SYMT - Direction Defined

The event attended by the local glitterati started fashionably late. Though once it started, it seemed like there was no stopping it as the band performed its single, Zamana, and the video for the song was also showcased. More songs were introduced and the event ended with a night of house music courtesy a DJ and a dance floor.

But that’s not what Symt is about. The band aims to be the next progressive and modern Pakistani rock band, and its sound is interesting to say the least: its rock, its loud and most importantly it’s catchy. Haroon’s vocals and Hassan’s guitars aren’t the only thing that had the audience’s interest piqued. Produced by Overload’s Farhad Humayun, the band’s rock sound is formidable if not loud. It resonates the same way Noori broke onto the scene with their first couple of songs, especially that of Suno Ke Main Hoon Jawan.

Joining Farhad is Mahmood Rahman also from Overload, taking over duty on the bass. Together, there is a certain harmony in the band. It may seem that Mahmood and Farhad are merely for support, however it is their contribution that makes the sound of Symt complete.

The upcoming album of the band is mastered by Shahi (Shahzad Hasan) and if Zamana is any indication of what the sound of the album will be like then Symt’s album will be something different, unique and a must-have.

Haroon’s singing is quite unique in the sense that his voice, though not as unique as say Atif Aslam’s, has the grunge and yearn of another Ali Azmat in the making. Similarly Hassan’s rock guitars riffs complement the Urdu lyrics (a feat very bands have achieved).

The video is directed by recluse director Kamran Yar Kami. His previous venture, Hamesha, remains embedded in the minds of viewers across Pakistan. Kamran uses the same translation with Symt’s Zamana and transforms it into a bright and eccentric video. As mentioned, the band does emulate the feeling Noori brought in with it when it came round, but Symt takes it a bit further and somewhat darker. This definitely exudes itself in the video, especially if you compare with it Noori’s where you had people dancing around with the band. Symt’s is much darker in tone but quite similar.

The event showcased a band that is eager to prove itself with a strong Pakistani rock sound that has evolved from bands such as Noori, Call and eP. To coin an overused phrase, it’s a breath of fresh air amid an industry that seems to find itself troubled with the times and record label issues.



Sony, the makers of videogames and the PlayStation 3 game console, have unveiled their version of a motion controller, dubbed Move. The PS3 will not be the only new contender in the motion sensor controller market; Microsoft Xbox 360 will soon have its own version of motion sensor, called the Nadal. Currently, the market leader in motion controllers is the Nintendo Wii. Ever since its release in 2006, the Nintendo Wii now enjoys a considerable lead in sales over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This is because of a much broader appeal across users, which the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 hope to tap into, with their own motion controllers.

This year at the Oscar’s it was all about The Hurt Locker and Kathryn Bigelow. The movie about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq trampled the giant that was Avatar. Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges enjoyed Best Acting Awards, respectively, whereas Christopher Waltz and Mo’Nique won for their supporting roles. Up took the award for the best animated feature and The Cove won for the best documentary feature. This year was different in the Best Picture category where there were 10 nominations, also this time around there were two hosts instead of one; Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.

The Large Hadron Collider, LHC, is due to be shut down for over a year. The troubled particle collider — which will hopefully unlock the secrets of the big bang and many other mysteries of the universe — has been continually bogged down with trouble. The LHC is the world’s single most expensive and complicated experimental machine, which is designed to recreate conditions that existed during the Big Bang. The machine will have to undergo design corrections, which were left uncorrected.

New trailers for several of this year’s blockbuster movies have been released. Films like Tron Legacy, Iron Man 2 and Twilight Saga: Eclipse are all scheduled to be released this year. It surely is going to be a festive year for movies with all these blockbusters around the corner, but at the same time, Fox studio is considering re-releasing Avatar for the summer — which will surely boost the films’ already immense box office result. Avatar won’t be the only James Cameron re-release, the Oscar winning is already hard at work at re-working another of his blockbusters, Titanic, for a release in 2011. Cameron is using 3D technology used in Avatar to produce Titanic 3D. Now this is surely something to look forward to.


Just Google It.

Google began as a modest project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in California in 1996. By 1998, the website was up and running and it would only be a few years before the phrase ‘Just Google it’ became a euphemism for looking something up on the internet. Google gained quick popularity for being simple, quick and very easy to access.

Now, almost 12 years later, Google does more than just help you search on the web, and here are the details.

Google Mail
Gmail, or Google Mail, started as an invite-only email service provided by Google in 2004. It became accessible to the public in 2007 and has since increasingly become favourable amongst the public. Its relatively simple interface, much inspired from its own simple web search engine, was the key factor in attracting users. At the same time, it was also one of the first email service providers to offer 1GB worth of space.

