December 21, 2008
Why Vote is an Internet initiative to encourage South Africans to take responsibility to their lives, to make sure they are registered and to vote in the coming general election (whenever that may be)
WhyVote.co.za is not affiliated to any media organisation, group, government organisation, political party, business initiative or conglomerate. WhyVote.co.za is an initiative run by citizens of this country, for citizens of this country.
Go on check it out. Download posters. Get web banners. Download videos.
If we want change, if we want things to be different, then we the people of South Africa have to act differently. We have to elect the politicians we want and hold them accountable.
So check out Why Vote?
December 19, 2008
Elected in Bloemfontein were multilingual, Terror Lekota as president with former Gauteng premier Mbhazima (Sam) Shilowa as its first deputy president and a political unknown from the same province, business woman Lynda Odendaal, as second deputy president.
I hadn't heard the results when I came in from a meeting and switched on the TV. I saw this blond chick hugging Terror and blowing kisses to the audience so I wondered what pop star they had with them up on stage, obviously to endorse the party. Then I saw the ticker tape and couldn't believe my eyes.
I watched her closely while they were singing the National Anthem and she doesn't know all the words - 15 years into liberation! (Maybe she was just overwhelmed or exhausted from "black power" salutes and blowing kisses).
The only mentions of her company on the net are a few media releases.
I know some COPE members. Some are women. Some are white. Some are both. All are infinitely more qualified than Lynda Odendaal for national leadership in a new political party that is promising to challenge the ruling party.
No Political Profile
"She has no political profile, but it will be built," Lekota said in an article in IOL.
Is the top echelon of a Party, three months (or so) before a general election a good place to build a political profile.
Well Sarah Palin did OK out of her VP spot, so who knows how Lynda Odendaal is going to shape up?
December 15, 2008
I'm watching with great interest how the political scenario in South Africa is evolving and developing and how the African National Congress (ANC) is reacting to a potential real opposition.
I hope the leaders of COPE and the ANC are going to a bit more responsible in their rhetoric. The vote of the "masses" that they are competing for is like a Freestate veld in July when a high wind howls and someone throws a stompie out of a car window.
I'm afraid that if they throw too many stompies out of car windows we're doing to have casualties.
The masses are politically aware but maybe not sophisticated enough to understand the robust rhetoric of their leaders and the wild metaphors - it would be a tragedy if some decide to take matters into their own hands to ensure the security of their party.
I don't know whether COPE will last or not, but I believe that it can only be good in the long run for South African democracy, although a right centrist opposition - I don't know.
The ANC has to transform from a liberation organisation into a political party. It has to shake off its arrogance and get better organised, and with COPE nipping at it's heels - it might just emerge stronger.
Will the Congress of the People be just another splinter party or the beginning or a new look opposition - time will tell.
October 28, 2008
Some of the stories/articles I've written in the past ten days:
Volunteer Tourism in Colorado Build Trails and Protect the Eco-system in the Rocky Mountains
Profile: Mia Michaels Modern Dance Choreographer, Teacher and Dancer
Red Flanders Poppies in Queensland Red November in Glen Aplin in Australia's Granite Belt
An article on Carpet Cleaning for my client AFM Cleantech.
Some profiles and a media release for Tradepoint.
Two book reviews for Africansway.
I've probably left out some but it's quite strange that I think that I don't do much writing. I always feel that I send more time building websites or optimizing them or taking pictures.
But this is probably not much of a blog post but it has been an interesting exercise for me to see what I do. Also it may be handy one day when I go completely crazy for people to be able to see why?
October 8, 2008
I've been watching the 2010 Moses Mabidha Stadium and documenting it from before the fist pick dug into that soil. I love awesome structures and I know this one is going to be one of them. While the rest of the world holds its breath to see whether Africa can pull of the FIFA World Football Cup in 2010, we, here in South Africa just shrug and carry on with life - we know we can do it.
Anyway, yesterday I received my friend's latest novel, A Dance in Time. I had the book with me when I was taking the pictures of the 2010 Stadium. So, I thought I'd just show Aine the book had arrived in Durban.
Aine is a really, really good Irish writer who writes under the name of Orna Ross. I couldn't wait to get stuck into this book because I read her first novel, Lover's Hollow two years ago in Dublin, when I spent a month there, taking writing lessons from her.
