Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sep Blatter offers an apology for the ref errors...

It seems that Mr Blatter has offered an apology regarding the blatant reffing errors that we have seen in recent World Cup matches... not that it offers much consolation to the teams who were on the receiving end...!

In addition he mentions that the introduction of goal-line technology would be discussed at a meeing next month in Cardiff... holding thumbs!!

Check it out:


The FIFA debate continues...

Between radio, TV, people around me and media in general, one of the main topics that is currently on tongue-tips seems to be the errors and controversial decisions that the FIFA refs are making during this soccer world cup.

Yup, you know all about it by now - I was going to put up the FIFA logo here but I dare not, for fear of persecution √† la Kulula...!

The bottom line is that there have been some shocker decisions in games played during this world cup - sure it's nothing new. Refs are human, and they miss things, or they get it wrong sometimes.
Soccer aficionados will be quick to point out that "it has always been like that",
or "that's just the way the game is"...

Come on - if "that's just the way the game is", then why bother even watching?
Why bother supporting a sport which is clearly unfair?
The other argument is that the use of technology in the game to assist refs "would not stay true to the game..." or some other generic bull.
Honestly, this is the frikkin FIFA WORLD CUP guys! This is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet and FIFA can't pull their finger out to make the sport credible?

Here's a thought - FIFA should use a panel of TV-refs, and for every suspected goal scored, the ref gets a message in his earpiece - goal / no goal. End of story.
Forget fouls, penalties and the like - purely for goals. At the end of the day goals are probably the most controversial point here - need I even mention the Germany vs. England game this weekend...? :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Italy vs. Slovakia in pictures... thoughts on the match?

So Italy is on their way home after a dismal performance at the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

All in all Italy did not put on the much-anticipated performance of the World Champion Azzurri team that took the trophy in 2006.
They did not really shape up in the first half, and only kicked into gear once they were 2-0 down!
We had some superb seats, and had the privilege of being positioned right behind the Italian bench - a great spot from which to watch a nervously-pacing Buffon... :)

Granted, again - Italy did not play well and did not really deserve to go through. Even so, a fair dig must be made at the Slovakia keeper, who messed around a great deal (that's putting it nicely) during the second half especially.
From rolling on the ground for no apparent reason (with an impatient ref hovering above him, ordering him up), to frolicking around in the corner of the net after the second Italian goal, to generally wasting huge wads of time (yes yes I know that this is just "part of the game"), from my perspective at least, his performance was decidedly un-sporting and unprofessional.
I have seen replays of the alleged "punch in the face" in the Slovakian goals - sure the punch did not look quite strong enough to floor the Italian player, but watching the game live from the sidelines, you could sense that the goalie was just doing his best to stuff around, for want of a more insulting term to use.

Again, soccer lovers out there will be quick to point out that all of this is, and always has been a part of the game of soccer, but it sure is a bitter pill to have to swallow when your team are on the receiving end.
So it's Buon Viaggio to the Azzurri, and congratulations to Slovakia :)

Here are a few snaps I took while at the action-packed game:
Early birds... the place was empty when we got there :)

Canavarro and the boys checking out the pitch before the game.

Singing their songs...

Marchetti warming up, not that it did him any good...

Buffon looking confident for his team... before the game that is!

Pirlo on the field before the game.

Lippi offers up some advice to Fabio Quagliarella at half time.

The eyes say it all... the Italian bench was a picture of despair towards the end of the game.

Too little, too late, as Pirlo warms up to try and salvage the game for the Azzurri...

Buffon leaning heavily on the drinks bin as he watches his boys go down.

2nd-Half action.

Last minute action...

It's almost over as Buffon and Gatusso share a few (nervous) words...

Pointing into the air 'aint gonna change nothing Mr. Gatusso!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Even the Google Streetview guy is blowing a Vuvuzela...!

By now it is old takkie that Google Streetview is active in JHB and elsewhere in South Africa (and the world of course).

Google are always on top of their game, and in the spirit of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, their little guy who you drag around in Streetview is even blowing a red Vuvuzela!

Check it out - bottom right of the picture:

Monday, June 21, 2010

I got me a Flag Tag!

You got a what? A Flag Tag - that's what!

It's that hovering South African flag that floats up at the top left of my blog - it just helps to "spread the feva!", as they say on www.flagtag.co.za. :)

Head on over there to get your own Flag Tag now - you can choose a Flag Tag for any of the countries competing in the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. 

Super cool!

Should we just believe everything we get in our Inbox...? Do you...?

Email is fantastic.
It makes messaging so darn simple. Keeping in touch with customers, family, friends and the world in general is really a breeze thanks to good old email.

The downside, of course is that we as human beings like to buy into almost anything that we read. Especially if we received it in an email...
"Sure it came in my email - so it must be true!"...

