Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Zuckeberg and others form internet.org to enable global internet usage.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other companies like Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Samsung and Qualcomm made a partnership to form internet.org that has an initiative to make the internet accessible to over 2 billion people about third’s of the world’s population without internet access to be able to get access and utilize the internet. Much as we haven’t been given the clearest of how they plan to do this. The organization announced several goals.

Some of the goals of internet.org include making internet accessible to all, more efficient use of the internet and lending businesses a hand to make internet accessible to all. This will involve working with service providers to make the internet accessible to all at subsidized costs. Facebook says they will reduce data usage on their android app from estimated 12Mb daily to 1Mb to make the internet more efficient as it states in one of the goals of internet.org

Lastly the partnerships also aims at supporting business models by offering incentives to mobile operators, device manufacturers, developers, and other businesses to make internet access cheaper and easier to access.

We think this initiative will help Facebook, grow more users because if the internet is cheaper and more accessible, more people would use the internet and thus use more social networks with Facebook  as number one, remember free Facebook zero on Mtn Uganda and free m.facebook on Orange, this led to increased use of Facebook.

The initiative’s main aim is increased internet access and efficiency and all is clearly explained in the Mark Zuckerberg’s “Is Connectivity A Human Right?” plan

YouTube app for android gets new User Interface and features!

Despite the recent saga of the official Windows Phone YouTube app, being pulled from the store. Google has made improvements to its Android version of the YouTube app. YouTube started rolling out updates to its users with features such as multitasking.

Multitasking, in the sense that you can pause and minimize a playing video as you search for other YouTube videos. The minimized videos are shrunk to thumbnail size with a single tap and the thumbnail shifts to the bottom right corner of the screen. You can close the video by swiping it left or right and to just have to tap the video or swipe it upward to bring it back to life.

This feature gets handy when you are creating a music playlist as the audio stays playing in the background as you search for other videos, we must note that the shrunken video is usually too small to view especially on a phone however the audio plays at a good quality.

You can also search for playlists and chromecast and the chromecast experience has been greatly improved. When you tap the cast button in the app to play a video a pop up with a video thumbnail and description shows up with option for you to add it to a playlist or play the video.

The look has been smoothened up with Card UI that resembles the Google Now app, and as the update rolls out to some Android users and other platforms will receive updates soon.

Twitter now turns your tweets into News and shows Related Headlines!

Twitter has rolled out a feature that it has been previously been testing that tells you when your tweet becomes news and then displays related headlines below the tweet. The feature is supposed to add color to news like tweets that are embedded in news articles on websites. The headline will then be shown on the tweet’s permalink page alongside a list of links to sources where users can actually find more information about the tweet.

Twitter engineer Brian Wallerstein posted in a blog saying, “This section, which you can view from the tweet’s permalink page, lists and links to websites where the tweet was embedded, making it easier to discover stories that provide more content,”

This feature of Related headlines will be quite helpful to journalists when it comes reporting stories live in 140 character tweets including photos for their stories all collected together even from different sources.

To bloggers and online media companies this might bring in heavy traffic because twitter users get see links on content relevant to them.

An example of the new feature
embed-twitter-with-related-headlines

 

Hacker posts on Mark Zuckerberg’s timeline a bug report!

Khalil Shreateh, a Palestine IT expert posted a bug report on the facebook timeline of Facebook’s Founder Mark Zuckerberg after his security bug report was ignored by the facebook security team. The vulnerability he reported posted allows anyone to post anything to anyone’s timeline whether or not there are facebook friends.

Despite reporting this bug to the “white hat” security  bug reporting feature which offers a minimum bounty of $500 if the bug is genuine by demonstrating on a timeline of Mark Zuckerberg’s  friend ‘Sarah Goodwin,’ was told by a facebook security engineer that it wasn’t a bug.

Shreateh then went on to “let” Zuckerberg know by posting a note to the facebook founder’s page. He managed to post this “I appreciate your time reading this and getting someone from your company team to contact me”

He was shortly contacted by the Facebook security team seeking for details of the bug. However Shreateh’s account disabled as a precaution by the security engineer. And later a Facebook security engineer who identified himself as Joshua told Shreateh that “When we discovered your activity we did not fully know what was happening,”

Joshua also informed Shreateh that he wouldn’t be receiving a bug reward because he violated Facebook’s terms of service. And added that “We do hope, however, that you continue to work with us to find vulnerabilities in the site”

Below is a Video showing how Sheatreh did it.

http://youtu.be/F9J8U9ZpEnw

Source: Mashable

Street parking machines: Tech Ugandans have ignored but shouldn’t!

A few years ago, Multiplex the company in charge of running Uganda’s street parking management and collections of street parking dues, launched an innovation where its customers would be able to pay for their street parking tickets by use of a machine, instead of the parking attendants in a faster and more convenient way. Later on the machines were installed in mostly upscale Kampala with the most in Nakasero, Dewinton road areas.

