Monthly Archives: September 2008

Quick Update

Just a week in the life of Joe..

  • Monday, interview with The Times about the VANS>ECNS mess, house shopping in Tamboerskloof, cable car run, R29 burgers at Jamaica me Crazy, OC s1 d2.
  • Happy Banana Republic day.
  • I now have a free subscription to Sports Illustrated. We concur: it’s pretty lame.. not even a few pics of hot woman.
  • Tuesday, lunch with Jonathan, OC s1 d3, Asoka jazz night, JacSharp at Bambu, William Wallace moment.. got a phone number, whoot! Bumped into JC.
  • Wednesday, Red Herring (Noordhoek) for pizza and beer, drinks at Monkey Valley, try Malibu and Appletizer.. ok, I know it’s a bit girly but it tastes like summer, drinks at Carlisle’s with friends, Graham is back from Aus, played the Nails game.
  • There’s something about listening to Mr Jones at a nice pub with a cold beer.
  • Track of the month, Mind Circus by Way Out West, Cream 15yr album, disc 3.
  • September’s been a month without internet at home, guess I took a break, I noticed a bit of a drop in productivity, but I was looking at my September photos and it’s been a fun month.
  • Thursday, gym, OC s1 d3->5, a few glasses of wine with Andy back from London.
  • Thursday was odd in the sense that.. I’ve been wishing to just be bored for a while now and I managed that on Thursday for about an hour.
  • Friday, Mia and I went to Lourensford to buy some wine and chase a few peacocks around, dinner at Will’s.
  • Had a tough (emotional) day, but Mia and a random dinner with a good friend reminded me how lucky I am and cheered me up.
  • Saturday, met up with family at the airport, lunch with Debby at Mimi’s, nice afternoon nap, gym, swim, dinner with Cath at Fabulous, drinks at Asoka. Thanks for the suggestion Jono.
  • Sunday, slept late, gym, swim, got some sun, Neo moussaka for lunch, worked on my GeekDinner talk, walk by the sea, Clone Wars movie.. it was OK’ish, Kauai snack.
  • I’ve been challenged to write a blog post / list (?) defining my perfect match (woman).. that could be tricky.
  • Idea for the week.. sometimes it’s just easier to do the right thing.
  • Somebody pretty close to me called me a hedonist.. (pure pleasure seeker).. Some days I think I’m the only normal one.
  • The three men and a little lady have a new pad in Tamboerskloof, moving in on Tuesday.. “Cape Town in the summertime and the livin’ is easy”.. can’t wait for summer.

See you at Asoka tonight crazy kids..

Nails at Carlisle’s

I was introduced to the local game at Carlisle’s in Vredehoek last night. It’s called: Nails. Good fun.

You’ll find a big chunk of wood at the back (past the bar) with a few people standing around it. The object of the game is to drive your nail into the log before the other guys do. The catch is that you have to use the wrong side of the hammer.. the narrow/sharp side. The hammer must be at your side when you start your swing. The hammer gets passed around the log, one hit per player per turn..

The last guy to drive in his nail (flush) buys a round of drinks.

Simple.. yeah, but it’s not that easy. Go try it. I kicked butt (first to drive in my nail).

Ahh, the joys of bachelorhood and public holidays.

iWeek 2008

Once a year the South African ISP industry gathers at iWeek for 3 days. We listen to presentations, exchange ideas, network and socialise. The event is organised by the ISPA.

Have a look at the program and listen to the podcasts.

I attended the first iWeek in back in 2002, 06, 07 and 08. It’s well worth it.. and it’s free.

iWeek confirms the un-conference “paradox” that free is better.. community driven and democratised events are of more value than expensive and restricted conferencing events.

It was a busy few days. The food was good.. too good, snacks, lunches, dinners every night. I met a number of interesting people.

This year the top three sponsors where all from Cape Town. Amobia and Teraco (new branding) were Gold sponsors. WAPA endorsed the event. Amobia and WAPA had stands in the exhibition area.

I was invited to a panel discussion on the Wireless day as the WAPA chair. I think the wireless session went well.. we had good feedback.

I was elected to the ISPA management committee at the AGM.

Thanks to Elaine, Debbie and Cheryl (WhereNext Event Management) for organising the event. Thanks to Uniforum and the ISPA for the two dinners.

ps. I figure I should just get an Apple laptop again.. it’s a much better road warrior tool than the Ubuntu/HP. Seems the E71 was the toy to have.. bumped into at least 5 very happy new E71 owners at iWeek.

