Thursday, April 15, 2010

About Swine Flu

Is it just me or It has been quite sometime since I heard anything about swine flu? After all the propaganda about how dangerous it could be, specially for countries who are already suffering a lot without it (like Egypt for eg)..

Was it really a hoax? Were the "conspiracy theories" loads of email that circulated the cyberspace true? Or may be it's really getting bigger and wilder but no one (from the media ppl) is giving it much of a focus??

Monday, April 05, 2010

About TED, TEDx, etc

Applying Hanselman's advice about conserving one's key strokes, & since I've been asked about TED, TEDx, TEDx Nile lately a couple of times, I'll sum up all the answers (to the questions I was asked) in one blog post to refer people to it whenever I'm asked again :D

So, first TED is a a foundation, that is mainly focused on sharing Technology, Entertainment, & Design ideas (that's where the name TED, comes from) through (mainly) a series of conferences held across Asia, Europe, US. There's also a TED prize for the best idea. TED later decided to share their talks with the world through their website. Also, the talks aren't bounded by technology, entertainment, & design ideas anymore..

Later, another project called TEDx was started. That's independently organized events (aka independent from TED foundation) where people share their ideas, or watch TED videos & discuss the ideas, in a TED-like environment/format.

Since TEDx project started, a lot of people -here in Egypt- were really anxious about bringing such an experience to us. The first one that came to my knowledge was TEDx Cairo, I was then introduced to TEDx Nile(which is the only & first TEDx in Egypt to come to reality, as far as I know), & TEDx Giza.Yet, I need to add that a fellow twitter pal claims that TEDx Giza was the first initiative :)

For more about the topic you might wanna read:
Wikipedia entry about TED
TEDx Introductory video
Review by fellow TEDster أحمد المهدى مسعود
My review about TEDx Nile (April 1st, 2010)
TEDx Nile hype on twitter
TEDx Arabia
My favoorite Talks & speakers

Friday, April 02, 2010

TEDx Nile (2010-04-01)

Every now & then, I tries to go out to see completely different people, either on events or with friends of friends who are of completely different background, education, careers, mindsets & usually it is a nice experience.. Usually, I have back-up plan in case the lonely geek inside took over me, that’s my friends who I can fall back to when ever I’m to shy or too lazy to network & get to know new people :D

So, last night, I went to Cairo Opera House to attend the first TEDx event held in Egypt: TEDx Nile.. I knew about the event by plain chance from Ahmed Adel’s tweets, & later from Khaled Adel, on FCIH-blogger mailing list.

I was following (for quite sometime) the news of another TEDx: TEDx Cairo,  There was a buzz earlier about it, & some rumors that Khaled Abo-El-Naga will be the host. competition is good, so I’m expecting that TEDx Nile will make TEDx Cairo organizers move a bit faster, they seem quite lazy!!

Just realized while writing this post that there’s TEDx Giza too!! :D

Through out the night, I’ve been heavily tweeting (never thought I could do so, with my humble cellular, specially that I hate typing on it).. So I thought the best way to write about the the event is to list my tweets through the night & comment about them, so here we go:
TEDxNile until now: total failure :S
What a start!! :D At that point we already had a couple of sessions I think, Yasser Quessny’s & Salah Makhlouf’s.. I was (irrationally) expecting “TED-class” sessions/talks, my expectations were a bit shred to pieces.. The talks weren't bad but I wasn’t taking into consideration many factors like: this is the first time in Egypt, & that most of these speakers aren’t exactly acquainted with such situations.
#tedxnile somebody kill mado
#tedxnile thu mado looks like a total :L that 2nd song (ketab l ser2a) was awesome
That was during the first performance on the night, a fairly young singer : “Mado”, from Taxi band, sang around 3 songs, the first one was kinda disappointing (not to mention that he looks, talks in a pretty weird way for me) that’s why my first tweet with a bit over the edge. He then sang couple off songs, “كتاب السرقة” & “جوايا حلم” which were awesome (Generally I loved most of the performances coz most of them depended on guitars heavily).
#tedxnile ahmed adel talking abt cloud computing not #enwi :( & in English too ! y?
#tedxnile finally adel is talking abt #enwi
Ahmed Adel, then started his session, about cloud computing, he had to suffer a lot since most of the audience weren’t that technical.. I was expecting his whole session to be about ENWI, it wasn’t exactly, but at least he mentioned it.. At some point he was talking about Bill Gates being the person who started the “PC era”, and one of the audience corrected him saying it was Steve Jobs :D..
#tedxnile why ppl r talking in English?
@ahmed_adel fine talk, hated it being in English thu :D #tedxnile
Though there’s nothing in TEDx that implies that it should be in English, almost all the guys (even some of the performers) were talking in English, the issue here, is why? We are Egyptians for God sake!! Not to mention that a couple of them were barely pronouncing any word right!!
#tedxnile akid ana leya lazma :D
#tedxnile it's getting better here
ROFL! the devil is running #tedxnile
That was when Ahmed Hayman started his session about “Picture the change”, & he experience of using photography for doing good to the less fortunate, which was pretty touching (the first tweet is a quote from his talk). Also, I started to feel better about the host: Amr Salama, he has such charisma.. Also, during Rabee Refaat session about “Mutable building envelope”, the laptop they were using for showing the slides desided to stand-by & when they logged in again the user name was “devil” :D
#tedxnile men dol ya 3am l 7ag :D the weirdest set of performers I've ever seen! :D
#tedxnile if he only shuts up & let the guitar say it all :D
#tedxnile @ramymahrous beside me suggests that he yesama3na sedy wesalak :D
#tedxnile when Mario falls in love :D
#tedxnile I hate to admit it but till now I'm enjoying the performances more than the talks !
That was during ‎RaSh Radio‎ performance, the guy -like all of the performers, last night- looks weird, pretty “Un-Egyptian”, unauthentic to me.. Yet, to tell the truth, his music (I only liked the lyrics/idea of Mario song) was great!! The note about Ramy happened as is :D
#tedxnile Quesni's are trying to sell the idea that design is a random process, isn't that obvious!?
Mariam El-Quessny was talking to much but I didn’t get much of what she was talking about actually, at some point, what I got was that both her & Yasser Quessny (not sure if they are relatives) were trying to saying stuff everybody already know, in a way.. Either they are to much for me, or I’m..
#tedxnile now I'm sure they are paid :D
#tedxnile they are not paid they are maniacs!
#tedxnile & they were talking abt not copying others! We really lack an identity!
At that point, I was wondering whether the ppl clapping all the time (almost the same direction (Back of the audience to the right!) was paid to do so :D, then after they started wowing & clapping for that lunatic called NeoByrd I was convinced they are maniacs!!

Yes, he was on stage wearing the exact outfit you can see on his page (including the helmet/mask!).. I was really feeling uneasy by that time, feeling the whole even is to fake.. Yet when I tried to listen to his music now, it doesn’t sound that bad. But still I can’t help feeling disgust when ever I remember his appearance on stage!!
#tedxnile finally 3amr is making me enjoy it
#tedxnile loved 'how to play life'
As I told you before, Amr Salama (director of  “زي النهاردة”) was such a great host. Though he seemed  (or may be he’s playing) shallow a bit when it comes to technical stuff, he sees things from a completely different point of view. That really showed when he was introducing every, idea/speaker to us.

His own talk (& the final one) was titled “How to play life”, in which he tried to tell us (& convince to do the same) how he looks at life as a “game” (not a path/journey, or test) & how that affects his decisions in life, & his passion about everything he do.


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