Monday, October 31, 2005

Standard Chartered takes South Africa for a ride

I have been a 20twenty customer from the very beginning. At the time I was impressed with almost every facet of the bank. Great advertising, great concept, low charges and the very best customer service of any company in South Africa.

20twenty then unfortunately went through some trials resulting from it's relationship with Saambou. It was under curatorship until Standard Chartered, on of the worlds largest banks, decided to buy it. The loyal 20twenty customers were assured that everything would remain the same, except that we would have the financial backing that comes with Standard Chartered. Unfortunately that proved to be a lie.

After a period of increasing fees and degraded service (The fees were still however better than all the other banks and the service was still better than theirs) Standard Chartered has finally decided to discontinue 20twenty altogether in favour of more profitable options such as homeloans and personal loans.

So thank you Standard Chartered for becoming a truly South African company and deciding to squeeze every last cent out of your customers and killing one of the greatest companies that South Africa has seen in recent times.

To my readers, never take any sort of loan from Standard Chartered. They do not care about you at all, only how much money they can make from you

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Front Row on your Mac Mini

Some enterprising people have managed to get Front Row working on non-iMac's. Here's how :

Please note, the following instructions not garanteed to work. Your Mileage May Vary.

Grab the software here


OS X 10.4.3 users: Just run Front or copy to /System/Library/CoreServices/ and reboot.

OS X 10.4.2 (and older?) users: Copy BezelServices.framework to /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/, reboot, run Front

This Front has been cracked to skip the remote check and should idle in the background once loaded.

You need to take the file and put it in two places, your Applications folder and your Core Services folder (hardrive -> system -> library -> core services)

and then take the folder called ?BezelServices.framework? and put it in the PrivateFrameworks folder (hdd -> system -> library -> private frameworks)

Then Restart

Put the Front Row app in your dock next to your finder (or anywhere really) and click it so it shows up in your top left hand corner in the menu bar, then hold Esc for 5 seconds and Front Row will activate


Google Base

Much speculation has been doing the rounds this morning ever since the discovery of It seems to be a massive database with various front-ends allowing you to upload various types of information, from house sales to recipes. The site has since being removed by Google, but people are already speculating about Google taking on EBay via Google Base and Google Wallet (Google's long rumoured payment platform).

I don't think this is necessary for Google. Any move that makes it easier for them to index more information and present relevant information to people will create more possible AdWords space. Which is not to say that Google isn't out to take on eBay, I just don't think they need to.

Here is a screenshot of an uploaded recipe, and here is another for real estate

Monday, October 24, 2005

Democratic Alliance: 'We must support the president' : Mail & Guardian Online

Never thought I would ever hear this. It is the right thing to do, but I still never thought I would hear it...
Democratic Alliance: 'We must support the president' : Mail & Guardian Online

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A1GP Sprint Race Portugal

In an exciting Sprint Race, Thomas Scheckter managed to a blistering start moving six places up the grid. He managed to hold this position throughout the Sprint Race, giving him a top ten start for the Feature Race.

Even though the engine problems of the last race were sorted out, Scheckter was having difficulty getting the car to respond the way he wanted it to. Scheckters' technical engineer from IndyCar was brought in to try get the car set up the way he wanted it, but even this did not prove enough. The promising lap-times seen in the rain were not evident during Qualifying and the Sprint Race, which were both held in dry conditions. This being said, Scheckter is now in a better position for the Feature Race and with the weather in Portugal being as erratic as it is, anything can still happen

Saturday, October 22, 2005

More on Flock

Another South African, Kilps, responded to my last article saying that he had a small review of Flock at his blog. There are also a couple of bugs and annoyances that he points out that are worth noting.

It looks like Flock is getting a lot of attention, with 'Flock' being one of the most searched terms on technorati. It will be intersting to see if the market can absorb another Web Browser, or if they will fade away like many other Web Browsers that had a new idea, yet never gained popularity.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Flock have just released a preview of their new Social Browser. It includes active bookmarks from, flickr and Blogger/WordPress integration. It is based on the Firefox code, although they say it is not a fork. I am loath to install cross-platform applications on my Mac, so if someone else is feeling adventurous, install it and let me know your initial feelings about it.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Arno Carstens available on iTunes

Arno Carstens' new album, 'The Hello Goodbye Boys', is now available in the iTunes Music Store. Arno Carstens was the lead singer of the popular Springbok Nude Girls and has since succesfully launched his solo career with 'Another Universe'. 'The Hello Goodbye Boys' is Arno's second solo album and features the hit single 'Hole Heart'.

All South African living overseas can now buy Arno's latest offering via the iTunes Music Store. And for those of you that aren't South African, buy it as well. It is well worth it.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Amazon's hiring

Amazon is hiring people for it's new Research Centre in South Africa. If you have development experience with the Linux Kernel, C, C++ and/or Java skills, go to to apply.

