Samsung Galaxy S4 found to be cheating at Benchmarks

Published by on Jul 31st, 2013, 1 Comment


Very sneaky Samsung.

Many high end Android phone buyers tend to base their purchasing decision on how “fast” the latest and greatest phones are. So if you are building the world’s most popular Android phone, how do you make sure your phone lands on the top of the charts, and thus appeal to these power users? Turns out, if you are Samsung, you do not necessarily have to make the fastest phone. But you can rig all Galaxy S4′s to overclock their processors for only a few benchmarks apps.

In its typically in-depth fashion, Anandtech did a bit of digging into some very strange benchmark results that came from the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S4 uses a 480MHz graphics processing unit which runs at that speed for every app. But the phone is programmed to overclock that processor to 533MHz for only a handful of overclocking apps typically used by reviewers (AnTuTu, GLBenchmark 2.5.1 and Quadrant). The CPU speed gets manipulated in a similiar fashion as well. Want proof? Anandtech actually found the code string to define which benchmark apps can receive the speed boost: (more…)

Mxit Needs Repositioning – Steven Ambrose

Published by on Jul 31st, 2013, No Comments


The rapid growth of the WhatsApp instant messaging (IM) client and the decline in the volume of chat messages going through MXit over the past twelve months in South Africa, are indicative of the change in the way people are using their mobile phones to communicate with each other.

Steven Ambrose, Strategy Worx CEO, says that according to industry sources WhatsApp numbers have doubled over the last twelve months and are heading towards the 10 million user mark in South Africa.
MXit revised their reporting of active user numbers in January 2013 to a 30 day standard, resulting in a more accurate picture, with MXit now reporting around 6.5 million active monthly users on the platform in South Africa.

This active user number for MXit is little changed from a year ago, and while that is good news in the face of the growth of the other IM platforms, MXit has experienced a downward shift in engagement on their platform from its active users, especially with regard to person to person messaging, which has declined by approximately a third over the last year.

“MXit has been the dominant player in the IM space over the last couple of years, with its user base growing steadily, while WhatsApp was a relatively small player. The answer as to why there has been a sudden change lies in user behaviour and how the technology actually works,” Ambrose says.

Defining the landscape

WhatsApp was the first major IM client that, like SMS, only requires you to know someone else’s number, as opposed to requiring users to create an account and know the user names of the people they wish to be in contact with. However, unlike SMS, it uses a data connection (more…)

Canary – Home Security of the Future?

Published by on Jul 23rd, 2013, 3 Comments


I am pretty sure most people have a special kind of hatred for home alarm systems. The complicated installation, the endless maintenance and the needlessly complicated operation is beyond frustrating. If you think about it, it seems like alarm systems have not really kept up with the pace of innovation we find in other industries.

Luckily one startup is looking at giving the home security industry a shakeup. The Canary is a small sensor loaded device that you simply place in high traffic areas of your house, and then provides you with details regarding your home. Inside the little cylindrical case there is a HD camera, infrared (motion detection), wifi, thermometer, air quality meter, humidity sensor and a microphone. Setup is as simple as giving it power, and creating an account (which is free). This all then connects to your home network using wifi – and then the magic starts.

Canary uses a smartphone app (iPhone currently) to then communicate to you if anything out of the ordinary happens at home. And unlike your ADT alarm at home, the system actually learns the environment and when things typically occur. The canary sends these user patterns to their servers, and keeps track of it all for you.


Samsung committed to Education Ecosystems

Published by on Jul 22nd, 2013, No Comments

Samsung-africaAdequate education remains a critical issue in South Africa. With remote locations playing a largely negative role in appropriate learner schooling alternative options to traditional classrooms are required. Technology is driving the way forward for many educators and learners and will continue to play an integral part in filling the current educational gap.

Says Manoj Bhoola, Business Leader for Business to Business at Samsung Electronics Africa: “Samsung is committed to design education solutions that promote a student-centric learning experience. By partnering with a suitable training ecosystem, we are able to leverage our customisable portfolio to suit specific education needs.”

