Author: Cyrus

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Cyrus is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @Kahawatungu or Facebook page (www.fb.com/Kahawatungu). Email: Editor@Kahawatungu.com

Sometime back Mashable and other social media blogs were wash with the idea that bit.ly was launching a a customised URL service. Well that service has just gone live with the url Bitly.Pro You need to register your domain which you will use instead of the bit.ly url if you so desire. This move ups the game in the short url service as google, facebook and even ning now have their own url shorteners.

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Kenya’s leading mobile network, Safaricom has launched a massive sms campaign dubbed “Go sms Crazy”. After complaint from subscribers from exploitation, Safaricom is now focusing on the low end market with such promotions. In the sms promotion, you can have 5 sms for Ksh 5 which is less than Ksh 1 per sms. The mobile phone service provider says that the promotion targets their 15 million pre-paid and post-paid mobile phone clients. Meanwhile, Safaricom came under heavy attack from participants at the ongoing Mobile Web East Africa conference. Many attendees called Safaricom a bully and saboteur in regards to Safaricom’s…

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Google has announced that they are introducing the focused research awards. The awards will be are for two to three years, and the recipients will have the advantage of access to Google tools, technologies and expertise. The awards announced through Google Facebook page and corssposted with google research blog, has been initially awarded to 12 projects by 31 Professors in 10 Universities spread all over the globe. To quote Google Research Blog: Today, we’re announcing the first-ever round of Google Focused Research Awards — funding research in areas of study that are of key interest to Google as well as…

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There is news that Safaricom, Jamii Telecomms and Wananchi Group will be leasing Fibre optic line from Kenya Power Lighting Company (KPLC) pair running the 500 km Mombasa – Nairobi. KPLC says that they have for the rent of the fibre optic, the Nairobi Mombasa route is $32 (Sh2400) per pair per kilometre per month which for 20 years translates to $ 3.9 Million (Sh288 million). The lease floated last year were in two categories, one for 15 years described as Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) which required the bidder to pay upfront. The other was a five year lease…

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DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania has passed a new telecoms law making it mandatory for mobile phone companies to list on the country’s stock exchange in the next three years, a senior government official said on Monday. Parliament approved the Electronic and Postal Communication Bill 2009 late on Friday, compelling telecommunication firms in the east African country to offer shares to the public starting from 2013. We have given mobile phone companies three years to make the necessary preparations for listing on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange,” Maua Daftari, deputy minister for Communications, Science and Technology, told Reuters.

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Kenyans are actively using facebook, Google groups and other social media as powerfullactivism tool. From political, sports, social to religious activism, you will find it now common. The hot news now is the case of the Kenyan player, MacDonald Mariga who has just missed an assignment with top English Premier League side, Manchester City, because of the ranking of the Kenyan national football team internationallyHarambee stars is ranked 98th while to play in British league, your country’s national team must be ranked in the top 70.

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Equity Bank has installed Europay-Mastercard-VISA (EMV) Technology in all its ATM and ATM cards. EMV chip-based payment cards, also known as smart cards, contain an embedded microprocessor, a type of small computer. The microprocessor chip contains the information needed to use the card for payment, and is protected by various security features. Chip cards are a more secure alternative to traditional magnetic stripe payment cards. The EMV chip cards are more secure than the swipe cards and they work in upgraded chip card terminals. The god thing about the cards is that if you find that your terminal has not…

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The Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) website has become the latest casualty in a growing trend in which hackers calling themselves the UAH-Crew attack sites. The website was shut down for repairs yesterday by the Tanzania Telecommunication Company which hosts it. Tanzanian Revenue Authority and Bank of Tanzania have had their websites hacked before by the same brand of hackers.

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The 14th Africa Union Summit will be held here under a theme “Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities for Development”. Africa Union is spearheading a continental programme to interconnect capitals and major African cities with ICT broadband infrastructure and to strengthen connectivity to the rest of the world by 2012.

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How many pages and groups have the name Churchill Live? See them here or here. Cyber squatting is becoming more common each and everyday in Kenya. Its not limited to Churchill who is the most successfull comedian here. Its also happening with Government officials like Ministers, Prime Minister, Vice President and MPs. Even the good old Baba Jimmy (President Kibaki) is having squatters sit on his ID in Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

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Orange on Friday released a new unlimited bundle for their CDMA based internet broadband connection. The connection which is apparently faster than the much touted Safaricom broadband connection is now being charged at Ksh 990 for unlimited download and uploads. The only downside to the offer is that Orange waiting until Safaricom had to offer one and it is just a reactionary move which is not going to gain Orange any more foothold in the market. If Orange was so much in need in pinning down Safaricom, it should have introduced the offer earlier than Safaricom. DO they know anything…

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Ipad has just landed and the computing world has just again been wowed with an innovation from Apple. When will apple dissapoint? You know Google tried to wow the tech world with Nexus One. The problem is that it fell straight on their face and after the event one week later, google had sold only 20,000 devices. Google even had to suspend their China launch and we believe that its not because of their hack attack or spur with the communist government. Its more to do with forecast.

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Safaricom yesterday responded to the broadband price reduction call by introducing a unlimited internet offer promotion which looks like a test promotion. The offer looks like a test because it only lasts upto 8th February from 26th January. Thats 14 days test which will make them know whether their network can handle that. I find that something like a fumble. Safaricom should not be fumbling in the market now. It should be confident because its the big player here. Safaricom should have the most superior network and handle any amount of subscribers because otherwise we will tend to believe that…

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A new livestock insurance scheme has been launched in northern Kenya which offers herdsmen a chance to protect their livestock against drought. The initiative uses satellite technology to check the pasture available for the herders. Arid northern Kenya suffered a severe drought last year and hundreds of thousands of animals died. Until now insuring herds of livestock in rural Africa has been all but impossible. Livestock insurance is still a new concept in the country. Partly because it has simply been too expensive for insurers to go and count the number of dead animals which might be spread over a…

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Home Boyz Entertainment has produced a children animation series, Tinga Tinga for BBC and Disney world. Through their production arm, Tiger Aspect, they hired 200 local designers, animators, musicians and writers to work on the show, which will be shown on the Disney Channel and, in the UK, CBeebies. Fifty per cent of the show’s profits will be put back into developing an educational trust for children in East Africa. The Tinga Tinga Tales story is just one snippet of evidence of an upcoming animation industry in Nairobi. BBC’s Digital planet gave the development a good publicity on digital planet…

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Zain customers in Tanzania can now pay for fuel with their mobile phones at Oilcom petrol stations via Zap without necessarily having to carry cash, thanks to a partnership between Zain and Oilcom. According to a press statement issued on Tuesday, the new service will take effect from today. The Zain Tanzania Chief Commercial Officer, Chiruyi Walingo, said in Dar es Salaam that the companies’ newly launched fuel payment service will allow Zain customers to pay for fuel at Oilcom fuel stations with their mobile phones and reduce the necessity of walking with cash. Oil Com operates one of the…

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