Fact is, most of the time those outrageous crazed stories are actually a load of lard (that's pig fat by the way).
I have no idea where some of the stories actually start - who in the world thought up some of this stuff?

The latest one I picked up is the one about the "widely unknown" SAPS law, whereby a woman cannot be arrested between 6PM and 6AM, unless she is arrested by a woman officer and taken to an all-woman police station... SERIOUSLY??

An all-woman police station? Do such things even exist?
The reason that this law is so "widely unknown" is because IT DOESN"T EXIST.
Want proof?
This is what the SAPS themselves have to say about it:

So did you buy into this one? Imagine for a second that it is true:

The cops arrive at a crime scene at 03:00 a.m. - let's say a robbery for arguments sake.
Ah but alas, the perpetrators are all women and the cops are all men!! OH NO!!
The subsequent cop-criminal negotiations could go something like this:

COPS (shouting): "Come out with your hands up! You are all under arrest for armed robbery!"

DANGEROUS FEMALES: "Sorry, no can do! We are ladies and we know our rights. Please stand down and let us escape."

COPS (whispering to each other): "Damn, we should have brought Sergeant Nomsa with us!"

COPS (shouting): "Umm, ok then... can you guys hang around until 06:00a.m. maybe? You haven't got anywhere to be now have you...?"


Yup - all they will get is a silent reply because by now of course the dangerous ladies are long gone.
So next time you receive an email which claims to show a giant clam devouring an entire cargo ship in Durban Harbour (or some other absurd phenomenon)... just stop for a second and check it out properly before forwarding it onto every single person in your address book.

I usually head on over to www.snopes.com... it is a wealth of eye-opening and myth-debunking!

Scam mails are now targeting FNB...

I had a whackload of posts up previously about email scams going around in an attempt to defraud ABSA and Nedbank customers.
Back then I outlined a few ways to identify suspected "phishing" email that you receive.

Take a look at the latest attempt to defraud FNB customers - it's pretty weak but I am sure it may still fool a few unsuspecting customers...:
As discussed in previous posts, this one contains a few dead giveaway clues as to the decidedly unsavoury intentions behind it:

1. The mail comes from "FNB NATIONAL"... ummm hello scammers - who is FNB NATIONAL? The bank is called FNB. Get with the program.
2. Check out this cool grammar: "...Our Internet Banking is in the process of Implementing System Upgrade...". Would love to know where these guys learnt English.
3. How about this one: "...and interact with certain Pages and elements regard our Internet Banking...". Nice. The work of a genius no doubt.
4. ...and the nail in the coffin - the embedded link goes to: http://www.dojindo.com/home//administrator/components/com_virtuemart/fataiakande/index.htm - clearly not a legitimate FNB site, and one which Firefox dismisses as being dodgy anyway.

So if you have been following my posts about this subject, you should know the guidelines about staying safe when dealing with these dodgies - stick to it and don't let your guard down.

Watch how the ref "asks" Luis Fabiano if he handled the ball in last night's game...!

Soccer City was abuzz last night in the match between Brazil and Ivory Coast, and I was very lucky to have been there.
Watching Brazil play is always a treat, but I watched a Youtube video this morning which shows the ref smiling and actually asking Luis Fabiano if he handled the ball in order to score his goal...(after the goal had been awarded)!

This kinda makes you wonder what the heck is going on?
The ref must have at least suspected that there was a handball, if he actually took the time to jokingly ask Luis Fabiano if a handball was involved...?

Don't get me wrong - Brazil were the better team by far and the totally deserved to win, but incidents like this cast an interesting light on the referees and linesmen who actually control the game.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Inside Soccer City @ Brazil vs. Ivory Coast...! Live :)

So I got myself a lucky free ticket to the Brazil vs Ivory Coast game at Soccer City tonight, how cool is that?
We are here like an hour and a half early, the place is buzzing and I was amazed how painless it was to get here!
Park and ride from Constitution Hill was easy, as the Rea Vaya Bus got us here in about 20 minutes.

Once inside the place, the queues for food and drink were easy, toilets are in abundance and overall it is just flippin amazing!

I am posting from my cellphone so I hope the attached photo comes out ok!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Does Google Chrome sometimes resist your efforts to Paste text...?

A common problem I come across in Google Chrome (which is a sterlingly good browser), is that it often disallows the pasting of text into a textbox on a site that is being displayed.
For example, if you are using Chrome to access a webmail facility like Gmail, Hotmail etc., and you want to paste something into the body of an email, you may find that Chrome simply refuses to paste anything at all.

I guess this must relate back to a security setting, which quite honestly I have not taken the time to research fully.

