Dare The Dream!

Daring To Dream

Do you dream? Do you have a passion that you might want to fulfill with all your heart? Do you have any hobby that some day becomes your ambition, your obsession? Did you ever try giving everything else in your life a second priority just so that you can spend one whole day doing what you love to do the best? Well, if you happen to reply a "yes" to any of the above questions, then I'm sure you shall surely understand the amount of passion I possess for the things and people I love.

Incidentally, even I happen to possess a little dream of my own. It's been over 3 years now that I've been on the blogosphere. First it was Rediff, then Yahoo & now Blogger. Yet, I still can't call myself a pro in blogging. Yes, I've been a very slow learner as far as blogging is concerned. But I would also like to speak a few words in my defense. I'm not a born writer. I've been imbibing the art of writing into myself from the time I first started to blog. Moreover, I happen to study in a college where regular and active internet connection is almost non-existent (yeah I know, I've been putting up this particular reason for a long long time now. Unfortunately the course of engineering takes a minimum of 4 years, which is a long time in itself). The fact that I don't own a personal computer, at the hostel I stay in, only adds up to my woes.

I'm sorry, I guess I got deflected from the topic. I was talking about my dream, wasn't I? Well, I love blogging and I feel the time has finally come for me to start giving a makeover to my blog page. I've been using free templates all this while. It's a shame that I still couldn't muster the CSS and Photoshop. Now, I feel, it's high time I got a custom blog page built for myself. I have been scourging for web designers who could help me out with the same, for quite some time now. I have a good friend named Ashwin George who'd helped me a lot in the design part but unfortunately, it seems, he's too busy maintaining his own affairs. So, I thought, I need to start looking elsewhere. After much ado, I finally happened to come across "MoonArts.com" who seem to be great and are ready to get my web page revamped for $70 USD. I've decided to go for it. After all, first impressions do matter, don't they?

Unfortunately, I've got just $11.79 USD in my PayPal account and I shall have to depend on donations for the rest of it. Hence, if you feel that my blog page is worth a pinch of salt and that I have the power to attract more readers to my page, then kindly donate some amount (minimum $1 USD) to my PayPal account (id: shayon.pal@gmail.com). If you don't have an account on PayPal, you can still donate money by clicking on the "PayPal Donate" button on this page and transferring the dollar using your credit card. And yeah, it's absolutely safe. Kindly help me out in my quest. If you wish, I'm even ready to host a button or banner on my page linking to your establishment.

Lastly, but never the least, I'd like to thank my dear friend Sally for donating the first dollar. Thanks a lot.

An Afterthought : Just realized that this was the 100th post I this year. It's the highest me and Sakshi have ever posted. I hope this shows that we are on the right track.

Legal Rights of Photographers

The Bottom Line

Except in special circumstances (e.g., certain government facilities), there are no laws prohibiting the taking of photographs on public or private property. If you can be there, you can take pictures there: streets, malls, parking lots, office buildings. You do not need permission to do so, even on private property. Trespassing laws naturally apply. If a property owner demands you to leave, you must. But if a place is open to the public — a mall, office-building lobby, etc. — permission to enter is assumed (although it can be revoked). In terms of the law, trespass and photography are separate events; the former is illegal, but the latter is not. Only if the use of photographic equipment itself violates a person’s privacy (e.g., by using a long lens to look into someone’s private room) might it violate privacy law. Further, while people have a right of privacy, businesses do not except trade secrets.

Subject to specific limits, photographers can publish any photo they take, provided those photos do not violate the privacy of the subject. This includes photos taken while trespassing or otherwise being some place they shouldn’t be. Taking photos and publishing photos are two separate issues.

  • Photographers run a limited number of risks from taking and publishing photos.

  • If they publish photos taken while trespassing, any trespassing judgments against them could be increased if the judge(s) feel it was inappropriate to take those photos.

  • They risk being charged with intrusion if they use technology — e.g., long lenses — to access places where the subjects have an expectation of privacy.

  • Although it is not against the law, they risk losing invasion of privacy lawsuits if their photographs reveal private facts about people that are offensive and not newsworthy (e.g., showing a person purchasing anti-HIV drugs) when the people had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Jennifer Aniston’s suit against the photographer who published topless shots of her falls into this category.

  • As with libel, they risk losing lawsuits if their photographs place people in a false light, e.g., mislabeling a photograph in a damaging way.

