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Monday, 17 June 2013

Nokia Proves its Domination With Its New Nokia Lumia Series

Nokia Lumia

Someone once said that "smartphones that cost ksh10,000 sell like a piece of cake". And I concur with whoever made that statement.

The introduction of android phones to the kenyan market towards the end of 2010, resulted in a war of supremacy with Huawei Ideos opening doors for the Samsung Galaxy pocket,Techno N3 and Sony Ericsson. It was quite challenging for most manufactures to outdo each other given that the gadgets always ranged at a similar price of between ksh8000-ksh10,000. Others like Techno, Samsung and Nokia had to introduce models that supported dual-sim. While some worked on the same designs to make them sleeker and sleeker for example the latest model of Huawei, Huawei Ascend Y100, which was sleeker than the Ideos. But one unique character with the Kenyan market is that it will always go for the same features at a the same price range. You witnessed those huge sales made by Nokia on its Asha series, Techno with its Techno N3, Samsung with its galaxy pocket duos among others.

But Nokia seems to have mastered its kenyan and East African market at large. Nokia phones are known for their durability, longer battery life, improved camera megapixels among others.

To counter the influx of other competing gadgets, the Finnish company launched the budget-focused Nokia Lumia 520, 620,720,820 and 920 series.

The Nokia Lumia 720 model, which I am going to focus on today, runs on Windows 8 and hence referred to as a Windows Phone 8.

The entire Lumia family has good looking gadgets. They speak in one body language which includes polycarbonate unibody with curved edges, curved screen around the edges, and a distinctive plastic finish.

The looks of Nokia Lumia 720 smartphone is much better than others. It has taken bits of designs from its siblings and kneaded them together to create something far more admirable.

The 720 smartphone is smaller, sleeker and lighter than 920; it weighs about 128g and is 9mm thick.

It comes in a variety of colors e.g. yellow, red and purple. The color extends from the rear to the sides of the device while the front is covered by a 4.3-inch display slab of glass protected by Gorilla Glass 2, giving it a sleek and premium feel.

It has a Qualcomm 1GHz dual-core processor. The screen sensitivity is very high that it can be operated even while wearing a glove! Swiping from bottom upwards, reveals lively user interface with flexible live tiles.

These are bubbly icons listed vertically with installed apps that usually get updated in real time.

The OS has been optimized for smooth running of the operations to avoid lagging.

Unfortunately, for a worthy gizmo like this, there's sheer injustice in it with a 512MB RAM, which slows down downloading of applications and triggers incompatibility in some.

The People and Me hubs is basically what makes it sell. Social network features have been integrated such that you can be able to view all your friends updates in one place as well as posting your own updates on the same platform.

There are basic software bundles in 720 by Nokia which are helpful, like the HERE Maps, Local Scout, HERE Drive and City Lens- all largely revolving around the maps service.

Visual indication
The City Lens provides a more visual indication of where you are and the nearby locations you need. On the Lumia screen one is shown the view from your camera, with each business laid on top as a dot and as you move the camera around, you will see where your chosen spot is and can simply walk towards it.

Nokia Lumia Another feature is the Kid's Corner, which allows one to create a separate homescreen for one's children by choosing appropriate content for this section without compromising your privacy. Other Features
  • Nokia Mix Radio.
  • Music to your ears, for free. Stream your favourite tunes to your phone for free with Nokia Mix Radio.
  • Nokia Gig Finder
  • Used to find events nearby, then buy tickets and send Facebook invites to your friends.
  • JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker
  • . (Data transfer charges may apply.Check with your provider)
Powerful features
Front and back wide- angle cameras, extra long battery life and a touch screen that works even with gloves or long fingernails.
  1. Dimensions
  2. Height: 127.9 mm Width: 67.5 mm Thickness: 9 mm Weight: 128 g
  3. Display
  4. Display size: 4.3 '' Display technology:IPS Touch screen technology: Super-sensitive touch Photography Main camera sensor: 6.7 MP
  5. Power management
  6. Maximum 2G talk time: 23.4 h Maximum 3G talk time: 13.4 h Maximum 3G standby time: 520 h Music playback time: 79 h Wireless charging:Yes, with accessory cover Main camera sensor: 6.7 MP Display size: 4.3'' Processor name: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 Maximum 3G talk time:13.4h Maximum 3G standby time: 520h Music playback time: 79h
  7. Performance
  8. Do more. Wait less:Tap into faster performance. The Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processor CPU cores enable extra performance when you need it and puts you in charge of running the most demanding applications, including gaming, photography, as well as business and personal productivity.
  9. Power consumption
  10. Less charging. More doing: The Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processor unique asynchronous technology enables each core to power up and power down independently, resulting in maximizing core performance level without wasting battery power.
  11. Technology
  12. Beyond mobile. And beyond all expectations: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 processor is a highly integrated, mobile-optimized system on a chip that delivers dynamic, immersive experiences and powerful, battery-friendly performance that can put new possibilities in your hands.
This device cost KES 29,899 from the MidcomStore All shipping done for free within Kenya within 48 hrs.
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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Hashtag Your Facebook Posts

