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  • 5 lessons African startups can learn from Nigeria’s president-elect

    It’s no longer news that Nigeria has a new President-elect, what is however new is the fact that he is actually the first person in the history of the country’s democracy — and since independence — to defeat an incumbent president. Even though he is more than 70 years old, his emergence as Nigeria’s new president from 29 May is filled with numerous lessons for startups in Nigeria, other parts of Africa and perhaps globally. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 5 things you need to know about the Tesla S 70D

    Tesla yesterday announced the launch of the Model S 70D, the entry level model in its all wheel drive D range. Admittedly it’s not the most exciting launch to happen this year. New variants, especially at the bottom of a range, seldom get motoring journalists tapping away eagerly at their keyboards. The S 70D is important though, not least because it makes owning a Tesla an ever-so-slightly more realistic possibility. So what makes it different from the rest of the range, and what are you sacrificing if you choose to buy one? Read more on Motorburn.

  • Wake up call: why mobile money should matter to the South African government

    Speaking at The Economist Conference in Johannesburg, late 2014, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said, “There is a perception that financial inclusion efforts will necessarily lead to increased financial risk and hence have a negative effect on financial stability. However, if financial inclusion is approached from a systemic perspective and pursued responsibly, the opposite is true”. This tells, without a doubt, that government is eager for a nation where no one is financially excluded; where the poor, the marginalised and those who live in far-flung areas have no access to banks and other financial services. Mobile money is an efficient...

  • In the battle between social media and email, there’s only one clear winner

    The word “distraction” comes up all too often within the context of social media, and Bryan Adams said it himself -”Social Media is a giant distraction to the ultimate aim, which is honing your craft.” Whilst most companies today have invested large sums into social media efforts, many other businesses have watched the social media revolution like a bushman watches civilisation…with one eyebrow raised and a sense of bemused scepticism. A reality that we need to accept is that the social media era is huge, and various big players have a vested interest to ensure its continued expansion. But for how...

  • Deep analytics could help resolve SA’s power crisis: here’s how

    Now is the ideal time for Eskom to use advanced analytics to improve decision-making and better handle South Africa’s power crisis. Eskom has always used a degree of analytics to manage power supply. However, the big data it gathers from power plants, transformers, generators and other machinery only reflects events that have already happened, making decisions based on this historical data ineffective. Looking back vs looking ahead The biggest problem is that decision-making is reactive rather than proactive. Take infrastructure maintenance as an example. Many of South Africa’s power plants are operating well beyond their 30- to 35-year lifespans. An increase in demand...

  • Facebook’s Messenger comes to the web

    Facebook is developing ways to endear Messenger to its users. Its entry was somewhat forceful, and it received, deservedly so, cold shoulders from most users but over time Messenger has begun to grow inside us all. And now, it is accessible on the web browser too. Today Facebook launched Messenger as a dedicated web interface. The Messenger site can be accessed by logging in with Facebook details. The site has a white interface with a list of chat contacts on the left, and a clean white chat window in the middle and on the right, details of the person...

  • 11 massive predictions about the future of mobile and mobile data

    At this stage, telling anyone that we live in a mobile world seems more or less pointless. Our phones are hardwired into our daily lives and, for many of us, can seem more like artificial limbs than everyday devices. They’ve changed the world too. Web designers now think about how you’ll experience a site on a phone or tablet before they think about how you’ll see it on a desktop. Apps meanwhile have gone from single function curiosities to powerful tools that allow us to do everything from hailing private cars to making investments on the fly. Given...

  • SA set for 4G explosion and 14 other mindblowing mobile stats

    Between the country’s largest network announcing plans to hike voice and data rates and finding out that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will be bafflingly expensive, there hasn’t been much for South African mobile users to celebrate of late. They may however take a little solace in the prediction that they’re a lot more likely to have 4G coverage in the next five years. According to Cisco, the ongoing adoption of more powerful devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections may see 3G surpassing 2G as the top cellular technology, based on connection share, by 2016. 4G will meanwhile account for 56.1%...

