Monday, December 31, 2012

Notables of 2012

  • South Korea got their first female prime minister
  • Egypt elected its first civilian leader
  • War in Gaza
  • Obama won reelection
  • Mali overrun by Islamist
  • US ambassador killed in Benghazi
  • Higg Bosson confirmed by CERN
  • Riots over Prophet Mohammed 'movie'
  • Epic take down by Australian PM regarding sexism in Australian parliament
  • Messi broke record of most goals in Spanish tournament
  • Central African Republic on the edge of being overrun by rebels
  • Facebook IPO crashed and burn
  • President Chavez of Venezuela cancer treatment is failing
  • London Olympics 2012 was spectacular
  • Syria entered full blown civil war
  • Israel Foreign Minister resigned after being indicted 
  • NATO deployed Patriot missiles for Turkey
  • Armenia up in arms after Azerbaijan openly welcomed a murderer
  • A bomb attack on Israel tourists in Bulgaria
  • Mars landing
  • Maya calendar ended and begun with much hypes and without any consequence
  • Cyprus got bailed out money from EU
  • Spain unemployment hit 30%
  • UK got into double dip recession
  • Greece is still in deep shit
  • China once a decade leadership shift
  • Argentina and UK got into verbal smash over Falklands islands
  • Facebook bought Instagram and ruined it over new service term which had to be rolled back
  • Appled fucked map. 
  • Google came out with amazing Google Now
  • RIM missed release of BB 10
  • Microsoft leadership exodus
  • Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone 8 released and nobody cared
  • Skyfall made a billion dollars
  • Director of CIA resigned over affairs
  • Berlusconi tried to run for premiership of Italy again
  • Burma is cool again
  • Gangnam Style hit 1 billion view on YouTube
  • Dark Night Rises released
  • Hurricane Sandy trashed New York
  • James Cameron dived to Marianne Trench
  • That tallest jump in history
  • Sex scandals and other fuckups at the BBC
  • Fucking Taliban shot an activity girl in Pakistan
  • India went to nationwide rage over raped women
  • HP had a 8 billion dollars write down out of its last year's 11 billion dollar purchase of Autonomy in addition of its other 8 billion dollars write down of EDS acquisition. 
  • Lance Amstrong is officially a fraud
  • Knight Capital lost 440 million dollars over software mistake
  • Blind Chinese activist escaped to US
  • LIBOR scandal discovered
  • JP Morgan Chase lost over 8 billion dollars over trading

Spiegel's best photographs of 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

As it is in Cairo, New Delhi is also a nest of sexual harassers

College students, mostly women, led the early protests. Sexual violence has become a national scandal in India, amid regular reports of gang rapes and other assaults against infants, teenagers and other women. But women also spoke of a more pervasive form of harassment: of being groped in public; of fearing to ride buses or subways alone; of victims, not attackers, being shamed and blamed. NY Times
The rotten criminal justice system is partly to blame
Protesters have repeatedly called for reforms, citing the frequent insensitivity of the police and the courts toward women and the skewed priorities of a government that devotes thousands of officers to protecting politicians and other so-called V.V.I.P.’s, even as departments too often fail to protect ordinary citizens. “I’m now beginning to feel that my government is not capable of understanding the situation, let alone solving it,” said Abhijit Sarkar, 28, a social activist who participated in a candlelight vigil last week. “During the candlelight vigil, policemen were actually laughing at us.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bad news from Antartica

"New research suggests that West Antarctica has warmed much more than scientists have thought over the last half century, an ominous finding given that the huge ice sheet there may be vulnerable to long-term collapse, with potentially drastic effects on sea level.

