American tech companies are increasingly wary of a growing movement to hand control of the Internet over to the United Nations, led by China, Russia and Arab states. They are worried that this could empower foreign governments to restrict free speech and civil rights, not to mention negatively affecting the bottom line for Silicon Valley giants including Google and Microsoft.
Owing to what is arguably one of the more bizarre printing faux pas in cartoon history, Donald Duck has found himself embroiled in a Nazi-related scandal after an old comic book story was republished in Germany, featuring the word ‘Holocaust’ instead of ‘Congratulations’.
Coffee cups bearing a pair of lacy bra-clad breasts have caused a stir at the University of Cape Town in recent days. Part of a promotional campaign by Axe deodorant, the controversial cups have prompted a number of complaints and have since been removed from the Upper Campus coffee shop where they were being distributed.
It’s taken months of research and some of America’s brightest minds to figure it out, but now it seems the end of tomato sauce frustration is nigh. A new bottle coating developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) doctoral candidate Dave Smith, together with a team of mechanical engineers and nanotechnology researchers, has ketchup flowing like milk.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe says that Zimbabwe and other African countries will never recognise gay marriage because it leads to “extinction”. Speaking at a women’s HIV/Aids conference in Harare yesterday, Mugabe, 88, stated emphatically that homosexuality goes against nature AND women’s rights. Why Mugabe – known for his anti-gay standpoint – was invited to talk at such an event is another question entirely.
A while ago a man named Arnold Prins was charged with sexual assault for forcibly fondling a woman. He was not sentenced, as the act of “fondling” has no penalty under the Sexual Offences Act. But a High Court ruling today has given the Western Cape’s National Prosecuting Authority leave to appeal the original judgment, because the act is flawed.
The South African Communist Party (SACP) has for many years publicly denounced the building of the state-of-the-art Gautrain, criticising it for being beyond the means of the average worker and for bypassing black townships. Ironically, it’s just been discovered that the party has had an indirect stake in the project from the get-go.
South Africa is going to foot the bill for salvaging the Japanese fishing vessel currently stranded on Clifton First beach, according to the SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa). The owner of the ship, which ran aground on Saturday and has since moved 25m closer to the shore, has to date refused to cover the costs of the salvage.
Only one in five people support what Julius Malema says and does. A survey among 2 000 metropolitan adults, conducted in April 2012 (before the disgraced ANC Youth League leader was expelled from the ANC), revealed that overall, Juju’s backing from the public – particularly from young people – is nothing to write home about.
Lady Gaga has been denied a permit to perform in Indonesia next month, owing to security concerns. This follows Islamic groups in the country having voiced their concerns over the pop star’s ‘vulgar’ on-stage performance style. The 30 000 people who have bought tickets to her June concert in Jakarta will be disappointed.
When Sir Martin Sorrell speaks about marketing trends, the global advertising and marketing fraternity takes note. The CEO of WPP, the world’s largest advertising and marketing services company, Sir Martin recently gave his view on the top ten trends facing marketers and ad agencies right now. South Africa falls within the region he referred to as the “Southern axis of opportunity” – a significant area of economic growth that cannot be ignored.
Eskom’s electricity generating capacity has reached record lows over the last week, with unplanned power outages reaching their highest level for the year on 3 May, and yesterday coming precariously close to that figure again. Considering winter’s only just begun, this is going to cause some major worries across the country.
The Indian government has recently formulated some big plans to re-introduce cheetahs to the wild – in India, that is. The $56 million strategy involved importing cheetahs from Namibia to a wildlife sanctuary in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Unfortunately it’s just been pointed out that African and Asiatic cheetahs are completely different.
US President Barack Obama has never fully backed gay marriage, having said for the last 18 months that his personal views on the matter have been “evolving”. However, with Vice President Joe Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan both having recently expressed unequivocal support for gay marriage, Obama’s vagueness on the issue is squarely under the spotlight at the moment.
YouTube has announced that big Hollywood stars, including Jennifer Garner and Dakota Fanning, have signed up to appear on its new online TV channel, Where It Gets Interesting (WIGS). We’ve known for a while that web TV is the future of entertainment – and a number of A-listers agree.
