The BDL is organizing #Accelerate2014 and bringing over 50 startup industry veterans from all around the world to put “Blueprints for Success for 1,000 international entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals”. The list of speakers is very interesting and there are a lot of events, talks and competitions to look out for. I just got back from Dubai today so I missed out on the first day but I will be there tomorrow hopefully.
One of the events I was looking forward to attend today was the “Lightning Round – Startup Competition” as part of the Seedstar World Competition as it’s always nice to hear about new ideas and startups. This year, 28 startups took the stage for 1 minute to pitch their idea and 8 made it to the final round tomorrow.
Here are the 8 finalist startups:
Cardio Diagnostic: FDA Approved wireless heart monitor that helps connect patients with doctors.
Saily: Helps you sell second hand items easily.
Yellow: Bitcoin payment solution for money transfers in your currency.
Ki: Password manager app.
Presella: Online e-ticketing platform that enables anyone anywhere to become an event organizer.
GoEjaza: Helps you plan your trips.
Feedeed: Getting fast professional services online
Tari2ak: Real-time traffic conditions app.
Here’s a link to the full schedule [Here].
I wrote a post back in September wondering whether it was possible to edit a photo caption on Instagram, specially after people had commented on it. For all I know, it’s not possible but it is now as Instagram has finally decided to roll out an update yesterday allowing users to edit captions.
I don’t have the feature yet as the update is not yet available on the Play Store but my friend Maia tried it and it’s working.
PS: I guess this means that George Clooney and Amal Alameddine picture was fake after all.
Since people have been asking about Whatsapp’s latest update, here’s what changed: Whatsapp introduced the blue double check feature which means that the message has been read. So now one grey check means the message has been sent, two grey checks mean it’s been delivered and the two blue checks mean it’s been read.
So now you can’t pretend you didn’t read the message anymore lol!
Update: Here’s Stoli Lebanon’s funny take on this update.
Updated (11/05/2014): The latest version of WhatsApp (2.11.43) now officially incorporates this feature, although it may not work on all smartphone models. In other words, a grey check means the message has been sent, two grey checks that it’s been delivered to the recipient, and two blue checks that it’s been read.
Until now, the tick marks accompanying your WhatsApp messages indicated one of two things: one tick to show that the message had been sent to the recipient and two to show it had been correctly delivered, which did not imply it had been read. The myth that the double check=message read eventually became so widespread that the company had to clarify how the ticks actually work on their official Twitter account.
If you are going to the marathon on Sunday, I recommend you download the Beirut Marathon mobile app as there’s everything you need in it. You can check out the race map, the roads closed, bib tracking and your friends’ location. There are also games to play and a selfie frame.
The app is available for [Android] and [iOS].
Alfa’s CEO Marwan Hayek
I posted earlier about Apple rolling out the iPhone 6 to new countries including Lebanon and Alfa’s CEO confirmed in a tweet that we should get the iPhone 6 and 6+ by November 17. I don’t know much about the prices yet but I will update the post as soon as I have details.
According to 9to5mac, Apple’s next iPhone 6 rollout will include Lebanon among others and will take place on November 14th. Back in March, we heard that the iPhone will be officially released in Lebanon but these things take time so let’s hope it works out this time.
I will try to get further updates and will keep you posted.
If you’ve been eagerly waiting for the iPhone 6 to go on sale in your country, you may be in luck. While Apple has not yet made an official announcement of the next phase in its rollout of the iPhone 6/Plus, we’ve so far spotted that the new phones are scheduled to go on sale in at least ten (and counting) new countries on November 14th. Local carriers have so far announced the November 14th availability of the new iPhones in: Brazil, Philippines, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay, Guatemala, Lebanon, Kenya and Nigeria, with Malaysia also looking set to see the phones around the same time …
The last time I heard about “digital drugs” was a couple of years ago when they decided to ban them in Dubai If I am not mistaken. I don’t know why the phenomenon just got to Lebanon, or at least the Lebanese media just found out about it, but I second Gino that you have to be stupid to buy this stuff. Moreover, I am not sure how the Lebanese authorities are planning to ban this thing as it’s impossible to do.
Anyway, if you’d like to waste your precious time reading about these drugs that were a hot topic 3-4 years ago, here’s a couple of links I recommend:
[NowLebanon: The Truth About Digital Drugs]
[Huffingtonpost: Digital Drugs]
CME Offshore is organizing a fun competition for all the geeks and techies out there. All you have to do is build an Independence day mobile app before November 22nd and get the chance to win 2000$ and an attractive job offer.
It would be nice to see what participants will come up with.
Rules of the game:
– Implement a mobile application (IOS or Android) related to the Lebanese Independence Day
– Application must be published on Apple Store/Google Play before Independence Day on November 22nd
– Participant must be university students or must have graduated in the 2013-2014 academic year
– Team size can be one of more
– Teams should announce their application by joining the event on CME Facebook page
– App with most downloads/installs & highest rating by November 30 is advantaged .
– Jury final decision on November 30.
– 1st prize 2000$
– Most technically challenging app will win an attractive Job Offer.
– Apps with inappropriate, religious or politically biased content will be disqualified.
I posted about the “Najat” app back in January and it was finally launched today. The app was launched by Alfa as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and is aimed at helping the Lebanese Red Cross locate people who call them for emergencies and is called “Najat” after Najat Waked, a loving mother who passed away few days ago on her way to the hospital as her family wasn’t able to guide the ambulance driver properly to their house. Najat could have been saved if she had made it 3 minutes earlier to the hospital.
Once you download the app, you are required to register your address (two addresses at the most) along with two phone numbers in addition to his personal number. This will help the Lebanese Red Cross Central Operations room to locate the address easily when receiving a call on its hotline 140. Moreover, all the Red Cross ambulances were supposedly equipped on an earlier stage with free navigation systems and 3G enabled tablets.
This is a great initiative and a much-needed mobile app in a country where we barely have any street names. You can download it for [Android] and [iOS].
One of my friends just moved into his new house and wanted to get a decent internet connection, so he called several companies and chose what he thought was the best plan for him. The internet supplier called him few weeks later and here’s the conversation that took place:
X: We are contacting you regarding the internet plan you’ve requested. U asked for the 6mb plan right?
X: Unfortunately ur phone line cannot handle more than 2mb
X: We r not responsible for that. We just check with Ogero. So which plan do u want? The 4mb or 6mb?
I dont get it. U just told me I can’t have more than 2mb
X: Yes sir but we only offer 4 and 6mb for this plan.
But I can’t use any of them. You just told me that. You want to pay for a speed I can’t use?
X: Of course not but these are the offers we have.
U do realize half of Lebanon can barely get 1 or 2mb right?
X: You should contact Ogero for that. We are not responsible.
Ok I will do and let u know
X: Great so I sign you up for the 4mb plan? Right?
X: I just want to know which plans u r choosing.
Dude Chou ostak? Why would I pay for a connection I can’t use? I ‘ll see what to do and let u know.
X: ok I’ll keep it as 4mb for now.
I am currently signed up at my parents’ place to the 2MB Ogero connection (minimum speed) yet their phone line cannot handle more than 1MB and I’ve been asking for years if we can fix this problem but in vain. The only way to get a decent connection outside Beirut is through a 3G/4G dongle even if it costs more.