Fast and Furious 6


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The audience is thrown into the conflict of the story with great speed and velocity. Chances are that if you blink, you may miss the crux of the story and worst is that if you are not an “F&F” fan, then you’d definitely be lost in the rigmarole of the speeding cars and crashes, hand-to-hand combats and snappy one-liners.

Unlike the franchise’s previous films, which focused on cars and their different makes, this one focusses on cars, an army tanker and a cargo plane – brought in to deliver a mega climax. It also leans heavily on family ties and bonding. In the sixth instalment, the franchise’s favourite car thieves, who are scattered across the globe, leading a luxurious life after their successful heist in “Fast & Furious 5”, join forces to take down an international criminal.

The film begins with Domnic Toretto (Vin Diesel) along with his best pal and brother-in-law Brian (Paul Walker) flaunting the speed and vigour of their cars in the scenic Canary Islands. Domnic’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) is expecting Brian’s child. Domnic assures him that nothing will make them go back to their old lifestyle.

Meanwhile, there is a blast in Moscow.

Federal Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is investigating the case. He has been tracking an organisation of lethal, ruthless and skilled mercenary drivers across “4 continents and 12 countries”. He learns that the leader of the organisation, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) is accompanied by a fearless second-in-command revealed to be none-other than Domnic’s ‘dead’ lover, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Hobbs knows the only way to outmatch this rugged team is to assemble a team with just as much will and drive. Knowing Letty’s a key-player, Hobbs lands up in Canary Island to recruit Domnic.

Everything changes thence, a reluctant Domnic gets on board to rescue her and prevent any more Interpol buildings from being blown up. He assembles his team in London and they go ahead to complete the mission. While every character with their action and agility fit the block, it’s the emotions that are missing. Especially the bromance between Dom and Brian looks forced and the conversations between them lacks its initial spark.

Similarly, the romance between Domnic and Letty is devoid of luster, particularly in the scene where he reminds her of the past, which appears really silly.

Beefed-up Dywane Johnson walks through the scenes like a robotic GI Joe. There are a few funny moments between Tyrese Gibson as Roman and Chris Bridges as Tej.

While the first half of the film rushes through, it’s the second half that gives some semblance of sense to the narrative. But there are moments when you feel exhausted with the chases and explosions that you have to sit through.

Nevertheless, it’s the well-choreographed action sequence by Olivier Schneider that is brilliantly captured by Cinematographer Stephen F. Windon and the snappy edits that make “Fast & Furious 6” a thrilling adventure.

The story might be simple, but director Justin Lin and writer Chris Morgan fail to pay attention to the holistic logic of the sequences in the film.

Where are these cars speeding to? Where are they in relation to each other? What’s their goal during the chase, apart from just creating some din? The climax has a major twist that works in making the next sequel and don’t miss the trailer of “Fast & Furious 7” after the end credits.

Saif Ali Khan in Nashik for the shooting of Bullett Raja


Saif Ali Khan Online

Actor Saif Ali Khan was spotted shooting action sequences for his upcoming film ‘Bullet Raja’ on the banks of river Godavari in Nashik.

Quite naturally, news of the actor’s presence in the city spread like wildfire and large crowds turned up to get a glimpse of the actor. Actors Vidyut Jamwal and Ravi Kishan too joined the unit later on. The film’s leading lady Sonakshi Sinha is also expected to join the shoot.

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How To Root And Update the Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500


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You just bought yourself a new Samsung Galaxy S4 i9500 and you are impressed with your investment. The smartphone was shipped to you with an older operating system version of Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and the shopkeeper informed you to go ahead and update it from the Internet. You readily agreed and went home to start the phone and set up the email accounts and all the necessary applications on it. You also noticed the update from Samsung available and went ahead to install it. Now that you are pleased with the performance, you want to root it. Uh-oh! You went through a lot of websites online to find a method to root it and got the easiest one out. But it happened to be working on the older version of the operating system. Unfortunately, you have already updated to the latest firmware version from the Internet. Now your smartphone shows you the version or build number as “I9500XXUAMDK“, which is not being rooted with the older method. So, how do you root your S4?

There are a lot of websites helping users out on rooting the Samsung Galaxy S4, but most of these are methods to root the older version of the operating system, which has been blocked by Samsung. The new version for the S4 states build number “XXUAMDK” and cannot be rooted as easily with the older method. We show you how you can root this version with great ease. So let’s get started.

First, confirm that the Galaxy S4 you are using is the I9500 (Exynos version) and not the I9505(qualcomm version). You can confirm this at the booting screen itself or via “Settings -> More -> About Device”. Check your build number here too – it should reflect “XXUAMDK” as the last few digits. Now you need to get your phone ready for the rooting. And for this you need to enable the USB Debugging mode. But the newer operating system does not have the “Developer options” visible or enabled in the settings by default. To enable it, click on “About Device” and scroll down till you see the “Build number”. Now keep tapping continuously on the Build number field till  you see some messages on the screen counting down to enable the Developer options. After a while, you will see a message informing you that the “Developer mode” is enabled. Hit the back button and you will find the Developer options field available. Click on it and enable it with the toggle switch on the top right. Now head below to the “Debugging” section and enable “USB debugging”. Finally, go back to the “Security” options and click on the field “Unknown sources” to allow third-party apps to be installed. Your phone is now ready for being rooted. Now all we need are two files and a simple utility to be downloaded from the Internet. Download the files from the links below.

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Samsung SGS4 drivers. These are drivers required for the PC to recognise your phone.

Odin. This is the utility that will help you flash the above two files to your phone.

Adam’s kernelThis is an insecure kernel that needs to be replaced with the Samsung SGS4 kernel; it will also root the phone for you in a single step. It has a built-in auto rooting feature.

ClockworkMod Recovery. This is a recovery utility that you need to install on your phone to flash ROMs and take backups of your existing operating system.

The entire rooting takes around 10 minutes (even less actually) once you have everything in place. So let’s begin.

Preparing the phone: Make a folder on your desktop and unzip the files you downloaded into this folder. Switch off your SGS4 and wait for a few seconds. Now press the “Volume down” button and the “Home button” together and keeping the two buttons held down, press the power button. Release the buttons when you see the Samsung logo on the screen. You shall see a message stating that the phone is in download mode and asking you to continue by pressing the “Volume Up” button. Go ahead and press the Volume Up button once. Your phone is now in download mode and ready for being flashed with new files.

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Flashing and rooting: Plug in the USB cable to the phone and the PC. Windows will now be seen installing the necessary drivers for the phone. Wait for a while till all the driver installation work is done. Now open the folder where you have your files you downloaded for the rooting. Double-click on the Odin executable file. Odin will start up and you should see the phone connected to the utility and ready for flashing. To confirm this, the field “ID:COM” should have a light blue colour with “0:(ComXX)” written in it. (Please note that XX can be any number and will vary from PC to PC). This states that your phone is recognised by Odin and is ready. Now click on the button “PDA” and choose the file “GT-I9500_AdamKernel.V1.2.Odin.tar” from the folder where you stored the downloaded files on your desktop. Next, ensure that the check boxes “Auto Reboot”, “F. Reset Time” and “PDA” are the only check boxes checked and the rest are not. Double check and hit the “Start Button“. Watch the “Message” box on the lower left side to see if everything runs fine and there are no errors. This process will take a few seconds and Viola! The phone should reboot on its own. After the phone restarts, you should see the “Superuser” app installed and the phone already rooted automatically by this kernel. To confirm that the phone is successfully rooted, download any app that needs superuser permissions (such as Titanuim backup, ROM manager  or Root explorer) and you should be prompted for the root access

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Flash the CWM Recovery: Now that your phone is rooted, you will need the recovery utility to be flashed. The procedure is very simple and involves similar steps that you followed earlier. Proceed similarly as above—shut down the phone and put it in download mode and start Odin. This time, click the PDA button and choose the file “recovery-clockwork-6.0.3.2-i9500.tar.md5”. Once again, ensure that the check boxes “Auto Reboot”, “F. Reset Time” and “PDA” are the only check boxes checked and the rest are not. Hit the “Start” button and wait a few seconds till it gets done and the phone restarts automatically. Disconnect the phone from the PC and shut down the phone. This time, press the Volume Up button and the Home button together, and keeping the two buttons held down, press the power button. The phone should now enter the recovery mode automatically.

Congratulations! Your phone has now been rooted and you are free to install root-level applications and flash your own custom ROMs. For starters, go ahead and make a complete backup (Nandroid) of your existing operating system from the recovery mode to ensure that the operating system can be safely restored in case of a mishap.

