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

December 19, 2008

Cut cables disrupts Internet connection in Saudi Arabia and other countries

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 11:33 pm

I am sure you are already experiencing a slow connection to the Internet. That’s because an Internet cable in the sea was cut, again. Saudi Arabia, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt, Taiwan and Pakistan are effected by it the most and it will probably take until December 31st to be fixed.

Read more about it at Bloomberg, AFP, BBC and The Associated Press.

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, 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): (Was addressed to Delivery failed after 0 attempts within 0 minutes User’s mailbox quota exceeded or would be exceeded Final-Recipient: rfc822; 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.

June 14, 2008

Blocked in Saudi: oh wait, its just

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 12:27 am

While following this link from Amazon’s homepage. It somehow directs me to the blocked page. Looking through the URL we see this: location= token=99A753FC8CD50881C10623D5E99A4B33FA86F3EE& pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=right-4& pf_rd_r=03F76YT47YM9WV0RZBRM&pf_rd_t=101& pf_rd_p=385233201&pf_rd_i=507846

A perfectly legitimate use of‘s service which is made by Amazon, the leading online e-commerce website. Take your time and post the long url in this unblock request form as well.

April 24, 2008

Another reason why proxy caching is bad for you

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 1:57 am

It is possible for youtube accounts to get compromised in the UAE thanks for the web cache. Reported here first apparently.

The issue has been replicated by the editorial teams of both and Windows Arabic maagzine. In testing, the user profiles that were visible were for users that had logged into YouTube only a few hours previously, suggesting that the pages have been cached by either Google or Etisalat’s own servers, and were somehow being accessed in error through the cache.

This is an issue that I also face here in Saudi Arabia with my current ISP Sahara. Where some sites (especially uncommon ones) gets cached and I can see the page from a few days ago. It is worse when listening to podcasts as well, as I have to either modify the URL (by adding a question mark for example) or connecting through another ISP to “refresh” the cache.

It is pretty much a source of frustration for me and I hope I never have to deal with unnecessary caching.

January 15, 2006

Flickr no longer blocked in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:51 pm

Well, looks like flickr is no longer blocked in Saudi Arabia. It seems they applied a new censoring policy.

Blocked again! Forget what I said…

Unblocked … again … a bug probably ??

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