Microsoft Windows Phone UI Suggested Concept


I have been using windows mobile phone since 2010, pretty much since they launched what was called windows 7 at the time. I was excited about it because it had a completely different look than any other O.S out there (namely Android and iOS).

But it was lacking so many features, to name a few:  you couldn’t resize the tiles, no background image capability, the notification bar was limited and wasn’t there early on, among many  other things. ( we’re not discussing the app  market, as I am hoping it will eventually grow).

The good thing however, is that they kept on pushing new builds , and of course with a new build you get new features, so my phone was bumped to windows 7.8 and then 8.1 and of course by joining the  insider program , you get to volunteer your device as a guinea pig, at your own  risk. That too, was ok with me, as long as I was getting new features.

Recently I bought my HP Elite x3 running on windows 10. It is a great device, but other than windows hello and perhaps the biometric recognition, there wasn’t much change to visually identify it from the previous versions.  As a Microsoft windows phone user, I feel like it’s no different than an iOS or an Android, the software remains the same, and there would be minor tweaks to the Hardware.

Now I have seen several  concepts out there, and I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be nice if on top of the existing concepts out there to just add one more,  namely the 3D concept. it would look something like this: Concept 2.pngSecond Concept.png

 

It is self explanatory. Whenever you have a message for instance, you will still see the  number of messages waiting to be read, but you will also have this elevated box (3D rendering above), which will visually stimulate you to check the message, or at least point you in that direction. Once opened, it will return to its flat format (2D). it would feel like popping a bubble wrap.

Now this may not apply to all tiles as some of them are static, yet still this minor UI change does go a long way in making Windows Phone an even more unique experience to its users.

Feel free to comment and give your thoughts on this concept.

– Raghid Khalil

 

 

 

Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (Review)


FotorCreated I was discussing the movie “Birdman” with my cousin the other day, and we have come up with several different possible endings or interpretations of the movie in its entirety.

However, since we’re both happy people, “it runs in the family”, we tried to look at it from a positive angle.

From this point on, this post contains massive spoiler alert. If you still haven’t seen the movie, I suggest you stop reading until you have seen it. Then again, I suggest you read this, and give me your thoughts on our perspective.

The most important part is the reference made about superheroes in the movie, not only verbally but also visually; this appeared towards the end of the movie “on stage”.

When watching the movie Birdman, one has to draw a parallel between the Character of Riggan together with Birdman, and the real life Character Michael Keaton together with Batman.

Aside from that, you will notice Edward Norton who has played Hulk, Naomi Watts played alongside “King Kong” and Emma Stone played alongside “Spider-man”. All three have managed to succeed in real life.  When it comes to Michael Keaton or even “Riggan” the character in the movie, both of them have once been greater than life, and have almost sunk to the lowest low to an extent that they were almost forgotten. Birdman and Batman, both are birds and both have grossed millions in the theatres, but both Riggan and Michael were harshly critiqued for their superhero roles.

Since we have established that to a large extent, that both Michael Keaton and Riggan are to a great extent a reflection of one another, and since we do not have a clear idea of the ending of the movie, as to when the window of the hospital was left open.  Did he jump? Did he die? What was really meant by that?

So this is where the optimism comes into play, by looking at the success of Michael Keaton today not as a superhero but as an actor, especially after his role in Birdman, and by monitoring the look of Riggan’s daughter  “Sam” slowly staring up towards the sky, I could only deduce the ending of Birdman’s Riggan to be in parallel to that of the real life Michael Keaton. He is back on the map, he is slowly emerging  as an actor after he has proven himself to be a success outside of his suit.

–Raghid Khalil

I AM LEBANON


PassI have been contemplating on the news for the past few days, and all I could see or read was ‘terrorism’ and ‘trauma’.

It’s always been interesting how the word terrorism is used and I really can’t quite understand the proper way of using it. For instance, what happened a few days ago with “Charlie Hebdo”, to me, sounded more like murder or assassination especially when you call out people by name before committing the crime. But to add some suspense to it, it seems media outlets would rather use the word terrorism. It looks better on the news, and of course what would be better fit for being a terrorist than a so called human being who happened to be born into a family of a certain religion and has been labelled as Muslim on his documents and not necessarily by doctrine.

