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Steve Jobs dreamed of an iCar

Published by on May 18th, 2012, No Comments

According to Mickey Drexler, CEO of J.Crew and Apple Inc. board member, Steve Jobs dreamed of one day developing an iCar.

Drexler revealed these never before heard insights at the Fast Company Innovation Uncensored conference that took place in April.

During an interview, Drexler said “Look at the car industry; it’s a tragedy in America. Who is designing the cars? Steve’s dream before he died was to design an iCar.”

While we will never know what the Apple iCar would have looked like with Drexler commenting that Jobs never actually got round to designing one, prior to his death, the former CEO was working on building other transportation vehicles including a luxury superyacht with designer Philip Starck.

Source: Wired

Standard Bank launches Muvo, an NFC debit card

Published by on May 18th, 2012, 3 Comments

According to a report by My Broadband, Standard Bank has recently launched its new Muvo card. The card that incorporates both Near Field Communication (NFC) and debit card functionalities was developed in order to meet with the requirements of the National Department of Transport.

The card will be used to load credits for commuters using the PeopleMover bus service in Durban’s city center. As with the new myconnect card used in Cape Town for the MyCiti Rapid Bus transportation system, the card is tapped against a card reader upon boarding the bus in order to pay for the ride.

As part of its pilot phase, the card will be isssued to about 1000 commuters in Durban, after which it will become available for the remaining 550, 000 commuters.

The Muvo card, developed by Beyond Payments, Standard Bank’s business development unit has said in an official press release that “it is believed to be a world first in the realm of cashless payment technology.”

This was reiterated by chief executive officer of Beyond Payments Herman Singh who said that “The Muvo card is a world first, and showcases a transit ticket sitting inside a banking chip, secured with bank strength security, along with a payment wallet.”

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Samsung Galaxy S3 generates 9 million pre-orders globally

Published by on May 18th, 2012, 3 Comments

According to a report by the Korean Economic Daily, since its launch in London at the beginning of the month, the Samsung Galaxy SIII has already generated up to 9 million pre-orders from over 100 global carriers, reports Reuters.

The latest version of Samsung’s flagship phone will first go on sale in Germany on 29 May, shortly followed by a number of other countries.

An unidentified Samsung official cited as supplying the information also revealed that the Samsung factory’s production line in Korea was working to develop 5 million Galaxy SIII units per month in order to meet the international demand.

It remains to be seen if the Galaxy device will be as successful as its predecessor, the Galaxy SII, which resulted in 20 million shipments in just 10 months. At the moment, its 9 million pre-order figure, places it almost half way.

While Samsung declined to comment, last month, the company did say that the new Galaxy SIII would “substantially contribute” to its second-quarter earnings.

Among its many features, the new smartphone offers a 4.8-inch PenTile Super AMOLED display at 720p resolution, 8-megapixel primary and 1.9-megapixel front-facing cameras,   Bluetooth 4.0 support, GPS with GLONASS reception and a quad-core Exynos CPU.

Samsung beat Apple as the world’s biggest smartphone maker in the first quarter of 2012, with the help of its line-up of Galaxy named devices running on Google’s free Android software.

Source: The Next Web

7 Most Memorable Moments in Mobile Phone History

Published by on May 17th, 2012, 10 Comments

Since mobile phones were developed, beginning with the mobile phone of 1983, there have been vast changes. Mobile phone manufacturers must keep up with each other to stay competitive in order to stay at the top of their game, and this means constant improvements, new additions and features that make each phone stand out from the others. Because this is the way the world in general works, there have been some pretty amazing moments in mobile phone history that have brought us some of the best designs and features available. Listed below are some of these historic events that made us love mobile phones even more than when they were first invented.

#1 The iPhone

When the iPhone was announced, it was a major news event in the world of mobile phones. This device made such a shift in paradigm that users speculated about Apple being the dominator in the mobile market for good. So far, Apple does just that. Although there were plenty of Android devices that could be viewed as competition to the Apple Droids, this new device is what put the iPhone ahead of the game. With its open handset alliance, it really took off and continues to dominate the market.

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Google search gets smarter with newly launched Knowledge Graph

Published by on May 17th, 2012, No Comments

Today, Google introduced its new Knowledge Graph in an official blog post which it explains will “help you discover new information quickly and easily”.

Typically, when one enters a search term, the search will be conducted based on the keywords submitted which can come down to just a few words. However, most search terms are far more richer in meaning than just those keywords. When searching for the The Eiffel Tower, for example, you could mean one of the world’s most iconic monuments in Paris, the name of a restaurant, artwork or the replica that stands in Las Vegas.

Google’s new graph or intelligent model “understands these real world entities and their relationship to one another” and will now give you options to determine exactly what you mean. Now, when you begin a search, a window will appear alongside your results, asking you what you mean. The results will then be filtered for that specific entity.

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Apple’s war against Google Maps

Published by on May 16th, 2012, 1 Comment

It is no secret that Apple and Google have been going at each other’s throats in a string of patent and copyright battles over iOS and Android. But it seems that Apple is stepping it up and stepping outside of the courtrooms this time to take on Google. Even after the death of Steve Jobs, who hated everything Android, Apple is still going after its greatest enemy.

Android remains a threat to the iPhone and understandably, Apple wants to rid itself of all things Google. Obviously, they won’t stop their customers from using Google search, so they are trying to do the next best thing, take down Google Maps.

Google Maps currently comes pre-installed on Apple’s iPhone, rebranded as “Maps”. This contributes to Google coffers, from the location queries users make within the app that adds to their data and advertising stream. Rumour has it Apple is developing an alternative to the hugely successful Google initiative. According to sources, it will likely be unveiled at WWDC (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference), where after they will replace Google Maps with OpenStreetMap. I expected this to happen at some stage, and expected it to fail dismally. But apparently, it will make many big shots over at Google scratch their heads.

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Vodacom announces “Freedom 99″ plan – all day, all networks for 99c/pm

Published by on May 16th, 2012, No Comments

Even though most of the mobile networks have been under pressure to decrease data costs, voice calls costs are still rather expensive in SA.

Today Vodacom is launching its new Freedom 99 tarriff plan for prepaid customers, which allows you to call anytime, to any network for 99c per minute. This takes away a lot of guesswork for consumers who have been carrying multiple sim cards, and swopping them based on time of day or which number will be called.

Speaking about the new prepaid tariff, Vodacom’s marketing head Enzo Scarcella said:

“Customers have been looking for simplicity and for value, and Freedom 99 delivers exactly that.  Calls to anyone, anytime, on any network in South Africa are now just 99 cents per minute with Freedom 99.  It really is that simple.”

In addition to this lower call rate, Freedom 99 customers who recharge with R12 or more can talk for free every night with Nightshift. That’s 60 minutes every day for seven days to call Vodacom customers between midnight and 05h00.

Freedom 99 will be available from this Sunday – full details will be announced in the Sunday press.

Private Cloud becoming more Evolved – Microsoft Management Summit South Africa

Published by on May 16th, 2012, No Comments

The role of information technology (IT) in the enterprise is changing from being a supplier of devices to becoming a supplier of pooled computing resources, with cloud computing giving IT professionals an opportunity to increase their strategic value to their businesses.

That’s the word from Microsoft’s global virtualisation director, Edwin Yuen, who will be in South Africa for a series of Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) events this month. The events, in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, are expected to draw several hundred IT professionals from some of the country’s biggest companies.

Cloud computing enables you to deploy continuous services that are always on, always available, and delivered, down to a set of connected devices,” said Yuen. “South African IT professionals should be looking at ways of evolving their roles with cloud computing to help their businesses be more competitive.

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