  • They risk losing invasion of privacy lawsuits if their photographs inappropriately use specific person’s images for commercial purposes, e.g., stating that the mayor endorses a product by publishing a photo of him using it.

The details

Whether or not you can take or publish photographs is a matter of privacy laws. There are widely recognized to be four “prongs” of those laws — that is, four areas of which you can run afoul. Avoid them and you avoid civil and criminal penalties.

Prong 1 (while gathering): Unreasonable intrusion upon seclusion (e.g., trespass)
Prong 2 (if published): Unreasonable revelation of private facts (e.g., medical information)
Prong 3 (if published): Unreasonably placing another person in a false light before the public
Prong 4 (if published): Misappropriation of a person’s name or likeness.

So there are two separate questions with regard to publishing photos: 1) Are we allowed to take them? and 2) are we allowed to publish them?

While posting photographs for this page, I admit, there have been quite a few occasions when I'd just done an image search on Google and picked up a photo. So, what do you do with your blogs? How do you produce the pictures, if you at all do?

New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions

Huh, New Year Resolutions? Trust me, I'd never, not even for once,in my lifetime, made a single New Year Resolution. Why? Well, it just so happens that I'd never believed in the concept. But then, I was just reading Manavender's post on his new year's note which kinda got me all worked up and actually influenced to prepare a list of resolutions for the coming year, for myself :-P. Principally, I've hardly ever promised anything to anyone. However, this time the very idea of promising something to myself, kind of, intrigued me. It made me feel confident that if I can keep promises made to myself, I can always keep promises that I might make to someone else. I ain't sure if I'll be able to follow each one of them but I shall, sure as hell, try.
  • The very first thing that I need to take care of is to get a living for myself. I know I can't ask anybody for it but I got to generate it myself.

  • Secondly, it's high time I start maintaining multiple & specialist blogs.

  • Need to build up a lot of contacts.

  • Shall strive hard to pass out of the college ASAP.

  • I shall have to try and get a li'l leaner.

  • Get myself out of all my debts.

  • Last, but never the least, I shall keep loving everyone who loves me back.
I could've written some more. Unfortunately I got 2-3 more resolutions that are meant for the public eye. And well, those who know me personally, shall understand why and what made me put up these resolutions. If you've made a resolution already, I wish you all the best in your efforts to stick to them. Wish me, too, luck so that I succeed in following mine.

Have a great year ahead!

Saying Good Bye To The Year That Was....

Just when you think that you are getting used to something... time changes and then starts another round of adjustments and what not....

The year 2007 started on a very positive note... the year 2006 left behind in its wake a lot of things that were to be taken forward in the year that was hailed as the year of Bond. Ofcourse, astrologically the year had the most perfect date of the decade till now- 7.7.7 considered to be one of the most eventful dates of the year...

This day not only saw hoardes of weddings taking place all over the world but the New Seven Wonders of the World were also announced on this very day. Thanks to the huge population that we have, we managed to get our very own Taj a place in this list.

This year, J.K. Rowling... and the cast of Harry Potter... got richer by a few million pounds because not only did the fifth part release as a movie, major controversies and huge letters made sure that the last and the sevent part didn't have a sad ending and that their beloved Harry did not get killed.

Bollywood too made its mark... with Mani Ratnam's Guru giving the much needed push to start on a positive note in Bollywood. This year, Bollywood also paid tribute to the golden years of cinema with OSO and Khoya Khoya Chand giving us a wonderful insight into the world of cinema that was. The unexpected winner in the race was Jab We Met... the couple finally managed to get their chemistry right on screen only to fall apart offscreen....and to end the year in real high spirits... we had Taare Zameen Par.... the directoral debut of Amir Khan... has surely made every one realise that every child truely is special....!!!

But, undoubtedly the year belonged to all our sportstars who did us proud in all the fields... be it cricket, football, hockey, tennis, car racing....!!!

What with Sania Mirza getting her top ranking in WTA... Indian Cricket Team winning the T-20 World Cup... and we winning the Nehru Cup in football and the Asian Cup in hockey.... the year was full with them all...!!! And of course... we got a new National Anthem in the form of Chake De India...!!!

Its like another chapter of the chronicles of life that is gonna end on the stroke of midnight on 31st December... and we are gonna enter into another year full on riding on the spirit of the year gone by....!!!


A Letter From "The Alter Ego"

Dear Reader,

How do you do? First & foremost, I'd like to thank you for visiting my blog.

