I’m now at week 7.5 and this goes on and on and on and on… (must really step out of getting into a Journey sing-along).

Snap. And we’re back in our chairs after what would/should have been quite a weekend for you folks. I for one feel quite comatose. But here we are and while some of you are probably looking back to the month gone by and wondering if it is time to head home, think again. We’re now officially back to regular work hours.

So first off, Eid Mubarak to everybody. And as a culmination to the arduous month that some of us have endured with both fervor and conviction, I hope that the festivities were an excellent time to come together, be happy and merry.

Now onto the latest finds that I came across this weekend.

Toyota outdoes ever carmaker in history with this TVC

Every time I watch a car commercial, its about the great outdoors and how you can fit your entire building into it. If its not that, its about how your car can outrace tornadoes and dust devils. And even if that doesn’t cut it, they will fake a Juke R beating the crap out of cars that have 200 more horses under their hoods. But never, ever is it about the breaking convention, about being ridiculous (as society terms it) or being criminally insane. Toyota did do it this time with the “Real Deal” ad airing in the UK right now. And its awesome.

PayPal in cahoots with McDonald’s France

The online payment heavyweight is currently running a pay-with-an-app payment system in 30 McDonald’s outlets in France. This is extremely interesting for two reasons – one, because PayPal will is not looked nicely upon in the US by Merchants as it is in Europe and two, because we’re never going to see it here for some time. McDonald’s in our region currently even lack web-enabled point of sale (POS) counters making it extremely tough for them to run any digital activation leading to purchase.

Pinterest is now out on Android

The new chick on the block is now on Android too. So all of you who are toting some denomination of Galaxy, here is the link to the app download on the Play store.

Google and London Science Museum bring you Web Lab

Now, this is old news. 2 months old to be precise. In tech terms, that’s almost senile. But even then, better late than never. Google lately has been experimenting with a lot of cool experiences. And this one is excellent at tying the digital to on-ground. If you have Google Chrome, get the Web Lab app from the Chrome Web Store. Get in queue and play the Xylophone live at the London Science Museum all while seated in the comfort of your work chair.

Paul Oakenfold and Beatlab

English Trance DJ Paul Oakenfold, is currently running a “Come Together Remix Contest”  with Beatlab. So head on over and play with it and enjoy yourself mixing a track and you may end up getting feedback from the guy himself. Yeah, it doesn’t sound like a deal to just get his “feedback” and not play by his side but seriously, were you expecting to open for him based on a set of loops you put together online. Maybe if you write a heart wrenching story and add some cats, he may actually invite you in. Oh and if people do end up voting for you as well.

LivingSocial to shutter its Middle East operations

I did hear about LivingSocial looking to make an exit from UAE, Egypt and Lebanon last week in this National article but a source in the UAE startup scene has just confirmed that “all employees have been told to go home.” Wow, that’s how bad it is – about 90 people will soon be out of a job. LivingSocial bought out the first deal site on the scene – GoNabit last year but have not been able to take it any further with stiff competition from Cobone and Groupon. But all of this really comes back to what we’ve been hearing all along. The coupon model isn’t working for merchants across the globe. It breeds activation but no retention. You go to one spa for 50% off one week and then you could hit another at 75% off the next week. See, it really doesn’t work for merchants to build a client base.

Fruji does Twitter Analytics Really Well

If you’re a heavy user of our favorite chirper, try out Fruji and see it start analyzing your twitter account to see what insights you can pull towards doing more with it. If you’ve got access to a client account, pull that in and send them some sweet sauce email with tidbits. Also, Appstorm where this article resides is giving a free premium upgrade right now with a special promo code “appstorm”. Tweet with better insight here.

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Most of us here in Dubai, have probably not been on a bicycle for quite some time. I get it. Its hot, humid and dusty. Add to that some to no bike lanes and Dubai’s awesome drivers, and you’ve suddenly relegated cycling effectively to something that one gets their children to do just so they atleast know how the damn thing works. But in other, both developed and under-developed countries, people actually hop on a Schwinn everyday. Some countries even have cops that ride them, policing parks. With the rise in urban cycling, safety has been a concern. Two students in Sweden took this upon themselves and well, seven years later came across with an innovation that should change the way safety is observed by cyclists.


If you scrolled through all of the garble above, to the bottom – yup, this very line – without looking at the stuff above, I must congratulate you on exercising your index finger across the scroll button.

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