Amazing GoPro Video Compilation

In case you’re not up to date with the latest technological advancements, the GoPro is a tiny camera aimed at adventure sports enthusiasts. It is touted as the world’s most versatile camera, and is widely used to film footage of various action sports including surfing, off-road motorsport, skydiving and the like. An amazing GoPro video compilation has been put together which showcases the abilities of the tiny piece of technological ingenuity that is the GoPro.

The compilation was made by combining footage from 178 GoPro videos, and shows the excellent image quality and versatility of the camera. The footage is also enough to get your adrenaline pumping and inspire you to get outside and jump out of a plane (or indulge in a similar activity for adrenaline junkies).

Watch the GoPro video compilation here:

Microsoft Announced as I Heart Joburg Sponsor

Steyn Entertainment has announced that Microsoft has come on board as the I Heart Joburg sponsor for next month’s much-anticipated music festival.

Microsoft, which recently completed the purchase of Nokia’s phone business, will be the lead sponsor of the festival with its flagship brand of smartphones, Lumia, powered by the Windows Phone operating system.

“One of the key focuses with Nokia’s integration into Microsoft is to continue building the strong consumer affinity we have with the Lumia brand, and the I Heart Joburg Music Festival is a great place to do that,” says Justin Maier, head of marketing for South East Africa at Microsoft Mobile Devices.

Maier adds that the festival will be an opportunity for fans to engage with the incredible music and imaging services offered by Microsoft’s wide portfolio of Lumia phones, and the team is finalising some amazing activations for the 12-hour festival.

Microsoft is thrilled to join the I Heart Joburg Music Festival family, and to celebrate this momentous occasion they have released a limited number of tickets up for grabs in a ‘Double the love 2 for 1’ extravaganza for one day only! Dash to your nearest Computicket on Tuesday 19 August 2014 and double the love with Lumia. #iheartlumia

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The I Heart Joburg Music Festival, powered by Lumia is an uninterrupted 12 hour musical explosion on Saturday, 6 September 2014 dedicated to the beautiful city of Johannesburg featuring an eclectic mix of 6 local and 6 international superstars across muliple genres.I Heart Joburg Music Festival, powered by Lumia. In proud association with 5FM, DSTV and Computicket.

Miners Shot Down Marikana Massacre Documentary Screening this Weekend

The multi-award-winning Miners Shot Down Marikana massacre documentary, will have two special screenings on Saturday, 16 August 2014 at Cinema Nouveau, to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the Marikana massacre it investigates. The screenings are taking place at 17:00 and 20:00 only, at Cinema Nouveau theatres at Rosebank (JHB), Brooklyn (PTA), Gateway (DBN) and V&A Waterfront (CT).

In August 2012, mineworkers in Lonmin, one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines, began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. The police insisted that they shot in self-defence, but Miners Shot Down, directed by Rehad Desai, tells a different story.

Using the point of view of the Marikana miners, Miners Shot Down follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low-paid workers against the combined forces of the mining company, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers. What emerges is collusion at the top, spiraling violence and the country’s first post-apartheid massacre.

The documentary has been a festival favourite, opening leading international documentary festivals such as One World and Sheffield, and winning Best Film at One World in Prague; Movies That Matter in The Hague; and The Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival in Myanmar.

In South Africa, it has won awards from the two leading festivals for documentaries, scooping the Special Choice Award at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival in June and both the Best South African Documentary and Amnesty International Human Rights Awards at the recent Durban International Film Festival in July 2014.

The ongoing Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the massacre began in October 2012 and recently had its deadline extended yet again until 30 September 2014.

View the trailer here:

For booking information, visit www.cinemanouveau.co.za or call Ticketline on 0861-Movies (668 437).

What people are saying:

“Rehad Desai’s beautifully filmed and uncompromising documentary, Miners Shot Down, is about so much more than the massacre by police of 34 striking workers at the Lonmin platinum mine at Marikana in August 2012. The film offers a unique prism through which to view contemporary power relations in ‘democratic’ South Africa (and perhaps globally) where the unholy trinity of capital, politics and security were (and are) pitted against labour…” – Marianne Thamm, Daily Maverick

“Literally left me speechless… The world looked different when I emerged from the cinema. It doesn’t often happen to me.”- Charl Blignaut, City Press

“Important, comprehensive and damning… Essential viewing.” – Encounters South African Documentary Festival

What is the Ebola Virus [infographic]

The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has dominated the international headlines in recent weeks, and many countries have expressed concerns regarding the possibility of the virus entering their borders and affecting their local populations. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Ebola an international public health emergency, and there have been nearly 1000 confirmed deaths due to the recent outbreak of virus which is the most severe outbreak in nearly 40 years. However, many people don’t know the basics about what the virus is, so we have decided to provide answer the question “what is the Ebola virus?”, through this informative infographic:

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Divergent Views Regarding Joshua Broomberg of King David Victory Park

The deputy head boy of a Jewish high school in Johannesburg, Joshua Broomberg of King David Victory Park School, bravely posed for a photograph wearing a Palestinian scarf. When the photo was posted on Facebook, it generated a huge amount of controversy.

