Technology Watch & Roundup.

Dear Friends.

In the last month several exciting technological products and innovations have been launched in the market. Being a technophile who believes Africa can benefit immensely from the adoption of technology I voraciously watch such developments. What has been very surprising and exciting for me is the fact that despite the global financial meltdown technological innovation hasn’t taken a downturn. Infact quite the reverse seems to be happening. More and more technology is being discovered, developed and launched in the market. One of the most important developments is that Africa is increasingly embracing technology and even beginning to lead in some areas.

Experience has shown that the early adoption of technology can lead to an exponential increase in productivity, greater efficiency, boost market share and in the case of governments reduce the space for corruption. This is why I continue to advocate for the adoption of technology in Africa. Many corrupt and inefficient practices exist because of the lack of technology which increases personal interactions and hence space for corruption. Nevertheless it is important to understand technology is not a panacea for integrity or ethical practices and management. Without further ado here goes.

Snow Leopard

Mac OS X version 10.6 “Snow Leopard” is the seventh major release of Apple Inc.’s desktop operating system. It was shipped to the general public on August 28, 2009. This version of Snow Leopard focusses on increasing speed, efficiency, reducing it’s overall memory footprint and generally improving performance. It was designed for Macintosh intel based computers already running Leopard. Most reviews indicate that most Mac OS users are very happy with the new upgrade which costs a paltry US$ 29 for users who already have the older Leopard running on their system. The operating system is based on the Linux platform which makes it extremely robust and very resistant to hackers and malware. The development of this OS with additional memory for minimal price is quite exciting for African consumers because it offers a very efficient product with the possibility to save money in the long term.

Nokia N900 & Maemo

Maemo is a software platform developed by Nokia. Maemo is mostly based on open source code, and has been developed by Maemo Devices within Nokia in collaboration with many open source projects such as Linux and Gnome. Last month Nokia released the latest version of this internet tablet OS known as Maemo 5 on it’s new smartphone the Nokia N900. The Maemo update brings an overall more touch-friendly interface and a customizable home screen which can mix application icons with shortcuts and widgets. It supports Flash 9.4, and has a new touch-friendly media player as well as similar applications. The Nokia N900 supersedes the N810, it will enhance or bring 3G/HSPA capabilities. It will be the first Nokia smartphone device to use the ARM cortex A8 core & TI OMAP3 microprocessor. The Finnish company of Nokia continues to be a market leader in cellphone technology and should provide competition to other brands such as Apple’s iPhone. maemo overview.

 Solar Panel Nano Technology.

In recent months discoveries have been made in the area of cheap production of solar panels. As many of you may be aware the greatest impediment to the widespread adoption of solar energy is the high cost of solar panels. The answer to developing low-cost solar panels may lie in the creation of tiny 3-dimensional fibers that are 1,000 times smaller than a human hair. The potential for developing cheap solar panels out of the nanopillars stems from using aluminum as a substrate-rather than silicon-as is currently used in the roll-to-roll process that creates a solar cell, said lead researcher Ali Javey, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley. “If we can make such a roll-to-roll process with the nanopillars then our projected cost is 10% lower than projected”. Already the prices for solar panels are on a downward trend following the entry of Chinese producers who are now driving down prices.

Energy from Algae

Another very promising development is in the field of biofuels. Many of you are already aware of the controversy caused by the rising costs of foodstuffs following the desire of the USA to generate fuel from corn to achieve energy independence. Sometime last year worldwide protests were witnessed as people decried the rising cost of basic foodstuffs. This caused a rethink of the biofuels debate. Scientists have now discovered a potentially important breakthrough. Algae defined as primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems, roots and leaves are a large and diverse group of simple, typically autotrophic organisms, ranging from unicellular to multicellular plants.

American scientists have embarked on an ambitious plan to grow Algae in the deserts of Colorado. Given the right conditions, algae can double its volume overnight. Unlike other biofuel feedstocks, such as soy or corn, it can be harvested day after day. Up to 50 percent of an alga’s body weight is comprised of oil, whereas oil-palm trees—currently the largest producer of oil to make biofuels—yield just about 20 percent of their weight in oil. Across the board, yields are already impressive: Soy produces some 50 gallons of oil per acre per year; canola, 150 gallons; and palm, 650 gallons. But algae is expected to produce 10,000 gallons per acre per year, and eventually even more.

