Apps4Africa is bringing their global challenge to Cape Town, by hosting a launch event for their latest challenge. The winners of this year’s challenge stand the chance to win $15000 for their winning idea! This year the competition is built around the theme of climate change.
This year, participants are invited to propose a technological solution to the climate challenge currently threatening the welfare of our planet. By attending the event you will have the opportunity to hear the insights of thought-leaders and be further briefed on how you can participate in this exciting competition!
Apps4Africa is a global initiative, which encourages individuals to develop technological solutions to environmental challenges.
If you think this will interest people you know, invite them to come along too.
When: 11th February 2011, 9am – 1pm
Where: Umbono Offices, 6 Beach Road, Cape Town
Tickets: Click here to register for this FREE event
For more information about Apps4Africa visit their website here.
Since Windows 95, Microsoft has been using the Start button, which eventually became a Start “orb” button in Windows 7. Leaked screenshots from the upcoming Windows 8 Customer Preview build shows that the familiar Orb button is missing this time round. Users will be expected to simply hover their mouse over any corner of the screen (almost like hot corners in Mac OS X), which will then bring up the new Metro-infused Start menu screen.
Touch screen users will also just hold their screen over a corner of the screen (or use a swipe action). Windows fans might be peeved at the lack of the Start Menu in Windows 8, but it should be pointed out that in future the Start Menu is now being replaced by the “Start Screen”, which uses Metro style apps that look very similiar to Windows Phone 7, and also share a lot of the code base. This will make future cross-platform development between Windows 8 and Windows Phone a lot easier.
Cape Town based startup, Quicket, has entered into the online ticketing market to provide individuals and companies with an easy to use platform that makes it possible for them to manage their own ticketing for an event as well as providing them with a database of all attendees. All of this, Quicket claims, will cost less than booking with dominant ticketing company, Computicket and aims to generate substantial competition for the likes of Webtickets, Tixsa and Ticket Break.
The self-funded Quicket, that launched on 1st September 2011, was founded by four friends Tim Church, James Tagg, Michael Kennedy and James Hedley and was originally intended to be an accommodation booking site. The guys noticed that planning a group weekend away usually results in one person taking responsibility for it including the payment which can be challenging. They wanted to find a way for people to pay separately for accommodation, but when they started going down that path they realised how difficult it would be.
Marketing manager, James Hedley explains that “There were several problems with the idea, which was intended to drive traffic to the events website. The problem with payment collection from groups is that we would essentially become a payment processor like Payfast which entails masses of fraud problems and, we also felt that many people would not be prepared to pay the commission of 4.9 % to collect money from their friends.”
Co-founder, Tim Church continues, “Although the idea of a group booking accomodation site was exciting and potentially had legs, we felt that the model would take longer to turn a profit than an online ticketing site. We have ambitions of taking another look at this in the future.”
In the spirit of their original concept, Quicket hopes to eventually be the go-to site that involves collecting money for a group project or event such as birthday present, a holiday with friends, shared celebration or a charity.
Infamous hacking group Anonymous has hacked into and defaced the cached version of the Greek Ministry of Justice’s website apparently in protest against the signing of the controversial ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trademark Agreement) treaty by the Greek Government.
The website with both a written and video message warns authorities that it will take down over 300 media and ministry websites if it doesn’t reverse its course. The treaty has come under criticism due to the secretive way in which it was drafted and the effect it could have for users online.
Following the attack, the sight indicated that it was “Under Construction” but then was changed to display the warning message stating that its next target would be “all the media in Greece” which it would easily access with the correct usernames and passwords it has obtained.
The Greek police have since confirmed the incident and updated their Twitter account to say that its cybercrimes division’s investigation into the incident is already in progress.
In October 2011, Anonymous who is known mostly for their attacks on corporate and big business sites, targeted a web host that knowingly hosted child pornography.
Watch Anonymous’s video message after the jump.
Pocketnow.com has learned new details about the new Windows Phone 8 that include a number of features and themes that were accidentally revealed by senior vice president and Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore in a video intended only for partners at Nokia. The Windows Phone 8 codenamed “Apollo”, is the next version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system that is scheduled for launch after the upcoming Tango update.
According to Belfiore, the overall theme of the Windows Phone 8 hardware ecosystem will be scale and choice in order to address one of the platform’s shortcomings in competing with Android and iPhone based devices’ specifications. More specifically, Windows Phone 8 will have support for multi-core processors and microSD card support will also be added.
