Uganda has organised a two and half training for its 386 MPs on how to use iPads. But only 3 MPs have attended the initial stages of training as most MPs were reported to have joined President Museveni in State House Entebbe during the signing of the Anti Homosexuality Bill into Law. The 3 MPs who attended the training were Wamakuyu Mudiimi (Bulamburi County), Angellina Osege (Soroti district) and Sarah Mwebaza (Kibuku district). According to Uganda’s Parliament Director of Corporate Affairs Kawesa, the training is aimed at equipping the MPs with skills on how to use the iPads. The first training session was conducted by Parliament Information Communication Technology department in conjunction with the Institute of Parliament Studies (IPS). The coordinator of the training, Julius Wabwire, said that the MPs would learn how to download parliamentary documents using the recently acquired mobile gadgets. Uganda Parliament’s ICT department had installed “Alfresco’, a mobile app used to access documents on the cloud . AIRTEL Uganda recently won a tender to deliver Wi-Fi connection around Uganda parliament so that the iPads can easily access the documents. ..
Facebook has in a very quit manner, shut down its unpopular email system claiming that “most people haven’t been using their Facebook email address.” The system launched in 2010, gave all Facebook users @facebook.com email addresses. The social network was criticised by tech pundits when it changed its @facebook.com email address as the default email address for all Facebook users. The email address was generated from the vanity url which users gets by visiting www.facebook.com/username. With the discontinuation, all emails sent to an “@facebook.com” address will be forwarded to the users personal email address used in signing up for the social networking site. The changes will gradually happen from early March. Facebook recently acquired instant messaging platform, Whatsapp for $19 Billion. At the Mobile World Congress, Facebook CEO Mike Zuckerberg said that Whatsapp valuation is above $19 Billion so it is not an expensive buy. ..
Japanese electronics giant, SONY has sounded a profit warning indicating that it is booking a $1.08 billion annual loss as it cuts 5,000 jobs and sell off its overpriced but stagnant PC unit. The maker projects that it will save about $5 million through the jobs cuts starting in early 2015. The VAIO units have not managed to register much success despite SONY being a giant in many verticals of the electronics market. SONY is selling the PC unit to Japanese Investment Partners for between $400 million and $500 million. Not much financial information on the deal was announced. Market analysts, Moody’s recently downgraded SONY’s credit rating to junk, saying that the giant electronics maker had more work to do in repairing its battered balance sheet. SONY expects to cut 3.5% of its global work force some of whom might be hired by the new owners. But SONY is not facing a gloomy outlook alone. Sharp and Panasonic are facing more diminished returns,as foreign rivals such as Apple and Samsung outperform them in the smartphone and television business. ..
Nairobi thieves are getting high tech. First the story appeared on Standard and I dismissed it as some imagination. But my friend recently found things stolen from his car without any forced entry. The same happened to another car parked at the big parking lot opposite the Laico Regency. Through investigations, I think that I now know what really happens. The tech savvy thieves have discovered that the remote car and gate lock systems uses the 433MHz frequency. Meaning that activation of the two simultaneously might have one interfere with the other resulting in either the gate or the car not being locked. So what the thieves need is not the physical gate but the remote of the same so that they can have the remote interfere with the car lock remote when someone tries to lock his/her car. So the next time you walk away thinking that you have locked your car, you might not have. You need to physically check that the door is locked and the blinking alarm activated to be sure. Reading through the insurance fine print, you might find that your insurer does not cover car thefts where there was no forced entry or it might cover only things stored in the car trunk (boot). This type of technology has been borrowed from South African thieves who first discovered the technology in the continent. Remote controlled gates are a common feature in many South African neighbourhoods. ..