A paper released Sunday by the journal Nature Geoscience found that the temperature at a research station in the middle of West Antarctica has warmed by 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1958. That is roughly twice as much as scientists previously thought and three times the overall rate of global warming, making central West Antarctica one of the fastest-warming regions on earth. " NY Times

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Amazing shots from NASA

"Mars is an amazing place. I sometimes still think of it as cold, barren, and dead, but this is simply prejudice on my part. Well, it is cold, but dead it is not: It has an atmosphere capable of astonishing feats, including creating enormous dust devils—mini-tornadoes— like the one seen here by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This towering vortex was 800 meters (half a mile) long as it swept across the ochre landscape. The plume was bent by the wind, creating that gently sweeping tail, and you can see its shadow on the ground. Dust devils form when air warmed by the ground below rises. If there’s a steady wind it can wrap the rising air into a vortex that can tip vertically and swirl around. They’re common on Mars, but one this big is unusual … though not long afterward, another one formed that was a staggering 20 kilometers (12 miles) high!"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last post

This is the last post on since tomorrow is the end of the world. In the unlikely event that we survive the calamity, the blogging shall resume.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What is Kaiju?

Kaiju (怪獣 kaijū?) is a Japanese word that literally translates to "strange beast". However, the word kaiju has been universally translated and defined into English as "monster" or "giant monster" and refers to science fiction films from Japan featuring unnatural creatures of immense size. Kaiju films usually showcase kaiju of any form attacking a major Japanese city or squaring off with one another.
The most famous kaiju is Godzilla. Other well known kaiju include Mothra, Gamera, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. The term ultra-kaiju is short-hand for monsters in the Ultra Series. Wikipedia

Cairo voted no, but the rest of Egypt voted yes

Click here for more details on the constitutional referendum tally part 1.


From the NYT

Friday, December 14, 2012

How Google build Map

The sheer amount of human effort that goes into Google's maps is just mind-boggling. Every road that you see slightly askew in the top image has been hand-massaged by a human. The most telling moment for me came when we looked at couple of the several thousand user reports of problems with Google Maps that come in every day. The Geo team tries to address the majority of fixable problems within minutes. One complaint reported that Google did not show a new roundabout that had been built in a rural part of the country. The satellite imagery did not show the change, but a Street View car had recently driven down the street and its tracks showed the new road perfectly. The Atlantic

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yenisei River

More pictures from Siberia

Egypt's constitution referendum is schedule on December 15

If people chose No, then Egyptians will elect the people that will be in the 100 people constitution committee.

There are call of boycotts by some oppositions and today will see two warring factions on the streets trying to pull out large demonstrations.

Europe's highest suspension bridge

Its in Switzerland

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Outsourcing yourself out of existance

Asus came to Dell and said, “We’ve done a good job fabricating these motherboards for you. Why don’t you let us assemble the whole computer for you, too? Assembling those products is not what’s made you successful. We can take all the remaining manufacturing assets off your balance sheet, and we can do it all for 20 percent less.”

The Dell analysts realized that this, too, was a win- win…

That process continued as Dell outsourced the management of its supply chain, and then the design of its computers themselves. Dell essentially outsourced everything inside its personal-computer business—everything except its brand— to Asus. Dell’s Return on Net Assets became very high, as it had very few assets left in the consumer part of its business.

Then, in 2005, Asus announced the creation of its own brand of computers. In this Greek-tragedy tale, Asus had taken everything it had learned from Dell and applied it for itself. It started at the simplest of activities in the value chain, then, decision by decision, every time that Dell outsourced the next lowest-value-adding of the remaining activities in its business, Asus added a higher value-adding activity to its business. Asymco
The outsourcers will become better and better at making and designing your products until they eat you whole.

Morsi half blinks

Struggling to quell violent protests that have threatened to derail a referendum on an Islamist-backed draft constitution, President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt moved Saturday to appease his opponents with a package of concessions hours after state news media reported that he was moving toward imposing a form of martial law to secure the streets and allow the vote.

Mr. Morsi did not budge on a critical demand of the opposition: that he postpone the referendum set for next Saturday to allow a thorough overhaul of the proposed charter, which liberal groups say has inadequate protection of individual rights and provisions that could someday give Muslim religious authorities new influence. NY Times
This does not go far enough. One of his original decree was to protect the Constitutional Assembly and give them more time to finish the constitution. Then the massive protest happened because his parts of his decree make him have dictatorial powers. In response the constitution was rushed within a week and to be voted on next week.

