Mohamed Qasem's Blog

Again I was browsing around and found my friend's Mohamed Qasem's Blog. He had a real cool email newsletter going on for a while but it stopped. Now I see he has a blog and he nicely included my link there. In return, in the eternal blog tradition, I have linked back to him.

Syndicate Your Content on My Yahoo!

My home page on my browser is My Yahoo! and I always wanted to put a Add to My Yahoo! button. So I did a little searching and found Get your content syndicated on Yahoo!. It generates the html code needed and the graphics and voila! you got your Add to My Yahoo!. Very cool.


Iraq: A Photo Report

Satellite Image of Iraq

A satellite image of Iraq, the picture clearly shows that there are no weapons of mass destruction (WMD.)


the Iraqi Capital city of Baghdad. The population density is very clear.

Asassinated Iraqi Official

Thousands of Iraqis mourn an assassinated Iraqi official. He was known for his righteousness and upstanding ways. Another drop in the bucket of murders that are witnessed by the Iraqi population every day.

Millions of Iraqis participated in the first free Iraqi elections. Something that Iraqis only dreamed of. The queues extended for miles. This was a sight for sore eyes.

Terorist Down

A group of Iraqis gathered around a freshly backed terrorist. The terrorist was targeting a school for children, instead he slipped on a banana skin which set of his bomb killing only himself. Terrorist organizations around the world have protested and filed a signed petition to the UN requesting better sanitation and cleaner streets in Iraq.


Huge line-ups on the streets of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, of Iraqi men volunteering for police service. Police and security forces that are supposed to protect the public from terrorist attacks, are increasingly becoming target for terrorist attacks.
The Iraqi Police are pleading with the Iraqi people to keep the streets dirty, especially with banana skins, especially after they noticed its terrorist fighting properties.

This report is not designed to make fun of the situation in Iraq nor to make light the suffering of the Iraq people. It is merely intended to poke fun at an otherwise dire situation. It is meant to be viewed as a political caricature. With our best wishes for a lively and prosperous Iraq. God knows we have waited for that day for a long time. Thanks to AM for this report


War on Terror - Unix

$ cd /middle_east
$ ls
Afghanistan Iraq Libya Saudi_Arabia UAE
Algeria Israel Morrocco Sudan Yemen
Bahrain Jordan Oman Syria
Egypt Kuwait Palestine Tunisia
Iran Lebanon Qatar Turkey

$ cd Afghanistan
$ ls
bin Taliban
$ rm Taliban
rm: Taliban is a directory
$ cd Taliban
$ ls
$ rm soldiers
$ cd ..
$ rmdir Taliban
rmdir: directory "Taliban": Directory not empty
$ cd Taliban
$ ls -a
. .. .insurgents
$ chown -R USA .*
chown: .insurgents: Not owner
$ cd ..
$ su
Password: *******
# mv Taliban /tmp
# exit

taken from here.

I hope this does not happen:

$ su
Password: *******
# cd /
# ls
America Europe Asia Africa
# rm -rf *

Dubai - City of Today and Tommorow

Space World
To-scale models of space crafts can be found in Dubailand. Dubailand will contain 45 mega projects and over 200 tourism, leisure and entertainment sub projects making it the most ambitious tourist destination ever created. Dubai land is being created to appeal to the widest audience of tourists, covering all age groups, nationalities and activities.
On completion.
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Dubailand themepark will be twice the size of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
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Phase 1 of the Dubailand project will extend from 2007 to 2010 and the final phase of the Dubailand will be completed between 2015 and 2018.

Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport, the most active in the world, can now accomodate 22 million travellers annually. After completing its enlargement project scheduled 2008 whose second phase has already started, 70 million passengers will pass through this airport each year.
The Dubai government has committed to a major expansion plan of the Dubai International Airport and its affiliated divisions. The new expansion programme of the Dubai International Airport (Phase 2) is due to cost $2.5 billion and was begun by the Department of Civil Aviation in 2002. It includes the construction of Terminal 3, concourse 2 and concourse 3, and a Mega Cargo Terminal. Construction work for Terminal 3, concourse 2 and concourse 3 is scheduled for completion by 2006. The Cargo Mega Terminal will be constructed in phases and is due to be completed by 2018. By 2006, Dubai International Airport will have the ability to cater for nearly 60 million passengers a year; its present capacity is 22 million.

The expansion program has been divided into five major elements. The first element is the expansion of passenger facilities, including Terminal 3, Concourse 2 and Concourse 3. The second element incorporates the expansion of cargo facilities, including the Mega Terminal, and the third element is the expansion of airfield facilities, such as new aprons, taxiways, roads, tunnels, runway extension, etc.

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These are not a futurist's imagination, these are real projects happening right now. I personally saw the Palm project while flying to Dubai. All that time I thought it was some clever computer art / company logo. I was amazed to see that it was real. The world is being built right now.
Amazing projects being built right into the sea by reclaiming land. The World and Palm and others. It is claimed that Rod Stewart bought the British Isles from the world project.


You may soon be able to sleep with the fishes in the Middle East - and in luxury, which you might well expect when you're paying as much as US$5,500 for a day's lodging.
The project is nothing if not ambitious. Constructed from a combination of concrete, steel and clear Plexiglas, Hydropolis will be the world's first underwater luxury hotel. It will offer 220 suites, all sitting on the Persian Gulf floor 66 feet (20 meters) below the surface.

Covering 27 acres (10.8 hectares), the project will feature architecture that's nothing if not attention-grabbing. The design includes three linked elements: a wave-shaped 333,333-sq.-ft. (30,000-sq.-m) above-ground "land station" and the jellyfish-shaped 833,333-sq.-ft. (75,000-sq.-m.) underwater hotel, linked by a submerged transparent train tunnel that's 1,700 feet (515 meters) long.

Among the project's other unusual architectural details are the hotel's two translucent domes, which will house a concert auditorium and a ballroom that break the water's surface, with the ballroom featuring a retractable roof. And that's not to mention the hotel's bubble-shaped suites, with clear glass comprising both the sleeping areas' walls and each room's bathtub.

Hotel guests will have a retractable-roof view of the skyline of Dubai (pictured), regarded by many as the Middle East's most progressive city.

Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab is part of The Jumeirah Beach Resort, situated 17km south of the city of Dubai. Soaring 321 metres, Burj Al Arab towers above the renowned Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Wild Wadi Water Park. This unique billowing sail-shaped building stands proudly on a man-made island some 280 metres offshore, linked to the mainland by a slender, gently curving causeway.

Burj Al Arab comprises 202 deluxe suites: a highly personalized service for every traveler, enhanced by private reception desks on every floor, in-suite check-in and a brigade of exclusive butlers. All the suites are equipped with the latest technology, laptop computers and Internet access. Reaching new heights of luxury and service levels.


Give time for your family story

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door. "Daddy, may I ask you a question?"

"Yeah, sure. What is it?" replied the man.

"Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?"

"That's none of you business! What makes you ask such a thing?" the man said angrily.

"I just wanted to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?" pleaded the little boy.

"If you must know, I make $20 an hour."

The little boy looked up at his father and he said, "Daddy, may I borrow $9 please?"

The father was furious. "If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you're being so selfish. I work long, hard hours everyday and don't have time for such childish games."

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy's questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After an hour or so, the man calmed down. He started to think he might
have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $9 and he didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the little boy's room and opened the door. "Are you asleep son?" he asked.

"No daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy.

"I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier," said the man, "It's been a long day and I took my aggravations out on you. Here's that $9 you asked for."

The little boy straight up, beaming. "Oh, thank you daddy!" he yelled.

Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at his dad.

"Why did you want more money if you already had some?" the father grumbled.

"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied. "Daddy, I have $20 now. Can you play with me for an hour?"

