The World Bank Group launched XL Africa, a five-month business acceleration program designed to support the 20 most promising digital start-ups from Sub-Saharan Africa. Start-ups will receive mentoring from global and local experts, learn through a tailor-made curriculum, increase their regional visibility, and get access to potential corporate partners and investors. With support from prominent African investment groups, XL Africa will help the 20 selected start-ups attract early stage capital between $250,000 and $1.5 million. The Vice President for the Africa Region at the World Bank says Digital start-ups are important drivers of innovation in Africa. To scale and spread new technologies and services beyond borders, they need an integrated ecosystem that provides access to regional m
Facebook has unveiled a project from its secretive Building 8 research group that’s working to create a brain-computer interface that lets you type with your thoughts. The social media giant announced during day two of its F8 developer conference that its Building 8 hardware lab is working on technology that will one day allow users to type with your thoughts and hear through your skin. Our brains, along with the cochleas in our ears, possess the power to reconstruct language from components, and Facebook is looking at hardware and software to transmit those components to the body via pressure changes and vibrations. During the day 2 keynote, the company demonstrated a video of one of its engineers repeating words communicated to her through sensors embedded in a sleeve on her arm. Simpl
Ethiopia is the latest nation in Africa to look skyward and declare its ambitions in space. The country’s ministry of science and technology announced that it will launch a satellite into orbit in three to five years to better develop its weather-monitoring capabilities. This follows the 2015 launch of a privately-funded, multi-million dollar astronomical observatory in the Entoto hills overlooking Addis Ababa—the only one of its kind in the region. The bigger picture is a realization among African countries of the value space technology holds for economic development, job creation—and military aspirations. Many African nations lack the human expertise or capital to fund these projects. But for those that do, information gleaned from satellites has the potential to improve agriculture, g
Traditional banking methodology is turning obsolete with development in modern banking techniques. Standing in long queues and waiting for someone to assist you is not was never an appealing choice. What usually took people 3 hours now takes less than 10 minutes. Online banking is a convenient way of handling finances, sitting in front of the laptop or just taking out your smartphone to start paying those bills is way more desirable. However, with all its convenience, internet banking have negative implications especially when your account has been hacked. Fraudsters have emerged and became extremely agile, they are very innovative, there are some really bright and tech savvy people that form part of these fraud syndicates and the banks need to be able to respond in an equally agi...
Microsoft is buying Intentional Software, a small company founded 15 years ago by Microsoft veteran Charles Simonyi who had overseen the early development of the Microsoft Excel and Word applications using the nascent graphical user interface back in the 1990s. Simonyi helped build Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet and Word document franchises. As described in a 2007 New York Times report, Simonyi's goal with the new company was to replace conventional coding with what he called intentional programming, "in which programmers would talk to machines as little as possible. Instead, they would concentrate on capturing the intentions of computer users." Microsoft has made some blockbuster acquisitions, most recently its $26.2 billion buy of professional social network LinkedIn. It has also made