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Vodacom launches Samsung Galaxy S4 in SA

Published by on Apr 26th, 2013, 9 Comments

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Vodacom has announced the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 in SA which will be available from 27 April 2013.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 was announced at an event in Sandton on 25th April (Bandwidth Blog attended so watch this space for an upcoming review of what took place.)

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will be offered on a special deal at R429 per month on a Smart S plan that includes 75 Anytime minutes, 75 MB Mobile Internet and 150 Anytime Text. Customers can also receive additional benefits including: double the data on Mobile Internet for the first 2 months of the contract, free Voicemail 2 SMS for 3 months valued at R35 per month and free in-store set up from the Vodacom crew.

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Apple’s WWDC Conference sells out in record time

Published by on Apr 26th, 2013, No Comments

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Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) scheduled to kick off on 10th June until 14th June 2013 in San Francisco is sold out.

Tickets for the annual event, that went on sale at 10am Pacific Time on Thursday, sold out in a record two minutes after which Apple posted a notice on the website saying “Sorry, tickets are sold out.”

The demand for tickets to attend the WWDC has increased over the years. In 2008 tickets sold out in 2 months, in 2009 in one month, in 2010 in 8 days, in 2011 in 10 hours and in 2012 just two hours.

For the first time, tickets could be pre-ordered for the event for developers in the various time zones in the U.S.

Another first for this year’s event is that Apple will apparently be making session videos available during the conference for those who are unable to attend.

MWEB Gaming launches Team Fortress 2 Competition

Published by on Apr 26th, 2013, No Comments

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MWEB Gaming is running a Team Fortress 2 (TF2) ladder competition in May where the winner will walk away with a full size 355 game arcade machine.

In a ladder tournament, players are listed as if on the rungs of a ladder and the objective is to reach the highest rung. The tournament proceeds via a system of challenges and any player can challenge a player above him or her on the ladder. If the lower-placed player wins the match, then the two swap places on the ladder. If the lower-placed player loses, then he or she may not challenge the same person again without challenging someone else first.

“We decided on the Soldier class for our first ladder,” says Desmond Kurz, Online Gaming Manager at MWEB. “The Soldier class is exciting to watch and extremely fun and easy, especially for new players. Hopefully the easy class and simple tournament mechanics will encourage new players to try out the game and compete. If the TF2 community shows enough interest we will look at hosting other competition formats.” (more…)

GoMetro mobi-site shows user growth since launch

Published by on Apr 25th, 2013, No Comments

gometro_twitter_buttonThe SpaceStation, the digital media sales agency who represents GoMetro (read the review) announced that since its launch in October 2012, the platform has grown to just over 528 000 unique browsers in March 2013.

Data from the last 6 months also show that 43% of users spend more than 3 minutes on the service per session, showing great potential for engagement.

The Space Station CEO Gustav Goosen says that “We are all aware of the phenomenal growth of mobile internet access in South Africa. With this in mind we are particularly proud of GoMetro and the success they have had in providing a real service to commuters. These commuters made 1 561 811 queries for real time updates with a staggering 635 221 of those queries made in March alone.”

The platform is designed to provide Metrorail commuters with real-time information including train timetables, line announcements, updates and other key services.

GoMetro was carefully developed to work efficiently on any device with the sole prerequisite that the phone has an Internet connection. That being said an interesting trend has developed over the last 6 months. Over 80% of the users accessed GoMetro on Blackberrys while only 8% used Android, 6% Nokia, 1,5% Apple and the remaining used a Windows Phone.

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New algorithm will change the way we see water in games of the future

Published by on Apr 25th, 2013, No Comments

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While 3D graphics in video games continues to advance, looking more realistic over time, the one element it seems that has not quite been perfected is that of water, with it not looking much like the real thing.

Well, that is all about to change with the development of a new fluid simulation algorithm called “Position Based Fluids” (PBD).

NVIDIA’s Miles Macklin and Matthias Müller-Fischer explain “In fluid simulation, enforcing incompressibility is crucial for realism; it is also computationally expensive. (…) By formulating and solving a set of positional constraints that enforce constant density, our method allows similar incompressibility and convergence to modern smoothed particle hydrodynamic (SPH) solvers, but inherits the stability of the geometric, position based dynamics method, allowing large time steps suitable for real-time applications.”

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Fake Tweet causes stock market chaos

Published by on Apr 25th, 2013, No Comments

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Just after 1 PM on Tuesday, 23 April, the Twitter feed of the Associated Press released a message saying that two bombs exploded in the White House and President Obama had been injured. This turned out to be a fake – stemming from a hack – but quickly garnered more than 4,000 retweets. Quickly afterwards the AP suspended its Twitter account and notified readers that the tweet was as a result of a hack and is completely false.

So it would seem that there was no harm done, right? Unfortunately, that was not the case. Soon afterwards, the Financial Times reported that this specific tweet had a massive effect on the stock market, wiping out around $130 billion worth of stock in a matter of seconds. That only translates to about a 0.9% decline and it quickly recovered in the minutes thereafter, but it left people again questioning the methods in which stocks are traded in modern times. (more…)

Hands-on Review: Parrot Zik Headphones

Published by on Apr 25th, 2013, 4 Comments

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There is plenty in the electronics world to get a gadget fan’s geek-o-meter hitting the red, but usually a headset isn’t one of them. Looking at the Parrot Zik, though, that all changes. In the high-end headphone market it is difficult to make yourself heard (apologies). The Zik takes on a lot of competition, among them the B&W P3 and the Philips Fidelio L1.

Where the Parrot Zik tries to differentiate itself is through sheer technical brilliance. It has wireless Bluetooth connectivity, touch operation, noise-cancelling technology and sensors that pause music when you take the headphones off. Sounds pretty good, but is it?
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Infographic: The online music market – iTunes turns 10!

Published by on Apr 25th, 2013, No Comments

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On the 28th of April 2013, Apple will celebrate 10 years of iTunes. Since the humble beginnings of this online music concept,  iTunes has blossomed into the first successful commercial online music store with its 99cents a song deal. Its success was intrinsically linked to the then new Apple iPod. Today it remains the biggest online music store, a full 10 years later.

The Onion news took a bit of a satirical view on the 10 years of iTunes:

  • Nov. 4, 2002: The iTunes Store is first conceived of when the revolutionary idea “I would like more money” strikes Apple CEO Steve Jobs out of the blue.
  • Apr. 28, 2003: The iTunes Store launches with the Bay Area band Steve and the Jobtones as its featured artist.
  • Jan. 5, 2004: iTunes briefly adds new and used automotive parts to its store. (more…)
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