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Our TV died last week and nobody noticed

Published by on Jul 2nd, 2013, 5 Comments

Television production technology concept

by Tim Wyatt-Gunning, CEO Web Africa

Our TV died last week and nobody noticed. One of our cats died too. We were all sad about the cat and made insincere mutterings about getting a new one. As for the telly, not a word. I feel a bit sad, because it has been a good companion over the years.

Just like the cat, it wasn’t a particularly close relationship, but in hours of need I have enjoyed its company, with its broadcasted and reassuringly dull o’clock schedule, day in, day out, its refusal to lower itself to my real-life issues, its brain-washing and tumble-drying spin on the reality of the outside world. All we had to do was sit there and watch, agree, disagree, love it or hate it. If we really hated it, we could turn over to The Other Channel.  There were, of course, in addition to The Other Channel, a couple of other channels, even in the early days, but rather like the Secret Service they weren’t formally recognized,  and any interaction with them was silently deemed to be subversive, inappropriate, risky and best avoided.  Content Deprivation was so severe it drove us to enjoy some truly awful things.

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First Afrikaans online booking site announces refined search

Published by on Jul 2nd, 2013, 1 Comment

LekkeSlaap.co.za Logo

In March, we introduced you to Afrikaans accommodation booking site and the first of its kind in South Africa, LekkeSlaap.

LekkeSlaap has announced its new refined search tool, where guests can now filter their results for accommodation across South Africa according to specific criteria such as “Pet Friendly Establishments”, “Braai Facilities”, and “Secure Parking”, to name just a few. Users just need to enter their location, tick the desired filter, and hit search.

Since its launch LekkeSlaap has been trailblazing the way for Afrikaans on the internet and it has proved to be a success with users, both locally and internationally, seeking accommodation across the country.

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Opinion: Screen Res – How much is too much?

Published by on Jul 2nd, 2013, 6 Comments

scrres

Technology trends changes extremely quickly – we’ve always known that – and nowhere is this truer than in the smartphone world. But what was at the beginning a race to perfect a concept, has now become a spec sheet war (especially among Android manufacturers). And the question that has been on my mind for some time now has been: “How much is too much?” How much of the spec sheet hardware really deliver a better experience to the end user?

At the top of this list for me is screen resolution. The norm for the previous generation of smartphones (which was just over a year ago, mind you) was a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. This was what we called HD resolution or 720p, and this was already – depending on the size of your screen – over 300 ppi, or pixels per inch. However, according to studies the human eye (if you have very good eyesight) can only see around 300 ppi at a distance of about 25cm. So unless you stare at your screen from extremely close by or under a microscope, you won’t see the difference. So what’s the point of having the current generation of screens that come in at over 400 ppi? (more…)

Skype for Android rebuilt from the ground up

Published by on Jul 2nd, 2013, 2 Comments

skype

Skype has completely redesigned its Android app. The version 4.0 update looks a lot like the Microsoft-owned VoIP company’s Windows 8 app, and we think that is a good thing.

Conversations have now been brought to the top where you see recent chats or voice messages. From there you give one tap to replay a message. It’s also much easier to start a new chat with just a swipe. Skype claims the new version of the app is much more stable and reliable, and apparently also faster. In early testing we have not seen a markedly different experience.

Skype also said that they reached the 100 million app download mark on Android on July 1st. Check out the new promo video of the app below: (more…)

Sportingbet announces Final Field for #BeTheStud campaign’s virtual horserace

Published by on Jul 1st, 2013, No Comments

Sportingbet South Africa is proud to announce the Final Field for their Unofficial Durban July 14th Race for the #BeTheStud campaign.

The campaign, a collaboration between Virtual Architects, Greater Than PR and Sportingbet SA, mimicks the process that leads up to the Durban July with its own weigh in, field announcement and race taking place on the 3rd July.

These 10 worthy adversaries will take to the track in a hashtag-driven virtual horserace, inspired by the old camel race arcade game with the design being driven by old school 8 bit gaming, where for about an hour at noon they will entice their followers to tweet & retweet their horse’s #Name and #BeTheStud in order to drive their horse towards the number of mentions they need to win the race. The top 3 horses will win R10, 000, R3, 500 and R1, 500 respectively for their selected charities.

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New fibre optic technology to boost bandwidth

Published by on Jul 1st, 2013, No Comments

Scientists at the Boston University in the U.S. have discovered new fibre optic technology that can boost internet capacity.

The new technology operates using round, rather than vertical laser beams, resulting in a twisting movement that can increase the capacity of bandwidth as internet traffic increases through the use of smartphones, tablets and other internet-enabled devices, that has begun to create problems for network providers.

The new technology uses optical vortices, also known as orbital angular momentum (OAM) beams, that until now were thought to be unstable and unreliable in fibre.

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Apple files application for ‘iWatch’ trademark

Published by on Jul 1st, 2013, No Comments

iwatchtm

Wearable technology seems to be the next frontier Apple will try to conquer. For some time now, rumours have been abound that Apple is creating a smartwatch (like many others), and the evidence is mounting that this is in fact true.

From Yahoo Japan we find news that Apple has indeed filed an application to trademark the ‘iWatch’ name in that country. This comes after rumours hit back in February that 100 Apple employees are working on the alleged watch.
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Infographic: Survey reveals shift in how and why we look for jobs

Published by on Jul 1st, 2013, No Comments

hiring-bounty-logo“Find a stable, solid job and hold on to it,” seems to be the advice most of us were given by our parents. There’s no denying that for the previous generation, the job market was completely different.

A recent survey conducted by Hiring Bounty, has revealed how vastly things have progressed since the old days. Greg Schneider, Managing Director says, “The survey, which primarily targeted the Finance, IT, Marketing and Media industries, has proven how far we have come. Of the respondents surveyed, 52% admitted to being very happy in their jobs – however, one in two individuals said that they would be willing to take a cut in salary should an amazing opportunity come their way.”

Schneider attributes this to a fundamental change in the way we view our careers. “People are valuing intangible benefits over a massive pay check. An amazing career opportunity or a better lifestyle as a result of job perks such as flexible working hours, increased leave and a happy office environment are taking priority over salary.”

It is not only what we look for in a job that seems to be changing, but also how we find the job. The majority of respondents cited a referral as being the most effective method of finding a job. 25% still relied on traditional print advertisements, closely followed by online job portals. “What is also interesting was that as many as one in 10 applicants have found their current position through social media, with the preferred method being a vacancy advertised by a company on its Facebook page,” says Schneider. “Referrals are also preferred in the cyber domain, with over one third of respondents stating that they are more likely to apply for a job that has been posted or tweeted by a friend.”

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