28
Sep
10

Internet Explorer 9 Beta Review (Guest written on GIGAlb.com)

When you hear Internet Explorer, first thing that pops through your mind is: Buggy, slow, unresponsive and ugly user interface. Yes the famous Microsoft browser has carried on a bad reputation from generation to generation, and we wouldn’t expect any better.

On September 15th 2010, Microsoft released the Internet Explorer 9 Beta to the crowd. Curious person that I am, I downloaded it to check out what all the pre-release commotion was about.

After a couple of minutes (30mins considering Lebanon’s download rates) it was installed, replacing my old Internet Explorer 8.

“Shiny icon” I thought to myself, “let’s see what’s next”.

Application launched, first thing I noticed was the crisp visuals and simple interface. Microsoft has indeed revamped it completely leaving nothing but the forward and back buttons, a very small address/search bar and tiny icons for the options and favorites on the right. This leaves a huge space (a la Chrome) for the web pages you are browsing. You can feel the integration of the browser with the Windows 7 Operating System. It blends perfectly.

http://www.beautyoftheweb.com is the first page from Explorer that you will experience. It includes fluid graphics and all you will need to know about the browsers features and innovations

I tried first of all the typical websites, Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc. And I compared loading times to Firefox which were quite similar. Connecting to Hotmail was particularly faster than on any other browser, almost instant. Then I tried some HTML 5 websites, also performed great as well.

One thing that seems absent though, is a progress bar. Even with the status bar on (optional), there is no progress bar visible while loading web pages.

[…]

Read the full review on http://www.GIGAlb.com !
Url:
http://www.gigalb.com/2010/09/internet-explorer-9-beta-the-review/

24
Sep
10

Fresh Graduate Gone Stale

Graduated? Excited to be finally out of university? Eager to work in the field? Living in Lebanon? Yes? Well then stop here and rewind.

Being a fresh graduate myself, looking for work isn’t a piece of cake mind you. But the never ending “why” hangs by thread, leaving young blood questioning and perplexed. Why do most Lebanese go abroad to start their career? Instead of staying right here, and investing themselves for a better national economical future.

Let’s face it, Lebanese become famous for innovations they could have achieved in their home country. Instead they are renowned and praised elsewhere, and the nationality is to be left mentioned in the last place, if any.

We on earth, deal with the famed saying: “Time is money”. Well it perfectly is, but wasting valuable and brand new resources is as important. And taking advantage of these resources will eventually comply with the saying on the long run. Companies avoid losing time by taking in and favoring freshly experienced people, leaving the others jobless, and a wasted asset. This defies the purpose of a good employee turnover, which can adequately be represented like “good blood in, bad blood out”.

Recruiters are making the task for newly graduated, much tougher than it should be. Most of them require us to work a month for free as a “trial” and this is before the 3 months probation we have to abide by.

Its either you come with experience, you work for free or you search elsewhere and try your luck.

But that isn’t the only factor getting in the way. We as Lebanese have adopted for many years now, the “Wasta” system, which is the catalyst that gets a person into a desired job position through connections with important people. This widely and commonly used in Lebanon, unfortunately.

Your expertise, university achievements, and GPA aren’t any help and prove to be useless.

So other than the corrupt government, we have a corrupt business system. And how is a person supposed to build his or her life in these circumstances, since the Lebanese lifestyle is mostly based on money, like any other economy, and how stable you are?

How can this be fixed you ask?

Well like our “flawless” government, I think this is broken beyond repair. Because the system is permanently damaged, and wiping it all out and restarting anew would be the only way to mend it, which is obviously not possible. Lebanon’s corruption is engraved and here to stay.

I, personally, don’t plan on leaving my country, but these factors are nearing me to the threshold. You’d expect the country to be full of opportunities after all it has been through.

I guess patience is the only virtue at this point, as well as perseverance. I won’t give up, not yet at least. What about you? Was it that hard when you first graduated? Do you live in Lebanon? Or should the question be “Do you still live in Lebanon?”

02
Sep
10

Yabba Napa Doo!!

You always have to see what the “commotion” is about yourself, to be able to judge what the big deal is about. Well amongst my recent discoveries there was Ayia Napa. Situated at the far eastern end of the south coast of the island of Cyprus, famous for its sandy beaches and its eccentric and wild nightlife, it was my destination about a week ago. Been described as a clubbers “paradise”, and being a hardcore clubber myself, i had to go check it for myself. And what better to do when you have just graduated. It was all set, tickets, visa, luggage, hotel etc. We just had to step foot on the plane and start our 4 days “adventure”. I was accompanied by my best friend with which I’ve been through a lot, so it was just another “stroll in the park” for us.

After arriving there, and experiencing the relatively humid-less weather, the crazy left driving which gives you the impression that the cars on the opposite side are coming right at you, we checked in the hotel. The Napa Plaza was a nice small hotel that had everything you required and was adequately placed at the center of the city. It was 1am already, come on, who’s going to sleep at 1am in Ayia Napa, not us at least. I’m not going to lie to you, we went to the strip club first, yes, the Moulin Rouge that everyone was talking about. Won’t give you the sizzling details, but it was not bad unlike any “Maameltein”. After that we hit the Square, the main clubbing area. The square was our daily night stop. I can tell you this, it’s nothing compared to Gemeyze. it’s more of a Jbeil scenery plus Tijuana craziness plus a more complex and themed infrastructure. Hard to explain.

Apart from the half naked girls walking on the street, the ongoing direct selling of offers and tickets to clubs, and more explicit imagery you wouldn’t see going on in the streets of Beirut, the place rocked! (all of the above rocked as well.) Anyway, the night went on till 5am, until we check in the hotel after having a long conversation with Nikolaos and Costa our night receptionists who were awesome! It eventually became a routine to converse with them at each night check in, exchanging cultures and information about our countries.

