Saturday, December 20, 2014

How To Install Android 5.0 Lollipop on LG G3

After Poland, South Korea and India, Pakistan has become the 4th country where LG has launched its Lollipop software update.

The update will be available OTA (over the air) in a few days and is currently only available for download (as a 1.1 GB bundle) via LG's PC Mobile Support Tool.

If you just can't wait for OTA availability, the procedure is as follows:
Note: You are going to need at least 4.36 GB of free space on your C: drive for the installation to go through. Otherwise the installer will not proceed.

> Go to:
> You will see a search by component menu where you can follow that highlighted path or if you directly know the model number then you can search it from the bar above.

> Remember, if you can't find your phone's model then it may not be available in the country microsite I have suggested. Follow this URL instead if you a Sprint, Verizon or other US model.
> Scroll down to Downloads section and select the tab of 'Software Update'. Here there will be a list of programs\drivers.
> Download the USB driver first and install it.
> Then download, install and execute the LG Mobile Support Tool.

> Connect your phone to the USB port and wait for the program to recognize it.
> If a software update is available, the program will show so. Then you should click the Start Upgrade button in the top left corner. You will be prompted with a warning, read it and then proceed.

> The program will start downloading the upgrade. Its a shade over 1.1 GB so it will take considerable time if you are on a slow connection. Don't detach the phone from the USB connection during the downloading process!

> After the download is complete, the program will automatically start updating the software on your phone. The phone will restart a couple of times automatically and a 'Firmware Updating' screen will display on your phone. It may seem that the progress bar is stuck at 0% on the phone but let it be, it will come in sync with the PC in a few minutes. Remember, don't unplug your phone until the software update is done! You will get the following screen once the update is complete:

> The whole updating process will take around 15-20 minutes (a good chunk of this goes into optimizing apps for the new OS). Once your phone has booted up from the change you will be taken to the Mobile Support Tool's main screen which will reflect the software change.

Here is software version screenshot from my phone:

Friday, October 18, 2013

[Social Eye] Dissecting TV Show Titles

Today we’re going to take a look at how some of these idiomatic phrases were used before we came to associate them with binge-watching and Walter 'Heisenberg' White, and explore the insights they offer about these critically acclaimed shows.

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is the greatest show I have ever seen. Its 5 years of TV at its pinnacle, meandering through. The plot twists are so brilliant, resilient and unexpected, you can literally taste the fumes coming off of this wild thing. Plus, it will also be the blackest comedy you will ever see.
Break the ice means “start conversation,” break bread means “share food,” break a heart means “cause Dictionary of American Slang notes 'break bad' as a Southern regionalism dating back to the 1970s that means “to become hostile and menacing.” Time magazine recently unearthed an example from 1919 with less violent undertones meaning "to go bad." The sense of it seems to be fleeting or transitory, implying a sudden and temporary shift into darkness, but the show’s plot, which chronicles the gradual transformation of a family-man-turned-drug-kingpin, brings to mind other uses of the word break, such as breaking a horse, in which an animal is trained into a certain kind of behavior.
The dichotomy of Walt's character in Breaking Bad.
great sorrow,” and break a story means “publish it first.” But what does breaking bad mean? The mastermind behind Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan, chose this title because he thought the phrase was widely used to mean “raising hell.”

In my opinion though, the title of the show alludes towards the fact that everyone has both inherent good and evil, it is just the matter of which one of these two gets stronger and breaks out first. In other words, which of these two conflicting character ingredients takes its toll. For instance, Walter White is sort of like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; he is a caring family guy when he is all gentle and Walt while he can be the face of doom in his unforgiving alter ego of Heisenberg.

