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Google Street View finally captures Venice

Published by on Jul 19th, 2013, No Comments

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Known to the world as “the City of Water” Venice exists among canals linked by bridges where tourists and locals walk along its narrow alleyways and through piazzas. A world heritage site and a must see destination for many, navigating through such a place, proved to be a challenge for the famous Google Street View car.

However, Google has finally managed to capture this floating city using backpacks holding large cameras mounted on a four foot pole, that are then worn by employees who walk about the city taking 360 degree views along the way.

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Net Prophet 2013: Interview with Justin Stanford of 4Di Capital

Published by on Jul 19th, 2013, No Comments

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Justin Stanford of 4Di Capital, an early stage venture capital fund based in Cape Town, took part at the 2013 Net Prophet conference during which he spoke on the topic VC in SA: Where are we now?

You can watch his full presentation here.

In the short interview clip, Stanford provides some insight into the venture capital ecosystem in South Africa versus the rest of the globe and shares how the Silicon Cape Initiative came to be.

Watch the full interview below:

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Microsoft Research turns Kinect into sign reader

Published by on Jul 19th, 2013, 1 Comment

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Kinect was always touted by Microsoft to have many different uses ever since it was unveiling at E3 five years ago. While most of those haven’t materialised and it is primarily using it as an extension of the gaming experience, Microsoft is not giving up on its technology. They actually have many patents linked to the Kinect just laying around the office, but not this one.

Microsoft Research Asia recently showed off software that allows the Kinect to read almost every American Sign Language gesture via hand tracking, even at conversational speeds. In addition to converting signs to text or speech, the software can also let a hearing person input text and “sign” it using an on-screen avatar. All of this is still confined to a lab so far, but the researchers hope that one day it’ll open up new lines of communication between the hearing and deaf. We can really get behind this innovative idea, as it can make a big difference to many people’s lives. Check out the demo after the break. (more…)

Google’s impressive Q2 earnings

Published by on Jul 19th, 2013, No Comments

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Google’s stock price has been surging over the last 6 months – inching ever closer to the $1000 mark – and for good reason. The search giant has been churning out impressive revenue and profit numbers over the last couple of quarters. They have just made their Q2 2013 earnings public and things are still looking rosy in Mountain View.

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In the second quarter of 2013 Google raked in $14.11 billion in revenue, which is a 19% increase year-on-year. Most of that revenue, as expected, came from their advertising properties. A massive $12.1 billion of revenue came from advertising. Of interest in the mobile market is how the acquisition of Motorola is affecting Google’s numbers. Motorola’s revenue was $998 for the period but made a loss of $342 million. Google has just started the turnaround strategy for Motorola, and there are some exciting products coming up like the Moto X. That loss to Motorola is chump change to Google in any case, as it has $54.4 billion in cash piled up in its coffers. (more…)

Amazon battles to secure .Amazon domain

Published by on Jul 19th, 2013, No Comments

Amazon-Logo

According to The Wall Street Journal, e-commerce giant Amazon is battling to claim the .Amazon domain for itself.

According to filings that the company made with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), that is holding a conference in Durban this week, it wanted to own the domain name to offer customers “a unique and dedicated platform for Amazon” and “support the business goals of Amazon”.

Having just completed the application process at the end of last year, Amazon is just one of hundreds, if not thousands, of companies that ICANN will have to sort through and rule upon for various new generic top level domain name requests.

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Net Prophet 2013: Andre de Wet on Entrepreneurial Observations

Published by on Jul 18th, 2013, No Comments

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Andre de Wet, General Manager of PriceCheck, that won the 2013 International BlackBerry App of the Year award, joined the 2013 Net Prophet lineup and spoke on the topic Why it takes 15 years to become an overnight success and other entrepreneurial observations.

During his presentation, de Wet talks about that which lies within all entrepreneurs that pulses inside of them and wakes them up in the middle of the night in the form of a new idea and what has to be done to make that concept, a reality.

He also shares his own journey from med student to entrepreneur.

Watch the full presentation below:

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The Golf Cart Hovercraft

Published by on Jul 18th, 2013, No Comments

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Meet the Golf Cart Hovercraft, an innovative golf cart that lets you glide above the green, sand traps and water obstructions for a smooth and relaxing day on the course.

This golf cart, that meets United States Coast Guard standards, features a 65 horsepower two-cylinder engine with a nine-blade fan that keeps it 9-inches off the ground. Travelling at up to 45mph (about 72km/h), the golf cart can fit up to four passengers underneath its lift-up roof and two golf bags in the rear compartment.

With it fly-by-wire reverse thrust system, this is the only hovercraft in the world that can brake and reverse at a speed of up to 25 mph (about 40km/h).

Price: $58, 000 – about R574, 200 at the current exchange rate.

Source: Hammacher Schlemmer via Uncrate

HTC One Mini official specs (finally!)

Published by on Jul 18th, 2013, 5 Comments

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With the on-going trend of smartphones becoming ever larger, some actions had to be taken as not everyone wants a massive slab as a smartphone – even as much as some manufacturers want to believe that. More and more smartphone makers are releasing smaller versions of their flagship devices, to accommodate people with a need for smaller screens as well as a lower price.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini did quite well, and now most Android devices seem to be following suite. HTC has released their smaller version of the flagship HTC One, called the HTC One Mini. We still believe the HTC One is the best Android phone on market today – and the best looking – so we are really looking forward to getting our hands on the smaller sibling.

HTC One Mini specs: (more…)

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