Saturday, December 12, 2009

Opera Mini 5 Beta 2

Opera Mini 5 Beta 2 is out!!!
It features:
-Opera Link integration: Allowing you to synchronise your bookmarks between your phone and your Opera Desktop Browser.

Seen something interesting as you browsed on the bus? Pick up where you left off when you get to your PC with Opera Link.
Go to on your PC to sign up or Hit #8 on your Opera Mini 5 Beta 2 and scroll to "Opera Link" to get started

Opera Link also stores your speed dial settings, allowing you to have the same shortcuts on multiple phones/PCs

-Download Manager : Another first for Opera Mini Users, any download you initiate now starts up a dwonload manager. You can pause, stop and resume downloads as well as minimise the download manager and navigate to other pages!!

- Management of Search engines: One of the best features of Opera Mini 4 is now available on Opera Mini 5 b2!! Hitting #9 will now bring up a list of search fields.
Edit, select and store your favourite search engine.

- Image Quality Settings: You can now select the quality of the images Loaded on your pages, just like in OM4!! Just hit #8 and scroll to Image Quality

All these new features are in addition to the great features already available in the first Beta!!

Opera Mini 5 Beta 2 is available for Download NOW!!
Point your phones browser to m.opera/next to download

NB: Nokia S60 Symbian and Windows Mobile users, Opera MOBILE 10 Beta 2 is also available FOR FREE with the same great new features, visit the same link to download

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Skunkworks 3/10/2009

Kai Wullf gave an incredible talk on fibre at the latest Skunkworks meet. I'm not saying the CEO of KDN gave a talk because he was talking as a frustrated private citizen. 

 The boom we were promised has not happened and he chose this forum, a gathering of "techies" to try and explain why.

Basically the problem is something we can all relate to.

Safaricoms new data plan is about to come to an end. The unlimited offer brought broadband into our homes and offices and we jumped right in, so much so that according to analyst Aly-Khan Satchu  data usage quadrupled!

But here’s the scenario most of us wananchi (non-techies) faced, those of us who think “Torrent” is a word used to describe rainfall. Within a few days, we just didn’t know what to do with it. We hear people download movies from the net, we hear people download music, Facebook was abuzz with links to file sharing sites and tips on how to use them but after 5 or 6 days, we were basically back to normal patterns of internet usage.

What are we in Kenya doing to use the bandwidth we now have available? IT supports business, it always has, since the invention of the computer. Technology has always adapted to what we are doing, but what we are trying to do in Kenya is change what we are doing to adapt to the technology.

The technology used is irrelevant to a consumer, it’s the application of that technology that counts. When you use an ATM you don’t think about whether it linked by copper wire or a radio link, you just need it to work, period.

We use most of the technology around us completely oblivious to what happens in the background, the landing of the submarine cable was the ultimate “back-office operation”, a new support service hiding in trenches around the country. We should concentrate on growing our core businesses. That is what will drive the demand for the new capacity and generate the critical mass required for the prices to go as low as we think they should be.

We talk of rural connectivity, but we need to start with basics, get PCs into peoples hands and teach people how to use computers. What can you do on the internet without an e-mail address? How much demand can we expect from rural areas even if we provide world class infrastructure?  

People will drive the internet revolution in Kenya , not submarine cables and fibre networks, we need to shift the focus away from the “how” to the “who” or we risk losing the opportunity we have been given.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bidii Afrika

The Bidii Afrika forum was a lot of things to a lot of people. Initially I joined it voluntarily and I must admit it was quite good. At the time it allowed for sharing of ideas on many viewpoints and the kind of interaction I haven’t had until I joined Twitter. It even had job postings and a lot of good free stuff from Francis Chege, who went on to form Young Professionals.

The Moderator, Robert Alai, was fair and impartial and the whole thing worked well. When the history of Kenya’s technology revolution is written, Bidii Afrika will have its own chapter. It changed the way we look at a lot of things.

