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TED gives FREE speaches online

Posted by Yaser on February 28, 2008

I just learned about this cool website:  TED is an organization that asks famous/interesting people to give 20-minute speeches and records them.  Now, on their website, you can watch speeches that they’ve collected over the last 24 years.  A lot of this content is probably available on YouTube, but the signal-to-noise ratio is much higher on TED because of the limited format and the high barrier to entry.

This morning, I watched a talk by J.J. Abrams, and yesterday I watched a theramin concert and a speech on aging by Aubrey de Grey (whom I’ve read about, but had never seen before).  If you have twenty minutes to spare, you should check it out.

Posted in 2.0, Internet, Tech, Web Applications | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pakistan blocks YouTube

Posted by Yaser on February 27, 2008

The Pakistani government has ordered the countries’ 70 Internet providers to block user access to YouTube due to anti-Islamic content.Morocco, Thailand and Turkey have also recently blocked their citizens’ access to YouTube due to concerns over content.

Read the full SF Chronicle story.

Posted in 2.0, Internet, Islam, Tech, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Google builds own undersea internet cable

Posted by Yaser on February 26, 2008

A group of six international companies, including Google Inc. of the U.S., is building a $300 million underwater fiber-optic cable linking the United States and Japan. The 6,200-mile trans-Pacific broadband cable system called Unity will respond to the expected growth in data and Internet traffic between Asia and the U.S., the companies said in a statement Monday. A signing ceremony was held Feb. 23, they said. Besides U.S. Internet search company Google Inc., the Unity consortium includes Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s leading integrated telecom services provider, and Japanese telecommunications company KDDI Corp.The others are Malaysian Internet company Global Transit; Pacnet, a telecom company headquartered in Hong Kong and Singapore; and SingTel, a leading Asian communications and mobile company. NEC Corp. and Tyco Telecommunications are suppliers for the project, set to be up and running in the first quarter of 2010. Construction begins immediately, according to the consortium. The cable is expected to initially increase trans-Pacific fiber-optic capacity by about 20 percent, with the potential to add additional bandwidth, the companies said. It will connect Chikura, near Tokyo, with Los Angeles and other U.S. West Coast points, and the system will connect to other Asian cable systems via Chikura, they said. I guess they simply had to do something like this as YouTube continues to grow and consume more and more bandwidth…

Source: AP

Posted in Google, Internet, Saudi Arabia, Tech, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Information Technology Report Saudi Arabia

Posted by Yaser on February 26, 2008

Executive Summary

Summary of It’s key industry forecasts, views and trend analysis covering Information technology, regulatory changes, major investments and projects, and significant multinational and national company developments.

Regional Overview

Cross-border analysis of regional markets, commenting on IT penetration (PC and internet) and market growth drivers (IT market size and IT market compound growth).

Market Overview

Structure, size and value of industry sector; overview of industry landscape and key players; assessment of business operating environment and latest regulatory developments.

It 5-Year Industry Forecast

Historic data series and 5-year forecasts to end-2012 for all key industry indicators (see list below), supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast.
IT industry value (US$bn); IT sector contribution to GDP (%); value of hardware, software and services industry (US$mn); PC, peripherals and software imports and exports (US$mn); PC, peripherals and software sales (US$mn); number of PCs (‘000); PCs/ 100 inhabitants; internet users (‘000); internet users per 100 inhabitants; broadband subscribers (‘000); broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

It 5-Year Macroeconomic Forecast

It forecasts for all headline macroeconomic indicators, including real GDP growth, inflation, fiscal balance, trade balance, current account and external debt.

Competitive Landscape & Profiles

Company profiles, including SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses, business activity, leading products and services.

Executive Summary

Saudi Arabia’s computer market demonstrated strong growth in Q107 driven by falling prices and growing demand for notebooks. For many vendors Saudi is clearly the most important market in the region and most recorded significant sales growth in 2006. Overall, the value of the Saudi Arabian IT market is estimated to have reached US$2.5bn in 2006 and is expected to rise to US$3.9bn by 2011, representing a CAGR of 9%. High oil prices have been stimulating increased spending on IT products and services by government as well as in sectors such as manufacturing and transport. Going forward, telecommunications liberalisation, a push for broadband, and government spending programmes on IT in Education and other areas should reinforce the potential of the market. The government has recently announced some US$32bn of infrastructure projects in Riyadh area, including construction of an Information Technology park. Although some distributors are tipping Egypt to overtake Saudi Arabia this year in terms of computer sales, a number of factors should mean continued strong momentum for the Saudi Arabian IT market. Strong growth in sales of both computers and associated services is being driven by high oil prices and substantial budgets allocated for e-government infrastructure development.

In the enterprise sector, smaller companies are realising the opportunities to apply IT to achieve efficiencies in such areas as finance and logistics as well as marketing and other functions.

The context is a business environment that is becoming increasingly competitive and open, as the country became a membership. Particularly significant is the planned further liberalisation of the telecoms sector, with new fixed-line and mobile licences expected to be awarded in 2007. In terms of PC and notebook sales, the market was the largest in the region in volume sales in 2006, but in the past year demand for IT services, including outsourcing, has also shown a strong growth trend. A growing number of companies in the telecoms and other sectors are looking to contract-out functions that they previously kept in-house.

With annual per-capita expenditure on IT reaching US$330, and Saudi Arabia continuing to account for around 40% of IT spending in the Middle East region in 2006, the market looms large in the regional calculations of multinational IT companies. Youthful population demographics, a regional economic boom fuelled by high oil prices and a buoyant real estate sector, and specific factors such as the growing popularity of e-banking will all drive growth.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, Tech | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Hotmail too busy to serve users!!