As for trauma, it just perplexes me even more when I hear that people were traumatized and that their lives will be changed forever and perhaps might never be able to go to a grocery store within the next decade.

Well in all honesty, if you stop dwelling on the word trauma, people might forget the incident entirely and might be able to move on with their lives. But of course it’s not good for media; they have to reiterate their horrible experience at every occasion in front of every news channel. I only think this is funny, and I am using my freedom of speech to express what I am about to say. I believe every Lebanese person born prior to the first week of 2015 has experienced either the civil war, or the war of two foreign countries on Lebanese soil, or an aggression from a neighboring country, or numerous invasions, or kidnappings or in the least some form of bombing here and there.

But of course, those do not qualify for terrorism and definitely not a traumatic experience to any of the Lebanese. It’s more like having the morning Turkish coffee.

I am sick and tired of these double standards. And it gets worse, when someone other than a Muslim commits a heinous act of mass murder at Universities and so on. Everyone seems to identify that the parents (immediate family) of that murderer have nothing to do with that person’s action and thereby try to defend them or console them. But if it was a Muslim, then all of a sudden it becomes similar to the original sin, and every Muslim has to deal with and condone it otherwise they appear to approve it.

I am against killings of any sort, I am against terrorism and anything that negatively impacts human lives, but my question is to the Lebanese who are close to 4 million in Lebanon but have managed to have 8 Million of them use all sorts of social media to express “ I AM CHARLIE” , has anyone within those past 40 years  or at least since the inception of social media other than the Lebanese themselves ever say “ I AM BEIRUT”, “I AM LEBANON”.

Raghid Khalil

Zombies, Ignorant or Illiterate



Zombies, Ignorant or Illiterate.

I had to give out three options, but in reality there are only two, because if you think about Illiteracy, it really doesn’t fit in. In our blogs we are targeting people primarily that are on Facebook and other social networks. Of course to have an online account in any of the social networks one would be required to have a username and a password, which by default defies ones inability to read and write.

So you’re off the hook in a way. But that would only push you closer to being an ignorant or a Zombie.

Zombies, on the other hand, have not been proven to be real, which is a shame because many would mentally fit right into that description. Unfortunately, since we’re not looking at things in the literal term, we have to flush down that idea as well.

I guess we’re left with the last item on our menu handpicked from a wide selection of synonyms, “The ignorant”. Before I proceed, you must understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to earn this title, after all you have to work really hard for it. It really doesn’t choose you, but you do.

For all those that have been reading our blogs in secret or openly, we truly thank you. But above all, to the ignorant ones that have been purposely avoiding a mental stimuli, I must thank you more than anyone else, because whether you know it or not, you just gave us another idea for a blog, and I dedicate it to you.

It’s a shame you won’t know about it, because most probably you won’t read it.

Raghid Khalil

Love … at a Glance


She loves him … but… he loves another.

Typical, is the word that first comes to your mind. It’s always the case. When will women learn that no good can come from a man?

He has a heart of stone, that is to say, if he has one in the first place. She, on the other hand, is so loving and caring. He rationalizes each step she takes, and she feels every action he makes. She gives him her undivided attention and surrenders her love. What does he do instead?

Words start flying out easily when describing the harshness of men. His cold-blooded nature, his indifference, and hard-heartedness are some of his general attributes.

But when it comes to women, we find ourselves very careful with our choice of words. No matter how cruel we tend to be with our description, we still manage to throw in a couple of motherly and angelic words.  Even when she is remote, she is concerned. Even when she is harsh, she conveys compassion.

This is how it has always been, and most probably will remain for centuries to come. Unfortunately none of us will be alive by then to confirm or challenge those accusations. The earlier we accept them, the earlier women can formulate ways to protect themselves from the one they love.

Women have always been the victim and like I stated before:

She loves him no more, but without a doubt he has been wrongfully accused that he loves another.

Raghid Khalil

A Glimpse from the Past


Michelle Meiklejohn- freedigitaphotos.net

Raising Generations:

The way parents raise their kids can vary drastically, but they all seem to have one thing in common.; they want what’s best for their kids. So far this is beautiful. Parents across the globe seem to agree on the end result, but the implementation seems to be different. When I was growing up, discipline played a big role in the community. Kids my age didn’t feel any different. We all got the same treatment, and if we didn’t, at least we knew what to expect and what should be done to avoid the torture that could be inflicted on us by our parents. It was very simple, you get bad grades you get punished, you cause trouble you get punished, you decide to drop out of school, well that wasn’t much of an option because the punishment bar gets risen before you even think about dropping out. It is very similar to what happens these days, except for one tiny thing, “the punishment”; maybe if I use the term “timeout” some people might understand what I’m talking about.

