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Logitech unveils “Global Graffiti” accessories collection

Published by on Oct 11th, 2012, No Comments

Logitech, global provider of PC accessories, has recently unveiled a collection of computer accessories featuring a range colourful designs inspired by the global community.

These accessories feature colours and patterns that mix global trends with local influences, so you can pick and choose a combination that expresses your personality.

“This Global Graffiti Collection brings a new borderless style to our most popular products,” said Reon Coetzee, Country Manager for Logitech South Africa. “We hit the road and found emerging designers from around the world that embody a unique yet globally relevant style – and put the designs together into one collection. These colourful, new designs allow you to hand-craft your own setup for a desktop that reflects individual style and creativity.”

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Rovio’s new hit: Bad Piggies Review

Published by on Oct 10th, 2012, 1 Comment

Most people around the world will recognize Rovio’s global phenomenon Angry Birds. With all the spin-offs and constant updates with new levels it really is a hard act to follow, even for its creator. Bad Piggies is a new standalone feature from Rovio, released at the end of September, which takes physics gameplay of Angry Birds and mashes it together with vehicle building in all new puzzles.

This time around you play as the green pigs, still on their mission to steal the birds’ eggs. You construct a vehicle using a pre-set amount of parts, different in every level and customizable so that every level has a huge amount of possible builds. Chances are though, only a couple of them will work. You then try to achieve multiple objectives, receiving a star for each, which means each level will have to be played more than once. You will need different builds to get the different achievements, which does help replay value.

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Vodacom officially launches LTE 4G network (Update: Coverage Map Added)

Published by on Oct 10th, 2012, 13 Comments

Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub announced today at the MyBroadband Conference 2012 that Vodacom’s LTE (commonly referred to as 4G) service had been officially switched on and was open for business. The service is initially available in Johannesburg, with other cities to follow in the near future.

Joosub said “Vodacom was the first network in SA to test LTE more than two years ago, and since then we’ve been busy upgrading base stations and our fibre-optic transmission network in preparation for today. It’s great to claim another South African first for Vodacom with the launch of LTE services to the public, and it’s even more pleasing that we’ve done this ahead of many other advanced economies around the world. South Africa has joined an exclusive club with the fastest connectivity the world has to offer.”

LTE represents a major jump in mobile connectivity capabilities. The service has the potential to operate at more than double the speed of any existing mobile connection currently commercially available in South Africa, and at significant multiples faster than the 2G and 3G connections common across the country. Higher speed and lower latency translate into a more stable user experience with stutter-free video and almost instantaneous music and picture downloads.

Contract customers with LTE capable devices can activate the service from today by simply calling 111 or visiting any Vodacom shop*. LTE capable devices will be on sale in selected Vodacom outlets before the end of October, with priority going to existing Vodacom customers.

Commenting on Vodacom’s intention to be the first choice for anyone looking to connect via this new technology, Joosub said “LTE devices are in short supply world-wide, but thanks to Vodafone’s global purchasing power we’re confident that Vodacom will have the best possible selection in stores in the very near future.”

The LTE service will initially be accessible via approximately 70 base stations in Johannesburg. A coverage map is available on www.vodacom.co.za Further announcements will be made with respect to the network roll-out plans in due course.

Joosub said “Switching on commercial LTE services is just one step in a much bigger network transformation. With over 9,000 base stations, Vodacom already has by far the most extensive network in South Africa and on average delivers faster connection speeds. Our challenge isn’t keeping ahead of the other operators – it’s keeping ahead of the tidal wave of data demand. Ninety percent of our 3G base stations are 21.6 Mbps enabled, and almost 80% are 43.2 Mbps enabled. By the end of the year we aim to have 500 sites enabled for LTE.” (more…)

Angry Birds Star Wars coming November 8th

Published by on Oct 9th, 2012, 1 Comment

Rovio recently teased a film-inspired picture of Angry Birds, and as expected have announced another new game, Angry Birds Star Wars. All the characters from the epic saga seem to be present in the game, feather endowed and all. Even the pigs are there as evil characters like Darth Vader himself.

It is a natural evolution for the genre from the previous iteration, Angry Birds Space. Hopefully we will see more of the fun-filled gravity mechanics in the previous game, together with some quirky story telling.

Rovio is certainly growing into a global brand, and not just software based, with its wide veriety of merchandise available around the world. We also know that the company is planning to enlist on a stock exchange in the not too distant future.

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Content Strategy Forum 2012, Cape Town

Published by on Oct 9th, 2012, No Comments

If your work involves content, digital strategy or user experience design, then you should be rushing to get a ticket for the Content Strategy Forum 2012.

With 29 speakers from 5 continents, representing companies like Facebook, MailChimp, Opera, eBay and Twitter, the first content strategy conference in Africa is shaping up to be a huge event.

Apart from the two keynote talks, presented by Luke Wroblewski (author of “Mobile First” and “Web Form Design”) and Kristina Halvorson (author of “Content Strategy for the Web”), there will be sessions on data visualisation, writing for low-literacy audiences, organisational voice and tone, the money side of content, the relationship between SEO and content strategy, handling content in the corporate environment, HTML5 for content creators, and plenty more.

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ROUTE 66 Maps hits 1 Million Downloads on Google Play

Published by on Oct 9th, 2012, No Comments

ROUTE 66, a pioneer in mobile mapping and navigation solutions for handsets and tablets, recently announced that its  ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation app has been downloaded over a million times on Google Play. The number of downloads of the app puts it in the top 1% of all Google Play downloads by volume* with the download rate continuing to increase week on week.

ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation gives users the option to store complete maps on their smartphone or tablet using Wi-Fi before they go on the road; this helps them to avoid data roaming charges while abroad and ensures instant access with guaranteed performance, whatever the local network reception might be. The app also features Follow Me augmented reality navigation, which shows the real road ahead and adds a realistic virtual car driving in front, guiding users to their destination via a combination of GPS, live video, detailed maps, and spoken directions.

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Subscriptions vs Paywalls

Published by on Oct 9th, 2012, 1 Comment

As a regular user of any product you tend to become fairly attached and expect a certain level of benefits. In the media world many newspapers and media outlets are implementing paywalls in a desperate attempt to generate revenue. However, is the paywall a solution or something slightly different such as a membership club? People love being a part of something collective and I can’t help but wonder if this is a better monetisation strategy than a exclusionary paywall.

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AppMonday: GoMetro gaining massive traction

Published by on Oct 8th, 2012, No Comments

South African apps are coming in by the numbers now, and we often forget that mobi sites are becoming cleverer by the day. Sometimes a mobi site is more efficient than an app, depending on numerous factors, and one of those is your target market. Feature phones sometimes cannot use the apps, most apps are for a specific brand or device, and sometimes what you need to achieve is best done on an ubiquitous platform.

One of these is GoMetro, a mobile community of public transport users in South Africa, pioneered by Justin Coetzee of mobi.lity. While native apps are in the pipeline, GoMetro’s very basic mobi site has attracted thousands of daily train and bus users, all keenly using it and giving feedback for the things they don’t like.

The mobi site does what the app will also do – allow one to see train times (and how late your train will be!), fares, as well as general information and news around public transport in South Africa. However, this “mobile content portal” will soon expand to include user profiles, a communication forum and messaging, ticket purchases – the list goes on and on.

A very effective feature of the current solution is actually curbing labour strikes in SA. If you are a worker coming late to work due to the trains, GoMetro alerts your boss via SMS or email, who now won’t fire you when you arrive. This is done via a mobile check-in system at the station. Until now, companies have blamed Metrorail for trains bringing workers late, and workers blaming them too and striking after being fired.

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