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Thank you for calling ... my ipod tried to deafen me

When my cell phone rings and it is in close range to my ipod the players volume goes totally berserk. I cannot even attend to people on the phone since my ears are still buzzing from the intense choleric volume influx.

All the issues surrounding the ipod s potential harm to hearing, due the lack of volume control / limitation, have resulted in various legal cases thrown against Apple.

Apple have since released an update for the iPod nano and 5th generation iPod that allows the user to set the maximum volume level.

So here comes the next lawsuit, from the guy who received a phone call and his ipod decided to punch through his eardrum.

I found these sites that give some great advise on how to sue:
Deciding Whether to Sue Someone or get this book: How to Sue for Up to $25 000

By: Gregor | Friday, March 31 at Friday, March 31, 2006 | |

Are we all bugged?

According to BoingBoing, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) is calling for an official investigation into Chinese PC firm Lenovo s contract to supply computers to the State Department.

The US agency fears that Lenovo s PCs may include software or hardware components to facilitate spying on the US government. The agency wants a thorough look through all machines to ensure they're not rigged with bugs and spyware.

It is obviously a problematic and serious matter for a Government when considered purchasing such items, but what does this mean for the every day user. In how far do we know how safe we are with our equipment and how much control others have over our machines and the information which passes through it?

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

Ready to freak out? This is some twisted shit!

Put on your headphones. Adjust your volume. Click F11 to get a full size version of THIS site.

Mike sent me the url. The website is called Conclave Obscurum, and is not for the faint hearted.

It is a masterpiece of rather perturbing animation, design and sound. Even though it is rather haunting and sinister it is quite enthralling.

The site presents Oleg Pashenko s artworks and animations in a very twisted and obscure manner. Make sure you are not on any medical or herbal medication when viewing this!

See his images, animations and ty
pogrpahy under the Sulfur Album section

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

WTC conspiracy theory airs in Grahamstown - 9/11 what really happened?

In conjunction with Alex Maughan, I worked on this story, depicting the alternate theory of the collapse of the WTC for the Grocott's Mail Digital Edition . Alex has already posted some of the presented ideas on his blog.

What will be interesting to see if / and how the targeted community (of this electronic newspaper) will respond to this. Is this an issue that will be purely stuck within the academic realm, or are we going to get some imput from interested community members on a local or even international level?

The story also shows interviews with Prof. Mike Earl-Taylor (part-time lecturer in psychology) and Jimi Adesina (professor of sociology), both academics from Rhodes University, who discuss the theories from their point of view.

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

gre google 's basic instinct (2)

Saw the trailer for Basic Instinct 2 at the movies yesterday night.

New lead actor, some updated outfits (damn that 80's style), oh, a new car....and same old (now 48 year old) Sharon Stone.

It also sounds like the same old story line, same old provoking thigh shots, same old, same old.

but after all it is that worth a background change for Gregoogle :) and look out for all those nude images and movie clips

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

Stupid Dolphins, stupid!

Although dolphins have long been celebrated for their high intelligence and for appearing to have a complex language, a team of researchers at the University of Florida reported Monday that these traits are markedly less evident on dry land.

According to The Onion, Dr. Scott Lindell, study co-author of this research project stated that: Their failure is a great disappointment to all of us who once felt an intelligence-based kinship with these majestic animals. He also commented about the experiment that their learning curve was actually negative. The more time we gave them to complete basic land-based tests, the more pitiful their efforts became, with many of them opting to bask in the sun rather than perform a simple task.

This is very disappointing. I would have expected more form these creatures. They should use us humans as role models, especially when we do our thing under water: like diving into the deep ocean and popping our eardrums, or actually using our sophisticated language skills whilst swallowing some salty H20. We are indeed great and powerful creatures, above or below land.

By: Gregor | Wednesday, March 22 at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | |

Poverty-Stricken Africans Receive Desperately Needed Bibles

I found this article on The Onion website, with this image and this caption accompanying it:

Moussa Yaouli derives spiritual nourishment from his handcrafted leather Bible.

Am I the only one feeling a little uncomfortable having to associate myself with the Christian Church?

Read the article, what an amazing story of charity!

By: Gregor | Tuesday, March 21 at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 | |

FBI using morse code and smoke signals...