I also watched the last World Cup in Ireland. As a beer drinking South African I had a really good time in the pubs all around Ireland watching football with the locals, especially as none of us had a dog in the fight - now if it were rugby, that might have been another story...
I started reading A Dance in Time last night and I know it is going to be hard to do any work this week - I just want to get back to to the book.
And the 2010 Stadium, well I'll keep driving past it to record the progress.
For more pics of the Moses Mabidha Stadium, check my flickr pages
September 22, 2008
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September 18, 2008
Captions: Top - DDP's Manju Marimuthu with presenter Martin Challenor, project co-ordinator Pinky Naidoo and Marlan Padayachee of GreenGold Africa Communications, facilitator of the KAS DDP Multiparty Media Workshop for KZN political parties at the Kingfisher Conference Centre, Mount Edgecombe from 9-11 September.
Above: Me - "working the room".
With a general election looming in South Africa, multiparty cooperation and networking (even if it is behind the scenes) is essential.
What is also necessary is that the political parties and their designated players learn to establish better relationships with the media.
The Democracy Delvelopment Programme (DDP) a partner project of the Konrad Adenauer Trust in Germany, has been running multi party programs since the early 90's, "supporting capacity building on governance and civil society levels to ensure that both are empowered for meaningful participation in South Africa’s social transformation"
I recently enjoyed participating in one of these three day workshops through the involvement of my old speechwriting colleague Marlan Padayachee of GreenGold Africa Communications.
September 2, 2008
Well actually it launched the beta version of Google Chrome in 100 countries.
Google Chrome has a blog and a comic book that explains it.
So why are they launching Google Chrome? "Because we believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web."
It all looks very exciting, but you know - I think I'll just stick to Firefox for the meantime.
August 22, 2008
Especially when they just pop up and hang their shouting blahhhhhh at you!
Of course the 404 Error Page Widget can be found in Google's Webmaster Tools.
This new "Enhance 404 Pages" allows you to embed a widget into your error page which will provide your user with suggestions and search functionality. That way your website visitor is less likely to leave your website, and more likely to continue browsing your website to find what they are looking for.
According to Expand Marketing, where I found out about this, this feature is experimental at this stage and will most evolve and develop as Google gets suggestions and comments. Get more information about the tool on Google Webmaster Blog
July 17, 2008
2. Write more.
3. Write even more.
4. Write even more than that.
5. Write when you don’t want to.
6. Write when you do.
Read more about 10 Steps to becoming a better writer and other copywriting tips for online success at Copyblogger
July 15, 2008
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July 8, 2008
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July 4, 2008
Sure it is important how your URL is designed, "A bad URL means your website or page won’t be found, clicked, visited and linked or submitted to social media. Without proper URLs most of your other great web design, usability and SEO measures get wasted."
For most of us the question is simply "How well can I be Googled?"
I work with Joomla and I know that some of the PHP stuff isn't pretty - but hey, you win some you lose some.
Anyway, Top 10 Fatal URL Design Mistakes is certainly worth reading - and thinking about!
June 18, 2008
According to SAPA, rampant theft by Post Office workers has infuriated internet retailing giant Amazon so much that it will no longer send goods to South Africa by post, Business Day has reported.
Anyone wanting to order directly from the US-based website must now pay for a private courier service adding about R420 to the price of a DVD.
No one from the Post Office would comment.
No other African country's postal service had been blacklisted by Amazon, Business Day said.
When I read this, I first checked the date to see if it wasn't April 1. I mean I know that theft is bad from the Post Office, but the fact that Amazon.com would blacklist the Post Office is terrible, how am I going to get my new Kindle?
June 17, 2008
Times Online has rolled out an elaborate digital newspaper archive stretching back more than 200 years. The archive includes more than 20 miliion articles from every edition of the Times, bar a small number of damaged issues, from 1785 to 1985.
It includes the Thunderer's coverage of events such as the Battle of Waterloo, the first convicts arriving at Botany Bay and the execution of Marie Antoinette, the sinking of the Titanic. Other issues cover the 1851 Great Exhibition, the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888 and Amelia Earhart's solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932.
