Craig Wilson | Blog
50444
blog,edgt-core-1.1.2,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,vigor-ver-2.0, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive

If Vodacom and MTN win OTT battle South Africa loses

South Africa's two largest mobile operators, Vodacom and MTN, will this week attend hearings led by parliament's Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications on whether or not so called "over-the-top" players like WhatsApp and Skype should be regulated. Which seems to be code for asking that the Committee allow said...

Uber X: now available in Johannesburg, too

Uber logoUber, the mobile application that connects individuals with private drivers, has launched the budget version of its service, UberX, in Johannesburg. UberBlack originally launched in South Africa late last year and now operates in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

UberX connects users with drivers of lower-end vehicles (typically Toyota Avanzas or Corollas) rather than the luxury BMWs, Mercedes and Audis used by the UberBlack service and costs substantially less. For example, the minimum fare for UberX is R20, compared to UberBlack’s R50.

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper – an unused Noonday Tune

Noonday Tune logoEvery second Friday I contribute to a music Tumblr called Noonday Tune which, as the name suggests, posts a song every day at noon. Once in a while Noonday puts out a call for submissions, both to showcase new acts and to give the regular contributors a break, like over the December holidays. One such submission almost tripped me up.

iFix repairs faulty iPhone 5 power buttons for free

ifix-logoEarlier this year, Apple announced that a small number of iPhone 5 handsets shipped with a faulty power/lock button and that it would replace said button for free. That was great news for US residents, but not much use to the rest of us. Now, South African mobile device repair company iFix has stepped in to match Apple’s offer.

Popcorn Time: The latest movies and series for free

Popcorn_Time_logoDespite numerous attempts to shut it down, Hollywood’s worst nightmare, Popcorn Time, just won’t die. It’s little wonder it’s been the target of studios’ ire: the service lets users stream high-quality movies and series for free, and its attractive and intuitive user interface means its popularity grows daily.

It’s been called the “Netflix for pirates”, but Popcorn Time offers even more for even less. A wider catalogue, more recent content and a price that can’t be undercut — free. Originally the service only offered movies, but last month it added TV series. Frankly, the only thing it lacks is a recommendation engine, but for that one can always turn to the likes of IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes.

The Orbit: Jazzing up Joburg

The-Orbit-entranceThe Orbit jazz club and bistro officially opens its doors this Friday (14 March) in Braamfontein’s De Korte Street, in the space that formerly housed European fusion restaurant, Narina Trogon.

Envisioned as a home for Johannesburg’s own jazz community and a venue that can attract and accommodate international performers, the fact that The Orbit has managed to book artists for every available slot for its first three months is testament to the dearth of live music (and particularly jazz) venues in Johannesburg.

Telegram: The (possibly) secure WhatsApp alternative

Telegram_MessengerTelegram is another in a string of competitors hoping to unseat the reigning champion of mobile instant messaging, WhatsApp. Promising unprecedented security and protection from prying eyes, it also claims to be speedier than its rivals and assures users it will remain completely free and devoid of ads, forever. But with WhatsApp promising to add voice functionality in coming months, can Telegram realistically compete with the current darling of the tech world?

Readability: readers’ dream, publishers’ nightmare

Readability_LogoTo the detriment of online advertisers and publishers there’s an ever-growing number of apps designed to strip online content to its bare bones — nothing but body text and inline images — whether for reading later or simply to cut out the clutter of ads, links and widgets.

Readability has plenty of competition, but its simple, elegant interface and integration with third-party apps makes it my pick of the bunch, for now.

Being guided by girls

GirlGuides-headerA couple of weeks back I was asked to write a column for a local tech site aimed at ladies called GirlGuides. My brief was to write something with a gender angle relating to tech. I opted to talk about the different relationships women and men tend to have with their gadgets. At the risk of getting digitally lynched, I argued that men tend to fixate on specifications, while women (far more sensibly) tend to be most interested in what a particular device can actually do for them.