  • Brace yourself: the Opel Adam proves big car tech is coming to your small car… and soon

    We recently spent a week whizzing around in the new Opel Adam. It’s a posh little three-door hatchback that employs a decidedly refined and trendily downsized turbo triple. Little, of course, is the operative word here. The Adam – which rides on a shortened Corsa platform – measures just a smidgen over 3.7 metres in length, which puts it neatly between the absolutely tiny Fiat 500 and the rather compact Audi A1 (incidentally, two of its main rivals). Its boot can handle a mere 170 litres and space on the rear bench is cramped at best. Read more on Motorburn.

  • Bitcoin Africa conference confirms Erik Wilgenhof Plante as guest speaker

    Internationally recognised speaker Erik Wilgenhof Plante has been confirmed as one of the keynote speakers at the Bitcoin Africa Conference to be held in Cape Town, South Africa from 16 to 17 April. Michael Bouchier, who’s the master of ceremonies, said in a press release: “I am extremely satisfied with the quality and selection of speakers. Mr Wilgenhof Plante will cover a very important topic, namely, Earning trust; how rules and regulation can help development of virtual currencies. We feel that with so many big corporates, banks and government departments attending that this is an important topic to cover at...

  • NASA to host global hackathon aimed at fixing life on Earth and in space

    NASA and IBM’s Bluemix cloud services are sponsoring a worldwide hackathon, The Space App Challenge. The hackathon aims to challenge participants to produce relevant open source solutions for both life on Earth and in space. Despite being called The Space App Challenge, NASA insists the competition is not only about apps but also about challenges that involve robotics, data visualisation, hardware, design, and many other elements. The event will take place on 11 and 12 April 2015 and will be preceded by a bootcamp event on 10 April 2015 to be live-streamed globally. The themes for the challenge include: Earth,...

  • Twitter stock rises amid Google takeover rumours

    Where there is smoke, there is fire, the saying goes. And it holds any truth, fresh rumours of a Twitter acquisition may have more truth to them than you think. According to Mashable, Twitter’s shares rose ‘amid gossip in the investment community that the company had hired advisors to deal with takeover bids.’ At this rumour, Twitter’s shares rose up to 4.8% as rumours of Google and Yahoo planning a possible buyout surfaced. On Tuesday, rumours were doing the rounds that Twitter had hired advisers including Goldman Sachs to fend off companies that are interested in buying the social media...

  • What F8 2015 taught us about the future of Facebook and technology

    This year, F8 revealed a vision for the future of Facebook, as well as its family of platforms. Following some high-profile acquisitions over the last few years, Facebook has repositioned itself as a collection of applications and platforms to best serve an ever growing audience of users. Growing from a single blue app on your mobile, the ‘family’ now spans the Facebook app, with 1.4-billion active users; 600-million people using Messenger; 700-million WhatsApp users; an additional 700-million Facebook Groups users; and 300-million on Instagram. Facebook has diversified for a number of reasons. First among these, is the company’s recognition of...

  • Ware of the Week: Yolify

    In our weekly series, Ware of the Week, we showcase our favourite organised lines of code from the world of mobile and desktop computing. In today’s edition, we profile an evolved bucket list app that embraces YOLO like no other — Yolify. If you missed our previous Ware of the Week winner, catch it below. It’s fairly easy to get stuck in a rut, even with that bucket list quietly sitting untouched in your dressing room cabinet. At some point, you’ll have to address those ambitions and dreams and punch them in the face. Read more on Gearburn.

  • The real state of ecommerce in South Africa: 9 things you need to know today

    Ecommerce in South Africa is still very much in the infant stages by global standards. The rate of growth globally has increased rapidly with large investments being made and new players joining the game constantly. Online retail in the developed world makes up 10-12% of total retail while SA is barely breaking 1% of the total market for consumer goods. In South Africa there are a few common would-be barriers expressed by potential buyers: Read more on Ventureburn.