NFC (Near Field Communication) will also be supported, with emphasis placed on the phone’s push into contactless payments. The “wallet experience,” as he calls it, will have the capability to be carrier-branded and controlled, either by a secure element on the SIM card or utilizing hardware. In addition, NFC will allow desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones to share content.
Rather than just share a UI with the next generation desktop and tablet OS, Windows Phone 8 will use many of the same components as Windows 8, allowing developers to re-use most of the code when porting an app from a desktop to the phone. Belfiore specifically mentions that areas of heavy overlap include the kernel, networking stacks, security and multimedia support.
The Xbox Companion app, currently found on Windows Phones, will see a partner client on Windows 8 with Skydrive support promising seamless sharing of data between devices.
With the launch of the Vodacom App Store in September 2011, the first multiple platform mobile operator application store in Africa, Vodacom is now giving local developers the opportunity to create applications of their very own and benefit from the Vodacom apps eco-system with the Vodacom Developer Programme.
Vodacom’s objective in creating its Developer Programme is to partner and collaborate with the South African developer community and give them the opportunity to actively participate in the service provider’s applications development and gain maximum access to consumers enabling the link between the two.
Once registered, the programme will provide the developer community with technical and commercial support, including training, workshops and innovation incentives. The local developers will have access to distribute their apps to South Africa’s largest mobile network customer base as well as their partners’ international presence . The exposure to international markets aims to increase the revenue potential for the developers through advertising and in the future, app sales revenue shares. It encourages local developers to develop new apps that are relevant to the South African market as well as the global environment.
Developers will receive commercial support with the placement of the app in the ‘featured’ section of the app store, a competitive revenue model, marketing support and app monetisation support. Further technical support will include training workshops, device lab support, onsite coaching, tools for app creation and mentoring for local startups.
Following the implementation of its Developer Programme, Vodacom Digital Media has also launched a competition in which developers are challenged to create the Coolest New App of the Month whereby one developer will be rewarded every month for achieving the Most Downloaded App.
For more info on the Vodacom Developer Programme and the competition click here.
Sony Corp’s newly appointed CEO, Kazuo Hirai is promising to forge a new path for a company that once dominated the business of “filling free time with the creation of wildly popular consumer products” including Walkman music players and PlayStation game consoles.
The selection of the 51-year old Hirai on Wednesday marks the end of the leadership of Howard Stringer who as a British national was selected in 2005 as the first non-Japanese CEO of Sony. During his seven year reign, Stringer was unable to turn around Sony’s deteriorating electronics business. The leadership change has come at a critical moment with the combination of its market share being squeezed by the manufacturing accomplishments of Samsung Electronics Co., the unstoppable innovation and success of Apple Inc. and the steep ascent of the yen, which rose 30% against the dollar during Mr. Stringer’s time which hindered profit goals. Clearly, Sony needs someone to step in and make some drastic changes and Mr Hirai claims to be the man to make it happen.
Hirai, who will take up his position as CEO in April says that he wants to cut costs and shake up the corporate structure that he currently blames for preventing product innovations and keeping Sony anchored in the past in the wake of Apple and Samsung’s product development innovations. He rose up the corporate ladder with a record of tough cuts, most notably squeezing profits out of the company’s PlayStation game division four years after it reported a $2 billion loss. “I thought turning around the PlayStation business was going to be the toughest challenge of my career, but I guess not,” Hirai told The Wall Street Journal.
Unilever’s offices in Switzerland are an example of what is known as ‘agile working.’ Agile working, based on the concept of ‘hot desking’, is a more expansive version of the office organization system where multiple employees share working stations in shifts. Agile working allows staff to work where and when ever they want as long as they get the job done. As you can imagine, in order to ensure that staff remain diligent, the space in which they work needs to be motivating, inspiring, varying and with ample room for productivity.
The brilliant work of award winning architectural and design firm Camenzind Evolution achieved just that. The large expansive space accomodates meeting rooms of different sizes and themes. Every area is adorned with a variety of seating styles in the working and recreational spaces including, tables and chairs, cubicles, large couches, benches and bar stools. Every space is completely different showcasing a sense of fun, innovation and creativity.
Some of the conference spaces are adorned with company brands like Ragu, Omo, or Heartbrand, while other spaces are given company mottos for inspiration.
All in the attention to detail, bright colours and boundless creativity, the Unilever offices are something to be admired and envied.