The archive also includes letters to the editor, photographs and adverts, with each page presented as it was printed in the paper on a parchment-coloured screen. Anne Spackman, the editor-in-chief of Times Online, said that the Times wanted the project to set the gold standard for an online newspaper archive for 'arguably the most famous newspaper in the world'. The archive is currently free, and Spackman says no decision will be taken about whether it will remain free or require a subscription until it has generated a solid user base.
Pages are scanned using 'optical character recognition technology', which means articles can be tagged and searched more easily. More than 150 topic pages, such as 'war and revolution', are designed to make content easier to search.
For me, the interesting articles are the coverage of Crime in the UK over the years - Jack the Ripper, the Moors Murders, the Kray Twins, the Great Train Robbery and then from the USA, the Gang Feuds in Chicago and the arrest of Al Capone.
June 7, 2008
But it is really exciting the search is progressing from word search to images and also to video.
Viewdle is a video search method/engine. " It is a facial recognition powered digital media platform for easily indexing, searching and monetizing video assets".
Viewdle technology recognizes actual appearances of people on screen., so you'd better go over and take a look for yourself.
Toronto, Ontario-based Idée inc. has authorized over 12,000 beta testers for Tineye, with a waiting list that grows longer by the day according to CEO Leila Boujnane. Idée's goal with Tineye is quite simple: to be the image search engine. And although you'll never hear anyone from any company (think Google and Photoshop) officially admit it due to trademark diminishment concerns, it's a safe bet that Tineye is secretly hoping to be "verbed" in the image-search space: "Can you Tineye yesterday's lead photo to see which blogs picked it up?" And there's already a Firefox extension, making it easy as a right-click to launch a Tineye image search.
Well I got all this from a great article in PopPhoto.com, so read it there.
But I went to have a look at Tineye and registered as a beta tester and installed the Firefox plugin. Now all I need to do is right click on any image and tell it to "fetch".
OK at the moment the database isn't very big, but imagine what it will be like in a year or so - just imagine the potential for an image based search engine?
June 5, 2008
Firefox 3 sets the innovation bar very high with exciting new features, including one-click bookmarking, the smart location bar and lightning fast performance. Firefox 3 also includes phishing and malware protection, plus new instant site ID info.
With features like built-in spell checking, session restore and full zoom, Firefox 3 makes it possible to work faster and more efficiently on the Web. With Firefox 3 you can choose from over 5,000 add-ons that help you customize your browsing experience.
I took the previous two paragraphs from the Firefox website because just can't list all the good things about this web browser.
So sign up and await the date for the biggest download fest in history and become part of an entry in the Guinness Book of Records when you install the new Firefox 3 browser.
June 1, 2008
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May 31, 2008
I often wonder why we have a Top Ten or Top Five or even a Top Hundred.
Recently I read Amanda's Top 26 Favorite Books of All Time.
Why 26 - well this author, writing teacher explained - there are 26 letters of the alphabet!
OK, so I guess that's as good a reason as any to decide on a specific number, but where does the hundred plus one come from? Why 101 most Useful Websites?
It is indeed a very useful article and pretty interesting too but why not 100 most useful websites or 99?
May 27, 2008
So I was really interested when I got a post from Digg-buddy Colin Mc Dermot tittled Banksy's Rise to Fame.
No he wasn't waxing lyrical on the beauty of street art of Bristol Born Banksy. His blog post show via an analysis of Google search engine data a remarkable pattern between some of Banksy's press activity and his rise to fame over the last five years.
According to Colin:
"This represents another landmark for Graffiti's acceptance into popular culture.
Banksy's artworks have huge value - and forward thinking councils / property owners that understand this value (money talks!) are now actually maintaining these pieces of art.
Once it was the the job of councils to remove ALL graffiti.
Now they are starting to see that perhaps not all of this wonderful artwork can be classed as mindless vandalism."
Check the YouTube Video
May 23, 2008
I know many people feel very strongly about the above issues - for and against. That is what a democracy is about - our right to be able to differ, for every voice to be heard.
But the Constitution stands above it all, upholding values higher than we are higher than our society and the times we live in; higher than our fears and prejudices or our personal religious convictions.
