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Uber
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My First Day With Uber Beirut

When I set off to write this post, it was meant to be called "My First Ride with Uber Beirut". However, I chose to rename it for the purpose of fairness and giving credit where credit was due, since I managed to squeeze in two rides on the same afternoon/evening with two very different experiences. Some of you who follow me on Twitter might have noticed that I immediately reached out to Uber Beirut upon news of their launch. I am a big fan of the hailing app concept and have had the chance to ...
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Kings Landing CGI - Game of Thrones
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‘Game of Thrones’: CGI Digital Effects At Their Best

CGI and dragons come generally together. This is definitely not new. And the Game of Thrones saga is not an exception. But those sets, the castles, the ships? All of these do look extremely real. They did to me. Until I watched this video. In fact, you won’t believe how much of what you see on screen is CGI. From adding crowds to buildings, ships, castles, mountains, smoke or just the general atmosphere of the show, the CGI plays a huge role in the visuals of the show and why it looks so good. But ...
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Directions
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A Short History of Domain Names

The second half of the nineties was a very exciting time for me, I had just begone learning the ins and outs of the world-wide web. HTML4 was the hottest thing out there and Geocities was the place to have a personal site. It took little time to get the hang of things and my day job quickly became entirely dedicated to building websites.As is the case nowadays, one of the most exciting moments of building a website is the go-live date. Publishing the site on a production server where the whole WWW ...
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Twitter
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The Art of Choosing Who to Follow on Twitter

There is only one good reason to follow someone on Twitter. When I first joined Twitter, I started following everything and everyone who sounded vaguely Lebanese. I also followed back everyone who followed me, as a form of courtesy and protocole. It was at a time when Beirut Spring was about gathering little nuggets of Lebanese news here and there, and I figured at the time that twitter was a great source of offbeat news. Years have passed and my thinking about twitter has developed, and I think ...
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Threes
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The Great Versus The Accessible

This morning I stumbled upon this story in Wired about the game Threes on iOS, and it struck me as yet another iteration of a great tech debate that is still ongoing today: What is more valuable to us, a great product that was painstakingly designed, or a good-enough product that is much more accessible? As the Wired story illustrates, Threes was a game that took an entire year of ongoing development with continuous iteration and loving care of little details that gave the game its personality. ...
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Dropbox Freemium
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Is “Freemium” a Viable Business Model?

Freemium is a combination of “free” and “premium”, obviously. As far-fetched as it initially was perceived, the Freemium model has become over the past decade the dominant business model among Internet startups and mobile app developers. A quick reminder on how the model works: users get basic features at no cost and can access additional functionality for a (mostly recurrent) subscription fee. A few examples of this would be services like LinkedIn, Dropbox and Hulu. What lies beneath the ...
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sufrati505094af7e6c937_3
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Perspectives: The Rise and Fall of MonotStreet.com

The Backdrop The year was 2002, I was four years into my career as a web developer and I saw everything in HTML markup and Hexadecimal color codes. I had springboarded myself from working at OGERO the localstate-run fixed-telephony operator towards Cellis, France Telecom's burgeoning mobile operator in Lebanon (currently rebranded as Alfa). I was the first web developer to join the company. Although my job offered me the chance to work on various challenging projects, it was just not enough ...
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fb-whatsapp1
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Did Facebook Really Pay Too Much for WhatsApp?

Headlines went all crazy on us last week, with the public announcement of Facebook acquiring WhatsApp. What was even more crazy is the awfully huge amount Facebook cashed out to seal the deal. USD 16 billion in cash and stocks, in addition to another USD 3 billion to be distributed to WhatsApp employees and shareholders, in the form of restricted stock. The deal news did not shock me, personally. I always said that the reluctance of WhatsApp partners to go public will most probably lead the company ...
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linkedinpart2
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The 7 Odd Types of LinkedIn Contacts

Ever since the dot-com boom in the last century, people have sought out to enhance their business presence by using online mediums. It comes to no surprise to anyone, with the emergence of Social Media  as a defacto medium of human communication a few years ago, that the torch would be handed-on to this new age channel. LinkedIn came to be during this gold rush, immediately sweeping away the competition for an array of reasons that, unfortunately, I am not about to cover in this piece. As popularity ...
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Website-design
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The Secret Code of the Web Designer

Design...The ultimate frontier crossed by the mind as it materializes abstract thoughts, desires and passions into the visual realm. Our entire daily existence bathes in design. From the shape of leaves on a tree to the ripples on the face of a water puddle, native designs are omnipresent in our surroundings. (Wo)Man-made designs are however a whole different ball game. We idolize people who can convert thought into shape and stand in awe in front of their skill, and rightfully so. Just imagine ...
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ArabNet Beirut 2013 (1)
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ArabNet Insight: Rising Interest of Venture Investors in the Levant Digital Sector

Venture capital investors in MENA have their eyes set on the digital sector; three times as many investments took place in 2010-2012 than in 2006-2009, and almost half of all investments were in digital products and services. Most ventures happened in Tunisia, Morocco and Lebanon, who currently lead the region in terms of quantity of VC investments. Numerous promising initiatives are being launched in the region to back the steadfast growth of early-stage tech and e-commerce ventures. One notable ...
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Tony Fadell
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Who Is Tony Fadell?

