South Africa’s

first_img2 October 2013 Competing against more than 400 other global entries, South African movie Felix won the Best Children’s Film award at the Lucas International Children’s Film Festival in Germany on the weekend. The panel of judges included four children. The producers, in a South African first with an all-female team, were awarded with R101 816 in prize money. The team includes Safta Lifetime Achievement winner Roberta Durrant directing; Natalie Haarhoff as the director of photography; Shirley Johnston as the screenwriter; Kate Schalk as the line producer; Surisa Surisa as the art director; Ayesha Khatieb as the wardrobe stylist; Islyn Goliath as the hair and makeup artist; and Maryke Kruger as the editor. Rave reviews Reviewers and film fundis alike have been gushing about Felix. The Vancouver International Film Festival described the film as “an inspiring coming-of-age tale about finding the courage to fulfil your ambitions and the strength to let the past go”. The Lucas International Children’s Film Festival gives a nod to the film’s South African roots, saying, “This is a film that reflects the South African ‘love for life’.” Closer to home, local tabloid newspaper The Daily Sun calls the movie a “gentle, life-affirming tale”, while the Mail & Guardian’s Matthew Krouse says it’s “Perfect for a kiddies’ birthday party … or as a special treat for gran.”Heartwarming story Set in picturesque Cape Town, Felix follows the fortunes of 14-year-old Felix Xaba who hankers after being a saxophonist, just like his father. His mother, Lindiwe, however believes jazz is the devil’s music and wants her son to concentrate on his studies at the elite private school he’s won a scholarship to. Felix rebels, looking up his dad’s old jazz buddies to mentor him to play in the school’s jazz concert. Culturally inspired soundtrack The movie’s score takes its cue from Cape Town’s rich jazz heritage, with musical director Murray Anderson, who’s worked with the likes of jazz great Abdullah Ibrahim, teaming with former Standard Bank Young Artists of The Year Mark Fransman and Bokani Dyer, as well as triple 2012 South African Music Awards nominee Lwanda Gogwana. The film’s cast includes Johannesburg-born Oscar-nominee Dame Janet Suzman in her first South African film; South African Film and Television Award (Safta) Best Actress winner Linda Sokhulu (Isidingo) in her feature debut; and newcomer Hlayani Junior Mabasa, who was cast as Felix from over 400 auditions across the country. Felix is currently showing at 40 cinemas countrywide and will be screened at both the BFI London Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Apple’s iWork Goes (Partly) Online

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Apple#news#NYT#Product Reviews#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Apple today announced an online component to its iWork productivity suite. This, however, is not the rumored online version of iWork we were hoping for, as it only allows you to share documents online through iWork.com. After you share a document through the newly released iWork ’08 desktop software, your friends and co-workers can comment and leave notes on your Keynote, Pages, or Numbers documents, though the documents themselves can’t be edited online. Apple is releasing this as a free beta today, and Phil Schiller announced this as “the beginning of a great new service,” which leads us to believe that Apple is indeed working on a more advanced online version of iWork.According to Schiller, iWork.com will work on all the major browsers, including Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Documents are not only viewable online, but can also be downloaded.Apple also announced a Keynote Remote iPhone app, that will be available in the App Store for $0.99, as well as major updates to its iWork and iLife suites. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img frederic lardinois A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts last_img read more

