25 December, 2006

Godfather of Soul Dies at 73

James Brown is dead.

The godfather of soul died this monday at age 73. He suffered from pneumonia.
James brown was a huge musical influence, right up there with Elvis Presly, Michael Jackson & others.
His songs will remain playing over and over around the globe.

23 December, 2006

Nintendo Wii HACKED?

A video surfaced on you tube showing a normal disc being played by a normal Wii using a boot loader on an SD card.

Now, The GC/Wii discs use a different data frame structure than a standard DVD so that is why they don't read correctly and the disc's files are normally inaccessible. However, There is a utility that essentially decrypts raw image dumps (via brute-forcing the encryption keys)- meaning you can then access the files within the image. Therefore it is possible (but very difficult) to dump Wii images properly in Linux, this image has been dumped via PC with modified drive Firmware and custom code to obtain the Wii image. And so, PARADOX released thier first dump of Red Steel on 45 splitfiles.
Paradox is a well known group that pirates games and distributes them online. the NFO file for red steel read:

___ _ _ ___ \__\\\ \ . R E L E A S E N O T E S . / ///__/ Here
we are again bringing you another world first, a full DVD image of one of the
best Wii games to date, RedSteel. Thanks to all our friends who helped make
this release possible Let the hacking and exploration of the Nintendo Wii
begin! As is often the case with these scene firsts, it could be a while
still until this image is playable. So in the meantime be the envy of your
friends by loading this image into your usual dvd recording software and
burn it as a data dvd. This game is worth buying, and you currently have
no choice, so go out and support the company that brought you this great

This boot loader is supposed to be released 1/1/07, here is it's video:

I strongly urge all readers to treat this as RUMOR only. Basis of my skepticism is that 1) the boot loader was loaded from within the image viewer? For all I know it could be an image that says boot loader.

And most importantly 2) We can see that after the boot loader was added, the words [AV1] springs up on the TV. Which means he switched AV input to another Wii running a legitimate game or to a video playback device that played a recording of a normal Wii game booting up.

On a personal note I do not wish for the Wii to be hacked. Its their best advantage, good games will come out on the Wii if no one can play it for free (meaning the company releasing games will make sure to earn money). Piracy hurts consumers more than they are aware of.

16 December, 2006

Happy National Day

Happy National Day to all!

14 December, 2006

Akhbar Alkhaleej shows ignorance

Our dear news paper "Akhbar Alkhaleej" shows its ignorance when posting the picture of Devil Jin Kazama of Namco's successful fighting game "Tekken", as an illustration to a story about some crime forcasting program. What on earth do the two have in common? I'm sure that the person who used this mage doesn't know what this image is, and this is my point. Ignorance!
You know what? I may be picky but I'm tiered of people who cannot differentiate between a Koala bear, a Polar bear & a Panda. I'm tiered of people who will run a story on an elderly home and attache a picture of the YMCA. I'm tiered of people who refer to AAAALLLL foreign language music as "rock music موسيقى الروك". Things that are supposedly common knowledge should'nt go through this!
From now on, I shall point out stupidity and ignorance. I accept your contributions with pleasure.

12 December, 2006

Blue Dragon's Videos

Here are some videos for the game, and remember; all graphics are real-time X360 graphics.

Real time gameplay:

11 December, 2006

Ruqaya Alghasra wins Gold in 200m women Asian games Doha 2006

Ruqaya Alghasra
won today the gold medal for running women's 200m event in the Doha 2006 Asian games.
She was the slowest out of the blocks, but she gains alot of speed in a scary way. She finished the 200m in 23.19 seconds. She also won Bronze for 100m.
What makes this woman so special, is that she runs fully clothed, adhering to her Islamic belief.
She has very strong mindset, to go against everyone just because you believe in what you do needs it. So what if the wind will tug at her clothes and slow her down? She'll just run faster! And that she does!
She is impressive when she runs, I am proud to stand next to her and say I am a Muslim and a Bahraini.

Ruqaya, you are tough. Kudos to you and congratulations! You make all of Bahrain proud.

