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A random story from the archives

IS OPENNESS THE END OF DIPLOMACY?
WikiLeaks anniversary challenges a transparent future
Dateline: 12 May 2019
On the tenth anniversary of WikiLeaks opening its electronic doors, it’s perhaps appropriate to consider the impact that the crusade for increased openness and transparency has had on governmental thinking. For a while in the early 2000s we really thought that openness might have a chance. In its post-Apartheid euphoria South Africa embraced ‘The Truth...

Older stories

Party like it’s your birthday, every day
The Roaring Twenties are back!
Dateline: 3 September 2023
The dancing shoes have been dusted off and the champagne fountains are overflowing. After more than two years of being cooped up indoors, humanity is now venturing out again en masse. To the rooftop bars, the discos, the street cafes. Our homes are empty, except for the absolute necessity of sleeping every night. You see,...
It pays to be direct
Whose customer is it anyway?
Dateline: 9 January 2025
One of the more visible trends during the pandemic years was the pivot towards direct sales to customers, also known as ‘D2C’. Big brands embraced direct selling in a big way, using every channel and social medium open to them. As more and more consumers shop online, direct-to-consumer brands have taken the industry by storm....
New Year is for the birds
And the bees, and the fish and the trees
Dateline: 1 January 2023
After the last three years of pandemic-depressed New Year’s celebrations, we’ve got something to shout about at last. Coronavirus is finally on its way out, and we can breathe easy again. It’s been a battle of wits, politics and medical science, but ultimately biotech innovation has won the war. Not only have we developed breakthrough...
The meme that stole Christmas
Nothing unscientific really matters anymore
Dateline: 22 December 2024
Four years ago, Christmas was cancelled by the Coronavirus pandemic, as borders closed and many countries announced lockdowns, in the face of a second wave of infections. Now there’s a new viral agent threatening to disrupt Christmas festivities: a dangerous meme. It started out as a simple story, debunking the myth of Santa, and the...
Living robots do nanotech chores
Molecular machines on the atomic assembly line
Dateline: 17 December 2024
Almost five years ago, scientists created the first living robots, called xenobots, from tiny blobs of frog stem cells. Most importantly, they discovered through simulation on a supercomputer that they could program the xenobots by redesigning their physical format. Their shape determined their function. Now the convergence of biotech, nanoscale engineering and semiconductor design has...
Trade walls tumble
The only free lunch Is free trade
Dateline: 10 December 2024
Gone are the days of tariffs, duties and quotas. People (and their governments) have finally woken up to the fact that international trade benefits everybody, not just the strongest partner in a trading relationship. Several significant moves and agreements over the last four years have given rise to this new trend. All of Africa’s most...
The serious business of Sciplay
New genre of edutainment taking the world by storm
Dateline: 4 December 2026
Think of it as Sci Fi meets Extreme Sports, Video Games and Reality TV. There’s a new game in town, and it’s breaking all the records for attracting followers and sponsors. Early examples of this blend of science, technology innovation, and entertainment were the BBC’s Robot Wars and the Mythbusters TV series. Rocketeers and student...
What you don’t know won’t hurt you
It’s not ‘what you know,’ but rather ‘asking the right questions’ that is most important
Dateline: 27 November 2030
In previous decades and centuries, knowledge was power, and possessing the right knowledge was the key to success, wealth and ultimately, power. That’s no longer the case. Now we live in an age where the internet of everything is sensing and monitoring every aspect of our lives and physical world. With over a 100 billion...
The silk noose tightens
China’s Belt and Road initiative gains pace
Dateline: 19 November 2025
As western countries faltered in the face of coronavirus pandemics and political instability, China quietly ramped up its efforts to create a griphold on global trade. Having established its Belt and Road development strategy a decade earlier, China took advantage of 2020 turbulence to put key alliances in place. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or...
Don’t have heart failure
It takes more than brains to innovate
Dateline: 12 November 2023
If you’re a business leader or entrepreneur, you’ll know that it takes more than smarts to create something new, to be successful, to make a mark in your chosen field. Whether you’re facing Trumpian odds of succeeding or just bidin’ your time to become the leading innovator in your marketspace, you need resilience, persistence and...

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