Mad Men

Mad Men is synonymous with class. This show does so many things right. Things that many of today's TV shows overlook - the dialogue crackles with brilliance, the cinematography is so great that you can enjoy the show even on mute, the characters are very well done and the music is true to the show. Plus you won't see the 1960s done any better than this.
Many viewers of Mad Men might appreciate the show’s title because it invites speculation about the sanity of its characters and about the mores of an industry in its heyday along with the fact that how sexist the men were back in the 1960s. They were madly treated the women as their inferiors. Of course it also sounds like “ad men,” which is fun. Lesser known is the fact that the phrase is a shortened version of the term Madison Avenue men, referencing the ad executives of that street, which emerged as the hub of the advertising industry in the sexist 1920s (which explains the lack of any reference to Mad Women). Madison Avenue, along with New York landmark Madison Square, was named after the fourth president of the United States and father of the constitution, James Madison. There’s no telling what President Madison would have thought of Don Draper and his coterie.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development is the highest rated comedy on IMDB. It takes a comical look at a dysfunctional family plagued by financial woes. The family is held together by its only mature member, Michael, who tries to rid it of its troubles. I myself didn't like it consistently, some episodes were great, others mediocre.
Prior to the Bluth family’s debut in 2003, the phrase arrested development most often referred to an abnormal state in which development has stopped prematurely, often in the context of psychology or evolutionary biology. Charles Darwin used it in his book Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex: “Arrested development differs from arrested growth, as parts in the former state still continue to grow, whilst still retaining their early condition.” In the television series, the phrase references both abrupt halting of the family business due to allegations of fraud and the stunted maturity levels of the characters. The abrupt cancellation of the show in 2006 lends the title a self-referential sense as well. Fortunately for fans, the show returned this summer on Netflix.

House of Cards

The brilliant Kevin Spacey is in this show! That speaks volumes about its quality alone. It is great and unpredictable with superb writing and a healthy peppering of sarcasm, psychomanipulation along with the power of technology. However you won't like being bombarded consistently by Apple products.
The phrase house of cards is commonly used to refer to a structure or plan that is insubstantial and subject to imminent collapse, as a structure made by balancing cards against each other. Much like the fickle yet strong nature of castles in the sands. Stonehenge is said to be made with “house of cards architecture” because it relies on balance and friction to stay upright. The main character of the television show House of Cards, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), also relies on balance and friction in his wildly intricate scheme to gain political power. The breadth of Frank’s machinations echo an insight from professional card stacker Bryan Berg, whose structures have been tested to support more than 660 pounds per square foot: the more cards placed on a tower, the stronger it becomes.

The show descriptions are from my list of top TV shows on IMDB.
The original post appeared on the blog. You can read the unedited version here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

[In Review] The Man in the Blue Suit

During an attempted coup by General Zod (Michael Shannon) on a dying planet, Krypton, chief scientist Jor-El (Russel Crowe) sends his son Kal-El (Henry Cavill) in a rocket to space. Kal is the first child in centuries to be born on the planet in a natural way. Kal's ship crashes on Earth, where he is found by the Kent couple and raised as a human child. Kal, now named Clark Kent, leads an anonymous life and tries his best to hide his otherworldly strength and psychic powers from the prying eyes of the world. However, it all changes when General Zod manages to arrive on Earth. Kent can't remain latent anymore for the fate of a planet rests in his hands.

"You are weak, Son of El, unsure of yourself. The fact that you possess a sense of morality, and we do not, gives us an evolutionary advantage. And if history has proven is that evolution always wins." - Faora-Ul

Superman is one of the oldest in the history of comic book superheroes. His first forays onto screens have been very successful but during the late 80s, starting from the third film in the franchise, it all started going downhill. An attempt was made to resurrect the franchise, twenty years later, which resulted in an average film that barely covered its production costs.

Come 2013, and Warner Bros tried to revive the Man in Blue once again. This time the ship was piloted by a star-studded team with Zack Snyder as director and Christopher Nolan as one of the writers. The film had an approximate budget of $225 million which is way more than what Snyder ever had to work with before (it is $2 million greater than the combined budget of his earlier works 300, Watchmen and Dawn of the Dead). He put this money to good use by seamlessly blending CGI with live action and no breaks in linearity. It is some feat when you regard the fact that Superman's is one of the most CGI-reliant action in cinema at the moment.

Man of Steel has some great CGI, especially in how the atmosphere of Krypton is replicated.
Meanwhile Snyder himself has not changed his style for the big film; the movie came out disjointed, fragmented, very simple yet too convoluted at times. Watching this film is very similar to sifting through a photo album; bright flashes of individual scenes, randomly mixed together and strung on a very conventionally designated common core. Along the way, it transforms into a deep and controversial (for the Superman aficionados who have read the comics) film that does become black and white with patriotic morality, something that has always been associated with Superman - love the country that gave you shelter, and defend it to the last drop of your blood while enduring its quirks. The film can also be kind of taxing on people who don't know about Superman beforehand because of its matter-of-fact style. The dialogues in the film are short and concise, and the basic information is embedded in the rhetorical monologues, something reminiscent of teenage cartoons.

