Thursday, February 14, 2008

That's a Wrap Folks....

More than 55,000 visitors attended the world's premier mobile event, the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona to do business and debate the future of the mobile phone industry, making this year’s event the largest yet. The three-day conference, which featured more than 230 chief executives and other high-level speakers from across the world, attracted more than 8,000 delegates.

Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone, actor and filmmaker Robert Redford, Wang Jianzhou, CEO of China Mobile, John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia, Black-Eyed-Peas front man and film actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini were among the diverse range of speakers at the Congress.

“The record attendance figures at this year’s Congress reflect both the extraordinary and compelling conference programme, which covered a broad range of topics from Long-Term Evolution to made-for-mobile short films to the environment, and the high quality of the exhibition,” said John Hoffman, CEO of the GSMA’s conference division. “We are also delighted by the seniority of the people that have travelled from all over the world to Barcelona for the Congress - more than 43% of conference attendees hold C-level positions within their organisations.”

Observing, analysing and reporting on the Congress were 2,700 international print, Web and broadcast media and the event made headlines across the globe. The Congress also hosted 1,300 exhibitors across 1,500 stands with approximately 29,000 square metres of exhibition space and 30,000 of square metres of hospitality space, reflecting the fact that people come to the show to network and do business. Mobile entertainment and content formed a major theme throughout the show with an entire hall (Hall 7) dedicated to multimedia content for mobile devices. In addition, the Mobile Backstage event at the National Palace explored the creation of compelling and high-quality content for mobile devices.

"Once again, Barcelona has successfully accomodated a further increase in the size of the Congress," added Mr. Hoffman. "We would like to thank the city, Catalonia, Fira and all our Barcelona partners for being such warm and efficient hosts. We would also like to thank our sponsors, particularly LG and Telefonica, for their support."

The Mobile World Congress's sister event, the Mobile Asia Congress, which takes place in the vibrant city of Macau from November 18th to November 20th, will also stage a world-class conference programme and exhibition, attracting mobile industry leaders from across the globe.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Roam and Ye Shall Pay

South African cellular subscribers that access email and the Internet using 3G while roaming abroad are often confronted by outrageous bills when they return. In some cases, customers are coming home to bills in the tens of thousands of Rands after making modest use of cellular data services in the US, Europe and Asia.

Says Mark Taylor, managing director of independent telecommunications service provider, Nashua Mobile: "Many of our customers face ‘bill shock’ when they come home after spending a couple of weeks overseas on business or holiday. Much to their surprise, they land up with a cellular data bill several times more expensive than their flights and accommodation.

"For example, MTN and Vodacom customers who were paying R15 - R25 per MB to roam on one of the French networks less than a year ago are now paying between R60 and R113 per MB for the same service."

One Nashua Mobile customer was slapped with a data bill of R15,000 after spending a few days in Europe. The hapless customer managed to incur a bill of R4,000 in a single day for downloading a mere 44 MB of data. Other customers have run up bills of R60,000 or more while roaming overseas.

“To put it in context, this amount of data equals downloading a couple of big emails with large PowerPoint presentations or spreadsheets attached, spending a little time browsing the Internet, and perhaps sending a few video clips or photos back home,” says Taylor.

The cost per MB of data reaches maximum costs of over R100 in the UK, R120 in the US, R118 in Japan, and R200 in China. What's more, service providers such as Nashua Mobile are not able to get billing data from the operators in real-time, which means that it cannot warn customers before they run up exorbitant data bills on overseas networks.

Says Taylor: "The question that must be asked is why the price of data services for customers roaming internationally has soared. Prices have gone up by a factor of four or more in a year, and subscribers can justifiably feel that they are being ripped off. We would like to know who is to blame: are international network operators making obscene margins off our subscribers? The local network operators charge overseas visitors as little as R25.00 per MB when they roam in South Africa.

Taylor says that South African cellular subscribers that plan to use data roaming while travelling abroad should get information about the costs they face before they leave. They should also look at other ways of accessing data services while abroad: for example, buying a prepaid SIM card when they arrive at their destination, or using Wi-Fi networks instead.

Many cellphones and laptops are now equipped with Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi networks are freely available in airports, coffee shops, hotels, restaurants and other venues in most First World countries. In some cases, it may be cheaper to make a quick phone call or send an SMS than to send an email.

