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    Thursday, December 30, 2010

    Well, the Inevitable happened..

    I've been too lazy to do this, and it was part of my 2010 new year's resolution, and thank god, done right in time for 2011.
    I wanted to import my Blogger account here, but it needed me to fix allot of things in the formatting. I'll get to it in the near future, but for now, the blogger account will remain active, feel free to visit at any time. And I promise you, this is the last bookmark you'll have to modify, since I know the HUGE number of you out here so annoyed by this..
    *sigh* -_-
    anyways, I'm actually thrilled about this new move, and I managed to fully customize and upload my designs in nothing more than 2 hours. And the iPad/iPhone publication app made life that much easier. No, SquareSpace did NOT pay me to blog an advertisement about their service, HOWEVER, my pay pal account is always there. Always. There. *wink*
    Let me know what you think :)

    p.s. the website theme is just a beta i had in my psd folder, am still working on the final design. This theme was a good graphical test though, so input on loading times can be very helpful :)

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    One Year, and Counting..

    Dear "those responsible for the following"..


    So, just incase you thought you were able to invent a time machine to pause everything until you felt like pressing "play" again, reality outside your offices beg to differ.

    What is it this nonsense i speak of?
    Allow me to elaborate..

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    It's been a "Mobile" Year..

    I think 2010 will always be seen as the year Mobility came of age.. Seriously, talk about a Blooming mobile 2010..

    Or, just watch this..

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Why my Playstation booked my couch for 2011..

    Well, I've got 12 reasons for that..

    Like every end of year, rumors about game line ups for the year ahead are usually debunked, confirmed, or the crappy confirmed-but-delayed-even-more. And 2010 had an explosive start, but not so much of a sustained momentum in keeping you stuck on your couch (assuming you didn't spend two quarters of this year trying to survive Demon Soul).

    What's different about 2011? Well, let's just say that all the major releases are set on dates that pretty much distribute evenly around the year. How good are they? Since they're mostly continuing installments of games that really blew me away (and many would agree), those developers better not ruin the gigantic amount of anticipation they're creating with those trailers.

    There are a couple of new releases that i've been waiting for since last year, so i'm am pretty much moderately excited about those, but make the jump to see why 2011 might be a good year for antisocialism.

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    "Saudi Citizen" is an Oxymoron..

    you cant help but feel the frustration. In this country of mine (if its even politically correct to utter such a phrase), i can't seem to find the slightest hint of what am i supposed to be and/or do. Yet, somehow, I came to the conclusion: probably the definition of the term "citizen" in the edition some authority figures studied in school is completely different than the new modified, sugar-coated, hilarious-at-points, edition that i studied and was supposed to act out. And I believe this not just me, but anyone else for that matter. Anyone who doesn't seem to have the country's name in his/her family name, that is.

    This is the part where you either agree to that last notion, and make the jump. If you happen to disagree, am kind enough to let you know that you won't like where this is going :)

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    How To : create a Viral Email..

    To many cubicle zombies, a good read that gives you that laugh (or hypochondriac scare) with your morning cup of coffee is all you need to start your day. Of course, the reality is, it's a more effective tool helping you waste your day while faking work by moving piles of papers around the table and stapling plane A4's to each other. Therefore, the quality of those emails is a craftsmanship on its own, and a skill that needs to be sculpted and mastered to put the company servers into good use, or any use at all.

    Today, I'll teach you just that, dear Saudi procrastinator, and you shall forever be in my debt. Make the damn jump.. NOW!

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Thank You, Come Again :")

    Usually said AFTER you finish serving someone, wanting them to "come again" and use your services at a later time. It's not rocket science, so don't "Well DUH" me, mean person.

    Anyways, In Saudi Arabia, it's the first thing the generic governmental worker tells you after taking your application/inquiry, despite standing in line for 3 damn hours and/or the fact that you do have a professional life that you need to attend to, or the fact that what you need can be solved in minutes, let alone whatever-number of working days he throws at you..

