ScaleFT, a new DevOps startup founded by a number of former Rackspace executives and engineers, today announced that it has raised an $800,000 seed round with a strategic investment by Rackspace and participation from a number of angel investors, including CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi (who himself previously worked at Rackspace).

It’s no secret that Rackspace wants to offer services on top of its competitors’ clouds, including Amazon, Google and Microsoft. As ScaleFT co-founder and CEO Jason Luce tells me, the company was interested in funding the company because its products fit in very well with this mission.

“Rackspace has been vocal about building a service business on AWS, GCE and Azure, and ScaleFT is advancing the tools that Rackspace ops teams will need for their new strategy,” Luce writes in today’s announcement. “This is an important reason why Rackspace is supporting our endeavor.”

ScaleFT’s first product, which is also launching today, is Scale Access for making access to servers easier and more secure. The company argues that an authentication solution based on SSH private keys isn’t just cumbersome but also not as secure as you would think. “Technologies like RSA, X.509 and SSH are available, but so complex that businesses are prevented from enjoying their full benefits,” Luce says.

Scale Access, however, uses fast-expiring keys that are only valid for a few minutes and an authentication solution that can be integrated with single sign-on solutions like Google Apps and the SAML standard. Because of this, it also works with tools that need a second factor for authentication.

The promise here is that SSH will still just work and that tools like Ansible for IT automation will work just like before. The service can also issue certifications for access to VPNs, web applications and other infrastructure services.

It’s the social situation we all try to avoid; forgetting to pay someone back because we don’t have any cash, or that card reader thingie, to do it online.

Well Google are having a go at making debt settling easier, by allowing users to transfer funds on email.

It’s coming in over the next few weeks for all Gmail users.

Users will have to click the “£” icon which will soon appear on emails, and enter the amount they wish to send.

Google made the announcement on an official blog post and says the service will be free.

If you’re really desperate for that score to be settled, you can even send requests for how much money you’d like to receive.

Users without a Gmail account will also be able to be sent cash – everyone will have to set up a Google wallet balance, and link it to their debit card or bank account.

Original article from Amrican News Website.

Online shopping grew

Competition in online shopping grew with entrants in the nascent sector curving different niche to remain competitive.
Among the notable niche include dealers of used goods, brand new items, music.
An online data based was developed by Private security firm, KK security and online classifieds company, OLX, to tame spiraling cyber crime in the country.
The system aims to capture details of online buyers including national Identity cards (ID’s) and verified to secure e-commerce transactions.

Digital Migration

Kenya finally migrates from analogue to digital television broadcasting before the June 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The move comes after, protracted court battles push for cheaper set top boxes and awareness creation that has lasted seven years since the move was mooted.
Cost of set top boxes have dropped significantly over the years from Sh 10,000 to Sh 1,799 for pay tv platforms and Sh 4,000 for Free-to air.

4G Network

Safaricom finally rolled out its high-speed 4G network to up game on the data segment-targeting to comprehensively reach out Nairobi and Mombasa By March 2015.
Chinese Mobile handset makers Huawei and Techno launched their 4G powered smartphones in the Kenyan market.

Essar’s Yu sold out to rivals

Indian mobile operator Essar agreed to sell Kenyan number three yuMobile to local rivals Airtel and Safaricom for Sh 10.5 billion ($120 million).

Microsoft dropped Nokia brand for Lumia

The landmark decision was made after tech giant bought Nokia’s mobile division back in April for $7.2bn along with a 10-year deal to use the Finnish company’s name on smartphones.

Smartphone users grew

Mobile phone subscriptions stood at 32.2 million, a figure that grew by almost 450,000 compared to the first quarter of the year buoyed by growth in middle class.
Industry reports claim penetration rate of smart phones in the country stands at 18 percent with over 15,000 devices sold each month.
Global smartphone shipments hit a new record of 295.3 million units in the second quarter of 2014, posting a 23.1 percent growth year over year and was expected to reach 300 million before year end.

Samsung/ Apple Battle for top spot intensified

Apple’s Iphone 6 plus launch laid it bare that the American multinational was planning to end a monopoly held by Samsung through its Galaxy series over the last three years.

