About Eliane Fiolet
Eliane Fiolet is the co-founder and editor of ubergizmo.com, one of the top high technology and consumer electronics blogs in the U.S. and the world, distributed in 6 languages and read in 212 countries.
She writes largely about technology, usability, design, and web applications. Among other things, the site is a Webby Award Honoree, has been ranked as a Top 100 Blog by PC Magazine, ranks very high in Nielsen’s Blogpulse and was nominated in “Best Technology Blog” at the Bloggie Awards. Ubergizmo is also a media partner with DEMO and Web 2.0.
In her parallel life, she owns a Corporate ID design business that helps companies create great brands. Prior to opening her own agency, Eliane worked for a top design firm, Minale Tattersfield Design Strategy, where she created identities for Fortune 500 companies. She also worked in the video game industry as a designer for an award-winning adventure game.
Latest Posts by Eliane Fiolet
Elizly Steyn on the deck photo by Simon Barber, Brand South Africa Blog
[South Africa Blogging Tour 2008] On Wednesday, we flew to this amazing diamond mining ship 10 miles off the Northern Cape coast of South Africa. Elizly Steyn, the metallurgist, one of the 3 women on board, gave us a tour of this huge “gadget” that costed 1.1 billion rands ($110 million) to De Beers.
Gravel filtering process, photo By Simon Barber, Brand South Africa Blog
After a complex six steps process that separates them from shells and clay, the diamonds end up in cans without having been touched by a single human.
Data imaging, monitors in the crawler control room, photo by Simon Barber, Brand South Africa Blog
Prior to start mining an area, an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) explores the sea bed 15 meters by 15 meters, collects the data and generates a 3D image of the underground, so diamond trails are detected.
Click on the photo to watch the Crawler Launch gallery
Photo: the crawler launch in front of the ship, photo by Elizly Steyn, De Beers
The mining is operated by a giant crawler in front of the ship, the process is controlled by the metallurgist and the crawler team, using the data and the imaging generated from the exploration. The crawler is composed of a winch, a boom and a nozzle that mines 120 meters below the surface and scrape the floor 1 to 12 meters deep (avg 5 m).
Four anchors maintain the ship’s stability, on average 400 tons of gravels and 10 000 cubic meters of water are processed per hour to produce an average of 57 carats of diamonds. No chemicals are involved, everything except the precious gems is spitted back to the ocean, and the AUV monitors the ocean floor after the operation to analyze the impact on the environment. According to the crew, fishes are rarely caught in the machinery because they are afraid of the noise. The ship name is Peace in Africa, 65 people stay on board simultaneously, and each crew member works for 28 days and takes a 28 days break afterwards.
[South Africa Blogging Tour 08] Nic Haralambous is part of the Blogging Tour and the General Manager of Zoopy. Founded in 2006 by Pat Elk, Jason Elk and Gerry da Silva, Zoopy is the South African Youtube and a new version was just launched on Monday. I took the opportunity to talk with Nic about the new website during the bus trip to !Kwa ttu, the cultural center of the San people.
In South Africa, the bandwidth is expensive and Yoututbe does not have a server there, so it takes forever to upload movies. There was a real need for a local video sharing site and Vodacom, one of the three mobile carriers in South Africa, is an investor in the company since early 2008. The new features include the launch of Zoopy TV, 3 channels where journalists with “extreme blogging training” (Nic), post breakings news nation wide, the multiple uploads capability (up to 20 files simultaneously), and the mobile version, available at m.zoopy.com.
Read more after the jump
[South Africa Blogging Tour 08] This is not a new technology but alternative energy sources are becoming more popular these days, so it is worth a little post. We went to visit the Darling Windfarm, the first large wind turbine facility in sub-Saharan Africa. The 4 turbines producing 5 MW can provide 70 % of the electricity to the 6000 people living in the area. Herman Oelsner, president of the African Wind Energy Association, told us that the Cape Town Municipality is willing to pay an extra to get a cleaner electricity (85c instead of 45c for “coal”electricity), The deal is not closed yet and up to 16 turbines may be build
In the picture: Graeme Addison
[Blogging Tour - South Africa 08] This morning we went to Optimal Energy in Cape Town to meet with CEO Kobus Meiring for a presentation of the South African electric car A.K.A. Joule. Presented last September at the Auto Show in Paris, this promising green vehicle got a lot of attention from the industry, but it will not hit the market until the end of 2010. The goal of Optimal Energy is to compete with the mainstream offering and not only with the other electric cars, that is the reason why it fits 6 passengers and has a 130 km per hour maximum speed. The company does not know which type of lithium battery it will use for the final product yet, and we did not see any drive test. If the final Joule is really as good as it is on the paper, we can expect a bright future for clean automotive. Features include: 200km to 400 km range, 0-100 km in 15 seconds, 0-50 km in 5 seconds, energy cost 4c* /km (compared to 80c/km with petrol, diesel). It will be priced around $22,000.
* This is the South African cent.
I am invited by the International Marketing Council of South Africa to see some of their best technology, and to get a sense of the country. All expenses are paid but I will write what I want about this trip. Africa is not the first place that comes in mind when we think about broadband connection and technology, so I thought that it could be good to go and check out what is going on there. I arrived two days ago in Johannesburg at the Rosebank Hotel and I met the other bloggers last night during an instructive dinner. Check out the photos by clicking on the gallery button, all names will be written later when I confirm the right spelling.
During the week, we will visit the deepest mine in the world (3.7 km underground!), and the largest diamond mining ship in a government secured area, this is for sure backed by some serious technology! We will get a demo of the South African electric car and I will discover the latest Web apps that are coming up here.
I’m leaving for south Africa for a tech blogging tour. I’ll be posting from there and you can come back to this site shortly to see what I’m up to. In the meantime, here are a few tech facts:
- Mobile calls in and out are $1.49/mn (T-Mobile)
- Unlimited BlackBerry email: $20
- mobile browsing: $15/MB
- Getting charged $1.49/mn for incoming calls, even when I don’t answer: priceless. (I’m serious)
Let’s see if I get charged when using unlicensed mobile access (UMA) over WIFI. I get conflicting answers from T-Mobile reps.