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Before I lose my right to free speech….

2010-11-16 @ 20:33
Categories: Life,Miscellaneous
Tags: , , , , ,

Dear Congress,

It has come to my attention that we are losing the so called “War on Terror.” Maybe it is because the war was named so without actually looking up the definition to the word, so I will provide the dictionary definition for your reference:

terror [ˈterər]


  1. extreme fear : people fled in terror | [in sing. ] a terror of darkness.
    • the use of such fear to intimidate people, esp. for political reasons : weapons of terror.
    • [in sing. ] a person or thing that causes extreme fear : his unyielding scowl became the terror of the Chicago mob.
    • ( the Terror) the period of the French Revolution between mid 1793 and July 1794 when the ruling Jacobin faction, dominated by Robespierre, ruthlessly executed anyone considered a threat to their regime. Also called reign of terror .
  2. (also holy terror) informal a person, esp. a child, who causes trouble or annoyance : placid and obedient in their parents’ presence, but holy terrors when left alone.


have (or hold) no terrors for someone not frighten or worry someone.


late Middle English : from Old French terrour, from Latin terror, from terrere ‘frighten.’


Prowl module for ejabberd

2010-07-31 @ 16:57
Categories: Geek
Tags: , , , , ,

Push for instant messaging is pretty essential for a mobile device. I find it a bit irritating that with Apple’s new “multitasking” features in iOS 4, they did not include an api for instant messaging apps. So basically the only way to receive push messages for your instant message client is to use a proxy service. This creates obvious privacy concerns, since you’re just sending your username and password to a third party. Most people are okay with this, but I am not. Since I am already running an XMPP server (ejabberd), I decided I should write a module to send me push notifications directly from the server. To do this, I decided to use Prowl, the same app/service I use for push messaging from my IMAP server. I’ve never written anything in Erlang before, so it took some time to read the docs and muster the energy to dive right in. After a bit of learning and experimenting I have created the first version of mod_offline_prowl for ejabberd. Feel free to use it if you like, I am releasing the full source via GPL for the world to use.


A Letter to Cairo

2010-06-21 @ 07:49
Categories: Life,Travels
Tags: , , , ,

Dear friends and all who became a part of my life in Cairo,

It saddens me greatly that my time in Cairo has come to a close, and I will be leaving this city and country, for an indeterminate time. My life over the past four and a half years has been unique and unforgettable. Although I spent a lot of time with some people, and little time with others, all of my friends in Egypt will forever be in my heart. I have learned so much in my time here, things that cannot be taught in a university, and its to my friends that I have to be grateful for this. Whether they were fellow foreigners or locals, fellow students or not, they became an invaluable part of my life, sharing with me their knowledge and experiences. I will never forget my time in Egypt, and I will never forget my friends in Egypt, for they became a part of my family.

I wish to thank all of my friends in Cairo for what they have given me, and what they have shared with me. They will always have a place in my heart. I will miss them all. I hope that our paths cross again someday.

Why I don’t like Facebook

2009-12-02 @ 16:02
Categories: Life,Miscellaneous
Tags: , , ,

It seems that most of the world is obsessed with Facebook. I walk into the library at my school, and 99% of the computers are being used to look at Facebook. When I see someone using a smart phone, they are generally on Facebook. Everybody has an account: parents, children, friends, family members, colleagues, etc. So because of this general global obsession, people are quite amazed when they discover my distaste for such a thing. So to those of you who cannot understand this concept, please allow my to explain my problems with Facebook. Beyond the aforementioned obsession, my reasons are as follows:

People have reduced all forms of communication to “facebooking.” Nouns are being turned into verbs unnecessarily, such as “friend.” (The most appalling result of this phenomenon is that the New Oxford American Dictionary has named “unfriend” to be the word of the year!). People are “friends” with people they really aren’t. People seem to go into withdrawal if they do not access their Facebook multiple times throughout the day. People have started using Facebook messages in lieu of email (which is absurd since it sends you an email to tell you that you have a message). People also seem to use this public communication tool for private conversations…

Don’t get me wrong, I realize there are some positive aspects of such Social Networking sites. They can help keep people in contact with each other more easily. They can help reconnect long lost friends. And people can use these services to update their personal social network on whats going on in their life (whether exciting or not). In my opinion however, this is where the usefulness ends.