The story is weak though, with just too many loopholes. I just sat through wondering about them not even the least bit impressed with where the film was going. The only scene that elicited some real emotion from me was when Clarke comes in to save his mother from General Zod. It was brilliant. Elsewhere it was just monotony. Nolan is a perfectionist but in Man of Steel he looked far from it - he left too many loose ends. For example, Clarke is supposed to loose his powers whenever he is away from the Earth's atmosphere. He does so on General Zod's ship but has no problem fighting in the vacuum of space? Or for that matter amid the Kryptonic beams of the World Engine? These are just a few of some of the major plot-holes that I spotted.

Scenes involving Clarke Kent and his human mum, Martha Kent (Diane Lane) are some of the best in the movie as they drip with raw emotion.
The action scenes are intense and full of hyper-realism as Superman blasts or gets blasted through asphalt, fighter jets, skyscrapers, aircrafts and what not. These sequences really leave your head spinning but the effect is almost cancelled as you see the ubiquitous Lois Lane (Amy Adams) popping up soon after. Hers is the most perfunctory main character in the movie. She seems to share no chemistry with the Superman and has a tendency of following him unrealistically (for example, right after the final heat vision scene).

There is nothing to complain in the music department as the great Hans Zimmer doesn't disappoint. He is a magician with his instruments and gives a very dark, yet uplifting score to the film. The Man of Steel theme is out-of-this-world kind of awesome.

Shannon plays Zod with impressive ferocity. Spiked with a goatee he looks like a Roman dictator or a survivor from David Lynch's epic Dune.
In the end, the movie is entertaining yet nonsensical, has some adrenaline-pumping action and heralds the reincarnation of the cinema Superman (à la Superman vs. Batman which is set to release in 2015). This movie is still, however, nothing compared to the Batman trilogy but despite that has its own moments of greatness.

[In Review] The Epic Monsters

Diminutive, one-eyed monster, Mike Wazowski's childhood dream is to be a 'scarer' that frightens kids to produce energy for the monster world. To realize his dream, Mike made his way to the prestigious Monsters University. However, despite his genius, the first semester proved to be the last for Wazowski. The despotic Dean Hardscrabble refused to let him sit for a final exam on the grounds of 'apparent mediocrity'. Mike now has to win the hotly contested Scare Games with a band of eccentric monsters to stand a chance.

"Mr Wazzowksky, what you lack simply cannot be taught. You're just not scary." - Dean Hardscrabble

This film is a prequel to the hugely successful Monster Inc. that came out back in 2000. It follows the future scarer stars, Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan in their endeavor for recognition. Mike is a nerd who reads all the great books on scaring kids from cover-to-cover with no practical scaring skills. James, on the other hand, comes from the Sullivan family which is known to produce auspicious scarers. He is abundant in talent but flunks every test. In a sense, Mike and James are polar opposites of each other and start-off as bitter enemies.

This film is not about how James and Mike came to work at Monsters, Inc. and even not quite how they became friends. As in The Incredibles, which taught viewers that not everyone can be special, and that there is nothing wrong with showing who you actually are, Monsters University has a clear and realistic basic idea: that what you end up doing oftentimes isn't what you intended. These words should be at the core of any person going for talent hunt shows like X Factor and Britain's Got Talent. This movie, on a very rudimentary level, teaches you to accept your shortcomings and work around them. There's always another pathway for you to follow which may even lead, though indirectly, to what you set out to achieve in the first place.

Dean Hardscrabbles is the darkest character in the movie with a very weird nombre.
Among other things, the movie also successfully takes a dig at the embedded, but not entirely obvious, humor in our university lives. From that boring class which has everyone drowsing to how people react to an impending exam. It is all there along with some exclusively US university stuff like fraternities and the abundance of misplaced Greek symbols in their names. This movie is bound to excite current university students while making past enrollees quite nostalgic.

The monsters throw a hellova dance party until they can't take the awesomness anymore.
The story-line is quite good but a classic losers-win-at-the-end type. In that sense, it can get quite predictable but that doesn't stop you from rooting and cheering for the underdogs. I know I did. Hell, at one point the movie succeeded in prodding me into some lower state of euphoria! However, I believe the writers really stretched the movie during the final stages which resulted in a crammed ending.

The music of the movie is good and nothing special. It is the typical, jovial animated movie score with a lot of upbeat instruments playing around. However, during a couple of a somber scenes there were some really poignant violin concertos which I loved.