So, before we move on, do I have the liberty to ask you what you do for a living? Are you a journalist? Or is it that you're a doctor? Or probably an architect slogging your ass off for a multi national firm. Uhh...kindly pardon me if I've already started to bore you. You know, today, I've decided I'll keep a clear mind and write a letter to you asking about your health, your life and your feelings about this beloved blogpage of mine. I've been blogging for over 3 years now and yet, all I happen to manage is a meagre 22 subscribers and around 40 visitors to my page. I am not too sure exactly what is it that makes me crazy about blogging but here I am, trying to post something or the other, at every opportunity I can conjure up. Of course, I can blame the non-popularity of my page to my irregularity which in turn is because of the lack of a personal computer and an active internet connection in my college, where I live most of the time.

Okay, I'm sorry. This letter is not exactly about my problems and complaints in life. It's more about a decision that I need to take, a decision that needs to be sorted out soon. And for this, I shall desperately need your help. It is you who has been visiting and reading this page for a while now and it is you who can tell me if I'm good enough to be able to take it up as a career option. I know, I can always join up some company and then carry out blogging simultaenously, just like so many of the rest out there. But here comes the problem. I just don't think I'm the kind of material who would be happy and content working for some one else. I need my own decision making and creative independence. It's not that I've never tried a 9-5 job. I'd been with M/s Crompton Greaves for 2 months and I realized that it's just not for me. Yes, I'm good in programming and I love it too. Yet, I still find it weird to be coding for someone else. As for blogging, it's not just trying to earn by running adsense on my page. I have a much grander plan. Unfortunately, I shall need to be a little discreet about it out here. But yeah, if you think you shall be able to advise me on this, kindly leave your email address in the comments section and I shall be more than happy to get back to you. And well, it just so happens that I've been doing a few things in my life that I hardly loved. This apathy ended up with dire consequences and here I am, trying to figure out what I want outta my life.

I know I can write decent enough, I know I have enough interest in this field and I also know that I have good enough entrepreunal skills. What more, I am even eager to learn new things. And yes, I shall need to regiment my life and be regular. What else does a man need to be successful in his life? Do I really need outstanding academic records to be able to feed myself and raise a family happily? Or is it that I'm day-dreaming?

I shall sincerely hope that you've realized the kind of indecisiveness I'm struggling with and am very grateful that you felt this letter's worth the time you've sacrificed to read it. Thanks again.

Yours Truly,
The Alter Ego.

Where is the power?

Democracy was defined in the famous words of Abraham Lincoln as a Government- For the people,by the people to the people....

Two hundred years' worth of lives and leaders and fights are what it took for the Indian subcontinent to get free from the clutches of the Colonial rule of the Queen of England. And today, 60 years later, the two sister countries that came out of the partition are reeling under indifference of the leaders who just want power and more power.

The politicians of yesteryearsused to work for the people... so much so, being in politics was considered noble because you were working for the welfare of the people.

But, power makes the craving for more even worse.....!!! With the concept of Political Survival being upheld, it seems that politicians who even want to work for the welfare of the people are being thrown out of power.

The recent Benazir Bhutto assassination has revealed the turmoil and the political instability that is lurking in the alleys of Pakistan.

Why was she assassinated?? Don't the people deserve an answer... as to why was their leader killed and why are they being denied the right to vote and find themselves a decent leader who would lead them well... and give them scope for improvement in their economic, social and political lifestyles... the country is on the verge of a Civil war... and I really hope that the power, that is The People, win themselves a right to live a decent life...free of fear and despair....!!!

Highlights of 2007 on the Labyrinth!

Highlights of 2007 - Best of Shayon's Labyrinth!!The year 2007 has almost gone by and yet, loads of stuffs happening around the world even at the very last moment, what with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, 16 year old Jamie Lynn Spears getting pregnant, West Virginia sueing former football coach Rodriguez over buyout, Mischa Burton getting arrested for drug possession, Sri Lankan army driving Tamil rebels from bases in Northwest, Amazon to sell Warner Music, Google's privacy faux pas with Reader and Russia launching satellite for its own GPS. It's been quite a lovely year for Shayon's Labyrinth as well. It's been 2 and a half years to this blog's existence and still strong enough to survive a few more years, in the minimum. On this note, I decided to pick out my favorite 15 best posts of the year and gather them all in one place.