According to CNN, a bunch of FBI agents still do not have access to an email account. Apparently only 100 of the 2000 New York FBI agents have an Internet-ready mobile phone (e.g. BlackBerry). And, according to the FBIs top official, budget constraints are forcing some agents to work without e-mail accounts.

According to the Daily News, some agents have had to use their personal e-mail accounts to do their official business. The FBI says it would like to be able to issue government e-mail access to all employees, but just doesn't have the money.

...sounds like Gmail could have a look into this issue and send out some invites. (Google will surely bring out a Beta-FBI mailing system after they have conquered Mars)

In the meantime, please would all Gmail users invite those FBI agents who have not yet been provided with e-mail accounts?

By: Gregor | at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 | |

Anybody want a PSP charger?

I'm watching movies with Gail, its past 2am, when Scott and Marcus come home they and discover that they had a break in, whilst we were there...

What happened? Whilst we in the adjacent room, some high-on-glue kids unscrewed the burglar bars in Scott's room (from the inside?) and bent them open. Based on the size of this opening these thieves could not have been older than 12 or 15.

They cleaned out Scott's room, taking nearly his entire wardrobe and then proceeded into the corridor to Marcus' room taking his watch and his PSP (leaving behind all the games and the recharging device).

Scariest part was that we where in a room, right next to Scott's and heard absolutely nothing. And if we would have, what would/should I have done?

When our local security service (Hi-Tech) arrived, they explained to us that they normally drive these poverty stricken crooks outside Grahamstown (if they catch them!) what happens there would be another story in itself. But either way, these kids are often caught and get away with a hiding at most.

By: Gregor | Friday, March 17 at Friday, March 17, 2006 | |

MSN to shut down!

I got this email from a very concerned MSN user who promptly forwarded it to his entire addressbook...

"Hey it is Andy and john the directors of MSN, sorry for the interruption but msn is closing down. this is because too many inconsiderate people are taking up all the name (eg making up lots of different accounts for just one person), we only have 578 names left. If you would like to close your account, DO NOT SEND THIS MESSAGE ON. If you would like to keep your account, then SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST. This is no joke, we will be shutting down the servers. Send it on, thanks. WHO EVER DOES NOT SEND THIS MESSEAGE, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE CLOSED AND YOU WILL COST ?10.00 A MONTH TO USE. SEND THIS TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST. NOW YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO. PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS or REPLAY. COPY THE WHOLE EMAIL. GO BACK TO YOUR INBOX AND CLICK ON NEW. AND PASTE THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION"

I am trying to keep calm, not react, not become emotive...but come on. This is most probably a schoolgirls' prank and how can anybody actually take this seriously, and then flood my inbox with it...

Here's another blogger who is pissed off at this stupidity.

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

More than 2.5 billion people live in rural and remote areas - soon they'll be connected

Inveneo Inc., a non-profit social enterprise, announced today the availability of its new Inveneo Communications System designed to provide computing, Internet Access and VoIP telephony for places with little or no access to electricity or affordable communications.

The Inveneo System is specifically designed to meet the needs of NGOs , local governments and private entities and the communities they serve. It can be used for a wide range of applications that include economic and community development, telehealth, education, humanitarian aid and emergency relief.

Communications Stations are connected to the Hub through long-range WiFi connections, with all the hardware cheap to maintain thanks to open-source software and hydro, solar, wind, or bicycle generator options for power.

In accordance with Inveneo-s open-source philosophy, and in order to maximize the availability of this ICT solution for remote communities, all design information and software is freely available at Inveneo-s website: www.inveneo.org

WiFi definitely seems to be the answer as already proclaimed in this post to facilitate IT communications in developing countries. Is this the first step to counteract the digital divide?

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

You're probably using an Islamic invention right now

The terms Muslim / Islam have at this stage reached a variety of perceptions deriving from the West-s stereotypes and misconceptions that are due to the media, prejudice, and ignorant. These terms often are associated with the religious ideas of extremism, terrorism, or fundamentalism religion.

But a new travelling exhibition reveals a variety (1001) of inventions and innovations, originating from Muslim and clearly depict the idea of the duel notion of glocalization.

The Independent states that - From coffee to cheques and the three-course meal, the Muslim world has given us many innovations that we take for granted in daily life -.

By: Gregor | Monday, March 13 at Monday, March 13, 2006 | |

Some poynters for Grocott's Mail Digital Edition

Matthew Buckland, publisher of Mail and Guardian Online posted about the newly established Grocotts Mail Digital Edition on Poynter Online.

