June 30, 2007

Toward an Africa without Borders - From Theory to Practice

Toward an Africa Without Borders presents their third international conference - From Theory to Practice. This conference will bring together scholars and activists from Africa and the Diaspora to investigate how we can translate the theoretical work of scholars into positive, fundamental change on the ground that will benefit the work already being

read more | digg story

June 29, 2007

Kenya Safari Over 40 Game Parks - Masai Mara Samburu Tsavo Amboseli Aberda

Kenya is famous for its spectacular game viewing; many operators offer varied ways of experiencing a Kenya Safari in a variety of game parks.

read more | digg story

Social Networking and Privacy

What is one's expectation of privacy on social network sites? Are Private settings really private? The two sites most talked about at the moment are of course Facebook and MySpace.

Social Networking - your words may haunt you

by Daniel Neville

Recently one of the topics that bloggers have been concentrating their efforts (and in some cases wasting their breath) on has been the issue of privacy and free speech on the Internet. These sometimes quite lively discussions have been centred around social media and networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

Read more

Dissecting 3 Kick-Ass Emails

We've got so used to e-mail as a form of communication that we often forget what power they it can have -both negative and positive - a a communications medium. I'm always looking for good articles about e-mails, and really enjoyed this one.

Dissecting 3 Kick-Ass Emails

by Nick Usborn

Many companies flood you with communications as soon as you give them your email address, but that new relationship is easy to damage.

In this article:
Award-winning emails
A fundraising email from WBFO
Occasional emails from Innocentdrinks.co.uk
A follow-up email from Rentalo.com

Read the article.

June 28, 2007

Facebook's Private is Not Really Private

So you actually think the private setting on Facebook means private? Well, think again - I found this story on Wired blog that will make many people rush to their profiles and change the settings.

Facebook Private Profiles Not As Private As You Think They Are -- UPDATED With Facebook Changes

Facebook users who set their profiles to private aren't quite as hidden as they might think they are, according to security researcher Christopher Soghoian, who discovered that Facebook's advanced search features reveals people's names, pictures, religion and sexual orientation to people who don't have permission to see their profile.
Read more

Swap Site Launches Next Week

Swaptree, the online media barter system founded in 2004, is finally getting ready to emerge from private beta. The site will launch on July 4, next week.

The long awaited barter site has set itself apart from the other barter communities with its complex and effective algorithms that matches your items with others to determine value from an objective reference point. In this manner, Swaptree can narrow down items that are good matches for things you have, and can filter these results based on your location, or your networks, such as friends and co-workers.

If you're one of those kind of people who likes bartering and swapping things, this might just be the site that you want to hang out on, so read more.

Aurgasm - Try Some New Music

"Aurgasm brings to you an eclectic menagerie of aural pleasures. I scout out music you've never heard and deliver only the finest. Expect music curiously different, yet simply enjoyable."

Paul Irish is a music-loving, web geek in Boston who puts all this together. Aurgasm is a blog with downloadable music for "evaluation" purposes. He also accepts music to listen to and if he likes it he puts it on the blog.

June 27, 2007

Study: Millions Wasted on Paid Search

Paid search is one of the worst ways to spend online advertising dollars, according to a study set to be released by Internet Search Management (ISM).

"Executives know the battleground for business success today is being fought on the search engine but they know very little about how well their companies are faring on natural search or if their paid search advertising dollars are well spent," Phil Millo, an ISM director, told the New York Post.

Read more

June 26, 2007

101 Books to Read Before You Die

The creation of the novel has unlocked a world as extraordinary as the millions of hearts and minds that have shaped it. To celebrate, Exclusive Books would like to present the Exclusive Books 101 Books To Read Before You Die list. The books that made the list are the books you've read, re-read and always wanted to read. Books which have made the list have defined eras, created friends instead of characters, entertained generation upon generation and have become true legends of literature.

The 101 best novels of all time, as voted for by Exclusive Books customers:

Duck China - travel bookings online

For those who like to do their travel bookings online it has been quite frustrating that South Africa didn't have an Orbitz or a Hotwire to quickly compare fares and find deals on flights, cars and hotels.

