Monthly Archives: February 2014

Death Announcement

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It is with great sorrow that we announce the  sudden demise of  Paul Munene Mwaura which occured on Sunday morning February 23rd 2014 in Kenya. The late Paul was the son to Mr Bernard Mwaura Kamau and the late Hannah Wanjiku Mwaura.  He is the husband to Joyce Wanjiru, father to  Hannah Wanjiku Munene(5yrs) and Natasha Nyawira Munene (2yrs). He is brother to James Maina Mwaura, brother in law to Catherine Mwaura, uncle to Hannah Maina, Dennis Maina and Davis Maina all of  St. Louis MO USA.

Man attacked and killed by stray hippo in Nairobi

Prayers will be held @ the residence of James & Catherine @ 328 Chapel Ridge Dr #D  Hazelwood MO 63042 on Wednesday February 26th 2014 & Saturday March 1st  2014 @ 6pm.

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Memorial service will be held coming Sunday March 2nd 2014 1.30pm.

at Pendo Presbyterian Church during the main service on the address below.
9424 Everman Avenue
Overland, St Louis, MO 63114

Kindly remember the family of James in your thoughts and prayers during this trying moment. Your moral and financial support is highly appreciated.
For more information contact:
Pastor  Isaac Wanyoike (314 556 8716)
or James Mwaura ( 314 498 3707)
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Malibu teenager asks Gracie Gold to prom on YouTube

malibu

KSDK – Is love in the air for regional sweetheart Gracie Gold?

High schooler Dyer Pettijohn, of Malibu, Calif., made an adorable video asking the figure skater to prom. He makes a pretty convincing pitch, telling Gracie “You’re gorgeous, my mom thinks I’m pretty,” and “You’re an Olympic athlete, I made varsity.”

If that doesn’t persuade you of their love, the notion that they’re both “blonde, five foot something and graceful on ice” might push you over the edge.

Even though Gold – who also lives in California – didn’t give a concrete yes or no answer, she did tweet that the video melted her heart.

You can watch it below:

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Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is here with more power, more pixels, and a refined design

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  via cdn3.sbnation.com

What do you do when you’re one of the world’s largest smartphone makers and it’s time to update your flagship device? If you’re Samsung, you trot out the new Galaxy S5, a refined and updated take on last year’s wildly successful Galaxy S4. Like the new Gear wearables, the Galaxy S5 looks and feels familiar, but offers a number of improvements over last year’s edition.

The Galaxy S5’s design is a minor evolution of the Galaxy S4 — in fact, the two are almost indistinguishable from the front. The S5’s display is ever so slightly larger at 5.1 inches, but it’s still a 1080p, Super AMOLED panel that doesn’t look very different from the S4’s screen. Below the display is a new home key with integrated fingerprint scanner and capacitive keys for multitasking and Android’s back button.

Samsung has retained the familiar metal-looking plastic surround on the S5, though the charging port (now USB 3.0) comes with an integrated port cover for waterproofing. The S5 is IP67-rated for water and dust resistance, meaning it can be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes at a time.

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Though the S5 is extremely familiar-looking from the front, things take a turn around back, where Samsung has replaced the S4’s slimy, glossy plastic battery cover with a dimpled soft-touch finish. The company is calling this a “modern glam” look, though if you’re familiar with the original Nexus 7 released in 2012, it’s very similar to that. The new back offers a significant upgrade in they way the device feels — it’s much more comfortable to hold and doesn’t slide off of surfaces nearly as much as the S4 — but it doesn’t look as tacky as the fake-leather patterns used on Samsung’s Note line of devices. Samsung is offering the S5 in four different colors — black, white, blue, and gold — but the black and white are the most attractive options. The first complaint usually levied at Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones is their abundant use of glossy, cheap feeling plastic, but the S5’s new finish reverses this trend and is one of the most significant upgrades introduced this year.

A Familiar design, But with less glossy plastic

But despite the refined design and new patterned finish, the S5 is unmistakably a Samsung smartphone. The S5 is launching with Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Samsung’s user interface fully intact. Though earlier reports had said that Samsung intended to tone down its software due to pressure from Google, the S5 retains much of the signature pieces of the Galaxy line. There are S-branded apps in many places, including the S Voice personal assistant, and Samsung’s signature bloops and whistles are present every time you interact with the device. The My Magazine feature, Samsung’s Flipboard-like news reader that debuted on the Note 3, is accessible directly to the left of the home screen, but the main display is a very familiar assortment of folders, app shortcuts, and a weather widget. The most notable change is found in the settings menu, where Samsung has swapped out the tabbed interface for a single, vertical scrolling screen with round, flat icons.