~ Author Unknown

This reminds me of the Harry Chapin song 'Cats in the Cradle', commonly mistaken for a Cat Stevens's song.


iPod wishlist for today

I am still on vacation and using my iPod to listen to music. That got me thinking about cool stuff I would like added to the iPod, not as some clunky high priced add-on that you plug into your iPod but as standard. What I need are:

1) WiFi syncing with itunes and playing on your home stereo

I want an iPod that has wiFi that lets me connect to my home stereo so I can
listen to my iPod on my home stereo at 500W of speaker power at full blast. I
might need to fix all the broken windows in the neighborhood after that but it
would be really cool and worth it.

I also want to sync with iTunes from my laptop through WiFi, no more bothersome cables to deal with.

WiFi can also be used to push music on your iPod as a promotional tool and you can get new music from shops offering promotions if you listen to an advert or
something. Nouveau Marketeers would love that.
2) Wireless headset

I need a wireless headset for my iPod, get rid of all the tangly wires. This
would really let you listen on the go, leaving your iPod deep in your your
knapsack or on the table or in the other room. The headset needs to be small,
and why not, make the headset or ear pieces waterproof also so you can listen
when you shower or swim or play sports in the gym.
3) headphones that dont fall off

One thing that I hate about the iPod ear buds is that they keep falling off. I
don't know, maybe my ears are non standard shape or something, they look normal
to me. So I needs better gripping ear buds.

4) Waterproof iPod for listening underwater

If you are going to make the iPod ear buds better gripping and waterproof, go
all the way, make the iPod waterproof and you can really enjoy your music.
Listen to music while swimming, scuba diving, in the steam room, showering, hmmm thinking about it, the iPod color I have does look like a bar of soap.

5) Wireless music swaps

You and your iPod owning friends got together and wanted to swap music, just
send him/her your favorite playlist with your favorite songs and thats it.
Copyright lawyers wouldn't like that too much, but they never liked Video
Cassete recorders and Cassette tapes also, but that is another story.

6) Bluetooth support

If you are going to put Wifi, might as well support Bluetooth also. All the new
cool mobile phones got it and you can send pictures or music back and forth from
different bluetoothable phones, PDAs, laptops, etc. Might be a little slow for
syncing but works when there is no WiFi available.
7) Automatic BPM in iTunes

iTunes has this BPM field, why not have it automatically compute what the Beats
per Minute are, then you can have your iPod generate playlists with songs
merging with the other seamlessly. Your own personal DJ based on your music

8) Smarter duplicate song detection

I need a better way to detect duplicate songs, rather than similar names that is
now provided by iTunes. How about a CRC check, BPM check, length of song,
with the current powerful processors available, even have songs that sound the
same automatically detected by your computer.

9) iPod friend detector

People these days are using their mobile phones bluetooth phone naming
functionto have their mobiles phones display a funny niuckname that tells a
little about their personality. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

A person's music taste would be a better indicator. You could be sitting drinking
cofee and your iPod would light up or talk to you telling you that someone else
in the same room shares your love for Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, the Beegees,
Abba, and then you can send them a message or something.

10) Powerful FM trasmitter for the car radio

These FM transmitter add ons that you connect to your iPod and allow you to tune
your FM radio to listen to your iPod are ridiculously low powered. I want one so
powerful, the whole parking lot/office/ house next door/ hotel floor can listen
to my music. Now that would be true podcasting.
Word of advice to Apple, you better hurry up, Sony already has the PSP with Wifi access and others are going to take notice also and bundle all this together.


On Vacation

I am on vacation right now but will be back next week for many more updates to this blog. Live long and prosper and Nanu Nanu.


Getting Things Done by David Allen

A new movement is happening right now for all the people that have too many ideas and tasks in their heads and never seem to be able to accomplish anything. It is simply called "Getting Things Done" and the guru is David Allen. He even has a book about it:

David Allen tells you how to clear your head, list out your tasks, what to do with them, etc. you can see a useful outline here.

