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February 24 2013 1 24 /02 /February /2013 21:48

2013. Here we are. A new year, new resolutions; maybe that's why I decided to use my keyboard again for filling up those empty spaces on my blog.

In the ever evolving technology industry, a new year means pushing forward the limits of what's known. I've come accross some of those new boundaries, and I have to say this year is poised to be an exciting one.


Iphone5Apple: Fighting back

After years of dominance in the mobile industry, 2013 promises to be a challenging year for the cupertino firm. Having lost its lead in global sales, Apple must now face the technology dominance of Androïd phones and the return of Windows Phone OS as a major platform with Nokia handsets, the latest now overlooking emerging markets. To maintain its profit margin, Apple will have no choice than surprise the world once again, just as it did every 6 years for the last decade - with the Ipod in 2001 and the Iphone in 2007. 2013 is more than ever a do-or-break year.


Samsung: The confirmation

GNote2I've never been a huge fan of the galaxy phones line, but I have to say at least Samsung is the only player in the mobile market which gave Apple a ride for its money. There are already rumors of an upcoming Galaxy SIV.

2013 will also mark a push by the Korean company and LG to propose cutting edge TV monitors proposing 4K resolutions.


Z10Blackberry: BB returns

I don't believe there is a more exciting news than the return of RIM Blackberry with Blackberry OS 10. After 18 months of revamp, tireless work and relentless marketing efforts, the iconic BBM maker is back. In the upcoming months, we will be suspended at the canadian manufacturer sales numbers, to determine if the public is giving another chance to the company which revolutionized the way we communicate. With all the buzz surrounding the announcement, RIM stock more than double in value in the latest months, coming back from as low as $7. The first disappointment of the announcement being the late March release date in the US.


Sony: More play, more mobile

sonyps4Sony’s CEO wants to claim the crown of the top mobile phones manufacturer starting in 2013. It is coming from afar, but we will probably spot a lot of new high end Androïd devices designed by the Japanese firm. Knowing the quality behind Sony products, they will probably grab some users.

Sony will also unveil the sequel to its Playstation flagship, following announcements by Nintendo with its unfamous Wii U and preceeding Microsoft. You will notice that Sony made a conference on the subject February 20th, but the absence of even a preview of what the console look like for me is an non event.


Huawei: The new old

ideapad2.jpgUnknown by the public few months/years ago, the Chinesemanufacturer which is becoming an essential key player in the technology world, along with Lenovo, is a definite company to follow in 2013.


Microsoft: Don't stop until you get enough

Office 2013, Windows 8, Windows Phone OS 8, Microsoft Surface tablets, etc. what to say more. Microsoft has just decided to put all of its divisions at work. Only the dev tools are at rest in this start of year with no upcoming release of visual studio scheduled. Moreover E3 2013, the big video games fair will see the big reveal on the successor of the Xbox 360.


Images: apple.com, blackberry.com, samsung.com, engadget.com

Published by Masters - in Technology
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October 25 2011 3 25 /10 /October /2011 16:42


Steve jobs passed away earlier this month, the day following the presentation of the Iphone 4S. The gadgets fanatic that I am couldn't go by without paying a tribute to one of the greatest minds since Isaac Newton or Thomas Edison. Because yes, Steve's name could be cited along theirs.


Like many guys of my generation, my story with Apple and Steve begun with the Ipod in the 2000's, when I started listening to music. I was just amazed at how a gadget with so few buttons had so many features. I've always been wondering how it was possible for the player to work, until I got one into my hands.

From conception to presentation, every product that Steve and his team designed had that touch that made Apple the recognized quality brand it is now. In a decade, they succeeded in introducing and changing the way people behaved more than once, and not just in one technology domain, which is just exceptional. The world made giant steps in software, computers design, music consumption or mobility, following what Apple had conceived.


As Apple's famous advertising campaign induced, Steve Jobs like all engineers at Apple, was thinking differently, which wasn't just a marketing thing, but a true lifetime motto as proved by Apple strategy for decades. And that's how every big step had been performed through humanity history, when one person decided to do something other people never thought of, or never had the courage to do.

From education to lifetime choices, Steve's way was atypical. Unlike Bill Gates, he didn't attend one of the top colleges in USA (he attended Reed College), but just like him, he dropped out of college to follow his passion.

It would be too simple to resume his success to those similarities though. We could just say that like every genius, Steve was sort of guided by an invisible force that led him to follow his own path. It's just like he knew exactly where he would stand decades after starting Apple computer Inc. This month, the world has lost a great man. Through his intelligence, Steve earned to live forever among us.

Walter Isaacson, one of his long-time friend wrote a biography that will relate you the whole story, which is available since few days at major retailers. For my part, I'll end up with a quote from president Barack Obama that summarizes who Steve was:


"...brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it."


