Are you looking for my non-technical blog?

This is now my technical-only blog, my non-technical blog is here.

30 November 2006

Maximum November

The number of visitors to my blog has reached a maximum level this month.

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26 November 2006

I Just Talk The Way I Do

When I talk to someone, I don't take the age of our friendship into consideration in order to see what to say, and what not to say. I am not talking about the type of topics I can discuss with them. But I mean, ... hmmm ... let me write a sample conversation here in order to make myself clearer.
Me: Hi.
Someone: Hi, be right back ... errr ... ok, never mind, I think I'll not go now.
Me: Come on, are you drunk or something!? :)
Someone: Please keep in mind that you are not entitled to talk to me in that manner.
Me: Sorry :S
Someone: I was going to do something, then changed my mind.
Me: Whatever, I don't care. I was just kidding.
Someone: Then watch your words.
Me: Nop, I'll not talk to you anymore instead.
The point is that, I don't see problem in mocking someone or speaking in an informal way, as long as what I say doesn't contradict with my morals, and that it is not going hurt him/her as well. And if someone doesn't see so, then it's his/her problem, and he/she doesn't worth being talked to.

Note: One of the bloggeresses that I know advised me to write personal and social posts, beside those political and technical topics I used to write here. However, I know my writing style sucks when it comes to such kind of post, and I'm sure you've noticed this right now :)

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23 November 2006

Changing Folders, Finally They did it!

If you are using Google Reader, then you sure know how hard was it to organize the feeds you are subscribed to there. You had to go to the settings section each time you want to move a feed to a certain folder or tag it with a new tag. Now they made it easier for us, there is a drop-down list on top of your feeds where you can give them new tags on the fly. Also, when you add a new feed now, you have the option to add it to a specific folder. Well done Google Reader team, keep it up.

Google team have disabled this feature for a while after publishing this post, but it is back now.
There was an issue with the release last week, but the drop-down should be back for good now.
Mihai Parparita
Google Reader Engineer

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I'm Not on toot

Not on itoot
You sure know about that Arabic blog aggregator called itoot, if you ever try to submit your blog there, you'll notice that the guys there are very selective. They choose to accepts certain blogs and just ignore others, and there is nothing on their site that says what is the criterion they use to accept or refuse blogs. Bloggers whose blogs are included into itoot, normally put a logo there saying "I'm on toot". So I decided to put an anti-logo here saying "I'm Not on toot", and you are free to add the same logo on your blog too if you want. By the way, Lasto-adri *Blue* thinks I will look silly if I put such logo on my blogs, but guess what, I don't care, I just like the idea :)

Here you are the code for adding the logo on your blog too:
<a href="" target="_blank">
<img src="" alt="Anti itoot">

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21 November 2006


An Arabic alternative to Flickr - combined with YouTube - has been launced. Ikbis is a web site for uploading and sharing photos as well as videos. It's still under heavy construction, even the about link there is not working yet. So, it is hard for me to give you more info about it now, however I have the feeling that the Jordanian-itoot guys are behind it. I am not sure of this, but look at the design, the tags used there, and even the site's name, "ikbis". It's so itootish.

*** Update ***
After some googling, it came out that I was right. Ikbis was founded by the same team which brought the itoot blogging community to the world. I knew it, I am a real genius.

Ikbis URL:

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Lebanon on Fire

It seems that the Lebanese-Israeli conflict was just a joke compared to the situation in Lebanon now a days. Another Lebanese leader was assassinated few hours ago.
"Lebanese industry minister and Maronite Christian leader Pierre Gemayel has been assassinated in the capital, Beirut. Mr Gemayel was a member of the Phalange Party, founded by his father, Amin.", BBC News.

It's sad to say it, but the assassination season is going to start again in Lebanon. Also with the expected demonstrations that Hezbollah et. al. are going to participate in, as well as the domonstrations-response that Hariri et. all. will sure carry on, it is really alerting how the situation in Lebanon is going to be in the following few months, or even days.

By the way, with Hozbollah-Amal's ministers resignations and now the assassination of another minister, I think Seniora's government is going to be illegitimate very soon.

Now to the most important question, "who's behind this". It's clear that Hezbollah-Syria ally are threatening the Hariri et. al. with such act. It also can help in illegitimating Seniora's government as I said earlier, which is what Hezbollah wanted from the beginning. So, it's really easy to say that Hezbollah and Syria are behind this assassination. But wait a minute, are they really stupid to do such move in such time, even if it is in their favor!?
"I beg to differ though, I feel that this act has been too well timed, too convenient for it to have been Syria. And taking into consideration America's reconciliation with Syria and Iran, this assassination would seem to be the perfect way of putting a halt to such a venture. It would also, be opportune for Hizbollah who have been calling for the dismantling of the present government and been sowing the seeds of social unrest for some time. Surely, this is the perfect excuse to mount further attempts and consolidate any popular appeal they may have attained during the 2006 conflict", Ha Ana Za.
Isn't it possible that some hidden force - some readers may like to nominate Israel here - is doing this in order to prevent Hezbollah from asking its members and supporters to get down to the street, and then put an end to Seniora's government, and Hariri et. al majority in the parliament, and gaining more power in the Lebanese government. By the way, Sulieman Frangieh - who is a pro-Hezbollah - said something similar to this today.

