23 February, 2008

NYIT Students can't spell

NYIT Students are on one of their activities. Students have split into teams and are buliding mini countries within the campus. They have posters all over the place.
It just strikes me as Ironic that university level students of an AMERICAN COLLEGE can't spell properly in English!
I'm sorry, I just realized this makes absolute sense, I take that back.

17 February, 2008

LUG: The ASUS eee PC notebook

I posted before about the February Linux Users Group (LUG) gathering in February the 9th. The discussion was about the Asus eee PC.
for those who do not know, the eee PC is an amazing sub-notebook. It has a screen of 7 inches only, is under a kilo (900 grams) and costs BD 150, only! I'm not kidding!
No, this is not like Windows mobile or some limited OS. It has a fully functioning Linux Distro (Xandros). I mean fully working because you can browse the net, check email, write letters, watch movies and everything else just like a home PC. Marwan, the presenter and proud owner, did an amazing job familirizing everyone with the machine. The eee PC is damn sexy for sure. It's perfect as a cafe laptop, for watching movies, travel PC, presentation (can be hooked to a projector) a cheap student laptop for lectures (instead of an actual notebook) or even a kids first laptop.
It has an easy interface which is neat and an advanced interface that looks like a normal Linux distro.
I took tones of pictures and videos and wanted to make my own video, then I found this video online which did a great job summerizing it.
You can find it on Amazon, click the banner on the right. I expect someone to buy it for me on my birthday (cough, 30th April, cough).

14 February, 2008

I HAVE to go to Dubai before I die.

I am flying to Dubai tonight. Just to spend the weekend with my wife and return on Saturday, nothing much.
I've been to Dubai numerous times. I've seen it rise from almost nothing to the huge sprawling futuristic mega polis it is today. Once upon a time, Bahrainis had the audacity to compare themselves to Dubai. Sometimes even thinking that we were better. While that may have been true at one point of time, it is not even remotely funny now.
Wether you like what Dubai became or not, you have to agree it is awesome. Everyone in the world knows what Dubai is, maybe without knowing what the UAE is. Bahrain is still thought of as a town in an American state by some.
In this website, 9 amazingly great structures from around the world are presented, Burj Dubai, which promises to be the tallest in the world by a long shot, is the greatest. When this was posted on the social website "digg", it revoked lots of comments like: "I HAVE to go to Dubai before I die".
This is the second post about the emirate in that website in a week and it always gets the same kind of response; a sense of awe and a desire to be there. Dubai is speaking to the emotions of millions.
Tell me, if the architects of "the world" came to Bahrain and said: "lookie here, we will build several man made islands in the shape of the earth continents just off the shore", what would happen? I'm guessing that the most conservative man here would probably salute them with a single finger.
Dubai has a certain quality, it looks at kooky ideas and goes: "OK, do it. We will give you anything you need".
I hope we too lose our "common sense" and get crazy soon.

You Complete Me: Happy Valentines

Although I am not a huge Valentine fan, This "Tetris" Valentine image fits the blog and date. Gamers, send it to whom you love. Non gamers, send it to the gamers you know.
Happy Valentine.

11 February, 2008

Aldoys in the USA Open Taekwondo Tournament

Isa and his sister Reem (pictured) flew over to USA to take part in the US Open Taekwondo Tournament. Along was their father & coach (my coach too) Sabumnim, Abdulla Aldoy. This is Isa's first mens competition, although he enters it as a veteran after winning several age group tournaments.
The tournament has players from:
  • USA (well, obviously!)
  • Bahrain
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • Colombia
  • Romania
  • Korea
  • Kenya
  • Brazil
  • Nepal
Aldoys are the only ones representing Bahrain and the Arab world. The full roster of players are found here.
According to the website, it should have been finished yesterday, but I can't find for the life of me any results posted on line at all. It's like everyone is busy with the tournament to post anything and the media is busy with other sports. Shame that.
I wish them good luck and if anyone knows anything about it, please leave a comment. Thanks.

Egypt are the African Champions

Yesterday, I skipped a lecture at university, headed straight home to throw away my suit and wear the "gahwa" uniform, I have a match to catch.
I reached the gahwa, seats were filling up quick and becoming rather rare. 3 friends came and joined me. Egypt was playing Cameroon for the title of "the African Champion".
90 nail biting minutes. The Egyptians again played like men. They played like it personally mattered to them, like it is a matter of pride and honour, like a plague of unholy death was to befall them should they lose.
These men fought, and might I add, with a sporting spirit.
Mr. Hubail, Mr. Salmeen, I hope you saw that match yesterday. I really do. Call up the rest of the team mates, do you have their phone numbers? Well call them up and make sure they saw that. y'know, just to have an idea what fighting for one's country is like, if you'd ever be interested in something like that.
Egypt had a solid defense line, a strong middle and dangerous attackers. Alhadari was an amazing goal keeper as well, saving the Egyptians numerous times.
Their strategy was sound and well implemented. That was a performance I can hardly fault.
Congratulations Egypt. Unlike others that come to mind, you are making arabs proud. Thank you.

10 February, 2008

Egyptian Attitude, making me proud to be an Arab again.