I saw a bit of this clip on CNN an hour or so ago and I became frightened for the USA should John McCain and the Republicans come to power in October.
Ellen de Generes, who recently announced that she plans to take advantage of the California Supreme Court’s recent gay marriage ruling and wed her longtime girlfriend, actress Portia Rossi, pressed McCain on his stance on gay marriage.
So, have a look and watch John McCain tell Ellen De Generes: "You shouldn't have the right to get married"
For me, living in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, isiZulu would be the obvious new language to learn, after all it is the most spoken language in South Africa. But although I know plenty of words and phrases and can pick up conversation when my friends talk, I've realized it is very , very difficult.
So I was really stoked (Durban surfer speak for "excited) to find this blogpost, 10 Reasons why "Tech Speak" is the Best Language.
Written by Andrew Gonsalves "Halx" www.tfproject.org the Tech Speak story explains that:
"While knowing how to speak Spanish will secure you a customer service job in Los Angeles, knowing how to speak French will make you sound sexier, and knowing how to speak Japanese will make all of your hentai games more interesting, if you know "Tech Speak," you're already 10 times more versatile than all those other bilingual show-offs. By Tech Speak, I don't mean to imply that there is some secret code that you haven't heard of before, and I certainly am not referring to any glossary of buzzwords that make you look more of a blow hard for reciting them. Tech Speak is simply the language of technology; the understanding of where the world is going and the tidbits of knowledge needed to stay adrift."
If you want to know the ten reasons, you'll have to click the links and find out.
May 12, 2008
So I was pretty excited when a Digg buddy "shouted" me this article called Productivity Ninja: 101 Ways to Rock the Keyboard.
Not that my keyboard needs any physical rocking - I sit with it on my lap, but I'm sure that's not what he meant, because his belief is that if you use the computer a lot, you have to stop using the mouse and learn to "Rock the Keyboard".
(I guess he can't remember a pre- windows era when we laid out publications in Dos on keyboards...)
But for those who want to become Productivity Ninja's, he lists plenty of keyboard shortcuts for programs ranging from Firefox , G-Mail, Google Reader, Windows, Mac and more. (Good to know when the mouse's battery is flat).
So for those among us who enjoy keyboard shortcuts - this Productivity Ninja article has plenty of stuff to explore.
May 9, 2008
Yes, Diigo is another one - a social networking tool/site. But this one is different. It is more of an Internet Research tool.
And for those like me who spend a lot of time picking up scraps of info here and there on the net - Diigo is going to be invaluable.
Emily Barney of Illinois is a member on the Facebook Diigo group and she says:
"I just did a profile/tutorial piece on Diigo for a class, you can view the video on youtube here:"
So check it out and sign up!
May 7, 2008
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May 5, 2008
Articles are targeted at policymakers and other decision makers who need exposure to new perspectives that challenge conventional assumptions about how best to make South Africa's economy and social policies work for the poor.
South Africa has just celebrated 14 years as a democracy, which is not much time to reverse centuries of prejudicial policies and practices that created the massive underclass that this country has inherited.
But, despite the gains, South Africans are more anxious about the future than at any other time in our democratic history. There is huge concern about the high levels of poverty and associated crime.
The question is, are policy makers doing enough to resolve the problems facing this country, so that in future we don't find ourselves looking back and feeling just as anxious or worse about what is to come.
Mainstream critiques have so far failed to analyse the drivers of poverty and to question the effectiveness of South Africa's socio-economic policies as instruments for change. Of most concern, is that the discourse about inequality has not yet entered mainstream debates about democratic governance.
SACSIS will highlight this debate by testing the relationship between democracy and governance and the realisation of socio-economic rights. We seek to promote the idea of the fundamental right of the poor to a higher standard of living and better quality of life.
The central thesis is that we live in a dysfunctional democracy. Public policy in South Africa does not adequately address the issues of inequality, so the question that will drive the articles released through SACSIS is: How do we make democracy work for the poor?
Their columnists are drawn from the ranks of civil society. They are people who are grounded in socio-economic issues through their work, who can offer analysis underwritten by rigorous research and practical experience.
They are all experienced writers, with established publications records that include popular writing.
