Archive for November, 2005

Should I podcast?

Posted on the November 30th, 2005 under Uncategorized by

This is a rhetorical question. I have no plans of doing so in the near future. But being so awfully busy lately, I wish I could record my thoughts, have them transformed into digital text and published on my blog. But here are some random thoughts…

What happened to streaming audio? Podcasts are usually in MP3 format, which could stream as a downloads, but probably not as effective as Real Audio, etc. Having volunteered at a radio station, they had the vision of releasing audio snippets on a regular basis. Podcasting is the process, Streaming is the format. Any marriage soon?

Audio Moblogging? Mobile blogging is making ground, people would be able to send SMS, Photos, and Videos to their blogs. Any plan for sending audio. My phone πŸ™‚ has this capacity, but only for five minutes. Could this be another source for podcasting?

Remembering Mohamed Amin

Posted on the November 30th, 2005 under Uncategorized by

23 November 1996. This is the day we received the sad news that Mo Amin was killed in an airplane crash off the coast.

Do not know who Mohamed Amin is?

Mohamed Amin was a Kenyan photo-journalists whose 1984 images led to the global “We are the World Campaign”, inspired Band Aid and Live Aid to save Ethiopians from famine and starvation. Later on, he lost an arm also in Ethiopia.

Live Aid has been resurrected lately. How wonder how things would have been with Mo around – especially in the fight against HIV/AIDS

Samsung Z130 Review

Posted on the November 12th, 2005 under Uncategorized by

Yip, this is my new phone. I’m serious when I say that my Nokia 5110 was by no means dysfunctional, but the time had come to move on.

Initially I was after a Nokia 6600 based on what I’ve heard about its feature. Hardly would I have got the phone, people would probably ask when I intend to upgrade.

So in the MTN store, I noticed this Samsung Z130, and went with this one. Now it took more than two weeks for the credit checks to be done, so I wasn’t impressed with MTN here. At Vodacom, we had it done within hours (on a Saturday afternoon at that too).

Furthermore, going through some of the reviews, many people mentioned that they couldn’t get this phone to hook up to their PCs, as well as bluetooth problems – raised some questions.

After having it for a week now, I’m totally impressed. To give you the list:

  • It does connect to a PC via USB (you get the cable with the phone). I was on the verge of giving up, but it worked in the end. Some niggles now and then, but I love this feature.
  • MP3 player – with uploading your own songs – totally cool
  • Rotational View – this is totally awesome. Pity the WAP browser needs to be vertical.
  • WAP browser – has a built in smart-browser – like this, less scrolling
  • Photos and Video – built in flash, video is 3gp
  • POP3 client – yip, i get to download my email
  • 3G Phone – though I’m yet to use this feature.
  • Java for Games is nice and fast

What I don’t like:

  • No SMS – everything is MMS – so I can’t download games πŸ™
  • No Rotational view for browser
  • This is the cheapest 3G phone – so I tend to get a connection of 56kb, rather than 260kb+

I have to add, that I’m posting this blog from my laptop connected to the Internet via this phone. Now this makes it all more worthwhile. Makes me wonder how I managed to survive on the Nokia 5110. And yes, lets hope I survive the phone bill!

Ebrahim Rasool’s Eid Message

Posted on the November 12th, 2005 under Uncategorized by

I was one of the fortunate ones to attend the Eid prayers at Masjidul Quds and hear Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool give one of the most profound talks ever. In many ways, it was comparable to the ‘State of the Ummah’ speech given by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed of Malaysia.

Now the sad part is – a transcript of this speech is nowhere to be found!! The Cape Gateway (Government Portal) doesn’t feature it. Voice of the Cape had a news item on it, but I couldn’t seem to Google it. Archives as well as their internal search wasn’t too lekker (wonderful) either.

It’s more than a week later, but here are points that stood out for me:

Muslims fasted in Ramadaan and abstained from food and drink due to inner strength or Taqwa. Now Taqwa is often referred to as ‘God-consciousness’ or ‘Fear of God’. I think it’s brilliant that he brought in this idea of ‘inner strength’. Negative words are often used to describe Taqwa, but it here he actually uses positive words to describe this quality and source of morality.

The other important point he made was about ‘political gains’, and that Muslims should rise above this and implement Islam as a civilization. Using the example of the Treaty of Hudaibiya, he said that by current standards, the Holy Prophet had no ‘political gains’ of the treaty. In fact, it could have been regarded as a humiliating treaty, something His Companions noticed and were reluctant to accede to.

However, the Holy Prophet had a greater vision for the world, beyond a few humiliating clauses. Had he chose to ‘stick to his guns’, the turnout of history could have been worse. In the end, the treaty’s terms were a blessing not a curse.

The challenge that came from the talk could be said to be – Muslims must rise up to the challenge! Not through extremism, but creativity of facing the challenges that all of humanity face, not just Muslims.

He also quoted a speech made by Hewlett Packard’s (HP) CEO, Carly Fiorina, on Islamic Civilisation and its foundation for success. An extract of that speech can be found here.

Towards a New Liberation Theology – Reflections on Palestine

Posted on the November 2nd, 2005 under Uncategorized by

This Islamic Human Rights Commission conference took place in June this year, but I found the slide by key note speaker, Dr. Saied Reza Ameli, extremely informative, particularly in the way it should inform our approach to the Palestinian issue.

To quote from the slides:

  • Religion can not be neutral even if it is secular?!
    • Religion exists to save people from any deprivation and life disturbance.
    • Religion has to solve individual as well as social problems
    • It should by dynamic, otherwise it will die
  • Science can not be neutral even if it is secular – science is alive if it reduces the pain
  • Liberation theology is a response towards two important local and global nostalgias;
    • The first and the most important one is nostalgia for justice.
    • The second one is nostalgia of metaphysical values.

How would Liberation Theology work Universally and be Effective for Palestine

  • Liberation theology requires three major elements to work as a Universal Solution:
    1. Return to God
    2. Selflessness
    3. Centrality of Justice

The presentation can be downloaded from the conference website. Whilst you are on the site, dont forget to vote for your Islamophobe of the Year 2005!

Meebo – Ajax to the limits – Web-based Instant Messenger

Posted on the November 2nd, 2005 under Uncategorized by

Reading through the excellent book, Ajax for Designers, I came across some information on a site called meebo.com, a web-based instant messenger.

Always keen to pick up tips and patterns, I hopped over to see what the fuss was all about, and how they are using Ajax.

Now I doubt they’ll share their source code, but it’s good news particularly for office staff. They have created an Ajax-driven web based instant messenger that connects to AOL, ICQ, Yahoo, MSN and Gmail/Jabber.

So when your company does not allow you to install instant messenging software, you can always use this site. Probably useful in Internet Cafes as well.

What next will people try with Ajax? Visit www.meebo.com.