  • We, The People - Had to mention this one at the very first because it was this post that got Shayon's Labyrinth a huge review on the Telegraph. Sakshi had managed to write a wonderful piece reflecting the mentality of modern India.
  • What's Becoming of our Democracy? - Another lovely post from Sakshi questioning the current political and social situations of India. The main point of this post is to question the right of the Government in moral policing the country's citizen. I must say, anyone who'd read this post will definitely believe that she's gonna be an awesome lawyer one day.
  • 100 Facts About Me - Talking of Sakshi, even Shayon's contribution needs to be noted in building up this page's rep in the blogging cosmos. In this post, all Shayon did was list out a few facts about himself. However, what astounded me the most is that this post has been visited by people every single day since August '07. I just fail to understand how could someone be so interested in this good-for-nothing guy :-P.
  • Configuring Google Reader - Do you have a good enough concept in RSS and syndication? Do you happen to visit news sites and follow loads of blogs? Then this post is a must read for you.
  • Why Do You Blog? - So, are you a blogger? What made you a blogger? What is it about blogging that gets your adrenaline running? Tell us your reasons and lets compare notes.
  • Blog Tagging - Do you know what a meme tag is? If not then load up this post to find out.
  • Bloggers' Union - "It seems us bloggers are finally getting recognised. Blogging is finally coming of age. I'm sure you must have heard a lot about bloggers earning simply by posting on their or others' pages or by advertising extensively. What more? Bloggers are also proposing to form unions for themselves! Yes, you read that right."
  • RSS Feeds: Should You? Shouldn't You? - What do you think? Are feeds an important part of your webpage? Do you provide partial or full feeds? The debate goes on...
  • Does You Email Provider Give You Automatic Email Forwarding? - Do you think automatic forwarding is an essential feature or just another of the pizzazz? Did you ever get your email account hacked or shut out of it for hours? Check out the post for more dope.
  • Sorting Out My GMail Inbox - Talking about emails, GMail has been one of the frontrunners for years now. Thankfully, it'd suddenly dawned on to Shayon how important it becomes to keep your mailbox sorted out. Here's a post helping you travel his wonderful journey.
  • A Eye-Opener - Well...although it's a shamelessly copied post, I still decided to put it up here 'coz it a sad post about the rampant discrimination in our country and their consequences. A must read!
  • Firefox Plugins (Fasterfox, StumbleUpon, AdBlock Plus & Google Browser Sync) - If you still haven't started using FireFox, it's high time you did. Anyways, Shayon had reviewed 4 best outta thousands of plugins available for FireFox.
  • FavIcon For Blogs - This one is just a tutorial on how to add a favicon to your blog.
  • 2007 Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept - Now here's a concept car from Honda that you'd love to get into.
  • Benazir Bhutto Killed By Gunmen And Suicide Bomber - It's a shame to see this charismatic Pakistani leader wither away while doing what she wanted to do with all her heart, serving her countrymen. May Lord impart peace to her soul!

Benazir Bhutto Killed By Gunmen And Suicide Bomber

Pakistan has been plunged into turmoil after former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.

Britain joined international condemnation of the murder, which looks certain to cause the postponement of elections next month, something many hoped would pave the way for a return to full democracy.

Ms Bhutto was shot moments after leaving a rally of her opposition Pakistan People's Party in the city of Rawalpindi. The gunman then blew himself up.

There were immediate chaotic scenes outside the hospital where she died but calls for restraint from across the world.

Although the attack bore the hallmarks of Islamic extremists, the assassination sparked fury against the regime of President Pervez Musharraf.

Her party described Ms Bhutto as a "martyr". Her long-term political rival, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, described her as a "sister" and pledged to "take the revenge on the rulers".

In Britain, Foreign Secretary David Miliband spoke of deep shock and paid tribute to a leader he said "knew the risks" of her return from exile.

"My thoughts and sincere condolences go to Ms Bhutto's family at this terrible time, as well as to the families of all those who lost their lives in this senseless attack," Mr Miliband said.

"Benazir Bhutto showed in her words and actions a deep commitment to her country. She knew the risks of her return to campaign but was convinced that her country needed her. This is a time for restraint but also unity.

"All those committed to a stable future for Pakistan will condemn without qualification all violence perpetrated against innocent people. In targeting Benazir Bhutto extremist groups have in their sights all those committed to democratic processes in Pakistan. They cannot and must not succeed."

