Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Just In: Egypt The Dictatorship Starring General El-Sisi

sisi dictator Egypt
credits for the photo abc.net.au
Welcome once again to Egypt the dictatorship part 5 (oh wait it's not 5...I can't even keep count)
You see my friend we finally got rid of the religious dictatorship we suffered with for a whole year and we went out in the streets celebrating again and congratulating each other because finally our savior General El-Sisi (Aka. Jesus of Egypt) saved us from Morsi and his gang and then we lived happily ever after like in any Disney movie.

But wait that was not the real ending because yesterday what you are going to see in the following video took place while dispersing a protest against military trials for civilians....these activists were practicing their rights by peacefully protesting against something they don't see right.

And just like in the old bad days of Mubarak we can hear the same word (Thugs) being used again to label some of these activists.

Police brutality has been an ongoing issue in Egypt for ages now, what's wrong with arresting the so called thugs without insulting them or having to hit them?

What I'm seeing in Egypt now is basically a big vicious circle of events that happen over and over again, It's more like a deja vu for me with only some different names.

Mubarak, SCAF, Morsi, Sisi and many more to come. NONE of them got the idea...For me they all seem like one stupid, incapable and power hungry villain character in a story.

When will the good win in Egypt? I know it will happen, I've seen tens of Disney movies and the good always wins eventually, or am I just being naive?


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review for Sweet ROM v10.5 black for Galaxy N7000 Note I Samsung

sweet rom n7000
I posted before about Sweet ROM V11.1 that I tried in the past and I said that the ROM provides a better Experience compared to most of the Touchwiz based custom ROMs but that it is still laggy but definitely smoother than the stock 4.1.2 ROM released by Samsung.

However after reading some of the comments on the thread I decided to follow the advice of some of the commentators and I gave V10.5 black a try.

I have to say I was impressed with how solid, error-free and smooth the ROM was. I used the ROM for 2 days and never had a problem or a random reboot or anything else.

The ROM comes bundled with Galaxy S4 lockscreen that can be disabled, an awesome translucent status bar and S4 wallpapers.

Inside the ROM you'll find Nova launcher as well which is my number one choice for a launcher because I'm not a fan of the Touchwiz launcher.

Overall I would say that if I ever wanted to run a Touchwiz 4.1.2 based custom ROM then Sweeet ROM V10.5 would be the one I would choose but to be honest I think that Samsung screwed up with their Jellybean updates for the the Note I N7000 that rendered the device unusable in the first place which made it hard for our developers like XDA's senior member not-i to have a good base to start with anyway.


Friday, November 22, 2013

The Neo-Nazis of Israel - Xenophobic violence against African asylum seekers

Israel Xenophobia africans asylum

After watching the following video on YouTube I was taken by surprise from the acts of a country often described as "The most civilized in the middle east area".

Watch the video then continue reading

The video shows the amount of Xenophobia in the Israeli society, it baffles me how disrespectful Israel is towards the right of asylum described in article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states the following:

Article 14.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  • (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
As far as I know, Israel is one of the member nations in the UN but according to the video they are breaking the laws of the UN which shouldn't be gone unpunished by the international community.

Why Do We Drink Alcohol?

After a whole night of drinking yesterday, arriving home late I started thinking about why we drink Alcohol.

Humans are known for their relatively big powerful brains so it's mystifying why we would want to drug our brains and be as close as can be to animals allowing our primitive instincts to take over and push us to do things we would never do otherwise.

Maybe it can be described by the line in Eagle's song Hotel California "some dance to remember and some dance to forget", maybe the same idea applies to drinking maybe it's because we want to forget, we want to stop our brain from over-thinking about our realities.

But again are we that weak to try to escape our feelings and realities by clouding our brains?

When I asked some of my friends about the reasons why they drink, most replied and said that the main reason is to fit in, in a party with everyone drinking they didn't want to be the only one who is sober standing with a glass of coke.

Some of them replied by saying they drink because Alcohol affects our inhibition, they wanted to get rid of that inhibition to be able to do the things they wouldn't do while sober...example was talking to a girl in a club or dancing.

I'm not offering a solution or an answer to these questions here but it's without a doubt something to think about.

Alcohol cause solution drinkWhatever the reason is, cheers to Alcohol because it's the cause and the solution to all of life's problems.

