"I'm Not Convinced We Know Anything"

Beyond Web 2.0(partI): Introduction

Beyond Web 2.0(partI): Introduction

The last 5 years has seen the growth of social media,
user generated content and revolution of hardware
made with web2.0 in mind. It has been the era of
facebook, twitter, youtube just to name a few. In the
hardware scene it has been the era of the iPhone, and the introduction of the Nexus One ,the iPad among others.
Internet applications that used to be developed for use
on the web now come in varieties, with other versions
being device specific. Some applications are created with
open APIs to support third party embedded platforms.
Such that, millions of anonymous users from different
corners of cyberspace can add their applications on top
of existing popular networks. On facebook, a
programmer can create for instance an online store
such that existing users of facebook can access it using
their facebook login information and they can buy stuff
from the store while on facebook. And users of social
networks can update their status on almost all
applications they use by doing so in only one of them.
For example, by updating my tweetdeck status, I
automatically update facebook, foursquare and twitter.
As applications leave the desktop and rush for the
clouds, major companies engage in corporate battles to
win the markets and the hearts of developers with the
runtimes of their choice; with aguments supporting html5 as an improvement of ajax against the popular media platform, flash. The definition of social media is changing by the minute.
And even as the mainstream, social network teams are
lost in streaming texts and media in 2D, other not so
popular firms are working on platforms of higher
dimensions; platforms that may as well be the
mainstream of the near future social networking.

Code Now, or forever hold your keys.

Kenya has never been the best place for a budding tech innovator. Not enough capital to start, not enough incetives from the goverment , and a market that is not well positioned or perhaps hardly recognzed in the international scene.
Enter 2010, the year that is poised to turn things around by creating for the first time, the right environment for a Kenyan ‘geek in biz’.
With initiatives from the government, the private sector and the international community, this year could be the year that things completely turn around and this country lands on the path of becoming a technology driven economy. This is probably the year that interpreneurs(internet enterpreneurs) will become household names cashing in on web based business ideas.

First of all, tweetverse has been buzzing with iHub. iHub is an incubator cum investor hub cum innovators hub that will provide open space for techprenuers and a chance to meet with investors. Simply put, iHub is going to be a local Silicon Valley. Set to launch on 3rd March, iHub will be based in in the cool surbubs of Nairobi along Ngong Road. Any guy in software and web development or mobile apps will be freely welcome to exploit the redundant 10mbps internet connection. As a techpreneur myself, I don’t know what more i would wish for.

Internet has become cheaper and faster. And this is just the beginning. All internet modems from the major providers can now be purchased for only Ksh2000. At the same time, th providers are offering with internet packages that are ever cheaper. This is stimulated by the landing of the optic fibre cables that provides faster internet and competition among the ever increasing IT companies in a market that was initially dominated by a single corporation.

In a bid to provide laptops to citizens in an affordable package several banks have now patnered with the government and other organisations to acheive that. Such include the Jipange na Laptop programme of Family Bank and KDN. Plus there is the Youth Fund and business plan competitions like Chora Bizna and Jitihada thet are coming back thi year as sources of startup funding.

According to the the PS of ICT Dr. Bitange Ndemo, the software development section of the ICT sector has potential to create employment and revenue for the country. That is why the State is sourcing for funds from the Treasury and donors to market local content. The goal is to empower developers to create and make Kenya a major software exporter in the global market.
Apparently the coders don’t have much to complain about anymore. All that is left is to work, work, work. Aristotle once said, “Give me a pulley and a place to stand, and I will move the world”; and here is a my nerdy spinnof “Give me a keyboard and a place to sit, and I will move the world”. Good luck to all the techpreneurs out there.

iPad it is!

Apparently Jobs’ job is done. And now as our year long curiosity turns into excitement for the latest and most eagerly awaited Apple product, a new era of media hardware has been ushered in.

Over the past week, technology blogs have been buzzing with rumors, “leakages’, expectations of the new product and every single bit of information or press from Apple or its close counterparts that was in any way slightly revealing of what Apple was going to produce in today’s keynote speech.

Even so, not much was known. There were guesses on names – ranging from iSlate, iTablet, Tablet and more; which wasn’t easy either because Apple were so secretive, they didn’t even buy a domain name related to the product in advance. Even now iPad.com is still registered to some Martine Bejasa. Some ‘leaked’ photos made their way to techcrunch, which turns out were fakes.