Concludes Taylor: "South African network operators have managed to drive the costs of their data services down to less than 20 cents per MB, depending on the package the customer is on. Customers should be aware that an affordable service they use routinely at home can cost them several hundred times more when they're abroad."

GSMA: Nokia will help you find your way.

Nokia Maps is taking its mapping and navigation experiences to the next level by enhancing its pedestrian navigation, adding multimedia city guides, offering satellite images, and sporting a redesigned user interface.

Nokia Maps 2.0 adds Walk, a pedestrian focused navigation component to the application, while still offering Drive, a world class car navigation system. The pedestrian navigation efficiently walks you from A to B with visual turn-by-turn guidance. It helps you to locate yourself by giving information about the surrounding buildings, streets and parks (including pathways through the park) and in newer handsets, like the Nokia 6210 Navigator, points the direction in which you are walking; using the handset’s built in compass for orientation.

The new Nokia Maps 2.0 update also adds the option to purchase first-class multimedia guides that feature photos, videos and audio streams to enlighten your journey even more. As with the previous version of Nokia Maps, map users will receive a free 3-day Navigation trial, for Walk and Drive, plus an additional free 10 minute City Guide trial.

“By taking navigation services out of the car and onto the sidewalk, Nokia is enabling people to explore and discover what’s around them with the confidence of a local,” said Michael Halbherr, vice president, Nokia location based services. “By combining the integrated compass of the Nokia 6210 Navigator, with the speed and accuracy of assisted GPS, Nokia Maps 2.0 provides a unique experience with which other less accurate mobile navigation applications can’t compete.”

Upgrading to the GPS navigation option enables your mobile to become a powerful connected personal navigation device, that provides clear, turn-by-turn visual and voice guidance. If your Nokia device doesn’t have built-in GPS, you can also use an external GPS module with a compatible device. Nokia Maps 2.0 will also have, for an optional fee, real-time traffic feeds with dynamic re-routing in 18 European countries. With vector maps provided by TeleAtlas and Navteq, Nokia Maps now has maps covering over 200 countries, with over 70 of them navigable.
Nokia Maps 2.0 can also lead you to the nearest transit station using localized icons in 17 cities so you can hop on the Metro to get across town. While you are on riding on the Metro you can discover and explore new places using the hybrid satellite views or by purchasing one of the new multimedia city guides from companies like Berlitz. The expert advice on where to go and what to do, combined with the integrated Nokia mobile search, helps Nokia fulfill its goal of bringing people context aware Internet services forward.

Nokia also announced that they are planning on bringing Nokia Maps to the mass market with a Series 40 version of Nokia Maps, which will be ready during the 1st half of 2008. Devices based on the Series 40 platform accounted for a large portion of the more than 437-million devices Nokia estimates it had cumulatively shipped by the end of 2007.

Monday, February 11, 2008

GSMA: NuviPhone

I have seen the future and thanks to some nifty work from Garmin, I did not get lost.

Those mapping guys have released the NuviPhone, a phone, they claim, is the first touchscreen device to integrate a mobile phone, premium web browser and personal navigator. It is a quad-band GSM mobile phone with UMTS, which is compatible with the latest in 3.5G networks around the world. Designed for high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA), nüvifone supports the highest download speeds offered by 3G mobile networks. The nüvifone also includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Sounds complicated. Sadly, they don't have one that actually works, so I didn't get to play with it, but after chatting to one of the bosses at Garmin, he assured me that it was as easy as working with your regular direction finding devices that you already have melted onto your windscreen.

The nüvifone's built-in camera has Location Message Service (LMS), which tags every location with the exact latitude and longitude reference of where the image was taken. The user may then save the image so they can navigate back to the location, or email the image to a recipient who can navigate directly to the location. In addition, the nüvifone provides direct access to millions of geo-located landmark and sightseeing photographs available through Google's Panoramio picture sharing site. The Panoramio photo search feature enhances the enjoyment and adventure of sightseeing in an otherwise unfamiliar location. Other multimedia functions of the nüvifone include a built-in video camera and MP3 player.

