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The most downloaded mobile apps in South Africa

Posted on: Sun, 2017-09-24 - 09:15 By: danie

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The most downloaded mobile apps in South Africa

Capitec is the only banking app to feature in the top ten most popular apps downloaded in South Africa. The app featured in ninth on the overall list, behind social media networks Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp but beating ride-sharing service Uber.

This is according to the annual South African Social Media Landscape report launched on Monday by Ornico and research consultancy World Wide Worx (WWW).

See the list at http://bit.ly/2yyxb4e

The most downloaded mobile apps in South Africa
The new South African Social Media Landscape report has revealed which apps are the most popular among South African smartphone users.

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Google Brings its Trade-in Program to the Google Store with Pixel and Pixel XL

Posted on: Sun, 2017-09-24 - 01:53 By: danie

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Google Brings its Trade-in Program to the Google Store with Pixel and Pixel XL

Google is making it a lot easier to buy an unlocked Google Pixel phone with interest-free credit over 24 months and options to trade-in a device from the following manufacturers: Apple, Samsung, LG, Google, Huawei, and Motorola.

Since the OEM option varies so widely, we also have a big variance on how much you can get for the trade-in. The lowest amount looks to be for the iPhone SE which can go as low as $30 (or as high as $143), while the best offer is for the iPhone 7 Plus which goes as high as $388. You can find a list of devices available in this program below.
Galaxy Note5: $61-150
Galaxy S8+: $66-$345
Galaxy S8: $59.60-$305
Galaxy S7 edge: $40.40-$175
Galaxy S7: $52-$150
iPhone 6: $35-$143
iPhone 7 Plus: $68-$388
iPhone SE: $30-$143
LG G6: $35.20-230
Nexus 6P: $113-165
Nexus 5X: $82.50-$115
Nexus 6: $35-$80

For my 128GB Nexus 6P I was offered $165.

See details at http://bit.ly/2yzSId0

Google Brings its Trade-in Program to the Google Store
Google has expanded their Project Fi trade-in program to the Google Store and will let you trade-in more devices than the previous offer.

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Bose takes on Apple AirPods with 'true wireless' headphones

Posted on: Sun, 2017-09-24 - 00:51 By: danie

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Bose takes on Apple AirPods with 'true wireless' headphones

Whether or not you think Apple AirPods look silly, you can't question their popularity. Demand has outpaced supply for much of their nine-month existence, fueling both Apple's bottom line and the market for "true wireless" earphones — models where there's no wire connecting the two earbuds.

Competition in that market is heating up, though, and the latest entrant is Bose. The Bose SoundSport Free is a true-wireless version of its predecessor, the SoundSport Wireless. One of the better features on the Bose models are rubberized cups to hold the buds securely in your ears and minimize external noise — something AirPods lack.

Bose claims a fully charged case will provide two full extra charges, or up to ten extra hours of battery life. They should be available from Oct 2017 but will cost a good $90 more than the AirPods.

See http://mashable.com/2017/09/21/new-bose-headphones-take-on-airpods/?utm_campaign=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial#q2B2ZzqjjqqT

Bose takes on Apple AirPods with 'true wireless' headphones
There's a new wireless headphone in town.

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'Dungeons & Dragons' levels up with a new 'D&D Reader' app that digitizes all the books

Posted on: Sat, 2017-09-23 - 23:49 By: danie

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'Dungeons & Dragons' levels up with a new 'D&D Reader' app that digitizes all the books

Plenty of ardent fans have picked up PDF versions of different books over the years. The Reader app is a bit more robust than that, however, to make hunting down a piece of information easier for the rules-heavy game.

Each book is broken up into different sections. So with, say, the Player's Handbook, you can tap on little thumbnails in your library to check out the introduction, a step-by-step guide to character creation, a rundown of races, individual sections for each character class, equipment, and all the other pieces that, together, form the D&D Player's Handbook.

The app lets you purchase any paywalled parts of each book piecemeal. If, for example, you'll only ever care about rolling a bard, you can just buy that. Prices for individual sections are $3 or $5 (depending on what you buy) and the three full rulebooks — Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide — are $30 apiece for everything.

D&D Reader hits Android and iOS app stores this fall (Northern Hemisphere).

See http://mashable.com/2017/09/21/dungeons-and-dragons-reader-app-details/

'Dungeons & Dragons' now has a Kindle-like app to ease the book burdens
No more carrying around 50 pounds worth of hardcover books!

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Downdetector offers a realtime overview of status information and outages for all kinds of services

Posted on: Thu, 2017-09-21 - 09:44 By: danie

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Downdetector offers a realtime overview of status information and outages for all kinds of services

Downdetector is an independently owned and operated by Serinus42 BV. Downdetector spawned from the notion that existing solutions did a poor job at informing the public. People who are affected by an on outage typically turn to their provider or the media for updates, but in fact they know best if there are any issues.

