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Hands on Review: Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Published by on May 22nd, 2012, 25 Comments

Samsung has been in the spotlight for the last couple of months and for good reason. They sell the most Android smartphones by some distance. The Galaxy S2 alone has recently crossed the 20 million mark, and is still selling. It is anticipated that the new Galaxy S3, which was announced two weeks ago, will sell just as well. However, at the end of 2011 another Samsung smartphone hit the market in Europe, and in March it finally came to our shores. I’m talking about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, of course.

Before I tell you about the device, let’s talk about the Nexus brand name and what it means, as it might start to appear in more manufacturers’ handsets in the years to come. Any Nexus phone you come across from now on will mean that the hardware for the handset was also made in conjunction with Google. In other words, the device and the software were built from the ground up to work together. This is different from other Android devices, as usually the OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer) get a software release from Google, and try to layer that version of Android onto their device. That is the reason why different manufacturer’s devices with the same version of the software on it can look so different. They chopped and diced at the software to work with their device, and usually put their own ‘skin’ on it too, to differentiate it from the others.


Samsung SA doubles Factory Warranty for Consumer Products

Published by on May 22nd, 2012, No Comments

Samsung SA has today launched an extended standard factory warranty for customers on certain products within its Visual Display, IT Solutions, Digital Appliances, Digital Imaging and Digital Air Solutions product lines. Customers will now have a 24 month warranty on all Samsung products at no extra charge – relevant to products purchased from the 1st of May 2012 onwards (so no love for existing customers).

In the past, the standard factory warranty on its product range was valid for 12 months, however, now customers can enjoy further peace of mind, with an additional 12 month period. Starting this month, all Samsung products will boast a minimum 24 month warranty from date of purchase, based on a valid proof of purchase. The increased warranty will cover labour and parts.

“This is a very exciting initiative for Samsung, and this increase in factory warranty is another way we are able to demonstrate our commitment to customer service,” says Deon Liebenberg, MD of Samsung Electronics South Africa. “In fact, as a leading consumer electronics brand locally, we are well aware of the need for consumers to have access to the very best service level agreements and this extended factory warranty ensures that we are able to continue to do just this – ensuring comprehensive service assistance in case of incidental product failure, giving consumers the confidence that they expect from a leading brand like Samsung.”

Samsung boast on-site and carry-in service

This warranty will apply to all relevant products that are purchased from Samsung’s leading retail partners within South Africa and Africa – where customers are encouraged to attach their proof of purchase to their warranty card and to store it in a safe place as this will be required when making a warranty claim. Additionally, customers are advised to register any Samsung product they buy on the www.samsung.com Web site, to ensure warranty claims are easy to manage.

“A 12 month warranty is the general industry standard, however, today, with the confidence we have in the quality of our product line – across categories – and of course, our focus on providing enhanced service levels for our consumers – our 24 month limited warranty positions our brand offering ahead of our competitors in both South Africa and Africa alike, and we are sure that consumers will respond positively to this increased service offering,” concludes Liebenberg.

Well done Samsung – this is the type of news that will shift many customers to your brand.

1Stream invest further R10 million into Cloud Call Centre solution

Published by on May 22nd, 2012, No Comments

1Stream, a cloud-based call centre technology and services provider, has invested a further R10 million in its hosted contact centre technology platform. The Cape-based provider, which recently opened a Johannesburg office to offer its local customers on-the-ground operations and support assistance, cites rising demand for cloud-based call centre technology services as the main reason for its announcement.

Part of the investment has been in extra hosted capacity, says 1Stream CEO Bruce von Maltitz. “To meet the rise in demand in Gauteng and countrywide for cost efficient, flexible and scalable call centre technology solutions, we have entered into a hosting agreement with leading data centre provider Teraco.”

The move will supplement 1Stream’s existing hosting arrangement with Internet Solutions, providing further redundancy and resilience to its platform in addition to beefing up capacity.

A third benefit will be to position 1Stream for rapid African expansion. “With several international communications cables raising Africa’s connectivity profile recently, cloud services are becoming far more viable on the continent,” says Von Maltitz.

“As operators drop their roaming charges within trade blocs like SADC, mirroring international trends, this is truly a great opportunity for all concerned. The time has come for leading call centres to embrace the cloud delivery model. With 1Stream’s strength in supporting multinationals like Amazonwonga.com and Bloomberg, we’ve proven we have what it takes to take that journey with them.”


