Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spiritualism in the Smartphone Age

Given that the Catholic Church in Poland has just been again riding every teens’ ass over their “occult” Halloween practices, shouldn’t we have the right to freely practice spiritualism that pre-dates Organized Christianity by thousands of years?

By: Ringo Bones

Just like clockwork, every Organized Christian Demagogue is again blaming Halloween for the ills of the world every last week of October, but where are these so-called demagogues when such practices were the norm thousands of years ago? Well, here’s something that might not be older than Queen Victoria but at least it is enough to rouse up every Organized Christian Demagogue who are up in arms since the Y2K Scare, the date May 5, 2000 was found out to be scrolled on Albert Einstein’s diary and the coming Mayan December 21, 2012 Apocalypse – a Ouija Board app for your Smartphone. But what is a Ouija Board you may ask?

A Ouija Board is an occult board / paraphernalia often used by spiritual mediums. The board consists of letters and numbers, including the words “yes” and ”no” printed on it that is used with a planchette to seek spiritualistic or telepathic messages. The origin of the name Ouija comes from the French word “oui” and the German word “ja” – both of which translates to “yes” in English. Whether or not it was in use before the Victorian era, Ouija Boards had been a traditional symbol for Halloween for centuries – right up there with carved likeness of Samhain using pumpkins.  

Given that the layout and use of a typical Ouija Board easily translates to use into the screens of every Smartphone – and even touch-screen capable tablet computers currently made by leading manufacturers, it could be quite fun for this Halloween to check out if a newfangled app version of the Ouija Board is as effective as it’s traditional “wooden” counterpart. At least Ouija Board Apps can be a good way to contact the dearly departed that made our internet age possible. Just post it here if Nikola Tesla or Steve Jobs had any new to say for the 2012 Halloween. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

M-Pesa: Kenya’s Bank For The Masses?

Given that most Kenyan’s don’t have a bank account, can the mobile phone based e-banking firm M-Pesa already claim the title as Kenya’s “Bank for the Masses?

By: Ringo Bones

To the uninitiated, M-Pesa is a money transfer service and it is how most Kenyan citizens send and receive money and pay their utility bills using the country’s established mobile phone or cellular phone network. Currently, there are 28,000 M-Pesa shops across Kenya and given that only a few Kenyans have bank accounts and yet almost all of them have mobile and cellular phones or have ready access to the internet, it is no wonder why M-Pesa, as a service provider, is a runaway success throughout Kenya.

M-Pesa is the brainchild of Safaricom and was launched 5 years ago and is made possible by the introduction of high-speed internet in Kenya. Despite its popularity, service interruption still occurs – even days at a time – because cable theft is still a big problem in Kenya that could shut down the local internet service for days. Despite of the disadvantages, Kenyans swear by M-Pesa because it is the securest form of on-line and mobile phone based money transfer they have so far. Competing systems have yet to gain a foothold in the country.

And by October 2012 – M-Pesa could become more secure when Kenya’s communications commission will start a comprehensive ban on counterfeit mobile phones to avoid fraud that could compromise the country’s famed mobile phone based money transfer service. Mobile phone users will then be required to enter their authentication code to make sure that they are a genuine M-Pesa client and not someone out to defraud money from legitimate users. Are taxis, buses and hotels in Nairobi already accepting fares via M-Pesa? Some prospective tourists already want to know.