For the last few days the technology media has been abuzz about what Microsoft had planned for its launch event on Monday night, and it seems they took a page out of the Apple playbook in terms of keeping these plans secret. Microsoft launched their own branded tablet – in other words, the tablet will not be marketed by a HP or a Dell – it is Microsoft’s own, just like the Xbox. And we like that.
First off, the tablet will run Windows 8, and will be available in two versions. A thinner, lighter version running with a ARM processor will run Windows 8 RT, and a higher end, thicker, heavier model running a full version of Windows 8 Pro. Microsoft was however not very upfront about everything – there is little in the way of actual specs, battery life, etc. Some media channels are reporting that the RT version will run a standard 10.6 inch HD display (think 1280 x 720) and the Intel based one will have a decent Full HD display, both covered in Gorilla Glass.
The second annual IT Infrastructure Africa Summit will be taking place in Cape Town.
Hosted by international business-to-business conferencing company, Kinetic Events, the summit will focus on IT infrastructure challenges facing the African IT industry preventing enterprises within the continent from reaching international standards of first world nations.
Effective IT infrastructure is fast becoming more strategic to an enterprise to completely understand and successfully establish proficient business processes. Rising operational costs along with increasingly complex infrastructure models prevent enterprises from realising the true potential from their IT investments.
Reducing IT operational costs is a primary goal as current economic conditions make those cost savings even more important. Comprehensive configuration management can be time-consuming and a costly process as this becomes crucial with the need for asset visibility.
The strategic event will feature internationally renowned guest speakers, industry topics and discussion points appropriate to Africa’s IT industry, and prompt debate among fellow industry peers through innovative and interactive workshops, best practise case studies and expert-led keynote sessions and presentations.
With the recent launch of MxPix, a new photo sharing app on Mxit, viral photo sharing and filtering is exploding on the popular South African social network.
In its first two weeks MxPix, developed by Motribe, has attracted more than 200 000 users who have uploaded just over 70 000 photos. Users have also shown their appreciation for the photos uploaded by dishing out more than 130 000 likes.
In the first few days after the service launched Mark Griffioen, the Motribe COO, saw the need arise for a new way to share the photos. Griffieoen said that “After seeing the quality of images that users on MxPix were uploading and sharing, we decided to add the ‘share to Facebook’ feature to MxPix. MxPix users can now share their amazing photos with friends and family on Facebook.”
Facebook presented itself as an important part of sharing photos and giving users as much chance as possible to gain exposure for their photography.
Motribe then set out to allow users of the MxPix application on Mxit to share their photos on the Facebook Open Graph. To achieve this Motribe integrated the ability to link an existing Mxit account via Facebook Connect.
Working in the South African online group buying industry shows one that companies come and go in the digital world. And in a sense, that is fine: “Try out new things, see what works” is what Jim Collins tells us in his book Good to Great. However, with that culture of innovation comes a responsibility to clients, customers and the like.
Recently on www.groupbuying.co.za, it was announced that a group buying site called 247deals had closed, and “done a runner” – they had shut shop and were not paying out anything to anyone. Customers sit with worthless coupons, while small businesses have failed advertising campaigns and angry consumers at their doors. It has happened before – Dealio closed its doors in 2011 and were never seen again. Possibly some of the smaller group buying sites did the same thing to a lesser degree.
The site ITWeb reports in more detail on the event, having contacted some of the employees of 247deals.co.za personally. They blame conmen hitting on the site with fake deals and clearly, did not vet their deals well.
The 247deals site seemed good, with a proper layout, payment systems, lots of deals, mobile site and much more. Someone mentioned they even had an app. Someone else mentioned they had investment. Perhaps they spent too much money too quickly like Naspers’ Dealify. Perhaps they simply didn’t sell enough through all their channels. Whatever the case, things were not working out, and in that event, one has to close down.
Facebook has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Facebook users over ‘sponsored stories’, that began last year.
The five users who brought the case against Facebook, felt that the social network was violating their rights to remain in control of their photographs, likes and names used as part of Facebook’s ‘sponsored stories’ that launched at the beginning of 2011.
The sponsored stories allows brands to use the photographs of users who ‘Liked’ their brand pages as part of their advertising campaigns on the site.
According to court documents the users accused the site of violating users’ rights to control the use of their own names, photos and likenesses and did not give users the ability to opt out of such involvement.
At the time that the suit was filed, a Facebook spokesman said that “We are reviewing the decision and continue to believe that the case is without merit.”
Well, a U.S. District Judge felt otherwise. Judge Lucy Koh said the plaintiffs had shown economic injury could occur through Facebook’s use of their names, photographs and likenesses leading to the settlement of $10 million last month that went public over the weekend.
Take a look at this infographic created by Modea, a digital media agency based in Virginia, USA.
The company took findings from a February comScore report and illustrated what the users of Pinterest are well, pinning and sharing, that includes mobile phones, alcohol consumption, holiday destinations, TV channels and car brands among others.
The infographic also gives some insight into who these users are. So, without any further ado, these are a few of Pinterest users’ favourite things.
You can view the infographic after the jump…
Finding an app for AppMonday relevant to South Africa is a nightmare. Yes, of course there’s FNB’s banking app, bidorbuy’s iPhone app and many other well-known apps due to the advertising done around them.
But many of the “apps” on the Android store are simply links to a mobi site. Ratings are often poor and downloads (especially for paid apps) rarely go above 100! In fact, some of them are 89MB in size and others have never been downloaded. Even so, I went off to find out how to navigate Cape Town. And got lost.
Of all the map apps for Cape Town on your cellphone, perhaps something like Google Maps is still the best. Most of the apps have barely been used and cost a few Rands to download. Some of them offer a simple map with points of interest (POI) on them, others give directions, but without a voice behind them, and if you want a voice you need to pay to download that.
The best basic app I could find was one by Liu Zhihong (from ViewTravel.com), who has seemingly written an app solution for city maps and white-labelled it to almost every major city globally. With GPS on, I could find places and navigate just as well, if not better, than other standard web-based solutions. It works well offline as well, and you can save your routes to recall the next morning when you make the trip.
Now that the dust has settled since the WWDC keynote, you might be hankering to get the latest Apple Macbook Air or Pro machine. How about the Macbook Pro with Retina display? Good news – Digicape has announced their pricing for the latest Macbooks. Here is a quick rundown of the new range, as well as a few things you should look out for. Our recommendations are in bold. Obviously power users will want to choose the biggest and best they can afford. If your job relies on the speed of rendering things, obviously you can ignore our recommendation. We are merely pointing out the models we feel are better value.
Let’s start with the Macbook Air with Ivy Bridge processor, still available in 11 and 13 inch sizes. Even though it might look the same as before, it now has the latest low voltage Intel processors, USB 3 support, an upgraded camera, and a better Thunderbolt chipset, which should theoretically allow you to connect more Thunderbolt devices. There is also a newer “MagSagfe 2″ plug. For the first time you can now also configure the Macbook Air with 8GB RAM, but that is a special order which will take a few weeks to reach SA. Standard config prices are as follows: (more…)