The equation is quite fascinating. If I wanted my kids to succeed in life I made sure they got there. A good example is the “baby boomers”; we have now reached a point whereby parents have become so soft that there will never be another baby boomers generation. To some, this is a great relief, but to others this is a disaster. When I discuss the baby boomers I am not merely referring to the mass births of babies right after World War II through the 1960s; I am referring to the way they were brought up and what they have brought back to society, in terms of knowledge, education and wealth.

People from my generation and older have been exposed to different behaviors among each other, maybe eccentric but it led to some results. Before I proceed with this, let’s put some guidelines. When we discuss punishment, we’re talking about beating, but not to the extent of causing damage, which is also tricky in a way because we have physical damage, mental damage and societal damage. Let’s break them down:

Physical damage: The most obvious form of damage. You get marks all over your body, black eye or broken bones etc.. Well deal with it time is a healer.

Mental damage: In my opinion mental damage is not really caused by parents, because in their mind whatever punishment they’re inflicting is for your own good. Since they care about you they wouldn’t do anything with the intention of hurting you. Mind you, this is the norm, we’re not talking about the abnormal cases where parents get drunk and go rampage around the house. Mental damage in my opinion comes from schools and their therapists these days. One way or another they teach the kids that their parents could be a possible danger or threat to them; it gets funnier cause by the end of the school day they send the kids back home to this horrific image they have implanted in their brains. Kids now feel they are on a mission to spy on their parents and maybe put them to the test, and parents on the other hand have to make sure that their kids won’t play a prank on them because it could be extremely embarrassing and costly; and by prank I mean, jokingly tell someone at school that they were beaten by their parents. It does happen.

Societal Damage: This one is hilarious in my opinion. If a man lacked affection while growing up, he would make sure his kids will be deprived of it as well, under the pretext that this is the acceptable thing to do and everything else is wrong. It gets even worse because kids are known not to keep any secrets, so this wealth of social knowledge of what’s right and what’s wrong gets spread among all the kids, and before you know it the kids grow up to be distant and isolated, constantly on the lookout for suspicious parental behavior.

So by reviewing those three damaging factors, you are taking power from the parents and handing it over to the kids, who now can  be in control of almost anything that is not of monetary value. Your only bargaining chip as a parent would be “As long as you live under my roof, you abide by my rules”.

From an initial stance, one might like this idea. It seems intriguing…but let’s look at the bigger picture. Let us draw a long-term scenario. On the long run, it’s creating a rift between the children and their parents. Parents would be waiting for the minute their children turn 18 so that they can move out. Sure it might seem great, but don’t blame your kids if they never want to be part of your life, don’t blame them if they are too busy taking care of themselves that they couldn’t make it to your funeral; in short, the minute they step outside that door, start blaming yourself cause they will.

– You weren’t there to hold them when they needed you, whether girls or boys, you were too worried about the judgmental society that you risk losing your children.

– You couldn’t punish them old school, simply because you were afraid of being punished yourself by society.

– You risk watching them go on drugs, and start drinking at a young age, just because you couldn’t properly teach them what the limits are.

As a kid, I had two choices, either burn my hand with fire, or get slapped on my hand before the action. Of course at the time I didn’t understand why I was being slapped, but now I know why my hands are not deformed.

Parents need to regain this control; the foundation is the most important thing in any matter. To lay a good foundation, there needs to be proper understanding of your kids. To understand your kids, you need to have more interaction with them, guiding them between what’s right and what’s wrong. They might act tough, they might act knowledgeable. In short they’re not, they’re kids, they’re teenagers, and they are not fully adults.

As a parent I would rather regret one incident with my kids than watch them regret their entire life.

