26

And thus begins my 26th year!

kalender-26I have learned a few things:

  • Family is most important.
  • Work satisfaction and pride in your work are important too.
  • Fashion is not important. I thought by the time I was 26, I would be a glamorous woman with make up, weaves, heels, stockings and all. I thought I would grow into it. But I guess fashion sense is inborn.
  • College is the best years of your life.
  • Motherhood is earth’s hardest, most satisfying job. Motherhood is a blessing. Motherhood made me a better human being. I can’t believe I thought I could do without kids, be career-oriented and all.. I just din’t know what life was, what living is.

Well, that’s it. I know this will be an exciting year for me!

Here’s a look a back.

 

Equity Has Entered the Telecommunications Market, to be Hosted by Airtel

For a long time, things have been stagnant in the Kenyan telecommunications market. Safaricom is the dominant player in the market, the network we love to hate, the network we leave but come back for. I think mostly because of its great customer care.

Anyway, according to the 2nd quarter report by CCK, Safaricom owns  a large percent of us (64.5%), followed in the far distance by Airtel (16.9%), Essar – Yu Mobile (10.5%) and finally Orange at 8.1%.  Mobile penetration is at 80%. The status quo has remained for a many years, with consumers left with no choice but to remain with the dominant player, Safaricom, due to reasons such as loyalty, number portability that doesn’t work, the ubiquitous M-Pesa services, the best customer care, the loudest adverts etc.

Finally, some changes in the market:

  • Recently, Safaricom acquired Yu Mobile, which will see its market share rise to 75%. Talk of a monopoly! Will things improve for Yu customers? I think so, though they will now have to pay more for the same services. I think Safaricom is the most expensive network.
  • CCK licensed Equity Bank, Zioncell and Mobile Pay on Friday 14th April 2014. 3 more networks! That should shake things up a bit. The operators will be hosted on Airtel’s unused capacity on the network, meaning they will share infrastructure. So it is not the case that Airtel lacks infrastructure or services, there are other reasons for its inability to increase its market share. 

I am generally excited about the Equity move, because Equity is aggressive. Here is what I think will happen:

  1. Prices will come down. In a bid to lure new customers (I for one, might line up for a line), Equity will have lower prices.
  2. New customers will be dissatisfied and disgruntled customers of Safaricom, Airtel or any other network. Having used three networks so far, including Orange, I am definitely looking for a network that will give me value for money
  3. Equity will go after the remaining 20%. Remember market penetration is about 20%
  4. Here is the best part, Equity will partner with Airtel on more than the network level. When they partner to launch a cheaper better, more visible, ‘everywhere kind of’ mobile money service I will already have had my line. Airtel Money + Equity Agents = a cheaper, better service. M-Pesa is expensive, try sending any amount over 2,500.
  5. If.. no sorry, when Equity partners with Airtel, and they are sharing network costs (with the other 2 new networks) they might hopefully roll out the fastest 3G+ (or is it LTE) network across the country. I am currently struggling to work from home, I can’t access the internet in Utawala. It’s like some kind of black hole there. Unless I work from outside the house, that is just not feasible at night. Even during the day! Anyway, if they do roll out a reliable internet connection (maybe via fibre optics, then supply broadband to our homes, the possibilities are endless), at this point, I will be begging them to shut and take my money!!
Equity + Airtel? Shut up and take my money!

Equity + Airtel? Shut up and take my money!

And finally, Zioncell and Mobile Pay, who are you people? What is your target market? I can’t wait to find out. Can you image having a choice of 6 telecom companies? 

20140405_133534

The Things My Son Loves

Before I had my baby, I hadn’t had a chance to closely observe and interact with babies.. and the things they do. It’s such fun watching the little one. There are many things he loves doing that you will observe if you spent a day with him:

  1. Food. We don’t have to fight to feed him. He finally hit (and passed) the 10Kg mark. He was 10.6Kg at his 1 year weigh-in.
  2. Biting people. Scratching people. Pinching people. So if he ever tells you, “I don’t bite” don’t believe him
  3. Playing with anything except his toys
  4. Breaking things. Glasses, cups, flasks.
  5. ‘Dismembering’ the newspaper. There is no word to describe what is left of a newspaper after he is done with it.
  6. Getting into a car. Because he knows he’s going somewhere.
  7. Moving around. He does not know the meaning of the phrase “staying still”. You can’t hold him on your lap.
  8. Closing the door. Opening the door. Repeat.
  9. Closing and opening lids of flasks, bottles, containers..

