Archive for January, 2015

January 30, 2015

ASiM® – a Sales (POS) and stock management solution for you. GET IT TODAY!

We at Olivine Technology were the winners of the Pivot East 2014 Mobile Enterprise category, Google Innovation Awards, and we are a CIO Top 100 Company for our flagship product, ASiM,

ASiM® is a Sales (POS) and stock management solution that networks multiple sites seamlessly, such as a company headquarters with its warehouses, outlets, field sales/service agents, and customers.

The app is a multisite management solution for SMEs in the fast moving goods industry. ASiM, for example, integrates a distributor’s warehouses, branches, and field sales vans, hence enabling real-time capture of information related to sales and inventory transactions at multiple locations. It works on android mobile phones and tablets, PCs and laptops, works offline and online, and integrates with popular accounting and ERP apps.
At their sites outside of headquarters, SMEs typically have stand-alone systems, e.g. spreadsheets or pen and paper, hence information is manually reconciled at their headquarters, which expends tremendous amounts of time and leads to enormous stock and cash leakages.
ASiM is the ideal solution: It integrates with SMEs legacy accounting and ERP solutions at their headquarters, is locally supported and economical, thereby eliminating the typical barriers to adoption of multisite management solutions for SMEs, which are change management, IT capacity, and cost challenges.

ASiM® Features are as follows:

Works whether online / offline
ASiM works whether there is internet connectivity or none, allowing the sales team to continue work without interruption.

Networked Sales and Stock Management
ASiM allows for different devices to record transactions simultaneously.

Integration with Accounting Systems
ASiM can integrate with 99% of the accounting systems. For example, Sage Pastel, Navision or Quickbooks.

Automatic Backup
The system backs up data from ASiM to Google Cloud – a very secure and reliable data storage facility.

Real time Synchronization
When the mobile device (with the Sales team in the field) is connected to the internet, the transaction reflects in the dashboard (at the Headquarters) in real time.

Portable ETR – Approved by KRA
This portable thermal printer allows members of the sales team to print itemized ETRs while they are in the field.

Each user is given a unique PIN number which prevents theft or loss of data.

Works on Mobile, Tab and Desktop
No matter how you use ASiM, you will get the same experience with accurate results.


January 25, 2015

Uncensored Internet? Here are the benefits

Why is free and open internet important?
•A free and open internet is the single greatest technology of our time, and control should not be at the mercy of corporations
•A free and open internet stimulates ISP competition
•A free and open internet helps prevent unfair pricing practices
•A free and open internet promotes innovation
•A free and open internet promotes the spread of ideas
•A free and open internet drives entrepreneurship
•A free and open internet protects freedom of speech

January 25, 2015

4 Legal Aspects You Need To Be Aware Of When Developing A Mobile App

App development presents many of the same issues involved in other software development initiatives. However there are particular confidentiality, intellectual property, privacy and distribution considerations that should be kept in mind when developing a mobile app.

1. Confidentiality : Protect your ideas before you are ready to announce them to the world

The tech industry is constantly breaking new boundaries and everyday people are thinking of new and innovative ideas. Consequently, confidentiality issues become paramount in order to stop others from poaching ideas or intellectual property.

In app development, confidentiality issues will arise when you commission the services of third parties, such as designers or copywriters, whose skills are crucial to the success of your app. These third parties will need to understand your app in order to effectively assist you, but you will want to make sure that they keep all related information secret. The most effective way of ensuring confidentiality is to require them to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and reiterate the importance of not disclosing any sensitive information about the project. You can’t guarantee that a third party won’t steal your information, but a formal NDA is the best way to prevent against such occurrence.

2. Intellectual Property – Protect your IP and respect other’s

Intellectual property (“IP”) refers to all work that is created in the process of developing and promoting your app – for example the source code, designs, graphics, app name, app logo, and any copy within the app would all be considered IP. Intellectual Property considerations are fundamental to building a successful app.

You need to be aware of (i) protecting your app’s IP against competitors, (ii) ensuring you actually own the IP created in the development of your app and (iii) ensuring that you do not infringe the IP of a third party.

