26 September, 2008

Zains New Vuka Tariff !

Zain Kenya yesterday launched a new product VUKA tariff plan that will see their subscribers pay Kenya Shillings 8/- per minute on per second billing accross all networks!!!SMS cost is Kenya Shillings 3 bob per SMS accross all networks. That is the cheapest tariff charges being offered in Kenya among the major networks i.e Safaricom, Orange and Econet !Zain has taken a bruising battle to Safaricom and unlike previous practice Safaricom slumbers and continues to take the fatal blows to the dismay of its subscribers!

Safaricom IPO:
I believe that my opinion article on Safaricom Slumber is now starting to bear its truth.With the new Vuka Tariff much awaits to be seen as to how Safaricom's marketing department will counter this threat.My motto is "NEVER LOOSE A CUSTOMER".I hope Safaricom has a similar mindset.The Safaricom IPO marked the begining towards the declination of vodafone's affiliate company - Safaricom's dominance of the Kenyan mobile market! The Mobitelea Shares controversy didnt even make the matter better.I pity Safaricom shareholders as their shares continue to decline!

The Vuka Tariff Ripple:
For Zain Subscribers to change subscription to the New Vuka tariff all they need to do is dial *123*8# if on pre -paid tariff or dial *128*8# if on postpaid tariff.Vuka is value for money.Thanks Zain!Safaricom sleep still and sleep some more remember Orange and Zain are now here and with unlocked dual SIM phones around watch your subscriber base erode !

25 September, 2008

Twitter-Twittads And Blogging !

Many Western bloggers use twitter to generate traffic and follow up on blogs or on activities of friends of interest.During post election crisis Kenyan Blogger Ory Okolloh of KenyanPundit fame updated her readers via sms using twitter on election violence and this gave birth to the award winning website Ushahidi.Com but the use of Twitter is not so widespread or well known among internet users in Sub -Saharan Africa.

I personally use Twitter ,my twitter account is : http://twitter.com/collinsom92, if you are a blogger and are interested in following me please create a twitter account and click on my link and add me.The benefit of twitter is that you can receive and send tweets through your PDA or Mobile Phone(i-phones) etc.You can update your friends on the go so it is necessary for an enlightened online entrepreneur.So are you one ? its time you started tweeting .

What if you already are on tw
itter and are following me.I want to share tips on 2 delightful services:
  1. Twitterfeed:This service will post your blog feeds to twitter automatically for you .You can customize the service on how often you want your posts updated.
  2. Twittad: First and only website created to allow Advertisers place ads on Twitter.If you sign up you may just have an opportunity to earn money on ads placed on your twitter account!Perfect site for social website promotion,networking and product placement.Online Marketeers watch this website it will grow big in huge leaps and bounds!
Hence you can clearly see that Twitter offers a variety of opportunities and is a fast developing popurlar tool for professional bloggers.Join twitter and follow this blog for updates and tweets on how to maximize and optimize your use of twitter!

23 September, 2008

Safaricom Slumber -Sirens Blazing !

