May 31, 2008

101 Most Useful Websites

It is quite odd how we make lists, isn't it?

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

Street Artist Banksy's Rise to Fame Tracked on Google

I am very partial to street art - wall murals, graffiti. I even write articles about it. And I guess when it comes to graffiti, Banksy is right there - A number One at the Top of the Heap.

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

Watch John McCain tell Ellen De Generes: "You shouldn't have the right to get married"

Well, whenever my countrymen and women want to change our wonderful Constitution and ban gay and lesbian marriages or bring back the death penalty or outlaw abortion I cringe.

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"

10 Reasons why "Tech Speak" is the Best Language to Learn

Like many people, I keep on making New Years resolutions to learn a new language. I've been making them for many new years!

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" 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

Get more Productive on your Keyboard

I'm a hack, so my typing skills are the two finger type - I'm quite fast because I've been doing it for years, but I've always envied the typists, who do amazing things with alt and ctrl keys.

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

Diigo - Supercharged Social Networwking Tool

Well I've just got on to Diigo and I guess it will take a while to play with all the features and explore, but it looks really exciting.

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

Brush up on Your Email Etiquette

All users of electronic communications need to understand email etiquette in order to enjoy more streamlined and efficient workplace and personal communications.Workplace communications often turn into a Tower of Babel, with everyone speaking in different languages. There is no doubt that business communications, especially electronic communications can be made more professional and more effective with better email etiquette.Why is Email Etiquette Necessary?Companies and organizations need to implement etiquette rules for these reasons:Professionalism: by using proper email language the company will convey a more professional image.

read more | digg story

May 5, 2008

Introducing a New News Agency - SACSIS

SACSIS -- the South African Civil Society Information Service -- is launching as a news agency to channel social justice news and analysis of South Africa's policy dialogue to the media.

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 to view the news and subscribe to their services.

For more information, please contact:

Fazila Farouk
Cell: +27(0)82 921 2562