New Seats in Airlines to increase seating capacity by 25%

How many of us complain about the seating in the Aircraft’s, Most of us ? Some of Us ? None of Us ? My guess would have to be most of us, and being tall like I am does not help the cause as well. I keep wondering, Aircraft manufacturers seem to be building bigger and better aircraft’s trying to provide that additional comfort for passengers, but airlines seem to be making the spacing between seats smaller to make more passengers fit in the same aircraft thus increasing profit and lowering costs.

This is definitely the case with most Budget airlines and with Emirates.  I cannot imagine travelling half way around the world on an Emirates airline flight, sitting 16 hours in a cramped space defiantly is going to cause a lot of discomfort especially for me. Business class, well I am not yet there, to be able to fly business class all the time. Anyway, the trend in the Airline industry in general seems to be trying to cramp as many guys in the same flight as possible. Even to the extent that some airlines have started offering standing room only tickets. I am sure those can be applicable only for short flights. But if one Italian Design firm has its way we could be having one extra person for every 4 passengers on our existing flights.

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After Sharjah Blackouts, are Dubai and Abu Dhabi far behind ?

It is one of the biggest issues worldwide, electricity shortage. There are parts of India that have had these issues for a very long time. I remember Mangalore used to be without electricity for close to 8 – 10 hours a day. However, I have never really faced it here in Dubai, there was never a day without electricity. Oh wait there was this blackout in Jul 2005, I remember but for a few hours, caused a whole load of chaos. But otherwise there has not really been an issue with electricity.

Off late, Sharjah, the neighboring emirate to Dubai has had major issues with the blackouts, there have been major complaints from the residents that this blackout during the summer time is really bad. With the financial situation in the region and the country in general being difficult how is this going to effect Dubai and Abu Dhabi; the two biggest emirates with Sharjah. Dubai in general seems to be the place with the biggest issues out of the two.

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Blackberry Gives in, What will TRA do now ?

Continuing on the hottest topic this week, Blackberry services are destined to be blocked in the UAE by the 11th of October 2010, and Etisalat and Du are coming up with attractive options for the users who are using the service at the moment, I tried to do my bit, when I wrote about the alternatives you can use in case the service does get blocked. But in a bizarre twist of events, Blackberry along with the lunch of their new device the Blackberry Pearl 9105 and the new OS, OS6 have also made another announcement. They have decided to allow government agencies to snoop into the email and messenger services.

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New Parking technologies in Bangalore

There is an old phrase in Dubai, First in Dubai you look for a Job, then a house, and then you keep searching for Parking, all this suggesting how bad the scene with Parking was in Dubai. These days it does not seem to be a lot of issues with parking as the number of people in Dubai is reducing and with the Metro in place for people to try, However, the parking woes is moving to places like Bangalore  where unprecedented growth in the number of cars in the city is making parking something of a real problem. Indian developers and builders along with the government do not really give importance to parking and related issues. The situation seems like it is changing.

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The most Technologically advanced Hotel in the world

Its not something that you hear of every day, Technologically advanced. But when my boss came up to me and asked me to work on a design for a hotel in Abu Dhabi, it was something that we wanted to make. Being in construction especially in the Middle east always involves trying to make the biggest, largest, most complex, most interesting structures and landmarks when it comes to facilities.  It is a part of working in the middle east I guess, and the word Dubai itself inspires wow into people. Getting back to the Hotel, the development of the most technologically advanced hotel in the world is something we were attempting, and definitely we had to check out the competition. Competition when it comes to exuberance and abundance comes only from one part of the world, Las Vegas. And it is there, we found our formidable opponent. The Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas to be precise. It is not yet in the list of the most famous hotels, but trust me you will hear it very soon.

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Wordless Thursday – World Internet Links

Since we guys in Dubai just got out of the fix of a broken Internet connection, here is a look at the internet links around the world. Click to see the full version.

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Another set of Extremes in Dubai

I have said this before and will not think twice to say it again. Dubai is a city of extremes, on one hand you have the rich boys with their so called toys (Lamborghinis and Ferraris) and on the other hand you have people struggling for their daily meals, the mass of construction laborers. Similar examples roam all around me in this city which has been my second home for a while now. And in this land of extremes I have another example of extremes this time with environment impact. Let’s start with the worst one first:

Dubai Plans to refrigerate a Beach

Yes you read that right ! Dubai is planning to Refrigerate an entire beach, of course it’s for those rich spoilt brats who are ignorant of the fact that slippers and flip flops had been invented over a couple of hundred years back. Anyway, it’s when things like these happen that I begin to think that the guys here making the decisions are living in a bubble outside of what’s happening in the world. Climate Change, Impact to the environment are concepts here that people like talking about but not really implementing.