Posted by Yaser on February 25, 2008

hotmai-server-too-busy.jpg As I was checking my Hotmail today, a note telling that the Hotmail servers are too busy has opened instead of my Inbox. The note reads:

Server Too Busy
We are experiencing higher than normal volume and are therefore unable to service your request at this time. Try one of the following:

In your browser, click Refresh
In your browser, click Back, and try again
Wait a few minutes and try again
We apologize for this inconvenience.

This comes at a bad time for Microsoft as they were trying to buy Yahoo! while the can’t even serve there users.

Posted in Internet, Microsoft, Tech | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

The official death of Netscape Browser

Posted by Yaser on February 23, 2008

AOL will officially pull the plug on the Netscape Web browser next week, which raises the question: Netscape is still alive? The rise and fall of Netscape is a reminder of just how quickly technology changes – and a warning to approach battles against Microsoft cautiously. Netscape was founded in 1994, and quickly won customers by providing software that made it easy for people to navigate the Internet. Netscape went public a year later and saw its stock price nearly triple on its first day of trading. At one point, the company had an $8 billion market cap and 90% of the Web browser market. But soon it all went south. Microsoft introduced its Internet Explorer browser and began eating into Netscape’s market share. Microsoft later paid AOL, which bought Netscape in 2000, $750 million to settle antitrust charges.By the late 1990s, the handwriting was on the wall, and for the last several years the company has been little more than a footnote. Today, Netscape has less than 1% of the browser market. At the end of December, AOL announced it would stop supporting Netscape on February 1, but ended up giving the browser a one-month stay of execution. This week, the diehards who still use Netscape’s browser received a notice telling them it was time to start using either the Firefox or Flock browsers — for some reason Netscape didn’t suggest switching to Explorer – officially marking the end of an era. I remember using Netscape back in the old days when noone cared about IE, but the times of glory are definitely over.

Source: WSJ

Posted in Internet, Microsoft, Tech | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rumors: AMD to be acquired

Posted by Yaser on February 17, 2008

Rumors from different sites tell that AMD is about to be bought by Nvidia, intel, or IBM. For more, you can read these articles:

Tom’s Hardware

Posted in Tech | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Toshiba to give up on HD DVD

Posted by Yaser on February 17, 2008

Toshiba Corp is planning to stop production of equipment compatible with the HD DVD format for high-definition video, allowing the competing Blu-Ray camp a free run, public broadcaster NHK reported on Saturday.Toshiba is expected to suffer losses amounting to tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars) to scrap production of HD DVD players and recorders and other steps to exit the business, Japan’s NHK said on its website.
No one at Toshiba could be reached for comment.

The format war between the Toshiba-backed HD DVD and Sony Corp’s Blu-Ray, often compared to the Betamax-VHS battle in the 1980s, has slowed the development of what is expected to be a multibillion dollar high-definition DVD industry.
Toshiba was dealt a blow on Friday when Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it would abandon the HD DVD format, becoming the latest in a series of top retailers and movie studios to rally behind Blu-ray technology for high definition DVDs.

Toshiba plans to continue selling HD DVD equipment at stores for the time being but will not put resources into developing new devices, NHK said.

Source: NHK, Reuters

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Console industry down by 6% to $1.18 billion

Posted by Yaser on February 17, 2008

The US gaming industry ended 2007 with record retail sales of nearly $18 billion. This week, though, the NPD Group provided a sobering reminder that market growth is not guaranteed. Today, the industry-research firm released its US retail sales data for its January 2008 reporting period. While software sales for the month were up 11 percent to nearly $611 million for the month, hardware sales fell by a quarter to about $378 million. Combined with modestly declining accessory sales, the overall industry was down 6 percent for the month, posting $1.18 billion compared to January 2007’s $1.25 billion take.Despite that, the month contained indications that the industry actually grew. That’s because NPD’s January 2007 reporting period was actually five weeks long as opposed to this January’s four-week span. NPD analyst Anita Frazier noted that the numbers are much rosier when that adjustment is taken into account. “At the top-line, on an average sales per week basis, January 2007 was actually up nearly 18 percent as compared to last year,” Frazier said. “And the big winner was console software which was up nearly 50 percent when compared on a level playing field to last year.” However, even on a week-by-week basis, hardware sales were still down 6 percent from last year. Frazier blamed that slide on price cuts made to the consoles, and speculated that hardware shortages in the wake of stellar December sales contributed to January’s slide. That assertion was backed up a statement from Microsoft saying the Xbox 360 was suffering from temporary shortages.

Source: Gamespot

Posted in Tech | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wal-Mart will sell only Blu-Ray movies

Posted by Yaser on February 17, 2008

Wal-Mart Stores Inc has decided to exclusively sell high-definition DVDs in the Blu-Ray format, dealing what could be a crippling blow to the rival HD DVD technology backed by Toshiba Corp. The move by the world’s largest retailer, announced on Friday, caps a disappointing week for HD DVD supporters, who also saw consumer electronics chain Best Buy Co Inc and online video rental company Netflix Inc defect to the Blu-ray camp. In a statement on its Web site, Wal-Mart said that over the next few months it will phase out sales of HD DVD systems and discs. By June, it will sell only products in the Blu-ray format which was developed by Sony Corp.“We’ve listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases,” said Gary Severson, a Wal-Mart senior vice president. The move affects 4,000 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores in the United States, as well as related online sites. The stores will continue to sell traditional DVD players and movies. The so-called format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray has been a thorn in the side of retailers, which have had to commit shelf space to devices from both camps even as they field complaints from frustrated and confused customers. Next-generation DVDs and players, boasting better picture quality and more capacity, were expected to help revive the $24 billion global home DVD market. But Hollywood studios had initially split their alliances between the two camps, meaning only certain films would play on a consumer’s DVD machine.

Source: AP

Posted in e-commerce, Internet | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »