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  • Going Android? Start with these eight apps

    Everyone at my office got iPhones last year, but I didn’t really think the screen would last in my pocket next to my keys so I resisted getting one. But my old Nokia was starting to embarrass me, especially when I was trying to give the impression I was working in the tech industry. So when the new HTC Android phones came out recently, I was first in line for a new lease on life. When it comes to an Android phones, it helps to be Google-centric to start with. I am a big fan of Google apps and I...

  • Viewdle gives mobile phones the ability to ‘see’

    High-powered players are pumping US$10-million into Viewdle, a technology startup crafting ways that enable smartphones "see" things the same way people do and identify faces. The influx of cash announced this week is coming from Qualcomm, BlackBerry Partners Fund, US electronics retail chain Best Buy, and Anthem Venture Partners, an investment firm that has backed Viewdle from the outset. "We are giving smartphones human eyes," said Viewdle co-founder and chief executive Laurent Gil. "Letting them see the world the way people do... it is artificial intelligence," he said. "It is happening." Northern California-based Viewdle bills itself as the leading independent facial recognition company...

  • Is it a book? Is it a film? Is it a game? Or all three?

    Is it a book? Is it a film? Is it a game? Or all three? Publishers and authors at the world's biggest book fair are battling to entice a new generation of readers with the latest multimedia products. That the electronic book reader has turned the book industry on its head is well known. Younger readers are no longer content to thumb through a printed book. The 21st century iPad generation wants interaction and variety. But talk of the "ebook" that has dominated the Frankfurt Book Fair in recent years has given way in 2010 to excited chatter about the so-called...

  • Evaluating the pros and cons of RIM’s PlayBook tablet

    The BlackBerry PlayBook has been at the forefront of tablet news over the last week, with tech pundits hailing it as the third competitor in an otherwise two horse race between the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Apple's iPad. Research In Motion (RIM) co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis revealed the BlackBerry Playbook, a 7-inch tablet device hailed as the “first professional tablet” at their annual BlackBerry Developer Conference held in San Francisco last week. Smaller than the iPad and measuring 130mm x 193mm x 10mm, mobility was touted as the decision for the PlayBook's 7-inch form factor, with the intent of “amplifying”...

  • iPhone 4 outranks Justin Bieber on SA internet searches

    Apple’s recently launched iPhone4 has received greater internet search interest than Justin Bieber, despite the fact that the teen pop sensation was actually in South Africa at the time. This revelation comes from Google Zeitgeist-- a tool that provides insight into internet search trends. SA’s fascination with the latest gadgets is clearly evident, with the iPhone 4 topping the list of fastest rising searches from the last seven days, while Bieber only claims the number five spot. The YouTube star got SA teenyboppers in a flat spin last week, when he breezed into the country for some ‘rest and relaxation’,...

  • Android expected to dominate mobile app market by 2013

    According to a recent survey by mobile research firm, research2guidance, the smartphone app market is enjoying explosive growth and is currently worth $2.2-billion dollars, with 42.7-million smartphones operational in the United States alone. Apple started the trend towards mobile apps with their "great leap forward" -- the iPhone app store. But momentum has shifted and most app developers believe that by 2013 "Android will have become the mobile platform which offers the highest business potential for mobile app developers". When Apple opened the iPhone app store it started a snowball-effect that has completely changed the mobile market. Initially, the company...

  • Who else wants a lower electricity bill?

    They say that the only requirement for real personal change is to develop self awareness. With the Efergy E2 power monitoring unit, you start to look at every appliance, every light switch, every lamp with suspicious eyes, because suddenly you’re constantly and painfully aware of how much electricity you’re using. And the beauty of the Efergy is that it makes you want to change your habits. I found that it became a bit of an obsession – watching the readout on the little white wireless box tick up and down on my bedside table as I got ready for bed, watching...

  • Is Apple’s porn ban damaging the future of media?

    Everyone knows that Steve Jobs has banned porn and any sexual content from the iPad but is this a wise move? I just started reading Nick Bilton's book "I live in the future & here's how it works" and the first chapter is about his investigation of the porn industry to see if there are any lessons to be applied to the media industry. I've long been an admirer of the porn industry's innovative business models as applied to technology and media. And Bilton does a great job in expanding on that theme. Every time a new technology has been introduced,...

  • How computer games make us better people

    Computer games can make us better people, argues renowned futurist and game designer Jane McGonigal. In an impeccably researched and delivered presentation at the 2010 London Nokia World Forum, McGonigal spoke about how computer gaming can positively impact the world, turning people into "super-empowered, hopeful individuals". Gaming is mainstream. And if there is anyone who doubts this, the figures speak for themselves. By age 21, an average person in a developed economy would have spent more than 10 000 hours playing computer games -- this is comparable to the total time we spend at school. McGonigal says the world, on average,...

  • How to boost your productivity with the iPhone

    The iTunes store is bursting with apps designed to improve your productivity. But there are hundreds of options that all do the same thing, so you need to be selective when deciding which ones to use. Memeburn offers you some recommendations which provide extra functionality as well as multi-platform support that is a cut above the rest. Evernote Evernote is a tool you can use to take notes, create to-do lists, search through images, capture business cards and more. Wikipedia calls it "a suite of software and services designed for note taking and archiving". All of the information that you...