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Jabra Solemate
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Treading on the Competition: Jabra’s Solemate Review

When we were handed Jabra’s Solemate family of Bluetooth speakers for us to review, we couldn’t but remember Jawbone's Jambox - the last standalone Bluetooth speaker we tested - as we still can recall, it did not really impress. But things are different with the Solemates: they have a distinct, footwear-inspired design with extremely high quality materials that immediately give a durable "rugged" feel. Jabra Solemate Design, Controls and ...
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What Will We Do with the Superfast Internet of Tomorrow?

Certain parts of Japan and Europe already have Internet connectivity which is symmetrical; this means that the upload speed is just as fast as the download speed.  This is different from the tradition of the download speed being faster.  The download speed has always been more important as it allows us to watch or access information quickly.  But there are many benefits to having fast symmetrical speeds. Everyone is equal You might think ...
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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 ...
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Nokia Lumia 930
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Nokia to Launch New Flagship in Lebanon and the Middle East

In an awesomely Tech-chic setting, we were invited to attend the very first joint regional media event the two brands organize (Microsoft and Nokia), for a wrap-up of the Microsoft-Nokia smartphone lineup and strategy in a sort of “State of the Union” meetup, whereby the two companies announced the launch of three smartphones in the Middle East, namely the Lumia 630, 635 and most importantly, their latest flagship, the Lumia 930. What hit us ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Online Shopping
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The Exponential Growth of Online Shopping in The Middle East

The Middle East is among the most dynamic regions embracing online shopping, the highest being the UAE, where around 51% of people are shopping online. The industry is growing exponentially, with a reported 30 million people in the Middle East shopping online, and the market is expected to grow to $15 billion by 2015. With this high demand, local, regional, and global e-merchants are competing to cater to the increasing needs of the region’s buyers. This ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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ArabNet: Digital Advertising Spend to Reach $1B in the MENA by 2017

Global ad spend is on track to grow by 5.5% this year and reach $537 billion, with online ad spend accounting for nearly one-quarter of the staggering amount.  The global growth of the advertising sector is paralleled closely in the MENA region: digital ad spend in 2013 reached $300 million, and is increasing at 37% per year to reach an astounding $1B in 2017. “Digital advertising is the fastest growing segment in the region – and not surprisingly,” ...
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How Small Business Needs to Engage Social Media in 2014

Any business, whether small or large, seeks to find a need and fill it. When there is an area that is being unfulfilled, a competitive advantage can be gained by meeting that need. Despite the ubiquity of social media, according to an analysis of Fortune 500 companies, more than two-thirds of them have no social media presence whatsoever. At the same time, a study released on social media showed that 90% of CEOs felt that social media was extremely ...
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How I Watch Game of Thrones

I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones. In fact, I’m such a big fan that when season 3 ended, I went ahead and read the books, all 5 of them! (on the Kindle of course). Now that Season 4 is coming, I want to tell you about my setup for watching the show on a big tv the day after it’s aired in the US. The Setup Let’s get this out of the way: Everything I’m going to use is for Mac or iOS. If you’re an android/pc guy (or gal), I’m afraid ...
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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 ...
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Omar Christidis, ArabNet
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ArabNet 2014: The Interview With Omar Christidis

With ArabNet 2014 right around the corner, we thought it was a nice idea to have a talk with Omar Christidis. Omar is CEO and founder of ArabNet, the hub of digital marketing and tech professionals based in the Middle East. ArabNet will be holding a three-days conference in Beirut on March 4th to 6th. The Interview Going back to the origins, what exactly is the ArabNet project, and what led you personally down this particular road? The idea ...
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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 ...
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The Future Mobile Trends Predicted Today

Mobile technology continues to develop at an almost alarming speed. It’s almost impossible today in a world of smart phones and devices to remember the days when a mobile phone that barely fit in your backpack was considered the device of the future. There’s absolutely no doubt that we live in an era of technology, and while some may think that these advancements must be slowing down, what’s actually happening is that many new amazing pieces ...
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ArabNet Beirut 2013 (2)
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ArabNet: Online Transactions in Levant Totals $4 Billion, to Grow at 25%

