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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Araby: First Arabic Search Engine (Link)

Araby Search Engine

Maktoob Group, which owns the world's largest online Arab community; Maktoob.com, unveiled Wednesday September 13 the beta version of Araby.com, the first search engine in the world that offers advanced Arabic-language capabilities to users worldwide.

"We are proud to introduce Araby.com to users around the world,' said Samih Toukan, CEO of Maktoob Group. 'Araby.com brings powerful new features to enhance the Web browsing experience. Seeing as it is a Beta version, we will be optimizing and improving our services over the next few months, further enhancing Arabic language capabilities and adding new search verticals based on user feedback, in a bid to offer our users the very best of top-notch technological innovation.'

Araby.com has been programmed to crawl and search through tens of millions of Arabic documents on the internet and index each result as it comes up. When given a search command, Araby.com displays the most relevant search results through very advanced algorithms and relevancy criteria, unlike other directories in the Arab world that search through a limited database of sites. A network of hundreds of servers and the latest in search technology software allows the user to obtain access to the entire Arabic internet in a split second.

Araby.com News search was compiled from hundreds of trusted sources chosen by the search engine's editors themselves. Additionally, discussion forums and blogs in the Arab world represent a large portion of the Arabic content online. Araby.com's specialized search in these categories will allow the user to search and follow millions of discussion and blog posts.

Read Also:
Araby.com, the first Arabic search engine launched worldwide (AME Info)
Araby.com, the first Arabic search engine launched worldwide (Maktoob Business)


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Clocky: The Alarm Clock That Runs Away


Clocky is, quite simply, for people who have trouble waking up.

When the alarm clock goes off and the snooze button is pressed, Clocky will fall off of the bedside table and wheel away, bumping mindlessly into objects on the floor until he eventually finds a spot to rest. Minutes later, when the alarm sounds again, the over-sleeper must get up out of bed and search for Clocky. Because you employ multiple senses to find the clock, you are sure to awake before disabling the alarm. Small wheels enable Clocky to move and reposition himself, and an internal computer helps him find a new hiding spot every day.

Current alarm clocks are obnoxious, stressful devices that don't do their intended job very well. Clocky is less of an annoying device and more like a troublesome pet that you love anyway. He is playful. He likes games like hide-and-seek and catch me if you can. And he is a bit ugly. But his unconventional looks keep the user calm and incite laughter in one of the most hated times of the day.

Clocky uses inexpensive chips and sensors. He is currently being prototyped in several soft, durable designs, and with multiple personalities.

Clocky is an academic research project and is not commercially available at this time.

Read Also:
Clocky, An MIT Media Lab Research Project (MIT Media Lab)
For reluctant wakers, an alarm clock that runs away (Columbia University News Service)


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Freej: First 3D Animated Series In The Middle East (Link)

Freej Cartoon
click above for larger image

Freej, the Middle East’s first 3D animated series is the brainchild of Mohammed Saeed Harib who also directs the fifteen standalone episodes of fifteen minutes each, launching this September on national television. Freej is the tale of four old national women living in a secluded neighborhood in modern day Dubai. The show’s main characters; Um Saeed, Um Saloom, Um Allawi and Um Khammas try to live a peaceful life in the midst of the ever-expanding city around them, but the city’s boom unveils new social issues every day that they would have to tackle solve in their own simple way. For those four old women, there is no issue too hard to crack with a good cup of coffee at Um Saeed’s house.

Freej started of as a six page study book in 1998 but it never materialised until 2003 when it was adopted by Dubai Media City. A small demo was created to test the concept and shortly after it was given the official go ahead by the Sheikh Mohammed Establishment for Young Business Leaders (SME) who took on the initial funding of the project. On September 2005, Lammtara Pictures was established to overlook the production and a team of almost 500 people were signed up to make this big dream a reality.

The show is now in official association with Dubai Media City, Awraq Publishing, Arab Radio Network, JBM and the Sheikh Mohammed Establishment for Young Business Leaders (SME). The show also benefited from a pool of 100 volunteers from across all national universities who worked hard on the research and development part of it.