The experience people got from being part of a forum, from sharing ideas and stories, vacancies and classified ads and quite frankly anything that popped into peoples minds I believe opened the door for some of the bloggers in Kenya today.

But with time the content deteriorated, so I opted out, only to find I’d been added again.

“Every time I thought I was out, they pulled me back in!”

Finally I just marked reduced the frequency to “daily digest” and marked Bidii Afrika as spam.

I’ve heard that at one point Bidii Afrika had 30,000+ members. I’ve also heard a lot about its founder, Robert Alai.

I’m not going to discuss rumours. What I do know as an absolute fact is that Bidii Africa is no longer a Google Group. I also know that Robert Alai has insulted me on Twitter, so I’m inclined to believe whatever rumours I hear.

Some time back, just before the now infamous 2007 elections, as a joke, I created a profile for Mwai Kibaki on Facebook.
By the time Facebook shut it down (for impersonation) it had been written about in the newspapers and it had about 8,000 friends, a small number compared to Bidii, but I have some idea of how it feels to have something you’ve worked on shut down.

I also know how it feels to have some people hang on your every word, it can get to your head.

Arrogance used in the right way is a powerful thing, without it, the world would not have Donald Trump!

Unfortunately for me, Bidii is back, as evidenced by an E-mail I received last week.

The only advice I have for Alai is this, if it is true that you don’t have a rosy personality, check it at the door. You can be a bastard in your own free time, separate it from the work that you do.

If all this going around is “created by your enemies”, work on improving your image. Whatever you work on will benefit from that.

As a red blooded African man, you don’t need to suck up to anyone, but you also don’t have to generate needless animosity. This thing you have going with Kahenya on Twitter is ridiculous.

Start from there.

That’s all I have to say

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekend thing

Ha!! The weekend! Its been a while!I never thought I'd appreciate them so much. It all started on Friday withe the BBC Tweetup. Truth be told we dont need the BBC to do that but it was fun anyway. I will not miss the next one.
Saturday was a day of KPLC aided blissful bumming.

FRIDAY NIGHT! It was really nice to meet the Twitterati, akina @inteligensia, @mkaigwa @sciculturist,@Kahenya you know, the real bloggers. The people @moseskemibaro called "...the most digitally connected group of people you could possibly hang out with in Kenya..."

Lots of fun, these people

Saturday, September 05, 2009


I had a very interesting conversation with some two guys this week. One of them's a successful electrical engineer, the other runs a popular bar in the CBD. A mutual friend of ours has gone mad. The dude is making some good money now and its changed him. He's become arrogant, unreliable and quite frankly he's pissed off too many people.

Seeing as we've known the dude for a while we decided to discuss the situation over a cold one. Unfortunately the dude will have to sort himself out. But we resolved to be there for him should anything bad happen.

So the conversation switches gears, the Electrical Engineer is getting married soon, so he's bought a new house and recently flew to China to do some shopping with the fiance, "just like that".

Naturally, this would come off as bragging to some people, but not Elec eng, dude said he thought he was a baller until he went there. He met some guys who have "real money" not the paltry half mill he blew on household appliances and a 4 star hotel on a whim.He met a guy who'd spent 1.9M on some virgin atlantic tour he takes with/without his current mama 3 times a year, compared to that my boy felt like a pauper!

You see Elec Eng is doing pretty well, he's about 5 years older than me and he thinks for some reason I'm good company. So we talk, and he talks to my friends and we drink and usually on Friday nights at the bar, we're one big happy family.
But Elec Eng isn't always there and that day I found out why.

Hanging out with us guys, he is King.

A successful self made man, driving his own (no loan) E-Class among fresh graduates makes him just that, King. The girls hang on his every word, the boys buy him drinks hoping to sumbua the chap he buys rounds. He said all this could easily get to his head, easily lead him to be comfortable and he'd loose his edge. So he keeps changing the venues he drinks in and tries not to get too comfortable. 