    Opening and closing lids is one of his favorite activities

    Opening and closing lids is one of his favourite activities

  10. Screaming/yelling for what he wants. He’s really good at the screaming!
  11. Getting into closets.
  12. Light-skinned people. Okay, all people but especially light-skinned people and smaller babies. He cries for strangers to pick him up during our clinic runs. One time he cried for this Indian lady and she had to put her 2 year old daughter down and pick him up. The daughter was not amused.

    Crowding the space of a stranger and her baby. Tearing him away from them was not easy!

    Crowding the space of a stranger and her baby. Tearing him away from them was not easy!

  13. My dad. My son loves his granddad so much he cries when he leaves in the morning, and when my father walks into the house in the evening, he has to pick him up or there will be no peace in the house. (refer to #10)
  14. Clapping
  15. TV – especially singing ads. He laughs along to the KWS ad: “leo niko kwa keja“. He loves animations. He cries when the Coke ad ends.
  16. Outdoors. Anytime.

    He loves playing in the sand and dirt

    He loves playing in the sand and dirt

  17. The cat. Although in this video it seems he’s determined to exterminate it.
  18. Yoghurt.
  19. Breastfeeding at midnight. That’s how I know it’s midnight
  20. Laptops. So he can hit any key.
  21. My phone. He plays a piano (more like hammers at the screen) of the Piano Lite application installed.
  22. Talking on the phone. Okay, he likes to put up toys or phones to his ear and imitate us making calls. In fact, he imitates every task you do.

    Jeremy making air chapatis

    Jeremy making air chapatis

  23. Dropping things for you to pick up. He drops it, you pick it, he drops it again, you pick it again, ad nauseam.
  24. The bathroom and any other forbidden spaces. The more you tell him no, the more he wants it.
  25. Lounging.

    Sometimes he just chills and watches people

    Sometimes he just chills and watches people

Be Careful When Shopping Online

The other day I was on facebook and saw a lady talk about how she was almost conned trying to sell her tablet on OLX. For those not in the know, it’s a classified site where users can buy or sell anything for free . So the lady had put up an ad of her tablet, and got a prospective buyer. They arranged for a meeting at a certain cafe in town. As she sat waiting for him, the buyer said he was a little busy so he will be passing by in a car and wanted her to take the tablet out to him on the street.

She stepped out following his directions. However, when the car the buyer was in pulled up, there were three other men inside. She immediately sensed something was wrong and this was confirmed when a man in the rear seat pulled out a gun and told her to get into the car. Luckily, it was daylight, she was near a buidling on Loita Street and she ran towards the watchmen as the the fraudsters drove away.

In another incident, my colleague’s uncle gave out a car he was selling to a potential buyer to test drive it. He drove off away and hasn’t been seen since. Goes without saying, you don’t let anyone (least of all someone you met online) test drive your car without you in it. You should also bring backup. Don’t be too trusting.

I’ve also heard tales of people who copy others’ ads, especially cars, complete with the same pictures, only the price is lower. Then they tell you the car is Nakuru (if you’re in Nairobi), just send  3K for fuel. And that’s the last you hear of them.

These incidents are many, just as there are many successful cases of online transactions. Just recently, my bro and I got a good deal on a laptop. With the recent implementation of VAT on laptops, it’s hard to find a 4GB RAM, 250 GB Hard disk, Core i3 (minimum specs) laptop for under Ksh. 40,000. So we went to OLX and searched around and finally got a seller of a new Lenovo laptop for around 38K.

