Sunday, September 30, 2007

iPod: Past, Present, Future

The first iPod was unveiled to the world in October 2001. They used 5 Gbyte hard drives the size of a coin. The wheel of controls on the front was revolutionary at the time, and remains integral to the design of all iPods to the present day. Critics did not universally welcome the device. In particular, the $400 price tag was thought extortionate.

Although the classic was updated and improved, it was not until 2004 that a major new product was added to the iPod range. The Mini launched with a 4 Gbyte capacity, 8 hours of batter life and a $250 price tag. A 6 Gbyte version was added early in 2005 which had more than double the battery life.

By 2005, the iPod had become such a cultural icon it was being used as a marketing platform. U2 and Apple created a black and red version to coincide with the launch of the album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Apple supreme Steve Jobs had always dismissed the flash memory stick form of music player, and the iPod’s success had certainly suggested he was right. But in January 2005, he made a U-turn on that philosophy with the launch of the Shuffle. The $99 512 Kbyte memory stick was directly aimed at undercutting the budget Flash device market.

Introduced in September 2005, the tiny Nano replaced the Ipod Mini. It was available in either 2 or 4 Gybte versions and came in a simple choice of black or white. A new scroll wheel was introduced that worked with a light stroke of the finger.

Only a month later, Apple launched the Video Ipod. The unit looked like an overgrown Nano, but packed a massive 60 Gbytes of storage in the highest capacity version. Software on the Nanos and Video Ipods was also becoming more sophisticated with the inclusion of calendar and address book viewers.

The smallest iPod ever created was introduced in September 2006. The Shuffle Mini is little larger than a book of matches, and features the scroll wheel on the front, and a clip on the back so that it could be attached to clothing. It became an instant hit with gym junkies who bought it in several colours to match their lycra fitness outfits.

In the first week of September this year, a complete overhaul of the iPod range was announced. The Nano is shorter and wider than its predecessor, but the same thickness. It is available in five colours and two capacities – 4 or 8 Gbytes.

The original high capacity iPod has been renamed the Classic. The top of the range 160 Gbyte version sells for around $350 in the US. New 2 Gbyte Shuffles have also been released that retail for around $80.

The most dramatic leap forward in the new family is the iPod Touch. The scroll wheel has disappeared – at least in a physical form – but you can still operate the device using a virtual wheel that appears on the screen. A Gbyte16 version will set you back over $400.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saudi eases visa restrictions

Saudi Arabia has approved new regulations designed to make it easier for foreigners to do business in the kingdom in an attempt to attract greater investment from abroad.

The Saudi Council of Ministers on Monday agreed to allow foreign businessmen to acquire a multiple-entry visa into the Kingdom for a full year without an invitation or recommendation letter sent to Saudi embassies abroad.

All businessmen coming to Saudi Arabia currently have to obtain an invitation letter from a Saudi company endorsed by the seal of the Saudi Chamber of Commerce.
Sometimes a recommendation letter from the chamber of commerce is needed to issue the visa.

The government’s move to ease visa restrictions comes at a time when Saudi Arabia’s economy is expanding rapidly.

However, the changes to business visas do not affect working visas, which remain difficult to obtain.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Computers to rival humans

Within three years, computers will be able to function at the speed of human thought, Alfred Zollar, worldwide president and general manager, IBM Tivoli Software predicted in his keynote address at GITEX Technology Week held last week in Dubai.

"By 2010, supercomputers will execute one quadrillion calculations per second," Zollar said in his speech ‘Innovation that matters', the inaugural speech of the exhibition. "We will have computing capacity that operates at the same speed as the human brain."

Zollar defined innovation as "the ability to bring insights that can bring long-term societal or economic value".

Approximately 49% of economic growth in the US comes from IT, Zollar told the audience at the well-attended event.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Sitting and getting sensory overload,
pants getting overloaded as our asses get wider.
Excersize? What the hell is that?

I sit for hours and stare at a screen,
the prettiest screen you have ever seen.
State of the art, 25" wide and flat,
the latest technology, how about that?

I can go anywhere with a few strokes of my fingers,
read about anything, the afterimage lingers.
Crawl right into your home if you will let me,
via instant messenger, headset and webcam, it's free.

Whats even better is I can worm my way into your heart,
all it takes is time and a few words for a start.
The crossover from web to reality can be bliss,
if there is truth on both ends and nothings amiss.

Stephen King's ..Que Horror??

Famous horror novelist and story writer Stephen King celebrates his 60th birthday recently. Up to date, he has written over 200 stories including some of the best selling horror and fantasy novels. Several of his stories were made into the major movies, including The Shining, The Running Man, and The Green Mile.

Here are some suggested titles/book covers for his next novel…

Courtesy of

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Desert Hunk #8: Cris Sagun

Chris Sagun works in Saudi German Hospital (Jeddah) as X-ray Technician. He was declared as Ginoong Pilipinas Saudi Arabia Luzon 2006 (First Runner-up)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Saudi National Day

King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz; Crown Prince Sultan (next king of Saudi Arabia)