When you’re a student, popping out to the shops in your slippers is not a crime. In some sleepy SA beach towns, it’s positively de rigueur. But when you’re in military uniform, this is a big fat no-no. Lt-Col Ruth Ndayi has the SA Air Force up in arms about a photo taken of her wearing pink slippers to a Pretoria shopping mall, while dressed in military regalia.
An amazing array of eye-opening al-Qaeda documents, seized during the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound last year, will be made public today. The collection of thousands of files has been described as a treasure trove of information on the Islamist organization – and the single largest cache of terror material obtained at a senior level.
A South African man is being used as a bargaining tool by terrorist organisation, al-Qaeda. The 36-year-old SA national, who also has a British citizenship and whose name has not been revealed, was abducted in Mali last year by members of al-Qaeda. His freedom is now being offered, but only in exchange for Britain’s release of the militant Jordanian preacher, Abu Qatada.
Nokia is no longer the world’s biggest selling cell phone manufacturer. For the first time ever, Korean handset manufacturer Samsung has outsold Nokia in the last quarter – by an estimated 93 million mobile phone units compared with Nokia’s 83 million. It’s also predicted that Samsung has outsold the iPhone in the smartphone market in recent months.
James Murdoch has defended his actions in the News International scandal, blaming subordinates for feeding him wrong information around just how illegally the company’s flagship newspaper, News of the World, had been conducting its journalism. This emerged today during the Leveson Inquiry into press standards, which we reported on earlier.
Recent research confirms that the vast majority of South African internet users bank online, but that banks have been very slow to make use of digital channels to meet customers’ needs. A study by market research firm Columinate, which assessed consumer internet banking behaviour and satisfaction levels, suggests there is plenty of room for improvement for banks trying to connect digitally with their customers.
The ANC centenary motorcade, currently travelling through Kwa-Zulu Natal, features at least three vehicles with the same licence plate. Photos have emerged on Facebook showing multiple vehicles with identical plates – ‘ANC 100 – ZN’ – all honouring the ruling party’s jamboree year. The fact that this is probably totally illegal is not putting a dampener on anyone’s spirit.
The driver of the blue light vehicle which knocked Thomas Ferreira off his motorcycle last year will be criminally prosecuted. The case will be of particular interest to Ferreira’s family, who nursed Thomas through a coma of several weeks and a slow and costly rehabilitation following the accident.
The vast majority of active South African internet users are now very happy to buy stuff online, according to the results of a survey of the online retail market, released today. The only type of shopping we’re still not comfortable doing on the internet? Grocery shopping.
Yesterday we told you about SA yacht, The Dandelion, which had been missing at sea for days since her departure from northern Mozambique. Local and foreign authorities feared the vessel and its seven multi-national passengers had been captured by pirates in the Indian Ocean. 2oceansvibe has just received word – from the South African skipper, John Sergel himself – that the Dandelion has returned safely, and why she was held up. Click through to read.
The University of Stellenbosch has been rocked by three bomb threats in the last six weeks. The most recent incident was yesterday afternoon, with the university receiving yet another mysterious threat which required evacuation of staff and students. These cannot be making anyone in the varsity community feel very comfortable.
The search is on for a South African yacht which has gone missing somewhere in the Indian Ocean off northern Mozambique. It’s feared that pirates have taken the yacht, called the Dandelion, and its passengers captive. Two South Africans – including skipper John Sergel, from Durban – are believed to be on board, together with tourists from America, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and France.
Not even the most token of attempts was made by the ANCYL to wish President Jacob Zuma well for his 70th birthday yesterday. This was in stark contrast to the lengthy statements the league released last year to honour the birthdays of Nelson Mandela, Zuma’s deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe and ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Many of us are still really, really naughty about making phone calls and texting while driving. This despite the obviously dangerous distraction of cellphone usage behind the wheel. New reports show there has been a spike in the number of cellphone-related road accidents in South Africa recently – surprising, given how vigorously authorities are trying to clamp down on dangerous driving.
Felipe Juan Froilan, the 13-year-old grandson of the king of Spain, has learnt at a young age what it feels like to shoot yourself in the foot. (A learning which, considering he’s fifth in line to the Spanish throne, may serve him well later in his life as a state figurehead.)