Facebook, the social network giant with over 900 million subscribers worldwide has finally joined other social networks like twitter, pinterest, Tumblr, Google +, Sina Weibo, LinkedIn and Instagram to support the "Hashtags".

Towards the end of last year, facebook introduced " Hashtags" though they weren't clickable! This irritated many users that the uptake wasn't realized. But the fact that now one can let his/her topic trend publicly online, place their updates under a particular topic or theme. Actually by simply adding "#" sign to a word in facebook status update, will turn it into a clickable link which brings up a list box with other posts using the same term.

Clicking hashtags would bring up a chronologically a chronologically ordered list of comments using the same term, including posts from people and pages were not friends with and had not liked.  This means facebook hashtags let you connect with people talking about  a similar theme and deliver more targeted ads.

Even though  more features like trending hashtags and deeper insights haven't been unveiled yet,  advertisers maybe the big gainers as this will greatly boost the value and reach of targeted advertising.

So like twitter, hashtag your topics today to share them with friends of similar interests.

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Monday, 10 June 2013

The Solar-Powered Samsung NC215S Notebook

You have seen headlines like this:"From lollipops to laptops" hitting our local nation or standard newspapers headlines.Or perhaps you've been treated with pictures of emaciated children carefully munching away laptops on facebook or twitter.

This topic of solar powered laptops for standard one going children has ever elicited such a massive reaction from all quarters. Many claim that there's lack of good infrastructures to keep these precious gadgets. There is lack of enough teachers and to introduce laptops will mean more problems than solutions. Such is the interest spurred by this topic that many are "wait-and-see" situation to see how the Jubilee government will finally unleash its laptop wand. "Will the government hold onto to its "digital" campaign magic even after elections?" One daily nation author had posed. Or was it just a mere campaign machination? Such are the disturbing thoughts to both who have and doesn't have IT background.

I have had to content with many who are so skeptical about the whole idea of introducing our young "future-leaders" to computers! They claim that this would bring more rot to our society. They are so opposed to this that they wouldn't be drawn to argue out there point

Well, I agree that they maybe true to some extend given the just recently unearthed incident of kenya college girls engaging in bestiality. It's sad tell to both concerned and nonconcerned parties and that's why there's need for a lot of checks in this...I didn't feel like talking about the checks that should be out in place now, so I will push it to my nest post.

That said, we still have more gains in this project. Talk of higher performance and quality learning, job opportunities(to absolve some of the current jobless IT professionals) among others. I hope you understand that unemployment has been the genesis of all the crimes we see, if we had a chance to give a solution even if in decimal percentage, would we just throw it away due to the myths we have heard? Of course not.

The point is there's a lot of opportunities that will be created. You had of the recently government's single-sourced tender that it awarded to The Microsoft to provide technical support to schools. Five centers were to be developed in each of the Kenyan 47 counties to assist with technical support plus developing a research and innovation hub at the Konza City. This is a more plus to Kenyans. I didn't want to go much deeper into that bit lest I digress out of the topic.

After reading this article, it was my expectation atleast that you would be able to see in details about the full features of this so much talked about Solar-powered laptops. Actually this brand of laptop I.e Samsung NC215S-A01US 10.1" was initially unveiled at the Africa Regional Forum in Nairobi, Kenya back in 2011. It was expected to be popular in African markets where permanent sources of power are often unavailable. Since its inception, Fujitsu, another technology giant have also introduced a similar laptop that incorporates a solar panel into the lid.

Samsung NC215S A01US
  1. 10.1" 1024X600 pixel display

  2. Weighs 1.3kg making it more portable

  3. Intel® atom N570(1.66GH) dual-core processor for high performance

  4. 1GB RAM, 250/320GB hard disk capacity to offer large storage

  5. Solar powered for non-stop mobility
  6. Charge anywhere there's sunlight to ensure you browse email, type, work and play games or music from anywhere.
  7. Fast-start

  8. close the lid to enter hybrid sleep mode. Open the lid to start running in less than 3 sec.
  9. Sleep and Charge USB

  10. A very unique feature in that you can charge your mobile phone or mp3 player through the USB port even when the notebook is in sleeping mode.

