All around the world info! For all the technology/innovation enthusiasts out there this is the place for you. Fresh ideas from smartphones, pc's, to tablets.... we have it right here!

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In emerging markets and third world countries, technology has not caught on as much as it has in western countries. Western countries use technology and the internet to maximize company efficiency and created value.

Countries in emerging markets can also follow this path and take advantage of the technology that is available to them. Some of the companies in developing countries have access to the technology that can enable them to do this but due to lack of awareness are crippled and stuck in their old ways

Bellmark Realty, a real estate company based in New York uses technology to add value to its company. The have a stored database on all property they have available and have sold in the past. Software is ran across this database to find trends in the property market, determine prices, determine demand based on factors such as location, and contact information of past and potential clients. This makes them more efficient and effective in capturing their market and serving that particular market well.  

In contrast to that, Realmark Realtors located in Gaborone, Botswana only use computers to receive email from clients. They have no computerized database to keep tack of customer-behavior. All processes are manual and information is stored in files and folders. If the were to even implement some of the computerized processes implemented by Bellmark, their productivity level would increase and company efficiency would soar. 

The resources are available, but awareness and expertise is lacking. If this was to change then there would be an increase in general productivity.

- Kow Samman

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With the growth of mobile payment around the world, Africa is no exception. Mobile payments are simple, easy and cost-efficient. With an increasing number of people buying smartphones, there is an increase in mobile payments throughout Africa.

For example in Kenya there is a unique way of sending money and making payments through your cellphone. This has become a phenomena and has gone viral. The world has taken notice and many western countries are planning on introducing something similar in their countries. 

This mobile payment system in called M-PESA. It was developed by Vodafone and commercially launched by its Kenyan affiliate company Safari-com. 

It is simple to use and very useful. All mobile payments have a cap of $500 each. Users have to get a M-PESA mobile account. After that they can send money to another M-PESA account holder. A person does not have to own a phone to access the service. There are kiosks available throughout the country that provide the service. All you have to do is go to the kiosk and tell them who you want to send the money to. The kiosk operator simply enters the receiver’s phone number, and the money is sent. The receiver gets a notification about the money received. This is almost instant, and money can be either deposited into the recipient’s bank account or cash collected from the nearest kiosks. 

M-PESA has become very popular and widely used around kenya and surrounding areas. It is popular in rural areas and villages as well. There are kiosk located all over these areas which make it easy for families to send money to relatives in rural areas who don’t even own cellphones. 

M-PESA is surely the future, and can be expanded to something even bigger.

- Kow Samman

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THe password was created for computer-sharing in the 60s, since then it has been an effective way to protect data and provide different features, security clearance,and accessibility for multiple users using one computer, device or database. All this is about to change with the increasing number of devices introducing biometrics as a way of gaining access to devices.

Earlier this week Samsung introduced a fingerprint reader with the flagship mobile device Samsung Galaxy S5. Before that Apple introduced a fingerprint reader on their iPhone 5S and called it Touch ID. Recently more companies have hinted totally removing the password in place of a finger print authentication process. Some of these companies include: Paypal, Google, and Samsung. These are some of the worlds most powerful companies in terms of technology. If these companies made the move to fingerprint identification surely the rest of the tech-world would follow with no hesitation. 

Paypal is planning on allowing you to use your fingerprint to access your bank account, make payments, as well as send money to people. This would be a welcome development with the recent cyber attacks going on. Password protection has been vulnerable in recent years with hackers managing to infiltrate systems and decypher peoples password leaving them vulnerable to fraud and giving infiltrators access to sensitive data.The most recently was the ‘heartbleed’ scenario were more than half of the internet was left vulnerable to hackers who gained access to multiple user passwords using a bug in the SSL.

The future is near, and soon no one will be typing in passwords to gain access to information. They would use their fingerprints or even their Iris. 

- Kow Samman

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The use of smartphones is a growing trend in Africa, everywhere you like someone is Face-timing from their iPhone, reading an email on their blackberry, or surfing the web on their Samsung Galaxy. The efficiency and features which smartphones bring is undebatable and thats why more and more Africans are throwing away their dumb phones for smartphones.

