You have heard the joke about not leaving female friends carrying huge bags in your house unsupervised right? Or that those humongous bags ladies carry are called “What If” bags? Well; now here, we make it easier for you to understand that 1. You should never underestimate the carriage capacity of a woman’s bag because you might fit in there yourself and 2. There’s a good lesson to learn from women’s bags regarding preparedness or may be disaster preparedness. Whereas men hardly carry bags and if they do, it probably contains mainly gadgets or books in the worst case scenario, Women’s bags carry everything and by everything we mean EVERYTHING. Some of you have little faith and you only believe when you see so one of our dear friends we spontaneously met gave us a demo on the capacity of a woman’s bag

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This bag, small as it looks, contained a laptop, adapter, mouse, notebook, 2 phones, a modem , earphones, business card Holder,  umbrella, lint remover, scarf, comb, perfume, sunglasses, handkerchief, tissue, wipes, lotion, toilet bag/make up kit,  chocolate, an apple, a wallet among others. So literally speaking, in one bag, there was a work station/business, a saloon and lunch topped up with an ever ready kit for whatever situation or opportunity presents its self.

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It’s also good to note that the contents of each bag vary depending on a couple of things like Location, Class, Profession, and Trade. For example some of them even have an extra piece of everything like an extra pair of sandals, high heels, extra cloths, under wear, jewelry, toothbrush, toothpaste, novels and Lately Pepper spray. Do I need to elaborate which class, profession or trade that is? you are smart you got it

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Depending on the class, you will find either one of these items. For Snacks, its Chocolate and apples, or ground nuts, corn (Emberenge) and  sim sim balls.  For drinks you will find Water, Soda, Juice or “Bushera” (A local millet drink that sometimes has a little alcoholic content)  For Phones, Its either iPhone, BlackBerry or a Samsung phone. Now just because its Samsung doesn’t mean it’s a Galaxy S III it might as well be Samsung “Kabiriti” but once again it’s all in a Woman’s Bag. What are your experiences with the contents of women’s bags? Share below.

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Level: Basic

Intro:

Why would you want to do this? Because in some work places, Facebook is generally blocked and you may not want to go through the goofy work-arounds to update your status or post a photo to your news feed. But who blocks email? None, right. So here’s an easy way to update your FB status  from your email account.

How to: 

Step One: Get your Secrete email address

  • Go to Facebook Mobile Upload. page
  • If you are not logged in already, log in using your email address or phone number (the usual way)
  • Find your Facebook upload email address under Upload via Email.
  • Your secrete email address should be something like oct547hskw@m.facebook.com

Facebook upload page

Note: This is a secret email address. DO NOT share this address with anyone since they will spam you.

Step Two: Send an email to that email address

  • Log in to your email account like Gmail
  • Go to compose and send and email to your facebook secrete address.
  • Put the status update message in the Subject field and leave the message body empty. If you are uploading an image, then whatever you put in the subject field will be the image caption.

Send an email to your Facebook secrete email. Leave body empty

Step Three: Check your Facebook news feed later. It should be there.

And there it it. Facebook status update from my email account!

Level: Basic

Intro:

Around last year, Google decided to add the SMS-feature to it’s widely popular Gmail product. The idea is that once two parties are chatting online via gtalk and one of them goes offline, then hopefully the conservation can seamlessly continue over SMS on the offline parties cell phone. In Uganda, Google so far supports Uganda Telecom, MTN and Orange Uganda carriers.  In this how to, i’ve tried to use pseudo values in order to conceal the right contacts of the people in my Contact Book.

HowTo:

Step One:

Go to settings, then click on Labs. Scroll down till you see “SMS (text messaging) in Chat” and click on the Enable radio button.

SMS (text messaging) in Chat

Step Two:

Go to contacts and find the person whom you want to send a text message. Click on the contact and a an editable form containing their details comes up. Click on “Add phone” and their their phone numbers. Remember only Uganda Telecom,  MTN and Orange Uganda are supported at the time of this writing.

Add recipient’s cell phone number

 

Step Three:

Go to the chat window and hover, over the contact you want to send a text message. A popup dialog box will come up. Be sure to click on the chat icon which the first or second icon.

Popup that comes when you hover over a contact in the chat sidebar

A chat window will come up on the bottom right corner of your browser informing that the contact is offline but they will receive the messages over SMS. Type in your 160 character message and hit the Enter key.

Send SMS to your offline contact

If the contact is online, click on the More option in the little chat window, then Send Text(SMS) in the menu that follows.

Chat options for online contact

The recipients phone number will be displayed to you and your free SMS credits. Gmail limits you to only 50 free text messages/month. So use wisely!

 

Level: Basic

Intro:

Youtube has grown to be the number one destination for finding videos. Whether it’s a music video, a tutorial on something, news or just cute skate-boarding cats, you’ll find it all on YouTube  Personally I like to download some un-official music videos of some of my favorite artists on YouTube  Of course you can stream it, but i choose to download because; first I always have a slow internet connection and buffering won’t help either, then secondly I want to keep a copy of the video on my computer.

How To:

Step 1:

Kiprotich wins gold

Go to youtube.com and search whatever you like. Once the video starts playing, copy the video URL which looks something like .

Step 2:

keepvid.com

Go to keepvid.com . Enter the video URL into the download text field and click download. Wait as keepvid formats the video into different formats(.flv, .mp4, .mp3) so you can download. After 30 seconds, you will see download links with the different formats. Choose your preferred  format. e.g.  If you want only audio, then choose mp3, if you want to play the video on an ipod, then mp4 will do for yiu. I usually like mp4 format.

Step 3:

Once you click on a download link, your browser will prompt you for the download manager you want to use to download this video. You can use the inbuilt one or choose another one. Depending on the quality and the file size, your download will start right away and you should be having your video on your computer.