The work of SACSIS will be released under a Creative Commons licence, which means that journalists can copy, republish or adapt the agency's work, as long as they are acknowledged as the source.
Emphasis is on quality as opposed to quantity. SACSIS will only release between two and five articles per week.
The SACSIS news agency has been established as a nonprofit trust and is launched on 05 May 2008.
Visit the website at www.sacsis.org.za to view the news and subscribe to their services.
For more information, please contact:
Cell: +27(0)82 921 2562
April 24, 2008
It is actually quite difficult to get an article you are championing on to the "front page" of Digg. You have to have a lot of friends and do a lot of shouting - Digg terminology.
So you'll understand that I was over the moon when I found this 21 page .pdf called Breaking the Digg Code.
It has a nice, easy-to-follow step by step approach. But if you want Breaking the Digg Code you'll have to subscribe to their blog wither via RSS or email.
I guess it's only fair to say that I was made aware of this on Digg, by a friend who gave me a shout. This led to another really interesting blog called Daily Blog Tips, where I read about Breaking the Digg Code.
April 19, 2008
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April 17, 2008
As it is, I somehow feel I'm running out of time all the time and because my thumbs are not quite as agile I text slower, so when I find an app that is going to save me time I'm over the moon.
Blog It (powered by Typepad) is a free Facebook application which focuses on making it easier for you to create content no matter the blogging platform you use. Blog It brings some of the best social aspects of Facebook to blogging, making it easy for you to let your friends and colleagues around the web know what you're up to and what you're writing.
Blog It can be used to update all your blogs - it supports a whole lot of platforms - from your Facebook Platform, so why not give it a try? I know I'm going to try Blog It as soon as I have a moment.
April 13, 2008
All the time we read about inflation in Zimbabwe that is it running at - goodness knows how many thousand percent but I don't think it really hit home for me until I saw a real genuine Zim banknote. A note for 10 million Zimbabwe dollars - with an expiration date on it - 30 June 2008. (Do they know something that we don't know?)
I believe it is worth about R2,00 or $0,25. It is a beautiful note - well designed and feels substantial, not a cheapie -with a watermark nog, and immediately I wondered how much it cost to print the note and how many of them they printed.
I'm sure the printing costs per note were more than the face value of the banknote. So I had to get out my camera and take a picture of the Zimbabwe currency so that I could share it with everyone else who wouldn't believe me when I showed them these beautifully made banknotes with the expiry date.
We sure live in interesting times.
April 7, 2008
It is only available in a few networks at the moment, but Facebook Chat will be rolled out across the whole spectrum over the next couple of days according to Inside Facebook, where the whole Facebook Chat process is explained in great detail and screenshots.
"Facebook Chat is a very compelling experience that will spell trouble for legacy IM networks that haven’t built vibrant social networks around their friend lists (i.e. AIM). By making Facebook more real time/presence oriented, Facebook session length should go up a lot. Facebook will become an important player in IM very soon."
Well, I'm not much of an online chatter, but I can't what to try out Facebook Chat!
April 3, 2008
Jesse Jackson(above on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel the day before the assassination with Dr King) has no difficulty remembering his last conversation with Martin Luther King. He was in the car park of the Lorraine motel in Memphis and King was standing a floor above him on the balcony outside room 306.
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40th Anniversary of his Assassination in Memphis, Tennessee
40 years ago civil rights leader, Dr Martin Luther King Jnr was assassinated by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
On 4 April 1968 at 6.10 pm, a sniper assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jnr while he was standing on the balcony of Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee. Dr King had come to Memphis, to support striking sanitation workers.
March 31, 2008
Photoshop Express a beta version released last week, is completely web-based so consumers can use it with any type of computer, operating system and browser. And, once they register, users can get to their accounts from different computers.
Photoshop enters the online photo-management arena many years after such services first appeared. Some companies have already made a big name for themselves, like nine-year-old storage solution Shutterfly, photo-editing service Picnik or image-sharing site Photobucket.
Adobe Photoshop Express even has a selection of galleries to please and enchant the user.
March 26, 2008
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March 25, 2008
Overview of Fax to Email
Fax to Email is a leading South African web-based Fax Solutions Company.What is Fax to Email ?