Similarly the manager runs a joint which is being threatened by a neighbouring one. His bar has a unique feel and is well known for its product (its not a strip club, I'm being vague so that I dont name names) . He wants to renovate it to counter the upstart. But we're advising him not to.

So what do we have here? Two guys, one who loves change advising the other not to change. Interesting

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I'm back

I went for TEDxNairobi yesterday.
It was incredible. So incredible that I've been inspired to start writing again, I actually started blogging in 2006, using this and my car blog Motogari, then I just focused on Motogari, and then facebook(I have 45 notes and 212 posted items) so I've dusted off this blog and I want to write again. I want to "earn" my membership into the amazing group of people who came for TEDxNairobi yesterday, I got many a puzzled look when I said I was an Auditor at TEDx.

It was nice meeting the people I follow on twitter, lakini twitter isn't why I know Bankelele or Aly-Khan, I've been reading what these people write for years, Twitter just brought y'all abit closer.
Anyway I think I'll start with what I thought of TEDxNairobi. Moses Kemibaro, well, its was the same old same old Fibre story we've been hearing since the cable landed, But it was a good presentation.

Jacquline Novogratz: I liked the bit about giving people the "dignity of choice", If you've read the works of Dambisa Moyo and Hernando de Soto, you'll understand how true this is, treating poor people without the dignity they deserve as human beings has been a problem with aid agencies for a long time.
The assumption that all a poor african wants is clean water and freedom from the tropical disease of the month has informed the attitude towards how aid agencies operate.
Crystal Watleys presentation picked up on that, She couldn't get funding outside of the normal themes of HIV/AIDS and certainly not to simply give people information, showing them that theres a life outside of their daily hardship, something they could aspire to beyond having clean water and managing HIV/AIDS, kudos to her and congratulations to he on winning the award.
Tonee Ndungu cannot be put in words that could accurately describe him up on the stage, live, I wont even try, that was an amazing presentation.
Aly-Khan Satchu, I wish we had more time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bad Day

I had a really really bad day today, bad enough for me to, like a good Christian, seek help from the The Chairman of the worlds largest multinational, the Catholic Church.

The Catholic church has grown from strength to strength since its humble beginnings as Yahweh & Son, plying its trade in the little town of Bethlehem.

The brutal murder of the Chairmans son in 33 AD, a tragedy that doubled as effectively, the worlds greatest IPO, set in motion the creation of a more formal organization.

Today, from its global headquarters, the Vatican, the Church attends to the needs of its millions of shareholders and other clients. Its largest single shareholder is the Trinity group, a small private equity firm comprising of the Chairman, his son and Holy Spirit Support Services Ltd, a powerful, little seen but often felt silent partner.

The Chairman and by extension, the Trinity group, has a majority shareholding in many other similar churches. Although the other churches have similar objectives, there is no conflict of interest arising from this cross-ownership.

The church is headed by the Chairman, who leads the Board of Directors , commonly referred to as the "College of Cardinals". The Board elects one of its own as the CEO. The current CEO, Pope Benedict XVI, was elected on 19 April 2005.

The church has a wonderfully flat organizational structure. The Chairman and the Trinity Group lead the church, The CEO, whose rarely used full title is "His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God." follows. Bishops, who are seen as the modern day equivalents of a group of the chairmans sons closest advisors, the apostles, feature prominently in the churches hierarchy.

The structure is summarized below

The chairman is actively involved in the day to day operation of the church. The word, "Miracle" ,His name for the one-on-one interaction with shareholders he occasionally engages in, has been adopted in popular culture, often meaning an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers ascribed to a supernatural cause.

The church has branches in every corner of the world and given the way today went, one of those branches which will be seeing alot more of me pretty soon.

Anyway, I have a conference call with the Trinity Group regarding my Monday blues on hold while I write this, so I'll stop for now and get right back to it.

I really need one of them miracle things right about now.


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