After the April 2008 IPO... nothing much in terms of competitiveness, new products ,services or image branding seems to be coming out of Safaricom whilst the competition is getting stiff! I bet i am not the only subscriber who is getting worried about this most profitable mobile telephone services company in Sub Saharan company and we have good reason to be worried.Consider the following :-
  • November 2007 -France Telkom buys 51% percent Telkom Kenya Shares from the Government
  • September 2008 Telkom South Africa and Telkom Kenya set up Orange Mobile Services(website link) and Orange Broadband .The new service targets to reach at least 50% of the population.The initial roll out intends to add 1 million subscribers per year calls between Orange mobile, Orange fixed wireless and Telkom Fixed will cost KES 7 per minute, while calls to the other mobile service providers will cost KES 14 per minute – significantly less than both the other mobile operators. SMS from Orange mobiles will cost KES 3.5 to any mobile phone service.Safaricom currently boasts over 8 Million subscribers but this is bound to change as it looses more subscribers to the new players in the industry mostly due to their high call cost charges!
  • June 2008 Celtel changes to Zain and introduces tariff plans that see all prepaid subscribers paying KES 3 per minute on off peak hours(6 p.m to 6 a.m and on weekends) and the Marketing buzz around classic 105 Zain Man who dishes out money to members of the public should definately send the marketing and advertising department at Safricom bck to its drawing board.
  • Zain and Telkom's Orange have undertaken massive bill board advertisements ,wall branding,road shows etc their presence is definately being felt in the market....Safaricom still slumbers...there's nothing new from them!
  • September 2008 Econet wireless Kenya Limited begins its roll out program as the Third Licensed cellular phone services provider.Econet Wireless Kenya holds 70 per cent of the company, Starnet Limited owns 26 per cent, Corporate Africa two per cent and Crosslink two per cent.Earlier on in the year Econet Kenya Wireless Ltd, sold 49 per cent of its share to an India telecommunication company Essar.Econet Wireless boasts of following notable milestones :
  • Has More than 11 million subscribers in five networks
  • Group employs staff from over 20 nationalities
  • Recorded Africa’s rollout of a network by launching a mobile network in Botswana in March 1998 six weeks from awarding of a GMS mobile license
  • Entered Zimbabwean market two years after two incumbent competitors, assuming market leadership within three months and listing the company in the same period
  • Achieved market leadership of 57% in Nigeria during first year of operation after launching Econet Wireless Nigeria in August 2001
  • Econet was the first mobile cellular company in the world to introduce a mobile news service of the BBC World News and South African Broadcasting Corporation news
  • First mobile operator in Africa to introduce CNN news on cellular phone handsets
  • First operator to introduce a duo-numbered SIM card which was launched in Zimbabwe in 1998
  • First operator from an emerging market to own a 3-G licence in an OECD country in New Zealand
  • First African telecoms company to build an international satellite hub in the UK
Most of Safaricom subscribers then need to critically look at the future of the company ...worse is the fact that last week Safaricom shares traded at less than 5 Kenyan shillings (KES 4.60-4.90)far much less than their retailing price during the IPO.The share price for Safricom have been less than static in the trading floor of Nairobi Stock Exchange.One tends to think that the IPO was meant to offload shares(wink! wink-Mobitelea) and leave the network to die its natural death .If i was Michael Joseph i wouldn't renew my contract only to suffer shame in the event the Company collapses.The new companies are rapidly edging out Safaricom while there is no sign of hard fight by the network to retain or get new subscribers !Safaricom wake up from your slumber lest your massive network and infrastructure goes down to the dogs!

15 September, 2008

A Swipe At Nation Media's NTV

Last week i was thoroughly disappointed by one of Kenya's leading broadcasting stations NTV network for callousness and failure to adhere to basic moral codes, general decency and professional journalistic /media standards.On Saturday afternoon,Sunday Afternoon and Evening( after prime time news) they aired movies that had numerous curse words, abusive and derogatory terms, nudity ,sex and other visually offensive scenes.Even in the West where free press reigns some things are censored!Its not enough to display the SVNL (Sex Violence Nudity and Offensive Language) tag and then proceed to air immoral movies especially during the day when the entire family is at home!

My small son may soon start shouting Pu....., calling women b#$%@ and running around the house naked due to exposure to day time movies from"the leading broadcaster" .After all its what is seen on TV, its "the in thing" .If he gets Gonorrhea from some young perverted mind (the Umoja incident)it may be that he was cajoled to act out a scene he saw on tv... so whats the harm? Kuna ubaya gani?
Mind you im censoring what he sees im not abrogating my responsibility to this senseless persons but what if im not at home and the maid or my wife turns on the TV to keep the child occupied while she is working elsewhere! What happened to the media oversight board?If that happens im suing for a test suit for negligence !Thats the language this Guys will understand i bet! They will know why media in the west is particularly careful about what they air to the general public especially on prime TV.

