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Year in Calling reveals top spam call countries

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More than 10-billion calls were made this year via the Truecaller spam-avoidance app, according to the company’s annual ‘Year in Calling’ statistics.

The new report, released earlier this month, gives a dive into the rise of spam calls throughout the year in different parts of the world.

The Year in Calling report has anonymously aggregated data from the app’s most popular features showcasing fun facts like what countries are the most talkative. Truecaller says the 10 billion calls made this year are up fivefold from last year. Over 40-million unique spam numbers were identified by Truecaller users.

In comparison to their 2016 report, Truecaller has added its newest feature, SMS messaging. Launched in April, Truecaller’s SMS app has added an an extra sense of protection from known spammers that plague phones with unnecessary advertisements, scams, or harassment. The unique features of the SMS app filter junk SMS into a separate folder for the user to quickly switch back and forth to view how many spam messages Truecaller identified. Since launch, Truecaller users has sent over 639 million SMS, and has helped its users to identify and block over 3 billion spam SMS.

top-20-countries

The report also revealed:

  • Somalia is for the second year in a row the country that makes the most calls per person. The average Truecaller Somalian user makes roughly 19 calls per day, and receives 14 calls. In contrast, Argentina doesn’t seem to talk very much on the phone – they slide in last place with their incoming and outgoing calls
  • The top tags around the world are banks, doctors, telcos, real estate brokers, and taxis. The tags most popular last year was restaurants and hotels
  • The country that sent the most SMS around the world was Tanzania. The average user from Tanzania sends approximately 10 SMSs per day, and receives about 16. Chile sent the least.
  • It seems that 2017 was the year of the telcos, because one number in Nigeria, which was connected with a telco, made 38 million calls. In India, another telco made 31 million calls from just one number
  • Another telco sent over 53 million spam SMSs to their customers in India

Throughout the year, Truecaller has been releasing Truecaller Insights data reports which dive into various statistics of spam call patterns like Top Countries Affected by Spam Calls, e-commerce competition, banking, and other insights.

* To read the full report, visit: https://blog.truecaller.com/2017/12/12/a-year-in-calling-how-the-world-communicated-using-truecaller-in-2017/

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AppDate: Shedding light in our times of darkness

SEAN BACHER’S app roundup highlights two load-shedding apps, along with South AfriCAM, NBA 2K Mobile, Virgin Mobile’s Spot 3.0 and SwiftKey.

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Load Shedding Notifier

With all the uncertainty about when South Africans will next be plunged into darkness by Eskom, the Load Shedding Notifier tries its best to keep up with Eskom’s schedule. The app is very simple to use. Download it, type an area in and click the save button. The app automatically tells you what load shedding stage Eskom is on, the times you can expect to start lighting candles and for how long to burn them.

Multiple areas can be added and one can switch between the different stages to see how each one will affect a certain area.

A grid status is also displayed, showing how strained the country’s electrical network is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

EskomSePush Load Shedding App

EskomSePush does much the same as the Load Shedding Notifier, but allows multiple cities to be tracked. However, they may just want to rethink the name of the app if they want wider respectability.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

South AfriCAM

South AfriCAM enables users to add branded stickers and frames from popular lifestyle magazine titles to their posts, including Huisgenoot, YOU, Drum, Move!, TRUE LOVE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health. 

In the process, they can earn JETPoints for their social influence: through the app’s built-in JET8 social currency, users are rewarded for their engagement. For every in-app like, comment, and share, users earn JETPoints, which can be used to redeem products online or over the counter across more than 2 500 retail stores in South Africa. Users are additionally awarded JETPoints for cross-posting onto external social media networks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

Click here to read about console quality graphics on a mobile phone, Virgin Money payments made easier, and an app that redesigns the keyboard.

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Drones to drive
Western Cape agritech

Aerobotics is set to change how farmers treat their crops by using drones and machine learning, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The Western Cape is poised to be a hotbed of innovation in the agritech sector, with drone piloting set to playing a major role in in the tech start-up scene.

This is the view of Tim Willis, chief operating officer of pioneering drone company Aerobotics, a Cape Town drone company recognised as a world leader in agritech.

“Drone piloting is a key skill that feeds into the value chain of the budding 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Willis. “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned to be the melting pot for innovation in the agritech sector, as a leading agricultural exporter and a hub for creative tech start-ups.”

He was speaking at AeroCon, a drone expo organised by Aerobotics and held in Johannesburg this week aimed at providing opportunities for drone pilots to apply their skills in South Africa, and to show how drones are being used to collect data on crops. 

The event was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Wesgro, PROMMAC, MicaSense, and Rectron, among other

“We’re starting to sign up farmers across the country,” said Willis. “It’s exciting because farmers are starting to use drone technology on their farms. When a farmer wants a drone flown, they want it flown [now] so it’s important for us to capture that data as quickly as possible to show that drones are fast and effective.”

According to aerobotics, drone technology can help farmers reduce pesticide use on their crops by up to 30%. The result is environmentally friendly farming, reducing stressed crops and a healthier harvest. 

“We use aerial imagery from drones to recreate a 3D model of every single tree on a farmer’s orchard,” said Willis. “We’ve done this for millions of trees and it starts to give the farmers metrics of what they’re doing. We provide them with the health of the trees, the height, the volume, the canopy area, which enable the farms to make decisions on what to do next.”

Click here to read more about AeroCon and what it offers to those wanting to get into the drone industry.

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