Netflix To Block VPN, DNS and Proxy Users?

Post by Mark

Last week Netflix announced it was going to start blocking users who are accessing their content via services like VPN, DNS and proxies. Now that Netflix is available all over the world they’re trying to geo-lock the users in the countries they’re based in. But, for those of you who’ve tried accessing Netflix Kuwait you might have noticed it’s missing content the US version has (like House of Cards).

I’m personally still accessing Netflix using my US based DNS because I don’t like being limited with what to watch. I was a bit concerned that once Netflix starts blocking these services I’d be stuck with local Netflix content but from what I’ve been reading online, it doesn’t look like thats going to happen. According to various news articles I read it seems what Netflix wants to do isn’t technically possible or at least not foolproof so we’re safe for now. Check out this article with more details on this [Here]

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Business Therapy: So you have an app idea. Now what?

Post by Loaay


Developing an app can be as complicated or as simple as you think it could be. But before you jump into sketching the user interface (UI) or panic about not knowing how to code (most people with app ideas in the Middle East don’t) here are a few questions for your braincells to process:

– Is it an independent main service such as Talabat or is it an add-on tool to an existing offline service such as Mercedes-Benz Kuwait?

– Will that target audience actually like to use an app for such service or would they prefer another approach?

– Is it something you will charge for? If so, is it compelling enough to charge fees for as the case in the gaming app iKout? If it’s free, how will you generate revenue?

– How much traffic do advertisers need to see before they jump in? Can you generate such a volume within a small market like Kuwait or do you need to think regionally or globally? How long will it take you to get to that volume? Can you survive all that time without income?

If you’re still on the path of app development, then I have two steps for you: research and prototype. For research, you need to first understand the potential users’ needs and wants, and current behavior with apps. Observe closely how they use and feel the app’s prototypes. Your research questions should be insightful and not “likes and dislikes” types. One of the best research methods is observation because you see what people do and say naturally in action. Prototyping can be a 3D mockup, graphically designed paper templates that your testers can manually link to each other (not an actual app), alpha and beta stages, and so on. Prototyping can vary and it’s a quick and affordable way to test the user experience (UX) and UI without spending a significant amount of time and money to develop the app. At a certain point, if the concept and design are validated enough to roll out then launch and keep researching and prototyping, it’s a never-ending cycle.

One of the hardest things in app development is if you can’t code. Teaming up with the right developers is a make-it-or-break-it factor. In general, avoid using outdated or complicated programming languages. It’s best to educate yourself about the types of questions to ask developers. Working with freelancers might be more affordable, but it has its flaws. If you feel up to the challenge of learning how to code by yourself in Kuwait you might want to visit Coded. This week’s tip: Stick to the core big idea and don’t be tempted to add all the bells and whistles from the get go. These are my thoughts. What are yours?

Important: I’m not associated with any of the apps/companies mentioned in this post nor I’m recommending them as a benchmark. They are added for reference purposes only.

Post by Loaay Ahmed, a strategic business therapist since 1995. He currently lives and works in London, UK, while earning his master’s in Service Design Innovation, and managing knightscapital in Kuwait. For Loaay’s advice on business or work matters, send a short email to Regrettably, only the questions chosen for publishing will be answered.

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Kuwait Islands Project 2035

Post by Mark


Yesterday the Amir was presented a video showing a proposed project for developing the Kuwaiti islands Boubyan, Failaka, Awha, Warba and Miskan. I watched the video late last night and I’m in complete awe. The video presentation is around 20 minutes long and showcases ideas on what could be done to our islands. It was pretty inspirational and really made me realize how lucky we are to have all these islands around us. But, it also made me realize how we are under utilizing the islands even though there is so much potential.

I don’t have permission to share the video just yet, I was told it should be launching officially sometime today so for now I’ll just share some screenshots below. I’ve already uploaded the video online so once I get the green light I’ll share it right away.

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Tick-it Catches Fire at the Airport

Post by Mark

Kuwait Up To Date uploaded a video a couple of hours ago showing the kitchen at the restaurant Tick-it inside the Kuwait Airport on fire. Based on the video it looks like security personal were trying to contain the fire with extinguishers but were having difficulty since the fire was still burning by the end of the video. If anyone has any more info on this share it below. [YouTube]


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Kuwait’s Knight Rider

Post by Mark

The intro is hilarious! No idea who this guy is but he’s actually a pretty entertaining host. FYI it’s in Arabic. [YouTube]


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Review: Sennheiser IE80 Earphone

Post by Mark


Since around 2007 and up until last year I had basically been loyal to one earphone brand and thats Ultimate Ears. They were so good that I ended up going through three pairs, I started with the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro in 2007 and then upgraded to the TripleFi 10 until they stopped working so I bought a second pair of the same ones. I just couldn’t find anything better for the price and decided to stick to them even though they had failed me. Then last year my second pair started failing as well so I decided to look for an alternative.

