Monday, November 27, 2006

Gender Desicions

I read this on Hamo's blog this morning and thought it was worth sharing...

"FREEZER BAGS: They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.
PHOTOCOPIERS: These are female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm them up again.They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong buttons.
TYRES: Tyres are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated.
HOT AIR BALLOONS: Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their arse
SPONGES: These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.
WEB PAGES: Female, because they’re constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.
TRAINS: Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.
EGG TIMERS: Egg timers are female because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom.
HAMMERS: Male, because in the last 5000 years, they’ve hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.
THE REMOTE CONTROL: Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying"

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What happens when coke and mentos come into contact?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Koos's inside track on the Bok team for Saturday

JAKE WHITE's TEAM FOR SATURDAY:

FULLBACK: BUTCH JAMES
WINGS: LAWRENCE SEPAKA, ANDRE PRETORIUS
CENTRES: JOHN SMITH (captain), JUAN SMITH
FLYHALF: FLOORS KABAMBA
SCRUMHALF: OS DU RANDT

PROPS: BREYTON PAULSE, BRENT RUSSELL
HOOKER: JEAN DE VILLIERS
LOCKS: ENRICO JANUARY, DE WET BARRY (if available)
LOOSE FORWARDS: whoever gets there first!!!

I think Koos has got it right!

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Africa!

You know you're from Africa when...
  • it doesn't seem right to pay the asking price on anything in a store. If you can't barter for it, it's not worth having.
  • you're appalled that American grocery stores only sell one or two different types of bananas.
  • your parents yell at you for forgeting to use silverware in public.
  • you're going to visit your Grandparents and take you passport ~ just in case you have to evacuate.
  • you find all the non-white people on campus so you can be a minority again.
  • you can lead a 20 minute conversation starting with "walleponaua!!"and keep it going by replying "ehh" in numerous different tone-levelsfor the next half an hour! (...and have the other person exactly understand what you are saying!!)
  • you fear for you life while riding in a Taxi....anywhere!
  • you call everyone older then you uncle or aunt.
  • you'd rather be barefoot
  • you know that the bloody gooey messthey call beef jerky in the States would never pass for true biltong.
  • every toothpaste is colgate.
  • every soap is surf.
  • every softdrink is coca cola or fanta.
  • you have uncles and aunts who are younger than you.
  • black outs are nothing new to you.
  • no running water for a day is just another ordinary thing
  • 40 degrees is cold.
  • you can do your monthly shopping on the pavement.
  • four cars are driving parallel to each other on a one-lane road.
  • the smell of freshly rained on mud paths/tarmac is comforting.
  • being an hour late equals being "on time"
  • you get car sick because the roads just don't have enough potholes!
  • you pass by someones house and you know what they gointg to have for dinner because you can pretty much see and/or smell what's cooking
  • you can bribe a cop and get away with it!
  • you have an over whelming urge to wash all your salad in milton(baby bottle bleach, supposedly kills cholera) and add a bit ofcharcoal to your milk just to get the taste your used to.
  • you know that the police isn't always the safest place to go when you're in trouble.
  • cramming 7 passangers in a 4 passenger taxi is really not a big deal.
  • you know never to question what you're eating (even if it does taste good), cuz sometimes you just don't want to know.
  • you invite people for a get together at 7 and they all come at 9.
  • football is played with some sort of ROUND ball and WITHOUT hands.
  • everyone in your country plays soccer.
  • you cram 24 people into a 14 passenger taxi and have never felt closer to your African friends.
  • you make friends with the local shepard and know the goats by name.
  • you spent countless hours shining your shoes when you know very well that by the time you get to the taxi stop, they'll be covered inunbeleivable dirt!
  • you keep converting the value of things in your home currency when you see the pound value.
  • a plane flies by and you just cant help but look up!
  • you have another name in your home language.
  • you hate American corn, because it's never hard enough.
  • you've drunk real chai, not this coffeeshop stuff.
thanks shupiwe

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Friday, November 10, 2006

How sad is this...

Silicon Valley startup Riya, currently a photo search company focusing on facial recognition, is making a significant strategic and product shift this morning. Riya will continue as is, but the company is leveraging the core technology to launch a new image search engine called Like.com.

