Watch F1 with Renault/Applebees

Post by K.theKuwaiti

For those of you following up on this years F1 races; Applebees with Renault, is going to be airing all F1 races at 8.30pm on the day of the race (at all locations). In addition to winning prizes during each race at Applebees Bneid Al-Gar; you can also enter the draw to win a Renault Clio RS.

The first race of the season in Melbourne, Australia will be airing at 8:30 pm at Applebees on Sunday 16th March.

Good to see that local companies are local race-oriented events.

More information at the Facebook group [Here]

Posted by K.

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Fasttelco glitches Google

Post by K.theKuwaiti


Last week we wrote about the issue Fasttelco users were having with their private information being publicly available online. Cnet/ have published an article covering this subject and this is the result of the user (36o/Abdulaziz), who reported the issue on the forum and then passed on the details of the glitch to Google. Apparently, Google have contacted Fasttelco and offered their services to help resolve the issue.

Hopefully some good can come from this and Fasttelco will reevaluate their users security (a price cut and promised speeds would be do wonders too).

Cnet / article [here]
Our original post [here]

Posted by K.

Thanks Abdulaziz

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Desert Fubuki©

Post by K.theKuwaiti

Once again, the view from my office looks as if I am staring into an hourglass. I tried to take a picture of the weather outside but every picture ended up looking like this:

Nibaq explained it best:

Desert: A dry, often sandy region of little rainfall, extreme temperatures, and sparse vegetation.
Fubuki: Japanese for snow storm

Link [here]

-Posted by K.

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Fasttelco security issues

Post by K.theKuwaiti

FT Warning

Some readers in the forum have been experiencing account access issues when using Fasttelco. When you login into a website (FaceBook, Gmail, Forum), it informs you that you have been logged out and then you have access to someone else’s account (and vice versa). There are screenshots in the forum of a user being redirected to several different gmail accounts and even gaining access to post under different user-names.

If you are unable to use another ISP to access your sensitive information, I suggest using a proxy, vpn or anonymizer (such as Tor) to bypass the Fasttelco cache server. For those who already logged into sensitive websites; login using a different ISP (or the methods suggested) and change your password.

This is most likely due to the Fasttelco cache server (which stores information locally to speed/conserve bandwidth) incorrectly passing data. If you are a user of Fasttelco, call up the help desk and demand that the cache server be disabled until they can fix it.

Link to the topics [here] [here] [here]

Thanks 36o!

-Posted by K.

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Return of TV Shows

Post by Nibaq

TV Guide

With the writer striker almost over, the big question is “when are shows coming back?”. Luckily TvGuide has a list of what is in store for us.

Some highlights:

Season 7 likely postponed until January ’09.

Desperate Housewives
Expected to shoot 4 to 7 new episodes to air in April/May.

Grey’s Anatomy
Expected to shoot 4 to 7 new episodes to air in April/May.

No new episodes expected until fall.

Six pre-strike episodes remain. Six additional episodes could air this season.

Season 5 concludes Feb. 19. Production on the show’s eight-episode sixth season expected to start up this summer. Airdate TBD.

Prison Break
Two pre-strike episodes remain. Future beyond that TBD.

Saturday Night Live
Could be back on the air as early as Feb. 16.

Overall most shows will not be returning till fall or later, others will release their pre-strike shows and begin production soon. [Link]

Posted by Nibaq

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Writers strike (almost) over

Post by K.theKuwaiti

The writers strike is unofficially over, a few weeks before the Oscars.

Seeing how there is tons of news covering the issue, I am going to keep this simple and concise:

  1. Writers should start getting back to work by Monday.
  2. Most shows would begin writing scripts and reworking the storylines.
  3. It would take 6 – 8 weeks to get up and running.
  4. For those continuing the season: Expect 4 – 6 episodes left, airing in April (late) – May.
  5. Other networks may scrap the season and begin production for next season (Aug – Sep).

The writers strike has also affected Movies, as most scripts were placed on hold. Expect production to resume; with releases (Da Vinci code 2) showing up sometime in the Winter.

More information can be found [here].

Posted by K.

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Internet fixed tomorrow

Post by K.theKuwaiti

the Internet is fixed .. long live the internet.

There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel (pun intended). Flag Telecom has reported that both links will be fully operational by February 10th now.

Cut # 1: FLAG EUROPE ASIA Cable cut between Alexandria (Egypt) and Palermo (Italy)

  • The repair crew of marine experts, optical engineers has reached the site yesterday and it is expected that the splice work will be carried out today. It is currently planned that the repairs will be completed by Sunday, February 10th 2008.

Cut # 2: FALCON Cable cut between Dubai (UAE) and Al SEEB (Oman)

  1. The ship loaded with spares, marine experts, and optical engineers have reached the site yesterday. The crew has recovered the one end of the cable and cable joining work is in progress.
  2. The repair team has observed steady progress and the repair work are expected to be completed by Sunday, February 10th 2008.

