Emoji Discrimination?

 

image from Yahoo!

image from Yahoo!

If you are an avid texter/IM-er then emoji and smileys are your friend. Then no doubt you have noticed how discriminative most popular IM apps (WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook messenger, Hangouts) are to Africans, especially African woman. Right?

A number of very important emoticons for Any African woman (or man) to express herself are conspicuously missing from the IM apps.

  • Hands on hips  – any self-respecting African Woman, ahem, metro man or really macho man needs this emoticon. This is the ultimate expression of indignation.
  • NKT!  – We all need this one, duh! It is the proper African way of expressing annoyance. No matter how much you like the person you are chatting with, they are bound to annoy you at some point. At this point quickly put in your African click  – NKT!
  • Mscheeew! – Your traditional African sneer right there. It comes accompanied by the appropriate facial expression. This is necessary when you hear something so nonsensical there is no other way to express it.
  • African sassy head shake (not to be confused with the Indian shaking of the head yes. Or just generally shaking their head, LOL)

And the list goes on. Feel free to add more missing emoticons in the comments section.

Excited to learn of the messaging app Telegram which was thrust into the limelight by the acquisition of WhatsApp by the NSA, oops, Facebook. (My bad. You’ve all heard the rumors) And just to give us a taste of what’s coming, we had a couple of hours down time on Saturday 28th Feb. (Things is gonna be different), after someone has spent USD 19B on an app (you know, just USD 7B above Kenya’s entire budget!) nobody expects that’s its going be business as usual.

So Dear Devs

We look to you to work to create plugins for emoji that will capture our imaginations and our hearts and make us feel right at home. We fully expect you will work with UX/UI designers to give it that real authentic feel.  A couple of stern matriarch emoji are necessary to keep everyone online in line.

Let me know.

-her royal geekyness-

Is it cloudy yet? (Adobe Creative Cloud)

image from adobe.com

image from adobe.com

So if you are a visual artist who does it commercially you probably use the Adobe Suite of products. Illustrator (I’m a vectors girl), Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere, the works

A few of us have bought a copy of CS6 (or are using a corporate licence courtesy of their employer).  Based on a statistic that Photoshop CS5.1 is the no. 2 most pirated software I am willing to bet that quite a few people out there are using a cracked copy. That’s right, I used the C word.

In our defence, some of us might have USD 3000. But it’s not for buying software! The rest of us do not have USD 3000. Yet.

So armed with those solid justifications, we comfortably use our alternatively sourced CS6.

 

Enter Adobe Creative cloud.

Ahem

So it’s 50 dollars monthly.

First time I heard that I went, 50 dollars EVERY month? Why??

Granted I as an individual have been having challenges considering software as a tool of my trade. Many artists I know are perfectly happy to spend at least USD 1100 or much more on a MacBook Air, software is a whole other story.

Someone I look up to pointed it out to me that it was not USD 50 compared to nothing, it was compared to USD 3000! (He said a few other things about loving freebies but let’s not go into details) Now that got me thinking.

He then further challenged me by asking me how much I am worth hourly as a designer. I did the math and came to USD 40 hourly. “So what you are saying is that you need to work for 1 hour, 15 minutes, to pay your monthly fee for the cloud?” Aha!

When you put it like that, it doesn’t sound too bad.

So I decided to have a chat with someone who is already using creative cloud – our video and photography guru and find out why anyone would want to pay 50 good ones every month to use software on a cloud.

  • First of all, updates are instant. You don’t have to wait for cs7 to be released for the new features and bug fixes to be done. It’s instant. (Well you know how annoying bugs are). And you don’t have to buy that. It’s a free update.
  • Secondly it’s light on your hardware resources. The whole suite is available to you but you only download what you use. So this guy downloaded Photoshop, InDesign and Premier. While I the vectors girl; can download Illustrator, and Fireworks J
  • Thirdly, You have access to the cloud. Your work will not only be safe and portable, but if you get the team or enterprise package, you can easily collaborate due to the central access
  • To crown it all you will have the peace of mind to know that you are using a legally acquired suite of excellent software (his words, not mine)

So I throw it to you

  • Should you as a visual artist (not) pay for the tools of your trade?
  • Is USD 50 monthly a reasonable amount to expect from a freelancer?
  • Has the time come for us as a community to abandon the culture of “alternative sourcing of software”?

 

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

-her royal geekyness-

The Acer Iconia W5

This compact hybrid laptop/tablet runs Windows 8 on an a Intel Atom, Z2760 / 1.8 GHz dual-core processor.

 

The Unboxing

The very unboxing of this tablet/laptop is a treat.

The box interior is plush charcoal grey with at least 3 hidden compartments.

I couldn’t hide my delight (I was in the office) as I discovered something new in each secret compartment.

unboxing

the unboxing

• Secret compartment 1 unleashes the most amazing, soft, faux leather, beige laptop wallet.

• Secret compartment 2 unleashes a Branded screen cleaning cloth with handy quick-start manual booklets. Nice touch :-)

• Secret compartment 3 unleashes a charger, USB extension cable, stylus, and a 6-inch Mini Display port to VGA Adapter Cable for your convenience.

• The tablet and the keyboard are in compartments too, though not hidden

 

Design

 

Design

The sleek, matt silver faux metal body design is reminiscent of a MacBook. Actually, the Faux part is so good, I had to read up to discover that it’s not metal. It’s pretty ☺. Both male and female geeks and non-geeks appreciated the design and silver color. A few fell in love with it, but that’s a story for another day ☺.

It’s also small and fits into my small handbag – unlike the rather giant bag I need to carry when toting around my 13” laptop.

 

Battery

The Dual 2-cell 3540mAh batteries promises 8 hours on tablet only and double that on dock. It doesn’t disappoint. The tablet almost made it to 9 hours during use at an event where I was taking photos and posting online, and using Google Chrome browser. On dock (connected to the keyboard it easily goes to 17 plus hours). Needless to say, charging this device is not a top priority for me.

This feature is especially useful for me while travelling. Before you are able to settle, find a power outlet, and possibly an adapter (if you are travelling abroad), you will manage nicely.

Touch pad/Windows 8

 

pic 7 Windows

Adapting to the Windows 8 interface poses a particular challenge for me as a Mac/Android user. So I enlisted a die-hard Windows 8 user as a co-reviewer for this part.

The Intel Atom processor does not disappoint. Both as a tablet and as a PC, the performance is great and my co-reviewer was able to happily do all their regular office work on the Iconia.

The touchpad I found rather cramped – to be expected on a 10.5” device – Good news is you can touch the screen!

It might be worth it for Microsoft to consider teaching people how to use Windows 8. It’s not intuitive at all. Not even for Windows 7 users.

 

Camera

The 8MP camera on a tablet was a rather exciting concept, until I tried it out. In different lighting and settings. The images kept coming out rather grainy or fuzzy. The front 2MP camera/webcam is fine for Skyping and doing Hangouts.

 

 

Top heavy

I found it a bit top-heavy so when placing it on your lap, one needs to be careful lest it topples over.

 

Her Geekyness’ Verdict

This tablet/laptop is compact, versatile, beautiful and stays charged for ages. It sounds good when playing music (good enough for a hotel room party) and is pretty fast and responsive.

 

-her royal geekiness-