After a lot of research I ended up getting the Sennheiser IE80. There were a number of factors that played into my decision with the main ones being the sound signature, the price, the comfort and the brand. Trying to buy a pair of earphones without being able to try them on and listening to them is extremely difficult. Why would you choose a pair of $150 earphones over a pair of $100 ones or how much better do a pair of $500 or even $1,000 pair of earphones sound over a $300 pair? Theres an earphone at every price point and I had to go through tons of reviews and read hundreds of different comments by people in various forums before I could finally decide on a pair. What made things more complicated with me was that I didn’t really have a budget. I didn’t mind paying $70 and I wouldn’t have minded paying $500 since music is important for me and so I really need to have great sounding earphones. I think I might have even been willing to pay a $1,000 if it meant I’d be getting ear euphoria followed by a happy ending from an Eastern European model.

One of the most important factors in choosing an earphone would be the amount and quality of bass they had. I listen to a lot of electronic music and really need deep bass to thoroughly enjoy the music. But I didn’t want boomy bass and I also didn’t want the rest of the sound spectrum to be muddled. Based on what I read the Sennheiser IE80’s fit into what I was looking for. They also cost around $280 which wasn’t too bad and from all the reviews I read they seemed to be very comfortable as well so I went a head and ordered a pair last July while I was in LA.

When I first got the IE80’s I was actually disappointed with the sound since I found them too bright and lacking deep bass. Even when I tried all the different earphone tips provided with the earphones I couldn’t get the bass to the level I needed it to be. After going back to some forums and reading up I noticed a lot of people were recommending to combine the IE80’s with a pair of Comply T-500 Foam Tips. So I ordered a pair of those tips and I’m so glad I did. They completely changed how the earphones sounded by providing better isolation which resulted in much deeper bass. Since then I’ve been using the IE80’s frequently including on 5 plane trips that were over 10 hours long. They’re very comfortable and they sound insanely good, better than any pair of earphones I’ve previously used. The only down side I have with them is their carrying case which I find a bit too big and bulky to carry and also not that practical to use. Other than that minor issue I’d highly recommend these earphones. If when you do get a pair and the bass seems a bit weak even after burning them in then do what I did and order the Comply tips as well.

I bought my pair of IE80’s from Amazon for KD86 [Link] but they’re available locally at aDawliah for KD117. The Comply T-500 tips cost me another KD5 and I bought those from Amazon as well [Link].

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Fork Fed: Vitamins and Your Weight – Is There a Link?

Post by Fork Fed


We have been blaming carbs, fats or overeating for our weight problems, but none of us or at least I never blamed my weight issues on vitamins. There is a link! Yes, some  vitamin deficiencies could be the reason why you’re not losing the weight you’d like to (provided you are eating well). Before you run to the first multivitamins bottle you see, let’s take a look at what specific vitamins play a role in weight management and where we could find them naturally.

Vitamin E – isn’t only for your skin, but this powerful antioxidant can boost your immunity therefore ensuring there is no distraction when trying to burn calories. Some research has shown that individuals who consume enough vitamin E rich foods tended to have a higher metabolism in comparison to individuals within the same age group that were deficient. Now, it makes sense that people consuming healthy fats would have a higher metabolism than those deficient in Vitamin E and therefore consume a lot of empty calories. This study could have many interpretations. It doesn’t hurt to make sure you get your dose of vitamin E though.

What to eat?
Think of oily foods when you think of this vitamin. Almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are loaded with vitamin E. Aim for 1/2 a cup to avoid excess calories.

Vitamin A – also commonly known as beta-carotene can actually help with fat regulation. Yes, you are not seeing things, this vitamin can actually help control the hormones secreted by your body and further help you to maintain a healthy body weight. With vitamin A you should be careful of toxicity, therefore getting it from a food source is always better than a supplement and also keep in mind that Vitamin A deficiency is somewhat rare.

