Microsoft and Jobs Fund to train 3000 students

Published by on Jun 7th, 2013, No Comments

Microsoft South Africa today kicked off a partnership with Government’s Jobs Fund that will train more than 3000 unemployed graduates to get permanent jobs in the technology sector in the next three years.

Launching the initiative in Newtown today, Jean-Phillippe Courtois, the president of Microsoft International, said the initiative would dramatically expand Microsoft’s existing skills development programmes through funding from the Jobs Fund and the company’s own 4Afrika initiative.

“The Government’s top priority is to get young South Africans working. As a company, we have long invested in South Africa and understand the need for us all to continue to develop solutions to this challenge. We remain committed to helping address the issue of youth unemployment, as we cannot let an entire generation of young people become long-term unemployed,” said Courtois.

Patrick Dlamini, chief executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which administers the Jobs Fund, hailed the partnership with Microsoft as a major breakthrough in creating jobs in South Africa’s IT sector.

“We’ve been extremely encouraged by the way the private sector has risen to the challenge of helping create jobs in South Africa. Indeed, these types of partnerships between the private and public sector will be significant contributors to the more than 100 524 new permanent jobs which our current portfolio of approved projects aims to create by 2015. These projects will also place another 56 194 unemployed people in vacant positions,” he said. (more…)

Hands On Review: Samsung Galaxy S4

Published by on Jun 3rd, 2013, 4 Comments


Samsung has taken the smartphone market by storm – it is incredibly popular, and Android to the common man has become synonymous with the “Galaxy” brand. But the Android market has some truly great competitors right now. The HTC One is almost perfect, and the Sony Xperia Z sports a cool waterproof design. But thanks to Samsung’s huge marketing effort, the most popular Android phone out is the Galaxy S series, and most other Android phone are ignored. In a quick few iterations it has become the phone on everyone’s minds, and thanks to massive marketing, the phone that the average South African aspires to.

But is the new Galaxy S4 up to that high praise?


The S4 looks a hell of a lot like the S3 – and its good to see that Samsung has nailed down their own design language. Much like the way you can recognize a iPhone, the S4 is unmistakably a Samsung Galaxy phone. In fact, if you don’t have some time to look at it with a close eye, it easy to mistake for the S3. And I think that is a good thing.

The S4 is a good looking phone in person, and it is dominated by a massive 5 inch display. This screen is larger than the S3, which means that the phone has now officially crossed over into the uncomfortable territory. Sure, thanks to curved edges it feels great in hand, but you need some monstrous paws to use this phone with one hand.


Gmail gets new features, smarter inbox

Published by on May 30th, 2013, No Comments

We all try to keep up with all the messages that land in our inbox, and even the best filtering tools have a tough time getting rid off mails you do not want to see.

Gmail has always had the labels and folders features, but it is not always the most logical tool to set up for everyone. Now Google is placing these categories of mail upfront and center in the interface of your inbox, in a new tabbed interface:


The new “Primary” inbox button ought to keep only email from actual people mailing you, while other automatically sent emails will land under the other tab buttons. You can also add your own, and also customize where mails do land. You simply drag the mail to the right tab to set the rule in place.

The new Inbox categories will also be available on Android and iOS apps soon enough, but Google is still rolling these out.

If you want to see the new inbox in action, check out the video below: (more…)

Get it together Cell C

Published by on May 29th, 2013, 12 Comments


(Not a picture of the author)

I recently moved house, and upon moving in I realized that Vodacom has almost no signal in my area. So, after having a Vodacom contract for more than a decade, it was time to move to another network. So I jumped at the chance to finally move to Cell C. On Saturday I went to the Cell C store in Tygervalley center to get a Nano SIM for my phone, which I would need before I port. The sales lady informs me that a Cell C Starter Pack with a Nano SIM will cost me R150. Upon enquiring why, she tells me it is a “very expensive” SIM card to manufacture (which I happen to know is BS).

