All hail the femoji
Huzzah! The smart women at Makers (a digital portal that is rapidly becoming one of the largest and most dynamic web channels for women’s stories) have released a range of feminist emoji that not so subtly suggest to Apple’s designers that their new range of updated emoji are simply not good enough. The updated Apple emoji software has appeased many who disagreed with the limited representations of race, family and occupation – but women are still shown as brides, princesses, and bunnies.
The Makers range even features somewhat hard-to-recognise emoji of Oprah, Beyoncé, Ruth Bader Ginsberg (one of the first female American judges) and Mae Jemison (the first African-American woman in space).
The no-name phone taking over Africa
Sometimes called the Power Bank, other times the Brick, the Army Phone, or just the Big Black Phone, this slab of a mobile device is showing up throughout the continent – from Mozambique to Ghana – in the hands of those who have a taste for function but aren’t prepared to pay a premium for it.
The mysteriously manufactured phone costs about R300, holds three SIM cards, boasts built-in FM radio, comes preloaded with Facebook and WhatsApp and, most importantly, doubles as a power bank to charge other devices – a considerable benefit for a continent often in the midst of a power crisis.
The phone is a very timely tip for other cellphone operators on the continent: solve the battery issue, or lose out on a big market.
Take a seat on Joburg’s smart bench
The first prototype of Johannesburg’s solar-powered Wi-Fi hot spot furniture was unveiled in Maboneng, Joburg, last week.
The bench/charging station/free internet access point is the first of the intended roll-out by Public Access Consulting, a winner of the Green City Startup initiative.
The bench is called the Isabelo, which means “to share” in isiZulu, and with good reason. “The smart bench is all about sharing: sharing a seat, sharing public spaces and sharing content. What we love about it is that people can sit down, charge up, and freely access information and share ideas online,” says Louise Meek, the founding director of Public Access Consulting.
Meek’s bench will do more than just bring free Facebook to the inner city: “The beauty of this bench is that it is in a public space. We aim to reduce the digital divide in South African cities, one bench at a time,” says Meek.
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