GalaxyS5back

Samsung is making a huge push into fitness tracking this year, and the Galaxy S5 benefits from a revamped S Health app and new heart-rate sensor on its back. The new S Health app can sync with Samsung’s Gear line of wearables, including the Gear Fit fitness band, and it offers guided coaching and feedback while you work out. Developers will be able to tap into the data offered by the service through an SDK that will be out later this year.

The heart rate monitor is a unique addition and is located just below the camera and reads your fingertip to grab your pulse in about five to ten seconds. In our brief tests, the sensor worked as advertised and was able to give me a reading in just a few seconds.

Heart-rate monitors and fingerprint scanners

Less successful is Samsung’s take on the fingerprint-unlock system made popular by Apple with the iPhone 5S. Like the 5S, the S5’s home key features an integrated fingerprint scanner, which can be used to unlock the phone or authenticate purchases online (Samsung is partnering with PayPal to enable this feature, though it doesn’t validate purchases from the Google Play Store). Samsung’s version requires a vertical swipe over the home button to activate the scanner, and we found it to be quite unreliable and virtually impossible to activate when holding the phone in one hand. It can store up to three different digits, but it was very particular about the speed and orientation of the swiping motion used — if we weren’t doing a perfectly straight swipe down, it would refuse to unlock the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on photos

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Samsung didn’t ignore the other vital components of the S5 — it has a faster, 2.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a larger battery with the promised 20 percent better stamina, as well as a new low-power conservation mode to get the most battery possible when you’re running low. The S5 is as fast as you’d expect — Samsung has ensured that its flagship phone is one of the most powerful on the market for a number of years now, and the S5 is no different.

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The camera has been upgraded to a 16-megapixel sensor with 4K video capabilities, and it now supports real-time HDR processing for better photos in mixed lighting. It’s now possible to apply Samsung’s unique camera effects after a picture has been taken, so you don’t have to worry about what mode you’re in when shooting pics. Samsung has also greatly simplified the camera interface, and in our brief tests, it was pretty snappy and responsive.

The S5 builds on what worked with the S4

Samsung had a successful formula with the Galaxy S4, and for the most part, it looks like it has retained that with the S5. Things are faster, nicer feeling, and easier to use, but it’s still a Samsung smartphone through and through, and will likely be just as successful if not more so than its predecessor.

The Galaxy S5 is scheduled to launch globally on April 11th and will be available on all major US carriers, though Samsung isn’t yet ready to talk pricing. Chances are, the price won’t matter — Samsung has built a very recognizable and successful brand with its Galaxy smartphones, and there’s no reason the S5 won’t continue the company’s success.

Source: Samsung

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Man attacked and killed by stray hippo in Nairobi

SINGING HIPPO WITH MOUTH OPEN 180 DEGREES

Nairobi, Kenya: A hippopotamus attacked and killed a middle-aged man at a private dam in Kiamumbi area near Kahawa West estate, Nairobi.

Paul Munene, 29 is said to have been at a coffee plantation near the dam when he was attacked Sunday morning.

Police and residents said his body had deep cuts in the stomach and legs when it was discovered several hours later. The badly mutilated body was later moved to the mortuary.

The farmer was working at the farm watering his vegetables when the animal that had wandered out of the dam confronted him.

A neighbour spotted part of the deceased’s left leg and his blood soaked clothes before alerting the police. Parts of the body were found in the pool of water.

The residents have raised alarm and are protesting against the presence of the animals at the site terming them a threat and menace to their lives.

Kasarani division police boss Augustine Nthumbi said they have called on Kenya Wildlife Service to go there and relocate the herbivorous animals.

“They seem to be many and live at a dam in the area but we have asked KWS to come and help in relocating them. They are causing harm to the locals,” said Nthumbi.

The Sunday killing is the second one in less than six months, he added.

The animals are being reared at the dam and police questioned the owner as they sought the help of the KWS to address the menace.

The family of the deceased argue the animals are supposed to be under the care of KWS and plan to seek compensation from the service.

Apart from Kiamumbi, the animals are also reared along Thika Road near Ruiru and Dandora where residents have been asking KWS to capture them as they pose a danger to them.

KWS head of corporate communications Mr Paul Udotto said the service will address the issue.

Source: Standard

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Former Kenyan diasporian in US and tech entrepreneur sees opportunity back home

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When James I Salamba left Kenya to study in the US 17 years ago, mobile phones were a preserve of the rich, rural areas were mostly inaccessible and mobile money was non-existent. Three years ago he moved back home to run his IT business, Jamo Designs, which focuses on digital marketing, strategy and training, as well as app development.

Founder of Jamo Designs, James I Salamba

Salamba says coming back home to participate in a nascent industry gives him the opportunity to “shape the rules of the game”.

