Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where did all those damn Rain Spiders come from...?

Growing up in the 80's and 90's, on the more fashionable "Upper East Side" of Johannesburg (i.e. the East Rand ;), I was always one who would rather run away from little spiders, than man up to them and either remove or "deactivate" them...

Occasionally I would be forced to face up to my sissy boy fears, and I would then spend long periods of time trying to coax the tiny little critters out of my house, while maintaining a healthy distance between myself and the creatures in question, all the while clocking up severely high blood pressure and a heartbeat somewhere over 200 I would guess...

That was still ok - at the end of each ordeal the result would be a relocated 8-legged intruder, and in some sad and extraordinary circumstances, an ex-8-legged intruder.

Then one fine evening, sometime during my late teens as I recall (that would be in the late 90's), one of my family members spotted something crawling up a curtain that none of us had ever seen before...
Now we all know how huge spiders can get in places like the Amazon, or somewhere in Australia where they eat birds and span dinner plates, but here in Johannesburg, things had always been a bit less gargantuan on the arachnid front...
But to go from the good old Daddy Long Legs, to THIS... is just downright unacceptable and wrong...:

Spotted in Parktown a few weeks back... nice.

Just when did it become ok for all the rain spiders to emerge from some unseen spider lair and take over our homes?
Animal lovers, you guys rock and I love animals too, but this is just taking it all too far.

Every week I hear stories from friends and colleagues who have happened upon these "harmless" creatures in their homes or offices, and I have to wonder why I never saw or heard anything about them when I was growing up.
Yes, I know that they are not poisonous, but that is besides the point. They are frikkin' scary. End of story.

The usual retort somewhere here goes likes this:

"Oh but now Parktown Prawns - THOSE are scary and nasty and horrible!!"

Um, ok. A red cricket. Is that all you have?
Let's have them face off and see who wins... and the results are in:

Rain Spider 1000 - 0 Parktown Prawn. 

Need I say more?
Comments anyone? 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Incredible HD footage of Planet Earth - Time Lapse View taken from the International Space Station...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Who the hell is Spencer Dale anyway?

If you are reading this, then chances are that you have an email account. I mean who doesn't these days?

Having an email account then, also means that you have to defend yourself against the constant barrage of dodgy emails, being sent from apparently credible and legitimate sounding humans, who magically offer you large sums of hard cash!
Wow! Easy money!

Umm... no. It's not really that easy to make money now is it.

So when a techie like myself sees these dodgy emails arriving in my inbox, I generally just delete them without even giving it a second thought.
If however, I feel like a bit of light comic relief, I sometimes choose to open up these emails to find out a bit more... :)
Provided, that is, that I am 100% sure that there is no security threat attached to the email (a virus, worm etc.).

Reading through some of the drivel that these hopeless beings conjur up, I often pick up interesting sounding names in the copy.
Take these gems for example - surely nobody would hesitate to accept $5.5 Trillion from humans with such aristocratic sounding names?:

- Mr Spencer Dale (who in real life, actually happens to be Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Bank of England)
- Mr Cargill John
- Mr Charles Mills
- Dr Edward Fox
- Dr John Patrick
- Mrs Mercy Martins
- Dr Alex Cole
- Mr David Terry

Ok I'm bored. That's enough... but you get the point. The idea is to try and rope some unsuspecting individual in, who may actually buy this nonsense.
I mean does anybody fall for this anymore? 

It's kinda funny when you think about the amount of effort these scammers go to, merely to create pure trash, but then again it's damn annoying when they don't stop sending you the same junk over and over and over again.

So if you are an email scammer reading this (if you can actually read, that is), then here's a tip:- why not offer an opt-out service to those of us who just 'aint buying what you are selling (and we all know just what a great selling job you are doing ;)
Maybe in the next scam mailer that you send out, just put a little "Unsubscribe" hyperlink at the bottom of your mail somewhere.
That way you can stop wasting our time and yours, and focus on people who may actually think that your higher grade command of English, gargantuan IQ scores, and your truly remarkable sales pitch, are anything more than dog turd.