Quick Update

I’m a bit late on the weekly bullet point life stream. I’ve been in Joburg and really needed to finalise the house shopping…

  • Monday, gym in the evening.. out of my normal routine, just had to go because a know I get grumpy without exercise, especially in Joburg. Conveyor belt sushi in Obs.
  • Tuesday, haircut, fetched the new Amobia banners, nice flight to JHB on the bigger SAA planes, Yaris is not a bad little car, sat nav fun to find my guest house, iWeek stand setup, dinner with Amobia Jhb and Potch crew.
  • Wednesday, early run in Bryanston.. jeepers those houses have massive walls, English breakfast, iWeek, bumped into an old (ex-cpt) friend, dinner at Moyo at Zoo Lake.
  • Thursday, iWeek panel discussion for WAPA, ISPA dinner.
  • Friday, iWeek, bad news for VANS, but.. maybe it’s good for Amobia.. another 6 months of “uncertainty”. ISPA AGM, I was elected to the ISPA management committee, flight back to Cape Town.
  • Saturday, house shopping in Obs, time with Mia and Crazy B, Mouille Point playground, Serendipity Maze, a ride on the (mini) Blue Train, Caffe Neo grub for a picnic in the middle of the (mini) train track, Gelato Mania ice cream, Xupa Xupa retail therapy, lost my credit card (aarrh!), watched Extreme Measures.
  • Sunday, gym, swim, braai with bunny rabbits, found a new (unhealthy obsession) DVD series The O.C. Season 1, Disc 1

More about iWeek in another post. Still working on that E71 post.
Ooh.. tomorrow is Braai Day.. rain or shine (-:

The Fat Lady Sings.. the wrong tune

It’s not over yet..

Today was the last day for ICASA or the Department of Communication (DoC) to appeal the judgement that VANS may self provide infrastructure.

The DoC appealed. WTF!

At least now we have clarity on where the obstacle to an open and deregulated South African telecoms market is. I guess one positive thing is that the market started thinking about how they would use the new licences if they were to get them.

“The digital divide was created and is maintained by African Governments.” — William Stucke, over lunch at iWeek

You have to wonder in who’s interest the DoC are acting.. Infraco? Telkom? Neotel?

We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the 27 VANS marked to received IECNS licenses in the Government Gazette. Will that be revoked? Seems the process is frozen again.

The WAPA case is still pending. Altech have deep pockets. The plot thickens.

I am Joe’s total sense of humour failure..

Quick Update

Themes of past weeks’ updates.. running-geek, golf-geek.. trance-geek, well almost, but it was a bit rainy on Sunday..

  • Monday, good news: Frogfoot and Amobia to get IECNS licenses, drinks at Neighborhood bar.
  • Tuesday, lunch at Caveau at the Josephine Mill in Newlands, we kinda started a peering point (again), a wet and windy Mouille Point run with Lindi, drinks at La Vie for George’s birthday, met a tshirt designer.
  • Brilliant Zapiro cartoon about O.J. Zuma.. presumed guilty in the “pantoffel” justice system.
  • Wednesday, upgraded my (7) blog farm to WP 2.6.2, Amobia exco meeting/dinner at Jamaica me Crazy, mid week trance party at Roots in Obs.
  • Thursday, house shopping in Fernwood and De Waterkant, lunch at Waterkant Village Cafe, WineX, Asoka, met somebody from Zeeq.
  • I seem to be on a successful retox program – it’s safe to say I’ve had at least two drinks every night for the last 2 weeks.. then again I know somebody who can claim a 5 year retox program. “The price you pay for the life you choose” — used to be on the wall at Caprice, Camps Bay.
  • Friday, UCT GSB talk, milkshakes with Mia and the ~ex-wife in Somerset West.
  • Saturday, Biscuit Mill Market with Cath, Parri and Georg, watched My Blueberry Nights (Natalie Portman), one of those relaxed white wine afternoons, gym, swim.
  • I made up my mind: The Darjeeling Limited mostly sucked, but Hotel Chevalier was enthralling.
  • Sunday, pondering an early morning (rainy) Earth Dance mission, gym, swim, Vida, watched Finding Nemo, Waterfront.. maritime museum, toy store, frogurt, scratch patch. Dinner at the Mexican Kitchen in Long Street, fajitas and margaritas.
  • Try some pineapple and cinnamon with your next shot of Tequila.
  • 250th Crackbook friend.
  • This week is iWeek 2008.. I’ll be in Joburg from Tuesday to Friday.. representing WAPA, Amobia and Frogfoot. Will try to keep you up to date on interesting happenings. A good opportunity to use the GPS features of my new phone.

