Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Makes a Desktop looks good

In this post I will explain what, in my opinion, makes a desktop productive and good looking.

    Space and arrangement
    Easy Access to current working windows
    Easy Access to Computer Status
    Good looking Wallpaper that makes the window focus better

This is an important thing to a desktop. People with a desktop full of thousand of icons always gets messed up, and they are "supposed" to simplify existence when in fact it's not at all. People should reconsider all that mess wandering on their desktop, clean what is not important, put everything related into a specific folder ( let's say all videos in a folder, all work related file inside another folder ) and then put all those folders into one main Folder inside your home/document directory. Now there's nothing left on your desktop other than the "must have".
It's always a good idea put your important data into a separate drive or partition or your disk in case of crash, so in our case you can simply move "The big Folder" into this exact drive/partition.
Note, that you can also reconsider your Window Manager/Desktop Environment.
It's really annoying to always have to move around a lot to access your working windows. I don't really know how to explain that but everybody have a way to switch from one window to another. Some likes key-binding some likes to click a bar, some likes to have a dock. Choose your own favorite way and get used to it because your working flow depends on it.
You should always have control over your machine no matter what and there's a lot of program that can simplify the management. For example you can use conky, a lightweight system monitor that can display everything that can be displayed in a terminal (for *nix os only). The equivalent on windows is called rainmeter, however it's a little more poewr consuming . With conky and some little scripting you can easily get to see what you want, example: time, battery status,cpu,ram,network, hdd,processes , weather, a todo list, emails(Hotmail) and  packages upgrade.
This one is a matter of taste. (or maybe not)
Wallpapers from digitalblasphemy.com are original and full of color.
wallbase.cc have some awesome minimalism wallpaper of great quality.
subtlepatterns.com have the best tiling wallpapers ever.
Tiling wallpapers are good for your workflow because they make you focus more on the window you are working on. (add a little depth)

This conclude this post.
Thank you for reading.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pollution is destroying our Planet

Humans are killing themselves and their own planet because of pollution. Pollution is a big problem nowadays; it is the cause of human negligence to the environment. According to experts, pollution is a major problem which should be dealt with as soon as possible or the consequences could be disastrous. In Lebanon, the least ecological country, pollution is a grave problem. It has effect on the environment, the ecosystem (fauna and flora) and on human health.

  One of the effects of pollution is on the environment. Because of pollution, the air that we breathe contains more deadly particle than clean air. For example, because of cars, there is more Nitrogen and Carbone in the air than there should be. Also, water is not clean. Due to industrial plants scattered around the Lebanese coast, the water quality is degrading. Studies have shown recently a high concentration of oil in the sea in Lebanon. The water in the rivers is also heavily polluted and needs a lot of treatment to be drinkable which ruins the quality. Finally pollution affects the Lebanese soil. Polluted soil directly affects human health through direct contact with soil or via inhalation of soil contaminants which have vaporized.

  Another effect of the pollution is on the ecosystem (fauna and flora). Trees are growing sick because the earth they grow in the polluted and the water they drink is not clean. Forests are dying because of pollution. Chemicals infiltrate the soil which can change the mineralogy of the earth. These changes can manifest in the alteration of metabolism of endemic microorganisms and arthropods resident in a given soil environment. The result can be virtual eradication of some of the primary food chain, which in turn could have major consequences for predator or consumer species. Even if the chemical effect on lower life forms is small, the lower pyramid levels of the food chain may ingest alien chemicals, which normally become more concentrated for each consuming rung of the food chain. This will affect animals on the ground as well as fish in the sea; eradication of complete species. Pollution affects everything on earth.

Ultimately, pollution has an impact on human health. Degradation of the quality of the air we breathe causes lung cancer. Doctors in Lebanon have noticed that the people in zouk living near the power plant have higher probability of developing lung cancer than people in Metn. Because humans are at the top of the food chain, they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of non-degradable pollutants. This was clearly illustrated in the 1950s and 1960s when residents living near Minamata Bay, Japan, developed nervous disorders, tremors, and paralysis in a mysterious epidemic. More than 400 people died before authorities discovered that a local industry had released mercury into Minamata Bay. This highly toxic element accumulated in the bodies of local fish and eventually in the bodies of people who consumed the fish. Finally Pollution destroys the ozone layer in the atmosphere thus making it easier for UV to reach the ground which will increase the probability of developing skin cancer.

Without a doubt, pollution is killing everything around. It has effect on the environment, the ecosystem and the human health. To conclude, society should go green and stop polluting in order to stop this ecological genocide.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Facebook: The hidden truth

Facebook recently hit the billion, since 2010 when it had "only" 600 million of people privacy has changed a lot on Zuckerberg's site. Here are some 100% real facts that Facebook is hiding from you!

