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A Hakathon: Coding for Democracy 2012

Published by on Jul 23rd, 2012, No Comments

The newly formed Open Data and Democracy Initiative (ODADI) is inviting Cape Town’s top programmers, designers, social activists, and journalists to their inaugural event: Coding for Democracy; a hackathon. Winning solutions will be recognized with great prizes and exposure will be given to all qualifying submissions.

The purpose of the event is to generate widespread interest and awareness among programmers, the media, activists, and others in South Africa and begin developing a wide range of open data solutions to help make government services more open and efficient.

Participants are invited to deliver products (software, visual or journalistic) that provide innovation, value or tell a story through the use of any data that aids social governance/civic good. Code solutions can be suggested by participants and existing challenges will be presented by the organizing parties. A repository of open data has been setup to collect any data that can be contributed before or as a result of the hackathon. (more…)

Ogilvy’s award winning campaign, a first for mobile marketing in SA

Published by on Jul 23rd, 2012, 1 Comment

We all know that advertising, especially that which resonates with consumers, is no longer limited to traditional mediums like television, print and radio. Mobile phones and social media have all become important tools with which brands can engage consumers to create a truly integrated marketing campaign.

Advertising agency Ogilvy Cape Town saw the value and opportunity in the mobile space especially in South Africa and integrated it into a unique campaign for its client SAB’s Carling Black Label. The campaign also included television commercials with iconic Dutch coach and footballer Ruud Gullit, online display advertising and the use of social media platforms. The campaign Carling Black Label: Be The Coach, proved to be highly successful seeing Ogilvy walk away from the Cannes Lions International Advertising Awards with South Africa’s first ever Gold and Silver awards in the Branded Entertainment and Mobile categories respectively.

The campaign, centred around the Carling Black Label Cup, got South African soccer fans on their mobile phones and engaging with a brand synonymous with local soccer. The Carling Black Label Cup and Ogilvy gave fans the chance to use their mobile phones to vote for the players in the match final between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs as well as make live substitutions on match-day. The concept was based on a key insight into SA soccer fans: that they want to be heard by the coach and even more so want to be the the coach. The hand rolling movement made by fans in the stands, demanding that a player be substituted, has become an iconic South African gesture.


AppMonday: PriceCheck Mobile

Published by on Jul 23rd, 2012, No Comments

PriceCheck has recently updated and improved its mobile offering with a new app in both the Apple and Android stores. At the time of writing, Blackberry and other phones were still to launch.

While the app is still very much a web app (not native), the interface is slick and now has a stylish layout, easy to follow and a very clear journey to get to what you are looking for. In short, the only area that Pricecheck could improve is the barcode scanner, for which only products on Pricecheck are listed. However, Andre de Wet, GM of Pricecheck, assured me that a fuller list is coming soon.

Everything else just works, and works well. Screenshots show the categories, search bar and browse options. You can even book flights, following Pricecheck’s integration with online flights leader Travelstart. If you’re on your iPad, you can go migrate to the full website if you wish.

A further top point is while searching for a Samsung Galaxy SII, the app not only gives results for the actual phone, or its accessories, but also for contracts and data bundles relating to the product. Consequently, Pricecheck’s mobile app is a place to search on products that you already have, to see what can compliment them.


Angry Birds now on Samsung Smart TVs

Published by on Jul 20th, 2012, No Comments

Today, Samsung Electronics South Africa announced the availability of the Angry Birds App for Samsung Smart TV. Developed by Rovio Entertainment, a Finnish entertainment media company, Angry Birds is one of the top smartphone apps worldwide.

The game’s fun and colourful characters and engaging game play have made it beloved by fans around the world. Since its launch in November 2009, Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 1 billion times, across multiple platforms and all versions of the game. Utilising Samsung’s Motion Control technology, consumers can now play Angry Birds on the large TV screen for the first time ever, and enjoy a maximised, immersive and interactive gaming experience. With just the wave of the hand, fans can control game play features including; initiating the slingshot and activating the unique skills of each bird.

“Samsung Smart TV will become the first TV to offer the world’s most popular game and set a new standard in the industry by offering a game for smart TVs controlled by hand gestures,” says Justin Shaw (more…)

MTN Business App of the Year Awards 2012

Published by on Jul 20th, 2012, 1 Comment

Sponsored by MTN Business, the inaugural App of the Year Awards 2012 will be held in Johannesburg on 1st August 2012.

The App awards will showcase mobile applications that have made an impact over the last 12 months and the people behind them  The event will recognise and celebrate South Africa’s local talent and promote the country as an innovation hub in the mobile space.

The evening promises to be an audio visual feast and true multimedia extravaganza, attended by leading app developers, members of the mobile industry and local social media/mobile celebrities. All winners will be announced live at the event!

The Twittosphere will be humming while the event is under way, with finalists being judged by four independent judges, and members of the audience at the event.

Follow or tweet at @AyobaMTN.

An Infographic explained, using LEGO

Published by on Jul 20th, 2012, No Comments

Mashable has posted this infographic in which LEGO pieces are used to explain exactly what an infographic is.

While the explanation has the potential to be quite complicated, when you think about all the research that is conducted and the data that is produced, sorted and then presented graphically, the bright coloured LEGO that we love, couldn’t make it any simpler.

The playful infographic was created by Hot Butter Studio.

View the infographic after the jump…


Taiwan teen dies after 40 hours of gaming

Published by on Jul 19th, 2012, No Comments

The Australian, citing the United Daily News, has reported that a teenager who has died after playing 40 straight hours of Diablo 3 has prompted an AMA alert.

The AMA now wants internet cafe owners to be more aware of the dangers associated with obsessive gaming and pay more attention to the length of time that customers play for.

The Taiwanese teenager, age 18, died after collapsing having played 40 hours of the online game without eating. The young man identified only as Chuang, his surname, reportedly booked a private room at a cafe in South Taiwan where he remained. Almost two days later, an attendant entered the room and found Chuang resting on a table. When he was woken up, he stood, only to collapse. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Dangers of obsessive gaming without food or water are dehydration as well as the lack of electrolytes, which can induce cardiac arrest, from sitting for too long. However, the actual cause of death has not yet been determined.


Early iPad Prototype Pictures Emerge

Published by on Jul 19th, 2012, No Comments

If you have read the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, you would already know that Apple started working on a tablet computer before the iPhone was made. Steve Jobs also admitted to Walt Mossberg that when he saw what his UI guys came up with on the tablet, he saw the opportunity to shift the touch interface to a phone and ordered the teams to focus on the iPhone first:

“I’ll tell you a secret. It began with the tablet. I had this idea about having a glass display, a multitouch display you could type on with your fingers. I asked our people about it. And six months later, they came back with this amazing display. And I gave it to one of our really brilliant UI guys. He got [rubber band] scrolling working and some other things, and I thought, ‘my God, we can build a phone with this!’ So we put the tablet aside, and we went to work on the iPhone”

But recent court filings which included depositions by Jony Ive have uncovered some engineering samples of some of the first tablet machines which would later take shape as the iPad. This tablet originates between 2001 and 2004, which just goes to show how many years of development go into any new product at Apple (makes a person wonder what they are busy with for 2020?). The tablet is a lot thicker than the original iPad of course, and it is made from plastic, which is consistent with Apple’s design language at the time (think iMac G4 and later).

Here are some more pictures: (more…)