LOOKING FOR NOKIA 2730 AND OVI

Recently Nick my friend called me with a distress call. He had seen a nice phone on the Nokia website. The Nokia 2730. Nick was after the device that he claims is the first entry level 3G phone from Nokia for this market. I am yet to look up at this claim. So I joined him on a quest to look for this phone in Nairobi. He was sure that the phone was available since the Nokia Kenya site had said so. Walking from shop to shop gave us the same answer; ‘we have not received that device’. What was surprising was when we visited Safaricom Customer Care, we could not convince the sales lady that the phone exists despite a Nokia 2700 sitting right behind her. She claimed and these are her word “Nokia is yet to produce this device they stopped at 2600”.

In another shop this was probably the worst experience. We entre a shop with Nokia Ovi all over the shop. In fact most of the staff have t-shirts with ‘ask me about OVI’ written on them. So I was pretty sure we would get the best information and even the device here. The sales girl was very beautiful and we felt at home. Nick was after 2730, I decided to ask the girl what OVI was. She said “OVI what?’ I pointed to the slogan on her t-shirt and she obliged by pointing to the geeky looking dude sitting in a corner. I ask if that was OVI, she said no that is Mike he Knows about all about OVI. Nick was not amused by this. I told Nick that she knows where OVi is and the slogan on the t-shirt is right. Ask me about OVI and I will point to where it might be.

Well we did find the phone at MidCom, but Nick was not interested with the fold. So he is still shopping for it. Nick Nokia has a customer care shop in town. At Hilton Hotel next to Nandos near that place you like having your beer.

 

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DATA AND PROBABILITY

For a while now most mobile phone networks in the region had one kind of promotion. A promotion that was geared at making its customers use more of its products.

Known to its marketing departments as a rewards scheme, the promotions have been quite interesting to watch, participate and if you win, rekindle that friendship that for some reason died.
The networks counts on its clients to hopefully spend more on the network and as the game of chances go win at least a branded pen.

As I said right after the budget, the networks have to device new ways to stream in revenues and they seem to have gotten the Q especially from the mobile manufacturers.
Since mid 2007 many mobile manufacturers have been introducing devices that are WAP enable. This includes entry-level devices that make it possible for users to experience the vast opportunities that lie in the World Wide Web.

So it should be rather obvious if you are a mobile network to turn your attention to DATA.
And am not disappointed all the networks are busy selling their modems and they come with all kinds of offers.
We have over 13 million mobile phone users and have just half of this number using data can translate to more revenue per user.
Remember when someone gets hooked onto the net he/she will easily subscribe to such services like Skype.

While dude will be happy that the cost of calling will be reduced drastically, to get to skype they will have to be either Safcom, Orange or Zain.
Apart from the many ‘freebies’ that one gets from the net, many guys will begin creating E-Commerce products and services spurring a whole new sector.

I am excited now that I could easily surf and drive away with a C class.
Its all in the math of probability…. And the sum of all this is that more people on the net … it will be cheap for me to upload my shower rendition of that song that I keep forgetting the title…..

PEACE AND QUIET

Friday the 8th was a very interesting day for me. After it seemed to be one of those days it meandered into a boring day where friends meet to exchange stories on how the week was or how the economy sucks, I decided to have an early dinner and decided to walk down to River Road Nairobi.
We do have a river in Nairobi; some call it a stream of sludge, anyway which city river in this world is clean?

South of Moi avenue is where the action of Nairobi is. Its in this place that they found that dude that bombed our folks at the US embassy in 98. This is the same place that has majority of the car accessories and spare parts. So its not surprising to find all the whole sellers of gadgets and all that comes in this world. Let alone the strip joints.
So at around 6.30pm when the area starts bubbling with all manner of activity and people hawking almost all known products on this earth, I walked into Coast Dishes a favourite eatery for many travelers that are coast bound.

I ordered a plate of pilau(Asian rice dish full of spices and meat). As if by q one-man Mr. John walked in and told me that he had cracked into a software that can use triangulation in tracking someone if the person is using a mobile phone.
I said that sounds interesting but why on earth would you like to track someone down. Does the person owe you money or did he steal your girlfriend (he would be my friend). John became quiet for a while.

At a time when there are CCTV cameras on the streets, some toilets, metal scanners in every building and where you need to have a PIN number for everything even in raffle games.
Most of my friends switch their mobile phones on Sundays just for some peace and quiet.
I recently got a memo from my boss that said this ‘show cause why action should not be taken for not answering you phone when the office called’
I replied that I was off duty. The boss said am rude. Rude….. for heavens sake I was at my house spending quality alone time watch cheap B movies while farting. Can’t I do that with my mobile phone off?

Now comes this genius who can triangulate and pin point me to a metre or two. Why can’t we leave things the way they were. Just simple things, I text you, you text back; I call you answer. Now there is MMS, Nokia OVI is here, Google Latitude is the rave, but the best was this site and my I do not need to explain just discover: http://www.themobiletracker.com/english/index.html

Just as the topic was getting better a transformer outside blew up and I was caught in a dilemma, either finish my sumptuous plate or take off like everyone and not pay for the meal. I did both….. I shall pay tomorrow hoping that coast dishes will be opened.

