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The Internet

Submission Why Facebook, Why Now?->

Hakim writes: "John Betelle set off the quintessential question, for the month, which is a question — at least the way he frames it — that usually refers to some point in our fragile lives that has come to an uncertain and perhaps perilous juncture. Or to an equally destabilizing awakening, that perhaps many converts feel right before they are inclined to join the ranks of society's strange group, the Muslims. Yes that awakening, the realization of how fragile our human lives really are, and the knowledge that something must be done. But no Bettelle doesn't waste time, meandering about, asking the centuries old question of the centuries old issue. Bettelle skips all that and gets right to the good stuff. The Internet. And asks,

"Why Facebook, why now,"

Actually, its a good question. And I have been asking myself the very same question. Why Facebook? I have recently become a member and brought along a host of Muslims with me (my Gmail account has hundreds of Muslims and Muslim bloggers that I have acquired over the years). So what I have realized is that, Facebook, unlike some of the other sites that attempt social networking, is really good at "social networking". In fact it does, better than any other, in what the term denotes. Whereas the others only imply, "social networking" but do not make it as easy nor as fun.

Conversely, Facebook's critics, like Scott Rosenberg, co-founder of and Robert Scoble, the Scobleizer, suggest that Facebook needs work on its terms; definitions and advertising respectively.

Rosenberg says,

"The first generation of social networks were mocked for offering only a simple binary choice of "friend" or "not friend." Facebook — which started as a network for college students, but opened its doors to the world a few months ago, and is now growing like mad — isn't much of an improvement."

Although he has a point, I was rather happy to see that many of the more ambiguous choices, like "Met randomly" for example, allowed you to fill in the blanks.

Scoble, on the other hand, jumped on the advertising issue that TechMeme [1] pointed out. He shoots-down the entire advertising scheme of the site by what seems to be play-by-play example of its short comings. He then summarizes that, "Facebook needs an advertising platform and it needs one in the worst way. I'm not going to even look at the ads until the ads are tied to the people on Facebook. Facebook knows what we're into, put ads for those things onto our profiles and messages."

The way I see it is that, the definitions and terms may provide too many options but the fill in the blanks are good. I don't use all of the friends definitions either "Sco" but I think if they cut them down, which I doubt they will, at least leave the fill in portion or perhaps if they do cut down the options they can add more "optional" fill in features for those users who either have time to spend or are manic.

I for one like a little bit of limitation. For example, this morning I woke up called my wife and children — they are at Grandma's for the weekend — then went to face book and changed the "Hakim Abdullah is" from "Hakim Abdullah is home alone" to "Hakim Abdullah is going for coffee". Now I was quite happy just saying that I was home alone, nothing less nothing more. Perhaps a family member or friend would see this on Facebook and be inspired to ask, "Hey where are the kids?".

Likewise, I was equally satisfied with saying that I was going for coffee. I was being discrete. Because I do not want everyone to know that I was actually going in to my kitchen to roast fresh beans that I bought from Yemen. Then ground them by hand adding a pinch of nutmeg, cumin, black pepper and three cardamom pods. And finally pouring the powder into the kedhli (an old world coffee maker) and bring it to a slow 20 minute boil. If I would have said all that, no one would ever invite me to their house for coffee again... doh (a Homerism)!

But overall, I have found the initial stage of Facebook to be enjoyable. I spend a lot of time on the internet. Which I am going to have to manage more strictly in the next month or so, Ramadan is coming. The groups seem pretty cool and the best part of the entire Facebook experience is that it focuses largely on people, not business, not sex and dating, but just getting to know people. Because remember, in the Qur'an it says,

"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)." (49:013)

And I think its about time we get started working toward being the best in this context. Don't you?"

