31 May, 2010

Cricket in the Autumn

Pakistan Cricket Board have sent a press release announcing that they'll be playing a T20 international, five ODIs and two Tests against South Africa in the UAE in October and November.

29 May, 2010

Etisalat data caps on ftth elife

A word of warning to people signing up for Etisalat's eLife service (the fancy new FTTH internet/evision service).

It's easy to be attracted to the higher speeds offered from Etisalat's eLife service however, according to the terms and conditions it will have a 'fair usage policy' implemented from Q3 2010.

A fair usage policy allows Etisalat to set a threshold within which you can download data, beyond this you get charged extra. It is unclear what the actual limit will be and how it will be enforced/monitored however it is considered to be 100GB/month.

To put all this in simpler terms, this limit would mean the fastest eLife package (30mbps) would only allow you to download at full speed continuously for around 6 hours--for the rest of the month you would be charged extra.

Using the 30mbps connection beyond Etisalat's fair usage policy at full speed would incur charges of around 25 dirhams per 3 minutes.

The excess rate per GB is extremely high (25 AED/GB or 6.8 USD/GB)-- to give an example of the cost
-if I were to download a legally purchased game beyond my allocated data rate I might incur a fee of 200 AED
-4 TV shows via itunes would cost around 25 AED
-2 hour HD movie via itunes would cost around 100 AED

If you just use the internet just for checking your email and facebook none of this will probably matter to you, however, given increased usage of the internet as a game/movie/tv show marketplace these data limits will probably affect people in the near future.

25 May, 2010

Justification for the Sex and the City ban?

The Hollywood Reporter's review gives some more info on why Sex and the City 2 has been banned:
Soon, however, their Arab sojourn takes unexpected turns. First of all, Carrie encounters her old flame, Aidan (John Corbett), at the spice market, but even more importantly, she and her friends run up against the puritanical and misogynistic culture of the Middle East. The rather scathing portrayal of Muslim society no doubt will stir controversy, especially in a frothy summer entertainment, but there's something bracing about the film's saucy political incorrectness. Or is it politically correct? "SATC 2" is at once proudly feminist and blatantly anti-Muslim

Just so it is clear, I'm not endorsing this view of Islamic culture. But if this is anything close to accurate, then the banning only makes more sense. For that matter, I wonder if the makers didn't know that the movie would be banned and were just hoping for some extra publicity.

23 May, 2010

UAE Top Websites 2010

As taken from Alexa. I didn't bother positing the known websites like Google, Facebook, etc, I decided to post what can be related particularly to the residents and citizens of the UAE based on their rank. DO NOT shoot me if someone made something like this before, take it easy. The remaining of the list is in my blog








Largest Arab Online Community with the most famous email service as well as bilingual Arabic and English online community services.




Emirati women gateway on the internet




The first Arab football website includesfollow-up and global analysis of all football events.




Online version of the daily newspaper. Includes headlines, polls, articles, analysis, commentaries and weather updates.

22 May, 2010

Air India Express Dubai-Mangalore flight crash

Terrible news coming in from India that an Air India Express flight from Dubai to Mangalore has crashed this morning with nearly 160 deaths. It seems there's only a handful of survivors.

Gulf News has the details here.

19 May, 2010

Sex and the City banned in the UAE

Best news of 2010: Sex and the City 2 banned in UAE

16 May, 2010

Why Dubai's Islamic austerity is a sham – sex is for sale in every bar

Couples who publicly kiss are jailed, yet the state turns a blind eye to 30,000 imported prostitutes, says William Butler.

Won't bore you with posting the rest of the article here. You can view check it in the link posted above.

Meanwhile you can read my post about this and check my new blog. Hope its not too boring

12 May, 2010

Kipp's finest hour

Kippreport.com, the local ‘copy + paste advertising generator’, sorry, that is ‘news aggregator website’, outdid themselves today with this headline: “Nick Clegg assumes office as UK Prime Minister…"
I nearly choked on my cereal. Could it be? Could it really be a mistake to consult local media before international newspapers? A cursory glance at the calendar confirmed that indeed it was not April 1st. It helps to keep a calendar on the breakfast table for the sole reason of double-checking local news rags: recent reports about Sharjah closing public parks in the mornings to prevent gardeners from ogling women and other inane announcements from authorities across the UAE keep giving me this Groundhog Day sensation of being trapped in a never ending loop of April fool’s day. Never a dull day in the sandlands...

