Wheelchair Freestyle – Wheelz – Gnarly!

Watching this video I felt inspired by this man who saw no limits to what he could do. I love the DevinSuperTramp Videos because they are amazing to watch and makes you want to be in them and do what he was doing, but this video touchs you in a different way. This young man didn’t let life stop him from doing what he wants to do, and he is more determined then 90% of people out there including myself.

Wataniya Telecom – Finally 4G

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Wataniya has finally fully rolled out their 4G Network and they improved their normal Data network. With new life breathed into their network, it feels normal and useable at this stage. I have been using it for the last couple of weeks and every week I can see an improvement with more 4G coverage on a weekly basis which I’m liking very much.

On a normal test my speeds vary from 2 bars to 5 bars signal:

  • 12 Mb/s to 43 Mb/s

These are respectable numbers and reasonably solid, not my connection spotify as I drive along the highway is pretty constant with no cut outs. I hope Wataniya keeps going at this rate to keep improving their networks. They did launch the new Galaxy Note 3 with the LTE Package and they are fully supporting Android Devices, they even just had a Google event with the people from Google talking about the new software and hardware developments coming along, very nicely done. Their network has a few spots around town the need to be filled but its a good effort on their end and we are finally seeing progress on their network. The funny part is that 4G is working only for Android devices and not Apple Devices yet, that will be coming along somewhere in mid to end of December for Apple, now who’s laughing.

iPad Air in Kuwait

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The iPad air has made it’s way to Kuwait and it is flying off the shelves. Now the iPad Mini 2 is up for sale on Apple as of a few days ago but hasn’t made it to Kuwait yet. As usual there are few stores that have it in stock and Blink is on top of it.

Blink.com.kw – iPad Air

  • 16 GB Wifi – 165 KWD
  • 32 GB Wifi – 219 KWD
  • 64 GB Wifi – 259 KWD
  • 128 GB Wifi – 295 KWD
  • 16 GB 4G – 219 KWD

Pricing in Kuwait ranges from 15% to 30% more then the Apple Store prices but that isn’t too bad considering that 10-15 KWD would be attributed to shipping, and we would still be cheaper then buying it in the UK. I for one am going to wait for the iPad Mini 2 because it has all the specifications and features that I want.

DropBox – Personal or Business

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Dropbox is the prominent cloud storage solution, they started it and took it another level because they got integrated into both Microsoft Windows & Apple OSX as well as mobile phones making things work seamlessly providing backup of data especially on your phones.

I use it a lot personally for productive items or just fun stuff and also I have basically moved my all my work files to dropbox so it isn’t dependent on a machine and I basically don’t have to worry about it. And I’m luckily that I did that since my work laptop decided to give up on life recently so having all the most recent files with all information on another machine instantly made things that much easier.

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I use it for all kinds of work and sharing files with people and keeping the latest version. I have the 100 GB plan and an extra 80 GB because of my HTC One & Samsung phones previously. Now Dropbox has a pro plan for 100 GB, 200 GB, & 500 GB for personal use and in my case the 200 GB would be enough but what I have will work for a while longer.

They recently introduced the updated Dropbox Business which has an admin control as well as different options for use depending on your company’s needs. The best package runs at $795 for 5 people with unlimited storage with a ridiculous amount of features, full control over types of files and how they can be viewed or shared and what can be done with them and recovering previous versions. And especially now that Dropbox has made it possible for you to have both a personal and business account on your machine or phone with the new updates. For certain companies this makes total sense, especially graphic media companies or ones that have a lot of important files that needs to be backed up in a secure way.

I like the progress that dropbox is making and especially that all my photos are backed up online and I try and use it when ever I can. I have a GoogleDrive & SkyDrive accounts but those I use only about 20% of the time, more SkyDrive then GoogleDrive because GoogleDrive needs to be more flexible.

HAILO – The Experience

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For the last couple of years there were different applications that came out for Black Cabs, and finding a cab or quick transprotation is London is always a gamble. There have been times where I ended up walking over an hour heading home instead of finding a cab in the rain or on a Friday night. Other Apps came out but they were hit or miss, and always searching for vehicles which drove me nuts.