When will we be seeing this wonderful peice of 'find-me-talk-to-me-while-I-show-you-where-I-Am" thingy? (I still don't know what to call it. Is it a phone or a GPS or a camera?)
Garmin tells me that it should be ready to be sold later this year, but look out for a BIG Xmas launch worldwide, then a little later on the southern tip of Africa.

GSMA: This Parrot has some Cracker!!

Parrot launched the Parrot DS3120, an innovative home stereo that combines Parrot’s award-winning wireless music and handsfree calling technology in one unit. Let consumers enjoy their music without being tethered to headphones, allowing them to listen to music out loud virtually anywhere, anytime.

The Parrot DS3120 allows users to play music from mobile phones, MP3 players such as an iPod, PCs and laptops wirelessly via Bluetooth – with a 10m range - or through a USB connection. It also has an SD card slot and a built-in FM radio.

“Music is part of our every day life. The Parrot DS3120 is a modern radio with unique highquality sound, amazing new features like the built-in screen display, all packed in an exceptional wireless design” says Henri Seydoux, founder and CEO of Parrot. “The Parrot DS3120 has been designed to offer unmatched audio performance, and provides a smooth connection to a wide range of audio sources”.

Once paired with a mobile phone, the unit also allows users to search through their contacts and channel voice calls through its high-quality 20W speakers.

The 1.8” colour TFT screen displays track and album details when playing music and phonebook information when making or taking a call. When in music mode, the track details are grouped by source, artist, album and title. Users can select their source, see the track information and enjoy their music.

The Parrot DS3120 has its own battery power source when required, allowing for up to 10 hours playback, and weighs in at only 1.5kg making it highly portable. Voice calls are very high-quality thanks to Parrot’s heritage in making high-end in car communications technology. A microphone built into the unit picks up the user’s voice from wherever he is in the room.

Music is automatically muted with incoming calls with caller ID displayed on the bright

GSMA: Sound Blade from Altec Lansing

Altec Lansing today launched their first Bluetooth stereo speaker - the SoundBlade. Designed to release the music of Bluetooth stereo (A2DP) enabled devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players and laptops, the SoundBlade is essential for music loving users on the move.

Uber stylish, the SoundBlade stereo Bluetooth speaker system sounds as good as it looks; the sound panel features dual 2” full-range high output drivers, SRS TruBass and full stereo Bluetooth v.2 for wireless connectivity with most stereo Bluetooth mobile phones and laptops.

Equipped with AVRCP, a mobile handset can be used as the remote control, giving two-way remote volume, mute and track forward/back. The “blade-like” design, carried over from the successful iM500 iPod speaker, measures 6.125” H x 11.125” W x 1.0” D (15.6 CMSS X 28.3 CMS X 2.54CMS) for easy portability. Supporting both AC and battery power, the SoundBlade delivers up to 24 hours of continious playback on 6AA batteries.

“The trend is clear, people love to listen to their music on the move, with their phones, on their MP3 players and laptops” says Luc Ackaert, the European Marketing Director for Altec Lansing. “Our goal is to give consumers what they need to enjoy and share their mobile entertainment lifestyle with easy, portable and powerful speakers.The SoundBlade is perfect for people who listen to music on the go, super thin and lightweight with fantastic sound.”

Weighing only 455g and only 1 inch thick, the SoundBlade is ideal for business travellers who demand great quality sound from a speaker that can easily fit into any laptop luggage. With a built-in echo-canceling microphone the SoundBlade also converts to a wireless speakerphone, ideal for conference calling.

The SoundBlade will be avalable in stores from March and will costs in the region of €119.99 / £89.99 inc VAT.

For more information visit:

LG Launch Three New Devices


LG’s target of selling 100 million mobile devices in 2008 is looking strong as the Korean appliance giant released three new phones in Barcelona this afternoon. The three phones are extending the depth of market that LG are planning on making, not only in South Africa but across the globe.

The phones that were released today all feature cutting edge touch-screen technology and all the latest additional technologies that is expected of a modern mobile device; technologies that will not be redundant in a year but will last you well into your two year contract. Add in the good looking nature of the LG handsets and I think you have a winning recipe.

Each phone has its own individual character from the elegance of the LG-KF700 to the stylish LG-KF510. LG seems to be making a major move towards not just making great mobile phones but aiming those phones at certain individuals. As we move more into wanting to customizing our lives, LG have seen this and are creating phones that are not just pretty to look at but are adding graphics and setups on the devices to help you add your own sense of style to them.