Like.com is image search. There are lots of other image search engines on the web today. But all of them only take queries as text, and compare those text queries to the meta data attached to an image file. This data is notoriously thin, and companies like Google are resorting to using human labor to attempt to add descriptive keywords to images stored on their servers. Even specialty image search engines like Pixsy have fairly thin meta data for images. And all of the existing search engines allow only text for search queries.

The Like.com engine takes both text and images as queries, something no one else does. To return results based on an image query, Like.com compares a “visual signature” for the query image to possible results. The visual signature is simply a mathematical representatioin of the image using 10,000 variables. If enough variables are identical, Like.com decides the images are similar.

What this means - If you see an image on the web, like a watch that Paris Hilton is wearing in the picture to the left, and use it as an image query, Like.com will return results showing watches that look very similar.

If you enter a text query, like “brown boots pointed toe,” Like.com will convert that query into variables in the visual signature and look for related image results. See screen shot below for the results from this query.

The site launching today returns results only for shoes, jewelry, hand bags and clothing. The service will expand over time to include other categories, but these initial categories represent a very large portion of consumer discretionary spending in the real world. With each result Like.com will also present a link to purchase the item, and their hope is to generate revenue from subsequent purchases.

A key feature that Like.com will be launching in the next month or so is an image uploader and a toolbar. Upload an image to Like.com to see similar results. Or, simply use the toolbar to use any image found on the web as a search query. Either way, Like.com will return results for similar items.

Robert Scoble at Podtech interviewed Riya CEO Munjal Shah on video in preparation for the launch. See the interview here, and a product demo here.


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This might be a good gift for Jonno

Segway x2 for the golf courseIn another sad example of robots taking jobs away from our nation'seager teens, Segway introduced its x2 Golf model. It's really just the$5,500 x2 all-terrain transporter tricked out for the links. From the x2 Golfproduct page:Segwaygolf


* Golf Bag Carrier Attachment secures your golf bag to the Segway x2 Golf and allows for easy dismount and club access while playing. Removes easily for storage and transport

* Scorecard Holder keeps your scorecard, golf balls, and tees readily accessible

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Good news for the Eastern Cape

SA honey beverages strike gold

A honey wine produced at Makana Meadery in Grahamstown banked gold atan international festival in Colorado and is set to turn the EasternCape into the largest honey-producing area in South Africa.

HoneySun African Mead - sweet mead infused with rooibos, honeybush, cinnamonand apple - is one of several value-added products combining Africantraditions with skills training and a top-shelf product.

It collected gold in the speciality category of the 2006 International Mead Festival in Boulder, Colorado.

The six-year-old meadery in Frontier Country is already a worldleader in mead process design and holds a patent on its continuousfermentation process.

link

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Google: organising the world's information

Craig Silverstein spoke at UNC’s medical library on October 30th.

This makes some very interesting listening and watching.

Craig Silverstein 1: intro + how Google began
In part one he introduces himself and discusses Google’s origins.



Craig Silverstein 2: Google’s Begins + Google Book Search
In part 2 here Craig continues to discuss how Google started and then introduces Google Book search. He’s presenting to librarians afterall.



Craig Silverstein 3: Google Books + Google Scholar
In part 3 he finishes explaining how Google Books can’t actually achieve its goal of digitizing all books and then introduces Google Scholar to the audience.



Craig Silverstein 4: Mobile Search + Google Co-op
In part four Craig digs into the future of the web, which Google sees as mobile, and Google Co-op as a future of enabling search results to get smarter.



Craig Silverstein 5: the Page Anecdote + Closing
In part 5 he recounts Larry Page’s favorite early Google anecdote and the bids everyone farewell.

Christian Parody of Mac v PC video clips

I really enjoyed these...

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A era passes!

'Groot Krokodil' PW Botha dies
PW Botha, South Africa's last true white-minority president and ruler of an increasingly repressive and violent state in the final years of apartheid, died at his home near the town of George on Tuesday night. He was 90 years old.

About me

I am an African living in Scotland. A son, a father, an ex-husband, a boyfriend, a teacher and friend trying to piece together the stories that my God, my parents, my ex-wife, my girlfriend, my pupils and my friends are telling me, so that I can tell my own story. Thanks to all for your support and advice. I still love good coffee and popcorn.

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