Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

February 14, 2011

#SaudiValentine and overreactions

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 12:16 pm

I really don’t care about Valentine. But I find the reaction to it in Saudi Arabia is excessive, on both sides.

The color red is banned and apparently Baskin Robbin’s Love Potion 31 icecream is also banned. On the other hand you got the people who think Valentine a big deal.

These reactions are interesting and being posted on twitter with the tag #SaudiValentine, make sure to share your tweets there.

It will be just another day, just don’t wear your red shomag (head gear).

Found image via Rami Taibah’s Blog.

January 18, 2011

My Favorite Earbuds: Etymotic

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 12:00 pm

I’ve been using Sennheiser CX earbuds for 3 years, not the same one I think I broke about 8 of them. But thanks to a recommendation by Shawn King of Your Mac Life podcast I bought an Etymotic earbud and I’m impressed.

Here’s an interview with Etymotic’s CEO and founder, Dr Mead Killion:

The one I’m using is mc3 for weeks and I love it, as I said on twitter: bye bye Sennheiser.

But what I really want is a custom earbud which can be made at an audiologist. I wonder if any of them can be found in Saudi Arabia?

Here’s a video explaining custom fit earbuds:

What’s your favorite earbud? or are you a headphones person?

The mc3 can be found at Amazon.

December 13, 2010

Silence Twitter Followers and Manage Follow List [How-to]

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 1:39 pm

I found the following two guides that should be helpful to any Twitter user. I hope that you find them useful.

How To Bulk Remove Twitter Accounts From Your Follow List

You can find a few web tools to easily unfollow non-followers, unfollow a lot of people in a single step and a final crazy method that you gotta go read about it on MacLife.

How To Temporarily Silence Followers in Your Twitter Feed

Shows a method on muting users based on keywords that you don’t want to see.

To easy manage your Twitter followers and friends I highly recommend BirdBrain App, here’s an Arabic review on SaudiMac by Mohammad.

What are your favorite Twitter tools?

November 29, 2010

Google fails in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 1:03 pm

Update: Google updated Riyadh’s satellite images to something from late 2010. The maps however are still outdated.

I complained many times about the extremely useless and out of date Google Maps for Saudi Arabia: roads are from 2004 and you can’t even get basic directions! Allright, Google have problems with all the red tape, we get that. But I was shocked to see Microsoft Bing Maps already supporting very recent maps of Saudi Arabia.

Here’s an example, Al Oruba st intersection with Prince Turki st, in 2004/2005 a northern road was constructed turning it from a T-shape intersection to a normal intersection. Here’s the satellite images on Google Maps:

Now here’s the regular map on Google Maps. 6 years later and it’s still the same:

Now let’s have a look at Microsoft Bing Maps:

Bing Maps is up to date with the Saudi map, how come Google isn’t? Is Google being denied?

If Google allowed us to use the Google Map Maker it would not have happened.

The Bing Maps do not have any points of interest but that didn’t stop Microsoft from allowing us to use navigation on the map! Google Maps can’t figure a simple straight line:

While Bing is EXTREMELY USEFUL even without points of interest:

Another example of Google’s failure in the region: the lack of an Android Market in Saudi Arabia. This is Motorola’s response to @Yalmisfer when he asked why is his Motorola Milestone Android phone is lacking an Android Marketplace:

Android Market was removed per requirements of Google in the individual Arabic regions such as UAE, Egypt, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

The same is happening with the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Samsung Galaxy S apparently. Google doesn’t need to release an Arabic Android market, they don’t even support Arabic language natively in Android until now!

@Yalmisfer also got to talk with Samsung Middle East:

I got a call from the firm doing the PR for ME for Galaxy and they are asking me to try it and write a review about, I asked them and the answer was No market for Middle East

My rant is over.

November 10, 2010

Firmware Update for Novatel MiFi 2352

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 9:00 pm

I finally found it after months of frustration, I can say this: this addressed a lot of issues I had with my MiFi 3252.

Novatel doesn’t post the firmware on their website so I had to dig around and finally found MiFi 2352 Firmware version 5.26.2. I put a copy of the file right here: 20418796 MUU MIFI2352 NVTL GENERIC_Pkg. Just download the zip file, extract the executable, connect the MiFi to your computer via USB and run the exe file. Yes it’s Windows only but that’s why we have VMWare and Parallels Desktop.

Novatel MiFi 2352 Firmware Update [Saudi TechView].

September 15, 2010

Been a while

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 2:17 am

It’s been a while since I last rambled about anything. Hope your Ramadan and Eid was good!

I’ve been concentrating my free time on SaudiMac so you will probably find more of my posts there (that and Starcraft 2). I will continue rambling here of course. Thanks for still reading this website of mine.

August 9, 2010

Dealing with haters

Filed under: General — Tags: — Khaled A. @ 2:26 pm

Tim Ferriss discussed, at the The Next Web 2010 event in Amsterdam, how to deal with haters, how to benefit from them as well.

