Thursday, August 31, 2006


The iBurst wireless broadband system is now available in Ghana after Infinite Stream Ghana Ltd recently launched the service in collaboration with BusyInternet. South African iBurst users are now able to roam in Ghana and vice versa.

ArrayComm, the world leader in smart antenna technologies, is the developer and patent holder of the iBurst broadband wireless system sold globally by licensees. iBurst is currently available in Ghana, South Africa, Australia, Kenya and Azerbaijan.

“iBurst South Africa is thrilled that a third African country now has access to a fourth generation wireless technology with the potential to uplift communities by boosting economic growth,” said Thami Mtshali, CEO of iBurst SA.

iBurst is unique because it optimizes the use of bandwidth with the help of smart antennae. It offers the speed of DSL in a mobile environment, exceptional reliability and an IP base allowing a network to be established quickly and affordably.

“Over the last decade we have watched the rise and fall of copper promises. African countries see the potential of broadband and are desperately looking for other ways to obtain reliable, high-speed Internet access without resorting to miles of expensive copper cables. Ghana obviously realized that the decision to go the iBurst wireless route would allow an alternative broadband provider to be up and running as quickly as possible,” said Mr Mtshali.

iBurst will initially only be available in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. The new service is available in three contract packages and a prepaid version where subscribers pay an hourly rate with no data cap.

Coverage currently includes metropolitan Accra (Osu, Airport area, Kaneshie, Ring Road Central, Accra Central). The company hopes to extend coverage to other parts of Accra and also to other cities in Ghana in the near future. Further details are available on

South African iBurst users wishing to roam in Ghana should call 0860 IBURST or 0860 927 4357 or email (

Monday, August 28, 2006

New Top Ups from Vodacom

Vodacom is introducing the addition of six new per second Top Up packages to its current range, providing its subscribers the flexibility of choosing a package that is suitable to their financial and personal needs.

The Top Up Packages are a hybrid between contract and prepaid to offer subscribers guaranteed monthly airtime credit that provide the similar benefits to contract call rates.

The six new packages offer subscribers the convenience of a contract package combined with the control and flexibility of prepaid and now with per second rates from the first second. Subscribers are able to purchase additional airtime as per the usual prepaid recharge methods once the monthly threshold has been reached.

The per second packages are available on 24 month contracts as well as monthly packages* with monthly subscription fees ranging from R135 to R590. The six new additions to the Top-Up family are:

· Top Up 135 S
· Top Up 200 S
· Top Up 275 S
· Top Up 315 S
· Top Up 400 S
· Top Up 500 S

*Terms and conditions apply

Thursday, August 24, 2006

So THAT's Why The Cost so Much

If you have ever sat back and thought, "I wonder why an iPod is so damn expensive." Here is the answer.

Although, if you think about it, that's only 7 times more than the new SA NAtional Soccer coach is going to be paid. I think Apple got a pretty sweet deal...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Flickr forcing artists to become 'non-public', known by them as 'NIPSA'

Something disturbing is happening at Flickr at the moment. They're forcing people who have predominantly art in their galleries to become 'not public'. This means that if you do a search for something, non-public pictures will not show up in that search.

This appears to be a bureaucratic implementation of one of the clauses in their 'Community Guidelines'. But it's very disturbing, because it indicates a lack of responsiveness to their paying users. (There are two ways of using Flickr.... Free and Pro. Free users can have 200 pics in the gallery at any time, and three 'sets'. Pro users can have any number of pics, and any number of sets.

If you want to look at my pics, you need to do it by following a link to my gallery. There is no way you can find me without that. (If you're interested, here's my Flickr gallery:

Here's a copy of my correspondence with Flickr about this issue. If you're a Flickr user, please consider writing to them asking for a change in their policy. To me, the policy is senseless, and seems unnecessarily punitive to the many artists and viewers of art that use the site.

My Query to Flickr:

I've been a Flickr Pro member for some time now. A friend of mine tried to do a search for my pics, and can't find any.

I subsequently tried a search too, and my work doesn't show.

I've seen several threads in discussion groups about the fact that you
seem to be making all artwork that is non-photographic 'private'.

I really would like to know why you're doing this.

I've gone through the Yahoo! terms of service, and it mentions 'photos,
graphics, audio and video' everytime it mentions anything to do with
photos. So there is nothing explicitly stated in those terms of service
preventing me from hosting my drawings publicly on Flickr.

Next, I went to your FAQ section to find out if there was a thread about this there. Maybe I overlooked it, but I don't see one.

I went to 'About Flickr'. And found nothing.

I'm very confused about this. There are literally hundreds of thousands
of artworks on Flickr, and many of them are on Pro user's accounts.

I am a digital artist. Every single image on my Flickr gallery was
created by me on my computer or on my palmtop. Almost all of them are
based on photos I took.

I'm paying you for this service, and when I flipped over to Pro, there
was nothing said about the fact that my drawings would not be public.

I'd really like to know if you can reset my status so that people can actually see my works when they search for them.

Can you get back to me about this?


Blue skies

Flickr's reply:
On 8/23/06, Flickr Support <> wrote:


Thanks for your question.

Please see our Community Guidelines.

Here is an excerpt:

"With some exceptions, it's OK to post other images, but if
the majority of your photostream contains content other than
photographs (like illustrations, screenshots, diagrams,
etc.) it's very likely that your account will be marked Not
in Public Site Areas (NIPSA). NIPSA means your photos won't
show up in photo searches, but they will still be visible
in your pages, your groups and contacts."



My response:

Thanks Monish...

I appreciate the reply.

But I'd reallllllllllllllllllllllly like to know WHY?

It doesn't make sense.

You haven't really answered any of the questions I asked.

If you have hundreds of thousands of images on Flickr which AREN'T photos, and hundreds of groups dedicated to artworks, why do you have this bizarre policy?

And why don't you make it clear and upfront in the FAQ?

You're NOT very friendly to artists. And yet it's a site that is home to a substantial number of artists.

So, I repeat... what can be done to revert my account from NIPSA to normal?

