Google Confirms Its Services Are Casualties Of A Russian Blockage Due To The Recent Telegram Ban

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A shower of paper airplanes were darted through the skies of Moscow and other towns in Russia as users answered the call of entrepreneur Pavel Durov to send the blank missives out of their windows at a pre-appointed time in support of Telegram, a messaging app he founded that was blocked last week by Russian regulator Roskomnadzor (RKN) that uses a paper airplane icon. RKN believes the service is violating national laws by failing to provide it with encryption keys to access messages on the service (Telegram has refused to comply).…

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JuuBike: Streamlining the Kenyan Bodaboda Transport Sector

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The Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya recently launched a new app called JuuBike that will connect riders to customers in what the Association says will streamline the industry and inject discipline. The IBCA caught up with its founder who told us more about it. How can you define the technology sector in Kenya? JuuBike: The technology in Kenya has been improving rapidly and being adopted by very many different sectors eg, communication,Transport, manufacturing and many others. It has the engine that is driving the Kenyan economy as today almost everything is…

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Self-care Apps on the rise

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Millennials may be a bit obsessed with self-care — and it’s beginning to pay off for the makers of self-care and digital wellness apps. According to data from multiple app store intelligence firms, the category is now seeing notable growth. In the first quarter of 2018, the top 10 grossing self-care apps in the U.S. earned $15 million in combined iOS and Android revenue, and $27 million in worldwide revenue, according to Sensor Tower. The firm also found that the top 10 wellness apps (e.g. mindfulness and meditation) made about 170…

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Mobile Commerce enabler DOCOMO Partners with Safaricom to Launch first App Store Integration with M-PESA.

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Global mobile commerce enabler, DOCOMO Digital has partnered with Safaricom to give customers the option to pay for content on the Google Play Store using M-PESA. The integration, which is powered by DOCOMO Digital’s mobile commerce enabling platform using Google Play’s payment API, allows M-PESA customers to use the mobile money service to pay for goods and services from the app store. The service is available to more than 27 million M-PESA customers in Kenya with an Android smartphone or tablet. From today, customers matching this criteria can purchase content…

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WhatsApp Users can now Call Without Internet thanks to Rwandan Made Prototype

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It is easier for a WhatsApp user in diaspora to audio or video call or chat with his or her counterpart in Africa who has the same application than traditional telephone calls and text messages. The situation is the same for people who use Skype, Facebook Messenger, Viber and WeChat, to mention a few. But at the moment, the number of smartphone holders is very small in many developing countries especially in Africa. For instance, the number of smartphone holders in Rwanda is below 1.2 million. This challenges service providers…

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Bitcoin and Ethereum hit by massive decline, Other cryptocurrencies dropped even worse

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Most major digital currencies sold off sharply on Tuesday, but the declines in bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin prices weren’t as bad as much of the rest of the market.  Bitcoin was down 17 percent at that time, ethereum was down 19 percent and litecoin was down 19 percent, according to the same site. The declines followed speculation in the market about what regulators in Asia may be planning for digital tokens. On Monday, a report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, said Beijing plans to block domestic access to Chinese and…

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Five African tech trends to watch in 2018

Internet of things
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The BBC’s Clare Spencer picks five African tech trends to look out for in 2018. Land registry you can’t tamper with The idea: Documentation is often lacking in parts of Africa, leading to land disputes because it isn’t clear who owns the land. Even when there are records, sometimes they have been tampered with. A record that cannot be deleted, using something called blockchain, could be used to prevent these disputes. Blockchain is a method of recording data – a digital ledger of transactions, agreements, contracts – anything that needs…

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Apple ‘to buy Shazam for $400m

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Apple is close to buying the music recognition app Shazam for about $400m (£300m), media reports say. Shazam, a UK company founded in 1999, allows people to use their smartphone or computer to identify and buy music through a snippet of sound. Shazam, which says it has more than 100 million monthly users, makes most of its revenue from commissions paid on referrals to Apple’s iTunes Store. Neither Apple nor Shazam have commented on the reports on the TechCrunch site. If the deal is confirmed, the music identifying App will…

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Google Maps will soon tell you when it’s time to get off your train or bus

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Google is about to launch a small but useful update to Google Maps that will give you live guidance and interactive real-time notifications during your journey. The idea here is to give you real-time updates while you are on your transit journey. These updates will appear in the Google Maps app and, maybe most importantly, on your Android lock screen. To get started, you search for your transit directions in Google Maps as usual. So far, so good. What’s new here is that you’ll soon be able to tap a…

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Google launches a data-friendly search app for users in emerging markets

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Google is continuing its push to make its services accessible for people with lower-end mobile devices or slow internet connections after it introduced Google Go, a data-friendly search app. The app was first spotted in beta in August — when it was known as Search Lite — and now it has been released for select Android devices (here). At just 5MB the app won’t take up huge amounts of space on a device — that’s important because cheaper devices that are popular in emerging markets have limited capacity — while…

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