I then walked over to Game (just a few stores away), and bought the very same Nano SIM Card Starter Pack for the royal sum of R1 and the Game employee tells me that she is well aware of the “skelms” at the Cell C store. So I buy it, and walk back to Cell C to ask the store manager if they are aware of this. She tells me yes, but they cannot do anything about it. Apparently other stores (like Game) buy their SIM cards from “Cell C Direct”, and the Cell C franchise stores get their SIM cards from Cell C.

First off, I know my issue is all about the (some might argue) measly sum of R149, but it is things like this that affect your brand’s reputation. Right now Cell C is punting itself as the most innovative network with their customer’s interests at heart. I must agree, their current offerings like Supacharge prepaid make it very hard to ignore, and I believe their smartphone deal packages are much better structured than any other network.

But here is the thing. (more…)

Samsung wins 4 TIPA Awards for Imaging Products

Published by on May 29th, 2013, 2 Comments


Samsung has won four 2013 Technical Image Press Association Awards in the ‘Best CSC Advanced’, ‘Best Mobile Imaging Device’, ‘Best Imaging Innovation’ and ‘Best Photo TV’ categories.

For the first time, Samsung’s Digital Imaging devices won three 2013 TIPA Awards. The Samsung NX300 Smart Camera won Best CSC Advanced, making it the best advanced compact system camera (CSC) on the market.

The NX300’s brand new 20.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor allows users to take images that boast sharp, life-like colours which are crisp and clear in all light conditions. Taking images even in the darkest conditions is also made possible by the NX300’s wide ISO range (ISO100-25600), while its Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system delivers fast, accurate phase and contrast detection. With its Wi-Fi capability the camera also allows users to share their images. All of these features contributed to the decision of the TIPA judges to award this camera ‘Best CSC Advanced’. 

The Samsung GALAXY Camera won Best Mobile Imaging Device (more…)

Flickr users now get 1 Terabyte Free

Published by on May 21st, 2013, No Comments


Flickr is one of those great sites of the past which was ignored for way too long. As Yahoo’s SVP Adam Caham puts it: “Flickr had become about words, little images, blue links. It was not about the photo anymore.” No Yahoo is hoping to finally rejuvenate the aging photo site with a brilliant new user interface and a massive amount of storage for users.

The boring old white page with tiny images has now been replaced with a image rich interface which is much more in sync with our current broadband age. There is extensive sharing options also built in – and of course it includes Yahoo’s new darling, Tumblr (which it bought for a cool $1,1 Bil).

The biggest way to get people back to Flickr is of course with online storage. (more…)

Samsung AlwaysOn Partnership benefits businesses

Published by on May 20th, 2013, No Comments


Being connected has become such a part of our daily routine that it is unheard of to not check email, send a social network update, or edit a document in the cloud wherever we find ourselves. And given the increase in Wi-Fi hotspots, one could live ‘always on’ without too much effort.

“Companies see improvements in productivity when employees are able to work remotely and access the corporate network while travelling,” says Mike van Lier, Business Leader for IT Solutions at Samsung Electronics South Africa. “These employees can provide live feedback from the field to ensure that data is always relevant and all internal stakeholders know exactly what the latest developments are. What’s more, mobile data rates have become more competitive to provide business users and consumers with affordable options when it comes to the connected experience.” (more…)

NATIVE launches Bookly – a Library on your Phone

Published by on May 17th, 2013, No Comments


Thanks to NATIVE’s new Mxit app, bookly, author Fiona Snyckers can now launch her book to an audience of 7.3 million monthly active users and do it three weeks before the real-world launch in bookstores.

bookly is the most sophisticated e-reader app available on the Mxit platform.  NATIVE began developing the app in early 2013, and was eager to bring suitable partners on board as quickly as possible. Publishers Random House Struik and Modjaji Books stepped up as partners creating an appropriate focus on serialised South African novels.