COOL WEBSITES: SA Tech Review looks to be a new trend-setter!

I’ve just started following @SATechReview on Twitter and have been thoroughly impressed with their technology news coverage. Did you know that Vodacom is likely to buy out Neotel? And that Canonical is bringing Ubuntu to smartphones and tablets? There are certainly a multitude of technology news websites to follow on the World Wide Web, but SA Tech Review really seems to be on the ball.

The SA Tech Review website offers some great content and resources for bloggers, tech-savvy IT professionals and online entrepreneurs. If you own a website, SA Tech Review offers to teach you how to promote it for free. If you’re an avid and popular twitterer, learn how to make some good money from your tweeting.

For business people and trend-spotters, SA Tech Review offers some great coverage of both local and global IT business analysis. There is a steady stream of news coverage and analysis on trends, as well as opportunities for IT professionals in various roles to get involved. SA Tech Review seems like a great destination for professionals seeking to research technology-related issues and solve business technology problems.

The SA Tech Review Website (image: www.satechreview.com)

The SA Tech Review Website (image: www.satechreview.com)

There is a great selection of mobile coverage on offer too. Blackberry, Samsung, Sony, Windows and Apple devices are all catered for, and there are some great resources available for smartphone users, such as a selection of the best SA apps for android. For those who like to engage in some serious debate, there are some more controversial articles too, such as “The Eminent End of Apple”...

South Africa is quickly catching up with the top players in the technology realm, and it’s great to see websites such as this moving forward with such gusto! I’m going to be keeping a watchful eye on SA Tech Review and I’m eagerly waiting to see what they cover next with keen interest. They seem to be steadily growing in popularity too – with close to 3 500 likes on Facebook and over 10 000 followers on Twitter.

With the fast-pace that technology is moving forward, it can become really difficult to keep up. I had honestly felt quite out of the loop over the past few months, but after spending just an hour with SA Tech Review, I’m starting to feel back on track! Bigs-ups to the peeps who run SA Tech Review; you are doing a sterling job. Keep it up and I thoroughly look forward to seeing what you put out next!

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VENTRIBE: A new simple-to-use group gifting platform!

VenTribe is a group gifting platform that allows friends to come together online and give a gift to a chosen recipient as a group. Traditionally, this process has always taken place offline. Now, there is a simple, secure, all-in-one place that this can happen. It’s the ideal platform for all sorts of occasions such as birthdays, weddings, Christmas, Graduation, Thank-you’s, community gifts, and even book-clubs. If you want to give with a group, VenTribe helps make that happen.

On the Site, members are able to highlight their close friends and build their own “Gift Tribe”. The site automatically reminds the user via email of upcoming birthdays (10 days in advance). Users are able to then head to VenTribe and can organize a “Group Gift”.

Ventrive Group Gifting

The VenTribe group gifting process is simple:

  • Choose a recipient for the gift
  • Enter what the occasion is
  • Choose a gift!

The gift categories range from fresh cut flowers, organic cosmetics and lifestyle products, to experiences, such as skydiving, jet-pack flying or photography classes. The organizer then chooses the privacy options for the Group Gift. Once they launch the Group Gift, a personalized page is created.

On the VenTribe Group Gift page members can:

  • Chip in and buy the gift together
  • Invite more friends to chip in via a private Facebook message or other social channels (Twitter, Pinterest, link share)
  • Track progress (how much has been contributed, who has been invited, send reminders)
  • Socialize around the recipient and the gift

Contributors to the Group Gift can write on the e-card, which is sent to the organizer to pass on to the lucky recipient once the Group Gift is completed.

No one is charged unless the Group Gift is fully funded, at which stage VenTribe transmits the order to their affiliated suppliers on the users' behalf. With no cash to collect, and a secure payment gateway, VenTribe makes organizing Group Gifts fun, simple, and social.

Ventribe Social Gifting

Where does VenTribe come from?

The VenTribe team hails from seven countries: Israel, South Africa, Kenya, Greece, Rwanda, Scotland and The United States, with four of its members attending school together in South Africa. The company was founded in 2011 by four of the abovementioned team members in Edinburgh, Scotland. After doing the groundwork and developing the site to an acceptable stage, the team moved across to Boulder, Colorado, where they have been based for the past 7 months and have launched out of their Beta stage.