The MENA region is the fastest growing e-commerce region in the world, with online shopping reaching $1 billion and online transactions totaling a stellar $15 billion --a 45% YoY increase. Omar Soudoudi, Managing Director at Payfort, says that e-commerce growth will remain at 25%, higher than any other region worldwide. According to Omar, the biggest opportunity in e-commerce in 2014 is directed towards mobile. “Currently, m-transactions represent ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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ArabNet: Advertising Budgets Towards Digital in the Levant, Reaching $1B in the MENA in 3 Years

Online advertising spending totalled $300 million in the MENA region today, and is increasing at a 37% growth rate a year to reach an astounding $1B in 2017. “Online advertising is an essential driver for the growth of Arab web and mobile businesses. With the increase of ad budgets, the entire digital sector will flourish,” stated Omar Christidis, CEO and founder of ArabNet. According to Michel Malkoun, Managing Director at Digital Media Services, ...
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RF Test and Measurement Equipment-l
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Electronic Products on the Rise Shows Growth Opportunities in the Test & Measurement Sector

While not all industries are in a growth phase at this point in the global economy, according to TechNavio's market analysis, the industry using measuring and testing equipment will grow by almost 25 per cent between 2011 and 2015. The reason for this major growth is the fact that global demand for electronic products is on the rise. This growth has produced optimism that is only somewhat tempered by the fact that production costs remain fairly high. ...
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Down the Curve: What Might Be Big in 2014

Everything in the Tech world looks like promising us that all our screens will be "flexible", or at least just curved, in the very near future. We do agree that things change. But will we go as far as to believe that was was flat will not be this year? The Earth is not flat, so why should be our displays? This pretty much does seem like the latest belief of Samsung and LG's engineers, who are apparently working their asses off to bring this new standard ...
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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 ...
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The Hypentrepreneur

For the past 3 to 5 years, all I hear has revolved around the buzz on how great it is to be an entrepreneur. Local and international publications have been blowing the horn of entrepreneurship loud enough to bring down the walls of Jericho. The amount of buzz words related to this has grown so out of proportion that it induces immediate unpleasant physical side-effects when I hear any of them. Here, try it yourself, repeat these words out-loud until ...
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LittleBits
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LittleBits: The Little Circuit That Could

littleBits is an open-source library of electronic modules. The minuscule circuit modules have each a specific function, such as light, sound, sensors, buttons, thresholds, motors and more — that snap together via tiny magnets in order to make larger circuits. All it takes is three simple instructions Start with the generator and then module by module you build your circuit, Add your own materials and finally bring your creation to life. What littleBits ...
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The Ideal Unboxing: Just What I Need [Poll]

Good things come in small packages: soon, this proverb could very well apply to the mobile devices we periodically purchase. Today, though, whether we order for delivery or we go to brick-and-mortar stores, chances are that our beloved gadget will come in the same bulky box that’s at least a few times the size of the product itself. Thinking about it, what do we need the most in a phone’s box, for instance, and why are chargers – among other ...
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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 ...
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Smartphones
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Picking The Best Phone: How To Minimize Compromise

Here at Tech-Ticker, we bring you some of the most comprehensive reviews of the latest pieces of technology, but despite our subjective nature we try to deliver the facts as objectively as possible, not only because it does the product justice, but by doing so it affects the perception of our readers who, in turn, tend to prefer or even recommend a gadget based on their knowledge. But recommending a phone or another type of products over the competition ...
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When Gardening Goes High-Tech

We've seen almost everything, when it comes to Smartphone Technology advancements, as of late. Smartphones of today embed a plethora of sensors and features, starting to enumerate them would be trivial. The latest novelty in the matter are Smartphones that respond to signals from plants. This "green-Tech" does not only affect phones; Can you picture laptops that coordinate irrigation of vineyards? Even more: remote weather stations programmed to text ...
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