The touch screens on the new LG devices are something to behold. Says Dr Skott Ahn, “The mobile phones are smartly touchable and more useable.”

LG are using the touch screen technology to not just be touchy but to help the user take advantage of all of the features of the phone. In a recent survey done by the company, they found that only 20% of the market use the camera more that once a week. The rest of the functions on the phone, from MMS to Web browsing came in a weak last. Adding in the touch technology as well as the intelligently changing screen, the new devices make accessing the features a very simple and easy thing to do.

Dr Ahn went as far as predicting that ½ of the mobile phones in the world will be touch in the “next few years.” How many is a few is something of a mystery but I cannot wait to find out.

One of the major features of the LG-KF600 is that the screen changes very much from one feature to another. When it is in MP3 mode, then the screen looks like an MP3 player but switch it over to the camera mode and it looks like a camera with all of the camera features available with no fuss.

The phone also comes with eight separate “dynamic graphic interfaces” for the personalization of your device.

When will you be able to get your hands on the phone? Soon, very soon.


From the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ZYB announced the ZYB Social Phonebook, a first-of-kind service which changes the way people use the mobile phone address book from what is currently a very static to a more interactive and live experience. The ZYB Social Phonebook will be demonstrated for the first time to the industry at the Mobile World Congress.

ZYB’s research suggests we keep the contact information on the people most important to us – our closest friends, family and close business colleagues – on our mobile phones. The ZYB Social Phonebook provides new and unique ways of staying in touch with the people you really care about. This includes enabling users to see availability information on a contact they are about to call – so they may hold off on that late night call to avoid waking the other person up. And for those users who want to stay in even closer touch with their friends, they will be able to receive aggregated activity streams from other online services as well as getting direct access to their profiles on these services (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and LastFM). ZYB’s market leading online backup and management service for mobile content will continue to be part of this offering.

Runar Reistrup, Product Director at ZYB, explained, “When you want to call someone, the normal mobile experience is that you do so with limited information on the person you are calling. The ZYB Social Phonebook will provide you with live, updated information on the availability and recent activity of the person you are about to call or text – which will ultimately change the way you use your mobile phone.”

Tommy Ahlers, CEO at ZYB, said, “Take the Mobile World Congress as an example - you’ll undoubtedly meet someone for the first time who will give you their mobile number. When you save the number into the ZYB Social Phonebook you will instantly get their complete contact details, updated thumbnail picture and links to their different online social networks downloaded to your mobile address book. A year later you may like to get back in touch with them but perhaps their contact details have changed. The ZYB Social Phonebook ensures you always have their up to date contacts details on your mobile.”

OnSurf brings cutting edge mobile advertising technology to mobile video

Surf Communication Solutions today announced OnSurf, a totally new multimedia platform for adding rich media mobile advertising into streaming video. OnSurf incorporates a number of unique capabilities, such as real-time adaptation of content to allow for individually targeted advertising--including interactivity options for on-the-spot user response--to thousands of concurrent users across different types of mobile handset. With OnSurf, mobile operators finally have the ability to significantly increase the revenue opportunities from mobile advertising by enabling high value, targeted content.

OnSurf uses real-time transcoding of both advertising and video content to allow instant, on-the-fly insertion of targeted advertising into multiple simultaneous content streams. Whereas existing mobile advertising needs to be inserted into video content and formatted for the mobile screen in advance, OnSurf handles all this dynamically in real-time. OnSurf enables banner and video ad overlays, interactivity, text on video, pre-roll and post-roll insertion and, in an industry first, mid-stream advertising. These features are all enabled by OnSurf’s comprehensive video toolbox, which allows advertising to be added to any video stream quickly and easily.

OnSurf also enables the real-time collection of ad metrics by tracking user response to provide measurable results to specific campaigns. By harnessing the power of the OnSurf solution, any mobile operator offering streaming content can enjoy additional revenue streams quickly and cost effectively by delivering targeted, interactive advertising to thousands of viewers simultaneously.