What are you guys doing to address the concerns of the hundreds of artists who are asking this question?

I looked at the forums and did a search for NIPSA and found hundreds of questions about this, with not a single answer (in the threads that I browsed) from Flickr admin people.

You guys are literally begging for a PR disaster at some point by not addressing these concerns, and sooner or later you're going to have to actually say something in response to this that is NOT a cut and paste from some sub-clause.

I'm inviting you to escalate my email upwards to one or more of your PR and Marketing mavens to actually pause and reflect and then take real action.

This isn't me being a grain of sand in the system. It's not me being egotistical and thinking I can change Flickr with the might of my words. It's more an honest evaluation and an honest appeal to you guys to do something.

What does it actually COST you to be friendly to artists on the site? What twisted logic (besides some obscure clause about artworks) FORCES you to hide our pictures from the public? You guys are coming across as rigid bureaucrats who can't think for themselves. Kinda like, 'This is what the RULES and REGULATIONS state, so our hands are tied.'

Your hands are NOT tied. You have free will. You have a giant site. You have the goodwill of zillions of people. But you're squandering that goodwill. And at a certain point, that goodwill ceases to exist. And even if it ceases to exist for a small subset of the image-sharing community, once the rot sets in, no amount of marketing spend will be able to prevent the spread of that rot.

You have the power in your hands to avert a Flickr disaster that is brewing as I sit here and type.

Please engage me on these questions.

Blue skies

[UPDATE -- 25 August 2006:] There has been no response to Flick so far. So, what I've done is this... I've submitted this blog posting to DIGG, where it seems to be generating some interest.

Here are two things you can do to help show Flickr that artists are citizens too:

(1) Please click on this DIGG link, and add your voice to the melee. It's only through pressure that Flickr might relent on this policy. After all, they want artists to be their friends. Surely?

(2) Send Flickr a politely worded note via their 'Help by Email' link. Please be polite. We're not looking to be banned! We're looking to be made pulbic and treated like humans. So please treat them like humans.

Thanks for your help. -- Roy

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

XBox in SA, Q&A with Cindy White

Why are you launching in South Africa?

South Africa is a growing market for console and Windows gaming – gamers in South Africa have been craving Xbox 360, publishers are already marketing their games here, and we have great relationships with key retail partners here already. Expanding to South Africa allows us to build a successful business ecosystem for our partners here, and to bring more gamers amazing next-generation gaming and entertainment experiences. Xbox 360 has been a great success in the EMEA region and we fully expect that success to be replicated in South Africa.

When are you launching?
Xbox 360 will launch in South Africa on 29th September.

What’s the price?

Xbox 360 will carry an estimated retail price of 3,699 rand, and 2,699 rand for the Xbox 360 Core System when it launches in South Africa on 29th September. We’ll be announcing launch information for other countries soon.

Why do the prices vary so much when compared with other countries?

First of all, it’s important to note that we set an Estimated Retail Price for products – retail ultimately decides how much to sell consoles games and accessories for. We don’t disclose our process for determining the ERP, but I can say that it is based on close consultation with retail and publishers in each country, and is set to reflect market conditions as well as take into account factors such as taxes and local currency conversions.

What are your sales projections for South Africa?

We do not disclose sales forecasts for specific countries. What I can say is that we are on track to have sold 10 million Xbox 360s by the end of the calendar year – South Africa will be an important part of meeting this target and growing the Xbox 360 “footprint” this Holiday and beyond.

Will Xbox 360 be localised into local languages, including games and customer support?

Absolutely – we want gamers to have the best experiences with Xbox 360, so we’ve ensured that console aspects like the Dashboard, as well as games, will be in local languages. And if gamers have an issue with their Xbox 360, they will be able to contact a customer support team who can speak the local language.

What games will be available at launch?

Gamers in South Africa will enjoy a full line-up of fantastic games at launch. “Project Gotham Racing 3” (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios), “Kameo” (Rare/MGS) and “Perfect Dark Zero” (Rare/MGS) will be available on launch day, with games like “Gears of War” (Epic Games/MGS), “Crackdown” (Real Time Worlds/MGS), “Viva Pinata” (Rare/MGS) and “Forza 2” (MGS) to follow in the following weeks.

What accessories will be available?

Gamers will be able to enjoy a suite of great accessories at launch such as the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Battery Pack, and Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote.

How much will games and accessories cost?

Prices for games and accessories are set by retailers, not by Xbox. Look out for this information closer to the time of launch.

What about Xbox Live Vision, the Wireless Steering Wheel, etc?

Gamers will be able to enjoy a suite of great accessories at launch such as the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Battery Pack, and Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote. We’ll be making more announcements closer to the time.

Why are you launching in South Africa first?

We’re working with retail, publishers and other partners to determine the absolute best time to launch in each market – it’s very important to tailor the launch to the country and the unique market conditions, so that’s why the launch dates vary slightly.

Which retailers will you be working with?

We’re working with several partners in each country - from local specialist games retailers to multinational retailers - and will be announcing who they are later this year.

Will you be working with any new games publishers / local developers?

We’ll be making further announcements later this year.

This entry into new markets is a crucial part of your battle with Sony is it not?

Gamers in South Africa have been craving the next-generation gaming and entertainment experiences that only Xbox 360 can offer. We’re pleased to be able to bring them what they want. Xbox 360 has been a great success in the region and we fully expect gamers in these five new countries to continue that success.

Which countries are next?

We will be launching in Eastern Europe, Chile and India by the end of the year.

Why no mention of Xbox Live in your announcement? Will Live come later or will gamers get the online service at the same time?

Xbox Live will not be available at launch in South Africa or the Eastern European countries. We want to ensure gamers have the absolute best experience with Xbox Live – to that end we’re working with retail, ISPs, publishers and other partners to make it happen and we’ll make more announcements around Xbox Live in these new markets nearer the time.

What are the differences in gaming tastes in these markets – eg German gamers like ‘clever fun’ - so what do gamers in South Africa like? Will they be interested in the current games portfolio?