Have a fun week crazy kids.

Dan Gillmor at UCTGSB

I attended a talk by Dan Gillmor on Friday at UCTGSB : “Citizen media and its effects on business and culture”

Bumped into the usual crew of web pr geeks.. and met a few new people (Tim, Carla, Jonathan). I had the best seat in the house (-:

There were many interesting snippets of new ideas and trends in media. A few random ideas which ended up in my notes:

  • A recurring idea: community collaboration, media about places.. urban villages, geographic relevance
  • No more secrets (– Sneakers, 1992)
  • Journalistic entrepreneurship, invent your own job, it’s an exciting time in media, it’s cheap to rapid prototype
  • Listen.. to your readers, they often know more about a topic than you do
  • Read, write, remix
  • Database journalism
  • Have honour in your publishing (informal media also), quality, credibility, take a long term view

I’ve been thinking about the motivational aspects of publishing recently. I often find myself doing stuff so I can write about it. My friends think I’m strange.. taking notes at WineX for example.

You tend to commit to the things you write.. it becomes more real. Personal publishing (life caching) can be an interesting driver for converting intentions into results.

..only trouble is that I seem to be gathering notes and ideas at a faster rate than I can publish them. I guess there is an optimal ratio of living vs. life streaming to be found.

WineX 2008

Georg, Parri, Cath and I attended WineX at the CTICC yesterday. I try to go every year. One year I even did two nights in a row.. you just can’t taste all the wines in one night.. then again, tasting wine is only part of what’s going.

I like to think of WineX as drunken brand surfing.. great fun. It starts off all civilised and cultured.. some Sauvignon to clear the pallet, chitchat about the farm, how many months on oak, rinsing glasses between tastings, people commenting on tannins… but, then it all gradually progresses to two crazed hours of inebriated shop till you drop bite sized sampling and sensory overload.

Apparently wine (marketing) is the second most competitive industry, after music.

A girl I knew in Stellenbosch had a brother that went shopping for music by (only) looking at the cover art on the CD. I suspect visuals are more important than taste at WineX.. visuals and brand recognition. I’m sure there are a few lonely stands that get almost no traffic simply because they are not an existing well known brand and there is nothing to look at.

Yes, visuals are good. The ladies dress up for this event.. and they smell oh so nice. That blind guy from Scent of a Woman would go mad.

Georg and I concur.. Vrede en Lust have perfected the art of the wine stand. Hot woman and chocolate.

A few wines I liked..

  • Thelema Chardonnay
  • Saxenburg Private Collection Chardonnay 2007
  • Springfield Methode Ancienne Chardonnay 2007
  • Rustenberg Chardonnay 2007
  • Rupert and Rothschild, Classique 2008
  • Meerlust Rubicon 2004
  • Saxenberg Merlot Private Collection 2005.. ahh, the memories of drinking this at Balducci’s

I’m never sure if I should be asking for wine in Afrikaans or English, since a large number of people in the wine industry seem to be Afrikaans.. but this problem goes away after a few glasses of wine.

Tonight (Friday) is the last night, 17:00 – 21:00, go check it out.

Ok, must dash, off to UCT GSB

ps. I don’t spit.

Groove Armada

Arriving home last week, Andy was playing a Groove Armada concert DVD.. then I noticed the GA background music at La Vie on Tuesday night. After a bit of digging around I found two Groove Armana albums to listen to.. a number of familiar tracks.. just love it.

Nice to discover good music.

 

I always liked “intelligent” dance music.. things like: Moloko, Roisin Murphy, Morcheeba, Goldfrapp, Air, Moby, Zero 7, Mylo, Massive Attack, Gold Fish, Thievery Corporation, Telepopmusik, Lamb.. happy to add Groove Armada to the list.

Amobia and Frogfoot receive I-ECNS licences

Amobia and Frogfoot are both on the list of the 27 VANS who will have their licences converted to Individual ECS and Individual ECNS licenses this month. This list was published in the Government Gazette on Friday.

..2 out of 27 ain’t bad (-;

For those who have not been keeping up with current events.. an I-ECNS licence is the same license Telkom, Neotel and the major GSM providers will have. Yes, it’s a big deal.

ITWeb Article: ICASA resumes licence conversions

Individual ECS and ECNS licence-holders, in terms of schedule A of ICASA’s regulations, can receive their licences from 22 to 30 September.