Buckland states that the online community newspaper is - a world-class, feature-rich Web site, professionally designed, good looking and interactive -.

This is really great to hear as the site will hopefully set a standard within the online community newspaper realm, not only when it comes to interactivity and design but also journalistic quality and integration of citizen journalism.

(The Poynter Institute is a school for journalists, future journalists, and teachers of journalists)

By: Gregor | Sunday, March 12 at Sunday, March 12, 2006 | |

The iPope - Pope Benedict XVI excited about future of computer technology

Good news, the Vatican has acknowledged that - computer technology is the future -.

Pundits are predicting a significant boost to the technology industry as a result of such a high profile endorsement! :)

This acclamation comes directly from Pope Benedict XVI himself after receiving an Apple 2GB iPod Nano as a gift from Vatican Radio station.

According to CNET, - the MP3 player was preloaded with a selection of the radio's programming, along with several classical music compositions by the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin.-

Image courtesy of ImageShack

By: Gregor | at Sunday, March 12, 2006 | |

Controlling living beings

Austin Powers dream of Sharks with laser beams attached to their heads has just been overridden by this concept:

According to the New Scientist, the possibility of getting into the mind of sharks could be real soon. - Engineers funded by the US military have created a neural implant designed to enable a shark's brain signals to be manipulated remotely, controlling the animal's movements, and perhaps even decoding what it is feeling. -

That team apparently gained ethical approval to develop implants that can monitor and influence the behaviour of animals, from sharks and tuna to rats and monkeys. The research intends to improve our understanding of how the animals interact with their environment.

On a more controversial note, the Pentagon hopes to utilize sharks' natural ability to glide quietly through the water, sense electrical gradients and follow chemical trails.

- By remotely guiding the sharks' movements, they hope to transform the animals into stealth spies, perhaps capable of following vessels without being spotted. -

The project is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), based in Arlington, Virginia.

How far are we allowed to manipulate and control other living beings? Once again this could start the debate between the misuses of animals and where do we draw the line between humans and animals. Come on Greenpeace, comment, NOW!

By: Gregor | Thursday, March 9 at Thursday, March 09, 2006 | |

One story, one page but with some extreme interaction

I posted this blog about the launch of Grocott s Digital Edition, an online community newspaper in South Africa, which sets a benchmark in digital journalism.

A really great feature on this website is the special reports section, where stories are presented via streaming video, audio, photo galleries and text. Thus far we have produced a range of interesting stories which have attracted a wide readership.

Have a look at behind the scenes of Grocott s Digital Edition.

To view more special reports click here.

By: Gregor | Wednesday, March 8 at Wednesday, March 08, 2006 | |

Citizen Journalism failing its purpose?

I just read on Poynter Online a followup about an American Citizen Journalism (citJ) venture called Backfence.com which allows community members to write stories and post relevant images about their specific neighbourhoods.

Moving away from the significant debate sparked off by Vincent Maher about Citizen Journalism being Dead, I would like to focus on another issue:

Backfence.com looks well set out and easy to use but most importantly has a strategic advantage (in comparison to Grocotts Digital Edition for example, also offering citJ) as these represented neighbourhoods in general offer a communication infrastructure and citizens with basic computer literacy. This I see as the downfall, well the hindrance of citJ actually, within communities such as Grahamstown or any community within developing countries.

There is firstly a lack of infrastructure within the communication field, but also a lack of basic literacy, may this be English or computing and since the web is based on English this would have to be one of the first hurdles to overcome.

As much as citJ could ultimately empower a community there are various socio/economic factors stopping this kind journalism to penetrate into those areas which need it most.

Backfence.com might prove that citJ might not be dead, it might show how beneficial citJ can be within a community (or not) but I think that this form of journalism is mostly beneficial in areas where there is democratic instability, oppression and a need for communities to voice themselves...but how do you supposed we bring such an empowering medium into such a difficult environment?

View this special report on Citizen Journalism

By: Gregor | Tuesday, March 7 at Tuesday, March 07, 2006 | |

Riaan Cruywagen vs Chuck Norris

Riaan Cruywagen is fluent in twenty seven of the eleven official languages.

Chuck Norris lost his virginity before his dad did.

Riaan Cruywagen knows the news before it happens.

When Chuck Norris has sex with a man, it is not because he is gay, but because he has run out of women.