Freej is a national dream that required a lot of effort and hard work from many directions to make it a reality and to give the people of this region and especially the UAE its first animated series.

The first episode of Freej was premiered on Dubai TV and Sama Dubai on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. The first season of Freej will be rerun in the latter half of Ramadan.

Read Also:
Freej Website

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Windows Vista RC1 Available For Free On DVD & Online (Link)

Windows Vista

Want to try out the first Windows Vista release candidate for free? Microsoft yesterday made the late beta version of its next-generation OS, which was completed earlier this month, available to people who don't already have access to it (for example, members of the Microsoft Developers Network, TechNet, or the Customer Preview Program (CPP) that made Beta 2 of the OS available to more than a million people).

Just head to Microsoft's Windows Vista web site, click on "Get Windows Vista RC1" and you can sign up for the CPP (which stopped accepting new participants subsequent to the Beta 2 release but is now taking them again). Note that you'll have to register with Windows Live (which requires providing an e-mail address--I use my old HotMail address).

You can get RC1 either as a download (3GB for the 32-bit version, 4GB for the 64-bit version) or on DVD. If you choose to get a DVD, you'll have to pay Microsoft for shipping and handling, but the fees aren't too bad: $3.00 for the U.S. or $12.16 for the UAE.

Before you accept Microsoft's offer, I'd recommend reading over the caveats on the download site very carefully. Among other things, Microsoft points out that RC1 will expire on June 1 of next year, at which time you'll either have to buy and install the shipping version of Vista or reinstall an older version of Windows. In other words (and Microsoft has this part in bold face), "you cannot roll back to the previous operating system installation." Also take note of what you will have to pay to upgrade to a shipping version.

Read Also:
Get Windows Vista RC1 (PC World)

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Inka Titanium Pen: Writes Underwater, Upside Down, & In Extreme Tempratures (Link)

Inka Titanium Pen

If you need a pen that is light, strong, writes underwater, in extreme temperatures, upside down and at any altitude, then you must have the Inka Titanium Pen. Preview Gadgets went further by running over this pen by a car and apparently it survived and was still functioning.

The following is the pen specifications:

  • Materials: Carbon fiber and 304 stainless steel components are lightweight, strong and corrosion resistant.
  • Engineering: Pen barrel is hardened, CNC machines, centerless ground then laser engraved.
  • Performance: Pressurized ink cartridge ensures that Inka Pen writes underwater, in extreme temperatures, upside down and at any altitude.
  • Design: Multi-functional design, watertight case and standard-size refill make Inka the one pen for lifetime.

The price of the regular Inka Pen is (US $25) while the price of the Titanium Inka Pen is (US $89.95).

Read Also:
Inka Titanium Pen (Product Page)
Inka Pen - pen for extreme conditions (Preview Gadgets)
The Inka Pen Lets You Write Underwater (Gizmodo)


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Etisalat Launches (weyak.ae): UAE's First Virtual Community (Link)

Etisalat has announced yesterday the launch of Weyak, the country’s first comprehensive and bilingual portal fully accessible over Internet and mobile devices, exclusively for its customers.

Weyak, which means ‘With You’ in Arabic, is designed to offer the best and most relevant community content to people living in the UAE, along with services that are highly personalized and secure. It can be reached on www.weyak.ae for Internet and “mobile.weyak.ae” for mobile devices.

The fully customizable content and services portal includes the latest entertainment services and news from around the nation and around the world, Islamic content, and community resources ranging from e-mail, blogs and discussion forums to shared photo albums, downloadable content and gaming.

Etisalat customers using conventional Internet connections or GPRS-enabled mobile phones will be able to subscribe to the Weyak portal for free through their existing user IDs and prepaid or post-paid mobile numbers. Customers seeking premium content to download can pay for it securely over their existing connections.

To access Weyak from a mobile phone, consumers can send an SMS with the message ‘a weyak’ to 1010, and will immediately receive setup instructions.

Read Also:
Etisalat unveils Weyak, UAE's first virtual community (AME Info)



Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dubai Villa For Sale For Dh57 Million

Dubai Villa For Sale For Dh57 Million
click above for larger image
(Picture by Chandra Balan)

I know living in Dubai is expensive, but not to this extend! An article in Emirates Today featured a seven-bedroom villa located in Emirates Hills that has been put on sale for Dh57 Million (US15.52 Million).

