Razan Khatib's commentary on life on/off the web

Archive for September, 2008

Ramadan mayhem 3

I have been following closely the dialog about the sudden and seemingly unlawful closure of establishments like Books@Cafe in Amman the past couple of weeks.

The best place to follow this conversation is Madian’s article at 7iber.com Closing of Books@Cafe

My first reaction was utter anger mixed with despair and reminder of why I am in so much conflict with the place I live in. Today, only the anger subsided. A very complex issue this has become, and my discomfort of these events comes from different angles.

Simply put, I am not for systems where majority rules and minorities get oppressed as a result. I am not for systems that allow individuals to act outside the law. And I am defiantly not for systems that are confused to the level that they have to decide who to please and who not to please at any given point.

Celebrating Ramadan should not mean squashing all “those” who choose not to fast. Let tolerance rule and everything else will follow suite.

My colleague Ibrahim made a documentary about this dialog and did a great job including a good spectrum of opinions on the subject, yes I was one of the interviewees.

To my surprise later, I was the only Jordanian woman who accepted to participate. Astonishing, really, again women for all the reasons there is for them to participate more in the life in Jordan they choose not to in this one.


(Embedding videos from IKBIS doesn’t work on my wordpress.com based blog!!!)

Where to go if you wanted "Touch"? 2

I’ve spent over a week now researching to decide which is my future (2 year life span) mobile, and I’d like to share this with you!

So main features I can’t let go of any are:

1. Finger-friendly touch screen technology

2. Excellent Internet browsing ability.

3. Productivity software (Word, Spreadsheets, Calendar, Tasks, pdf…etc) with the ability to synchronize with Outlook both ways.

4. Over 3 MP Camera with flash, that shoots pictures and video

5. Media Player (Video and Music)

6. Copy and paste (yes you need it when you want to copy someones number and send it to someone else via SMS)

7. Ability to install more applications.

8. Physical keyboard.

9. Built-in G-sensor

My wishlist was:

1. Lighter weight than my current HUGE i-mate K-JAM

2. Over 2.8-inch screen size.

3. 3G

So, I first wanted of course to buy an iPhone, well aside from its excllent software user interface it failed items 3, 4, 6 and 8. Too much to accept just to get a great user interface.

Next, I checked HTC, and fell in love with HTC Touch Pro it matched my 9 items plus one on my wish list, brilliant design, great TouchFlo 3D interface built on top of Windows Mobole 6.1 (ok they try to imitate Apple, but who isn’t?) yet from reviews its G-Sensor doesn’t work on all interfaces in the phone. Weird!

But then the heavy weight kicked in, do I want another huge mobile phone?? So I checked HTC Touch Diamond, it had the 8 items on must-have list plus 3G and lighter weight on the wish list (No flash light with the camera), yet it had some not-so-good reviews especially for a bugy and slow TouchFlo 3D interface that HTC managed to tweak with the Touch Pro.

Next I decided to check other touch phones out there, and Samsung OMNIA and Sony Ericsson XPERIA came up:

The OMNIA, has a 5 MP camera with flash, lighter weight, a 3.2-inch screen but with no physical keyboard. I think it competes very well with the HTC Diamond, yet HTC’s proprietary touch interface TocuhFlow 3D is much neater.

The XPERIA on the other hand, was a bit less heavy than the Touch Pro (145 g instead of 165 g), has a nice sleek arc slider design for the physical keyboard, with a 3-inch screen. I just didn’t like its exterior design, those x’s everywhere.

My search then was concluded, didn’t check anybody else but Nokia, who depressingly  don’t have a touch phone to-date!

I think I am going to go with HTC, I love the brand and I like their design, they still have a way to go to mach the iPhone interface (physical and touch technology) but I believe they are on the right track, especially that Google’s open source operating system Android is going be first implemented on an HTC Dream with T-Mobile in the US.


1. Nokia, where the hell is your touch phone??? its 2008! and I’ve been using touch technology for the past 3 years!!!

2. All mobile makers everywhere, people who are looking for business productivity like nice design too, like to take good quality pictures and video too.

3. This comparison didn’t include price.

What happens if you type "google" into Google? 0

Hilarious! for the love of IT managers out there! (thanks Yasmeen for the link!)

Warning: video ID not specified!

Yammer: Twitter for business 0

Yammer.com a company which has just launched at TechCrunch50,  offers a service similar to twitter but aimed for business answering the basic question of “What are you working on?”

You can use your work email and invite other colleagues who have the same company domain to yammer together.

I think this is an excellent idea and I think it will be a huge success because it might be much more useful than twitter, people knowing what others are working on in the same company is very useful. Yes, I am more for “serious” apps! It will be great if in the future, Yammer can allow companies to befriend each other as well so you yammer with other teams you work with.

You're No One If You're Not On Twitter! 0

A hilarious song by Ben Walker about the evolution of the web up until Twitter!

check it out at: http://5090.fawm.org/songs.php?id=2303

(Click play on the player on top of the page!)


You’re no one if you’re not on Twitter
And if you aren’t there already you’ve missed it
If you haven’t been bookmarked, retweeted and blogged
You might as well not have existed

In the old days it was all about achievements
Collecting all your trophies in a shrine
Then everybody came across the internet
And suddenly you had to be online

A home page was all you really needed
To seem like a success but not a geek
As long as you updated semi-annually
And checked your email once or twice a week

You’re no one if you’re not on Twitter…

Technology was moving rather quickly
And the next thing you needed was a blog
With intimate and detailed press releases
And now and then a photo of your dog

More recently the students brought us Facebook
And everybody has a hundred friends
The parties in the photos look amazing
They’re not so great but everyone pretends

You’re no one if you’re not on Twitter…

Now you need to publish every movement
And every single thought to cross your mind
I’m told the Twitterverse is full of rubbish
But most of us are actually quite refined

We validate each other’s insecurities
And brag about the gadgets that we’ve bought
We laugh out loud at every hint of jolliness
And try to self-promote without being caught

You’re no one if you’re not on Twitter…

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