Google Chat
Much like MSN Web Messenger or Yahoo Web Messenger, Google Chat is the messenger service that helps you stay in touch with other people who have a Gmail account. It's very simple, requires no installation (unless you install the application separately) and is much more than just a simple chatting service.

Google Chrome
Whilst Opera, Internet Explorer and Firefox were fighting it out for the attention of web surfers around the world, Google launched Chrome in 2008. Chrome, much like the rest of Google's services, relied on its simplicity and easy to use factor.

Google Buzz
In the ever-growing world of social networking, names like Facebook and Twitter are all the rage these days. Buzz is Google's answer to these services, seamlessly connecting all of its users on a social network scale. People can share links, photos and other items of interest on the Buzz tab within their Google Mail inboxes.

Google Voice
Though only available in the United States at the moment, Google Voice will truly revolutionise the way we communicate. This service allows users to communicate through their Gmail accounts via a telephony service. The service aims to attract users of web-phone services and offers alternatives to other programmes such as Skype.

Google Wave
At the time of its inception, a lot of people did not truly understand what Wave was all about. However, now people are realising the true potential of the Wave platform as a medium of allowing multiple users to brainstorm, meet and share ideas online. This is reminiscent of such programmes as Microsoft Net Meeting, albeit totally integrated into the Gmail platform.

Google Android/Nexus
Having a strong base in digital communications, Google’s latest venture is into telephony. The Google Phone, or Nexus, is an evolution from the phones that used Google Android, an operating system Google specially developed for phones. Now, the Nexus is a fully developed phone by Google and caters to all the needs of its users that are used to other Google services.

Google OS
Finally, the next big step for Google is the Google Operating System. Recently announced as being available for the public in the latter half of 2010, Google aims to tackle the likes of Microsoft and Linux. Unlike the two, Google OS provides users with a seamless online experience.

Whatever the Google service, one thing is sure. Google aims to integrate all of its services in one hub, which is Google itself. Just like Google has become synonymous with search on the web, one day with all of its services combined it will become synonymous with the very internet (and forms of communication) itself.


Showcase - From Cosmic Stars to Cricket Stars

Recently, Nasa launched a telescope in space called WISE. The new Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope carries with it a 40-centimetre (16 in) diameter infrared-sensitive telescope, which looks at the entire sky in the 3 to 25 ¼velength range. This range of sight cannot be seen by the human eye and is over a thousand times more sensitive than the previous infrared-sensitive telescopes sent into orbit. And now scientists have been receiving breathtaking images from the telescope, notably the comet Sliding Spring with a tail that stretches for 10 million miles; long enough to wrap itself around the Sun 23 times! The image library developed will have new images and data on our local Solar System, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the more distant universe. WISE will also study are asteroids, cool, dim stars such as brown dwarfs, and the most luminous infrared galaxies.

He has been part of cricket for nearly 20 years; the little master Sachin Tendulkar stapled his status as a legend of cricket by scoring 200 runs in an One-Day International against South Africa recently. The 36-year-old hit 25 fours and three sixes in an unbeaten 200 off 147 balls, and led India to victory over South Africa by 153 runs. The previous record holders included, Zimbabwean Charles Coventry who scored 194 (not out) against Bangladesh in 2009, Saeed Anwar 194 against India in 1997, Viv Richards who scored 189 against England and Sanath Jayasuriya with 194 against India in 2000. Not only did Tendulkar raise the level of the game of cricket, it also sheds a more competitive light on the traditional ODI format which is quickly losing ground to the ever popular 20/20 format.

iTunes, the popular online store for purchasing music for Apple software users, has recently sold its one billionth track online. The Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling is officially the site’s most downloaded track. In recent years, thanks to the rise of hardware such as personal MP3 players, especially the iPod, music purchase online has been on the rise. Apple’s iTunes is but one of the many ways a user can download music onto their music players and enjoy the latest tunes. Lady Gaga comes in a close second with her hit Poker Face. She also has Just Dance and Bad Romance featured in the top 25 most downloaded songs, according to Billboard. The person who bought the 10 billionth track won a $10,000 iTunes gift card.

Nintendo once ruled the handheld portable gaming market with its GameBoy gaming system for many years. The GameBoy lasted through many generations of gaming systems and also became the most sold system of all time. Now, Nintendo’s next generation handheld system the Nintendo DS gets an upgrade in the form of Nintendo DSi XL. The newer system gets a size upgrade and a bigger gameplay screen whilst maintaining a much lighter weight. At the same time, the system is backward compatible with all DS games. The new DS system appears to have come as an attempt to counter the latest PlayStation Portable system from Sony, the PSP GO.