If you've already heard the name before, you certainly know that Tony Fadell was one of the fathers of Apple's iPod. If you're Lebanese, you've definitely noticed that the name is familiar. And it is indeed: Tony Fadell is "an inventor, designer, entrepreneur, and angel investor" (quoting Wikipedia), alumnus of Grosse Pointe South High School, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in Computer Engineering. And he is definitely of Lebanese descent. He was born in ...
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A Tribute To Nokia: A Few Warm Memories

I've personally spend my younger years basking in Nokia technology and cellphones. For our generation, Nokia always used to mean the best in the mobile phone world. The Top-Notch. But now that Microsoft has bought Nokia, is it really on the way out? What is happening now used to be unthinkable a few years back. The ever-proud and mighty Finns are facing two humiliations: being devoured by Microsoft (a company we can almost call uncultivated in terms of mobile telephony), and the shame brought by ...
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Productivity
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Improving Productivity at Work – a Few Top Tips [Featured Guest Article]

There are usually periods during the working day when we experience a little lull in activity. While it’s completely natural, it can often be caused by a variety of factors, some of which might be down to the equipment that we use every day. Staying focused for as long as possible is imperative if you want to meet deadlines and ensure you don’t have to stay behind after 5.30pm. To become more productive at work, you don’t have to completely change your habits. Just a few small changes like ...
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iphone-5c
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iPhone 5c Demand: Yay or Nay?

Usually, in the natural life cycle of an iPhone, there is a standard set of questions that get asked around on the Internet: "When will the new iPhone be announced?", "How will the new iPhone be different?", "Is the new iPhone amazing or what?", "How many iPhones were pre-ordered upon release?" Let's stop at the last questions (though there are so many that keep popping up throughout the year, but we will leave those for other articles. Apple has accustomed the media to releasing pre-orders statements ...
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asset
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Why Fast-growing Start-ups Need to Be Able to Organize Their Tech

Running a start-up business is something that can take a lot of time. There’s so much to do from working out what equipment is necessary to finding an office that’s capacious enough for its needs. With so much to arrange, there’s always a slight possibility that something might be omitted from the check-list by mistake, but if everything’s done, you’re ready to start trading and growing. Setting up your business might seem like a painstaking process, but there are a few things you might ...
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Google
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Google: The State of World Domination

Google already made the shift from a mere search engine to a multi-talented operating system and software developer powerhouse. But now, maturing even a whole lot more, Google is shifting from this to a global Technology provider to the masses. Google did not announce any new gadget, any new device at its latest I/O this year; but what it did undeniably imply was way more revealing: its bid to become... the "Nexus" of your Technology-centered life. Whenever, wherever. A Tiny Bit of History... Google ...
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E-mail
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E-Mail Is Not Dead

I have been hearing lately some claims, online and offline, that e-mail is dead. Some ultra-hip articles, visionary thinkers and other similar sources have their periodical prophecy on the matter. Well, I don't see it their way. I don't believe them, neither should you. People still spend at least half their workday dealing with e-mail, and I'm not talking about a particular region of the world. Where there is office work and business in general, there is e-mail. Why? people trust it. People are ...
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businessman with laptop in network server room
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Choosing Hosting Plans for Your Small Business

Getting online these days isn’t as difficult as it sounds. While some businesses are small enough to only need a small webpage on a free hosting space, those which expect a great deal of growth will do better to pay for space on a larger bandwidth. Simply creating a website for a business can increase scope for growth no end. Not only is the brand name getting out there, but there’s the option to create an online shop and sell services in a more accessible manner. Choosing a domain can be a ...
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100 Dollar Bill
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Meet the New 100 US Dollar Bill

The new 100 US Dollar bill is here. You're getting ready for it? Not specially, right? But counterfeiters definitely are. This time around, the Federal Reserve too gave them a tough nut to crack. The Federal Reserve apparently embedded new features rendering the bill even more difficult to replicate. Of course, this is something we've already seen in the past; the talk about making Dollar bills hard to replicate is an evergreen discourse. But the truth is that these bills are really getting harder ...
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IMAX Theater
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What Is IMAX?

So we have a new movie theater in Lebanon. VOX Cinemas recently opened its doors to the public; this new complex is located inside Beirut City Centre. What is so special about it? Well, it is equipped with screens and theaters following IMAX standards. But what exactly is IMAX? IMAX (an abbreviation for Image Maximum) is a motion picture film format and a set of cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images ...
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Robotics
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AI & Robotics: Where Do We Stand

Similar to our newly launched series about comics, of which we published the first part a few days ago, we are going to be publishing a series of info and trivia articles about general science matters, maths wonders and other interesting stuff, we worked on collecting from about everywhere, be it on the internet, or even offline reference sources. The article we're proposing to you today will deal with some facts and figures about Artificial Intelligence and robotics. This segment of science is ...
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HD-DVD
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What Happened to HD-DVD?

HD-DVD and Blu-ray bloomed at around the same time, practically. Of course, Blu-ray is something we're mostly familiar with (I'm writing this piece in front of a full library of Blu-ray movies blue boxes), but HD-DVD is nowhere to be seen. Let me go back a notch to the early days of both. These formats came as an alternative to the back then (and still nowadays) popular and mainstream DVD format. Main motivation to have a new format was technological progress, mainly better quality, higher data ...
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Android
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Android, More Than Just a Mobile OS

Think of the word Android and the first thing that pops into your head is probably a list of desserts (Jellybean, Ice-Cream Sandich, etc...). All joking aside, Android has become known as that mobile OS trying to (and almost succeeding) at beating Apple's renowned iOS. However, what people tend to forget is that Android is an open-source piece fo software; this means that anyone with the required skills can program it according to their will and apply it to their tech of choice. This is mainly ...
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Moo's NFC Business Card
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An Introduction to Near Field Communication (NFC)

I am sure that by now you have all heard about the term Near Field Communication (NFC) when reading or listening to the overall specifications of a mobile phone.Some may even have an understanding of its technical nature but have no idea how it can be used in our daily lives or even add any advantage to how we use our smartphones. We talked about NFC a few months ago here on Tech-Ticker, but we did not dive into the technicalities of this technology. In this article, we will try to cover all the ...
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