What Do You Think? RateItAll Rolls Out Additional Social Features

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Related Posts When we last spent time with RateItAll – roughly 18 months ago – the service had just released a Flash-based widget designed to help extend its reach to blogs. Today, we’re checking back in with the company as it rolls out a new look-and-feel, accompanied by a number of new features designed to facilitate recommendations on practically any topic imaginable – while increasing the social aspects of the site for its growing user base. As any aficionado of the social Web knows, one of the biggest benefits of social networking is the opportunity to access hundreds – if not thousands – of opinions with a couple of keystrokes. Any number of sites have made a business of focusing on a singular topic – like movies, music, or restaurants – and helping users manage social recommendations within that niche. Some sites, like Yelp, have chosen to cover a broader range of topics, like retail outlets that cover anything from restaurants to shopping. But few have taken social recommendations to the extent of RateItAll, a site that eschews the niche focus in favor of giving its users the option of rating anything and everything. Now, RateItAll has released a number of new features to increase the social interaction among its users, including a new feed format which allows users to follow streams of reviews based on keywords and compatibility quizzes – similar to the ever-prevalent Facebook quizzes – which allow RateItAll users to meet other users with similar interests. In short, the latest version of RateItAll is designed to help people find their peers – and to share their reviews with people who share similar interests.Founded in 1999, RateItAll claims to have “one of the largest collections of consumer-generated content in the world.” Lately, it has seen growth in its user base and dataset, a 44% increase since midyear 2008. But, even with its breadth of content, RateItAll hasn’t seen the exponential growth of some of its younger – and more focused – competition. Managed by a small team, the site has already managed to deliver a nice set of features and some compelling content areas. Now, all it needs is the increased user base to take advantage of the offerings. It will be interesting to see if these new social features – plus access to a new API which has the potential to deliver more content to the site – spark some of that exponential growth for RateItAll. To register for the service, share your opinions, and try the new features, visit RateItAll. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img Tags:#Recommendation Engines#social networks#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification rick turoczy 1last_img read more

Manufacturing IT: Digital Manufacturing to Revolutionize Businesses

first_imgIDC recently made the following predictions for how IT will affect global manufacturing:Investment in IT will promote “customer centricity” and help businesses become more responsive to customers, boosting their market share by 2 to 3 percentage points.90 percent of manufacturers will dictate their company global standards on suppliers and outsourcers to decrease risk and increase market opportunity65 percent of manufacturers will implement metrics that will help them evaluate and drive change75 percent of manufacturers will digitally connect their processes to drive speed and responsiveness to customers50 percent of manufacturers will streamline their logistics network by using technology like 3D Printing, Robotics, and Cognitive Computing20 percent of manufacturers will reshape their IT portfolios and hire IT-savvy workers to enable digital-controlled manufacturingBy 2017, 40 percent of manufacturers will use virtual product modeling and simulation to improve product design and the manufacturing process.By 2017, 50 percent of manufacturers will be using the cloud, mobility and advanced analytics to facilitate innovation.By 2018, top 100 global manufacturers will have adopted a product innovation platform to improve product quality.  The platform enables product, manufacturing, supply chain and service to all better work together, with improved decisions and collaborations.last_img read more

Teens Still Love Texting, But Mobile App Use is Growing

first_imgTexting is also now the number one reason why teens say they get a phone, with 43% reporting this as their primary reason for mobile adoption. Safety, the number one reason back in 2008, has now fallen to second place with only 35% citing this as the top reason. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The growth in texting as a communication mechanism has also led to decreased voice usage. Voice activity is down 14% from last year. According to teens, texting is easier (22%) and faster (20%) than making a phone call. Data and Apps Usage Up TooWith the ever-lowering prices of smartphones and more affordable data options, it seems that smartphones and “smarter” feature phones are making their way into the hands of more teens. And with these data-ready phones comes increased data usage. In this young demographic group, 94% of teens saying they’re using Internet, messaging, multimedia, gaming and apps on their phones. In fact, this group has seen the largest jump, year-over-year, in data usage, going from 14 MB in Q2 2009 to 62 MB in Q2 2010, a fourfold increase. Males are consuming more data than females with 75 MB used vs. 53 MB for females. Application usage among teens is up, too, going from 26% last year to 38% this year. The mobile Web is used more than apps, however, with 49% reporting they surf the Net on their phones. A note on methodology: Nielsen surveyed 3,000 teens for this report and combined their answers with data from monthly phone bills of over 60,000 mobile customers, a large enough sample to point to these behaviors and increases as definite trends. sarah perez The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#mobile#NYT#Trends Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … New data from Nielsen out today delves into the behavior of the youngest mobile consumers: the American teenager. The study further solidifies what we’ve known for some time – teens are heavy-duty users of text messaging services. No other demographic group texts as much as teens do, with an average of 3,339 texts sent and received per month. (For girls, it’s even higher – 4,050 texts per month!)But the study also revealed that teens are now turning to mobile applications, too, with 38% of teens using downloadable apps like those from Facebook, Pandora and YouTube. And usage in this area is growing, says Nielsen. Texting Still Popular, Usage IncreasingNot surprisingly, Nielsen found teens text a lot. Any parent who doesn’t have their child on an unlimited texting plan is just setting themselves up for failure, it seems. According to Nielsen’s data, teens send out more than six messages per every hour they’re awake, an 8% increase since just last year.While females still text more than males (4,050 compared to 2,539 texts, females vs. males), the teen boys (ages 13-17) are still outpacing the other male age groups studied. Young adults (ages 18-24) are in second place overall with 1,630 texts per month. Related Posts last_img read more

