landscape-780x439

Steve Jobs, the movie

 

Fluff

There are no spoilers in this post. Your welcome!

In the world of movies, we haven’t been making a lot of good movies lately. That’s why most of us turn to TV series to fill the gap. I’m surprised the “Movie” business hasn’t gone extinct yet. But it will soon, mark my words. Think about it, and there isn’t a single film that could not be presented in a TV show format. The same is not true the other way round.

So I woke up this morning, spun up Plex and decided to watch something I haven’t seen yet while having breakfast. Steve Jobs? Sure why not, it’s something I can tune out or miss some parts without having to rewind all the time, while I chow down in peace.

I expected the movie to be flimsy, dull, and at best endurable for 45 minutes. Let me tell you; that’s not how it went down. I was hooked right from the start, missing parts of this movie were proving to be an impossible feat.

the Movie

This movie is very personal, and it will force you to react emotionally, you become a “part” of this film. That is certainly not something that can be said about a lot of movies these days. The movie also makes you think about your life, and perhaps offers you the opportunity to re-evaluate some of the decisions you’ve made. If not, chances are you will at least ask yourself, if there is something that you could re-evaluate.

This movie is not about Steve Jobs, (actually, it is) it’s about us! It’s about all of us. You need to see this movie, your family needs to see this film, your parents need to see this movie. Before you watch this with your kids, look at the rating bellow.

Ratings

Kizmet: 9/10

Family Rating: Rated R

All parents make their decisions about what their children should and should not watch. It’s worth pointing out, there is no nudity in this movie, no making out, etc. This movie got its R rating due to language. For more details click here.

IMDB: 7.2/10

Trailer: (Don’t watch it, see the movie)

 

 

purus-fb

AI WEBSITES THAT DESIGN THEMSELVES

purus-fbJOIN THE EVOLUTION

AI WEBSITES THAT DESIGN THEMSELVES

WATCH THE VIDEO

This is not another do-it-yourself website builder. The Grid harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to take everything you throw at it – videos, images, text, urls and more – and automatically shape them into a custom website unique to you. As your needs grow, it evolves with you, effortlessly adapting to your needs. Want to add e-commerce? Social feeds? A different layout? The Grid just takes care of it. This is not a website builder. This is your personal AI web developer. Its first masterpiece is the website you’re looking at right now. Its next one could be yours.


The above is a straight cutout from TheGrids site. But basically I signed up as a founder.

If you manage any websites, blogs, etc, Id highly suggest you sign up too. This is incredible tech. Of course well have to see if its going to be as good as they claim.

Bottom line, I’m in for the ride. Best sign-up now, before its too late.

What features are included in the Founding Membership?

  • 1 year pre-paid subscription
  • Subscription begins v1 release, late Spring 2015
  • Life-time subscription rate of $8/month
  • 7 Sites, custom domains OK
  • Pretty much unlimited contributors, storage and bandwidth
  • Commerce engine, due late 2015
  • Grid NFC Token (limited gold edition)

s6 edge scratched

PSA: Local Kuwait Samsung Partners selling scratched S6 Edge units out of the box.

Like many of you I pre-ordered the S6 Edge from Zain Kuwait. But what followed was a nightmare.

On the 10th of April I picked up my unit from Zain. Before I left the branch I checked the display, and found that the S6 Edge had micro scratches covering 100% of the screen including the top and bottom bezels (where the home bottom and ear speaker is).

The branch staff refused to exchange the unit for me.

The micro scratches were verified by the Zains in-store workshop.

s6-edge-issues-2s6-edge-scratched-feature

Since I refused to leave without a possible solution, I asked the Customer Service agent to call the branch manager. The outcome? I was instructed to go the Al-Babtain Samsung Service Center to have the unit replaced.

The Kuwait Samsung service center tried to convince me that this is how the display is supposed to be. I was also informed that Samsung Dubai allegedly sent them an e-mail, informing them if they received any complaints about the display, they are to inform the customer this is how the display is supposed to look.

When I spoke with Samsung Dubai Customer care this morning, I was told this is the first time they have heard of it. An issue like this that has already received a lot of attention online, I find that hard to believe. Only time will tell how this will end. In the mean time Ill have to wait and see how Samsung will respond.

I don’t take kindly to paying KD 275 to get a damaged phone out of the box, and then being accused of being the cause of the scratched screen.

