South Africa’s IMPI Mk1: Solar powered Android computer

10 views July 28th, 2014 By Dianne Bayley

solar-powered-impi-android1A locally-developed solar-powered computer has come under the spotlight. launched the IMPI Mk1, a low-power Android computer that runs off solar energy, in March. Specifically designed for African conditions, the technology is affordable and not vulnerable to an erratic electricity supply.

On Friday 25 July 2014, Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities Alan Winde visited the company, which he says has earned international attention for the Western Cape’s technology sector.

The device can be built locally using reclaimed parts, is powered by sunlight and connected by meshed WiFi that brings connectivity to communities that are currently restricted by infrastructure.

The computer requires just 20 watts to operate, and can be powered by a solar panel, making it independent from any electricity infrastructure.

It supports Android 4.x.

For more tech news, sign up for IT-Online’s free weekly newsletter. For environmental news, sign up for Environment in Africa’s newsletter. Story courtesy Future Wave Media.

Conscious 108: Feel good food in Greenside

36 views July 25th, 2014 By Jacqui Thompson

c108-300x225By Jacqui Thompson

Three people; a businessman (Marnus Broodryk), a former advertising executive (Misha Dhupelia) and a former 5FM DJ (Grant Nash) have come up with a winning formula that is attracting the trendy,  health conscientious, and herbivorous diners. They are the founders and creators of Conscious 108, the latest vegetarian restaurant to sprout up in Joburg.

DreamWorks Dragons Adventure free for Windows phones

48 views July 21st, 2014 By Dianne Bayley

citysearch-itshowcase-dragonDreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer, the new mobile game by Microsoft and DreamWorks Animation inspired by the blockbuster animated film, “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” uses award-winning HERE Maps to turn real world roadways, buildings, lakes and more, along with the time of day, current traffic conditions and local weather into your own fictional Isle of Berk.

Take flight and soar freely on the back of your favorite dragons as you complete quests. Complete quests at home, or play on the go by entering your driving destination to begin a personalised quest from the back seat of the car. The magical game experience is unlike anything you’ve played before and the drive to football practice or your next family road trip will never be the same. Now available for free on a range of Windows phones and tablets.

Milk Tart Heart

1,535 views July 19th, 2014 By Kathy Fourie

By Kathryn Fourie

Some years ago my father found a supplier of the best koeksusters in the land. Every year he would drive down for the Fish River Canoe Marathon to Cradock and buys 24 dozen koeksusters that he transports back to Hilton in specially prepared cool boxes. We each get given one bag, and that’s it. I have never dared to touch his stash, not after the warning where the crazy eyes came into play. Nay, not even I am that stupid.

Rhythm of the south: South African music

2,468 views July 16th, 2014 By admin

It’s jazz and kwela, missionary hymns, mbaqanga and bubblegum pop . . . whether local or adapted from other countries, it is the music of South Africa and has a flavour all its own.

New LG ARX 10 for the ultimate party

58 views July 16th, 2014 By Dianne Bayley

citysearch-ultimate-partyLG Electronics, a global leader and technology innovator in home entertainment, has released its latest AV Receiver System, the ARX10, which supports 3D visual. With its advanced and powerful sound performance delivered through 2300 Watts speakers, the ARX10 generates rich and precise sound, while its sophisticated modern design fits in perfectly with any home decor.

“The LG ARX10 has been specially designed to maximize consumers’ audio and 3D visual experiences,” says IL Hwan Lee, CEO of LG Electronics South Africa. “The ARX10 is testimony to LG’s ongoing mission to develop optimal sound experiences that support diverse entertainment activities for South African consumers.”

The impressive sound generated by the LG ARX10’s 4.2 Channel speakers is largely thanks to the 2300-watt output emanating from its wider and higher front speakers. A specialised Big Radial horn tweeter delivers sound directly and a Dual Duct system helps to expel air more efficiently, which triggers a powerful bass sound. And the powerful bass sound becomes crisper with LG’s “Bass Blast” technology.

