Does Money Buy Happiness?

Does money buy happiness or just a big mansion? This funny video by blogger Victor Pride reminded me to always think differently from what Bill Cooper called “the sheeple!” And so after watching this video, think about it for a while, and ask your friends to get their reaction. You will notice the clear bias against money in our society. There’s a built-in guilt that society places on people who want money. Remember “Greed is Good!” and how that became a negative stereotype from the first Wall Street movie with Michael Douglas?

Radio host Tom Leykis truly believes money does buy happiness. Not working and being a slave to the man. Professor Leykis sounds pretty happy when you listen to his old shows on YouTube or his new show, streaming daily via the Tom Leykis show mobile app.

What do you think? Is Tom Leykis right?

When you listen to one of his older shows, you may start to question this common falacy. Religion is not really to blame for this belief, instead I believe it’s our society’s belief in altruism. Ayn Rand was one of the biggest opponents of altruism in the history of the world. And she is still vilified about her books, interviews and opinions on helping others to your own detriment.

Do you remember the safety advice on your last flight? In case of emergency take the oxygen mask and put it on your own face first before you try to help children or anyone else like disabled people.

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MTN to ditch BIS

Surely after this becomes the norm there is no good reason to own a BlackBerry device in South Africa. Since BlackBerry 10 will not support BIS or unlimited Internet for a fixed monthly cost, now is the time to look for alternatives. We recommend moving to 8ta who offers the best pre-paid data bundles.

Here’s the report…

Mobile giant MTN is reportedly planning to ditch the popular BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).

The network looks set to adopt a range of what is dubbed “BlackBerry Absolute” packages instead, MyBroadband exclusively reported. According to the website, the top-end BlackBerry Absolute package is at the same price-point as the existing BIS service (R59), while also featuring a 200MB “fair use limit”.

Once users have exceeded the 200MB limit, an out-of-bundle rate of R0.65/MB will come into effect. The new range apparently includes three more packages, ranging in price from R14.95 to R29.95

The R14.95 deal looks to offer BlackBerry Messenger connectivity, as well as web-based email access. This deal comes with a 10MB “fair use limit”.

The R19.95 package includes BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry Email, web-surfing, App World access and social networks. This also has a 10MB limit, however. The R29.95 deal has the same benefits as the R19.95 package, but includes web-based email access and a 25MB limit.

“MTN will issue an official statement to media should there be any changes to BlackBerry pricing,” the network told



Beware: Top 10 Internet scams

This article has been republished from The Star newspaper, Johannesburg. Ramon Thomas will be speaking on Channel Islam on Sunday, 18 March 2012 at 10h30 discussing solutions based on 19 years of experience on the Internet.

The more advanced the technology, it seems, the more imaginative the con. Unless you’re a recluse with no internet, cellphone, bank card or car, you will have encountered a fraudster intent on scamming you. The more advanced the technology, it seems, the more imaginative the con.

Top 10 Internet ScamsLike most South Africans, I receive an attempted scam via e-mail almost daily, most often purporting to come from my bank, prompting me to do something online that would result in my account being cleaned out. And recently, I had my credit card “skimmed” at a popular Joburg restaurant, and within 24 hours R4 000 was withdrawn in cash from my account.

But arguably the most unconscionable scams are perpetrated on people who are lonely or naively generous, like the women who fall for “419 heartbreakers”, confidence tricksters who romance them online and then con them out of money.

Hawks spokesman MacIntosh Polela says cybercrime costs SA millions every year, even though the scamsters have to work hard to get a “hit”. “Only a few will respond and among those who respond, very few of them will pay the money,” he says.

But someone will always take the bait, unfortunately, which is why scamming continues to be a widespread scourge.

The only defence against the scam is awareness. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. And never respond to an e-mail, SMS or phone call requiring you to submit personal information, even if it’s in the form of a threat to your account being suspended due to some third-party interference.

Never participate in any “sale of goods”, “survey”, “competition”, “lottery” or “inheritance” scheme requiring any personal information over the phone or the internet.

If you’re selling something, confirm payment with your bank before releasing the goods, and if you don’t remember entering a competition or buying a lottery ticket, you haven’t won anything.

The top 10 scams to look out for:

1. The 419 heartbreaker scam

The 419 scams have been around since the dawn of the internet, the oldest one speaking of an inheritance worth billions that the sender is due, but your bank account details are needed to deposit the funds, in return for which you’ll get a percentage. Another oldie is the e-mail from Western Union telling of a “deposit” into your account and requiring your personal information.

