Friday, January 30, 2009

Ray Wicksell on 'How To Build a Brand'

Ray Wicksell's Voucher, originally uploaded by royblumenthal.

Ray Wicksell appears on tomorrow's episode of 'Kaleidoscope', the business magazine show on CNBC AFRICA. (It's at 8:30pm Central African Time. In South Africa, it's on Channel 410 on DStv. In Africa, it's on several satellite channels.)

Ray's a long-distance runner turned marketer. His long term sponsor -- Nike -- converted his running shoes into the footing for a massive career in South Africa. He's the guy who headed up the South African Nike team when they first came to our shores.

In the show, he talks about what a company needs to do in order to keep a brand alive and kicking.

What he doesn't talk about on air is the fact that he's also a property developer. So if you're in the market for ultra-luxury lving, you might want to look at his website -- or -- and pick out your apartment in one of his golfing estates.

Oh... if you're wondering about the 'I am not Arnold' quote... Ray is a dead ringer for Arnold Schwarzenegger. He even had a bad spell with a stalker. She simply wouldn't believe that he WASN'T Arnie. Wild stuff.

The painting this coupon is based on was made live in studio during the recording of this week's episode of Kaleidoscope. I painted it in ArtRage 2.5 on my Rectron-sponsored Asus R1E tablet pc. I took it into Photoshop CS3, and did my manipulations there.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rolex gets the time wrong before a global tennis audience!!!

Marcos Baghdatis is standing in front of the Rolex clock in Melbourne.

The analogue clock says it's five to one. While the digital counterpart says it's five to two.

Maybe it's not a real Rolex? Maybe it's a fong kong Bolex, R0lex, Nolex?

(Subtext: if you're gonna do stadium marketing, get it right, huh?)

Visual Facilitation R500 Off Voucher -- Anton Crone, Saatchi & Saatchi Cape Town

Anton Crone was one of the guests at today's live recording of the tv show I'm part of... CNBC AFRICA's weekly magazine show, 'Kaleidoscope'.

He's a Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Cape Town.

He was in the studio to talk about an incredible Guinness commercial that should start flighting in Europe shortly. It features a whirlwind going about its whirly business, demonstrating the elements required to make a great glass of Guinness.

I'm not a fan of alcohol advertising. In fact, I'm an opponent of the entire discipline of advertising alcohol. I believe it's one of the key causes of alcoholism. (Apart from the dumbfuckery of the alcoholics themselves, of course.)

But in this case, I'll probably have to make an exception. It's a brilliant ad, brilliantly made. And if I were still an advertising whore, I'd wish I'd written it.

This is the blank version of a voucher I'm sending to Anton to make use of my services. It's part of a self-marketing drive to leverage my presence on Kaleidoscope.

The components of this painting were all made live in studio this afternoon on my Rectron-sponsored ASUS R1E tablet pc, running ArtRage 2.5. No alcohol was consumed during or after the making of this voucher.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bring your meetings and presentations to life with Roy Blumenthal’s Visual Facilitation

Roy offers two key products that’ll help you power up your message...


He creates live, on-the-spot, painted interpretations of talks, projecting his original artworks on a big screen. All paintings are digital, and are available to delegates at the end of the event.

Book Roy today by emailing Jennifer at .


  • 8-hour day: R12 450 (US$1 245, GB£845, €945).
  • 4-hour half-day: R7 950 (US$795, GB£535, €595).
  • Up to 2-hours: R4 470 (US$445, GB£295, €335).


He produces custom-made animated caricatures which deliver summaries in the speaker’s own voice. These movies make ideal promos to put on your website. They’re also excellent as client giveaways.


  • A base-price of R7 450 (US$745, GB£495, €560) plus R740 (US$77, GB£47, €57) per running minute.
Here are some examples of animated summaries I've made:

Here's one I did for Rich...! at Missing Link:

Here's one I did for Warwick Cairns, summarizing his book, HOW TO LIVE DANGEROUSLY:

And here's one I made for Paul du Toit, a public speaker:

Finally, here's an animated testimonial of what I do from Keith Wilmot, Global Director: Insights, Ideas, & Creativity for the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta:

Can you picture it? Roy can!

And here's my portfolio of publically viewable paintings from visual facilitations I've done for companies and on television.
An assortment of Pictures from Roy's Visual Facilitations:

If you'd like to book Roy for your next event, please feel free to email Jennifer at .

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Is Opera Mini on your Symbian phone secure?