What to eat?
1/2 cup of cooked spinach, 1 cup lettuce, 1 cup carrots or 1 medium sweet potato will all give you a good dose of vitamin A for the day. Remember it’s a form of beta-carotene so aim for greens, reds and oranges in your food.

Vitamin D – is probably one of the most common and frequent of deficiencies in Kuwait. Almost everyone I’ve met has a deficiency. Leptin, the hunger hormone, is controlled by levels of vitamin D. Meaning, enough vitamin D levels can help control how hungry you feel and research is still being conducted on whether or not it can help control where fat is stored.  Again, you can get toxicity from over-consuming vitamin D, so be careful if you choose to go the supplement route.

What to eat?
Vitamin D is best obtained from the sun, but if you have a job that requires you to spend most of your time indoors then you might be in need of a supplement. Otherwise, 1 egg, 3 ounces of wild salmon or 1 cup of fortified milk can give you small doses of vitamin D.

I’m definitely heading to the grocery store to make sure my fridge is filled with greens.

Keep in mind that all the information provided for you here is based on research being conducted, and with research many things change over time. The main message that I am trying to deliver is that having a variety of fruits and vegetables can help change your lifestyle into a healthier one, which could improve your overall health and perhaps your weight. Weight is definitely not the most important marker of someone’s health. Not all weight is the same. I hope this helps!

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

Image Source

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Boulevard Opening Soon

Post by Mark


Boulevard is a project that seems like it’s been under construction for an eternity. The first time I posted about the project it was back in 2010 and the project was already well under way by then. Boulevard is located in Salmiya right off the 5th Ring Road and opposite Souk Salmiya. It’s a large project that contains a bunch of things including a mall, a restaurant complex, parks and even a cricket field. I passed by it last April and was impressed with the size of the whole thing but the project still didn’t have any water back then so there was no greenery or lakes. But, a reader just emailed me recent photos of the place and looks pretty nice. According to the reader, Boulevard is expected to open in 3 months time but no official date has been set yet. Check out all the photos below.

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New Proposals for Drones

Post by Mark

A user sent me a link to a proposal by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on drones and other unmanned aircrafts. I’ve been going through the proposal now and here are some points I think are worth highlighting:

For Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Under 5KG (Private Use)
– The UAS shall not be operated within 300 Meters of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure not under the control of the UAS operator; and additionally, during take-off or landing the UAS shall not be flown within 200 Meters of any person, unless that person is under the control of the aircraft operator;

– UAV shall not be operated over a congested areas, except with the permission of the DGCA; it shall not fly over public or private properties, or within 5km of Kuwait’s airport outer fence, Heliports, Helicopter landing Sites, and airfields and shall remain clear of control zones.

– DGCA UAV Registration required for UAV which have a total mass including batteries and equipment greater than 1/2kg. Registration shall be done through proper entity.


For Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Under 5KG (Commercial Use)
– DGCAA UAV Registration. Registration shall be done through proper entity.

– DGCA UAS Operating Approval.

– DGCA Security Approval when equipped with camera or other scanning or surveillance equipment.

For Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Over 5KG and Under 25KG (Private Use)
– DGCA approval shall be obtained if operating outside flying clubs air space or the DGCA allocated defined zones.

– UAV shall not be operated near public and private properties;

– Use of video or image capturing device shall be prohibited;

– The applicant shall fill DGCA form to purchase this category.The form can be obtained from proper entity.

So basically if you own a drone or any other unmanned air vheicle you’re going to have to register it. If you’re shooting video and selling the footage then you’re going need to also get approval to operate the drone and approval from the air aviation security department. Finally if you’ve got one of the larger aircraft (over 5KG) like the hobby planes, then you’re going to be very limited on where you could use the aircraft plus you need fill out a form to be able to purchase one.

One thing I found odd is how sometimes they say UAS and sometimes UAV. So I started googling some of the points from the document and turns out they’ve just copied pasted a bunch of stuff from different proposals around the world including from the British CAA and the Emirati GCAA.

If you’d like to download the proposal and check it out, here is the [Link]

Image is a screenshot of drone footage from film Inspiring Kuwait
Thanks Abdulwahab

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TEDxAlshuwaikh: >Me

Post by Mark


We’re getting another TEDx event in Kuwait this year and it’s going to be held on March 24th under the theme of “greater than me”. The list of speakers hasn’t been finalized yet nor information on tickets, but you could follow them on [Instagram], [Facebook] or their [Website] to stay posted on any updates.

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