But the 419 scam is always evolving. The latest is the “419 heartbreaker” scam. In a recent episode of M-Net’s Carte Blanche, Monique Roeloffse nearly got scammed by after meeting “Josef Werner” on an online dating site. After romancing her for a few weeks, he came up with a story that he’d been in a submarine accident and had lost all his money. Inevitably he asked her to send a cash advance, but fortunately, she smelled a rat before it was too late.

The 419 heartbreaker’s correspondence looks authentic and oozes charm, but the reality is that these are being generated by criminal syndicates, usually made up of people of different nationalities, says Polela.

2. Phishing

These are the e-mails purportedly from your bank requesting various online actions, all to gain access to your bank accounts.

A young woman who got caught, Phindile, says she got an e-mail from her bank prompting her to verify her details. What she didn’t realise was that the link provided was to a fraudulent website.

“The website page that I clicked on to looked exactly the same as my bank’s site, and I even received an RVN number (a one-time PIN) on my cellphone, so I thought it was all legitimate. Next thing I knew an amount of R15 300 went out of my account. The money came out in two large sums, R9 000 and R4 000,” she says.

In all these attacks, it’s your banking information that the fraudsters are after. Without the account holder’s banking details and passwords, the fraud would simply not be possible. Don’t go there, ever.

3. Smishing

SA has one of the highest cellphone penetration rates in the world, so it’s a wide open field for the SMS version of phishing. Many people have received an SMS requesting account verification or, occasionally, an alarmist message requesting you to make a call rather than go to a false link.

The person on the other end of the line is a fraudster adept at eliciting critical information, including your PIN code. Remember, as banks keep telling us, you will never be asked for your PIN over the phone.

4. False payment confirmations

Lyl, a complainant on HelloPeter says she advertised furniture on Gumtree that was bought by someone called Max. “He said he’d deposited money into my account, and I received an SMS confirming this, but when I checked with the bank, no money had been cleared,” she says.

The hoax payment confirmation by SMS usually appears to come from your bank. Always verify that the money is indeed in your account before releasing the goods.

5. Unethical app downloads charges

Criminals and unethical developers are now using premium-rated SMSes to defraud people via the mobile applications they download. At the end of 2011, Google removed 22 applications from the Android cellphone market because they conned people into agreeing to premium SMS charges.

“This is not strictly fraud but certainly unethical in that the charges are hidden by misleading terms and conditions and the application’s sign-up process doesn’t give the customers any other option other than to agree to the premium charges,” says Pieter Streicher, MD of

The first line of defence against any SMS fraud is to diligently check your phone bills for any unusual amounts being deducted. And only download the more popular apps.

“You also need to check the permissions that you grant the application on installation: you should be sceptical if a basic game, for instance, requires access to address books and the internet, or needs the ability to send SMSes,” says Streicher.

6. SIM swops

One of the outcomes of a phishing scam could be a SIM swop. The fraudster already has your cellphone number and can get enough additional information to request a SIM swop from your network operator. They then have access to both your bank account details and the SIM card needed to complete transactions. Fortunately, the networks have tightened up on their SIM swop processes and this type of fraud is decreasing, says Streicher. “However, it is still worth knowing about, and if your cellphone ever stops working for no reason, you should assume the worst and contact your bank and network operator immediately.”

7. Credit card skimming

Card skimming is a global problem and usually takes place when fraudsters capture card data on devices similar to those used for legitimate point-of-sale or ATM transactions. The devices fit snugly over the card slot on an ATM and can even include a camera to record the PIN. But the main point of compromise is when you hand your card to someone to do a transaction.

As I was personally caught out, I know how easy it is if you’re not concentrating. In my case, the waiter took my card away briefly and when he returned, I entered my PIN without covering with my other hand. Never let your card out of your sight and when entering your PIN, cover the PIN pad.

8. Unscrupulous subscription services

Cellphone users need to be aware that unscrupulous Wasps (wireless application service providers – the companies that typically provide much of the mobile content that people buy) can bill any SA cell number and can even detect and record your cellphone number if you browse their websites using your cellphone.

Unlike the desktop internet where credit card numbers need to be entered and orders need to be confirmed, on a mobile device all that is needed to bill you is your cellphone number. A notorious one is Mobthumbs, which sends you an SMS saying you’re now subscribed to it, at a cost of R20 a day.

The Wasp Association advises sending “Stop” in reply to a message received. The service should in most cases be stopped, or alternatively result in an error message which would contain details regarding how to properly unsubscribe from the service.