Phablets cannibalized tablets

Latest IDC prediction: Phablet shipments (smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches) will reach 175 million units worldwide in 2014, passing the 170 million portable PCs expected to ship during the same period

Adoption of credit cards soared

The country experienced signing of mega deals for credit cards between multinationals, local retailers and commercial banks in the plastic card market.
Kenya has less than 200,000 credit cards with industry reports putting the market’s potential at 400,000 units.
Mobile money transactions
Over the last12 months most retailers’ big and small alike also adopted mobile money services to push up total transaction value to Sh 1.1 trillion from Sh 871 million last year.

Thin sim technology
Equity Bank was given go ahead to launch Thin sim technology in Kenya to rival Safaricom’s M-pesa.

1) Matatu Cashless Payment System: Of-course this had to make the round-up. Kenyan authorities tried to ensure that we have a cashless payment system, the deadline of which was postponed several times. Maybe next year the Kenyan government & stakeholders will have better luck.

2) Facebook Paper: Facebook Paper was a flop. Though it was suppose to reinvent Facebook as a new-age reading app, it quickly tumbled down the leaderboard at the Apple App Store. But whatever the fate of Paper, the tools used to build the thing represent the future of software design and development.

3) Bitcoin: It’s fair to say Bitcoin had a bad 2014. In fact, its plunge in value makes it the worst performing currency over the past year. According to Bloomberg, the value of Bitcoin dropped a massive 56 percent during 2014, falling from around $770 at the start of the year to around $320 at the time of writing.This means Bitcoin has performed worse than the Ukrainian Hryvnia, the Russian Ruble, the Ghanaian Cedi, and the Argentine Peso. Which is all a far cry from 2013, when Bitcoin peaked at a value of $1,130. Ironically, this drop in value has coincided with Bitcoin being accepted by an increasing number of companies and services.

4) Tablet sales: despite a growth of 7.2 % in tablet sales in 2014, this was a failure as the tablet market grew by 52.5 percent from 2012 to 2013. Reasons for the disastrous plummet being phablets (big screen mobile phones) which can do almost anything tablets can do.

5) Sony Playstation TV: The game experience was poor, just like the PS Vita graphics were blurry and crappy on a big-screen TV. The PlayStation TV didn’t even support 1080p resolution, which doesn’t sound very future-proof. Even at a wallet-friendly $99, the Sony Playstation TV was an epic fail.

6) Google Glass: 2014 was supposed to be the year that Google Glass went mass market, but last time I checked I didn’t see anyone wearing one anywhere. Google has apparently delayed the launch of Glass to consumers and has shifted gears in the meantime to focus on businesses with its Glass at Work program. The move makes sense. You’re less likely to be called a Glasshole if you’re using it to call up schematics of a building than wearing the geeky specs to the mall.

It’s possible that Glass could see a resurgence in 2015, but given that key employees and several developers have abandoned ship, it will be hard to keep Sergey Brin’s dream alive.

7) iPhone 6 Plus Bendgate: Almost immediately after Apple began selling its massive iPhone 6 Plus in September, the Internet went crazy with images of bent phones. Internet personality Lewis Hilsenteger made “bendgate” a sensation by posting a YouTube video of himself bending the iPhone 6 Plus. Soon after, two British teenagers filmed themselves bending an iPhone 6 Plus in a London Apple Store. But Apple insisted that the phone doesn’t bend easily, saying that only 9 customers had complained about bending phones during the first week of sales.

Marissa Mayer became Yahoo CEO.

WWE Network was launched.
Facebook bought whatsapp for $19 billion.

Yu was bought-out by Safaricom and Airtel.

Safaricom discontinued the unlimited internet bundle citing overuse of the service by a few users who would stretch the service to the limit, leaving the rest of the users to share a limited service.
The Heartbleed bug affected the security of thousands of websites, leaving them vulnerable to data leaks and scaring the crap out of Internet security experts.
Microsoft bought Nokia.

Former Prime Minister – Raila Odinga was away in Boston for 3 months. A lot happened while he was away and Kenyans on Twitter did what they do best, they got the hashtag #BabaWhileYouWereAway trending.
eBay got hacked.
Safaricom announced the discontinuing of the 1000 Kshs postpaid plan.

Nokia launched their first Android smartphone – the X2.

This Ice Bucket Challenge went viral, inspiring tech executives and celebrities to dump icy-cold water over their heads to raise money and bring awareness to the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Sadly, some of the challenges went a little too far, ending in at least one tragic death.

