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10 Top alternatives to Google Reader

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With Google announcing the retirement of its popular news reader service, Google Reader, users of the service have been anxiously looking for alternatives, after the initial burst of outrage. Fortunately, there are a number of other services and apps that let users of the popular news reader service migrate seamlessly. In fact, three Stanford University students have created a website – ReplaceReader.com, that aims at finding the best Google Reader alternative via a Twitter hashtag poll. We take a look at 10 of the most trending Reader alternatives.

1) Feedly 
The RSS reader app that allowed users to sync their Google reader feed and read it in a magazine-like format, appears to be the biggest contender when it comes to acquiring the news reader of choice throne, with more than 500,000 new users flocking to it within two days of Google announcing the retirement of Google reader. Feedly is working on a project called Normandy, which is a Feedly clone of the Google Reader API – running on Google App Engine. This means that Feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end when Google Reader shuts down, allowing people to transition without any impediments.

Feedly Android and iOS apps for mobile syncing, and works in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari on the desktop.

2) NewsBlur
The web and mobile service is similar to Google Reader and allows users to subscribe to RSS feeds in addition to offering customisation and sharing capabilities. However, the service is based on a freemium model, with the free version allowing users to subscribe to a maximum of 12 sites, update once, and share only publicly. The paid version costs $24/year but removes these limitations.

3) Bloglovin
Bloglovin allows users to follow their favourite blogs and each time there’s a new post, it updates their feed. The service also offers an iPhone app. It also lets users explore new blogs in categories of their interest.

4) The Old Reader
It’s a social RSS reader based on the old version of Google reader. The service allows users to import their Google reader feed through their Google reader account or via OPML file import. The service is web only at this point in time but allows the same level of sharing and organisation as that of the old version of Google Reader.

5) Bloglines
Bloglines allows users to find and track their favorite websites and blogs in real-time, customize the user interface with multiple view options, drag and drop organization, and widgets. The service claims to have 2 million users, and is available via a web interface on both desktop and mobile apps.

6) Digg Reader
The popular news-sharing website has launched its own reader service with a web app and a mobile app for iOS. It’s also promising the launch of an Android app in the next few weeks.

Digg Reader’s interface offers a clean reading experience that puts the focus squarely on the articles, posts, images, and videos themselves. Digg will also integrate useful mobile apps that sync with Reader’s web experience. The company’s CTO had confirmed that Pocket and Instapaper integration will be in there for launch and Digg will integrate more services post launch. It offers support for key actions like subscribing, sharing, saving and organising.

It’s still a work in progress and the company plans to add “View Unread Items Only” option for feeds and folders, “Mark As Unread” button, and a fix to deliver accurate unread counts for feeds and folders, in the near future. The service claims to  crawl 4.5 million feeds at the time of its launch on June 26.

7) AOL Reader
AOL has also launched its own RSS reader, AOL Reader. Currently available only as a web app, it allows users to signup using their AOL, Facebook, Twitter or Google credentials and import their Google Reader feed.

It allows users to browse news feeds in different layouts namely List View, Card View , Full View, and Pane View. It’s big on customisation and allows users to personalise the entire user interface including font size, choice between light and dark layout themes, and listing of unread stories.

8) BazQux Reader
The web based feed reader focuses on comments in posts and shows blog posts and comments in one seamless stream, tracks what was read and displays only new discussions next time. It supports comments from Reddit, Livejournal, blogs with comment feeds, Disqus and Facebook widgets. It also offers a mosaic or magazine view mode to quickly skim through picture rich blogs.  The service allows users to share posts or comments via E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr or bookmark to Pinboard, Pocket, Evernote or Instapaper. It also lets them organize articles using multiple tagging and starring.

9) FeedReader
Another RSS reader that allows you to import your Google Reader feeds, FeedReader offers a standalone desktop client for Windows and Linux, in addition to a web interface. It’s one of the oldest RSS readers and offers features like Feedreader Lookup, a search engine for Internet feeds, and Feedreader Browser, that lets you find news and feeds related to any topic. The web client offers search, different layout views including a Flat view, Snippet view and List view, and filters for unread posts.

10) Flipboard, Zite and Pulse
Apps like Flipboard, Zite and Pulse also allow you to add feeds from website and browse web stories in a magazine-like format complete with pictures. The added advantage is that they also pull stories from your social feed and allow you to personalise topics. These apps are available on iOS and Android.