That's it. Hope I covered everything. If you have a question leave comment below and I will answer!
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Copyright: Stallman

Monday, October 22, 2012

Test: iPhone 5

After a month of reading, searching and testing here are my impressions on the new iPhone 5; claimed to be the "best iPhone ever made" by Apple (I will try to be as objective as possible)

Reminder of it's specs:

  • Apple iOS 6
  • 4" screen with a 1136×640 resolution
  • Screen format 16/9, contrast rate of 800:1
  • Dual Core A6 processor (1Ghz they say)
  • 16, 32 or 64 internal Memory (Still no SD card)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8MPx front camera with flash and the panorama function
  • 1080p video recording
  • 1.2MPx front camera with 720p video recording
  • EarPods
  • Accelerometer+Gyro
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Wif b/g/n dual band
  • 4G LTE for the united states
  • HSPA+ for the other countries
  • Weight 112g
Note: Siri has more functions, we regret the absence of NFC, direct Wifi and USB 3.0

An image is worth a thousand word so here's an image than should make it clear

It is a nice design, very comfortable in hand, it is different from the plastic of the SGS 3 or the hTC One X (you are paying more than 700$ so it is normal)
The screen is 0.5" bigger, merely unnoticeable. While holding it in hand you won't be able to make the difference between it and the 4S. 
It is very light so you are afraid of making it fall 

An image of the new outlet called Lightning
Note that it has a special device that recognize if the cable is an official one or not. 
The screen color are just as they should be, not over colored like an AMOLED screen (though I like it)

Sound? Just 2 speakers like the 4S with a better sound quality. 
The earpods are better than what Apple used to give us for years, more bass but not worth 30$.
The "semi-intra" design of the EarPods is comfortable but will hurt you on the long term (I didn't like them much)
Battery? Just like the 4S, can't last a day. If you use it heavily (video, internet, browsing) it will run dry at approximately 6PM.

It is a good phone, but deceiving because it could have been a way better phone. The iPhone 5 is what the 4S should have been. For Mr Everybody this is the perfect phone, but for Geeks you will find what makes you happy with the some more customizable phone like on Android.

Awaiting the new Nexus to come and the New Nokia Lumia.
Stay tuned and subscribe!

Living in Lebanon or Abroad?

Lots of people quit Lebanon. Since the end of the civil war, the immigration number just kept rising until now without stopping. Some people were cursing life abroad while others were praising it. There are three major differences between living in Lebanon and living abroad on the economical level, social level and the political level.

One of the differences between life in Lebanon and life abroad resides in the economy.  When talking economy we can state for example Jobs. There are fewer jobs in Lebanon than there is for example in the USA. Studies have shown the jobs opportunity is one of the main reasons that drive people out of Lebanon. Another economical difference is the salary. The minimum wage in Lebanon is approximately 700$, while in France, for example, it is 1500$; more than the double! This will attract people who want a better salary and a better life quality. The final economical difference between life in Lebanon and life abroad is the cost of life. In Lebanon food product are very cheap compared to what we may find abroad. However technological items are still considered luxury items in Lebanon while abroad they are everyday life items; thus cheaper.

Another difference between life in Lebanon and life abroad is on the social level. Social implies relations. For example, family relations in Lebanon are still strong; children always care about their parents and grandparents. The same works the other way, parents always look after their children even though they are grown up. However, abroad, these relations tend to disappear. Children don’t know who their grandparents are; parents “kick” their children out of home when they turn 18… Also there is other people’s attitude. Lebanese tend to be heartwarming, welcoming and always seem happy. There is always someone asking about you. On the other hand, people abroad are very cold; they don’t look or care about the other and tend to forget about their own friends as time passes. Finally, we can talk about health care. Health care system is weak, messy, disorganized, chaotic and not even free. On the contrary, in most countries abroad it is well organized, efficient and free. Everybody needs to have health care; the fact that not all of the Lebanese people can afford it is what is what is driving some out of the country.

The final difference between Lebanon and abroad is the politic. Lebanon is known to be politically unstable ever since the civil war, and the situation hasn't changed until now. This is due to massive corruption of the heads of the state. Meanwhile, most countries abroad are politically stable with a very low corruption rate. Politics also could be about military. The Lebanese army is weak. In fact it is so weak that people often have their own weapons and makes their own justice, some people also hide behind their sectarian party just in order to have some kind of protection. Also in Lebanon we notice the presence of heavy armed militia, stronger than the army. Meanwhile abroad, the army is the defender of the justice and the republic. No one can overthrow it nor even lift a single finger on it because they are strong, heavily armed and some even have a nuclear arsenal. Finally politics is about respecting the human rights. In Lebanon human rights are constantly violated. It could be by people as well as politicians who are supposed to be the one to defend it.  For example when using public transports, lots of people smoke inside the bus preventing other people to have the right to breath fresh air. Even though this is the situation in Lebanon, abroad it’s a different story. People stand for their rights, they overthrow their government if they feel like it is going astray, or taking away some of their rights. People abroad respect the law because they know the true meaning of human rights. “Your freedom ends where the other’s freedom begins”, this is a saying that people believe in and always respect.