Anyway, let's keep thinking, and figuring out, and pray that the situation in Lebanon doesn't get worse.

Related Links:
Nostalgic Story Teller [Ar]
From Beirut to the Beltway [En]
Arima, Ha Ana Za! [En]
Times Online,World leaders reactions [En]
Thought Mechanics [En]
Forensic Chronicles, ehm ... Egyptian Chronicles [En]
Lebanese Nights [En]

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19 November 2006

Nokia Sensor

I went to Nokia site in order to download Nokia PC Suite on my new laptop, where I found a new software called Nokia Sensor. It seems that Nokia decided to enter the Social Softwares game. Nokia Sensor is a program you install on your mobile, where you create a profile - Folio - for yourself, then those people who are near you and have the same software can communicate and share files with you.
Actually, I don't have much info about it yet, that's why I am downloading it in order to see the various features in there. But it seems to be a cool and easy to use software for chat freaks. By the way, I guess you can download it via GPRS as shown here.

Nokia - Nokia Sensor.

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14 November 2006

M.I.T. Digital Drawing Board

I think we live in stone age here in Egypt :(

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Do Girls Love, or Hate each other!?

We - boys - don't normally remember each others birthdays, When we meet we just shake hands, or even say hi and that's it. We visit each other in order to exchange video-games and movies only. We don't even know our friend's parents names, nor what did they have for lunch today.

On the other hand, it is normal to see girls arranging a birthday party for a friend. They hug each other when they meet, even if they meet twice a day. It's normal for them to visit each other, and sleep over there. They share secrets related to their private lives, it's even normal in movies to see girls asking one of their friends who's just married, how did she like her first sexual intercourse.

So, it's obvious that girls relations with each other is much stronger than guys. But, don't you normally see girls saying how jealous they are from other girls they know? Isn't it common to see girls envy a friend of them coz she is much prettier than them, or coz guys like here more? Isn't it common to see girls competing for something, or someone, and doing tricks and dumping each other for that thing or person they all are competing for?

That's why I ask myself "Do Girls Love, or Hate each other!?"

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Firefox X10sions

This is a list of the extensions I am using with Firefox.
  1. ChatZilla
  3. Download Statusbar
  4. FireFTP
  5. FoxNotes
  6. FoxyTunes
  7. McAfee SiteAdvisor
  8. PDF Download
  9. SearchWith
  10. Tabbrowser Preferences
By the way, if you need to migrate to another PC, this extension can help you keep all your installed extensions in one file to be installed in one step.

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13 November 2006

Gmail Mute

You are a member of a mailing list such as Bloggers-Eg and there are some geeks there talking about Linux and PHP stuff, and you are really sick of such conversation and don't want to receive any new mails in it. Just press on the letter "m" on your keyboard and the future mails in this conversation will be automatically archived.

Thanks to LifeHacker, for such useful technical tips.

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Girlish Road Signs

"A Spanish town council has vowed to banish sexism from street signage by demanding half of all road signs and traffic lights show female figures with skirts and ponytails", Reuters.

Seems that the Spanish Layla is doing her job very well.

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Lebanon, Post War

It was clear during the last war between Hezbollah and Israel, that Hezbollah were not pleased with the way the Lebanese government dealt with it. Also, after the war, and the UN 1701 resolution that is going to limit - if not destroy - Hezbollah's military power, it was normal for them to seek more political power as a compromise. I think also that being the president of Lebanon is one of the main points on General Oun's agenda, who is Hezbollah's ally as well.

On the other hand, there are Sheik Saad El Hariri, Waleed Beik Jumblatt, and Samir Geagea, who are having the majority of the parliament and hence the cabinet. Thanks to the sympathy with the murder of Rafik El Hariri, the threesome got their political power in the first place, and they were able then to kick the Syrian army out of Lebanon.

Actually, after the war, it was clear that the departure of the Syrian army from Lebanon was for the Israeli favor. You may argue that the Syrians didn't have the right to stay in Lebanon in the first place, but was it the best timing for such action then!? At least it saved Israel from fighting on two different fronts at the same time. And now it was clear that Saad El Hariri et. al. were going to play with the Rafik El Hariri card again, and I am sure they have their own goals that they can reach using the International trial they are calling for with the help of the UN. I may not have clear evidences in this point, but I just have the feeling that they are insisting on the trial in order to complete a certain plan in their - as well as the Israelis/Americans - minds.

