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Elon Musk reveals “Hyperloop” Travel Idea

Published by on Aug 13th, 2013, 1 Comment

Hyperloop-capsule

Elon Musk is the South African born CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors – two highly innovative companies that are currently shaking up their respective industries. He also co-founded Paypal, which is the defacto standard of paying online. His companies have done some pretty amazing things, but his latest idea is truly mind boggling.

Musk’s latest vision is a high speed vacuum tube which transports passengers (and or vehicles) in a capsule, at terrifying speeds. Musk proposes speeds up to 800 mph, but he says the G-forces will not be any more vicious than getting into a fast car. The capsule is lifted similiar to how a puck moves on a air hockey table. The actual tube also has a reduced amount of air, but the big innovation lies in how the capsule moves forward in the tube. (more…)

Vodacom launches new Budget Android Phone

Published by on Aug 7th, 2013, No Comments

Vodafone-Smart-MiniVodacom today launched the new Vodafone Smart Mini, an affordable and easy to use entry level smartphone which does not compromise on performance.  This value for money android phone is now available at Vodacom World in Midrand and from other participating outlets.

The Android Jelly Bean 4.1, handset offers a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, 2 megapixel camera, 1GHz processor and 4GB storage. The phone offers high quality at an attractive price point when compared to other low cost smartphones.

Customers that sign up on a Top Up 135 plus contract at R149 per month will receive two Vodafone Smart Mini handsets for the price of one. The deal also includes R135 worth of airtime, 100MB of data per month and a free Starter pack for the second phone. (more…)

How to setup your US iTunes account and buy vouchers (Updated)

Published by on Aug 6th, 2013, 8 Comments

We non-US Apple fans have a bad of a hard deal – all of the best media and many of the top apps just do not show up in the SA iTunes store. Even though movies and music is finally available in SA, we still do not get TV series or games. So if you are really desperate to get Angry Birds, the only way to get hold of an iTunes voucher is to make Apple believe you live in the US. Luckily that is not too hard, and I will explain to you how to do that here.

Before you get started, you have to know that in order to buy content from the US iTunes store, you will need to buy iTunes vouchers. Your non-US credit card will not work with the US store, but luckily it is easy enough to buy vouchers through sites like WildTwig. But first you need a US iTunes store account:

How to Open Your US iTunes Account:

1) First off, you obviously need iTunes, and an internet connection. Grab the latest version, this guide is based on iTunes 11 and iOS6.

2) Open iTunes, then go to the iTunes Store. On iTunes 11 you will find that with a button on the right hand side of the screen. On previous versions it can be found on the left sidebar.

iTunesStoreClick

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Samsung Galaxy S4 found to be cheating at Benchmarks

Published by on Jul 31st, 2013, 1 Comment

samsung-galaxy-s4-benchmark

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

mxit

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

Canary-home-alarm

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.

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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 apple.com 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…)

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