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Building the Emirates 777 in 90 Seconds

Living in Dubai, Emirates Airline and staff and crew of the Airline are people that everyone knows and identifies with. From giant multi million deals for the Airbus A380 or its now standard Boeing 777, emirates is on track to become on of the biggest airline companies in the world. In fact according to many sources online Emirates is now the largest operator of its flagship Boeing 777. As a person living around the Airline (Construction of Airports) I would like to showcase the construction of one of the worlds most used aircraft.

The video features some awesome and cool infographic sort of information overlay on the video, taking this one step ahead I would also want to showcase some of the amazing and really interesting additions to the Aircraft.

  • Fly By Wire : In designing the 777 as its first fly-by-wire commercial aircraft, Boeing decided to retain conventional control yokes rather than change to sidestick controllers as used in many fly-by-wire fighter aircraft and in many Airbus airliners. Along with traditional yoke and rudder controls, the cockpit features a simplified layout which retains similarities to previous Boeing models. The fly-by-wire system also incorporates flight envelope protection, a system which guides pilot inputs within a computer-calculated framework of operating parameters, acting to prevent stalls and overly stressful maneuvers. This system can be overridden by the pilot in command if deemed necessary.
  • Fully Software Configurable Avionics : It comprises electronic systems for use on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft, comprising communications, navigation and the display and management of multiple systems. It also includes the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles; these can be as simple as a search light for a police helicopter or as complicated as the tactical system for an airborne early warning platform. But to have these systems to be completely software configurable would take a lot of trust and in turn, lot of work into the Avionics software.
  • All Glass cockpit Flight Display : Pioneered by Honeywell, the Honeywell LCD all glass cockpit flight display brings large, clear, full-color liquid crystal display (LCD) units into the cockpit to help meet today’s requirements for enhanced features and situational awareness. With the first certification of the all-glass cockpit in the Boeing 777 using active matrix liquid crystal displays, the Boeing 777 and Honeywell have crossed an important landmark in cockpit design.
  • Electronic Flight Bag : Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) is an electronic information management device that helps flight crews perform flight management tasks more easily and efficiently with less paper. It is a general purpose computing platform intended to reduce, or replace, paper-based reference material often found in the Pilot’s carry-on Flight Bag, including the Aircraft Operating Manual, Flight Crew Operating Manual, and Navigational Charts (including moving map for air and ground operations). In addition, the EFB can host purpose-built software applications to automate other functions normally conducted by hand, such as performance take-off calculations.
  • First use of a fiber optic avionics network on a commercial airliner.

These amazing innovations in the aviation industry will make very interesting times ahead. So before closing the post I would like to leave you all with another Emirates video, this one is actually the project that I worked with, the Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3.

Dubai Like you have never seen it before

I am a fan of architecture, and photography and videos. When I found some of these videos of HD time laps photography of some of the latest architecture in Dubai, I could not hold my excitement. Here is my share of the excitement. Please wait as all the videos are worth the wait to load.

Before Sunrise

After Sunset


In fact the artist who made the sunrise and sunset photos made also a 2.3 Gigabit (yes that 1.97568496 × 1010 pixels, or 1.97568496 × 1010 dots on the photo) check it below, the video is of the person scrolling the gigantic photo of the Burj Khalifa. Did you know

While we are talking about the Burj Khalifa here is another HD video of the Opening

And 2 of the Fountain

To wrap it all up, the Metro ride in time lapse.

More from the artists here and here.  My special interest is because I did really work on the Burj.

Via Source

The Mockup

From the time there have been engineers and architects there has always been an issue in trying to get solution that is acceptable to both the architects and the engineers. I am in the wonderful world of construction, management in particular and as an engineer it is always a loosing battle. Although the client wants to have a high tech facility, the requirement of the facility is nothing as compared to the aesthetics of what he requires.

A client may be trying to build a small shack or even an airport, the requirements are always aesthetics. But being an engineer I would disagree to that school of thought cos, although the aesthetic factor plays a part of first impression, the experience of being in the facility is delivered only by the services in there. Like the Air conditioning, the mood lighting, the plush interiors of the washrooms, Wi Fi Connectivity, High Speed Internet, ample Mobile Coverage etc.

The ultimate battle ground for the engineers vs architects battle is always a client mockup. The engineers trying to prove their point and the architects trying to destroy everything the engineers stand for. For example, CAT 6 cables (data wiring) are definitely the latest, and to work as one of the best wiring systems they need to follow certain guidelines. Some of them being strict segregation between Data and Power lines. But aesthetically the structure housing both the Data and Power lines, like for example a pole holding a IPCCTV camera, would need to be big enough for the data cables, the power cables, the segregation, the maintenance, the operational requirements etc. And since slim is in, all of it trying to be housed inside a very thin pole could be the fuel to the flame of the eternal battle of the architects vs engineers.

