Archive for Information

Google TechTalks

// November 25th, 2006 // 2 Comments » // tech

Google TechTalks are designed to disseminate a wide spectrum of views on topics including current affairs, science, medicine, engineering, business, humanities, law, entertainment, and the arts…

I liked this talk in particular, it was on July 26, 2006 by Luis von Ahn who is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. The talk is about “Human Computation“.

His research includes CAPTCHAs and Human-based computation. His work has appeared in over 100 news outlets including The New York Times, CNN, USA Today, The BBC, and The Discovery Channel.

Test the ESP Game he talks about in his talk.

update: Isn’t it weird and funny at the same time, that he drinks coke while he is answering questions (skip to 44:14). Isn’t it kind of rude?

Riyadh Traffic… Any Solutions?

// November 21st, 2006 // 8 Comments » // Information, me

Since I’ve been away from the university for a couple of months I never used the highway early in the morning (since I graduated last June). Now, that I have become a TA in the university I use the highway every morning. I forgot how crowded it could be. It took me about 30 minutes just to go between 2 exits (less than 5 kilometers).

If there is one thing that I hate it’s negativity, some people just like to talk about the negatives in everything they see for the sake of complaining. These people sometimes criticize a certain behavior or action, just to tell people indirectly that they don’t have these flaws and that they are simply perfect!! It’s easy to find flaws and complain about the bad job others are doing, but what we need are solutions and ways to solve these problems.

I thought I would write down a few suggestions that might solve this problem, and if you have any better idea just write them down as comments to this post.

– One thing you might notice when driving on the highway in the morning, is about 90% or more of the cars only have one person riding. Which means that almost all people go to work alone in their own cars. A few days ago I decided to count the number of sedans with 3 people, and I only found about 6 cars.

Imagine what it would be like if every car had 3 people riding instead of just one person. That would logically lead to a decrease in the number of cars on the highway by one third!! One of my classmates and best friends lived about 2 kilometers away from my house and my house was on his way to the university, and never thought of carpooling (i’m not saying that it’s a good thing).

So, carpooling frees the highways so you can get to work on time, and it saves you gas money since you don’t use your car everyday.

– One of the reasons why the traffic is so high in the morning, is that everyone uses their own car to get to work. Why do people use their own cars to get to work? well, because we don’t have public transportation. Yes, we don’t have trains and we don’t have buses that have an organized daily route.

Ok, now lets see. How many students go to King saud university? How many student go to Imam university? thats more than 30000 students!! Which means more than 20000 student use the own cars on highway to get their colleges everyday (assuming that some may carpool). So why not have official bus routes that can pass by every exit on the highway every 20 minutes?

So, using public transportation frees the highway, saves gas money, and makes transportation companies alot of profit!!

– When I used to be in the states, I remember that the number of lanes on each side of the road would change depending on what time of day it is. The would be a huge truck that would move the cement barriers between the 2 sides of the road to make the side entering washington with more lanes than the other side. And at 12:00 I guess the truck moves the barriers to make the side leaving washington with more lanes.

It makes me really angry to see one side of the road is full while the other side is virtually empty. I’m not saying make the entire highway with movable cement barriers. It’s enough to do it between exits that have very high traffic.

It’s cleave, easy to implement, and its helps solve the problem.

– They have done a very great job solving the traffic problems at exits 9, 10, 15, and 16. I just hope that they will find a solution to the traffic on the highway as soon as possible.

These were a few of the ideas I though of to solve the traffic problem. If you have any suggestion add comment…

H-Racer Video

// November 14th, 2006 // Comments Off // tech

I wrote a few months back about H-Racer, which is a hydrogen toy car. It basically uses hydrogen cells for fuel, it also comes with a hydrogen refueling station. Anyways, I saw this video of a guy testing it:

كتبت قبل عدة أشهر عن H-Racer و هي عبارة عن سيارة تستخدم خلايا الهيدروجين للوقود، كما أنها تأتي مع محطة هيدوجينية لعبئة السيارة بالوقود. و هذا مقطع لشخص يقوم بتجربة السيارة.