So here is my basic guide when shopping online:

  • Meet the seller/buyer in a secure, public location of your choice. A cafe/restaurant is good because it’s indoor and it’s a public place. If something goes wrong, plenty of witnesses and the person has less time to run for it so choose a crowded restaurant.
  • Come with a backup. A reliable friend, relative.. they can inspect an item with you and agree if it’s worthe the price
  • Never exchange money beforehand. Don’t even send money for ‘transport/fare’. It is better to exchange the item for money at the same time.
  • When you buying a car or land, whether on OLX or any other market place, you need to confirm ownership at the relevant authorities (KRA/Land commission).
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is the golden rule of all transactions.If it's too good to be true, it is
  • If it’s too good to be true, it is
  • Do not share your financial information for example bank details, pin, e.t.c Put up only minimal personal information needed for the buyer/seller to contact you: a reliable phone number.
  • Don’t accept a cheque payments. Checks bounce. Cash for goods

For more tips, check out this link.

 

flying car

Introducing…. The Flying Car!

Considering the bad state of our roads, I think the Nairobi governor Evans Kidero can be more futuristic (and having a twitter handle is not ‘modern’, twitter was started 7 years ago!). Instead of investing money in roads whose maintenance we can’t seem to afford, let’s forget roads altogether and invest in making sure flying cars take off the ground.

No, it’s not a future dream. Google has built driver-less cars. Planes have been flying for centuries. So what is to stop us from making a flying car? No technology isn’t the limit, but cost is.

I was reading the BBC’s Future articles when I stumbled on the one about flying cars. Part drone, part car. And it doesn’t look too far off when you think about it. No more traffic, no more putting up with bad roads.  The flying car is being researched by Cummings, an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronauticsand Engineering Systems at MIT. And there are other players trying to create a flying car, like MIX Aerospace.

 

An MIX illustration of a flying car

An MIX illustration of a flying car

A flying car will be the solution to our road problems in Africa, although tyre manufacturers will not be too happy about this. Seeing as they love marketing African roads with their ads.

I hope the flying car becomes a reality in my lifetime.

 

P.S.

Speaking of BBC-featured future machines, I don’t care too much for the jetpack though, it looked rather bulky and cumbersome. I’d prefer the iron suit Tony Stark wears in Iron Man. I hope the jetpack design can finally come down to this!

iron man suit

Iron Man Suit

A road in Uganda, it could be any Kenyan road!

Embarrassing Moments are Made of These

When you are driving, what is the most embarrassing thing that can happen to you? Right, your vehicle stalling in traffic. And maybe it’s at night, on a road filled with traffic like Uhuru Highway. To make matters worse, it’s raining. And you’re from a date with a girl and you were hoping to score .  You are causing more traffic, other drivers are hooting at you, so you have to push it off the road, with the assistance of your date who is not amused to be a) pushing a vehicle and breaking her precious nails, and b) getting her expensive weave rained on.

I have observed many guys in the above situation (car stalling in traffic) and hoped such an embarrassing day will never come to pass. Part of the reason why you don’t buy a 3rd-hand or nth-hand vehicle that’s generations old. And you regularly service your car.

Now yesterday morning as I surfed on my phone waiting for traffic to move at Nyayo, the ‘check engine light’ came on on the dashboard and the car jerked forward a bit. I kind of ignored it, because previously when it came on, it went away on its own. (Palmface)

The check engine light on a dashboard

The check engine light on a dashboard

However, movement afterwards was a bit jerky and there wasn’t much thrust forward no matter how hard I stepped on the accelerator. With my heart beating fast, and hands starting to get clammy, I switched on the hazards and made it to the parking in one piece. Only to find the parking space had been demolished to pave way for another concrete monster in Upperhill. I finally found a place to park, and left for a busy day (Mondays, huh?)

On coming back in the evening, I was to give a colleague a lift to the Kenyatta Bus Stop, then make my way to Mombasa road via Mbagathi Way. So when we arrive at the parking, I pop open the hood and ‘look around’, not sure for what. I check the coolant and there is the right amount. I don’t heck the engine oil because I had just serviced it exactly one week ago. It doesn’t make sense for me to check it, yet it is supposed to last 5,000 Kms and I’ve only done about 200 Km or so since service. So I just hope the problem of the engine light had gone away, like the last time. Big mistake.

I get in with my colleague getting into the passenger side. I switch on the engine, it’s vibrating crazily. We make our way past the Hospital Road which has been under construction ever since the wheel was invented. And it’s the road that leads to the biggest referral hospital in East and Central Africa. Oh the shame. When we finally get to Ngong Road, the engine vibrations are so loud, people are looking at us funny. So I switch to neutral and all is cool. But then traffic starts to move and when I switch to drive, the car goes off. I don’t panic, I switch it on again but when I move the car into drive, again it goes off.