Link to Original Source

Journal Journal: Firefox Add-ons: Pray Times! 1

I know that there are a lot of adhan (Islamic call to prayer) devices out there and many Muslims use the Windows application Athan by IslamicFinder. But I recently installed Ubuntu ME, the Muslim edition of Ubuntu, a popular Linux OS distribution and it works well with one exception, I can't seem to to get Djihed Affifi's Minbar application to work. So I began looking for an alternative

Submission Introducing Ubuntu (ME), the Muslim Edition->

Abdul-Hakim writes: "What do Ubuntu and Muslims have in common? And no, this is not the beginning of a tasteless joke. Actually, Ubuntu has a Muslim version of the popular and free operating system, it is called Ubuntu (ME). It comes complete with features that are particularly useful to Muslims such as: an Islamic calendar; a program that routinely makes the call to prayer; a Qur'anic study-tool; Islamic GUI skins; backgrounds and a firewall/filter for verboten (haram) web-content."
Link to Original Source
United States

Submission [Breaking] Rep. KEITH ELLISON (D-MN) SIGNS IMPEACH->

Jodin Morey writes: " by Mikael Rudolph An aide called from the offices of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) this morning saying that Rep. Ellison has signed House Resolution 333 as authored by Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) calling for impeachment hearings to commence against Vice President Dick Cheney. Members of ImpeachforPeace had met with Rep. Ellison in April at which time he had said that "Impeachment Should Be on the Table", but that he needed to hear from his consituents before cosigning the impeachment bill. Rep. Ellison's signature, along with that of Rep. James McDermott (D-WA), who also added his name to the resolution this week, brought the number cosigners to ten. Ellison is notably the second member of the House Judiciary Committee to cosign, along with Maxine Waters (D-CA). Th HJC is where the bill sits for now, waiting for enough support to be brought to a vote. A simple majority would initiate impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives. Resolutions in support of H. Res. 333 and calling for Rep. Ellison to cosign were resoundingly passed at the Minnesota 5th District Democratic Farmer-Labor Party Central meeting last week after a presentation by ImpeachforPeace. More to come."
Link to Original Source
User Journal

Journal Journal: I Haven't Forgotten About My /. Family

Don't worry folks... I haven't forgotten about you. I have just had so much homework and research latley that I haven't had the time to really post anything. Please be patient, I'm not sure if I have any real fans who are starving for a juicy morcel of my writing but... if there is anyone who misses my posts. I have a decent one coming very soon.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Diplomatic Hippopatomii

The origin of the hippopotamus' name is greek; loosely translating to river horse or water horse. The animals natural habitat is land and water... it's amphibious! Its sexual preference is heterosexual and often hordes females in a harem-like group and fends off approaching males which may threaten the hippo's relationship with the females. Although its wild-life behavior seems similar a Sultan or a rapper the hippo's public service efforts are quite diplomatic.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Out of Interesting Things To Say... 2

Well it has finally happend, I have run out of interesting things to say. More often then not I have interesting things to say and write but just not enough time to post it. Well just the opposite is the case today and has been nearly all week. I have completely run out of interesting things to share. I would like to ask my slashdot friends for suggestions... what would you guys like to hear?


Journal Journal: A Break From Terror-Talk...

I have noticed many /. journals discussing Syria, Muslim's, Arabs and foreign relations. So I decided to add more to the pot. However, I wanted to lightly discuss an Islamic issue not related to current affairs but of Islam's highest principles, as I understand them.


Journal Journal: Quote: Of Studies 3

"Histories make men wise; poets, witty, the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend" (Bacon).

I'm Meditating on Sir Francis Bacon's essay "Of Studies" and considering, at which of the 6 studies am I most skillful. If I were to place them in order... I think it would look like this:

Journal Journal: The Club of Rome 2

The Club of Rome is a global think tank and centre of innovation and initiative. As a non-profit, non govermental organisation (NGO), it brings together scientists, economists, businessmen, international high civil servants, heads of state and former heads of state from all five continents who are convinced that the future of humankind is not determined once and for all and that each human being can contribute to the improvement of our societies.


Journal Journal: Quote: Discourse on Method 4

"It is useful to know something of the manners of different nations, that we may be enabled to form a more correct judgment regarding our own, and be prevented from thinking that everything contrary to our customs is ridiculous and irrational, -- a conclusion usually come to by those whose experience has been limited to their own country" (Descartes).


Journal Journal: Quote: Disgrace

"Being a father... I can't help feeling that, by comparison with being a mother, being a father is rather abstract business" (Coetzee).

J.M. Coetzee couldn't have written it better... in my experience, being a father is truly abstract business. Most of the time I feel like the Moon in orbit around the Sun (Mommy). Hmmm... I always thought it was supposed to be the other way around, at least that's what astrology and society tell us.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...