Saturday, June 12, 2010

An Invention for the Ages : The Vuvuzela Conquers the Soccer (Association Football) World at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

The vuvuzela - a plastic horn "invented" -- but not patented -- by Cape Town's own Neil van Schalkwyk based on similar tin horns previously used by football fans in South Africa - has become so popular around the world as a symbol of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, that it will probably be the thing most remembered about this association football (soccer) world championship years down the road. Kids in our neighborhood already have one of these things and takes getting used to a horn which blares out in jet plane loudness like a full-grown elephant.

The vuvuzela has become so popular "that a major South African brewer took steps to register the design as a trademark to protect its inventor, Neil van Schalkwyk."

See Alexandra Hudson, Reuters Africa, Vuvuzela inventor says it's no sin to make a din

See also:

David Smith at the Guardian, 2010 World Cup: A brief history of the vuvuzela : Turn down the volume, shove in the earplugs, for a raucous horn is threatening viewers' sanity during the World Cup
who writes:
"TV crews seeking "local colour" are likely to settle on fans not only blowing vuvuzelas but also wearing bright facepaint and wigs, the yellow shirt of the national team, Bafana Bafana, a pair of oversized spectacles and, in some cases, traditional Zulu animal skins with shield and spear.
The most popular match-day headgear is the makarapa, a variation on the miner's helmet, an icon in mining cities such as Johannesburg, topped by elaborate decorations and images in bright colours. Its inventor, Alfred Baloyi, started making them 30 years ago in a tiny shack in a township and is now running his own studio producing a hundred a day with the help of companies such as Coca-Cola."
Can there be any doubt that this World Cup is in Africa, the land of all of our forefathers.

Now where did I put that leopard skin....

Mobile Phone Roaming Caps in the EU Upheld by Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ)

A number of sources have picked up the story that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has upheld an EU law, the so-called Roaming Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 544/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 717/2007 on roaming on public mobile telephone networks within the Community and Directive 2002/21/EC on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services), which puts caps on mobile phone roaming charges in the European Union.

See e.g.:

EU Court Rules in Favor of Roaming Caps, by Mike Gordon at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Technology

Roaming cap is lawful, rules ECJ | Pinsent Masons LLP

Phone operators fail over roaming fees move, by Stanley Pignal in Brussels, Financial Times

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