Players in Kenya’s telecommunications service industry are up in arms against a move by Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) to privatise KENIC, the dotKE domain manager without involving other stakeholders. While KENIC has two guarantors, CCK and the industry lobby group Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK), it is the latter which has been going through the headache of trying to manage and ensure sanity at KENIC. TESPOK managers have in many instances had to make daily calls to KENIC managers calling for sanity when the board and management of the registry tried to run down the outfit through misuse of funds generated from domain sales. A case in point is when some KENIC board members and part of management decided to have the dotKE registry sponsor them and their spouses for a USA trip just because KENIC raised more revenue than they had expected. TESPOK Chairman Mr. Kris Senanu says “the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) should not feel that they can proceed to change the operations of the organization without due consultations. The official proposed structure is currently open for public input and consultations; a process expected to close on 10th February 2014. He adds that at no point in time has the CAK communicated to TESPOK the other partner in this arrangement on the proposal to commercialise .ke as announced in yesterday’s Business daily.” “If CAK attempt to take the commercialization approach without due consideration of TESPOK, we will have no choice but put ICANN on notice that any attempt at re-delegation does not have the support of the industry or any of the stakeholders.” says Mr. Senanu “We have no problem with CAK proposing another government entity to take up the government involvement but will not support commercialization.” Re-delegation of domain administrative functions is a process which must go through ICANN’s (Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers) laid down procedures. ICANN is responsible for receiving requests for delegation and re-delegation of top-level domains (cTLDs), investigating the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and reporting on the requests. In May 2000, a group of Kenyan Internet stakeholders led by TESPOK launched an initiative to form a participatory, community-based non-profit organization located in Kenya to manage both the administrative and technical aspects of the .ke ccTLD registry. The result of these consultations was the Kenya Network Information Center (KENIC) Limited, organized under Kenyan law as a company limited by guarantee (a not-for-profit entity). In addition to performing the technical, administrative, and policy-setting functions for the .ke registry, a stated objective of KENIC is to “promote, manage and operate the delegated .ke ccTLD in the interest of the Kenyan Internet community and being mindful of the global Internet community interest in consistent with ICANN policies.” Unfortunately, over the last five years interference of CCK in the day to day operations of KENIC has seen the organization experience unprecedented turnover of both Board and staff; with 5 CEO changes. The functions of KENIC have continued to be delivered because TESPOK maintained its commitment to the local industry as per the ICANN Agreement to provide technical and logistical support to the .ke manager. It is important for CAK to give the .ke ccTLD manager the opportunity to deliver on agreed key deliverables that have not been met in the last five years. Commercialization is not a solution to meeting the identified and agreed industry gaps within the local internet community. TESPOK has both the technical and administrative resources necessary to continue as a sole guarantor of the ccTLD if and when CAK pulls. It has provided such support in the past. This will evidently lead to consolidating the Internet technical community shared resources under one umbrella body; a move very similar to, the consolidation of the various government agencies handling government ICT deployment and implementation under the Kenya ICT Authority. The scenario would then consolidate KENIC (the .ke manager), KIXP (Africa’s fastest growing Internet Exchange Point) and I-CSIRT (Internet Computer Security Incident Response Team) under the TESPOK stewardship. ..
Burundi has officially launched its $25 million fibre-optic cable network project to widen access to broadband Internet to its population. The country still relies on some of the slowest internet speeds on the continent . The country ranks almost 136th out of 137 countries in internet connection speeds according to CIA World Factbook. The landlocked country of 8 million might change this as President Pierre Nkurunziza told a launch ceremony that the project is part of a plan to ensure that all Burundians have access to the Internet by 2025. The country currently has a national fibre link spanning some 1,000km has already been laid, covering nine out of the country’s 17 provinces. Another 250 is to be laid soon. The cable will be linked to global undersea cables Mombasa Dar es Salaam ports. The firms involved are Ucom, Econet Wireless, Africell, Cbinet and the government-owned Onatel. They expect to achieve average download speeds of 2 Gigabyte per second within five years up from 135 Mbps three years ago. By May 2013 and according to the country’s regulator, Burundi had only about 500,000 internet users including those using it on their mobile phones. Mobile phone usage is just above 2.3 million. ..
Airtel Kenya has just announced an offer of 25% bonus airtime to its prepaid customers who are topping up their accounts. All one needs to do to qualify is to buy and register a new Airtel SIM card from any of its shops, dealers and agents and load airtime to get going. For example one loading airtime worth Kshs.100 will get an actual value of Ksh.125 airtime credit for use. Customers may dial *133*13# to check bonus airtime balance. ..