Then we wonder why Kids are running amok in schools, why violent crime, raping,abuses, disrespectful teenagers, teenage pregnancies, criminality ,pornography rings, alcohol and drug abuse and other social vices are increasing by the day .No matter what the argument as to what is moral or immoral, acceptable or unacceptable, this valuable divine saying stands true" Do not be Misled ,God is not one to be mocked , whatever a man sows this he will also reap".You plant beans you reap beans period! Vice will continue to increase ten fold in so long as certain socially unacceptable and discordant behavior is sugar coated and passed off as entertainment! Mankind will continue to graple with myriads and myriads of problems so long as he continues to educate the feeble young minds that certain things are not so bad after all and that "its only just a movie" the reality in truth is that one only carries out what he has thought and mused about in his heart and mind.

The Minister for Tourism has blamed the recent violent strikes in Kenyan schools on a failed education system but the reality is that as long as adults fail to show a basic sense of morality and responsibility the young members of society will always display similar attitude.Change the education systems but keep everything constant the result will still be the same ...failure! If NTV is not responsible and descent enough to sensor what they air and civil society fails to act and pressure them to conform to basic decency and moral standards ... then why should society expect Kenyan teenagers then to be responsible and descent in their activities!

On a positive note: Kenya will be hosting the first African Aitec sponsored Broadcast and Film Conference and Exhibition from 23-25 September, 2008.The press release can be found at http://www.aitecafrica.com/

12 September, 2008

Large Hadron Collider Beam Controversy

Its interesting how the Large Hadron Collider beam experiment has created a lot of controversy between science and religion. The debate of evolution versus creation has once again been thrust to the fore in a similar way as did Charles Darwin " Origin of the Species" theory.

There is fear and talk in the office that the mini bangs that scientist are trying to create may just create a black hole that will swipe off the existence of mankind and other organisms within the earth.Will such an occurrence ever happen? what are your comments on this issue............. lets get the conversation started here, before i let you know what i know for a certainty!

See press release BELOW from the CERN:

Geneva, 10 September 2008. The first beam in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN1 was successfully steered around the full 27 kilometres of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator at 10h28 this morning. This historic event marks a key moment in the transition from over two decades of preparation to a new era of scientific discovery.

“It’s a fantastic moment,” said LHC project leader Lyn Evans, “we can now look forward to a new era of understanding about the origins and evolution of the universe.”

Starting up a major new particle accelerator takes much more than flipping a switch. Thousands of individual elements have to work in harmony, timings have to be synchronized to under a billionth of a second, and beams finer than a human hair have to be brought into head-on collision. Today’s success puts a tick next to the first of those steps, and over the next few weeks, as the LHC’s operators gain experience and confidence with the new machine, the machine’s acceleration systems will be brought into play, and the beams will be brought into collision to allow the research programme to begin.

Once colliding beams have been established, there will be a period of measurement and calibration for the LHC’s four major experiments, and new results could start to appear in around a year. Experiments at the LHC will allow physicists to complete a journey that started with Newton's description of gravity. Gravity acts on mass, but so far science is unable to explain the mechanism that generates mass. Experiments at the LHC will provide the answer. LHC experiments will also try to probe the mysterious dark matter of the universe – visible matter seems to account for just 5% of what must exist, while about a quarter is believed to be dark matter. They will investigate the reason for nature's preference for matter over antimatter, and they will probe matter as it existed at the very beginning of time.

“The LHC is a discovery machine,” said CERN Director General Robert Aymar, “its research programme has the potential to change our view of the Universe profoundly, continuing a tradition of human curiosity that’s as old as mankind itself.”

Tributes have been coming in from laboratories around the world that have contributed to today’s success.

“The completion of the LHC marks the start of a revolution in particle physics,” said Pier Oddone, Director of the US Fermilab. “We commend CERN and its member countries for creating the foundation for many nations to come together in this magnificent enterprise. We appreciate the support that DOE and NSF have provided throughout the LHC's construction. We in the US are proud to have contributed to the accelerator and detectors at the LHC, together with thousands of colleagues around the world with whom we share this quest.”