We are next to a cop directing traffic and I switch on my hazard lights. We are on Ngong road, at the turn off to Ralph Bunche road (the one that goes to Nairobi Hospital). On our left, is a traffic cop station.

The cop notices we are not moving and comes over.

“Nini mbaya? Hamna mafuta?” – You have no fuel?

“No, niko na mafuta” – I have fuel. True, I never let my car go below 2 bars on the indicator. Right now it’s showing 2 bars. That’s enough to get me home and back to work. I have a 990 cc car.

“Basi tuisukume” – Let’s push it off the road.

He looks over to Josephine, my colleague and tells her “wewe, toka tuisukume”.

I can tell she is embarrassed haha.. having to get out and push the car. She will probably never accept a ride from me ever again. Luckily, no one is hooting at us. I remain inside directing it for a few meters till we are out of the road. Then I also have to get out and push, as one guy (there are always these ‘hangers-on’ who materialize out of nowhere when one is stranded) pushes with the door open so he can direct the steering wheel.  (This could have been us below. Oh wait, this was us yesterday)

Four people pushing car on road

Four people pushing car on road

 

We finally get the car to a safe spot about 20 meters from the road, just in front of the cop station. The cop had already left us a while back to go direct traffic. So it is me, Josephine my colleague, and two other random guys who are now offering to diagnose the issue.

I pop open the hood and they check the engine oil. It’s dry, as in the stick comes out totally dry. I can’t believe it! I had only just serviced it!

“Madam, haukuwekewa oil, hiyo walikudanganya” – They probably drained all the oil but didn’t replace it, is the general consensus.

Luckily, I have some two vibuyus (jerricans) each having about 1 liter of engine oil left over from previous services. We pour these two liters in and when we switch on the car, the ‘check engine’ light is off. Next, when we put it in drive, the car doesn’t go off but operates as normal. So clearly, oil was the issue, but what could have happened?

Did the guys at the Shell Petrol Station where I did the service really con me? (Which is a big problem) Does the car have a leakage? (Which is an even bigger problem) How come I have never noticed? (When I hadn’t checked oil levels in a week!)

I have to tip the guys who have helped us out, and then I drive on to the Total Petrol Station nearby to buy more oil. It takes 2 more liters for the oil to get up to the maximum acceptable level. My goodness, my engine could have knocked!

Josephine gets off at the petrol station to make her way home. This is quite easily her most adventurous ride in Kenya (she’s mostly lived in the States). Many thanks for helping push the car!

At the petrol station, I discover that the it’s true, the oil is leaking. Oh no, this is the problem of driving a low – clearance car on our awful roads.

So you have a luxury sports car, eh? Don't bring it to Kenya! Don't bring it to Africa!

So you have a luxury sports car, eh? Don’t bring it to Kenya! Don’t bring it to Africa! See the road pictured above, that’s the norm.

 

This morning, I dropped it off at the garage where I learned a new part of a car, the sump. It looks like a stone did it in. They should make these things out of hard metal, like the stuff the black box is made out of (RIP those aboard the Malaysian MH-370).

Lesson learned: always check your oil, coolant/water and ATF levels before leaving the house. Every day.

Also, it helps to have a colleague in the passenger side to help in pushing :-P

The Wayback Machine to The Rescue

Regular readers will know I almost lost my blog. Rather, the contents of the blog. It’s ironical because I am in the business of telling people and organizations to backup, and here I was caught pants down.  I had only backed up posts up to September 2013. Dear readers, kindly have a weekly backup (or monthly depending on how often you blog) of your content. Anything can happen.

So then I had to recover posts from between September 2013- March 2014. 6 months of work. That is when a friend pointed me towards The Wayback Machine. The Web Archive that saves every page on the internet (that always crawlers) as it appeared on the day of saving.

The easy to user interface of the wayback machine.

The easy to user interface of the wayback machine.

