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iSmile – The Tech Report: 9-13 September

MONDAY (9 September)

Besides the excitement over a new iPhone due to be announced this week, there have been many new developments on the internet and mobile devices market, so today iSmile will give you an update on some of the big ones.

As you know by now, in one of the biggest deals ever, Microsoft has decided to buy most of Nokia for more than R70-billion, bringing it into the mobile market with some force.

Now you would have heard that Google celebrated its 15th birthday last week, and like any hormonal teenager, the search engine finds itself in all sorts of trouble but insists it knows best.

The company is being sued for accessing Gmail accounts, which it says is part of its advertising sales model. Contents are electronically scanned, so that users can be specifically targeted with certain ads, say if you get several emails about Healthy Juices, then they will make sure you see ads about such juices. Google says all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing.

Its far cry from its very humble beginnings, when founders Larry Page and Segei Brin intended naming it “BackRub.” And Stuart says Google has very definite plans to be around for many years to come. He says despite the Gmail battle, Google has even greater plans for how it wants to change our world.

TUESDAY (10 September)

I love how technology inspires and allowing very smart people to execute ideas that previously would have been deemed ludicrous at best.

One such ambitious idea – the Portable Eye Examination Kit or PEEK is currently being trailed in Nigeria.

It is the brainchild of British research fellow Dr Andrew Bastawrous who has nicknamed it the EyePhone as in the EYE you see with… Or can’t see with … !!!

Bastawrous says the gadget has already proven its worth, and can easily and accurately diagnose ailments including glaucoma, cataracts, myopia and far-sightedness. Treatments range from prescription glasses and eye drops to complex surgery that can then be conducted at a hospital.

So far, up to 200 of the 5,000 people involved in the Nigerian study have had surgery to correct various eye ailments.

You can tell that I love this idea and how it uses high tech to address some very basic problems. And with 80 percent of the cases of blindness considered curable or preventable, the potential impact is huge.

WEDNESDAY (11 September)

This being the first gadget Wednesday on iSmile since the start of IFA Berlin, we simply have to take a look at highlights from Europe s largest annual consumer electronics trade show.

By all accounts, this year the theme was definitely SMART. From tiny gadgets and TVs to home appliances and actual homes in their entirety; everything is now SMART. Visitors were treated to, amongst others a vacuum-type bed cleaner that sterilizes your sheets with a UV light in the process; Sony’s Super HD 4K home cinema projector and updated Dr Dre New Beats head phones.

There was also the fabulous Bluetooth Speaker called Melody by Soundcast. Ideal for a young party, it plays music in all directions, can stream tunes straight from the internet and all your guests can connect their smart phones wirelessly and input a playlist. The future of the jukebox, or the best trigger yet for a party brawl…?

But of course there was only really one thing people were bursting at the seams about; the announcement of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear SMARTWATCH, which is kind of a last-minute stay of execution for the ailing wristwatch.

This is of course by no means the first SMART WATCH and definitely not the last. The crowd-funded Pebble Watch has already sold 100 000 units.

Both Google and Microsoft are believed to be on the verge of releasing their own Smart watches.

Then of course there are the old boys of the wrist watch sector – who will be determined to prove that the brand FOSSIL was smart not predictive naming.

THURSDAY (12 September)

The 3rd annual Careers Indaba has been featured before, but we reckon it’s such an important event that it deserves some more in depth focus.

I quite like the fact that there will be a focus not only on bursaries and study loans, but also on how to actually access them.

Programme director Claire O’Connell says there is a lack of proper career advice all round these days. Claire says youngsters who struggle to find their groove can become disillusioned and we want to show them there are so many other options available to them.

FRIDAY (13 September)

The kids at the Cape Academy for Maths, Science and Technology got a chance yesterday to interact with the people behind the BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car.

It was all part of a tour by Britain’s Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts – an avid supporter and funder of the project.

The kids were given some very interesting insights into how this car plans to become the first to break the 1000-Mile an hour barrier.

A few months ago, iSmile told you about how this futuristic car was nearly ready to be shipped to our shores for the record attempt at Hakskeenpan in the northern Cape next year. Engineers have now postponed the attempt to 2015, saying this gives more chance to prepare with a better chance of success.

The Bloodhound team’s local education officer Dave Rowley explains that the team and car will come out to the Northern Cape, where locals have been clearing Hakskeenpan of stones and pebbles for the past few months – 6 000 tons of it to be exact.

And this is where Bloodhound is expected to drop the jaws of even the most ardent speed freaks.

For Smile 90.4 FM, I’m Bobby Brown with your iSmile.

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