And again, you need to check your phone bills looking for charges you didn’t authorise or ongoing charges for subscription services that you didn’t realise weren’t one-offs.

9. Counterfeit merchandise

If you’re buying anything expensive, beware of fakes. It’s big business, and a lot of it’s happening online. Just recently, police arrested four men who tried to con a businessman into buying fake gems, which were ostensibly worth R250 000. The businessman set up a sting operation and the men were arrested. The “gems” were nothing more than four pieces of glass covered in the melted silicone tube of a TV set.

10. Microsoft scam

These scamsters call you on your cellphone or home phone claiming to be a Microsoft employee. They tell you they have found out you have a problem with your computer (who hasn’t?). Then they ask you all sorts of questions and prompt you to do all sorts of things with your computer “to sort out the problem”. Their aim is to get into your computer remotely, and to access all your private info.

Alternatively, you’ll be told you’ve won the “Microsoft Lottery”, and that Microsoft “requires credit card information to validate your copy of Windows”. Another one is an unsolicited e-mails from “Microsoft” requesting a “security update”. Don’t go there.

written by Helen Grange, source: The Star


Internet Addiction – What Are the Signs?

What Is It? Internet Addiction Disorder or IAD is an impulse control disorder which does not involve use an intoxicating drug and is similar to pathological gambling in many ways. It is online-related compulsive behavior that disrupts and causes stress on relationships with family, friends and colleagues.


Internet addiction junkieThere is a growing need to identify the symptoms you experience when using Internet and mobile technology for extended periods. This a new direction that mental disorders are taking and psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as counsellors from organisations like Childline or LifeLine need to be prepared to deal with this. Professor Sherry Turkle in a TEDx talk joked about “phantom vibration syndro.” which so many people in my recent talks for Omnia Fertaliser resonated with.

– Ramon Thomas

Internet Addiction Disorder or IAD is an impulse control disorder which does not involve use an intoxicating drug and is similar to pathological gambling in many ways. It is online-related compulsive behaviour that disrupts and causes stress on relationships with family, friends and colleagues.

Addiction versus spending too much online can be differentiated by asking the question: “Do you control the Internet, or does the Internet control you?” Internet addiction can come to dominate a person’s life and become more important than family, friends and work. To an addict, life without the internet is not life at all and will jeopardize real life relationships and successes to maintain their unhealthy behaviour.

Internet Addiction is commonly broken down into various types including: online pornography, gambling, gaming, and online shopping addiction. The internet started as a convenient electronic network for academics and the military to share information, but has exploded into much more than that. Many people spend time on the internet and many more people spend too much time on the internet, but internet use becomes problematic and an addiction when people feel like they need to use it and it becomes a compulsion instead of just a way to procrastinate or reach a service online.

Although IAD has not yet been recognized as a clinical diagnosis, it is gaining momentum and recognition as a destructive addiction that can be especially detrimental to people with other co-occurring problems and issues. Internet Addiction is not determined by the time spent online, but rather a person’s inability to control themselves when it comes to its use.

Symptoms of Addiction

  • Always thinking about the Internet and what you did or will do
  • Finding that you need to be online longer and longer to feel satisfied.
  • Feeling restless, moody, depressed or irritable when trying to cut down on using the internet
  • Significant relationships, your job, educational or career opportunities becoming endangered because of your internet use
  • Finding that you lie to your family, friends and colleagues about how long or often you use the internet.
  • Using the internet to avoid feeling negative emotions such as hopelessness, guilt and depression.


IAD is a compulsive-impulsive disorder, and those affected generally require therapy to get better. As it is hardly realistic to expect people to eliminate technology from their lives, most therapies teach controlled use, and behavioral modification.

Beat your internet addiction.

Author: Christian Shire
Article Source:
Make PCB Assembly


Using Skype in South Africa To Save Money

Skype is a very useful software application that has been developed for VOIP calls or voice over internet protocol calls. You will be able to reach any person anywhere in the world as long as you have the needed requirements. Such requirements include but are not limited to:
Ramon Thomas Skype Status

  • A personal computer, laptop computer, netbook computer, tablet pc or any other device that is compatible with Skype. Preferably it has the latest specs.
  • A compatible internet phone or headset that you can use for making calls and dialling mobile numbers.
  • An active and strong internet connection that will allow you to stay in touch for long periods of time.
  • The latest Skype software application installed in your computer or Skype compatible device. You can even use Skype with the latest models of mobile phones.