For the second time, since King Abdullah assumed his throne as King, Saudi Arabia celebrates the National Day publicly across the land in the form of a nationwide holiday.
Basically, the “Sept. 23 National Day” is the only public holiday that Saudi government declares, aside from the 10 days Eid and Ramadan holidays.
Both King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan are determined that Saudi Arabia be a modern state with clear laws that give citizens their rights. Accountability and transparency are high on their list of priorities. They are keen to push for reforms that will have a far-reaching effect and help propel the country well into the 21st century.
The present social snag and strict regulations, which limits the freedom of its people and the migrant workers, as well, is a big underlying factor why Saudi spun out its progress compared to other Arab countries. Hopefully, when Crown Prince Sultan, who is more open-minded and believed to be more empathetic to Filipino expatriates, will assume the leadership soon, Saudi Arabia will be a more convenient place to work.
While other nations around the world floundered, Saudi Arabia keeps going on. But the concerned about the growing menace of terrorism — an alien philosophy that has crept into the minds of many of Arab youngsters, remains volatile. There is a clear and imminent danger because the threat from the “revolutionary faction” is still alarming and some terrorists are believed to be visible in the Kingdom. Hence, don’t be surprise to see more checkpoints and men in uniform patrolling in many areas, especially in Riyadh. For Filipino expatriates, spending free time inside the house is safer than to travel and roam around the city.
For the meantime, taking all these in consideration and the safety of being “strangers” in this country, OFWs are constrained with no choice but to abide by their rules and respect their belief and cultures until such time that significant reforms shall be made.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

New KSA License Plates

The old KSA Car Plate looks like this...

Here's how the new car plate looks like..

The new KSA license car plates have just been introduced so the majority of cars on Saudi roads still have the old ones.
It says "Al-Saudia" on top followed by 3 numbers and 3 letters.

The major difference is that there are now 4 numbers instead of 3.
The traffic department has also added a digit to the set of numbers on the plates to give allowance to the registration of up to 40 million more vehicles.

Also, the authorities have just made life easier for Saudi Arabia's western expats by having the license plates in English. So the next time Al-Qaeda tries to blow up your family, you don't have to pull out your pocket translator to get the plate number of the getaway car.
And yes these are just random license plates of cars I came across, so feel free to do whatever you want with them.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mobiles disconnected from cancer link

Six years of research by 28 different teams, costing almost $18 million, has concluded that mobile phones pose no threat to health for people that have used them for up to 10 years.

But despite the gargantuan amount of money spent on studies, they could not conclusively rule out the possibility of damage through long-term usage.

The impact of mobile phone use on children is also not known and requires additional research, scientists suggest.

The six-year research programme, chaired by Professor Lawrie Challis, Professor of Physics at The University of Nottingham in the UK, has found no association between short term mobile phone use and brain cancer.

Studies on volunteers also showed no evidence that brain function was affected by mobile phone signals or the signals used by the emergency services.

The research also found no evidence that living or working near mobile phone base stations causes any physical symptoms.

Professor Lawrie Challis, Chairman of MTHR, said: "This is a very substantial report from a large research programme. The work reported today has all been published in respected peer-reviewed scientific or medical journals. The results are so far reassuring but there is still a need for more research, especially to check that no effects emerge from longer-term phone use from adults and from use by children."

Thursday, September 20, 2007


After reading this, you'll NEVER look at a banana in the same way again!

Bananas containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND among people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

Forget the pills --- eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure:
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power:
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brainpower. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body; so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness:
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites:
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work?
Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control:
Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine," eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hey Dad..Did I Say Thank You?

Today is my Dad's death anniversary...

My dad passed away 3 years ago… Stunned, I flew home from Riyadh to be with my family. (The flight from Riyadh to Manila was the longest 9 hours I have ever experienced in my life.)

While on board, I repeatedly asked myself if I had thanked everything to my Dad for giving me a wonderful life. Did I miss something? I couldn’t control my tears as I remembered the many kindness and favors he had given to us…Without his love, I may not be what I am today.

Yes, still, I had much to be thankful to him which I had remembered lately.
Did I ever say thanks for all the toys my father had mended? The games we played and the way he always tried to cheer me when I was down?

Did I ever say thanks for the sacrifices he made so I could be involved in so many enriching activities in school?

Did I ever thank him for working so hard to provide for our family?

Did I ever thank him for having such faith in me and always being there when I needed him?

Did I ever say thanks for waking me up every Sunday so we can go to the church together with mom, and my other siblings?

Most of all, Did I ever say thanks for caring?

Dad….I just wanted to thank you so much for the great childhood you and mom gave me. I often want to be a child again so that I can feel the love, warmth, joy and security you always gave me.

Although money was very hard to come by while we were growing up, I never felt deprived of anything. Your love has given me more wealth than money could ever buy.
I will never forget the time you held me in your arms when I was scorched because I accidentally spilled out a bottle of ethyl alcohol to my body while you’re lighting the Coleman Kerosene Lantern.. I was 3 years old then..

I will never forget your tears of joy when I asked you and my mom to pin my academic medals every year in our school.

I will never forget you adjusting my tie and let me borrow your perfume during my first JS Prom.

I will never forget waving goodbye to you when I left the province to find my luck in Manila. Not knowing if I would succeed. In my mind I still see the slow motion image of you with your arm around mom waving goodbye to me as I boarded the bus.

Thank you dad for giving me the best childhood a person could ever hope for.

If you want your Dad to know how you feel. Don’t wait. Tell them today because tomorrow might be too late

Monday, September 17, 2007

Can't You See

Why is it always,
My fault not yours.

Why can’t you admit,
It was your mistake,
Not ours.

Why can’t you see,
The pain you cause me,
When you lie,
When you cheat,
You mean nothing to me.

The problem is you,
Can’t you see?

You cause me trouble,
Something I don’t want.

You have caused me grief,
Not to mention you lie.

You make me bleed,
Deep inside,
You can’t see it,
Because I try to hide it,
It works well doesn’t it?

The problem is you,
Can’t you see?

Your words,
Are killing me.

Your words are harsh,
And not to mention,
Incredibly heartless.

You say things,
You say,
You don’t really mean,
I know it’s a lie,
That’s just how it seems.

Your words,
Are killing me,
This is true.

The problem is you
Can’t you see?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wet and Boundless.. at the Pool!

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