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Candidates blog - the public comments

Vincent Maher has set up South Africa's first Local Government Election Blogs allowing local politicacians to blog their experiences ahead of election day.

The Mail & Guardian Online has invited South Africa's biggest political players to write blogs, or online diaries, in the run-up to the local elections, thus providing them with a new means of communicating with voters and promoting debate. All major political parties were approached with this offer. The political parties that are not represented here, decided not to take up the offer to blog. The blogs are unedited and do not express the views of the M&G Online.

By: Gregor | Tuesday, February 28 at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 | |

Apple to introduce iTablet - but does Steve Jobs know about this?

Engadget has once again run WWJD (WHAT WOULD STEVE JOBS DO) and received over three hundred and fifty photoshopped mock-ups as possible future Apple products. This event is run by Engadget to prepare for Jobs next product announcement, where as it seems that on this years 30th Apple anniversary we might be in for some goodies!

Check some of the photoshopped mock-ups.

FIRST PLACE - Adam K's Apple Tablet

By: Gregor | Monday, February 27 at Monday, February 27, 2006 | |

Choosing our personal transparency

Having quite a large contact group on my MSN Messenger and on the newly developed Gmail chat has allowed effective communication on the one hand, but on the other often reveals or breaks the borders of privacy.

After a chat with youngblood about this issue, I have become aware of the following.

Ones ‘status’ on these chat lines are set to a general personal status, where as a contact group can check if you are -busy-, -away-, -on the phone- or -out to lunch-. This information creates some transparency to ones personal life and I have become alert that I often need to define my status in order to justify my privacy – or vice versa.
And since recently, when Gmail users want to check their email, they’ll have to define their online status firstly in order not to be disturbed whilst checking their email.

These chat lines often do provide for very effective and easy communication (hence the reason I am using them), yet I think it is important to be aware how much these forums make our lives transparent and it becomes difficult to be in the online world without being discovered or allowing people to know if you’re -on the phone-, -busy- or -out to lunch-….maybe I should -appear offline- more often?

By: Gregor | Sunday, February 26 at Sunday, February 26, 2006 | |

Fast and Furious - Faster than Fibre

A new wireless technology could beat fiber optics for speed...

"Atop each of the Trump towers in New York City, there's a new type of wireless transmitter and receiver that can send and receive data at rates of more than one gigabit per second -- fast enough to stream 90 minutes of video from one tower to the next, more than one mile apart, in less than six seconds. By comparison, the same video sent over a DSL or cable Internet connection would take almost an hour to download."

This kind of direct wireless technology could be useful in situations where digging fiber-optic trenches would disrupt an environment, installation process take too long, extending communications networks in cities, on battlefields or after a disaster.

I think this could be a great technology introduced in Africa for instance where vast distances between towns and villages make laying fibre optics or any type of data cables extremely expensive and time consuming.

Read the story about this exciting leap of speed here.

By: Gregor | Thursday, February 23 at Thursday, February 23, 2006 | |

"Pigeons to Help in Pollution Fight"

If you ever misplace your mobile phone, have a look into the air, you might spot it strapped on the back of a pigeon.

Technewsworld.com have released this story about pigeons which get fitted with mobile phone backpacks to monitor air pollution.

Researchers at the University of California have developed this mobile prototype hoping to set up a flock of 20 pigeons which will be fitted with a tiny mobile circuit board containing sensors to detect carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. The device will have a SIM card and GPS satellite tracking receiver and will send text messages back to a special pigeon "blog," while miniature cameras around the birds' necks will post aerial pictures.

Next thing you know, Google Earth updates come from them pooping pigeons!

By: Gregor | Thursday, February 16 at Thursday, February 16, 2006 | |

Formatting depression

Here a fascinating experiment, conducted with little cuddly mice. Jerry no longer needs to be depressed if Tom is bullying him because all Jerry needs is a molecular therapy.

According to Reuters, depressed mice have become more sociable when researchers delete a memory molecule from their brain.

By deleting a specific molecule, the mice were never depressed and fearful, especially when conditions were set up where normally the mouse would run and hide.

But this would also mean that Jerry would face Tom’s harassment which would ultimately be the end for Jerry…

According to scientists, these findings could potentially help depressed / traumatised humans – read here for the full story.

By: Gregor | Wednesday, February 15 at Wednesday, February 15, 2006 | |