Labyrinth For Your IPhone

I just happened to be checking out the visitors' statistics of my blog while I realized that I got quite a visits by people who were searching for the word "Labyrinth". Although the word has a deep significance in my life, I was kinda confused how it might interest the people world over, suddenly? And I know it's not an one-off phenomenon 'coz the search for that word had been leading readers to my page for the past 6 days, everyday. That got me curious enough to start poking around a li'l bit more when I realized that a new game "Labyrinth" has been launched that can be played using the motion sensitiveness of iPhone. According to the game developer Carl Loodberg -

Labyrinth is the iPhone version of the classic game where you control a steel ball by tilting a wooden labyrinth. It is controlled by the iPhone accelerometer with high accuracy. To date Labyrinth has been downloaded more that 250 000 times. Labyrinth is not developed by Apple and is not endorsed or supported by Apple.

Since a lot of people happened to land up at my post on iPhone, I thought it's better that I help them out and actually post a link here where they can download the game Labyrinth for iPhone.

Happy Gaming!!

2007 Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept

This twin-door concept is the first hybrid model developed by Honda's European R&D design studio in Offenbach, Germany. Honda plans to introduce the production version of the Small Hybrid Sports Concept (SHSC) in 2009 and is aiming for global sales of 200,00 units per year.

Aerodynamics rules the appearance of this concept car. It's fastback body style and covered rear wheels yields a record setting 0.25 Cd (drag co-efficient). It's nose and tail are surprisingly upright and square. A slim row of LED lights outline the SHSC's hood line and are followed by an acrylic nose piece similar to the European Honda Civic, giving the front-end the look of an hammerhead shark. The one-piece glass roof sweeps down into the fastback profile. Twenty-inch alloy wheel arches, but the 165mm tires that wrap them speak of the cars efficient nature.

The SHSC is built from a small-car platform, as opposed to a unique aluminium space frame chassis. Its architecture, therefore, could be derived from the European Civic; it is within 0.2 inches in width of that model. It has a four cylinder IMA engine mated to a CVT gearbox, which could potentially be the same powertrain as the Honda Civic Hybrid. Well, the I-4 IMA powertrain provides higher output than the Insight ever enjoyed, at 110 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque combined, which in a lightweight package could be pretty quick.

Detailed Design of 2007 Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept Car -

1. The all-glass bubble top dramatically sweeps from the windshield base to the vertical back light, its support structure disguised by blackout panels.

2. The nose shaped hints of single seater design, as do the two struts dividing the wide grille into 3 parts. Below the center grille the surface rolls under but at the edges it's vertical.

3. The nicest and most original styling touch is the apparently pointed A-pillar which, in fact, is of normal thickness and the strength beneath the surface.

4. A broad shoulder behind the door opening widens as the top tapers inward, giving an impression of strength and solidity to the overall form.

5. Presumably, this section serves the radiator and the AC condenser but outer portions seem to be partially blanked off.

6. LED headlamps on this concept car could really work or are just for show is an open question.

7. The undulating fender profile begins at te front with a knife-sharp crease, which softens through thedoor, then reacquires hardness at the door handle.

8. Nominally vertical, the second part of the backlight is complex, mixing concave and convex surfaces that cover the rear LED lamps.

9. A sharp cut-off between the downward sloping roof and the tail panel is very effective, aerodynamically, and suggests that the car is rear-wheel drive. It's not, though.

10. The good doctor Wunibald Kamm would have been delighted at the sharp breaks between the top and the sides of the little Honda, reducing drag and wake turbulence.

11. Twenty-inch wheels are huge relative to this very small car and their design is decidedly too brutal for the refined surfaces of the Hybrid Sport's body.

To assure a sporty It remains only a two-seater and there still isn't a lot of luggage space. B t for commuting or even for highway use, two seats are plenty and we should all learn to travel light because it saves fuel.look and low rolling resistance, tires are 165/60 section on twenty-inch wheels. This little trick from Honda really does reduce drag by reattached air flow behind the wheel house openings. It looks good, too.

A single piece of laminated glass serves as the windshield, the roof and the backlight, with an added concave vertical glass panel at the back that provides a little more rearward visibility and acts as a fairing for the LED lamps. It's hard to imagine that the row of LEDs along the top of the grille will adequately illuminate the highway, but lamp manufacturers have been able to accomplish virtual miracles in recent years and so perhaps they could.

This car may never go into production, but it should. And it ought to be sold everywhere as a lesson to less adventuresome car builders. It's a lovely design that is full of innovative ideas.