Coffee Art Video

// November 12th, 2006 // 3 Comments » // Information, me

When you mix two things you love, you might get something even better. I love art and I also love coffee. That’s why I think coffee art is so cool. I saw this video a few weeks ago and I really liked it. You’ll have to wait a bit for it to download, it’s about 10MB…

هذا مقطع فيديو جميل جدا للرسم على القهوة، قد تطول فترة التحميل لأن حجم الملف 10 ميغابايت

welcome to

// November 6th, 2006 // 2 Comments » // me, website

I’ve just finished moving my blog to this subdomain. Some of my friends have had a tough time memorizing the URL of this blog, so I thought I would move it to this subdomain because it makes more sense. I’ll try to change the theme pretty soon in sha allah…

PS Don’t forget to replace your bookmark and RSS feed …

Firefox 2.0 Relive the experience

// October 29th, 2006 // 1 Comment » // tech

Remember the first time you used Firefox? After years of having to deal with multi-windows. Now you can relive the experience by upgrading to Firefox 2.0.

After only 24 hours after Mozilla released Firefox 2.0 nearly 2 million downloads have been made. Which means about 23 downloads per second!! On the other hand Internet Explorer 7 was downloaded nearly 500 thousand times during the first 24 hours after Microsoft released it…
read more

Here are some of the new features of Firefox 2.0:
– I thought that tab browsing couldn’t get any better, but I was wrong. They added a few more features to it. One of the problems I had with the “old” Firefox was that whenever I filled my window with tabs I would have to open a new window to take more tabs. In the new version they added a button that allows you to see all see all the tabs you have open, even if the window can’t take them!

– Another cool feature they added is a spell checker better than any Firefox extension I’ve seen in the past (I’ve only tried a few). The new spell checker automatically underlines misspelled words as you type them in text areas.

There are a few other features, but these are the ones I liked most…

Nokia Aeon Concept

// October 11th, 2006 // Comments Off // tech

Nokia’s Research and development team published these images of their “Aeon” concept phone. The best design feature of aeon is a touchscreen that stretches over the full surface area of the phone. Do you think this concept will see the market anytime soon?

nokia’s R&D


// October 9th, 2006 // Comments Off // tech

I was talking today with one of my friends about Heliodisplay. So, I promised him I would write a post about them. A few years ago Heliodisplay seemed like a dream or somthing you would only see in a fictional movie, but today Heliodisplay is a reality…

“The Heliodisplay is an interactive planar display. Though the image it projects appears much like a hologram, its inventors claim that it doesn’t use holographic technology, though it does use rear projection (not lasers as originally reported) to project its image. It does not require any screen or substrate other than air to project its image, but it does eject a water based vapour curtain for the image to be projected upon. The curtain is produced using similar ultrasonic technology as used in foggers and comprises a number of columns of fog. This curtain is sandwiched between curtains of clean air to create an acceptable screen.

According to the inventor it moves through a dozen metal plates and then comes out again. (The exact details of its workings are unknown, pending patent applications.)

It works as a kind of floating touchscreen, making it possible to manipulate images projected in air with your fingers, and can be connected to a computer using a standard VGA connection. It can also connect with a TV or DVD by a standard RGB video cable. Though due to the turbulent nature of the curtain, not currently suitable as a workstation.

The Heliodisplay is an invention by Chad Dyner, who built it as a 5-inch prototype in his apartment before founding IO2 technologies to further develop the product.”
via [wikipedia]

Here is a video clip of the Heliodisplay in action (I like the part were the guy the watch with his fingers):

IO2 began Heliodisplay production about a year ago. I sent the company an email asking for Heliodisplay prices and this was their response:

Are prices are as follows, in USD:

Quantity Heliodisplay M2
1 $18,100
2 $29,000
3 $37,800

Quantity Heliodisplay M2i
1 $19,400
2 $31,600
3 $41,200

Head On

// October 8th, 2006 // Comments Off // Information

Head On‘ by Cai Guo-Qiang at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. The installation consists of 99 life-sized wolves, fabricated from painted sheepskins and stuffed with hay and metal wires, barreling in a continous stream towards – and into – a glass wall. Only the first ones crash into it, but the pack chases after the leader.

via [we make money not art]

Coffee Art

// October 4th, 2006 // Comments Off // Information

This painting was literally painted with coffee!! The painter is Andrew Saur, and you can buy the original for 400 USD at just coffee art

For more coffee paintings click here