“For Surf, mobile advertising was the next logical step to evolve our technology, which already helps many of the world’s leading mobile operators to deliver high quality, compelling video services,” said Eyal Zagagi, CEO, Surf Communication Solutions. “With OnSurf, we are able to deliver an optimal user experience, while giving operators an array of tools to maximise revenues from multimedia services - in effect, delivering the best of both worlds.”

As an existing leading vendor of content processing solutions for multimedia telecom applications, Surf has leveraged its considerable market expertise to create the OnSurf platform. OnSurf’s core technologies provide mobile operators and value-added service providers (VASP) with a fully interoperable mobile advertisement delivery platform for distribution of rich content to mobile phones in a way which overcomes the current technological and commercial challenges that are preventing these services from fulfilling their potential.

Surf’s expertise in embedded DSP computing has led to the development of a scaleable, cost-effective, high density solution in an extremely compact system. In addition, OnSurf leverages advanced technologies, such as HSDPA, and handles the entire range of advanced video codecs to deliver a high quality rich media experience to the widest possible range of mobile devices.

OnSurf is Surf’s first integrated, single-box solution for mobile operators. Surf currently has plans to expand the OnSurf range with solutions targeted to a number of different rich media applications.


There are some pretty phones available only in Japan at the moment from Panasonic. One is named the mirror as it has a mirror on the front, strange that. Thin, light and available in a number of colours, the mirror is a must for women and men who tend to hang around at the gym a little too much.

When will it hit South African stores? One answer I got was started with a laugh and the other one wanted to know where South Africa was. Not a pleasant experience, but then I mentioned the 2010 Football World Cup and things settled down.

Day One of The World Mobile Conference

Day 1 of the World Mobile Congress has dawned under clear skies in Barcelona. The transport system is standing by, the taxi drivers are still pretending not to speak English and the delegates are warming up their presentations. Last night we went to La Rambla. It is a large walkway running through some wonderful areas of Barcelona. The great guys at LG treated us to a fantastic dinner at one of the tourist traps but the ham was the best I have tasted in a very long time.

The city seems like a first world country but it has the history and the legacy of an old-world country. I cannot wait to see more.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Nashua Mobile kicks off campaign to beat 'Internet-lessness'

Nashua Mobile has launched a new brand campaign that aims to cure the common condition of ‘Internet-lessness’ in South Africa.

The company defines ‘Internet-lessness’ as an absence of a connection to the Internet resulting from perceived high costs and/or a lack of knowledge of the benefits to be derived from being connected to the Internet.

Says Doug Mattheus, marketing director at Nashua Mobile: "Millions of South Africans are suffering from the condition of ‘Internet-lessness’, and most are unaware of how cost effective and easy it is to cure their condition. Our aim with this campaign is to help people understand how they can get connected quickly and affordably, and which personal and professional benefits they can enjoy by going online.

“We also want to increase awareness of Nashua Mobile's evolution from a leading cellular service provider into a telecommunications service provider that offers a full range of Internet and cellular products and services to its customers,” says Mattheus.

Nashua Mobile offers cures for Internet-lessness from as little as R49 a month. The company offers the widest range of Internet, data and broadband solutions available from a single point in South Africa, including a full portfolio of Internet access offerings including fixed-line ADSL powered by Telkom and Verizon; wireless Broadband from iBurst and Sentech; and, of course, cellular technologies (such as GPRS, EDGE, 3G and HSDPA) from Vodacom, MTN and Cell C.

Nashua Mobile also offers web site design, website and/or email hosting, e-commerce, anti-virus, mobile personal information management, anti-spam and systems integration solutions.

The ‘Internet-lessness’ campaign will highlight the features and benefits of a range of these solutions, educate people about how going online can improve their lives, and help consumers to make the right choices from the many Internet offerings on the market.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Vodacom and RIM launch the GPS-enabled BlackBerry Pearl 8110 Smartphone in South Africa

Vodacom and Research In Motion today introduced the new BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8110 smartphone in South Africa.

Presented in a striking black finish, the sleek, small and elegant BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone integrates GPS (Global Positioning System) along with powerful communications and multimedia capabilities. It is one of the smallest and lightest smartphones available, and is designed for people who want to make the most of their work and personal lives.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone's built-in GPS with Vodafone SatNav, powered by Telmap SatNav technology, enables users to find an address and track their location simply and easily as the route is displayed on a 3D map, together with audible step-by-step directions.