So after all these consequences, it was expected from Hezbollah-Amal-Oun allies to plan for the collapse of the current Hariri-Jumblatt-Geagea's government, or at least to demanded a greater role in the cabinet. They wanted one third of the cabinet seats in order to be able to veto laws, and to have a more active role in the government. It's really interesting that the Shiaa in Lebanon are a majority when it comes to numbers, but they are a minority when it comes to power. And for sure the Hariri-Jumblatt-Geagea gang opposed to this. And during the talks held in the last ten days each party insisted on their point of view, which was expected from the beginning.

Now, after the collapse of the talks held between the two opponents, it was the turn for Hezbollah's allies to make a move. The cabinet ministers from Hezbollah as well as Amal's ministers resigned yesterday. Now, the next expected move is that each party will ask its members and supporters to get down to the street, which is a really scary option. I am not sure how this crisis will end. So, let's wait and see what will happen in Lebanon in the next few days.

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08 November 2006


The title of this post says "Are they going to Block it!?", but in Portuguese. According to Boing-Boing, the Brazilian Congress will vote this Thursday, November 8th, on a bill that forces every user and provider under its jurisdiction to identify every transaction. Should it pass, every time a Brazilian user sends an email, talks in a chat or comments in a blog, he will be tracked either by the provider, or by a government agency. So the Brazilians are afraid that the government may track their online activity, and people here are afraid that they may totally block some sites. What is really going on!? Is the internet boom coming to an end, and some governments are afraid that the free-speech given to people with such technology may threat their domination on the media.

But on the other hand, a long time ago, we all heard of a project called ECHELON, and I am sure that many countries including Egypt have their own probes in their service providers' networks. So tracking people's activity online is there from the beginning.

Senator Eduardo Azeredo says the proposal aims at discouraging hackers and libel and stopping cyber-crime. But guess what, hackers and cyber criminals sure know how to encrypt their communications and they can simply use tools to encrypt their Emails, IM conversations, etc.

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Dozens Killed in Suicide Bombing in Pakistan

At least 35 soldiers were killed and dozens were wounded this morning after a suicide bomber blew himself at a military training base in northwestern Pakistan, military officials said.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility, but the attack seems to have come in retaliation for last month’s claim by Pakistani military that it had killed about 80 militants in a madrasa, a religious school, in Bajaur tribal area, analysts and officials here said.
Source: New York Times

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07 November 2006

Eleven Websites, I Can't Imagine Life Without Them.

Al Arabiya, Arabic news website, it's not the best news site out there, but compared to Al Jazeera their webpage is much lighter and well designed, and on the other hand Filbalad is an Egyptian-News only website.

Blogger (Google), without Blogger/Blogspot, life will lose a lot, reading a good blog post is much better than playing an online game for me. (Yahoo), It's a good way of bookmarking your stuff online on the fly, I like the Tagging thing, it's more effective than groups/folders. I like to watch other people's bookmarks as well, they sometimes share cool stuff there.

Flickr (Yahoo), I like to upload my masterpieces and photos taken by my phone camera there. I also like to watch my contacts new photos. I forgot to tell you, I like photography, and wish to find some photography course someday, and buy a Nikon D80.

Gmail (Google), I used to hate Hotmail but I was forced to use it when it was the only email service out there.

Google Reader (Google), some features are still missing there, and my sources needs tons of work and organization. Some feeds needs to be deleted, some categories needs better feeds. But at the end of the day, I can't deny that it is one of my new sources

Google Search (Google), hey, who can live without it!?

Juniper (Juniper Networks), I just need to access this site almost every day at work, that's it.

Manal and Alaa, if you are an Egyptian Blogger, then you sure know why it is on this list. It's anyones gateway to the Egyptian blogosphere

Technorati (David L. Sifry), Sometimes it is really useful to know who is referring to your blog in his/her posts. I also use it for searching for specific blog posts and topics.

Wikipedia (Wikimedia), There is a huge buzz about it and whether the information there is authenticated and trusted or not, but it is a free source of knowledge, and even if some information there is flawed, it's better than nothing.

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05 November 2006

The Egyptian Blogosphere, Make Yourself Heard.

Do we live in a closed bloggers society!? Is it only Egyptian readers who read the Egyptian blogs!? Do we - as Egyptian Bloggers - read blogs from other countries!?

