Cape Town is one of the participating cities in the Living Labs Global Award 2011. Living Labs Global is a non-profit association based in Copenhagen (Denmark) with the objective to promote innovation in services and mobility in cities.
Cape Town is looking to establish a new type of Venture Capital Fund on the African continent that is geared towards indigenous entrepreneurs’ who use technology to create innovative solutions for Africa’s challenges.
By using new technologies and funding systems such as micro-credits, community finance, social networks and open data systems entirely new ways of connecting investors and entrepreneurs may be found. If successful, these entrepreneurs will become the employers of tomorrow, provide real solutions and give investors healthy returns. Africa is the world’s newest market and has in excess of 1 billion people.
Entrants are requested to submit a Showcase detailing their solution.
The eight winners of the Living Labs Global Award will be invited to pilot their solutions in these cities, proving the effectiveness of new solutions and offering a first step for innovative providers to enter new markets.
Here’s a quick video for you if you aren’t into reading:
If you’re interested in learning more, you can do so on their website.
So, it’s official, the iPad 2 has been announced! Earlier today I was talking about that iPad 2 in South Africa, and in that post I mentioned a number of things about what people where expecting the iPad 2 to consist of, but now it’s official, here it is:
And here’s a quick 2 minute video:
And if you’re interested in comparing the iPad 1 and the iPad 2, here’s a breakdown from Engadget:
Awesome device, wonder what they’re retailing for overseas?
Ok, so the iPad 1 was announced in South Africa about a month or so ago and from what I’ve heard, a good number of South Africans ran out and bought them. I, for one, was very keen, but with the launch of the iPad 2 hot on our heels, I decided that I’d rather wait to see whether all the rumours were going to be true.
There are several leaked photographs of the iPad 2 floating around, here’s one from a fairly good source:
This is of course possibly a fake, even Steve Jobs tweeted the other day about people faking pictures and then went on to say how much he loved Photoshop.. funny chap. Never the less, these images are floating around and I have no doubt that one of them will be the real deal. You’ll notice a couple things from the photograph that are different from the iPad 1, let’s have a quick look at the proposed feature break down:
Two Cameras – One camera positioned carefully in the front for the use with Facetime and then one at the back to take normal photographs. This definitely sounds accurate to me based on what I’ve seen people wanting.
New Processor – It has been said that the iPad2 will come with a new processor that apple has been working on. Along the way I noted the name, “multi-core ARM Cortex A9″.
Visual Enhancements – The iPad 2 will come with a fancier graphics card, allowing it to give you an amazing visual experience. This too sounds like something that would definitely been done as it’s standard progression of any device of this nature.
Retina Display – iPhone 4 users have raved about retina display, so it stands to reason that the iPad 2 would come with it.
SD Slot - The device will come with a dedicated SD Slot, which will be hugely useful!
USB - I’m not too sure about this one and I wouldn’t put my money on it, but giving the device USB capabilities would work hugely to it’s success.
Upgraded Sound - I read that a larger speaker would be present on the iPad 2. I’m not one for really using sounds on my machines, but I bet a lot of people would want such a feature.
More RAM – With applications getting bigger and fancier, the requirement for more RAM is getting important, just like it did on computers. These devices are following a very similar trend
So ye, those are the things I’ve picked up on over the past few days across a large number of blogs, no doubt 60-70% of them will be correct, but we won’t know until Apple’s Conference this evening.
The event is taking place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theatre in San Francisco at 10AM PT, which is 6PM here, in other words, in an hour (I think).
Now, the question is.. will South Africa get the iPad 2, or will we wait another 6 months and get it as Apple launches the iPad 3?
Look, I get it, people will go to the website to look at movies and book movie tickets regardless of what it looks like, but hell, have I ever seen such an awful sell out before? No! Not even gossip trashy websites like Perez, WWTDD and DListed go as far as selling out to this level and at least these sites take time in making the big adverts look decent.
Don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s what the Ster Kinekor website looks like:
My attempt at making a resized image is just as sexy.
Surely Ster Kinekor isn’t so desperate for money? Surely Ster Kinekor could have organised a designer to implement the adverts in a better manner, still huge and all over the place, but at least fitting in correctly?
It’s disgusting and I hope they see a drop in ticket sales because of this, so they realise how annoying this is for users.
Ok, so I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s had this problem, but now it’s starting to really drive me a bit crazy. There has been a huge push at companies to ensure that they have mobile versions of their websites due to the number of people using mobile devices, I couldn’t agree more, but please make sure that the decision code (deciding whether a visitor is on a computer or mobile) works correctly, because I keep visiting websites on my Macbook Pro and the mobile version loads.
The most recent site I visited which did this was HiFi Corporation’s. This is just one of about 10 I’ve come across in the last couple weeks, all 10 sites being big corporations, which no doubt receive large amount of traffic from Mac users.
If we’re going to dive into the mobile space more and more, please let’s pay more attention to the minor details.
There are literally thousands of group buying sites that have sprung up over the past year. South Africa alone has seen the launch of Twangoo, security-lax competitor Wicount, Cape Town based UbuntuDeal, and very busy new kid on the block Dealio. That is not to mention any number of smaller sites all trying to play in the same space. Most recently Twangoo made headlines by being bought out by Groupon and have since been operating as Twangoo/Groupon/MyCityDeal – althought Twangoo is supposed to cease to exist shortly. And this is where it gets interesting.
