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AppMonday: TheVine

Published by on Oct 15th, 2012, 1 Comment

A little while ago I wrote on TheVine, a wine app that had just launched. My ratings were, to say the least, less than satisfactory, but perhaps that was to be understood since the app was a basic version, seemingly rushed to completion and released with few features. Perhaps we should applaud them for doing that – it’s very much like the ideals of the “lean startup”.

So, it was not surprising to receive an email from them asking me to rate their app again. This time it has just launched again with a new and improved version, just launched on the Google Play and iStore. Fair enough, there are many new bits and pieces to the app, some of which were mentioned in the last review.

The design and layout has improved. Of that there is no doubt, and I’d be interested to hear how they chose their graphics. There is now a much fuller comments and opinions section, and wines are rated out of 5 with a top 10 shown on the first landing page.

By rating a wine and performing other actions, you get points and are ranked on a leaderboard. There is not as much activity on the app as one would have hoped, but they are clearly still new and in a growth phase. Over the next few months I’d expect to see a great deal more wines, reviews and ratings.

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Microsoft releases Office 2013 to Manufacturers

Published by on Oct 12th, 2012, No Comments

Microsoft has announced on its official blog that the Office engineering team has signed off on the Release to Manufacture (RTM) build for Office 2013, reaching a significant milestone in the programme’s development.

Kirk Koenigsbauer Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Office Division writes that:

“This is the most ambitious release of Office we’ve ever done. It spans the full family of Office applications, servers and cloud services. The new Office has a fresh, touch friendly design that works beautifully on Windows 8 and unlocks modern scenarios in social, reading, note-taking, meetings and communications. We are proud to achieve this milestone and are eager to deliver this exciting release to our customers.”

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Galaxy S3 Mini officially announced

Published by on Oct 12th, 2012, 8 Comments

Well folks, after all the speculation and rumours that have been flying around, we finally have confirmation of the Galaxy S3 Mini. The announcement was made at an event held in Germany yesterday, 11 October, and to many people’s disappointment the device is not just an S3 with a smaller screen. Let’s take a look at the specs:

  • 4 inch WVGA (800×480) Super AMOLED Display
  • Dual core 1Ghz processor
  • Android Jelly Bean out of the box with Touchwiz
  • 5MP back camera with VGA front facing cam
  • NFC
  • 8 and 16GB models available
  • Expandable memory of up to 32GB (microSD)
  • 1500 mAh battery

Competition: Win a ticket to the CS Forum 2012!

Published by on Oct 12th, 2012, 9 Comments

Bandwidth Blog and the organisers of this years Content Strategy Forum taking place in Stellenbosh from the 24 – 26 October are giving one reader the chance to win a ticket to this awesome event.

 

Here’s what you have to do:

1. Visit the CS Forum website and take a look around at the speakers (including those from Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp and eBay), schedule and workshops available.

2. Then tell us in the comments section of this post why we should give you the ticket!

3. You also need to tweet your answer to @bandwidthblog with the hashtag #csforum.

 

Competition closes on Friday 19th October.

Good Luck!

For more information about the CS Forum visit www.CSForum2012. com

 

Important Notice: Travel to and accommodation in Cape Town is the responsibility of the winner.

Moneysmart’s Once Off Data Bundle Comparison

Published by on Oct 12th, 2012, 1 Comment

Written by: Stefan de Klerk

In a recent research study conducted by World Wide Worx, it’s been shown that the average cell phone user’s spend on data has increased by 50% in the last 18 months. On the other hand, the amount of money spent on voice calls has dropped by the same difference in that period.

Because smartphones are becoming such an integral part of our lives moneysmart decided to compare data bundle rates – smartphone users should do their research and check their provider’s data rates to ensure that they’re getting the best value for their money.

Moneysmart, is dedicated to champion the consumer, by analysing the facts and figures to help you make more informed financial decisions. So check out the table below in which moneysmart compared the various once off data bundle packages offered by the major cell phone networks in South Africa.

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Managing the risks of Bring Your Own Device

Published by on Oct 11th, 2012, No Comments

The ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) trend has taken root in South Africa, with workers increasingly relying on their personally-owned smartphones, tablets and computers in their day to day work rather than on  devices issued to them by their companies.

This trend – known as consumerisation of IT – has brought with it tremendous opportunities, but also massive risks for companies with mobile workforces, says Alexandra Zagury, Managing Director for South & Southern Africa at Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry® solution.

She says that many employees in the average enterprise are now relying on personally owned smartphones and tablet computers to carry out work tasks that range from authorising payments to signing off purchase orders and editing sensitive documents.

“Compared to the top-down nature of technology deployment in enterprises in the past, we are today seeing employees are bringing their own productivity-boosting devices and services to work with them,” says Zagury. “This trend towards consumerisation is being driven by the advent of devices such as smartphones that allow people to seamlessly access personal and work services wherever they are.”

This brings gains in productivity, efficiency and worker satisfaction, but also creates obvious compliance risks over sensitive data. Some companies might try to react to the threats and risks by locking the devices down to prevent use of unauthorised applications, websites and social networking capabilities. (more…)

Google’s biggest Street View update yet

Published by on Oct 11th, 2012, 1 Comment


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Google has updated its Street view data that is its biggest one yet that includes an additional 250, 000 miles of road worldwide as well as doubling the amount of special collections. The announcement was made on Google’s blog by Street View Program Manager Ulf Spitzer.

Street View coverage has been increased in places that include Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. Other places of interest that have been added include tourist attractions like “Catherine Palace and Ferapontov monastery in Russia, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan, or Stanley Park in Vancouver”.

It seems that the significant update couldn’t have come at a better time for Google with Apple having come under heavy criticism for its own mapping solution with the release of iOS6.

Steeple: The first low-cost online estate agency in SA

Published by on Oct 11th, 2012, 2 Comments

Steeple the first low-cost online estate agency service in South Africa provides an alternative to high-cost conventional estate agents or to selling privately. Having been operating in test-mode since March of this year, the company has already sold a number of properties through the service.

By operating from a centralised office and not having estate agents travelling to viewings, Steeple can reduce costs and pass the savings on to sellers in the form of lower commissions.

The service includes valuing the property, marketing it on all the major online property websites, arranging viewings, obtaining feedback, negotiating with buyers, and project-managing the sale. In return, sellers send their property details and photos to Steeple and show potential buyers around themselves.

A seller anywhere in Soouth Africa can use Steeple’s service. There are currently properties listed across the country from Bela-Bela to Cape Town. De Waal notes that the likelihood of achieving a successful sale is increased when selling properties in the major metros, such as Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban, because demand is currently greatest in those areas.

Steepl founder David de Waal, says Steeple conducts business in a professional, transparent, and trustworthy manner, believing that Steeple offers both lower costs and better service than old-school estate agencies: “As a seller, you are no longer stuck between a rock and a hard place when trying to sell your house. We charge lower fees than conventional agents but in most cases provide more online exposure for your property than they do, so we expect to find you more potential buyers. Selling a property privately is admittedly still the cheapest way but it can be scary and because your marketing options are limited you may be going grey – all fifty shades of it – before you ever sell.”

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