Neil deGrasse Tyson’s YouTube Channel

March 21st, 2018 No comments

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist in the media, is a director of a YouTube channel called StarTalk. What I like about his talks of scientific topics is the way he explains scientific ideas in a simple way that everyone understand but also citizen-science would find it very useful.

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Top Tech Stories of the Week – March 19th, 2018

March 20th, 2018 No comments
  • YouTube picture-in-picture floating window test appears on desktop | Link
  • IBM working on ‘world’s smallest computer’ to attach to just about everything | Link
  • Police Say Uber Is Likely Not at Fault for Its Self-Driving Car Fatality in Arizona | Link
  • Mark Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica | Link
  • Synology’s C2 backup services goes live to users worldwide | Link
  • We may know when China’s space station will fall to Earth, but we still don’t know where | Link
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Top Stories of the Week – March 12th, 2018

March 14th, 2018 No comments

Wednesday 14-03-2018

  • Stephen Hawkings passed away | Link
    • It’s also Einstein’s birthday, Galileo’s death anniversary, and Pi Day. “The universe works in mysterious ways”!
  • It’s Pi Day! 14-03-2018
  • Raspberry Pi 3 B+ released today on Pi Day! | Link
    • Features 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and PoE HAT
  • Google Maps is opening for game developers
  • Broadcom not acquiring Qualcomm after all | Link
    • Trump blocked the acquisition on grounds of national security
  • Google will ban all cryptocurrency-related advertising | Link
  • Trump fired Tillerson on Twitter without speaking to him | Link
  • SmartThings outage takes down Samsung’s home hub | Link

Thursday 15-03-2018

  • Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes charged with $700m fraud – BBC News | Link
  • Nest’s video doorbell is now shipping | Link


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2018 Samsung TVs Unveiled in NY Event

March 8th, 2018 No comments

In yesterday’s Samsung 2018 First Look Event, new lineup of 2018 TVs were unveiled and I’m very exited of some its features including Ambient Mode, Bixy and SmartThings integration – though I would prefer Google Assistant, and One Invisible Connection which feeds the TV with A/V and power but this time it’s even thinner.

Unfortunately their TVs don’t support Dolby Vision.

Samsung TVs 2018 - Ambient Mode

Ambient Mode is one of the features coming with 2018 TVs from Samsung

More info at

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Novel Attempt #1: Another Ordinary Day

July 9th, 2012 No comments

This is attempt number 1 on writing a story:

No young man, no matter how great, can know his destiny nor glimpse his part of the great story that is about to unfold. A hard worker that is about to take part of a great history that will change the fate of Esio. He lives an ordinary life but he had no idea that everything is going to change… That young man is Alanis son of Guida, but he is known by the name of Alan among the people who knows him.

As Alanis’s mother says: “He owns his property, but can he manage it himself?!” He had an issue on managing his own firm, the Zulu Farms. See, the firm has lots of farms scattered all around the Thurain Rim which is basically the kingdom’s western border as the town is located in the farthest west side of the Kindom of Ijulia. And each farm is huge and being managed by a farm manager. Those managers sometimes lose interest of going by the company’s rules and so the corruption has lingered through the company’s top staffs. So not long ago, he let his brother Judiah to grasp the top management of the firm on his stead for his good managerial experience.

Alanis was a thin brunette man and short, but not very. He had lived a normal life just like anyone else. Known to be kind and compassionate, however, he does have few friends. He spends his time in the town’s library and visits his farms regularly.

Alanis live in a small simple home in the middle of Avgil Street next to their favorite tavern, the Glossip Inn. Most of their money goes to charity work and some of it goes to savings and contribution in building their town.

One morning sat Alanis and Judiah eating crumpets with tea on a rounded wooden table by a large window next to them sending some morning sun rays into the small kitchen of theirs. “It seems that we are advancing in our northern front,” says Alanis one day while having his breakfast with his brother, “Even though we have lost Numenion village last week, but it looks like we will get it back soon!”. “Not likely,” grimed Judiah after a while. “We might have the will to defend our kingdom, but certainly we don’t have the manpower to beat our enemy. All we can hope is that we can score up enough losses from those filthy orcs to stop them from advancing… or maybe even do enough damage to them so they’ll somehow stop the war. Having faith on our army is all what we can do right now.”

“Anyhow, I don’t think they will be able to go further than they have already done. The narrow hollow between Mount Kazham and Mount Rogan is well defended” says Judiah as he holds a tomato that is just about to be eaten. “Not to mention that the whole Durian passage is covered by archers and trebuchets in which were lately mounted on the sides of both mountains. It will bleed the orcs army if they dared to cross the passage!”

After a long conversation, Judiah went to his work like every morning and Alanis decided to go and check the host of refugees who came from the lost village. He went upstairs to his bedroom which was just beside his brother’s bedroom. He picked up his green jacket from his dress cabinet and went out. He noticed his neighbor Mr. Shabby as he shuts the door.

“Good morning Mr. Alanis. It is a lovely day” Says Mr. Shabby. “Yes it is. Spring indeed and I hope it lasts longer than usual.”

Categories: Unnamed World 1 Tags: ,

Encode your JSON data before sending it

January 18th, 2012 No comments

A problem I was facing recently, that the JSON was being receive properly on Firefox 3.6 my work development machine. Finished the project and deployed it. I haven’t tested it on other machines, how clever am I?! I opened my laptop to see how it would appear on other browsers, and shockingly, it wasn’t working at all!

