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Google Hangout to replace Google Talk?

Google Hangout to replace Google Talk?

Google is replacing its Chat gadget on Gmail with Google Plus Hangoutwith photos, emoji, and free group video calls!

Some people want the old chat feature, and not join yet Google Plus, another social network with contacts that were supposed to be private to begin with.

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You are using a version of Internet Explorer which will soon be unsupported.

Some features may not work correctly. Upgrade to a modern browser, such as Google Chrome.

You probably came across that message while reading you Gmail emails on the Internet Explorer 8 browser. Read the rest of this entry »

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Did you mean to attach files?

Gmail is getting better and better

There are no files attached

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Internet usage in the Arab world – June 2010

A recent report by Nielsen Online revealed the Internet penetration numbers in the Arab region. The numbers are an eye opener on who the heavyweights in the region are, and where Arab startups (or international companies targetting the region) should be investing.

(The report defined an Internet user one that accessed the Internet once at least in the last 30 days.)

Rank Country Internet users % of population
1 Egypt 17,060,000 21.2%
2 Morocco 10,442,500 33%
3 Saudi Arabia 9,800,000 38%
4 Algeria 4,700,000 13.6%
5 Sudan 4,200,000 10%
6 Syria 3,935,500 17.7%
7 United Arab Emirates 3,777,900 75%
8 Tunisia 3,600,000 34%
9 Jordan 1,741,900 24.2%
10 Oman 1,236,700 41%
11 Kuwait 1,100,000 39.4%
12 Lebanon 1,000,000 24.2%
13 Bahrain 649,300 88%
14 Qatar 436,000 51.8%
15 Yemen 420,000 1.8%
16 Libya 353,900 5.5%
17 Iraq 325,000 1.1%

What the report doesn’t address is the online payment capabilities in each of those countries. Internet access with the no commerce capabilities can only encourage consumption websites (news, brochures, blogs, …) with limited monetization potential, rather than full-fledged online services, and the numbers above only tell one part of the story.

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New submarine broadband cable for Lebanon in 2010?

The “I-ME-WE” cable is a new 12,000-kilometer submarine cable system that comprises three optical fibre cable pairs, connecting France to India via the Middle East.
Its design capacity is 3.84 Terabits per second and its planned land touchpoint in Lebanon will be in Tripoli (although the map shows Saida)
Compare that capacity with the capacity of the other two submarine cables already operating in Lebanon:
  • BERYTAR (134 km) connecting Tartous in Syria to Beirut (5 Gbps) operating since 1997.
  • CADMOS (230 km) connecting Pentaskhinos in Cyprus to Beirut (622 Mbps) operating since 1995.
I-ME-WE

The "I-ME-WE" cable is a new 12,000-kilometre submarine cable system that comprises three optical fibre cable pairs, connecting France to India via the Middle East.

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Beirut Airport Adds Free internet Wi-Fi!

The Minister of Telecommunications Eng. Charbel Nahhas announced yesterday that he worked very closely with the Beirut International Airport to provide free Wi-Fi as a holiday gift now through September 15, 2010.

Additionally, as a result of this project, the airport will begin offering airport-wide free Wi-Fi indefinitely, starting next year :)

Beirut International AirportIn the process of regulating the internet, and fostering freedom of expression in Lebanon, the Ministry Of Telecommunications in Lebanon added free on top of paid Wi-Fi: The authority decided to put out $90K for equipment and foot a $41K per year bill for service with 15 Mbps backhaul to handle what they believe will be 1,000 daily users.
Several companies are working with the airport on providing advertising.

Because we care about our families abroad, we are very happy to extend our Wi-Fi Holiday gift to the millions of people who will spend time in airports over the next few months,” said Eng. Charbel Nahhas

Telecommunications should not be a revenue stream for the government. We know that this is a very hectic travel season for Lebanese expatriates, and we hope that free Wi-Fi will make both traveling and connecting with friends and family a little bit easier.”

“Free and open access to the Internet has been a key passenger service initiative since the beginning of this year. The involvement of sponsors such as ESSA (Electronic Signatures and Services Authority) helps to ensure we can continue to keep Wi-Fi free.”

Just bring a WiFi-enabled laptop or mobile device and stay connected to family and friends for free while you travel!

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iPad for sale in Lebanon

The iPad. With a revolutionary, 9.7 inch touch screen, and amazing new apps, it does things no tablet PC, netbook, or e-reader could.

iPad for sale in Lebanon

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Slow computer? Clean the Explorer context menu

If your computer is too slow, you use Windows XP, the right-click context-menu needs ages to load, and you do not want to throw aways your computer to get a new one every 6 months because you are against excessive consumerism (see The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard), there are some basic way to make your computer faster:
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  • Defragmentate the hard disks,
  • Disable the automatic search function for network printers and folders,
  • Clean the Windows Registry
  • Clean the Explorer context menu:
    WinZip, WinRar, Groove Sync, Anti-virus, Windows Media Player… be gone!

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ShellExView
is great for this purpose:

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2nd Mikati CSR Initiative seminar

The Mikati Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative Seminar

The Olayan School of Business (OSB) at the American University of Beirut hosted  its second seminar as part of the Mikati CSR Speaker Series and the CSR initiative sponsored by the Mikati Group.

Dr. Dima Jamali opening the seminar

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Dubai Metro… a flop?

After 5 months of service, did the Dh28 billion (75% above the original estimates), one of the most advanced, longest automated driverless WiFi-enabled train system live up to the initial hype and fanfare?
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The world’s newest & most advanced metro aimed to join the league of megacities around the world, to ease the traffic problem, and to reduce road congestion and distances between key locations… Beyond its posh & mesmerizing design, did it meet these goals?
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On the positive side, the metro fare is affordable, and the surrounding of the metro stations (mainly malls) will flourish…
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On the other hand, the researchers and experts from around the world who have been working on the project since 1990, missed a key issue: that last mile connecting people from and to the stations:
Long walks in the desert heat is not the greatest ideas,
the 300 taxis assigned to support Dubai Metro network charge the regular fare (wasn’t the metro supposed to reduce the number of cars?),
and busses do not allow passengers that do not have a pre-paid card.
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