For those living in highly populated cities including New York City, London, Paris and Tokyo, whether by choice or not, having to often live in a small space is what is expected. For some, it is a small price to pay for the opportunity to live in arguably one of the “best cities in the world”, avoid long commutes or find employment. As more people populate these areas, more space is needed to accommodate them resulting in the need for compact and cleverly designed living spaces that have become increasingly trendy in urban development.
While New York City currently has 275 square feet apartments under trial and Vancouver’s micro-lofts measure some 226 square feet, the city of San Francisco has recently tentatively approved the trial run of 220 square foot “micro-apartments” developed by Patrick Kennedy that will give the dweller everything he or she needs right at their fingertips, quite literally. With the small dimensions with which to work, competition to come up with the best floor plan among architects and designers is high.
MTN SA has gone live with the commercial availability of LTE (Long Term Evolution) in the Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban regions, promising to bring the consumer faster broadband speeds and a better Internet experience. As of 1 December 2012, South African consumers will be able to purchase LTE devices and access the revolutionary technology on the MTN network.
Says Kanagaratnam Lambotharan, Chief Technology Officer at MTN SA: “Having piloted LTE for some time now, we are confident that we have made significant milestones in providing access to this technology and are happy to be able to offer our customers the LTE experience over our world-class MTN network. To date, there are a limited number of devices that offer support for multiple LTE bands including legacy 2G and 3G support.”
With this launch, MTN is offering the LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9” on a MTN 2GB TopUp contract for R799.00 per month, over 12 months.
Adds Lambotharan: “As we know, mobile users like to browse the Internet, share photos, download music and watch video clips and have therefore created a need for enhanced and uninterrupted experience for the Internet on the network, especially with video. This has resulted in the global move towards LTE. LTE is much faster than HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) and offers more capacity. We are proud to announce the commercial availability of LTE – which means video streaming with no interruptions, better conferencing and downloads, and overall faster Internet browsing for our consumers.” (more…)
Apple’s iTunes software has long been a polarizing piece of software – some people love it, others use it just because it is needed for proper use of any iDevice. In its previous versions Apple has never moved away from its “folder view” on the left, with music on the right style. But in the last few years there has been a massive shift to simplified interfaces, partially thanks to iOS and Android interfaces.
If there was ever a piece of software that needed to be simplified, iTunes was it. Every few years the interface gets a subtle refresh, but iTunes 11 is a major refresh (at least from a user interface level). After some delays, iTunes 11 is here, and its a free download. So what is new, and is it worth upgrading? (more…)
Digital marketing education portal Heavy Chef is hosting its last “Heavy Chef Session” of 2012, entitled The State Of E-Commerce featuring speakers from leading e-commerce portals Yuppiechef, Zando and Kalahari.
Wendy Tayler, Editor of the Heavychef.com website, says, “After another successful year of hosting the best digital speakers in South Africa, we’re excited to announce our penultimate event of 2012. We are ending off the year with a topic that has become increasingly relevant in South Africa this year: e-commerce.”
This December the event hosts speakers from three of the most talked about e-commerce sites in our country.
Andrew Smith, co-founder of Yuppiechef, an online kitchen tools store, will reveal Yuppiechef’s journey from a small garage project to a leading household supplier.
Head of Online Marketing at Zando, Kate Jansen, will be discussing the landscape of South African E-commerce, as well as its international investment and the prospects that it contains. Previously Jansen worked at the daily deals site, Groupon SA.
Zando.co.za, hit record mobile commerce sales over the Black Friday weekend period. Known as Black Friday internationally, it signifies the start of the festive shopping season.
In South Africa, retailers and e-tailers have already seen an influx of sales as shoppers prepare for the upcoming celebrations.
When comparing Black Friday weekend to previous weekends mobile transactions and visits scaled proportionally, Zando.co.za saw a 57% increase in sales and a 58% increase in visits, with Sunday being the best performing day out of the whole weekend. Mobile visits increased at a much higher rate than desktop visits. On Friday the 23rd of November sales went up by 114% in relation to the previous Friday’s transactions.
The top selling category was women’s footwear, with clothing specifically t-shirts, flat sandals and pumps following closely. The men’s category was not far behind with the T-shirt category performing well. Footwear was the highest grossing category overall. Top selling brands were LinX, Utopia, Zoom and Plum.
The top mobile phone device used to shop online was Blackberry, which is significant as it dominates the handset market in South Africa. MD and Co-founder Manuel Koser said, “During our TV campaign Zando.co.za saw an increase in mobile traffic of between 100-150%.” While smartphone traffic increased significantly, conversion rates on tablet devices (especially iPads) remains considerably higher than other mobile devices.
“The highest conversions are from iOS users, who generally have the biggest basket size. The capabilities of the mobile site include everything the desktop site can offer, the only differences are: simplified navigation and a design optimised for smart phones,” said Peter Allerstorfer, Managing Director and Co-founder.
MTN in Nigeria will be rolling out a new mobile TV service that will allow its subscribers to watch live TV from any data-enabled mobile device, unlike its previous service, launched in 2007, that required customers to purchase a special handset in order to make use of the service.
While in South Africa DStv offers several mobile TV services including the Walka, Drifta, Walka 7 and iDrifta for iOS, this is a first for MTN subscribers in Nigeria.
The service will offer live streaming of TV content and ‘made for mobile’ video to data-enabled handsets such as Blackberry, iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy range and tablets including the iPad and Galaxy Tab.
According to MTN Nigeria’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Larry Annetts, subscribers will be able to choose between three bouquets, depending on their budget. They can subscribe to more than one Mobile TV bouquet which offers a selection of up to 20 TV channels providing a variety of content.
Currently MTN is the largest telecommunications company in Nigeria, with over 43 million subscribers.
MTN says the Mobile TV service is already active on its network but has not yet become commercially available to customers.
In an exclusive, Warner Bros. Studios provided Mashable with behind the scenes footage of arguably one of the coolest and most memorable vehicles to appear in a Hollywood action blockbuster – the Tumbler from the Batman trilogy films.
The super fast and agile Tumbler, first made an appearance in the 2005 Batman Begins after which it appeared briefly in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
So, who is behind this innovative machine? In the video below, Warner Brothers’s production team provide an inside look into the Tumbler’s conceptualization, creation and challenges.
Payment Gateway iVeri in association with Nedbank recently launched a new mobile Chip and Pin solution and allows for the processing of major credit as well as local debit cards.
The new offering is known as mPress and provides merchants with the ability to accept payments via a smartphone or tablet application. The solution also comes with a hardware device that is used for a secure PIN entry and accepts both EMV Chipped and magnetic stripe cards. Using point-to-point encryption, payment data is encrypted directly on the Chip & PIN device and is only decrypted in iVeri’s certified PCI-DSS Level One environment.
The merchant is required to download the application in the App Store, enable wireless connectivity to communicate the PIN entry to the smartphone/tablet and subsequently provides them with the ability to process a transaction.
“Transactions need to go mobile to stay relevant and meet the expectations of the market, and mobile transactions need to be Chip & Pin in order to give Regulators, Acquirers and Merchants peace of mind over the security,” said Barry Coetzee, CEO of iVeri. “With the release of mPress we can provide small, new and mobile merchants with a relevant product that meets the highest security requirements.”