The simmering war between Apple and Adobe has exploded into the open with the release of an in-house letter by Steve Jobs, attacking Flash. According to Jobs, “We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now, We have never seen it.” Read more.
Archive for April, 2010
Just when you thought it was impossible to squeeze any further laughs from the Hitler video on Youtube . . . The original film’s producers demand that all clips be removed and Hitler reacts! Not only is this clip really funny - in my opinion, it rivals the classic Hitler clip on Renaldo’s departure from Manchester United – but it makes very insightful comments on the implications and politics of such remixing. Does a remixed clip devalue the original film or (as Hitler asserts) does it add value. Who would have known about the original German film if it hadn’t been popularised so massively by YouTube? Does this kind of remixing constitute a parody and should it thus be protected under American freedom of speech laws? Will the YouTube audience react to this kind of legal strong-arming by the owners of the copyrighted material or will they just return to watching the usual carnival of user-generated trivia such as dogs on skateboards and cats?
What is it about these robot inventors? Are they peculiar to rural backwaters?
Described as a "Chinese tinkerer turned robot maker" by NBC, for the last 20 years Wu Yu Lu has been neglecting his farming and collecting what his wife scornfully calls "bits and pieces" – scraps of recycled metal, wire, screws, nails, and secondhand batteries in order to build robots, lots and lots of robots.
An excellent article by Howard French in The Atlantic meditates on the recent burst of Chinese infra-structural investment in Africa while taking the old (Chinese-built) railway from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia:
All across the continent, Chinese companies are signing deals that dwarf the old railroad project. The most heavily reported involve oil production; since the turn of the millennium, Chinese companies have muscled in on lucrative oil markets in places like Angola, Nigeria, Algeria, and Sudan. But oil is neither the largest nor the fastest-growing part of the story. Chinese firms are striking giant mining deals in places like Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and building what is being touted as the world’s largest iron mine in Gabon. They are prospecting for land on which to build huge agribusinesses. And to get these minerals and crops to market, they are building major new ports and thousands of miles of highway.
The railway journey provides an interesting perspective for his meditation. Built in the early 1970s as a Chinese ripost to the US-Soviet competition over Africa, it cost almost $500 million and was the 3rd biggest infrastructure project in Africa at the time. But now, the line is decrepit and unreliable; suffering from decades of poor maintenance and underfunding. (According to French, the line only has 300 of the 2000 wagons that it needs to operate properly. Planners envisaged running 17 trains a day on the line; but by 1978 only two were running.Now there is just one that frequently breaks down on route because of spares shortages.)
French discovers that the new wave of Chinese investment is another attempt to open up access to the heart of the African continent. In a strange way, their ambition this time seems to echo the dream of the arch-Imperialist, Cecil John Rhodes with his goal of linking Capt to Cairo with a continental rail connection. However, the current Chinese strategy seem to be to “break up the north-south flow of minerals, to build east-west lines that will allow them to bypass South Africa”, a plan that recalls the schemes of Germany before WW1 with their goal of a “Mittelafrika, stitched together by railways stretching from Dar es Salaam to the Atlantic Ocean.” Unlike the Germans, however, the Chinese have already made real progress on this dream by reconstructing the Benguela railroad in Angola and starting “a vast new rail-and-road network to be built in Congo, Zambia, and other peripheral countries.”
This is a reblog from White Africans AfriGadget page.
"Sam Todo, a student in Togo, creates a working robot out of old TV parts and other used electronics."
If the embedded you tube does not load – you can visit it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPIq4LbUODk