Very practical common sensic stuff.


Death rays - delivery 2006

If you saw War of the worlds, then you surely remember the tripods chasing New Yorkers and zapping them. Well death rays will soon be used by the US Military, followed by China, after they manage to email the design documents to China.

First the guns will be mounted on Turrets or war of the worlds mobile tripods.

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Then the hand held version will come out.

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For the end of the world grand finale, we can have our own death star in orbit.

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Ready , Aim, Armageddon

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Hitch and Shakespeare

Why do people quote Shakespeare? does the quote need to have a thy or a thou to sound artistic even though some Shakesperean quotes are pretty cool like:

All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. ~ Lady Macbeth, V.i

Which was said when Lady Macbeth got blood on her hand and tried to wash it off. I forgot who she killed or maimed but Lady Mac was pretty vicious.

I just saw Hitch starring Will Smith, and they had some good quotes like:

Life is not the amount of breath you take. It is the moments that take your breath away.
There is more to life than watching other people live it.
Begin each day as if it was on purpose.
Thats what people do, they leap and hope to God they can fly
Because otherwise....
We just drop like a rock....
Wondering the whole way down
"Why in the hell did I jump?"

Very deep stuff, and very quotable.

Here Comes WiMAX World

Here Comes WiMAX World

The new wireless standard -- just imagine WiFi on steroids -- is quickly gaining traction among the big technology players

Hmm WiMAXX, it promises a lot and could be a paradigm shift to all the big mobile telecoms, but does it deliver? Only the market will tell.

Optware to Release 30 GB Holographic Card for Less than $1 at the End of 2006

The full article is here but basically you can store 30GB of data on a credit card sized piece of plastic. Your standard DVD is 9GB this means you can have 3 DVDs on 1 card. Your music CD is 600 MB, that means you can have 50 Music CDs on one card. Lots of other possibilities also. Your suggestions in the comments please.


The Trouble Tree (Inspirational)

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start.
While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again."
"Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."


Search Engine Journal Defaced and happy 4th of July

I was browsing around www.searchenginejournal.com

and i found this:
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Some crackers where fooling around, I guess. I hope it is not a 4th of July prank.

Anyway, to all the Americans, happy 4th of July

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picture innocently "borrowed" from Mr. Dvorak
Mr. Dvorak, sir, If i get a letter from your lawyer, then I will remove it.

thought for today - get a life

59-year-old Japanese psychiatric counselor set a world record of sorts Sunday by reciting "pi," or the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, to 83,431 digits.

Too much free time I guess.

What the hell is RSS?

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a lightweight XML format designed for sharing headlines and other Web content. Think of it as a distributable "What's New" for your site. Originated by UserLand in 1997 and subsequently used by Netscape to fill channels for Netcenter, RSS has evolved into a popular means of sharing content between sites (including the BBC, CNET, CNN, Disney, Forbes, Motley Fool, Wired, Red Herring, Salon, Slashdot, ZDNet, and more). RSS solves myriad problems webmasters commonly face, such as increasing traffic, and gathering and distributing news. RSS can also be the basis for additional content distribution services.

Translation: Before, if you liked a web page, you would bookmark it and check regularly to see if anything new came up. RSS allows you to link into that page and tells you when something new comes up. Some software display what is new in an email style with the title of the new article and partial or full contents of the article. If you like what you see then you can go to the web page and read it in all its color glory and add your own comments, and other fun stuff.

Some RSS readers that you can use are:


or my personal favorite is the my.yahoo.com page where I put all my favorite RSS feeds. You simply click on the "add content" link that is on Yahoo and then "add RSS by URL", of course you need the URL for the page you want to add and you will find it under the XML graphic where you right click and copy the link's URL and then paste it into yahoo.
Are you confused ? well it is easier to do than explain. Maybe yahoo help can better explain it.

