Are you looking for my non-technical blog?

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

30 December 2006

Zamalek Vs. Ahly, Shit Happens!

As you all know, luck plays a big role in football games. Today El-Ahly beated El-Zamalek 2-1, however El-Zamalek played much much better.

Anyway, congratulations to the lucky Ahly fans.

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Black and White

Are we racists!? Do you really think, we, Arabs, are racists!?

Ok, the whole story started when I wrote a post about the American actress Halle Berry, and that I can't see how people consider her pretty.
May be the American media have their own reasons to call her pretty. May be they are trying to deliver a message that they are not against colored people, especially with their long history of racism.
By the way, you may think I am racist, and that I don't see her pretty because of her color. But you know, Beyonce Knowles for example, she is colored too, but I see her really hot.
I then had a debate with an American - friend - blogger called Naomi, who believes that Halle is really pretty. By the way, Naomi is of African American origins.

Later on, one of my *favorite* blog readers, Amr El Abyad, whose name literally means Amr the White, decided to comment, but for some reason I don't know, he left his comment at Naomi's blog and asked me to read is there. May be he is afraid that I may delete his comment or something, however I never deleted a non-spam comment before. Any way, here you are his comment.
[I] am an Egyptian who was browsing tarek's blogger. Then i read your comments about the Halle post in which you found Tarek's denying that he is racist strange!! I wonder why.
I just would like to inform you that the Egyptians's ethnicity is artabic, you might as well call it middle-eastern in case you hate the Arabs.
I have ti tell you that the Egyptians and arabs are the most racist people in the world. the black people are openly called slaves, th lighter races are pigs.......FJapanese, chinese.....etc are dumb by genes.
Naomi was really wise, and wrote the following reply to Amr's comment.
As I see it, we all have the same "mom" and "dad": Adam and Eve.
Now, let me ask you, do you really think we are racists!? As you all know, Islam is against racism, we are ordered to respect everyone. And prophet Muhammad's - peace be upon Him - famous saying, "The only thing that differentiate between Arabs and non-Arabs is their deeds".

Update, 1/1/2007
I cannot deny that some Arabs are racists. But what I wanted to say here is that not all of them are racists, also our religion as Muslims - I think Christians as well - is against racism.
In fact what made me add this update now is the Arabic media reaction after Saddam's execution. As you know, most of the victims of Saddam's era were Kurds (non-Arabs), and Shia (non-Sunnis). And I think that's why Sunni-Arabs were really sad for the execution of Saddam. It seems that they wanted to nullify what I wrote above by their racist attitude.
Anyway, I still cannot accept Amr El-Abyad's generalization. And hope that the racist ones will remain a minority here.

P.S. See Naomi's separate post about the same issue here.

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Happy Eid

Al Raheena, Egyptian Movie
Happy Eid El Adha to all of you, and wish you all the best.

By the way, Engy, AKA Donzella, has told me that the post I wrote last November under the name "Happy Eid", it was Eid El Fetr then, is number 6 out of 1,770,000 results when you search for the words "Happy" and "Eid" in Google.

It seems that the Iraqi government has decided to execute Saddam Hussein tonight, after one hour from now or so, on Eid Al Adha's Eve. You may call it the Iraqi government's present - Eideyah - to the Iraqi people. I know that it is sad news for some Arabs here, those who I prefer to call them "Saddam Widows". If you watch channels such as Al-Arabiya , and Al-Jazeera. And if you read those Arabist newspapers such as Al-Quds Al-Araby you will know exactly what I am talking about. They are trying to find excuses, and reasons why Saddam is not supposed to be executed. They accuse his trial , and call it a biased one. They are even saying silly stuff, such as, he is not supposed to be executed in a holiday! They also war the Iraqis that Saddam's execution my lead to more violence in Iraq. I really can't get their point. These people curse every single Arabic leader every single day, they wish to see them all hanged up. So why the hell do they hate to see one of the worst Arabic leaders being punished for his deeds!?

