Storm warnings: the next big Kenyan mobile innovation?

Some pretty impressive mobile innovations have come to the world's attention after Kenyan success. MPesa and Ushahidi come to mind immediately. Now a couple of organisations in the country want to use SMS to warn farmers about potential disasters. According to The Next Web, the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) thinks that some 7 500 coffee farmers in the Nairobi and Mount Kenya regions could be receiving SMSes from an automated warning system by the end of the ...

Augmented Reality

Could in-store navigation tech be a shopper’s worst nightmare?

Smart Sensors So GPS is great, but it has its limitations. As soon as the satellites can’t see you; your signal is lost. This is particularly true when you are trying to find your way around a shopping centre or an unfamiliar airport. Luckily for all directionally challenged shoppers out there, Fraunhofer (Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization) will allow in-store or in-mall navigation by allowing your device to communicate with small sensors scattered strategically throughout the building. The system (currently called MST-SmartSense Sensor) is ...

Social media

Hey avatard: Screw your twibbons, find a real cause

Rich Mulholland Twibbons, green-tinted avatars, and dare I say it, hashtagging Kony2012. Sure they make you feel great but they do they actually make a difference? Not really. Former rock 'n roll roadie and manic professional speaker Rich Mulholland has a term for anyone who engages in this kind of online behaviour: Avatard. Tinting your Twitter avatar green has about as much impact as walking around with a piece of green plastic in solidarity with the people of Iran, said Mulholland in his presentation ...

General Tech

What Scott Thompson’s fake CV teaches us about tech’s engineering cult

Yahoo! The discovery that Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson has been claiming to have a Computer Science degree for years, and did not correct statements that identified him as an "engineer" is not surprising given the strong "cult of the engineer" that is prevalent in Silicon Valley. According to Kara Swisher at All Things D, Thompson did not deny he had a computer science degree in a 2009 interview: Moira Gunn asked him a direct question about his college degrees, specifically noting they ...


How you can use Twitter to map people’s emotions

Dan Zarella Thinking There are all sorts of tools out there for measuring social media sentiment. They're incredibly useful to brands and journalists alike. But what if you could use Twitter to map people's emotions geographically? Surely that would be even more useful A few weeks ago, I spoke at a federal agency conference in Arlington, Viriginia and one of the most interesting topics was the potential use of social media, by intelligence agencies, to map out and predict social unrest. So I ...


400m mobile phones to be green by 2017 [Report]

Tech’s going green. It has to. Hell, the world has to. The kind of action we’re seeing now with Facebook and Google’s data centres and Microsoft pledging to become Carbon neutral is just the beginning. In fact, the number of phones like the Samsung Replenish -- made from 82% recycled materials – is set to grow more than 10 times by 2017. UK-based tech analysis company Juniper Research, Juniper Research reckons that around 31-million ‘green’ handsets will ship this year. ...


Abe Lincoln Facebook story likely hoax

So we all know Abraham Lincoln was a pretty badass president. He reunited a country torn apart by civil war, helped end slavery and invented Facebook. Yup, that’s right Mark “I’m worth more than Yahoo!” Zuckerberg, Abraham Lincoln patented the basic idea for your social network 146 years ago. Except he didn’t. The story appears to be the latest hoax to take the web by storm. The story originated as a claim made by reporter Nate St.Pierre after he ...


FNB launches GeoPayments, officially this time

When First National Bank (FNB)’s GeoPayments service leaked earlier this week, we were fairly impressed. Now the banking giant has officially gone live with it we can give the full low-down. In an official press release, the company confirms that the new functionality uses location-based services. It claims that it can “locate other users, within close range, to make safe and secure cashless payments without the need of their bank account details”. Oh, it also turns out that you don’t ...


8 things you might not know about the internet in South Africa

internet connection The number of internet users in South Africa is growing massively. That's a good thing. After all, the World Bank reckons that every 10% growth in internet connectivity equates to a one percent growth in the GDP. In fact, there are now an estimated 8.5-million internet users in the country, nearly 60% more than there were two years ago and around 90% of those access the web using mobile at some point. Even mobile users are increasingly moving to smart ...

Advertising & Marketing, Mobile

How to reward the right behaviour in a mobile world [Net Prophet]

Chris Rolfe Did you know that 95% of what we do is subconscious? The human mind decides not only which products and services to buy but also how to do so. It’s the key to consumerism. Although this fact is as obvious and predictable as the human mind is, examining the consumer process with the view of mobile tech illuminates the new grip of both hands of marketing and digital -- choice. According to according to Mobilitrix CEO Chris Rolfe, understanding the ...






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