Riaan Cruywagen knew you would say that.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

Some people believe Riaan Cruywagen wears a toupee - he has, in fact, One perfect hair. The one that covers his entire head - giving it that, 'not quite real' look. Riaan himself is not quite real.

Chuck Norris recently had the idea to sell his urine as a canned beverage. We know this beverage as Red Bull.

One night during an ad break on the 8 o'clock news, Riaan Cruywagen
mentioned to the makeup lady that he was 'tired of this apartheid nonsense'. Nelson Mandela was released from prison the next day.

Chuck Norris uses ribbed condoms inside out, so he gets the pleasure.

Riaan Cruywagen wasn't born, he thought himself into existence.

Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

Riaan Cruywagen never blinks; if he does the entire world would just not
happen for that split second.

There is no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist.

When Sir Edmund Hillary reached the summit of Mount Everest, he was
welcomed by Riaan Cruywagen, who briefly interviewed him, before wiring the
information through to the SAUK.

Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

Riaan Cruywagen will never die. His soul gets transferred to another identical body via various arcane rituals and current nano-technology thrice fortnightly.

Chuck Norris drinks napalm to quell his heartburn. -
Chuck Norris only masturbates to pictures of Chuck Norris.

After reading the news Riaan Cruywagen built the pyramids. It took precisely 17 minutes to draw up the plans and then a further six minutes to think them into existence.

If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can't see Chuck Norris, you may be only seconds away from death.

Who do you think wins the battle of eternal heros?

By: Gregor | Sunday, March 5 at Sunday, March 05, 2006 | |

Taking a break, getting a sunburn, and back to the blog

It has been quite an eventfull week and today we decided to drive to Diaz Cross a few km after Kenton on Sea. It was quite windy but beautiful, quiet and most of all relaxing. See more pics here.

Other than that I have entered gregoogle into the News24.com Blog Off competition which is a competition that aims to promote and recognise local blogging.

By: Gregor | at Sunday, March 05, 2006 | |

Yes, deliverance from Satan and his wicked system of things into a peaceful world (Matthew 24:37-39)

So what do I think after I have begun watching Revelations and the following morning a hand strikes my door, and when I open it I get asked by a representative of Jehovahs Witness if I believe in the end of days and she hands me a pamphlet reading ‘Will this world survive?….

Well, the mini series is quite cool, it is gripping and there as some interesting ideas presented. After watching the first episode I was quite drained, but after receiving this script this morning about the end of the world however I felt quite cantankerous.

By: Gregor | Saturday, March 4 at Saturday, March 04, 2006 | |

Bizarre bits and pieces

Woke up and had a mosquito bite on the palm of my hand. Irritating since I use a mouse all day long...but really, what kind of mosqito does such a thing. (I would like to ask Vince to ad this irritating insect onto his stupid list - but due to somewhat geeky dimwitted fault I cannot link to his blog)

Then I enter the lab, and Ms Ritzs screen is sideways, not the actual screen, the login image.

And then I get to hear that Paul got a watch for his birthday and it does not tick

Keep an eye on my moblog, might see some interesting things later today, I can feel it!

By: Gregor | Thursday, March 2 at Thursday, March 02, 2006 | |

Grocotts' Online - get ready!

Today Grocotts Digital Edition was launched, an online community newspaper which pushes digital journalism to a new level.

The site is run by six New Media students and new media guru Vincent Maher, the editor of the website. (All are part of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University)

Production for the online edition of South Africas oldest print publication includes video and audio footage, photography and text. The site’s special reports present local stories offering a variety of media for the viewer, creating interactivity and promoting streaming media.

Each special report is produced by two students respectively who are trained for precise, concise and up to date technical knowhow and journalistic skills. A New Media student at this stage is trained to become an all, round journalist who is capable of producing video, audio, photography and text and being able to compose, edit and upload all these media into the online realm. View this special report as an example.

This news-site promotes citizen journalism by allowing commentary on all the stories and in future allowing citizen journalists to post their own stories.

The 2006 New Media students are:

From left: Carly Ritz, Gregor Rohrig, Alex Maughan, Sipetile Sixishe, Michael Salzwedel, Paul Page

The project is headed up by Vincent Maher, the New Media lecturer at the School for Journalism and Media Studies in Grahamstown, South Africa

By: Gregor | Wednesday, March 1 at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 | |