Instead, I discovered a nifty workaround to the problem - simply use "CTRL + SHIFT + V" instead of the conventional "CTRL + V" - this allows you to paste without any text formatting, and Chrome does not seem to mind one little bit :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The coolest online 2010 World Cup Calendar...

Click the link below - someone with a serious amount of time put this gem together to follow all the games, teams, venues and dates in the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup:


Monday, June 14, 2010

Did you know that you can collect your World Cup tickets at OR Tambo International Airport...?

I was cringing at the prospect of heading into Sandon this week to collect my World Cup tickets... Apparently the queues there have been the stuff of nightmares.

Then yesterday I heard a useful tip, that there is an un-documented FIFA ticket collection point at the OR Tambo International Airport!
Not entirely convinced, I called the airport last night and they confirmed that this is in fact true.

So I headed over to the airport this morning, and in all of about 10 minutes I was on my way out, smile on face and tickets in hand!
So if you want to save yourself a bit of "Sandton stress", head to OR Tambo International Airport and go to International Arrivals (the huge circular area with the giant soccer ball hanging overhead).
Then get in the lift and go up to level 2. As you exit the lift, you will see the FIFA ticketing signs on the opposite side of the level.
If you purchased your tickets with a credit card, or if you have the barcoded card which came with the application form, all you have to do is scan your card and your tickets are printed straight away.

Now aren't you glad you read this before you wasted a day queueing in Sandton? :)

Google Streetview is alive and well in Johannesburg... even on cellphones!

Almost everyone has heard about Google Streetview by now - and if you haven't, it is Google's way of peeping into backyards all over the world :)
Basically Google sent out a whole lot of Google vehicles with special 360-degree roof-mounted cameras, to take photos of roads and highways in various areas of the world. 
As far as I know they started off in the USA of course, and then moved onto Europe.

More recently, and in time for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, Google invaded South Africa with the result that most of Johannesburg is now available to view using Google Maps.
I tried out the Google Maps mobile app, and the results were spectacular. 
No matter which road I chose in JHB, whether a major highway or a tiny back road, Streetview popped up in all it's glory, revealing Johannesburgers going about their daily lives while Google stealthily went about their way, imaging every piece of road in the city that they could access.

Interestingly, all vehicle number plates are blurred out, as is all vehicle branding, as far I could see anyway.

In the spirit of the World Cup, I took these cellphone screenshots of Google spying on Soccer City...

...and these near OR Tambo International Airport (that's the new Gautrain track overhead).

Did you notice the shadow in the last pic? It clearly shows the upright camera atop the Google vehicle.
Can you imagine the amount of work / logistics / effort that went into this? 

Google just continues to amaze... what's next I wonder?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Just in case you didn't get to see Sandton today at 12:00...

It was a crazy, crazy day today in Jo'burg... and that is one MOERSE understatement :) (if you are not sure what "MOERSE" means, click here to find out :))

12:00 today heralded the arrival of an absolute flood of noise, as the whole city gorged itself on a Vuvuzela orgy... for want of a better description!
No matter where you were, Vuvu's were audible all round - isn't it just awesome??

Sandton, I am told (for I was too faint-of-heart to brave it :)) was insane, and if you needed to get anywhere near Sandton today, it was simply not going to happen.
The cause of the all the commotion of course, was a Bafana Bafana street parade, attracting thousands of loyal supporters who wanted to show their dedication to the national team.

In case you have not already seen the many photos doing the rounds, check these out:

Bafana Bafana are to face Mexico in the opening game of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup this Friday, at 16:00 (GMT +2).
The game will be played at Soccer City in Soweto, Johannesburg.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gautrain gets going from tomorrow!!

Along with the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, the Gautrain too, is finally here.

After many years of construction, highway diversions, roadworks, traffic disruptions but most of all, blood, sweat and tears, the Gautrain is about to become a reality in the lives of those who commute in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria.
As of tomorrow morning, you can catch a ride on the Gautrain from OR Tambo International Airport to Sandton, for R100... now is that affordable?

Actually, I cannot really say - there are more than enough other blogs, sites and news sites that seem to think that this is an OUTRAGEOUS price to pay and that London's tube fare is cheaper and blah blah blah fishpaste whatever...

So I won't lengthen that debate here, but rather I will say WELL DONE to all the men and women who have made this awesome project a reality.
Doom-mongers, pessimists, death-predictors and negative-heads, you can all say whatever you like about the Gautrain - a lot of people seemed to suddenly develop a lot of very important opinions around the Gautrain in recent weeks and months.
Say what you like - it's still an amazing feat that has been achieved here, and in years to come the Gautrain will become a huge asset for Johannesburg and Pretoria.
It is way overdue and I don't think I am alone in believing that it's benefits will far outweigh anything that the critics can throw at it.

I can't wait to catch a ride on it!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

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