Tonight I went to the cinema to see the movie, Al-Raheena, it's an Egyptian "Action" movie. You know, there is a famous expression used here in Egypt, which is "Kessa Walla Manazer?", it literally means "Script or Scenes?". I think this movie is a scene one. It's director, Sandra Nashaat, is really talanted. I like her shots so much. And for sure the presence of the Lebanese actress Nour there makes you feel happy beacuse God gave you eyes to see with. But on the other hand, the script sucks, as well as the acting there.

Tomorrow there will be a very important football match here in the Egyptian league. It's El-Zamalk vs. El-Ahly, the Egyptian most famous derby. Best wishes for El-Zamalek, my favorite football team.

Update, Injis has a nice review for Al-Raheena movie on her blog. You can read it here.

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24 December 2006

The Digital Photography Effect

It seems that phone-cameras and video sharing sites such as YouTube, are the main drivers of events this year. Even Time magazine has mentioned this in their latest issue.

Here in Egypt, the police brutality is a matter of fact. We are somehow used to it, and policemen were never punished for it. Lately people have been exchanging a video taken by mobile phone, showing a police officer sexually harassing an Egyptian driver by putting a big wooden stick in his ass. The police officer was punished by moving him to firefighting department. I know this is not the suitable punishment for such deed, but this is the best we can have here. Also the Human Rights Watch is asking for a trial for the police officer. By the way this is not the only case of police brutality that has been shooted, you may find other videos here, here, and here.

In USA, photos showing Katie Rees, The former Miss Nevada, exposing her breast, and her thong underwear and kissing other young women at a party in Tampa, were enough to dethrone her, and the title was given to the first Runner-Up, Helen Salas, instead.

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23 December 2006

No for Xmas Greetings

My Salafy friend sent me an Email a couple of days ago warning me not to celebrate the Christmas, nor even send greetings to those who are going to celebrate it. And if I do so, I'll be "Kafer", and will be sent right to hell.

Those Salafy people have real problems with dealing with others. They cannot accept that people are just different. They also have a severe problem with religion, for them religion is really shallow, and many simple deeds are enough to stamp you as a non believer and "Kafer".

Update, 25/12/2006:
Merry Christmas to you all.

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20 December 2006

In a Copyrighted World

Our story takes place in the near future.
The laws related to copyrights have been massively changed.
The giant firms and international tycoons are yet trying to change these law more and more.

Scene #1.
Alice was walking in her flat, when she suddenly saw big rat running there. She used to hate rats, but this time the hated them more, especially when she dropped a glass of water from her hand. After a short while, she heard knocking on her door, she was sure that the police will come to her, but never expected them to arrive that quickly. According to the law, the law of gravity is now copyrighted, and if you drop anything or even if you fall down, you have to pay Newton Sons Ltd. some fees for using the law of gravity that they own. But, since she didn't inform the policy before dropping the glass, she was supposed to pay the fees and be put to jail for one week as well.

Scene #2.
It was Bob's first day to school, on his way, he decided to sing one of his favorite songs, "Humpty Dumpty". Poor Bob, all at a sudden he found himself surrounded by the CSG (Copyrights Security Guards) troops. The mighty guards took the 4 years old kid with them, and he will be locked in a special room, till they set him a trial.

Scene #3.
Eve owns a supermarket. She has to wake up early today on order to remove all the banners and signs with the word "Apple" on them, because according to law, people have to name that fruit anything else but "Apple", because it's a trademark that belongs to Apple Computer Inc. Even the singer, "Fiona Apple" has to change her name according to the same law.

Scene #4.
Tarek is checking the rope around his neck, as he decided to suicide. According to law he is not supposed to download music via peer to peer file sharing programs, he is not supposed to watch movies with his friends, and he cannot tell a joke he listened to this morning because it's, damn, copyrighted.

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18 December 2006

Share Your Feeds

Do you use Google Reader? O.k, if you do use it, than I guess, you also sort your feeds into folders, right? Don't you think that any of those folders worth being shared with others?

