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Managing the risks of Bring Your Own Device

Published by on Oct 11th, 2012, No Comments

The ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) trend has taken root in South Africa, with workers increasingly relying on their personally-owned smartphones, tablets and computers in their day to day work rather than on  devices issued to them by their companies.

This trend – known as consumerisation of IT – has brought with it tremendous opportunities, but also massive risks for companies with mobile workforces, says Alexandra Zagury, Managing Director for South & Southern Africa at Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry® solution.

She says that many employees in the average enterprise are now relying on personally owned smartphones and tablet computers to carry out work tasks that range from authorising payments to signing off purchase orders and editing sensitive documents.

“Compared to the top-down nature of technology deployment in enterprises in the past, we are today seeing employees are bringing their own productivity-boosting devices and services to work with them,” says Zagury. “This trend towards consumerisation is being driven by the advent of devices such as smartphones that allow people to seamlessly access personal and work services wherever they are.”

This brings gains in productivity, efficiency and worker satisfaction, but also creates obvious compliance risks over sensitive data. Some companies might try to react to the threats and risks by locking the devices down to prevent use of unauthorised applications, websites and social networking capabilities. (more…)

Google’s biggest Street View update yet

Published by on Oct 11th, 2012, 1 Comment

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Google has updated its Street view data that is its biggest one yet that includes an additional 250, 000 miles of road worldwide as well as doubling the amount of special collections. The announcement was made on Google’s blog by Street View Program Manager Ulf Spitzer.

Street View coverage has been increased in places that include Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. Other places of interest that have been added include tourist attractions like “Catherine Palace and Ferapontov monastery in Russia, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan, or Stanley Park in Vancouver”.

It seems that the significant update couldn’t have come at a better time for Google with Apple having come under heavy criticism for its own mapping solution with the release of iOS6.

Steeple: The first low-cost online estate agency in SA

Published by on Oct 11th, 2012, 2 Comments

Steeple the first low-cost online estate agency service in South Africa provides an alternative to high-cost conventional estate agents or to selling privately. Having been operating in test-mode since March of this year, the company has already sold a number of properties through the service.

By operating from a centralised office and not having estate agents travelling to viewings, Steeple can reduce costs and pass the savings on to sellers in the form of lower commissions.

The service includes valuing the property, marketing it on all the major online property websites, arranging viewings, obtaining feedback, negotiating with buyers, and project-managing the sale. In return, sellers send their property details and photos to Steeple and show potential buyers around themselves.

A seller anywhere in Soouth Africa can use Steeple’s service. There are currently properties listed across the country from Bela-Bela to Cape Town. De Waal notes that the likelihood of achieving a successful sale is increased when selling properties in the major metros, such as Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban, because demand is currently greatest in those areas.

Steepl founder David de Waal, says Steeple conducts business in a professional, transparent, and trustworthy manner, believing that Steeple offers both lower costs and better service than old-school estate agencies: “As a seller, you are no longer stuck between a rock and a hard place when trying to sell your house. We charge lower fees than conventional agents but in most cases provide more online exposure for your property than they do, so we expect to find you more potential buyers. Selling a property privately is admittedly still the cheapest way but it can be scary and because your marketing options are limited you may be going grey – all fifty shades of it – before you ever sell.”


Samsung to unveil 4-inch Galaxy S3 today

Published by on Oct 11th, 2012, 10 Comments

Samsung will be unveiling a new device today, 11th October, in Germany and it’s going to be a 4-inch version of the Galaxy S3. The announcement came yesterday from Head of Samsung’s Mobile Communications, JK Shin, during a meeting with Korean press.

“We’ll be launching a 4-inch Galaxy S3 on the 11th in Germany,” Shin confirmed. “There’s a lot of demand for a 4-inch screen device in Europe. Some call it an entry-level device, but we call it ‘mini.’”


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.”


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.


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.