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Showing posts from April, 2007

Gone fishin' (or diving)...

I'm hot-tailin' it to Sodwana Bay tomorrow to go chill out... underwater. This time, I'll try not take my cellphone :) More posts when I'm back - Tuesday / Wednesday. Have a great long weekend Cowboys.

The "Don't Contact Me Database"!

It was only a matter of time before this happened. With the proliferation of local email and SMS spam (if I get asked to buy 1 more t-shirt or get offered 1 more free cash loan...) someone had to do something. The Direct Marketing Association of SA has taken the honourable stance. They spammed me (ha ha) with this note recently:

Registering on this database will mean that you will not be contacted by members of the DMA (Direct Marketing Association of Southern Africa).

The DCM (Don't Contact Me Database) helps you to make sure your address, email address, telephone and cell number are no longer available to organisations, who are members of the DMA, who want to make offers and send information that you do not wish to receive. You can also do this by contacting companies directly and asking them not to contact you.

But they do issue a stern warning:

You should reflect on the fact that registering may well prevent you from receiving information which you would really like to have - ther…

Time

Where does time go? You wake up one day and realise it's almost a week since you last posted. You get nervous, sweaty almost - fearful that your devout readership (however big or small) has abandoned you for TechCrunch. Bollocks to that!

Virginia Tech Massacre. Cho Seung-Hui speaks.

The madness continues. And the sheer weight of multimedia information available on the Internet also never ceases to amaze. As everyone knows - the shooter responsible for the Viginia Tech Massacre - Cho Seung-Hui sent a multimedia package (video, photo stills and documents) to NBC News before he went on his final rampage. With predictable speed, the package has hit the Internet. Multiple versions, some edited, some not.


I guess the moral question we all need to be asking here is... When is enough enough? How free should access to this information be? And can you imagine the trauma it must be causing people who:

a) knew him
b) were affected by the event
c) have lost friends/family in the event

I'm not sure either way, being a firm believer in the Googlesque view of access to information. And the citizen journalism on display is incredible, if not a little scary.

But. Wow. The image of Cho Seung-Hui wielding hammers and handguns is truly, truly frightening. And now... it's out there …

Virginia Tech Massacre. A Social Media Summary.

I'm think I'm going to stop blogging about this now. While every piece of advice says - pick up on a story, a hammer it, become the expert, become the center of your blogging industry on that topic. I'm feeling guilty as I see some search engine traffic start to pore in.

It does interest me though. So, until I really am struck by the philosphical bug (most likely tomorrow) - here's a summary of how the news has spread so far... My thoughts again go out to the US families. And I hope the media can tastefully handle the fallout.

*YouTube now has 266 videos
*FaceBook has 354 groups.
*Google has 55,900 results.
*Technorati Blog Search has 88,100 results.
*Google BlogSearch has 18,101 results.

That's quick.

Virginia Tech Massacre. YouTube Speaks.

It's the "next day" South Africa time, and YouTube has also caught onto the horror. I kept searching last night to see when videos would hit the social media circuit, as opposed to the traditional media fest. It must have happened sometime this morning.



YouTube already shows 17 (update 69) videos, one with over 80,000 views. Technorati has had "Virginia Tech" as its top search since last night. And the GoogleBot has caught up.



Above is one of the cellphone videos from the event. In searching for this, I really uncovered the sordid side of "social media spread". A video, labelled "Virginia Tech Massacre" that was actually slideshow pictures of a student partying. It's the highest viewed video (yip, the one with 80,000 views) - most likely because the opening frame is one of a student passed out in his bed. Worried searcher gravitating towards injured looking people. Makes me sick.

And here I am, quickly spreading and sensationalising someth…

Virginia Tech Massacre. CNN and mobile video.

Just a couple of hours after event - the speed of information. CNN already has live feeds, 10+ articles and links to all the student videos that have hit the airwaves.

I still don't know whether to be sick or amazed. I'm watching the first official press announcement by university officials live on TV, while watching videos taken by students running away from gun fire, merely hours before.



I guess it goes to YouTube next. Should it?

Virginia Tech Massacre. And the Internet

I'm sitting here, 10:55pm, feeling sick to my stomache as I watch CNN unfold the worst shooting in US history. Google News here. Student videos, recorded on cellphones are prime time fodder.

What did people do? They ran to FaceBook and other message boards to let their parents know they were ok.

I just don't know what to say. My thoughts go out to the families. I just don't know what to say.



Above are some of the groups - CNN mentioned the main one "I'm OK at VT".

Keanu's Speed - Township Style (PODCAST)

Ain't it great when a new media form just becomes so pervasive that national radio stations run competitions inviting submissions in that media form? The podcast ladies and gents. Now everyone has a face for radio.

Heard this one on the Fresh Drive coming home today and it's a pearla. Set in the "old days" when township movies consisted of a torch, a transparency, some sketches and a narrator - it's an adaption of Speed.

Taxi's gotta bomb, speed can't drop below 120 km/h. Pop quiz hotshot.

It's great. Kudos to the oke. And he won a MacBook to boot. Anyone know of the original site or PodStream (RSS thingy)?

Listen to it here! This link will work for as long as 5FM keep it live. Spread the vibe chaps.