Downdetector collects status reports from a series of sources. Through a realtime analysis of this data, their system is able to automatically determine outages and service interruptions at a very early stage. One of the sources that they analyse are reports on Twitter.

Their system detects outages when the number of reports shows a significant jump relative to the baseline. They track reports for each company on a seperate page and will publish a brief update once an issue is determined.

See more info http://bit.ly/2yolKfu

Status overview

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Brain-Machine Interface Isn't Sci-Fi Anymore - No fingers or Voice Required to Type

Posted on: Wed, 2017-09-20 - 18:02 By: danie

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Brain-Machine Interface Isn't Sci-Fi Anymore - No fingers or Voice Required to Type

"The text on the screen is being generated not by his fingertips, but rather by the signals his brain is sending to his fingers. The armband is intercepting those signals, interpreting them correctly, and relaying the output to the computer, just as a keyboard would have. Whether or not Reardon’s digits actually drum the table is irrelevant — whether he has a hand is irrelevant — it’s a loop of his brain to machine. What’s more, Reardon and his colleagues have found that the machine can pick up more subtle signals—like the twitches of a finger—rather than mimicking actual typing."

I do find voice a bit slow and it really does not work while I'm listening to podcasts or there is other loud ambient noise. So this tech has tremendous potential but all that is proven so far is that it can actually work. As they say, who would use a mouse that works 90% of the time? It still needs some perfecting.

See http://bit.ly/2ynBrnf

The Brain-Machine Interface Isn't Sci-Fi Anymore | Backchannel
This startup lets you control machines with your mind—no implants required.

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Make a 3D model of your face from a single photo with this AI tool

Posted on: Wed, 2017-09-20 - 15:54 By: danie

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Make a 3D model of your face from a single photo with this AI tool

It actually works but you may want o try switching off the background image as well. Read more about it at http://bit.ly/2wvaikI or you can jump straight to the online demo and try it yourself at http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~psxasj/3dme/.

Make a 3D model of your face from a single photo with this AI tool
Just look how much Mark is enjoying the wonderful world of 3D

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Why diesel vehicles are such a health issue in Europe

Posted on: Wed, 2017-09-20 - 14:45 By: danie

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Why diesel vehicles are such a health issue in Europe

What caught my eye here was not about the "potential deaths" from diesel cars in Europe, but the stats with regards to the far higher usage of diesel vehicles in Europe, and although CO2 emissions are way lower than petrol vehicles, the real-world NOx emissions are way higher.... multiply that by 100 million diesel vehicles in Europe and it is not a pretty picture. Just because there is no smoke, does not mean there is no fire....

See http://bit.ly/2wvPOZl

5,000 'Dieselgate' deaths in Europe per year: study

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How one software engineer is using an app to fight hunger in Nigeria

Posted on: Wed, 2017-09-20 - 09:29 By: danie

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How one software engineer is using an app to fight hunger in Nigeria

Chowberry uses cloud-based software to provide retail merchants with data on any soon-to-expire food in stock. This allows food nearing the end of its shelf life to be discounted, acquired, and distributed by charities, orphanages, and non-profit organizations rather than simply tossed out.

"On one hand we help reduce food waste at the retail and consumption site, and other hand we facilitate the redistribution of those products that would have otherwise gone to waste to underserved communities and people who are facing food poverty."

By democratizing these resources, Ekponimo explained how Chowberry is able to empower low-income earners and households that are underserved. With the app's deep discounts users can spend as low as $50.00 to feed 50 people.

See http://on.mash.to/2hcRhNk

How one software engineer is using an app to fight hunger in Nigeria
The app cuts down on food waste while simultaneously helping those in need.

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South African renewable energy myths “peddled by former Eskom executives” dispelled

Posted on: Tue, 2017-09-19 - 22:53 By: danie

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South African renewable energy myths “peddled by former Eskom executives” dispelled

An engineering study has dispelled the myths “peddled by former Eskom executives” about the limits and costs of renewable energy capacity in South Africa.

The study was prepared for the South African Department of Energy and Eskom, and was commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) – under the department’s South African-German Energy Programme. It was conducted by engineering consultants Markus Pöller and Marko Obert, of Moeller & Poeller Engineering GmbH.

The study confirmed that the South African power system will be sufficiently flexible to handle large amounts of variable wind and solar PV generation. The study confirms that large penetration levels of wind and solar PV can be handled by the South African power system from an active power balancing point of view, at moderate additional costs.

More detail at https://mybroadband.co.za/news/energy/229543-south-african-renewable-energy-myths-dispelled.html

South African renewable energy myths dispelled
An engineering study has dispelled the myths about the limits of renewable energy.

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