That is not the end of the story, now smart people have come up with new RSS feeds not limited to article lists. It could be search engine results, such as news that might interest you, so you just type the search term you want and it gives you an RSS link that gets updated every time there is an update on what you are looking for example Yahoo news.

Big bucks are going into RSS too, maybe the start of a new .com craze or something.


iPod Phone

You love your iPod and your mobile, if you lose any of these 1/2 your life is lost (or more). Motorola and Apple did it, they put the iPod and the mobile together and made the Motorola E790 Apple iTunes phone.

Now if they really wanted it to fly off the shelves, they should build an iPod razr, with quad band, 2 GB memory, or 60 GB if they can squeeze in a hard drive, java and symbian compatibility to kill off Nokia, 16 hours or more battery, mp3 or AAC ringtones, wifi with VoIP support included. email client, browser.

If they do all that, I would even get rid of my laptop.

Howard Hughes

I just saw The Aviator starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes on DVD. It was ok, although 2 hours 40 minutes was too long, thank god for the pause button.

It was not the Howard Hughes I wanted to see. I wanted to see how Howard got his billions, how he managed his people, more about his involvments in the different conspiracies during those times. What I got was Howard do crazy airplane antics, and going out with Hollywood starlets and burning money with his wild projects.
One shining moment in the film was when he went to the Senate hearing committee investigating him and he lashed out at the the senator. This was what I wanted to see. Howard Hughes biography can be read here.


Whats up with podcasting?

Apple has released a new version of iTunes that supports podcasting, now everyone is into podcasting even though it has been around for quite a while. You can read more about podcasting in the well written Macworld Article about podcasting. If you don't have an ipod but still want to get podcasts which you can listen to from your mp3 software or hardware player, you can get the excellent iPodder sofware from the iPodder home page.

War of the Worlds - Mistakes

I saw War of the Worlds (wotw) yesterday and it was a 5 on a scale of 10. I detected a few mistakes in the movie, like:

At the start of wotw when all the electronics are fried by Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), one guy had his video camera working and taking pictures of the alien tripods.

I don't know if this is a mistake or not but the tripods where protected by force fields / star trek like shields, so when the tripod tentacle with the camera end goes searching inside the demolished house that Tom Cruise is hiding in and Tom breaks its long neck with an axe, why was the shield not shielding it ?

One more thing, the Aliens in wotw are supposed to be this advanced race that have been observing earth for centuries and have tripods and other war stuff buried deep underground, and yet they overlook one tiny minuscule, microscopical detail!?! Don't they have spaces suits? or penicilin shots? or maybe shield suits? or robots ? or anything?

I saw Dakota Fanning in Man on Fire and I was impressed by her acting skills, but here in wotw, she was either screaming her head off or catatonic, so not much acting needed here. A few times when she was screaming so hard, I wished the aliens would take her.

Also, at the end of wotw, Cruise finds his ex wife living in her suburban house with no damage, as if all this world invasion did not happen in her neighborhood?


Personality Quiz

I found this quiz while browsing. I don't really believe in 20 question quizzes and then the quiz tells you all about yourself. I think people are more complicated to analyze than a series of questions then it can tell what you are. Still, you can't deny it is fun to do and might have some truths. Anyway the quiz is here and my results are:

Wackiness: 62/100
Rationality: 60/100
Constructiveness: 40/100
Leadership: 36/100

You are a WRDF--Wacky Rational Destructive Follower. This makes you a Hacker.

Your thirst for knowledge can be damaging to your possessions--you like to take things apart, even if you then forget to put them back together. You demand respect and, no matter how much you are respected, seldom feel it is adequate. You are tenacious, and will stick to a task long after weaker minds have given it up.

Socially, you are awkward, and get into arguments and make people uncomfortable. One recommends counting to ten, holding back comments unless warranted, and listening more than speaking. Still, your no-holds-barred approach to socialization can be strangely endearing, as long as you are funny and self-deprecating.

You feel misunderstood, and you probably are.