The plan was to use cams to bring Sara from Nablus to GeekFest Dubai last week. We tested the thing earlier in the day and perfection (well, a slightly Charlie Chaplinesque perfection) was achieved. Setting up at The Shelter, it quickly became apparent that the wireless connection was deeply broken. With creaky infrastructure and the lack of a Saadia becoming painfully apparent, we managed nothing better than a freeze frame and a squawk before it all came tumbling down again. Even Gerald Donovan's brilliant cludge of a Samsung Galaxy tablet and my 3G SIM to make an Android-driven 384kpbs wireless hotspot failed because the 3G signal in the cinema at Shelter was rocky.
I have to record that the entire issue was with the Dubai-side infrastructure. Nablus was just dandy all along.
So we missed her talk. Now you can sit back and relax in the privacy of your own home (or office) and catch it, because I got her to record it for us. She uploaded the files from Nablus and I stitched 'em together before adding the film to the GeekFest collection over at Vimeo. This file took EIGHT HOURS to upload thanks to Etisalat's appalling DSL. Using a 2mbps DSL line, I could at no point get better than 50kpbs upload speed. I tried at home, but watched in horror as a 36kbps upload degraded to 14kpbs before crawling back up to 36kbps. It's truly unbelievable that this quality of service is tolerated by the TRA.
Anyway. Here, at last, is Sara's Ussa. We apologise for the delay and assure you that normal service will be resumed when we have a properly competitive telecommunications market in the UAE.
Sara's Ussa from Geek Fest on Vimeo.
Please do feel free to pop over to Vimeo and embed this video in your own blog/site/corner of the web.
By the way, we're still waiting for an official update on Ola's fund, but it looks like we've raised the $18,000 needed for her life-saving operation in Italy.
UPDATE. Ola flies to Italy November 5th! We did it, folks. It looks like the fund will close over, in fact!