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

November 7, 2008

Internet is down, is it Awalnet or STC’s fault?

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 3:37 pm

I have been having trouble with Awalnet DSL connection since yesterday. The “DSL connection” status in my Linksys model is connected but the “Gateway” status is down! It only connects for a few minutes every few hours then disconnects for no reason! I tried to contact Awalnet support but their 800 toll-free number is unavailable for mobile phones! I blame the STC for that because they are offering a crippled 800 service.

Claiming that support is available for 24 hours/7 days/365 days is just a big lie. I have been trying to call their support line 8001241400 since 1a.m. this Friday and all I get is a busy tone. They either have no support or are greatly understaffed, in other words, UNPREPARED as a company to handle the load on customer service!

I have been to two coffee shops with wireless Internet access and both were down as well, can you guess the ISP? It’s Awalnet as well! Awalnet should offer a service status indicator on their site the same way Sahara is doing. Do you have similar problems? feel free to share!

Update: I had to call their business support number and they answered immediately, they claimed the problem is from the Saudi Telecom Company (STC)! Looks like a lack of communications and the victim, as usual, is the consumer! Shame on you both, Awalnet and STC!

Update 2: I was reminded that STC owns Awalnet since early 2007! How can each of them put the blame on the other?

September 26, 2008

Google Translate adds more languages, still blocked in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 5:00 pm

Google Translate added support for more languages. The added languages are: Catalan, Filipino, Hebrew, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

In Saudi Arabia, only translating text a text box is available. But trying to translate an actual website, for education purposes perhaps? And it is blocked! The blocked URL: http://translate.google.com/translate is blocked and looks like there is only reason/category for blocking sites, categorydescriptionlist=Pornography! Yes! Pornography!

As usual, help us out by filling this unblock request form!

September 18, 2008

Having trouble with the Internet? Try this solution

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 8:19 am

I’ve heard from many people about problems with their Internet connection. Apparently many of the Saudi ISP’s did not patch a major DNS flaw revealed 2 months ago. Guess STC is too busy advertising and not patching ;). The best solution is to use OpenDNS. Just follow this guide and just change the DNS settings for your DSL modem. Restart and you are done (the additional steps are optional).

September 2, 2008

Blocked in Saudi: An Australian ISP hosting site

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 3:22 am

One of the most frustrating things is having a full ISP blocked just because of a single questionable item. An example is the blocking of http://members.iinet.net.au/ which is a hosting service provided to the users of an internet service provider in Australia called iinet. Now I cannot view the images hosted at this blog because their images hosted here are blocked! As usual, fill this form!

August 29, 2008

What’s wrong with Sahara?

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 1:47 am

Anyone else in Saudi Arabia noticed that on some websites you see an older version of the page, maybe a few days old? I noticed that with Sahara. Especially after the undersea cable cut that happened a few months ago. This is very frustrating as it caches RSS feeds, making the download of podcast episodes very frustrating.

Now I am trying to contact the Sahara support by emailing support@sahara.com.sa, since the phone support is useless, they say that they don’t cache, yet somehow I am looking at a cached page (and I used multiple computers and have no caching proxy). But the Sahara email is not even working now, someone forgot to increase the mailbox size! This is the auto response I got:

Your message has encountered delivery problems to the following recipient(s): emaad@sahara.com.sa (Was addressed to emaad@sahara.com) Delivery failed after 0 attempts within 0 minutes User’s mailbox quota exceeded or would be exceeded Final-Recipient: rfc822; emaad@sahara.com Action: failed Status: 4.2.2 (Persistent transient failure – mailbox: mailbox full)

Do you have problems with web caching with your ISP? Feel free to reply.

July 22, 2008

Blocked in Saudi: Amazon’s Images?!

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 10:47 am

Visitors of Amazon’s European sites will notice a lack of images. The images website is – for no reason at all – blocked. The blocked URL is:

http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/

This will certainly disturb any e-shoppers out there, so remember to fill this form to have it unblocked!

June 29, 2008

Unblock in Saudi Arabia Successful: Squidoo

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 1:28 pm

Squidoo is finally unblocked in Saudi Arabia. “Squidoo is a website designed to make it easy for anyone, for free, to set up a single page on a topic he or she knows or cares a lot about. Advertising revenue is shared with these content creators, and some of it is given to charity.” I mentioned that it was blocked back in 2007. And I am glad that it is finally unblocked.

Blocked in Saudi Arabia: web applications site and a firefox tool?

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 11:20 am

This tool that is provided to offer importing of delicious links into Firefox 3.0. For some reason it was blocked! Here is a screenshot of this service:

The block actually extends to the main site ( http://www.e-accent.com/ ) which is a Dutch (Holland) site that offers maintenance and hosting of “Ruby on Rails” web applications.
Please fill the usual form to have it unblocked. Update: the tool was unblocked, yet the main site remains blocked for no reason.

June 18, 2008

Veoh is no longer available in SAUDI ARABIA

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 8:43 pm

This is rather odd, instead of the site being blocked in Saudi Arabia, Veoh.com is blocked for Saudi Arabia visitors. A message saying “Veoh is no longer available in SAUDI ARABIA.” with a contact form. I urge everyone to visit the site and fill the form. Update: According to this “not about saving resources but rather re-focusing those resources.”. By blocking over 160 countries!

Unblock in Saudi Arabia Successful: Vimeo

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 8:00 pm

I reported earlier that Vimeo.com was blocked in Saudi Arabia. And as I was browsing around, I discovered that Vimeo.com is unblocked! It’s a shame that DailyMotion is now blocked in its place.

I believe that the blocking methods in Saudi Arabia are being done like this:

kitten vs. frontrow from mattcoats on Vimeo.

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