THE HOLIDAY CALLS

This was a good weekend I must say. First it had four days away from the office (you can sense my displeasure of the place).

 I have to be there to earn my two dollar a day pay. (That is what we say when your pay is bad). Anyway on Good Friday I decided to spend the evening with my good old friend Tim. Have known him for over two decades now and he is a chatter box. So imagine his father.

Well Tim’s dad called when we were deep in conversation over a pint. And Tim oh good Tim decided to put his phone on speaker mode.

And this is part of the conversation.

Dad – Hallo, hallo Tim hallo… whats wrong with this boy.

Tim – Hi Dad am hear Sema (what’s up in Kiswahili)

Dad – What did I tell you about picking your phone?

Tim – ah ….

 Dad – ah what …any way where are you?

Tim – I am in town with my friends

Dad – town which town?

Tim – Nairobi

Dad- oh ok… am in Kitale (about 300kms from Nairobi) am with my boys…Remember Mr Onyango your class three teacher he is hear. He got a big bonus from his sugar and he is buying…ha ha ha …Onyango say hallo to my boy Tim he is in Nairobi

There is some commotion as the phone falls down….

Dad – Oh son he is indisposed hahaha….. Anyway your mother said I call you

Tim – what about?

Dad – I don’t know she said I just called you so I called… so you are ok …ok Happy Easter….

That was Tim’s father he called and Tim got his mother’s greetings.

Well if you think that was a funny one; spare a thought for the Austrian mother who was sued by his son for calling him. According to the story the old lady had been (according to the son) constantly calling him to know how he was doing.

Check the story out in the odd news section of Yahoo news.

But that is not all apparently there is a petition in New Delhi India doing the rounds. The petitioners basically want the Indian government to come up with a law that prohibits bad use of the mobile phone.

Bad use includes, talking loudly on you device, picking the phone in funerals and at religious events. The law will also check on ‘offensive’ ring tones.

Well guys there is a feature called vibrate only or silent mode. You could use it in such situations. And as for the Austrian octogenarian POLE.

LADIES,GADGETS AND SOCIAL SITES

The cliché has been that women hate gadgets and the fear for many ICT companies was how they would excite our lady folk. Well as it is now, it’s the lady folk that is exciting the tech firms.

 

Am from Mars and am yet to understand and know my mother. She is a sweet lady but some days I do not know. Why am I going on about this …well consider this.

 

Ladies type text messages faster than men. To test these ask the lady colleague next to you to type the same message and time this. Ladies are always two words ahead. Also men think in CAP letters when using mobile phones.

 

Another interesting thing is that ladies have evolved new ways of using letters while guys stick to the straight and sure thing. Example while a man will type this text: ‘Where are you?’ ladies use letters: w r u.

 

Now if the un-secure boyfriend picks the phone and reads the message the girl can always say a different thing. ‘Oh it’s Mary she reminding me about grandma’s White Regular Underwear. That’s why guys can not cheat that well like ladies.

 

Before I digress any further the fact is that with many ladies having small fingers it’s easier for them to type on a mobile phone key pad than a dude. All the mobile phone makers need to do is to make their devices lighter. Mum and my aunties hate carrying heavy things.

And Oh yes about the colours, they must be pretty period. I have seen the reactions of some elderly ladies (over 50 years) turning into sixteen years old when deciding on a colour for over ten minutes. Apparently they were buying a phone for their college going granddaughter. I left them with a shade of pink and another kind of pink. They all seem the same to me.

 

An interesting thing about women is that if the happen to meet for the first time; they can easily strike up a conversation. Men need an intervention and beer seems to work very well. Now men dive into social sites not to chat but to get dates and hopeful hook ups. Women want to share their feelings and thoughts.

 

I heard this conversation in the office the other day:

 

Dude 1 – Hey are you on face book?

Dude 2 – yeah

Dude 1 – so what kind of friends do you have?

Dude 2 – all kinds why

Dude 1 – do you have girls?

Dude 2 – yap

Dude 1 – Invite me and we can intro me to them

 

An as it goes Dude 2 got invited and tried all the face book tricks. Am yet to inquire of any development.

 

My lady folks have made social sites the in thing. Recently while replying to a thread on face book. I was kept informed on the ‘wall chatting’ on a soap opera that runs on a local TV station. After 15 minutes I learnt all the characters and their motives.

Apart from such many ladies on chat rooms say a lot about what is happening to theirs lives and what’s mores exchange photos and photos of weddings, bridal showers, baby did this and that.

 

To the guys let it be. If there is one thing ladies enjoy is talking and social sites and the mobile phones are making it easier for them. Once they start they do not stop.

As for the men you can now keep the remote and watch soccer all day.