Protecting your app’s IP against use by competitors:

You should register all IP created in the development of your app with relevant IP registration bodies. Several ‘components’ of the app, including its original software code, content and designs may qualify for copyright protection. A process or method embodied in an app may be patentable. The app’s name and any logo may qualify for trademark protection.

Once you have registered these rights, you are entitled to bring a claim against a third party if they start to use any of the same.

Ensuring you own your app’s IP:

If you are outsourcing any services from third parties (such as designers), it is essential that both parties sign a legal document called an “IP Assignment”. This document will ensure that all work created by these third parties is assigned to you, and will go far to prevent any disputes further down the line over who owns what.

Ensuring you are not infringing the IP of a third-party:

Before you start building your app it is advisable to carry out a check with relevant IP registries to check that . If you use someone else’s registered trademark, they can bring a claim against you.

If your app involves use of IP owned by others (for example music or graphics) you must conduct appropriate rights clearance to evaluate whether you need a license to use it. You should make sure that such license covers the correct territory, distribution platform and device type relevant to your app.

3. Privacy: Ensure that you do not breach your user’s trust

Users place an implicit trust in you when they install your app on their mobile devices. You need to ensure that you do not violate their trust.

Privacy is a fundamental legal consideration to bear in mind when developing a mobile app. Failure to comply with privacy regulations can have devastating consequences on your business. You should ensure that your app contains a comprehensive, clear and accessible privacy policy.

Any time you collect “personally identifiable information” (PII) from your users, you must exercise particular caution. PII includes, to name but a few, names, emails, phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth and locations. If your app collects this data in any way, you should have a privacy policy that accurately and fully discloses how this data is collected and used, to whom is it disclosed and how it is stored.

There are very strict privacy requirements under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) which specifically deals with apps that are likely to attract children under the age of 13 as users and that collect PII from them.

4. Distribution: Comprehend and comply with rules laid down by app stores and other platforms

Once you’ve built your app you need to choose the best channels through which your target audience can access it. Platform providers/app stores vary in their requirements and often require you to follow particular compliance policies. For example, many platforms and app stores specify particular terms that must be included in an end user agreement with users of an app. Some platforms and app stores will require insurance for liability coverage. Furthermore, platforms and app stores are likely to be able to alter their terms at any time, and state that the app must comply with such conditions at all times.

Note that if you are charging a fee for your app there may be additional obligations that you need to consider.

It is great to be aware of these key considerations when building your app, but there is a lot of detail involved in each, and many other issues that may need to be considered in order to ensure your app’s longevity and success. Ideally we would recommend consulting a lawyer specializing in the technology sector to ensure that you are totally fully protected and your app is legally sound. Taking care of these legal aspects will make sure that you have a relatively hassle-free path to mobile app success. Happy hacking!
– See more at:

January 25, 2015

TechEx Kenya 23rd – 25th July, 2015 – Kenya’s Premier Tech and Gadget Expo


TechEx Kenya 2015 is a unique, large scale international Technology Expo that will bring together the various international and local players and stakeholders in the technology sector. TechEx Kenya will be an annual event held at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), in Nairobi, Kenya. This will create a platform for Technology stakeholders to interact, educate and inform the consumers about their various products and services.
The event will be segmented into the following categories: Consumer Technology, Hardware & Printing Solutions, Software (Network & Security, Cloud, Digital Marketing, Payroll & Taxes), Mobile Apps & Content, Retailers & Distributors, Card Technology, Government, Motor Tech, Gaming and Academia.
So be sure to make a date from 23rd – 25th July 2015,
to attend the inaugural TechEx 2015 to experience our launch with a carefully curated selection of exhibitors who will showcase technology at its best. Come and enjoy 3 days of inspiration, education and more or just meet with tech industry leaders, interact and have fun!

