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YouTube on LG Smart TV

I got disappointed after trying YouTube on LG Smart TV. It’s slow to start, until now I don’t see that there exist a method to sort videos by date and it does not support Arabic. I hope that LG is going to address these issues soon and release a firmware upgrade for the existing models. On the plus, watching HD videos is excellent, welcome a new model of TV on demand.

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Beyond Siri on the iPhone

A presentation I have delivered at University of Bahrain on December 2011.

No more “Who is that?” and “Is it really him?”

It seems that we are closely approaching a time in which we will be able to capture a photo of almost anyone who has one type or another of presence on the web and automatically identify his/her identity. With the proliferation of profiles on social networks such as facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace and the advancement in facial recognition algorithms, it will be possible to take a picture of anyone and mine for information about that person on social networks.

Such a “service” will not be limited for personal purposes but also for other security and intelligence related purposes. Say, you are in the airport and presenting a passport with your photo, the airport system can search your face in social networks and media in addition to traditional media sites on the web to find out if you are likely to be who you claim you are.

What used to be very private information even in the so called conservative societies is becoming more publicly available on the web. Soon, it will be the case that a person who does not have an online presence will be dimmed to be tagged as “backward”. We are in a dilemma now and need to redefine what information is private. Personal, cultural and contextual factors will still help us in defining our private information, but the main driver will be the emerging and dynamic global culture.

Social network privacy options are evolving and soon we might have an option on facebook or LinkedIn to avoid making our faces searchable but who will stop Google from extracting facial information from our images that are posted by others?

3D Video

This video was desgined for the IBM E-Security Conference held in 2001.

Ask Microsoft and Not his Wife!

Microsoft and Google are planning to shift the data of thier users from the desktop to the web, the idea is to allow us to access our files from anywhere. Before that, they introduced msn spaces and bloogers where a user can share all of his thoughts, ideas, favorites, and pictures with friends and others. Earlier, instant messaging software become very popular and now VoIP is growing rapidly through the same software. Sometime earlier, we had web based emails where we keep all our important messages including secrets and contacts. They know what we buy and in which services we subscribe.
If you are an active blogger, heavy email user and addicted to instant messaging and spend more time typing on the keyboard than talking, then I think Microsoft and Google could know more about some aspects of your personality than your wife. Techniques in data and text mining can find trends in your behavior and interpret your personality better than your wife. Simply because these systems have more data than her and can be more objective!
After few years, most people will increase their reliance on the web and use it for many day-to-day routines. I hope that they will analyse the behavior of successful people and give us a model of success that is compiled automatically. Equally, tell us if anyone is lying about his or others history.  It is an infringement of privacy. But what after a person is dead by several years or by the request of an official agency!!

WiMAX and Mobile Phones

WiMAX products are starting to appear rapidly and Intel integrated the technology into its mobile chipset for laptop computers. The important feature of this new technology is that it can have a range of 50 km which breaks the main limitation of Wi-Fi networks. Soon WiMAX will be integrated into mobile phones and then we will be able to use skype or similar software on the move and at low cost. Its just a matter of time before we get cheap and fast broadband to mobile devices in Erope and hopefully in the ME. It seems that VoIP will soon start taking a big share from GSM and similar networks. Telecom companies started to shift thier focus to this new technology.

100MB Broadband

According to the Personal Computer World ntl is testing a 100MB broadband in the UK. Now, why would you need such a high speed? I remember that an IBM executive said in the 70’s that few kilobytes of memory will be enough for the next 20 or 30 years!! Of course its great for downloading huge files or streaming very high quality videos. But the main chinage will be that web will evolve to be a medium for offering  high quality streaming video and high resolution 3D graphics, the integration between these two technologies will result in new web services and applications.

Arabic in Rome

It seems that Romans have a very special way of writing Arabic!


Dialcom’s Spontania video plug-in can be integrated with Skype for video calls. Skype is planning to integrate the plugin with the next version of Skype, watch the demo of SkypeVideo. Skype claims that the video quality will be better than other avaible tools for video calls. I hope so…