Come on, it's really simple.
Go to "Settings".
Then to "Tags" tab.
Now, click on the icon beside the word "private", beside the folder you want to share.
Did it turn to "public" now?
Click on the "view public page", and copy the URL and share it with us here, or even on your own blog

Here you are a link of my "Egyptian Blogs that I read" feed:
You can simply add it to your own Google Reader

And always remember...
"Behind the need to communicate is the need to share".

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Dolls Harassment

Gr33nData Studios Presents
The Worst Movie Ever
"Dolls Harassment"

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17 December 2006

Time magazine's "Person of the Year"

Time Magazine Person of the Year is You, Gr33ndata
You were named Time magazine "Person of the Year" on Saturday. No, "You" is not a Chinese person, Hong Shong You, or Ding Dong You, it is just you, as well as me for sure ;)

The magazine said naming a collectivity rather than an individual reflected the way the internet was shifting the balance of power within the media through blogs, videos and social networks. Time mentioned websites such as YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Wikipedia, which allow users to interact with the web by uploading and publishing their own posts, comments, videos, pictures and links.

You beat out candidates including Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, China's President Hu Jintao, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il

"It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes," Time magazine's Lev Grossman writes.
Time has been naming its person of the year since 1927 and the tradition has become the source of speculation every year, as well as controversy over unpopular choices such as Adolf Hitler in 1938 and Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.

The aim is to pick "the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse."

BBC News, Technology

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Gorgeous By The Media

You sure know that American actress called Halle Berry. Every time her name is mentioned in the media, it is preceded by stuff such as "the gorgeous actress", "the pretty", etc. Come on, is there anybody who really think that she is pretty. For me she is not even average. She is the American version of Sherine Ah-Ya-Leel, ughhhh!!

Sometimes, the media are fond of clichés, and they keep on repeating phrases and words without even thinking. May be the American media have their own reasons to call her pretty. May be they are trying to deliver a message that they are not against colored people, especially with their long history of racism. But what about our local newspapers!? Does the copy-and-paste culture have anything to do with this!? Are they just translating the articles and news they get, phrase by phrase, and word by word, without even thinking!?

By the way, you may think I am racist, and that I don't see her pretty because of her color. But you know, Beyonce Knowles for example, she is colored too, but I see her really hot.

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15 December 2006

Three F's

I caught a flu two days ago, headache kills me, I don't feel like blogging now. You know the three F's, "Fuck the Fucken Flu".

I am now connected to the internet through our neighbors wireless modem. Yeah, I know, I am a thief, but you know, it helps me to relax in bed while surfing the Internet, instead of being forced to sit on my desk.
You know the NTRA is fighting those who share their ADSL connection with neighbors. They are doing some advertisements warning people, that their telephone lines may be subject to disconnection if they do so. Ok, they may track those who use wired network, however it is really hard to do so, but what about wireless networks, how can they prove it!?

PS.1, I want to add another 3 F's, "Fuck the Fucken Flies", I really can't see any reason for such annoying insects to exist :)

PS.2, If you have your own 3 F's, please feel free to add them here.

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14 December 2006

Flickr Upgraded its Upload Limit

On Flickr blog, it's been announced that pro as well as free accounts' upload limit has been changed.
"At the same time, we've upped the limit for free account members as well, from 20MB per month up to 100MB (yep, five times more)!", Flickr's Blog.
Seems that the competition with Zooomr, Picasa Web, and ... may be ... ikbis is behind such move ;)

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12 December 2006

09 December 2006


I have been tagged by Arima
I stole this link from Izzi, who stole it on her turn from Mischa and had a heck of a lot of fun.
From, Arima, Ha Ana Za!
Tarek - Asian
My photo morphed as an East-Asian person

Tarek - African
Me as an African.

Tarek - Baby
Baby Tarek

Tarek - Manga

Tarek - ElGreco
El Greco

Tarek - Modigliani
Amedeo Clemente Modigliani

Let's tag, Blueue, Zeinobia, JPierre, Layal, and Sou.

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A Late "Thank You".