I am now watching my Inbox eagery, to see if email scammers out there actually take my good advice and implement this genuinely great and wonderful idea, which will go a long way to saving us all a few grey hairs.
This way, scammers get to keep doing what they love so dearly (i.e. scamming), and us honest, hard working, upright members of society get less junk mail.

It's a win-win for everybody.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An easier way to manage your Blogs using Scribefire... Now let's see if it actually works :)

So I got stuck into the Chrome Web Store today when I had a few spare minutes on hand.

This is a great place if you are looking for add-ons, tweaks and plugins for Chrome - but you could literally spend days browsing all of the apps available for Chrome. From games, to productivity apps, to music and imaging apps - the selection is just crazy.

One of the apps that immediately grabbed my attention was Scribefire.
Scribefire plugs into Chrome and allows you to manage all of your Blogs from within a single browser window. From here you can easily pull up and edit older posts, create new ones, schedule publishing times, create new templates and much more.

Even cooler, Scribefire now includes Zemanta integration - Zemanta is a content enriching tool that suggests images, news articles, links and other external content based on keywords within your current post.

Of course I had to try it out, so here I am, typing up this post in Scribefire. Let's see how it comes out when I click on "Publish"... :)
More feedback to follow... 

Monday, November 7, 2011

The perfect Christmas gift - never run out of power again :)

How many times have you come to the middle of a busy workday, only to discover that your cellphone is running on empty?
Given that we tend to rely on our cellphones so much these days, it can be rather inconvenient to be left with a dead cellphone, especially if your business depends on it.

Enter the PowerMonkey:

Granted, the name is interesting, but so is what the PowerMonkey does - it serves as a portable charger for a host of mobile devices, from iPhones, to a wide range of other smartphones, to iPods, iPads and much more.
That means that you charge it up before you go, and it will provide up to 2 full charges for your device (depending on what the device is, and how much power it requires).

In the box you will find:

- 1 x Powermonkey Classic Charging unit;
- 1 x Universal mains charger (to charge the Powermonkey) - it includes interchangeable heads for use all over the world;
- 1 x retractable USB cable to charge the Powermonkey from a USB port
- a variety of adaptors to charge a range of devices (Mini USB, Micro USB, iPod / iPad / iPhone, Samsung G600, LG Chocolate, Sony Ericsson etc.)

It is always a good idea to carry a charger with you when on the go, but the Powermonkey Classic is a great emergency back up in case you ever find yourself with a flat battery.
Email us now, or fill out our contact form to arrange these awesome little gadgets as Christmas gifts - now going for R 475 each.

There are also a number of other cool chargers in the range - please get in touch with us for further info.

Terms & Conditions:

All orders strictly COD;
Above pricing is subject to stock availability;
Product specifications may be subject to change without notice;
Please allow 4-6 working days for delivery;
Nybbles and Bytes cc is not a VAT vendor;
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Italy's Cinque Terre devastated by flooding

Several years ago, in 2006 to be precise, I was lucky enough to visit a part of Italy along the Ligurian coast, called the "Cinque Terre" - a breathtaking piece of the Italian Riviera where the land meets the sea in quite a dramatic way:

"Cinque Terre" is Italian for "five lands" - a reference to the 5 quaint seaside towns that appear to defy gravity as they cling to the hillsides here - Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

Unfortunately last week, gravity, and several hundred tons of mud, got the better of this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site, as 20 inches of torrential rain fell in just a few hours, flooding streets and swamping the towns with tons of debris and mud.
The devastation was severe, with several lives lost, many more missing, and the 2 worst affected towns being Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza.
Photos such as this one show the volume of water that ploughed through the towns:

It's a national tragedy for Italy, and I hope that the Italian authorities get the necessary aid in quickly, so that this beautiful little slice of the world can get back onto its feet quickly.

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