P.S. it's now 7 am and i had a long night of drinking so Excuse my language and train of thoughts :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Egypt's Minorities and discrimination: Irreligion and Atheism in Egypt

Out of my interest in human rights and freedom in general I was checking some resources for marginalized groups or minorities in Egypt and I was surprised when I stumbled upon the following video on YouTube.

The video is relatively long (1 hour and 35 minutes) but will definitely give you an idea about how minorities are being treated in a country that claims to be democratic.

For non-Arabic speakers this video was recorded from a live talk show on TV hosting a young atheist Egyptian (Ismael) and a doctor from Al-Azhar to discuss atheism in Egypt or irreligion in general.

From the first few minutes of the talk show it was clearly obvious how this one-sided, closed minded discussion will progress, it was even obvious that this was nothing but a plot to attack a group of people who have different ideas and beliefs than the majority of the population.

The topic of atheism and irreligion in Egypt is just another sensitive example to the hate aimed towards anyone who is different and doesn't believe in an Islamic patriarchal society, just like the oppression being practiced upon Christians, homosexuals and women.

I'm still amazed by how good Ismael was talking and holding up against all the attacks against him, his arguments were polite, reasonable and clearly shows that he wasn't only defending the rights of atheists in particular but the general idea of freedom in an oppressive society that chose to persecute anyone who is different in anyway.

I wish I can find another version of the video subtitled with English but so far I can't so I apologize to non-Arabic speakers but I want to point out some of the major issues I found in this video here:

1- All the phone calls that were received were biased and were meant for the sole purpose of attacking the young man, even the one call that was allowed from his friend was cut in the middle without giving the caller (Ahmed) the space to talk.

2- The host was utterly unprofessional and biased not giving any space for Ismael to talk or explain anything, furthermore she was attacking him personally, even the way her questions sounded in Arabic show how much she was trying to attack and embarrass Ismael.

3- Al-Azhar's doctor argument wasn't reasonable and mostly out of topic, although he asked Ismael many times not to interrupt him, he and the TV presenter were constantly interrupting Ismael. 

4- The accusations that atheists are psychos or mentally ill shows how ignorant and stupid both the TV presenter and the doctor are.

5- Using the same old cliche excuse of accuse anyone with new ideas as a traitor who is being funded by foreign organizations who are definitely Jews that have nothing to do except planning to destroy Egypt.

This video proves that Egypt still has a long way to go in the aspect of human rights and personal freedom which whether we like or not might take decades to establish based on the state of denial shown here in the discussion.

It shows also that the last hope these activists have to spread the word of their cause is basically alternative media like Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

However, many of the human rights activists are constantly being arrested and persecuted with charges of blasphemy, in 2012 Alber Saber was arrested for running a blog spreading Atheism followed by Sherif Gaber in 2013 and these cases are 2 of the few that managed to make it to newspapers while many more activists are being arrested but the cases are unreported.

If you like this post please share it to help spread the word and the cause.
Atheism Irreligion Egypt discrimination minorities
Image Via CFI


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Include AIESEC In Your Linkedin Account

AIESEC Bad Linkedin review

I wrote about My bad experience with AIESEC before and if you go through the post you'll understand why I consider AIESEC as an unprofessional organization, main reason is how AIESEC is completely run by students who work their asses off to climb the organizational structure of AIESEC only to realize that it was nothing but a waste of time and that they are being used by the organization's system to work without even getting paid.

Now I know that they always use the word "volunteering" when campaigning to recruit new members but the truth is that it's not actually volunteering because you will not be helping people, you are actually charging them for travelling to work in a different country without paying them.

I consider the whole AIESEC organization shady anyway but that's just my personal opinion, I can't deny that I had fun during my internship in Kiev, Ukraine but now when I look back I can see that I could have had a similar Experience volunteering for a different organization.

Recently I stumbled upon a lot of profiles on Linkedin that list being as a local committee president or any other sort of position they occupied in AIESEC in their employment history.

Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn't do that:


Friday, November 8, 2013

Android Kitkat 4.4 is on it's way to the Samsung Galaxy Note 1 N7000

Android Kitkat 4.4 N7000 Note 1
Looks like the Galaxy Note 1 N7000 which was introduced by Samsung in October 2011 is still not forgotten.

