My phone is off for you

Posted by Mark

Although the project sounds cool there is no way I think I could switch my phone off or ignore it while I am out having a meal. During lunch and dinner I actually enjoy catching up on emails on my iPhone and the messages and pictures from our diwaniya BBM group on my Blackberry. [Link]


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Shawermanator T-1000

Posted by Mark

In the future, there will be no more shawerma guys, there will be shawerma robots. [YouTube]


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Get your VVIP BlackBerry PIN

Posted by Mark

This is really funny. I just found this post on Blushberry, its a picture from a magazine spread in which they’re selling BlackBerry’s with “special” PIN’s. According to Blushberry the BlackBerry with the PIN 55555555 got sold for KD9,000 and it’s not even the new BlackBerry its the old one! [Link]


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Google Maps in the car

Posted by Mark

I’ve always wanted a navigation system in the car that uses Google Maps and it seems this is going to happen very soon since the 2011 Audi A8 will be the first production car to include Google Earth. What I would also like to see one day in the future is real time updated maps. Imagine Google Maps with real time updates while you’re stuck in a traffic jam. You could just zoom in to the area in front of you and see what’s causing the traffic or even better you could check the traffic on the roads before you leave the house.

Actually, I just realized, you don’t need real time updated Google Maps, why don’t we have video cameras or still cameras along major roads which people can access and check online? Something like [This] and also the picture above. The technology has been around for some time now and shouldn’t be too difficult to implement here in Kuwait. Can we please get live traffic cams? Pretty please??


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NBK introducing pay with your phone

Posted by Mark

I just got an email from a friend at NBK about this new service they will be trying out in Kuwait which is payment via NFC (near field communication). Instead of paying by cash or plastic cards you could pay by just waving your phone. The service is going to be called Bouky and they’re launching a 6 month pilot which you can sign up to if you’re interested (link at the end of the post).

This service is already used in places like Japan and the Far East but it will be the first time here in the Middle East. Another cool feature will be that you could wave the phone in front of “smart” posters and redeem offers or download free pre-paid visa cards. My friend signed me up for the 6 month trial so I will get to try it out. During the trial period I will be able to pay by waving my phone at some 100 outlets in The Avenues. If you’re interested in trying Bouky out they will be choosing only 500 customers for the trial period. To sign up follow this [Link]

Note: You need to be a Zain mobile user to beta test this service


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Zain e-Go 21.6Mbps Mobile Internet

Posted by Mark

I got a phone call yesterday from a friend at Zain. He wanted me to try out their new e-GO which can hit speeds of up to 21.6Mbps. Sadly I couldn’t pass by to pick it up since I had to catch a flight to Lebanon but I was just catching up on some blogs and it seems some other bloggers managed to get the e-GO and try it out. So far the reviews have been positive. Here are some blogger reviews on the new 21.6Mbps e-GO:

zDistrict
Review: Zain E-Go 21.6 MB/s

4th Ring Road
Zain e-go 21.6 mbps…. we like.

Some Contrast
Exclusive: Zain’s latest E-GO 21.6 Mb/s

Blushberry
Review : Zain 21.6 Mbps Internet

I should get my hands on the new e-GO once I get back to Kuwait in a couple of days. The picture above is taken by zDistrict.

Update: According to Some Contrast, the new e-GO and 21.6Mbps connection is available right now at every Zain branch. The new e-GO sells for KD45 and the monthly membership is KD32 but if you sign up for 1 year you get the new e-GO for free.

Update2: 360Dewan tried his 7.2Mbps connection after Zain upgraded the network to 21.6Mbps and he was able to achieve download speeds of up to 758kb through a connection via his iPhone 3GS. So it looks like everyone’s connection has benefited from this upgrade. [Link]


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I am a Key… I think

Posted by Mark

Ever since I saw the Lacie iamakey USB flash drive on Engadget I knew I had to have it so once they were available on Amazon I ordered the 4GB version. I just got the USB key awhile ago from Aramex and its as good as I expected it to be. The advantage of having the flash drive shaped like a key is obvious, I will carry it around with my keys. Its not bulky so it doesn’t bulge in my pocket and there is very little chance it will break off from my key chain like my previous drive did. Price wise the 4GB costs around KD7.5 while the 8GB costs around KD12.5.

LaCie 4 GB iamakey USB Flash Drive
LaCie 8 GB iamakey USB Flash Drive


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Digital Customer Feedback System

Posted by Mark

THE One has a pretty cool customer feedback system. Right next to the cashier there is a little device with buttons and statements like “The service was fast and efficient” and “I found the staff knowledgeable” etc.. and answers right next to them like “Absolutely” or “Sort of” or “Not really” etc… While waiting to pay for your item you can just give your feedback on your experience in a process that takes only a few seconds. No need to give your name, number, birthday, time of visit and all that other crap. I think more stores need to implement this very easy to use system since its a quick process and more fun than filling a card with 20 questions.

There was a website address on the machine www.cfs-me.net which takes you to the dealers of the device. On the site they have more pictures and information regarding this system. Pretty cool.


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CNN Hologram Interview

Posted by Mark

Supposedly its the first time its ever been done. Beam me up Scotty! [YouTube]

update: Gizmodo has a post on how they were able to use this. In short they used 44 HD cameras and 20 computers. [Link]


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Vodafone to Offer Apple’s iPhone in Ten Markets

Posted by Mark

iphone

Yesterday Vodafone released the following press release:

Vodafone today announced it has signed an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone in ten of its markets around the globe. Later this year, Vodafone customers in Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey will be able to purchase the iPhone for use on the Vodafone network.

Hopefully Zain will also sign an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone in their markets which would include Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. I doubt Wataniya would get the rights to the iPhone since they are not located everywhere.


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