Tech

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Wild Reading, October 3-9

Being a science writer, I spend most of my time reading, digging for stories and finding out what is going on internationally. Wild Reading is about sharing these amazing snippets. Some of these are linked to stories I’m working on, some are just strange things that have found their way onto my computer screen. All…

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Wild reading

Being a science writer, I spend most of my time reading, digging for stories, finding out what is going on internationally. When my partner and I finally sit down to the dinner table, one of us usually asks, “So what did you learn today?” Wild reading is about sharing these amazing snippets (like did you…

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Birding for beginners

Twitching is a term used in birding circles to describe the act of travelling far and wide to track down rare birds. Twerking is a term used in birding circles to describe the act of standing in the bush with your tush in the air chasing off birds. Our hiking party did neither on the…

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The dashed dreams of medical quackery

White South Africans harbour numerous carefully nurtured prejudices about their fellow citizens and delusions about themselves. One is that blacks are uneducated and backward, eschewing reason for superstition. Whites, in contrast, are masters of reason, hacking a scientific path through thickets of ignorance. Such assumptions are particularly glaring in health matters. Although the term “witchdoctor”…

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