I personally find it quite ironic that the Internet issue is fixed the day after InfoConnect; memo to Gitex, there is no need to sabotage our event (the organizers are doing it for you). Until the internet is fully operational, I suggest you check out Mark’s post on the ‘The internet’s undersea world‘. One of the more unnoticed parts of the image is the available/used capacity of the underwater link.

The fiber links around the world can handle up to 7.1 tbps. The capacity ‘purchased/reserved’ by ISPs is 5.7tbps. Which leads us to ask .. how much of the internet capacity is actually being used? 2.1tbps. In theory, everyone (around the world) could have triple the internet speeds and the fiber links would still have roughly 15% left of unused capacity.

-Posted by K.

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Internet outage update.

Post by K.theKuwaiti

Flag Telecom has released a press bulletin with an updated status on the cut fiber links:

Cut # 1: FLAG EUROPE ASIA Cable cut between Alexandria (Egypt) and Palermo (Italy)

  • The ship loaded with spares has reached the fault location and has initiated the repair work; the repair work is estimated to be completed within 6-7 days.
  • The Mediterranean network will be fully resilient with the addition of FLAG Mediterranean Cable current under implementation.
  • The cable cut was reported at 0800 GMT on January 30th 2008 around 8.3 Km away from Alexandria cable landing station between Egypt – Italy segment.

Cut # 2: FALCON Cable cut between Dubai (UAE) and Al SEEB (Oman)

  • The ship loaded with spares, marine experts, and optical engineers have reached the site yesterday. The crew has recovered the one end of the cable and cable joining work is in progress.
  • The repair team has observed steady progress and the repair work are expected to be completed in next 3 – 4 days.
  • The weather conditions are not favorable but the crew is continuing with the repair process.
  • The cable cut was reported at 0559 GMT on February1st 2008 around 56 Km from Dubai, UAE on segment between UAE and Oman.

We should expect internet to return to normal within the next week. The official press bulletin is updated daily and can be found [here].

-Posted by K.

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Current DSL Prices (February 2008)

Post by K.theKuwaiti

As promised, here is the breakdown of current DSL speeds/prices (as of InfoConnect 2008):

If you are looking speeds of 2mb or higher .. you can’t beat Qnets pricing (infoconnect special). And in addition to a free wireless router you also get a scratch (instant prize) and raffle (Mini) coupons for every 20kd spent. I upgraded my connection to 4mb and ‘won’ a extra couple of weeks on my subscription through the scratch coupons.

For those interested in speeds of 1mb or lower; Zajil is the clear choice with their aggressive pricing structure with 1mb at 300 KWD (almost 1/3 the price of last year).

Apparently, there is a new DSL company called Wasel, which has recently been placing advertisements in the newspapers. And while they might be advertising offering DSL, they don’t have a booth at InfoConnect or even a website; We don’t have much information on their offers.

-Posted by K.

*Prices listed are collected from Brochures, Official Websites and Sales Representatives .. prices displayed are for yearly subscriptions.

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InfoConnect 2008 Preview

Post by K.theKuwaiti

InfoConnect 2008 Sneak Peak

Marzouq and I had a chance to check out InfoConnect before the doors open to public tomorrow:

The good:
Qualitynet is offering huge price cuts in addition to ‘extras’ that will only be offered when you subscribe/renew at InfoConnect. In addition to a ‘Sky DSL’ service which possibly means two way satellite service (as UCC). They also are offering a raffle for a Mini (might be one of the ‘extras’) with Al-Ghanim.

TechSys has a ton of new products from Planet and Silverstone, from HTPC/High-End cases, quiet/ultra-powerful power supplies to affordable networking products like smart switches and ip-cameras.

Lastly, E-Government is in full effect this year; Bahrain and Oman’s governments showing off their e-capabilities alongside Kuwait’s MOI, MOC and PACI. There are Several Kiosks, payment devices and even a decked out BMW Police Car on display.

The bad:
No Zain (they have their own event in April?), No Zajil, No Fasttelco, and not even Wasel (new Internet Company). For those looking to get a new deal on their EGO or DSL lines… You might be out of luck with the big players sitting it out. However, Zajil has already slashed prices with 3mb going for less than 850kd for a year’s subscription.

The ugly:
Aside from the cheaper yet still over-inflated pricing on the same old items… There is not much that InfoConnect has to offer. Without the Internet companies using February as a time to introduce their new offerings… you might as well take a stroll down any Ibn Khaldoun for the same experience.

The reality is that InfoConnect is a second rate bazaar with local stores trying to unload the remaining stock from their warehouse. Everyone from ElectroZan, Yousifi, Al-Ghanim Electronics and Sony are busy selling Televisions and DVD players than showing off new technology.

On the bright side, this might be a good chance to pick up that TV you have been thinking about. In addition to the electronics… there is an endless supply of Phone stores, two bit computer shops and Chinese stands selling items which can probably be found for cheaper in Hawalli.

I put up some pictures on my Flickr page [here].

-Posted by K

I will be posting tomorrow the ISP cost comparison.

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