What to expect in 2012

IN this last column for 2011 I will attempt to predict what we may expect in 2012 when it comes to advances in the technological arena.

Locally I believe that we may expect faster, more affordable internet connectivity. In 2012 we are sure to experience the advantages of more international linkages with other continents through undersea cables and this will drive the prices of connectivity down in the latter half of the year.

Apps are starting to dominate our Smart Phones, and we will start to see them become more important and relevant on our computers and the way we use the internet in our daily lives. Apps are changing the way in which we perform tasks online and also the way in which we consume content and this will increase sharply in the next year.

I believe that from Apple we will see the release of a television set. Apple already has a device that streams content to a regular television set, but this will be a full Apple television set. The way in which we interact with our televisions will never be the same after this launch in 2012.

The last time the world was in such a recession as it is in now, we had the movement to Web 2.0. When people are faced with dark times they tend to innovate and recreate. We are again experiencing hard times across the world, especially in Europe. I believe that these hard times will stimulate another innovative online movement. I do not know what it is yet, but as with Web 2.0 I do know that we can bank on the fact that it will change our online experience and what we are able to accomplish online.

I wish you all an incredible festive season and a prosperous new year. Let us hope that the technology of 2012 will make our lives richer and more exciting in every way.

Radio on the go

I LOVE listening to Radio702 when I am in Johannesburg. Do not get me wrong, I love our local stations and I really do support them, but I like something a little more talk based.

Maybe it is because I love listening to podcasts or maybe I am just getting old, but I like to listen to something with more substance.

A few months ago I discovered an application on my iPad with the name TuneIn Radio. I immediately fell in love with it and even upgraded from the free version to the paid version.

The application gives you access to thousands of radio stations streaming their programming over the web. All these feeds are aggregated through this application and gives you the ability to either search by continent, country, city or even by genre.

You can then select presets of your favourite stations.

I am using a 3G card on mine, but I recommend that you make use of Wifi to ensure that you do not run out of Gigs early in the month.

If you do not have an iPhone or iPad you can also visit the website and listen there. Go to www.tunein.com. The quality of the feed is dependent on the quality of the feed being made available by the station, but I have found that the quality is very good with most of the channels I have listened to.

Before you say that I am just writing about an Apple application I can give you the great news that the application is also available on BlackBerry and Android.

The pro version is also available on these platforms and is available at a very low cost. The main advantage of the pro version of the app is that you can record the stations while you listen.

This is a great app to enjoy during the holidays and you will also be able to listen to the local stations while on holiday.

Evolusie van die Kongres

IN my vorige rubriek het ek genoem dat ek hierdie week die SATN- (South African Technology Network) kongres bywoon. Ek sit dan ook hier en tik aan hierdie week se rubriek.

Soos ek hier rondkyk, besef ek hoe die hele kongres-bywoningsproses verander het. My ervaring dek net die afgelope 20 jaar, maar dinge het geweldig verander vanweë tegnologie.

Eerstens verskil die proses waardeur jy hoor van die kongres. Jare terug het jy ’n brief in die pos gekry wat jou genooi het, of dalk was daar ’n advertensie in een of ander joernaal. Deesdae kry jy ’n e-pos wat deur die organiseerders uitgestuur word of dalk ’n elektroniese nuusbrief wat jou inlig oor die magdom kongresse wat daagliks oor die wêreld heen aangebied word.

Die registrasie en betalings vir ’n kongres was ’n geweldige proses. Jy moes maar vertrou dat die posdiens effektief funksioneer en dat jou registrasie betyds by die organiseerders aankom. Hier en daar het jy ’n angstige oproep gemaak. Die betaling moes gewoonlik op die eerste dag van die kongres gedoen word. Ek onthou nog hoe jy dan in ’n ry moes staan met jou tjek of jou bankbetalingsbewys. Dit was ’n lang proses. Vandag registreer jy jou sommer elektronies, selfs jou betaling kan jy onmiddellik aanlyn doen en as jy vrae het, stuur jy ’n e-pos en minute later het jy jou antwoord.

Die grootste verandering, na my mening, is dat almal jare terug met pen en papier gesit en notas maak het. Afgesny van jou kantoor en gefokus op alles by die kongres. Vandag sien ek almal het hul skootrekenaars of iPads en deur die dag hanteer hulle e-posse en navrae van die werk. Almal is aanlyn en elke nou en dan sien ek iemand op Google wat meer oor die spreker oplees.

Tegnologie het werklik die bywoning van kongresse die afgelope twee dekades drasties verander.