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Note: Rooting your phone is considered risky and can brick or damage your phone permanently. Rooting also will void any and all warranty on your phone. Proceed with the steps mentioned above with extreme caution. We are not responsible for any damage to your phone. The steps in the workshop are limited to the mentioned build version only. Do confirm this before you proceed. Root your SGS4 at your own risk.

 

The Future Of Mobile-Social Could Spell The End For Social Networks


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TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Keith Teare is the founder of just.me and a partner at Archimedes Labs. He is also the co-founder of TechCrunch. Follow him on Twitter @kteare.

Because of Google I/O, this was a momentous week for those of us who are watching the rapid transition that is taking place from desktop computing to mobile, and particularly for those focused on mobile-social as I am because of my job at just.me. Here is my take on what we just witnessed.

Standalone Hangouts. Google announced at its I/O event that Hangouts was to be launched as a separate app from Google Plus, taking personal conversations out from the G+ app and putting them into their own space.

Facebook Home problems. AT&T was reported to have decided to discontinue distribution of the HTC First – the Facebook Home Android phone – due to lack of sales. This comes on the…

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Best of Cannes: Day 2 & 3


The Fashion Medley

Doutzen Kroes in Atelier Versace

Emma Watson in Chanel Couture

Liya Kebede in Alberta Ferretti

I’m going to give in to the mainstream title here; the endless red carpet at Cannes Film Festival. Everywhere I look I see a new gown – or another cocktail dress from the same actress the same day. If I were to cover the festival daily the blog would have been all about red carpet which I really don’t like so I wanted to round up all my favourite gowns from the last 2 days. Though still there are too many picks.

My favourite is – just like everybody else – Deutzen Kroes in a time stopping Atelier Versace gown. Thanks to Emma Watson, Liya Kebede, Olga Sorokina, Sara Forestier, Aime Mullins, Zhang Yuqi, Zhang Ziyi and Jessica Miller / black & white suddenly became the official color of red carpet. No complaints here.

Click…

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Confronting The Reality Of US Broadband Performance


TechCrunch

Editor’s note:Richard Bennett is a Senior Fellow with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and co-author of ITIF’s 2013 report, “The Whole Picture: Where America’s Broadband Networks Really Stand.” Follow him on Twitter @iPolicy.

We’ve all heard the story: America’s broadband networks are second-rate. We pay exorbitant prices for shoddy service because broadband providers print money and hold innovation in a death grip. While America languishes, our competitors in Europe and Asia are racing ahead to a user-generated content utopia. The only way forward is a government takeover, or, failing that, a massive dose of regulation.

So go a number of recent treatises such as Susan Crawford’s “Captive Audience”; works by like-minded Internet aficionados Tim Wu, Lawrence Lessig, and Yochai Benkler; reports by public interest advocacy groups Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the Open Technology Institute; as well as numerous tech bloggers.

The only problem with this story…

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Temple Run 2 update, two new ways to die


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Runaway hit iOS and Android based game Temple Run 2 has received a major update that brings in new graphics and more powerups, achievements and obstacles. The endless running game now has a whole new terrain as well as a couple of fun new ways to lose your neck while playing the game.

The new landscape, called The Narrows, throws in a treacherous new terrain to the game that is bound to make avoiding obstacles far more challenging for players. The terrain introduces a series of narrow planks that are difficult to negotiate and you can’t afford to slip up.

You could also meet with an untimely death through two new ways. The path could crumble right before your eyes if you’re not fast enough or you could come in the way of spinning saw blades. Sounds gruesome, doesn’t it?

Imangi Studios has also ensured that with this update of Temple Run 2, you can earn a lot of in-game money. You can even make a quick buck by earning coins and gems from the “Free Stuff” menu of the Temple Run 2 that can be used within the game.

Besides these fun new features, Imangi Studios has also fixed a couple of important features of the game. Besides these bug and performance fixes, it has also patched up the skip button crash that seemed to be affecting a lot of users.

Imangi Studios also announced that Temple Run and Temple Run 2 together have now crossed over 300 million downloads, making it one of the biggest franchises in mobile gaming.

You can grab hold of Temple Run 2 for your iOS devices from the App Store and for Android from the Play Store.