(Posted in response to "YC5 Unleashed" by Ankit Gandhi and a comment by Dion Antao on his love for Honda cars.)

Marriage - Just a Social Sanction

I was just reading an interview of Ms. Sushmita Sen on TOI when I suddenly stumbled upon a certain quote of hers that caught my fancy and I just couldn't help sharing -

...My purpose in life is to love a lot of people. Not just men. Of course, I'd love to be exclusively married to one person. But in a relation, you are not allowed to love as many people as possible as that is construed as giving less time to that one exclusive person. I can't be like that...

Naughty or Nice???

Oh! You better watch out, You better not cry, You better not pout,
I'm telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town!
He's making a list, He's checking it twice,
He's gonna find out who's naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town!
He sees you when you're sleeping,
He knows when you're awake.
He knows when you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!
So...You better watch out, You better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

Since the day I was enrolled in KG class, this was one of the Christmas Carol that was taught to us...!!! And this was and still is one of my favorites...!!! Well.... it talks about Santa... and who doesn't love Santa? It's always gifts time and the lists that are made and put in the stockings for Santa to find.

Every year, till we stopped insisting that Santa gifts us, it was a time for reckoning, because whenever we didn't get what was in the list, it was because,we were naughty in the year and Santa was not happy with us.

So now that Christmas eve is round the corner and time for the stockings to go up on the hearth has come... do you think that Santa is gonna give you what's on ur wishlist...?? I know, that the wishlist is on the virtual world, and Santa too checks his email for special requests....

So have you been naughty or nice this year?

I have been... extremely naughty... So am not expecting Santa to come and visit me, though I would be pleasantly surprised if he does...!!

So here is wishing you all A Merry Christmas.....!!! And do temme what did Santa give you as a present....!!!

An Internet Love Affair

I Googled you until I found you
On Myspace
Your life laid open, bare for me
To explore
Pictures, quotes, all your dreams and hopes
You had the same smile that I remembered from
So long ago
Ages past when we were desperately in love
Now we are just trapped in the cycle of our lives
Each probing, exploring the other
Wondering what has happened in the time that has passed
Never to be recaptured again
We chat, we laugh, we commiserate
Each of looking for the opening
Wondering if fate has brought us together for something more than an
Internet Love Affair.

Just happened to stumble upon this lovely satire on writing.com.

Shayon's Wish List For Christmas '07!!

Another year almost gone by, another Christmas on the fray! Santa Claus is almost set with all the gifts wrapped and stamped, just getting the elves disciplined and rehearsing this years' plans. I've been keeping myself so busy last few days that couldn't even prepare a wish list for Mr Claus. Anyways, here comes my this year's wish list for X'Mas, hoping Mr Claus would take notice with enough time in hand to get any of the following gifts for me :-P

  1. The very first and foremost on the list got to be the all new XBOX 360 Elite gaming console. The Xbox 360 is the second video game console produced by Microsoft, and was developed in cooperation with IBM, ATI, and SiS. Its Xbox Live service allows players to compete online and download arcade games and content such as game demos, trailers, TV shows, music videos, or rented movies. The Xbox 360 is the successor to the Xbox, and competes with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of gaming systems.

    The Xbox 360, commonly called the Premium or Pro, priced at US$349.99, includes a hybrid composite and component cable with optional optical out instead of a composite cable. The Xbox 360 also includes a detachable 20 GB Hard Disc Drive to store downloaded content, provide compatibility with original Xbox games, and store game data.

    The Xbox 360 Elite is the fourth and most expensive variation of the console. It is priced at US$445.00 and includes a 120GB hard drive and a matte black finish. The Elite retail package also includes an HDMI 1.2 cable and a controller and headset that match the system's black finish.

  2. After I get the awesome gaming gizmo, how can I not then strive for Need For Speed : ProStreet which is the 11th installment of Electronic Arts' popular racing game series Need for Speed. On May 21, 2007, Electronic Arts published a teaser trailer of ProStreet, and was then officially announced ten days later on May 31, 2007. It was released worldwide in November 2007.

  3. Just in case Mr Santa Claus refuses to get me a XBox 360 but yet, gets me the NFS ProStreet, I think I shall need a pretty good graphics card to run the same on my computer. If that remains the case, then I doubt if could ever do without NVIDIA's nForce 780i SLI MCP?