Well it was jut a matter of time. Nor price comparison engine hotprice.co.za has arrived which enables consumers to compare airline, accommodation and car rental prices online. According to Daniel Martins, marketing manager for HotPrice.co.za, “this is the ultimate solution for anybody wanting to travel overseas or within South Africa as it provides everything that they need off one price comparison engine.

It works like all of them, just enter which destination you would like to go to, how many nights, people, rooms etc, and the engine will give you a list of the cheapest to most expensive hotels, b&b's, lodges and what ever kind of accommodation you prefer.

You [can also] choose where you would like to pick up and drop off the car, how many days you want it for and what type of car, and the engine will search all the main car rental companies and list the cheapest to the most expensive.

And the best of all, it isn't just local, it is international as well.

SA Internet is growing - 120% over the past two years

The number of South African unique browsers is up 120% over last two years and page impressions are up 129%. This is according to recent research by Nielsen//NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, which looks at the growing South African Internet and how the online audience is composed today.

The Internet population is split 54% male (2.15 million people), 45% female (1.79 million people).

At 1.42 million people, 25 – 34 year olds are the most dominant age group – accounting for 36% of the online population – closely followed by 35 – 49 year olds (1.37 million: 35%).

Read more

June 24, 2007

popuri.us - Quickly Check Your Site's Ranking

Popuri.us is a tool to check at-a-glance the link popularity of any site based on its ranking (Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, Technorati etc.), social bookmarks (del.icio.us, etc), subscribers (Bloglines, etc) and more!

I couldn't resist this one - it can make you quite paranoid.

June 23, 2007

Where are the Sardines?

One question that is on everyone's lips is WHERE ARE THE SARDINES?

On route from the cold Eastern Cape to the warm KwaZulu-Natal waters for winter, but exactly where?

Yip, it's that time of the year again, time for the Sardine Run - the Greatest Shoal on Earth, which sees people going crazy, running down to the beach with buckets and nets and cameras - anything to catch the little fish or capture the madness that is the annual Sardine Run.

Like most developments in the waters along our coast, the Natal Sharks Board keeps track of things, and the sardine run interests them because the sardines are usually followed by predator fish.

So if you want to know the answer to the question, call the Sardine Hotline 082 2849495

June 22, 2007

Debt Collectors and Ignorant Consumers

The New National Credit Act has kicked in with far reaching implications for the micro-financing industry and for anyone who has ever extended or used credit facilities. I've seen many articles in consumer magazines and newspapers explaining to the public about Debt Counselors and how credit bureaus now have to operate and what reckless credit is and how companies have to be more responsible with credit.

I've seen articles setting out all the procedures and steps that have to be followed before any person can receive credit, but I wonder how much has actually sunk in and how many people bother to read those articles. I'm sure they skip them and read the one about Paris' Hilton's prison traumas on the next page.

But companies are now legally liable to be more responsible even if consumers are mostly pretty ignorant about their rights and liabilities as far as debt is concerned.

In spite of this South Africa has 12 000 active, registered debt collectors, the Council for Debt Collectors revealed in Pretoria on Thursday.

"The past year alone, almost 3 000 applications were approved. This represents a 16 percent increase on the previous year," council chairperson Jasper Noeth said at a public information session.

He said the registrations were made under the Debt Collectors' Act which had transformed the industry since it had come into operation four years ago.

Read the full story.

I Got Reviewed

Well I sort of reviewed myself, but it was really quite cool. I don't often think why I do this. You see, I'm a compulsive news gatherer and distributer - long before blogs happened I used to drive my friends crazy. Now that I don't have any friends anymore I can sit and spread news in peace on the internet.

My mother part -owned and edited the local newspaper when I was growing up and her father also edited the paper before her. As kids, when we heard a fire siren in the middle of the night, she would bundle us up, put us in the car and we would be there, marveling at the blaze, before the fire engine.

I have only recently managed to work though this compulsion to race after fire engines to beat them to the fire! But my hear still beats faster when I hear a siren.