Ahmad Humeid, a Jordanian Blogger, and one of the founder of itoot, made to following comment on my, so called, Anti itoot campaign :)
Let me first say that it a mistake on our part not to respond to people who submit. Sincere apologies for that to anyone out there who has submitted his/her blog and not received a reply.
Let me also say that the the "I am not on toot" button is cool. Thanks for the extra exposure for toot :)
We had many discussions with bloggers over the past months about our criteria. Some of these discussions were quite heated and all kinds of accusations were thrown at us. (Jordan-bias, circle of friends, political direction, etc etc).
We know we cannot make everyone happy. But we probably need to make our criteria/lackthereof clearer on the site itself.
We basically seek to include blogs that add the diversity of our selection. Diversity from the perspective of: opinions, topics, seriousness/sillines, male-female, gepographic.
And let me remind you that what makes blogs os great for many is that you can read about people brushing their teeth sometimes, which is something you will not get in your daily newspaper.
We seek blogs who have been around for a while, that have a loyal audience and good or promising amount of traffic.
There is no "scientific" way to choose what goes on toot, and I am sure our biases as a team sometimes affect our selection.
What we are NOT is a general arab blog aggregator or a technorati replacement.
We recently removed some inactive blogs from toot.
I don't think anyone would dispute that toot aggregates some of the most respected blogs in the Arab world.
Lastly, we are a really small team and we have been very busy with our second product, which is the first Arabic video/photo sharing site.
So frogive us if we have no perfected everything. We hope to become more responsive and that we'll be able to add more blogs to toot soon.
Thanks for the feedback.
Thanks Ahmad for your feedback, however the anti-itoot campaign will not be stopped :-P

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Sitcom, Being Muslim Over There

A new Canadian comedy series called "Little Mosque on the Prairie", is being aired. It tries to explore the funny side of being a Muslim and adapting to life in post 9/11 North America.
[A] young man of evidently Pakistani or Indian origin is standing in an airport line, gesticulating emphatically as he says into his cellphone, "If Dad thinks that’s suicide, so be it", adding after a pause, "This is Allah’s plan for me."
As might be expected, a cop materializes almost instantly and drags the man off, telling him that his appointment in paradise will have to wait, even though the suicide he is referring to is of the career kind; he’s giving up the law to pursue a more spiritual occupation.
The scene unrolls early in the pilot of a new Canadian comedy series called "Little Mosque on the Prairie".
Source: The New York Times.
In fact, I didn't see a single episode of this series, however I think it's healthy to have something like this in the western media, that may replace the Terrorist Moslems stereotype, especially that the writer is a Canadian Muslim of Pakistani origin.

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07 December 2006

Google is our Customer

Guess what, Google is our customer now. They bought a firewall from us in order to secure their office here in Egypt.

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06 December 2006

Fuck the Seat Belt

Today noon I was on my way to a meeting in 6th of October City, where I saw a very strange scene. It was a police-crane with a micro-bus attached to it. The crane driver was swinging in the road as shown above. It seems that he was doing it intentionally in order to cause some damage in the micro-bus or so. First of all, it is not his right to damage the micro-bus. And the most important thing, can you imagine the risk of doing something like this on a highway!
The funny thing is that the police charge people for not fastening their seat-belts, or using their mobile phones while driving. Come on, the risk is nothing compared to what their crane was doing!
Fuck the seat belt, and fuck those idiots.

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04 December 2006

Global Orgasm

The mission of the Global Orgasm is to effect change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible surge of human energy.
The intent is that the participants concentrate any thoughts during and after orgasm on peace. The combination of high- energy orgasmic energy combined with mindful intention may have a much greater effect than previous mass meditations and prayers.
The goal is to add so much concentrated and high-energy positive input into the energy field of the Earth that it will reduce the current dangerous levels of aggression and violence throughout the world.
Actually, I didn't get their point, if they really have any. But since I have nothing in mind to blog now, I think my gentle readers deserve to see some weired news here every now and then :)

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Not Me!

Mazen Mason Panzram, a 22 years old male living in UAE. Do you know him!? I don't think so. Guess what I don't know him as well. But it seems that we have something in common. As you can see in his yahoo profile, his homepage *is* my own blog!
What the hell is his point, huh!?