    Visionary Technologies

    Other features include;

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Sunday, 9 June 2013

A New Worm Targets Facebook and Twitter Users

I did this article early this year to warn social network users especially, the facebook users, of the tricks hackers use to hack into their accounts. Read the full article here
As McAfee Lab's Senior Vice President, Mr Vincent Wearer, puts it; "Cybercrimminals have come to appreciate that sensitive personal and organizational information are the currency of their hacker economy " This implies that the hackers are ready to go full length to ensure that your personal data on facebook, twitter, Skype, Google plus, name it all, is under their custody. And social networks are the hot targets given their huge userbase.
But the social networks are up to the challenge. They have continued to put in place new security measures to curb this crime. For example the social network giant facebook, had early this year introduced security code generator for smartphone users. Check out here how it secures your account.
Challenge I have been checking my Google trend for search terms for the past half of the year. What's alarming that most facebook, Hotmail, Gmail and even Yahoo users would rather Google the login pages rather than type the full url in the browser. This is dangerous as your details maybe phished without your notice. Even more dangerous is following the links sent to your mailbox to redirect to your social network. I would rather you do everything from your browser's address window than using search engine or email redirects.
The other challenge is with those users who ignored new security measures put in place to fight this menace. The hackers are always on toes to ensure they triumph over their targets. Therefore never fail to implement any new security measure that has been put in place.
But the social networks still remain the target. This is because very many users who are unaware of the security risks will still go at all lengths to sign up with them. Talk of the 10-18year olds, the 45 and above year olds who never learnt anything about viruses and spywares.
Another social networking worm, Koobface, has been recently reported by the McAfee Labs. It's designed skilfully to trick friends into installing the code via messages into their computers. The hackers may then use it for more malicious purposes. As the McAfee Labs reports, due to continued increase in the complexities of targeted attacks, especially in financial sectors, Koobface has been crafted to still information that criminals may turn to their advantage. I hereby advice that precautional measures as avoiding messages from strangers, being keen with shared links along with installing active and up-to-date anti-malwares.
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Saturday, 8 June 2013

Haswell is here: 7 days of Facebook and Twitter Chats Uninterrupted

Intel had, on June 4, 2013, at Computed Taipei 2013, officially announced the release of Haswell-the codename for the processor micro-architecture. This being the successor to the Ivy Bridge architecture.

So the disturbing questions are; "Is a gain or loose?" "Do we need to care?"

Well the answer depends entirely on what you need from your PC.

But lets look at the market scenario ; Studies have suggested a decline in market due to stiff competition from smartphones and tablets.  This is because most smart devices are powered by chips based on designs by British's ARM rather than the X86 architecture used by Intel.

So what has Intel done</b>
The Intel Oregon team's Haswell would allow laptops and two-in-one devices-offering both laptop and tablet experience, to become thinner and last longer between charges and hence increasing the appeal.

<b>Major Gains;</b>

Reduced power consumption

Experience upto 50% improved battery life
A voltage regulator has been integrated into its chip architecture for the first time. Compared to the Ivy Bridge's 5 hours of battery life, Haswell's 9hrs on idle screen and 6hrs for full HD video playback battery life is a boom for its users. Even more impressive is the 7days standby-Haswell notebook can stay for 7 days of occasional picks on social network feeds, be it facebook or twitter.

The most amazing is that one version featured CPU cores which used just 6 Watts of scenarios of usage during regular tasks. This is low enough to be used in "cooler, quieter, fanless designs."

15% boost in performance

The integrated GPU offers double performance of its equivalent "Ivy Bridge " This ensures better performance when handling complex tasks such as generating 3D graphics and encoding high definition videos. This means no need of a separate card,  significantly reducing bulkiness and cost to consumer. 

Slimmer and slicker
Intel has been over the years been integrating ever more features into the CPU itsel. This has contributed to the less bulky design. The reduced power consumption has further led to elimination of some fans on the systems unit hence making it less bulky.

This is a major gain for the new generation ultra-compact PCs, set-top boxes, tiny gaming machines,  PCs hanging off the back of monitors.

The rest may be Intel's marketing machinations, but taking into consideration power consumption and improved performance efficiency may be a major gain for consumers. As the Intel puts it, indeed, Haswell represents the biggest single generational gain in power efficiency in the history of its x86 PC processors.
Let's wait and see how Intel is going to battle it out in the market

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