It is up to each person’s way of life and his vision of reality to judge living where suits him the most. Living in Lebanon and abroad is different on 3 levels: Economical, social and political level.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Steps to quit smoking

Hello all! Long time since I last posted something! So here I am! Back!

My first article since months is going to be about a very sensitive subject: Smoking!
After some research here are the steps to do so... Read carefully and enjoy!

Want to die? Quit reading. Want to live? Then continue reading. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 26.2 million men and 20.9 million women in the United States are smokers. Smoking is well known for its damaging effects to the lungs, skin, heart and brain. The steps to quite are setting a program, joining a support team and for extreme cases Medical therapy

The first step to quit smoking is setting a program. There are many ways to do this, for example one can each month smoke one cigarette less than the last month. This is a long and smooth transition to quit smoking and to feel less frustrated by the desire to smoke. Another way of setting a program is to do activities with family and friends that will keep your mind away from cigarette. Indeed the less you think about cigarette, the less the desire to smoke one will cross your mind. Plus family will always be there to help you because they care about your health. Including family in your program is a big plus in order to stop smoking the death stick. And finally you should include major dietary adjustments. Cleaning up the diet can be a helpful tactic. Often times, smoking is done in conjunction with the consumption of fatty foods and alcohol. Replacing these foods with more nutrient-dense options like fruits and vegetables will help avert you away from smoking.
The next step is to join a support team. When joining a support team you can have access to precious advices from ex-smokers, they will tell you that it is a difficult and long way but they are the proof that it is still possible thus giving you some hope. Also in support team you are in company of people who are in phase of quitting. So that you will know that you are not the only one trying to escape from the evil grip of the cigarette. This is more a psychological effect that helps you and your ego greatly, especially when you feel the urge to smoke. Finally if you are about to have a nervous breakdown and have a cigarette you can always ask someone to take cigarettes away from you so that you won’t be able to give in to temptation.
The final step is a Medical therapy; and it is used for heavy smokers. It could be Acupuncture. In fact acupuncture is one of the oldest known medical techniques, and it is believed to work by triggering the release of endorphins (natural pain relievers) that allow the body to relax. As a smoking cessation aid, acupuncture can be helpful in managing smoking withdrawal symptoms. Another aspect of medical therapy is Nicotine Replacement therapy. This involves "replacing" cigarettes with other nicotine substitutes, such as nicotine gum or a nicotine patch. It works by delivering small and steady doses of nicotine into the body to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms without the tars and poisonous gases found in cigarettes. This type of treatment helps smokers focus on breaking their psychological addiction and makes it easier to concentrate on learning new behaviors and coping skills. Finally the medical therapy could be a Non-nicotine Medication. This therapy consist of using (absorbing) a substance that will fool your nervous system. There are 2 substances recommended by Doctors. One is called bupropion, it has an effect on the nicotine receptors in your brain through a chemical associated with the pleasure of smoking cigarettes. The other is called varenicline, this medication acts like nicotine and fools the receptors in the brain into believing they’ve already had their dose of nicotine.

Smoking is bad for your health as it takes away years from your lifespan, one should quit smoking by setting a program, joining a support team or by using a medical therapy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Internet Blackout

From Wednesday 4th July to Friday 6th July Lebanon witnessed an internet blackout on national scale.
This was due mainly to a cut on the submarine cable IMEWE near Egypt that mainly affected all the country that take from the IMEWE but not as much as Lebanon.
Why will you ask? Because Lebanon's internet capacity is 21Gbps, 19Gbps from the IMEWE cable!
Cyprus gently granted us 10Gbps for free for 2 weeks. (Minister of Telecom)

Now back on how the end users were affected, on wednesday from 4pm til 10-11pm ALL the ISP's were out. There was not a single data circulating! When the internet came back, it was slower that dial up... not a single page was opening normally. Google took 3 minutes to open.
On Thursday, the internet was partially back but was very slow. On Friday same thing (I had to use my 3G connection); but on Friday night (when cyprus gave us these 10Gbps) the internet came back to normal.

And finally I would like to thank the Minister for all his effort to get back the Internet to Lebanon!
That's it for today, I'll update you when something new come out!
Stay Tuned and don't forget to subscribe