VenTribe have also Collaborated with notable YouTube stars Devin Supertramp and Lindsey Stomp in the past. Collaborative videos have achieved over 8 million views.

It’s current affiliated suppliers are Zappos, BestBuy, Illy Cafe, Xperience Days, Lush Cosmetics, Organic Boquet, Dean and Deluca, just to name a few. In the near future, VenTribe will be opening the platform for users to create Group Gifts with products, services, and gift cards from anywhere on the web using a social bookmarking feature.

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ORAL CARE: Oral-B 500 review & some oral hygiene tips

Oral-B 500 Electric ToothbrushI treated my teeth recently with the purchase of an Oral-B 500 electric toothbrush. Coincidentally, September happens to be Oral Health Awareness Month, so I suppose I'm right on trend!

The reason why I went electric with my brushing is that my dentist mentioned that I brush my teeth too hard (a common practice). This wasn't news to me, however he was the first to vividly explain how rough manual brushing can whittle down your teeth drastically over time. When you brush too hard you are gradually filing away your precious enamel!

Switching to an Oral-B 500 electric toothbrush has done away with my fear of being 'all gums' when I'm an old man. It's also made me a bit more excited when it comes to brush-time. I never thought my teeth could be so clean! I wonder if they sparkle when I smile..?

If you're considering making the switch to a power or electric toothbrush, the Oral-B 500 is a great choice. My dentist attested to the fact that the Oral-B is the “most dentist-recommended toothbrush brand worldwide”. It's also German-engineered and has a 2 year (limited) warranty. It's very comfortable to use and offers more of an oral massage than a hard-laboured brush.

Oral-B also offers some useful oral hygiene tips for keeping our sparkly whites sparkly and white:

  • Do you chew on your pen? Not only can this bad habit also chip or crack your teeth, but pen chewing can also contribute to the spread of bacteria
  • Try avoid boiled sweets and candy such as jawbreakers. These contain a lot of sugar which can lead to tooth decay and they can chip or crack your teeth
  • The dangers of smoking should be obvious. Teeth-wise smoking can lead to yellow teeth, bad breath, receding gums, bone loss, mouth lesions and oral cancer
  • Research has shown that caffeine interferes with natural saliva production, causing a dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay. Excessive coffee intake can also stain your teeth

I also have it on good authority that potato chips (or crisps) are one of the leading causes of tooth decay. I suppose it's because they really get wedged in there between the gaps in your teeth. Be sure to always give you teeth a good sprucing with your Oral-B 500 after indulging in anything sugary or starchy.

Brush Up on Your Brushing

The science behind tooth decay is quite interesting and is useful to know in order to prevent poor oral hygiene. Knowledge is power! The following is quoted from Dr Hoosen - a renowned Johannesburg dentist:

"Tooth decay is caused by plaque, which can be described as a think and colourless sticky film containing bacteria that forms on one's teeth constantly. The bacteria make use of carbohydrates (starches and sugars) to produce an acid that attacks the enamel of teeth. Repeated acid attacks of this nature cause a cavity to form and, if left unchecked, can penetrate the softer inner layer of the tooth and spread rapidly through the tooth's structure"

Recent research by the American Academy of Periodontology, suggests that there is also a link between gum disease and heart diseases and strokes.

You only have one pair of teeth, so look after them. It's a wise move switching to an electric toothbrush, and I can certainly recommend the Oral-B 500 as a good choice.

- Issued on Behalf of Oral-B &
Jenni Newman Public Relations

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* This review is spoiler free! *

Dear Esther,

I happened upon fragments of washed up letters found amongst the rubbish that the sea brings. Soggy parchments bring word that those on the mainland speak of my lonely plight as some sort of game.

I find it hard to believe that a world exists beyond this island. I am sometimes haunted by human-like figures in the distance, but I know that this is merely my own disillusion taunting me.