LG Electronics (LGE) has today launched its “Mosquito Away” residential air conditioner model in the Kenyan market. The ACs which are specifically designed for the local market incorporates a function that uses ultrasonic waves to combat mosquitoes. The air conditioner emits ultrasonic waves that, in a way, disrupt the mosquito’s sensory cells and cause paralysis, confusion and sometimes death. LG says that the mosquito repelling technology “is harmless to humans and represents a clean, safe alternative to dangerous chemical-based insecticides and repellants.” By pressing the “Mosquito Away button” on the AC’s remote control, a speaker within the air conditioner is activated that produces inaudible ultrasonic waves at a frequency of 30 kHz to 100 kHz that repel mosquitoes. Conveniently, the air conditioner’s Mosquito Away function can be turned on independently of cooling; helping to prevent unnecessary energy usage. When strong cooling is required, the Jet Cool function and the product’s large fan deliver an increased volume of airflow. LG has indicated that the new AC unit has “undergone testing in a World Health Organization (WHO) standard 1.9 m3 Peet-Grady Chamber.” In the tests done at the Muhimbili University in Tanzania, LG reveals that “the Mosquito Away proved its effectiveness by repelling 76 percent of female Anopheles mosquitoes within 24 hours.” Other tests were conducted at Ibadan University, Nigeria and University of Khartoum, Sudan. I wonder how it was specifically made for the Kenyan market when no test was done in Kenya. The new AC unit is available in selected Hotpoint show rooms in the country from 21st of January. ..
Screen Grab from the movie The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has banned the popular Wolf of WallStreet movie for various reason. According to Ms Redempta Amondi of the board, “the movie was banned after independent review because of explicit sexual content, profanity and abuse of drugs.” The movie is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort who rose to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and involvement in the government. It has a 8.7/10 rating on IMDB and runs for 180 minutes (3 hours). The board has revealed that they got the movie through Fox Film Distributors which is the authorised local film distributor for the movie before having “the independent analysts” sit and decide if the movie was fit for public consumption. It is not clear why the movie was not given strict ratings to restrict consumptions instead of totally banning the movie. The board has also revealed that this is not the first movie they have banned and it has nothing to do with the movie having any political content as “the analysts who sat and decided are totally independent minds.” Redempta also revealed that KFCB recently banned “Movie 43” and “This the end.“ ..
South Korean phone maker Samsung has today launched an app which discourages use of smartphone while driving. The Android mobile app prevents you from texting while driving. The app which is available currently only Singapore might be rolled outside Asia as Samsung is exploring its full potential. The “Eyes on the Road” app uses your smartphone’s sensor fusion technology and GSM cell towers to measure your speed to determine if you’re driving. If you are, it hides phone calls, SMS text messages, and social media alerts until you reach your destination. What if you are a passenger in a fast moving vessel? The app might just block you from accessing the same. The app blocks you from accessing texts if you are traveling above 20 kilometers per hour speed. It then sends out an auto reply to text messages, saying that you are driving. The app also rewards you for engaging in “mobile free driving” by unlocking rewards like fuel vouchers and insurance premium discounts. ..
StarTimes has revealed that it will allow access to at least six Free To Air channels upon the expiry of subscriber’s monthly subscription. But the catch is that the access will only be for two weeks. I smell something very wrong. Free channels must be free whether the decoder is for Pay or not. There is no reason free channels should be disconnected for non-payment of a subscription fee. Why should free channels be charged? StarTimes, through a statement, claim that they will allow a two-week access to KBC, Citizen Tv, KTN, NTV, K24, GBS and STV-Guide upon the expiry of subscribers’ monthly subscription. But StarTimes subscribers using the Free to Air set-top box will access about 20 local channels. The FTA set-top box (decoder) also has a dual feature enabling them to subscribe to the pay television channels at will while continuing to access the local channels for good upon the expiry of their monthly subscription. StarTimes Pay Television and Free To Air decoders are currently retailing at Ksh 2,999 and 4,999 respectively both of which are enabled with one month Unique Bouquet subscription which normally retails at Ksh1,999. ..