Here are some ideas that Mashable listed after they interviewed Tim. Quoted from Mashable of course.

“1. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.

“It’s critical in social media, as in life, to have a clear objective and not to lose sight of that,” Ferriss says. He argues that if your objective is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people or to change the world in some small way (be it through a product or service), you only need to pick your first 1,000 fans — and carefully. “As long as you’re accomplishing your objectives, that 1,000 will lead to a cascading effect,” Ferriss explains. “The 10 million that don’t get it don’t matter.”

2. 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it.

“People are least productive in reactive mode,” Ferriss states, before explaining that if you are expecting resistance and attackers, you can choose your response in advance, as opposed to reacting inappropriately. This, Ferriss says, will only multiply the problem. “Online I see people committing ’social media suicide’ all the time by one of two ways. Firstly by responding to all criticism, meaning you’re never going to find time to complete important milestones of your own, and by responding to things that don’t warrant a response.” This, says Ferriss, lends more credibility by driving traffic.

3. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.” (Colin Powell)

“If you treat everyone the same and respond to everyone by apologizing or agreeing, you’re not going to be recognizing the best performers, and you’re not going to be improving the worst performers,” Ferriss says. “That guarantees you’ll get more behavior you don’t want and less you do.” That doesn’t mean never respond, Ferriss goes on to say, but be “tactical and strategic” when you do.

4. “If you are really effective at what you do, 95% of the things said about you will be negative.” (Scott Boras)

“This principle goes hand-in-hand with number two,” Ferriss says. “I actually keep this quote in my wallet because it is a reminder that the best people in almost any field are almost always the people who get the most criticism.” The bigger your impact, explains Ferriss (whose book is a New York Times, WSJ and BusinessWeek bestseller), and the larger the ambition and scale of your project, the more negativity you’ll encounter. Ferriss jokes he has haters “in about 35 languages.”

5. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” (Epictetus)

“Another way to phrase this is through a more recent quote from Elbert Hubbard,” Ferriss says. “‘To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Ferriss, who holds a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive tango spins, says he has learned to enjoy criticism over the years. Ferriss, using Roman philosophy to expand on his point, says: “Cato, who Seneca believed to be the perfect stoic, practiced this by wearing darker robes than was customary and by wearing no tunic. He expected to be ridiculed and he was, he did this to train himself to only be ashamed of those things that are truly worth being ashamed of. To do anything remotely interesting you need to train yourself to be effective at dealing with, responding to, even enjoying criticism… In fact, I would take the quote a step further and encourage people to actively pursue being thought foolish and stupid.”

6. “Living well is the best revenge.” (George Herbert)

“The best way to counter-attack a hater is to make it blatantly obvious that their attack has had no impact on you,” Ferriss advises. “That, and [show] how much fun you’re having!” Ferriss goes on to say that the best revenge is letting haters continue to live with their own resentment and anger, which most of the time has nothing to do with you in particular. “If a vessel contains acid and you pour some on an object, it’s still the vessel that sustains the most damage,” Ferriss says. “Don’t get angry, don’t get even — focus on living well and that will eat at them more than anything you can do.”

7. Keep calm and carry on.

The slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On” was originally produced by the British government during the Second World War as a propaganda message to comfort people in the face of Nazi invasion. Ferriss takes the message and applies it to today’s world. “Focus on impact, not approval. If you believe you can change the world, which I hope you do, do what you believe is right and expect resistance and expect attackers,” Ferriss concludes. “Keep calm and carry on!””

That was enlightening. (quoted from Mashable).

Update: Added clarification about quoted part.

July 11, 2010

Knockoffs ad in a major newspaper

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 6:00 pm

In Alriyadh newspaper, advertisement for fake knockoffs and stolen designs. So much for quality of service.

Photo by @SaudiLawyer was tweeted originally on Yfrog. He wonders what is the Ministry of Commerce doing. Apparently their site isn’t working.

Stupid MS Office ad in Arabic

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 2:20 pm

Speaking of silly ads, just what is Microsoft Saudi Arabia thinking with this advertisement for Office 2010.

If you care about Arabic speakers why don’t you make ARABIC OFFICE FOR MAC ALREADY?

Originally posted by @Saudi.

May 31, 2010

Twitter trends did not block #Flotilla – use #FreedomFlotilla

Filed under: General — Tags: — Khaled A. @ 2:32 pm

A lot of sites are claiming that Twitter is blocking #flotilla from the Twitter trends. But let’s be honest, “Flotilla” is a dictionary word and my guess is that the Twitter trends algorithm avoids “dictionary words”.

Instead #freedomflotilla should be used. It’s a composite and as you noticed it’s already the first on Twitter trends after less than 3000 messages:

“Gaza Flotilla” also trended. that proves that Twitter did not block “Flotilla”. We love conspiracy theories, don’t we?

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