The next day came Nissi Beach, the famous topless beach, a large stretch of sand, yes sand and only sand no bottles, trash, or “mazout” unlike our “amazing” Lebanese beaches. And i got to hand it to these women…they love showing of their breast. Other than that, there were a lot of special aquatic activities to engage in. We rented a quad bike which made moving around the area much easier. Let me tell you, driving on the left isn’t a laughing matter, you get used to it, but only after a lot of “shocking near death” therapy. I can’t say it’s cheap over there, but it’s balanced, some things are cheap (a drink for 5€) or a bit pricey (a kitkat for 1.5€). They have a lot of attractions there, from the water theme park, to the basic theme park, from the boat cruises to the themed parties.

One great clubbing hotspot there was the Castle Club, a huge clubbing complex with up to 4 floors of different music themes each. Best part is that you can go there with nothing but your shorts and flip-flops! Which brings me to my next point: Judgment. You are judgment free there, nobody will get involved in your affairs, you are free to do what you want to do, nobody cares! That was a major change of atmosphere coming from Lebanon. One of the big disadvantages is that they lack the generosity Lebanese have, meaning, don’t expect to get a cup of water without paying for it.

There was the Bedrock Inn as well which had one of the most innovative clubbing means, they give you a headphone as you enter, and you tune to your own music! So if you are with a group you can all tune in to the same music and have a party while others around you might be listening to a completely different genre of music! To me that was amazing! And if you are asking yourselves, YES, it is damn easy to meet with girls/guys, after all, that’s why everybody is there for,no? I had a lot of “encounters” of my own, it’s the charm of the place in my opinion, those summer days abroad you’ll always remember. The last night was really hard to accept, i mean i love Lebanon and all, but it is nothing like it! All in all, Ayia Napa is someplace i would definitely go back to, and i encourage all off you party people who just need a week to let it all go, to forget all your worries and stress to take it in consideration for your next trip, after all, it’s just 30minutes away from Beirut.

23
Aug
10

“Thank You for Smoking”…NOT!

I started smoking around the age of 15-16, yea stupid huh? Carried away by my peers, it was all about the coolness at first (one of the common reason for most young smokers) but then I stopped paying attention to how cool it was and it became a habit. Years passed, the amount of cigarettes I smoked increased, especially after my parents learned (they weren’t too happy about that). Dad was a heavy smoker himself, but stopped with medical aid when I was a child, and mom is asthmatic, enough said. Both knew there was nothing they could do to stop me, they just asked for me to decrease the number of cigarettes I smoked and the usual health concerns talks were there of course. Smoking became part of my life, each morning before university I picked up a pack from the same mini market and headed down. Having a very active nightlife, cigarettes were always present at most times of the day. With a best friend that smoked heavily as well,  stopping to smoke wasn’t even a considerable option at the time. But around 5 months ago, I woke up one day, and well I decided to stop…cold turkey. You might ask “why?”, it’s simple, I just wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t slave to my addiction. And that day was indeed the end of the line for cigarettes in my life. And surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to accomplish, sure I had my cravings, but I persevered. A lot of people admired my will, and they encouraged me a lot, it pushed me to continue. Friends at university, my family and tweeps, all were there to support me and I can’t thank them enough, because I am smoke free today because they believed I could follow through. So to all you smokers out there, take note of this real life experience, do yourself and the people who love you a favor, show that cigarette who’s boss…if i can do it, you can.

08
Aug
10

Raw fish, the new Lebanese trend

Lebanese have been known to popularize things that  were already present a long time ago but for some unknown reason “halla2 woslotlon”.  Like the bingo wave that hit Lebanon a couple of years ago, everybody gets hyped up about it and it is everywhere you go (noticeable uprising of a big number of sushi joints across Lebanon, making it accessible and convenient) . Not only that, but it hits almost all age groups, and you end up being part of it all whether you like it or not! I am not a fish lover myself, i usually have my own special meal while the whole family eats fish. But raw fish? who would have imagined! Yes i confess, i am a sushi lover and i enjoy every bit of its amphibian rawness. how and why remains unknown, just like how it has become one of the “main courses” of the middle and high societies of Lebanon. I would expect this trend to die out in a couple of years time, since there has a been a cyclical trend pattern which has clearly appeared over the years. The question is, what’s next?

07
Aug
10

How i suffered to write my first post

Well…here goes!

I first opened up a twitter account back in 2009. At first it was just to please a friend who already had an account, but I didn’t find any use for it whatsoever and I was very indifferent. Months had passed and I eventually  grasped the concept of it all, and i started to follow and be followed, slowly constructing a sort of “social media society”. Most of them being bloggers, and not the kind that would write about “omg Justin Bieber is awesome” bloggers but the serious information provider bloggers. I was motivated to create my own, already having the name of it in my head but no subject to begin with. I kept on procrastinating , blaming it on how busy i was with my final semester at university. But summer came, and still nothing. So i left it there…empty. The “Under Construction” was haunting me, but my mind became blank every time i faced it. Until certain tweeps (@jennhaddad , @BattikhBaladeh ) inspired me and encouraged me to write about my “suffering” in seeking the ice breaker subject. And here i am writing it, i guess it wasn’t that hard, i was just making too much of a fuss about it. Hope this is a good beginning, easy on the critics and thank you for reading 🙂

06
Apr
10

Under Construction =)

hello everyone, my blog is still under construction. I will hopefully start working on it as soon as possible. 🙂




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