Our research tells us that gamers in South Africa have similar tastes to gamers throughout the rest of Europe. We’ll be making sure that we’ll be giving gamers in South Africa what they want from launch and making sure that we continue to listen to our research and endeavour to keep doing so in years to come.

Monday, August 21, 2006

XBox in SA in 39 Days

Microsoft today announced that it will launch Xbox 360, the next-generation video games and entertainment system, in South Africa at midnight on Friday, 29 September 2006.

This launch, along with the launches in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, will expand the Xbox 360 footprint in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region from 16 countries to 21. Entering these new markets will expand on the proven success of Xbox 360 in Europe and give more gamers access to the next generation of gaming and entertainment.

Microsoft also announced the anticipated pricing. In South Africa, Xbox 360 will be available at an estimated retail price of R3,699. The Xbox 360 Core System will be available for R2,699.

South African gamers will enjoy a full line-up of fantastic games at launch. “Project Gotham Racing 3” (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios), “Kameo” (Rare/MGS) and “Perfect Dark Zero” (Rare/MGS) will be available on launch day, with games like “Gears of War” (Epic Games/MGS), “Crackdown” (Real Time Worlds/MGS), “Viva Pinata” (Rare/MGS) and “Forza 2” (MGS) to follow in the following weeks. Gamers can also enjoy a suite of great accessories such as the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Battery Pack, and Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote.

“We’re very excited to be bringing Xbox 360 to gamers in South Africa in time for the upcoming year-end holidays, when we expect to have sold 10 million consoles around the world,” said Chris Lewis, Regional Vice President for EMEA Home and Entertainment Division, Microsoft.

“South Africa is a country where the appetite for console gaming is growing in leaps and bounds – expanding to Africa allows us to build a successful business ecosystem for our partners, and to bring more gamers amazing next-generation gaming and entertainment experiences,” said Cindy White, South Africa Group Marketing Manager, Microsoft. “We’re committed to ensuring gamers in South Africa have a great Xbox 360 experience. To that end we’re taking steps so that a full portfolio of great games, tailored to appeal to local tastes, is available as well as accessories that complement the gaming experience.”

The appetite for Xbox 360 gaming around the world continues to grow. In addition to the five new countries mentioned above, Xbox will be helping to meet demand in four other countries this year including launches in Chile and India.

KVM-221 2-Port USB KVM Switch

D-Link have announced the KVM-221 2-Port USB KVM Switch. The KVM-221 allows you to control two computers using one monitor, USB keyboard, and USB mouse with Audio Support.

“The KVM-221 allows users to effortlessly control two systems without having to buy additional computer peripherals” states D-Link South Africa Marketing Manager Karien Wood. “It is ideal for the home office where business files are kept on one computer and personal files on another.”

With the built-in audio support, you can also share a set of speakers between two computers. Listen to music on one computer while having quick access to resources on the second computer. You can even dedicate one computer as a music server.

Since the KVM-221 manages two computers using only one monitor, keyboard, and mouse, it frees up your desktop space, minimizing wires and extra devices that would be needed otherwise. In addition, the KVM-221 is compact in size, making it fit into virtually any workspace.

The KVM-221 is easy to install and even easier to use. No drivers or software is required. It is a true plug and play device that will have you up and running quickly. Once connected, you can easily switch between the two computers with the front panel “select” button and keyboard hot keys.

Price and Availability
The D-Link KVM-221 is available through Comztek, Mustek and Pinnacle Micro at a suggested retail price of R420.00

The unit has a limited lifetime Warranty and 24/7 Technical Support including firmware updates.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Transform the way you see, shoot, shape and share life’s special moments with the new Nokia N93

Offering uncompromised digital camcorder, telephony and rich Internet communication the new Nokia N93 features a 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, DVD-like video capture and a 3x optical zoom. Easily connect your Nokia N93 directly to your TV for a widescreen movie experience or upload your images and video to online albums or blogs. In addition to all this, you can create high-quality home movies and burn them to DVD with the included Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 software.

"The Nokia N93 heralds a new era in the digital camcorder market," says Henri Mattila, Nseries business manager multimedia. "Incorporating all the features you need for quality movie-making, the Nokia N93 is a multimedia computer with true digital camcorder performance at its core. Thanks to its connectivity, it allows you to immediately share the memories you've captured, taking the camcorder experience to the Internet age."

Intuitive and spontaneous capture

Featuring MPEG-4 VGA video capture at 30 frames per second, the Nokia N93 delivers an unparalleled mobile video experience with stereo audio recording and digital stabilisation, enabling smooth and shake-free movies. The phone also incorporates a 3.2 megapixel (2048 x 1536 pixels) camera with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, 3x optical zoom and up to 20x digital zoom, as well as autofocus and close-up mode for amazing clarity and accuracy. Furthermore, the Nokia N93 has an active camera toolbar which displays all available capture features, from exposure value to colour tones and white balance. There are dedicated keys for shutter, zoom and flash and a camera mode key that enables you to switch quickly and easily between image and video capture.

Creativity made easy

While editing your photos and video clips directly on the Nokia N93 is simple, you can also transfer them to your compatible PC with ease, allowing for more creative control over your video output. The standard Nokia N93 sales pack comes bundled with Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0, which makes it easy to import video clips, photos and music and to start experimenting with hundreds of transitions and effects, as well as create professional looking home videos with customise templates.
Multi-functional mobile computing and connectivity

Part of the Nokia Nseries multimedia computer range, the Nokia N93 offers great functionality in one beautifully shaped connected device. Designed to work on WLAN, 3G (WCDMA 2100 MHz), EDGE and GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz) networks, the Nokia N93 provides broadband Internet access for browsing, uploading content, and sending and receiving emails, allowing you to stay connected while on the move. You can also set the device on a surface, flip the display horizontally and use the landscape screen to browse the Web, watch TV over 3G networks, or make hands-free video calls.

All round entertainment

The Nokia N93 includes a stereo FM radio and a digital music player that offer a fantastic music experience. You can create playlists and enjoy your music hands-free via the speaker or use the stereo headset provided. With the Nokia Music Manager, you can also easily rip your CDs and transfer your music collection to your phone. In addition, you can store up to 1500 songs on your Nokia N93 with a separately available 2 GB miniSD card. You can also enjoy high-quality 3D games with the pre-installed N-Gage franchise System Rush: Evolution.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Lenovo and Novell Unveil World's First Linux-enabled ThinkPad Mobile Workstation Based on Intel Technology

Lenovo and Novell have announced the industry's first Linux-based ThinkPad mobile workstations, which will run Novell's recently released SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 operating system. The workstations are based on Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology.

Julian Pienaar, ThinkPad Brand Manager for Lenovo South Africa, says this groundbreaking innovation, the result of a two-year research and development effort between Lenovo, Intel and Novell, allows electronic engineers engaged in integrated circuit and board level design the necessary support solution for numeric intensive applications in any mobile environment.

At only an inch thin and just over 2kg, the new Linux-supported ThinkPad T60p strikes the balance between productivity and portability, giving electronic design engineers the processor speeds and memory requirements necessary for industrial-strength applications such as Computer Aided Design (CAD). Whether working with a wired or wireless connection, users now have a secure platform for this traditionally desk-locked advanced design engineering. In addition, engineers will be able to perform routine office tasks without having to switch workstations between the office and the lab.

With this new offering, Lenovo for the first time brings Help Centre assistance to Linux customers who purchase select models of the ThinkPad T60p. The Help Centre will offer support for select Lenovo ThinkVantage Technologies, drivers, basic Linux configuration and hardware issues. Novell will continue to support core operating system questions and issues.

"The ThinkPad T60p is a milestone for our collaboration and shared commitment with Novell to develop innovative and powerful workstation solutions," Pienaar says. "Engineers running intensive-based applications can now leverage these enhanced features while working remotely in the Linux environment."

Jeff Jaffe, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Novell, comments: "The ability to use a ThinkPad with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop will open new doors for corporate desktop users. These demanding PC users now have the most advanced workstation infrastructure at their fingertips to maximise productivity at their desk, in the lab, at a site and on the road."

"The ThinkPad T60p is a result of a shared commitment to develop market-driven platform solutions, and delivers outstanding performance and wireless capability of Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology," says Doug Fisher, General Manager, Core Software Division, Intel. "With these Linux-based mobile workstations, electronic engineers now have the capability to collaborate globally on design work anywhere, anytime. By enhancing their productivity, product development cycles can be accelerated to increase competitiveness"

Several ThinkVantage Technologies, including the ThinkPad Configuration Utility, Power Manager and Access Connections are supported on the new Linux-enhanced ThinkPad T60p workstations. n addition, the ThinkPad T60p mobile workstation supports warm and cold docking while running SLED 10, supports up to 4GB memory and includes customer Help Centre support.

Lenovo has certified its ThinkPad line for many years as part of its commitment to provide customers with the information necessary to use the Linux operating system. This process ensures that a system is tested with a defined Linux distribution, allowing end users to rely on the notebook's basic functions.

With this announcement, Lenovo extends that process with support of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 from Novell on select ThinkPad models as well as Help Centre support for these customers. In addition, Lenovo will offer drivers and utilities on the support site and provide updates for download by customers using SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mobile Phones Worth Gabbing About

Wired News have a little article on the new bread of cell phones that we should be looking into buying. I get to play with all of these new toys and I must agree with them. Of course, a couple of them are only available in the US, but it's worth reading if you are one of those phone geeks.

I must admit that I am just starting to learn the V3 Razor now, so I might not be up with the times but I know a good phone when I see it and the V3 is not one of them....

HP’s new Pavilion dv5000 gets the show on the road!

The launch of the new Pavilion DV5000 series heralds HP’s first mobile notebook in South Africa specifically designed for consumers.

“The DV5000 is a multi-media powerhouse with all the features you’d expect from a desktop PC in a sleek, affordable laptop that offers fast, reliable performance – coupled with award-winning support and value beyond the competition,” says Damien Durrant, HP’s Notebook Product Manager.

“It’s the perfect combination of features for work, study and play in the convenience of a notebook PC,” says Durrant. HP consumer laptops come with a full year of support. Offering more complete customer support is one way HP provides consumers with the best customer experience possible,” he says.

The HP Pavilion DV5000 notebook is a robust, versatile solution for the growing family. “It delivers enhanced performance for students and outstanding media capabilities for digital photography and entertainment on the go,” says Durrant.

“Today, new technologies like Intel’s Dual core technology offer outstanding mobile performance and use lower power,” adds Durrant.

In a sleek and sexy, well-designed chassis, the DV5000 is an instant entertainment computer with the help of a vibrant 15.4-inch widescreen display with high resolution BrightView screen for rich colour and high-definition detail. HP’s QuickPlay allows the laptop to jump to life at the touch of a button so users can watch movies and video clips, get digital photo’s and listen to music CD’s in seconds, without having to turn on the laptop first.

The DV5000’s integrated Altec Lansing speakers emit strong enough audio to enjoy a movie without headphones. There's a FireWire port too, for capturing video, plus three USB ports and an Intel a/g Wi-Fi radio. An optional HP Remote Control[1] turns the DV5000 into an entertainment centre, enabling users to control CDs and DVDs like any other media player.

The DV5000 boasts a dual-layer DVD burner and optional Lightscribe[2] DVD±RW/R drive. “LightScribe Direct Disc Labelling let’s you create custom, silkscreen-quality, laser-etched CD and DVD labels by burning the image or label onto the top of the disk,” says Durrant.

“As a leader in consumer PCs, HP has a long history of working with our partners to provide consumers with the very latest in mobile computing technologies,” concludes Durrant.

Touchline Media Mobizines GO MOBILE

Touchline Media, market leaders in the production of sports and healthy lifestyle publications, have gone mobile with mini magazines for your cell phone! Kick Off soccer magazine, Men’s Health, Sports Illustrated and Shape Mobizines will be live on August 15.

