The wonder of barcodes

I HAVE often played around with barcodes which can be read by cellphones.

The advantages of these codes are you can put a barcode on your business card and someone can just point the camera on their phones to the card and immediately be taken to the website.

You can also include the code in an print advert in a newspaper or magazine and by simply pointing your cellphone’s camera to the image your customer will be taken to your website or your specials page or to a page with more information about a product or even a competition entry page.

These codes can be included in books to link to discussion pages or even online videos explaining the work. The applications are endless.

Cell C launched a new innovative service which works easier than many of the other barcode services.

PhotoCode is a new technology that allows South Africans to access information on their mobile phones by using QR codes. Cell C is the first to roll out this service and is being supported by media partners like You, Huisgenoot, People, Sunday Times, 5 FM and many other providers. Soon you will see many photo codes in bars and restaurants.

To download the application visit http://www.cellc.coza/services/photocode.

I will also place the link on

This technology should have taken off long ago, but the ease of use has always been a problem.

I am sure the easiness to use software one can download for free will make a difference.

Nico Baird is an instructional designer: Media at the Central University of Technology Free State and New Media and Educational Technology enthusiast and can be contacted at

Toegang tot internet ’n basiese reg

EK wil iets sê en ek gaan dit sê: Die pryse vir bandwydte in Suid-Afrika gaan nou val dat die water spat!

‘n Jaar gelede was die pryse van ADSL-bandwydte ongelooflik duur, maar die afgelope paar maande het die pryse geweldig geval.

Die gemiddelde pryse per gigagreep vir ADSL-bandwydte is nou R20 en R30 en vir ‘n paar honderd rand kan onbeperkte toegang tot die internet verkry word.

Dié lae pryse is natuurlik net op ADSL beskikbaar en ook net van spesifieke verskaffers, maar dit is beskikbaar indien jy minder wil betaal vir dieselfde dienste waarvoor jy moontlik nou nog baie opdok

Dit is dalk ‘n goeie idee om te kontroleer wat jy betaal – sommige verskaffers vra steeds ongeveer R60 per gigagreep.

As jy dit betaal, moet jy weet iemand maak baie geld uit jou.

Die koste van bandwydte neem daagliks af en gaan in die volgende maand of twee steeds afneem.

Met al die nuwe internet-onderseekabels wat in gebruik geneem word, sal bandwydtepryse dalk met nog  ten minste 75% afneem. Ek wil amper voorspel die gemiddelde prys per gigagreep sal na ‘n gemiddelde prys van tussen R5 en R10 afneem.

Ek besef 3G- en 4G-pryse is nog onbetaalbaar hoog, maar ek hoop die diensverskaffers sal ook sien dat  indien hulle hul winste sny  hulle vir meer mense toegang tot die web sal kan gee.

Internettoegang behoort ‘n basiese reg van elke burger te wees.

Enigeen met ‘n gemiddelde inkomste behoort dit te kan bekostig om toegang tot die internet te verkry.

GoogleMe on the Horison?

THERE is a chance that the mighty Facebook may finally have a viable competitor.

It has long been believed that Facebook has no real competition which may cause this social network giant to take advantage of its situation.

The first signs of this is in the way that they constantly change and adapt their privacy policies in an effort to increase profits. This is done by making more pages public than we as the users may want to make public.

It is now rumoured that Google will soon launch a new social network called GoogleMe. It has not yet been announced, but it is said that this social network will most probably be a real competitor for Facebook. There are many social networks out there, but the main thing that will make or break any social network is if that specific network is where you can connect with your friends.

Facebook is the first real social network giant. In Canada 50% of the population has already signed up.

This new GoogleMe (if that is the real name) will be the first network that I believe will have the capacity and the reach to take the biggest share of the market. There are a large number of factors that will influence this, but I do believe that because of the popularity and the strength of Google as a company they will be able to market effectively and grow their network way beyond anything that we have seen in the past.

On the internet companies come and go and even when we think a company is here to stay we often get surprizes.

We all believed that MySpace will never be smaller than Facebook and now MySpace is a vastly smaller social network to Facebook.

I believe that if Google presents a well-designed social network on the table people will flock to it and in a few year we may speak of Facebook as the small network that used to dominate the internet. But as with life on the internet, only time will tell.
.  Nico Baird is an instructional designer: Media at the Central University of Technology, Free State, and New Media and Educational Technology enthusiast and can be contacted at