The Benefits of Software Development to a Sustainable African Economy

Published by on Oct 22nd, 2013, 1 Comment

CZ-smartphone-6404The role of software development in the development and sustainability of the African economy cannot be overlooked says Malcolm Rabson, managing director at Dariel Solutions. “As companies drive through the recession leaner and wiser, they seek ways to contain risk while concurrently securing market share. And many companies are looking to their software to do exactly this – in many forms and shapes.”

In fact, according to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for ICT in Africa 2013, enterprise mobile technology is following the consumerisation curve. Many aspects are maturing, and innovation is more on software than hardware with a focus on adding to an existing experience rather than changing it. As a result, African enterprises should look at adopting a number of services to ensure they remain competitive in the face of increasing market aggression. Amongst these factors they list Big Data, crowdsourcing, rich content and long term evolution (LTE) – all which have software at their heart.

“The industry is moving quickly, buzz words are rife and while many businesses are trying to keep up with the new solutions, it is advisable for companies to embrace software technology at the heart of such initiatives by aligning themselves with companies who have done the necessary software groundwork,” adds Rabson.

Just look at the changing dynamics: (more…)

SA Retail Reaches Digital Tipping Point

Published by on Oct 22nd, 2013, 1 Comment

EcommerceSouth African retail groups are investing heavily in their online presences as they wake up to the prospect of rising international competition as well as the growing pool of Internet-connected users ready to shop online, says Kevin Meltzer, Business Development Executive of EOH Consology.

He says that the country’s e-commerce market has reached a tipping point, with millions of people who have been online for a number of years and who are now ready to use digital channels for a wider range of interactions and transactions.

“As models from the likes of World Wide Worx show, once users have been online for five years or more, they become ready to transact more on digital platforms,” says Meltzer. “We’re now at a point where we have enough of these mature online users in South Africa to justify heavy investment in the online channel by the country’s retailers.”

Meltzer says that many of the roadblocks to e-commerce have fallen by the wayside over the past few years. New payment mechanisms such as mobile money and debit cards mean that online shopping is no longer only for those who qualify for credit cards. What’s more, consumers are better educated and informed about how to transact online securely, which has increased their confidence in digital commerce, he adds. Of course, rising quality and falling prices of mobile and fixed-line broadband have also helped to drive the growth of online shopping in South Africa. (more…)

Nokia Lumia gets Instagram, other New Apps

Published by on Oct 22nd, 2013, No Comments


Today at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi, Nokia debuted a wide range of third-party applications to enhance the Asha and Lumia experiences. DreamWorks Animation, Flipboard, Electronic Arts, Vine and WhatsApp are among leading developers who have built new applications for the latest larger screen Lumia devices and Asha phones, including Nokia’s first tablet, which were also launched at Nokia World today.

It was also announced that the popular photo and video sharing application Instagram will be coming to Windows Phone in the coming weeks.

“Our ultimate goal is to bring Instagram to everyone who wants to use it,” said Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder, Instagram. “We’re looking forward to watching the Windows Phone community use Instagram to capture and share beautiful moments in the coming weeks.”

Nokia also unveiled its own new applications including Nokia Storyteller, Nokia Video Director and Nokia Beamer, taking advantage of Nokia’s latest imaging innovation and deep integration with HERE Maps to allow customers to capture, share and re-live memories. (more…)

Nokia announces Mobile Maths for Grades 10-12

Published by on Oct 20th, 2013, No Comments

Momaths questionNokia and the Department of Science and Technology have announced the general availability of Nokia Mobile Mathematics, a mobile phone service that helps learners from grades 10 – 12 better understand Mathematics.

Any person with a data enabled mobile phone can now access more than 10 000 exercises of varying difficulties and collaborate with others, compare achievements and get guidance on how to progress. The service also gives teachers the ability to better understand learner’s competence and areas of improvement.

“We launched the Nokia Mobile Mathematics pilot in 2009 after a request by the then Deputy President of South Africa on how we could better use mobile technology to speed up learning,” said Gerard Brandjes, Vice President, Nokia South and East Africa. “With more than five years of listening, learning and adapting the service, we are now ready to make it available broadly.”

