What a week:-Kenyan tech stories from Google to the dangers of Local Hosting

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Yes, we are back , the tech stories of the week. The Kenyan tech bloggers and writers have started the year with a bang. Every week we will be sampling the  the best of the best. Here we go:

David vs Goliath: Yes Mocality Vs Google

The story of David has been told across the generations, never underestimate the strength of David regardless of the size of Goliath. This week Mocality accused Google of using its hard earned Kenyan Business database in a fraudulent manner. Oh boy this was nasty and I expect some heads to roll on the Google’s side, actually here in Kenya.  Wait for my full thoughts on that tomorrow.

Since October, Google’s GKBO appears to have been systematically accessing Mocality’s database and attempting to sell their competing product to our business owners. They have been telling untruths about their relationship with us, and about our business practices, in order to do so. As of January 11th, nearly 30% of our database has apparently been contacted.

Furthermore, they now seem to have outsourced this operation from Kenya to India.

When we started this investigation, I thought that we’d catch a rogue call-centre employee, point out to Google that they were violating our Terms and conditions (sections 9.12 and 9.17, amongst others), someone would get a slap on the wrist, and life would continue.

I did not expect to find a human-powered, systematic, months-long, fraudulent (falsely claiming to be collaborating with us, and worse) attempt to undermine our business, being perpetrated from call centres on 2 continents.

Google’s Nelson Mattos, Vice-President for Product and Engineering, Europe and Emerging Markets in response to the issues raised by Mocality in its blog post.

We were mortified to learn that a team of people working on a Google project improperly used Mocality’s data and misrepresented our relationship with Mocality to encourage customers to create new websites. We’ve already unreservedly apologised to Mocality. We’re still investigating exactly how this happened, and as soon as we have all the facts, we’ll be taking the appropriate action with the people involved.

Read Mocality detective operation here

Horrible horrible Twitter Mistake

Taking propaganda to a new height on Twitter, Major Chirchir posted a picture of a Kenyan being stoned by Militia group Al Shabaab. Unfortunately the good Major did not realize that  people on twitter are very alert and  do not take things at the face value. Somebody discovered that the pic posted by Major Chirchir was taken in 2009 and in a different location. After that the Major spent the whole week not fighting the Al Shabaab but fighting to save the Kenyan military reputation. On Twitter

#PicturePosting I take responsibility for posting an old photo, but execution did happen on Tuesday. Friday execution likely.

Here is the old story about the picture and here is nation reporting  on the Major Chirchir’s apology


The beauty is no longer in the eyes of the beholders.

Some mad man by the name of Martin Gicheru woke up and decided that this blog is the ugliest tech blog in the South of Sahara…smh..

That aside, we have some of the most ugly looking blogs south of the Sahara, am not being self-righteous, you are free to point out that mine is ugly too, feel free.

I will start with the two ugliest among them, the rest I will list in no particular order.

Read this mad man’s blog here

Cutting cost, does Free and Open Source help?

Franklin Sunday of Nation Media thinks so

Free and open source software is steadily growing in popularity in Kenya as firms move to cut costs and achieve more customised technology solutions.

Many companies particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have adopted free and open source software (FOSS) to power their systems in the wake of increasing costs and shrinking IT budgets.

Adoption of FOSS is also seen as a promising solution to software piracy in countries like Kenya

Read more here

What happened to Safaricom Mxit partnership?

When the partnership was announced two years ago, many bloggers saw it as a slap on the face of the local developers. At the time there were other able mobile social networking systems like Sembuse. And now at Aptantech, they are asking what happened to the deal?

But almost two years since the service was launched here, Safaricom has made no announcement regarding the adoption of the service as relates to user numbers as the user volumes can contribute to the network’s data revenues.

Therefore, the announcement about Safaricom’s MXit users could just be made the same way the firm gives out regular updates about its subscriber volumes and more specifically, M-PESA users.

Get the whole story

Big disappointment with Local Hosting

Local hosting vs Somewhere Else, which is which. Judge for yourself from Wanjiku’s take

Many people will also tell you that with affordable connectivity, it doesnt matter if you are hosted on Amazon cloud or local, especially if the price difference and other costs will be high.

So, when a.k.a media madness decided they wanted to host locally, it made sense, coz most of their visitors are local. I have written about MM before and how they have a large following base.

That is why I smiled to myself when I read that they were going local because I wondered if the host clearly understood what would happen the first morning when the followers started on their daily readings. You guessed right, the site crashed the first day and I could imagine everyone running helter skelter trying to wonder who in the ISP/service provider was responsible for ensuring the site up and whether the money had been paid, etc…

The site has had its up and downs but MM serves to demonstrate that probably local companies are not ready for hosting huge traffic sites but am sure they will tell you the SLA is for 99% uptimes, with a straight face.

Don’t miss this here




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Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at
Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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  • I see things are looking up, seeing that even madmen are being taken seriously of late. Power to the people!

    @martingicheru January 15, 2012 12:19 pm Reply
    • First, do you know big South of Sahara is?  Yes things are looking up but that does not mean mad men are accepted

      Kachwanya January 15, 2012 3:04 pm Reply

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