January 17, 2015

Internet Freedom Discussions

With Amb. Keith Harper on 14th October, 2014 Nairobi, Kenya

Breaking Online Barriers

Technology may provide the tools to overcome Internet censorship.
Millions of Internet surfers living in closed societies use free anti-censorship technology to break through online barriers imposed by their authoritarian governments. Several organizations produce that software, including the Censorship Research Center (CRC), the Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIF),, and the University of Toronto’s Citizen Labs (UTCL), which is affiliated with the OpenNet Initiative.
Governments that censor the Internet employ three technical methods. The first blocks visits to specified Internet Protocol addresses. The second filters content, cutting off access to any site with keywords prohibited by the censoring government. The third technique, called Domain Name Redirect, is similar to changing a person’s phone number. It makes sites impossible to find.
Software designed to dodge the sensor can also work in several different ways. GIF’s software tools defeat the blocks, monitors, and traces authorities use to survey individually owned computers. For example, censor-busting software might scramble the bits and bytes flowing in and out of a Chinese user’s computer, so the ‘Great Firewall of China,’ as it is known, cannot see patterns in the traffic.
UTCL’s software, called Psiphon, is a browser proxy. It enables users behind firewalls to see otherwise-blocked content by delivering Web pages through an intermediate server in an uncensored country. The system works based on trust; someone already with a Psiphon account must invite first-time users. The invitation is an Internet address combined with a code.These enables the newcomer to log in to get credentials and visit an address without anyone knowing they’re using Psiphon to get there. The user enters that address into an address bar on any browser and can surf freely from then on.’s Tor software protects users’ anonymity by preventing those watching from conducting traffic analysis. It distributes transactions along a random Internet pathway so no single point links a user to his or her destination.
The Censorship Research Center offers the newest addition to the anti-censorship toolkit. It developed ‘Haystack’ software after an Iranian government crackdown on Internet use after 2009’s disputed presidential election. Haystack uses a mathematical formula to hide user’s real identity when they visit Web sites. The program lets people in Iran use the Internet ‘as if there were no Iranian government filters’.

January 17, 2015

I support Internet Freedom in Kenya. Let us all mark Internet Freedom Day #iFreeKe


January 18th is Internet Freedom day. As a part of the campaign to mark the day we are calling on all Kenyans online to write about something they love on the Internet that they never want to see censored. Your contribution can be in the form of blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates and/or YouTube videos.

Join us and other organizations around the world and take part in defending our free expression rights online.

Actions to take on 18th January Internet Freedom Day

•Write on what free expression online means to you (Either in form of a Blog post, Tweet or Facebook update)
•What’s something you love on the net that you’d never want to see censored? (Either in form of a Blog post, Tweet or Facebook update)
•Share on your Social Media profiles what free expression online means to you and why it needs to be protected
•Participate in a Social Media Blast on 18th January from 11am – 4pm using the Hashtag #iFreeKe
•Visit Kenya Monitor( for more actions and information.

January 17, 2015

The Commonwealth Cybersecurity and Broadband Forums


1. The Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum 2014

The theme for the event was ‘Developing National Cybersecurity Frameworks’.

Key topics that were discussed included:

– Launching the just-adopted Commonwealth Cybergovernance Model
– Developing national plans for Critical Information Infrastructure Protection
– Ensuring the protection of intellectual property online
– Privacy vs. Security – where’s the balance?
– DNSSEC in the Commonwealth and beyond
– Implementing Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs)
– Applying Commonwealth Cybergovernance Principles

2. Commonwealth Broadband Forum 2014

Key topics discussed:

– Determining Africa’s broadband future
– Mobile broadband technologies: 4G and LTE
– Broadband access and infrastructure aiding development
– Designing the digital dividend: Future spectrum allocation
– Cloud computing for Emerging markets
– Broadband applications Innovation and VAs
– Inclusion. Innovation. Beyond Broadband: The rise of the tech cities.
– Financing broadband in Africa
– Strengthening broadband Public Private Partnerships to accelerate investment projects

January 17, 2015

Understand Internet Filtering

About Filtering

The number of states that limit access to Internet content has risen rapidly in recent years. Drawing on arguments that are often powerful and compelling such as “securing intellectual property rights,” “protecting national security,” “preserving cultural norms and religious values,” and “shielding children from pornography and exploitation,” many states are implementing extensive filtering practices to curb the perceived lawlessness of the medium. Many others are debating the enactment of similar measures and pursuing technological solutions to complex sociological issues. The following briefly describes the various methods of Internet filtering, the inherent limitations of filtering, and the OpenNet Initiative’s methodology for the study of filtering practices.

