Sunday, December 30, 2007

Google - Holiday season

Here are a couple of Google-holiday logos.
Waiting to see what they'll come up with for NY.

Random - Xmas gift

Santa Ezzat spoilt me big time and got me the greatest gift ever for Xmas: A Nikon D40X - The camera of my dreams, with a ton of cool accessories that go with it.

Expect lots of pictures to be uploaded soon on Flickr :)

Thoughts - My dream came true

I am very lucky.
The highlight of my trip is that I had the chance to meet in person Jimmy Wales, my "internet hero" - and this is priceless.

There are not enough words that can describe the admiration and respect I have for him.

What is even more important than founding Wikipedia, is the work and thinking that goes behind it. The bigger picture. The fact that he and his team fight to keep the cultures, languages and knowledge alive and accessible to everybody. The Wikipedia Academies - It would take me months to list the great things that he does for humanity (with a simplicity that I can't even begin to describe).

This is by far the most noble cause of all.

Please take a minute to make a donation to the Wikimedia foundation to keep this amazing project running.

He is also the founder of Wikia and there is no doubt about the fact that he will soon be taking over the world "one click at a time" ;) - stay tuned for January the 7th...


Thoughts - Did you miss me?

It's been a while, I know..
I've -literally- been all over the place for the past month - and I've been lazy.

I did have a lot of things to share and blog about, but I was too overwhelmed by "the moment", for some reason :)

In a nutshell:
Vegas - San Fransisco for 10 days:
I attended BlogWorld, which was extremely interesting (and I finally met @mmcallen, the coolest Twitter buddy). We also went on a Silicon Valley "tour" on the week-end: Apple, Googleplex, Twitter, Facebook, HP and of course (my favorite of all), Wikia (I do have loads of pictures to share, but didn't have the time to upload them yet).

We took off after that to Europe: Barcelona, Paris, Brussels and London. Another great break in the cities I love (you can have a look at a couple of Barcelona pictures here).

I am now in Lebanon for the holidays, and will be back in Dubai on the 2nd of January - I will then be sharing again all my findings :)

Merry xmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thoughts - Turtle posts

Heavy duty posting and coverage of the Vegas/SF action will be back soon! :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Web 2.0 - Strictly no photography

Here's an original idea and I can see the site picking up fairly quickly. The mere fact that its concept revolves around doing something that is not allowed will attract a big crowd - Curiosity and defying rules are part of human nature, right?

"Strictly no photography is a photo-sharing site for photographs taken where you are not allowed to take them. From the inside of the Kremlin to Kensington palace, from art galleries to war zones. Here you can see everything you've ever wanted to see that you're not supposed to. There are pictures that range from the ordinary to the profound." - You can search pictures by categories or by photographers.

It is simply a brilliant idea, and I personally like it a lot :)
Have a look here.

Web - Orange's "Good Things Should Never End"

Poke London (great agency, check the very original Poke NY site) just launched a microsite to support Orange's new campaign for their "speak easy" (pay as you go) service.

They managed to come up with a concept that works perfectly with the campaign's tagline: "Good things should never end"; Once the site is done loading, you're up for an unlimited vertical experience - packed with cute animations and random games :)

Discover the site here.


Random - Magic number #8

I'm very impressed at the increasing number of readers - It might be considered as low for some, but more than enough for my ego :)

I like going through the stats of the site; Quite a bit of "exotic" countries are represented on the map of the users who visited the blog.

So again, thank you all for reading, and a big hello to the reader #800 (from India) who spent 40s on the site, and decided to check out the Digg Lab screensavers ;)

Random - Hallo-logos

A bit too late, I know - no need to remind me.
And I'm guilty of disappearing as well, but I previously mentioned that for some reason my RL managed to take over the virtual one.

Youtube and Twitter celebrated Halloween as well!
I like the efforts that were put into this subtle transformation :)

Did you get across any other sites that dressed up their logo for the occasion?
Let me know if you have screenshots!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Google - Halloween

Happy Googl-oween everyone :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Web - BAT (Bionic Assessment Test)

A new TV series entitled "Bionic woman" debuted on NBC a couple of weeks back and the network launched an *addictive* microsite to promote it. The idea is simple, but good enough to get the users hooked on it for a while; Take 5 tests, challenge your audio visual skills and assess how much of a bionic person you are!