“I congratulate you on the start-up of the Large Hadron Collider,” said Atsuto Suzuki, Director of Japan’s KEK laboratory, “This is a historical moment.”

“It has been a fascinating and rewarding experience for us,” said Vinod C. Sahni, Director of India’s Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, “I extend our best wishes to CERN for a productive run with the LHC machine in the years to come.”

“As some might say: ‘One short trip for a proton, but one giant leap for mankind!’ TRIUMF, and indeed all of Canada, is delighted to bear witness to this amazing feat,” said Nigel S. Lockyer, Director of Canada’s TRIUMF laboratory. “Everyone has been involved but CERN is to be especially congratulated for bringing the world together to embark on such an incredible adventure.”

In a visit to CERN shortly before the LHC’s start-up United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said: “I am very honored to visit CERN, an invaluable scientific institution and a shining example what international community can achieve through joint efforts and contribution. I convey my deepest admiration to all the scientists and wish them all the success for their research for peaceful development of scientific progress.”

1 CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.

11 September, 2008

Paul G. Allens MV Tatoosh Docks In Mombasa

Talk about money and a dazzling yatch !....all that is captured by Microsoft co founder Paul G Allens Mv Tatoosh which docked on Monday at Mombasa's old town seafront. The luxury liner estimated to have cost $100 million simply awed the local residents more so because of its heli-pad.The liner features include(Todays Standard Newspaper describes it as a floating hotel) :
  • Five decks;
  • a master suite, a saloon and other rooms on the top deck;
  • a saloon with a French limestone fireplace, a dining area, staterooms and a ladies' powder room on the main deck;
  • a lobster tank;
  • a shaded six-foot (1.8 m) deep swimming pool, located aft on the main deck beneath a full overhang
  • a movie theater;
  • facilities to transport two helicopters on the top two decks;
  • A detached powerboat and sail boat
Paul G Allen is reputed to own a fleet of luxury liners that are simply stunning and for certainty HE LOVES LIFE !In his visit to Mombasa ,alongside his guests ,Mr Allen is said to be venturing into the interior hinterland tourist resorts such as Tsavo East and West National Reserves aboard his helicopter and back to the ship!Nah! he cant just risk driving along our coastal cities and isn't he just loosing out ama?Im sure Mombasa residents are just stunned!

08 September, 2008

African Blogs & Blog Action Day 2008

15 th October 2008 marks Blog Action day!Im sure in your mind you may be wondering What is it all about and can you participate?

Blog Action Day:

Blog Action Day is a nonprofit, grassroots movement of thousands of individual bloggers coming together for one cause: to take common, collective joint action against poverty especially on that particular day .The initiative aims at encourage the thousands of bloggers, podcasters and video casters out there to learn about poverty, and on October 15, take action. This can be through posting on the theme of poverty and educating blog readers about the issues and actions they might take in alleviating poverty even at local level.Some may even be moved to donate their blogs earning for the day to the cause!At the moment 15 of the Worlds most popular blogs (including TechCrunch, Gigaom, Jauhari,Copyblogger etc)have signed up for the event and so can you by registering at Blog Action Day

Not much needs to be said about the statistics relating to the level of poverty in Africa. Hence blog action of necessity is of unique and paramount to African blogs and bloggers.The figures speak for themselves (For example ...In 2001 the World Bank estimated that 2.8 billion people - nearly half the world population - live on less than $2 a day, and 1.2 billion - around a fifth of the world - live on less than $1. In Africa over the 1990s the number of people living on $1 or less rose from 240 million to 315 million - nearly half of Africa’s population).Poverty is a growing problem and has constantly threatened the Peace and Stability of our richly endowed continent.In your own little way you can take action just as i am and participate in the 2008 Blog Action against Poverty Day!

