You’ve certainly heard of Hollywood. You’ve probably heard of Bollywood. But have you heard of Nollywood? Nigeria’s home-grown film industry is the world’s second-largest in terms of the number of hours of film released each year. The BBC recently estimated the annual value of Nollywood at $5 Billion. And like Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, Nollywood is growing at an impressive rate. Now, NollyLand Direct Ltd, a start-up based in the US and Nigeria, has launched NollyLand – a new Video Streaming Platform that is taking Nollywood and other African film industries to a global audience.
Last May, we engaged in something of an experiment when Joi Ito and I presented Solid, our conference about the intersection between software and the physical world. We drew the program as widely as possible and invited demos from a broad group of large and small companies, academic researchers, and artists. The crowd that came — more than 1,400 people — was similarly broad: a new interdisciplinary community that’s equally comfortable in the real and virtual worlds started to, well, solidify.
I’m delighted to announce that Solid is returning. The next Solid will take place on June 23-25, 2015, at Fort Mason in San Francisco. It’ll be bigger, with more space and a program spread across three days instead of two, but we’re taking care to maintain and nourish the spirit of the original event. That begins with our call for proposals, which opens today. Some of our best presentations in May came from community members we hadn’t yet met who blew away our program committee with intriguing proposals. We’re committed to discovering new luminaries and giving them a chance to speak to the community. If you’re working on interesting things, I hope you’ll submit a proposal.
We’re expecting a full house at this year’s event, so we’ve opened up ticket reservations today as well — you can reserve your ticket here, and we’ll hold your spot for seven days once registration opens early next year.
It’d be an understatement to say that the hardware movement and the Internet of Things (IoT) are hot right now. According to Google, search interest in the IoT has more than doubled in the last 12 months. The race by software companies to reach into the physical world, and the parallel race by manufacturers to develop their software and intelligence offerings, is bringing about all sorts of exciting collisions.
I’d like to hear from you about what’s going on in hardware right now: how to design great products, how to build them in socially responsible ways, how to program them so that they’re efficient and delightful. Solid will be rich with these kinds of stories, told by engineers, artists, scholars, and executives from giant enterprises and nascent start-ups.
That said, my greatest pleasure in programming the 2014 edition of Solid was in featuring presentations that framed our conversation in terms of art, craft, societal impact, theoretical depth, and long-term context. Thoughtful, fresh takes on the hardware movement and the Internet of Things are welcome.
If you’d like to speak at Solid 2015, please visit our call for proposals. If you’d like to attend Solid, you can reserve your ticket here. If you’re interested in sponsoring Solid, please contact Sharon Cordesse. We look forward to hearing from you!
A year after its formation, the New Foundry Generation Forum (NFGF) has reported significant productivity improvements, and has witnessed the invention of simulation software and three-dimensional (3D) printing technology for the foundry industry.
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South Africa has started testing a shark repellent electronic cable in Cape Town, in a hi-tech experiment aimed at protecting swimmers without harming the deadly sea predators. Researchers at KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board installed a 100-m-long cable on Friday in a small bay in Cape Town that seeks to exploit the sharks’ super-sensitive nose.
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Major US aerospace group Boeing is continuing to strengthen its cooperation with South African companies and institutions. “We already have strong relationships with Aerosud, with Cobham Aviation (wi-fi antennas) and with 43 Air School,” points out Boeing Commercial Airplanes Director: International Sales for Africa Miguel Santos. “We are also re-establishing a strong relationship with Denel.” (Aerosud manufactures aerostructures and internal aircraft fittings, Cobham makes antennas for aircraft 43 Air School is a large flying school and Denel is the State-owned defence and aerospace group.)
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A review by multinational science academy organisation, the InterAcademy Council (IAC), of the African Science Academy Development Initiative (Asadi) has concluded its “significant success” – both in terms of meeting its stated objectives and in its wider positive impacts on the trajectory of the African science academies it supported. The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) had benefited from the Asadi initiative between 2006 and 2011, during which time it aimed to establish a functioning secretariat for the academy and to allow the academy to undertake the tasks expected of it.
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Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor is set to officially open the Centre for Nanotechnology Innovation at Rhodes University, in Grahamstown, on November 14, placing the institution at the forefront of international nanotechnology research. The centre will house new nanotechnology equipment called time of flight-secondary-ion-mass-spectrometer (TOF-SIMS) bought through a R17-million investment from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation. The DST said in a statement on Monday that the centre would become one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in a university environment in South Africa.
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