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Haphazard moved to a new home.. Feel free to visit :)

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    Friday, July 30, 2010

    Time Out..

    Unless you're following my tweets, you're in for a treat.. Am not going to be around for a week or so (hopefully not longer than two weeks), so haters? Rejoice!!

    But seriously, my wife got a job in KAUST, and we're in the process of moving that much further up north, and I'll be blogging regularly from our new house.. Am pretty excited actually (if you read my previous KAUST blog).. Between the sweet smell of boxes and packing up junk I didn't think I had, and with me almost finishing my visual diaries project, am pretty much swamped..

    I wont be able to post a TechUpdate this friday, despite being a pretty huge tech week.. But I will post highlights in a chunky Update next week.. It's a good time to stray away from the blog by next weekend :p

    Other than that, that's the "down low".. Wish me luck, guys, and I'll see when things settle down..

    p.s. Blogger finally has some kind of retard support to iPad blogging (where's the rich text editor? Because editing works only in raw HTML) so, yeah, that's as updated as I can offer lol..

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    Harassing Mona Lisa, Again..

    Scientists have unlocked another Mona Lisa mystery by determining how Leonardo Da Vinci painted her near faultless skin tones. Using X-ray techniques, a team "unpeeled" the layers of the famous painting to see how the Italian master achieved his barely perceptible graduation of tones from light to dark.The technique used by Da Vinci and some other Renaissance painters to achieve this subtlety is called "sfumato," and unraveling it allowed the scientists to determined the composition and the thickness of the paint layers. -CNN

    Smartphone Wars : Attack of the Clones..

    Errrm, Apple? You missed this spot..

    Websites can now steal your Safari browser autofill information including Name, Address, Email, Credit Card etc. without a mention using a very simple exploit detailled by Jeremiah Grossman.
    These fields are AutoFill’ed using data from the users personal record in the local operating system address book. Again it is important to emphasize this feature works even though a user never entered this data on any website. Also this behavior should not be confused with normal auto-complete data a Web browser may remember after its typed into a form.All a malicious website would have to do to surreptitiously extract Address Book card data from Safari is dynamically create form text fields with the aforementioned names, probably invisibly, and then simulate A-Z keystroke events using JavaScript. When data is populated, that is AutoFill’ed, it can be accessed and sent to the attacker.
    As shown in the proof-of-concept code (graciously hosted by Robert "RSnake" Hansen), the entire process takes mere seconds and represents a major breach in online privacy. This attack could be further leveraged in multistage attacks including email spam, (spear) phishing, stalking, and even blackmail if a user is de-anonymized while visiting objectionable online material. -9to5Mac
    You heard the man, either switch off the Auto-fill or switch to another browser.. Now!

    Done? Good, let's dive into last week..

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    A Little Something..

    I've been working on a little project for the past week and a half, and i thought i might give you guys a sneak peak..

    Grotesque of Nature - Visual Diaries

    It's made out of 7 drawn pages and 13 poems.. Covering Social, Political and subjectively personal issues.. It's actually part of an ongoing series i do every now and then, i call them GrogBooks, and only when they're done and finally find a fitting form, i tend to name them..

    No.1 was my first attempt, and I kind of lost the sketchbook during my first visit to Dubai (almost 3 years ago).. No.2 was "Series of Seven", which was in complete pen and ink.. No.3 (above) will be my first mix-media approach..

    Am pretty excited about the results so far, and i'll post the complete set when it's done.. Let's hope i get this done before I get involved in another long-duration design project and/or lose interest like always..

    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    Festive Measures..

    It's Summer vacation already, and city streets are packed.. Everyone has a destination.. a place to go, or an airplane to catch out of here (and it's not because of the weather, alone)..

    Summer time is also the time where the country is trying to "convince" tourists (middle eastern ones, specifically) and it's own citizens (sadly) that it's worth checking out.. It always starts with some dramatic music selection, happy faces, saline under water, flashy restaurants, and a typical none-existent Saudi family walking back to the car (or into the horizon) with the kids in one hand and the shopping bags at the other..

    I came to a conclusion.. It's either they (governmental media) are not telling the truth, or am too blinded to see the beauty in what Summer in Saudi Arabia has to offer..