 

So when I typed “http://www.savvykenya.com/2013/09/” the default WordPress url for September 2013 archives, I got the result of exactly how my blog appeared that month. By playing around with post urls, monthly urls etc, I have been able to recover most of my content. It’s been painstaking work, but so are all labours of love.

 

The wayback machine's September archive of my blog

The wayback machine’s September archive of my blog

 

You can use the Wayback Machine not only to view back old pages, but also to repair broken links on worpdress or any other site, and also for programmers, there is an API for building any relevant tools you’d like. You can also submit a page for future reference, because I noted that for pages with lower amounts of traffic, they are saved less frequently.

What About Google Cache?

I tried to use Google cache but realized that it didn’t have any of my old posts. It seems Google caches mostly the main url (savvykenya.com) rather than the specific for a post (e.g savvykenya.com/2013/09/04). Secondly, the caches are temporary, and at the point of search. The Wayback Machine has various versions of the same url, depending on the date it was captured. For example, it will save “savvykenya.com/2013/09″ on a monthly basis, and store all the versions for each of the months captured. I don’t know if that makes sense. So Google cache didn’t and couldn’t work for me.

So lost a page recently, or getting a 404 error? Try the Wayback Machine.

What’s a Year in a Mother’s Life?

Somehow I have been unable to regale my readers with my tales of motherhood. Motherhood is not just something you can easily put into words, it’s not a just a feeling or a journey or an experience; it’s all that and  it’s also beyond that. It’s more than a transformation from an upbeat, care-less 20-something year old to who I am now.. I feel more deeply, I empathize more, I am more grateful, etc.. and I always look forward to going home at the end of the day. I feel such a deep sense of joy, gratitude to God for giving me a wonderful child and I live each day with purpose; to be the best mother (ever) to my son, to be there for him and encourage him to live up to his full potential, to create wonderful memories of childhood for him.

I quite easily remember the first time I laid my eyes on him, sleeping peacefully in the hospital cot. He slept a lot that first month.

Jeremy in the first month

Jeremy in the first month

Subsequent months saw him become more alert and playful.

He was my wallpaper in his second month :)

He was my wallpaper in his second month :)

 

Even before the word selfie was inducted into the dictionary, we had mustered the art. He used to reach out and try to grab at everything.

Jeremy at 3 months

Jeremy at 3 months

 

Then after he turned 3 months, my maternity leave drew to a close and I went back to work. I realized that if I had the option, I would have stayed home longer, freelancing or doing some other work that I could do from home.

He was 4 months in this picture and we were heading to clinic for weigh-in.

He was 4 months in this picture and we were heading to clinic for weigh-in.

In most ways, I am lucky to have my parents support me. I still live at home and my parents are not just dotting grandparents, they are co-parents! This has afforded me peace of mind over his care, and although we all work, my mother always goes home earlier to check on him. We’re having a challenge getting a full-time nanny for him, but we take it a day at a time.

5 months old, and sometimes pensive.

5 months old, and sometimes pensive.

By halfway through his first year, a baby hits milestones such as sitting and recognizing you, especially when I come home in the evening. He was starting to crawl and it was quite a sight watching him spend so much effort to move forward. He’s such a happy baby though, he’s always been so!

A jolly Jeremy at 6 months.

A jolly Jeremy at 6 months.

Watching him make that transformation from a helpless tiny baby to an energetic infant who can kick, scratch, scream, cry, laugh, give hugs, grow teeth and bite people has been the highlight of my life.

Black and white selfie at 6.5 months, say 7 months.

Black and white selfie at 6.5 months, say 7 months.

He loves his food, he plays with everything apart from his toy and he seems to hate unfamiliar environments. From the moment he started crawling, he’s never been in one place for longer than a second. He is constantly on the move, always exploring, pulling, poking, chewing things. His currrent favorite is opening and closing lids of various containers like flasks, hotpots, bottles..

8 months

8 months

He now imitates phonecalls. He’ll put a toy up to his ear and pretend to be talking. He talks, but it’s gibberish for now. If you teach him a trick, he’ll remember it. If you teach him a word, he repeats it. Too cute.

At 10 months.. still crawling around.

At 10 months.. still crawling around.

He finally started standing, for quite long periods of time. He now takes a few steps forward, then tumbles to the floor to continue crawling at crashing speeds.

