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TechEd Africa 2013 almost here

Published by on Apr 4th, 2013, No Comments


There’s a sense of anticipation building in South Africa’s IT Professional and Developer communities as some 2500 technology fanatics prepare to descend on Durban later this month for Microsoft’s iconic TechEd Africa event – and with less than a week to go until registrations close, Microsoft says last-minute registrations are pouring in.

TechEd Africa runs from 16-19 April at Durban’s International Conference Centre (ICC), and features a host of top local and international speakers.

The major areas of focus are expected to be on Microsoft’s Server solutions, which are driving the modern enterprise’s drive towards cloud computing, Office 365, and Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. However, this year is also expected to see a surprising amount of attention being paid to apps, with a specific track around apps and developing apps on all of the company’s platforms.

There will be no shortage of content and insights, says Microsoft SA’s Developer and Platform Evangelist Lead, Clifford de Wit. The event will see more than 200 technical sessions, a 36 chalk & talks and self-paced hot lab that focus on areas like client infrastructure, security and management, Business Intelligence, data platform and development, Server and cloud infrastructure and management, security and identity access, Sharepoint, Exchange, Office 365, Dynamics and certification opportunities.

“There’s a lot going on in the world of technology right now, and TechEd is a critical platform for us to share our roadmap and insights with our IT Professionals and developers,” said De Wit. “Cloud, in all its complexity, is probably going to dominate the discussions, but there’s also a huge emerging focus on apps, which are a major opportunity for enterprises going forward.” (more…)

Opinion: Apple teetering on the RIM?

Published by on Apr 4th, 2013, 3 Comments


iPhone – The smartphone’s new hope

I have been, like many other consumers around the world, a loyal and dedicated follower of the Apple product range. The original iPhone was the “big-bang” moment for the lucrative smartphone market we see today. Although Microsoft, and after them RIM, were the actual trailblazers, the iPhone made the smartphone a must-have product. With the launch of the 1st generation iPhone back in 2007, Apple’s share price shot from $120 to $700 (Google Finance) in September 2012 after the launch of the iPhone 5. Their share price has dropped recently to around $430 but the business is still one of the biggest in the world, but for how long? I have owned 3 iterations of the iPhone, the 3GS, 4 and now the 5. I have also been through many an iOS upgrade and one thing I have noticed is that through all these devices, the primary look and feel hasn’t changed a bit.

The Android’s strike back

Now I know that Apple has made progress in leaps and bounds with features and software upgrades since the original iPhone but most of these were subtle changes. Apple’s strategy is to make their designed user experience as perfect as possible. Thus most of their development time is spent tweaking existing features, fixing bugs and adding small but very useful capabilities. This has culminated in the iPhone 5 being one of the smoothest and most stable smartphones around. This strategy is in direct contrast to that of most Android phones. Take for example the Samsung Galaxy range, each new model usually comes with an attractive set of new features such as “Pop Up Play”, “S-Beam”, “Smart-Stay” introduced with the SIII as well as new “Smart-Scroll” and “Air-Gestures” software to be introduced with the SIV. Some might say Samsung tries too hard with different gimmicks, but they usually have a home-run with at least one of their new features.


The Advertising / Revenue Link

Published by on Apr 4th, 2013, No Comments


If you’re not reading Asymco for insight into the business behind mobile technology you’re missing out. Writer and analyst Horace Dediu put a great tweet out earlier today about the marketing spend of some of the worlds biggest retail companies:

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 7.16.04 PM

Interesting to see that Samsung spends the most although this does make sense in that they’re advertising everything from the latest Galaxy phone to a TV or laptop (for full info on what falls under Samsung Electronics click here). These are interesting numbers but nothing without context. Twitter user @Chiphanna went and ran these numbers in order to compare marketing spend vs revenue and came up with some interesting figures:

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 7.23.19 PM


Essentially for every dollar Apple spends on marketing, they make $156 in revenue. Compare that to Samsung that have to spend a dollar to only make a  relatively low $46 in revenue and you wonder if someone like Samsung is doing something wrong? (more…)

“The Croods” was made using HP Technology

Published by on Apr 3rd, 2013, 3 Comments

HP today announced it was selected by DreamWorks Animation to deliver the technology behind “The Croods,” pushing the boundaries of modern imagery for this prehistoric animated adventure that is anything but primitive. Building on a relationship that began in 2001, DreamWorks Animation relied on HP for nearly every facet of technology animation in the production of “The Croods.”

