Techzim

Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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RECHARGE


2009 Global ICT Facts

This month, the International Telecommunications Union released the “World in 2009, ICT Facts and Figures” report available in pdf here. Below is a summary some of the most interesting facts.


Why Sanii Makhalima’s Got It All Wrong

Today, an interesting article posted on Zimbo Jam two days ago caught my eye. It carried news on how one of Zimbabwe’s most popular musicians, Sani Makhalima, has found a solution to close the door on the music piracy problem. The solution:

He has set up a new company that is marketing a software product that makes it impossible to read an audio CD on a computer.

What in the world is that? Seriously, in this day and age, why would anyone want to propose a music format that cannot be played on computers and portable media players? Is the big picture even in sight? What a disaster in the making!


G-Tide Launches Regional Office In Harare

G-Tide, the makers of the locally popular G-Tide mobile phone launched their regional office in Harare on Wednesday at a ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza. The mobile phone appeared on the market about a year ago and has arguably taken up a significant slice of the mobile phone market in Zimbabwe.


Users Love Typing Website Addresses Into Search Engines And Google Understands That

Last week we posted an article on Zimbabwe’s Google search trends in 2009. In the article we noted something interesting about how people use browsers and search engines. The top ‘rising searches’ in 2009 on Google for 2009 are all variations of facebook; “facebook.com”, “www.facebook.com”, “facebook login”, and just “facebook”. Shows just how much more popular the social networking site has become in the past year. It also shows something else; people Google Facebook instead typing it directly into the address bar.


New Facebook Privacy Settings Seek To Do Away With Privacy

On visiting facebook last night, I was met with a prompt to update my privacy settings. Basically, the new privacy settings default your profile views to everyone. Including the boss whose friend request you haven’t responded to in over a year now. And pervy male stalkers crawling the net like search engines. Prospective employers too; they’re in the habit of Googling interviewees these days. The only information Facebook is suggesting you keep to your circle of friends is your email address, phone number and physical address.


What Zimbabweans Searched For On Google in 2009

According to Google Insights for Search, Zimbabweans just love facebook. We love it so much it’s in the first four spots in 2009’s top ten rising searches. At number 1 as “login facebook” then 2 as “facebook.com”, 3 as “www.facebook.com” and 4 as just “facebook”!


Replace Adobe Reader With This Lightweight PDF reader

Whenever my Firefox freezes, I immediately check if Adobe Reader’s trying to open a PDF from inside the browser. More often than not this is the reason and killing the tab (which is not always a click-and-close process) makes the fox happy again. Adobe Reader is THAT bloated, well for me at least.


Net*One Goes Green With Solar Powered Base Stations

It’s quite interesting to read news that Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator (by number of subscribers) is now using solar energy to power its base stations. Net*One boasts the widest network coverge in Zimbabwe and keeping its large inventory of base stations powered has probably been a challenge, hence the green solution.


Econet Introduces Airtime Coins To Ease Change Problems

Zimbabwean companies have come up with all kinds of solutions to the change problems that followed the economy’s dollarisation earlier this year. The problem itself is that a lot items are priced with a cents component or just cost less than a US dollar. This is a nightmare because there are just not enough coins in circulation in the country. Some grocery shops issue customers with credit notes, some just ask you to choose an additional item from the shelves to round off the price to a solid dollar. On very rare lucky days you’ll get your change in South African Rands. Indeed some have used the “sorry, no change” excuse to get customers to buy more stuff.


Local Application Developers Should Smell the Coffee

According to the Information Society Statistical Profiles 2009 report prepared by the International Telecommunications Union, in 2008 there were 11 internet users out of every 100 inhabitants in Zimbabwe. 2009 itself saw more Zimbabweans connecting to the Internet owing to the introduction of mobile Internet by telecoms operator Econet. Even more connections will be made over the next several months as the economy stabilizes and ISPs & mobile operators take on more subscribers.