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Microsoft Offices HQ, Austria

Published by on Jun 14th, 2012, 1 Comment

Take a look inside the office space of Microsoft’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

The office was designed by architectural firm INNOCAD Architekur who emerged as the winners of a competition held by Microsoft last year. The open plan space offers bright colours, wide corridors and large meeting rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

With simple furniture and sleek lighting, the office is very modern while also taking on a more organic approach. The chosen colours and design reflect elements of nature with a large wooden board room, plants and hedges and aquatic wall graphics.

There is even a slide for staff to enjoy for some extra fun during the working day.

View the images in the gallery below:

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IMC Conference sets the mark in the Mother City

Published by on Jun 14th, 2012, 1 Comment

The IMC Conference in Cape Town that took place on the 5th and 6th June turned out to be a huge success. The event involved a full programme with a host of well-known names in the industry, keynotes and workshops that resulted in two days of marketing, networking and communication for all delegates.

With a line-up of speakers including, Mike Sharman (Retroviral), Neo Mashigo (DraftFCB), Christine da Silva (Neo@ogilvy), Ivan Johnson (140 BBDO), Jason Xenopoulos (NATIVE), Prakash Patel and Tim Bishop (Prezence Digital) as well as Keith Lindsay and Paul Geary (Prima Integrated Marketing), the IMC Conference attracted a number of marketing minds looking to gain more insight into various topics and trends. Delegates were given an opportunity to choose their workshops and direct a scope of questions to the speakers prior to the conference via Twitter; allowing for a tailor-made conference for all who attended.

Jaco van Zyl, Head of Conferencing at Living Your Brand said: “We are so thrilled that the IMC Conference was so well-attended and it’s a great testimony that the IMC Conference brand is reaching new heights within the marketing industry. Our team are even more inspired after the conference and promise to make every year a bigger and better conference than the last!”

Apart from the interesting content presented throughout the two days, Living Your Brand pulled out all the stops when it came to the planning and implementation of the conference. With a surprise visit from Oude Meester who handed out their famous Franklin cocktails to all delegates, as well as prize give-aways from Vodacom, including two iPad 3’s.

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Vodacom now allows you to buy BlackBerry Apps using your Vodacom Contract or Prepaid

Published by on Jun 14th, 2012, 3 Comments

Vodacom and RIM today announced that Vodacom customers in South Africa can now enjoy the ease of purchasing apps on BlackBerry App World with the convenience of charging the transaction directly to their contract or prepaid account. This means that BlackBerry users no longer have to register a credit card in order to purchase apps for the BlackBerry – which has always been a significant barrier in SA.

The new billing service will enable Vodacom customers to buy apps with a seamless experience. Vodacom customers will also be offered the flexibility of charging in-app purchases to their regular bill or deducting the costs from their prepaid account, which allows digital goods to be purchased without interrupting the app experience.

“We have worked closely with RIM to make this functionality available for our BlackBerry smartphone customers. Once again, Vodacom is improving the customer experience by unlocking the power of its network and services,” said Prins Mhlanga, Managing Executive of Vodacom Digital Media.

“We’re delighted that Vodacom’s BlackBerry smartphone customers will be able to purchase apps on BlackBerry App World and conveniently charge them to their regular phone bill from Vodacom. By working closely with Vodacom, we are able to offer customers easier access to tens of thousands of apps ranging from productivity to entertainment,” said Bob Bose, Regional Managing Director at RIM.

Paramount launches app for Xbox to stream movies

Published by on Jun 13th, 2012, 2 Comments

Paramount has recently announced a new partnership with Microsoft to distribute its wide selection of movies with the launch of a new app.

The Paramount Movies app lets Xbox 360 owners and Live Gold subscribers to stream both bought or rented movies in standard or high definition on their gaming consoles.

Earlier this year already, Paramount began offering digital downloads for consumers to buy through its website with UltraViolet for PC and iOS. UltraViolet lets users download the movies and keep a copy in the cloud.

However, with the new app, consumers can now access movies and watch them in a way that doesn’t limit them to their computer screens with the app making it much easier for consumers to watch movies from their tv sets.

In order to access the app, users will need to set up Paramount and UltraViolet accounts and have an Xbox Live Gold membership. Content is then accessed from the Paramount website, rather then through the app itself.