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03 December 2006

Ten Years Chatting

I think most of us started dealing with the Internet in the late nineties, and chatting was one of the main activities people used to do online. You sure remember those old days when we used to remember our ICQ UIN, and we used to share it with our friends, you were also able to search for people by age, sex, and location. Some of you tried stuff such as mIRC and PalTalk which I never liked. Later on, we started to move to MSN, Yahoo Messenger, Skype and Google Talk. It's been ten years since we started to chat with others online, ten years, may be more, and may be less, yet it's a long period. But during those ten years how many real friends did we make out of those keyboard-pals!?
For me, out of those people I knew online, the number of...
Good friends = 0
Just friends = 0
People I go out with rarely = 0
Even enemies = 0
I don't know about you, but it came out that chatting is a good way to communicate with your existing friends, especially those who are traveling, but it sucks when it comes to making new friends.

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02 December 2006

Riad ُُُEl-Solh Square

Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered yesterday near Mr Siniora's office in Riad Solh Square, in Beirut, calling for the Lebanese government to step down. The tension between Hezbollah et. al. and the current government started a while ago, when Hezbollah's allies asked for a greater role in the government, followed by the resignation of Hezbollah, and Amal ministers, then came the assassination of Pierre Gemayel, who belongs to March the 14th movement, that is forming the majority of the current government, whose death and funeral were used by the government which played the role of the victim and got more sympathy in order to prevent Hezbollah protesters from getting down to the streets asking in order to force the government to resign. The government succeeded in delaying Hozbollah's allies peaceful protests, but it seems that such move was irreversible, and yesterday was the day.

Actually, I have some questions in mind that I want to share with you here. Is it Hezbollah's right to make such move? Come on, this government was elected by the Lebanese majority, and forcing it to resign, by a group of protesters, is really against democracy. I'll try to put myself in Hezbollah's shoes and figure out what is in their minds. Before the last Lebanese-Israeli conflict, Hezbollah used to rely on their military power, they never had a political majority in any government, though the Shiits are a demographic majority in Lebanon. The Lebanese Shiits never knew how to play the political game as well. The Lebanese constitution didn't give them enough power compared to their numbers, but they also failed to become a non-silent majority. If you have a look at the Lebanese media, you'll find most of the writers, journalists, and even actors and singers are Maronites or Sunnis. Even the Lebanese blogosphere is not far away from this. The birth of Hezbollah in the eighties was the only right move they did in their lifetime, however Hezbollah continued to count on its military power, and never cared about having a political power beside it. Then came the Lebanese-Israeli conflict, and the UN 1701 resolution, backed by the current Lebanese government and many other Arab and western governments, that limited Hezbollah's military power. So, they woke up and realized that they have to get themselves involved in the political game that they missed for ages. And for me this is why they decided to have allies such as Al Tayyar of General Oun, AmaL Movement, and Suleiman Franjieh, and this is why they asked for greater share in the government and finally they were forced to get down to the streets and used the silent majority they have as well their allies supporters in order to form a custom government where they can have greater role in.

On the other hand, the Siniora's governemt failed in dealing with the Lebanese-Israeli conflict, and this failure leads to an unjust resolution such as that one the UN made after the war. The government also failed in re-building what was destroyed during the war. In fact they failed in dealing with the war itself as well as the post-war situation. So the question is, isn't it the people's right to ask a government to resign after such failures? But, I think such call of resignation is supposed to be made in the parliament and not in the streets, right? I know, we are not used to this here in our region, and governments last either they fail or succeed. It's just our presidents/kings who have the right to force governments to either resign or stay. Anyway, may be it's me who is not used to democracy, so I'd like to know the opinion of those readers who live in democratic countries. Is it the protesters right or not to get down to the street calling for their government resignation when it fails?

