Register Today: The MENA ICT Forum

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AndFarAway is excited to be an official media partner with the MENA ICT Forum for 2014.

The MENA ICT Forum is the MENA region’s premier biennial ICT industry event, held in Jordan, under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II. The forum showcases the entire MENA region’s ICT success stories, and discusses latest trends, opportunities and future outlook.

Speakers include Francis Barel from PayPal, John Davies from Intel, and Duncan Mitchell from CISCO. You can view full list of speakers and agenda here.

You can register for the forum here.

Here are things you need to know about Jordan’s ICT sector:



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Sponsored Video: A Leap of Faith / قفزة ثقة

[Sponsored video]

مرض شلل الأطفال معد وخطير، ويمكن أن يصيب الصغار والكبار. يسعى فيلم قفزة ثقة إلى نشر الوعي حول شلل الأطفال وجهود التطعيم في باكستان. احموا أطفالكم من شلل الأطفال والأمراض الأخرى. شجاعتكم ستحافظ على صحتهم

Polio is a preventable disease that affects young children and adults. Leap of Faith seeks to raise awareness of polio and vaccination efforts in Pakistan. Protect your children from polio and other preventable diseases. Your courage will keep them healthy.

مرض شلل الأطفال معد وخطير، ويمكن أن يصيب الصغار والكبار. يسعى فيلم قفزة ثقة إلى نشر الوعي حول شلل الأطفال وجهود التطعيم في باكستان. احموا أطفالكم من شلل الأطفال والأمراض الأخرى. شجاعتكم ستحافظ على صحتهم

Polio is a preventable disease that affects young children and adults. Leap of Faith seeks to raise awareness of polio and vaccination efforts in Pakistan. Protect your children from polio and other preventable diseases. Your courage will keep them healthy.



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What should I eat today in Amman?

What should I have for dinner today in Amman? My least favorite question. You see, one of my biggest problems in life is that I never know where to eat. My friends never know either. It’s always an annoying game of what do you want — no, what do you want. It is REALLY ANNOYING.

So… Ladies and gentlemen… Behold! A little tool that can make the decision for you. Just click on the wheel and enjoy.

All options are my personal food picks, with several mentions for my top 2 places: Luigi’s (affordable, consistent, and superfast) and Il Pizzaiolo (the BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD). Yes, that’s playing with luck, I know, but it’s MY WHEEL. Other options included have very specific suggestions, like the kani salad at Sushi Studio (cause everything else there isn’t very good, and I want your tummy to be happy). Most of these places can feed you well for under 7JDs.

If you have any suggestions, I am happy to add them if I like them too.

Enjoy!



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The Amazing Collective Intelligence of Ants

Seriously INSANE.

Via io9



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Inflexibility of Expertise

From io9:

The perfect is the enemy of the good. We know that phrase very well. What the Einstellung Effect proves is the good can be a real enemy of the even better. When we have a solution that’s good, we can’t begin to think about a better one.

The seeming inability to come up with a better solution is called the Einstellung Effect. It’s not the product of simple laziness. Once people see a possible solution in their heads, they have a really tough time approaching the problem from a fresh perspective. Experts become less skilled than novices. At least, that’s what happens some of the time.

Another study found that chess players become less flexible and prone to settle for sub-optimal solutions as they gain expertise. Get above a certain level of expertise, though, and people are less and less prone to fall for the Einstellung Effect. They keep looking for different solutions until they find the best one. The question is, what relationship does the Einstellung Effect have to expertise? As you gain ability, maybe you lose the need to plug a known formula into every situation. Or is it the other way around? Perhaps if you are prone to settle for a known good instead of looking for something better, you never become a high-level expert.



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The Pain of Noise

My first memory of getting enraged by noise goes back to when I was 11 years old.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

It was the sound of a rubber ball being kicked consistently against the wall by my brothers.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

I was only 11, but I vividly remember what I felt. I was uncharacteristically enraged. It hurt, physically. Like someone was kicking a ball inside my head, bouncing it against the walls of my cranium.

Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.

I remember being so angry that I started feeling hot. The heat slowly went up through my body, starting in my toes and inching to my head. I remember trying to control the anger. I remember the insane rage. That’s it though.

The next thing I remember is finding myself standing in the kitchen, staring blankly at my crying brother. A limp green rubber ball lay stabbed open in one hand, and a knife in my other hand.

In my rage, I had subconsciously destroyed my 6-year-old brother’s green rubber ball.

But there was no more thudding. It felt so good.

It didn’t feel good for long, course. My mother was SO angry with me that I never dared to do such a thing again, ever. No more balls were popped at the Al-Assi household.

But the physical pain and rage I feel towards certain kinds of sound have not become any better. In fact, I think my problem is only getting worse with time.

My friends like to play music on their phones when we play cards. Sadly for them, I instantly lose my ability to focus on anything but the horrible sound. I can hear every hiss and every flat tone. The music simply loses all its aesthetic qualities and sounds like a disgusting blob of mismatched noise.

For the first few seconds, it is annoying. I tell myself to shut up and deal with it. It’s just music. Yeah, the sound is crap, but the song is crap anyway. This pristine logic doesn’t work for long though. My emotions are quickly overrun, and I lose my ability to focus on anything other than how horrible the music sounds. Like someone is sticking long rods of metal in my ears. That’s when I start getting angry and irritated. I ask my friends to please turn it off. They usually give me a hard time.

In my head, I know they don’t understand. To them, it does not sound like someone is consistently scraping a million nails against a chalkboard plastered over every surface of their body. You know, it’s just music. They want to play music, because music is nice and stuff. So what if the sound is just slightly crap? Roba is just being a brat. But I really am not being a brat. By this time, the pain in my ears and head is so intense that I almost feel like crying. So I go to the toilet and disappear for a while.

It’s weird, because I don’t have problems with most sorts of noise. I attended a horrendously loud and cacophonous metal concert last month. I enjoyed every second of it. I love parties, and my favorite, favorite thing about bars and restaurants is the buzz of people when combined with the crinkling of dinnerware. It’s what I miss most when I don’t go out.

It’s really weird.

And really annoying.

And I hope my friends stop playing loud music using their phones or their car’s crappy sound systems. And I hope all cars that make shrill noises disappear completely overnight, including motorcycles/scooters/etc. I hope all people who eat really loudly or drag their feet when they walk all get a really bad cold today.

I wish all bad noises would disappear.

Then I think I be much happier.



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