I survived Facebook suicide

Posted by Bianca212
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on Wednesday, 21 July 2010
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In my life, I have belonged to three social networks. My Multiply page probably still exists somewhere out there in the ether but I have no idea where. I used to have a Facebook account. I currently have a slightly neglected Twitter account, which I really only have because I'm a journalist and I should.

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My World Cup experience so far

Posted by Bianca212
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on Tuesday, 22 June 2010
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I've been to three games at Cape Town stadium so far- France v Uruguay, England v Algeria and Portugal v North Korea. Anyone who has been keeping tabs on the score will know then that the first two games were highly disappointing in terms of goals. 

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World Cup breaks Twitter?

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on Thursday, 10 June 2010
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There's talk that the large amount of fail whales Twitterers have been seeing over the past few days have been due to the World Cup.

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My response to Thenack's blog on "that" cartoon.

Posted by Bianca212
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on Tuesday, 25 May 2010
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Seeing as though comments are disabled, I thought I would come out of my blogging silence to post my thoughts on the knack’s blog regarding the Zapiro cartoon.

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Bloggers speak out for press freedom

Posted by Bianca212
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on Tuesday, 23 March 2010
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On Wednesday, South African bloggers and journalists are speaking out against the cencorship and threats to press freedom that we are currently seeing in this country. This is my contribution.

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Even more scary online gaming behaviour

Posted by Bianca212
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on Wednesday, 10 March 2010
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Last week I blogged about the scary behaviour of online gamers as shown in the doccie Second Skin. Having just watched the documentary and blogged about it, I was mortified to read about a Korean couple who allowed their real baby daughter to die of malnutrition while they played an online game called Prius Online. In this game, you pick a character and a career and once you’ve got to a certain level, you get a baby to look after. It’s like playing happy families, only online.

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Where useless gadgets go to die

Posted by Bianca212
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on Wednesday, 03 March 2010
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My house is littered with gadgets, once loved, now forgotten. Mostly useless. I'm not so bad- but the boyfriend is a massive gadget-o-phile so there are bound to be a few bits and bobs that don't really get loved so much anymore. Mostly its not that the gadget has become useless, its just that it has been replaced by something better, faster.
The most obvious at the moment is his old computer, stuffed in a box, shoved under the stairs- completely passed up now that he is the owner of a supercomputer to rival all supercomputers. I would go into the details, the specs and such like, but as most of you have already guessed, I'm not exactly big on the details on things like that.
Then there is the computer joystick, gathering dust, passed up for the Xbox 360 controller for Windows. There is the PSP, which at one stage kept the boy so well occupied, I got a little jealous of it. It's not that it isn't loved so much anymore, I guess the novelty just isn't as shiny anymore. He still uses it on flights and trips.
I meanwhile have gadgets scattered everywhere between Cape Town and Joburg (where my mother is tearing her hair out because a whole whack of my stuff is still there). Because I'm not really gadget crazy, I do tend to think carefully about the things I want and then save for them. But there is the pink 1st generation Ipod- we're talking before colour screens, pre-nano. I used to use it all the time, but as it ages, its ability to hold onto battery life is slipping a little so it lies in my "important documents" drawer which is really just a place to throw things that don't go anywhere else. It lies alongside my completely mutilated old Nokia, an old telephone account and some bank deposit slips.
But it's in my bedside drawer in my old room at my parents house that all the really good stuff is-a walkman, a diskman, one of those sim card memory thingies, about 47 discarded, virus riddled flashdrives. In my cupboard there is a water damaged polaroid camera, which fell into disuse well before the family geyser burst sending water rushing into my closets, as more and more it was impossible to find film for the damn thing in SA. That was years before Polaroid officially stopped selling film- and at over R90 for 10 photos ten years ago (and most often than not the film was expired) and so the thing was gathering dust before the water washed it off. There is also a pink camera and matching binoculars that I got for Christmas when I was about 11- it used those funny, flat films with the curly bits on the edges and you had to wind it on after every photo. I don't know why I've kept it. I guess I just didn't get around to throwing it out-and I'm entirely certain it still works. Sometimes I fear that one of the aeroplanes flying over my parents house will drop fuel which will then cause all of these bits and pieces to melt and morph, and create some kind of disused gadget monster.
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Second Skin-Scary MMORPG behaviour

Posted by Bianca212
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on Monday, 01 March 2010
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Last night I watched the documentary Second Skin. If you're into World of Warcraft or any other online role player games, the movie will be an education.
These are the hard-core gamers, not the guys who enjoy a little escapism at the end of the day. These were people who were just as happy, if not happier inside of a game than they are in real life.
 It follows the lives of a bunch of players- seven I think, but there are other people that come and go in the doccie. I was actually afraid having watched it, and so thankful that while my boyfriend is a computer nerd, he doesn't make me sign into his WOW account while he is on his way home so that he can start playing immediately when he walks through the door, and I can sit and eat supper on my own. Yes, there was a guy whose wife, pregnant with twins, did that. He then proceeded to play for six hours in the evening-every evening and twelve hours a day on the weekends.
Of course, before the babies arrived, he had to sit down and have a serious think about his life, and came to the conslusion that he would scale back his playing to only three days a week so his wife didn't have to raise his babies alone. Yes, that's how sensitive and helpful he was. Of course, his friends from his little raiding coven or whatever the hell it was called weren't very happy about the fact and then when the second of their four person team got married, it was like their world was crashing down.
Another guy actually lost his house, his job, his family to online gaming. Like a crack addict. And then there was the couple who got married at some or other gaming convention in Vegas- with Star Wars themed costumes and after the (real) ceremony, they sat down at their computers and proceeded to get married in-world. What struck me most was that people were actually living their lives in these games- all their friends were in-game, a lot of people fell in love in-game and almost 80% of the people interviewed seemed to think that they were better off in-game because they have better friends, better relationships. Of course you have better relationships in-game-if you're spending the best part of your day (in some cases 18 hours a day) and life online, the "real" people in your life, the ones you never see, aren't exactly going to be rushing to spend time with you now are they?
It was terrifying to watch because people had deluded themselves into thinking they were happy like this, like it didn't matter that they had gained 50 pounds, peed in colddrink bottles and lost their jobs, because their supposed online "friends" accepted them for who they are.

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RICA follow up- did they steal my details?

Posted by Bianca212
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on Wednesday, 24 February 2010
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A while back I wrote how I suspected that my details had been passed on to companies following the RICA process. I did a lot of research, trawling the web and randomly quizzing everyone I know who has RICA'd and I still do not have a conclusive answer. Most people I have spoken to say they haven't had problems. But the fact remains-following the RICA process, I have received more calls than usual. Thankfully, the MTN ones that sound like they're being made in a barnyard have stopped. perhaps they have honoured my request that they go and screw themselves.

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Apple's $500 sanitary towel

Posted by Bianca212
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on Thursday, 28 January 2010
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So the world’s worst kept secret was finally unveiled this week, and lo and behold, they named it after a sanitary towel. The biggest surprise was not that it was unveiled- its been talked about for ages, but what they called it. Doesn’t say much about what Apple thinks about their tablet invention. I quite liked Islate-one of the names that was being bandied about a bit, but I guess, as was pointed out- Islate looks remarkably like “is late” which, if you think about it, kind of relates to female fertility too…

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