Rest in peace Steve. Thank you.

Image source: Jonathan Mak

Published by Masters - in Technology
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October 25 2011 3 25 /10 /October /2011 16:27

EDM---Fantastic-4.jpgIn this era of mass consumption, looking for original clothes or accessories without broking your wallet could be a real problem.

Happily, what seems to characterize the youngest generation of entrepreneurs lately, particularly in Africa seems to be the attrait for fashion. That led to the multiplication of online stores, independent designers (indie) brands, producing anything from bracelets to tshirts or hoodies, for the grand public. Among them, you have EauDeMars Clothing and RedFranklin. I had the opportunity to spot some of their models and I have to say they're doing a pretty good job.

Founded by a young Cameroonian in UK, EauDeMars clothing specializes in tshirts design for now, with a taste of what characterizes  british fashion, I mean class and precision. It's an invitation to travel in the world of alliens or good ol cartoons-like characters.


For its part, RedFranklin, a parisian-borned brand is an invitation to go beyond our time; Klassfuturistik as they define it. A world led like an army, with officers, having shoulder pads on all their clothes, even on their t-shirts :).


What motivates all those young guys? They solely really know. One thing sure, they've decided that they wanted to be their own boss, doing something that they like. I think they have already won, by defining their own destiny.


Nowadays, a lot of people tend to bask in their jobs, the ones that have been defined by their education or society, sometimes not really doing what they are really thrilled about. Maybe it's a path of reflection for you, for us.


links: EauDeMars online store, RedFranklin blog.

Published by Masters - in Fashion-Shopping
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March 29 2011 3 29 /03 /March /2011 22:02

SongWhere are the once known as the "indomitables"? That's the question every Cameroonian football amateur is asking nowadays.

5 years after the 2006 world cup qualifications debacle, it seems like we're still at the same point. Sadly in Cameroon, we no longer have a football team, but just a bunch of guys playing football together. I'm not even sure they're having fun as it should be. The memories of the glorious times where everybody feared the lions of Africa, the indomitables ones, seem so far gone.

Everytime Cameroon had a match, I always hoped at the time that things would be  different. At the end, as it has been over the last years, It'd been the same result: defeat and disappointment.

How come we reached that point? When did it happen? I don't think anybody got the  answer. We thought that by putting the players in the best possible conditions they could get, like luxuruous hotels (3rd most expensive during South Africa world cup) or 1st class flights, to prepare the matches they will give more... We thought that by changing the coach (for the xth time), it will solve our problems... We believed the fault was incombing to a few players and banned them from the play. But after all this, we got nothing, nothing, nothing.


Cameroon jerseyFor me the truth is cameroonian football is not and will never be the same.  The world of football now require a high sense of professionalism and discipline in the management, preparation and the play itself, 2 things we lack for now. The truth is, our team doesn't have the required international level. Apart a few individualities, players don't have the level for international competitions. We are now paying the price of years of amateurism. When we should have been building a team, we've waited (like always) the urge to react. Football is played not with 1 player, but with 1 and 1, I mean 11. You just have to look at France or Bresil who are already working on the next world cup by incorporating young talents, to see the difference.

Until we learn that the key to master our own destiny is proactivity instead of reactivity; that we must regain not only our lost spirits but also our fighting spirit, the only indomitable lion on earth will remain the one you could see on cameroonian football team's jersey: an image.

Published by Masters - in Football
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March 27 2011 1 27 /03 /March /2011 13:57


For facebook addicts , there is always that one question that they will ask to theirselves: How come my friends number decreased? Maybe it won't be the case if you're a perfect 10 blonde hottie, but still I won't bet a penny on that :).


I found an interesting tutorial showing how to install a useful application on your facebook homepage, that will track for you, all your friends add/deletion activities. Moreover, one of the most interesting features, which is one not even enabled on the official facebook, is to see the list of all the friend requests you've sent. I remember many times wanting to add somebody and then thinking about canceling the request few days later. That could be even more tricky if your aspirant friend changed her display name.


Thanks to theheatweb.com for the tip, which have a lot of other interesting tutorials. You can now just follow the guide: unfriend finder.

Published by Masters - in All
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February 27 2011 1 27 /02 /February /2011 17:17

Already 2 months into 2011, maybe the time for the first article of the year :). Stock exchange is an amazing way to invest and earn (or lose) money really fast. I wanted to get involved, without first investing my own money (what most traders are doing, you could say :). There is an old adage in the world of investment banking that is saying "Never take the junk yourself", but I just found an amazing site, Virtual Stock Exchange by MarketWatch, part of the Wall Street Journal network, which made me want to forget about the adage.vse marketwatchOn vse.marketwatch.com, you will find tons of games on stock exchange, enabling you to virtually buy and trade stocks by competing against other players. It's just an amazing way to apprehend the markets, without the stress of having invested your money, and a perfect way to train, for the day you will decide to take the plunge.


