Arthur C. Clarke was a British science fiction author, inventor and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey written in 1968.
In 1974, during an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Clarke is asked by the interviewer how he believes the computer will change the lives of individuals, focussing on the year 2001. Clarke responds by accurately predicting that in 2001, each individual will have in his or her “own house, a console, through which he can talk to his computer to get all the information he needs.”
Clarke goes on to mention that the computer will have the ability to perform every day tasks for its users such as online banking and online shopping (not in those exact words).
Watch what else Clarke has to say in the video below:
My Broadband has reported that Samsung’s video-on-demand (VOD) Hub Service that will be launching on the electronics company’s Galaxy Tab 2, will now let South Africans rent and purchase movies and tv series.
Paulo Ferreira, Samsung SA’s head of mobile product and software solutions, revealed that they plan to launch Video Hub in 2012 during the unveiling of the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 for South Africa.
According to Samsung, Video Hub, offers over 1,000 film titles for purchase or rent and provides reviews, trailers, and recommendations. Ferreira says that users can start viewing content event before it has even downloaded fully.
Most of us travelling to new destinations want to explore and learn as much as we can about the country we’re visiting but are sometimes put off by expensive and heavy guide books or tours that will spend our valuable foreign currency, whereas our cell phones are a non-negotiable travel companion.
New Cape Town based startup Hummba, that launched out of beta in 2011, is a social and travel networking website that lets you download audio travel guides for free and share your travel experiences on Hummba, Twitter and Facebook directly from your mobile phone. Hummba, as many South Africans know, is derived from the isiZulu word “hamba”, meaning “to go” but because the URL was already taken, Hummba was used as an appropriate alternative.
Hummba comes at a time when people are increasingly accessing a wealth of information, services and apps from their mobile phones and a travel guide seems such an obvious, yet brilliant feature to add.
Available for Android and iOS devices, with BlackBerry and Nokia versions coming soon, users first download the audio travel guides from a selection of over 400 hours of recorded guides for hundreds of popular tourist destinations in 100 countries. Once downloaded users simply plug in and play the guide with their phones. It may even come in handy when navigating around your own home town.
The Hummba guides combine GPS and mobile technology, with Hummba-created content recorded in the company’s three studios in Cape Town, Spain and New Zealand, using local guides and fact checking with local tourism authorities. The result is a personal tour guide giving you first-hand information at your exact location that plays as soon as the user is in the area.
It is now 3 years later, and Apple has just released its 3rd generation iPad, or just simply called “The new iPad”. Confusing as it might be for many people, the latest iPad is the biggest jump so far for Apple’s tablet. Whereas the iPad 2 was perhaps a refinement of the original iPad with an extra core for processing, and a thinner case, the new iPad is a massive upgrade in terms of graphics, power and overall usability.
But the thing is – the iPad 2 is now a year old, still a very good tablet device, and arguably the best tablet out there. While the Android tablets have been catching up fast, the sales of Apple’s device still dominate. But this time around the competition is stiffer than ever, especially with launch of high end tablets like the Asus Transformer Prime. So what have the worker bees in Cupertino been up to in the last year?
Design and Build
First off – if you already have an iPad 2, it will be very tough to spot the differences with the new iPad. In fact, the only giveaway is a slightly thicker case (which we will get to later), a slightly bigger lens on the back, and a slightly heavier weight (yes, all “slight” changes). So if you wanted someone to spot your 3rd generation iPad across a boardroom table – sorry.
But the build is still first rate – all steel and glass. It is still the best looking tablet out there, and the stark minimalism means that it will be instantly identified as the iPad. In terms of buttons it is exactly the same as before. On the front there is the Home button to take you back to the springboard, a sleep/wake button on top, and a volume rocker on the right hand side. Oh, and a mute switch. Simple.
But it is not all good news – even though the average user will not notice the new iPad being slightly thicker, it does make finding a decent case for the iPad very tough. While loose fitting sleeves and cases still fit fine, tight fitting or rigid cases just do not fit at all. My favourite case, a Speck Fitfolio, just does not fit properly. So, here is one little problem for early adopters – your existing iPad 2 case might not fit.