    Why the government worker exclusively?

    My recent "experience" in that area answered me..

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Once a Pretty "Saudi" October..

    What you're about to read is not fiction (as much as i hoped it was when i first read them), and they were NOT taken from a cheap tabloid, and were NOT fabricated for comical relief. The events are, despite how hilarious/sad/ridiculous/thought-numbing they are, reported in highly-credible local news sources.

    Ok, maybe a bit of a shaken trust in Al Jazeera, after their MENTAL BREAKTHROUGH, but yeah..

    Now that i've mentally prepared you for what lies ahead, dear reader, make the jump..

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Support Hoda Al Hamid

    In an event that is considered a first of it's kind in Saudi Arabian media, The morning Show "Sabah Al Saudia" broke the norm of what you'd expect from a governmentally funded, low rating, channel, and brought a morning discussion about Unemployment in Saudi Arabia. For once, the show spoke of something that the public can relate to.

    As many Saudis would agree, unemployment is a serious crisis that is on the increase for quite sometime, with the market's focus on cheap foreign labor and -sometimes- ignoring the Saudi laws regarding the minimum needed percentage of Saudi employees.

    In Saturday's show, guests writer Sa'ad Al Dosari and Dr.Hasan Al Ajami (both famous for their writing in different local news papers) criticized the lack of compliance, cooperation and initiatives of the ministries and authorities, holding them responsible for the unemployment rise, and asking them to abide by their "patriotic responsibilities" to help the Saudi youth.

    According to several local and Middle Eastern sources (found -in Arabic- here, here and here) Hoda Al Hamid was fired from her job, and the rest of the cast were given warnings. The content of the show (in Arabic) can be found after the jump.

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Men are from Mars, Women are "Haram"

    It's officially reported in all major news sources (if it reached CBS, it's everywhere) yet not officially confirmed by the main source, The Grand Muftis of Saudi Arabia supposedly agreed on a fatwa that will ban women from working as Cashiers. You know, that evil sinful job of taking your cash and giving you back your change, and may or may not approve your coupons.

    The fatwa states, since Women cashiers will be exposed to men, this will "obviously" lead to an increasing chance of men being infatuated by women, thus leading to more possible mischief, thus the end of the world as we know it (I added the last part). The constant exposure of women is forbidden, and they shouldn't work as Cashiers, leading to the fatwa of stating it's Religiously Haram. Case closed..

    From the looks of it, soon enough, we won't greet a new day with a "good morning", we'll just stick with "good haram". God knows what evils the day holds.

    I really hope this is an over blown rumor, because it seriously needs to be confirmed/debunked by the council. If it's not, then make jump..

    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    Ripple Effects - Street Design Edition

    Its not an everyday scenario that you pass by excellence in action. It's not even a norm to witness an excellent decision taking place in thought, process and product. If you do, at least once a week, then consider yourself blessed. However, what do you call a guy who comes across the exact evil-twin opposite case scenario of that excellence on a daily basis? and happens to know, obviously, a bit too much about a science thats lacking in that scenario?

    Hi, nice to meet you..

    Location : Jeddah
    Destination : what seemed to be a quick drive to the bank around the corner
    Status : High possibility of an aneurysm

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Laws of Transparency

    In Saudi Arabia, it's not everyday that you can start a discussion about human rights and end it with a none-sarcastic smile, or a shrug of unimportance. Last week's events, fused with what social media is becoming in Saudi, was a spark of change towards a different direction. Might not be as evolved as many would hope, or even in a pace where many can describe as "safe" or "rational", but this direction did not exist 5 years ago. Now, its there to admire, meditate on, and for a handful some, to fear. How much room we give it to grow is pretty much up to us, not anyone else.