After spending hours trying to locate the line where the error occurs and find out what’s the problem it turned out that I have to decode the JSON output before sending it. I wasn’t using any PHP built-in functionality for JSON, that’s because at work, we are still using PHP4 which has none. I was basically writing the JSON output explicitly. The text output can contain some special characters that need to be encoded and escaped before sending it. After digging around a bit I found out a solution from this post. Everything is pretty much explained there.

In a nutshell, you’ll have to use json_encode() to encode the data from an array and then output it. A JSON library is provided along with that post. There is also a decoding function, but I haven’t use it since I’m receiving my data on a javascript.

Carpathian Region Trip: Day 1 – The Arrival

October 30th, 2011 No comments

Me and my friend had decided to take the Ukrainian Carpathian Region as our vacation exile since he was on a low budget period due to change of job. The main goal of our trip is to enjoy nature away from the stress of city life and do some adrenaline rush activities. Doing some research I found out that the Carpathian region of Ukraine is a natural heaven so I decided to spend some time there.

One of the problems of going to Ukraine is language barrier. The majority of Ukrainians do not speak English and I’ve noticed that some of them do understand English but they can’t speak it. So we decided to look for a Ukrainian tourist company in the Carpathian region. After some Googling, I stumbled upon a website called Green Ukraine that organize trips to the Carpathian region and provide a personal guide throughout the whole trip all day long. After some emailing with the company, we came up with a schedule to spend 5 days on the Carpathian region. I was fascinated on how fast their email reply is. Heck, we had around 7 emails a day going back and forth. The guy I was corresponding was Andriy and it turned out that he is also also our guide.


Train to Ivano-Frankivsk

I went to Ivano-Frankivsk by a train from Kiev. The meeting point with our guide Andriy was the railway station in Ivano-Frankivsk.

Word of advice: Never ever travel in Ukraine by train. Keep reading to know why.

I took the 3rd class ticket because there were no seats on the second and first class cabin. The train trip from Kiev to Ivano-Frankivsk was the crappiest trip I’ve ever been to in my life. There was no air-conditioner and it was summer so the whole compartment stinks and smells like underwear and socks! Heck I felt like throwing up and I was disgusted the whole freaking time. There are no windows to open and the toilet is crap and dirty. People do no know English so we couldn’t talk to anyone in there. Luckily, at the last moment before the train leaves, a guy came by listening to me and my friend talking in Arabic language, so he greeted us. It turned out that he is a nice guy from Jordan in his senior year studying medical in Ivano-Frankivsk.

Days later, we went back also by train but on second class. It is better than the 3rd but it still stinks. There were no tickets for the 1st class.

Anyway, at least I ended up experiencing soviet union era trains.


The Arrival

After about 12 hours on the railway, we finally arrived to Ivano-Frankivsk railway station at 9am. As soon as I stepped out the train, it felt like joy of life is coming back to me again. Of course, I still stink after spending 12 hours in there, but the delightful and fresh air outside the cage has risen up my mood.


Ivano-Frankivsk walkway


After spending about 2 hours waiting for a restaurant to open, pick up some groceries, and looking for bank to withdraw Euro currencies from my bank account, then it start raining and we finally hit the road to go to our cottage in Verkhovyna. That’s another 2 hours until we reached the cottage to take big awesome shower and feel clean!


Side view of the cottageOur cottageThe view from our cottage


As you can see above, that’s where we spent our nights. In a super cool cottage out in the country. We are surrounded by farm houses and a nice view to a mountain nearby.



Our first activity was Quadricycling (ATV). We spent around 30 minutes riding on various locations and tracks. Ascending and descending heights, between woods, on the street, on muddy tracks… etc. It also rained for few minutes. It was fun and enjoyable and the instructor allowed me to drive fast because he said I’m a good driver. That was a good complement for someone who had never drove an ATV before!

I’ll leave you with a picture of how the view was when we were doing Quadricycling.


The view while doing quadricycle


We spent the rest of the day relaxing and lying down on the farm. The night was cold and misty and we went to bed early because we were exhausted.

Solution to getURL not working

February 22nd, 2011 No comments

A security enhancement was added to Flash Player sometime ago that disables getURL to function properly in Actionscript 2.0 of Adobe Flash. This could be an issue for some as in my situation when I created a banner for MET to celebrate the independence & liberation day of Kuwait.

The issue occurs if you are targeting a different domain than the current domain where the SWF/HTML file is hosted. I’ve also heard reports that it can occur if the SWF and HTML file are located at different location even if at the same domain host. I haven’t tested the latter so I can’t confirm or deny it.

Anyhow, to resolve this issue, all you have to do is change the allowScriptAccess attribute on the <object> tag to have the value “always”. You also have to add <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /> or edit it to match it if it’s already there.

So at the end, your code has to look like this:

<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase=",0,0,0" width="955" height="88" id="SWFID" align="middle">
<param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" />
<param name="allowFullScreen" value="false" />
<param name="movie" value="FILE.SWF" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /> <embed src="FILE.SWF" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="955" height="88" name="SWFID" align="middle" allowScriptAccess="always" allowFullScreen="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="" />

This issue is explained in more detail at the official knowledge base of Adobe here and here.

Releasing a New WordPress Plugin – WP Academic People List

October 12th, 2010 1 comment

My first WordPress plugin goes public. I’ve developed it for a research group in Kuwait University. Check out the WP Academic People List page for more information about this plugin. This plugin was built in a way that you can customize it for school alumni website.

BarCamp Kuwait 2010

October 5th, 2010 No comments

The first ever BarCamp in Kuwait.

BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees, usually centered around design & technology topics.

For registration and more information check out the official BarCamp Kuwait 2010 website.