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Jul 24

Review: The Samsung E250

Posted by MobileLife in Untagged 

When I bought my daughter a Samsung E250 (SGH – E250) a month ago, she was hardly impressed, as the kids in her school have phones she considered “newer and better.”
Her attitude annoyed me no end. I reminded her that a mobile phone for a 10-year old is not a right, and if she didn’t like what I provided, she was welcome to give it back.

I would be happy to return it to the store and get my money back, and she could wait until she had a job and could afford to buy herself a mobile phone she liked.  So much for gift-giving!

Anyway, days after the incident, I realised that she actually grew to love the phone.  The built-in MP3 player is her most popular feature, as it allows her to download songs she likes, and to share them with her friends via Bluetooth.

She also likes the FM radio, and many a time when she’s doing manual chores around the house, or when we’re travelling, she listens to the radio on her phone.I found it interesting that 5fm was her station of choice.

The camera is also useful in taking pictures of events in her life and sharing with friends and family.  She’s also learning to use the planner, so we can coordinate her school/homework/extracurricular activities better.

She's also now trying to negotiate for a raise on her monthly allowance, so she can increase her airtime spend. Currently, she gets R100 a month to buy herself whatever items she deems necessary, with no interference from me. (except when it's sweets and snacks).

"A 10% increase would be really nice. I would have money to top up my airtime for  R30, and still have R80 to buy whatever else I want," she said.


And the fact that she negotiated for a low percentage figure is also in her favour; it tells me she is aware money doesn't grow on trees.

Jul 10

Forced to sign for cellphone insurance

Posted by MobileLife in Untagged 

While at Eastgate the other evening, I decided to buy a friend of mine a cellphone. His birthday was coming up, and knowing that his mobile phone was old, I thought it would be a useful gift.

Cheapskate that I am, I went for the Vodafone 225, which I got for R229.00. My friend runs a small business, and he  needed something to make and receive calls; nothing complicated.

I was feeling quite pleased with my choice of gift until the salesperson rang up the transaction.
“You have to sign up for the insurance for the phone,” he said.

“No, I don’t want insurance; just the handset, please.”

The man insisted that it was store policy was that customers who buy handsets also had to sign on for insurance.
A number of customers had reported their phones stolen, he said. As a result, insurance was mandatory for every handset that store sold.

“You can come to the store within a week to cancel the insurance if you really don’t want it, but you have to sign up for it at the point of sale,” he said.

I got really angry and made it clear that I would pay for the mobile phone and nothing else. I was not going to sign for something I don’t want, and then later waste my time and money to go back to that mall and store to cancel it.

I still don’t understand what motivated the sales consultant to lie about phone insurance. Surely whether I insure a phone I’m buying cash is a personal matter? And even if I did sign for insurance, there’s not enough money to be made to make it worth lying about.

I also wonder if the store management is aware that their policies are being misrepresented by an employee. How many people got annoyed about being forced to buy insurance they didn’t want, and left to buy their mobile phone handsets elsewhere?

Of course, I’m operating on the premise that Jet ( and the Edcon group) didn’t go crazy and started forcing phone insurance on people whether they want it or not.

I ‘m 200% in favour of insuring a phone, by the way, but as far as I know, there is no law that says I have to do it. And in instances where the phone is a gift for someone else, it’s up to the recipient to buy the insurance, not the gift giver.

P.S. My friend was happy with his gift.
Jul 08

My ADSL self-install adventures

Posted by MobileLife in Untagged 


I can appreciatte that Telkom's customer service centres are busy, but it's a pity that their this morning unavailability has marred what was to date, a smooth, even pleasurable ADSL self-install experience.

Jul 07

Invitation to take part in MobileActive08

Posted by MobileLife in Untagged 

Sangonet and invite you to participate in MobileActive08, a global gathering that connects leaders who are working at the convergence of civil society, mobile technology and social change.

The conference takes place on the 13-15 October 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The conference relevant for you if you:

* have expertise in the field of mobile technology for social development,
* are a researcher working on mobile technology for social impact, or
* are a mobile service provider with interest in the social market, or
* are a civil society organisation or NGO with an interest in how mobile
technology could enhance your work.

For more infoemation, visit
Jul 04

Peach Mobile shouldn’t infringe on Mad Bob’s dignity

Posted by MobileLife in Untagged 

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)  has told Peach Mobile to withdraw its advertisements showing the Zimbabwean presidential pretender, Robert Mugabe as a gorilla caged in a zoo.

This ruling came after consumers objected that "the ad is offensive, degrading, insulting and that it encourages xenophobia."

The ASA says it “found the ad to be infringing on the rights of Robert Mugabe by portraying him in an offensive an undignified manner.”

Say what?

I couldn’t help but be amazed that someone actually complained and sought to protect Robert Mugabe’s dignity. The man steals a presidency,  not once, but many times, perpetrates untold suffering on a nation, and someone is concerned that his portrayal as a gorilla infringes on his dignity?

Save me!

As for the xenophobia argument, I truly don’t get it.. The ad was specific to Mad Bob himself, and did not say anything derogatory about the people of Zimbabwe.

Anyway, Peach Mobile argued that it constitutionally has a right to mock President Mugabe as he is a despot. But the ASA argues that “an advertiser is entitled to use whatever content he chooses in an endeavour to promote his product, provided the content complies with the code and does not infringe on human dignity as enshrined in the Constitution.”

Apr 18

How extensively do you use SMS?

Posted by MobileLife in Untagged 


I recently read on SMS Text News that one third of Americans said that they did not use texting (SMS) AT ALL. One might arge that it's because their cost of making a voice call is much cheaper, so they don't need to send SMSes. I accept that argument, to an extent, BUT...

Apr 15

Celebrate Blogger Appreciation Day, Get Medical Advice Thru Your Mobile

Posted by MobileLife in Untagged 


I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I like. And no, blogging is not like losing weight for me, where you make a lot of resolutions and very little comes out of it.

Apr 03

Nokia enables entry level users to access email through their cellphones

Posted by MobileLife in Untagged 


Mar 31

Review: IBurst's Webfone

Posted by MobileLife in Untagged 


Mar 20

The biggest library in Soweto : some pics

Posted by MobileLife in Untagged 


Earlier this week I attended the official opening of the Jabavu library, which has been billed as the biggest library in Soweto.

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