A newly uncovered patent design from the “quietly brilliant” HTC indicates that the mobile phone maker could be developing its very own Android-powered media player.
The submission, that was initially discovered by Patent Bolt, reveals that the company applied for the patent in Q1 of 2011 with the design of the rumoured device appearing to fall in line with that of HTC’s recent smartphone offerings.
The front face of the device has speakers across both the top and bottom, the backside has yet another set of speakers and a camera as well as the familiar HTC kickstand. While there so no mention of the Micro-USB and/or Micro-HDMI ports, they can be clearly seen in the image below. The device also boasts a touch screen, a feature that will put it up against that of the iPod Touch and one that has been attempted by other companies with very little success.
While this device may look like a smarthphone at first glance, Patent Bolt points out that the patent makes no reference to mobile network access or other phone features and given that it only suggests Wi-Fi connectivity, it is possible that the device will be similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy Player.
Considering HTC’s investment in Beats by Dr. Dre technology, it was only a matter of time before this type of device emerged.
Motillion today announced the global launch of Snapdisk (www.mysnapdisk.com), a secure cloud storage and file sharing service for PC, Mac, and mobile devices. Snapdisk was conceptualised by the South African technology startup and developed in conjunction with their strategic international partners.
Snapdisk offers its users a hassle-free solution to securely access, edit, synchronise and share all your digital files wherever you are, whenever you want. “External USB devices are a great way to quickly back up important data but it is no longer the most secure method to keep your data safe” says Shaun Adler, co-founder of Motillion. “Theft and hardware damage is a real risk when you keep your data backed up at home or the office, a problem that is eliminated when storing your data securely online.”
Snapdisk was developed to make online back up and sync as easy as possible to use. Whether you want to run a digitally efficient business or simply keep your personal files safe and accessible, there is a package for you. “We wanted to develop a cloud storage service that is much easier to use than anything else currently available online and offer it at a much better price point” adds Adler.
With Snapdisk you can back up, sync and share your digital files from any internet-enabled device including your desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet. Enjoy unlimited access to your work files, music, photos and videos. Add, edit or delete files from any of your devices and Snapdisk will automatically sync your files to the cloud. 100% safe. 100% secure. Always accessible.
Watch as the very intelligent Peter the elephant plays with the Samsung Galaxy Note touch screen smartphone.
Peter has fun with the Galaxy Note’s picture viewer and camera and even shows off his artistic side by playing the guitar and drawing a picture with the S-Pen stylus in his trunk.
The video, uploaded by technivator, comments below the clip that “This is all real, no film trickery, post-production or hidden cuts – he’s just a very clever elephant.” They have also uploaded additional footage of Peter playing the piano and the drums on the device for further proof of its authenticity.
The tag line at the end of the clip “bigger is better” is a light-hearted reaction to the Galaxy Note’s size as a large smartphone/tablet hybrid and so it’s only fitting that something larger than a human, has some fun with it.
Cape Town based mobile services company Panacea Mobile, has recently launched a new Number Validation tool that allows businesses to improve their SMS delivery rates by removing inactive numbers from their lists. The tool serves as a real-time vetting process for all businesses that collect contact data from their clients.
Developed by Panacea Mobile co-founder and CTO Donald Jackson, Number Validation allows users to upload a list of numbers that will then get checked by the mobile networks using HLR Lookup. The results will then return information about each number in the list including and most noticeably whether or not a number is still valid. There is significant value in this as any inactive numbers can then be removed from the list, and because it costs less than an SMS to validate a number, utilising the tool is well worth the few easy steps required to clean your company’s data and save on any unnecessary SMS costs.
The HLR Lookup is basically a function of SMS and will ping a mobile number to detect if it is reachable which ultimately offers better data quality for companies that have large databases. The motivation behind the tool was for Panacea to see businesses spend less money on terminating SMS Messages that would not deliver and as a result decrease their total mobile marketing costs.
Stefano Sessa, co-founder and owner explains that “Mobile databases age everyday and quite often we see our clients sending millions of messages, with a delivery rate of 60% or less. Although the service is not unique to Panacea Mobile, we noticed that no other South African companies in the space are offering their clients this service.”