If this technology becomes efficient and cost effective it could revolutionize the airline industry which is currently facing difficult technological hurdles in turning green. Continental has already experimented with a blend of Algae and the African weed Jatropha. The results have already shown great promise and even outperformed normal jetfuel in some parameters. Below is a picture of the proposed Colorado’s Solix Biofuels bioreactors farm. solix_bioreactor2

Drip Irrigation Technology

As the world undergoes climate change some areas especially in Africa are increasingly facing drought and desertification. This makes it increasingly difficult to produce food and other agricultural poducts. This has necessitated the need for innovative technologies. 

Drip irrigation is the most efficient method of irrigating. While sprinkler systems are around 75 – 85% efficient, drip systems typically are 90% or higher. What that means is much less wasted water. For this reason drip is the preferred method of irrigation in the desert regions of the World. But drip irrigation has other benefits which make it useful almost anywhere. It is easy to install, easy to design, can be very inexpensive, and can reduce disease problems associated with high levels of moisture on some plants. If you want to grow a rain forest however, drip irrigation will work but might not be the best choice! Drip Irrigation system

Drip irrigation (sometimes called trickle irrigation) works by applying water slowly, directly to the soil, bloop, bleep, bloop, bleep. The high efficiency of drip irrigation results from two primary factors. The first is that the water soaks into the soil before it can evaporate or run off. The second is that the water is only applied where it is needed, (at the plant’s roots) rather than sprayed everywhere. While drip systems are simple and pretty forgiving of errors in design and installation, there are some guidelines that if followed, will make for a much better drip system.


Africa has made great progress in cellular telephony, this has opened up new opportunities for the further development of communication technologies. As we speak Africa is building a number of submarine fibre-optic cables some of which have already been completed [SEACOM & TEAMS]. This means that Africa is looking towards the development of broadband on the continent something that will propel a massive leap forward in education and technological innovation. The adoption of technology is integral in Africa’s development. Many scholars and ordinary people can foresee a future of hope despite the numerous problems Africa encounters. Indeed Africa whose population has now reached 1 billion people is the next frontier in opportunity.




10 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] Original post: Technology Watch & Roundup. « Jellyfishcoolman's Blog […]

  2. 2

    […] original here:  Technology Watch & Roundup. « Jellyfishcoolman's Blog about-nbspjellyfish, african, development, internet, kachwanya, kenyan-nbspmusic, […]

  3. 3

    kenyantykoon said,

    i am a gizmo guy and so what has really tickled my fancy is the snow leopard OS. But the thing is that i recently upgraded to the pre- released windows 7 ultimate and this operating system runs like a dream not to mention that it looks so good, (this is what vista should have been). I also don’t like putting mac things on non apple computers so until i buy a macbook pro, i think that i am just going to let this new development pass me by albeit painfully

    • 4

      jellyfishcoolman said,

      Hi Kenyantykoon.

      I agree with you on Windows 7. It is a very good windows software package. Though I also use windows products I am seriously considering switching to Snow Leopard mainly because of security. Mac software is so much more robust and free of malware & viruses. It’s visual appearance is also quite good especially with HD enhancement. I have vowed to get Snow Leopard pronto. It’s also so much faster. Anyway thanks for commenting and keep up the good work on your blog.

  4. 5

    Katch up said,

    I like your subjects and articles. There is much positive in this continent. Thanks and keep up the serious work

    • 6

      jellyfishcoolman said,

      Hi Katch Up.

      Welcome to my humble blog. Thanks for the encouragement and the contribution. You are welcome to suggest new ideas and critique so that we can direct more attention to development for Africa. My view is that too many Africans are focussed in a negative way instead of seeing the many positives we have and can build on.

      We need to engender a can do attitude and think positively to achieve our goals. Positive and determined thinkers succeed eventually.

  5. 7

    Katch up said,

    You’ve wrapped up my thinking and stand about African development in just those paragraphs. If you dont mind I would like to get in touch with you. my email;

  6. 8

    Tim Andrews said,

    Hi! Really good information, I have bookmarked your site, perhaps you would like to take a look at as we have some information you may find usefull in the members area – Keep up the Good Work!

  7. 9

    Kenyan Songs said,

    Snow Leopard has turned out to be quite a good OS. It is actually slimmed down from the previous version of OS X, and this appeals to my minimalist nature.

  8. 10

    If only more people could hear this..

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