Yesterday, Elite Recognized Developer from XDA developers' website XpLoDWilD who is a developer of OmniROM uploaded the first experimental Kitkat 4.4 ROM for the N7000

The ROM is still in the experimental stage which means that it is still not stable to use as a daily driver and is only aimed for experimented users who are willing to cooperate in reporting bugs to finally get this ROM in it's stable form.

If you are willing to try the experimental ROM at this stage you'll find the link to the thread at the end of this post, so go over there and download

If you are not comfortable with flashing an experimental ROM then head over to my previous post to know how to Get the great Android Kitkat 4.4 Look on your Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 Today

The known issues in OmniROM 4.4 now as mentioned on the thread are:
- Screenshots are upside-down
- Sometimes the boot might hang - just reboot
- No external SD for now
- Lots of stuff untested, so it's just for discovery

This is definitely good news because it means that soon more developers will be able to customize a lot of ROMs for out note and soon we will have a stable ROM that can be used as a stable driver for everyday tasks.

Check out the ROM's thread on XDA [ROM][4.4][EXPERIMENTAL] OmniROM 4.4 for GT-N7000 and don't forget to subscribe to the thread to get the latest news about development and to be the first to know when you can use this amazing ROM also don't forget to thank the developer.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Whatsapp: What's the point of setting a price if it's for free?

Yes you are right, this is just another hate post against Whatsapp, you ask me why? well because I don't understand some of their actions or motives.

So yesterday I received a notification from Whatsapp informing me that my service has been extended until December 2014

I didn't have to do anything to get that blessing from the Whatsapp gods, I think it was more of a retention plan because my 1 year trial was going to expire so they decided they need me and that's why they saved me some money.

The same happened with a lot of my friends who got renewed for another 1 year without doing anything, my question now is why would Whatsapp define a price for their service then end up giving it for free anyway?
I think at this point Whatsapp realized the big competition they are up against with so many alternatives that offer more features and services completely free of charge (Wechat for example)

But I have to say that the world changes so fast, one day BBM was the best IM and the trend started fast and lasted short then it died, same goes for Hi5.

So maybe the end of Whatsapp is coming soon as well, who knows.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Batman Spotted in China - What else are we going to see?

Recently I met a friendly Chinese guy in a bar whose English wasn't very good but could at least keep a conversation going, when I asked for his name he replied with his Chinese name which of course was super complicated for me to pronounce.

I faced this situation many times before in China and I think it's really embarrassing for them and for you because they have to repeat their names many times and you still know that even if they repeat it a 100 times you'll either still not be able to pronounce it right or you'll forget it after a couple of minutes.
China name batman

So to save up all the time and all the awkwardness involved I tend to ask if they have an English name since I know that most of the Chinese students do.
Going back to the story of the guy in the first paragraph, I asked him if he has an English name, the reply that I got made me laugh out loud even though the guy was all serious and wasn't showing any signs of being sarcastic, he said his English name was "Batman"!

I tried to inquire why he chose this name and his answer was very simple: "because I like batman"

Somehow It wasn't really surprising for me because when I used to teach here in China I used to find all sorts of weird names that were so funny or didn't even exist.

Here's a list of some of the weird names I found here:
Dick (his reason was that he was big :s)
Error404 (probably she was never found :p)

And the list goes on and on, however what's more annoying is that they usually choose the same name. I've on my phone book 10 Amys, 6 Ambers, 3 Bills, 5 Candys, 7 Sherrys, 3 Karas and 4 Evas.

But anyway I learned that being in China is awesome, even the names can bring a smile on your face during your hardest times here.


{solved} How to change the URL while Resubmitting Application - Google Adsense Problem

google adsense problem solution resubmit application

Yesterday I announced that I finally got Google Adsense application to get approved and run on my blog after months of trying.

The problem I had was that I applied once with my old blog URL (in the photo below being mereviewing.blogspot.com) using my main Gmail account (we'll call the Gmail account here X) and my application didn't get accepted after that I ignored Adsense for sometime during which I deleted my old blog but then I decided to use it on my new blog which you are reading this post on now.

Click the photo to enlarge it 

I tried to apply for Google Adsense for my new blog using the same Gmail account X but always got stuck on the screen you see up there, it was very frustrating that I wrote a post about it back then Google Adsense - How I managed to make my first big fat check from Adsense on my blogs?

