Sony Xperia Z used as an underwater cam, makes a cool 3 minute video

Most smartphones don’t usually fancy dipping their toes in swimming pools, but not the Sony Xperia Z. The flagship smartphone was taken for some underwater action by an early adopter.

With its IP57 certification, the Xperia Z doesn’t even break a sweat shooting the 3-minute underwater video.

The video looks pretty remarkable, and as an added bonus the microphone manages to capture some pretty clear underwater sounds as well.

The owner of Sony’s latest flagship advises that if you take your Xperia Z on such an adventure, just hit the video recording button prior to jumping in the water, as the touchscreen, understandably, doesn’t work underwater.

Anyhow, here’s the video itself.



Kernel source code for the Jelly Bean update of the Samsung Galaxy S II released

Samsung recently started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II to give it the same Nature UX experience as its successor. Now, the Koreans have open sourced the kernel used for the update, which will help developers of custom ROMs.

Samsung has steadily been releasing source codes for the kernels used on its phones (the Galaxy S II ICS kernel was released in March), trying to play nice with the developer community.

Regular users can update their phones though the usual channels – use the Check for updates on the phone or Kies.

ROM devs can head over to to grab the I9100 Galaxy S II kernel for Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean (I9100XXLSD firmware).


Life time collection of vintage camera’s up for grabs on eBay for $50,000

A Californian photographic enthusiast is selling his vintage collection of cameras, which he has been accumulating for the last 50 years. The entire collections accounts to 1000+ units and comprises of brands including Canon, Nikon, Polaroid, Yashica and Mamiya.

The lifetime collection contains the widest range of SLR’s, RF, TLR, medium format and twin-lens reflex models you are likely to see in one place. According to PetaPixel, who has uncovered the entire collection, most of the models are in working condition, but the listing specifies that few units are partially working.

The epic collection has been auctioned and the bidding has started at $34,999 but you can jump the gun and buy the collection outright if you are willing to shell out $49,999. The seller also ships the collection anywhere in the world for $5000.

If you are planning to get your hands on the exclusive collection of cameras, check out the listing on the eBay for other details.

9 Business Books That Will Change Your Life

Great leaders learn every day, and reading great books is the one of the best ways to learn. I’ve been fortunate enough to read some excellent books over the last fifteen years – books that have inspired me to change the way I see the world, my business, and the opportunities in front of me. In the order in which I’ve read them, here is a list of nine books which have changed my life. May they change yours as well:

1) What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career Seekers by Richard Bolles

I read this book when I was 21 years old and didn’t know what to do with the rest of my life. It helped me go from a Crunch n Munch vendor at the ballpark to a top salesperson at Radio Disney. Ffifteen years later, I have given at least 40 copies away to interns, staff and friends who are searching for their career purpose. It’s difficult work – because not only will you read the book, but you’ll have to do a lot of exercises and soul searching throughout – but whether you’re 21 or 61, you’ll emerge with a clearer vision of what you want to do next and where you’ll want to work.

2) Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends & Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin

No author has influenced me more as a marketer, business person and writer than Seth Godin. I could have easily included 9 books just by Godin – Purple CowTribesLinchpin, Poke the Box & his latest, Icarus Deception are all amongst my favorites. But Permission Marketing described social media marketing before it existed. Seth understood push-vs-pull marketing long before others, and this book, published in 1999, is still a must read for anyone in marketing today.

3) The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

This classic, one of three by Gladwell (Blink & Outliers are the others), demonstrates how successful products are launched, how ideas spread and how a trend can take off. It’s influenced me a great deal, as a word of mouth and social media marketer. And it’s an essential read, whether you’re in marketing or sales, or just want to become better at getting your ideas to spread.

4) Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap – and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Collins is scientist of great companies – and this is his best work – chock full of case studies and simple yet profound principles like Level 1 Leadership. Even though I read this book when my company was only a handful of employees, it inspired me to want to build something great, and enduring. Whether you work at a large company that has the potential itself to become great and enduring, or you have a vision of a company you’d like to one day build, this is a must-read.

5) Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase The Value of Your Growing Firm by Verne Harnish

It’s hard to believe I even had a business before I read this book by the founder of my favorite business group, Entrepreneurs Organization. Verne’s 1-page strategic plan is now used by both companies I’ve founded, and thousands of other companies. And our management teams use much of the methodology from this book. What’s great is that it’s both inspirational and quite practical – an excellent read for any entrepreneur or manager at a small business.

This is a must read for any small business owner – especially “technical” owners such as lawyers, accountants, florists, restaurateurs, consultants and dentists. Gerber inspires the small business owner to get out of his/her own way, and to build systems and processes that scale and allow the business owner to work “on” the business and not “in” the business.

7) Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrilow

Make no mistake – if you are an owner or leader at a business – this is a great, super valuable read, even if you or your owners have no intention or ever selling the business. The idea isn’t to create a business in order to sell it – it’s to create a business that has sustaining value beyond you and without you. Warrilow’s book is a short, easy story – with powerful, unforgettable lessons – so much so, that after my business partner and I read it, we gave copies to the entire Likeable team to read.

8) Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

No matter what you do, this easy read will change the way you think about your work. It is so simply written, with small words and big pictures – and yet contains profound wisdom about how to be more productive and successful without being a workaholic or sacrificing anything. I read it in an hour on a plane, and have since shared it with two dozen colleagues, and referred back to it myself at least a dozen times.