Any technology system needs to fulfil certain prerequisites if it is to remain sustainable. Since each environment in which solutions are deployed varies, the idiosyncrasies of countries, regions and even specific schools requirements need to be carefully considered. Ideally, a digital educational system should be a full suite of end-to-end solutions and devices that stimulates learning, empowers educators and which provides efficient administration tools for the intuitions.

Students are increasingly expecting an interactive learning experience, and while some educators have been slow to adopt technology-driven learning vehicles, this is set to change in the near future,” says Bhoola. “Tablets, mobile applications, social networks and digital content are becoming more popular in the classroom scenario and their accelerated incorporation into current learning modes is now more commonly accepted.” (more…)

Kaspersky notices increase in Apple specific Phishing

Published by on Jul 11th, 2013, 1 Comment

email-targets-apple-phishingKaspersky Lab has published a phishing report that analysed the dramatic increase of cybercriminal campaigns designed to steal users’ Apple IDs and account information by creating fraudulent phishing sites that try to imitate the official site. Cybercriminals are using the fake Apple sites to try and trick users into submitting their Apple ID credentials, which would enable the criminals to steal the account login and access the victim’s personal data, information and credit card numbers stored on their iCloud and iTunes accounts.

From January 2012 through May 2013, Kaspersky Lab’s cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) detected an average of 200,000 attempts per day of users trying to access the phishing sites, which were triggered each time a user running Kaspersky Lab’s products was directed to one of the fraudulent sites.

The increase in average detections is a marked increase compared to 2011, which averaged only 1000 detections per day. Kaspersky Lab’s web antivirus module successfully detected and prevented its users from accessing the sites; however, the increase in detections shows how these scams are becoming more commonly used by cybercriminals for phishing campaigns. (more…)

Everest app launches in SA

Published by on Jul 4th, 2013, 1 Comment


Everest, the popular iPhone app aimed at helping people achieve life goals and dreams, has announced its launch in South Africa on Thursday, July 4th, available for immediate download on the Apple App Store.

“Nelson Mandela, Christiaan Barnard, and Elon Musk have inspired me”, says co-founder and CEO Francis Pedraza, “so I am excited to see the goals and dreams the rest of the people of South Africa will accomplish with Everest!”


From learning a new language, to getting in the best shape of their life, to teaching their kid how to ride a bike, Everest helps people break goals into smaller daily steps, get support and accountability, and beautifully capture their journey.

People had added over 1,000,000 steps to their goals since the app was first released in the United States in January.

Everest is also announcing a new feature this week: Dream Journeys, a beautiful new web interface for sharing progress and asking for suggestions.

The first South Africans who accomplish these goals on Everest will be recognized: (more…)

Infographic: The Tech Tools of SA Startups

Published by on Jun 28th, 2013, 4 Comments


Interested in seeing what tools SA’s tech startups use? Silicon Cape did a pretty great survey which gives us some insights into the industry. The survey focusses on programming languages, devices used etc. But it also tells us a bit about their banking preferences – it is clear that FNB’s innovative edge seems to grab the attention of techies everywhere.

Check it out:  (more…)

BlackBerry Jam Session coming to SA in July

Published by on Jun 26th, 2013, No Comments

BlackBerry-JamEager to develop for BlackBerry, but do not know where to start? The BlackBerry Jam Africa & Middle East Tour will come to South Africa in July providing South African developers a chance for more hands-on experience with the range of development tools available for the BlackBerry platform. The sessions will take place in Durban on 15 July, Cape Town on 16 July and Johannesburg on 18 July.

The events form part of a series of BlackBerry Jam Sessions  for developers in Africa and the Middle East that will provide new skills, support the development of locally, relevant content and give budding entrepreneurs more opportunities to reach a local and global BlackBerry audience. The events will provide attendees with the latest resources, training and best practices for creating BlackBerry 10 apps.

BlackBerry Jam sessions are open to all developers, but are also designed for people who are new to the BlackBerry 10 platform, or want to learn the basics about app development. The sessions provide practical advice and tips that help developers get the most of the BlackBerry 10 development environment. (more…)