Julian Assange: iPhone, Blackberry and Gmail users are 'screwed'

WikilLeaks founder Julian Assange tells smartphone and Gmail users ‘you’re all screwed’ by intelligence contractors who sell mass surveillance devices for such technologies in the post 9/11 world. He also announced that his whistle-blowing organisation was embarking on a new ‘source protection platform’


MXit for BlackBerry and iPhone being rolled out, instant messaging synchronization on its way

MXit instant messaging growsInstant messaging platform MXit announced that it has exceeding 11 million users and became the number one method of communicating with youth.

“Being able to connect to the internet from a mobile phone is critical in a world that is relying more-and-more on not merely existing online, but also engaging actively. MXit transcends international borders, race and financial barriers and allows users to relate to one another in a manner that is based on friendship, networking and even learning,” says Juan du Toit, marketing manager for MXit.

According to the company, the global market for mobile internet will increase from 578 million users in 2008 to over 1,712 million in 2013. This is a whopping growth of 196%. Of the eight global regions, Africa and the Middle East will see the second largest increase in mobile internet users (414%).

“We are happy with our growth, but our target is firmly set on becoming one of the biggest instant messaging mobile networks in the world and the preferred mobile social network for communicating with young people in Africa and globally,” says Du Toit.

The company has its sights set on increasing its footprint in Africa and Asia and has already attracted more than 1.2 million Indonesian users.

“It isn’t rocket science, for us it’s simply understanding the mobile environment and the opportunity and providing something that will excite our users,” explains Du Toit.

“Initially, there was a need to establish a fun and fresh platform where MXit users could communicate cheaply. Africa, and especially South Africa, has some of the most expensive mobile rates in the world, but with MXit there is just about no charge for sending messages.”

There are in excess of 3 billion mobile users globally, and according to Nielsen/NetRating, the next billion are expected to use their mobile phones to access the internet for the first time.

Social networking platforms grew by 47% in the year ending April 2008. According to Juniper Research, the value of the user generated content market will grow from USD$1.1 billion in 2007 to USD$7.3 billion in 2013.

The company is rolling out a series of products that will enhance its usability and increase its penetration into the global market. This includes MXit for BlackBerry and iPhone, as well as the ability to synchronise its network by adding other popular instant messaging contacts such as ICQ, MSN and Yahoo messenger to the MXit profile.


Al Ries on why the iPhone will fail because it’s a convergence device

This is hilarious to watch even a year after it was originally posted because the Apple iPhone is not coming to South Africa. What makes this valuable is the great overview of his concept of divergence and how he applies it the technology industry and specifically the cellphone industry. In the words of Al Ries the iPod is a divergence device and the iPhone is a convergence device – doomed to failure over the long term. What he means is that it will never become a market leader in its industry. And this goes for all smart phones – doomed to a fraction of the global market and nothing more.

If you enjoyed this video I highly recommend all the video archives in the Ries Reports on Youtube.


Lessons from Steve Jobs on making a excellent pitch in your Presentation

Today I learnt via the TED Blog about a great column on Steve Jobs’ presentations skills. The basics of it include the following factors:

  1. Building tension
  2. Stick to one theme per slide
  3. Add pizazz to your delivery
  4. Practise
  5. Be honest and show enthusiasm

Go directly to the Business Week column here. And you can watch the speech directly from this link on Apple’s website. I watched the first 10 to 15 minutes of this presentation and the response from the audience is awesome. If you are in need of improving your Powerpoint/Presentations skills start by downloading Seth Godin‘s free ebook Really Bad Powerpoint. And if you are looking for speaker for your conference or company view my Speaker Profile here.


Apple iPhone finally unveiled

Steve Jobs unveils Apple iPhoneSteve Jobs has done it again. Stealing the thunder from Microsoft’s Bill Gates who was the keynote speaker at the CES Conference in Las Vegas. As it happens my mentor, Arthur Goldstuck, is currently at CES but likely on his way back. Anyway you can read here about how Apple does it. To get a good overview of the capabilities of the iPhone and some concerns it has in store for IT Managers go here.

From the price range I do not think this mobile phone will come bundles with any cellphone contracts in South Africa. But this damn phone so cool its bound to be sought after no matter what the cost.

Robert X Cringely, my favourite technology industry columnist, weighs in with opinion in his weekly column on PBS – What’s in a Name?