Download the video

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The Case of Patents

Close to their backyard, Apple apparently won the battle on Friday in a lawsuit against Samsung. Why “apparently”?  Because, a high profile court case such as this one that hasn’t even reached the court of appeal let alone the Supreme Court is far from over. Samsung and Apple have also been battling in Germany, Australia, South Korea and elsewhere and it’s clear that even if Apple has won this battle, the war is far from over.

It is evident that Samsung infringed on a couple of Apple patents in aspects of design and utility. So if you are a Samsung fan enjoying the “Pinch to zoom” gesture or the “Bounce back” effect when you over scroll, guess what? They aren’t Samsung’s. Utility patents are about usability; the features a phone or tablet can have and operate, and design patents are those which cover how they look and feel.

It holds water to argue that Samsung’s win would set a precedent that would hamper innovations as people would have less protection for their technology and designs. But this in reverse may stifle competition, which is an incentive for innovation like in Bill Gate’s war of retaining rights to Microsoft Office and not allowing anyone replicate it. So, the secret would be getting an intersection between the two rather than a stalemate.

Pierre Yanney, a patent litigation partner with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in New York, says. “If Samsung wins, then in the long run IP (intellectual property) will have less value, and more companies at all different price and quality points along the spectrum will be more confident to offer alternative products, leading to more consumer choices and lower prices all around.”

Although Samsung’s accusations didn’t sway the court, Apple wasn’t able to prove that three utility patents i.e.  Sending email, multitasking and aspects concerning two 3G standards essentials were invalid either.

Photo by Jo Yong Hak/Reuters

Impact on Samsung

To one of the world’s largest electronics companies who’s April – June sales alone were around 50 million phones almost twice the number of iPhones and this is just 1.5 percent of annual revenues from Samsung’s telecoms business, $1billion is like a mosquito bite. The group had net profit of $4.5 billion in April-June alone. Without downplaying the legal precedent the Apple win has set, Samsung wont feel the pinch as much as the possible implications that the battle will produce. The case has however sent out a clear message to the Smartphone industry that innovation is an investment so start adjusting those budgets other than copying or risk being sued by the fruit company.

Ironically, with all that is going on, Samsung remains a major supplier of components for Apple products. Despite, the publicity from the U.S. case and more than a dozen pending cases elsewhere around the world, the Samsung brand has gained recognition – as an equal to Apple rather than merely a supplier and in a recent Campaign Asia-Pacific brand ranking, Samsung came top ahead of second-placed Apple and as a matter of fact, for every iPhone sold worldwide, more than three smart phones running Android are sold, reflecting the meteoric rise of Google’s software. Further more, with China set to become the world’s biggest Smartphone market this year, Samsung has almost twice Apple’s market share. And, the iPhone has slipped to fourth in the market in April-June, overtaken by both Lenovo Group Ltd and ZTE Corp, according to latest data from industry research firm IDC.

It’s also believed that apple’s suit could be a direct attack on Google’s Android which the late Steve Jobs called a “Stolen Product”. It is hard to tell what the exact impact of the Jury’s decision on Google/ Android or the various companies that use android OS will be but we’ll have to wait and see.

As luck would have it, Nokia and Research in Motion (RIM) come forth as Friday’s biggest winners as the two companies own large and longstanding portfolios of mobile device patents which seem to be the ones keeping them afloat. Unfortunately, this may not help them get into the lead once more.

Impact on Consumers

The biggest losers here are consumers. If the verdict stands, then the costs of the judgment will be reflected in the cost of mobile devices. This battle would be reducing competition in the market with top contenders like Samsung, HTC and Motorola which would mean fewer copycat devices hitting the market and less price competition. And that would almost inevitably mean Apple — or any other innovator — would be able to maintain the monopoly and charge whatever it thinks it can get away with.

Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester Research said, “Consumers could experience some discomfort in their use of smart phones if Samsung and other manufacturers are forced to design around certain basic functions to avoid violating Apple’s patents. Consumers could end up with some welcome diversity in phone and tablet design — or they may be stuck with devices that manufacturers have clumsily revamped to avoid crossing Apple”

“And it’s possible that the next great phone, the one that shames the iPhone the same way that the iPhone buried the Blackberry, will never make it to market. Designing and selling an advanced Smartphone just became a dangerous business”, as one could get sued for a billion dollars.

Conclusions

Even though Friday’s verdict is justice, it doesn’t feel like a win. It feels like the day when Apple is acknowledging competition exists and probably that they miss Steve jobs (RIP). A few years back Apple’s market share was motivated by excellence and freedom, and people bought Apple products because they were the best not because they won a court case. What Apple doesn’t realize is that litigation has made Samsung’s brand more recognizable and truth be told Samsung is a more versatile brand than Apple, which has largely stood by its original form and design, but is now bowing to pressure as speculation that the next iPhone will have a bigger screen and new iPads may be smaller and probably cheaper is all over the place.

My take is that gaining $1billion and losing the actual battle of strategizing to stay as a top smart phone maker is a loss for Apple and a win for Samsung. Lastly I will leave you with the Coca-Cola example.  Whoever tries to copy Coke will always stay a Coke copy cat/wannabe and Coke will always be in the lead. What Apple should have done in this case would have been to pursue an out of court settlement in regard to its patents and stay the ingenious apple not the scared apple so their PR strategists should have thought of the adverse effects on the brand rather than taking on a suit they knew they would win. What I think Steve Jobs would have done, would be to challenge Samsung to a Smartphone battle. Now that would have been interesting but yet again… rest in peace Steve Jobs.

Sources:

New York Times

Cult of Mac

Mashable

LA Times

Chicago Sun Times

Reuters

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