The end of maps as Sat Nav users lose brains

sat_navThe scourge of Sat Nav appears to have rendered drivers clueless and dependent on the technology to arrive at their destination.

According to research by GPS technology specialists Garmin, almost 40% of drivers don’t know how to navigate using a traditional map and a further 16% admit that they are so reliant on a Sat Nav that they use it for regular journeys.

As a driver who loves getting lost and likes to ask for directions because it means I meet PEOPLE in unusual situations and do not reply on a mobile ivory tower to insulate myself from real life, this comes as no surprise.

One thing that remains the same, however. Be it digital or analogue, the report says that arguing over directions remains one of driving’s biggest hazards, with a third of respondents saying that it creates arguments with their partners.

The press release tries to put a spin on this depressing result… ‘Rather than seeing technology as consuming traditional skills like map reading, it should be celebrated for delivering speed, accuracy and safety’.

This is not something I’ve ever seen when Sat Nav drivers pull away, then stop instantly while they fiddle with its controls. It is the devil’s work and is sucking away our brains. Maps are like books, they keep us intelligent, not driverless Google car guinea pigs.

US company acquires African startup Saya

Robert-LampteyOne of the smartest people I’ve met as I’ve built up my African network over the past two years is the charismatic and smart Robert Lamptey.

As CEO and founder of Ghana-based mobile messaging company Saya Mobile, Robert has been an inspiration for many Ghanaians, and Africans for that matter. He is a better coder than anybody who has attempted MIT’s coding challenges and he has built up an excellent company in the last three years.

So it is of great pleasure to announce (somewhat belatedly, been on holiday), Saya’s acquisition by New Jersey company Kirusa, which has acquired the technology, IP and workforce of Saya that will now be working on Kirusa’s mobile applications. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Continue reading

150-WORD BOOK REVIEW: The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

Dark Net Cover The Internet that most people use on a day to day basis is a veneer. The part that lies unindexed by Google and unvisited by most is only occasionally glimpsed in tabloid exposes or dodgy pop-up ads on sites people visit for ‘research’.

The Dark Net is about the layers – rotten and amazing – that lie beneath. Free from the academic ruminations or tabloid hysteria that has characterised so many other books on this topic, Bartlett explores this semi-walled garden.

These include Camgirls, Silk Road dealers, trolls, transhumanists, perverts and many others by exploring those people who live and make a living from the more opaque, obscure and occasionally illegal and immoral corners of the Internet.

Not only are the characters perfectly cast, their stories are expertly told. You’ll either be horrified or racing to download Tor afterwards. Or maybe both. Regardless. You’re going to want to read this.

REVIEW: 9.75/10

Ebola Facts website goes, er, viral

ebolaAs the Ebola health crisis deepens and is not expected to peak until the end of the year, education about the disease is critical to contain panic and inform people.

Last week Nigerian educational website launched Ebola Facts, a site that was built in 24 hours and aimed at educating the West African market about the disease. In the past week more than 1.5 million people have visited the site and the Facebook site has been viewed 2.3 million times. Continue reading

No WiFi?… Holiday ruined, we won’t be back

holidayLogging in while on holiday can be a tricky thing for families and rules need to be drawn up so nobody gets too pissed off.

The one that is currently in favour in my household is to go online for an hour at breakfast; all members of the family on their devices – kids doing games and Instagram, parents doing work. After that, it’s over to the analogue world of swimming, running, basking and dreaming. Continue reading