Some time later the headline, and article, were corrected after I commented and pointed out the mistake. My comment of course does not show up. But – no need to worry, Kipp - I saved a screenshot of the original headline:

11 May, 2010

Xero Error

If you haven't heard about Xero Error Minus1 Levity over the past couple of months, you must have been in e-hiding. The 7-minute short film by Dubai-based CGI film maker Ashraj Ghori, premiered at the Gulf Film Festival and is now on its way to Cannes where it has a chance of getting the coveted Palm d'Or. Created entirely by local talent (graphics, script, voice, acting and sountrack), the film was also built on a pretty much Xero Budget.

If you didn't catch the GFF preview or the special showing at GeekFest, you can at least watch the trailer here and, in the process, show some support for something good coming out of Dubai and, it is hoped, showing the world that stuff can actually be created here that is world class and represents world class talent.

iPad - The New Gadget in Town

The official launch of the iPad in the UAE seems to be set at the end of this month, but the ultra cool gadget is everywhere in the market. Being an Apple fan myself I couldn't resist waiting and got my own 64 GB Wifi edition early on.

I must say that I'm very impressed, not only the technology works, but all the services around the device also work incredibility well. Whether it is the mail exchange, MobileMe or the productivity apps that you can buy.

I used to love my Kindle, but even my kindle books look better on the iPad. The iBook are just awesome, more importantly most of the magazine I used to buy are now available digitally, so I get them as soon as they are published, and I have become more eco friendly over night.

You will need a US account to get the most out of the iPad until the UAE App store officially supports the device. However, most of the apps are currently available in UAE app store, so your not stuck with expensive paper weight until the launch.

Here are some of the Apps I have installed:

  • Keynote: PowerPoint alternative for the Apple platform. Brilliant.
  • Numbers: Excellent Excel alternative.
  • Pages: Word alternative.
  • LogMeIn: Access your laptop/PC from your iPad
  • OmniGraffle: Create business graphs, mind maps
  • iThoughts HD: Mind mapping
  • Twetteriffic: Great Twitter Client
  • Evernote: A must for everyone, makes it easy to collect notes and thoughts.
  • GoodReader: Multi purpose file reader
  • Things: A great To-Do list and project app
  • Newsrack: Read and easily share your RSS feeds
  • Kindle: All of your Amazon books on your iPad
  • iBook: Gorgeous looking books on your iPad.
  • Instapaper: Save web pages for late reading.
  • SketchBook: Lovely art app
  • Magic Piano: Create beautiful Music
  • GrooveMaker: another music sequencer
  • Photogene: Photoshop for the iPad.
  • Star Walk: A simply amazing app for star gazers
I will do a separate post for the games, and boy there are some amazing stuff out there already.

From the first screen shot you can see that I have also jail broken my iPad. You can also jailbreak your iPad in almost 3 seconds by following the instructions here. I mainly JB'ed so I can multi task, which is something you will be able to do in the official Apple release of OS 4.0.

I also JB'ed my iPhone to use MyFi, which is like carrying around your own personal WiFi connection, which I then use to connect my iPad to the net where ever I am.

10 May, 2010

14th May; Message of the Prophets (URDU) - A Talk By Sheikh Zafar Ul Hassan Madani

The Prophets of Allah (Peace be Upon them) are the greatest men that ever lived. They are the role models for humanity.

Their hearts were the purest, their minds were the wisest, and their deeds were the most righteous.
Next Friday 14th of May, we invite you to take a journey with Sheikh Zafar Ul Hasan Madani to relive the past and delve into the beauty of the one common message these great men shared (peace be upon them all)

This is a Fantastic opportunity for all English speaking muslims and non-muslims who understand URDU to grasp an indepth understanding from one of the finest scholars of our times, Sheikh Zafar Ul Hasan Madani.

Visit www.kalemah.org to learn more and to Register

07 May, 2010

Non Latin Character Domain Names Live

Via the BBC:
Arab nations are leading a "historic" charge to make the world wide web live up to its name.

Net regulator Icann has switched on a system that allows full web addresses that contain no Latin characters.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries to have so-called "country codes" written in Arabic scripts....

The introduction of the first web names using so-called country code top-level domains (CCTLDs) is the culmination of several years of work by the organisation.

Previously, websites could use some non-Latin letters, but the country codes such as .eg for Egypt had to be written in Latin script.

The three new suffixes will allow web addresses to be completely written in native characters...

The Emirates country code is امارات.

The only example cited (but not linked!) in the story, the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, but a Google search yields the the URL http://www.mcit.gov.eg/. Has anyone have any examples?

03 May, 2010

Dubai in 45 Gigapixels

Photographer Gerald Donovan just published 4250 photos, stitched together, of Dubai, creating a 45 gigapixel image. The photos were taken from the Ubora Towers on 29 April. The site allows you to zoom in on sections of the photo, similar to Google Maps. This is probably a new world record for gigapixels. The existing record seems to have been a 26 gigapixel image of Paris.