Friday, 31 July 2009

AmaRadio - Listen and record South African radio stations

AmaRadioAmaRadio is a small program which you can use to listen to and record live audio feeds from South African radio stations.

Many of the online radio stations only provide streams for Windows Media Player so this is a nice alternative. Also, if you use AmaRadio, you don't have to bother looking for your preferred SA radio station, since it's all incorporated into the software anyway.

You also have the option to record the live radio stream you're listening to - the recording will automatically be converted into MP3 format.

Here's a list of the SA radio stations you can currently listen to, using AmaRadio.

Download AmaRadio Read more on "AmaRadio - Listen and record South African radio stations"!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

SEACOM is live!

SEACOM Africa mapThe 17000km SEACOM fibre-optic undersea cable finally went live today, providing south and east Africa with 1.28Tbps international bandwidth.

South Africa's deprived broadband community has waited for this day for quite some time, considering that the only other undersea cable linking us to the rest of the world is the Telkom owned SAT-3/SAFE cable with a much smaller bandwidth capacity.

Planned undersea cables servicing the African continent

The confirmed cables due to serve West, East and Southern Africa are:

1. SEACOM, East and Southern Africa, 1.28Tbps – 23 July 2009
2. GLO-1, West Africa, 640Gbps, ready for operations, 2009
3. TEAMS, East and Southern Africa, 120Gbps – Due September 2009
4. EASSy East and Southern Africa, 1Tbps – Due June 2010
5. MainOne, West Africa, 1.92Tbps, due 2010
6. WACS, West and Southern Africa, 3.8Tbps, Due 2011

Over the next three years, should all these fibre-optic submarine projects be delivered, the international bandwidth through undersea cables to Africa will increase to an incredible 12.4Tbps.

This increased international bandwidth will ensure a more competitive environment and undoubtedly lead to more affordable broadband prices for consumers.

Related links
SEACOM goes live - SEACOM
Seacom promises to unlock Africa's Internet potential - IOL
Seacom to boost capacity, but prices won't drop overnight - Engineering News Read more on "SEACOM is live!"!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Bushmans Kloof voted world's best hotel and Cape Town second best city

Bushmans Kloof was voted the no.1 hotel in the world, in the 2009 US Travel + Leisure Best Awards survey. The results were announced on the american TV network NBC's Today Show on Friday.

Dining at Bushmans Kloof

Bushmans Kloof wilderness retreatBushmans Kloof is a five-star wilderness retreat at the foot of the Cederberg Mountains, about 270km north of Cape Town. It's also a sanctuary to several endangered species as well as host to over 130 Bushman rock art sites.

African lion (photographer Chris Johns)South Africa's presence in the top 15 of the World's Best Hotels for 2009 is quite evident with the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve placed third, Singita Sabi Sand sixth and The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa 15th.

Cape Town voted second best city in the world

In the 14th annual World's Top Cities poll, Cape Town was voted no.2! Cape Town has consistently featured in the top 10 of most travel destination polls for a number of years.

Camps Bay

Apart from the already mentioned Twelve Apostles luxury hotel in Camps Bay, the Cape Grace Hotel placed fourth in the Top 5 City Hotels in Africa and the Middle East category. Incidentally, the UK Telegraph also recently voted Cape Town their Favourite Foreign City.

Cape Town, also known as the Mother City, is by the far the most popular destination in South Africa due to it's scenic beauty and tourism industry. These sort of international accolades definitely helps in promoting Cape Town's readiness for hosting the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

Guess who's proudly Capetonian!

Related links
US Travel + Leisure magazine - 2009 Best Awards survey
Image sources - Bushmans Kloof, Chris Johns Read more on "Bushmans Kloof voted world's best hotel and Cape Town second best city"!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Floods in Western Cape - photos

The Western Cape was on the receiving end of heavy rainfalls on Sunday which caused severe flooding in some areas. In Cape Town it was the second heaviest rainfall measured for a 24-hour period, in 52 years.