Schedule A licence-holders consist of a list of 27 companies that includes Altech Autopage, Amobia Communications, MTN Network Solutions and Internet Solutions.

It’s been a long and interesting battle on many levels to get to this point. WAPA took the initiative by first seeking clarity on the rights of VANS. Long hours of writing business plans as part of the ECA conversion process. Lobbying, spreading the word, PR, blogging and general bitching and moaning. A whole industry collectively knowing the right answer, holding its breath for ICASA and the DoC to “do the right thing”..

..and then, we won.

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. — Yoda

A victory for the little guy. Victory for the forces of reason and progress.

I have to confess to a few feelings of disbelief when I finally read Amobia and Frogfoot’s names in the Government Gazette. Did IQ’s just skyrocket? Did common sense somehow penetrate the confused minds defining policy in the local telecoms market?

In some ways the news that VANS can self provide is almost too obvious and logical. Do you remember when VoIP was illegal in South Africa? Do you remember when it was illegal for VANS to build (wireless) network infrastructure?

So now that we have all this freedom, all these new options.. what next?

We have to create an environment to nurture our young network infrastructure providers. A few supporting projects will be important to our new IECNS players:

  • Undersea cables and open/neutral landing sites for undersea cables
  • Infraco or other national dark fibre or layer 2 fibre networks
  • City dark fibre projects for Metro Ethernet
  • Vendor neutral datacentres
  • Peering points
  • WAPA’s self regulation and management of ISM frequency spectrum
  • Efficient usage of national frequency spectrum resources
  • Clear policies on how to gain access to municipal property and highsites

I’m working on 3 of the above.

We should see much more pressure on ISM frequency spectrum soon. I’m hoping ICASA will see the light and allow WAPA to play a more active role in keeping the ISM wireless access market sustainable.

Internet Solutions joined WAPA this week and WAPA now has 40+ members. WAPA will have to up its game.

You could say that the WISPs have had an advantage because of the past regulatory uncertainty and their appetite for risk. A small number of WISPs (or outdoor fixed wireless providers) like Amobia now have networks of national scale.

Some will say this is a good time to sell these businesses to larger players in the market.. and some will say the new regulatory environment opens a door to major investment. Amobia will have to up its game.

Interesting times.

Quick Update

My first week in the new house in Obs. A week without internet access at home. I’m starting to miss my feed reading.

It’s an interesting change.. living with other people, cooking, TV, Xbox.. (shock, horror) and cats: Henry (female) and Tiggy.. sometimes I even give them food. I seem to be living out of a bag.. very Fight Club. Moving again at the end of the month.

Out of the old comfort zone.

Fuck it, Dude, let’s go bowling — The Big Lebowski

  • Monday, DA MP meeting, packing and moving, Scrubs, visited 3 driving ranges, went ten pin bowling, Beluga, Teazers, Mavericks, in bed by 21:00, home by 22:00, Ok, only kidding.. about the in bed by 21:00 part.
  • Tuesday, made myself Maltabella Porridge.. breakfast of champions, Scrubs, packing and moving, house shopping in Devils Peak, beer and pizza with friends.
  • Wednesday, Maltabella, Scrubs, house shopping in CBD, lunch at the oldest pub in Cape Town: Perseverance Tavern, visited the Ferarri showroom, picked up my new Nokia E71, River Club driving range, dinner with friends.
  • The final moments of the last episode of the first season of Scrubs is awesome. I just love Dr. Cox‘s sarcasm. My hero.
  • Thursday, configuring and syncing my E71, 4km run, River Club to hit a few balls.
  • Friday, Stellenbosch to visit an old friend, golf at Devonvale with Parri and Schalk, Tea and scones with Mia and the ~exwife at Lourensford.
  • At this point it must be noted that I don’t like golf and I only play about one real game of golf per year, but I can see why there are so many golf widows… and to be fair, golf-widow is better than playstation-widow, I guess.
  • Saturday, Maltabella, gym, swim, Deep Park with Cath and Parri, home cooked dinner. It’s not easy keeping an eye on Mia with all the groovy Cape Town yummy mummies around Deer Park.
  • At Deer Park a little girl asked: “Are your dogs friendly?”.. and a boy responded, “The ones at my mom’s house are”. Seems a large percentage of young children have the concept of mom’s house and dad’s house.. it’s the norm. Get with the program.
  • Sunday, gym, swim, Sinn’s icecream, Caffe Neo, Mouille Point playground.

See you at iWeek and the GeekDinner.

ps. Pics at the usual place.