The mini-games are sticky, and not as easy as they may look like.
I ended up being 65% bionic - I tried many times to reach 75% to unlock the hidden content, but I failed miserably ;)

Take the BAT here.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Random - Magic number #7

I realized that I haven't been giving the "magic numbers" the respect they deserve :/, and I apologize for it - But I do have a good excuse; RL seems to be taking over my virtual life lately.

So Thank you visitor #700 for taking the time to read my WeeWorld post (in less than a minute) :)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Web 2.0 - Digg labs screensavers

Digg labs are back with a "new" screensaver that - like the previous ones - gives you a dynamic/real time visualization of the stories being submitted to Digg.

"Digg Arc displays stories, topics, and containers wrapped around a sphere. Arc trails users as they digg stories across topics. Stories with more diggs make thicker arcs."

Arc definitely has the most colorful interface, but Bigspy, Stack and Swarm are also nice to have :)

Have a look and download them here.

Note: it reminded me of that Twingly screensaver that was out a while back depicting the live state of the blogosphere - and that is unfortunately still not available for macs :(


Web 2.0 - Twitter user interface

Twitter has amended its interface a couple of weeks back.

The search is finally functional, but there are still a couple of UI issues (simple but essential in my eyes) that haven't been sorted out (related to the "direct messages" functionality specifically).

I find it weird that in both the Sent messages and Inbox sections, there is no option to select all the messages (or select a few) to delete them at once. You have to do it one by one (by clicking on the bin icon, which prompts the same message every time, double checking that you really want to delete the message) - It becomes very annoying if you have more than 10 messages to delete.

A "select all" button, and individual tick boxes for the selection of multiple messages would make the process much easier and faster.

What surprises me also is that the "direct messages" link (and the number) doesn't turn bold if there is a new message in the user's inbox to attract his attention. You do get an email notification, but what if the user didn't check his email and didn't keep track of the number of messages he initially had in his inbox?!

These are basic details that might not seem important compared to all the back-end work, but I am a strong believer in the fact that good/intuitive user interface is necessary for a perfect experience :) - Fellow Twitterers, what do you think?

Follow me on Twitter here.


SL - Encounters & more

Here are the latest SL news:

Met a couple of funky characters (some heavy duty pre-Halloween action and a pregnant avi in Berkman), and jumped from the third floor of the Eiffel tower in Paris 1900 (with a parachute on, of course).

Ah! I almost forgot... A random resident did some trick (I obviously have no clue how/what), but I kept walking for a while with "sweety" and "princess" labels on top of my head :) - really funny experience.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Buzz - Google acts on video copyrights

Google developed a new technology that allows media companies to automatically bar copyrighted clips from appearing on its video-sharing sites.

The system allows for the automated comparison of video files, furnished by the copyright holders, to those uploaded to YouTube.

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mobile - Time Cameraphone photographer of the year

The Times is on a mission to find the Cameraphone Photographer of the Year - brought to you by Sony Ericsson and Times Online.

"The competition sets a new theme each week and readers are now invited to send in their images for the fifth assignment, entitled “People”.

User generated content meets mobile technologies competitions are quite popular, but what makes this one so special is the fact that it's giving individuals the possibility to be "famous", and compete with professional journalists on every story.

Prizes include a multi-city worldwide holiday, a European city break, cameraphones and printers.

Unleash your photo-reporting creativity here.

Buzz - Gphone ready for xmas?!

Google rumors never die (and never get confirmed either - at least by the Googlers themselves) :)

According to Techland, "A UBS analyst has confirmed that Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC will ship about 50,000 cell phones running on a mobile operating system made by the Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant by the end of this year."

I can't wait to see what the devices look like - and of course, I can't wait to put my hands on one :) - Santa now knows what to get me for xmas!

Read the full article here.

Web 2.0 - What kind of a blogger are you?

Professor Blogstein (in preparation to the Blog action day) - asks a simple question to all of you bloggers out there: What kind of blogger are you? ("Answer my seven simple questions and I will reveal to you your secret Blogging Persona...")

I am a Purist Expert Socialite blogger!