I tweeted recently about loving the Opera Mini web browser I installed on my Nokia E71 smartphone.

Twitter user, e71nokia, says, 'Beware!'

One of the responses I received came from a Twitter user called 'e71nokia'. The response warns me that Opera Mini is supposedly not secure, and that only the Nokia browser should be used for sensitive information...

I'm deeply suspicious of a Twitter profile that has absolutely NO information about the person. Here's a screenshot of the profile page:

Note that 'e71nokia is following three people, and is being followed by four. There is NO information about this person. Nada. This leads me to believe that it's just some arbitrary person who may be a Nokia enthusiast. But certainly not an officially sanctioned Nokia spokesperson.

So I decided to check out this claim.

IS Opera Mini on my E71 secure? 

Am I in danger of having my details nabbed by hackers?

Here are my findings.

Using the search string, 'is opera mini secure', I Googled the issue.

Dev.Opera.Com says, 'You can trust Opera Mini to be secure'

The Dev.Opera.Com website, in an article dated 25 October 2007, explicitly states the following: 
Note: Security is an important matter, which Opera takes very seriously. The connection between the Opera Mini client and server is always encrypted, whether the original site is HTTP or HTTPS, therefore> you can trust Opera Mini to be secure.
Opera Mini Help says, 'Information is encrypted', but only in 'advanced versions of Opera Mini 3.0 and newer versions'.

Let's go next to Opera Mini itself... to the horse's mouth, so to speak.

In the 'Opera Mini Help' section, the FAQ has a section devoted to 'Security'. Here's what it says:
Q: Can I browse securely with Opera Mini?
A: Yes.
Q: Does Opera Mini support encrypted connections?
A: Yes. Information sent between your handset and the Web site is encrypted in the advanced version of Opera Mini 3.0 and newer versions.

In the basic version of Opera Mini 3.0, and in older versions, there is no encryption between your handset and the Opera Mini servers. See a more detailed explanation here.
That proviso is important. If you're NOT running a version of Opera Mini HIGHER THAN 3.0, your browsing is vulnerable to snooping. If you ARE running a later version, your browsing IS secure. Point blank.

Wikipedia says 'the connection [...] is always encrypted', but, Opera Mini 'does not offer true, end-to-end security'.

Finally, in the interests of being safe, I turned to the Wikipedia entry on Opera Mini.

Here's what section 3.2 Privacy and Security has to say:
Privacy and security

When using Opera Mini 4.0 or 3.0 Advanced, the connection between the mobile device and the proxy server is always encrypted for privacy and security. The encryption key is obtained on the first start by requesting that the user press random keys a certain number of times.[45] When using Opera Mini 3.0 Basic, the connection is not encrypted. Opera Mini has received some criticism because it does not offer true, end-to-end security when visiting encrypted sites such as[46] When visiting an encrypted web page, the Opera Software company's servers decrypt the page, then re-encrypt it themselves, breaking end-to-end security.[47]

I'm certainly no authority on this. So my reading is open to question. As far as I can make out, what this means is that the connection between the information on my E71 and the particular website is ALWAYS intermediated by the Opera Mini servers.

This takes place through an encrypted connection AT ALL TIMES.

The one 'breaking' of security comes not in transit, but within the Opera Mini servers, between Opera Mini and the site in question... BUT this 'break' is merely to do with decrypting of the information for Opera itself to parse it. It remains encrypted to third parties.

My conclusion: Opera Mini IS safe, even though there are end-to-end security issues.

From my readings, I'm concluding that Opera Mini is indeed safe, and that the end-to-end issues don't render data vulnerable to attack, thanks to Opera Mini's data transfer being 'always encrypted'.

Is Twitter user e71nokia trustworthy?

Coming full circle to Twitter user, 'e71nokia', my guess is that his or her intentions are good. And that they're offering a conservative reading of the 'end-to-end' security 'break'. I'm suspecting that they're saying it's better to be safe than sorry. Which is a great bit of advice. 

However, I STILL don't trust an entity that offers no information about itself. I WANT e71nokia to offer proper details. A site to visit. Credentials. An explanation of why they're on Twitter. It's NOT good enough to have a blank profile doling out potentially harmful advice.

Is my understanding of the issue correct? IS Opera Mini safe for sensitive transactions?

Regarding the securty of Opera Mini... Is my understanding correct? Are there any Opera Mini boffs who can offer better clarity? This is a huge issue. If my Opera Mini transactions aren't secure, I need to know that. And I need to know about workarounds. Thoughts?