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The Twitter & Social Explosion in Africa

May 19, 2014 by  

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Things are changing in Africa. Foreign companies are no longer looking at the continent solely in terms of what they can take out, but what they can get in. You might not know that Africa is home to six of the top ten fastest growing countries in the world and U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa were a staggering $22.6 billion last year. Russia, Europe and China are also heavily invested in Africa and have major stakes in the continent’s natural resources. According a recent piece in the International Business Times, this massive growth in cell phone use, social media — particularly Twitter — is exploding in Africa and everyone from multinational corporations to shrewd venture capital firms and tech start-ups want in on the action. Samsung South Africa’s Twitter account has more than 100,000 followers, and Adidas, Diageo, Magnum Ice Cream and several other popular brands are not far behind. So, what are some key cultural tips when doing business in Africa? Well, for starters, you must consider that Africa is a continent, not a culturally cohesive monolith. Language and culture will shift by country, often in dramatic fashion. However, here are…

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Which Companies are Now Building the Green Internet?

April 26, 2014 by  

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The GreenPeace Report puts technology companies into groups of energy use: Dirty Energy, Middle Of The Road and Green Innovators. As an analyst, we talk a lot about the newest types of software, computers and gadgets of which need energy to run. And there is real resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit, where people are looking to feel satisfaction from the work they do and make the world a better place, rather than just tolerating brain-numbing work for the sake a of paycheck, only to find enjoy somewhere else. With all the enthusiasm also comes a great deal of energy use that we may or may not be aware of.
According to the Kaufman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity (KIEA), the entrepreneurial rate in the U.S. is already well above the dot.com bubble of 15 years ago. From social media to music, streaming video, email and commerce, we are increasingly moving much of our lives online. But which companies are storing all of that data, and how are they getting the energy? Here’s who hosts some of the internet’s most popular sites and services in their data centers – and whether those companies are using dirty or clean energy. Three Types of Energy As the expansion of technology…

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Freeing Yourself From Internet Censorship When You Travel

April 11, 2014 by  

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A carefree tour is nothing short of a blessing these days. It is a leisure that only few can afford in time and in money. It is an escape from the burnouts of noisy cities, polluted lanes, stressful work, social strife and much more. It is a journey to peace. But then you know it is short lived, so you just want to make the most of it. You get cameras, bookmark places, and make a long list of shopping spree you would like to do on various points of your trip. You want to tell the whole world of your whereabouts time and again. You are not going to miss out on your friends and family back home.

Travel Experiences You Always Wanted to Have – And Share!

Whether it is an exotic massage on a beach in Thailand, a crazy dance with village farmers, or even a long drive with your childhood friend in his Lamborghini, you have an irresistible urge to show it off to the world, just like you have been seeing it long until your own journey. It is your turn to brag. You have planned to update your entire social world about whatever new…

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Start-Up Iceland: The Viking Resilience Goes a Long Way…

June 24, 2013 by  

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While Silicon Valley may still be the technology and entrepreneur hub of North America and some say, the world, it’s shortsighted for investors, businesses and even consumers not to be looking to global pockets for innovation and new ideas. Every year at South by Southwest (SXSW), the number of companies showing off their innovation outside the U.S. is growing and I’ve been impressed by start-up ideas coming out of Europe, Israel and more recently Korea and Chile. Some are merely ramping up their presence in the states, whereas in other cases, governments are creating  incentives to attract investment from abroad, such as the salary offers to engineers coming out of Qatar and the tax benefits for setting up shop in Ireland. One country you may not expect on the list is Iceland, a country with a population of roughly only 320,000 people, two thirds of which reside in the capital city of Reykjavik. _MG_9818 The combination of my life in Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial world and my travel writing brought me to an event in Reykjavik this year called Start Up Iceland, now in its second year. Started by serial entrepreneur, angel…

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TBEX 2013: The Biggest Travel Blogging Conference Hits Toronto