Fax to Email is a company offering an innovative, cost effective solution to the current and somewhat cumbersome method of receiving and sending faxes. Fax to Email earns revenue through a rebate system from Telkom, for calls made to the allocated numbers which is sufficient for Fax to Email to distribute this fax reception service at no charge to the end user. Fax to Email has changed the way faxes are dealt with by aligning it closer to email than to traditional faxing.
So there you have it - this is just one of the smartest things I've heard - and Fax to Email is Free!
read more | digg story
March 24, 2008
How much is your blog worth? Well I guess that's a bit of a strange question to ask because we can never really say.
Do we quantify the value of our blog in the amount of PV's or whether it has won awards or been nominated? But that still doesn't really tell us how much our blog is worth.
Dane Carlson's Business Opportunities Weblog can give your a dollar value!
He has created a little little applet using Technorati's API which computes and displays your blog's worth using the same link to dollar ratio as the AOL-Weblogs Inc deal.
So if you want to see how much your blog is worth, just type your url into the little box and prepare yourself for the surprise!
March 23, 2008
Anyway, that' where I saw this article: 13 Email Addresses that can be useful.
Well first of all they're not all email addresses, some are urls and 13 is a strange number, but this little list on 13 Email Addresses that can be useful is worth finding and keeping because it is some really interesting and ... well useful information.
E.G. Useful Email Address No 7
PDF documents that you quickly want to share with friends, just email the files to Slideshare and they'll instantly turn them into a web slideshow.
Useful Email Address No 10
Google Docs provides a unique email address here - you can upload your documents, spreadsheets and presentations to Google Docs through this address and read them on your mobile phone using the newly launched Google Docs mobile at docs.google.com/m. [Google Docs Upload]
March 19, 2008
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March 16, 2008
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March 13, 2008
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March 10, 2008
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March 7, 2008
For all those expat South Africans and people who can't just switch on to their favorite South African Radio Station, the launch of internet radio programme - AmaRadio is going to bring great happiness
AmaRadio is a little program which enables you to listen to most of the South African radio stations over your broadband connection! Furthermore...
- You can download it in under two minutes.
- It's very stable.
- It does not depend on any other components.
- It runs on Windows 98, XP, and Vista.
March 6, 2008
"Diakonia", a Greek word meaning “service”, is a shared ministry to serve God in suffering people, in the poorest, in those most in need.
Theme: "Who is my Neighbour?"
Human Rights Day and Good Friday combine in Easter Service
In a long-standing tradition established by Diakonia Council of Churches in 1985, the Good Friday Service 2008 will be held at the Durban Exhibition Centre on 21 March commencing at 06h15.
It is a remarkable day as this date also coincides with Human Rights Day, and in keeping with the theme, the guest preacher, Fr Albert Nolan OP, will be preaching on "Who is my Neighbour?".
Over the years the Good Friday Services have become a landmark event in the life of the city and our member churches, with many thousands of people attending and joining in the procession which follows through the streets of Durban and ends at the front steps of the City Hall, with a flowering of the cross.
A gallery of images from the 2007 Good Friday Service.
The best thing is that Red Zebra is free and it requires no software for you to create an online gallery of camera phone pictures that you can share with your friends.
Although the online camera phone picture hosting service is free at Red Zebra they "specialise in feature rich solutions for business, government and organizations who need the full range of features " for which they say they charge a "modest fee".
Why not check Red Zebra Mobile out?
February 18, 2008
I saw it at Tradepoint Durban in the Resource Room and judging from the response from the crafters, artists and people who do business in this field, the new KZN Arts and Craft Directory is already a great success.
Networking and resources is one of their biggest obstacles, and this Directory has a detailed, well directory of companies and organizations working in the field of arts and craft.
The Master Crafters' Section can do with a bit of beefing up for the next issue - I think the art dealers should be put in a separate section.
But overall, the relevant authorities must be applauded for a very handy, and well produced workbook for the arts and craft industry.
February 15, 2008
In this morning's M&G - headlined ICD orders probe into "so called statistics leak", Patrick Mongwe, ICD Acting director said that statistics could not be released without being "audited and verified" - I read that as the well known "spin-and-cook."
The release of figures showing that 830 KwaZulu-Natal law enforcement officers were under investigation would be probed, the Independent Complaints Directorate boss announced on Thursday.
