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Blog Upgrade

January 28, 2007 on 4:29 pm | In Announcements | No Comments

After delaying this for more months than I care to count, today I finally upgraded my blog’s WordPress Installation. Now I am running the latest WordPress 2.1, up from 1.5.2. Some changes under the skin include moving from Anders Holte Nielsen’s Counterize Plugin to Steffen Forkmann’s Counterize II for statistics, and installing Akismet for comment spam filtering.

Proxy upgrade

January 22, 2007 on 9:32 pm | In Technology | No Comments

Last Friday, whiteFyre released the long awaited version 0.5 for his PHProxy script. As I noted in a previous post, I spent some time over the weekend adding logging and filtering capabilities to the new release. Today, after re-styling whiteFyre’s script and adding the code for Google’s AdSense, the new version is available at the same old home for my proxy at http://proxy.iraqigeek.com.

As usual, I will not hesitate to ban any users who try to surf pornographic or gambling websites. So remember: If you abuse it, you loose it!

Modded PHProxy 0.5b2

January 21, 2007 on 1:16 pm | In Linux, Miscellaneous, Technology | No Comments

Ok, after about a year and a half of waiting, whiteFyre finally released a much awaited update to his popular PHProxy script. It was more like a major rewrite than an upgrade, but it fixed quite a few issues that PHProxy 0.4 suffered from.

However, the new version still lacked descent filtering capabilities, and had no logging capabilities, which is vital to catch offending users and keep the filtering capabilities up-to-date. So, I took it to myself to add those two functions during the past two days, though I’m not much of a PHP programmer.

Without further ado, here is my modified logging and filtering version of PHProxy.

iPhone: Another proprietary device from Apple

January 15, 2007 on 3:22 pm | In Technology | No Comments

Four days ago, I commented on the iPhone announcement and had some doubts about what Apple’s plans were about allowing third party developers to write applications for the iPhone.

Sure enough, it didn’t take long to answer that one. It looks like the iPhone will indeed be a closed environment. As iTWire reported yesterday quoting his Jobbiness from an article in The New York Times saying “We define everything that is on the phone,” and “That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn’t mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment.” Is there anything more they need to say?

Those statements are fundamentally fundamentally wrong. First, Mr. Jobs seems to think that developers aren’t capable, not on their own, to write good applications for the iPhone. Second, somehow he thinks he has the right to control what the users of the iPhone can and can’t run on their devices. And third, he seems to think those users aren’t smart enough to distinguish between good and crappy applications written for their devices.

In any case, Apple has no right to control what users can and can’t run on their devices. Once a user has paid for a device, any device, he/she owns this device and should be able to run anything they see fit on it, and it doesn’t matter if what the user wants to run happens to be a crappy application that will somehow ruin the device. Whether his Jobbiness likes it or not, people have the right to be stupid.

For me, this closed environment around the iPhone simply ruins the deal for me. When I buy an electronic device, I want to be able to run anything I see fit on it, without regard to how that may affect the operation of my device, cause its MY device.

Osteomoronosis

January 14, 2007 on 1:00 pm | In Miscellaneous | No Comments

The other evening, out of my frustration with most of the people who would go through heaps to reach a forum or chatroom only to ask some really stupid question, I wanted to come up with something that described their cases. After a few minutes, and a few Google queries, I found a new disease that fit the illness those people suffered from.

So, without further ado, I give the world:

Osteomoronosis: a chronic disease in which stupidity has deeply infiltrated the patient’s body down to the bone.

OR

Osteomoronosis: a chronic disease where the bone marrow of the patient degenerates into idiotic matter.

Patients suffering from this disease are susceptible to a high mortality rate due to the stupid actions they usually commit.

ما مرتاح

January 12, 2007 on 2:08 pm | In Technology | No Comments

I heard this poem sometime back in high school in an interview with the Iraqi folk poet Arian il-Sayed Khalaf on Iraqi TV. For some reason, it stuck in my mind. The other day, I googled those parts I remembered, and found the entire poem. Here it is:


ما مرتاح


ما مرتاح .. ما مرتاح .. مامرتاح
عيوني تستحي بس الدموع إوكاح

ما مرتـــــــــاح
منك.. مني .. من الجاي من الراح

ما مرتــــــــاح
عركه وي الزمن ورجعنه مكسورين
وبعيده المسافه وينـّسي اللي طاح…

ما مرتـــــــــــــاح
لأن شفت الشمس نزلت تبوس الكاع
وبكف الطفل تنلاح
ولأن قاضي البلابل مدد التوقيف
ومفتوحه السما
والفيل عنده جناح

ما مرتـــــــــــــــاح
لأن قفل المحبه إنباك
وترهّم عليه مفتاح

ما مرتــاح
متروك بجزيره وتهت بالليل
وإجو ربعي عليه بقافلة أشباح
وإنته إشبيك ؟؟؟
لمن دافعت عن نفسي صابك غيض
مو حتى الكًنافذ من تحس بالخوف
تستخدم جلدها سلاح!!!