Anyway, here is the review.

June 21, 2007


Yes, it is tue the street renaming saga in Durban is now heating up even more with the release to this statement yesterday by Dr. Michael Sutcliffe, City Manager: eThekwini:

In a sworn statement provided as motivation for an application made by the Democratic Alliance to halt the renaming process, Councillor John Steenhuisen claims that the organizers of the 2010 Football World Cup “have requested the respondent (eThekwini municipality) not to go ahead with the renaming at least until that event takes place because maps with the existing names have already been distributed overseas”.

Whilst the municipality will respond to the application as a whole at a later stage, given that the DA has sought to publicise their court bid through linking renaming with the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup, FIFA and the LOC, it is important that that matter is corrected.

For the record, FIFA and the LOC have never made any such representations to the municipality. I have been assured by the CEO of the LOC, Dr. Danny Jordaan that they have never contemplated such actions.

Why Steenhuisen deems it necessary to lie under oath is a matter which will be investigated as I have reported him to the Speaker for making such untruthful statements.

Job advertisement

Effective political lobbying

There are more ways to make your voice heard than to write abusive letters to the newspapes or to stage protest marches that turn violent.

Fighting Hate Crimes is will always be a highly charged emotional issue. In the USA one in six hate crimes are motivated by the victim's sexual orientation. Yet Federal laws don't protect these people.

Matthew Shepard was a young man who was gay - he was tied to a split-rail fence where he was brutally beaten and left to die.

The Matthew Shepard Act which aims to include sexual orientation and gender identification as hate crimes is coming before the Senate.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is lobbying the public to write to their Senators to ensure that this gets passed.

The video was produced for Cyndi Lauper's True Colors tour benefiting HRC, and it's now showing at concerts across the USA.

Joe Solmonese, President of HRC says : "As I write this, angry radical right-wing leaders are using scare tactics to fire up their base against the Matthew Shepard Act. They're saying it could "send pastors to prison for simply reading a part of the Bible." It's absurd.

Even worse: despite our House victory, we're hearing from Senate staffers that opponents of the Matthew Shepard Act are still beating us five to one in emails, calls, and letters.

Five to one. With the vote approaching and many senators still undecided, we simply cannot allow this to continue."

June 20, 2007

MySpace Is for Retail?

MySpace Founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe has said the social networking juggernaut may soon team with the likes of eBay, or some other e-commerce company, in a bid to launch a retail component for the site.

"We will at some point offer user generated e-commerce transactions," DeWolfe told The Telegraph. "So if you're on your site and you have a line of T-shirts you have designed and you want to sell them to your friends, we want to be able to provide you with the tools you need to do that."

Read more

But the best news of this whole story for me is that Google has launched an alternative to PayPal, Google Checkout -are South African's going to be banned from being payed via that as well for products and services?

June 19, 2007

Cameroon's big typo scam

has the unforeseen good fortune of owning .cm as its country code -- just as Germany
runs all names that end with .de and South Africa has .za. For Cameroon this has led to deception, typo-squatting scams and once again an African country getting totally screwed. Read this fascinating and frustrating story on African Path.

Durban street renaming deadline extended to 25 June

The deadline for submitting street renaming proposals in Durban has been extended to 25 June.

At the same Council meeting, council also approved the Masakhane Committee's recommendation that the street naming policy be amended to replace “consultation with addressees” with “consultation with ward committees”. So, instead of canvassing the opinions of those who live in affected streets, communities will be represented and consulted by their ward committees on the process.

Communities must now submit fresh proposals, even for streets and other infrastructure that was not included in the previously published list. And people can still make comments on the existing list. At the multi-party meeting the Council Speaker James Nxumalo said: “ We want to ensure the process is participatory, something we have tried to ensure from the start. We therefore urge the public to send their comments and proposals”.

The new names need not refer only to political heroes, but can include people who have helped make the lives of eThekwini residents better, through sport, art, music, or any other field of human endeavour.

The extension of the deadline gives people another chance to make their choices.

