Qualitynet and other ISP’s applying fair access policy?

Post by Mark


A reader emailed me saying that all ISP’s have started applying a fair access policy meaning they will now be placing limits on our bandwidth. I checked the Qualitynet website since they’re my provider and noticed that at the bottom of their DSL page it states “Terms and Condition & Fair Usage Policy Apply.” I figured that was something that was always there but I checked the google cache version of the page and noticed it wasn’t there before.

Of course I freaked out and quickly called Qualitynet, the support guy I spoke to didn’t know what fair usage policy was but after explaining it to him he said there is a temporary limit imposed at the moment due to a technical problem but once it’s solved everything will be back to normal and we won’t have any limits. Hopefully that turned out to be true because I would hate to have a limit.

Here are the links to all the ISP’s where fair usage policy is mentioned:

Gulfnet: http://gulfnet.com.kw/web/FAP.html
Qualitynet: http://www.qualitynet.net/?page_id=269
KEMS: http://www.kems.net/price_list_new.aspx?id=1
Fast Telco: http://www.fasttelco.net/AxCMSTemplates/FAP_1471.pdf

Thanks Ebrahim


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Ten must-read blogs from the Middle East

Post by Mark

CNN have put together a list of the 10 must-read blogs from the Middle East and my blog made it to the list! This is what they had to say about me:

Want a break from politics? Try 248am for a slice of Kuwaiti life

Mark Makhoul, 32, a creative director at an advertising agency, began his current blog, 248am, in 2005. Mark’s wife Nataly Tawil, a designer, makes occasional contributions to the blog. The pair are both Lebanese and live in Kuwait.

While it may not offer the political insight of some of the other blogs on the list, it does present a slice of life in Kuwait, covering art, technology and more, with lots of reader contributions.

And it’s not entirely without controversy … Makhoul is apparently being sued by a Japanese restaurant chain over a negative review.

Check out the full list and article by clicking [Here]


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Internet and Bandwidth issues

Post by Mark

I received an email yesterday from a reader who told me that his internet provider had limited his DSL download bandwidth to just 1.6GB a day. He told me that according to his provider every internet provider in Kuwait will be doing the same thing to their customers in the next coming weeks as well. I thought he might have misunderstood and it could have been a problem he was having but I just read in the forum that another person also ran into a similar problem. His internet provider downgraded his speed from 2MB to 512kb because he was downloading on average 3GB a day.

This freaked me out so I called up my provider (Qualitynet) and asked them if they had implemented the same system and according to the customer support guy I spoke to they haven’t. He actually told me I could relax and download the whole Internet if I wanted to and I would be fine.

Anyone have any more information on this?


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Internet prices at InfoConnect

Post by Mark

Here are the internet prices for Qualitynet and KEMS from InfoConnect. They’re basically exactly the same except the 1Mbps one year price for Qualitynet is slightly more expensive than KEMS. Also with KEMS you have a setup and router fee with Qualitynet you don’t.

Annual subscribers will be eligible to:
1. Winner of the draw will get four round trip tickets to any destination in the world.
2. A draw on a trip to attend Real Madrid FC vs FC Barcelona match Prize includes two round trip tickets to Madrid, 3 nights hotel accommodation, and two match tickets
3. A draw on a trip to attend Manchester United vs. Chelsea FC matc: Prize includes two round trip tickets to Manchester, 3 nights hotel accommodation, and two match tickets

Every annual subscription is eligible for one scratch and win card:
1. 4 Mbps Annual Subscription
2. Second place: 1Mbps Annual Subscription
3. Third place: 512Kbps Annual Subscription

Scratch and win coupon for the following prizes:
1. 1TB External HD
2. iPads
3. Cash of 100 to 1000KD
4. Money back

If there is a mistake above please tell me about it. Also I don’t have the Fasttelco prices so if someone has them please share them with me.

Update: Here are the Fasttelco prices

Update2: A reader set me the following email

Regarding the ISP prices… I’ve been a Mini-DSL QNet (4 Mbps) last year.. Now its 357 or something like that. I got a call from them today (expiry today), and they gave me an offer I couldn’t resist (258 for 4mbps). I took it.


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GoNabit!