“In the western world the rules have already been defined. Here it is a new territory and that is where the opportunity is,” he says. “I like being an outlier, not swimming where everything is happening but swimming where it is much tougher. You can really make it big here.”

The 37-year-old entrepreneur told How we made it in Africa that “opportunities here are endless”.

“We haven’t done half the things that have been done in developed economies. We are just now building highways. The beauty of it all is that here even the small accomplishments and the small miracles are indeed huge miracles.”

Salamba started Jamo Designs in the US two years after graduating.
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“It was after the September 11 bombing so the economy was not doing very well. The company I worked for went down and in my next job I just didn’t feel I was getting anywhere. I am just too ambitious. I figured it was time to start my own business. I didn’t have the luxury to wait. I started in my own apartment doing graphics and web design.”

Salamba describes his initial experience trying to acquire customers and build a brand in a foreign country as “tough”.

“Can you imagine, you are a foreigner, you have an accent and you are trying to tell people that you know technology… it took a lot of networking, talking to small businesses, especially the mom and pop stores. I was focusing on restaurants, pizza places, dairy shops…”

Eventually business picked up and Salamba was able to move into an office and hire staff. After seven years of running the business Salamba relocated.

“While in the US I had tried to be an investor here and it just didn’t work,” he says. “I left Kenya when I was 20. I just did not have a good understanding of the market anymore. That is why I decided to come back, build partnerships, get to know the other players and help improve this ecosystem.”

Jamo Designs offers a wide range of services including online branding, e-commerce, web design, social media strategy and management and traffic generation. The company targets mid to high level businesses that are keen to have an online presence and build their brands, increase revenues and fight off competition.

Although social media is popular among millions of mobile phone subscribers in Africa, Salamba says many businesses are yet to figure out how to transform the numbers of “followers and friends” into actual sales.

“The leading companies in Kenya, for instance, mostly use social media for customer care issues like handling customer complaints, and not really to sell products and generate revenues. This is a new market and it will take years to really shape up the product and the market.”

He notes that there is a need for research to find out if customers who use social media channels actually ‘listen’ to brand messages, how effective it is and how companies can transform this into revenues.

Challenges

One of the hurdles Salamba faces is adapting to the local business culture.

“Having come from a culture where people mean what they say 90% of the time, the big challenge here is that people don’t always mean what they say. So it is harder getting commitment and information. Things always drag for a while. You know the culture of hakuna haraka tutafanya hiyo (there is no hurry, we will do that),” he says.

 

He adds that existing technology information gaps among businesses are also a big challenge.

“Corporate firms don’t quite understand how to effectively use digital media to improve their business. There is still a lot of education gaps [and] technology gaps between the users and the customers that we serve.”

Salamba’s ultimate goal is to run a leading regional digital company, but in the meantime his focus is on maintaining gradual growth and building a strong brand.

“I am not looking at having VCs to invest in me so that I can have all the money and hire whoever I want. I need space to create, figure out my journey and focus on the direction I want to take. The good thing about being an SME is that you can see the growth, you can easily make changes and do research on consumer patterns and behaviour. All this gets me on the path to becoming a leading digital company in the region.”

Salamba urges other technology entrepreneurs to focus on simplicity to be able to reach the masses, not just the elite in cities.

“The genius of Microsoft and Google is that they made it a lot simpler for an ordinary person to use their services.”

Entrepreneurs should also ditch the “instant millionaire mentality”.

“I think the biggest mistake we are making right now, especially in technology is the impatience,” says Salamba. “People want the million dollar deal today. We have to be patient, build the local industry, have a workable plan, get the right partnerships, be consistent and find people you can work with here and in outside markets.”

He adds that young emerging entrepreneurs should look beyond coding and beef up the business development side of their startups.

“The young entrepreneurs in university are doing well but my issue with them is on the process of building a sustainable business. If you look at [at the founders of Microsoft] Bill Gates and Paul Allen, you will see that they were successful because they focused not just on the tech but on the business as well. Yes, we should be good at the coding but we also need people to enhance the business development side of things.”

Salamba says he is optimistic technology alongside other industries will prosper in the continent in coming years. Africa, he says, is taking the path of Brazil and India which transformed their economies two decades ago.

“We are getting there and that is why it is so exiting to be back home and to do business in Africa.”

Salamba explains that with the improving business environment and with immense opportunities for growth in various sectors, now is the best time for African migrants to come back home.

“When people left Kenya in the 1990s, the country was basically dead, no houses were being constructed, no roads were being made and today we are sitting at Java (a homegrown leading coffee chain) with all these people in here. So much has changed in the last decade. People in the diaspora should come back home before it all goes and they become the foreigners. Things are changing quite fast.”

Source: how we made in Africa

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