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  • How tech could help Africa develop a knowledge-based economy

    According to the World Economic Forum Competitiveness Report 2011 – 2012 there are three stages of economic development by which one can classify the world’s economies: Factor-­driven economies: Compete primarily on the basis of natural resources and unskilled labour Efficiency-­driven economies: Where the key is to create efficiencies in the production processes Innovation-­driven economies: Compete on differentiated and sophisticated products and production processes The most advanced economies tend to be those in the third stage -- innovation-driven economies. These are also economies that have placed a premium on knowledge as a key factor for economic growth, they are ‘Knowledge Economies’. In Africa, most nations lag...

  • Counting the costs: how PCs left on at night are killing your green credentials

    More often than not, when companies are asked how they are reducing their electricity bills or even carbon emissions, they’ll mention their lighting retrofits, their recycling initiatives, their partnerships with other organisations or their logistics’ department. The IT department rarely, if ever, features -- despite being a significant contributor to energy costs. How PCs are wasting energy In some companies, nearly 90% of PCs are being left on overnight. Sometimes this is legitimate, The IT department, for instance, might conduct security patching after hours and instruct staff to leave their PCs on for that specific purpose. Most of the time, it's...

  • Acer Aspire M3 Ultrabook – the middle child of laptops

    A little over a week ago I was given the Acer Aspire Timeline U M3 (581T) to put through its paces. The good-looking, 15-inch “ultrabook” is Acer’s first proper foray into the ‘ultra’ arena and, unlike many of its competitors, it’s not a straight clone of the MacBook Air. It boasts stylish design, a compact body, great start-up times, good battery life and a few more specs that set it apart from the pack. Read on for the full breakdown. Read more on Gearburn.comvar vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • SlideShare gets the ‘Great Firewall’ treatment in China

    LinkedIn is one of the few major Western social networks not blocked in China. It's slide-hosting service SlideShare may not be as fortunate. A screenshot from watch group China Internet Watch's Facebook page shows that the site is not loading for users trying to access it directly via the web: It isn't exactly clear how long the site's been down or what might have caused it to be blocked, especially considering what LinkedIn managed to do when it was briefly taken down in 2011. At the time, it released a statement explaining the situation: The government of the People’s...

  • Hackers hit Yahoo Voices, 450k logins posted online

    Attention Yahoo! Voices users, now would probably be a good time to change your password. The plaintext logins for around 450 000 user accounts for the voice-calling service have been posted online. According to security site Trusted Sec, the service was seriously vulnerable to attack: The most alarming part to the entire story was the fact that the passwords were stored completely unencrypted and the full 400,000+ usernames and passwords are now public. The method for the compromise was apparently a SQL Injection attack to extract the sensitive information from the database. According to Ars Technica, the attack was...

  • Panasonic PT RZ470: look ma, no lamp

    Every few years in the projector market, something innovative comes along and benchmarks the next few generations of machines. The latest innovation is from Panasonic and has pushed a major shift into the thinking of projector manufacturers. Now you can buy a projector (the Panasonic PT RZ47), or at least in January 2013 you will be able to, and never have to replace the goddamn lamp, because it doesn’t have one. Thanks to the development of Panasonic’s LED/laser combination light source, this latest beauty, using its DLP optic engine, will give you an admirable 3 000 ANSI lumen image and...

  • China-only smartphone from Phillips rocks 13-hour battery life

    Who is Phillips again? The company that cranks out stereo systems and microwave ovens? Not so, Phillips is a still a player in the mobile phone race, albeit sticking to the Chinese market for its top-end smartphones. The latest such device is the Philips W732, a cantankerous 4.3-inch mobile phone with a frankly astonishing battery life of 10-hours and more. Read more on Gearburn.comvar vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • More than Angry Birds: Rovio launches Amazing Alex

    Angry Birds made Rovio. The game, downloaded over a billion times, made it a household name. Now the Finnish game maker has launched what it hopes will be the next big thing in mobile gaming: Amazing Alex. The game, which is available to iOS and Android users takes gamers though 100 levels and requires them to use 35 interactive objects. Sound familiar? That's because it follows more or less the same well-worn formula that made Angry Birds such a wild success. There is however one big difference, Amazing Alex allows players to design and publish their own levels. ...

  • Tweet your support for student race team, power a Scalextric replica car

    This is cool. It's a Scalextric model of British racing circuit Silverstone and you can move cars along it using just the power of a tweet. The initiative is support of Cape Speed, a student team from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), who will be competing in the Formula Student cup. The cup is Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, and will see the team pit their formula built car against 110 teams from around the world. By sending out tweets with the hashtag #capespeed or liking the team's Facebook page, you can show your support the...

  • Things you might not know about cellphones in Africa [Video]

    It's no secret that mobile is the medium for Africa -- millions use mobile-only social networks, young cellphone users are driving the growth of Twitter on the continent and mobile payment systems are major ecommerce players. Wondering why? It may have something to do with the fact that mobile penetration in Africa is currently around 65%, it's the second biggest mobile market in the world and smartphones are outselling traditional computers four to one. The Praekelt Foundation, a South African-based organisation which aims to use mobile to improve the lives of people living in poverty, has detailed the explosive...

  • Want your mobile platform to win? Prepare for war [Infographic]

    If you want to win the mobile platform game, prepare for all out war. Android and iOS are very much at the top of the pile right now, but they weren't always. Chances are they won't stay on top forever either. There will be casualties too. Just ask the people who helped develop BlackBerry OS, Symbian, or even Web OS. All of them had their time in the sun and all of them know just how quickly a platform can fall from favour. In fact, this infographic from mobile research company Vision Mobile suggests that some 30 mobile platforms...

  • Mobile money in emerging markets: is the operator-led model broken?

    The runaway success of early operator mobile money products in East Africa held out a future for mobile network operators (MNOs) eager to generate new revenue streams, beyond voice and data by boldly grabbing the public mind and private purses of previously low and UN-banked emerging market society. These services have become a much-referenced ‘gold standard’ of not only what mobile technology and financial services can achieve in emerging markets. Four years on, with over 200 mobile operator mobile money services around the world, how successful have these services been? Research by the Mobile Money Unit of the GSM association (GSMA...

  • Facebook: a shrine for the digital age

    About two years ago a friend of mine died. He was a kind, genial and fun-loving man, and his death at a too young age came as a shock to his vast circle of friends and family. I remember the first time I accidentally came across his Facebook profile after his death: his profile photo was still the same, and for a moment it felt like he was still alive. His wall was being used by many of his friends to express their grief and loss. In fact, his wall was a testament to the suddenness of his death:...

  • RunwaySale: selling high-end fashion in a flash

    Recently launched RunwaySale is a new and exciting flash-sale website that brings high-end designer labels to the consumer at hugely discounted prices -- all at the click of a button. Although this concept is already entrenched in the minds of European, American and Australian fashionistas, the idea is relatively new to the South African market and RunwaySale has hit the ground running, taking the South African public by well-dressed storm. We spoke to Elmien Smit and Karl Hammerschmidt about some of the challenges they're facing in the South African market: var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • See if you can spot any secret projects in Apple’s latest corporate video

    Recruitment videos tend to make me think of Veridian Dynamics from the short-lived comedy Better Off Ted. But when Apple does one, we tend to sit up and take note. The latest one is pretty special because it gives us a rare glimpse into the company's Cupertino headquarters. Most of the video is the standard corporate fare about how dedicated the company is to incredible design and how you don't get to work there unless you're pretty special. What has techies really excited though is a glimpse of some design briefs for new products at 0:57. Is it a...