And now he has rescinded part of his decree but yet still insist on the rushed constitution which he had wanted to give more time in the first place.

It's all very confusing and contradictory. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

New update to Android Rivers

Android Rivers is an app I am working right now that help reading diverse news efficiently. It's designed for Android phone 2.2 and up.

Android Rivers .43 is now available. You can find the latest update at

In this update you will find the following:
  • An updated UI theme. As a consequence of this, the size of the application is almost double. At this rate of size increase, we will need DVD distribution by the time this app is completed.
  • You can resize the text in the rivers.
  • The text in the rivers has more padding for easier reading.
  • After you download a river, it will stay cached for an hour so the app will not reload the rivers from the Internet unless you explicitly refresh it again.
  • Now the app is more exact in checking whether a news item link is a proper Uri.
  • You can change the theme from light to dark and vice versa. I found it very useful to switch the color theme depending on light condition of my surrounding.

For you to be able to run this version of Android River, you must set your phone/tablet in the "application" setting to check on allowing "unknown sources".

Pictures from Heliopolis

 More twitter sourced images of Battle of Heliopolis and other cities in Egypt can be found here.

Heliopolis is a middle/upper class area of Cairo. Its about 40 minutes drive (in average traffic) from where I live.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The trigger of Battle of Heliopolis

The trigger was this, earlier today when a MB mass went down the the palace area and torn down tents of protesters from the previous night.

Internet Trends 2012 by Mary Meeker

She's a pretty astute observer of the Internet and worth listening to.

Thousands marched to the Egypt's Presidential Palace

Tens of thousands of Egyptians marched to the Presidential palace at Helipolis last night in opposition to the Presidential decree and rushed draft constitution. Heliopolis is a middle to upper class part of Cairo.

Walled Cairo


Whenever there are large violent protests on the street of Central Cairo, walls popped up like mushroom in the rainy seasons.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Monday, December 03, 2012

Israel pokes everybody in the eye by planning E1 settlements constructions

It's a game changer. All settlements are obstacles for a future agreement but this is the obstacle for the future, the one that can be the last nail in the coffin for a two-state solution. This is understood by not just the Palestinians and the international community but by the Israeli government as well. By indicating the intent to build in E1, they are saying "no" to the two-state solution.

The E1 area divides the West Bank into two cantons. It doesn't allow the necessary contiguity for a Palestinian state. Secondly, it cuts offJerusalem from the West Bank by mass Israeli settlement. If [East] Jerusalem is cut off from the West Bank, it can never serve as the capital for a Palestinian state.
The Guardian coverage is here. The UK, Germany, France and Sweden are considering pulling their ambassadors.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Translations to Egypt's draft constituion

By Egypt Independent newspaper, get it here.

Asperger's now part of Autism

Asperger's syndrome is to be dropped from the psychiatrists' Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, the American publication that is one of the most influential references for the profession around the world.

The term "Asperger's disorder" will not appear in the DSM-5, the latest revision of the manual, and instead its symptoms will come under the newly added "autism spectrum disorder", which is already used widely. That umbrella diagnosis will include children with severe autism, who often do not talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms.


Saturday, December 01, 2012

The case of drinking coffee, a lot

"What I tell patients is, if you like coffee, go ahead and drink as much as you want and can," says Dr. Peter Martin, director of the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University. He's even developed a metric for monitoring your dosage: If you are having trouble sleeping, cut back on your last cup of the day. From there, he says, "If you drink that much, it's not going to do you any harm, and it might actually help you. A lot." The Atlantic

No joke, you can play Dune II on your browser

Nasty cigarette boxes are activated in Australia now

"Australia's world-first laws on cigarette and tobacco plain packaging have come into force, replacing brand logos and colours with generic drab olive green coverings, gruesome pictures of diseased body parts and depictions of children and babies made ill by their parents' smoking."