DreamWorks Animation leveraged technical resources throughout HP to create the most advanced graphics to date for the family comedy, which made its debut in South African theatres last Friday. HP Converged Infrastructure, comprising servers, storage, networking, services, management software and workstations, as well as HP printers and digital rendering, provided the seamless, high-performance foundation needed to meet the studio’s artistic demands.

“Cutting-edge digital manufacturing requires a huge amount of compute power and orchestrated collaboration across our studios,” said Derek Chan, head, Global Technology Operations, DreamWorks Animation. “HP Converged Infrastructure ensures that our filmmakers have the technical resources they require to bring their creative vision to life and deliver amazing films to our audiences.”

Servers meet massive compute demands (more…)

New Nexus 7 coming in July

Published by on Apr 3rd, 2013, 2 Comments


A report from Reuters claims that soon we will have a new version of Google’s popular Nexus 7, in July 2013. We recently reviewed the revamped version of the original Nexus 7 (with more storage), and found it to be an excellent alternative to the iPad Mini. So we are certainly excited about the new one, which will reportedly have a smaller bezel (which was the only thing we didn’t like about the Nexus 7 design).


Apple iOS7 Running Late, Radical Changes

Published by on Apr 3rd, 2013, 4 Comments


There are a few big dogs in tech that always seem to know more about what is going on behind the scenes at Apple. These include guys like MG Siegler and John Gruber amongst others. These guys started chatting on Branch, and there are some very interesting blurbs of info which will be of great interest to fans of the iPhone.

Apparently the iOS7 update is bigger than originally planned, and is currently running behind. Apple has moved engineers from the Mac OS X 10.9 team to hurry up the iOS7 development. The big news with iOS7 is that Scott Forstall (which headed up iOS since day one) has moved away from Apple, and Jony Ive (the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design) has taken his place for UI design.

The new iOS7 changes is apparently so big that current engineers are using special filters on their phones so that no one can peak over and see the new design. iOS has been heavily criticised for its skeumorphic heavy interface, and the new iOS will have a lot cleaner design.

Some other interesting observations from the online chat: (more…)

Allan Knott-Craig comments on Lower Prices

Published by on Apr 3rd, 2013, No Comments


In a quick MyBroadband blurb, the current Cell C CEO (and former Vodacom CEO) Alan Knott-Craig used some of his legendary wit to call out other mobile operators.

Cell C has in recent times always lead the pack when it came to data and voice pricing, with the dominant players like Vodacom and MTN having a tough time competing on price. Only Telkom Mobile (or 8ta) has a few offerings that can compete with Cell C.

But in the last week Vodacom, MTN and Telkom Mobile released new data offerings, which in many cases match the pricing of Cell C. According to Knott-Craig, Cell C will continue to use price as the main weapon to beat its competitors. He did not however divulge when we can expect further price cuts from Cell C, using a very apt description:

“I do not know of any boxer that tells his opponent when he plans to hit him with an uppercut.”


Source: MyBroadband

HTC Infographic shows a day with the One

Published by on Apr 3rd, 2013, 2 Comments


Demand for the HTC One is very high – higher than expected. Some people are struggling to get their hands on one, but HTC has released a teaser infographic to those people who are still waiting for theirs.

HTC is showing you how you might want to use the features of its newest flagship device on a day to day basis. We are just as eager as many folks out there are to get our hands on them, and will report back once we do. So check back soon.