9) The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity to The Most Important Organization in Your Life by Patrick Lencioni

Along with Seth Godin, Patrick Lencioni is my favorite business author. I’ve read and love The Advantage, Getting Naked, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and The Five Tempations of a CEO. But the reason I’ve selected this one as my favorite, is that, as I’ve written before here, our ultimate legacy isn’t our career, but our family. In this book, Lencioni applies his management consulting methodology and brilliant storytelling ability to the running of a family. It’s amazing how little strategy most of us parents apply to the most important organization we’ve got, our families, and this book helps change all that. Six months after my wife and I read this book, I’m proud to report that our family now has a strategic plan, complete with a mission statement, quarterly objectives, and weekly 10-minute meetings. And it’s going GREAT.

Those are my nine favorites- though I’ve read dozens more I’ve loved. I’ve also written a couple of books that I hope have changed a few lives – Likeable Social Media, about the role of social media in today’s society and how organizations can best leverage it, and, recently, Likeable Business, about how to leverage 11 simple principles of customer-centric, staff-centric leadership to succeed in today’s social-business world.

Now, I’d love to know YOUR favorites. Which of these books have you read? What other business books have changed YOUR lives? What books have inspired YOU to become a better business person, leader and human being? Let me know in the comments here – and happy reading!


Micromax A116 Canvas HD starts retailing at Rs. 13,990; already sold-out

The long awaited Micromax A116 Canvas HD is now officially available for Rs. 13,990, exclusively via Snapdeal. The device will be delivered in 5 to 7 working days once ordered.

Micromax A116 Canvas HD starts retailing at Rs. 13,990; already sold-outMicromax A116 Canvas HD starts retailing at Rs. 13,990; already sold-out

The Micromax A116 Canvas HD is officially available this Valentine’s Day for Rs. 13,990, and the device will be delivered to users in 5 to 7 working days, via Snapdeal (for now, exclusively).

As of writing this article, the new quad-core device from Micromax was already sold out, but you can try your luck here. In terms of specifications, the A116 Canvas HD is a powerhouse. To start with, it has a 5-inch IPS display with a 1280×720 pixel resolution. Under the hood, it has a 1.2GHz quad-core MediaTek MT 6589 processor along with 1GB of RAM. It also shows off a PowerVR SGX5 GPU. The A116 boasts of dual-SIM capabilities. It has 4GB built-in storage expandable up to 32GB via a microSD card. The rear of the device houses an 8MP camera where as the front has a 0.3MP shooter for video chatting. It also has a 2100mAh battery.

The Micromax A116 Canvas HD smartphone is the first smartphone from Micromax’s stable to run on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgradable to Android 4.2 JB. You can read our first Impressions of the Micromax A116 Canvas HD here.

Talking about the processors, we note the Micromax A116 Canvas HD has the MediaTek MT6589 processor, which the company claims is the world’s first commercially viable quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC. Check out complete specifications of the chipset here. The MT6589 has four Cortex-A7 cores, clocking in at 1.2GHz, and uses a PowerVR Series 5XT GPU. The combination of the two allows for the processor to provide support for full HD content, along with being able to handle a 13MP camera. It also supports 3D content, and is capable of shooting in 3D and convert 2D footage to 3D on the fly. We have high expectations from power under the hood of the A116.

But Micromax isn’t the only company that has entered the quad-core budget smartphone race. Karbonn has announced the Smart Titanium 1, which boasts of a quad-core 1.2GHz processor and Android 4.1 Jelly bean. You can take a look at an in-depth comparison of the two budget quad-core smartphones here.

Micromax has become a known and respected brand in the budget smartphone market in India. So it’s safe to say that apart from the impressive power under the hood of the A116 Canvas HD, the device will be well received because of its branding.

Chinese manufacturer Jiayu also reportedly plans to launch three smartphones in India priced at Rs. 3,000, Rs. 8,000 and Rs. 9,000 for an entry level, dual-core and quad-core smartphone respectively.

The Jiayu G4 Basic is a smartphone that is priced at Rs. 9,000 and boasts of the same MediaTek SoC that is powering the A116 Canvas HD. The Jiayu G4 Basic boasts of dual-SIM capabilities along with dual standby capabilities, 2G GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz and 3G WCDMA 2100MHz. It runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean straight out of the box. Under the hood, a 1.2GHz Mediatek MTK6589 Cortex A7 quad-core processor, along with PowerVR SGX 544 GPU and 1GB of RAM, powers the device.

The G4 has a 4.7-inch IPS display with a 1280×720 pixel resolution giving it a pixel density of 312ppi. The quad-core Jaiyu smartphone features a 13MP rear camera with flash, and a 0.3MP front camera for video chatting. It also has 4GB of built-in storage, an 1800mAh battery, and weighs in at 121 grams.

The higher variant of the Jiayu G4 will have 32GB built-in storage, 2GB of RAM and a 3000mAh battery.

There is no information about the launch of the Jiayu G4 but we are quite impressed with the specifications and the price point. Stay tuned, as we will bring you our details review of these smartphones as soon as we get our hands on them.

Opera acquires Skyfire Labs for $155 million

Opera has announced that it has acquired Skyfire Labs, the company that made the Skyfire browser for mobile, for $155 million. The acquisition will allow Opera access to Skyfire’s Rocket Optimizer Software.

Rocket Optimizer works by compressing multimedia content such as images and videos on web pages on Skyfire’s servers and then sending them to the device, thus considerably reducing the bandwidth requirement on your device and the strain on mobile networks. This is similar to the way Opera Mini browser works, but Rocket Optimizer can also work with videos, something no other browser can.

This, coupled with Opera’s already excellent cloud compression, means you can expect even better performance and functionality from Opera’s mobile browsers in future. The company also recently announced that they will be slowly moving towards the WebKit engine for their desktop and mobile browsers, so things are certainly looking up for the company.