Cape Town based Architect and Artist, Doung Anwar Jahangeer, has spent the better part of two weeks on his hands and knees painting a bright pink line down some of the major roads in the Cape Town CBD.
His latest piece of artwork follows the underground river that runs from the top of Table Mountain, down Orange Street, through the Company Gardens, past Parliament, down Adderley Street all the way through to the Cape Town Harbour where the rain water is discharged into the harbour.
Doung wants to take artwork outside of “elitist galleries” and bring it out into the open, where the ordinary person on the street can view and appreciate it. He wants to use his artwork in order to educate people about the finer things in life in an attempt to force people to question art, and to come up with their own ideas of what they consider art to be.
What do you think?
Okay, firstly I think that I need to make one thing clear from the start: “I told you so, I told you so, I told you so & I absolutely LOVE reading these articles!”
I don’t think this would surprise anyone, but PowerBalance—manufacturers of plastic wristbands with hologram stickers on it—have admitted that there’s “no credible scientific evidence that supports [their] claims and therefore [they] engaged in misleading conduct.”
Here’s their statement:
In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility.
We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
If you feel you have been misled by our promotions, we wish to unreservedly apologise and offer a full refund.
They had to publish that in Australian media. The company has been under attack by consumer associations all over Europe because of their bogus claims and pseudo-scientific mumbojumbo, but this seems to be the first time in which a regulatory authority has made them admit that their claims are a simply a fraud.
The whole PowerBalance and similar magic wristbands swindle reminds me of the old magnetic wristbands my grandma used to wear in the 80s. Those were able to cure anything, from rheumatism to diabetes and, like this modern powertrickery, they made people feel better because the metal vibrated in the same frequency as the planet does, whatever that means.
Of course, these pseudo-scientific amulets have been made and distributed since the beginning of civilization. From magic stones to sanctified pendants made of holy chicken bones, charlatans have been devising miraculous devices to take advantage of often desperate people. These are just fancier versions of those, used by a new generation of gullible people. But that doesn’t mean the governments should stay still and not do anything. Like in Australia, the US and the European Union should smash all these companies and prohibit their misleading commercials.
The story is now a trending article on Twitter!!!
Just how much time and money one is going to waste quickly becomes apparent when one receives an SMS text message on one’s cellphone similar to the following text message, which I received at 5:21pm on the 30th August 2010 from the following cellphone number: +27 (82) 0048440.
The text message reads as follows:
“Welcome to Mobbee. U can view unlimited content! To opt out in the promotion SMS STOP to 37459 help call 0878204085. T & C apply”
Now I should start off by saying the I have NEVER subscribed to TMobileSA’s Mobbee service, nor to a service called Mobbee, nor have I subscribed to any premium rated service (or other) offered by TMobileSA (Mobbee) or any of its subsidiaries.
It does not matter if you reply to them or not, or if you actually contact them, or if you contact your Service Provider (Vodacom SP in my case), because YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN CHARGED a premium rated SMS to receive that SMS text message.
Everytime you receive a text message from TMobileSA (Mobbee), you WILL BE CHARGED.
And, what makes it worse, is that TMobileSA (Mobbee) simply bills your Service Provider for the text message, and then your Service Provider simply adds the cost thereof onto your cellphone bill, WITHOUT your knowledge, consent, or otherwise.
Unsubscribing is a complete pain in the ass, and it is impossible to hold ANY party accountable, and even more impossible to actually be refunded for any costs that you have incurred on your cellphone account.
Essentially WASPS (Wireless Access Service Providers) that conduct business in this manner are the modern day THIEVES of the technology industry and are only being assisted in their endeavours by Service Providers that we come to trust and love.
Update (01 May 2011):
It looks as if TMobile is at it again .. they have recently been sending out “Inspirational Quotes” SMS’s to people (mainly MTN customers) so you had better check your cellular account!!! R5 per SMS! If you read the comments below, it’s plain to see that most people have NEVER subscribed or requested this service.
What ever happened to the “double opt in” that was supposed to have been implemented???
Update (10 May 2011):
63 complaints about TMobile SA on helopeter in the last 2 weeks. Wow!
MAJOR UPDATE (13 May 2011):
Thanks to Darren for the following update:
It would seem that TMobileSA/Wirels have been expelled from WAPSA!!!
Due to the complaints 10931, 11177, 11287 and 11296 lodged to WAPSA and WAPSAs adjudicators upholding the complaint it would seem that they have now expelled TMobileSA!
Other Sanctions: Expulsion from WASPA
Their details are also no longer appear on the “list of members” page: http://waspa.org.za/members/index.php
This in turn should result in the disconnection of all their services on the SA mobile networks. No company is allow to have a billing service on the SA mobile networks without being a paid up member of WASPA.
We will have to see if the SA networks do in fact disconnect them but at least in the mean time it’s a small step forward.
It would appear that the most damning report from the adjudicator is the one linked above (and again below) in which the complainant was actually an employee of WASPA!!!
The report makes for brilliant reading and is listed here.
Well done to all!!!! Beers on me!
Update (24 May 2011):
It looks like IOL have picked up the story as well. Link here.
Here is a few suggestions of what you can do in order to assist the WASP from losing its licence:
Identify which WASP is actually billing you
www.smscode.co.za – Need help identifying the owner of a commercial SMS or short code?
Contact your Service Provider – but remember, it is not their fault that the WASP is billing you, so don’t get too angry with them, BUT they can give you all of the contact details for the WASP, and they can confirm the name of the service that you are being charged for!
Lodge a complaint against the WASP
www.waspa.org.za – Once you’ve got the name and contact details of the WASP, then it’s tme to report them to the Wireless Application Service Provider’s Association! (Whether or not they are actually going to assist is yet to be seen!)
Confirm your subscription and recover your money from the WASP
Once you have confirmed the service that you are being charged for, and once you have lodged a complaint against the WASP, then contact them directly in order to try get a refund from them… which might be dependant on the level of your anger!
More links and reading:
TMobileSA’s website (link) (re-directs to an IP address)
Uniforum SA’s details pertaining to TMobile SA’s website (link)
TMobileSA is run by Tsoko Information Technology (link)
The statement on iGear’s website by Nicole:
The iPad WiFi+3G is carrier-locked and we cant use the U.S ones here, so we only expect availability toward September.
is absolute BULL and is CLEARLY intended to create confusion around the importation and use of US-purchased iPad 3G’s for use in South Africa.
I raised this point directly with Nicole in an email which pointed out that the quote on their website was incorrect.
On your website you state that: “The iPad WiFi+3G is carrier-locked and we cant use the U.S ones here.”
This is not actually true at all…
The Wi-Fi + 3G model has a micro-SIM slot (not mini-SIM ) located on the side of the device. The 3G model may be used with an AT&T data plan that does not require a contract. Apple has heavily advertised the uses of the no-contract plan on their website. Unlike the iPhone , which is usually sold locked to specific carriers, the 3G iPad is sold unlocked and can be used with any compatible GSM carrier.
I don’t know if you’ve included this statement on your website to try encourage local South Africans to purchase a WiFi version now, instead of waiting for later in the year once the iPad is officially launched in SA?
I don’t think that it’s right, and your statement is merely creating confusion regarding the 3G iPad and its use outside of the USA!