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ARTICLES FILED UNDER: Insights

Q&A With IDM-Cyberia CCO Bassam Jaber

The best thing about attending events like BDL Accelerate 2014 is that you get to bump into many of the tech leaders in the country. Although they are usually surrounded by the organizer who are trying to get them to meet other decisions makers during the event, I managed to get a quick and exclusive Q&A with Bassam Jaber CEO of Cyberia and CCO …

Why It’s Always 9:41 in iPhone Ads

Have you ever noticed how iPhone screens always display the same hour in official ads? The timestamp is always the same. 9:41. And that is, like pretty much else at Apple, by design. Here’s why. You can trace the origins of Apple’s perma-clock back to January of 2007, when Steve Jobs gave his much-anticipated keynote at the Macworld Conference …

Tweaking the SIM Card: Apple’s Hidden Agenda

Apple gets what Apple wants. So far, this statement has been pretty correct. In terms of innovation, market disruption, setting new standards, etc. Everything went the way the Cupertino company wanted things to go. Following the iPad event last week, we pondered upon one particular aspect that perfectly illustrates this phenomenon. Apple’s approach …

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 …

‘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, …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …