Updates from MyUS.com

I have been a big fan of MyUS.com forwarding service since I moved to Egypt. It’s very practical to use their service to be able to buy stuff from Amazon and other online retailers in the USA.

Here is the latest news they just mailed me:


We’ve heard your feedback, and we have some exciting news about your MyUS.com account!

Now YOU have more control over your packages and faster service for special requests, AND we’re saving you money!

  • Automated package service requests
    We have automated requests to check a package, split a package, discard a package or return to sender. Automating this process means you do not have to email your account manager, and you will get faster completion of the request. We have also added the option of selecting “URGENT” ($5) for any of these package service requests. All from the convenience of your inbox!Please see this blog post for more information and pricing for these services.
  • Consolidated invoicing
    Consolidated invoicing of individual charges for the various services we may provide to you will now result in considerable savings in bank transaction fees. This new service will still allow you to see charges as they accrue, and ultimately when they are charged to your payment method.

More to come! 
We’re working on even more ways to save you money and give you more control over your packages. We’ll send you an email soon about even more exciting features in your MyUS.com account.

We’re here to help
Now that we have given you more control and faster service, your inbox may look a little different. If you have any questions, or if you need any assistance using these new features, our Customer Service department is here seven days per week to help. You can contact us via email at cs@myus.com or by visiting our website and clicking, “Live Chat.”
Best regards,

Keith Evans
Communications Director


Shop until you drop in our Amazon store

If you are looking to make a good bargain, I would recommend having a look at our Amazon store located a basicus.com

You can find a lot of good deals there, and comparing to many other web stores out there, the prices are very good.

You will find products from a lot of different categories like

In the apparel section you can find all kinds of products for wearing. I like the way it’s presented, because it’s very easy to read about what others say about each product.

In the Appliances section you will be able to find a ton of  useful stuff for your kitchen.

Arts & Crafts is pretty much self-explaining.

The Automotive section contains stuff for your car including products for taking care of your care, tools for the hobby mechanic and tires.

Here is the rest of the categories you will find on the site.

The Baby section has a ton of products for taking good care of your newborn. WHen you have just had a little one, you need a lot of accessories for him or her. Why go to a local store, when you can make real bargains online?

Beauty is always on a woman’s mind, so browse around and see what you can find.

BooksComputersDVDElectronicsElectronicsGroceryHealthHome & GardenIndustrial & ScienceJewelryKindle eBooksKitchenMagazinesMiscellaneousMobile AppsMP3 DownloadsMusicMusical InstrumentsOffice ProductsOutdoor LivingPet SuppliesPhoto & CameraShoesSoftwareSporting GoodsTools & HardwareToysToysVideo On DemandPC & Video GamesWatchesWireless and Wireless Accessories


Egypt Ranks As Top Country in Protests according to Rights Center

folk i egypt som protesterer 300x203 Egypt Ranks As Top Country in Protests according to Rights CenterAn Egyptian rights center issued a report on Monday stating that Egypt has become the top country in the world in terms of the number of protests.

The “Democracy Index” monthly report issued by International Center for Development states that there were 1345 protests in March compared to 864 protests in February.

“This is an unprecedented number of protests that did not occur even during the January uprising as March witnessed an average of 1.8 demonstration every hour, 7.2 on a daily basis and 306 protests per week,” said the report.

The reported added that more than 40 percent of Egyptians from diverse backgrounds contribute to protests, mostly citizens with no political affiliations.

Violation of workers’ rights stood as the main reason behind protesting, whereas the fuel crisis caused 112 protests and 73 protests were against Egypt’s ruling authorities.

Twenty-five protests were staged against the “Brotherhoodization” of state institutions and six protests called for civil disobedience.

The report monitored that protests are growing in number in Upper Egypt and Bedouin governorates.

“Violence in protests rose up by 25.41 percent,” the reported said, noting that cutting off roads is the second largest means of protest used during this month.


Why don’t you follow me anymore?

Since I am such a rational person that loves automating stuff, I will give you the top reasons why I have stopped following you on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or any other social media I am active.

You keep repeating yourself.

If you keep re-tweeting your own blog posts to get as much traffic as possible to it, I will stop following you. I understand that you want to maximize the exposure you can get from social media, but it is annoying at best, and completely cluttering my news stream at worst. So, if you are gonna keep me as a follower, you will have to constrain yourself. I know how tempting it might be to just give a “friendly reminder” about your super interesting and important post on your blog, but I am just not gonna let you do that. This is why social media has become such a hit – it gives us all the choice to follow or not what others talk about.

It’s called freedom of choice. I choose not to let you annoy me.

You mix languages to much

If you mainly write in English and then occasionally write in a local language that I can’t understand I’m fine with it. If you write equally much in both languages I will have a problem with it because it’s cluttering up my stream. If this continues, I will stop following you simply because I don’t want to bore my followers with a lot of gibberish content that they also can’t understand.

My recommendation is to do as I have done, split up the account in to two or more accounts. Use one account for each language you are planning to tweet in.

I use https://twitter.com/bjornsolstad for my English tweets, and https://twitter.com/bjornaresolstad for my Norwegian tweets. That way, you can choose what language you want to follow – or go for both if you understand both.

You embarrass me

Just because you think it’s fine to post images of your nose hairs or being raving drunk in some party, does not mean I want to be connected to that with my peers. It’s not necessarily a problem for me as a private person, but it might be a problem for me as a CEO of a multinational marketing company to be associated to that kind of thing.

Remember – what might be fine where you live, does not mean it’s fine where I am. Heck, it could even be illegal and punished by law where I am located. So, I don’t take any chances. If you post embarrassing stuff I will most probably stop following you.

I don’t like your opinions

I might have liked what you posted when I started following you. Then further down the road I realized I don’t like your writing style, your attitudes or your standpoints that much. It could even be that I simply don’t like you that much. Either way, I stop following you.

You bore me. Zzz.. Zzz..

Writing about what you have on your sandwich might be interesting to who? No one! If you need to talk about that or similar stuff, please do so somewhere not in public! Boring stuff is boring to read about. So, I unfollow you if you keep doing this.

What is your main reasons to stop following someone in the social media?


Is it safe to travel to Egypt?

Update 22 September 2013: It’s again pretty safe to travel to Egypt.

You can ask me in the comments for concrete travel advice. I live in Cairo, so I am pretty aware of the situation here. Ask away, and I will answer up to the minute about safety and tell you what you should do in your particular case. It all depends on where you are going in Egypt.

Here is what I originally wrote.

With the current security situation, you might wonder if it safe to travel to Egypt. Since I live here (I live in Rehab City just outside Cairo), I will keep you updated on the current situation for travelers to this beautiful and mystical country.

Safety is a relative matter, and it will always depend on where you go and what you do. You can get mugged any day in a major city anywhere in the world if you just show up at the wrong places, and you can also move around freely if you are just taking some basic security measures.

Egypt is in this regard not different from any other countries.

As of today, 3rd of May 2013, it is perfectly safe to go to the big holiday resorts like Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Ein Suchna and the other tourist destinations by the Red Sea. Here in Cairo I would not recommend going to the Pyramids in Giza or Downtown Cairo including Tahrir Square. The political situation here in Cairo is very unclear still, so I would avoid places with big gatherings.

So, to answer the question is it safe to travel to Egypt, I would say yes. It is safe as long as you fly in to the holiday resort and stay there until your vacation is over. I would not go with any of the trips outside the resort itself, and would stay away from the roads going between the cities. This is especially important in Sinai, where kidnappings are pretty common nowadays.

Stay around the travel destination, and you will be perfectly safe.


Classical statements of President Morsi

As we all know, Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi has a real skill for classical statements. So, I will gather the more famous ones on this page so we can all admire his infinite wisdom.

26th of March 2013: “I will not allow anyone to put their fingers in Egypt,” Morsy said again at the Arab League Summit in Doha today. The below picture is from the same summit.

“When the monkey die, what is the monkey guy gonna work with.”

“Egypt is raising up on the curve and slipping down.”

mohamed morsi sleeping doha arab league summit 281x300 Classical statements of President Morsi

The latest one goes something like “There are two or three fingers playing in Egypt!” – said during a women’s conference here in Cairo.

I think he might have meant by this that he holds his finger on Egypt, but what he actually said makes it so much more classic!

When he was in Germany on official visit meeting with Angela Merkel, he made clear that “gas and alcohol don’t mix!”. Who knows what he meant by that.. Other than making this classy statement worthy a real politician and loved President, I believe he went home empty handed so to speak.

Use the comment field below to share your favorite quote by President Morsi, and I will include them in this collection of classical quotes and sayings by the President!


GPS maps for driving in Cairo, Egypt

View from Cairo Tower 2007 300x232 GPS maps for driving in Cairo, EgyptAfter I moved to Cairo, I went and bought a Nuvi 1200 GPS from RadioShack here in Maadi. I felt I needed a good GPS to be able find my way around here in Cairo.

Having used a GPS from Becker when I lived in Poland, I thought that probably the map data is fairly accurate. OH boy, was I wrong.

The map data Garmin uses is so innacurate, that it hardly works as a general guidance. And a lot of areas here in Cairo is outright wrongly mapped.

Also there is of course no traffic update, so not only does the Garmin GPS mislead you when it comes to where the roads are, but it also sends you in to the most stuck-in-traffic places you can find.

My question is therefore: What does it take to make an entirely new map to load into the GPS of Egypt? What kind of knowledge and equipment are needed to create a map for a GPS? My guess is that one needs some sort of recorder when driving and then some kind of software to actually build maps baser on the registered data.

If you have any helpful information how to get started, I would be happy to release the final and updated map of Egypt for use in different GPS’es in existense.

I also wonder how to set up a FM-radio based traffic service to redirect people when ther are traffic jams in Cairo, Alexandria and the other major cities of Egypt.