On the eve of his first birthday

On the eve of his first birthday

On his first birthday, 30th March, we had a party at my aunt’s place. Her daughter was turning 4 at the same time (31st) and it was a joint bash. He had too much cake and soda (I know he’s just one but it’s his birthday!)

My brother gifted him the Barcelona kit he’s wearing below.

On his first birthday!

On his first birthday!

What can I say? Motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me :)

Held Up in Traffic

 If you’ve ever been robbed at gunpoint, you know what it’s like, how they steal your money, your property, and your dignity. – from Wiki

It was a pleasant Thursday evening, around 5pm. I had just left work at Upperhill, walked to the parking lot where I met Kareynzs, a friend and former classmate. We were going to the Safaricom Women in Tech monthly meet-up at Safaricom House on Waiyaki Way, Westlands.

For Nairobians, we all know what a nightmare evening traffic is, especially around Upperhill. This means instead of a direct route to Uhuru Highway- Waiyaki Way, we decided to go use Valley Road, then to State House Road, to the Kileleshwa Bypass then to Westlands. I don’t think Google Maps has the Bypass mapped though, it kind of misled us but in the end we reached our destination in time. However, that is not the interesting part.

Roughly, same the route we used to Westlands via James Gichuru road

Roughly, same the route we used to Westlands via James Gichuru road

 

We flew (yes flew, my car is so light :-D) down Valley Road towards the junction at State House Road, and then stopped for the traffic lights to turn green. Okay I lie, we were waiting for the cop to (mis)direct traffic because at peak hours, traffic lights are hardly functional. As I stated earlier, it was one of those sunny evenings, and our windows were rolled down to enjoy a cool breeze. My friend and I were catching up as we listened to music and waited for the cop who was 3 cars away, to wave us on.

Suddenly, we got held up.. at shit point. I know that sentence doesn’t make sense!

There appeared at my window a chokora (street boy). He held down my window with his left hand so I could not roll it up. He was a wearing black, dirty coat and an equally filthy hat. In his right hand, he held human faeces, which were smelling fresh (and apparently steaming, said Kareynzs later). He said quietly:

“Auntie, haina haja nikupake hii mavi. Let mia mbili tu.” (Auntie, there is no need for me to smear you with this. Just hand over 200/-)

I had frozen when I saw that shit. In fact, it’s exactly like they show in the movies. Time freezes. The cop’s hand froze mid-air, there was silence in the air, the only sound was our heartbeats. I remembered reading on facebook of such incidents where people are held up, not at gun point, but at shit-point, by street boys.

And then, time unfroze, and I realized I didn’t want to have human shit smeared all over me. I scrambled around, found a 40 bob coin in -that space in the car where we put phones – and handed it to him. No way I was going to give him my last 200 bob (it was around payday and like most Kenyans, I live paycheck to paycheck).

“Shika hii 40 bob ndio niko nayo” I gave him the coin.

“Hapana, leta 200″. (No, bring the 200)

“Aki, hiyo ndio niko nayo” (That’s all I have).

Later, is when I realized I have bargaining skills, LOL. I am being held up at gun-sorry, shit-point and here I am bargaining instead of handing over the 200 bob.

 

kenya-40-shillings-coin

The Kenya 40-shilling coin. Image from www.kenya-today.com

He left, slithering quickly away among the vehicles idling in traffic. I rolled up my window. The whole exchange took maybe, 1 minute, but it felt like forever. I was shaking afterwards, still in shock. I realize we had been lucky, I mean Karey had in her hand her Samsung S3 mini, while just next to where I had removed the 40-bob coin, I had my Samsung Note III. But he hadn’t asked for them.. though I think if it had come down to that, I would have fought back and maybe we’d both end up with shit on our faces. I don’t know.

While evaluating the incident later, we wondered where he got the shit from. Did he um.. ask a friend to drop him something into the black plastic bag? Did he do it himself, and how did he know to stop? How much is enough? He also must have panicked, I mean there was a cop barely 20 meters away. That’s why he didn’t ask for our phones. We also knew it must have been unpleasant for him, I mean no matter how you live, human shit is not pleasant to handle

I felt so helpless and angry at being held up and there was nothing I could really do, unless I wanted to end up with shit all over my face (urgh!). How low can a human being sink, to what depths does the search for a livelihood lead one to use shit to rob people?