Several people were forced from their homes and informal settlements were affected most. The southern suburbs of Cape Town, as well as Camps Bay, Strand/Somerset West and Grabouw in the Overberg district were the worst affected areas. Most of the heavy rain has dissipated by now but the cold temperatures remain. It's nippy indeed!

Here's a few pics of the flooded areas

Slow traffic on M5 highway in Cape Town
Slow traffic on M5 highway in Cape Town

Camps Bay's beach road
Camps Bay's beach road

Road in Camps Bay
Road in Camps Bay

Somerset West main road - KFC
Somerset West main road - KFC

Store in Somerset West main road
Store in Somerset West main road

Jet ski

This pic was taken a few years ago in Camps Bay's beach road!
This pic was taken a few years ago in Camps Bay's beach ROAD!

Photos via IOL, Die Burger, 2oceansvibe and Jeremy Nell Read more on "Floods in Western Cape - photos"!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Currie Cup off to a good start

Currie CupThe South African domestic rugby competition, the Currie Cup, kicked off this weekend. There were two upsets already; the Griquas beat the more fancied Free State Cheetahs (18 - 28), Western Province (WP) handed the Sharks (2008 champions) a lesson (29 - 15) and the Blue Bulls narrowly beat the Lions (19 - 13).

Jean de Villiers - WP captainLike a lot of South African kids I've played rugby competitively throughout my school years and enjoyed every second of it. The camaraderie in rugby union is unique and my support for the sport came naturally. I've been an avid WP supporter since childhood, having grown up in Cape Town (WP's home base). I was a season ticket holder at Newlands rugby stadium from around age 10 to my early 30's, therefore having seen hundreds of first class provincial rugby matches and numerous Springbok tests. Tradition is important in WP rugby with the team and stadium retaining it's original name throughout the years while other teams around the country have changed completely.

Newlands rugby stadiumThe Currie Cup started in 1889 with Western Province being the most successful team in the competition so far with 32 wins (4 shared), leading their archrival the Blue Bulls (formerly Northern Transvaal) with 22 wins (4 shared).

PROOOOOOOVINCE! Read more on "Currie Cup off to a good start"!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Federer - Best tennis player of all time

Roger FedererRoger Federer broke Pete Sampras' record today when he won his 15th Grand Slam title by beating american Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14. This is a phenominal achievement considering Federer is only 27 years old. He could therefore quite possibly extend this record even further in the future. His biggest rival is the spaniard, Rafael Nadal, who pulled out of this year's Wimbledon tournament.

It was the longest men's Grand Slam final in history with 77 games played. It was also the longest fifth set in a men's Grand Slam final in history (30 games). Federer server a career high of 50 aces in the match.

Although Federer was my favourite to win it, you have to feel sorry for Roddick; he has never won at Wimbledon but has reached the final three times, losing to Federer every time.

Federer was born in Switzerland and speaks German, French and English fluently. His father is Swiss and his mother is... South African! He's married to Mirka, a former tennis player from Slovakia who was eight months pregnant at courtside, while watching him play in the final. Luckily her water didn't break! Read more on "Federer - Best tennis player of all time"!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Changes to Labels in GMail

Changes to Labels in GMail
Image source: Google's GMail Blog

GMail announced a few changes today regarding the functionality of Labels. When GMail was released, it opted for a Labels approach instead of Folders, therefore moving away from other traditional email software in how they treated archiving of email messages. I'm an avid GMail user and think their approach to labelling emails instead of moving them to Folders, is unique and logical.

However, GMail has indicated that a lot of their users still try to use Labels as if it's Folders and have decided to make a few changes to accommodate both approaches:
  1. New location for Labels - Labels will now be grouped with your standard labels like Inbox and Drafts.

  2. Label display - You can now control whether a Label must be displayed or not. If you have a lot of labels, this can come in handy; especially if you have labels you rarely use.

  3. Drag and drop - You can now drag messages on to labels, and labels on to messages (similar to the behaviour of moving messages to Folders in other email software)
More information on these changes in GMail Read more on "Changes to Labels in GMail"!
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