Paris Hilton's Nintendo DS

The famous Paris Hilton (yes, the one and only) have released 20 limited Special edition Nintendo DS lite systems encrusted in Swarovski Crystals and designed by her (obviously).
This thing is on sale on ebay for less than $1500.
I must now go shoot my self, excuse me.

You are attacked by "Blue Dragon"

Just as I expected.
Mistwalker (the game developer started by RPG Master Hironobu Sakaguchi) have released "Blue Dragon" on the Xbox 360, and its causing a riot.
Microsoft needed a strong RPG in order to get into the Japanese Market, without that market, the Xbox will lack the 3rd Party support of Japanese developers which will repeat the first Xbox scenario.

So Microsoft made an agreement with Mistwalker, and released Blue Dragon.
Do you know who is the team behind it?

  1. Hironobu Sakaguchi: God father of the Final Fantasy Series.
  2. Akira Toriyama: Character Designer for Dragon Ball Z & Dragon Quest series.
  3. Noubu Umatsu: Is the music composer who worked on all Final Fantasy titles.

So you see ladies and Gentle gamers, Mistwalker is the new Square.

Apparently, Microsoft's plan... worked, as famitsu Magazine reports:

"over 180 people were lined up in front of the Yodobashi
Camera store in Akihabara, Japan, waiting to purchase Mistwalker's Xbox 360 RPG
Blue Dragon. 40 TV stations and newspaper reporters were present before the game
went on sale at 9AM. Microsoft has shipped 200,000 copies of the game."

So, I see the Japanese are eating it up. Famitsu also gave this game a 37/40 score (four reviewers scoring out of ten: 9/9/9/10), and if you know Famitsu magazine, they have a very hard quality standard.

I predicted that the X360 will not succeed unless they succeed with Mistwalker in a previous post. and it looks like my predictions will come true.

10 December, 2006

Japanese Guy Does Amazing Trick Shots

If you have 10 minutes to kill, watch this video. This guy does alot of strange Billiard trick shots. You gotta see this.

09 December, 2006

Israel has a bad image? you don't say!

A report on MENAFN says Israel has a very bad image.

"According to the Anholt Nation Brands Index report, Israel's international image
is in the pits — i.e., the world's perception of Israel is in keeping with its
unvarnished ugliness as an occupier and oppressor, as a military machine gone

REALLY?? Israel has an image as an oppressor? Wow.. God, I mean I never saw that coming!

Anyway, here is the nice bit of news:

Israel is using FREE services from Saatchi & Saatchi to "enhance" the country's "brand".

Saatchi & Saatchi has a significant presence in the gulf and the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is owned by the french Publicis Groupe, which also is present in Bahrain. How much will they use this presence to "enhance" Israel's image is unknown.

The full MENAFN article can be found HERE.

The same story is also run on the Israeli website Israel Today.

07 December, 2006

Taekwondo Competitions today. BAHRAIN GO!

If you were ever wondering what am I a redbelt in, its WTF Taekwondo.

I had the pleasure to study under the amazing referee and coach, Sabumnim Abdulla Aldoy. I had to quit before I attain my black belt due to work and mixed schedules. But TKD will always be in my blood.

I am still loyal to the Black & Yellow Aldoy's TKD Centre in Riffa. I'm glad that most of our team consists of their members.

They will start at 2:30 PM, I am wishing them luck with all my heart.