    The Art of Sitting Ducks

    Saher, for the those of you who don't know, is a traffic monitoring system that, basically, slaps you with a good 500+ SR fine when you break a traffic law. If you ever drove in any asphalted grounds in Saudi Arabia, you'd know that such a system is seriously needed, if not something much stronger and maybe more on the nuclear side. According to the latest numbers officially announced by the government, the number of car accident deaths has been on the increase for the past 5+ years.

    Since early Ramadan, Saher was announced to be fully implemented in Jeddah by end of the month. It's now almost two months later, and we're still beta testing.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    TechUpdated is moving out!

    Well, the inevitable happened..

    No, am not canceling this ever-so-popular feature, but am simply taking it (and anything technologically relevant for that matter) to a new blog on its own.. This way, those who want to read the rants, can do so in peace.. And those (the silent readers) that actually read the weekly update, can do so in peace..

    You can follow all my tech reviews, updates and LinkShares on

    And don't forget to follow the Twitter account linked there too (yes, i'll spare the few followers i cherish the spamming of live covering tech events)

    So, tell me what you think.. (or just hover around my blog in silence, am getting used to it)


    p.s. I'll start moving all tech related blogs from here through the course of i-don't-know-how-many-weeks (if i actually built up enough momentum to do so)..

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Rage Against the Machine(s)..

    It's been a very twitter-invaded weekend, and man, am really behind on the updates this week.. But don't worry, things will change very soon (stay tuned).. Anyways, like always, let's get the local news first..

    In a very inspiring news catch this week, nothing will stop us from browsing the web, not even blindness.. And Saudi Arabia wants to contribute with a first-timer (so i've been told)
    Saudi student and Engineer Wisam Al-Sabban has designed and carried out studies for an invention enabling blind people to browse the Internet and read content on websites. The TextoBraille system, which consists of a glove and a special keyboard, is based on the Braille language, said Al-Sabban. 
    To use TextoBraille, users wear the glove and move their fingers on the keyboard. As the pointer comes across words and letters, they are translated into Braille in the form of air the user feels through tiny holes in the glove’s fingertips, Al-Sabban said. He said the invention, which is in the stages of design and development, was selected as one of the six best student projects in Australia during an annual innovation contest in Sydney. -SaudiGazzette
    Am not sure how practical this will be with different content being created daily on the internet, but RSS can be easily a great way of staying updated using the TextoBraille.. Plus, it's really great to have the web even more accessible, and now my blogs can be enjoyed by the blind.. Am pretty excited!

    Now that even the blind have no excuse of sharing the awesomeness that this blog offers, let's dive into last week..

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Support #Samar..

    The much hyped #samar trend is now cooling down.. And why shouldn't it? All the documents were presented, and it basically unraveled the mystery (to many) on why this injustice should be brought to the public eye.. Of course, as many should expect, it gathered both positive and negative attention..

    I suggest that we set back, take a deep breath, and think in retrospect on what happened, what is currently happening, and what should happen if we ever want to push the reform agenda a step forward..

    [I suggest you save this, or instapaper it for a later read, because it might be a long one]

    Thursday, October 14, 2010


    Samar Al-Badawi, a Divorced Saudi woman currently being held in Brayman jail in Jeddah for "disobeying her father", was the top Saudi twitter trend since early this morning.. According to documents published in a Wordpress blog [in Arabic] by prominent blogger, Fouad Al Farhan, The judge Abdullah Al-Othaim ruled in her abusive drug-addicted father's favor despite the amount of incriminating evidence against him, family members testimonies against him, and letters addressing the issue from Royal Authorities against the judge's verdict..

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Dear Nigerian Royal Family members..

    I appreciate the trust, I really do, but the constant nagging is really getting up to here *points at nostrils*.. This has to stop.. And it's not like you're standing by your promise, i still didn't get any packages and/or traveller cheques on my supposed address.. I'm not sure exactly what is wrong with you, guys.. I mean seriously, if you want me to handle your family heirlooms/cash surplus/inheritance from that name-changing Uncle of yours, spamming me with requests (and not replying to my inquiries) is not the way to go..