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The picture of Joshua Broomberg wearing the Palestinian scarf, which was posted on Facebook

Given the politically and emotionally charged issues relating to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the picture has led to calls from certain quarters for Broomberg to be removed as deputy head boy of King David Victory Park, while others have labelled him a hero for being brave enough to take a stand against the human rights abuses that are reported to have taken place against innocent Palestinian civilians including children, at the hands of Israel.

The incident has led to 2 petitions being launched – one in favour of his removal as deputy head boy and one opposing his removal as deputy head boy. They can be accessed via the links below:

  1. The removal of the Deputy Head Boy of King David High School from all leadership positions and his Honours revoked
  2. We oppose the suggested removal of the Deputy Head Boy, King David High School from leadership positions, oppose the revoke of Honours and support his leadership & humanitarian qualities).

The public sentiment regarding the issue appears to be weighted against Broomberg’s removal – as at the time of writing, the petition calling for his removal as deputy head boy has obtained 2329 votes, while the petition opposing his removal has obtained nearly twice as many votes, with a total tally of votes standing at 4005.

One of the persons who voted against his removal as deputy head boy, Shane Schuller, had the following to say:

Josh You deserve a South African Humanitarian award for being the consciously aware young man you are. Yay! To you and your peers.

You have earned the respect from diverse ‘ethnicities’ in South Africa so we cheer your presentation.

Even though Stop the BDS and other signed and promoting petition to have you removed as Head Boy, we stand by your actions. Their attempt to taint your character remains disgustingly unethical and litigiously unconstitutional. You did the right thing.

You are an exemplar for human dignity.

The News24 Comments Section: A Soap-Box for Bigots

During the past few days, a number of articles have been published regarding two students at the University of Pretoria who dressed up as domestic workers with their faces painted in black shoe polish, and posted a picture of themselves on Facebook.

The incident has sparked outrage among many South Africans, but the articles expressing outrage have elicited a very different response – many of the comments (largely by white South Africans) fall into the following two categories:

  1. They attempt to defend the girls’ behaviour as being innocent fun or at worst, slightly inappropriate, but not a big deal; and/or
  2. They launch a scathing attack on black South Africans at large for being racist themselves / ignorant/ overly sensitive.

This article is not about how deplorable and offensive the girls’ behaviour was – many well-written articles have been published which get that point across more effectively than I could ever do. Instead, this article is about South Africans in general, as revealed in the comments below such articles.

The first thing that comes across overwhelmingly through the comments, is how divided South African society remains. If the comments are at all representative of a cross-section of South Africa’s population (or at least, its middle class population who are literate and have internet access), South Africans are truly a disappointing people.

The comments expressing bigoted, insensitive and racist views are in the vast majority, and have the most “likes” by other users, while any comments disagreeing with such views are few and far between, have the most “dislikes”, and are responded to with more bigoted, insensitive and racist comments

What does all of this tell us about South Africans as a people? The comments reflect the extent of the denialism that exists regarding the legacy of the system of social engineering which has left behind a broken country (which, if anything, seems to be more broken and segregated today than it was 20 years ago, despite the abolition of formalised legal segregation).

If the comments are anything to go by, News24 is clearly the fore-runner when it comes to the having the greatest number of bigoted readers and trolls, but no major news sites which allow reader comments are exempt.

Even the Daily Maverick, which is generally considered to have as its readership the educated liberal yuppie, has a great number of insensitive and often hurtful comments below articles involving race issues.

What commenters seem to forget (or perhaps not care about) is that comments on the internet are in the public domain, and can be read by anybody worldwide. The fact that a website address ends with .co.za does not mean that your comment is shielded from the eyes of the world at large.

I want to be able to be proud to be a South African – I do not want to be ashamed (as I am today) to be associated with a nation of ignorant and hateful people who spread their toxic venom and launch racist public attacks on their fellow countrymen (and human beings) without restraint.

Oscar Pistorius Trial Heads of Argument

The first day of closing arguments in the Oscar Pistorius trial is behind us, and the Oscar Pistorius Trial Heads of Argument submitted by the State (the prosecution) have been made available to the media. Click here to download the Oscar Pistorius Trial Heads of Argument.

