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G-phone, Valentine Sites, Pedal Power and the Whiskey Safari

A collection of notable events, latest consumables and interesting websites

By Forbes India
Published: Feb 18, 2010

High Places
 
   If you’re one of those whisky snobs who think blends are inferior to single malts, Taj Hotels’ Whiskey Safari mg_21062_whiskey_280x210.jpgbegs to differ. They have chosen seven of the world’s best whiskies, all made in Scotland, and created three different “flights” (or whisky combinations) to whet your pallet. One flight mixes blended whiskies Ballantine’s 17-year-old, Chivas Regal 18-year-old, and Whyte & Mackay 22-year-old.

We suggest you try the Highland Fling Flight, where you can sample whiskies from the snow-capped place called “the spiritual home” of whisky. If you want to sample single whiskies, get ready for a strange flavour pairing designed to bring out the taste. Like an Oban 14-year-old Highland Single Malt, rich and fruity, alongside dark chocolate; or the oak and malt tastes of Cardhu 12-year-old Speyside Single Malt paired with honey.

If you can, check out the Whiskey Safari at Taj Mahal and Palace’s newly reopened Harbour Bar, India’s first registered bar, which has just restocked on liquors the bar sold at opening in 1933.


Individual whiskies: Rs. 500-700. Flights: Rs. 1,000-1,700. The Whiskey Safari runs until March at all Taj Luxury Properties.

-   by Elizabeth Flock


The G-phone
Google has dropped the bomb! After what seems like an eternity, the Internet goliath has launched its first physical creation. mg_21072_g_phone_280x210.jpg

Made by HTC in Taiwan, the Nexus One is an Android mobile phone that follows the general trend of high-end blowers these days: A 3.7-inch, 800x480 pixel touch-sensitive screen; 5-meg camera with autofocus and LED flash; Wi-Fi; and Bluetooth with A2DP. You probably get the gist.

The Android 2.1 operating system is a first though. Laced with 3G and HSDPA, expect a hiccup-free Google experience.

The Details
Speed Demon
The Google phone is equipped with Qualcomm’s latest 1 GHz Snapdragon processor that’s capable of decoding 720p video

Screen Test
The AMOLED screen promises to be scintillatingly rich with a contrast ratio of 100,000:1. Expect life-like colours

The Rest
Other goodies like a digital compass, capacitive touchscreen, accelero and assisted- GPS are present too.
For more details, see google.com/phone

- by Courtesy T3


Music R Us?
 We hear that Reliance Timeout is soon going to experiment with a new product offering in the music arena. Apparently, they are in talks with music companies and content agmg_21082_music_280x210.jpggregators to set the stage for the launch of digital music in their stores.

The way it will work is that the rights owners will make the music available via content aggregators, who, in turn, will stream it to the Timeout store. Customers who are browsing in the store can choose to buy single tracks, or create their own compilations, and have them copied to a portable music player or mobile phone, or burnt on a CD at a small extra cost.

The sweetener? The music will be available at around Rs. 8 to Rs. 10 per song.

Now that certainly sounds competitive in comparison with an iTunes’s 99 cents, but it’s rather steep compared to the Rs. 99 a month that will get you unlimited downloads from Hungama.com (from a library of 200,000+ songs), or the Rs. 50 compilation of 150 MP3 tracks from Sony BMG that a Forbes India staffer picked up in Bangalore.

But all of them can’t compete with the vast sea of bootleg music floating around, which comes at an unbeatable price: Free.

It will certainly be interesting to see whether Reliance Timeout can succeed where so many have failed and actually get people to pay for music.

We, and the world, will be watching.
-  by Nilofer D’Souza


Webhead

Valentine’s Day is coming up. If, unlike certain political parties, all that romance doesn’t drive you nuts, here are a few sites that are all hearts and flowers.

stvalentinesday.org is chock full of historical details on the holiday, including various legends omg_21092_valentine_280x210.jpgn St. Valentine the man, as rebel or miracle-worker, the gang war slaying on the Valentine Day Massacre, sappy poets from the Middle Ages, and how it’s celebrated across the world today.

If you want a laugh, check out the Love Calculator on hotvalentinesday.com , which will calculate the intensity of love between you and your lover (or wannabe lover), and how long you’ll last.

For the social media savvy, be sure to make someone your Twitter Valentine. The page isn’t up yet, but it’s rumoured that soon you’ll be able to type out a Twitter message to the username of your love (or good friend!) followed by a heart (ie @forbes_india <3). Twitter will ping forbes_india to see if we heart you back, and if you’re lucky, we’ll click on the giant YES.

If you’re hitched, try impressing your husband or wife with tips from holidays.lovingyou.com/valentine/ , including tons of romantic getaways (with or without the kids), and a 14-day lead-up to V-day, which includes Valentine’s e-cards, love coupons, and other suggestions.

Looking for more sensual stuff? At askmen.com/dating/love_tip_200/200_love_tip.html you’ll be surprised by new sex tips that include massage oils, games, and chocolate. We won’t say more; you’ll have to check it out yourself.

But you might need shine.yahoo.com/event/valentinesday/top-10-aphrodisiacs-for-valentines-day-566886/ after that. Aphrodisiacs, from chilli peppers to pine nuts, to get you in the mood to appreciate V-day.

And finally, for the sappy among you, theholidayspot.com/valentine/ will tell you how to say ‘I love you’ in many different languages, recount the classic (and often tragic) epic love stories, and give a list of romantic movies sure to make you cry. The site will also detail your zodiac compatibility, if the love calculator didn’t satisfy you.

Oh yes. If you’re single and depressed about it? Try Cosmopolitan’s guide for women on being single on V-day cosmopolitan.com/advice/entertaining-ideas/single-girl-valentine-day or Associated Content’s guide for men, associatedcontent.com/article/580473/valentines_day_for_single_men_what.html

- by Elizabeth Flock


Events
Pedal Power
Mumbai gets a cycling booster shot this February as it plays host to its first ever international cycling event, the Tour de Mumbai and the BSA Hercules India Cyclothon. Both events will be held on February 21. 

 mg_21102_cyclathon_280x210.jpg

 Image:Reuters

The Tour de Mumbai race will see the top 13 professional cycling teams in the world, with some of the biggest names from the world of cycling (Stuart O’ Grady, Brad McGee, Baden Cooke, Scott McGory and Jan Kirsipu) competing for top honours. The Indian national cycling team that will participate in the Commonwealth Games will be the 14th team.

The event will start at the Bandra Reclamation. Having got the approval of the International Cycling Union (UCI) the international race will be listed under category 1.2 of the Asia Tour. The
current leg is endorsed by the cycling legend, Eddy Merckx, a five-time Tour de France winner.

Want to cycle yourself? Try the India Cyclothon. Register at cyclothon.in or SMS Cyclo to 51818 for details. Choose from Amateur (24 km), Corporate/Group Ride (24 km), Green Ride (12 km) or Kids Ride (for kids ages 8 to 13, 2 km).

Sport18, the sports marketing division of our parent group, Network18, will play a part in organising the event.

- by Abhishek Raghunath

(This story appears in the 19 February, 2010 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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