    Especially when i did everything you asked, and am still waiting.. Help me HELP YOU!

    I'd be less angry if you actually answered the phone, but you brought it on yourself, thus my open-letter.. And for crying out loud, how many wars have you guys gone through and STILL have the ability to email me? Unless you're a pack of Supermen and women, i think you're handling yourself pretty well..

    Oh and before I forget, I kinda lost the address to which I should send my bank statements of the past several months.. Whenever you have the time, and maybe finally resolve whatever crap you're going through, you know where to find me.. I already unspammed you twice, don't push me to do it again..

    Yours Truly,

    the only one (probably) who actually replied..

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Sony's Frankenstein..

    Interestingly enough..
    Al Kaf denied that the reason for canceling FaceTime from the iPhone 4 was Mobily or CITC.
    Instead he said that it was disabled by Apple because, according to him, there is no 
    regulatory regulationfor such a service in the region.
    Because they respect the communication systems in the world. - Khalid Al Kaf, Mobily CEO, via 
    What's so interesting? As noted by SaudiMac, and my news summary last week, Mobily's inside memos blame the CITC for the "blockade" of Facetime.. I can't help loving this split personality disorder Mobily's PR is going through..

    Now that you're looking at your Mobily sponsored iPhones in shame, let's dive into last week..

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    ..but why FaceTime?

    If you happen to live in the middle east, specifically in these countries, and happen to have recently bought an iPhone 4, you might have noticed (or not) that there's no Facetime.. poof!

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    At Least, They Know it's Dirty..

    Well, the state of "acting blind" has been unveiled (i tested, am not delusional) ladies and gentlemen.. It turns out, they know.. who knew?
    Mayor of Jeddah Hani Abu Ras acknowledged on Wednesday that the city’s state of cleanliness was poor. He also said that many municipal services in the city were incomplete and needed urgent review.
    He claimed that the mayoralty would work to develop urban areas, municipal squares, parks and underdeveloped areas in the city. “This requires a lot of work,” he added. -ArabNews

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    How To : Make a "good" Gulf Soap Opera..

    Nothing is becoming more stale and annoying to watch/hear/experience than those utterly stupid and borderline-retarded plots of Soap Operas in the gulf.. No matter how many times you vent, nothing really hit the spot as much that clip did.. Yet another brilliant short by Nejer Studio..

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    BioShock Infinite..

    To anyone who suffered the half-minded sequel to BioShock 1 (probably the most mind-thrilling FPS to date) you'll know that BioShock 2 was an after thought.. a Money milking scheme, to be exact.. Ever since I tried it out, i really gave up on the franchise..

    Until, of course, i came across the third installment in the series : BioShock Infinite.. If things go well in the production, this is probably the Sequel that should've been.. And depending on how good it is, i might be welling to let go of my hate towards the mindless sequel..

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    The Clash of the Tablets..

    Locally speaking, if you ever wanted to buy a Mobily-Guaranteed iPhone anytime around next Salary, you're out of luck.. The September 25th release was almost over flooded all over Major cities in the kingdom (except the unknown Mobily shops in smaller cities), reaching high sales of 7000 iPhones on just day one.. Not a big number compared to the rest of the world, i know, but i won't be surprised if that's all the iPhones they had in stock..

    Anyways, join my Crying-over-iPhone couch any time between 5 and 8 pm, daily, and we'll comfort each other with jokes about TwitPic pictures of harsh rub-in-your-face Saudi unboxing.. We should stick together..

    That being said, and wept on, let's dive into last week..

    [Notice: It's been a very busy week, so expect a long one this week.. Now that you're warned, make the jump.. I DARE YOU ]

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Permission to Blog, mein Führer?

