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Facebook rolls-out file sharing feature for groups

Published by on May 11th, 2012, No Comments

In a Mashable exclusive, the site has reported that Facebook will enable groups to share files which will initially roll-out to a small percentage of groups on Thursday.

The feature, will then become available to all groups over the next few days and if you don’t have it yet, the social network has said that you will have it “soon”.

A spokesperson for Facebook said that with 380 million people using Facebook Groups, a file sharing feature was one of the most popular requests among users.

Users with access to the new feature will be able to share files up to 25MB. However, there are a few exceptions including music files and executable files. With the the same file size limit as Gmail, Facebook will allow the sharing of music videos, e-books and small movies.

To avoid the spread of copyrighted or malicious content, the spokesperson said that as with other content of that nature, users will be able to report files too.

In October 2010, Facebook acquired file sharing service drop.io where users could simply upload a file, create a “drop” with links to files and share it without having to actually register with the service.

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Want to Print from your iPhone/iPad, but dont have an Airprint printer?

Published by on May 10th, 2012, 4 Comments

Apple’s idea of simplifying printing for iOS users has not exactly been going great – manufacturers have been slow in rolling out AirPrint to their lines, and it has been primarily focussed on consumer printers. Businesses have been out of luck to get Airprint on enterprise grade network printers, and it seems like the latest office focussed printers still do not get AirPrint.

But luckily there is a pretty easy way to get AirPrint enabled within the home and the business, and it does not cost a cent. Netgear’s new Genie app is primarily a network diagnostic tool, but it also enables Airprint on any printer for which you have drivers installed on your machines. The app is available for PC and Mac, and simply installs a little utility that sits in the background. When you open it up, simply click “AirPrint”, then select which printers you want to enable for AirPrint.

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Customers vs. Fans: developing a fan-based aspect to your business

Published by on May 10th, 2012, No Comments

Customers are great … but you need fans!

Not so long ago, the driving force behind business was selling … lots of it. It’s true to say that not much has changed, except one fundamental aspect … Relationship Management.

Relationship management has always been in the armoury of many traditional businesses, like the old corner shop where customers were treated on a personal basis. Possibly unintentionally, but many businesses survived due to customers dealing with a specific business due to their relationship with them.

In recent years with the advent of bulk selling and the influx of non-personalised media, companies are losing touch with their customers – I refer specifically to online selling. I have noticed a trend whereby online retailers have lost their focus on their customer-base, instead viewing their customers as a database – not as individuals.

Customer-centric online retailers, realise the importance of striking up one-on-one value propositions to meet individual needs. How is this possible in today’s bulk selling and marketing environment?

Fans:

It’s true that you cannot expect to convert all of your customers into loyal users – the internet is a fickle place, where your competitor is one click away – but there are a few tactics which you can employ to create a better relationship with past, present and potential customers. ..you need to create fans.

Fans are users of your online (and offline) business who have developed an interest in your offering and are willing to share and take part in your company’s evolution. They are vital in so many ways, not just in increasing your sales volume:

- Fans can help guide you in terms of product development.
- They enhance the word-of-mouth marketing of your offering.
- Repeat buying will increase due to their loyalty.
- Most importantly they reinforce your offering to new customers.

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Wireless G, Mango, Vodacom launch in-flight Wi-Fi

Published by on May 10th, 2012, 2 Comments

In a first for South Africa, Wireless G together with low-cost airline Mango and Vodacom have launched G-Connect, an in-flight Wi-Fi service. G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi enables passengers to access to the internet from 30, 000 feet in the air.

The new service, compatible with most Wi-Fi enabled devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops, allows for full Internet connectivity on board Mango flights around the country, including sending and receiving emails, web browsing and the use of all social networks. However, data-heavy services like YouTube will not be allowed. An air-to-land SMS service, that will be managed through a web service, will also be available.

Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout says that “In a highly competitive market where everything tastes like chicken, it’s important to taste like beef. Innovation is a cornerstone of our business along with sustained affordable fares that are relative to the prevailing market.”

“The G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service is offered in a totally new, integrated model and it’s regarded as a carrier-grade telecommunications access medium”, said Wireless G CEO, Carel van der Merwe. “Social networks and the tsunami of next generation Wi-Fi enabled devices and the related converged eco-systems makes in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity more relevant. Moreover, the specific way in which it is offered as an integrated telecommunications internet access medium, is essential for our future plans,” said van der Merwe.

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Instagram for Android gets popular Tilt-Shift feature

Published by on May 10th, 2012, 1 Comment

Instagram’s popular tilt-shift feature has now been added to the photo sharing service for Android, five weeks after its arrival.