I sometimes don't recognise my own words on occasion where I find myself communing with the nature of this place. The car wreckage too seems unfamiliar at times, but again I wonder if it is this island that has dulled my sense.

The mystery surrounding the wrecked boats and ships on the island continue to taunt me. Their once sturdy frames rendered as fragile as paper to the rough seas. Only hollowed skeletons devoid of life remain.

I find myself drawn toward a flashing light like a moth to the flame. I hopelessly hold on to the belief that there lies my salvation. I painfully trek through the bowels of the island in search of answers … or to find a new kind of solace ...

Dear Esther Game Review

A red light beckons; broken boats and shipwrecks mystify.

Dear Esther Game Review - Caves

The atmosphere Dear Esther creates is incredible - it feels cold, damp and lonely.

* * * Dear Esther Game Review * * *

For me, playing a good game is like watching a well written movie but being involved in how that movie pans out. This is immersion at its best. If suspense-injected story-driven gameplay and immersion are what excite you as a gamer, then Dear Esther awaits you.

A mystical mix of good graphics, emotive music and thought-provoking narration is what Dear Esther offers. Although brief (1-2 hours), Dear Esther is a memorable experience from start to finish. The script does vary slightly each time you play, but it is the mature nature of the writing which leaves something new to be discovered each time.

“The script also deserves praise. It charts a course through vastly different topics you never realised you cared about before – folklore, the Bible, shepherding, travel writing, guilt and medicine – and turns them into something meaningful without speaking down to its audience.”
- Dear Esther Game Review by PC Gamer

There isn't much more that needs to be said about Dear Esther. I purchased the game off Steam for $10 and it has been worth every cent. So stay up late, dim the lights, expect no interruptions and enjoy the Dear Esther experience!

*** More Game Reviews ***

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V4L REVIEW: The most stylish electronic cigarette on the market

Vapor4Life is an electronic cigarette company which began business in 2009. It was founded by an ex-smoker, Steve Milin, who now uses e-cigarettes as a smoking alternative. When it comes to electronic cigarettes, Steve has tried them all. Like Steve, I have also tried a variety of e-cigs and can honestly say that none match up to the Vapor4Life electronic cigarette.

V4L e-cigarettes are not only long lasting but super stylish. Vapor4Life offers seven levels of nicotine and an impressive 150+ flavours to choose from. It currently offers the widest selection of flavours - from the sweet to the savory - than any other e-cigarette brand. I have been thoroughly enjoying some of their fruity flavours for the past few months.

Vapor4Life Electronic Cigarette Ultimate Starter Kit with Diamond Batteries

Vapor4Life Ultimate Starter Kit with Diamond Batteries

The Vapor4Life starter kits come with everything you need to enjoy the pleasures of flavoured vapours. This includes cartomizers (the filter part), which contain the nicotine and flavouring. Each cartomizer is equivalent to to approximately 15-20 regular cigarettes. The cartomizers can be reused and refilled several times using Vapor4Life e-Liquids.

The battery forms the shaft of the e-cigarette. Vapor4Life batteries are lithium ion and can be recharged between 200 and 400 times each. There are also a variety of accessories for your Vapor4Life electronic cigarette, including lanyards, wall and USB chargers, car adapters and portable charging cases.

What is an e-cigarette and how is it used?

An e-cigarette is a battery-powered device that vaporises a liquid solution to create an alternative to smoking. The V4L e-cig is a two piece system consisting of a rechargeable battery and cartomizer. The cartomizer is a cartridge with a coil built in that heats up a solution, which contains nicotine and flavouring.

Particularly useful and stylish are Vapor4Life's carrying cases. These velvet lined cases can be used to house your electronic cigarette, a spare battery and four cartomizers, and are small enough to carry in your pocket.

To browse the wide selection of starter kits and Vapor4Life flavours and accessories, visit www.V4L.com. If you are already a fan of the Vapor4Life electronic cigarette, follow them on Twitter or join the Vapor4Life Facebook page.

Disclaimer
While smoking vapours is far less harmful to one's health than smoking cigarettes, it must be noted that electronic cigarettes do contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. This product is intended for adult smokers only and should be used at your own risk.

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