Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Competition (3rd Edition)

| May 21, 2008 – 1:18 pm | comment No Comments

QRNEC LogoThe Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Competition (QRNEC), which is in its 3rd year now, was created to be a platform to increase the interest of Jordanian entrepreneurs and innovators in designing a path to achieve their dreams.

It strives to advocate entrepreneurial skills as students and mature entrepreneurs coalesce their knowledge with their resources along with their competitive drive to create a business plan that is both practical and innovative.

The competition is now open for all Jordanian entrepreneurs, whether they are a university student or an aspiring entrepreneur, to enter for the opportunity to compete for US $70,000 in cash awards. They can submit their innovative business ideas in any discipline of science and technology to the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship (QRCE) through its website

The vision of QRNEC is to evolve and expand into a comprehensive entrepreneurship enabler, involved in fostering creativity, incubating viable concepts, and facilitating the success of entrepreneurial ventures to a level that affects the cultural orientation of the Jordanian community.

The additional interesting points for this year are that Google is offering an additional cash award for the best online business plan, and that KADDB is offering another cash award for the best business plan for defense and security.

# Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Competition (QRNEC)

Microsoft And LINKdotNET Launch New MSN Maghreb Portal

| April 24, 2008 – 6:30 pm | comment 5 Comments

Microsoft has launched a new French-language portal for its MSN service, called MSN Maghreb, geared towards the Arab Maghreb region which will provide the latest news and entertainment for users in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

The project is a joint venture with LINKdotNET, a subsidiary of Orascom, with which they already launched MSN Arabia in the past, and who currently operate that portal and will operate this new one too.

MSN Arabia, which was launched back in October 2001, attracts around two million page views a day and 2.7 million Hotmail subscribers; and with MSN Maghreb, Microsoft and LINKdotNET are hoping to tap into the rest of the Arab population from the mainly Francophone North African Maghreb region, and of course by doing that, consequently get into local advertisers’ pockets.

The announcement was made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Orascom board member Khaled Bichara at a press conference in Skhirat, Morocco, earlier today.

The new portal is accessible at

Arabized WordPress 2.5 Released

| April 18, 2008 – 5:29 pm | comment No Comments

The Arabized version of WordPress 2.5 was finally released a few days ago on the official site for Arabic WordPress.

This release brings all the new changes and features of WordPress 2.5 to the Arab blogger community, from the completely overhauled admin area and dashboard, to the new media gallery, automatic plugin download & update, multi-file upload, tag management, and the better visual editor, to the more technical additions and enhancements under the hood.

Upgrading from earlier versions should be quite straightforward using the upgrade script. Still, it is recommended to backup before beginning the upgrade.

This version can be downloaded from the official Arabic WordPress site.

iBlog… iMedia, Arab Consumer Generated Media Conference

| April 17, 2008 – 3:22 pm | comment No Comments

casualPR, a leading PR agency that focuses on blogs and online media, just announced they’re organizing the first conference on consumer generated media in the Middle East in Amman Jordan on Sunday June 1st 2008.

This first edition of what they plan to make an Annual Consumer Generated Media Conference will be held under the theme “iBlog… iMedia”, aiming to highlight the role that blogs and social media is playing in changing the face of media.

The exact details on the program and who will be speaking at the event haven’t been announced yet, but according to the agenda, the conference will tackle the issues of new dialogue and the challenges it faces, social media: its realities, its relationship with the corporate world and its situation in the Arab world; incorporating a media and marketing perspective, with a focus on potentials and risks that brands and traditional media are facing with this growing medium.

“iBlog… iMedia aims to bring media and marketing professionals closer to Blogs, and to highlight the role that bloggers are playing in changing the face of the media” said Samer Marzouq, CEO of erabia, the mother company of casualPR.

The event is free for bloggers to attend, and requires a $100 registration fee for non-bloggers, which I think is a cool touch, even though I’m sure many people will start blogs just to get in free.
People interested in attending can already register online now.

# More: iBlog… iMedia, casualPR

UAE Leads MENA Region In E-readiness Ranking

| April 17, 2008 – 2:46 pm | comment 2 Comments

The newly released global e-readiness rankings published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, UAE leads the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in e-readiness this year, even though it dropped a couple of spaces from the year before.

The UAE came in at rank 35 in a list of 70 countries compared to 33 last year, the UAE scores 6.09 out of a possible 10, compared to a score of 6.22 in 2007. This puts it ahead of countries such as Turkey (rank 43), Saudi Arabia (46), Jordan (53), Egypt (57), Algeria (67) and Iran (70).
The United States has toppled Denmark to be at the top of the 2008 rankings.

E-readiness is a measure of the quality of a country’s information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and the ability of its consumers, businesses and governments to use ICT to their benefit.

“When a country uses ICT to conduct more of its activities, its economy can become even more transparent and efficient. The e-readiness rankings also allow governments to gauge the success of their ICT strategies against those of other countries, and provide companies wishing to invest overseas with an overview of the world’s most promising investment locations from the perspective of e-readiness,” the EIU said in a briefing paper released recently.

# Source: Zawya

Google App Engine: Your Web Apps On Google Infrastructure

| April 8, 2008 – 11:55 am | comment No Comments

Google just released a preview release of Google App Engine, a developer tool that enables you to run your web applications on Google’s infrastructure.

Google App Engine gives you access to the same building blocks that Google uses for its own applications, making it easier to build an application that runs reliably, even under heavy load and with large amounts of data.

The development environment includes the following features:

  • Dynamic webserving, with full support of common web technologies
  • Persistent storage (powered by BigTable and Google File System (GFS) with queries, sorting, and transactions)
  • Automatic scaling and load balancing
  • Google APIs for authenticating users and sending email
  • Fully featured local development environment

During the initial preview period, applications are limited to 500MB of storage, 200M megacycles of CPU per day, and 10GB bandwidth per day. In the future, these limited quotas will remain free, and developers will be able to purchase additional resources as needed.

This new offering from Google is direct competition to the suite of web services offered by Amazon, including S3 (storage), EC2 (virtual servers) and SimpleDB (database).

But unlike Amazon Web Services loosely coupled architecture, which consists of several essentially independent services that can optionally be tied together by developers, Googles architecture is more unified and less flexible; which means that developers using it will be running their entire application stack on Google resources.

Very interesting start from Google in the cloud computing arena, hopefully the future will hold more options and development platforms, and a bit more flexibility. It should make it a little easier for developers to get started with a new web app, and actually scale when that app reaches the point where it’s receiving significant traffic.

# Google App Engine

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