Cellphone stores a slowly increasing the number of smartphones they sell in their stores. It is projected (Techcrunch:2013) that in 3.5 years most Africans will be using smartphones. According to Gartner (2014) smartphone sales have exceeded the sales of feature phones in Africa.African Telecoms projects 334 million African cellphone connections in 2017. Smartphone ownership is said to be about 23% of the African population and that is expected to double by 2017. 

With the increasing number of smartphones that are being introduced, and new technology infused within these smartphones, more Africans are seeing the need to purchase a smartphone. The most popular smartphone in Africa at the moment in blackberry because it is cheap and has BBM (Blackberry Messenger). Most cellular companies have special bundles and data deals that they offer to their customer who use blackberry. This has made blackberry a very attractive smartphone for people to buy.

When its all said and done, smartphones are the future and soon feature phones will be a thing of the past.

- Kow Samma

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Over the years North America and Europe have advanced in terms of information technology. This can be mainly attributed to increasing internet speeds, improvement in mobile systems, and the development of software rich hardware.

For years the continent of Africa was at a disadvantage and lacking behind their western counterparts. This is slowly changing as technology is growing. The recent introduction of fiber optic cables have increased internet speeds all over Africa to as much as double what they used to. This has enabled African businesses to communicate with the rest of the world in a more reliable fashion.

Countries like Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia boast some of the fastest internet speeds on the continent. According to a survey done by Ribrober and Sons, Companies have reported better communication and better productivity after the introduction of fiber optic cables.

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Most of these fiber optic cables are ‘under sea cables’. These cables are laid underwater and connect Africa to the rest of the world. The speeds are very fast and communication is extremely quick. Once the cables are laid down a transforming requil is installed to distribute the data locally within the country. Other cables are then installed throughout the country to provide nationwide coverage.

Indeed Africa is not on par with the western world in terms of internet speed, but this is a great improvement and we can only hope for a better future.

Kow Samman

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French scientists are working on an acoustic earthquake shield

A group of French scientists has developed a method of shielding cities from the force of an earthquake, and after devastating earthquakes in Chile, the idea is drawing some much-deserved attention. It works on the principle of refraction, planting an array of boreholes to redirect the reverberations around the city and into areas where they will do less damage. If the system works, it could be a new way to shield populated areas from the devastating effects of an earthquake.


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In the experiment, the researchers dug a grid of cylindrical holes five meters deep in the soil, then used seismographic sensors to monitor how force propagated through the array. As expected, sound resonated through the array according to the properties of acoustics, refracting around the boreholes in curved patterns. The hope is that, given the right array and frequency, civil engineers can use this technique to refract earthquakes around cities entirely, creating a kind of central quiet zone. But as Scientific American notes, all that force has to go somewhere: “The trick will be to find a way to absorb the massive energy of a major earthquake — or find a better place to send it.”

- Kow Samman

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FDA approves first heroin overdose treatment device for general use

Until now, treatments for drug overdoses have been entrusted to health professionals and police officers, but today the FDA approved the first drug-delivery device made for civilians to administer an overdose antidote to victims. The device, called Evzio, is a credit-card sized dispenser that contains a needle, which is used to administer the antidote naloxone to someone who has suffered a drug overdose.

The FDA describes the device working similarly to automated defibrillators: when turned on, Evzio gives the user verbal instructions on how to inject naloxone in a victim. It even comes with a trainer device that lacks a needle and medicine that people can practice with so they get familiar with the process before they ever use it. However, the FDA does note that while naloxone does help counteract the effects of an overdose from opioids like heroin, it is not a substitute for medical care.

There’s no word on how much Evzio will cost when it becomes available to the public, and that’s partly because the consumer price for naloxone has yet to be decided. The AP reports that the device’s manufacturer kaléo is currently working with health insurance providers to get broader coverage for naloxone. Kaléo also claims that naloxone could act as a treatment for other types of drug overdoses, and unexpected drug interactions.

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Lawmakers have their reservations about naloxone being readily accessible to everyone. Maine Governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill last year in his state that would have let healthcare professionals prescribe naloxone to families and caregivers of drug addicts so they could dispense it during emergencies. He claimed it would provide “a false sense of security that abusers are somehow safe if they have a prescription nearby.”

