Paul Walker – RIP

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Paul Walker or Brian O’Conner as we have known him over the past decade has passed away in a car accident. This is all over the news this morning since his film crew posted the news on twitter with all the major news agencies following up. He was a passenger in a Porsche GT with his friend driving and they were leaving from a Charity that PW was attending to raise money for the Philippines Typhoon Tragedy. At 40 years old we all know him from the Fast & The Furious Franchise that every car enthusiast loves and especially me, that was probably one of the movies that I really loved and especially the craziness that took place after the movie in the parking lots.

PW looked like himself as Brian O’Conner in the movie and honestly I loved that they kept making more of them and the last few just kept getting better, guaranteeing them to make 7 & 8. It is very sad for his family and friends, and personally I always got this vibe that is a good guy and easy going, it is a tragic accident.

You can read more about the details of the crash and what eye witnesses said from the NY Post Website

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Electronics Ban on Planes to be Lifted By FAA

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I have been on a few airlines that didn’t care if you had your iPad out reading magazines or watching shows, or watching movies or your laptop. But a majority of airlines prefer you not to use your electronics or your mobile phones during take-off and landing due to it “interfering” with the plane, I never knew an iPod can mess with a plane.

This was due to the original rule from the FAA in the US and everyone followed suit, but thankfully after such a long time they have come to their senses and realized that phones can not bring down an Airbus or Boeing because a guy is looking for a phone signal to send off his last email. Lets see how soon airlines adopt this new line of thought.

Link: Wired

Batman & Superman – Ben Afleck.. Really?

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Batman under Christoper Nolan & Christian Bale became an epic story of Batman, the true Dark Knight. It reached beyond the comic fans and across the globe, there is no one that didn’t love Batman over the past 8 years. Zach Snyder’s Superman was also a deep Superman movie, and I really like how he was portrayed in it by Henry Cavill. So the up coming mash up of Batman & Superman was extremely exciting news, and I was hoping Christian Bale would reprise his role as Batman, as I can’t picture anyone else doing it.

Now the shocking news that Ben Afleck is going to be the next Batman is nothing short of revolting, I got a gag reflex when I heard it, on the verge of throwing up from my disgust of him. He is an actor of his own right but NOT a superhero, doesn’t anyone remember Daredevil? I love comic movies and this I tried to love but to no avail, I was just utterly disappointed by it. I just really hope most of us comic fans are proved wrong and Ben Afleck does right by The Dark Knight.

Link:TheVerge

Apple vs. Samsung – Battle Of The Giants

The Verdict is out and Samsung took a major hit, for $1Billion and that could triple in Damages. The verdict didn’t take too long at all, the lawyers have been bickering for months on every little detail but Apple pulled the final punches and sealed the deal for Samsung. Lets not kid ourselves Samsung did copy a bit, but not so much that they would damage iPhone’s profit, and I think they should have paid some licensing fees, but $1Billion is a bit over the top in this case. But in reality Samsung has been the only major competitor against Apple and they have improved because of that, they may have copied a few designs initially but Samsung has developed its own line which has taken off and they are still a major contender in the market.

Apple is even looking to ban the sale of several of Samsung’s products in the US, The Verge.

This will have a bit of a slow down for some companies since a lot of companies (HTC, Google, Motorola, LG, …) are in court battles with Apple over different and similar patent issues. Some cases they will win and some they will lose, but I still think that Apple does see Android as a threat but they are more then confident of their product and I can’t blame them. Still I think that Android has reached a point where it is on par with Apple even with its defects, and Apple does have its own issues, but lets see where this verdict will take us next.

But you can’t get to the long run without paying attention to the short run. Samsung’s decision to ape Apple wasn’t the most graceful strategy in tech history. But faced with an emergency—a “crisis of design”—copying was the best Samsung could do. And it paid off handsomely.

This article in Pandodaily puts things in perspective, at how things developed in the telecom industry and how the major providers have changed drastically since 2007 and what might take place in the near future. Everyone remembers the battle between Nokia & Sony-Ericsson for supremacy, and those days have gone by so quickly, with different players at the table and Apple at the head.