Study shows “Bring Your Own Device” shift in Businesses

Published by on May 21st, 2012, No Comments

Cisco today announced findings from the Cisco IBSG Horizons Study of IT and business leaders that shows IT is accepting, and in some cases embracing, “bring your own device” (BYOD) as a reality in the enterprise. The study findings underscore that BYOD is here to stay, and managers are now acknowledging the need for a more holistic approach – one that is scalable and addresses mobility, security, virtualisation and network policy management, in order to keep management costs in line while simultaneously providing optimal experiences where savings can be realised.

“As the number of devices being brought into work increases, organisations need a comprehensive mobility strategy,” says Leon Wright, Country Lead, Systems Engineering at Cisco SA. “By leveraging the intelligent network, organisations can now provide their employees with the benefits of working anywhere, anytime: in other words, ‘work your way’. These research findings support Cisco’s assertion that mobility needs to extend well beyond BYOD to include the integration of service provider mobility, enterprise mobility, security, collaboration and desktop virtualisation solutions.”

The study shows some of the quantifiable benefits and complexities associated with allowing employees to use their own mobile devices on their employers’ networks. (more…)

Happy 7th Birthday YouTube

Published by on May 21st, 2012, No Comments

On May 20th, YouTube celebrated its 7th Birthday since first introducing itself to the world in 2005.

To celebrate its birthday YouTube created and uploaded a video of some of its greatest moments and milestones including statistics, the introduction of YouTube HD the site redesign and most popular videos.

The YouTube blog also revealed that all 800 million users all over the world have “shown us we’re on the right track by increasing subscriptions 50% and watching over 3 billion hours a month.”

Watch the video below:

Angry Birds Heikki set for June 18th Release

Published by on May 21st, 2012, No Comments

Millions of people around the world have come to love Angry Birds since the first release in December 2009. It has only been about three months since the latest iteration of the popular series was released, Angry Birds Space, which broke records on both iOS and Android where it was downloaded over 50 million times within 35 days. The small Finnish company Rovio obviously smiled all the way to the bank, and as if that wasn’t good enough, they are lining up another title.

When we think of Finland, Formula 1 does spring to mind, having had so many brilliant drivers over the years. Heikki Kovalainen sports an Angry Birds helmet when driving his notoriously slow Caterham around the circuit these days and it has been reported in the past that Rovio was thinking of incorporating the F1 scene into Angry Birds although it is hard to imagine how that would be done exactly. Will we be firing birds into car windshields (not that an F1 car has one) in the hope of causing massive multi-pileup destruction? Who knows…


Microsoft launches experimental social network – So.cl

Published by on May 21st, 2012, 4 Comments

CNet has reported that Microsoft has quietly launched its own social network called So.cl, pronounced “social”. The network, an experimental project at this stage “is designed to give students the ability to network with their peers to share information”, rather than directly compete with Facebook.

However, there are some similarities with the social network giant, including the ability for users to share interesting websites with a “share on So.cl” button that is added to a user’s tool bar with a “bookmarklet” feature, commenting on and tagging other posts.

Users on So.cl can follow interests like food, art and places in addition to following other users.

In addition So.cl allows users to what it calls “riff” on a post which Microsoft says is another way in which users can interact with content on the site. Another unique feature to So.cl is its “video parties” where users can search for and put together videos that they like and share with others.

A Microsoft representative commented that the project, by FUSE Labs, is now accepting all users to try out the site and its features which focuses “on the future of social experiences and learning, especially among younger people.”


Ruckus Wireless demos new Wifi Hotspot Technology

Published by on May 21st, 2012, No Comments

Ruckus Wireless have announced that it is demonstrating new wireless technology that greatly enhances connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots – making it as easy, seamless and secure as today’s cellular experience.

This new technology, is based on a framework of features and specifications, defined within the Wi-Fi Alliance. The technology will be released in June 2012 as the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint certification program from the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Says Michael Fletcher, Sales Director for Ruckus Wireless Sub-Saharan Africa; “Historically, to connect to a hotspot, users have had to perform the arduous task of manually selecting from a number of Wi-Fi networks that may or may not be able to provide them service and perform the tedious process of logging in with their user credentials. Using Passpoint-certified devices, this process will be completely automated. Passpoint-certified mobile devices automatically select a Wi-Fi hotspot based on information advertised by Passpoint-certified Wi-Fi access points.  While roaming, mobile devices can identify hotspots supporting roaming with the user’s home service providers.  If it is, the device automatically connects to the hotspot, securing the link with advanced Wi-Fi security.”

According to Informa Telecoms and Media, the number of hotspots worldwide is expected to more than double from 2.1 million in 2012 to over 5.8 million by 2015. And in a January 2012 study, Mobia found nearly 70% of smartphone-originated data traffic was over Wi-Fi, compared to 30% over cellular technology.