ولا جن الفجر مثل الفجر محبوب
لون الفجر صاير يقبض الأرواح

ما مرتـاح
من ربعي ولا مرتاح
تمساح إبنهرهم صاحو من الخوف
وجازفت بحياتي من سمعت إصياح
صارعت المنيه وبيده هزني الموت
ومدمى إطلعت
صفكو للتمســــــــاح!!!

كل هذا وتريد أرتاح

ما مرتـــــــــــــــاح
ما مرتاح من ربعي ولا مرتاح
نادوونـي.. وركضت إبليــل
إيد الرسن بيها وإيد بيها سلاح
عثرت مهرتي … وربعي قبل ما طيــح
واحد كًال للثاني

أبشـــــرك طـــــاح
أبشـــــرك طـــــاح

“The new way forward”

January 11, 2007 on 2:25 pm | In Technology | 1 Comment

Was just watching the Rise-Gates-Pace press conference at the white house where the trio announced the details of the new US plan in Iraq for the next six months or so.

I know we heard that things were going to improve in Iraq for so many times over the past four years, and of course I could be totally wrong about this, but I think this is the first time that the US government and military has an actual plan on how to do things on the ground.

Sure, a lot will now reside on the shoulders of the Iraqi government, but as an Iraqi, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The Iraqi government needs to receive more responsibilities from the US. Iraqi politicians need to stand up to the promises they made to the people during the elections. Most notably, the government needs to gain control of the Iraqi security forces, which until now have been under direct US command.

If both the US army and the Iraqi government manage to at least secure Baghdad, it will be a HUGE step towards fixing the whole country. Having a secure capital is vital for having a secure central government, and lets not forget that Baghdad is home to over 20% of the country’s population.

Without securing Baghdad, there can never be a strong Iraq. Period.

Will 20,000 additional troops, on the back of the 141,000 troops already in Iraq be enough to fix the security situation there? or at least fix things in Baghdad? I don’t know. I guess we will have to wait, cross our fingers, and hope for the best.

iPhone Announcement

January 11, 2007 on 1:21 pm | In Technology | No Comments

First of all, I’m not a big fan of Apple. Nonetheless, I was quite impressed by their new iPhone. But despite its sleek, ultra cool looks, and the rather impressive spec sheet, there are still quite a few things that I want to know about this new cool toy before making my mind on whether I would want one.


iPhone

Sure, on the paper all looks good, but there still are some of the things I want to know about the iPhone are: What kind of processor is it using? and how fast is it? How much RAM does it have? How much of a smudge magnet will the screen be? Equally important are things like how good will this “multi-touch” interface work? How good will the on screen keyboard be in the real world? how easy/hard will it be to develop 3rd party applications for it? when (if?) will Apple release the proper SDKs and development tools for this new toy, and how easy (hard?) will it be for developers to obtain those SDKs and tools?

Another thing that really concerns me, is whether Apple will follow on the same trend of offering the iPhone exclusively with a few select operators when the it is released in Europe and later in Asia. Tying customers to one specific carrier can be a major let down for many customers, most notably business customers who are the main users of smartphones.

Finally, there is the letigation Apple has with Cisco now about their ownership of the iPhone trademark. Unless this litigation is settled quickly, we will have to wait and see what Apple plans to do. Will they rename the iPhone? or will the launch be delayed until some sort of agreement is worked out? For better or worse, Cisco seems to have the upper hand in this trademark conflict.

I guess many of those questions will be answered when the iPhone makes it to the FCC for approval, most notably we will know quite a few more details about the hardware platform, and probably we will get a glimpse of the guts of the iPhone. For the other stuff, such as the details of the software platform and development tools, we will have to just sit back and wait for Apple to give us more details.

House keeping

January 7, 2007 on 7:21 pm | In Technology | No Comments

This weekend, I finally did some long overdue house keeping for the website, and my server account.

First, was the incorporation of Google Analytics with two separate accounts, one for the main site here, and the other for the proxy.

Next inline, was the cleaning of some old log files, especially for the proxy, where my modifications to the original PHProxy script generate tons of log files. Still waiting for the release of an update from WhiteFyre, the author of PHProxy, to fix some bugs that cripple the current version.

Then, I finally made the switch IlohaMail to RoundCube for the webmail interface.

Last, but not least, I took down the classifieds section, which no one has used in about a year.


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