The villa belongs to an Arab-African business man who is still living in it with his family. He designed much of the house by himself. What's so "special" about this villa? The following are some of its features ...

  • Plot size of 30,490 square feet, out of which 29,152 sq ft is built-up. There are seven bedrooms with their own en-suite bathrooms
  • Three majlis halls and several sitting areas, lounges and studies
  • A formal dining room for 20 people
  • Two kitchens, a kitchenette, laundry and storage rooms
  • Eleven toilets with separate facilities for men and women
  • An underground car park
  • A private cinema and an entertainment room
  • 700 sq ft pool
  • A gym with a sauna and massage parlour
  • Two lifts, one for residents and another to carry food from kitchen to kitchenette
You see what you'll get? Is it worth the Dh57 Million or what?



Friday, September 08, 2006

Merriam-Webster USB Dictionary & Thesaurus Portable Storage Drive

Merriam-Webster USB Flash Drive

This would make a nice gift to students starting their new academic year. USB Dictionary and Thesaurus offers the convenience of electronic file storage and instant access to 300,000 definitions and 500,000 synonyms & antonyms from Merriam-Webster Dictionary & Franklin Thesaurus.

The USB Drive is preloaded with:
  • 256 MB Total Memory
  • Dictionary with 300,000 definitions
  • Thesaurus with 500,000 synonyms & antonyms
  • Phonetic spell correction allows you to enter a word the way it sounds, and your dictionary automatically provides alternatives for misspelled words - type in "nolige" and see "knowledge."
  • Grammar Guide offers instant access to essential information on grammar rules and usage.
  • Confusables function alerts you when one word might be confused with another (their vs. there vs. they're) by providing spellings and meanings.
  • Crossword Puzzle Solver to determine missing puzzle letters.
  • eBooks and eNews Manager
The unit price of the USB Drive is US $49.95

Read Also:

Merriam-Webster® USB Dictionary & Thesaurus Portable Storage Device (Product Page)

USB Storage with Dictionary, Grammar Guide and eBooks (Preview Gadgets)



Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Save Space With Sofa Bed & Cube PC Desk

Sofa BedSofa Bed
click above for larger images

With the rising rent prices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and barely affording rent for a studio apartment, then a person needs to seriously search for ways to save as much space in his/her apartment as possible.

DOC & the cube PC desk would be my personal recommendations to someone who needs to have a sofa, a bunk bed, a side cube table, and a PC desk all in one place!

DOC is a sofa with removable covers and integrated/patented mechanism which transforms the sofa into a bunk bed. Doc XL furnishes the day area and with a simple movement transforms into a practical ready made bunk bed with integrated supporting ladder and protection guard. On ther other hand, Cube PC Desk is a compact cube PC desk made by Romania’s MTI Impex.

Read Also:
Doc single sofa, sofa bed / bunk bed unit (Bonbon Trading)
Maison & Objet 2006: MTI Impex (MoCo Loco)
Sofa Bed For The Spaciously Challenged (OhGizmo!)
Compact Cube PC Desk (Neatorama)


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Camelicious: New Camel Milk In UAE Supermarkets (Link)

click above for larger image

Looks like Al Ain Dairy is not the only source for camel milk in the UAE anymore. Camelicious camel milk is soon to be available everywhere in the UAE supermarkets.

First of all, I'm not being paid to advertise for this new camel milk produced in the UAE. Ever since I started talking about camel milk chocolate and camel milk ice cream, I've been receiving so many emails from different parts in the world asking me for help them buy such products. Apparently, camel milk has many world wide fans. This huge public interest in camel milk made me a constant follower for the latest local camel milk products :)

Camelicious, product of Emirates Industry for Camel Milk & Products, is said to have many health, beauty and wellbeing benefits. According to their website, Camelicious contains naturally occurring moisturizing and anti-ageing properties and is closes in composition to human milk. Camelicious is locally produced to the EU health and hygiene regulations.