For those that need a primer: a group buying site strikes a bargain with a merchant, say 50% off a product or service, spreads word of the deal on the Internet, and because a certain minimum number of buyers have purchased the deal it becomes financially or economically viable to a merchant, or is a loss leader that makes good marketing sense. A good group buying site sells coupons to their consumers, and the consumers trust the site to always give them a quality deal.
But what happens when that trust breaks down? Every day there are hundreds of people browsing Twangoo’s site, and they believe what they see. If Twangoo says a product costs R500 and they have it for R200, consumers trust that. Until now.
Dig a little deeper, though, and everything is not as it seems. You see, on the 8th of February, and many times prior to this, Spray Tan Cape Town ran a Gumtree advert marketing her spray tans. You can see an example here: http://capetown.gumtree.co.za/c-Business-Services-health-beauty-well-being-NEW-Anti-ageing-spray-tan-only-R230-W0QQAdIdZ259295353 . In this advert the price of the anti-aging/ageless spray tan is SUDDENLY R230?! Even better – she offers the spray tan at a group rate of R200 for 5 girls, plus the 6th girl is free…so a group of 6 girls would pay R166.66 each. That makes her group rate around the same as the rate she had it on Twangoo, certainly not a mystical special. In fact, Spray Tan Cape Town’s website lists the ageless tan at R230, or R200 per session if you buy a set of 4, just a bit further down the page: http://spraytancapetown.co.za/tan-product/ . What gives?
One of two things has clearly happened, and neither scenario sits well with us. The first scenario is that Twangoo instructed Spray Tan Cape Town to change her website to reflect a heavier price so that the discount could look proportionally large. Spray Tan Cape Town made the change, but slipped up and forgot to fix the bottom of her Tan Product page. Apart from being grossly unethical, the new Consumer Protection Act has specific legislation regarding price discrepancies – and this is certainly a major discrepancy. It goes against the group buying model, and it is an attempt to con consumers into buying a deal that simply isn’t accurate or even vaguely true. The second possibility is that Spray Tan Cape Town lied to Twangoo. She told them the ageless tan cost R340, and adjusted (most of) her website to reflect the changed price. This makes her an unethical business woman, and a liar, but it doesn’t absolve Twangoo of responsibility. Since they have been bought out by Groupon, they should be emulating Groupon’s model. Groupon hire fact checkers, whose job is to check all the facts of a deal before it goes live. The first fact that they check is the price point and percentage. Why did Twangoo do no checking on a deal that is clearly false? Were they complicit in this deception? Or was it their intent to deceive consumers from the word go?
I suppose we have to look at Twangoo’s history to see if they’ve ever over-inflated a deal. So let’s take a look at Spray Tan Cape Town’s previous deal with Twangoo: http://www.twangoo.co.za/cape-town/pay-r125-spray-tan-session-spray-tan-cape-town . Here she’s offering a different spray tan, the “Caribbean Tan” for R125, marked down by 50% from R250. Except didn’t we already see that Spray Tan Cape Town’s website has it listed as R200 for a Caribbean tan? Oh that’s right, we did. Clearly this is not the first collusion in deception between Spray Tan Cape Town and Twangoo, nor has Groupons purchase of a known spam house suddenly made them act ethically (for Twangoo’s admission that they knowingly subscribe people who are “referred” to them without that person’s consent, see http://www.hellopeter.com/twangoo-south-africa-complaint-%5B505189%5D).
It’s sad to see a company that so many trust openly lie to the public. Spray Tan Cape Town’s deception is bad, but naïve entrepreneurs often make mistakes in their desperate attempt to get ahead of the game. Twangoo’s outright lie just to make a deal look good is not only cruel, but quite possibly illegal under the CPA act that will soon come into play. Couple that with Wicount’s recent security breach – and the observation some made that Wicount purchased a lot of coupons themselves to inflate their own sales (if you are purchasing on behalf of a consumer paying by EFT, surely you just create a user account on the site and put the voucher on that account? I know Dealio do that for bulk purchases or for people who are struggling with the payment system) – one is left wondering how many other group buying sites set out to deceive. It seems that, at least to Twangoo/Groupon South Africa and Wicount, honesty and good business ethics are dead.
Please note: This is not a personal attack on any of the above mentioned parties, but merely a deeper look into what could be going on with some of these group buying websites. It is only fair that information like this be published for the benefit of the consumers, as I feel some answers should be provided, because this does sound somewhat fishy.
There was a lot of talk about Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch joining forces to release a new application with an iOS update, but from what I understand, this isn’t happening just yet, or even at all.
Rupert has, however, unveiled a new iPad only news publication called The Daily, which will launch at 12PM EST. The Daily application will cost $0.99 per week, unless you’re interested in an annual subscription, which will cost you $39.99.
As you can imagine, the “paper” will be able to represent 360-degree photographs as well as videos – thanks to the digital age! Of course, it’s digital, so sharing articles is possible.
Interested in learning more? We sure to visit The Daily website or watch this video tour:
During a Google event today in Mountain View, Google announced what Android users have been waiting for – an Android App Store! A place where Android users can download free, and paid for, applications.
Like other App Stores, applications are well categorized, allowing users to navigate through the applications to ones that they’re interested in. The App Store has been built with “profiles” pages for all the applications, which include social media tools making it easy to send applications to friends via the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter.
The group buying scene is just as busy as ever, but there’s been some interesting news – Groupon has been the leader in the market, but it looks like LivingSocial is going to give it a run for its money. Groupon saw a 20% decrease in traffic, whilst LivingSocial gained 80%!
Here’s a graph showing the performance of the various group buying websites:
What’s going to be interesting is when Google Offers goes live!