One final note, sure you have noticed how some Arab leaders dealt with the current situation in Lebanon, and leaders of countries such as Saudia and Egypt backed the current Lebanese government against the protesters. First of all, it's an internal Lebanese affair, so they do not have the right to interfere with it. But also, I think that most of the Arab government are staying in their positions against their peoples will, so they are sure not happy to see something like this in a neighbor country, as it may happen to have similar protests some day in their own countries.

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01 December 2006

Green Data Blog Survey

Rami Sedhom, Iknaton2, has suggested a while ago on Bloggers-Eg, that we create surveys to know how our blogs visitors see them, and what are their opinions about them. Some of the group members suggested to keep those surveys only for Bloggers-Eg members, however I think it's better to publish it here for others to leave their two cents.

Please try to take this survey, and looking forward to seeing your comments.
Click here to start the survey

Thank you in advance

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30 November 2006

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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28 October 2006

GIMP: Lomo Effect

Click here to see the original photo.
Click here to see the original photo

The 35 mm LOMO LC-A camera employed an unusual lens which produced large amounts of distortion at the edges of the image whilst keeping the center sharp, it alos increases the contrast and colour saturation of the photos. The camera was promoted by businessmen from Austria with international gallery shows. You can see an example of Lomo like photos here, and here.
The GIMP, is a open-source software, which can be considered as an alternative to Photoshop. It has the ability to add Plug-in's and Scripts (Script-Fu). One of the scripts that I found lately has the ability to give photos taken by cameras other than Lomo LC-A a Lomographic effect.
To install the script -for Linux users only - save the file "lomo2.scm" into the following path, "/usr/share/gimp/2.0/scripts", given that you have GIMP version 2.0.
Script URL: Lomo2 Script-Fu

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Free Hugs Campaign

"The Free Hugs Campaign appears to have begun in 2004, and was widely publicized in 2006 by a music video. It involves individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public settings. The campaign is an example of a random act of kindness, a selfless act performed by someone for the sole reason of making others feel better. The original organizer has stated in interviews that the purpose is not to get names, phone numbers, or dates.", Wikipedia.

Now back to the Egyptian Blogosphere Meme, about the incident reported by Malek. "On October 23rd and 24th, large crowds of men sexually harassed women in the streets of downtown Cairo", MechanicalCrowds.
So, it seems that there are horny people everywhere, but some came out with the "Fee Hugs Campaign" idea, and others preferred to attack every single female in the street trying to touch an inch or two of her body.
As I said in a previous post, "The Middle Eastern society is changing into a Hybrid society, with a mix and match characteristics the Western society and the original Middle-Eastern one".

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26 October 2006

Public Masturbation in a Hybrid Society

I don't know if you've read the article published in Malek's blog lately about sexual harassment. It's in brief about what he saw in Cairo down town a couple of days ago, where dozens of men in the streets were chasing any female in the street, trying to touch an inch or two of her body.

As, you know, in the holy month of Ramadan, people are devoted to God/Allah, they try to pray more and prevent themselves from doing anything wrong during it. So, it became very common here to see people trying to be as good as they can till the month ends, then then as soon as the final day of it ends, they start to do all kinds of bad stuff, such as taking drugs, drinking, watching pornographic materials, and lately sexual harassment. However, from what I read in female owned blogs, it seems that harassment is becoming more common here everyday and everywhere. It's seen in public transportation, streets, schools, and even mosques

But, let me ask, why such thing was not common here twenty years ago. I think one of the main reasons for this is the Hybrid society we live in now. I am going to explain the meaning of hybrid society later on, but let me now do a quick comparison between the western society and the middle-eastern one.

In the western society, people can have girlfriends/boyfriends, they can have sex before marriage, pornographic materials such as magazines and videos are available, people have their independent life and most of them live away from their parents when they get older, and finally, there are laws against sexual harassment.

In a typical middle-eastern society, may be twenty years ago. By the way, I prefer to call it middle-eastern society instead of an Islamic one as these characteristics were common here in our society for Muslims, as well as non-Muslims. So, in the middle-eastern society the term of a girlfriend where not even defined, sex is not allowed before marriage, porn was really hard to get (remember, there was no internet then), people live with their parents till they get married, and so there was no need for anti harassment laws.

