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Planning the grand trip through Africa, help me out why don't you

Dear bloggers and internet surfers, please make use of my pay pal system.

It is time to fulfil my dream, travel through Africa and Asia by car and produce multimedia stories on my way. The only thing withholding this idea is a few key features I would utilise for my lifelong trip. Consider this the New Media practitioners ultimate kit:

I need transport, so the newly released Mercedes G-Guard seems like the appropriate vehicle to take along. Its 5 litre V8 engine and its specially produced armoury kit will guarantee a safe and comfortable drive through the continent.

Firstly, hit me with the Nokia N93, I posted about it before, cannot stress enough that I really think its great!

What other equipment do I need, will a two Nikon D200 bodies would be great, with the appropriate 12-28mm f4G IF-ED and 200 - 400mm f4G IF-ED VR lenses attached. With that I could use a SB-800 flash system, and a lightweight Super Pro Manfrotto tripod.

I obviously need a great laptop to process and edit all the images and create multimedia stories, so I suggest the new Apple Power Book Pro 15 inch.

The new Sony HDR-HC3 HDV 1080i Handycam seem like a great, compact and effective capturing tool and will provide for high definition clips.

I will not be worrying about GPS and satellite phone systems, as the Merc will have these built in.

Ok, I will add items to this modest list of equipment which I really need! Please feel free to add any items that you think would be beneficial and do not forget to drop a penny into the pay pal account. Over and out.

By: Gregor | Sunday, April 30 at Sunday, April 30, 2006 | |

Bridging the digital divide means bridging the basics

I found this post on the Global Voices Online website, outlining a few products introduced to Africa in order to start bridging the technological divide. Have a look at the post and brows through the links.

Even though these products seem like great ideas and could theoretically bridge the technological divide, this issue must also be looked at from a more social and cultural context, and not purely from material (technological) point of view.

In my view, literacy is the largest divide which needs to be tackled. The use of information technology is based on the English language, without which we can hardly work a computer.

Either operating system have to adapt to the various languages and this is close to impossible, especially in Africa with its extreme amount of diversity, or the English language has to be pushed into these social contexts. This raises a multitude of ethical, political and practical problems, which I do not want to address in this post, but the bottom line is, that bridging the technological divide is not as easy as introducing a new device and making it physically accessible; that accessibility has to then be practically used by citizens who understand how to use these devices and for what purposes to use them.

Have a further look at this link and watch this spot, I get the feeling that I will be discussing this issue again.

By: Gregor | Saturday, April 29 at Saturday, April 29, 2006 | |

Chaos, queues and a cold pie

When I began by studies in Grahamstown there was a sort of Mall like structure, with some parking and a few shops. The parking space has since tripled in size, a national fast food outlet, also known as Wimpy, has emerged, catering for Saturday hangovers and ridiculous queues decorate the interior of the supermarket, called Pick 'n Pay over lunch time.

So, a quick lunch, meaning walking to the shops, getting a pie and a coke took me 29 minutes, and I live an estimate of 60 seconds away from the shop.

This all happened over a time span of three years, and I think that residents should start questioning where this influx of people and the static business development stand in relation to one and other.

By: Gregor | at Saturday, April 29, 2006 | |

A New Media Student's wet dream

No more camera bags, lenses, battery packs and cables. All I need is the newly launched Nokia N93 featuring a 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, DVD like video capture and 3x optical zoom.

This seems to be the ultimate all in one tool. To produce multi-media stories, we need a camera and a video camera and since we upload the video files in a very compressed fashion in order to create an effective streaming process the professional equipment we use know becomes obsolete. I have seen Colin s N70 in action and am highly impressed with its applications and multimedia functions. This new model however boasts specs which are phenomenal.

Further stats on the Nokia N93: It connects directly to the TV for a widescreen movie experience or uploads your images and video to online albums or blogs. Additionally, you can create high-quality home movies and burn them to DVD with the included Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 software.