The new service is fully browser-based and works on any phone, tablet or PC without needing to download an app. After a quick sign-up process, students can practice problems in a number of categories like finance, trigonometry, calculus and statistics. While working on questions, learners can read background theory, see examples of solved problems and engage with others. Points are awarded for successfully completed exercises and, if a learner chooses to, they can share their points and compete with other students. (more…)

The Careless Majority – More than half of Android Users use No Security Software

Published by on Oct 18th, 2013, 2 Comments

android-malwareAccording to a recent survey conducted by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab, over 50% of Android-based smartphone and tablet owners do not use any security software to protect their devices against cyber-threats. Meanwhile, Android has long been the most popular platform for ordinary users and the cybercriminals who use malware to steal from them.

Only 40% of smartphone and 42% of tablet owners participating in the survey stated that they have installed a security solution on their devices and are now using it. Other respondents are content to rely on the limited security features integrated in the OS, or trust their own instincts to keep them safe.

Meanwhile, for cybercriminals Android is well-established as the top target among all mobile platforms. According to the Kaspersky Lab cloud service Kaspersky Security Network, which accumulates data about urgent cyber-threats, 99% of current malware samples targeting mobile devices have been developed for the Android platform. And this threat is growing: Kaspersky Lab specialists detected 35,000 malicious samples for the whole of 2012, while the figure for the first half of 2013 was over 47,000.

There are two main reasons why cybercriminals are interested in the Android platform: popularity and functionality. (more…)

Jack Daniels launches Online Store for SA

Published by on Oct 18th, 2013, 1 Comment

Jack_Daniels_LogoUp until now, the only place to purchase bespoke Jack Daniel’s fashion wear or collectable items was by making the trip to the JD Hardware Store in Lynchburg Tennessee.  Now, local Jack fans can do their online shopping and enjoy free delivery to anywhere in South Africa, from Sandton to Springbok, thanks to the newly launched JD online store.

Located on the local Jack Daniel’s Facebook page,, the retail store – called The Jack Daniel’s Hardware Store – is the first of its kind within the South African liquor market.

The store sports a range of branded men’s and ladies fashion clothing and other specialty items from custom-built jukeboxes to the classic Jack Daniel’s T-shirt. Marketing Manager for Jack Daniel’s South Africa, Dino D’Araujo says the online store is the answer to the countless fans who’ve wanted to buy genuine JD-branded merchandise, “The store provides a great range of high end clothing and memorabilia, catering for both casual shoppers looking for interesting gifting ideas, as well as the serious Jack collector”. (more…)

Nike announces new Fuelband SE

Published by on Oct 16th, 2013, No Comments


The original Fuelband was quite a good little device (see our review here) – while it had minimal features, it did benefit from a simple design and good software, even though it was iPhone only. But since its release, the market has heated up significantly with new competitors from Fitbit, Withings and Jawbone. Most of these competitors had some rocky starts, but have since refined their products significantly.

For the Nike’s follow up to the Fuelband they stuck to the original look – it has the same barebones black strap look, but with some new colour accents within the strap. All in all, you need to look pretty hard to see whether a Fuelband is indeed a SE version. The big changes are instead on the inside – it has improved sensors which allows for more accurate measurements, and is apparently more difficult to fool. Nike has also improved the build quality on the new one, with improved water resistance, but is still not water proof.

Fuelband SE colours


Should Companies Outsource IT Security Training?

Published by on Oct 14th, 2013, No Comments

it-security-trainingMost companies assign their own Tech Support Department to train company employees in matters of IT security, rather than hiring outside IT consultants or asking the HR Department or Employee Development Department to commission IT security professionals, according to experts at B2B International. B2B International recently collaborated with Kaspersky Lab to conduct the Global Corporate IT Security Risks 2013 survey among companies located all over the world, including South Africa.

Effective IT security training for employees is a key component of any strategy to combat cyber threats – according to the survey, four out of five of the most common internal security incidents recorded in the past 12 months were directly linked to staff actions. The figures for South Africa show that:

  • 24 of respondents reported accidental leakages of confidential data
  • 36% of respondents reported employees losing corporate mobile devices with critical data stored on them
  • 14% of companies encountered intentional staff-facilitated data leakages
  • 20% of companies had dealt with incidents when confidential data got into the wrong hands due to the improper use of mobile devices (via a mobile email client, text messages, etc.) (more…)