America’s growing drug problem can’t be ignored much longer. The CDC reports that the number of people who die from drug overdoses has steadily increased over the past 11 years, rising from 16,849 deaths in 1999 to 38,329 in 2010. FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg wrote in a statement that rather than Evzio being a solution to a public health crisis, it should be seen as a tool to help people who could eventually receive more treatment for addiction. “While the larger goal is to reduce the need for products like these by preventing opioid addiction and abuse,” Hamburg said, “they are extremely important innovations that will help to save lives.”

- Kow Samman

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Google is reportedly considering running its own wireless network. Sources in the media tell that company executives have been discussing a plan to offer wireless service in areas where it’s already installed Google Fiber high-speed internet. Details are vague, but there are hints that it’s interested in becoming a mobile virtual network operator or MVNO, buying access to a larger network at wholesale rates and reselling it to customers. Sources say that Google spoke to Verizon about the possibility in early 2014, and that it talked to Sprint about a similar possibility in early 2013, before the company was officially acquired by Softbank.

Currently, Fiber networks have been built in Kansas City, Missouri and Provo, Utah; a network is planned in Austin, Texas in the near future. Google also hopes to expand into Atlanta, Georgia; Portland, Oregon; San Jose, California; and six other metro areas further down the line. Fiber has already put pressure on other broadband carriers: in the wake of Google’s Austin announcement, AT&T quickly began installing its own high-speed fiber network, which it launched in late 2013. A move into wireless would take aim at the Verizon and AT&T duopoly and would almost certainly further complicate Google’s relationship with carriers, turning it from a producer of phones like the Moto X to a direct competitor. Google already competes indirectly with phone companies through video and voice services, which it’s been operating in some capacity for several years.

The Information speculates that Google’s wireless network could depend partly on Wi-Fi access points built on the Fiber network, relying on carriers only when service is unavailable or insufficient. AT&T already uses this strategy, easing congestion by transferring users to Wi-Fi hotspots, and Google reached a partnership with Starbucks last year to provide internet access through 7,000 hotspots. In February, the company was said to be planning an app that would let users skip the login process and automatically connect to its networks, bringing a carrier-like seamless transfer closer. It’s also partnered with other broadband providers in lobbying for more spectrum on which to build public Wi-Fi networks. Even if Google is poised to move into wireless broadband, its wired Fiber network is still tiny compared to major broadband providers, and a wireless network would only highlight that fact. But the company’s penchant for ambitious experiments still makes it a definite possibility.

- Kow Samman

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Amazon has just unveiled Fire TV, its first attempt at a set-top box for streaming movies, television shows, photos, games, and more straight to your TV. The Fire TV is all black and consists of a small, square box that connects to your televisions along with an even tinier remote. When turned on, the FireTV immediately displays a selection of new movies and TV shows in addition to various apps and games that you may want to dive in to. Options to browse through specific categories appear on the left-hand side of the screen, but if you know what you’re looking for, you can easily begin a search from any screen just by speaking into a microphone on the remote. It won’t just search through Prime Instant Video either: Netflix, Hulu, and a large number of other popular services are also supported.

Amazon says the Fire TV should be fast, and it actually is. On the inside, it has a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a dedicated GPU — specs that Amazon says should make the Fire TV three times more powerful than a Roku, Chromecast, or Apple TV. While that’s going to be helpful for browsing and video playback, it’ll be critical for gaming, which Amazon is positioning as a key part of this new platform, promising to have thousands of games by next month.

- Kow Samman

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Astronauts tend to be healthy people, but even the healthiest among us can feel the wrath of an inflamed appendix. So, scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are trying to develop a tiny robot that can perform simple surgical procedures in zero gravity, reports New Scientist — for those moments when taking the time to go back to Earth might kill you.
According to New Scientist, the fist-sized robot can be controlled by a surgeon on Earth. To do its handiwork, it first has to make room for itself, so it injects gas into the body cavity of the immobilized patient. Then the capsule-like, one-pound robot uses its arms to cut and snip at will. The surgeon controlling it can observe the robot’s actions thanks to sensors and a camera. The researchers think it could be used to do things like perforate a gastric ulcer or remove a piece of an astronaut’s colon.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been tested on humans yet — pigs are its patient of choice — nor has it been used in zero gravity. But the researchers hope to remedy the latter over the course of the next few months by testing it in one of NASA’s “vomit comets.”

- Kow Samman