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Freelyformd: A consultancy firm reinventing delivery of IT Solutions in Uganda

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By Our Reporter

Software development and incorporating IT solutions in business has over the years become integral and a driving mechanism for the sustainable growth of any company, especially Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Founded in 2017, Freelyformd is a Ugandan-headquartered provider of IT consulting services and custom software development with IT professionals located internationally.

The company handles complex business challenges, building all types of custom and platform-based solutions and providing a comprehensive set of end-to-end IT services with customer satisfaction in mind.

Freelyformd brings custom and platform-based solutions to large and mid sized companies in Healthcare, Banking, Retail, Telecom and other industries.

From the development stage to the end result, the client is able to interface with the developing team which creates a bond like no other. Freelyformd offers services such as dedicated developer teams, Mobile App Development, Web applications and Website Design, Enterprise software development, software testing & QA, Security Audit, IT Consulting, DevOps,
USSD, and Startup partnerships.

The company has experience and the expertise to build custom web & mobile solutions of any kind for any client as well as IT consulting, software development and testing as can be testified by many clients.

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Tech and Gadgets

Makerere University students to represent Uganda in Huawei ICT global competition

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Students doing the National Final exam at Huawei Offices

Students doing the National Final exam at Huawei Offices

By Our Reporter

Three Makerere University Students have been chosen to represent Uganda in the Huawei ICT global competition which is at its regional final stage in South Africa. The chosen three students emerged top in the preliminary and national final exams of the competition which was carried out between October and December 2019.

This is the second edition of the Huawei ICT Competition in Uganda with over 2500 students registered to participate and out of those 100 excelled to the national final exam.

With the theme “Connection, Glory, Future”, the Huawei 2019-2020 Global ICT competition aims to provide a platform for global ICT talents to showcase their ability, compete and communicate, encouraging ICT-related study and drive the growth of a robust ICT talent ecosystem.

The competition participants from Makerere, Kyambogo, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Nkozi, Mbarara, Kabale, Lira, Gulu, Muni, UCU and MUBS accessed learning material free of charge on the Huawei online learning platform in the various courses such as Network and Cloud track. The network track consists of Router & Switch, Security and Wireless Lan while Cloud track consists of Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing and Storage.

These studied and were subjected to preliminary and national exams of which the top three students emerged all coming from Makerere University. These are Magola Kenneth, Okello Stephen and Mudulo Gerald. They are expected to travel to South Africa on 22nd March 2020 to participate in the regional final with other African countries and later in May to China, Shenzhen in the global final amongst the rest of the world.

Mr. Liaoshuangquan, the Huawei Uganda Human Resource Director noted that the competition is very relevant to every ICT student and professional because it’s a comprehensive approach of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth.

“The Huawei ICT Competition and Academy is a comprehensive approach of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth. Training contents in this program has been aligned with skills requirements in the job market. That is why we re-dedicate ourselves to working even more closely with universities across the country to better equip students with the next generation of technologies and create the platform for the Ugandan students to demonstrate they are capable of maturing into world-class experts,” said Mr. Liaoshuangquan.

Mr. Liaoshuangquan further noted that the top 11 students among the 100 national finalists shall be awarded in a ceremony that will happen in March, with Huawei Professional certificates, Huawei gift devices and job/internship opportunities at Huawei.

Through the continued initiative to bridge the ICT skills gap and fostering ICT talent pool needed for national social economic development, Huawei Uganda has been working with government and academic partners since May 2019 to open up its academies in the various universities of Uganda. So far, six academies have been opened in Makerere, MUBS, Soroti, Muni, Nkozi, Mbarara and Kabale university.

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MTN Uganda, YoTV partner to enable customers conveniently access local TV and Radio

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Aggrey Mugisha, the YoTV Channels CEO. demonstrates how the app works.

Aggrey Mugisha, the YoTV Channels CEO, demonstrates how the app works.

By Our Reporter

YoTV Channels and MTN Uganda have today announced a partnership that will allow customers to easily and conveniently access local TV and radio on their smartphones.

YoTV Channels is a mobile and web-based solution that aggregates local media content (TV and Radio) and makes it seamlessly available wherever you are. With more than 50 local channels already, YoTV Channels allows its customers to enjoy local content at their convenience with ability to pause, rewind, record and catch up with missed programs up to 24 hours.