Raghid Khalil

…. And Felines Get It Too


jpegwallpapers

Feline Aids

So we all heard about the transmission of aids to Humans, or maybe I should use the word, discovery and tracking back the origin of the virus. We have several scenarios thus far:

Scenario 1: Weapon – Man

Scenario 2: Monkey – Man

Scenario 3: Man – Man

Regardless of which one you want to believe as being the original one, one would think that one scenario is sufficient. But we live in a creepy world and one scenario might not be sufficient. It could involve all three scenarios… an orgy of scenarios. However, I still haven’t gotten to the intriguingly interesting and mind boggling thought. Just recently, being the non-clinical person, I heard of what is called the Feline aids disease,  and this is where I could use some help understanding how cats came into play.

Sure, cats and monkeys don’t get along; I can see cats and dogs have more things in common than with a monkey; just like I would see a man having more things in common with a monkey than a cat.

So, how did felines get aids?  Should I go back to my drawing board to write down all the possible scenarios? You know what? I will do that, just for the fun of it.

Scenario 1: Weapon went wrong- Feline

Scenario 2: Disturbed Monkey – Feline

Scenario 3: Man beyond wasted and experimenting – Feline

Scenario 4: Feline (gay) – Feline

It might be self-explanatory, but come on why skip the details when we can make it more fun. It is true, chemical weapons are manufactured under highly secured remote places that no one can ever come across, maybe tens of floors below ground level or deep in an invisible mountain, but believe it or not, they keep cats around just for fun. One of those days, a syringe was left unattended and unfortunately the cat chasing after a mouse in the lab, now you do know that they always have mice in their labs, that should not come as a surprise to anyone, that’s the norm; but anyway so the cat was chasing the mouse around the lab, breaking test tubes and what not, thinking that it had the whole world in its paws. Little did she know, the mouse who was once part of the three miceketeers, picked up what appeared to be a sword and stabbed the cat  several times with it, hence transmitting the disease.

If that story was hard to believe, then try to get this one. Monkeys are found primarily in two places, either at the zoo or in a forest, living their life to the max. Of course no one can believe that a cat could get itself in a cage with a monkey, why would a cat be at the zoo in the first place? which in itself is an interesting observation… I have never seen cats in any zoo. You either have them at home or you buy them from a pet store. But that’s not the point; let’s consider the latter case being the more probable one. A cat decided one day to elope with her lover, only to discover that he has already left her for another feline. It may be sad, but it happens all the time and that’s why you hear them moaning in February, that’s how sad they get. Anyway, the cat had two choices; either go back to the loving home and reminisce in sorrow and misery or commits suicide. A quick note for the reader, a suicidal cat does not jump off the bridge, it is almost impossible for a cat not to land on its feet, so the suicidal thought for a cat is to go to the jungle. Of course you all know what happens next; I will explain for those that don’t. The cat stepped into the jungle thinking that a lion would jump on her and devour her and she would die without feeling any pain, instead she encountered a bald blue-eyed monkey, who wasn’t sure what species he belongs to. He always felt out of place. Right away those sparkling eyes at night caught his attention; both having blue eyes, it felt like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately for the cat, she found her destiny in the arms of a monkey, but with it came a great feline disease.

It’s not over, well the monkey and cat scenario is, but what about man and feline. I’m sure if this story was ever true, it would have made the headlines all around the world. This is how it goes: A Man came home earlier one day from work only to discover that his wife was cheating on him, in his own house, on his own bed. He didn’t know what to do. Because the unlucky dude lived in a “no-Fault” state, which by the way I will be talking about in another blog, he decided to leave the house. Yet he couldn’t get the picture out of his mind. He went to the nearest bar and got wasted beyond imagination, and couldn’t find anyone else to blame but himself. After all, he knew he had a size issue, and of course he heard his wife tell him before that “size does matter”. He felt that he was a looser and wanted to prove that he was capable of pleasing another, but deep down inside he knew it was biologically impossible. On his way out of the bar, after being kicked out of course, around 3:37 am, and no one around, he saw a cat wandering, and cats by nature are so friendly, they let anyone pet them. Once again this poor cat has seen things she was not meant to see. Nonetheless she was satisfied and eventually diseased, but look at the bright side the man too had accomplished what he asked for “to please another”.

Last by not least, it’s the story of the gay felines couple. If penguins can do it, why not cats! As lady Gaga states: They are born this way… Who are you to judge?

Raghid Khalil