Just remember, the only way to get started is to start, so let's go.

Published by Masters - in All
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October 19 2010 3 19 /10 /October /2010 20:09

Back to school season is almost over and as I guess you're probably already back into your routine. I didn't find a lot of interesting gadgets to talk about lately, although we could notice (finally) the (long-awaited) worldwide deployment of windows phone 7 OS, full of promises concerning technical features and design.

playbookAnyway, one of the most talked-about announce of the late month has been the future release of Blackberry's Playbook, RIM's attempt to fight domination of Apple in tablets market with its Ipad. Just wondering why RIM chose PLAYBOOK as a name. Not really corporate. I don't know what's the target market of RIM there, but it's a really surprising choice regarding company's history.


Just like Ipad, I don't see (yet )or feel the urge to buy any tablet. Of course they are full of promises: Kindle, games, apps, videos... but for most, those things could run on recent smartphones. Of course you got a better screen, but still, I'll wait for the technology to get much mature. Don't know who will win in this fight for market domination over large tactile displays, but the truth will be given by numbers, because as you know, numbers don't lie.



To turn to another kind of distraction, what I'm really waiting for before the winter knock at our doors is one date: November 3rd. The connoiseurs already know what I'm refering to. Nov 3rd, is the worldwide release of the #1 driving simulation code-named GT.


Yeah peole, Gran Turismo 5 will finally be launched that day, after years of anticipation. To embellish all, It will come with a special PS3 pack which I hope to grab on D-day. So just start the countdown, and meet you online Nov 3rd.

Published by Masters - in High Tech
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September 12 2010 1 12 /09 /September /2010 19:30

IMG00124-20100904-1833I spent the last weeks on a dream holiday trip; for cause, I was back in my native country, the country of the indomitable lions: Cameroon. I could have made a day-by-day résumé of my trip, but there was too many places to see again, too many people to visit, to be updating the blog on a regular basis.


Five years had passed before this time, since the last time I went to the country of my fathers. I remember that when my plane touched the ground, I still couldn't believe I was there. The waiting seemed like forever.


My first stop was in the city I used to live in, the capital, Yaoundé. I found my home, my neighborhood a bit changed with a lot more houses around. I dedicated the first week of my trip to family, before catching up with friends with I knew from Morocco or high school.


DSC00848The particularities of Yaoundé, just like many places in Cameroon are red soil and the perpetual mix between buildings and nature. Yaoundé is also known as "the 7 hills' town".


Next part of my trip was dedicated to the coast, and the economy's capital, Douala. Unhappily I couldn't have made it to the north, since it's taking a full day to get there by train, even though it's much faster by plane. I wasn't in a hurry, plus all my friends borned in the north were now living in Yaoundé.


DSC01001To briefly resume regions of Cameroon, we have the Centre, full of hills; the South with the most amazing beaches and Cameroon's main harbor.  East well known for its minerals exploitations and forests where you could still find the first inhabitants of Cameroon called Pygmees, with some still living in a traditional way. The North is the desertic part, main producer of beans, corn or cotton. That's where you could find awesome natural parks with almost every animal living in Africa. West is the part with the most high hills, and fertile soil, suitable to agriculture. It's the countryside of the famous Bamilékés, a population of Cameroon well known for its keen sense for business. Most  Cameroonian billionaires (in local currency ;) CFA francs) are coming from there. All that has built up Cameroon reputation in the sub-region as Africa in miniature.


 IMG00119-20100903-1119IMG00161-20100911-1202 DSC00867













So I spent overall 3 weeks there, and now my batteries are fully charged, I'm ready to take a new start, so let's go.


Published by Masters - in Travel
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July 30 2010 6 30 /07 /July /2010 15:06

DSC00489I know London wasn't really on my dream vacation spots list - like a lot of other towns I want to visit - but I decided to make a small trip there before going in "real" holidays. It was my first time, and I got to say It was pretty amazing. I always thought Paris had something unique, like a spirit, a particular atmosphere setting it apart from other cities in the world. Now I know London has it too.


It was just different, a plain cosmopolitan city, an innate sense of discipline regarding things varying from architecture to transportation, and you will also be surprised by the length of londonian girls dresses on saturday nights :).


I made the classic touristic visit, going from piccadily circus to buckingham. One of the most funny moment was when I went to Abercrombie & Fitch store. First we had to wait more than 20mns outside just to get in. One of my friends who has been livin in London for much time didn't understand what all this was about. I feel him, because there were only tourists inside, heading to the only european store of the brand.