However, a few years later, all these machines do is get solar energy from their solar panels, get by passed, and very few people use them. In fact it seems so bad, that parking attendants are actually seated right besides them with some streets having about 2 street parking ticket vendors on the same street that has two machines. I took Dewinton road, as an example with more 2 machines in less than 100metres.

In some areas the machines appeared to be off, well before we start blaming, if people actually used them a lot Multiplex would realize the fault, however most of them work and I tried using them and was successful.

Why do few people don’t use them?

Some might have preferred old fashion and traditional ways of paying for tickets where they wait for the parking ticket attendant to place a ticket on the windscreen and they pay or drive off. In the same spirit, airtime vending machines have also had this same problem however they seem to be much more than parking machines. Another category is the worried kind who claims that confirmation of payments cannot be guaranteed since it’s a machine. However it 2013, soon everything is going electronic, and these might adapt by force.

Some people actually don’t want to pay their street parking tickets, and definitely don’t use the machines.

Some of the machines use a card system and quite a few people have Street parking cards, another culture Ugandans haven’t embraced so much but the few elite have realized the benefits of such cards such as saving and good financial management.

The parking machines are still few in number and are the not the commonest sights and sees of the streets of Kampala, hopefully when they increase in number people might actually use them, however I believe we need to show a great need to use them first.

What needs to be done?

Awareness campaigns should be done to make more people aware of how to use these machines!

To sum this up, these are wonderful pieces of technology we should embrace to make our lives simple. . We also have to actually use them because there are no queues, you don’t have to search for the ticket vendor on the next block, you can use them to pay for all your parking bills and for the tech lovers you get to do things the modern way.

 

 

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Matatu-thon: Taking mobile gaming in Uganda to a whole new level

Well, the first thing one might ask is, what the hell is “Matatu-thon”? Okay, before you Google out the meaning and all of its ancestors, let me have the pleasure of telling you, this is a true story. Once upon a time, in a small landlocked country called Uganda, there was this famous card game locally called “Matatu” which was so addictive it became a business to some people, like gambling. Years passed by and there came some university lads headed by a rather ambitious and forward looking, focused lady by the name Terry Karungi, who decided to teach the whole world the famous Matatu game, so they came up with a digital version with the same name, Matatu, and the company behind it was called Kola Studios, Kola, locally meaning to work.

kola studios' Matatu app

Fast forward, the company is recognised as an outstanding one at the prestigious Pivot East and Kola Studios has become a household name in East Africa. So, for the first time in the history of mobile startups of East Africa (I think!), these clever chaps have bundled up themselves and come up with an exlcusive gaming event, like, a “Micro-conference” (if that word exists anyway) dubbed Matatu-thon. It shall be going down at one of the most respected technology innovation hubs in East Africa, the OutBox Hub. Time: 6pm (East African Standard Time) or +3HrsGMT

Well, enough said, let us meet there and be sure we shall keep you posted via Twitter and our very own live blog right here!! See you there!!

 

Airtel-Warid Merger: Making sense or not?

Imagine the day you wake up only to hear that Apple and Microsoft merged to form AppleSoft! Well, I can only imagine the look on the faces of some people, but, the news of the Airtel-Warid merger came in shocking phases, first, the public was told that Airtel had bought Warid, thus only meaning there would be no more Pakalast and Megabonus! After sometime, the news that finally came out was that it was a merger, phew! Thank Goodness, so the famous Pakalast is still available and also Kika still exists, okay, does this merger make sense, well, lets see.

For starters, you can now call more people ( the number is approximately 7.2 million) using either the famous Pakalast or Kika but this is somehow questionable in terms of efficiency since the merger is still technically being put into place. One may need to redial in some cases for the merger to make sense.

Airtel Money and Warid Pesa are now functioning like a real family, sending and receiving money across these two is just smooth and efficient. With the introduction of the lower sending rates, the merger becomes a beneficial factor to consider especially to the business community in Uganda.

Messaging is almost becoming free! The new SMS rates for Airtel are UGX1 for every SMS, but, it is for those who join the SMS frenzy by dialing *180#, then following instructions (Airtel subscribers). For those who can’t get enough of texting, this package suites.

If there is any telecommunication company in the world today that does not offer internet services, then, that is not a telecommunications company. When it comes to internet, the Airtel Warid merger provides hands down the cheapest and most affordable internet in Uganda today. At only UGX500, one gets 50MB of data and for Warid subscribers, for UGX1000, one gets 100MB of data. This is a real game changer and most people have adopted this move.

No one should ever lie to you, everything in this world has a rather not fancy side. The merger has also led to some people naturally hating both companies due to the simple fact it has made their lives harder, for example, the girlfriends who constantly ask for airtime from their various boyfriends. Well, catching up time, your boyfriends have just found the perfect solution. It is now easier to send airtime and also easier to call across the two networks.