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Hailo is different then the pack, it is extremely easy to use and secure with cash or credit payment option when requesting the blackcab, so even if you don’t have your wallet or cash on you, you can just charge it to your card which is registered to your Hailo account. The application is both on Android and iOS so anyone could use it.

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The application opens up to your location and you can search for black cabs right away, when it finds a few usually there are anywhere from 3 to 10, you click yes and the closest one or the one that is free first will confirm. They will give you an update on the amount of time, anywhere between 4 minutes up to 20 minutes and usually they are perfectly on time and you can track their progress on your Hailo App.

The best part is that the Cabbie is there to pick you up and can only start the meter with you in it. Once the ride is done you pay the normal fare with a minimum fare starting at 10 & 15 GBP depending on the time of day. Overall it is a very simple experience even when they pick you up from a busy location like a restaurant or the movie theater, they have your name and your confirmation number when they come to pick you up. Each cab has a Hailo sticker on it to make it easy to identify.

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The experience is very simple,easy and straight forward, and once the cab ride is done you rate your cab driver. And I have given mine 5 stars because they pick me up on time and get me where I need to go making it for a pleasent and easy experience. I seriously love this application, no more major issues and has worked perfectly every time I use it, even when I don’t find a cab I try it again and it works perfectly.

Currently its Running in:

  • London
  • Dublin
  • Toronto
  • Chicago
  • Boston

Opening Soon In:

  • New York
  • Tokyo
  • Washington DC
  • Cork
  • Madrid
  • Barcelona

There are some cities like Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore, and London which I would happily get in the cab because they are genuinely great cabs which are comfortable, but Cabs in the US are usually pretty bad, the crown victorias or not maintained vehicles, when I use vehicles in the US I use the Uber App for private driver who usually have decent vehicles like an Escalade or a vehicle like that when in New York or LA.

Link: HailoCab

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Nexus 5 – D820 & D821 – Preordered & Shipped

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I honestly have no patience when it comes to the Nexus line, I do love the line from Google and usually its a clean slate, I just wish they had devices with the right kind of power to it and camera with in it. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is still an amazing device with a fantastic camera, honestly the best phone camera out there in my opinion, let’s see how this 8 MP camera with stabilization will be different.

Technical Specifications:

  • Screen 4.95” 1920×1080 display (445 ppi), Full HD IPS, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Camera 8MP rear facing with Optical Image Stabilization
  • Battery 2300 mAh & Wireless Charging
  • Builtin speaker, 3.5mm stereo audio connector
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800, 2.26GHz, GPU: Adreno 330, 450MHz
  • Dualband WiFi (2.4G/5G) 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC (Android Beam), Bluetooth 4.0
  • 16GB or 32GB internal storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • microUSB, SlimPort enabled, 3.5mm stereo audio jack, Dual microphones, Ceramic power and volume buttons
  • GPS, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Compass, Proximity/Ambient Light, Pressure

Networks (North America)

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
  • WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
  • LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41

Networks (Rest of World)

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8
  • LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20

The main issue of the phone is that there are two models that work on the LTE/4G networks the D820 & D821 and the one I am picking up is the US Version which will work fine for now just to test out KitKat which is Android 4.4. I am annoyed that they can’t fit all the frequencies onto one single chip but this has been the case with most technologies initially and the same case with 3G connectivity. As for the screen it is a 1080p 5 inch cornered Gorilla Glass which is going to be interesting to see. The D820 works in the US across all their networks, and the D821 is for the rest of the world, and it will probably be on sale in the UK soon enough. The device seems interesting at $400, and compared to other phones its on the cheaper side, I’m looking forward to tinkering with this device.

4G Coverage – GCC

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Kuwait is one of the first conutries to roll out full 4G coverage, and we are tough customers, I honestly was very critical and abusing it when possible and it has survived my torment and still it is doing well.

4G in the GCC & UK are the same and I’m assuming the Europe would be the same as UK in regards to 4G specifications. But the coverage across Europe is spotty at best. I was in Germany and drove a good amount outside and inside of Frankfurt to see how it works, then there was Amsterdam which we extensively used their network. The connections weren’t that great, and sometimes very disappointing, surprisingly Amsterdam was much better then Frankfurt in terms of coverage.