Andrew Lanning, Head of New Media comments, “As the media landscape evolves given the fascinating use of remarkably fast changing technology, so does Touchline Media. Convergence, a brand new buzzword a mere few months back, is now almost a given as the various media platforms come together via the Internet, cell phones, notebooks, PDA’s, interactive TV, PVR’s and print. Throw in the fact that consumers, rather than content producers such as ourselves, make the call on how, when and where they would like to engage our content, and one has an inkling of the environment we find ourselves in. Mobizines are just one small step we are taking with a view to embracing this change.”

· What is a Mobizine?
Mobizines are wap free, quick, easy, low-cost and entertaining!
Mobizines are bite-sized magazines for your mobile phone that can be downloaded at any time and accessed immediately or saved for later; when you’re in the mood for an info snack. Mobizines are compressed so they can be quickly downloaded and do not take up much memory on your phone.

Once you’ve downloaded our Mobizine, we will alert you when the next edition is ready. Accept it and it automatically replaces the old edition. You can cancel a Mobizine at any time, and of course you can order as many as you want.

Most modern mobiles can get Mobizines – there are over 75 available now with more being added all the time. Get the full list of compatible models on our websites.

· So what can you expect from Touchline Mobizines?
Kick Off: Breaking News, results and logs, football trivia and a blog made up of best postings received via website, e-mail or SMS
Shape: Food (recipes and nutrition), get fit (including workouts), beauty tips and info, and relevant events
Sports Illustrated: Swimwear and Beauty of Sport babes, sports facts & trivia, and sports style
Men’s Health: Nutrition (including recipes), workouts, sex pics, tips, stories and general Men’s Health tips

· How to download Touchline Mobizines?
To get your favourite Mobizine, SMS the following codes to 36690:

Sports Illustrated - mobi si
Kick Off - mobi kickoff
Men’s Health - mobi mh
Shape - mobi shape

Initial SMS costs R5, then updates are free.

For more information about Touchline Mobizines, please head to:

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Future of Food to be shown in Cape Town

The Future of Food, an eye-popping documentary about the role of genetic engineering and industrial agriculture in modern food production, will be shown
at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town on Sunday 20 August at 6pm, on Monday 21 August at 8:15pm and on Tuesday 22 August at 8:15pm.

The film chronicles a revolution that is happening in farm fields and on dinner tables around the world - a revolution that is transforming the very nature of the
food we eat.

This event is presented by The Labia and While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit film collective committed to bringing progressive,
non-mainstream documentaries with important social and environmental messages to South African audiences.

The screenings on August 20, 21 and 22 will be followed by a facilitated audience discussion. Tickets are R20 and can be reserved by calling The Labia at
(021) 424 5927.

The Future of Food ( offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabelled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled grocery store shelves for the past decade.

From the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada to the fields of Oaxaca, Mexico, this film gives a voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by this new technology. The health implications, government policies and push towards globalisation are all part of the reason why many people around the globe are alarmed by the introduction of genetically altered crops into our food supply.

The Future of Food also explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture, suggesting organic and sustainable agriculture as real solutions to the
growing crisis today. Shot on location in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the film examines the complex web of market and political forces that are changing what we eat as huge multinational corporations seek to control the world's food system.

Far from being immune to this global threat, South Africa has seemingly opened its arms to genetically engineered crops both in field trials and on large-scale commercial farms. Do you know what's on your dinner plate tonight?

The Future of Food, first released in 2004, is directed by Deborah Koons Garcia and is a must-see for any South African concerned about the sustainability of our food supply, the state of our environment and the health of our nation's future generations.

Support and information about the South African alternative food movement is provided by SAFeAGE (the South African Freeze Alliance on Genetic Engineering), Biowatch, an anti-GM lobby organisation and The Ethical Co-op, a cooperative that offers a wide range of organic food and products in Cape Town.

Reserving tickets is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment.



The Ethical Co-op:

Lenovo Celebrates 25th Anniversary of PC

Lenovo, the world's #3 PC vendor and the company that ‘picked up the baton’ from IBM in the development and marketing of the personal computing business less than 18 months ago, is this year celebrating the 25th anniversary of the PC.

It's hard for many to accept that a quarter of a century - ancient history in IT terms - has passed since the first PC was launched. The world's first PC weighed a hefty 25 pounds and stood just under six inches high, but on 12 August 1981, the IBM Personal Computer arrived on the world stage to a great accolade, fast becoming a big hitting industry standard business machine. Only three years later, in 1984, a group of 11 computer scientists had a vision: to create a company that would bring the advantages of personal computing to business leaders worldwide. Legend, now Lenovo, was born.

The Lenovo of today, formed by the merger between the Lenovo Group and IBM's personal computing division, is that innovative, international technology company that it strived to be 25 years ago. With more than 2,000 patents, several ‘industry firsts’, over 1,700 engineers entirely dedicated to research and development across three innovation centres in Japan, China and the US, Lenovo is the best choice for customers who demand the increased productivity delivered by real innovation.

For most 25 year-olds, the growth spurt years are behind them as they begin to reach (and in some cases surpass) their peak. However, the ‘twenty-something’ PC is far from slowing down. Lenovo believes that the PC as we know it today is a vibrant, continuously-evolving machine that eats technology innovations and is ever hungry for more. The PC is a springboard for business users, dictating the future of collaboration and communication and a faster, more integrated, efficient, collaborative and seamless working environment for its users. The PC is evolving at the speed of knots and Lenovo is running with it, investing in research and development and technology innovation.

Most recently, Lenovo's ThinkPad and 3000 product lines are testament to this commitment.

"The next 25 years of the Lenovo PC will have many surprises in store for us and our customers,” says Rashid Wally, Country General Manager, Lenovo South Africa. "Nowadays, thanks to wireless networking, ubiquitous computing is a fact; security in notebooks is foremost with digital fingerprints, and form-factors are becoming smaller by the day. The PC we see today is one that will truly help the world come closer together. Lenovo is highly committed to the future of the PC and to bringing its best-of-breed technologies to business users across the globe.”