T he ward committees will analyse the proposed names and make comments, suggestions, criticisms and approvals, as well as presenting alternative proposals. They will also be free to propose any other streets, roads, freeways or buildings to be renamed, as a way of honouring the country’s heritage, and helping to transform the city.\

Their recommendations will then be channelled to the street renaming task team, which will in turn collate all the relevant facts and scrutinise the submissions. These fine-tuned submissions will then be forwarded to the multi-party Masakhane Committee for further deliberations. Thereafter, they will submit a report to the city council’s executive committee.

Proposals must be forwarded to corporategis@durban.gov.za or to the
Municipal Manager, 41
Margaret Mncadi Avenue,
2nd Floor, Rennie House,
Durban, 4001.

Proposals can also be faxed to 031 311 4024.

June 18, 2007

Africa to become world leaders in IT

Published: 07-JUN-07

What are the IT services challenges in the African continent?

Infrastructure is not what we are used in South Africa or the rest of the world, both in terms of availability and reliability. The business or in-dustry infrastructure is also lack-ing, for example bank clearing agencies and electronic mediums for communication. However, these are the challenges that create the opportunity for Africa to skip one step in the evolution of IT and business architecture and actually embrace new technology earlier. In mobile telecommunication, South Africa has kept up to date with the latest technologies and has made it affordable to most of the population.

In countries that have poor infrastructure like electricity, how have you developed solutions to get around this?

We are servicing the administration hubs of financial services and more specifically life assurance, which are less prone to these types of infrastructure limitations. What we find is that back office administration is usually central and other areas are serviced via the Internet with the option of using mobile devices as a back-up. We are just entering the mobile era and are of the opinion that Africa could become a world leader in this field.

Read more

World's first borderless mobile network expands into Central Africa

Leading pan African mobile phone network expands its One Network to include Central Africa and more than 160 million people in six countries.

Nairobi - Celtel International, the pan-African mobile telecommunications company, has announced that it was expanding One Network, claimed to be the world's first borderless mobile network, to include the Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Democratic Republic of Congo. This comes nine months after the successful launch of One Network in East Africa.

Read more

June 10, 2007

Bush lied, they died and other T-shirts and stickers

Stickers, Magnets, t-shirts CarryaBigSticker is a great website. The latest craze it the Bush Lied - They died T-shirts with names of 3155 troops who've died in Iraq. These shirts are illegal in four states in the USA already and could soon be illegal nationwide.

This series comes in three designs:
1. Bush Lied - They Died. 2. Support our Remaining Troops - Bring the Rest Home Alive. 3. If any question why we Died, Tell Them, Because our Father's Lied. There are Gay and Lesbian Rights stickers, ribbons and T-shirts, some for the 2008 Presidential campaign and many others. Have a look.

June 5, 2007

Protect your Copyright

The recently launched Copyright Protect website acts as an online depository and independent registrar for any works of copyright in electronic format. Users can deposit any works of copyright with the site in order to have the time and date of the work certified and registered.

Copyright Protect aims to offer proof of the existence of a specific file, script, design, literary, musical or literary work at a specific time and date. By including drafts, working files, revisions, concept drawings etc in your submission, you are adding strong evidence that the work is in fact original.

The registration service is allegedly automated, secure and affordable. Once a work is received, the servers will time-stamp the work and generate a certificate of receipt indicating a description of the copyright work, as well as the exact time and date that the work was received.

Find out more.

June 3, 2007

Google Street View - is it too Close?

Google Street View covers five US cities and is growing fast. You can be sure that it is only a matter of time before it will be available in South Africa as well.

With this feature you can zoom down streets; up real close, read street signs, even licence plates. But you can also see into people's houses, see people coming out of adult bookshops or strip clubs. Is this a stalker's best friend?

Potentially embarrassing or compromising scenes like these are raising questions about whether the Internet's leading search engine has gone too far in its latest attempt to make the world a more accessible -- and transparent -- place.

"Everyone expects a certain level of anonymity as they move about their daily lives," said Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group devoted to protecting people's rights on the Internet. "There is a certain 'ick' factor here."