Patrick Mongwe, the ICD's acting executive director, said: "The statistics must come from here [the head office]. There are policies within the department."
He said that statistics could not be released with out having been "audited and verified".
"I have initiated an investigation and who has released those figures must be held to account," he said.
Well well so let's see what comes out in the wash - if they catch the culprit, maybe the number of cops under investigation will climb to over 830!
February 14, 2008
"At least 830 of KwaZulu-Natal's (KZN) law-enforcement officers are under investigation for a host of crimes ranging from assault through to rape and murder, figures released by the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) revealed on Wednesday.
Of the 830 officers -- which include members of the South African Police Services, eThekwini metro police and other municipal police services -- only one officer has been convicted."
Don't they realize there is a problem somewhere?
"KwaZulu-Natal provincial head of the ICD, Tabisa Ralo, on Wednesday said that of the 830 officers being probed, 174 are being scrutinized for deaths in police custody or as a result of police action.
Another 289 are being investigated for misconduct, while 351 are under investigation for failing to carry out their duties.
She said misconduct cases include assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, rape, indecent assault, extortion and corruption.
Up to 16 police officers had domestic violence cases file"
And how many police officers are committing suicide or family murders?
The statistics for the whole country are absolutely frightening, but for someone who lives in KZN, the blood runs ice cold at the following statement:
"More people died at the hands of KwaZulu-Natal's law-enforcement officers than any other province."
Now that's really cool!!!
As if the social pressures of transformation in our society and the associated crime aren't enough, I'm more likely to get get killed by a cop in KZN than anywhere else in South Africa. I'm sure that's not a fact Tourism KZN will want to trumpet at the next Tourism Indaba.
However, Ralo assures the public that :"The role of the ICD forms part of an ongoing commitment to transform policing in South Africa ."
But what I want to know is what are they doing about screening applicants; training and skilling them; providing psychological counseling and paying them better? Isn't that easier than investigating and court cases and ...
eThekwini Metro police spokesperson Superintendent John Tyala says he believes that less then ten metro officers were under investigation by the ICD. (Ralo says 28).
He assures the public that :"Our management has committed itself to clamp down on corruption and this has served as a deterrent to other members."
Then Tyala urges members of the public not to attempt to bribe his officers. (And listen to this)
"Don't bribe our members because you will be enticing them ... they too have families and if they lose their jobs what will be their future?" he said. "They will be unemployed."
Oh wow, and this is the spokesperson for the eThekwini Metro Police?
Do I care about the future of corrupt policemen and women? If they are corrupt they should not only be unemployed they should be behind bars, Superintendent Tyla.
But as I said before, if they are better screened and trained and paid and counseled (because they really have dangerous jobs), but hey, as the saying goes... I'm pissing into the wind.
I just hate to think what these kind of statistics and this kind of press does for the good cops, and yes there are many of them.
Report Corrupt Cops
In KZN one can report a complaint against a law enforcement official to the ICD on 031 3101300 or visit its offices in Kingsfield Place, Field Street, Durban
And if one of the Metro Police Officers in Durban steps over the line, you can report him/her to:
Mr Bheki Mkhize, Ombudsperson and Head: Investigations of the eThekwini Municipalitye-mail: Ombuds@durban.gov.za or download a form.
February 11, 2008
After much hype, Wikia has finally unveiled an alpha version of its "human powered" search engine. Many in the blogging community have been quick to post scathing reviews on the launch, criticizing the engine's shallow inventory and highlighting the fact that many of the much trumpeted social components haven't been incorporated as part of the initial launch, says Alex Vlasto at iMedia Connection.Although the integration of social elements within search is a good thing, the biggest problem will always be fraud - spam.
He concludes with the thought that open source search is definitely an exciting development. "For me, however, the really exciting component is not so much the transparency of the algorithm but rather the way users can rank, and in turn influence, listings that are displayed."
February 6, 2008
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February 2, 2008
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January 25, 2008
January 20, 2008
Your eyes are not deceiving you the headline does read Food Company Annual Report that must be Baked. It is just so clever I couldn't stop smiling when I read it.
It is one of those really smart ideas that probably has no uses.