Here's the breakdown of my results (and I'm quite happy with them):

- Greed: You're not in this for the money, for you blogging is all about the passion! Sure you might make a little pocket change now and again, but you know that it's the content, the audience and the people that are what makes blogging great!

- Experience: You've been blogging since Nick Denton was in diapers. When it comes to blogging experience, you are the authority on blogging. Heck you probably even have a blog where you give advice about blogging!

- Sociability: You love web 2.0 stuff like Digg and Delicious and you're involved in more blogging groups, networks and activities than anyone else you know. With all your connections, you make Neil Patel look positively anti-social!

Find out what your blogging persona is here.

Note: For the record... Nick Denton is the founder of Gawker Media and Neil Patel is the creator of Crazy Egg (which I think is brilliant)

Web 2.0 - Blog action day

Blog action day was on the 15th of October; I had it marked in my calendar, but miserably missed it - family stuff have been keeping me away from my virtual life for the past week :(

"On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future."

I would have blogged on the "An inconvenient truth" book (by Al Gore) that I got a couple of days back. It goes hand in hand with the documentary. It's one of these books that is really nice to have: interesting/valuable information, beautiful graphics/pictures and charts.

Learn more about the Blog action day here and about the climate crisis here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Google - Pavarotti

Google re-designed their logo a couple of days back, and it looked great, as usual - A tribute to Pavarotti, I guess.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

SL - Marvin, the depressed android

Copolli (the super creative resident I blogged about earlier) is now officially Akasha's friend :) - Yay!

I saw her a couple of days back in Berkman, in the skin of a cute little robot (that she transferred to my inventory- Thank you!) and Akasha turned into Marvin, the depressed android (as its creator named it) - for a day.

We had a blast walking along as a pair, intriguing other avies with our random discussions; We also planned to take over the world (sitting in the grass), watched someone test his new shield, skated and went riding bicycles attached to zeppelins (pics above).

All of you non-SL-peeps are missing out on a lot, as you can see ;)

Listening to - Radiohead

I surrendered to music downloads.... Well, I had no choice really :)

In Rainbows, Radiohead's new album, is only available online for the time being (the "physical" album won't be available before december) - The concept behind the website and the launch is brilliant.

I haven't had enough time to absorb it fully and decide which are the tracks I like the most, but I have a feeling I won't be able to pick any of them; It's just excellent, pure Radiohead bliss!

Don't waste any more time... Download it here.

PS: Thank you Mayz for sharing the love!

Web 2.0 - Earth album

"Earth album is a simpler, slicker Flickr mash-up that allows you to explore some of the most stunning photos in the world courtesy of Google maps and Flickr. To begin your journey, just click somewhere on the map, e.g. "Greenland". Note-- since the top Flickr images are used, the images change every few weeks; bookmark this site and check back for a different experience in a month!"

It's a cool idea, and I love it - I spent a lot of time discovering places and different moods...
I bookmarked it and will definitely come back to view more photos next month :)

Check it out here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Random - Smiley pillows!

Bring your virtual universe right to the warmth of your crib!
I love this set of colorful smarties emoticon pillows - they are just perfect, don't you think? :)

You can buy the Ridibundus pack here, for 24.82 US$

Random - Magic number #6

Here comes the magic number again!
The "anonymous" visitor #600 spent 1m 7 seconds on the site, and out-clicked to check my Twitter profile :)

Thank you all for reading!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Web - The story of our *digital* lives

This article, written by a freelancer (Yongfook, "web producer and usability consultant based in Tokyo"), was initially posted in december 2005.

I only read it today, but the date is totally irrelevant, just because some things never change, and some truths are definitely universal :) - It made me smile, and will put a smile on the face of anyone who is involved in creating websites.

It is a very cool way to describe the website development process in pictures (the choice of characters is perfect), going from the first meeting to the launch.

Have a look and giggle here.

Listening to - Editors

Besides the fact that I'm an internet junkie, I actually am a big music fan as well.

I truly believe that music makes the world a better place.
So I've decided to add a section where I'll be sharing what I'm listening to: new, old, it doesn't matter.

Featured today is the Editor's latest album: An end has a start.
Been hooked on the first track, "Smokers outside the hospital doors". It's really good.