Although I try to keep my windows up in traffic and switch on the air conditioner, no amount of AC will ever beat the feel of a pleasant breeze across your face on a tropical afternoon/evening. Guys, keep your windows up and your doors locked in Nairobi traffic.

Afterwards, I still had to navigate the roads using Google maps that misled us, since the bypass appears not to be mapped. Somehow, we ended at ABC Place on Waiyaki Way, crossed the road and joined other women in tech trying to (or already did) scale the corporate ladder.

That is the story of how I got held up in traffic.

N.B.

Learn more about human faeces on wiki. Apparently, it comes in all colours including blue and purple, and can actually smell nice depending on a certain diet. However, what we saw on that day, was a normal, soft, brown, and smelly disgusting mess.

s5-cover

Why Should You be Excited by the Samsung Galaxy S5?

In February, the Samsung Galaxy S5 was launched in Barcelona, Spain, during the Mobile World Congress. The S5 follows in the path of the S4, S3, S2 and S before it.

This time, Samsung didn’t go all out to create the fastest, biggest, most radical Android device. I think we’ve really reached a limit in terms of things like how fast the processor is, how much memory the device can has, how clear and sharp the screen is etc. Because really, beyond a certain point, you stop noticing the difference between a quad core snapdragon vs tegra 3 processor!

So with the S5, Samsung added a few niche features and improved some existing ones. Here’s what I am looking forward to:

1. Waterproof and Dustproof

The phone is waterproof up to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes. Enough time to impress your friends by dipping it in a glassful of beer :-D

2. Fingerprint reader

There is now a fingerprint reader to unlock your phone so you don’t have to worry about entering the pass code 100 times a day like I do now. Besides, everyone around me now knows the code so sometimes I wonder why I continue to torture myself so (entering the code 100+ a day!)

3. Heart rate sensor

Basically, you can now check your heart rate  by placing your finger on a sensor located at the back of the phone. This is in addition to the usual pedometer, diet and exercise recordings, that come with its S Health app.

4. Improved Camera

Well, the camera is now 16 MP, up from the 13MP in the Galaxy S4. You can also record your videos in 4K -format, that’s like the next big thing in the display world. All you need to know is that your images and videos will look better with the improved camera features!

5. Improved design of the cover, a bit bigger than S4

The S5 is a few inches wider and longer than the S4. However, it’s still just as thin as its predecessor. The faux-leather plastic casing is more solid and makes the phone feel expensive, which it is (or will be when it’s available in the mass market from April 11th).

In addition to the black and white covers, the S5 now comes in blue, and gold. I would love the blue one.

 

The Samsung Galaxy S5

The Samsung Galaxy S5

6. Kid Mode

It’s not just my son who loves playing with (and biting) my phone, but any other kids who come into contact with it. The kid mode allows kids to mess up with kid-apps, so that you don’t have to worry about them making accidental calls or deleting unbacked-up documents and pictures.

Samsung kids mode

Samsung kids mode

7.  Download Booster

This will combine wi-fi with your 3G network to give you the best of both worlds for faster download speeds. Will this solve my perennial issues with internet speeds? I hope so!

8. Battery Life

 Samsung bragged that the Galaxy S5 can endure up to 10 hours of web browsing, and up to 12 hours of HD video playback, which is impressive . There is a new Ultra Power Saving Mode, that makes the display show images in black and white, shutting down all processes and connections it deems unnecessary, which should make the phone last longer when your battery is low. This will allow you to make 10% of your battery juice last for 24 hours. Hmmm.. can’t wait to try it out.

9. The Gear 2

Just like Note III was launched and paired with the Gear 1, I am looking forward to the improved version of the Gear. There are three versions: Gear 2, Gear Neo, and Gear Fit. There are also rumours of a Gear which could be a standalone device with its own SIM-card. The possibilities.

The Galaxy Gear 2 is yet to be launched

The Galaxy Gear 2 is yet to be launched

 

10. The Satisfaction of Having the Latest Gadget in the Market

This never gets old. :-)

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