Croatian creative agency Bruketa & Zinić have designed an annual report for food company Podravka that has to be baked in an oven before it can be read. The secret is thermo-reactive ink.
It's a little bit like the magic trick we used to do with the invisible writing when we were kids - remember, writing something with lemon juice and then only being able to read it if you held a flame under the paper and the lettering showed up brown.
Well this is a new one - Adopt an Acre of Rainforest. I've adopted plenty of other things like a star and a piece of sky and..., but an acre of rainforest, never before.
Obviously these Adopt-schemes work well and are good for raising awareness. As the website explains: Adopt an Acre® is a program of The Nature Conservancy that provides critical funds for rainforest protection and restoration.
Every year, Adopt an Acre® chooses an imperiled rainforest site that is in critical need of protection.
Since its beginning, the Adopt an Acre® program has protected hundreds of thousands of forested acres worldwide.Once you adopt your acre(s), you'll receive a personalized certificate, more information about the program, a car magnet and a subscription to our quarterly magazine, Nature Conservancy.
But don't take my word for this virtual adoption program - no, you don't ACTUALLY own the Acre of Rainforest you adopt.
The also have an update on last year's Adopt and Acre Africa program . During the 2006 and 2007 season this program resulted in the adoption and preservation of more than 24,000 acres in East Africa's Rift Valley.
January 13, 2008
January 12, 2008
Think about: I haven't been playing my A game lately or He's got it down to a T.
Craig Conley is a curator, benefactor, philosopher, author, music producer, and documentarian. A former college teacher of writing and literature, he left academia to pursue his research into one-letter words, two-fold deities, and ancient technologies for using harmonics to heal and to facilitate spiritual transformations.
He says: "Sometimes you do have something to say, but “the words get in the way.” You can’t find the precise word for what you mean, and every word you can think of gives the wrong impression or is misleading."
The solution is to get back to basics. Put your trust in the ABC’s. With this dictionary of one-letter words, you have the power to fight jargon and to simplify modern communication. It’s now up to you.For each letter in the one-letter word dictionary, , Conley gives dozens of meanings, which he often supports with citations from literature, science and pop culture. The definitions are arranged in groups like “shapes and sizes,” military and “people, places, things,” some of which are common to most letters and others that pertain to only one, like “exertions of power,” which has two entries under “d.”
January 11, 2008
Now African Path has created a virtual African Path Village where you can connect with African Culture. There are forums, photos, groups and all the social networking goodies as well as some cool badges and widgets- even a slideshow one for Facebook.
Check it out and join the conversation!
I've started writing on Forensic Science, which is why all these rather off-topic articles are popping up and one of the fascinating things I found while researching the Mitochondiral DNA article was the whole Mitochondial Eve theory - you know, that we are all descended from one mother, right here in Africa - well you'd better read more:
What is Mitochondrial DNA? Inherited from the Mother, mtDNA is Perfect for Cold Cases
January 1, 2008
But it is such a good and fun way to keep in touch, to make new friends, to network, to get to know business associates better - and to promote my work, which is after all, mostly to do with internet and internet writing.
So back to the 13 Facebook Predictions for 2008 - here are the top three:
1. Facebook will break the 125 Million User Watermark
2. There will be over 37,000 Different Facebook Applications
3. Facebook will license it’s platform to 3 Major Social Networking Sites
You'll want to see the other 10 Facebook Predictions for 2008 so read on
I've been to cyber cafes and they are expensive, but then they have to pay for broadband access, which we know isn't cheap.
Government keeps on making noises about supporting small business development, but how are emerging businesses supposed to become established and grow without people being able to have cheap or free broadband access so that they can at least learn internet skills and establish a presence on the internet.
We know that it takes more than a course or workshop or two to get comfortable on the World Wide Web. One needs to spend time, surfing, playing, setting up a blog, investigating social networking, learning how to search.
I found this really interesting article about the importance of broadband access . It explains that Americans are turning to the Web for solutions, but poorer people, with out broadband access, were in trouble - their access to information and hunger for it diminished.
"Once you get broadband, you see what's available and pursue more of what's available," Rainie said. "The Internet has taught people to be even more hungry about information and to be even more aggressive about hunting it down in a variety of places."