I do not think there would be a solution for the war, except if people crossover into each others territories. Like engineers turned to architects who understand the complexities of systems and services like wise more architects turned to engineers to define the aesthetic side of engineering. Until that day comes, daily battles will continue to rage in the battlefield of Mockups !!

Social Networking a Boon or Curse !

Well ever since Gulf News posted an article of my favorite Social Networking Website Orkut, Emirates Internet I.e Etisalat have blocked the website from accessibility within UAE.

Its been three long and painful years in Dubai for me, and for these three years I had lost in touch with a lot of my fiends back home, some very near and dear to me. In this time and age of emails, work get so hectic that mailing friends goes down to the bottom of the priority list. When I was at my vacation last year a few friends in Bangalore mentioned Orkut to me. I was impressed with the idea, created an account just before I got to Dubai. When I got back here, I was surprised to find the number of long lost friends there were on Orkut. Some from more than 10 years back. A lot of my coffee table conversations at that time involved around which friends I found and which ones I was looking for more. It even gave an idea of which of my friends made it and which of them were on the brink of success.

Few months into using Orkut I discovered Groups, there was a group for the School Alumni, One for my college Alumni, One group for the place I worked first, Groups for people with similar interests and even a group for people who had joined too many groups lol. I thought that was interesting. Well for us poor souls it is a boon in disguise. Moreover the assurance that it is run by Google is something noteworthy as well. How many times have you forgotten a friends birthday, Orkut would help remember birthdays as well.

But like everything on the net, the blog has been bitten by the sex bug. There are other tons of communities promoting sexual interests, one of them called Dubai Sex with over 2000 members in it. Interesting as it may seem, this is an issue which is far fetched than just Orkut or any networking site. Alas, the people who are running such communities do not realize the long term effects it has. Not that I do not support it, I mean its their lives and their preferences, and that is the very fact that makes us human. Our perspectives and choices. Well human, choice and perspective are not words that are very widely appreciated in the Middle East and being what they are they have blocked the site.

There goes the days of connections, back to celibacy from friends. I think we will have to wait for someone to say its Ok. Maybe Google to make some modifications or Etisalat to relax a bit. Either way now is the time for alternatives. And my first stop is FaceBook. A little more privacy and tons of features, this application is beginning to loose its charm in my perspective.

Lights, Fire, Water, Laser, HD Projectors, Fireworks, Sound …… Action !

What happens when you mix the technical with the traditional ? Magic. We have always been mesmerized by stories told by our grandparents and elders. We have been made to imagine scenarios and through the process we had a few pictures etched in our minds about the life and times of the people in those stories. I had a unique chance of seeing these images come to life on Thursday. Last Saturday Roshan had gone to witness a “Laser” show in the desert as it was and he came back with the words “simply awesome”. After talking to his company he managed to get us Sharath, Himself, Lavina, and Yours Truly few passes to the show. And what a show it was !! Definitely it was one of the most interesting and visually appealing shows that I have been to in the past few months.

The culmination of Water fountains, HD Projection, Fire arts, Fireworks, Lights, Lasers, Music, Dancers, Performances with exceptional narration of an ancient Arabic storyline in the voice of Omar Sheriff himself was really a breathtaking audio-visual extravaganza. Only when one looks at the show objectively does one realize that this is truly state of the art. I was not too impressed with the human elements i.e the dances and performances as well as the story line. I think there would be better storylines found in the history books of the sub continent. Either way this was one show definitely not to be missed. For those of you still thinking what I am talking about, here is a brief description of what you will see.

The show was performed on a stage set in a water body containing 10 million liters of water – the size of the stage was on par with world class opera or ballet theatre stages such as the La Scala in Milan, Covent Garden or the Metropolitan Opera House in New York (not that I have been to any of those places). State of the art laser effects that interact during the entire show, creating images and effects across the amphitheatre are generated using two lasers located projection cabins across the amphitheater. In order to achieve scale and spectacular dimensions the show incorporates various imagistics theatre techniques. Various large-scale water effects enhanced the visual effects, the most impressive of which are the three 35m wide by 18m high water screens, which create a backdrop to the performance area; Complimented by various other attractions including multiple oscillating jets, mist screens and 50 meters high geysers jets, the water effects will formed integral part of the show. Working on the PA for the Airport I realize the difficulty to achieve absolute acoustics in open areas, well this one really beats them all, providing clear, precise sound with an output of between 110dB and 120dB at any point in the amphitheatre. Add to that various stage mechanics and real life elements such as actors on horses and pyrotechnics, this show will most certainly steal your breath away.

Thanks to Roshan for the passes. I tried taking pictures from my N80 as always, but since the lights required a high hef camera, I was unable to get good Shots. Adding pics from the official Jumana Website.