"We are pleased to bring the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 to Vodacom customers in South Africa. By providing users with easy, mobile access to communications, multimedia, navigation and personal productivity applications, the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 is an extraordinary lifestyle tool." says Charmaine Eggberry, vice president and managing director, EMEA at RIM.

Dot Field, Chief Communications Officer at Vodacom Group: "The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 offers our subscribers an ideal blend of personal and business features in a compact design. We are pleased to offer this feature-packed, but affordable smartphone to South African customers who want a solution that will help them maximise the use of their time."

Easy To Use

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone provides an exceptional user experience through its intuitive trackball and visual interface, along with the popular SureType® keyboard system, which allows a narrower handset design while maintaining easy phone dialling and message typing. SureType now offers word completion, easier editing of misspelled words and a built-in spell checker. The smartphone also features Afrikaans as a language setting.

Multimedia To Go

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone features a 2 megapixel camera with 5X digital zoom and enhanced flash. The camera also supports video capture in two resolutions (240x180 or 176x144) for sharing via email or MMS.

The media player allows users to create and edit playlists right on the handset. Alternatively, users can manage their media files from their PC with the Roxio® Media Manager for BlackBerry®, which is included with the BlackBerry® Desktop Manager software. The Roxio software is based on the award-winning Roxio Easy Media Creator® 9, making it easy for users to search for media files on their computer, view and organise them, create MP3 music files from CDs, create playlists, add audio tags and album art, and convert files for optimal playback.

Roxio Photosuite® 9 LE is also included - this comprehensive tool makes it easy to create photo albums and edit pictures. Pictures can also be cropped, rotated and straightened, redeye can be removed, and brightness, contrast and saturation levels can all be changed.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone supports the Bluetooth® stereo audio profile (A2DP/AVRCP), and comes with a standard 3.5 mm stereo headset jack so that users can plug in their preferred headphones or speakers. The handset also provides the convenience of an externally accessible microSD/SDHC memory card slot for additional storage of music, videos and pictures. The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 from Vodacom includes a 1 GB microSD card.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone also supports high-speed USB for transferring files between the handset and a PC at data throughput rates of up to 10MB/sec.

Advanced Phone Features

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone offers many convenient phone features including Speaker Independent Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialling (VAD), Bluetooth 2.0 with support for headsets, car kits and Bluetooth peripherals, dedicated 'send', 'end', and 'mute' keys, smart dialling, speed dialling, conference calling, call forwarding, a low-distortion speakerphone for hands-free conversations and support for polyphonic, mp3 and MIDI ring tones.

The smartphone also includes features that improve phone audio quality including enhanced background noise, wind and echo cancellation for better performance in loud environments such as airports, restaurants or busy downtown streets. An 'enhance call audio' feature allows the user to boost the phone audio's bass or treble while on a call.

Broad Email Support

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone can be used with BlackBerry® Internet Service, giving users access to up to 10 supported work or personal email accounts (including most popular ISP email accounts), as well as BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, which enables push-based wireless access to email and other applications along with advanced security and IT administration within IBM® Lotus® Domino®, Microsoft® Exchange and Novell® GroupWise® environments.

Vodacom customers can enjoy unlimited email, web browsing, and navigation for as little as R69 (including VAT) per month when using BlackBerry® Internet Service along with an existing Airtime Contract; or for R139 (including VAT) per month along with an existing Airtime Contract when using BlackBerry® Enterprise Server.

Pricing and Availability

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone is available from Vodacom outlets beginning February 2008 on selected Vodacom contracts.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


iBurst has launched a new ExpressCard modem after its Japanese technology partner Kyocera Corporation developed the device for use in new generation laptops featuring ExpressCard Slots instead of PCMCIA slots.

“Much of iBurst’s success has been due to the excellent relationships we enjoy with our shareholders, subscribers and suppliers. It’s pretty impressive when a massive global organization like Kyocera develops hardware because we asked them to,” said Thami Mtshali, CEO of iBurst.

The iBurst Express Slot modem is available to all iBurst subscribers at R1820 (Incl. VAT) as an outright purchase or included on one of the many 24-month contract options. “The declining popularity of the PCMCIA modem and the desire amongst subscribers for an alternative to the USB modem will ensure the success of the ExpressCard device,” added Mr Mtshali.

