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

January 9, 2012

Attribution on the web

Filed under: General — Tags: — Khaled A. @ 2:11 pm

File this under: Good to know.

Attribution on the web:

My Internet Friend Stephen Hackett recently wrote about attribution on the web. Specifically, citing a story’s source and “via” link, or method by which you became aware of the story. He and I pretty much have the same policy.

First, an explanation. The source in this case is just that: a story’s origin. For example, in this post I published earlier today about 3 billion iPad app downloads, the source is ABI’s report.

The reference, or “via,” identifies the outlet that first made me aware of the story. In this case, it was The Loop. As a result, The Loop gets a “via” link at the foot of the post. 1

Of course, it isn’t always that cut and dry. Let’s say that Jim had a “Via SiteX” on his post. I’d visit that link and look around. If there’s no additional link, I’ll consider SiteX the referential site and give it the via on my site, too.

Sometimes I’ll find a story on my own. For example, this article comparing Steve Jobs and Charles Eames. I found Om Malik’s article on my own this morning, so there’s no via link.

Other times a story will be so big that everyone and their brother is posting about it. In that case, I avoid a via link all together because, like I said, everyone has it. For example, this post about the pending international launch of the iPhone 4S. Apple issued a press release, everyone re-blogged it, so there’s no via necessary.

Like Stephen, if I find something on a big site like Engadget, CNN, etc. that everyone else will obviously see, there’s no via necessary.

Finally, regarding sources. They always get a link in the opening paragraph, and hopefully in the first sentence.

That’s my policy on using the via link. What’s yours?

  1. I always put via links at the foot of a post in brackets.

(Via 52 Tiger)

March 28, 2010

From STC: 100 megabyte fiber? wait, MEGABYTE?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 3:33 pm

This is downright ridiculous. Another press release with STC lying to their customers once again (example: STC announcing they are the first to have HSPA+ and we saw no HSPA+ devices from them until now!).

But first I have to show you this press release: STC Customers enjoy the Benefits of the 4G/LTE Network. This press release is probably from the future sent via the TARDIS. 4G/LTE plans from STC is behind Mobily and Zain. Now back to topic.

STC’s latest announcement (STC’s English news site hasn’t been updated since 2009) was titled “STC provides its customers with the highest Internet speed in the region (100 megabytes) through FTTH technology”. The press release talked about “package which secures the highest Internet speed 100 megabytes/second through the Fiber to the Home technology FTTH technology.” Yes, 100 mega bytes per second, so it’s 800mega bit per second.

The press release claims “for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa”, “for the first time” is something STC loves to say even if it’s not true. But these services are only available in 3 neighborhoods in Saudi Arabia and only one in Riyadh: An-Nakhil District in Riyadh.

UAE’s Etisalat launched their fiber to the home services in October 2009. It was initially available at 30mbps but it covered over have a million homes in 2008! STC only connected one neighborhood in 2009.

Wikipedia have a list of FTTH countries. Only UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon are currently listed from the Middle East, no Saudi Arabia.

Please, STC, fix your weak DSL infrastructure and provide customers with better service. Mobily is already installing Fiber in a lot of neighborhoods in Riyadh!

Press release can be found here.

April 30, 2009

Feedburner down for STC Afaq DSL subscribers

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 9:52 am

Feedburner, one of the leading RSS feed providers is experiencing some problems with Saudi Arabia users. Almost all of the podcasts on the Internet are using feedburner’s services. But now when you try to load a feed you will get the following error “Http/1.1 Service Unavailable”. This error usually happens when a server is down.

I have verified that the feeds are working on a Mobily connection so this problem is specific to STC Afaq DSL shamel. STC’s telephone support have no idea what I am talking about as well.

It should be noted that although Saudi Arabia have multiple DSL providers all of them go through STC’s landline and you still need to pay STC a subscription fee in addition to what you pay to the ISP.

Update: I have just verified from a friend living in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia who is also an STC subscriber that he is getting the same error “Http/1.1 Service Unavailable”!
Update 2: although this problem happens with STC customers (DSL and Jawalnet) reconnecting (changing your IP address) fixes it. Apparently one of the STC servers is messed up, not all of them.

March 30, 2009

Blocked in Saudi Arabia: Google video search

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 4:44 pm

This is not a total block but depending on your search query then google video search is blocked. A regular google video string is usually:

Which is blocked! But moving the “hl=en” argument:

Opens the result. This is most likely a blocking mistake and needs to be corrected (by unblocking of course).

Help unblock it by filling the form at, writing an email to or sending a fax to +966(1)2639290.

March 23, 2009

Internet disconnected in Riyadh, CITC last to know

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 9:34 am

A malfunction in one of the servers in the main STC Olaya switch box in Riyadh caused a large amount of disconnections (35-45% of the subscribers in Riyadh). The malfunction happened Saturday 21st of March 2009.

Alriyadh newspaper reported that STC was working on fixing it since Saturday. They also contacted the spokesperson for CITC (Communications and Information Technology Commission), Sultan Almalik and he said that he have no information about the malfunction!

From Alriyadh newspaper (Arabic link).

March 15, 2009

Blocked in Saudi: sections

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 11:58 am

Digg is a social news website made for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the Internet, by submitting links and stories, and voting and commenting on submitted links and stories. A section of digg: and news under that is entirely blocked for no reason. (Digg link by bianconeri4ever).


Help unblock it by filling the form at, writing an email to or sending a fax to +966(1)2639290.

Blocked in Saudi: hydroponics websites?

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 11:51 am

hydroponics: the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid, with added nutrients but without soil. Then why are the following websites blocked?

Help unblock it by filling the form at, writing an email to or sending a fax to +966(1)2639290.

March 6, 2009

STC offering the lowest Internet rates

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:12 pm

In another telecommunication innovation, STC announced they offer the lowest rates … on dial-up! From 3SR per hour to 2.5SR per hour. In small print “this offer is valid for a limited period only” which is only 2 months!


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 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).

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