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    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 HapTech.blogspot.com

    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)


    Yours,
    Lou..

    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

    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 
    SaudiMac
    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 ]