Could Bitcoin be Used to Sell Oil?

Posted by Mark

bitcoin

The Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz), one of the leading asset management and investment banking institutions in the region has been making some waves online the past few days after publishing a research report in which they wrote about the potential for bitcoin in the GCC. In one section they also talk about how bitcoin could save the oil industry time, money and paperwork.

GCC region depends heavily on oil exports, (90% of exports and 75% of government revenue). As a result, they receive payments from all over the world. International payments might take close to 1-3 days or sometimes even more owing to different time zones. Revamping the payment system in line with bitcoin systems will yield in savings in terms of cost, time and paperwork involved. Alternatively the same payment method could be adopted for fund transfers among the GCC regions as well as the whole of Middle East.

The report is 25 pages long and I haven’t gone through it all yet but from what I saw the report covers a large variety of subjects and if you have any interest in bitcoin or want to understand it better than it should prove to be a good read. You can download the PDF from their website but registration is required. Here is the [Link]

Thanks Gary


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Review: The Egg Minder

Posted by Mark

eggminder

The Egg Minder is an egg tray that connects to the internet and can be accessed with an app so you can check and see how many eggs you still have in your fridge and how old they are. When I originally posted about it on my instagram account it happened to be on April 1st so some people thought it wasn’t a real product. Well it is real. The way it works is very simple, when you first turn on the Egg Minder you connect it to your home network via an app you download. Once you’re done you then place your eggs on the tray and put them away in the fridge. From that point on whenever you open the fridge door and the light comes on, the egg tray will turn on and connect to the internet. There are also little blue LEDs on the tray, they turn on in order of the oldest egg in the train to the newest one as you pick them up.

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I don’t remember how I found out about the Egg Minder but when I did I knew I had to get one. I’ve had it for nearly a week now and I love it, mostly because of how absurd it is. But, I have to say that even though its really silly, it is actual useful. As someone who has eggs every morning and who does his own shopping, on more than one occasion I’ve ended up waking up to find out I had run out of eggs and forgotten to get some the night before. With the Egg Minder I will now get notified when I’m running low on eggs and I can also check and see how many eggs I still have at home while at the supermarket.

It’s a fun little gadget that doesn’t really cost that much. Even though the official price is around $70, ThinkGeek are selling it for just $29. It’s an impulse buy so if you’re interested in getting one, here is the [Link]


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The Good Game Community

Posted by Mark

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Good Game is a small boardgames and card games store that belongs to a friend of mine. I posted about them last year just when they were about to open and since then they’ve been pretty busy building a small gaming community which I thought would be interesting to talk about on the blog.

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The store carries games like Warhammer 40,000, Magic: The Gathering, Game of Thrones, Settlers of Catan and Lord of the Rings the Living Card Game amongst others. Through out the week they setup various get-togethers were fans of various games can come in and play against other gamers. I passed by last week twice, the first time they were practicing X-Wing Miniatures while the second time they were just setting up for a Warhammer 40K game.

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I asked my friend how newcomers could take part in this and he told me you just simply need to show up. Once you pass by them they will get you connected to whatever game you are interested in trying out.

So if you want to be part of this they have a calendar up on their website with the upcoming activities. Mondays are role playing nights, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are different board game nights and every Thursday they do Magic the Gathering drafts. Saturday is open night. Check them out [Here]


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Kuwait Mapping Meetup

Posted by Mark

Kuwait Mapping Meetup is a meetup for mapping enthusiasts. They’ve already held four previous mapping meetups and their fifth meetup is this coming Sunday. If you’re interested in maps, then this is a great way to socialize and network with like minded people.

Kuwait Mapping Meetup 5
Date: Sunday, December 8th 2013
Time: 6:30PM
Location: Costa Coffee Starbucks in Al Bida’a

Also for those interested, here is a link to the Kuwait Mapping Meetup [Facebook Group]


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Review: Eye-Fi, Wireless Memory Card

Posted by Mark

I was looking for ways to breathe new life into my digital camera and while looking at some new lenses for it I realized one great thing I could add to the camera would be WiFi. Memory cards with WiFi built in have been around for some time now but I never saw a need for one until now. Although my iPhone takes some great photos, on more than one occasion I’ve struggled with it and in most cases its because I probably was indoors and the lighting was horrible. By having a digital camera with WiFi, I would be able to take shots with a more capable camera and then send it to my phone wirelessly on the spot so I could upload it onto Instagram.

I checked all the local online stores and found that Blink had two models, one was out of stock while the other available for KD19. It was for only 8GB but I decided to go for it anyway since I was picking up the Mercedes G63 to review that same day and wanted to try out the card while shooting it.

The way the card works is pretty straight forward. You download the Eye-Fi application from the Apple or Android store, and then run it and follow the onscreen instructions. The whole setup process takes a minute and when you’re done you just stick the memory card into the camera and take a photo. While the camera is still on, launch the Eye-Fi app and it will start downloading all the photos from the memory card onto your phone immediately. It works really well and I was able to capture the photo I wanted, send it to my phone, apply my filter and then upload it to Instagram without a hitch.

The memory card I got is an 8GB capacity with a Class 10 read and write speed. The only extra feature it has over regular memory cards is WiFi. It costs KD13 on Amazon without shipping but if you’re in a rush Blink have it for KD19.


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Steve Wozniak is coming to Kuwait

Posted by Mark

Steve Wozniak who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs is going to be in Kuwait next month for a entrepreneurship seminar. If you’re interested or wanted to find out more details click [Here]

Note: On a side note, someone needs to hook me up with a backstage pass so I can take a selfie with him or maybe even have him autograph my vintage Apple banners. Pretty please.


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Trying out the Oculus Rift

Posted by Mark

I got an email from Q8geeks asking me if I would be interested in trying out the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. He had one and had set it up at his stand at the KuwaitySteps event so I passed by awhile ago and tried it out.

My first impression was the Oculus Rift was pretty light. When you see the device you expect some heft to it but then you pick it up and you’re like thats it? I got to try the headset with a quick round of team fortress followed by a virtual roller coaster ride and then a trip to Norway to check out the Northern Lights. The headset works really well and tracks your movement very accurately. When I first started the roller coaster demo for example I was sitting facing the back of the roller coaster so I had to physically turn around so I could face the front. I loved that. The biggest issue with the Oculus Rift for me was the size of the pixels on the internal screens, they’re pretty large and visible but then again this is just the developers kit and the actual device when released will have a better updated screen (amongst other things).

If you’re interested to try out the Oculus Rift you can pass by the KuwaitiSteps exhibition and try it for free. Q8Geeks has a stand there when you first walk in called GuuStore where he’s also selling micro-controllers such as the Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Location: Tent outside Safir International Hotel [Map]
Time: 5PM to 11PM
Date: Till Saturday October 5th
Price: For some odd and silly reason there is a KD3 entrance fee


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Kuwait’s Internet speed compared to the rest of the world

Posted by Mark

We’ve moved up from 104th place last year to 72nd. Hong Kong has the fasted download speed average in the world with 49.10 Mbps. [Link]

via BlogBaladi


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Mobile phones usage patterns in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

Mapbox is a website that allows you to check out the geographical usage patterns of various mobile phone devices in Kuwait. iPhone and Android seem to be very close with the BlackBerry lagging behind the two. [Link]

Thanks Az


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Some posters from the Dubai Comic Con

Posted by Mark

The Dubai Comic Con was held this past weekend and the Dubai based Brownmonkeys design collective designed some cool posters merging the Gulf culture with Western characters. My favorite was the Beavis and Butthead poster above.

Check them all out on the Brownmonkeys website [Here]


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