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Global roundup – this week’s top stories

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Google Voice Search

Part of our objective as Techzim is to provide our readers with relevant local and regional tech information. We believe this is what sets us apart as an information source. In addition, we have decided to start providing a summary of global tech news once at the end of each week. Starting today, we will pick a selection of significant global tech stories that catch our attention and post a brief summary here. We hope it increases the value of content and starts some discussion on global tech issues.

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The Pivot25 mobile apps event and the winners

Pivot25, the event which brought together mobile entrepreneurs from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda was held for 2 days starting yesterday (16 June) in Nairobi, Kenya. The event presented an opportunity for startups to compete in 5 categories: Mobile Payments/Commerce; Mobile Gaming Entertainment and Utilities; Business and Enterprise; Government, Agriculture and Education; Health.

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Pivot25
The Pivot25 Winners (2011)

The winners in the 5 categories (they get US$5,000 each) were announced today and the overall winner, MedKenya by Shimba Technologies gets a chance to pitch their startup in Silicon Valley at DEMO in September.

Google’s Inside Search event

Google Voice SearchThis week, Google held its search event called ‘Inside Search’. At the event,  3 new smart search features were announced: Instant pages, a new search feature that pre-fetches the best search result and makes it available instantly when a users clicks on the result. It increases the rate of search by a great margin. It’s definitely a great feature for users, especially those that are bandwidth starved like us here. The other is Voice Search, which allows you to speak to Google Search. The tool is only available for the US English language for now. To use it make sure you change from google.co.zw to google.com. It’s quite a cool technology but we found it of little use as it doesn’t understand most local words that we would naturally want to search.  The last is Search by Image, we didn’t find this very useful but hey test it out and see if you like it. Search by Image is available even on the local Google domain.

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You

The Filter BubbleTechCrunch has an interesting video interview with Eli Pariser, the writer of New York Times best seller, “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You”.  Parser basically holds views that because sites like Google and Facebook give users personalized search results based on their previous searches, users of these sites are just getting results that pamper them with their own viewpoints and this is resulting in a public very ignorant about anything other than stuff they like. In the interview he goes into how traditional media, (The Herald, Daily News and NewsDay in our case) have no idea who their individual readers are and therefore just give you the news that’s important to everyone. The video has a text transcription so don’t worry about bandwidth required to load the video.

Ning to enable network creators to charge network member for premium access

Ning, the popular platform that enables people to create social networks has said it’ll be rolling features that allow social network owners to charge for subscriptions to their social networks. You can read more about that here on Venture Beat.

Facebook testing a Twitter-like real-time update feature

facebookFacebook has announced that it has started testing a new “Happening Now” feature that will allow user to see what their friends are sharing, ‘friending’ and when they check in. The real-time update feature has been criticized for having too much resemblance to Twitters real-time feed.


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4 thoughts on “Global roundup – this week’s top stories

  1. “.. Search by Image, we didn’t find this very useful..”

    Here’s one: I am an Arsenal fan and I have a poor quality Arsenal logo. I dragged the one I have, and guess what… lots and lots of variations ( and links to the sites).

    I can think of may other uses.

    Great Article.

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