Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2011

Cut costs but don't Waflash

New colloquial words usually originate from a mutation or amalgamation of existing words. Take Waflash for example I know that most of you have probably never heard of this word but it carries deep significance for me. Long long ago, in a galaxy far far away (...just had to use that, it's for the lulz) I shared an office with an otherwise affable chap called Wafula. Now I say otherwise because Wafula had a serious weakness... read on. Based on my limited business knowledge at the time, I knew that there were only two ways in which a company could maintain a positive cashflow: 1) increase sales 2) cut costs. Wafula however only believed in number 2, while I was a rather strong proponent of number 1. I came to realize just how strong of a disciple Wafula was of the cost cutting dogma one sweltering February afternoon. You see in our office arrangement, Wafula would pay for electricity while I catered for the internet. Since we were sub-tenants, the main tenant would pay for the

Is Premium Rate SMS on its deathbed?

This post is dedicated to @kenyangetter . It's always nice when your ramblings are appreciated. 10 years is a short time in technology. When I got my first Airtel line (it used to be called KenCell those days young ones) the provider did not even have SMS as a service. They did launch it a few months later by the (very clever) name YesMS (for those who don't know the slogan for Kencell was Yes!). However you could not send an SMS from Kencell to Safaricom for a long time after its launch but on the bright side an SMS only cost Kes. 5.00. This was way cheaper than the appx. Kes. 30 per minute (billed per minute!) call charges one would incur for calling at that time. With Kenyan's peculiar calling habits under attack, SMS became the preferred mobile communication means. Millions of text messages were transmitted across providers' networks and the providers milked this revenue source by keeping the rates virtually unchanged over the years. It was not long before

Is the government right to spy on your SMS?

Amid the hullabaloo of Osama’s killing and the crippling fuel shortage that hit Nairobi, a shocking announcement sneaked its way into the paper yesterday without anyone making too much a fuss about it.  It was reported that the National Cohesion and Integration Commission has been monitoring text messages and internet-based communication for any clues of hate speech and incitement. Surprisingly though this news does not appear on the front pages of any of the main media houses websites this morning. As if to allay the obvious concerns on privacy, Commissioner Halakhe Waqo “assured phone users that adequate steps have been taken to safeguard individual privacy unless it breaches national security and peaceful co-existence “ Seems harmless enough so far. But then Commissioner Waqo went on to say: “We do recognise that privacy is very important for an individual but public security and safety is much more important. We want to pin down that breach in public safety and security,”