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Bill apps to your phone

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Telkom has announced Direct Carrier Billing, an integrated carrier billing service, for Google Play for smartphones and tablets on Telkom’s mobile network.

The service is made possible through the integration of Telkom’s Event Billing service with the Bango Payments Platform and will enable Telkom customers to buy books, applications and in-game purchases from the Google Play Store and charge it directly to their mobile phone bill or airtime.

Customers can also make in-app purchases, such as additional content or new levels for a gaming app, without interruption to the app experience. This “frictionless” payment experience is emerging as the preferred model for payment in app stores, enabling more consumers to access paid content, without the need for credit/debit cards or to register personal details.

To make secure purchases and payments, customers would be expected to follow the below process:

·         Have a Telkom mobile SIM card in an Android device that is connected to Telkom’s mobile network;

·         Open the Google Play Store, choose  a book, app or game to buy, and select Enable Telkom Billing as a payment method;

·         Confirm that this is the app, book or game that you want to buy and enjoy the world of app entertainment!

A double opt-in process is included so that customers are aware that they are purchasing an app or a game and are not surprised when their account is billed for the purchase. Details of each transaction will be itemised on customers’ invoices. Customers can also call Telkom customer care to further validate purchases.

“Telkom is striving to make our customers’ experience more streamlined and simple,” said Attila Vitai, MD of Mobile and Consumer at Telkom. “This partnership with Bango provides Telkom customers with a seamless experience of purchasing applications from Google Play™ and charging it directly to their mobile phone bill or airtime.

Telkom has partnered with mobile payment leader Bango in order to launch the service. Bango CEO Ray Anderson said: “Bango has long understood that sub-Saharan Africa is a key growth market for our frictionless payment technology. Launching the best payment experience, for the world’s most popular app store and in Africa’s largest market, is a proud milestone for both Bango and our partner Telkom SA.”

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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