'Camel milk has always been a traditional staple of the Bedouins throughout the Middle East, and our research has now scientifically proven that it has incredible health benefits,' said Hareb Juma Bin Subaih, General Manager of Emirates Industry for Camel Milk & Products.

'Emirates Industry for Camel Milk & Products was initially established as a pilot project in 2000 with just 20 camels. It's an exciting time for us to be finally launching Camelicious to the market. We are convinced that camel milk will not only appeal to local taste-buds, but that the wider community will also benefit from its life-enriching properties,' Subaih concluded.

According to some sources, Camelicious currently available in Union Co-operatives across the UAE since early this week and most likely to be available by the end of this month in other supermarkets such as Spinneys and Choitrams.

Read Also:
Camelicious Official Site
Emirates Industry for Camel Milk & Products launches Camelicious in UAE (AME Info)



Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx: GPSMAP 60CS + microSD Slot (Link)


I've been always a big fan of Garmin GPS products and map softwares. One of the best GPS units I have ever owned is (Garmin GPSMAP 60CS). I loved that GPS unit. The only weakness of GPSMAP 60CS is the limited 56 MB of internal memory for storing map details.

The bad news is that GPSMAP 60CS is discontinued. The good news is its great replacement, Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx.

The GPSMAP 60CSx is a refreshing upgrade of the GPSMAP 60CS, one of our most popular models for outdoor and marine use. This unit features a removable microSD card for detailed mapping memory and a waterproof, rugged housing. The microSD card slot is located inside the waterproof battery compartment. Users can load map data and transfer routes and waypoints through the unit’s fast USB connection.

In addition, this unit features a new, highly sensitive GPS receiver that acquires satellites faster and lets users track their location in challenging conditions, such as heavy foliage or deep canyons. The GPSMAP 60CSx also incorporates a barometric altimeter for extremely accurate elevation data and an electronic compass that displays an accurate heading while standing still.

I totally recommend Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx for everybody. I can say this from my experience. I have been a long time user of GPSMAP 60CS and I have used it both in the US and in the UAE.

The package comes with 64MB microSD and the retail price is US $535.70

UPDATE (10/28/06): I just found out that you can find GPSMAP 60CSx in Sharaf DG L.L.C in Ibn Batuta Mall in Dubai. They sell it for AED 1,900 (US $517). Their phone number is 04-3685115. Thank you Noura Al Mazam.

Read Also:
GPSMAP 60CSx (Garmin Product Page)

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Monday, September 04, 2006

PlayStation 3 Is Also Blu-Ray Player

PS3 Supports Blu-Ray
click above for larger image

This is so exciting! If you don't want to pay $599 for the new PlayStation 3 just for games, then to have in mind that you are also buying a Blu-Ray player might give you another reason to buy it!

Newly released hardware photos offer a few more clues on PS3's Blu-ray capabilities, with logos on the side of the machine indicating that it will support both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats.

Since the images first surfaced on the German gaming site GameFront.com they've quickly spread all across the web, and this one in particular gives a nice close-up side-shot of the next-gen device.

Though Sony has not yet announced complete finalized specs for the PlayStation 3, this pic bodes well for the device as a truly next-generation, even top-of-the-line Blu-ray disc player.

From left to right the logo are:

Blu Ray Disk
Super Audio CD
Compact Disk
Dolby TrueHD
Dolby Digital
DTS-HD Master Audio

Sony Computer Entertainment President Kaz Hirai said back in May that the PS3 would be available in the United States on Nov. 17 in two configurations, a 60GB hard drive model for $599, and a 20GB model for $499.

The prices will be at least $100 higher than the higher-priced Xbox 360 models, which retail for $399.

The PS3, which is based on the Cell processor, will play CDs, DVDs and include a Blu-ray drive. It also includes built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as Ethernet compatibility.

Read Also:
New PlayStation 3 Photos Reveal More Blu-ray Details (High-Deg Digest)
PlayStation 3 to top out at $599 (CNET)


SanDisk Launches V-MATE: Video Flash Memory Card Recorder

SanDisk V-MATE

SanDisk today introduced Saturday September 2nd, 2006 the V-Mate Video Memory Card Recorder at the IFA Show, where the company is exhibiting.