  

 

WILL SEACOM CONTAIN OUR PECULIAR HABITS

It’s Friday and the clock has just hit 3pm East Africa standard time. The behaviour of East Africans is the same all over the region. After a lethargic slow afternoon, a flurry of activities seem to take place at this time. Guys get to chat rooms, texting goes to overdrive and making a mobile call especially in Nairobi CBD becomes a tedious affair due to congestion.

   

One thing you must now admit is that the mobile phone and now any communication device was meant for the African. We have come to embrace it turn it around and even found new ways of how to use it.

Now a fibre optic cable has touched based.

 

So when the SEACOM fibre optic cable landed in Kenya, it was met by the same reactions as the mobile phone did. Remember back then, there was this cautious curiosity that came with the gadget. In fact the talk then was that; the devices use or emit a lot of ‘radiation’ and it can affect your manhood.

The suggestion then was that once you buy the device and you happen to be in the pub for a while, place the phone on the table, the effects will be minimised apart from the flossing.

 

So will the fibre optic cable experience curious caution? Are we ready for the possibility?

The permanent secretary of information Dr. Bitange Ndemo who I like and admire has been singing the same tune. We as a country and region can to be a people that just consume content from outside,we need produce our own content.- I FULLY AGREE

 

At the moment I have been encouraged by the number of innovative ways that young guys in the region are using the mobile phone technology. They have reinforced the idea that with these devices are their offices and services is just a phone call away. So imagine with the costs of communication drastically falling by as much as 60%  due to the fibre optic cable, what can’t you do?

 

The number of people learning dream weaver and other website design stuff has shot up considerable, now more companies have websites although they still are brochures on the net. Few companies or government agencies are making their site interactive which is a shame at this time of the day.

 

What I found even funny was that only 15 journalists in NATION MEDIA GROUP LTD know what blogging is all about. The company has over 200 journalists. Therefore if one of the simplest ways to produce content is by blogging and few understand how are we going to get our content into the World Wide Web?

 

To me it’s quite simple, provide or have most or all government services through the internet. And this is where we need Dr. Ndemo’s stewardship.

To turn all the government brochures on the net into interactive portals and as it happens everywhere else in the world the rest of the people take up the idea and turn it up side down and opportunities are created.

 

Its good that government has come up with E-Government, E-health and soon E-Dairy will be launched soon making our dairy farmers become among the most ICT savvy people in their industry around Africa.

 

Content is there and the ideas are there. What the vibe is and has always been is that  ‘kama gava imesema ni sawa basi ni sawa – if government says its ok then it must be fine’.

Well GAVA has said it ok thats why they have invested over a billion shillings on it. So guys lets get connected.

 

As for the folks in the region Fridays 3pm will always be Friday 3pm. This is the time to make contact and find out where you will be at and at what time, how long does not matter since as long as you and them are there its ok.

And by the way, the guys who are talking or communicating to each other are on the next floor and sit on the same table.

Makes you wonder what we will do since our peculiar calling habits are a site to behold leave alone understand.

NAIROBI MORNING BUS

I love my beer especially when it’s cold. My love for this frothy drink has even made me come up with new ways of cooking using beer. Experimenting on other foods and fruits also has made for interesting sessions. But recently I did find out to the annoyance of the people sitting next to me that beer mixed with pears is a bad combination. Apart from the short conversations that ended every two minutes, the counter seemingly looked very lonely after some time.

So imagine sitting next to a person whose phone rings every minute and the conversation is not done with the caller but with all sitting next to him. That is the daily scenes in any commuter bus in Nairobi. Where as fart can disappear in the air, the apparent yelling on the mouth piece becomes infectious and for some reason either people call themselves or it’s a Nairobi thing.

Take for instant Monday 23rd at 7.30 am. I decided to board bus from Donholm estate to the Nairobi CBD. The journey normally takes about half an hour and my my my. Entering the bus I could see very distinguished looking folks and I must say until 10 minutes into the journey it’s was heavenly.

Then a phone rang and the ring tone was loud very loud. The device rings for a while and people start looking at me since am not picking the phone, but it was’t mine but the dude sitting next to me.
Now I wonder why has a lousy bad ring tone and then not pick up the phone. If you do not want to pick the phone how about putting it on silence mode that way you stop annoying other folks.

And if that was not enough some guy decides to wake some very old man who was day dreaming.
Old man picks the phone the turns to young man sitting next to him. He hand his phone to him then says ‘who is calling?’ the young man baffled says ‘I do not know since its your phone sir’
Old man says to the young man ‘tell whoever that am in the bus I shall be in town at 10am I have to see the doctor about my prostrate ok’

But the best was the old lady who was called by her grand son. Here is just a snipet
Old woman – ‘hallo my dear where is mum?’
——
Old woman- ‘ati Daddy did what to mum? ….. you found them in the sitting room running naked and laughing? And all in the bus became red faced

I wonder what I will hear tomorrow and I have come to love this morning soaps