he stated that this verdict was long overdue for the discrimination being meted out to a community, for which the people sought a firm remedy. 3. Justice Deepak Misra © Twitter The current Chief Justice of India, who will be remembered to have survived one of the Indian judiciary's most turbulent periods. He was the head of the bench that delivered the death sentence to Nirbhaya's killers, as well as the bench that dropped Yakub Memon's plea to hold off his execution. Post the declaration of the verdict, Justice Misra stated that “denial of self-expression is akin to inviting death.” That's just about the correct way to put it. 4. Justice AM Khanwilkar © barandbench The former Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, Justice Khanwilkar was on the bench that allowed medical termination for the pregnancies of two minor rape victims in Delhi and Bangalore. He was also on the panel of judges that dissolved the petition seeking a ban on Malayali author Hareesh S.'s novel 'Meesha'. Yesterday, he said that Section 377 has been felled only partially and while the law shall not apply to consensual same-*** acts, it shall still be applicable to forced sexual acts without consent. 5. Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman © YouTube Son of renowned jurist Fali Nariman, Justice Nariman was earlier practising as a senior counsel at the Supreme Court. He was part of the bench that disposed of the Cyber Law which gave the police extensive powers to arrest anyone deemed to be posting “offensive comments” and was also on the chair that delivered the monumental judgement against Triple Talaq. Yesterday, he stated that the nation must recognise that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and the government must take adequate steps to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma attached to the LGBT community.
  17. Google has been nailing it when it comes to launching complimentary hardware for their ecosystem. When it was first announced, I bought the Google Home and the Home mini from the United States, before it was even launched in India. I got to use it extensively for a few months before the official Indian launch and today, it has become an integral part of my life — I simply can't live without it. I'm deeply embedded in the Google and Apple ecosystem, however, Google Home is my go-to smart speaker. I use the smart assistant speaker for various purposes and here's how it changed my life: 1. It Helps Me Wake Up On Time © Akshay Bhalla I'm a very heavy sleeper and due to that fact, I don't wake up to my traditional alarms on my smartphone. I usually end up putting 35 alarms to help me wake up in the morning, however, I found a new way to make it easier for me to wake up. I tried waking up with the default alarm sounds on the Google Home but that didn't work either. I ended up telling my Google Home to wake me up in the morning with some music and now it works like a charm. In order to make this work in India, you have to subscribe to Google Play Music (which I'm not a fan of). You simply have to say “Hey Google, wake me up at 7:00 AM every weekday with Hip-Hop music” and Google Home takes care of the rest. I'm also a big fan of snoozing my alarm and there have been countless times where I've told Google Home (in my sleep) to “wake me up in 20 minutes”. It's probably my most used feature up until now. 2. I Can Control My Entertainment System © YouTube I use the Chromecast audio and Chromecast ultra extensively every day in order to listen to music/podcasts or watch TV shows on Netflix. The Google Home can control the two connected devices as long as you are on the same Wi-Fi network. I can simply play/pause music on the chrome cast audio or my TV shows on Netflix by simply saying the relevant command. Another handy feature on the Google Home is that it will automatically pause your content if you get a phone call. You will no longer have to hunt down your remote as Google Home will take care of it automatically. 3. It Helps Me Navigate Lately, I've been using this feature more often than anything else because of the current weather condition in Delhi or when there are some goons on the road disrupting traffic. Before I leave my house, I always ask my Google Home for the shortest route to my destination. Google Home takes weather and the current traffic situation into consideration and sends me the directions on my phone. 4. It's My Constant Reminder As I Tend To Forget Everything © Google I have a very bad habit of forgetting appointments, shopping lists or even things I need to do at work and home. I use the Google Home to remind me things at a later time such as paying bills. I even use it to make notes when I'm reviewing a phone or formulating story ideas (that's how this story came about). Google Home has officially replaced my notepad on the bedside table. 5. It Makes Me Laugh Google Home is funny at times. A post shared by Akshay Bhalla / Høax (@editorinchief) on Aug 10, 2018 at 12:48am PDT When I'm totally bored out of my mind and not watching anything on Netflix, I tend to ask my Google Home some weird or funny questions. It's probably my favourite pastime and I often find myself laughing hard, thanks to some ridiculous answers by Google Assistant. Just ask “Tell me a joke”. You can even say “Ok Google, I'm Bored” and Google Assistant will reply, “You think you're bored, I came out of a cardboard box. But I learned a lot of jokes in there.” There are plenty of other rudimentary things you can do with Google Home such as get a weather update or set a timer when you are cooking something. You can even play games on the Google Home if you want to kill some boredom. Google Home is not only for the tech fanatics, it's for people who want to manage their life better or use it for productivity. It's a smart speaker for everyone.