Beyond this is where it starts going downhill. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of “Apps” now. These apps seem to serve no purpose, other than to annoy the crap out of everybody that you know. The simple games people play will continually post their generally unexciting achievements. Every silly “quiz” or “survey” posts its results. And to top it off, your “friends” will continually send you invites to use the same crappy apps they use. It’s fine that people want to kill some time and play mind numbing games and take silly internet surveys, (hell, I do it too), but is it really necessary to broadcast the results and frequency of such things?

Like the rest of you, I do have a Facebook account, but I refuse to use it for more than simple public communication. Which is why I prefer Twitter. I rarely log into Facebook for anything beyond the status timeline (which I view through TweetDeck), disabling notifications from people’s silly game play, and the occasional adding of friends (all of which are actually my friends in real life). Some people may agree with some of my points, or disagree entirely, this is your choice. However, these are some of the reasons I personally dislike Facebook.

If Apple won’t support Push IMAP, then I will…

2009-07-14 @ 04:11
Categories: Geek
Tags: , , , , , ,

Even with the long awaited 3.0 iPhone update, Apple still refuses to add support for true IMAP push (using IDLE). Luckily however, they did finally enable the Push Notification Service, allowing a slew of push capable apps to show up in the AppStore. So I started to read the programming guide to write my own app to push mail notifications to me…. Unfortunately I gave that up, because it’s just way too much work just to get a new mail notification… But I did find a gem in the AppStore that would let me do what I want, called Prowl (iTunes link) (Their site). As they describe it:

Prowl is a Growl client for the iPhone. Notifications from your Mac (or even Windows! see the FAQ) can be sent to your iPhone over push, with a full range of customization and grace you expect.

They even provide a script to use for notifications from non Mac computers. So with this gem, I was able to get push notifications of new mail by adding one simple line to my existing .mailfilter on my server. While I was at it, I figured why not make another use for this, and wrote a simple perl script to search for @-mentions on twitter and push them to me.

I’m still alive

2009-04-25 @ 20:06
Categories: Life
Tags: ,

I realize it has been quite some time since my last post… So first allow me confirm that I am still alive. Unfortunately, I lost my camera last semester. Since most of my posts are for pictures, that’s one of the reasons why I haven’t posted in a while.

I don’t really have much to say, I may just be that boring. I’ve been keeping busy out here in Egyptland, school, work, the usual. Also trying to plan the wedding. Speaking of the wedding, if you haven’t been to our wedding site, please go to www.WeMetInEgypt.com.

Well that’s all I have for now, I will try to actually post more in the future.


How the hell??

2008-11-14 @ 12:38
Categories: Miscellaneous
Tags: ,

I realize this post is a bit late after the election, but I just don’t understand how something like Proposition 8 passes in California. California is supposed to be one of the most liberal, forward thinking states in the country, but we passed a totally religiously based law? What happened to the separation of church and state? I beg of anybody to give me a truly valid reason as to how a samesex couple being married could affect anyone but themselves! Moreover, isn’t it a violation of several state and federal antidiscriminatory laws to create legislature against someone based on sexual orientation?

She said yes!

2008-11-03 @ 16:45
Categories: Life

Last night was my 2 year anniversary with Laura, so we decided to celebrate at this wonderful restaurant, La Bodega, in Zamalek. This was some of the best food we’ve had in Cairo, I had rabbit and french onion soup, while Laura had duck and seafood soup. It was so delicious, my mouth is watering just from thinking about it! Anyway, after dinner, instead of asking for desert I asked Laura If she would marry me. Of course, she said yes, making me one of the happiest people on Earth! (more…)

BCA Autumn Ball in Pictures

2008-10-12 @ 20:01
Categories: Life
Tags: , , ,

So, we had a wonderful time at the Autumn ball, which took place in the garden of the British Embassy.  I even won a free flight to London, yay me!  Well enjoy the photos (more…)

We’re technically on the Queen’s soil

2008-10-10 @ 22:54
Categories: Life

We are both greatly enjoying the BCA autumn ball her majesty’s ambassador’s garden in Cairo. We feel so high class is our formal garb ;-). (more…)

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