June 11, 2013 by  

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Canada's own Dave and Deb of ThePlanetD give the keynote at TBEX Toronto When I started travel blogging seven years ago, the profession didn’t exist. Canada’s Dave and Deb of ThePlanetD give the keynote at TBEX TorontoWhen I founded Breathedreamgo four years ago, I called Toronto’s first travel tweet-up and three women met for tea. When I went by MegaBus to the second TBEX, in New York City three years ago, I was amazed to see about 300 travel bloggers congregating. And Saturday morning at 8:45 am when I sat in the second row of a huge Metro Toronto Convention Centre Auditorium and stood up and looked back, I was too gob-smacked to take a photo: 1,300 people, a mammoth sound and lights show and an electric feeling of excitement in the air. Travel blogging has arrived, I thought, and it’s happening here, in my beloved city, Toronto! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when Toronto won the bid to host TBEX 13; or how flushed with pride and satisfaction I was when David Whitaker, president of Tourism Toronto, gave credit to the Toronto travel blogging…

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All Things D: Digital Trends From TV & Rockets to Authentification Pills & Speech Recognition

June 11, 2013 by  

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All Things D just held their 11th annual conference in Rancho Palos Verdes California in late May. Imagine a few hundred billionaire and millionaire game changers in a room at an oceanside resort, discussing the latest digital technology trends that impact a host of industries: from government, retail and consumer electronics to mobile advertising, digital TV and everything in between. It makes you wonder: Are we moving to a world that looks something like this? Digital world Some of the trends and reccuring themes are not new this year, but they are more pressing as storage gets cheaper, bandwidth gets faster and it is becoming more common to program your home and tap into a mobile device for nearly everything we do. How people think about things that were once a Star Trek-like discussion are now becoming reality: energy sources, Google Glass that brings virtual and augmented reality to life in more ways than one, electric versus gas powered cars, a trip to Mars if you have a bank account big enough to afford a ticket, wearable devices and how we will view what we now call TV in the next decade.…

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NewspaperDirect’s PressReader 3.1 For Reading On The Road

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I was given a complimentary trial of NewspaperDirect’s PressReader 3.1 and was blown away. I immediately thought of my father-in-law who lives in India but follows newspapers in the US, Europe and of course India from cover to cover no matter where he is in the world, and how I needed to get him a subscription. I was very impressed with their publication offering: over 2000 digital replicas of newsletters from around the world, including the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. And translation options. The new PressReader is optimized for the retina display on new iPad screens which means that the text is super sharp and clear. Their SmartFlow technology enables you to easily view all the articles in a horizontal stream and to select and zoom in on the articles you want to read. It felt like a really clean and sophisticated reading experience. And you can share, tweet, print or post an article to Evernote as an option. The app is free to download. The pricing options are USD 29.95/month for unlimited access or 0.99c per issue. Perhaps there is use for a hybrid option where you could subscribe to…

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5 Cool Mobile Apps For Travelers On The Go

June 5, 2013 by  

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As a small business owner, you run the show on the go—so you rely on your smartphone for all those important details that make up your busy day. Ever worry some of those important pieces might be slipping through the cracks? From CRM to social media to scheduling, these great apps ensure you’re always in the right place at the right time with the right people—and with no disconnect from your day-to-day business operations. May13 Remember Every Note with Evernote
Whether you’re in a meeting, catching a cab, or taking a well-earned coffee break, Evernote has you covered when inspiration strikes. Sync photos, files, notes, videos, sound bites, to-do lists—just about anything—to this cloud-based junk drawer for easy, searchable access. Finally, you can have some fun collaborating on team projects, whenever, wherever. FREE. Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Know When They Work with WhenIWork
Your managers have plenty to do aside from the regular hassle of employee scheduling. The easy and intuitive WhenIWork app allows managers and employees to organize shift trades, manage time-off requests, notify stakeholders of important scheduling changes, and more. A simple “Do I work Tuesday?” text message produces an instant, automated answer, so your managers and


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