To get to the depth of this we have to start with one spouse then go to the other,

Now lets start with airtel, some of us who used to enjoy the enormous size of data bundles at a low rate hated the merger because the size of data bundles greatly reduced starting from the 60mb at 500/- bundle reduced to 50mb then 900mb at 5000/- reduced to 600mb which was later reduced to 500mb at 4000/-, I must say I realised after paying for the bundle and my day wasn’t the best when I got a message confirming i got 300mb less. The 300mb bundle was cut to 250mb at 2000/-. Then the whole internet system got issues in terms of speed, Airtel used to be fast but now, its worse but it had gone to its worst during the initial merging process.

When we cross over to the other side of the marriage, Warid had lots of price increments on its free calls, and the value of SMS bundles reduced as customers now get fewer messages than they used to. Plus the number of minutes given on free call packages reduced. This sparked off social media criticism and some went ahead to create Facebook pages de-campaigning the merger.

To sum up the ugly side of the merger, Internet services got poor on airtel and free calls on sms got more expensive literally. However since they call their merger a marriage, every marriage has its ups and downs.

Well, whether this merger makes sense or not, it is now a known fact that Airtel and Warid have merged in an attempt to provide better services and also outcompete other telecommunication companies in the country.

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iPhone 5S launch date could be 10th September!

According to ‘All things D’ an apple launch date is set for 10th of September. So all the rumours of the iPhone 5s will go to the grave as Apple unveil their next device.  We just have to wait for september 10th to see whether the iPhone 5S will have the rumoured features like a dual LED flash, maybe a bigger screen, or maybe a bigger screen and for some a cheaper plastic model are things we cant guarantee.

However sources at ATD say that the launch of OS Mavericks wont be on 10th September, and their is no confirmation on the production or launch or an Apple Tv or iWatch as some fans had anticipated.

So lets keep our fingers crossed and wait for the unveiling of the iPhone 5S. Otherwise rumours on Apple products have always been numerous,

Is Windows 8.1 worth it?

Microsoft released Windows 8.1 as an update-turned-free Operating System that made sense. Atleast for the Marketing department at Microsoft, because, it meant less work for them to try convincing those stuck in the past to upgrade easily because it is a free download from the Microsoft Website. Microsoft is reportedly still working on it by releasing regular updates but there is a catch to it, a product key shall be needed at the very end of installing all the updates, that is when it becomes a stable version on Windows, so upgrading should come with caution as one needs to be having the product key for the current version of Windows being upgraded. Is is worth it? Well, let us see.

 

The Start button is back!

Windows 8 came out without the start button and many users were not happy because the start button was what made Windows windows,so, with 8.1 already out, the start button is back and that has made everything come back to normal, that is for Windows users. This makes everything great!

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A more organised Metro style menu

Forget the messed up clutter on Windows 8, 8.1 settles the dust as it allows customisation of the tiles, that is the user can change the size,and also group applications according to one’s desire. The best part is accessing the rarely used apps, an arrow was introduced at the bottom and that means they are just a click away.

 

No Messenger application

Well, after all the hype and advertising on social media, Microsoft forgot, well, I do not even know if it is the right word to use, but, Microsoft failed to put the messenger application in Windows 8.1 and trust me this is a real turn off. Windows 8 users get their messages from social networks like Facebook instantly but if you are a social media junky, then the lack of Messenger in Windows 8.1 might make you stay with the Windows version you have, for now.

 

More is yet to come

Windows 8.1 is still in beta so for those of you who do not want to risk your precious PCs, just wait for the final release so that you have a new Windows experience with things like Food, Health,Reading list and more that is still being worked on.

vlcsnap-2013-08-06-21h06m01s30

Jobs The Movie: Honouring the man behind Apple’s success

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Steve Paul Jobs, born in 1955, was the charismatic co-founder of Apple Computers, the company behind innovative products like the iPod, iPhone,iMac and iPad and services like iTunes. The story of Apple began in a garage at Steve’s foster parents home (Steve never got the chance to see his real parents because he was adopted) when Steve and his friend Steven Wozniak (famously referred to as Woz) made a computer aimed at hobbyists and called it Apple 1. They sold a few of these and decided to make Apple 2 and then the story began.

Jobs the Movie screenshot 2

The movie is intended to honour Steve Jobs and also put the records straight about his life and adventures. From the time he was young and rebellious through his hard times at Apple especially when he was fired from his own company to the time he unveiled the iPod that forever changed the music industry. It also takes the audience deeper into Jobs’s pesonal life especially being adopted and never having the chance to see his real parents. Produced and directed by Joshua Michael Stern, Ashton Kutcher plays the role of Steve Jobs, it took him 3 months to learn how to walk like Steve Jobs! Josh Gads takes on the role of Steven Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder. The movie is brought to us by Open Road Films LLC

 

Everybody knows the iPod but it is unfortunate that few people know the man behind this innovation and fewer even know about his personal life, this movie is for you and everyone should get a copy come August 16th, 2013 which is set as the release date for this movie.

JObs the Movie Release date