Post by Mark

GoNabit is an interesting website that’s been around for awhile now I guess but just recently included Kuwait. It’s a website where they have new offers all the time. Last week for example you could open up an Aramex Shop&Ship account for half price, today for example you can get a KD10 voucher to use at Diva’s for KD5 or you can pay KD10 and get a KD20 voucher to use at Saso Ocean Groove. They have limited quantity on these offers and once they run out they move over to the next offer. For each deal to work a minimum amount of people is required to sign up. For example for the Diva’s offer 10 people need to sign up for it at least. If 10 people sign up then the deal goes through and you get your voucher. If less than 10 people sign up then you get your money back and the offer is canceled. [Link]

Thanks Ghinoua

Update: I added more details on how GoNabit works


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New MOI Website

Post by Mark

The Ministry of Interior have redesigned their website (for the worse in my opinion) and with it have removed an English version. You can’t view an English version of the site which means expats will have a much more difficult time trying to check and see if they have any speeding fines and other online services. Luckily they still haven’t deleted the old English site yet and it can still be accessed by manually replacing the word arabic in the url with the word english.

Arabic site: http://moi.gov.kw/portal/varabic/
English site: http://moi.gov.kw/portal/venglish/

Thanks Avay


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Yalla Wain

Post by Mark

I get emails all the time from people asking me to post about their new website but majority of the time they’re very poorly put together that I just can’t post about it or recommend it to anyone. Yesterday I did get impressed though when the guys behind a new website called Yalla Wain emailed me.

It’s actually a pretty nice looking site, no flash (that’s a very good thing), it’s fast, simple and practical. YallaWain.com is a site where people can go read and find out about restaurants in Kuwait. You can also sign up and write your own reviews or leaves tips for other people. Even the way its setup so you could navigate around the site is easy since you can choose by location, type of food or country the food is from.

The only negative thing I have to say is the fact you need to be invited to be able to write a review and not just a simple sign up like most sites. I think that’s NOT a great move. The site just launched today and it needs as many reviews as possible to make it successful. Locking up registration and having it invite only means its going to take a lot longer than it should to get some decent reviews in. Anyway check out the site, I like it. [YallaWain.com]


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Ministry of Foreign Affairs iPhone App

Post by Mark

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs State of Kuwait (MOFA) released an iPhone app today on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr. I’m impressed that they actually released an iPhone app but I would rather have a Ministry of Interior app which would allow me to save my two cars in it and have it automatically check daily if any of my cars received speeding tickets and then warn me with a pop up notification and a beep. Ok maybe that’s asking too much but still a nice little app that would allow me to check my traffic violations conveniently would be pretty cool. Here is the link to the app [Link]

Here are the links to my two apps:
2:48AM
Kuwait Blogs

Update: Just noticed something funny in the app. When you click on the Embassy Search link you get a list of countries… but they’re not in alphabetical order. I actually can’t think of an order they’re listed in. I thought they were listed by Kuwait’s favorite countries but if that was the case USA and UK would be higher. By popularity? Don’t think so since Egypt would be much higher on the list. Distance? Nope. Random? Don’t think so since the first few countries are GCC countries. Can anyone figure it out? Here is the way they’re listed:

UAE
Saudi Arabia
Bahrain
Qatar
Oman
Lebanon
Syria
Jordan
UK
Thailand
Kuwait
USA
Australia
Canada
Germany
Spain
Egypt


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The Internet

Post by Mark

I always forget how terrible the Internet is in Lebanon until I get here and then I either want to throw my laptop out the window or save myself from this misery and jump out myself. I can’t live like this!

Update: Ran a SpeedTest and ended up with the results above


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Porn on the BlackBerry?

Post by Mark

A reader emailed me an article in which Kuwait asks BlackBerry to block around 3000 porn sites so I went to myself what? I opened my browser on my BlackBerry and typed in playboy.com and hit go and guess what? It opened! Why didn’t anyone tell me about this before? I never knew I could access blocked sites on my BlackBerry.

Kuwait has asked BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) to block pornographic sites though will not suspend services like other Gulf states have threatened to do, a local newspaper reported Tuesday.

RIM has given “initial approval” to block 3,000 porn sites at the request of Kuwait’s communications ministry, the al-Jarida daily said, quoting a source it did not identify by name.

It said the Canadian manufacturer asked the ministry to give it until the end of the year to implement the block.

It’s also good to know that the BlackBerry service won’t be blocked in Kuwait. Here is a link to the [Article]

Thanks Deborah


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