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Sean Bacher

Something on the Side: All weather speakers

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In this edition of Something on the Side, SEAN BACHER introduces B&W AM-1 Weatherproof speakers, the Flash Rod 1967 Mustang Eleanor external hard drive, the Blade Wolf DLC pack for Metal Gear Rising, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and a wind-up charger for mobile phones and iPods.

B&W AM-1 Weatherproof speakers

The Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) AM-1 is a durable, weatherproof loudspeaker that has overcome many of the acoustic challenges associated with other outdoor speakers thanks to a clever chassis design and the reversed tweeters and midrange drivers in the unit. The speaker is suitable for use both outdoors and indoors and is available in white or black finishes.

Expect to pay: R3 290 per speaker

Stockists: Order from http://www.bwloudspeakers.co.za

Flash Rod 1967 Mustang Eleanor external hard drive

This plug-and-play hard drive shaped like a 1967 Ford Eleanor is available in a capacity of 1TB and is compatible with PC and Mac. This means that, when plugged into a Mac, it will automatically launch the Time Machine backup software on the Mac and begin managing daily, weekly and monthly backups. Additional backup software needs to be downloaded if used on a PC. The hard drive can also be used to carry movies and music around. Attention to detail in the design of the Eleanor makes it a great alternative to the boring, box-shaped external hard drives.

Expect to pay: R3 500 excluding shipping

Stockists: Order from www.flashrods.com

Blade Wolf DLC pack for Metal Gear Rising

The Blade Wolf DLC pack for Metal Gear Rising is a playable side-story centred on Blade Wolf. It features abilities and characteristics for the character, while also expanding on each of his storylines and origins. The Blade Wolf DLC is available now for Xbox and PlayStation 3.

Expect to pay: 560 Microsoft points for the Xbox 360 and R85 for the PlayStation 3.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your game console.

Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein: The New Order is a remake on the of the original Wolfenstein 3D first-person shooter, which was released in the early ‚’90s. The game is set in an alternative history Europe during 1960, at a time when the Nazis won World War 2. BJ Blazkowicz, an American spy, is instructed to launch a counter-offensive against the evil doers. Players will enter Nazi strongholds and battle enemies who control super weapons, which they try to use to dominate the world.

Expect to pay: R560

Stockists: Order from http://www.wolfenstein.com/

Wind-up mobile phone and iPod charger

Plug an iPhone or iPod into the charger and start winding. Like many of the wind-up torches available, this wind-up phone charger also works off the cranking-for-power principle (the user pushes a lever up and down to create current). Once the user starts winding the charger, current is stored in the batteries, and is then used to charge the phone. The charger also doubles up as a torch.

Expect to pay: R250

Stockists: Order from http://www.mantality.co.za

* Follow Sean on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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AppDate: MTN ramps up international transfers

In his latest app roundup, SEAN BACHER focuses on MTN Homeland, big growth in FNB’s eWallet spend, Nedbank’s Money App Lite, Afri Ride and iKhokha Vend.

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MTN Homeland

MTN is ramping up its efforts to enhance access to digital and financial services for its customers. The company’s latest fintech innovation is a mobile remittance application – MTN Homeland –  aimed at facilitating money and airtime transfers from Europe to Africa and parts of the Middle East.

MTN Homeland allows remittances from Europe to Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Rwanda and Uganda, while airtime can be sent to Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.

MTN Homeland also supports MTN’s contribution to the achievement of the tenth UN Sustainable Development Goal, which is to reduce inequality within and among countries. One of these SDG’s targets is to reduce the price of remittances to under 3% of the value of the remittance into Africa. MTN Homeland has been priced with that target in mind.

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Expect to pay: A free service

Stockists: Visit MTN Homeland here

Read more about FNB’s increased usage in eWallets, Nedbank’s new Money Lite app, Afri Ride app for ride sharing, and iKhokha Vend.

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AppDate: Livin’ it Up improves money management

This app roundup by SEAN BACHER includes Livin’ it Up, MiBlackBox, Makro’s WhatsApp service, My Deezer Year and Giggle.

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Livin’ it Up

Capitec Bank has launched a game called Livin’ it Up.

The game allows users to test their money skills in a virtual world, while picking up tips for real life. Users play as different characters, all trying to achieve typical financial goals South Africans are striving to save for – like putting a sibling through university or buying a car.

Built by Cape Town-based games and animation solutions provider Sea Monster, Livin’ it Up was created for Capitec as a fresh, innovative approach to building South Africans’ financial capability.

“We want people to think differently about their money and to learn while having fun,” says Jean Rossouw, head of financial education at Capitec Bank. “The emphasis is on how you plan and prioritise your spending to balance your immediate ‘wants’ with the dreams you have for your future.” 

Players are required to use savvy money management strategies to deal with work and life events, including (occasional) load-shedding, while trying to save enough money to achieve their characters’ long-term goals. In the process, they get to design their own 3D homes and play a variety of career mini-games. 

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: The game can be downloaded here 

Visit the next page to read about a personal safety “Black Box”, Makro’s WhatsApp service, Deezer’s 2019 recap, and a social platform exclusively for women.

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