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The Top 5 Gadgets of 2009

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As the year 2009 comes to an end, Youth Ki Awaaz brings to you the Top 5 series. The Top 5 series will consist of the Top 5 gadgets, movies, inventions and much more that happened in 2009.

Below is the first post to this series, “TOP 5 GADGETS OF 2009”

1. Motorola Droid

It started with a massive and mysterious advertising campaign that was clearly targeted at Apple’s iPhone. When the secretive marketing dust settled, Verizon unveiled the Motorola Droid, a challenger to iPhone’s recent dominance in the smart phone market.

Droid features Google’s Android operating system and is the first phone to come with Google Maps Navigation preinstalled. It has WiFi networking capabilities, a 3.7-inch (9.4-centimeter) touchscreen, sliding QWERTY keyboard and a 5-megapixel camera that’s designed to take crisp pictures in dim light [source: Topolsky].

Droid comes with an Arm Cortex A8 CPU, which is the same processor in the iPhone 3GS. That CPU, paired with 256MB of RAM, is one reason Droid runs applications faster than most comparable smartphones. The extra horsepower also means Droid captures 720 x 480 video clips with ease, and unlike iPhone, it can run multiple applications at the same time [source: Topolsky].

But does powerful hardware and a selection of unique applications mean Droid will hack out a place in iPhone’s market share? That remains to be seen, but one verdict is in for sure — competing products are finally catching up to the iPhone in terms of usability and features. That’s a big deal, especially for all of you who really adore gadgets but can’t afford all of the high-priced fun.

2. Fitbit

It’s one thing to present fascinating new technologies to the gadget-happy masses. It’s another thing when you refine existing technologies to help people improve their lives in new ways. The Fitbit merges existing products into a new suite of tools that may help you get into better physical shape.

The central product driving the Fitbit is a small accelerometer (similar to the one in Nintendo’s Wii controllers) that clips onto your clothing. As you move throughout the day, Fitbit tracks how much physical activity you performed. During the day, you can access your personal Fitbit Web page and enter the types and quantities of food you eat. And at bedtime, you slip the device into a wristband to track the quality of your sleep.

Every time you pass the wireless base station, your Fitbit transmits data to your account on Fitbit.com. There, you can see how many calories you’ve burned, the number of steps you’ve taken, calorie intake and sleep quality. Because the Fitbit works best for walking motion and isn’t waterproof, you can’t use it for activities such as bicycling or swimming; however, you can enter these activities manually in your online profile.

Ultimately, Fitbit is a painless way to see how your physical activity, diet, and resting habits affect your overall quality of life. Unlike similar devices, it costs only $99, and there’s no recurring fee to use the Web site.

If you can fit it into your routine, Fitbit will take the guesswork out of tracking your exercise and eating behaviors. With numbers and goal-setting metrics at your fingertips, you’ll have access to a tool that encourages consistently better lifestyle choices.

3. Dyson Air Multiplier

Although the awesome power of handheld gadgets makes them irresistible, this great new product isn’t even remotely sized to fit your palm. It’s the Dyson Air Multiplier, one of the funkiest window fans ever to hit planet Earth.

House fans have remained unchanged for what seems like forever. They all use the same chopping blades to move air around a room. It’s effective, but the air is turbulent and uneven.

Dyson’s Air Multiplier doesn’t have any visible blades. It appears to be simply a circle on a short base. The base draws in air, forcing it upwards into the circle (called a loop amplifier) and then pushes that air out through openings in the loop. As air exits the loop, it pulls along air surrounding the sides of the loop, thus the multiplying effect. Dyson’s engineers got the idea for their Air Multiplier from research that resulted in Dyson’s hand-dryer technology. They realized that they could use similar technology to create fan-worthy air flow.

Because the Air Multiplier doesn’t have exposed blades, there’s no ugly safety grill, either. As a result, you won’t have to stare at huge dust bunnies that accumulate on the blades of a traditional fan. The grill-less design also freed product designers to create a more graceful look, and the Star Trek-worthy aesthetics of the Air Multiplier is undoubtedly one of its most potent selling points. Dyson is surely hoping looks count for something — the Air Multiplier starts at $300.
 
4. iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 3GS is a significantly upgraded version of Apple’s iPhone 3G. The “S” in the new version stands for speed, and it’s the single biggest improvement in this iPhone. Although Apple doesn’t officially list 3GS specs, the unit does feature a 600MHz processor and 256MB of RAM, which is double the memory of the first iPhone [source: Shimpi]. That hardware is enough to significantly boost overall performance.

The 3GS boots in about half the time of the 3G. It also launches applications and programs of every kind faster than its predecessor. Data transfer is fast, too, with up to 7 Mbps downloads possible [source: German].

The camera is now 3 megapixels and offers controls for selective focus and white balance. It’s also the first iPhone with video recording, and it includes easy-to-use video editing software that lets you tweak your clips on the fly. In addition, this iPhone finally offers voice control (omitted from earlier versions) and multimedia messaging.

Apple tweaked so many of the 3GS’s features that we can’t list them all here. But if you want the benefits of the 3GS, you’ll have to ante up an extra $100 over the cost of the 3G. Although that’s a considerable price jump, the giant leap in performance and features is worth the extra dough.

5. Amazon Kindle 2

Sometimes an interesting product captures a lot of attention in spite of its glaring flaws. And sometimes, an updated version of that same gadget does a much better job of fulfilling the original product’s promise. And so it is with the Kindle 2, a fine-tuned edition of Amazon’s much-touted portable electronic reader.

The first Kindle had a four-level grayscale display and 256MB of internal memory. It also had an SD flash card slot to let you expand memory capacity [source: Popular Mechanics]. What you won’t see in the original Kindle’s specs: complaints about its awkward, too-sensitive buttons and weird visual aesthetics.

The Kindle 2, however, has an elegant design that would make Steve Jobs proud. Better yet, its overall physical layout is more usable, with buttons that don’t react to every soft, accidental tap. The specs are better, with a clearer, 16-shade grayscale display, 20 percent faster refresh rate, and 2GB of internal memory [sources: Popular Mechanics].

The downside? No flash card slot. However, the Kindle 2 does work on a regular 3G cell phone network, meaning you will have an almost constant connection to download new titles.

The Kindle 2 isn’t a must-have gadget for everyone, and avid readers who love gadgets are still its biggest fans. But the Kindle is a nifty idea that’s quickly improving, and its falling prices could lure new users en masse.

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source: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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