I think one of the main fruits of blogging is knowing other cultures and making your self heard. And frankly, I can't say this is the case here. Of those blogs that I visit frequently, few ones are non-Egyptian blogs. Also, many Egyptian bloggers prefer to write in Arabic, and most of them write in Egyptian slang. And unfortunately, this may be the case with many other Arabic blogosphers too.

Guys, if you know good blogs from all over the world, please share them with us. And share your own blogs with other peoples as well, comment and participate in their blogs and get yourselves heard. We don't want to end up like the Arabic media where we talk to ourselves all the time.

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Finally, Saddam is Sentenced to Death

Finally, Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi dictator, is sentenced to death, after a very long trial. It's a great day for all his victims, and hope that justice still exists.
"Well, there’s at least one item of good news from Iraq: Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death", Arabist
Guys, why are there some Egyptian bloggers who are really sad because of this!? What's their point!?

Anyways, here you are my two cents.
To every single tyrant in the world, "Remember remember the fifth of November".

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04 November 2006

IRAQ IV, Divide a Conquer

So, what is the reason for the sectarian violence in Iraq!?
Today I realized that it will be partitioned. Iraq, from its very inception was a flawed project. As usual, the West, in this case the British, took it upon themselves to divide people and make arbitrary boundries irrespective of ethnic and religious lines. Or perhaps, that was the design: to make countries like Iraq where there will always be minorities and conflict. Divide a conquer right? Iraq’s boundries should have never been drawn the way they were, but by doing so in such a manner, it made Iraq more susceptible to foreign influence. When countries are drawn up with large minorities, those minorities are more inclined to colloborate with foreign powers if it means they’ll get something they otherwise wouldn’t get.
Read the whole article, "Will Iraq be partitioned?", in the Iranian Truth blog.

Iraq, Reasonable Answers for our Questions
IRAQ I, Saddam Era
IRAQ II, The Instability
IRAQ III, A Tale of Two Tribes

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03 November 2006

Are they going to Block it!?

Many Egyptian Bloggers are expecting the Egyptian Government to block blogging services such as Blogspot, Wordpress, etc. So, here you are some suggestions just in case.

For the readers, just add the blogs you like to feed readers such "Google Reader", "Bloglines", etc. subscribe to as much feed readers as you can. So when they blog blogspot for example, you'll still be able to see the new blog posts in your feed reader. You may also use open proxy servers, and Google cached pages for reading blocked blogs.

For the bloggers, Blogspot has a nice feature called Mail-to-Blogger, so you can send an email to a specific address and then they will take the content of this mail and publish it into your own blog.

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All Peers

AllPeers is a Peer to Peer Firefox - they have plans to support other browsers - extension. So you can share files, links, and photos with your friends without leaving your browser.
Drag and Share, take the tour now.

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02 November 2006

Godless Money

American atheists use little red rubber stamp to strike out "God" from paper bills.
"As Americans evolve to reject religion and the ranks of atheism, agnosticism, and secular humanism continue to grow stronger, we may eventually achieve an enlightened government; one that supports the separation of state and church; one that respects the rights of individuals", Mitchell Kahle
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01 November 2006

Syriaizing the Egyptian Blogosphere.

Despite the huge fame and effect the blogs have achieved in the whole world in the last few years. The Egyptian society is somehow not fully connected, and the technology awareness here is not the same as in places such as USA, Europe, and Japan. So, due to this fact the government here didn't pay much attention to blocking internet sites. But lately after the sexual harassment incident Malek has mentioned in his blog, which he also documented by photos. He also mentioned that this incident happened in Cairo downtown and there weren't enough policemen in the streets at that time in order to prevent it. And now after a while the incident in being mentioned in some TV channels, and newspapers here and there. And guess what, yesterday I found my parents talking about it. The point is that it is the first time - as far as I know - that blogs have such effect on the society here. It's the first time for a blog post to get out of the blogosphere right to people who don't deal with blogs, internet, computers, etc.

I really want to know how the Egyptian government, and the National Security are going to deal with this. Are they going to pay more attention to blogs and web-forums, and may be try to block them as well!? Is the Chinese model of dealing with the internet on its way to be implemented here in Egypt!? Many Middle Eastern countries are implementing the same model such as Syria, Saudia, Iran, etc. But, let's face it, with softwares such as Democracy TV, Proxy Servers, and even Blog Aggregators it is really hard to block a blog or two in order to prevent people from saying what they want. The authorities will just end up playing hide-and-seek with people, however at the end of the day people will get to read what they want. Another solution the government can use, is arresting bloggers, and using brutal methods in order to fight free speech. But people can simply write using anonymous identities and in such case they government will end up with searching for ghosts. The final solution, or the governments last resort will be totally blocking the internet and sending Egypt to middle ages. And I can't imagine any sane government thinking of doing such thing.

Finally, any government can make life harder for its people, but they will never be able to kill their will to know.

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