4G Coverage in Kuwait is fantastic in comparison to Europe, it seems that Europe has fallen back in comparison to us. Our terrestrial data speeds are a disappointment in Kuwait and improvement does’t look like it will happen any time soon, they have been talking about Fiber for the good part of a decade now. But due to this lack of development the wireless data providers have stepped in and so 4G such as Zain, Viva, and Soon to be Wataniya are providing for what the customers are asking for.

Kuwait is even better then the UAE in this aspect, Etisalat has coverage but the speeds are honestly crap and even much worse when you head out of Dubai with little to no coverage, and Du is worse then Etisalat in this regard. It seems that we are more then a step ahead of Europe and Kuwait is leading the pack in GCC. And I have yet to see someone in the GCC to match our coverage and overall speeds, we are spoiled and I honestly hope we have more developments in regards to wireless & LTE internet.

Link: Flickr

Vodafone UK – 4G

Vodafone

All the Providers are talking about their 4G Coverage in London. Of course the 4G Services is only available to Contract numbers, not Pay As You Go or Top Up lines. In my case I have a contract line and upgraded to 4G contectivity with a max of 8GB per month for 36 GB per month, you can change from month to month, but only stay on 4G.

I was happy and thought I would get the same service as I do in Kuwait. At full signal I was getting 50+ MB/s which was impressive. Out of all the companies – EE, Orange, O2, Vodafone, & 3 – I read that Vodafone has the best 4G coverage in London as well as the fastest.

It seems their definition of coverage is similar to swiss cheese, lots of holes in the network. 4G was fine as long as I had 4G coverage, spotty would be putting it nicely. The coverage in London’s main metropolitan area is a disaster. Every building I go into, there is almost little to no coverage, and even when we are outisde it is max one or two bars. Rarely do I see full bars, I don’t know how they planned their coverage but Vodafone falls far behind Zain or any of our Mobile Companies in Kuwait. Zain has spoilt us, our expectations are too high.

iPad Air & iPad Mini 2

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After so many years Apple has finally upgraded the memory on the iPads, they finally got to 128 GB and with that I will be upgrading my 3 year old iPad 2 which I still love to use and abuse. Now with the latest update from Cupertino a lot of people wanted more like the iWatch or the Apple TV Major update, but it looks like that will be at a later stage, but for me the iPads were the winner and the iPad Mini 2 was the best of the bunch, yes now I have a reason to purchase one.

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Basic Breakdown iPad Air

  • Its Thinner
  • Only 1 lb – Very Light
  • Twice the Wifi – 2 Antennas that work smoothly together
  • A7 Chip 64 Bit – More Power Won’t Hang – Hopefully it will survive my abuse
  • New Design & iOS7 – I’m liking IOS 7 from my Update
  • Up to 128GB of Storage – At Last

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Basic Breakdown iPad Mini 2:

  • New Design
  • A bit heavier then the previous design due the new design
  • A7 Chip 64 Bit – A lot of power packed into a small Design
  • Retina Screen – 7.9inch Display – At Last, everything will look good on it
  • Up to 128 GB – Thank you
  • Twice the Wifi – 2 Antennas that work smoothly together

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I am personally going to be getting the iPad Mini 2 – 128 GB because I want the space and that beautiful screen with the powerful wifi. I don’t care for LTE because I have one of the first 3G versions that I never put a chip in and when I did it was annoying and preferred wifi. Also if you purhcase the iPad LTE the US like most of us will, the 4G won’t work in Kuwait so that would be pointless. Also for the price of the 4G units, they are not worth it at all, serisouly almost 1000 USD for the top end iPad Air, thats just ridiculous, but the iPad Mini 2 is an excellent buy.

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Pricing:

  • iPad Air Wifi/LTE
  • 16GB – 499/629 USD
  • 32GB – 599/729 USD
  • 64GB – 699/829 USD
  • 128GB – 799/899 USD
  • iPad Mini 2 Wifi/LTE
  • 16GB – 399/529 USD
  • 32GB – 499/629 USD
  • 64GB – 599/729 USD
  • 128GB – 699/829 USD

Pics From Venture Beat

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