The SABC’s role in transformation

56 views July 16th, 2014 By Dianne Bayley

sabc-logoBy Kenneth Davison

The South African Broadcasting Corporation, or SABC as most know it, is a fascinating beast that commands significant resources and infrastructure. Unfortunately, it seems as if this major organization is in complete disarray, losing credibility every month. The SABC is also under siege from two major competitors in South Africa: the multi-billion rand Multichoice (most commonly known as DSTV) and the fast growing E-TV. Of greatest concern to me is the fact that the SABC seems to have become its own worst enemy and that it has not played a good enough role in nation building, cohesion and transformation.

To paint a better picture of the landscape, the SABC and E-TV are both free-to-view. The SABC consists of three channels while E-TV has one (they also have a news channel on DSTV). DSTV is a platform whereby customers can subscribe monthly to various services, accessed via a satellite dish and decoder. DSTV has the world-class SuperSport channels as well as many others, including FOX, National Geographic, Discovery and M-Net.

I will always contend that DSTV would not be the juggernaut that it is today had the SABC played an actual role in being competitive and developing new technologies. DSTV has been growing faster and stronger, seemingly increasing their subscription tariffs at will and introducing new products regularly. The SABC, on the other hand, has been losing revenue and credibility, not growing or changing in over a decade.

One of the biggest blows to the SABC was when they lost the rights to televise local football to DSTV. At the time, it seemed as if the SABC had become arrogant, believing it could not be challenged. The SABC is able to broadcast to more than half of the South African population (approx. 25 million) and now local football is controlled by a company with a million or so subscribers.

The inspiration for this came while debating transformation in cricket and rugby. These sports are often in the spotlight because there are a lot of white players in the teams and not enough black players. While contemplating this challenge, I realized that those sports are broadcast by SuperSport. The SABC will occasionally show a home game by the national cricket team but it is unheard of for them to broadcast rugby. There was an experiment done a few years ago where a Bulls rugby game was carried by the SABC and I believe that millions of people tuned in to watch the game.

Irrespective of the numbers, the fact that the SABC is not broadcasting every national team game is problematic. This hinders the broader population from watching each national team in battle. It inhibits children from creating role-models and heroes. It means that one part of the population cannot even talk to the other about sport, a great unifier used to great effect by the late (and legendary) Nelson Mandela.

If the SABC actually wanted to play a role in nation building and transformation, one very effective solution would be to wrestle or negotiate the broadcasting rights for national sport away from DSTV. 25 million people could watch the cricket, rugby, soccer or netball team in action and get behind them (Lord knows South Africans love nothing more than winning). A generation of youngsters could watch the Beast destroy a scrum, or Bryan Habana whizz in for another try. They could be thrilled by AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla as they tear opposition bowling attacks apart (for home and away games). That could all be in one afternoon!

If transformation is an important agenda for South Africa, the SABC needs to step up to the plate.

CityGuide: Syncwize (PTY) LTD

455 views July 14th, 2014 By admin

A review for Syncwize (PTY) LTD

Surfing South Africa: Awesome culture, dude . . .

2,303 views July 14th, 2014 By Dianne Bayley
surfingisaBy Dianne Bayley

Surfers are a special breed of people, no matter where you go on the planet. They are more dedicated to their “first love” than any other group of people I have ever met. While none of the surfers I know even wear a watch, they somehow seem to know – in the middle of work, a crisis, or even studies – when to shoot down to their local spot and catch a quick wave or two.

Whether it’s a sport, a hobby or a profession for them, surfers are 100% dedicated to their craft. I reckon if other sportsmen or even hobbyists put half the effort and enthusiasm into their sports, we’d have teams that could take on the gods!

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Drakensberg: Giant love affair

2,522 views July 13th, 2014 By Kathy Fourie

By Kathy Fourie

In life there are things that can seem very big. Perhaps your job is terrible, or your car is on it’s last legs? Maybe you’ve left your lover a million miles away. It could even be that you actually have no clue what you’re doing with your life (very common affliction for members of the human race)! These are indeed big things. I find when you’re faced with the largesse of your issues, throwing yourself into the wide open arms of something even bigger is a good move. And so I found myself at Giant’s Castle, and that’s one super-sized portion of perspective!