From Technology in a Wireless WSIS

Emmanuel.K. Bensah Jr. has 59 followers on Google Buzz

Friday, February 15, 2008

Showcasing Ghana 2008 with ICT (2)

So, you are keen to show Ghana off to the world—especially after that resounding trounce by the Black Stars, of Morocco. Even if we are a week away from the finals of the 26th edition of CAN 2008, it is still never too late to do one’s bit for Mother Ghana.

Camera Never Lies
Your average digital camera of between 4-5 mega-pixels can take a close-up picture of even your television set. Maybe you were not at the stadium, but you would like to be original? Grab your camera, focus it on the TV set, and capture (replays of) the image of the symmetrical Essien-Muntari delivery for posterity.

You can toe the line, if you are armed with your camera phone—but do bear in mind that unless you are holding a NOKIA N95, which already comes equipped with 5 megapixels (MP) your average camera phone will range from VGA--(640X480) to 2.0MP—enabled film quality. However, it will be a little less for wear—for the quality is never going to be tantamount to a dedicated digital camera.

After you have captured that picture, you might want to consider creating a video capture. Your average digital camera (be it SAMSUNG, CANON, KODAK or less well-known brands) will be equipped with video, but your mobile phone is a different kettle of fish altogether. Whether the capacity is unlimited or not, its ability to record clips depends – yet again -- on the capacity of your SD card. I found out very recently that the ever-popular MOTOROLA RAZR V3 flip-phone does not accommodate this type of card, going to confirm the suspicion that the aesthetics of a phone in no way determines its quality.

Once you’ve taken a video clip, you have to upload the picture somewhere. You can chose to store it on your computer or your laptop (if you have one). What you could also do is upload it onto the Internet. Question is where to?

Gee, this mail is good!
First of all, Google’s PICASA is a great place to start. By going to on your phone, you will be asked to input your email and password. It’s preferable that you have a google mail, or GMAIL, account. Gmail, to be frank, is all the rage these days. For the fact that you can check any of your emails (yahoo is the only one that remains problematic being checked in gmail) through the service, and have unlimited and ever-expanding space (right now, it’s 63.4 GB and counting!) makes it a boon to both the luddites and tech-savvy people who might be both awed and impressed by the extent of this technology.

For instance, I have the priviledge of being able to check my work email through GMAIL—and respond to those mails accordingly. Excuses of not having received emails are (regrettably!) a thing of the past—as most people are cottoning onto how the service works. That my boss has now asked for assistance on the setting up of GMAIL has personally reminded me my bag of excuses around emails never being received have comprehensively bitten the dust!

In all seriousness, with your gmail account, you can access picasa on the web, and begin your uploading of those beautiful pictures of re-plays by our national team.

Secondly,—a photo-sharing site—is also another great place to go. By clicking on , you can read up more about how to upload from your mobile phone. It might interest you to know that the top 5 camera phones uploading on that mobile site are: NOKIA N95; Apple I-Phone; Nokia N73; Sony Ericsson K800i and W810i. Incidentally, this is not a Google product--prepare to have your YAHOO email accounts ready for use on this site!

In order to avoid wasting more chances than striker Asamoah-Gyan in the Namibia-Ghana game last week, it might be a good idea to consider creating an online site where your thoughts can be recorded in reverse chronological order—or a blog.

Ready to Hit the Blogosphere?
For the past five years, blogs have also been the latest wrinkle, with one statistic claiming that in early 2007, bloggers would hit the 100 million point. You can imagine that if most Westerners are experimenting with blogs, then a fraction of that number will be by non-Western once, including African ones. This should not discourage you in setting up your own blog. A five-minute process, you can set up one on; and The latter is one of the more popular platforms, and, you can probably guess, owned by Google.

Given that periods likes these turn the average citizen into an armchair strategist and well-experienced coach, why not take the opportunity to showcase some of your analysis and technical skills by writing and maintaining a blog—today!

Connecting Which People?
Nokia says that it’s done a survey, in which more than 50% of respondents in India, Pakistan and nearly 30% in Vietnam have indicated that they share, or would share, their mobile phone with family or friends. I don’t see Africa there, yet Nokia is keen to sell these to so-called emerging markets. Maybe Nigeria might get a look-in. Even so, no-one asked me whether I felt that would infringe my privacy. Whether it’s a cooked survey of the middle class within these countries or not, it can be argued that Nokia is living up to its slogan of connecting people by launching two new mobile phones—the Nokia 2600 and Nokia 1209.

Both phones are designed to be shared by five people, and both handsets would come with multiple phone books (one per person) and a cost-tracker, which would enable one see how much they have spent on calls.

The article from which I found this information claims this is an indication of “how in tune Nokia is with emerging markets.” I am not so convinced. What I do believe, though, is that there might be some value about phone-sharing, in the sense that an increasing number of families are buying mobile phones for the entire family—and not just the household. It’s probably about economics and convenience. The practicalities inherent in phone sharing may be challenging – ensuring that everyone gets to use the phone, for example – but, undoubtedly, we are led to believe that this is the way.

There will be Bluetooth
The new Nokia 2600 comes with a VGA camera (640X480), MP3 Player and FM radio, and will retail for €65.00, or around GHC80.00. The Nokia 1209, conversely, will go for €35.00. Just so that the phone-sharing makes sense, Nokia will most definitely be including nothing less than…Bluetooth.

It is interesting to note that despite the growing dominance of Bluetooth technology, there appears not to be any infra-red—unlike even some of the latest NOKIAs. Can we say that this means it’s dying a certain death?

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