    Just in time for the big guy’s annual holiday sleigh ride, NVIDIA Corporation, the world leader in visual computing technologies, today introduced the Company’s next-generation NVIDIA nForce® 780i SLI media and communications processor (MCP), designed specifically for 1333FSB Intel QX9650 (Yorkfield) processors. The new nForce 780i SLI MCP brings a multitude of new functionality to Intel platforms, including support for the new Enthusiast System Architecture specification and PCI Express Gen 2.0. It is also the first motherboard solution to support the Company’s new 3-way SLI™ technology, the industry’s preeminent multi-GPU platform solution based on NVIDIA® GeForce® graphics processing units.

  4. After gaming consoles and graphic cards, the very next component that comes into the mind is an awe-inspiring processor and in that department, nothing can beat AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core Processors.

    In 2006, the desktop processor race once again became interesting as Intel successfully took away the performance crown from AMD. While AMD doesn't deny the lead by Intel they have broken their silence and believes that 2007 will be the year of their comeback. When AMD announced the Athlon 64 FX-62 processor back in May of 2006, little did we know that it would remain the fastest socket AM2 processor thanks to it's 2.8GHz clock speed. Nearly nine months later AMD has launched a faster socket AM2 processor called the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+. This processor is clocked at 3.0GHz and other than the increased multiplier that allows the 200MHz speed bump, it has no other changes architecturally speaking.

    Other than launching the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processor, AMD is also bringing to market a pair of energy-efficient 45-watt AMD Athlon 64 single-core processors called the 3500+ and 3800+. The new energy-efficient AMD Athlon 64 processors 3500+ and 3800+ are based on their recent 65nm process. The AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ has 1MB of L2 cache per core and is still manufactured on the 90nm process, so in terms of energy efficiency and overclocking it should have the same characteristics that AMD users have become accustomed to. By remaining on the 90nm process it makes for an easy upgrade to exisiting motherboards as a BIOS upgrade is not required and th 90nm processors have lower memory latency over the new 65nm parts.

  5. Next in line is the most coveted Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse. The G5 uses a laser to achieve an impressive 2,000dpi sensitivity. The G5 can be configured using Logitech’s SetPoint utility. In SetPoint you can configure five pre-set sensitivities which can be adjusted on the fly, making it simple to have different settings for different weapons during gameplay. This also makes it easy to drop down the sensitivity when you’re in Windows, saving you the frustration of barely seeing your mouse pointer as it zooms from one side of the screen to the other.

    The 2000dpi sensitivity of the G5 really comes into its own when you’re trying to hit a tiny target from a great distance - this is something that I also found with the MX518. With an average mouse trying to zero in on a very small target can be frustratingly difficult as you can’t move in small enough increments to get the target in your sight, but with a high sensitivity mouse like the G5, you’re aiming adjustments can be so minute, that locking onto the last bad guy from 1,000 yards becomes, if not simple, definitely achievable.

  6. If mice are being considered, can the keyboard be far behind? As far as the mice and keyboards are concerned, I've always had a blind faith on Logitech and that's why the most logical choice for a gaming keyboard was undoubtedly Logitech's G15.

    The Logitech G15 is a keyboard produced by Logitech designed specifically for gamers. It includes 18 macro keys that can each have 3 macros assigned to them (making a total of 54 macros available) and a backlit monochrome LCD display (which can show helpful information from compatible applications to the user). The Screen is the only difference (other than slight structural differences to accomadate the screen) between the G15 and it's sister product the Logitech G11 keyboard. Logitech distributes an SDK for the LCD display panel on the keyboard's drivers disc which can be used to add application compatibility to the screen.

    In 2007 Logitech released an updated version of the G15 calling it the Logitech G15 keyboard (whereas Logitech refers to the earlier version as the Logitech G15 Gaming keyboard). This was partially due to the fact that the original design was too wide to fit in most keyboard trays and to give it a more organic look. The new version has an orange scheme as opposed to the blue scheme of the original, 6 G keys each with 3 different states making a total of 18 macros available. The screen is also built directly into the keyboard, as opposed to the earlier version where the LCD is on a hinge. Due to the change of LCD design, the media keys have also been redesigned and placed either side of the screen, and the volume controls have been changed to +/- buttons as opposed to a wheel. Finally, the new revised G15 has been named "G15 Refresh", to differentiate between the two editions.

  7. Last, but never the least, I'd request Mr Claus to consider IOmega's 1GB external hard drive just so that I can store and tug along all those games and movies that I'll play.

    Merry Christmas!!