Sharing photos and video clips is made very easy. Show off your content on the 262,144 color 2.4 QVGA display (240 x 320 pixels) featuring a super-wide 160 degree viewing angle. Share your uncompressed photos and video clips instantly via email, Bluetooth technology or by uploading them directly from the Gallery to compatible blogs. Furthermore, from browsing the web to reading your emails and office documents, you can even play games on the Nokia N93 using the screen of your compatible TV.

Part of the Nokia Nseries multimedia computer range, the Nokia N93 offers great functionality, 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 on the move.

Thanks to engadget and
Ceridwen Devi for leading me to this peace of heaven.

By: Gregor | Wednesday, April 26 at Wednesday, April 26, 2006 | |

Homeless women enters cyberspace

I found this post on Ceridwen Devi (a blog affiliate) posting about a story which was presented on BBC News.

A homeless woman in London has been living in a car since last summer and by writing a blog she has placed herself in contact with an international audience. According to the BBC report, she visits the public library to access the internet to update her online diary called WanderingScribe.

This is an amazing read. There are many reservations about this but I think it is genuine. What is really interesting to me is firstly that this lady is entering cyberspace to gain contacts and relations with other people.

In her situation this is most probably easier than trying to meet people in real life, I mean who actually spends time or acknowledges homeless people? A sad fact, but no matter how you look like, the connotations behind this unfortunate status will not get you far in our society, embedded with preconceived notions and judgments.

Secondly, by reading the various comments on her posts, clearly shows the power of blogging. She has started a forum on her own blog, arguing her case, but also getting a lot of recognition and motivation by people, and actual offers and aid. There are tips where she can wash, find a job etc. This I find phenomenal, as within this virtual realm, a virtual community has offered a helping hand. This is probably not as such possible in reality, and with this I mean outside the virtual realm. Does a virtual existence allow for easier correspondence and acceptance due to the limitless possibilities in the virtual sphere?

What is great is that the aid and motivation she gets is not only virtual but can be used within the real realm. And since the media has picked up this story this blog has been getting tremendous amounts of hits, just a pity that Blogs to this similar degree will in future most probably not get the same amount of attention and thus less exposure and thus less virtual friends that offer their sentiment or help.

By: Gregor | Tuesday, April 25 at Tuesday, April 25, 2006 | |

The new look, this is how I drive / walk to work

If you have ever been to Grahamstown, take into account that donkey carts are a normal sight. They are like Oprah, they are everywhere (Corne and Twakkie 2005).

So here you can see me riding to work with my new 2 donkeypowered cart. It is a great experience, much like a convertible, but without the irritating opening and closing of the roof. Also, it gives you a complete new sense of time, suddenly life is a little slow paced and way more relaxing.

Look out for me and my donkeys, and do not hoot when driving past me, them donkeys like to kick passing cars!

Thanks to Alex for taking this pic of me and my ride.

By: Gregor | at Tuesday, April 25, 2006 | |

Famous photographer published on Reporter.co.za

This image was taken with my cellphone. 1.3 Megapixel quality seems good enough for web publication. This pic was taken in Steynsburg, infront of the police station.

By: Gregor | Thursday, April 20 at Thursday, April 20, 2006 | |

Meeting people in Steynsburg made easy - buy a Citroen

This is how you meet interesting people:

Take a Citroen C2 and drive it from Johannesburg to Grahamstown. Make sure it breaks down 15 km before Steynsburg where there is no cellphone connection.

Get a friend to drive to Steynsburg and find Moses who tells you to phone Gilbert who does the emergency towing. But Gilbert is sick in bed and after telling this to Moses he suggests we phone Oom Willie (the Godfather of Steynsburg), but Oom Willie is out of town and Chris from Cosmos Motors helps us out. He tows the car to his garage and decides to fiddle with the electronics, with no effect.