When Instagram for Android was launched in early April, among the many features available, tilt-shift was not included, remaining only on the iPhone version of the app.

The popular feature allows users to focus on a specific area of a photo while the rest remains out of focus, creating a miniature effect.

“Tilt-shift within mobile photography applications is often the process of selective focus in order to simulate a miniature scene, also known as miniature faking,” Instagram said in an official blog post.

“Selective focus can also be used to give the appearance of a shallow depth of field (DoF), or placing the focus on a subject in the background while blurring out the foreground and vice versa.”

The blog post also included tips on how to maximise the feature, explaining what the feature is and how it works with step-by-step instructions.

The inclusion of the feature came with the roll-out of the Instagram Android version 1.1.0 update that is now available to download in the Google Play Store.

Source: Mashable

Create, share and discover global events with local startup Whenpages

Published by on May 10th, 2012, No Comments

Pretoria based global events startup Whenpages has launched today in public beta version, as of 8am this morning.

Whenpages is a global time based platform for creating, sharing and discovering events in the past present and future. The site aims to publicise (live or recorded) events around the world and focuses on user-generated content that can then be shared on leading social networks like Facebook and Twitter for additional exposure and reach.

While anyone can create an event for free, primary content contributors include artists, event planners, venue owners and marketing and PR companies who can choose from a selection of 18 categories in which to place their content.

Whenpages founder Tendai Joe, a prolific social media user and consultant says of the motivation behind Whenpages that “I wanted to develop an events site that would take people off their computers and mobile phones and into real meet-ups.” Originally Tendai wanted to buy the domain when.com but when he discovered that it had already been taken, he came upon whenpages.com. “I then had the challenge of coming up with a concept that would work for that name and the creative process started”, adds Tendai.

Tendai noticed a gap in the market having officially endorsed and covered a number of events in real time for Vodacom, The Gautrain and The Nelson Mandela Foundation to name a few.

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Snapt joins forces with HAProxy’s commercial arm, Exceliance

Published by on May 9th, 2012, No Comments

Open-source software continues to grow in popularity as a result of its cost-effectiveness and functionality.

In an attempt to provide larger corporate clients with a complete, professional and low-cost load balancing solution, South African-based development outfit Snapt has joined forces with HAProxy’s commercial arm, Exceliance.

The first open-source alliance of its kind will result in a more widely accessible product offering, which will extend both the reach and functionality of Snapt’s existing HAProxy user interface, as well as Exceliance’s renowned HAProxy Enterprise Edition (HAPEE).

Plans are currently underway to release a joint product, which looks set to allay any fears companies may have about dabbling in the world of open source. Not only will the new offering provide comprehensive developer-backed support and warranties typical of more commercial software, but will make use of Snapt’s revolutionary user interface, making the product exceptionally easy to use and manage.

This product will be the first of its kind to really deliver an open source solution with all the benefits of a more commercial offering,” says Dave Blakey, CEO of Snapt. “Not only will clients be able to enjoy the peace of mind afforded by comprehensive developer-backed support and full warranties, but they’ll be able to do so at a fraction of the price of commercial software.”

This alliance increases Exceliance’s value proposition, enabling us to better cover market needs byaddressing the cloud computing environments” said Christophe Pouillet, Exceliance’s CEO.

The newly formed alliance also brings good news for existing clients of both companies. Snapt’s existing clientele can look set to enjoy the benefits of full support, whilst current HAPEE clients will also enjoy the increased ease of use afforded by Snapt’s HAProxy user interface.

Snapt and Exceliance’s new joint-product will be made available in May 2012. Annual subscription packages will start at USD 5,000 for the bronze, 2 server plan and scale up to USD 40,000 for large enterprise clients.

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Ubiquitous Connectivity is changing world into one big “Smurf Village” – Stafford Masie

Published by on May 9th, 2012, No Comments

Cheap computing power, paired with ubiquitous connectivity in nearly every corner of the world, is creating a global, intelligent fabric of network services and applications that will transform the way we live over the next three to five years.

That’s according to Stafford Masie, technology entrepreneur and Co-Founder of a content and cloud enabling company with SEACOM. He says that the Internet is rapidly evolving into a Sensory Membrane of Ubiquitous Real-time Federated Subsystems (Smurfs) that delivers rich services and applications that were the stuff of science-fiction just a decade ago.

“A range of technologies are maturing and meshing together into a rich network that already has immense capabilities. Just think about doing a Google search on your phone. The device does none of the processing, yet you have access to a wealth of information within a few seconds of starting the search,” says Masie.

Within the next 18 to 36 months, we can expect to see a range of machine to machine applications as well the growth of big data completely change users’ expectations of what the global network can do for them.

So what exactly is this “Smurf” village he is talking about?

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