    If you were around Twitter early Friday morning, you probably noticed a Saudi hashtag trend titled #Haza3.. It's basically what many Saudis chose as a form of protest to statements made by the official Spokesman of the Ministry of Culture and Media, Abdulrahman al Hazza..

    According to NotepadMedia (use GoogleTranslate)
    خاص بالمفكرة الإعلامية: أعلن المتحدث الرسمي لوزارة الثقافة و الإعلام السعودي الأستاذ عبد الرحمن الهزاع بأنها صدرت الموافقة على إضافة نظام النشر الالكتروني إلى نظام المطبوعات والنشر المعمول به في السعودية، و بذلك أصبح للوزارة أرضية نظامية و القانونية للنظر في أى قضية تعرض عليها مما ينشر في الصحف الإلكترونية أو المنتديات، و بذلك أضيف الإعلام الإلكتروني كأحد المجالات التي تعمل الوزارة على الترخيص لها و مراقبتها.

    و أشار في حدثه لبرنامج "في المرمي" الذي بث مساء أمس على قناة العربية إلى أن الوزارة تقوم حاليا على تجهيز اللائحة التنفيذية للنظام بالتنسيق في ذلك مع الجهات الرسمية المعنية بالأمر، حيث أن من المتوقع أن يتم البدء بالعمل بهذه اللائحة متى ما أعتمدت من معالي وزير الإعلام، في حين سيكون من ضمن جزياتها كيفية الترخيص لأي صحيفة إلكترونية في أي تخصص، و ما هي الشروط التي يجب توفرها في من يقف وراء تلك الصحفية الألكترونية.
     As TechCrunch noted, once approved, I might have to apply for a Blogging License (reading and commenting licenses are optional).. That might be a bit "blowing it out of proportion", but it does give a dark premise of the future.. Here's why..

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Colbert Meets Schmidt..

    Well, first things first, since i know a handful of you don't bother to make the jump.. Anyways, Mobily (the Saudi almost-leading Telecom company) has officially announced they'll start selling unlocked iPhone4 starting tomorrow (September 25th).. Nothing about the pricing, so you'll have to find out yourselves..

    Time to get those comfy shoes and wait in line, because from Twitter RT's, it might run out of stock by the end of this week (like what happened with the 3G and 3Gs)

    Anyways, now that we got that news out of the way, let's dive into last week..

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Tomorrow's the National Day..

    Oh Country of mine, how do i love thee, let me count the ways..

    Maybe it's making Wednesday a one-day national holiday (despite the national day being tomorrow).. Some how, nothing can say "Have fun" than to spare us the "joy" of a working day in Saudi..

    Maybe it's how this country's wealth is allowing thousands of scholarships to hundreds of universities around the world, giving them the opportunity of a life time for free..

    Maybe it's KAUST and it's role in being an academical flagship for the kingdom, and "theoretically" a social experiment on a scale that's been never taken in this kingdom's history, since King Faisal god rest his soul..

    Maybe it's how the kindness of the people, and the King, to take loud steps towards helping Pakistan.. I can never deny how major that is in my book, and the type of impact it made on the youth as a role model for good..

    and Maybe it's the many little things we're taking for granted, doing the good most of us barely notice..

    So Have a happy national day,  and try to enjoy the crowded streets and the poorly organized national celebration events scattered around the kingdom.. Poor budgeted, bad publicity and lack of organization, but it's the thought that matters, right?

    Well, What I can assure you, the above mentioned are probably the happiest words you'll read on this blog.. So, as a good "loving" fan emailer noted, Allow me to be my "irrational pessimistic self".. That being said, Make the jump only if you feel like toning down that national pride you're in..

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    It's a Googled Week, i guess..

    It seems that the competition of smart phones focus merely on an ethical approach of "Which is more open, and which is more user-friendly and allows innovation".. And, of course, Apple has been mocked for it's lack-thereof status towards these aspects (supposedly).. Well, hows Google treating you, oh freedom seekers?

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    The Unholy Trinity, Architecturally..

