Tech

Goodbye Leonard Nimoy, hello Mr Spock!

When Leonard Nimoy, chiefly known as Mr Spock in Star Trek, one of the most famous and long-running television sci-fi series, created by Gene Roddenberry, died recently at the age of 83, millions of Trekkies, including myself, felt a huge sense of loss. This despite the fact that very few Trekkies ever knew Nimoy in…

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Mum and the stolen iPhone – iRest my case

(Continued from here) What I know is this: on January 12 2015 my friend the Diplomat left his iPhone unattended for five minutes, someone nicked the phone and a week later the “new owner” replaced the phone’s cloud data with his own phone book. Whoever is now in the possession of the phone has a…

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Mum and the stolen iPhone

Over the weekend I met up with my friend the Diplomat and he presented me with an opportunity that I could not resist. We had not chatted since December when he spent his holidays in Cape Town and it was time to catch up. Although his time in the Mother city delivered on all the…

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Can artificial intelligence be controlled beyond a certain point?

In a recent TIME magazine (December 29, 2014, p20), there’s a short article by futurologist and outspoken techno-optimist Ray Kurzweil titled “Don’t fear Artificial Intelligence” (AI). He cites two highly creative individuals – Stephen Hawking and South-African born Elon Musk – as representatives of “the pessimistic view” before putting forward his own optimistic argument regarding…

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A day on WhatsApp

“Get on WhatsApp!” they told me. “It’s FREE!” they said. So I caved. Not one to miss out on a freebie I headed down to the nearest Vodacom shop to connect my BlackBerry to the internet for R59 a month to get WhatsApp for “free”. BIS the shop girl called it. You’re damn right it’s…

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The business of cyberwar

Most “connected” people will probably have noticed the symptoms of what is really a war going on right under our noses, even if one does not really put two and two together as far as the bellicose nature of these symptoms goes. I am not only talking about what ends up, mostly, in our spam…

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Who’s afraid of the cybermob?

Nothing quite affords anonymity like the internet does. One may choose to be anonymous there, and by its very nature you already are: a minute part of an enormous data set, where our merged identities form a gigantic collective, infinitesimal flashes of electricity, among trillions of others, in a remote server farm far, far away….

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Congratulations ice bucket people, we’ve raised $90m for animal testing!

Yaaaaay, ice bucket challenge! I’m totes throwing ice cold water over myself right now to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. I choose you, Pikachu, as the next one to do it! Yaaaay! And so the craze…

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‘Nature’s Confession’ – climate fiction everybody should read

Award-winning novelist JL Morin’s latest novel, Nature’s Confession (Harvard Square Editions, 2014/15), is a newcomer to the stable of the newly named genre (or perhaps sub-genre) of cli-fi (climate fiction, associated with sci-fi) novels, and is a rollercoaster of a story that valorises creativity and imagination in the face of the imponderable climate catastrophe looming…

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Human extinction? It’s not just science fiction

At a recent science fiction conference (thematically called “East/West SF”), arranged under the auspices of the “Brain Korea” project by Professor Ilgu Kim of Hannam University, Daejeon, Korea (about an hour by high-speed train from Seoul), a number of excellent papers were presented, none more so than the one by American Peter Paik, titled: “Science…

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