Blackberry's, Al Fair & Hi FM

It's old news by the time you read this (broken in the Oman blogosphere by Muscat Jet Driver, and picked up by Muscat Confidential), but Saudi and the UAE have decided to ban RIM's popular business device, the Blackberry, from use in their countries from October. Now, this strikes me as quite a peculiar move for the UAE. I'm not surprised by the Saudi's because, well, just because.

But for the UAE to block the worlds most popular business application, when they are attempting to position themselves as the centre for business - well it's a bit of a head scratcher. The reason, we all know, for the ban is because of BBM. Blackberry Messenger has grown in popularity in recent years as an instant-messaging platform. Now the UAE has an estimated 500,000 users, and Saudi have an estimated 400,000 users (source). Saudi are moving to block BBM only whereas the UAE are going to kill the Blackberry totally - emails, internet browsing & of course, BBM.

The official reason being that RIM's devices do not comply with the local laws - they want to know what you're sending to each other in messages and emails. Which seems ok, accept if I was a nefarious character who did not want my messages being read by the authorities, I would probably use a disposable PAYG phone and if I really wanted to be secure, I'd use one of the many commercially available (and some free) military encryption programs to protect my data. So this to me seems like a power play by the UAE government to try and get RIM to come to the party. Except for a paltry 500,000 users, they'll probably just pull out.

I think it's a storm in a tea-cup.

I also think that there will be a surge in cheap Blackberry devices about to flood the local markets - Now might be the perfect time to buy a cheap crackberry. Workers in Dubai may also actually be pleased about this ruling. Too many people, the world over, are caught working when they should not be. They've been referred to as electric dog-leashes, and quite rightly so. Of course, all that is going to happen, is that companies will switch to a different hand-set and continue to push their emails to their handsets. My Android phone is capable of it, and many, many other smart phones out there are also capable of it.

The irritant is, of course, is that there are large companies based in the UAE, that have shelled out major cash for the RIM Push software server licenses - that is sure to make things a bit sticky. Interestingly enough, Oman's TRA have remained silent on this issue - perhaps they are watching and waiting to see what is going to happen.

Now, some local news.

Al Fair will be opening a new branch in Azaiba, and it should be open by October. I guess they decided that if The Sultan Center can survive there, so can they. And indeed, they will probably be pretty popular. More on that soon.

And finally.

I decided to try Hi FM this morning, having decided that I was bored of the cd's in my car. And I was greeted by Darren proclaiming that milk in bags, much like a chip with ketchup in it, incredibly pointless! Well I'll agree that a chip with ketchup running through it is incredibly pointless - I have to say that milk in bags is a great idea - and this is why: In Canada, milk is commonly sold in bags. Everyone has a cheap (or I guess there are expensive blinged ones too) milk jug. You cut the corner of the bag and put it in the jug, and pour away. It is good for environment because it uses less materials and when it's empty it takes up a lot less space in the eventual landfill it ends up in. Makes sense now?

Thats all for today.

le fin.
Blackberry's, Al Fair & Hi FM Blackberry's, Al Fair & Hi FM Reviewed by Sythe on Monday, August 02, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. Milk in bags? WRONG. Spillage, carnage, etc. etc.

    Blackberry ban? Yes, I saw this on CNN whilst in the gym this morning and if I'm honest, I reckon by the time it comes round, it will all have been sorted out .. somehow. Idle threat, that's what I call it.

    However, woudld be a great way of getting out of being pestered out of hours or whilst on holiday! ;-)

  2. Sythe: are you Canadian also???? And you know CS hosts. Hmmmmm, we may meet.

  3. Milk in bags is totally the way to go, you only spill if you cut the corner too big and use crying over spilled milk anyway!

    Plus you can thoroughly wash the bags and reuse them for yours and your kids lunches.

    Plus the jugs only cost $1 (more or less) and last forever.

    -Fan of Milk in Bags.

  4. The one thing far far better than milk in bags? Milk in a recyclable glass bottle that is actually - wait for it - recycled!!!

  5. i'm totally for milk in bags! in australia, we have bannister downs milk in bags made of a chalk that's recyclable or burnable! the bags have an actual form factor as opposed to the ones you are talking about though, so you don't even have to transfer it into a jug :D


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