Then you should try to phone the Michelin Road Side assistance (and Chris gets upset cause he wants to repair the car) which you pay for on a monthly basis, and you discover that you are put on hold for over 15 minutes. Then you phone Citroen who organise a tow truck which supposedly will arrive within the next 3 hours. You wait with your friends in your car, watching Magnum PI (Season 1) on your video iPod and get a call from the towing company that they will be late.

So you drive the local police station, discover that one of their vans has a wheel stolen, drop of the C2 s keys and continue the journey to Grahamstown in one, over packed Honda. Arriving in Grahamstown you then get a phone call from Oom Willie, who in his broken English asks: Where am I?

Oom is the Afrikaans word for uncle, often applied fondly to the president of the Transvaal Republic Paul Krueger. (Answers.com)

By: Gregor | Wednesday, April 19 at Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | |

Check out Christiane Holzheid 's Illustrations

If you are into screen-print, digital or sketchbook art, this website offers a wide variety of great Illustrations. Qualified illustrator Christiane Holzheid has used her experiences from South Africa, Europe and America to integrate these into her transfixing artworks.

Personally, I really enjoy her digital illustrations, click here to see more of her work. Otherwise look out for this newcomer in the illustration industry.

By: Gregor | Sunday, April 16 at Sunday, April 16, 2006 | |

Time Out

I'm home over Easter and I'll be returning to the lab next week. Until then I am taking a blogging / moblogging break.

Next week my second term starts and there are some really interesting projects / ideas and issues on their way to be discussed and blogged about.

Happy Easter

By: Gregor | Wednesday, April 12 at Wednesday, April 12, 2006 | |

Donate medicine or 6 month holiday

Guess who knocked on my door on Sunday-my body. And he told me, holding a leather whip in one hand, that it is time to punish me for what I have done. It seemed like just a matter of time till he started boycotting my lifestyle and forced me into a break.

In its function, the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating. (Michel Foucault)

If anyone would donate me a 6 month holiday in Thailand it would cure me and I would be able to write some positive posts on this blog again :) thanks

By: Gregor | Friday, April 7 at Friday, April 07, 2006 | |

engish schoolgirls nude pictures

I do cover quite a verity of topics on this blog - and it is very interestig how a search engine such as Yahoo enjoys my content to the extent that it refers to my blog with the most absurd searches.
With my webcounter software I can see how people get onto my blog and someone American searched the following: english schoolgirls nude pictures. Thats quite a narrow field and for some reason Yahoo proposed the Gregoogle blog to be the answer for some lonely american headmaster.

But I can glady say that Gregoogle does not support any kind of porn. Especialy hot teen/schoolgirl porn. I did try to market Gregoogle with a pair of breasts once, but that was not hardcore enough.

By: Gregor | Thursday, April 6 at Thursday, April 06, 2006 | |

"the Pentagon says it will wage war against the internet"

Read this article in the Sunday Herald.

While the US remains committed to hunting down al-Qaeda operatives, it is now taking the battle to new fronts. Deep within the Pentagon, technologies are being deployed to wage the war on terror on the internet, in newspapers and even through mobile phones.

Democraticunderground.com picked up on this story stating that the US wants to take control of the Earth s electromagnetic spectrum, allowing US war planners to dominate mobile phones, PDAs, the web, radio, TV and other forms of modern communication. That could see entire countries denied access to telecommunications at the flick of a switch by America. According to the Sunday Herlad, the Pentagon also wants to target a broader set of select foreign media and audiences, with $161m set aside to help place pro-US articles in overseas media.

So while the FBI agents are still squatting around using smoke signals and postcards to communicate, as their budget does not allow for individual e-mail accounts (read this post), the Pentagon plans to intersect the electronic media and use it for its filthy pro-US-we-are-so-great-and-democratic-humane propaganda. But what more to expect, this is not surprising news!

By: Gregor | Tuesday, April 4 at Tuesday, April 04, 2006 | |