Source: The Verge

High Speed Vacuum Trains: The future of travel?

Published by on Jun 13th, 2012, No Comments

High speed vacuum trains, that see trains hurtling through tight tunnels, describes a kind of futuristic travel seen only in science fiction movies like Star Trek. While everyone know’s that they’re fantasy how would this mode of transportation then change our lives, our schedules and our reality if they could be developed?

Also know as “Vactrains” would provide transportation faster than that by a plane, with  a typical flying time between Los Angeles and New York of approximately 5 hours, reduced to just 45 minutes and the journey between London and New York in just an hour, in comparison to the regular 8 hour flight. That’s just one example of how it could change our very lives.

While different designs have emerged, over time, the principle behind them is similar: pump all of the air out of a sealed tunnel and then shoot trains or capsules through them. These ‘evacuated tubes’ could be bored through rock, or laid on ground with conventional tracks. Some designs also enable them to cross oceans through large-bore pipes tethered at a fixed depth, but this idea is still very much theoretical.

In fact, today, there are teams in the US, China and other countries working on this very concept, with some even predicting their arrival within 10 years, that sees passengers commuting on a train travelling at speeds up to 4,000 km/h, theortetically speaking.

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Vodacom launches new range of smartphones for the visually impaired

Published by on Jun 13th, 2012, 1 Comment

Vodacom has launched a new range of cellphones for its visually impaired customers that includes the Nokia C6 Zooms phone, Nokia E6 and Nokia C6 Speaking phones.

The Nokia E6 and Nokia C6 Speaking phones, which have a QWERTY keyboard and a touch screen, have Talks software preloaded that makes the phone accessible to visually impaired customers.

This software converts text to speech, enabling visually impaired customers to view, create and edit contacts, send and receive SMS or e-mail messages and obtain signal and battery strength.

Chris Ross, Managing Executive of Commercial Development at Vodacom says “Everyone, whether visually impaired or not, needs access to mobile communications. Things have moved on from the days of just using a cellphone to make a call, and with this new range of smartphones visually impaired customers can also make that next step and unlock the power of the internet via mobile.”

The Nokia C6 Zooms phone comes preloaded with the zooms software which magnifies font sizes making it easier for customers with low vision to access and use their cellphones.

Contract Pricing is as follows:

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Opinion: Apple iOS 6 Disappointment – Pot, meet Kettle

Published by on Jun 13th, 2012, 20 Comments

With the dust settling on the Apple WWDC 2012 that was held June 11th, we can look at some of the interesting things that were announced over the course of the day. The announcement of iOS 6 was the biggest on the day, and not without reason. The sleek operating system for mobile devices is what makes Apple devices such a joy to use.

Scanning through the “improvements” listed by Apple, a couple of times I am struck with the same feeling that one would experience if hit by a car – pain. Personally, this hurts, because most of these supposedly “new” features advertised by Apple were stolen from Google’s Android platform. How can Apple blatantly rip-off the following features and call it their own?

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New university students in U.S. get Nokia Lumia 900

Published by on Jun 12th, 2012, No Comments

Endgadget has reported that all new university students, known as freshman in the U.S., attending Seton Hall University in New Jersey will be given their very own Nokia Lumia 900 powered by the Windows Phone 7.5. The project, in collaboration with Microsoft and AT&T, is part of Seton Hall’s Mobile Computing Initiative and aims to extend the academic learning environment at the university.

The purpose of supplying the smartphone, given to students during orientation, is to help them integrate technology with the the school’s curriculum and hopes to make the device a “key component” of student life and the university with the SHUmobile app and its Freshman Experience hub. The SHUmobile app will give students access to campus news feeds, directories, maps and other resources with the phone also enabling students to interact with their classmates through social media and direct messaging.

The official press release, announcing the project said that:

Since 1997, Seton Hall has provided mobile technology to its students and faculty to support the integration of technology into the curriculum. Enhancing the University’s philosophy of open-ended exploration, students discover new opportunities for learning with mobile computing, sharing ideas and collaborating with peers and faculty while learning how to utilize technology effectively in their academic professional and personal lives. Mobile technology provides a means of enhancing all aspects of university life, and encourages students to engage with each other and the university community from orientation through graduation.

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