The Global Airport Database

Global Airport Database – Arash Partow

The Global Airport Database is a collection of data about all (???) airports in the world, big and small.  It covers a total of 9,300 airports worldwide.

That’s pretty interesting.  For example, how many airports do you think there are in Cyprus?  Obviously, there is the Larnaca International Airport and Paphos International Airport.  Then, there is one in Nicosia, which is not functioning since the island was divided.  And there is one in Acrotiri on the British military base.  Four, right?   Well, the Global Airport Database has a total of 7 (!!!) entries for the country of Cyprus:

LCCC:N/A:N/A:NICOSIA ACC/FIC:CYPRUS:000:000:000:U:000:000:000:U:00000:0.000:0.000
LCPH:PFO:PAPHOS INTERNATIONAL:PAPHOS:CYPRUS:034:043:004:N:032:029:008:E:00013:34.718:32.486

Larnaca and Paphos are there. The Akrotiri one is there too. Then we have 3 records for Nicosia. And one more for Episkopi. Hmm …

hack {cyprus} summit 2017

Last week I’ve attended the first ever hack {cyprus } summit.  hack {cyprus} is well known among techies in Cyprus for organizing other events, mostly hackatons.  They are good at that.  And this time it was something new.

The event itself was excellent!  It had all the usual things you’d expect from such a gathering – a bunch of bearded guys in dark t-shirts and jeans (each one secretly wishing that there were more women in tech), gadgets, coffee, snacks, and so on and so on.  And there were talks and workshops with lots of chatter in between.

Being a big fan and a frequent attendee of technical conferences all over Europe, I knew there was no chance I’d miss this one in Cyprus.  Even if I have to drive from Limassol to Nicosia.  In fact, I decided I’ll get even more value of it – practice my public speaking and presentation skills at the expense of the crowd.  So when the call for talks was announced, I submitted a couple of talks and one was picked.

There was a little hickup where I didn’t know the time slot of the talk (how long it would be), so I submitted two talks – one for 30 minutes or so, and one for 60 minutes.  The 60 minute one got chosen, and then I learned that the time I have is 20 minutes for the talk and 10 minutes for the Q&A.  Oopsy.   But, never the less, challenge accepted.  It took a lot of cutting and trimming but I think I sort of managed to get the essence of it into about 20 slides.  My talk wasn’t the first one of the day, so I observed other speakers.  I think most of them went slightly over 20 minutes and cut into the Q&A time, but on the other hand, there weren’t enough questions for most of the talks to fill all that time.  So in the end, it all worked out pretty well.  If I remember correctly, I managed to squeeze my talk into about 25 minutes altogether.   I’d love to see the video of that – there’s plenty of mistakes to learn from there, but for now, there are only the slides.

I would like to say huge thank you to everybody involved – organizers, sponsors, speakers, and attendees.  It was a blast and I hope to attend many more.


hack {cyprus} hackathon 2015

If you’ve missed it, this year’s hack{cyprus} hackathon tickets are up for grabs.  And yes, they are exactly 0 (zero!) EUR.  Free for both participants and visitors, thanks to sponsors.  So go get yours and don’t forget to attend either!




Mr.Meat – meat online shop for Nicosia, Cyprus

Mr.Meat is the first project going live since I joined Qobo.  I’ve only had a minor role in this one, but it’s still delicious.  There aren’t many online shops in Cyprus, and even fewer that handle the delivery, so this new addition is very welcome, even if they only cover Nicosia delivery for now.  The thing that I love the most about this site is the photography – the images are just salivating!

Welcome to Cyprus traffic violations

Cyprus Mail reports:

OVER 2,000 traffic violations were recorded last weekend by two fixed speed cameras installed on Grivas Dhigenis avenue in Nicosia.

Just give it a minute to sink in. Two thousand violations. In only two days. Recorded by only two fixed cameras (fixed means people know where and when they are).  These numbers are mind-blowing.  And yet what does the police decide?  Here’s what:

Deputy head of the Electromechanical Services Department (ESD) Loucas Timotheou said that no one would be prosecuted or fined, for now.

I think this basically explains the attitude towards the traffic laws.  Furthermore:

Timotheou told the Cyprus Mail that the weekend traffic violations caught by the cameras could add up to €100,000 in fines. “Of course, it’s not about the money. It’s about protecting people and making drivers obey traffic laws,” he said.

Two things that catch my attention here are:

  1.  Isn’t Cyprus trying to survive a bad economy, scrubbing for money everywhere? Why 100K in two days is completely ignored?
  2. How exactly are you protecting people by recording videos of violators and not issuing fines?

Cyprus Attorney General’s office to buy 600,000 EUR server

Cyprus Updates point out:

According to an article in today’s issue of Phileleftheros newspaper, the Attorney General’s office is planning to purchase a server which will cost more than 600,000 euro in order to analyse the thousands of documents relating to economic scandals. The purchase was proposed by a British expert on the field in order the “strengthen the investigation”.

Always according to the article, the ‘electronic brain’ will store 150000 documents sorted and coded for each suspect for quick retrieval. As any owner of a mid range laptop today will tell you 150000 files are nothing by today’s computer technology and could probably even be analysed by any decent smartphone.

The whole article sounds as if it came out of a late 1960′s newspaper. Even though it made it to the front page we still hope this it was a farce or result of journalistic error.

Cyprus public sector employee worked a total 47 days in 2 years with full pay

Cyprus Updates reports:

an employee of Cyprus Press Information Office (P.I.O), managed to attend work for only 47 days during a 2 year period and get away with it.

The employee under investigation in 2010 showed up to her job for 37 days (followed with 116 days of medical leave) and for just 10 days in 2011. In September 2010 an officer was appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation and on October 2011 the case was taken to the Attorney General who in April 2012 drafted an indictment which was submitted to the Chairman of the Public Service Commission. In June 2013 after the bureaucratic process finished and after the employee pleaded guilty of the 15 charges she was facing a penalty of 1500 euro was imposed. Finally the employee was to be let go after a decision of the Public Service Commission on 26th March 2014 but to their surprise the employee had already retired prematurely 4 months earlier and now enjoys all pension benefits she would have normally lost had she been fired.

And if all this was not enough, the case has not been closed but has been brought to the Supreme Court because the now ex-employee of P.I.O. is claiming additional 44 days of pay for 2010 which were not approved by the medical board as sick leave.