Do you have any helpful tips regarding where to get started?

Update: I have found that my Android-based mobile Samsung Galaxy S3’s Maps from Google is much more accurate than the Garmin Nuvi. Even after I bought an update of the maps for the Garmin, it turned out that roads that was actually right before, had been changed so they no longer show correct. I find myself using Google Maps more and more now, so I believe the Garmin is obsolete here in Egypt.


Alternative to PPC BidMax

We have been using PPC BidMax from Apex Pacific for quite some time now to manage our client’s advertising campaigns. The software runs okay on one of our servers in the US, but it has some major drawbacks. So I am looking for alternatives to PPC BidMax to consider.

What I don’t like about PPC BidMax is the fact that the software is really not suited for several users. It’s a single, one-user program. Another problem I see is that the bidding history tab does not really work, and I have problems reading the error messages since they get cut off and there is no way to double-click them.

So – my question is do you know any better alternative than PPC BidMax, and why do you recommend it?


Internet dating sites a pain in the ass

Seriously. I’m frustrated. I have been single for a while now and are trying to navigate the internet dating landscape to “shop around” for a possible real life date.

So far my experience with dating via internet has been dreadful to put it mildly. I have tested out a few dating services like be2.com and Zoosk currently. All I see is either that the site itself tries to rip everyone off – of the members tries the same.

Be2 dating service

Be2.com – positive points

This site looks nice enough at the first glance, and  I have been a member there for a full 6 months subscription. Actually I did meet a very nice girl from Norway that came and visited me when I lived in Marbella still. So I can’t say that this service is a total rip-off.

Be2.com – negative points

There are two big problems at be2.com

You can’t sort the listing of people based on where they live. Basically this means that you will get replies from people all over the world. For some people I guess that is fine, but in my experience it’s better to get to know people locally where you are.

The site is absolutelly horrible when it comes to fraudsters. They are everywhere! So 90% of the people contacting you are not looking for a partner in life. They are looking to become a “partner” with your money. Most of the ones trying to commit fraud this way at be2.com are from Nigeria.

The fraud problem become so bad for me that I chosed to simply shut down the accout eventually. I did try to get in touch with the staff at be2.com, but they simply replied with a general message about how big problem this is for everyone and we do everything we can to prevent it.

Actually there are one obvious thing be2.com can do to fight the fraud: They can check all uploaded images against www.tineye.com that is a reverse image search engine. I found a lot of profile pictures though that service – and they do offer an API access to use in automation.

Zoosk dating

I found Zoosk through Facebook. I am currently a member at that site. What I have found so far is that the site has so many ways to ask for money that I guess it prevents a lot of members to actually reply to requests.

Just about anything you want to do there demands that you pay – in one form or another. So if you as a guy wants to talk with a girl there she has to pay to even reply. Obviously that is a showstopper for many people there being poor or not wanting to spend money talking to a guy they don’t know at all.

At least replying to a message from a paying member should be free!

Other than that Zoosk looks nice and sleek. I like the design of the site a lot, but I can’t stand the greed.

What is your favourite dating site, and why do you like it?


Diving into the social networks

Okay. As those who knows me well knows, I’m a guy that gets easily bored. Working with our clints regarding getting them to the top of the search engines for their desired keywords is fine and dandy, but mostly this kind of work is more or less routines – and it’s rather technical. What I have missed in all that is the people-side of things.

So – a while back (a few months) I started playing with Twitter, and later stumbled by Jaiku (now owned by Google). Another service I just started testing out is Pownce.

The whole point with these social networks is to use them as a simple and quick way to keep your contacts posted about what you are doing, blog posts and ask about their opinions. They are also called mini-blogs because usually they have a limit of 140 letters for each posting. So, in many ways they can be compared to sending a SMS.

I actually like a lot the fact that I only have 140 chars available. It means I have to be to the point right away since it’s so limited what I can actually write there.

By the way – you will soon enough find it hard to make a descision on what network to consentrate on – so you might want to check out a little piece of software that let’s you post to most of the social networking sites at once. It’s called Posty and is a little AdobeAir application that runs quite smoothly.

When I have some more experience with all this social network thingie, I’ll make a post about my experiences with it, and how I think it might fit into the marketing mix. So far I like it though.


Two very interesting domains snapped

One of Devenia’s main markets is the norwegian market. It was really a chock to me to discover that the equilents in norwegian to search engine optimisation .org and .info had net been registered by any of our competitors.

So – naturally I registered both of them right away.

They are søkemotoroptimalisering.org and søkemotoroptimalisering.info

The .info domain will be used as a sales site for Devenia, but the .org domain I am still not sure about. It could lay the grounds for a seo-related forum or something similar.

Any ideas?


Good things can’t be said often enough

202px Fortitude Good things cant be said often enough
The first time I read the following saying it was like a big YES! in my heart. It really represents what I believe in: Being a person that reaches for that little extra to become a better person.

Here goes the saying:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change.
Courage to change the things i can, and wisdom to know the difference.”