You need to buy Skype credits in order to make some calls in South Africa. This is due to numerous factors including the charges attributed by the peer to peer connection established using Skype and any third party telecommunications company in South Africa. The best part here is that Skype is cheaper and more affordable when comparing the rates with South Africa’s leading telecommunication companies such as Telkom, Vodacom and MTN. With Skype, you will be able to make unlimited calls for as long as you pay around R50 up to R350 depending on your location and the Internet Service Provider that you are using.

If you are living in South Africa, then Skype is the perfect application for you to use in order to stay in touch with your love ones. There are numerous questions that plague Skype users in this continent and the most popular one is:

“Where can I buy Skype Credits?”

There are multiple methods in buying Skype Credits in South Africa and these are:

  • Skype credits can be easily bought via the official website of Skype. You can also buy these credits when you log-on to your Skype account using the latest Skype software application that you have downloaded. All there is to it is a debit or credit card that you can use in order to pay for the credits in order to get started. Around 3 minutes up to 5 minutes is needed and you can complete your credit purchase and such amount will reflect on your Skype credit balance.
  • Skype Credits can also be bought with the use of PayPal. This is due to the fact that PayPal is an international mode of payment used by Skype all over the world and since FNB, a major player in the South African banking industry, has already made a strong partnership with PayPal. As such, all there is to it is for you to open your very own PayPal account in order to get started. You can also use a debit card, credit card or cash card in order to enlarge your PayPal limit in order to purchase larger bulks of Skype credits. Buying Skype Credits has never been this easy like ever before.

Question about Wirless Internet in South Africa

A Question from a Reader on 16 May 2010

> I will be visiting your country soon.
> What wireless internet options are available in your country.?
> We have a mobile usb flash/modem with 3G wireless and have a pay-as-you-go system in my country.
> I wish not to spend time in a i-café
> Thanx
> claude
> —
> Coordinator; Africa For Haiti Campaign
> Tell: 011 833 5959 Ext 114
> Mobile: 076 191 0405

If you decide to use Cyber Cafe’s please checkout listings on the Internet Cafe Directory.

You can either use pre-paid hotspots available at most hotels, airports, restaurants or you can use your own USB modem with a SA sim card, using pre-paid airtime. The easiest is Vodacom or MTN. Stay away from Cell C or Virgin Mobile as they do not offer anything above Edge. So purchase a pre-paid sim card from their shop at the airport and ask them how to load data bundles. Your laptop should be set-up to use it as is.



Links and Link Anchor Text… Vital Info

Another gem from SEO guru Tony Roocroft, a mentor and friend.

Critical to SEO Success: Link Popularity and Link Relevancy.

  • Links: You need them.
  • Links: You need lots of them.
  • Links: You need lots of RELEVANT or RELATED links

Links on a web page enable the visitor to move around within and without a website easily.

A significant proportion of any website’s visitors will probably arrive at the site or page from a direct search query. By this I mean if a searcher types in good cheddar cheese he will be taken directly to a page about good cheddar cheese. On the other hand the searcher may have come from a link elsewhere maybe the searcher had been looking at a completely different site about English cheeses and saw a link to the site about good cheddar cheese.

When I review my own websites logs I find that about 60% of all page views come from search engines. The rest from other links or bookmarks.

Continue reading “Links and Link Anchor Text… Vital Info”

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South Africa's Internet growth accelerates

Arthur Goldstuck researcher World Wide WorxThe number of South African Internet users has passed the 5-million mark for the first time, finally breaking through the 10% mark in Internet penetration for the country.

This is the key finding of the Internet Access in South Africa 2010 study, conducted by World Wide Worx and jointly sponsored by Cisco. The headline data, released today, shows that the Internet user base grew by 15% last year, from 4,6-million to 5,3-million, and is expected to grow at a similar rate in 2010.

“The good news is that we will continue to see strong growth in 2010, and we should reach the 6-million mark by the end of the year,” says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx.

“A sustained growth in Internet penetration is a key factor that will positively influence the economy of South Africa”, says Reshaad Sha, Senior Manager for Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group. “The varied range of application services and social networking platforms used by local consumers has fuelled the uptake that we see today.”

Growth in the number of Internet users in South Africa was relatively stagnant from 2002 to 2007
, when it never rose above 7%. However, this rate almost doubled in 2008, and continued accelerating in 2009.

World Wide Worx found that the landing of a new undersea cable on the South African coast was only one of a range of factors behind the growth. Of greater significance was the granting of Electronic Communications Network Service licenses to more than 400 organisations. This meant that service providers that were previously required to buy their network access from one of the major providers, could now build their own networks or choose where they wanted to buy their access.