In the meantime I have created this blog especially for Samsung S6 & S6 Edge defective units.

Im hoping to garner some local support, and see if how many users in Kuwait or even the middle east are affected by this batch of defective units.

For more details head on over to the S6 Edge DOA Site.

Penn Manor School District

This morning I was reading an article about the Penn Manor’s School District 1:1 laptop program. Basically the school is providing 1,725 students with Linux Laptops. They took it a step further and developed their own Imaging solution “Fast Linux Deployment Toolkit” or FLDT.

I find this initiative incredible, but the icing on the cake is that student’s actually participated in testing and refining the FLDT.

Its news articles like these that make me wonder, what is Kuwait’s ministry of education doing? Kuwait’s public schools are simply terrible in terms of funding, and the educational curriculum.

Education is one the keystones of building a successful and healthy society.

Cost of Living in Kuwait

I often see questions about the costs of living in Kuwait on reddit, 248am, and various popular expat sites. Or sometimes people ask if they should accept a position in Kuwait based on their package compared to the living costs. Point being its a recurring hot topic.

Often the responses to this question are skewed or not well thought out, or simply not “realistic”. For example I often see responses that claim lower rent costs. They fail to mention such apartments are an “extinct species”, and the ones that can be found at those rates will certainly not be a good idea for your well being. I believe the common consensus is that a home should be safe, and comfortable, and not in areas that are subject to frequent police raids, break ins, etc..

So these “realistic” rates are based on real data. I’ve actually tracked the day to day expenses over a period of 6 months. Its based on the model of a normal work/home life in Kuwait. Which means you work during the week, and hang out on the weekends. Also do let me know if I can improve this post in any way. Lets take a look at the rates shall we?

Kuwait cost of living

Notice I’ve left “Spending Money” blank. I cannot predict your expenses.. I spend 46% of my income on Amazon.com =P

If your going to have to buy food at work (lunch, coffee, etc), you may need to factor in an extra KD 125/month.

If you’re a frequent shopper, you may wish to allow for an extra KD 200 a month. That should have you covered.

Ok lets look at these categories:

Living Costs

    RENT

    Rent in Kuwait is ridiculously expensive.
    Lets talk about what these rent rates are based on:

      Criteria

      • Safe
      • This means the place is not in a location that is subject to frequent disturbances such as: Police Raids, Prostitution, illegal drinking, violent or psychotic inhabitants

      • Not a Health Hazzard
      • Not located in a environmentally hazardous (toxic area)
        The apartment is clean, well ventilated, the building is structurally sound

      • Facilities
      • Central Aircon, 2 assigned shaded parking spots per tenant or for a studio complex 1 assigned shaded parking spot, water pressure is reasonably enough for a shower, usable fire exits,
        normal sized rooms 15-20m2 each (also on the endangered species list)

      • Location
      • Since you can get to anywhere in Kuwait within 30 mins, daily commute really isn’t an issue, reducing your commute from 30 to 10 minutes may be nice, but is generally not worth the premium you’ll have to pay for such luxuries. (Like 1200KD rent for 2 BR apartment)

      • Average Rental Rates
      • Rental rates do not follow logical rules in Kuwait. There are no guidelines, and you will often find truly horrible places at unrealistic rates, and yet they still get rented. This is due to the high demand, and low supply of apartments in Kuwait. It might also be interesting to note that furnished and unfurnished rates are the same. Though generally you will want to burn the furniture and offer to replace it at your own cost with something more hygienically and aesthetically appealing.

        Studio Apt: KD 350 – KD 400
        2 Bed Room: KD 450 -> KD 650
        3 Bed Room: KD 450 -> KD 650
        4 Bed Room: KD 650 -> KD 1200

        Groceries

        This is basically the average amount you’ll need to feed yourself. If you’re two people just add KD 70 monthly. As the months go by, the grocery costs will sink, mainly because you stop buying stuff you don’t need. The first few months living in a new place will always exceed your budget, because you have everything again. That adds up quickly.

        Car

        A sedan/saloon rental car will cost you roughly KD 150/month
        This will include full insurance, service, etc. Trust me you’ll want it that way.

        If you’re on a long term contract (5+ years) then I highly recommend you purchase your own car, and pay it with installments. You save much more this way.