Group On – Behind The Curtains

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Group On has been talked about for the last two years, the next big thing in the web, the ones who refused Google, the ones who are going to take to the next level. I didn’t get how exactly they were making money or what they were doing, and then they got a lot of negative press, they lost their top management within months and the CEO and Chairman were till their messing about. From the hype of being of an untouchable company turning down a Google buyout of $6 Billion and then falling from grace with the expectations for its market cap had fallen from $30 billion to closer to $10 billion. There is big story behind the scenes, check out the story from Gawker from the link below.

Link: Gawker

Top 10 Richest Politicians Of The World In 2011

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Now this is a very interersting list of politicians, a few numbers seem off because they don’t really make a lot of sense but they might only be off by a few billion. Some of them say they are verified by Forbes but I don’t have a clue how Forbes would even be able to verify some of them as they have assets unknown to people.

  • 10 Silvio Berlusconi – The Prime Minister Of Italy – $9 Billion
  • 9 Hans-Adam II, The Prince of Liechtenstein $7.6 billion
  • 8 Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the current President of the United Arab Emirates $18 billion
  • 7 Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born, Indian President of the Indian National Congress $19 billion
  • 6 Hassanal Bolkiah, Sutan of Brunei $20 billion
  • 5 King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz $21 billion
  • 4 Bhumiboi Adulyadej, Monarch-King of Thailand $35 billion
  • 3 Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin $40 billion
  • 2 Hosni Mubarak, the former President of Egypt $70 billion
  • 1 Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates $80 Billion

Link: LuxuryLaunches

Waleed Bin Talal & His Entourage

Saudi princes do travel with very large entourages and I always think that Waleed Bin Talal is a bit on the more sensible side. It seems being at the top of the business ladder in the middle east he needs quite of people to keep his affairs in order.

The rich have their way of living and in order to look so prim and proper at all times, anywhere they are found, requires utmost maintenance. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud is no exception and has announced, as means of proof against some harsh accusations, his 26-member entourage. And they are – a private physician, assistant manager of his palaces, private assistant, executive assistant, personal affairs manager, two personal affairs assistants, manager of protocol department, manager travel and external affairs, assistant manager telecommunications, private affairs for the Princess, her beautician, athletic trainer, two private security details, assistant head of the Audio Visual Department, the Prince’s personal hairdresser and two guys listed as “companions”.

Link: LuxuryLaunches

The Patent Cold War

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Companies are suing each other left right and center, all I know is that I don’t want my product not to be available because of these crazy patent wars, everyone is suing everyone, but this is an excellent visual map of the Patent Cold War by Reuters. Apple is shooting in every direction possible, lets see how this all works out.

Link: Gizmodo

The World Islands

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There has been a lot of discussion about the world islands and other projects in Dubai. Nakheel is in charge of this project and several others, and many of them have been put on hold. Dubai has done an amazing job of completing these over the top projects which have put it on the map and created a huge tourism industry. Due to over leveraging and banks no longer extending loans Nakheel has had to prioritize projects over others, and there has been a lot of rumors over The World Islands. The Palm in my opinion is a very successful project and a testament to their amazing projects. Too bad the Islands didn’t work out the way they expected but overall I still think Dubai has taken the right road to build up its city and industry. The crash it suffered was a set back but it can only go up from here. I’m looking forward to seeing what other projects they have ahead of them.

Link: Luxist

Photography Ban In Kuwait – False

Now this is an interesting development, it seems that the article published by the Kuwait times was a mistake. I previously posted about the article about a week ago, and I was infuriated, I couldn’t believe that could be enforced or let alone happen in Kuwait. Well I am thankful that it was a mistake based on Kuwait Times’ retraction below and I hope a law such as this is never even considered. Check out the article in the ArabTimes talking specifically about Photography and our Civil Liberties. Link: ArabTimes

On Saturday, November 20, 2010 the Kuwait Times published an article titled ‘Multi ministry camera ban frustrates artists’ in which incorrect information was provided. The newspaper regrets failing to verify the information. The article wrongly stated that a ban on DSLR cameras was implemented by the Ministries of Information, Social Affairs and Finance. This information is false. In a follow up investigation, it was proved that no such ban has been issued. We regret this error and deeply apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Thank you Moayad