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Showing posts from February, 2011

What is a geek? The Movie.

For posterity, I thought I'd post this up for those of you who haven't seen it yet. It was the culmination from one of the groups at the Geek Retreat earlier this year - and tongue in cheek look at the new world of geeks (people obsessive about a certain topic).

Well done you guys - brings back memories!

TED Tuesdays: Noreena Hertz - The Dangers of Expertise

One of the most rewarding cultures (well, for me at the very least!) that I started at FNB was Tech Tuesdays. Every Tuesday, we'd force ourselves to give up 2 hours in the calendar to watch new TED videos and debate their relevance to the world of business. I miss that culture... and will attempt to carry it on here.

The dangers of expertise, of trusting individuals without querying is quite topical. Not only due to the recent launch of Real Time Wine, where many experts have had an immediate, albeit good-natured stab at the credibility of normal people doing wine reviews - but also due to the continual explosion of citizen journalism. We're seeing ordinary citizens being the carriers and spreaders of news, more than every before. Just take a look at recent events in Egypt, Iran, Libya and other political hot beds...




This TED talk looks at the dangers of experts and implores us to go out and challenge everything. Don't be too quick to retweet. Don't always trust the pe…

ZA Tech Show Episode 148 - High and Dry

A very dry ZA Tech Show studio was ably manned by Brett Haggard this week, who was joined by Andy Hadfield and Ben Kelly for a discussion of the week’s technology news, which included;

Nokia’s turn to Microsoft.The rise of Google in mobile.The significance of gaming in mobile.New tablet announcements from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.Red Bull Mobile and the reinvention of Cell C.
Our technology picks and pick-ons this week:

Brett Haggard – picks: Open Transport Tycoon.
Andy Hadfield – picks: MindNode.
Ben Kelly – picks: Flight Control HD.

Click through to the ZA TECH site to watch/download the video or audio...

The launch of Real Time Wine...

Real Time Wine is a pet project that has really been simmering around for almost 2 years now. It started as very simple cataloguing of the wine I drank using Wine Notes, an iPhone App. This expanded into Twitter postings - and that's when the feedback started coming in. I think the metaphorical and far out descriptions were a contributor.

Two apples running through a field and embracing on my tongue...
Smells like the inside of a dive bag...
Like sticking your tongue in molehill and finding a mulberry...

People really seemed to like the idea of super short, simple, direct wine reviews. Especially when they called a crap-bottle-of-wine a crap-bottle-of-wine!

Those initial waves of feedback led me to start thinking about the culture of the wine review. And how much it needed to change. And that thinking, led to the formal launch of Real Time Wine today. I'm chuffed. You could say this is a mini startup. You could also say this is an attempt at monetising a hobby. Vaynerchuk style -…

What your mobile apps say about your personality...

Interesting research coming out of Nokia. I've cut and pasted bits of the press release for you. Not much point in editing as all the juicy info is right here...

The adage “you can tell a person by the contents of their handbag” may have been true once, but now all you really need to understand someone is to know how they use their smartphone. According to Professor Trevor Pinch of Cornell University, the secret to determining someone’s personality lies beneath the apps they’ve installed on their phone.

Based on recent research commissioned by Nokia, society’s relationship with their cell phones has changed significantly. We are now a country of “app dependants” with 65 per cent of smartphone users in South Africa relying on apps to significantly benefit their lives while at home (50 per cent), travelling (13 percent), or at work (20 percent). These figures suggest that apps are being used as important life tools - and as usage levels rise, so does our cell phones ability to learn …

Kids, safety and the Internet.

Got a press release the other day that I felt was worth sharing with you chaps... It has to do with privacy and safety concerns of how kids use the Internet. Ever since the initial hoo-hah about what kids can get up to (think NetNanny launching etc) we've become a little complacent. Take a look at this screenshot to jolt yourself into action. I'm not sure what the solution is, but we need to think about this, and talk about it...

The screenshot is from ou.toilet, the mobile based youth network that caused a flutter in South Africa recently.




IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM THE SURVEY

The MSN survey, run by Microsoft as part of Safer Internet Day on 8 February, suggests that nearly half (44%) of children have lied about their age when online; over a third (37%) of those who had been contacted by a stranger (75%) responded; and only 4% told someone older that they trusted, such as a parent or teacher.

What’s more, 39% of children between the ages of 14 and 18 look at websites or play o…

An experiment with Zuma's State of the Nation Address 2011

This image was floating around Twitter today, a lovely word cloud of the Zuma's State of the Nation Address. I think originally by the guys at News24.


Now - I love Wordle. Use it with all my consulting clients as a new media way of visualising information. But it has one problem: it can't measure phrase frequency, only word frequency. Which often means the context of the sentences or topics are lost. Did Zumas talk about world ECONOMICS, world PEACE or world WAR? You wouldn't know by just looking at the cloud.

But.

What if we ran this through an SEO phrase density analysis tool? After all, SEO is about recurring phrases. What would we get then? Sitting at the "Hell No We Won't Work" Friday Coffee session with The Daily Maverick, I decided to give it a whirl. Thanks Phillip de Wet, who has the ability to access servers and publish html files with gay abandon (a plain text web copy of the speech was necessary for this experiment).

The results are interesting - …