Monday, August 14, 2006

Microsoft to let gamers create own Xbox games

Microsoft is expected to offer a new set of software tools on Monday, which will let independent and hobbyist video game makers create their own games for the Xbox 360 console, media reports said.

A test version of the software, called XNA Game Studio Express, will be out by August 30. The final product will be available this holiday season for an annual subscription of 99 US dollars per year for Xbox 360 game development.

The software will let anyone with the desire create their own video games and then share them on Microsoft's Xbox Live online game service, said Peter Moore, a Microsoft vice president.

"It's our first step of creating a YouTube for video games," Moore said, referring to the wildly popular free online video sharing Web site. "It will give you everything you need to bring your game to life on Xbox 360."

YouTube is a wildly popular Web site featuring videos from ordinary people around the world.

The program would be a first for consoles, which traditionally have been the exclusive domain of skilled programmers, artists and designers.

However, analysts cautioned that making a game-- a multidisciplinary process requiring artists and animators, programmers and mathematicians -- will never be easy.

"It's going to allow very talented individuals to actually be able to do a game in a few weeks instead of taking years and spending millions of dollars," said Richard Doherty, research director at the Envisioneering Group.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

From Bloggers Blog -- a selected list of people blogging about liquid explosives

Note from Roy: I follow a blog called 'Bloggers Blog: Blogging the Blogsphere'. And it sometimes has some gems. The list below contains some must-reads. Very funny, and very scary, both at the same time. Good luck to the world. May tolerance grow.

Bloggers Cover Liquid Explosives Terror Threat

A thwarted terrorist attack to destroy planes headed for the U.S. from the UK has led to increased airport restrictions in the U.S. and in other countries. The terrorist attempt brought new travel guidelines that sent airports into chaos. In the U.S. the restrictions ban all liquids and gels on planes with an exception for baby formula, drugs and insulin. Official restriction guidelines can be found here and here. A breaking news message on Technorati led everyone over to the Heathrow tag where they can find posts by bloggers. Here are some highlights from the blogosphere.

  • Clare Duffy at the Daily Nightly blog reports of women being forced to part with expensive cosmetics.
    At the security line, the usual suspicious objects -- laptops, iPods, killer sneakers -- were all but forgotten as TSA workers shouted at people to throw away eyedrops, lotions, lip gloss, bottled water, anything at all.

    One young woman chucked an entire Mario Badescu skincare kit into the trash, looking simultaneously bewildered, enraged and tearful. As a beauty product junkie myself, I felt her pain. I made a show out of jettisoning a small tube of Neosporin so they might not take the half-full tube of $50 sunscreen in my bag. All the while, bits and pieces of the story were bruited about in a strange game of "telephone": "I heard it was nuclear weapons!"

    Epic screaming matches broke out over baby formula, with the dueling agendas of protective parents and those protecting us from terrorism locked in steely combat. The hapless woman who runs the day spa at the Jetblue terminal found herself and her stock the subject of intense scrutiny. Who knew what lurked within the colorful jars of pomegranate face cream?

    On board the plane now, a member of the flight crew is relating how even they were forced to throw away their lunches. There's no water on board, and we weren't allowed to bring any on board. This should be a fun six hours.
  • ABC's The Blogger writes that the terrorists have a highly explosive gel: "According to a Department of Homeland Security briefing to the aviation sector, the terrorists appear to have planned to use multiple persons aboard each flight to assemble peroxide-based liquid or gel high explosives. The bomb-making materials could easily be concealed in small containers -- water bottles, tooth paste tubes, juice boxes and any of the other numerous person items passengers traditionally take into the passenger compartment of commercial flights."

  • iLounge has an article about iPod bombs. Apparently, iPods, cell phones and laptops are banned at Boston's Logan airport. "What does this mean for iPod-carrying travellers today? In the United Kingdom, the answer is unfortunate: because of a very wide-reaching, ultra-cautious ban, you'll need to put your music - and just about everything else you'd carry - in your checked luggage. Similarly, based on measures announced by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, U.S.-based passengers departing from Boston's Logan International Airport will not be able to carry iPods, cell phones, or notebook computers on board planes. Plan on checking them with your other luggage, and carry books instead. It remains to be seen whether this ban will spread to other U.S. airports as well."

  • Boing Boing, echo9er and Xopl want to know why potentially explosive liquids are being dumped into large receptacles near crowds.

  • Prime Time Chicken Take-out blogs that we will soon all be flying nude: "Soon air travel will require all clothes to be checked in, and you will not be allowed to take anything on board with you after submitting to the complimentary anal probing. Then someone will go and ruin it for everyone else by swallowing a brick of C4 and planting a contact switch in their teeth, and we'll have to have our teeth pulled in the interests of security."

  • Truthdig, Spinneyhead and Face2Face make a Snakes on a Plane reference.

  • Seattlest blogs that air travel just got even more annoying.

  • CBS News' Public Eye blog recommends the memetracker Memeorandum, which does have a great deal of blog posts related to today's terrorism attempt here.

  • Donklephant notes there has concern over a possible terrorist attack occuring in August. "There had been a high degree of speculation, over the past few weeks especially, as to an imminent attack sometime during the month of August - appears as if the intel on this was right on."

  • Explosive t-shirts? Interesting post from The Disgruntled Chemist. "Chemically, of course, you can do a whole lot of interesting things with clear liquids and other unobtrusive things. For example, mixing the clear liquids ammonia and bleach leads to chlorine gas. The clear liquid nitroglycerin is obviously very explosive, but too unstable to be practically smuggled onboard an airplane. There are undoubtedly many more, not to mention explosives (like nitrocellulose) that you can make to look like anything made out of cotton. Of course, it would give off a big damn nitrate signature, so if they put it through the chemical analyzer it would be caught. But are security screeners in the habit of checking every white cotton t-shirt that comes through a checkpoint? It seems like there are so many ways that terrorists could beat airport security and get dangerous things onto an airplane, and the only real limit is the scientific creativity of whoever comes up with these schemes for al Qaeda."