    What you design will be massacred all the way from the drawing board, to the shop drawings, to the contractor who wanted to be an architect and couldn't make it, and then saw your work as a chance for him to prove himself (only to realize, he should've just stuck with pouring concrete and yelling at the over-work labor force)..
    Ok, maybe "Massacred" is a harsh word to use for the norm, so i'll just save it for my sad scenario(s) <<< Plural
    Honestly, I knew this existed before, but it was painful to work on a design that turned from a contemporary architectural statement, to something similar to matchboxes and crap facade design we see around.. Therefore, that frustration is the sole sponsor of today's rant..

    Those "cheesy" Kiri ads.. GAWD!

    LMAO! Thank you!!

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    AC Rips the Pastor a new one..

    Owned by Anderson Cooper.. 'nuff said..
    [update] And I couldn't be more relieved that THAT train wreck was avoided..

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Obama, Free Homaidan..

    Note: The video is in Arabic, but the Closed Captions work very well for none-arabic viewers..

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    The Google'd Architect..

    You know what i hate much about these days? is the overgrown Google-supplied, Google-dependent culture that we're becoming (if not already are).. These days, any half-minded homosapien with a 3G connection and 3.7" screen is a scholar, a scientist, a philosopher, a religious debater (the internet is flooded with these copy&paste zombies) and, of course, my personal favorite: Designer Architects..

    Now that today's blogging intention is becoming obvious (assuming the title didn't give you a hint), make the jump..

    1001 Inventions..

    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Just thought you should know..

    Hello, silent reader(s) from beyond the monitors.. I come with news..

    For many of you, it might've been a bless, but for the some of you who did notice (and care enough to follow my tweets), am not as active as you might expect (or fear, based on some touchy hate mail)..

    I did tweet a while back about the possibility of cancellation of my usual TechUpdates, but am not so sure yet.. Generally, i think it will stay.. One thing that made me postpone the whole thing for weeks now, is the piles of unread RSS feeds that increase beyond control (350+ so far), so am thinking i might just ditch them, maybe highlight a few, and start a new update.. I'll take your silence as a nod of approval..

    I've been quiet for so long, and i owe you guys an explanation of some sort..

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    a Ramadan Meditation.. Sort of..

    Every year, Ramadan has it's usual share of food-frenzy (the face stuffing event of the year, ironically), the silly flat-minded TV shows, and of course, the short nerve endings of everyone who uses "Fasting" as a coat-hanger for being jerks..

    I seriously can't find the Ramadan i had when i was 10 years old.. Maybe it's nostalgia or maybe it's the sweet memories of yesteryear, but Ramadan is becoming a month where it reflects how sad we've become, How shallow we've become, and how far are we obsessing over the "physical" in a "spiritual" month..

    I had a loud conversation the other day with a friend of mine who seems to wear a thobe, a hat, a miswak and subha (Islamic rosary) because he doesn't feel Ramadan if he doesn't do such and such.. In other cases, we can't feel it's Ramadan until we cook the same fat-saturated food every single year, drink the same extremely-sweetened drinks every single year, and assume (in some dark corner of our brains) that dressing in a certain way would make Ramadan feel more "Ramadan'ish"..

    Am not saying we're completely messed up, am just saying that we're putting too much into a month that we're losing touch of it's essence more and more..

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    [ Visual Diary Seven: Concluded ]

    Original Size : A3

    Previous "VisDi One" here
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    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    [ Visual Diary Six: Greed ]

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    Previous "VisDi One" here
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    Previous "VisDi Four" here
    Previous "VisDi Five" here

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    [ Visual Diary Five: Metamorphosis ]

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    Previous "VisDi One" here
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    Previous "VisDi three" here
    Previous "VisDi Four" here

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    [ Visual Diary Four: Emotionally-Televised ]

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    Previous "VisDi One" here
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    Previous "VisDi Three" here

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Friday, August 13, 2010