Tech

Florence, Siena and the ‘space of flows’

We are in Florence for a conference, in what is to my mind the most enchanting part of Italy, namely Tuscany. Because I have always been interested in art and architecture, and in principle we don’t take taxis, but walk everywhere we go, we have already seen the most beautiful buildings and urban landscapes, framed…

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‘It’s time to talk about what’s next’

By Monica Davies If you’ve followed the fight against climate change, in the last year especially, you’ll have noticed voices starting to be raised about things outside climate change — “without racial [or gender or food or economic] justice, there is no climate justice” is the most common one, and it’s entirely true. The problems…

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A ‘cyborg’ future?

When Donna Haraway published her famous (or notorious, some would say) “Cyborg Manifesto” in 1985, later included her book Simians, Cyborgs, and Women (1991), not to mention its many inclusions in various anthologies, she probably could not foresee its incredible history of influence. (For a condensed version of this, see David Bell’s Cyberculture Theorists: Manuel…

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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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