  • says goodbye carry-on bags.

  • No more Starbucks on planes writes Edward Vielmetti on his Vacuum blog.

  • PhotoGabble says to congratulate the Met Police.

  • The Lost Podcast blogs a Fox News blunder: "The smart anchor at Fox News just asked one of their "experts" if he thought that the US would have been prepared to shoot down the planes... Hello Did you listen to the news in the last few hours? This was not a highjacking. They were going to blow up the planes long after they had took off from Heathrow - in the middle of the Atlantic. God, Fox News sucks."

  • The Mojo Blog reports that women were told to sample baby milk and juice in order to be able to take it on board.

  • Vermont Syrup also banned on planes.

  • Center Blue writes that Al Qaeda is not dead. "Second, it suggests that Al-Qaida may be wounded but is not dead, if indeed Al-Qaeda is responsible for the plot. Despite five years of chasing down this terrorist organization it seems they still have the wherewithal to mount these kinds of attacks. Maybe that's because the US has been so distracted "fighting terrorism" where none was to be found in Iraq rather than focusing on the real war on terror."

From Lifehacker: Download of the Day -- Citrus Alarm Clock

Note from Roy: I've just downloaded this, and used it to bake a Woolworth's quiche. It's awesome. It's a tiny program, it's free, it's useful, and it really works. Go get it.

Download of the Day: Citrus Alarm Clock


Windows and Mac: Citrus Alarm Clock is a free alarm clock that you
can customize not only for different days of the week (and different
times), but with your very own audio files.

For example, this week I've got to take the kiddos to about five
different places. I set up alarms for said events, with different audio
files for each one (Ladysmith Black Mambazo for camp, Mindy Smith for
soccer, Rolling Stones for the dentist, etc.). Citrus Alarm Clock is a
free download, both Windows and Mac systems are welcome.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A plane crash site for disaster fetishists -- from Boing Boing

This one comes from Boing Boing, and seems pretty pertinent now that the world's airlines are under threat yet again. It's taken unedited from the Boing Boing site.
-- Note by Roy Blumenthal

Plane Crash Video Ubersite

By (Mark Frauenfelder) on Video

Mark Frauenfelder: steve ryan says:
Picture 1-18 As a result of constant, semi-religious immersion in the works of J. G. Ballard and the early acquisition of a pilot's license, I have been fascinated, nay, obsessed with plane crashes for many years. Iowa hotelier/pilot Jay Honeck has built one of the freshest and best plane crash video repositories on the Web. Pilots worldwide vie to send him unusual and awful aviation accident vids.

Some people -- like the notorious Crashman and his Crash Groupies -- now take this questionable obsession to the next level and make music vids out of the oddly hypnotic crashes. Examples: YOU'RE GONNA MISS ME and HEAD OVER HEELS.


We are going HDTV!!!

The SABC has announced that it is expecting the delivery of a new "High Definition TV" (HDTV) Outside Broadcasting vehicle by the end of this month. SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago says the order of the multi-million rand 22 digital camera operating OB is the first of its kind on the continent. He says the overseas build high-tech vehicle will be followed by a similar locally manufactured facility early next year. Kganyago says a training process of staff to operate the HDTV will commence immediately after the arrival of the facility. He says the acquisition of the new digital facilities are in line with the government's digital broadcast migration programme targetting the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. As Digital Migration strategy unfolds - the SABC will benefit from the 700-million rand budgeted by national government to improve broadcasting technology over the next seven years.

10 Years of Flash

Adobe is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Flash® technology, software that fundamentally changed the face of interactive design and rich content creation.

From Web sites and online applications to digital displays, user interfaces and mobile devices, Flash technology has enabled a decade of design innovation moving from static to truly engaging interactive content. Thanks to Flash, Web sites are now engaging, interactive, accessible experiences for a variety of industries including entertainment, consumer goods, government and education. First introduced in 1996, Flash originated as a revolutionary vector based animation tool providing an efficient method for creating moving graphics for Web sites.

At the time, Web sites were static, and had primitive means of engaging a viewer with basic mouse clicks and hyperlinks. Today, Flash is a complete multimedia development environment used to create everything from rich Internet applications to mobile device content.

Beyond a set of authoring tools, Flash has become a comprehensive ecosystem.

* Flash Player is the free client runtime installed on over 600 million Internet-connected PCs and mobile devices worldwide.
* Flash reaches millions more on mobile devices through FlashLite™ and FlashCast™ technology that allows brand name network operators and handset manufacturers to create differentiated customer experiences.
* For unmatched online video experiences, Flash video delivers customized, seamless video experiences to millions of users worldwide—overtaking Apple's QuickTime® and RealNetworks' RealPlayer® in the delivery of web-based streaming media traffic and growing faster than Windows Media® Player.

The Future is now

Flash is moving forward and continues to lead and inspire the future of interactive design, not just on the Web, but in mobile, video and beyond. With more than 1.5 million users worldwide developing rich interactive Web experiences, Flash continues to inspire a new generation of engaging interactive media.

In celebration, we’ve also launched a mircosite today that includes Flash video interviews with developers from around the world who have used Flash over the decade, an interactive timeline and other interesting factoids.
Please visit:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sony introduces Wi-Fi instant message/music device

Sony Corp. said it is set to introduce its first wireless broadband communications and entertainment device, aimed at heavy users of instant messaging.

Sony's new "mylo" personal communicator is a hybrid electronic device that competes with a range of gadgets already on the market, including the Sidekick, created by Danger Inc., and Nokia's 770 wireless Internet mini-tablet.

The name mylo stands for "my life online" and provides users access to online instant messaging services, HTML Web pages, e-mails and to play music or view photos. Mylo will be available in September retail for about $350, Sony said.

Sony is borrowing the name mylo from a prior, ill-fated generation of its handheld devices the Japanese consumer electronics giant had planned to launch in the United States on September 11, 2001 but subsequently canceled.

