Saudi Arabia is Changing

I’ve had the pleasure of living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for nine years of my life. Of course, the way us Westerners view the country is a lot different to the way natives do. We live in compounds surrounded by high walls and electrified wires with watch towers, they tend not to.

King Salman hasn’t been seen in public for ages now due to poor health. His reign hasn’t lasted very long. After the death of Abdulaziz in 2015, Salman took over. Now, King Salman has fallen ill and it is thought that he could pass any day now, so the reign has been passed onto another Salman; Crown Prince Salman – who now rules the KSA.

What do the other Arab royals think of it? I’d imagine he’s quite polarising for them. He’s kicked most of them out of their palaces and taken away their money, theoretically to invest in more important things.

The new crown prince has seen Saudi Arabia boast changes mostly aimed at modernisation. Stepping foot into the country for the first time after nine years of living away, I couldn’t believe it. The airport now has shops in it, civilians and women working at the immigration, new glass gateways, and restaurants – all previously unimaginable for the country.

They’ve built over and placed a shop floor over what used to be a bridge over the fountains to the gates.
The architectural design of King Khalid International is a unique one. It’s nothing like the boring metal sheeted airports you get elsewhere.

Incredible, I thought. Later during my stay, I found out that popular Western music artists would be performing in the country; the Black Eyed Peas, Enrique Iglesias, Jason Derulo, and David Guetta. I never thought in a million years that I would be able to see any of these famous people perform in Saudi Arabia of all places. I managed to see the Black Eyed Peas and Amir Diab, a famous Egyptian singer.

In addition, I thought something was off when I was at the shopping centres in the city. It took me a while to realise, but I saw women working in the shops. “Hang on,” I thought – “since when could women work here?” Turns out that they’ve been able to work here for three years now. However, some archaic and skewed religious laws remain. At the concert, I noticed a security guard leaning into the crowd from the fence and shouting in Arabic at some men. I had no clue what was being said, but it was clear that he wanted them to leave the crowd. After thirty seconds of that, he noticed me and started pushing me and shouting in Arabic. I wouldn’t budge, so he gave up after a moment. Some nearby onlookers introduced themselves to me and then told me that he was trying to separate the men from the women. Crazily enough, I managed to capture some of it on my phone below. It appears that the culture has yet to catch up.

On the topic of Formula E, it was a showcase event for the country to show the rest of the world that it can be like them. It’s the first of its kind in the country, aimed at the international community as if to say “come in, we’re open.” Below are a few pictures I took at the event.

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The city of Riyadh is expanding rapidly. Only ten years ago, it was a tiny city with only two skyscrapers; Al Faisaliyah Tower and Kingdom Tower. Below are some photos from the top of Kingdom Tower (AKA Kingdom Centre).

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Only 15 years ago, all of this land was desert in the outskirts with the roads being paved by steamrollers.
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In the distance is the financial district, it’s all new and only came into existence within the past few years.

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The bridge on top of Kingdom Tower.
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In the centre is Al Faisaliyah Tower.

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Only about 20 years ago, most of the buildings in the photos above didn’t exist. It was all desert with only steamrollers paving the roads now filled with traffic. The country is rapidly catching up with the rest of the world, but it still isn’t a nice place for women to live. Need to get an Uber? You may need to get in a separate one from a woman.

 

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Strange Method of trying to Extort Money using Combo Lists Uncovered

[scammer]@pnpytur.com says

I do know [old password I used once when I was 12, anyone can find it on the anti public combo list] one of your password. Lets get directly to purpose. You don’t know me and you are probably thinking why you are getting this email?

actually, I installed a malware on the xxx streaming (porno) site and guess what, you visited this site to experience fun (you know what I mean). When you were watching videos, your web browser started operating as a Remote control Desktop that has a keylogger which provided me with accessibility to your display screen and web camera. Right after that, my software program collected all of your contacts from your Messenger, social networks, and e-mailaccount. And then I created a double-screen video. 1st part displays the video you were viewing (you have a fine taste hehe), and second part shows the view of your cam, yea its you.

You do have a pair of alternatives. Shall we read the possibilities in aspects:

First option is to ignore this e-mail. Then, I most certainly will send your very own video recording to just about all of your contacts and also just imagine about the embarrassment you will definitely get. And consequently if you are in an affair, just how it is going to affect?

Number 2 solution should be to pay me [absurd amount of money which no one will pay]. Lets refer to it as a donation. Then, I most certainly will instantaneously discard your videotape. You could continue on your lif e like this never took place and you will not ever hear back again from me.

You will make the payment through Bitcoin (if you don’t know this, search for “how to buy bitcoin” in Google).

BTC Address: [he put his bitcoin address in here as if anyone is going to use it]

If you have been planning on going to the law enforcement, look, this email can not be traced back to me. I have covered my steps. I am just not looking to charge a fee very much, I simply want to be compensated.

You now have one day to pay. I have a special pixel within this e mail, and now I know that you have read through this email message. If I don’t get the BitCoins, I will send your video recording to all of your contacts including members of your family, coworkers, and so on. Having said that, if I receive the payment, I will erase the video right away. If you really want evidence, reply with Yes! & I definitely will send out your video to your 7 contacts. It’s a nonnegotiable offer, so please do not waste mine time and yours by responding to this e-mail.

It’s easy to deal with such a scam, simply ignore the email. He does this by looking at combo lists, letting other people do the bulk work for him and then using the password on that list to try (very poorly) to make the threat seem real. With such poor English, I doubt this person is even smart enough to code a simple Java program to tell the time.

If you’ve received such an email, just ignore it. He can’t do anything except send more emails begging for money. He’s probably lives in a poor country.

To protect yourself from these, the only rule you really ever need to follow is don’t re-use passwords and use a password manager.

You can check to see if your password has ever been leaked at https://haveibeenpwned.com/

WordPress or Tumblr?

After about a year of using WordPress, very little entices me to stay. You have to pay annually to get your own domain mapped, as I have done. It’s free to do so on Tumblr. You have to pay to remove ads. There are no forced ads on Tumblr blogs. You would even get more control with a Blogger site.

ads tumblr
A free option of Tumblr’s that WP makes you pay for

Here’s a little list I’m about to brainstorm about why Tumblr is better than WordPress:

  • You can edit HTML for free on Tumblr, you have to pay with WordPress
  • There is a greater impression of community with Tumblr, giving you the freedom of choice to ‘reblog’, ‘like’ posts, or follow blogs if you wanted
  • Tumblr is completely free of gimmicks such as paying to remove ads, mapping domains, with the exception of ‘premium themes’
  • Tumblr is easier to use in my opinion, it has just as much flexibility as WordPress, if not more
  • In my opinion, even the ‘personal’ plan WordPress has is overpriced – why should I pay for these things when I can get it for free elsewhere?

So then, why should anyone choose WordPress? If you’re rich or a business; WordPress has more business tools to offer for people willing to pay for them. These are Search Engine Optimisation tools and other ‘plugins’ (like bolt-ons from your mobile phone provider). Oh and there was a Tumblr password leak years ago. Of course, this shouldn’t be a problem if you follow rule #1 of passwords; never re-use them.

Well that begs the question; why did you choose WordPress, Dufus?

Because after having used Blogger, then Tumblr, I felt like a change. Now I’ve experienced all the big three blog sites, I have to say that I feel Tumblr outdid the competition. However; I’ve done too much on this blog now to be able to move, unless I just copy all my posts over. It’d be a long process though.