Read this report and watch the video on CNN.

June 2, 2007

Durban International Film Festival Programme

The 28th Durban International Film Festival which runs from 20 June to 1 July has released its list of films and screening times and places. The Festival offers a selection of the finest in world cinema, spread over more than 300 screenings at 24 venues across the Durban district. It also provides an extensive programme of free workshops and seminars to inspire young filmmakers and stimulate the film industry in KwaZulu-Natal.

The festival opens on 20 June with the World Premiere of Darrell James Roodt's Meisie, a gentle and humane film set in a community on the peripheries of the Kalahari Desert. Roodt's Oscar-nominated Yesterday opened the festival in 2004. The festival's closing film is Guillermo del Toro's three time Oscar-winner Pan's Labyrinth, a visual masterpiece which straddles the fantastic and the tragic.

Some of the world's finest directors will have their new films presented at the festival including Aderrahmane Sissako (Bamako), Lars von Trier (The Boss Of It All), Zhang Yimou (Curse Of The Golden Flower), Rachid Bouchareb (Days Of Glory), Timur Bekmambetov (Day Watch), Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Dry Season), Nick Broomfield (Gho! sts), Bahman Ghobadi (Half Moon), Tsai Ming-Liang (I Don't Want To Sleep Alone), Ray Lawrence (Jindabyne), Nobuhiro Yamashita (Linda Linda Linda), Kenneth Branagh (The Magic Flute), Garin Nugroho (Opera Jawa), Jia Zhang-Ke (Still Life), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Syndromes And A Century), and Kim Ki-duk (Time).

Along with the established filmmakers, the festival will also present a range of striking works by new directors including 2 Days In Paris by Julie Delpy, Aachi & Ssipak by Joe Bum-jin, AFR by Morten Hartz Kaplers, Armin by Ognjen Svilicic, Bog Of Beasts by Claudio Assis, Cashback by Sean Ellis, Does It Hurt? - The First Balkan Dogma by Aneta Lesn! ikovska, Elvis Pelvis by Kevin Aduaka, Faces Of A Fig Tree by Momoi Kaori, Fourteen by Hirosue Hiromasa, Glue by Alexis dos Santos, On The Wings Of Dreams by Golam Rabbany Biplob, Paraguayan Hammock by Paz Encina, Playing The Victim by Kirill Serebrennikov, Princess by Anders Morgenthaler, Sankara by Prasanna Jayakody, The Sensation Of Sight by Aaron J. Wiederspahn, The Solution by Ivan Kavanagh, Tan Lines by Ed Aldridge, Taxider! mia by Gyorgy Palfi, The Un forgiven by Jong-bin Yoon, The Unpolished by Pia Marais and Vanaja by Rajnesh Domalpalli.

The festival once again presents, under the African Perspectives banner, the cream of the crop of new African cinema, including, from South Africa, Darrell James Roodt's Meisie and Prey, Khalo Matabane's When We Were Black, John Barker's Bunny Chow, Angus Gibson's Heartlines, and Kumaran Naidu's Broken Promises 2.

From the rest of Africa, the festival presents a range of films from the continent's most exciting filmmaking talent. Included in the selection are Bamako by Abderrahmane Sissako, Juju Factory by Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda, Kinshasa Palace by Zeka Laplaine, Africa Paradise by Sylvestre Amoussou, Dry Season by Mahamet-Saleh Haroun, Ezra by Newton Aduaka and the Oscar-nominated Days Of Glory by Rachid Bouchareb.

Other themes and focus areas include: New Crowned Hope, a series of fascinating film commissioned as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations of the birth of Mozart, and focuses on Cinema of the Middle East, New Italian Cinema, Gay and Lesbian Cinema, New Danish Cinema, an Indian Ocean Islands Panorama, and a series of films on music. In addition, the festival presents the Poverty and Inequality Film Festival which is being presented alongside the Poverty and Inequality Challenge Conference.