The result was that a market previously characterised by a limited range of providers and services suddenly exploded as small providers were able to repackage the services provided by the large telecommunications corporations in any way they wished. The large providers, in turn, began to offer far more competitive packages to both customers and resellers.

World Wide Worx found that a second key factor in growth over the past two years has been the continued uptake of broadband connectivity by small and medium enterprises migrating from dial-up connectivity. Each company moving from dial-up to ADSL, for example, extended Internet access to general office staff. This process was found to add an additional one to 20 new users to the Internet user base for every small business installing ADSL.

While the headline findings examine the general numbers of users, the final Internet Access in SA 2010 report, due to be released in March, will highlight the extent of new fibre-optic networks laid down across South African cities and between the cities. It will also examine the impact of the range of new undersea cables that will be in place by the end of 2011, and which is expected to enhance competitiveness even further.

“In the coming year, operators will begin to leverage the combination of new undersea cable capacity and new fibre-optic networks to supply corporate clients and resellers with bigger, faster and more flexible capacity,” says Goldstuck. “Almost every large player in the communications industry has realigned its business to take advantage of this relentless change.”

“South African consumers and businesses are demanding access to online applications and services that can only be experienced via high speed connectivity, such as fibre-optic networks. The year ahead will see the proliferation of high speed connectivity materialising more widely than ever before”, concludes Sha.


2009 Year End Message from ISOC President & CEO

Thanks for an Extraordinary Year of Achievements from Lynn St.Amour, President and CEO of ISOC.

Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,

The end of 2009 is here – and what a year it has been. The Internet Society continued to prosper in 2009, the results of our work reaching wider and deeper than ever before. So it is a pleasure to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you whose combined efforts, energy, and dedication have made this such a great year.

We often use the term “Internet community” and, looking back at the achievements of this year, it is clear that these are truly the result of a strong, committed community pulling together around shared values and principles.

It is impossible to list here all of the Internet Society’s achievements from such a busy and productive year, but I would like to single out a few highlights.

Continue reading “2009 Year End Message from ISOC President & CEO”


New undersea cable part of 100-fold bandwidth increase

The announcement today of a formal agreement for the construction of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) by all South Africa’s major telecommunications operators sets the scene for total international bandwidth capacity coming into Africa growing more than a hundredfold by the end of 2011.

The Internet Access in South Africa 2008 study, conducted by World Wide Worx and supported by Cisco Systems, shows that international bandwidth available to sub-Saharan Africa was a mere 80 Gigabits per second at the end of 2008. This was split between the Telkom-controlled SAT3/SAFE cable and the West African Atlantis-2 cable.

But, according to the report, the capacity will rise to around 10 Terabits per second by the end of 2011, or 120 times the 208 capacity. This growth will be the cumulative result of the existing SAT3 cable being upgraded, three major new cables becoming operational this year, another two in 2010, and the WACS cable in 2011.

These figures exclude capacity available to North African countries that have access to a network of cables criss-crossing the Mediterranean.

Says Reshaad Sha, Senior Manager of Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, “It is encouraging to witness and be part of the telecommunications revolution that Africa is currently undergoing. The role that the undersea cable operators will play is crucial to both the developmental and economic agendas that have and are being set by African Governments.”

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

  • SEACOM, East and Southern Africa, 1.28Tb/s – Due end June 2009
  • GLO-1, West Africa,640 Gb/s, ready for operations, 2009
  • TEAMS, East and Southern Africa, 120Gb/s – Due September 2009
  • EASSy East and Southern Africa, 1.Tb/s – Due June 2010
  • MainOne, West Africa, 1.92Tb/s, due 2010
  • WACS, West and Southern Africa, 3.8Tb/s, Due 2011

“The WACS agreement puts in place the final spark for the broadband revolution that is about to sweep Africa,” says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx. “The real significance of all these undersea cables is that they will in turn lead to further infrastructure expansion to bring this bandwidth to end-users, especially in the business world.”

Cisco’s Sha concurs: “The telecoms operators and governments are still required to fulfil the role of delivering this connectivity to their citizens. This will probably be the most challenging role in realising the benefits of the terabits of bandwidth that will be reaching the African coastlines.”

The Internet Access in South Africa 2008 report includes an overview of each of these cables and a timeline for their implementation.

Media contacts

For comment on this press release, please contact Zweli Mnisi, PR Manager: Cisco South Africa

Cell: +27 83 616 6175 Email:

For further information, please contact Arthur Goldstuck at World Wide Worx, on 011 782 7003 or 083 326 4345, or e-mail