The South African Consitutional Court launches a new website

The Constitutional Court launched its new website today and it is a beautiful site!  If you don’t know what the Constitutional Court is, read this:

This court, the highest in South Africa on constitutional matters, was
born of the country’s first democratic Constitution in 1994. In an
acclaimed new building at Constitution Hill, the 11 judges stand guard
over the Constitution and protect everyone’s human rights.

Concourt_logoAs a point of reference for American readers, the Constitutional Court is our equivalent of the US Supreme Court.  Our court is a truly South African construct given form by our Constitution.  It is comprised of 11 judges, many of whom were members of the original bench which was appointed shortly after our first democratic elections in 1994.

To me, the origins of the Court’s logo (to the left) really speak to the principles that are the foundation of the Court:

It depicts people sheltering under a canopy of branches – a
representation of the Constitution’s protective role and a reference to
a theme that runs though the Court, that of justice under a tree. The
idea comes from traditional African societies: this was where people
would meet to resolve disputes.

The site contains all the information you may need about the Court and its processes as well as images of its artwork and magnificant decor.  The site of the Court is also significant.  It was built on the site of three notorious prisons where such historical figures as Albert Luthuli, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were held.  This site was specifically chosen by the judges for the new Court building which was completed last year.


Earthquakes and natural disasters rock the USA

Metafilter has reported on a series of predictions of a catastrophic disaster in North America which was made by a largely South African group of psychics, healers and other esoterically minded people.  Apparently the primary psychic, SilverJade is a resident of Johannesburg, my hometown.  The Free Internet Press has also carried this story which begins with this introductory paragraph:

A group of psychics led by colourful ‘SilverJade’, based in
Johannesburg South Africa, have predicted that a series of earthquakes
and other natural disasters will strike the western coast of the United
States on or around the 23rd of February 2005.

Continue reading “Earthquakes and natural disasters rock the USA”

Firefox: 25 million downloads in 99 days!!

On February 15th, exactly 99 days after it was released, Firefox 1.0 smashed through the 25 million download milestone.

Amazing!  There isn’t much more I can say about this.  I am so proud to be one of those 25 million people using such an awesome browser and the product of such an open movement.

Get Firefox!

Exclusive Support for Internet Explorer

In a recent newsletter, the online recruitment company, CareerJunction, advised its subscribers as follows:

In the near future CareerJunction will only be supporting Internet

Explorer 6 and above. If you are not using a supported version you can

upgrade your browser for free!

I was completely taken aback by this statement.  With all the recent news about security issues with Internet Explorer and the tremendous surge in interest in alternative browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, it comes as a surprise to hear that an initiative of a major media company in South Africa would take such a limited stance and focus on Microsoft’s browser to the exclusion of all others.

This comes at a time when downloads of Firefox have just exceeded 25 million in just 99 days.  Poor showing on CareerJunction’s part, I think.

Michael Jackson Recovers

As reported in the Santa Maria Times, Michael Jackson, was recently admitted by the Marian Medical Center:

The singer was on his way to court
in Santa Maria Tuesday when a lingering illness worsened. He was
instead diverted to Marian’s emergency room, and later admitted as a

A doctor
attending to Jackson told Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville Tuesday
that the defendant may take about four days to recover. Melville then
recessed court until the following week.

Continue reading “Michael Jackson Recovers”

We Have Really Been Around Longer

In an article titled "Modern man just got older", Newsday has reported that:


Our debut as humans just became a lot more historic.

A new study concludes that the earliest known humans appeared in southern Ethiopia around 195,000 years ago, about 35,000 years earlier than previously thought, based on what researchers say are the oldest anatomically modern human fossils ever found. Although leaving the full-fledged arrival of Homo sapiens far from resolved, the
"bombshell," as it’s being called by other scientists, suggests that roughly three-fourths of modern human evolution occurred within the African continent.

"This is really good news," said Sally McBrearty, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

Continue reading “We Have Really Been Around Longer”

Internet Explorer 7

Hls_ie55mozillaZine has reported on an article on CNet which, in turn, reported on Microsoft’s plans to release a beta version of Internet Explorer 7 with Windows updates a little later this year.  This is contrary to a previous decision to delay any major updates to Internet Explorer until the release of the next major version of Windows (code named Longhorn) –

A beta, or test, version of Internet Explorer 7 will debut this summer,
Microsoft’s chairman and chief software architect said in a keynote
address at the RSA Conference 2005 here. The company had said that it
would not ship a new IE version before the next major update to
Windows, code-named Longhorn, arrives next year.

Of course there is a temptation to argue that this turnaround has come about largely because of the popularity of Firefox and increased security concerns about Internet Explorer.  I doubt very much that Microsoft would agree that Firefox has really had much on an impact on this decision.  Bill Gates did say that
"Browsing is definitely a point of vulnerability".  Glad to see he is acknowledging this in public.  While I am not about to convert to Internet Explorer from Firefox, this is a good sign.
Continue reading “Internet Explorer 7”

Six Apart, My Heroes!

As many of you may know, Six Apart has redesigned its website and this includes the Typepad and Movabletype (and, to a lesser degree, LiveJournal) sites. 

You’ve probably noticed we’ve got a brand new family of websites for
Six Apart, Movable Type, TypePad, and TypeKey. And we’ve added a
LiveJournal section to the Six Apart site.

SixapartI like the new site design, it is clean, funky and cuts out a few steps when you login to the Typepad site.  For one thing, when you login now, you can post straight off the Typepad page.  You don’t have to enter the site first and then click on the link to post.  Little things that make a difference.

I have been thinking about whether to run my blog off something like WordPress using my own domain and a local hosting service or even go back to Blogger and post my blog to local servers.  The main reason for this is the cost of running a blog on Typepad (my current option costs $8.95 per month) and the attraction of having my blog at my own local domain (because of the way the registrar for the ‘’ namespace works, the CNAME facility is not available and Typepad uses that for its domain mapping service).  Ultimately though, I have decided that when my free trial on Typepad is up in about 49 days or so, I will stick with Typepad.

My reasons include the fact that the Typepad interface is rock solid and it works really well.  I also have a very soft spot for a company built by people such as Ben and Mena who started out working out of their apartment.  To add to this, when I read posts like this one on eclecticism, my enthusiasm for the people at Six Apart surges.  I love it when the owner of the company gives you a buzz when you are having a rough time and when the company arranges refunds of subscriptions paid in error (and where the company is not obliged to repay anything but does it because "it would be a nice thing to do").  This really appeals to me and to my sense of how I run my own business.

To quote Michael Hanscom:

So, to Ben, Mena, Brad, Brenna, Anil, and all the rest of the crew at Six Apart — thanks, folks. Keep on rockin’. 🙂