Now, with the presence of the advanced communication methods, such as satellite channels, and the internet, the middle eastern society is changing into a hybrid society, with a mix and match characteristics of each of the two models mentioned earlier. the idea of having a girlfriend is becoming more common here, however having sex before marriage is not allowed. So you can have a girlfriend, but you cannot kiss her. Porn is available, from the internet, and even video clips are more into semi-nude models, and on the other hand the western any-harassment laws are not available.

One more thing to take into consideration is that although sex is not allowed before marriage as I said earlier, marriage is not simple. When someone proposes to a girl he has to pay her Mahr - about L.E.20,000 to L.E.50,000 - and bring her Shabka - A diamond ring that costs much too. Some parents put extra financial, sectarian, and many other obstacles.

Sure there are many other reasons for such issue, such as the bad education system we have here, where students don't go to school, and as you know one of the main tasks of a school beside education, is discipline. People don't trust the religious system here - such as Al Azhar - any more, and they now get their religious knowledge from uneducated and untrusted sources. And what I mean by uneducated sources are those underground Sheiks who suffer from financial and may be sexual frustration, and they keep on talking about women as the main source of evil, and focus more on them as an object of amusement instead of a human being. Drugs and alcohol are becoming more common as well. Even the media here, including movies and music, which are supposed to build people's taste and mind are degrading.

Finally, I tried to put here what can be the reason for such shameful acts according to my point of view, however I think bloggeresses comments can help in building a more complete image here.

Update 3:20 AM:
It came out that Zeinobia wrote a great article about the same issue, you'd better read it too.
Egyptian chronicles, Searching for reason
You may also see Mechanical Crowds' "When The Crowds Are Gone".

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23 October 2006

Feed Readers

Google Reader Screenshot

According to Wikipedia, a Feed Reader, or News Aggregator or whatever you want to call it, is a client software that uses a web feed to retrieve syndicated web content such as weblogs, podcasts, vlogs, and mainstream mass media websites, or in the case of a search aggregator, a customized set of search results.

So, what the heck are all these technical names? Let's say you know a group of blogs that you like to read their updates daily. So, they came out with an invention, which is Web Feed. Web Feed is a web page written in a special format, where the updates of a site or blog or whatever content are shown. You may click here to see my blog's feed to know what I am talking about. The point of using a special format is to make it standard so that the Feed Reader software can read and understand it easily. And there are different standard formats, such as RSS and Atom. Now, back to the group of blogs you like to read daily, one solution is to remember their addresses and visit them one by one. But what if they are 10, 100, or even 1000 blogs, how can you manage to remember them. So, here comes the Feed Readers, where you add the Feeds of those blogs, and let it show you the updates in them in a single place. And that's why they call it Aggregator too. One more thing, it is not limited to blogs, you can add feeds from News sites, Podcasts, Photos Sharing Sites such as Flickr, etc.

The Feed Readers can be in the form of a Desktop software, but due to the webifying hype we live in today, there are many web based feed readers. You go to a web page and add the feeds you like there, and then you'll be able to see the updates from those sites, and blogs there in that page. Google Reader, as well as My Yahoo!, Newsgator, Rojo and Bloglines are the most popular web-based feed readers out there

I tried Bloglines a while ago, but I didn't like it's interface, and I am using Google Reader now. Actually, visiting and AlArabiya were more than enough to know the latest updates in the Egyptian Blogsphere and the News respectively. But later on, I wanted to explore blogs from different countries. Limiting yourself to your local Blogosphere is not a good idea, it's like limiting yourself to our local Media such as our crappy Channel1 and Channel2. But the question now, how can I pick the best blogs from zillions of blogs out there. Let's say I want to pick up some Lebanese blogs, that I think they worth reading, one way to do this is to go to a couple of Lebanese blogs, and then follow the links - and comments - there from one blog to another, and read three or four post in each of these blogs to know if it worth being added to my aggregator or not. Another method - the one I am trying now - is to add an aggregate for blogs from a specific country, like Manalaa, there are some locations where you can get aggregate feed from *all* the blogs in a specific country such as Lebanon for example. But the problem with this is that you'll find yourself getting zillions of posts everyday, and that's why I think I am supposed to filter them later on.