04 September, 2008

Deutsche Welle Bob Awards 2008

This site has been submitted and nominated for the Deutsche Welle 2008 (Best of The Blogs)Bob's Awards.Bob Awards are the Worlds largest international awards for Weblogs, podcasts and videoblogs. Since its inception four years ago, the BOBs have grown to include 11 languages and 16 Categories . The winners of each year’s awards are decided by both an international jury of bloggers and through online voting.

If you have been benefited by this blog (example the Paypal Africa Campaign)and would like to vote for it.Please go to the following link:


Africa please vote for your own! There are just 27 days of voting left,Deadline September 30th 2008 so please vote!I i will highly appreciate dear readers!


03 September, 2008

Google Chrome Browser 2008

The web is much abuzz with Google's Latest Launch the new suprise open source smart browser from Google(still in Beta stage) that makes surfing the web faster, much safer and easierdubbed Google Chrome. You can download the new browser at http://www.google.com/chrome

The new browser is set to give Mozilla Firefox version 3.1 a run for its money! Google chrome is a javascript(i hope ,will now be no longer irrelevant to googles algorithm) V8 such engine with interesting capacities to support various web applications that were not in existence when browsers were first built , including but not limited to:
  • Just like the Google Mobile Android application, Google Chrome is based on, built from the ground up with, open source application framework webkit ; it is intended to be next-generation built for handling Web applications rather than Web pages. It includes Google Gears built-in.
  • Each browser tab gets its own process rather than tabs sharing processes .This will resolve the multiple browser freeze or crash issue and make browsing faster.The rationale behind it is the same as that found in modern operating systems process isolation systems.
  • Each tab has its own URL box, effectively making each tab a browser window
  • Clickingon the Star icon on browser tab bookmarks the site automatically
  • No about:blank pages. The Chrome's defaults to a page featuring the four most used search engines and the user’s nine most visited Web pages.
  • Similar to IE 8, Chrome has an “Incognito” mode to erase browser history when the browser is closed—something Firefox 3 didn’t include.
  • Chrome can be customized so that the toolbar and URL box are hidden and only the webpage is shown on the screen.
  • Chrome features browser extensions allowing it to make hybrid apps similar to Adobe AIR
  • An Opera-like dashboard start page and auto-completion.
  • On the security front, Google Chrome detects that the website you're trying to access will securely transmit data using SSL the background color of the address bar changes to gold & also the 'https' in the URL appears in green for websites with SSL-secured connections established.
  • Chrome sandboxes Webpages, preventing drive-by downloads and installations. It continuously makes contact with Google to update a list of known malware sites in order to warn the user.

For a certainty Google is dead serious as indicated in their latest launch about the distribution systems as they are about operating systems and software applications.For now they are fixing bugs to ensure that when the browser is used the experience will be worthwhile for many years to come!

NB:I JUST TRIED IT OUT AND LOVED IT! The websites look much cooler ,load much faster..theres more to see and for someone like me who uses Entrecard, there is no freezing because of opening many tabs.Google we appreciate your new latest browser!

CAUTION THOUGH:Germans are being discouraged by their security agencies not to use Google Chrome because it indexes and collects vital information about the user,now thats a downturn300x100

01 September, 2008

Kenyan Bloggercon and Bloggers Invite

Microsoft is" thinking "of hosting a bloggers conference for Kenyan bloggers in the near future and will communicate officially in the event of such an occurrence .(Due to the large hue and cry i have been requested to remove the link and make a retraction as to the information being inappropriate to which i hereby humbly oblige and apologize to all my readers and Microsoft East Africa ) .But if you are a blogger of note im sure in the event such an occasion arises im sure they will consider you.For those who submitted details im keeping them in strict confidence.

Im certain that Kenyan bloggers are thankful to Microsoft for such a hearty gesture!

If you liked this post Please vote for this blog at Deutsche Welle 2008 International BOb's Awards(voting ends September 30 2008)


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