Now, if only I can convince them to move over to Mono, I will be a shoo-in.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Great way to get more traffic to your blog

Getting people to visit your blog is a slow process. There is one thing in particular you can do to speed up the process. Register at BlogExplosion. When you read other members blogs, you earn credits. For every two credit you earn, someone will be directed to your site.

Many people wont even bother reading your site, as they will just be trying to earn credits quickly. But some will, and if your Blog has good content, they will come back.
Another added bonus is that there is a fairly large South African community, so you can earn credits viewing other South African's blogs.

So sign up

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Video iPod

So it seems that I was wrong. Apple has released the Video iPod. It is slightly thinner than the existing iPod, has a 2.5in TFT display with 320x240 pixels with realtime decoding of MPEG 4 and H.264 video. There is also video out to connect to a TV.

There is also a new, thinner iMac with built in iSight and a new app called Photobooth, which makes your new iMac act just like one.

Most interesting of the announcements is a new app called Front Row which lets you view your pictures, music and movies from the couch using a new simple remote that resembles an iPod. The remote features Apples trademark design of simplicity with only 6 buttons compared to Windows Media Centre which has over 40.

Also of significance is iTunes 6 and the ability to download Music video's and...
Here is the big news...TV shows including Desperate Housewives and Lost. But still no iTunes Music Store for South Africa, so this means very little to us

I see this as having has great future potential in conjunction with Front Row, especially after more channels get involved. Even though I was wrong about the Video iPod, I still believe it will be a small seller, similar to the Photo iPod

Apple announcement today

Apple Computer will be holding a press conference today and most people are guessing that it will be to announce a Video iPod. You can even bet on what it will be. I really don't think it will be a Video iPod for a variety of reasons.

I'm guesing a TiVo-like product or iTunes Movie Store and video version of AirTunes.
We'll see in a couple of hours.

Serenity movie in South Africa

Being a big fan of Angel, Buffy and Firefly (The creations of Joss Whedon) I am looking forward to the Serenity movie. It is based on the short-lived Firefly series which became a best seller after the show was cancelled.

Unfortunatly, I cant seem to find out when it is being released in South Africa. If you know, please let me know in the comment section.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

ADSL in South Africa

ADSL in South Africa is in for a change on the 1st November. Telkom/SAIX will no longer allow unlimited local bandwidth after you reach your cap. You will have no internet connection whatsoever. At the moment most ISPs use SAIX for their bandwidth, so if you are in doubt whether this affects you, it most probably does.

There is a solution however. Internet Solutions (IS) will be providing 30GB of local bandwidth to each account after you are capped. Local content will also be faster on IS than on SAIX. The only drawback is that international latency is bad, so applications like Skype might suffer. Find out if your ISP will be changing to IS come 1st November, or else change ISPs.

ISPs that I know of that use IS are and
If you know of any others, leave a comment.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The demise of MyADSL

A long time ago I came across a site a called MyADSL when trying to find out if Sentech's MyWireless would work under Linux (incidentally it does thanks to Rodent).

MyADSL became a site that was the go-to site for anything broadband related. When Sentech's MyWireless service became unbearable, MyADSL (and Rodent again) were at the forefront, creating protest sites and gaining lots of publicity in many newspapers, etc. Similarly for Telkom, when MyADSL lodged a record number of complaints against Telkom, causing ICASA to hold a hearing into the problem.

Lately however, it has become an unpleasant place to browse. One person in particular has caused every second post to be an attack against my Country. As he has himself said, his only reason for being on the forum is to convince people to leave South Africa. Whilst there are still champions of sanity on the forum (MaD, debbie2, et al) this person has a couple of vocal supporters, causing MyADSL to degenerate into a place for extreme politics and raging arguments.

It is a sad day indeed when arguably South Africa's most influential website becomes just another seedy part of the internet.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Podcasting has finally arrived in South Africa

So Podcasting has finally arrived in South Africa.

No, I'm not talking about those people in Klerksdorp. 5FM has joined the party. I sent 5FM an email a while ago, and begged some people who work there that I know (Hi Gorg) to give it a shot. Unfortunatly only the Roger Good show is available at the moment, but I'm sure that will change. To make it go faster, send 5FM an email asking them to add your favourite DJ to the podcasting list.

To subscribe, go to the 5FM website, go to the Music menu item and choose Pod-Casting. Then drag the XML link provided to iTunes and voila, done. Next time you plug your iPod in, your will have the latest and greatest stuff from your favourite DJ

Thanks 5FM and get Gareth Cliff on the list quickly!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Google and Sun

So the President of Sun Microsystems writes on his blog that "If I were a betting man, I'd bet the world was about to change" This is in relation to a joint press conference with Sun and Google, at the Computer History Museum. Yep, this should be huge.

So what transpires? Google and Sun will be entering into a partnership and their first baby is...the ability to download the Google ToolBar from Sun's download centre, and similarly with Java when people download the Google ToolBar.

That was the singly most underwhelming press conference ever, even more so considering the grand statements and venue.
There was talk about future collaboration, etc, but I have my doubts as to what this will achieve. If I was a betting man, I wouldn't bet on Sun