As the global recession recedes in baby steps, the makers of iPhone, iPod and the Mac computer have something to dazzle the world with. Just what is the iPod? I mean iPad?(Bad time to be a Midwestern US gadget shopper from UK, eh?)

Well the iPad is a 9”, multitouch screen device that is tailor made for e-books, photo sharing, web browsing, video games playing and such end user entertainment functionalities. While its computing ability is somewhere between a laptop and a smart phone, it is created to support all iPhone applications from the app store.

Some versions of the device come with both Wi-Fi and 3G access. The 3G capability is as a result of a joint venture with AT&T. Some however believe this is not such great news since the company has not been able to cope with the 3G data usage of the iPhone. Users will have both bandwidth and unlimited options for internet subscription.

The iPad which is also meant to be a reading device comes with the iBooks application and an iBooks store. It has partnered with some five publishers to provide the digital books. The first book available will cost about Ksh1200( US$15). During the launch, Martin Nisenholtz of the New York Times showed their own application for the iPad. During the presentation on iBooks, Delicious Monster founder Wil Shipley tweeted this: “No, Apple didn’t license iBooks from me. They just copied me. Ah well.” You might think this is a disgruntled ex-employee, but no. Apple actually hired Mike Matas, co-founder of Delicious Monstor, Lucas Newman and Tim Omernick all Delicous Monster former employees to work on the iPad. Apparently Apple didn’t contact him beforehand on the idea. Whether he is going to sue or not is still not clear. But he had this to say to the media:” …your children aren’t really yours. They have lives of their own. SO when your designs do change the world, you have to accept it. You have to say, ‘Ok, this was such a good idea, other people took it and ran away with it. I win!”

The iPad however does not come with support for the Flash technology. However Adobe(owner of Flash) stated ealier today on their blog that flash apps can easily be converted to iPad capable using Creative Suite 5(CS5). However applications will not initially take advantage of the iPad’s new screen resolution.

iPad comes without an SD card slot. However users can buy adapters for the SD card and microSD.

The initial price of the iPad is rather discouraging. But who knows, even the iPhone that now sells for US$99 started at US$599 in the USA. Here in Kenya they are still rather pricey. The starting price for the iPad is US$499.

Here is a video of iPad in action
Conclusion: Well, iThink, it’s awesome!

PS: I initially wrote this article on MsWord so I had to add the word iPad to the dictionary to avoid the spelling error notifications.Ha!

I am, therefore He is

Beyond the equations, outside the scientific norm, or that which is reasonable, a significant factor looms. A constant that seems to be the driving engine f all that is known, a constant that seems to define purpose and breath life into meaning.

Yesterday we walked out of the caves, shed the animal skin we had for clothing and moved in to our precariously crafted marvels we call homes; some towering into the diffuse atmosphere, almost nudging the clouds, some made of glass, and even others floating at super speeds in the vast emptiness that exists miles from the surface of Generation after generation, inventions after discoveries stretching throughout all fields of study, plus an undying desire to do, to perform, beter than the others withn our generation, much better than those in the generation before us and to set new standards for those after.  We do our part, with all the skill and manpower, and retire to our graves leaving the rest for those left. We mourn for a minute, fill the gap and jump back o the train, casue life must go on. We are no more than the termites and the ants, the bees and the wasps that work tirelessly building their anthills and hives; to sustain themselves, to protect their species and to play their part a long as they live.

A kid is born, it grows (or not), it educates self(or not), it gathers skill to earn a living (or not), it  falls in love(or not0, it marries(or not), it bears children(or not0, it dies. Among us there are the workers who will carry on their duty to build the anthill., there are the kings who will rule us as we protect him, there is the queen who will do what she has to do to ensure propagation of the colony’s genes. We are not the same. Everyone is defined. Everyone exists at a certain time and space with a certain ability or disability. There is a definition. There is a structure. There are rules.  There is a purpose. And every being, every element within the structure has a purpose. Eac element, which is a being, is like a function within a computer program. Each function has a purpose. To do, or not to do, depending on the scenario. Then their is the programmer. The designer. We are, therefore he is.



“We are explorers of the universe trapped in a one of its kind dying world looking back into time past and extrapolating into time future while largley oblivious of our own time”