The ground-breaking V-Mate is a video memory card recorder, allowing users to record video from video inputs such as over-the-air television as well as cable, satellite, DVD players, personal video recorders (PVRs) like TiVo and video cassette recorders (VCRs) onto their flash memory cards.* Consumers can then take their memory card from the V-Mate and insert it into their mobile phone, PDA, handheld game console like the Sony PSP™ (PlayStation® Portable), video music player or notebook computer to play back their videos on the go.

The SanDisk V-Mate lets users record up to 3.5 hours of high quality video per gigabyte, using industry-standard video formats. Memory cards supported include SD, MMC, MMCplus, MMCmobile, SDHC, MiniSDHC, MicroSDHC, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo.

With a maximum recording resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, the V-Mate can also generate recording files for playback on larger screen devices such as the TV it is connected to or a notebook PC. Solid state memory (flash cards) consume less power than the hard drives or CD/DVD drives in mobile entertainment devices and therefore offer longer video playback time on a battery charge.

The V-Mate measures just 5.1” x 2.6” x 0.8,” so it will fit snugly next to almost any-sized television. The V-Mate, expected to be available in October 2006, will sell for $129.99 MSRP.

Read Also:
SanDisk Launches V-MATE, A Video Flash Memory Card Recorder (SanDisk Press Release)
SanDisk V-Mate™ Video Memory Card Recorder (Product Page)


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Water Quranic Miracle: Invention For Producing Quranic Blessed Water

Water Quranic Miracle

Sharif Shakran, an engineer living in the UAE, had invented a system to produce blessed water through playing Holy Quran audio on water circulating through it. According to Shakran, drinking the water produced through his system will result in purifying the souls from anger and reduce high divorce rate.

Muslim scholars have different opinions about this newest invention. Some considered it a way to use the Holy Quran to make money. Others said there is nothing wrong with it as long as it's not contradicting the Islamic teachings.

Sharif Shakran showed his invention in one of the biggest business centers in Dubai early this week and he's getting ready to show it in different parts of the country. Shakran came to UAE in 2003 and currently works as a researcher in a private school in Ajman and he' specialized in maintaining medical equipments. What made Sharif come up with this system is his observations to high divorce rates in the UAE and his continuous efforts to find solutions for local family problems.

Eng. Sharif Shakran prepared researches to show that the feelings of a mother who cooks the food will somehow be transmitted to who eats this food. The same idea then applied to this system for changing the psychological state of a person through drinking Quranic blessed water. Holy Quran is believed to have so many benefits and carries so many cures to many diseases for all believing people and sometimes for non-believers too.

The Water Quranic Miracle system reads the whole Holy Quran on three liters of water which means taking advantage of all cures that might be carried within all the verses of the Holy Quran.

So far 110 units of this invention have been sold for 1,700 AED each. Shakran's Water Quranic Miracle has been approved by Dr. Zaghluol Al-Naggar, a well known scholar and specialist of the miracles of Holy Quran. Dr. Zaghlool said, "Whoever drinks from the water coming out of this system often loose his anger and improves his family relationships."

Read Also:
Elemaratalyoum ePaper (Front Page) (Arabic)
Elemaratalyoum ePaper (Page 3) (Arabic)

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Aero Soarer: World Smallest RC Aeroplane (Link)

Aero Soarer

Aero Soarer is one of the smallest and lightest RC airplanes. Just add three AA batteries (not included) to the controller and you'll be ready for action anytime. This fully functional remote control plane allows you to control the altitude, as well as left and right.

According to ToyEast.com, Aeo Soarer charges for 40 seconds and plays for 30 seconds.

Aero Soarer is 260x200x75mm in dimention and the total weight (including remote) is 180 grams. The aeroplane itself only weighs 3.5 grams! The retail price is 2,625 Yen and it is available from HimeyaShop.com for (US $27).

Read Also:
Aero Soarer
Aero Soarer (TomiTech Product Page)
Tomy Indoor Aerosoarer (Gizmodo)

Brought to you by:

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