I tried posting on the support forums but the reply I got wasn't very satisfactory because it meant i will have to use another e-mail every time I want to check my Adsense account.

I finally found a solution to the problem yesterday and finally back on track making money.

X is my main Gmail account that didn't get accepted before and that I want to use
Y is an old hotmail address I don't use anymore

What I did to solve the problem and start making money was:

1. I uploaded a video on YouTube
2. Go to video manager on YouTube and choose to monetize the video.
3. It will take you to Adsense to sign in but at this point Choose create a new Adsense account 
4. Use an old e-mail address to signup (a hotmail address we'll call Y but any other will do as well)
5. Your Adsense account with Y is now Active
6. Go to account settings in your new Adsense account
7.When you scroll till the end of the page you'll find an input box and an invite button...here you need to put your main email address that you will use with adsense and click invite, I put in the old E-mail address I was having the problem with X
8. I received a verification E-mail on my Gmail account X and got it verified.
9. Now you will need to add admin privileges to X so what you need to do is sign out of X 
10. Go to Adsense and sign in with Y 
11. Go to account settings again and scroll to the end of the page
12. This time you'll find X listed there and you can tick a check-box next to it to be admin...go ahead and tick the box.
13. Now we have a valid working Adsense account working with the main E-mail X
14. Go back to Blogger and click on earnings tab
15. Click on switch Adsense account which will take you to sign in to Adsense
16. Sign in with X and you'll find the new URL of your blog in the application
17. proceed with the application and after getting approved Ads will start appearing on your blog

*please note that this will be a hosted Adsense account which means you can't use it on your own domain. In order to use it on your own website you need to submit your website for approval through Adsense.

If you have any comments or questions or need further help please let me know in the comments section below this post.
Please post here if this method worked for you.


Camtasia Studio - You Will Love This Video Editing and Screen Recording Tool

A few days back at work I was assigned a new task that includes creating a video tutorial detailing how to use our company's software, this video had to include screen recording, captions, voice overs and effects. And as expected I wasn't given any tools to work with or even any training so I decided to dive head first into it and show them I can do a good job even if I don't have the tools needed.

After spending a couple of hours reading reviews and doing my research I found Camtasia studio and it had everything I was looking for except for it's expensive price ($299 USD) for the electronic copy.

You can download a trial to test the software before buying the full 
version which is available for both windows and Mac OS

What I liked most about the software was that it has a very organized
user interface and very easy to use but of course needs sometime to 
explore all the features and master it.

You can find all the features and details on Camtasia Studio's website

I created a sample video with it which is certainly nothing compared to what this software of capable of but I'm just experimenting before starting to work on the task assigned to me.

*I'm not advertising for Camtasia and I don't make any money out of this tip

Here's the video I made


Google Adsense Problem - can't change the URL in approval application (solved)

As you can see on the right and under my posts I have Adsense working again on my blog after a few months of being not able to use it because I was stuck on the application page with an old URL of a blog that I deleted and I couldn't change it to the new blog URL even after I posted a couple of times on Adsense support forums here.

Today I discovered the best solution to solve this issue so I'm going to be writing about it tomorrow to give you a step by step guide on how to solve this problem if you have it and still use the same E-mail address to access Adsense and start making money.

I couldn't help not writing about this now because I had this ongoing problem since May 2013 and back then I wrote a post about it Google Adsense - How I managed to make my first big fat check from Adsense on my blogs?

I just need to gather some more information and write the steps in an organized way then I will try to get some photos to help make it easier and I will write the post tomorrow morning.

You can comment here or even subscribe to receive the solution tomorrow morning when I write the post.

{update} The post is now live Google Adsense Problem - How I finally managed to change the URL in my approval application

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Against the Saudi ban on women driving - No Woman, No Drive

Saudi women drive

Last week I watched a video shared by one of my friends on YouTube for a song by a Saudi artist Whose name is Hisham Fageeh. The video was obviously making fun in a satirical way of The Saudi ban on women driving which is a very sensitive topic in Saudi Arabia.

Driving is not the main idea of the movement that encouraged women to go out and drive, the main idea was to try to change the mindset in the kingdom and force men to consider the fact that women are equal to them.

For a woman, living in Saudi Arabia is not easy even in the 21st century where the country is still suffering from a tribal patriarchal culture.

