Computer hacker turned author Kevin Mitnick poses for a portrait Thursday, June 27, 2002, in Las Vegas. Barred  by the terms of his probation from messing with computers, ex-convict hacker Kevin Mitnick has turmed to writing about them, baring the tricks of his former trade in a forthcoming book,  "The Art of Deception."  Mitnick has been given permission to use a computer to write his  book. (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta)
Facebook subscribers keep in touch with friends, post information on forums and share images on the site.

Facebook may be too popular



ABU DHABI // Facebook and other social networking websites are enjoying overwhelming popularity in the Emirates, but some users fear internet regulators may further restrict access to "objectionable content". A new study shows that people in the UAE are more likely to sign up for social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace than people in other parts of the world, including North America.

The survey, in which more than 13,000 people across 17 countries were questioned, found that 46 per cent of the respondents in the UAE were active members of online social networks, compared with 40 per cent of those asked in the US and 44 per cent in Canada. The global market research firm, Synovate, which has an office in Dubai, spoke to more than 650 people across the Emirates aged 18 to 65. Only the Netherlands recorded a higher proportion of social networking members, with 49 per cent saying they used the sites.

Facebook subscribers keep in touch with friends, post information on forums and share images on the site, allowing some to access sections of the site such as dating forums despite the filtering technology used by UAE internet providers Etisalat and du to block politically or culturally "objectionable" internet content. Some users of the site - the seventh most visited in the UAE, according to the website tracker Alexa - have said they fear Facebook may soon meet the fate of other social networking web applications such as Orkut. There are at least a dozen online "petitions" against blocking Facebook. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) blocked Google-owned Orkut in its entirety in July 2007 after receiving reports that users were exchanging sexually explicit material. It also has blocked parts of the popular image-sharing sites YouTube and Flickr, which were the UAE's fourth and 28th most popular websites, respectively, according to Alexa. A spokesman for the TRA said the agency was not considering blocking Facebook in its entirety, but added that policies regarding the site may change if the current censorship regime does not adequately block questionable content.

"Facebook provides numerous services and contains diverse types of information, mostly useful," the spokesman wrote in an email. Etisalat and du "will block only those sections/services which are against the policies. Should the majority of content become against the policies and there is no way to block the prohibited content then the licensees may block the whole website." Etisalat declined to comment. A spokeswoman for du said the company had blocked only "pages/groups on Facebook which are not in line with the moral, social and cultural values of the United Arab Emirates". Several Facebook users said they understood concerns about the site and its inappropriate material, but added that further restrictions would not be popular. Last year, Etisalat placed a full block on Facebook after its filtering software, which uses search algorithms to block sites automatically based on guidelines provided by the TRA, stumbled on objectionable words, such as "dating". The TRA was flooded with email complaints and Etisalat rushed to unblock the site. The TRA spokesman said, however, that a site's popularity has no bearing on whether or not it will be blocked. "From a policy point of view, popularity is irrelevant when considering blocking/unblocking decisions," he wrote. "However, popularity may impact how fast actions are taken. Popularity means more attention from customers' point of view." George Christodoulides, the managing director for Synovate Gulf, said Facebook's popularity in the UAE was not surprising, considering the transient nature of the population. He said online networking opened up possibilities for meeting people "in a society where traditionally men and women don't always mix freely". Sam, 21, who grew up in Dubai and runs the blog One Big Construction Site, agreed. "I met my girlfriend through Facebook," he said. "I had her on my Facebook two years ago and I didn't know who she was then." He added that despite bans on some networking sites - such as Flickr and Orkut - men and women in the UAE had found ways to circumvent the censors and socialise online before meeting in person. mkwong@thenational.ae mbradley@thenational.ae

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

ZIMBABWE V UAE, ODI SERIES

All matches at the Harare Sports Club:

1st ODI, Wednesday - Zimbabwe won by 7 wickets

2nd ODI, Friday, April 12

3rd ODI, Sunday, April 14

4th ODI, Tuesday, April 16

UAE squad: Mohammed Naveed (captain), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammed Usman, CP Rizwan, Chirag Suri, Mohammed Boota, Ghulam Shabber, Sultan Ahmed, Imran Haider, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: DarDoc
Based: Abu Dhabi
Founders: Samer Masri, Keswin Suresh
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding: $800,000
Investors: Flat6Labs, angel investors + Incubated by Hub71, Abu Dhabi's Department of Health
Number of employees: 10