        Fuel

        KD 10 / month
        KD 20 / month if your sharing your car with your SO

        Phone

        KD 30 /month Should be more than sufficient

        Internet

        Regardless of the medium, KD 24/month is ok. Available options depend on where you live in Kuwait. Kuwait offers LTE, fibre, DSL, 3g

Job

    Average Salaries for Working Professionals

    The average salary in Kuwait is KD 800 for working professionals. This does not include construction workers, labor, plumbers, etc. Anything from executive secretaries to IT professionals.

    Annual Leave

    You’ll want to have at least 30 days. To be more precise those days are “working days”. Kuwaits weekends are Friday, Saturday.
    Some companies will count weekends as part of your annual leave, never accept such conditions.

    Health Insurance

    Make sure your employer offers direct debit health insurance which covers at least 80% of your costs. This means at the medical facility you only 20% of the bill upfront, the medical facility would collect the remaining 80% from the insurance company directly. (Insurance Company Examples: Gulf Insurance Company)

    Annual Tickets

    Don’t accept anything less than KD 250 per person (Yourself and spouse). This is always deposited in cash to your checking account. You may opt to use that money for anything you like.

    Salary Pay

    As you can imagine, with a basic monthly living cost of KD 700, it would be unwise to accept a job offer that pays less than KD 800. Your just trading your current discomfort, with equal discomfort in a foreign country.

I’m Kismat, co-founder of nothing, and this is how I work =p

** Credit Given, Where its due, this post was inspired by: http://lifehacker.com/how-i-work/

Kismat was born and raised in Austria, only to be return to Kuwait just in time for the Iraqi Invasion, and subsequent Gulf War. Having survived the ordeal Kismat was determined to push the envelope, technology seemed to be the most interesting and fun way of doing this. His first and probably best job was working for Qualitynet back in 2001, this is where his passion for open-source solutions turned into an obsessive addiction, this was it… hooked on tech for life!

One of the unique projects he worked on was setting up, and managing Linux game-servers (Counter-Strike, Battlefield)  for QualityNet. Community Management, and setting up events & competitions. (At that time, most managers would throw you out of the office for claiming games were profitable). As well as being embarrassingly schooled in the art of Counter-Strike headshots by 13 years olds.  Currently Kismet assists the private sector with getting their IT Infrastructure in order, and ensuring it stays that way.

Name: Kismat
Occupation: IT Prj. Management
Location: Kuwait
Current computer: Home-built  Desktop, 2 x 7970 3gb, 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz, AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
Current Laptop: SAGER NP9150 -| 15.6″ FHD 95% Matte 1080P | i7-3610QM | Nvidia GTX680M | 16GB 1600MHz Corsair Vengeance | 256GB Samsung 830 SSD | KillerNic 1103
Current mobile devices: Galaxy Nexus (JB 4.1.2, rooted), Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 3G, Stylistic Q550
One word that best describes how I work: progressively
Interests Include: Foreign Films, Scuba Diving, Motorcycle Tours, MMOS, Technology, Humane Dog Training Methods
Community Involvements:
Moderator of Open Garden Community Forums & Map Editor, Area Manager for Kuwait at Waze

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

I love Androids mobile Gmail app, and I cant possibly imagine a phone without that app.
Evernote & Dropbox: To ensure I have access to everything I need on the go
Waze: Invaluable tool to dodge traffic in Kuwait
Open Garden: Auto tethers my devices to my phones data connection without requiring me to press anything.
Titanium Backup Pro: The best back-up app for android devices

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack? 

Considering the amount of time we spend in traffic every day, I’d say its Waze, it saves me at least an hour of grueling traffic a day. Thats 7 hours saved a week.

So…your favorite to-do list manager?

Astrid  (iOS, Android, Web)

What’s your workspace setup like?

Home office with triple monitor setup. Razer Megalodon the lightest most comfortable headset I ever owned.

What do you listen to while you work? 

Depends on my mood, but generally I prefer: Chillout Lounge – Dubstep – Classical music

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? 

It would have to be the Kindle, it allows to me read whatever I want, whenever I want, and not worry about customs and the ministry of information when importing books from Amazon.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

If your crossing the Saudi border by car, and the immigration officer insists on calling you by the wrong name.. DONT correct him.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yeah, what does a techy have to do to find a great job with a company that actually makes progress in a fun and innovative way (Ala Google, Blizzard, Microsoft)