I really enjoyed spending time in London. I bet I still have a lot to see in the world, other places and cities also having beautiful stories. So I will only say one word: Next.



Published by Masters - in Travel
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June 27 2010 1 27 /06 /June /2010 22:12


For 4 years, every african football team has been dreaming of one thing: participate to the first world cup ever held in Africa. June 11th started what must have been the most beautiful feast and demonstration of a whole continent. Beauty, responsibility, organization are such things that were mixed for a single goal: win. Win the respect of other countries or continents by perfectly welcoming millions of tourist. Win by saying to people like Pélé who didn't believe the organization of the most popular competition in the world could be handled by africans, that yes we can. Win the heart of millions of supporters, having the chance to finally lift up the trophee knowing the home advantage in this kind of competition.


What happened to all those dreams? Well, South Africa made its part of the job, showing one of the most organized, colorful and warm welcoming world cup, erasing from collective memory, at least for a while, the image of a country that has been much known before this month of June for its high rate of seropositive people, or the violence reigning in its slums like in Soweto. All this will elevate the country among its fellow African countries. What will stay for the rest of Africa? An example to follow.

Now let's talk about the main purpose of the competition: football. The 6 qualified african countries' performances could be summarized in few words: inexperience, not ready, bad luck, egocentricity, hard work. For most of the teams, I'm sure you guessed the correspondence. 


1st country: Algeria. Was it really surprising that they didn't pass the 1st round? No. I think the team has been overflowed with enthusiasm since their epic win in Soudan, against Egypt. They just didn't realised it was only the beginning of the journey, and that they needed to work a lot more. Just like champions league, the world cup is about experience, and Algeria really lacked some.


South Africa. I believed they will go far in the tournament after their brillant 1st play, but the reality resurfaced in the 2nd match against Uruguay. Because yes, when Pareira took SA team, most observers knew there were not enough good players, and that Pareira needed to work on the group. Unhappily, in an international competition, that didn't forgive. Apart the good match against france, south africans lacked freshness, and individualities that could change the course of a match.


Nigeria. Due to its great experience in international competitions, the eagles were one of the hopes among the qualified. Not enough youngs in that team, not enough creators in the game, who could have showed the way are all that sent them fly away far from the tournament, a bit early we might say.


SA2010_eboue_etoo_mensah_campaign-copy-1.jpgIvory Coast. I think the elephants represented the most beautiful team of Africa at least on the paper, with great players, having experience of high level competition. To win world cup, you need 3 things: a good team, realism and a bit of luck. The last part is equally important, because in Drogba's team case, they weren't lucky being in the same group as Brazil (future finalist :) and Portugal. They have been ousted on one match, the defeat against Seleçao (1-3). They didn't deserve to fall from grace, regarding their level.


Cameroon. I'm sure you have been waiting for what I will say about that "team". Well, Cameroon is surely the biggest disappointment of the whole tournament. I'm not just talking about me, but I'm surely talking for all Africans and amateurs of african football, which saw its most beautiful pages of history being written by the team once aptly called, the indomitable lions. What happened? The same problem that we were facing since 8 years: Egocentricity. The Cameroonians believed they could beat teams like Soudan, Egypt, Gabon or Japan before even having put a foot on the pitch. Players have been overrated, because trust me, the group didn't have the level for the tournament. Internal fights for leadership, a stubborn coach without "cojones" and vision, unwilling to experience different systems of play, are the ingredients leading to a severe defeat, which transformed once scaring lions into domestical cats.


SA2010_trophee.jpgGhana. What to say about that amazing players? Ghana has just been brillant. I have the feeling that they are the only african team that was just not waiting for the African hosted world cup, but also preparing it for years. The emergence of a young team which won u-21 world cup held in Nigeria last year and constant performances on continental and international scene put them where they are today: in quarter finals. After 20 years, Prince Boateng's Ghana seems armed to broke the african record held by Cameroon, by becoming the first African team to ever reach semi-finals. They will need for that a victory against Uruguay. At least, they are guaranteed now that a whole continent will be behind them, because they are the only ones who really defended, and are defending our honor, on our soil.


For my country, the wake will be hard, now that we need to find other sources of national proudness. We wanted to be the first team to hold the trophee. Instead, we were the first assured of not getting it. Funny hun :). I hope that this will serve as a lesson, and that football in Africa will stay what it is, a sport. A sport and not a political weapon, used to hide real problems. So let's take a date for Morocco 2030 or Ghana 2030, in the hope that this time, the African continent will be totally ready, that that time, it will be different.

Published by Masters - in Football
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