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  • Eye controlled laptop? It’s here

    A global first, a laptop controlled by the users eyes. Users can open files, play music and view pictures using just the power of their eyes. This new technology turned heads Wednesday at the CeBIT tech fair. The laptop integrates cutting-edge “eye tracking” technology by Swedish firm Tobii that follows the movement of the user’s eyes and allows him or her to operate menus and select icons. The prototype is also good for the environment as it recognises when you are not looking at it and automatically goes into screen saver mode, saving energy, Tobii says. It restarts as soon as...

  • Human rights network releases damning Chinese media report

    A Hong Kong human rights networks says China’s heavily-censored internet is the main battleground in the fight for freedom of expression. The Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), a network of activists, detailed a litany of rights abuses in its annual report on the events of 2010. Details on the list of acts committed by the state against campaigners include more than 3 500 cases of arbitrary detention and allegations of torture. The network called on Beijing to release all rights activists including jailed Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, investigate security personnel accused of rights violations and guarantee free expression and...

  • Snaply: Taking the ‘exclusivity out’ of eCommerce site building

    As society moves more into the online sphere, the need to do practically everything online grows. eCommerce sites are growing bigger and adding more products online. What began with just DVDs and books sales online has now moved to helicopters, real estate and ridiculous items such as actual human beings and Twitter accounts being auctioned off on eBay. Companies that want to be taken seriously in this economic climate need to stake their claim online. Buying and selling online is a growing trend that cannot be ignored and companies that rely on a steady sales stream need to cater for...

  • Canonical: Hardened corporate or community leader?

    Open Source is starting to become a very lucrative business model these days and I think we have Google to thank for that. However, this means money is coming in for people who didn’t get much before and who feel that it’s long overdue. Naturally capitalist greed gets the better of the once generous and the Gnome Foundation and Canonical have locked horns. Let’s investigate the situation a little further. Background Founded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical is the corporate backer of Ubuntu, the third most popular desktop operating system in the world after Windows and MacOS. Ubuntu is built...

  • Michael Joseph and Mpesa: A missed opportunity

    Michael Joseph was the CEO of Safaricom, taking the mobile operator from 5 employees to dominating the Kenyan mobile operator market with over 80% market share in his 10 years at the helm. Regardless of your personal feelings on the man, you have to admire the tenacious approach he took growing the business, and his willingness to invest in his company’s future, thereby decimating his (often inept) competition. Possibly MJ’s (how he’s known in local Kenyan parlance) greatest business move was also a measured risk –that is being the company to take a software created by parent Vodafone Group...

  • How to safeguard your intellectual property

    Intellectual Property (IP) is an intangible asset to an entrepreneur. When it comes to assuring investors they are placing their cash in an exclusive product or service that is legally protected, securing your IP is a must. Alex Fraser of Invenfin, an early-stage venture capital company says there are some things you need to know before you take your idea to investors. According to Fraser, not having proper IP ownership is by far the largest problem Invenfin sees when dealing with the thousands of entrepreneurs that pass through its doors. Fraser, who lectures on entrepreneurship and venture capital to students,...

  • It’s all about the gadgets at the CeBIT tech fair

    CeBIT’s high-tech fair on Wednesday continued to wow visitors with a “Shakespeare-reciting robot and intelligent” cocktail shaker at topping the list of innovations. Some products are plain futuristic, while others are ingenious or simply downright pointless. The event which is the world’s biggest IT expo this year showcased thousands of the latest gadgets. An estimated 350,000 visitors have travelled to Hanover in northern Germany for the annual gathering. No one finds it easy to wake up in the morning. But even the heaviest sleeper has found his match in the “intelligent” alarm clock designed by students at the Technical University of...

  • Facebook’s one of a kind acquisition – to gain outside expertise

    Startup Beluga, founded by former Google employees – which allows users to send group messages to family or friends – has been bought, by Facebook. There are no financial details of the transaction, but the deal is interesting: unlike Facebook’s other deals, it looks like the company may actually use Beluga’s technology, according to Business Insider’s Anthony Ha. Beluga allows users to create groups of friends with whom they want to share text messages, images, and emoticons, as Hu points out. The service launched in December, and there seems to be increasing interest in group chat products from...