  18. My parents have way more energy than me. There, I said it! It's amazing how my 30-year-old body is on the verge of having a breakdown, while my 50-year-old parents are still in the pink of health. Now in my defence, I always tell them how work pressure did not exist in their time. Even though my father worked in a private company, he was almost always home by 7 pm, irrespective of his impending work. Fast forward to 2018 and my life is running on a completely different tangent. From working obnoxiously late hours to literally not focusing on health, the result is a complete mess of my body and mind. Erratic work hours and the pressure to perform have almost left me with little to no energy on weekends. I find myself in bed the whole day, trying to recuperate from the utter madness of the past week. Thankfully, the realization has dawned on me. Life is not meant to be lived like this. I had to make some serious changes to my lifestyle, and I had to do it NOW. The forever tired soul of mine needed some awakening, and this is what I did. The 20 Minute Run Unsplashed Yes, I am sure you have heard about the benefits of a good run, and I am not going to repeat the same. But, for someone who has detested any form of exercise, this 20-minute daily workout has transformed my life for the better. Choose morning, afternoon, or evening, whatever works for you, and just step out for a good 20-minute run. In just a week, you will feel your body becoming more active and energetic. Fill Your Stomach With Protein, Not Carbs Unsplashed The one thing that was surely the root cause of my laziness was the overindulgence of carbs in my diet, especially for dinner. I used to fill my stomach with everything that was not meant to be eaten after 7 pm. But I realized how carbs were only filling up my stomach, and not really providing any nutritional value. Now, I eat more of protein and vegetables with little to no carbs, and I feel more energetic, happier and content with my body. Hydrate! Unsplashed Your body needs a hefty amount of liquid to function well. Listen to it and fill it up with all that it needs. Have water, fresh juice, lemon water and the works. The key is to stay hydrated. Take This Magic Concoction Of Himalaya Whey Protein Shake Thank God for this ultimate concoction of whey protein shake. With regular exercising, my body needs its source of protein, which it gets from Himalaya Quista Pro Advanced Whey Formula. It contains 3 whey protein blend, concentrate, isolate, & hydrolysate for faster absorption. Fortified with peptides & taurine which minimize post-injury workout and hasten recovery, Quista Pro is enriched with herbal actives that develop bone health and build stamina. It is also enriched with BCAA which improves exercise performance. So, include this in your daily diet and feel the difference. Hit The Sack By 10 PM Unsplashed The most difficult change I had to make in order to live a healthy life was to switch off my Netflix and hit the sack, latest by 10 pm! The benefits of going to bed early are plenty. You will have a deeper sleep and feel more rejuvenated in the morning, so try this out Say No To Technology After The Sun Sets Unsplashed Technology has taken over our lives, and it's time we show them their rightful place in our lives. Cellphones and laptops are hampering your sleep and you need to make a conscious decision to kick the habit of scrolling down. Suryanamaskars Are Life Altering Unsplashed Yoga is life and I realized that when I started practicing it. The sheer peace and flexibility that it brings is enough to be a fan for life. Try doing just 10 surya namaskars early in the morning and feel the difference in your work output, relationships, and overall health. So, include these 7 changes in your life like I did and feel the difference. Your body will thank you.
  19. Yesterday, we published a story talking about how Steve Jobs envisioned the App Store almost 25 years before its launch. The App Store has officially turned 10 today and we no longer remember a time where applications did not dominate our lives. The App Store is a crucial delivery system for applications, that in the long run, has made our lives better. The App Store has been responsible for numerous games to keep us entertained, it provides us transport service applications such as Uber and Ola and it even helped people connect with each other all over the world for free. © Pexels The App Store was a game changer for the iPhone and the iPad that was later mimicked by Google and other companies, who are yet to match up to Apple's service and platform. The App Store also gave thousands of developers the opportunity to make money that encourages even more developers to release interesting and unique apps. Today, there is an app for almost everything. © Zomato You can communicate with your loved ones or manage your financial portfolios or simply order food via an app. There are apps that let people track their health and provide exercise routines to lead a healthier life, or let people shop for products on the go without even having to go to the mall. © Pexels In many ways, the App Store changed our lives. The App Store is currently Apple's strongest business and there's no slowing it down. The App Store generated $33 billion in revenue for Apple last year and has paid out more than $100 billion to developers in the past decade. There is no doubt that the Apple Store has penetrated everyone's life in some way and we can expect the platform to grow even more than we can imagine. © PUBG The App Store was also responsible for introducing casual gaming to the world. The App Store currently has 7,83,269 games that can be played by Apple users on the go or in the comfort of their homes. Because of the App Store, people can download games for free anywhere and anytime they want. This not only killed the handheld gaming systems like the PlayStation Portable, it introduced us to a new era of casual gaming. © Evernote But not everything has to do with fun alone in the App store. Today, people work more efficiently thanks to numerous productive apps like Evernote and Slack. Today, I can take notes on the go or scan documents and send it in an email without even leaving my desk. Apple made it easy for people to communicate in a secure manner, thanks to the company's stringent security and privacy policy. The App Store allowed people to find better ways to create and work with efficiency for a decade and in our opinion, the introduction of the App Store was not only revolutionary but a much-needed tool for all of mankind.