Overview of Internet Censorship

Internet censorship and content restrictions can be enacted through a number of different strategies which we describe below. Internet filtering normally refers to the technical approaches to control access to information on the Internet, as embodied in the first two of the four approaches described below.

1) Technical blocking

There are three commonly used techniques to block access to Internet sites: IP blocking, DNS tampering, and URL blocking using a proxy. These techniques are used to block access to specific WebPages, domains, or IP addresses. These methods are most frequently used where direct jurisdiction or control over websites are beyond the reach of authorities. Keyword blocking, which blocks access to websites based on the words found in URLs or blocks searches involving blacklisted terms, is a more advanced technique that a growing number of countries are employing. Filtering based on dynamic content analysis—effectively reading the content of requested websites—though theoretically possible, has not been observed in our research. Denial of service attacks produce the same end result as other technical blocking techniques—blocking access to certain websites—carried out through indirect means.

2) Search result removals

In several instances, companies that provide Internet search services cooperate with governments to omit illegal or undesirable websites from search results. Rather than blocking access to the targeted sites, this strategy makes finding the sites more difficult.

3) Take-down

Where regulators have direct access to and legal jurisdiction over web content hosts, the simplest strategy is to demand the removal of websites with inappropriate or illegal content. In several countries, a cease and desist notice sent from one private party to another, with the threat of subsequent legal action, is enough to convince web hosts to take down websites with sensitive content. Where authorities have control of domain name servers, officials can deregister a domain that is hosting restricted content, making the website invisible to the browsers of users seeking to access the site.

4) Induced self-censorship

Another common and effective strategy to limit exposure to Internet content is by encouraging self-censorship both in browsing habits and in choosing content to post online. This may take place through the threat of legal action, the promotion of social norms, or informal methods of intimidation. Arrest and detention related to Internet offenses, or on unrelated charges, have been used in many instances to induce compliance with Internet content restrictions. In many cases, the content restrictions are neither spoken nor written. The perception that the government is engaged in the surveillance and monitoring of Internet activity, whether accurate or not, provides another strong incentive to avoid posting material or visiting sites that might draw the attention of authorities.

Points of Control

Internet filtration can occur at any or all of the following four nodes in network:

1) Internet backbone

State-directed implementation of national content filtering schemes and blocking technologies may be carried out at the backbone level, affecting Internet access throughout an entire country. This is often carried out at the international gateway.

2) Internet Service Providers

Government-mandated filtering is most commonly implemented by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) using any one or combination of the technical filtering techniques mentioned above.

3) Institutions

Filtering of institutional level networks using technical blocking and/or induced self-censorship occurs in companies, government organizations, schools and cybercafés. In some countries, this takes place at the behest of the government. More commonly, institutional-level filtering is carried out to meet the internal objectives of the institution such as preventing the recreational use of workplace computers.

4) Individual computers

Home or individual computer level filtering can be achieved through the installation of filtering software that restricts an individual computer’s ability to access certain sites.

Countries have been known to order filtering at all of these levels, whether setting up filtration systems at the international gateway to eliminate access to content throughout the entire country, instructing ISPs to block access to certain sites, obligating schools to filter their networks, or requiring libraries to install filtration software on each individual computer they provide.

Filtering’s Inherent Flaws

Filtering technologies, however, are prone to two simple inherent flaws: underblocking and overblocking. While technologies can be effective at blocking specific content such as high profile web sites, current technology is not able to accurately identify and target specific categorizes of content found on the billions of webpages and other Internet media including news groups, email lists, chat rooms and instant messaging. Underblocking refers to the failure of filtering to block access to all the content targeted for censorship. On the other hand, filtering technologies often block content they do not intend to block, also known as overblocking. Many blacklists are generated through a combination of manually designated web sites as well as automated searches and, thus, often contain websites that have been incorrectly classified. In addition, blunt filtering methods such as IP blocking can knock out large swaths of acceptable websites simply because they are hosted on the same IP address as a site with restricted content.