  • Apple gets ready to unveil iPad upgrade

    Rivals struggle to compete as Apple gets ready to unveil a second-generation iPad on Wednesday. The internet has been abuzz with industry insiders and Apple lovers expressing desires and speculation regarding what the maker of iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Macintosh computers has in store at an invitation-only event in San Francisco. Cryptic invitations provided the date, time and location of the event and displayed an image of a March 2 calendar page peeling back to reveal a corner of an iPad. The message on the page reads “Come see what 2011 will be the year of.” Technology analysts have taken to referring...

  • Facebook gives its comment box a new look

    Facebook is revamping its Comments Box plug-in, their platform designed to power the frequently unruly comments space on websites. The social networking giant revealed details on its updated Comments Box plug-in on Tuesday. Websites can use it to replace the system they currently have for display comments from readers. Online publishers have long debated how to bring a measure of civility to their comments forums, which are frequently populated by insults and off-topic ramblings by readers cloaked in anonymity. Facebook insists that its more than 500 million members use real names and its comments platform shows the Facebook profile picture and name...

  • The Daily comes to Android?

    Rupert Murdoch is not your everyday ‘run-of-the-mill-kinda-news-guy’. For one, the media mogul is listed as one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine, ranks 13 on Forbes’ 2010 The World’s Most Powerful People list and with a net worth of US$6.3-billion, he is listed at around the 117 of the most wealthiest people on the planet. Which is probably why he can get away with saying things like “New times demands new journalism” and attach subscription charges to digital media. Not to mention ‘partner’ with Apple to create a glorious eye-candy news application that has everyday non-iPad users sick with jealousy. The...

  • Angry Birds for BlackBerry. Sort of.

    If you’ve been craving Angry Birds action on your BlackBerry, may we present erm… Angry Farm, a naming portmanteau made up of two of the most successful casual gaming franchises in recent history namely, Angry Birds and Farmville. Available exclusively for BlackBerry OS 4.6 and up, Angry Farm sees hapless farm animals having to defend themselves from from hungry foxes in the farmer’s absence. In Smarter Apps‘ own words: Help the angry animals fight back to clear the farm of marauding foxes. The angry animals are armed with a catapult and they fly through the air like furious birds...

  • Twitter and the delicate art of unfollowing

    Engaging in in-depth study of my field as the “anti-social media expert”, I came across a website run by your friendly neighbourhood troupe of social media experts. Besides the usual treasure trove of must-know specialised advice on this site were a number of articles on how and when to unfollow people on Twitter. Amongst the sage pieces of advice given to the hungry for social media knowledge masses on this website were that one should “institute a following/unfollowing policy for your followers,” what should be included and how to publicise said policy. Not to disrespect these experts, but...

  • Google says it has fixed the Gmail glitch

    Google apologised Monday for the Gmail glitch. The company said it expects to fully restore the Gmail accounts of users who saw their emails deleted from their inboxes over the weekend. “We hope to have everybody back by the end of the day,” said Andrew Kovacs, a Google spokesman. “It is our expectation that we will restore all accounts.” Over the weekend some Gmail users reported major problem with Google’s emails service — specifically, that all of their emails, labels, themes, folders, and other personalised settings have all been erased. Gmail help forums were filled with users who had experienced the same...

  • Facebook for your video chats – a recipe for success?

    Startup SocialEyes introduced a service on Monday allowing users have one-on-one or group video chats with friends through mega social media platform, Facebook. SocialEyes launched its test version at recent DEMOconference for technology startups, The service is now made available online at socialeyes.com or the Facebook SocialEyes app. SocialEyes users sign on with Facebook IDs and can connect with known friends or other members of the online community with shared interests. It is a free service and works directly within your browser using Adobe Flash, a multimedia platform for animation and video. Users can have multiple video conversations going on at once...