I know that in a moment, Samsung will launch their Twitter army on me to try to clear their name on this but I smell a stinking dog on this Jaza Keja promotion. Samsung has been running some promotion called Jaza Keja. From what I can gather, Samsung was rewarding one LUCKY shopper who bough a Samsung electronic, with a full house worth of electronics and a pick-up. This pick-up had goods worth over KES. 800,000/= including: – A Samsung 46″ SMART Tv – A Samsung BluRay 3D Home Theatre System – A Samsung Washing machine – A Samsung GalaxyNote 10.1 – A Samsung GalaxyS 4 – A Samsung Series 9 laptop – A Samsung Vacuum cleaner – A Samsung Colour Laser Printer So on 23rd December (a day before the final draw), Twitter user Kevin Madegwa ( @Sirfender) was begging Samsung Kenya ( @SamsungMobileKE) to follow him back so that he can DM them or send them a private message. I am begining to imagine what was in the DM. Something like; “I have been a loyal client and I promised my dad a pick-up. Please make my dream come true.” See the tweet from @Sirfender; That must have made him the winner of the final draw which was conducted on 24th December at the Thika Road Mall (TRM). The draw which I think should have been supervised by Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) officials coincidentally had Kevin Madegwa, who was begging Samsung for a private chat, to be declared the winner. Samsung announcing @Sirfender as the winner. With that I smell a fat rat. If you know what Samsung has been accused of before in countries like Taiwan and elsewhere, you’d see that this draw look like it was staged to blind the very foolish. ..
Nairobi is readying itself for the impending Digital TV Switch-Off on Friday 13th December 2013. Most broadcast players are well prepared for the switch-off except for the 3 major broadcasters who believe that they should only sabotage the impending migration. MultiChoice under the GOtv brand, StarTimes Media and Zuku have all been running campaigns encouraging the switch-off while Nation is leading the likes of Royal Media and Standard Group in resisting the attempt to introduce sanity in the broadcast sector by freeing up spectrum previously occupied by analogue TV signals. GOtv, launched in September 2011, has been the biggest champion of the exercise even offering GOtv Open which is a platform for all Free-to-Air (FTA) channels where the subscribers will only invest on the equipment (DVB-T2 decoders) but will not be required to pay any regular fee to access the content. GOtv covers the whole of Nairobi. Launched in September 2011, Nairobi residents have been benefiting from easy access to an increased number of channels, with enhanced picture and sound quality synonymous with digital television at a price they can afford. The GOtv decoder is currently available at a special price of KSH 3,399 inclusive of 2 months free GOtv subscription and is available from the MultiChoice Agents countrywide. This is cheaper than StarTimes whose FTA offerings starts from Ksh 4,999 for the decoder and 6 free channels. There are no monthly charges on the StarTimes free to air offering. ..
Uganda’s parliament has bought iPads to all its 375 MPs at a cost of Ksh 32 million ($370,000), saying that the tablets will make the lawmakers more efficient by allowing them to access official documents while travelling.The total number of iPads delivered to the parliament is 384. The MPs who voted themselves more salaries (now earns Ksh 700,000) like their Kenyan counterparts are also set to receive Ksh 3.5 million ($41,000) in car loans. They can as well afford iPads but they decided to put the bill on the already heavily burdened tax payers. Parliamentary commissioner Emmanuel Dombo claim that the money used for the purchase had been generated by reducing budget for stationery. Many Ugandans criticised the purchase while complaining that they are already paying too much for the upkeep of their MPs. Meanwhile, Kenyan parliament is also planning to spend Ksh 17 million to equip its 349 MPs with the mobile devices. Kenyan MPs will be bought the devices through the Parliamentary Service Commission so as “to read the house rules on the go.” ..
Airtel Kenya and DStv Mobile have entered into a partnership that will make Airtel post-paid subscribers access DSTV content through Drifta mobile decorder for Android. With this deal, any Airtel customer who purchases a post-paid line will get a DStv Drifta free of charge. The subscribers will also get to enjoy up to 16 Channels with 3 months free subscription. How the Drifta for Android works Ø Plug the Drifta into the micro USB port of your compatible Android device (Version 4.X and supports Host Mode) Ø On your device launch the Google Play store by clicking on the Play Store icon Ø Search for ‘Drifta for Android’. Ø Follow the on-screen instructions to install the application. Ø Once installed, launch the application. Ø If you have already installed the application, plug the Drifta into your Android device and the application will automatically launch, enabling you to begin watching mobile TV ..