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Chef Nobu's advice for eating sushi

“One mistake people always make is adding extra wasabi. There is no need for this, because it should already be there between the rice and the fish.
“When eating nigiri, you must dip the fish – not the rice – in soy sauce, otherwise the rice will collapse. Also, don’t use too much soy sauce or it will make you thirsty. For sushi rolls, dip a little of the rice-covered roll lightly in soy sauce and eat in one bite.
“Chopsticks are acceptable, but really, I recommend using your fingers for sushi. Do use chopsticks for sashimi, though.
“The ginger should be eaten separately as a palette cleanser and used to clear the mouth when switching between different pieces of fish.”

MATCH INFO

New Zealand 176-8 (20 ovs)

England 155 (19.5 ovs)

New Zealand win by 21 runs

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Libya's Gold

UN Panel of Experts found regime secretly sold a fifth of the country's gold reserves.

The panel’s 2017 report followed a trail to West Africa where large sums of cash and gold were hidden by Abdullah Al Senussi, Qaddafi’s former intelligence chief, in 2011.

Cases filled with cash that was said to amount to $560m in 100 dollar notes, that was kept by a group of Libyans in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

A second stash was said to have been held in Accra, Ghana, inside boxes at the local offices of an international human rights organisation based in France.

The specs

Engine: 4-cylinder 2-litre
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Power: 252 brake horsepower
Torque: 352Nm
Price: from Dh146,700
On sale: now

The specs: 2018 Nissan Patrol Nismo

Price: base / as tested: Dh382,000

Engine: 5.6-litre V8

Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 428hp @ 5,800rpm

Torque: 560Nm @ 3,600rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 12.7L / 100km

Kill Bill Volume 1

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine and Michael Madsen
Rating: 4.5/5

Super 30

Produced: Sajid Nadiadwala and Phantom Productions
Directed: Vikas Bahl
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Pankaj Tripathi, Aditya Srivastav, Mrinal Thakur
Rating: 3.5 /5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

How to come clean about financial infidelity
  • Be honest and transparent: It is always better to own up than be found out. Tell your partner everything they want to know. Show remorse. Inform them of the extent of the situation so they know what they are dealing with.
  • Work on yourself: Be honest with yourself and your partner and figure out why you did it. Don’t be ashamed to ask for professional help. 
  • Give it time: Like any breach of trust, it requires time to rebuild. So be consistent, communicate often and be patient with your partner and yourself.
  • Discuss your financial situation regularly: Ensure your spouse is involved in financial matters and decisions. Your ability to consistently follow through with what you say you are going to do when it comes to money can make all the difference in your partner’s willingness to trust you again.
  • Work on a plan to resolve the problem together: If there is a lot of debt, for example, create a budget and financial plan together and ensure your partner is fully informed, involved and supported. 

Carol Glynn, founder of Conscious Finance Coaching

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbo

Power: 181hp

Torque: 230Nm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Starting price: Dh79,000

On sale: Now

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A fraudulent investment operation where the scammer provides fake reports and generates returns for old investors through money paid by new investors, rather than through ligitimate business activities.

SPECS

Engine: 2-litre direct injection turbo
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Power: 261hp
Torque: 400Nm
Price: From Dh134,999

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Five calorie-packed Ramadan drinks

Rooh Afza
100ml contains 414 calories
Tang orange drink
100ml serving contains 300 calories
Carob beverage mix
100ml serving contains about 300 calories
Qamar Al Din apricot drink
100ml saving contains 61 calories
Vimto fruit squash
100ml serving contains 30 calories

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

Results

Final: Iran beat Spain 6-3.

Play-off 3rd: UAE beat Russia 2-1 (in extra time).

Play-off 5th: Japan beat Egypt 7-2.

Play-off 7th: Italy beat Mexico 3-2.

Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now
Alan Rushbridger, Canongate