Check out the Editors' site here.

Note: I'm old school. I rarely download songs. I like to buy CDs, look at the covers and spend hours browsing in stores. I am very picky about what I buy, and love my collection :)

Google - Achievement

A Googler from the Googleplex itself landed on my blog!!! Finally :)
It doesn't do much for humanity, but as far as I'm concerned, it's pure happiness beyond all else.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Web - Geekipedia

Geekipedia is Wired Magazine's fun encyclopedia, for geeks (with a twist).

Most techie topics/personalities are covered, going from Artificial intelligence to Web 2.0 - You can suggest an entry if you think they've missed out on something important (I was surprised to see they mentioned World of Warcraft but not SL)

As described on the homepage: "Godwin's law, Guitar Hero, Gates Foundation — you may know their definitions, but we tell you what they really mean."

Check it out here.

Web - The other lunch break

Back to basics... I realized I've been posting way too many web 2.0/virtual worlds links lately.

So...If you're living in London, get out of the office during your lunch break and learn something new for fun! :)

Mini UK started a new campaign based on a series of events (running over a period of 5 weeks), that people can attend during their lunch break to learn something new - great initiative.
The first event invites people to beat a lie-detector test.

Read more about the campaign here and have a look at The other lunch break here.

PS: Enjoy! And if you do happen to go to one of the events, please add your feedback comments, I would love to hear about the experience!

SL - New look

Speaking of boring avatar look... I did some heavy duty shopping the last couple of days, and that's what Akasha looks like now - I kind of think the sunglasses are pretty funky :)

PS: The picture was taken on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris 1900

SL - Creativity

Copoli is definitely one of the most creative/fun/experimental people I've met on SL.

I was very lucky yesterday to have a "private fashion show" in Berkman of some of the skins she owns, and all I can say is that I had a blast seeing all these different characters/looks.

Bumblebee is amazing, and it's only one of the few transformers outfits she has.
I'll try to take more pictures next time we bump into each other, it's totally worth it :)

Note: my avatar looks really boring all of a sudden

Web 2.0 - WeeWorld

A big thank you for the WeeWorld news trackers who added a link to my WeeWorld post on their homepage!

My WeeMee hasn't been really active lately, but I'll make sure to spend some "proper" time on the site this week-end.

I don't have friends yet, so if any of you readers is registered, don't hesitate to look for MissGoogle and add me :)

Google - Sputnik

I learned this morning (thanks to the Google logo) that it is Sputnik's 50th anniversary!

"On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched the first artificial Satellite into orbit. Sputnik I (the name means "Fellow Traveller") was about the size of a basketball and weighed about 183 pounds (about 85 kilograms). It carried two radio transmitters which broadcast beeping signals at 20.005 and 40.002 megacycles, and which could easily be detected with amateur radio equipment."

Read more about the Sputnik story here - Wikipedia is pure magic ;)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Web 2.0 - Boycott

Noso was the highlight of my day :) - Literally.

As described on the site:
" NOSO is a real-world platform for temporary disengagement from social networking environments. The NOSO experience offers a unique opportunity to create NO Connections by scheduling NO Events with other NO Friends.

These “NO” events, called NOSOs, take place in designated cafes, parks, libraries, bookstores, and other public spaces. Participants whose identities remain unknown to one another agree to arrive at an assigned time and remain alone, quiet and un-connected, while at the same time knowing that another “Friend” is present in the space."

It totally cracked me up, I love the idea - and made we wonder if I should file this entry under the web 2.0 or the web tag, since it's kind of a social networking boycott statement ;)

Join the Noso Project here.

Great find by Chris Saad, trough Twitter.

SL - Meta-Encounters

I had two interesting encounters while flying around SL yesterday.

The first one was looking to "buy lamps for his castle" - I unfortunately didn't help him much. The cool thing is that he only spoke spanish, but had an embedded translator, that automatically translated whatever he was typing. Some of the translations sounded funny, but the idea is really cool :)

I met the second person in Berkman's sandbox. I thought the avatar was a proper work of art: The details in the skin are unbelievable! So I asked to take a picture with him for my album, but as you can see, Akasha wasn't looking when I took it ;)