ArrayComm, the world leader in smart antenna technologies, is the developer and patent holder of the iBurst broadband wireless system sold globally by licensees while Kyocera Corporation is the hardware manufacturer.

The current iBurst Express Modem, available in the 54mm variation of the ExpressCard standard, is also shipped with a mobile antenna. to provide a better internet experience for subscribers.

DS Lite in South Africa

The same guys that brought us the Wii have decided that it is now time for South Africa to get the DS Lite. The DS Lite, they say, is the best selling prtable gaming device on the planet. I have managed to play a couple of games on the DS Lite and I have no idea why. It is uncomfortable to hold, difficult to control and the games are aimed at children.

I must admit here that I am massive PSP fan and the PSP Lite is a wonderful device.

The DS Lite has a couple of screens, one on top and the one underneath and the bottom screen is touch sensitive with the included stylus. The top screen does not seem to be touch sensitive with the included stylus or your finger.

One of the selling points when the DS Lite was launched was the abillity to communicate with other DS lite players as well as a Wi-Fi gamining so that one can join gamers from around the world. Can you say, Optional Extra? Surely in the wireless world in which we live, Wi-Fi is not optional extra?

The games are limited but the advantage with a late release is that only the good games will hit the South African shores, so they say. More about those and the DS Lite in further posts.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bio Tent Pegs

Music fans attending this year's Glastonbury festival will be told to use biodegradable tent pegs in an effort to protect grazing cattle.

The pegs are made from biodegradable potato starch, which is strong and already used in the turf industry.

Organiser Michael Eavis said the measure was an attempt to prevent grazing dairy cows at his farm becoming injured by metal tent pegs left behind after the weekend summer festival.

Up to 175,000 people attend the annual bash in fields at Worthy Farm, Somerset, many of whom bring their own tents.

The metal pegs are "a real problem for the cows", Eavis told BBC News.

"We're going to buy a biodegradable tent peg this year, but it is very stout actually. They use it in the turf industry and we've just discovered it.

"So we're going to force people to use the tent pegs and not use the wire ones."

The move is part of a series of environmental measures called "Leave No Trace" which are to be announced in March.

Music fans began registering for tickets for the June 27 - 29 festival on Friday.

Children aged between 13 and 15 will have to register for the first time this year, providing a photograph which will appear on the ticket in an effort to stop touts.

Registration has been extended by two weeks this year until March 15, though registration does not guarantee a ticket. They go on sale from April 6.

The line-up will not be announced until after then, though Eavis told the BBC that crooner Neil Diamond is on the bill.

Big Brother wants to buy the other Big Brother

Technology giant, Microsoft Corporation, has offered to acquire Internet media company Yahoo for 44-point-six billion U.S. dollars in cash and stock. Microsoft says it has offered to buy Yahoo for 31-U.S. dollar per share, which it says represents a 62-percent premium above the company's closing stock price on Nasdaq. Microsoft Chief Executive, Steve Ballmer, says Microsoft has identified four areas that will generate at least one-billion U.S. dollars in annual synergies for the combined entity. Yahoo shares rose 56-percent to 29-dollars-95 cents in premarket trading today, following the announcement. U.S. stock index futures also jumped after the news was released.

Garmin unveils the Nuviphone

Satnav maestros take aim at Apple with a 3G toting, GPS phone. Touch!

Garmin has peeled back the wrapping on its very own super smart blower, the Nuviphone. The iPhone is clearly in its sights, with a touch sensitive screen and a stack of Apple beating features.

The screen's a hefty 3.5-inches across, matching Infinite Loop's effort. However, Apple gets a serious smackdown when it comes to the innards.

We're talking HSDPA, WiFi and, naturally, full-on satnav, something which Steve Jobs can only dream of.

On top of that we're looking at complete multimedia maven, with camera and music and video playback.

Okay, we've seen so-called iPhone beaters before, but this one really has come out of the leftfield.

Garmin is offering no word when it comes to price, only saying that they'll be letting it out into the wild later this year.

As soon as we get any more news (and we expect of gossip over the next few months), we'll be serving it right up to you gadget hungry lot.