Once upon a time, I used to write a sports column in a local newspaper, then I used to post in my blog about Bahraini sports. The column was dropped and the posts got less frequent. The sporting situation in Bahrain is so pathetically useless that it was mentally and emotionally straining to write about.
And then I watched the Egypt Vs. The Ivory Coast match (CAF Africa Cup of Nations). The Egyptians won 4-1 in a fierce and competitive battle.
The Egyptians fought hard, stuck to the plan and passed pin point passes. But no amount of technical strategy or fitness can equal a variable called "HEART". Yes, the Egyptians played with heart. With courage. Made themselves proud, and made me proud to be an Arab.
Not so with our "National" team, unfortunately.
I see my team, the one bearing MY flag, walk around the pitch instead of running, heads down. Like they are waiting for something to happen.
MY team is satisfied with simply passing in the general direction of a team mate, if it so happens to land dead centre between the legs of the opposing team player, so be it.
Where is the fire? Where is the spark? Where is the passion that I saw in '04?
As an HR professional, morale is very high on my list. No one can perform with a bad attitude, and the problem is that bad attitude is very contagious.
Bahrain won over Oman recently 1:0 in it's Asian World Cup qualifiers. I am glad we won, upset we sucked.
I am fed up of the whiny, overconfident, unresponsive and fragile players. kick them all out for all I care. The only people who should be in the national team are ones who beg to be in it, who want it. I don't care if I lose so long as I feel and see my team give out their all. Bored players are no good for me.
Thank god for Egypt for keeping my Arabic sports pride from dying.

Yahoo's Board Rejects Microsoft's takeover

After reading about Microsoft's intention to acquire them, Yahoo Board members concluded the unsolicited $44.6 billion offer massively undervalues the Web pioneer, a person familiar with the situation told the newspaper.

read more | digg story

07 February, 2008

Fifth Internet Cable is cut.

I posted a while back about how three undersea internet cables were cut, causing much disarray and a state of cyber isolation. Since then, a fourth and a fifth cable has also been cut. What the..??
Five Internet cables cut? all in one time? At different parts of the world?
Let me think this through..
1 cable cut... happens
2 cables cut that are 1 km apart ... happens, but you must be pretty stupid to do that
3 cables cut, 2 of which is 1 km apart in one sea and the third is in another ... that is weird!
4 cables cut, the fourth one between UAE & Qatar.. all four are connected to the mid east.. That sounds fishy.
5 Cables cut, all to Asian countries... Something is very wrong here.

According to Mr. Jaishankar, an executive of "du", an Emarati telecom company:

"These are SeaMeWe-4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4) near Penang, Malaysia, the FLAG Europe-Asia near Alexandria, FLAG near the Dubai coast, FALCON near Bandar Abbas in Iran and SeaMeWe-4, also near Alexandria."

The "I love Bonnie" tech blog has its own theories, for this is too much for mere coincidence. Read about them on that blog. While his theories are interesting and may very well hold water, a lot of people are thinking that this is the beggining of an information blackout for Iran in preparation for a strike. What with the election news in the U.S., this will not be on any front page.

There are many conspiracy theories floating around right now, but I know that 5 times in a row, in the same time, in different parts of the world is NOT a fluke.

05 February, 2008

Linux Users Group (LUG) Feb. Meeting

The Bahraini LUG is meeting up on Saturday, 9th of February at 3:30 PM. Some bloggers expressed interest in learning this new "Linux" thing. I urge you all to come, if only to blog about it.

In each meeting, a certain topic is discussed. For February, they'll speak about this:

Colinux: Run Linux on Windows

  • Presenter: Marwan Al-Sabbagh
  • Presentation Type: Technical Presentation
  • Summary: coLinux, is software which allows Microsoft Windows and the Linux kernel to run simultaneously in parallel on the same machine.
The meeting will be at the Bell view apartments in Exhibition avenues. Look at the map or visit the LUG's page here for directions.
Laptops are most welcome!

Newsflash: Microsoft Office is made by Microsoft!

I was working on outlook, as usual, it crashed. I opted to report the problem and in comes the verdict (marked in yellow above): Microsoft Office crashed because of Microsoft office itself. Oh, and that Microsoft office, is made by Microsoft, by the way; just in case you don’t know.

02 February, 2008

Barbaric. Simply Barbaric and Evil.

I really don't feel like blogging about this. This is what The daily mail reported today:

Al Qaeda use two Down's syndrome women to blow up 73 people in Baghdad markets

Al Qaeda fanatics plumbed sickening new depths yesterday when they turned two women with Down's syndrome into human bombs to kill 70 people in Baghdad.

The unwitting pawns were apparently fooled into wearing explosive vests which were then detonated remotely by mobile phones as the women mingled with crowds.

I am speechless. If you can muster a word, leave a comment.

Internet Sea Cables [diagram]

Recently, the undersea internet cable was damaged in the sea near Egypt, causing near disconnected status to many in the GCC and India.
It wasn't just one cable too, they were two! A full 1 Kilometer apart. How did two get severed in the same time? Allah knows that's for sure. But we have no idea of any mere mortals with that kinda knowledge, according to our local press.
But according to this diagram, it knows of the culprit. The diagram above shows the undersea cables around the world, the damaged ones are in black, it has this to say:
Alexandria, Wednesday,

A ship's anchor accidentally cuts two cables, SeaMeWe 4 and FLAG Europe-Asia reducing internet capacity in Asia by 75%

So, someone stupidly forgot to raise the freaking anchor, is that it? Didn't the people on the ship feel they were cutting a cable? OK, they may have felt the cable cutting thing with the first one, but you'd think they'd raise it before they hit the other ONE KILOMETER AWAY.
But I'm being harsh, pherhaps the poor souls couldn't raise that anchor. Maybe it was busted as we know how we mid-easterns love to keep everything well maintained and in an imacculate condition. Your theories on what realy happened are highly welcome in the comments section.

01 February, 2008

Microsoft to buy Yahoo! for $44.6 billion

Microsoft has offered to buy the search engine company Yahoo for $44.6bn in cash and shares. Seems like good ol' Microzift is upping the ante in its war against Google. Read more on the BBC website.

read more | digg story