The Wavescapes Surf Film Festival will return to DIFF with ripping hot surf screen action, and DIFF also hosts, for the first time, ICEBOX DBN, a collaborative festival of contemporary creativity in audio-visual art, with a focus on the electronic.

The issue-based documentary programme includes themes such as slavery, racism and the road to freedom, social and political matters, streetwise tales from the urban underground, films about the impacts of consumerism, and conscientising films about the environment.

World premieres of Peter McKenzie's What Kind? and Nikki Comninos's documentary series on the History of Cato Manor form part of the South African lineup alongside the multi-award winning The Mother's House by Francois Verster, Senzeni Na (What Have We Done) by Portia Rankoane, Counting Hea dz: Sistaz In Hip Hop by Vusi Magubane, and Unauthorised Mbeki by Ben Cashdan, Redi Direko and Meril Rasmussen - the first public screening of the Thabo Mbeki biography that was pulled off air by the SABC last year.

Also included are two Tribeca winners We Are Together (Thina Simunye) by Paul Taylor, and The Cats Of Mirikitani by Linda Hattendorf. Sure to generate interest are In Debt We Trust: America Before The Bubble Bursts by Emmy-winning journalist Danny Schechter, Operation Filmm aker, a cross-cultural endeavour dramatically captured by Nina Davenport, the provocative What Would Jesus Buy? by Rob Van Alkemade, a musical journey with a difference Youssou N'dour: Return To Goree by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud, and critique-laden Americ! a The Beautiful by Darryl Roberts, which features teen supermodel Gerren Taylor who will also participate in the MTN Durban Fashion Week.

Special music events include the Durban Film Office (DFO) Youth in Film Music Concert on 23 June featuring Prokid, Sliko and others. The Agape Orphanage Choir will sing at the screenings of the film We are Together. Oreka Tx from Spain present live demonstrations of the extraordinary Basque instrument the txalapartha at the screenings of their film Nomadak TX; and also perform at the Wavescapes finale as does Farryl Purkiss.

A ticket to the Awards Ceremony and Closing Film also accesses you to the DIFF closing party which features special guest band ! Omar Pene from Senegal (their only performance in Durban). Keep an ear to the ground for other music happenings during the festival.

Principal screening venues are Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre; Nu-Metro CineCentre SunCoast; Ster Kinekor Musgrave, Cinema Nouveau screened by Jameson Gateway; Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu; KwaSuka Theatre, and the BAT Centre, with further screenings in township areas where cinemas are non-existent.

Programme booklets with the full screening schedule and synopses of all the films are available free at cinemas, Computicket, and other outlets from the first week of June. Full festival details can also be found on www.cca.ukzn.ac.za or by calling 031-2602506, 2601650 or 260 1704.

Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) the Durban International Film Festival is funded by National Film & Video Foundation, National Lottery Distribution Fund, HIVOS, Stichting Doen, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, and the City of Durban, with valued support from a range of other partners

June 1, 2007

Oxymorons - 50 of the best

Oxypedia give you a list of the top fifty Oxymorons, just the thing to amuse you on a Friday when you're getting ready for the weekend.

OK, don't be embarrassed if you don't know what an oxymoron is - it is a phrase, where the words usually contradict each other like "plastic glass" or "military intelligence" or "advanced basic" and "small crowd".

My personal favourites are "recorded live" religious tolerance" and "business ethics"

Get the whole list and enjoy.

Firefox "goois the Taal"

Mozilla Firefox web browser has just been released in Afrikaans by the
award winning Translate.org.za, winners of the African ICT Achiever
Award 2006 for bridging the digital divide.

This work has a far reaching impact on multilingualism, education and business in South Africa. Dwayne Bailey is available for interviews and is happy to discuss the broad impactof this release and translation of computer software.

Translate.org.za has been creating web browsers in all 11 official languages
since 2001. With this release it makes it easier for anyone to surf the
Internet in Afrikaans.

They have translations in all the other official languages but these
need to be updated and tested before they become official releases. They
are hoping that organisations and people passionate about their language
will help make that a reality.

Here is the download page.