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

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 9, 2008

Google Map Maker responds regarding Saudi Arabia’s maps

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 10:17 pm

Just thought I would share this email that I got from the Google Team regarding Saudi Arabia on Google Maps.

Hello Khaled, Thank you for your email and your interest in Map Maker. Currently 57 countries are open for map editing on Map Maker. However, Saudi Arabia is not a part of the countries, for which content can be created or edited on Map Maker. We apologize for the inconvenience. We will make a public announcement when any new country will be open for editing. Regarding your concern over the error on Google Maps, we appreciate the effort of you escalating this. You may also add the correct information using My Maps. Please visit the link below to know more on this. If you have additional questions, please visit the Google Map Maker Help Center, where you will find answers to many frequently asked questions about Google Map Maker. Sincerely, Tasneem The Google Team

September 6, 2008

Google Maps finally adds Saudi Arabia

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 1:42 pm

Google Maps finally added real maps of Saudi Arabia to replace the random lines that made no sense. The maps are provided by Navteq (I prefer TeleAtlas, they are more accurate with the Saudi Arabia maps). And you can even find some local businesses by searching at the site. But there are problems with the Navteq maps, they are still 4 years old and this is one of many examples:


View Larger Map That new extended road as you see on the satellite image was added late 2004 and Navteq did not update their database until now. I already submitted the correction to the map reporter tool two months ago and Navteq did not fix it yet. But this is progress, Google Maps is actually more useful for viewing Saudi Arabia maps than it ever was and hopefully it will continue to improve.

June 29, 2008

Ask Google “Map Maker” to add Saudi Arabia maps

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 12:48 pm

Google added a service called “Map Maker” to help adding streets and locations in their database. This service allows you to add streets, businesses, and more information. Unfortunatly this service only allows editing of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Grenada, Iceland, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, Pakistan, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam. No Saudi Arabia even though we have a very limited and outdated road maps of Saudi Arabia as you can see here. This is the current list of editable countries. To help add Saudi Arabia to that list go to the Google Map Maker Google Group and make a post about adding Saudi Arabia to the list. Or just reply to this thread that I started.

[Found via Google Operating System blog]

June 1, 2008

Google Enterprise Executive Briefing conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 2:09 pm

This is probably the first time Google ever had a conference in Saudi Arabia. Although it is concerned with the enterprise I still find it interesting and worth checking out. The conference will be held on June 2nd 2008 in Marriott hotel in Riyadh.

For me I am interested in Google Maps, as you can see (click here to view the Riyadh city map) Google’s map of Saudi Arabia is what we call in the tech world out of date.

In this conference there is a session covering “Introducing Google Apps & Maps”. I truly hope they will add real support for Saudi Arabia and I would finally open my iPhone’s Google Maps app and use it how it is supposed to be used. With real maps and actual data!

I am sorry for posting about this conference only 1 day before it starts, so here are the links:

January 1, 2008

Blocked in Saudi: Blogspot images

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:19 pm

Google’s Blogspot service offers free blog hosting and management. The annoying thing is that images there are blocked for no reason. Another one of those “Block everything because of a few bad things”. For example, this post from the Google Operating System blog, an unofficial Google blog, this image is blocked for no reason. And so is every file on http://bp0.blogger.com/ server! Make sure to fill the form and let’s hope it gets unblocked soon. Update: It seems only one server (bp0) is blocked, this image on bp3 is not blocked for example.

Update: Good news everyone, this has been unblocked!

October 24, 2007

Google finally adds IMAP support

Filed under: News — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 2:33 pm

IMAP, or Internet Message Access Protocol, which is a whole lot better than POP3 is finally available on your GMail account! Check out the Google Help Docs regarding IMAP and the supported clients! Its about time, now I can access my GMail from my iPhone without using that annoying thing we call POP.

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