One good feature in Feed Aggregators, is that you can categorize/tag the feeds you read, let's say "Egyptian-Blogs", "Technical-Blogs", "MiddleEast-News", Movies-and-Cinema", etc. But the way of tagging the feeds in Google Reader is really annoying, you have to go to the Reader's Settings and edit the feeds one by one. I think, they are supposed to make it easier, let's say by giving the user the ability to drag and drops the feeds in the categorie he/she likes.

Another feature, is that you can make one of these categories public, then you can share it with a friend. The public feed has a unique URL, so if you want to share it with a friend you can send him an email with this URL. However, I think Google are supposed to make it easier too. They are supposed to let people browse each others' profiles in order to see their public feeds and add them if they want to.

Finally, feel free to share your Google Reader public feeds here if you have any. And Happy Eid, i.e. Feast.

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The Netscaping of Symantec and McAfee

Here you are, a copy-n-paste post from Slashdot.
"I mention Netscape because, if you believe Symantec and McAfee, a similar situation is about to unfold within the security industry. Microsoft, again recognizing late that it had failed to seize upon this thing called security, is now about to bundle its own security solutions within Windows Vista and further enforce new security policies that lock out some third-party security solutions altogether. Vendors Symantec and McAfee have looked into the future and realized that people may one day speak of them in the way that we now speak reverently of the early builds of Netscape", By RS232.
But let me add something here, yes windows killed Netscape by integrating their web browser - Internet Explorer - into their operating system, but what about Firefox. The free open-source browser Firefox is eating of Microsoft's browsers market share a year after a year. This is due to their appealing features such as the Addons (Extensions), Tabbed Browsing, Anti Spyware, Anti Phishing, etc. Finally, I think many users, including me, don't think it's really a good choice to depend on Microsoft in securing the computers.

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20 October 2006

Boobs, Beer, Drugs, and Construction Industries

Roba of "And Far Away" has published The Forbes Arabia Top 40 Arab Brands list. According to Forbes Arabia, the brand must have been created and must be owned by an Arab company in order to be included in the list. The list also gauges which brands are most admired and trusted by consumers.
Out of the 40 brands, there are only four Egyptians. Melody (Number 33 in the list) a Music and Video Clips TV channel, Fayrouz (35) Beverage and Beer, Two Apples (38) Tobacco and Shisha-Tobacco, and finally Orascom (40) Construction Industries.
Most of the other brands are from UAS, Sauida, Lebanon, and some other countries such as Kuwait, Tunisia, Jordan, etc.
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18 October 2006

Blogging License

The European Commission proposal would require websites and mobile phone services that feature video images to conform to standards laid down in Brussels. Ministers fear that the directive would hit not only successful sites such as "YouTube" but also amateur "video bloggers" who post material on their own sites. Personal websites would have to be licensed as a "television-like service".
Times Online, Technology
Slashdot, EU Considering Regulating Video Bloggers

The point with blogs and stuff like YouTube are free speech and the ability to say whatever you want the way you want it. It's really helpful in countries where the mainstream media is controlled by the government. So what the heck are these Europeans thinking of!? Can you imagine someone asking for a license in order to upload a home made video, or to publish a poem he wrote!?

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Don't Write It. Sketch It!

OK, we can use some keywords to find some specific pages online. But what about photos!? Keywords are not always the best way to find them. But drawing a simple sketch for the photos you are looking for and asking the search engine to find them can be more helpful.
Retrievr is an experimental service which lets you search and explore in a selection of Flickr images by drawing a rough sketch.

They are still in an experimental phase, but the idea itself is really cool. You may also use different colours in your sketch to get better results

You know what, I had a similar idea long time ago, but it was for music files. Sometimes you know some music but you don't know the actual song's names, so why there is no search engine where you can hum or sing a song for it to find it for you.

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HOWTO: Pretty Woman

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