They contain a 109 page “summary” of the evidence led at the trial and the State’s arguments regarding why Pistorius should be found guilty.

The heads of argument contain some colourful arguments and interesting analogies – early on, they state the following:

The  State  will  reveal  to  the  court  in  these  heads  of  argument  that  the  accused,  in keeping with his profession as  an athlete, was faced during his trial with a  race, and  the opportunity to run with the baton of truth. The State  will  expose how he  stumbled over his lies and deceit and in the process was unable to complete the race.

They later describe Pistorius in less than flattering terms, when they say:

It is our respectful submission that the accused was an appalling witness. We cannot
argue that he was the worst  witness ever;  that  honour  belongs to someone else.  The
accused  was,  however,  demonstrably  one  of  the  worst  witnesses  we  have  ever
encountered.

 

The R549 Vodacom Smart Kicka Smartphone

Vodacom-Smart-Kicka-smartphoneVodacom, South Africa’s largest cellular network, has launched its own smartphone which retails for only R549. The Vodacom Smart Kicka smartphone is the company’s first low-cost smartphone, and represents a shift in the company’s focus from exclusively being a mobile phone network, to being a technology hardware company too.

The Vodacom Smart Kicka smartphone runs on the latest Android KitKat 4.4 operating system, and features include a 2mp rear-facing camera, 4GB of storage (expandable to 32GB with a microSD card), a 1GHz dual-core MediaTek processor and 512MB of RAM. The phone’s technology will not allow users to use hardware-hungry apps, but basic apps like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter should work smoothly.

Facebook and Twitter are both pre-installed on the phone.

With regard to the battery life, Vodacom claims that the device can last for 8.5 hours of talktime, and 403 hours of standby time (both with the 3G aerial switched on).

The device is certainly one of the cheapest Android smartphones in South Africa, and will allow a large segment of the population to get connected not only to telephony services, but also to the internet.

Now that Vodacom has boldly gone where no mobile phone network in South Africa has dared to venture, it will be interesting to see whether MTN or Cell C will similarly release smartphones to rival the Vodacom Smart Kicka smartphone and try to get their chunk of the mobile hardware pie in South Africa.

Virgin Mobile & SkyRoomLive presents Urban Sessions

If you’re crazy about urban music, then you’ve probably heard about SA’s first ever live-streamed music concert series called Urban Sessions, brought to you by SkyRoomLive and Virgin Mobile.

The partnership, which kicked off in June, is aimed at bringing live performances of the hottest SA acts, to an exclusive audience of only 700 people. These monthly performances are then filmed in HD and 3D, and broadcast live onto social networks as well as the SkyRoomLive website for the whole world to see.

In addition to watching top live jamming sessions, online fans have the opportunity to interact with their favourite artists during their pre-performance interview.

With the first event session done and dusted, muso’s should keep an eye out for the next event taking place on 2 August 2014 at the new SkyRoomLive crib at Shine Studios in Braamfontein.

With the line-up including top artists such as Culoe De Song, Donald, Slikour On Life, L-Tido and CASH TIME LIFE, watching Urban Sessions Volume 4.0 should be at the top of your to-do list next month.

To ensure that no one misses out on the action, Virgin Mobile, in conjunction with SkyRoomLive, is giving away VIP tickets to the Urban Session live shows for the duration of the campaign on their social media platforms https://www.facebook.com/virginmobilesa and https://twitter.com/virginmobilesa #VirginMobile SRL #UrbanSessions. With data, airtime and prize giveaways on the night, that’s one hot VIP ticket!

“Music lives in the Virgin brand DNA – it makes us who we are. We want everyone to experience the true power of music by bringing SA’s top talent live to everyone’s screens,” says Jason Hair, Virgin Mobile’s Chief Operating Officer.

So whether you want to live stream these shows, download past events or need to get your hands on these Urban Session tickets, be sure to visit www.virginmobile.co.za or www.SkyRoomLive.com.

If you are unlucky and miss out on the live action, you can also catch it on SABC1 every Saturday at 10pm.

Mad Max Fury Road Trailer featuring Charlize Theron Bald

Our very own Hollywood superstar Charlize Theron is starring in the upcoming Max Max movie – with a shaved head! She definitely manages to pull off the GI Jane look. Here’s the Mad Max Fury Road Trailer featuring Charlize Theron bald:

The movie was filmed in Namibia and judging by the trailer, the movie has no shortage of special effects and explosions…

Looks awesome!

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