    [ insert, "well DUH" here please ]

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    "The Social Network" Trailer..

    Due to be released on October 1st of this year, the hype around this movie is steadily increasing.. Am sure many have heard about this by now.. 

    Though, the title "The Social Network" might give the feeling that it's discussing the origin of the term, but that's not the truth.. It's a movie that tells the origin of Facebook and the man behind the dogma-like social network.. No further judgments until the movie is released..

    I don't think it's a popcorn "lets go to the movies" film, but it's interesting to keep on your calendar..

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    iOS 4 + iPhone 3G = .... "still thinking"

    the iOS4.x, is a great software update, given that your machine can stomach what it has to offer.. Now, i really wish they didn't include the iPhone 3G in the compatibility list, because if it's anything, it's sluggish..

    Yes, it fed my OCD of stacking things in folders (which i can't wait to have on the iPad, btw) the machine has become more slow and now am rebooting the phone every 3 days.. I'm actually looking into a safe way to downgrade (let me know if you have one that doesn't involve sacrificing goats)..

    Now that i shared that, let's dive into last week..

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Thoughts on KAUST..

    My first visit to KAUST was during it's early construction phase, making a site visit to the disaster we like to call the main KAUST mosque (our company is responsible for that horrid Aladdin jewel box).. Architecturally, the whole place showed promise to truly be a kingdom landmark (and maybe a tourist attraction if the security loosens up just a bit)..

    My second visit was 2 days before the inauguration of KAUST, and i had to see HOK's work almost complete, and they sure managed to create a magnificent piece of work.. Either in aesthetic articulation, or the manifestation of spatial function through an elaborate form.. With some traditional design features (in form, not in decoration), the main university campus stood out as good step ahead for Saudi contemporary architecture..

    My third visit was 2 days ago.. And the following is a summary of my visit.. I can't make any "keep this blog short" promises, so send me to InstaPaper (or print this blog and massacre a tree, if you're into that kind of stuff)

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Mickey Mouse Architecture..

    Ever had the time to actually sit down and listen to the generic architect's concept behind that concrete twirl? or that glass facade's clash with the floor tiles? or maybe the way the solids integrates with the voids?

    Ok.. How about this..

    Ever had the time to actually sit down and listen to the generic SAUDI architect's take on those ideas?
    (by Saudi Architect's, i don't necessarily mean Nationality wise, it just applies to any architect who worked and/or lived in Saudi for more than 5 years)

    Well, i'm certain i heard enough to subconsciously force me to type this rant on my iPhone.. I just had a meeting with a client, and my architectural boss had a say described his concept.. Let's just say, i was fighting a sudden invasion of Cheesiness..

    [update: i finished the last parts of this blog after i arrived and cooled off.. Good thing is, the topic itself re-ignited the flames of "love and support" in me]

    Blinded, Because We Care..

    It's not part of ancient history (yet) that the local media announced the King's intentions to publicly pursue bringing the flood culprits of Jeddah to court, and finally set the wheels of justice back in motion..

    Meanwhile, being that there is no equally-public updates about that trial, the families of the victims are on hold.. What else can they do about this? Protest (or ask permission to protest)?

    However, a couple of days ago, the wheels of justice seemed to be working just fine.. (am using the word "fine" loosely)

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    Jay-Z Needs Your Help!

    Seems like Jay-Z got 99 problems and the iPhone is one.. Would someone tell him he's "holding it wrong"?

    Now that we got those out of the way, let's take a quick nose dive..

    Monday, July 5, 2010

    RANT - Urban Shmurban..

    According to the Oxford dictionary

    pedestrian |pəˈdestrēən|
    a person walking along a road or in a developed area.
    According to Saudi Arabia..

    There's no such thing..

    We blame it on the weather, when it's just our favorite cost-effective approach.. Lazy urban design (Assuming such a word exists in our dictionary)

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Football is Ball kicked by a Foot..

    The shocking truth, delivered by none other than John Cleese himself..

    It always annoyed me, because it never made sense why American Football is called "Football" and Actual Football is called "Soccer".. Simple logic, simple solution.. lol X'D

    Long Live the Pythons!

    Apple's Moment of Truth..

    In celebration of Apple's first week of negative consumer feedback, i give you, the Pagan Sacrifice to the JackAss..

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