Tech

The French philosopher and the American whistle-blower

Unless one acknowledges the complex nature and often unexpected connections among things, events and people, one might find it a smidgen astonishing that what the French poststructuralist philosopher, Jean-Francois Lyotard, wrote in his “report” on the state of knowledge in “advanced” societies, better known as The Postmodern Condition (1979; English translation: Manchester University Press, 1984),…

6 Comments Continue Reading →

Forget cyberbullying, I suffer from hit remorse

I can’t believe I’ve done it again. I’ve gone ahead with the not-so-good old hand slam. Flipped the bird to every fibre of my not-so-absolute sense of morality and reared the ugly head of the secret monster. Immediately post-contact, post-hit, post-click, click, click boom I find my heart starts to beat a bit faster. It…

6 Comments Continue Reading →

Is the motor industry killing the goose that lays the golden eggs?

So there you are, an ordinary guy with an ordinary job who wants to buy the best car that you can afford. It has to be reliable and economical rather than have a “WOW” factor, so you’ve pretty well set your mind on a boring new 1.3-litre hatch for R160 000 when up pops a pristine…

17 Comments Continue Reading →

What ordinary people don’t know about the deep web

The November 11 edition of TIME magazine features a cover article on “The Secret (or Deep) Web” (pp20-27), which most regular users of the internet are not even aware of — I, for one, did not know that what I had always regarded as that most splendid of inventions, the internet as “horizontal”, democratising axis…

6 Comments Continue Reading →

Goodness gracious! This Dacia is a Nissan!

So poor old Sydney Gordon (65) of Johannesburg is suing Nissan South Africa because he bought a Nissan NP 200 from them for R131 342 on February 22 2012 and a year later discovered that it had “Renault” stamped all over it. He must have gone to a lot of trouble stripping the bakkie to identify…

8 Comments Continue Reading →

How I discovered the grand unifying theory

It was quite simple, really. I discovered the grand unifying theory of the universe just now, during teatime. And I wasn’t even drinking tea. I was drinking coffee. Cappuccino, to be exact. I have always wanted to discover something big, such as the grand unifying theory of the universe, but I did not expect it…

18 Comments Continue Reading →

On voluntary tech servitude

I’m one of the many Android users who recently installed the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) application on their phone. Big deal. Doing this as I did, however, on the day Germany and Brazil were introducing a draft resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age at the UN General Assembly, I found myself confronting…

7 Comments Continue Reading →

People are listening to your calls? Get over it

So the United States is eavesdropping on your cellphone calls, Chancellor Merkel? Man up, so to speak, and get over it. More usefully, instead of whining, get Germany a new intelligence chief who understands counter-intelligence and encryption. And as your technical experts apparently warned, you also need to dump that crappy old cellphone your bought…

33 Comments Continue Reading →

Facebook: A life laid out in linear form

Newborn babies have started appearing on my Facebook news feed, lovingly cradled by people that not too long ago (it seems) were holding bottles of cheap vodka with such tender care, playing disastrously drunken games of table tennis together, still in their first year of university, innocent and unaffected, with delusions of adulthood. I recently…

3 Comments Continue Reading →

The Arctic: Why you should give a damn

The Arctic is melting. The Arctic is thawing — reaching record lows this decade as Arctic temperatures are at their highest in the last 44 000 years. Climate change is heating our planet, and we could soon see ice-free summers at the North Pole. In their latest climate report, scientists around the world are more emphatic…

24 Comments Continue Reading →