Blissfully cocooned in the peace and tranquillity of Johannesburg at the height of the festive holiday season, it has taken no more than a day or two this week to be brought back to reality and life as we know it. 

The nightmare of rush-hour traffic, aggravated by the usual spate of out-of-order traffic lights, moronic drivers and persistent drizzle, is already back with a vengeance – and we still haven’t reached the peak of grid-lock, with the "back-to-private-school" brigade in Gauteng not due to hit the roads until next week.
Even load-shedding, that did not seem to prevent too many turkeys from being cooked to perfection on Christmas Day, appears to have reared its ugly head within hours of things getting back to normal.
And if we needed any other reminders that the "season of goodwill towards all men" is well and truly over, you need look no further than what appears to be a petulant tantrum by Intel.
The chip-maker’s decision to pull out of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) programme (see IT-Online, 4 January) was not fully explained but does appear to have been inspired by OLPC’s decision to standardise on a single product and platform that incorporates the AMD chip set.
So it seems that commercial vested interests, driven by what we have previously described as the non-stop and extremely bitter "pissing contest" between Intel and AMD is going to get in the way or somehow affect how children in developing countries gain access to low-cost technology.
What a way to start the New Year.
– David Bryant