All-You-Can-Stream Music Services Reduce Piracy, Says Study

first_imgjohn paul titlow 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… It might be a decade late, but it appears as though the music industry may have found the antidote to the digital piracy it claims has ravaged its revenues for so long. New research into Swedish music consumption indicates that the public launch of Spotify in that country has led to a 25% reduction in the illegal downloading of songs and albums. In the second quarter of 2011, music piracy had dropped 9% from the same period last year. It only makes sense. What peer-to-peer filesharing services like Napster originally offered their users was seamless and immediate access to a large selection of MP3s and other media files. Today’s legal, on-demand streaming services provide similarly unfettered and searchable access to digital music, but do so for a modest monthly fee. Music fans can still (at their own risk, of course) use BitTorrent and RapidShare to download albums without paying for them, but for most consumers this probably isn’t a convenient way to go about it. Services like Spotify, Rdio, MOG and Grooveshark are just easier to deal with. Finding music is a simple process and there are no downloads to wait for. In Sweden, these services are now the most popular means of listening to music, according to the study. Twenty-three percent of listeners still download music illegally, but it’s a percentage that continually shrinks. Whether or not streaming services can fill the financial hole left by ever-dwindling CD sales is another story. As we’ve covered in the past, the payouts received by labels and artists from Spotify and similar services is tiny compared to what they make off of digital downloads and album sales. A handful of small indie labels have pulled their catalog from these services out of concern that the streaming model is not economically viable for them. Tags:#music#news#web center_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts last_img read more

Will Reddit’s SOPA Blackout Make a Difference?

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The next phase of Reddit’s war against the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) will begin next week when the social news community will black out its website for a period of 12 hours. In place of Reddit’s user-ranked news and lively conversations will be commentary and information about SOPA, as well as video of congressional testimony about the proposed legislation.This is just Reddit’s latest strike against SOPA, a topic that has been front-and-center on the site for months now. Its community of users have turned the discussion into a type of digital activism, launching a successful boycott campaign against GoDaddy and rallying support for candidates running against pro-SOPA politicians. How effective will the blackout be? To be sure, Reddit has massive traffic. The site delivered over 2 billion pageviews in December and has seen its traffic double within the last year. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine that too many people who visit Reddit on a regular basis don’t know what SOPA is or are unaware of the arguments against it. Those have been plastered all over Reddit’s front page for quite some time, and the site’s anti-SOPA activity has been the subject of widespread media coverage (a fact that probably contributed to their December traffic explosion). For a healthy percentage of people who try to navigate to Reddit on January 18, the notion that SOPA poses a threat to the Internet as we know it won’t exactly be breaking news. Getting More Big Players on BoardTo truly stir up the masses, bigger players like Facebook or Google would need to make some kind of tangible anti-SOPA move, even if it’s just a brief homepage takeover or light box with a brief message. Sites of that magnitude (and that reliant on advertising dollars) are unlikely to actually black their services out for a day, but saying a few words about SOPA would at least get the attention of everyday, non-geek people who have never heard of Reddit. Imagine if every WordPress.com blog went dark for a day or if the admin panel included a message about SOPA as Tumblr has already done. Given the makeup of Reddit’s community and the role the site has already played in anti-SOPA activism, it may actually be the perfect place to try out such an experiment, generating just enough additional awareness without alienating too many existing users. If successful, perhaps the model would expand to other sites. Wikipedia is just one major website that’s considering participating in this style of protest against SOPA. Tags:#news#Social Web#web Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationcenter_img Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… john paul titlow The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more