Food delivery by drones: coming to a restaurant near you

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The drones are coming! The drones are coming! But this time they’re not armed with hellfire missiles. These drones are packing a new kind of heat: steaming pizzas, fresh tacos and cold beer.

Drones – the popular term for a wide range of unmanned aerial vehicles that are autonomous, semi-autonomous, or totally remote controlled – are not just limited to military use. Even though drones rightfully call up images of large, ominous, lethal, all-seeing machines, their smaller cousins are breaking into the civilian world of consumer products and business operations. And they’re doing so in a variety of strange ways that may change the face of modern transportation – from how late-night munchies arrive at your doorstep to how equipment and medicine is delivered to remote regions. Continue reading

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Apple seeking Samsung phone ban

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Apple is trying to force Samsung’s mobile devices off US shelves a week after dodging an iPhone 4 ban by a rare White House veto.

The company will ask a US appeals court on August 9 to block sales of Samsung models a California jury found violated patents for the iPhone’s look and features. Later, a US trade agency is expected to say if it will halt some Samsung imports based on other Apple patent-infringement claims.

For Apple, making Samsung change or stop selling some smartphones and tablet computers is more important than money. The $US1 billion verdict it won at trial last year equals less than two weeks’ worth of iPhone sales and one-seventh of Samsung’s second-quarter profit. Continue reading

YouTube creators target Vine, Instagram with MixBit

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The people who created YouTube are getting into the quickie-video app business … with a twist.

MixBit, like Vine and now Instagram, lets users upload short videos from their smartphones. But that’s just the beginning of what creators Steve Chen and Chad Hurley — two of the three brains behind YouTube — envision for the app, which went live on Thursday.

MixBit lets users shoot video snippets up to 16 seconds in length — more than Instagram (15 seconds) and Vine (6 seconds). Once uploaded, all MixBit videos are fair game for other users to edit, splice and mix with their own, creating new videos up to an hour long. Continue reading

Nigerian Firm Launches Portal to Promote Project Needs

A Lagos-based IT firm has unveiled an outsourcing and crowd-sourcing portal for project owners who seek skillful professionals to execute their projects on a lower budget and with less time consumption.

The firm said the objective is to deepen the growing information communications technology (ICT) industry in the country.

The social outsourcing site named ‘SkillMix’, is open to all freelance web designers, web developers, marketers and writers who seek avenue to express their prowess. Continue reading

Nigeria: FG Launches Tinapa Idea Incubation Centre

Emma Okonji the Ministry of Communications Technology Has Officially Launched the Tinapa Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator (idea) Incubation Centre in Calabar, the Cross Rivers State Capital.

IDEA is collaboration between the National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA and the private sector to facilitate the development of the software industry in Nigeria through the provision of office space, mentoring, software development and testing tools and support grants.

The IDEA centre was launched on Friday at the Tinapa Knowledge City, Calabar-Cross River State. Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said the IDEA incubation Centre remained a federal government intervention programme aimed at accelerating the development of the software industry in Nigeria by nurturing and helping Nigerian software developers attain global recognition and success. Continue reading

300 startups apply for DEMO Africa

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More than 300 African startups, from 24 countries, have applied to the DEMO Africa conference to be held in Nairobi in October.

Around 150 startups competed for the top 40 positions at DEMO Africa in 2012.

Harry Hare, executive producer of DEMO Africa, said the three month application period has seen more interest compared to last year and the judges will be working on the best 40 startups by August 27. Continue reading

Nigeria: Uba Moves Against Cybercrime

The United Bank for Africa Plc, has launched a Security Operation Centre in its head office in Lagos as a necessary tool to adequately protect its customers from cybercrime and fraudsters.

Addressing newsmen at the launch of the centre, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Mr. Philips Oduoza, said the migration of transactions to channels necessitated the need to build a station through which fraudsters can be monitored and combated. Continue reading