DOHA 2006 - The games of your life - Part 2

Ah, 7th day of the games, that was fast.
As I said I was there at the event. Amazing turnout. Around 40 thousand souls were present.
The stadium was jam packed despite the rain. My ticket was for QR 650, still people of all races and Qatari's most importantly of all ages and genders were strongly represented.
If you notice the picture on the right, you will see a huge blue wall.
That turned out to be the screen.
Being a Naive Bahraini, I thought it would be some sort of a projector screen. Poor me.
This turned out to be a PLASMA TV WALL (courtesy of their sponsor Samsung). An honest to god wall of plasma TV's!
In a recent documentary, the show director commented that there is not a single similar screen in size in the world.
Khalifa stadium however, has three.
One in the centre, one to the left & another to the right. Everyone in the stadium can see them.
The show naturally was amazing, cables were flying, lights dancing, people parading. It was simply stunning.
Beneath each and every guest was a metal box shaped like a traditional embayat box (صندوق مبيت), in it there were audience participation tools. It had a lighted pearl, light sticks and bracelets, lighted fans, confetti cracker, an honest to god real Mirwas drum, and several flags and the like.
It is very clear that Qatar spared no expense and most importantly, spared no effort in holding this tournament.
The audience enjoyed great songs by Chinese, Indian, Arab & a Spanish performer (A double CD is out for QR 110).
The cauldron & the lightning of it was the main attraction. The cauldron, was shaped like an Astrolabe, and was beautifully done.
The torch itself was a huge neon lit tower besides the stadium.

The person who lit the Cauldron was non other than the Amir's son, who by the way, trained in secret. No one knew that he will be the one to light the cauldron, as he trained veiled lat at night.
He is of course the captain of the Equestrian Endurance team, a position that he proved his ability to hold when he surprised his own father, the Amir, and the entire Khalifa stadium by bolting on top of his trusty steed up the stairs and wet slopes.
The stadium gasped and were holding their nerves as the steed slipped on the wet slope nearly throwing the young Amir from its back. But he held on. and arrived to the top with great applause. You can see the video of that below.

More dancing ensued, everyone was happy, the torch was finally lit and everyone left Khalifa's stadium jolted, on edge, hyper and unable to bear the wait until the start of the games of our life.

04 December, 2006

DOHA 2006 - The games of your life - Part 1

I just came from a brief visit to Qatar, I attended the Opening ceremony for Doha 2006 Asian Games, and let me tell you, it really looks like Its going to be the Games of MY life!
Never did I imagine Qatar being able to host such an event. Turns out that I'm wrong, way wrong.
Qatar is not only hosting the event, Qatar is undergoing a huge metamorphosis. It is rapidly evolving into a modern age country in a very systematic style.
I know Dubai had a growth spurt, but look at it, its devoid of locals, where as Qatar is working hard to include locals in this changing process.
A sense of pride enveloped all of Qatar. You can easily see Qatari flags on cars, on a mast or tied to a side mirror or bearing stickers of Doha 2006 on the car bonnets, not to mention these giant buildings tall adverts stuck on hotels and banks.

Qatar revamped the cities, with new buildings, new roads and new everything.
To a poor Bahraini like me, I was shocked. The sidewalk they had, was as big as a 3 lane highway here in Bahrain. And you know what it was made of?
No, not bricks, no, not sand... no not that ugly fat plant that we try to pass off as grass in here.
It actually had GRASS!
Honest to god, real living GRASS! I know! I was shocked too, I though grass growing up in the gulf was a myth! if you recall, 11 Mumtaz (premier) league football (soccer if your a yank) games in Bahrain were postponed due to the rain which created puddles on the pitch. For shame...tsk tsk..

Qatar had the opening ceremony IN the rain. Heck, if you see the picture of the beautiful grassy sidewalk, you'll notice it was raining at the time. Poor us Bahrainis.

Not only that, they had roses on the street too! The kind that we see poor labourers planting hastily on the 14th or 15th of December., only to be removed two weeks later (are they on loan or something?).

anyway, back to the astonishing public involvement, everyone chipped in. Individuals, big businesses & small ones.

The inside of the hotel lobby of the Marriot.

A small restaurant advertising one of the Cultural events in Doha 2006

Big franchises got in on the act.

Qtel, one of the main sponsors had ads that state "We are all Qatar كلنا قطر", this slogan was widely seen on T-shirts, the Internet and on cars.

Behind it you can see Tissot's Asian Games Ad.

- End of Part 1 -

Stupid kids!

Ah, thoes Saudi kids...
They give you a new meaning for complete disregard for ones wellbeing.
Bless them.