The glow urchin run was the funniest scene in the movie.
All in all, Monsters University is quite a straight-forward and morally correct movie though not quite good as the first one which mixed in some outstanding humor. It is not to say that MU didn't have any, it had quite a few joke but they were lost in the film's glowing message and I am not complaining about that.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

[In Review] Monsters from the Abyss

Having transformed a cleft at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean into a passage between dimensions, the inhabitants of a parallel world send to Earth giant monsters, known as "Kaiju". In order to protect the Earth, governments pool in resources to build giant robots, Jägers, to counter the monstrous onslaught. At first, these towering combat vehicles successfully deter the Kaijus, but then the aliens begin to mutate and grow rapidly. Jägers can't fight them anymore. Finally, top governments pull the plug on the project as the last four robots (American, Australian, Chinese and Russian), along with their gifted pilots gather in Hong Kong for one final fight.

"Today. Today... At the edge of our hope, at the end of our time, we have chosen not only to believe in ourselves, but in each other. Today there is not a man nor woman in here that shall stand alone. Not today. Today we face the monsters that are at our door and bring the fight to them. Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse!" - Stacker Pentecoste

When the Japanese started the Second World War, they believed that the spirit of the Samurai will overcome all. They were wrong. American aircraft carriers and Soviet tanks did not care how the relentless the Samurai were in their past lives and inflicted massive damages upon the Land of the Rising Sun. When defeated in the war became imminent, the Japanese comic book artists came up with a weapons of retaliation - giant war machines that would simply trample enemies. This is how, after the war, the genre of "huge stuff", became a hallmark of Japanese mass culture. Over time, these Eastern giants pervaded through and started springing up everywhere. 70 years after the first comic-book "giant" Warner Bros. issued acclaimed director, Guillermo del Toro almost $ 200 million to create sci-fi blockbuster, inspired by the "big robot" in general.

Kaijus get bigger and badder as the movie progresses.
Pacific Rim isn't a great movie. It is just a high-calorie, combustible thriller kind that helps you get rid of two boring ours of your live. It is clearly noticeable that in the Pacific Rim, Del Toro follows the logic of marketing: a little Samurai romance, a healthy dose of Transformers-esque robots which are piloted by a pair of neurally connected pilots a la Real Steel , striking resemblance of the Kaiju and their destruction to Godzilla's, a set of symbols from Lovecraft's books, plus, of course, a fashionable topic of geopolitics.

The story of Pacific Rim is a materialization of the phantoms of our subconscious as their hues and cries comes from the depths of the ocean of consciousness to realize that this image of otherness won't last long. There would come a global crisis whose underlying fear will unite all the inhabitants of the earth - from San Francisco to Islamabad - into a single integrative culture in which only humanity could find salvation.

Badass robots piloted by neurally connected pilots are the world's answer to Kaijus.
The film is beautifully shot and the action scenes are very well choreographed. The 3D technology is really making us realize new frontiers in the movie-making. You can almost feel the Jäger and Kaiju fight as if they were real and not a figment of the writer's imagination. Talking about the writer, the story gets a bit weak in the second half (right after the big fight scene near Hong Kong) as its predictability comes to focus. Also, the character of Mako Mori (Rinko Kekuchi) is also a very forced and threadbare one. She just springs up at the audience and a single flashback scene doesn't make up for that. The ending was far-fetched and unrealistic as well but then again what is far-fetched in a movie with robots wrestling each other!

The pilots of Gipsy Danger; Raleigh and Mako. Mako's character is the weak-link in an otherwise fine line-up of characters.
I, personally found Ramin Djawadi's score on this film epic. It complimented every scene very well - may it be Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam) collapsing on Alaskan ice or Stacker Pentecoste (Idris Alba) saying an emotional goodbye. Not to mention the theme music of the film is addictive, I have the remixed version (the one that plays at the start of ending credits) as my ringtone!

Guillermo's dark humor peeking through - people move about and chat as a Kaiju moves in to destroy the Sydney opera house. In another scene, a guy nonchalantly films a Kaiju onslaught on his cellphone as debris falls around him.
Conclusively, this films discharges that signature, peculiar style of Guillermo del Toro's dark, techno-gothic humor that makes the film a comic pair of eccentric geeks fighting against one another in their dreams. While the film also makes us viewers realize our inherent worst eschatological expectations. In the end, Pacific Rim is great film to burn some time with.