The mylo was the last product in its discontinued line of Clie devices, which were aimed at business and professional users and would have competed with Research in Motion's Blackberry or Palm Treo devices.

The mylo is meant to operate on Wi-Fi wireless networks, which are increasingly available on college campuses, in busy public spaces and in homes with wireless broadband connections.

It is a small, oblong device with a 2.4 inch screen and a slide out keyboard designed for typing with one's thumbs.

The device bears similarities to Sony's PSP gaming device, but is targeted at a different market: socializers who are heavy text message users and music fans, rather than gamers.


i-mate Strikes Microsoft Gold

i-mate™, the specialist in Microsoft Windows Mobile devices and software applications, has been awarded Gold Certified status in the Microsoft Partner Program with a competency in Mobility Solutions. Microsoft Gold Certified Partners are chosen from selected Microsoft Business Partners who earn the highest customer endorsement.

Bruce Cockburn, Sales Director of Leaf Wireless, i-mate’s exclusive distributor for Africa, said “This is a ringing endorsement of the strength of i-mate’s commitment to, and success with, the Microsoft Mobile platforms, and we are delighted to see i-mate get this recognition.”

Jim Morrison, Chief Executive Officer of i-mate comments, “This award signifies two important developments for our business. The first is the high level of expertise in Windows Mobile solutions and customer support we currently offer clients – a direct result of our commitment to producing only Windows Mobile solutions. The second and most important is that having Gold Certified status means we will have unrivalled access to Microsoft in terms of support and new product releases. This can only enhance our business over the coming years as the use of Windows Mobile smartphones continues to gain mainstream popularity globally.”

Marianne Rolling, EMEA director for Windows Mobile and Embedded devices concurs: “Customers are looking for partner companies that can bridge the gap between their business demands and technology capabilities. They need to trust in someone that can act as an expert adviser for their long-term strategic technology plans.

“Microsoft Gold Certified Partners have certified expertise and benefit from direct training and support from Microsoft to build a positive customer experience with our technologies. Microsoft recognises i-mate as a new Gold Certified Partner for demonstrating its expertise in providing customer satisfaction with Microsoft products and technology.”

For further information or contact 0861 44 LEAF or

Friday, August 04, 2006

Nokia N93 Improves Your Swing

You can't get it here yet as the phone is only being launched next week but this looks like a great idea. What are phones going to be doing in 3 years from now???

Nokia in the USA, today announced the availability of the Nokia N93 Golf Edition, a special package combining mobile video capabilities of the Nokia N93 multimedia computer with a unique golf application that enables you to capture your golf swing, analyze and improve your game by split screen swing comparison and other advanced analysis tools. link

Amazing! What would they think of next, what about a tennis coaching toaster? The option of either sending tennis balls down the line or having your bread slightly toasted to burnt, PATENT DIBS! No but seriously, what a great tool to help with your golf game, really keen to see how and if it really works.

- Nokia N93 Golf Edition Improves Your Golf Game

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Flat Screen rock because of Germany 2006

Sales of flat-screen television sets powered ahead this year in Germany with larger 32-inch screens dominating the market, an industry leader said Thursday in Berlin, a month before Europe's top consumer-electronics show IFA.

Consumers have rapidly adopted liquid-crystal-display (LCD) televisions as the new technology becomes affordable and offers bigger screen sizes than old-fashioned cathode-tube televisions installed in most German living rooms.

Hans-Joachim Kamp of the Consumer Electronics Industry board GFU said the football World Cup in June and July had driven this year's sales as expected, with first-half sales of LCD screens growing 130 per cent year on year and sales of plasma screens up 80 per cent.

Overall consumer electronics sales are set to grow 11 per cent this year in Germany.

Kamp said 45 per cent of the televisions leaving shops in Germany were currently flat screens, and in money terms these made up 80 per cent of sales since they are more expensive. The flat screens were expected to surpass the 50-per-cent level this year.

In May, nearly 80 per cent of LCD panels sold had had diagonal widths of 80 centimetres (32 inches) or more and 25 per cent had exceeded 90 centimetres, Kamp said. Last month industry leaders said 42-inch screens might become standard within a couple more years.

The IFA consumer-electronics show in Berlin September 1-6 will be the first in decades to be held annually. Since the Second World War, the show has been held every second year. Fair chief Christian Goeke said it will feature more than 1,000 companies from round the world.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

IBM servers use chips by AMD

IBM Corp. unveiled a line of business computers using Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Opteron microprocessor on Tuesday, giving another boost to the chipmaker in its rivalry with Intel Corp.

Tom Bradicich , chief technology officer of IBM's systems and technology group, said the Armonk, N.Y., company has embarked on a major expansion of its relationship with AMD by introducing Opteron-based servers.

The roll-out of five computer systems and blade computers follows the announcement in May by Dell Inc. that it will use Opteron chips in some of its products, ending its exclusive relationship with Intel.

The IBM announcement highlights AMD's gains in the semiconductor market, where it has slowly chipped away at Intel's dominant position.

Analyst Crawford Del Prete of International Data Corp. said the IBM announcement also underscores the changing attitude of the business world toward Sunnyvale's AMD.

In the past, he said, AMD chips were seen as the cheaper and less sophisticated alternative to Intel products. But that view has changed with the introduction of Opteron, which he said has proven to be highly competitive.

"I think they have carved out a niche," he said.

In a statement, AMD Chief Executive Officer Hector Ruiz said the announcement "marks a milestone in the IBM-AMD relationship."

Bradicich said the IBM business computer products were introduced in response to growing customer demand for more powerful computers that can flexibly expand or scale down capacity without gobbling enormous amounts of energy.

Many business customers have become frustrated with overheating at data centers, and major tech companies, led by IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc., have been focusing on the development of cooling technologies to solve the problem.

Bradicich stressed that Santa Clara's Intel remains a major IBM partner. "We're not replacing or reducing the Intel portfolio," he said.

Intel remains the dominant chip vendor in the world, but AMD has slowly gained market share during the past two years.