Geek Tattoo

I don't get it. Joking. I do. Har. Har.

HOW TO: Remove the Blogger Header

Detailed instructions on how to remove the blogger header, on most templates - click here.

Apologies for the repeat. But I noticed an interesting Googlesque thing. When searching for "remove blogger header" - Cowboys ranks at number 4... but not for the post where I figured out how to solve it. Rather, the request for help.

I've just finished reading The Google Story (more about this later) - and one of the things Larry and Sergey concentrated on above ALL ELSE was search. Providing the answers people wanted, quickly. Now, I'm sure I buggered up somewhere in terms of not repeating the word blogger header three times in each paragraph - but I realise how frustrating that process was. So here's a keyword rich post, that will hopefully get indexed, thereby hopefully answering the question so many blogger bloggers are asking! :)

Embarassing Amatomu

Yowsers. My fiance and I co-write Cowboys' sister blog - All Scrubbed Up. I've mentioned it once or twice before. Of course, she's the Doctor - with the medical knowledge. I'm the wannabe techie with some small degree of writing skill.

Being the techie, it's left up to yours truly to register on such aggregators, blog rankings and other social media sites to promote the blog.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this on Amatomu!


Always got to watch what you put on the web. Imagine what my children will say one day??

Hacking Cellphones... Wirelessly.

This is a scary tidbit (thanks Brett for sending it through). In an industry where we are becoming increasingly paranoid about security - isn't it comforting to know that... well... we don't really know anything at all.

This ABC News special features a bunch of kids (they get younger everyday) who have set up a security consulting firm in the States. Essentially, they've figured out a way to scan mobile phones wirelessly and hack into the phone book, SMS inbox, SMS sent box and more.

Apparently it happened to our dear Miss Paris Hilton - her cellphone got hacked and a bunch of celebrity friends got a "few" prank calls. Watch the vid. Very interesting.



Where does it stop? I've already seen the latest Nokias coming out with Norton Antivirus on them. Is anything safe? Should it be?

Africa in 2030...

Spotted this on Akopo - what looks like a fairly prominent African and Caribbean Blogging collective/platform.


We are in 2007, and you are imagining how Africa will be in 2030. *How do you view constructions in the cities? Draw for example how you see a town of Africa in 2030 ...

*What will the main roads look like? Will they be covered by panes? Will our cars travel by air? Underground and air-conditioned?

*How will Africans be dressed in 2030 ? What will be the latest fashion?

*Will culinary practices change? Which will be the most current dishes? The same ones as today? Will there be others? If so, which?

*What will cinema halls look like? Will one look at films in large rooms where each one will have his/her ear-phones? Will cinema be in the open air so that everyone looks at films?

*Which traditions and habits will have disappeared because youths no longer support them? *Will one always prohibit that women eat eggs in certain cultures?

*How will schooling take place? Will one learn all …

BMW coup on new blogger features...

How the hell did Mr Gray get this together? Although, to be fair, based on the lack of posts on his site, I'm wondering if he even knows. That's the bloody blogosphere, isn't it. Don't pick up the phone and call a mate, write a post. Sigh.

Anyhoo, the feature is pretty cool. You'll see it down the right sidebar of Cowboys and sister blog All Scrubbed Up. Google Video and Youtube now integrate into Blogger Blogs. Click on any of the videos, which you can tag in the backend, and it'll play inside your blog interface. Score one for the video content providers, score one for me (cool feature) and score two for Blogger in the continual race to innovate on social media platforms.

The plot thickens. When installing this feature in the backend, you do it using typical Google simplicity. Click Add Page Element. Select Video Bar. What pops up though should be of more interest to BMW...


The very first thing you see (yes, every one of the millions of Blogger users who are mos…

The New News24. 1.9ish? What is that?

I started off this post, thinking I was going to expose the new 24.com for cheating a 2.0ish feel. Our lead techie back at the office suggested as such. But I took one look at the code... and I'm NO CODER. If you see the word AJAX popping up all over the place... If it walks like ajax, talks like ajax - chances are? It's ajax.

I digress. Change of direction. I am but very impressed with the new 24.com - there's a lot of partial page refresh (being able to change stuff on a page without completely refreshing it), and that makes it very 2.0ish (in my personal definiton). The use of tabs enables a lot of information to be layered - a much better content proposition than the shotgun "splatter it everywhere" approach.



Next step I reckon, is to cookiefy it, so you can save your favourite tabs settings... Or perhaps you can already. I haven't registered.

It does raise an interesting point... Just what is bloody web 2.0? Is it a code platform, a thought platform, a desi…

Theatre of the mind...

Interesting drive home this evening. Was listening to highlights of the World Cup, Sri Lanka vs. England... on the radio. Yip, for this sporting event, highlights packages are even produced in pure audio - and they were great!

It's odd to think that in this day and age - where social media platforms and digital delivery rule the roost... Theatre of the Mind is still one of the most successful global medias.

I guess that's why podcasts are such a fad. Give me a fancy, suave digital device with which I can listen to what used to come out of the radio... anyday.

And why certain radio commentators like Neil Manthorp are globally recognised.

If only it wasn't so bloody expensive.