While announcing this partnership, Aggrey Mugisha, the YoTV Channels CEO noted that this partnership shows that both MTN and YoTV Channels are committed to promoting local content through allowing Ugandans to enjoy uninterrupted local TV and Radio at their convenience through YoTV Channels.

“As a purely Ugandan brand, we recognize the importance of Buy Uganda, Build Uganda. As such, we relish every opportunity that further builds our country. All MTN customers with smart phones should simply download the YOTV Channels APP and register with their MTN numbers to enjoy local TV and Radio anytime, anywhere. At the end of 30 days of free viewing, YoTV Channels users can then upgrade to a subscription plan of their choice starting with as low as UGX 500. We are delighted to partner with MTN Uganda on this.” Aggrey Mugisha explained.

On his part, MTN Uganda Ag. Chief Marketing Officer, Sen Somdev, said this partnership is a win-win for both YoTV Channels and MTN Customers.

“Our customers are now looking for convenience. With the advent of smart phones, more people are now accessing information with just a click of a button anywhere anytime. Life as it is now is so busy and people find themselves caught up with work commitments leaving them with little time to catch up with their favourite shows. MTN is therefore pleased to partner with YOTV to bring yet more convenience to our customers because we are good together,” Sen Somdev said.

The YoTV Channels App subscription will provide customers with unlimited access to local TV and Radio for 30 days FREE trial after which they will upgrade to a subscription plan of their own preference. Subscription offers include hourly(500 shs), daily(1000 shs), weekly(2500 shs) and monthly(10, 000 shs) packages.

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Roke Telkom collaborates with HGC Global Communications to provide SD-WAN Services for local enterprises

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L-R: Alex Mugane Wanjai the HGC Advisor- Africa, Roger Sekaziga the CEO Roke Telkom , Oyovwe Okorodudu the Assistant Vice President- EMEA at HGC and Micheal Mukasa Chief Commercial Officer at Roke Telkom shake hands on the newly formed partnership between Roke Telkom and HGC Global Telecommunications at Kampala Serena Hotel on Thursday.

By Our Reporter

Roke Telkom, a Ugandan-based telecommunications company and public service provider for voice and data communication has collaborated with HGC Global Communications (HGC), a fully-fledged fixed-line operator and ICT service provider with extensive international network coverage and infrastructure, to provide Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) services in the region.

SD-WAN is a technology that enables enterprises to simplify network management and ensure greater agility and efficiency. The platform aggregates bandwidth and can be integrated seamlessly into enterprises’ existing networks, providing connectivity over various transport technologies such as 4G /LTE, broadband, MPLS among others.

Speaking at the breakfast, Roger Sekaziga, Roke Telkom’s Chief Executive Officer, said that their focus is on continued innovation by creating an ecosystem of partners that will build a mutual interdependence that can shape the future, especially when enhanced with high quality Internet.

Sekaziga noted that the SDWAN service complements this ecosystem’s current network infrastructure, by allowing IT Managers to remotely manage their site policies through a centralized controller which is critical in increasing network security, flexibility and scalability; translating into reduced connectivity costs that positively impact the bottom-line.

“Companies need to future proof their network assets by investing in new technologies. SDWAN enhances this capability because it associates well with 5G, fifth-generation wireless, and the internet of things (IoT). The future is here and organizations must remain relevant to their target audiences. This solution does that, by extracting the transport layer from hardware to software, further reducing costs.” He explained.

Sekaziga also observed that opportunities are limitless when you engage with the right partners. “Roke is leading the way in showing what is possible when you engage with the right Partner. Our Partnership with HGC Global Communications creates a unique opportunity to create value by bringing together this robust capability to businesses in Uganda and the region.”

Oyovwe Okorodudu the AVP – EMEA at HGC in his presentation to guests commented that, HGC is committed to the contemporary ICT, connectivity solutions and different value-added services to assist corporate customers on paving the way to a digital transformation journey.

“As a telecom and ICT service provider with a global footprint, we strive to collaborate with key local and regional firms like Roke Telkom that support the ever-growing demand in the region for reliable and secure internet solutions, high quality of service and always-on connectivity to streamline corporates’ business operations”, Okorodudu said.

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