Saturday, 7 August 2010

Once Again, Money Wins Out Over Privacy

It appears that due to the potential for a lucrative market, RIM have rolled over on the possible BlackBerry ban by allowing a server to be installed in Saudi where in the interests of 'national security' the authorities can snoop into your private life at their leisure.

You can read all about it here.....as I couldn't be arsed to write any more about it.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Saudi / UAE Blackberry update

Well, in the usual spirit of "thinking without thinking" Saudi has accelerated its plans and will be banning the Blackberry Messenger Service on Friday.

You can read about it here.

With the amount of Blackberry's in the Middle East being so small, I am hoping that RIM will just walk away from this - viewing the situation with such words as: "moronic", "backward" and "inept".

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The UAE Takes Another Evolutionary Leap Forward...

...by permanently blocking Blackberry services in the interests of "national security".
They really are the benchmark for the region.

As Muscat Confidential says: "Best Avoided."
You can read all about it here:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates says it plans to block some messaging and web services on BlackBerry smart phones beginning in October.
The country's telecommunications regulator said in a statement carried on state news agency WAM it is suspending services of messenger, e-mail and web browsing services.
The regulator says it made the decision after failing to bring the gadget's services in line with local laws.
UAE authorities said last week BlackBerry services could pose a threat to national security.
A spokeswoman for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion said the company had no immediate comment.

I have no words to describe stuff like this!
Paranoia doused with a heavy sprinkle of more paranoia.
Recently trying to place spyware on everyone's Blackberry, masked as an "update" from Etisalat.
Lies....pure and utter lies.

"The Business Centre of the Middle East" - don't make me laugh!
The sooner it all comes crashing down around them, the better.

They've Started Building...

I had to stop into Carrefour at City Centre yesterday while on my way to the airport.
The Indians are in full building mode, as the Middle East's commercial retail giant's version of Christmas kicks off.
Yes folks, Ramadan is almost upon us.

Walk into the French superstore and you will see that construction has begun on Vimto Towers and the equally high monolith that is made from Foster Clark's Powdered Orange Drink.

Looking like the entry to the monuments at Petra, there is a 20 foot high wall of cake mix on one side, and Mount Creme Caramel on the other.

The signs are also beginning to go up.
"Ramadan Kareem!"
"Carrefour is your best friend during Ramadan!"
"Look! Over here! Buy this!"
"Spend your money here!"

and my own special favourite:

"Now's your chance to be an even bigger prat.....by winning your own Lexus!"

So let's have a look at the average shopping list for the festive season:

80 bottles of Vimto
20 tins of Foster Clark's in Orange, Mango and Pineapple
140 Creme Caramels
200 litres of Strawberry and Chocolate Milk
100 kg of Halwa
1 ton of Rice
1 ton of frozen beef
1 ton of frozen chicken
30 bags of samosa spices
30 boxes of flour
2 tons of batter mix
1000 litres of cooking oil
1 mountain of pasta shells
Half a ton of couscous
Sweets and Chocolate - as much as will go into a trolley.
Cakes - to fill another trolley
A rainforest's worth of paper plates and cups.
3 miles of plastic floor sheeting.
and whatever else can be stuffed into the gaps in the Land Cruiser.

The plus side to all of this consumption and spending, is that through typical Omani hospitality, I will be spending some amazing nights with my local hosts for their truly incredible Iftar meals.

I ate so much food at the last one, that I had to lie on the floor for an hour before I could get up to drive home!
Cutlets, fish kibba and samosas with coconut sauce.......I could eat those forever!
Then of course there is chicken or goat mandhi.....delicious!
Um Ali .....you HAVE to try it!
Omani Halwa.....nyum nyums!

Have fun! And if you get invited to an Iftar meal.....accept! You will be very happy that you did!