The profusion of Internet content means that Internet filtering regimes that hope to comprehensively block access to certain types of content must rely on software providers with automated content identification methods. This effectively puts control over access in the hands of private corporations that are not subject to the standards of review common in government mandates. In addition, because the filters are often proprietary, there is often no transparency in terms of the labeling and restricting of sites. The danger is most explicit when the corporations that produce content filtering technology work alongside undemocratic regimes in order to set-up nationwide content filtering schemes. Most states that implement content filtering and blocking augment commercially generated blocklists with customized lists that focus on topics and organizations that are nation or language-specific.
How ONI Studies Internet Filtration

For more information on our methodology, tools, and data, please see our FAQ.

Measuring and describing the rapidly spreading phenomenon of Internet filtration defies simple metrics. Ideally, we would like to know how Internet censorship reduces the availability of information, how it hampers the development of online communities, and how it inhibits the ability of civic groups to monitor and report on the activities of the government, as these impact governance and ultimately economic growth. However, even if we were able to identify all the websites that have been put out of reach due to government action, the impact of blocking access to each website is far from obvious, particularly in this networked world where information has a habit of propagating itself and reappearing in multiple locations. With this recognition of the inherent complexity of evaluating Internet censorship, we set out with modest goals – to identify and document filtering.

Two lists of websites are checked in each of the countries tested: a global list (constant for each country) and a local list (different for each country). The global list is comprised of a wide range of internationally relevant and popular websites including sites with content that is perceived to be provocative or objectionable. Most of the websites on the global list are in English. The local lists are designed individually for each country by regional experts. They have content representing a wide arrange of content categories at the local and regional levels, and content in local languages. In countries where Internet censorship has been reported, the local lists also include many of the sites that are alleged to have been blocked. These lists are samples and are not meant to be exhaustive.

The actual tests are run from within each country using specially designed software. Where appropriate, the tests are run from different locations to capture the differences in blocking behavior across ISPs and across multiple days and weeks to control for normal connectivity problems.

The completion of the initial accessibility testing is just the first step in our evaluation process. Additional diagnostic work is performed to separate normal connectivity errors from intentional tampering. There are a number of technical alternatives for filtering the Internet, some of which are relatively easy to discover. Others are difficult to detect and require extensive diagnostic work to confirm.

After analysis, the results are released in the form of country and regional reports. Please check the website often for updates!

January 17, 2015

US President Barack Obama backs Net Neutrality


US president Barack Obama came out in support of net neutrality, saying open access should be seen as a basic right.

The principle of net neutrality dictates data packets on the internet should be moved impartially, without regard to content, destination or source.

President Obama on spoke out about the importance of an open Internet, calling on the Federal Communications Commission to keep net neutrality intact. He urged the government agency to not allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block or throttle access to the Internet, which he said is “essential to the American economy.”

“There should be no gatekeepers between you and your favorite online sites and services,” a statement posted to the White House press site read.

“And as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers new rules for how to safeguard competition and user choice, we cannot take that principle of net neutrality for granted,” it added. “Ensuring a free and open Internet is the only way we can preserve the Internet’s power to connect our world.”

Net neutrality has been a hotly debated topic, and it could have ties to gaming as more and more games become online-centric. All Internet traffic should be treated equally, net neutrality supporters say. Meanwhile, advocates for a different set of rules suggest that a “toll road” system should be implemented for companies with high traffic requirements.

As GameSpot sister site CNET notes, this has led to concerns that ISPs could intentionally diminish bandwidth speeds for some while offering better connections for others.

Under the terms of a new plan, Obama asked the FCC to reclassify the Internet as a utility, because for most Americans “the Internet has become an essential part of everyday communication.”

“We cannot allow Internet service providers to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas,” he added.

Obama’s plan would have some “clear, monitored” exceptions for specialized services such as Internet access at hospitals, the president said.

The FCC is an independent agency, with the power to make decisions on its own. It’s unclear when the group will announce its new set of rules, though CNET reports that it might not be until this year 2015.