Some years ago I read the book Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean Sasson which is based on a true story of a Saudi princess detailing how life is unfair especially for women in the kingdom.


Monday, November 4, 2013

The World's Largest Sculpture Park - a Visit to Changchun's Sculpture Park

A few months back I visited Changchun's Sculpture Park which is reportedly the largest in the world covering an area of 920000 square meters, the lake inside the park covers an area of 110000 square meters.

The theme of the park according to what i saw was peace, love and friendship....the park features pieces from sculptors of different nationalities and backgrounds.

Considering the extreme winter in Changchun I'd recommend visiting the park in summer.

The park is located in the south of Renmin street near to weixing square.
The address in Chinese is 9518 人民大街长春吉林

View Larger Map

Some photos that I took during my visit:
Changchun sculpture park

Changchun sculpture park

Changchun sculpture park

Changchun sculpture park

Changchun sculpture park

Changchun sculpture park


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Get the great Android Kitkat 4.4 Look on your Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 Today

Recently I posted about the rom I'm using at the moment.....If you missed it then check my post about Beanstalk rom for the Note N7000

With the new APKs leaked from the new Android Kitkat 4.4 I managed to get the look and some of the features to work on my phone to make it look like the following screenshotsIf you need help tinkering with the settings or further details please comment here and I will reply
Android Kitkat 4.4 is on it's way to the Samsung Galaxy Note 1 N7000

N7000 Note 1 4.4 kitkat
N7000 Note 1 4.4 kitkat
If you want to get the same look on your Samsung Galaxy Note I N7000 I will guide you here how to get the transparent navigation bar, status bar and the new Google home launcher....needless to say that my phone runs very smoothly with no lagging whatsoever thanks to the great Beanstalk rom.

First of all you should head over to the leaked APKs and download them from here and install them.

To make the navigation bar transparent you want to go to settings--->system--->Navigation bar--->style and dimens--->Navigation bar background style--->then adjust the transparency to 80% and set the transparency mode to--->on launcher

To make the status bar transparent go to settings--->system--->status bar--->status bar background---->adjust transparency to 80% and the mode to--->on launcher

The widget I use for clock and temperature is called Android Weather & Clock Widget

Worth mentioning that the camera app from 4.4 force closed many times but the stock camera app in Beanstalk is the same so I uninstalled the 4.4 one 

{update} check out my post about the first Android 4.4 ROM  for N7000: Android Kitkat 4.4 is on it's way to the Samsung Galaxy Note 1 N7000

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Review of Sweet Rom for the Samsung Galaxy Note I N7000 - Touchwiz Based Custom Rom

In this post I will discuss my experience with sweet rom for the galaxy note 1 which is a Touchwiz based custom rom cooked by XDA's senior member not-i

Yesterday I had some free time and what is better than flashing a rom to keep yourself busy, huh? as I mentioned in an earlier post I was so happy and satisfied with the Beanstalk rom but I kind of missed the feeling of a Touchwiz rom so I started my research trying to find a good new rom to try.

After watching multiple hands on videos on youtube and reading the whole discussion thread on XDA forums I decided to try sweet rom with C.O.H kernel.

I flashed the zip of V11.1 downloaded from sweet rom's original thread and started playing with my phone setting up everything and restoring the same apps I was using with Beanstalk just to be able to compare the user experience without much interference from other factors.

My first and last impressions were that sweet rom is probably one of the best Touchwiz roms out there, very stable and full of customization however it was not smooth enough for a power user like me who is using more than 100 apps and multitasking all the time....it made me remember why in the first place I had to give up on the stock rom and start using custom roms.

I know for a fact that you can never compare a rom based on CM with a Touchwiz based rom because everything is so different.

I kept using sweet rom for a whole day but after all the lags that are bundled with Touchwiz anyway I reverted back to Beanstalk and couldn't be happier.

The summary here is that I would definitely recommend sweet rom for anyone who wants to use all of the Touchwiz options because it's definitely one of the best but if you need more power and smoothness out of your ancient note then Beanstalk is the answer.

I'm also still waiting for any news from Samsung whether the N7000 will be included in the list of devices that will receive Kitkat 4.4 although I know it's unlikely but still there's hope.

{update: check out my review of Sweet Rom v10.5}