Archive for August, 2012

e-Ink/LCD idea. I should probably patent this idea but…

So I thought of this around 2 years ago but I finally decided to share this concept. I should probably patent it, but oh well, I can’t keep this great idea a secret from the world. (Note: If you’re a major company and want to take this idea, I’m easy to please!).

Basically take a tablet device with two layers. One is a typical LCD/OLED/Color display. The second layer is e-ink with a transparent background. When you want to use your iPad (for example) as a normal tablet device, the e-ink layer would be switched off and since it’s transparent, it would look like you’re using a normal iPad. When it’s time to read a book, the LCD would switch off and the e-ink layer would switch on giving you that nice ‘paper’ looking screen.

This would make reading better, save a great deal on battery, reduce eye-strain, and potential to use the LCD backlight as a backlight for the e-ink screen for night reading.

Anyway, just something that’s always been in my mind.

Had enough of Aramex Shop and Ship? Here are some alternatives in Qatar.

Put simply, I’ve had enough. Packages get delayed in customs for weeks (with no explanation), when I finally do get them, most of the time the box is damaged (watch out if it comes in a softpack, because you’re screwed), and their location can only be accessed by helicopter (and only if you know how to zipline or base jump).

Shop and Ship could be a fantastic service but they just don’t have the basics right… I’ll work backwards. Have you seen their main pick up location? Although they’ve moved to a new location, I think that parking is actually worse! There are huge rocks, steep ditches, and unless you’re in a Land Cruiser, you’re definately going to damage your car. Even after you pass all the rubble and get onto their parking spots (I think there are around 10 by the way and they’re on the sidewalk!), you then have to suffer with the fact that they have NO queing system. That means that you’ll get either drivers with no manners or the ‘I’m better than you because I wear Chanel glasses that cover my whole face’ masters of the universe.

Can you believe that Aramex even gave me someone else’s package by mistake (like they literally put it in my post box, smsed me to pick it up, and then told me that they were sure it was mine), then told me a week later they called me saying they made a mistake and I had to drop it back. I explained that they could come and pick it up since it was THEIR mistake. I think they did come after another week and picked it up from the apartment lobby. Who knows… perhaps it’s still there gathering dust.

Another annoying thing (and perhaps a smart way from their end on charging you MORE) is the fact that they ship every single item separately. They don’t hold your packages and send it in one nice bundle. So since they have a minimum charge, let’s say you ordered a camera, memory card, case, and a pink thobe from Amazon, they would all be sent separately. You’d get charged for delivery of each one.

Oh did I mention that although Amazon delivered 4 packages, Aramex only records 3? Looks like we’re going to have to hunt for the 4th… -_-

It’s not just me complaining, it seems like they’re consistent in many countries. Here are more:

I mean according to Amplicate.com (a site that looks at how positive or negative people feel towards a brand), a whopping 66% HATE…  Read the rest of this entry »

The Facebook Social Life of iLoveQatar

I thought it would ajeeb to share a visualization of ILQ on Facebook thanks to the awesome community that helps us grow.

Click on image to enlarge.

Garangao in Qatar – The Festival of Children (and the Garangao song)

Tomorrows the day to celebrate Garangao [Ga-ran-ga-oh] (or sometimes called Gir-ga-oon)

Garangao, celebrated on the 14th day of Ramadan, is special to the Gulf region , particularly Qatar, and is believed to have its roots in the pearl-diving tradition of the region. Over the years, the festival has gained more popularity with several expatriates joining the celebrations.

This evening, children, clad in their traditional clothes, will come out of their homes and knock on every door in their neighbourhood, which will be ready to receive them with sweets and nuts. They collect the goodies in the special cotton bags, hanging loosely from their necks. Kids will be seen wandering around the streets until late into the night singing the special Garangao song.

Now people are not just interested in buying the goodies, but they go for the specially designed packets and bags decorated with popular cartoon characters and other symbols dear to the children. So shops are vying to offer new and attractive designs. The prices of these packets range from QR5 to QR50, according to the size and varieties of the goodies.

Several Qatari clubs and organizations, which are instrumental in popularizing the festival, have come out with a variety of cultural events to mark the occasion, as in the previous years.

I remember when I was young, we’d all go around singing songs to the different homes and filling our bags with sweets! It was great! I encourage all nationalities to enjoy this festive occassion :)

Katara, iLoveQatar’s home, has something great set up too! Interested? Click here! http://iloveqatar.net/forum/read.php?27,36279

 

The Garangao song!

Here’s the song! Play it loud!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7kpZEKgvQU&feature=player_embedded

Lyrics:

Garangao Girga oh.
Atoona allah yateekum
Bayt Mecca ya wadeekum
Ya Mecca Yal mamoora
Yam il salasil wal thahab ya noora
Atoona min mal allah
Yislam lakum Abdulla.

Now this part of the song is special. You usually end it with the family name or the name of the father of the house (if you know it). So the ending of the song changes. For example:

Khalifa:
Atoona dahbat leefa
Salam Ala Khalifa

Translation:

Garangao Girga oh
Give us what God gave you
To Mecca he’ll take you
The greatly filled Mecca
Covered with tassles, gold and light
Give us what God  have given
Abdulla greets you with smiles

Khalifa:

Please give me us a bit of sweets

Please say hi to Khalifa.

 

So who’s going to be the first person to memorize and sing the song?

HAPPY GARANGAO EVERYONE!

 

Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.