Airtel Kenya offered prepaid mobile users the ability to access social media network, Twitter – for free.
Nakumatt launched the Nakumatt Global Mastercard.
We got a sneak-preview of Microsoft’s Windows 10.
iPhone 6 plus went on sale.
Equity Bank’s Equitel service was launched.

#StopTheDrunkPresident was one of the top trends on Twitter.

Sony got hacked, but still released the movie, The Interview.
Twitter went down for about 5 hours on Sunday 28th December. Tweetdeck users were hit with a different issue whereby all tweets were dated one year into the future.

Kenyans are always on Twitter, and in 2014, they made their voice heard on Twitter with the following top trending hashtags:


Which was your favourite? Leave a comment.

Every day we are faced with choices in our careers that will affect us over the long term. Should I volunteer for that new project? Should I ask for a raise? Should I take a sabbatical? Should I say yes to overtime?

But sometimes we miss the biggest choices that will cause us to look back on our careers 20 years from now with pride and contentment — or regret.

Here are some of the career choices we often make but will regret deeply in 20 years’ time:

Pretending to be something you’re not.

Maybe you’re pretending to be a sports fan to impress your boss, or you’re keeping your mouth shut about something to keep the peace. Maybe you’re pretending that you’re an expert in something that’s really not your cup of tea. But continuously pretending to be something you’re not is not being true to yourself and will keep you feeling empty.

Making decisions based only on money.

Whether we’re talking about your personal salary or your project’s budget, making decisions solely based on money is almost never a good idea. Sure, it’s important to run the numbers, but there are dozens of other factors — including your gut feeling — you’ll want to take into account.

Thinking you can change something about the job.

Much like a relationship, if you go into a job thinking, “This would be the perfect job, if only…” that’s a red flag. Chances are, unless you’re taking a leadership, C-level position, you aren’t going to be able to change things that are fundamentally wrong.


You’ve got an OK job, with an OK salary, and OK benefits, but what you really want is… You’re not doing yourself any favors settling for something that is just OK. Believe in yourself enough to go after what you deserve, whether it’s a new position, a pay rise, or an opportunity.

Working 50, 60, 80 hour weeks.

You might think you have to work that much — because it’s expected, because you need the money, because you want to look good to your boss — but no one reaches their deathbed and says, “Gosh, I wish I’d spent more time working.”

Putting friends and family last.

Being successful at your career means surrounding yourself with supportive people — and often, those people aren’t your coworkers or employees, they’re your friends and family. Ruin those relationships and you may find your career success just doesn’t matter as much.

Micromanaging everything.

This applies to your team and employees, but also to life in general. If you micromanage everything instead of sometimes just letting life happen, you’ll find yourself constantly battling anxiety and overwhelm.

Avoid making mistakes.

If you’re actively avoiding making mistakes in your career, then you’re not taking risks. And while you may keep up the status quo, you won’t be rewarded, either. Take the risk. Make the mistake. Own it and learn from it.

Thinking only of yourself.

The best networking strategy you can possibly have is to actively look for opportunities to help others. If you’re always putting yourself and your needs first, you’ll find you don’t get very far.

Not valuing your own happiness.

It’s a sad truth that people often believe they can put off happiness until later, but sometimes later doesn’t come. Prioritize being happy today. That might mean switching jobs, or it might just mean choosing to be happier with the job you’ve got.

What do you think are the biggest career choices people regret? As always, I’d love to hear your ideas and stories in the comments below.

By Bernard Marr

Back before founding a company was cool, it was a lot easier to get a lot of smart people in a room. Rock stars were hireable because they weren’t forging their own paths. That led to powerhouse teams like the “PayPal Mafia” seen below.

Alongside the future founders of LinkedIn, YouTube and Yelp at PayPal was Keith Rabois, now of Khosla Ventures. Today at the Postseed Conference in SF, Rabois explained how PayPal was lucky to start at the right stage of the talent dilution cycle.


According to Rabois, during down times when there’s not a lot of funding or fever to start companies, it’s easy to hire great talent. With enough intelligence centralized on a few startups, they grow. With time and success, hype builds around the idea of entrepreneurship and being a founder becomes a full-blown fetish.

Eager to coin on the success of the ecosystem, funding becomes plentiful and smart people found their own companies rather than join others. It becomes tougher to get a critical mass of talent on the same team. These companies raise money but don’t have the skills to win big and deliver returns. The bubble deflates, hype around startups cools off, and it becomes easier to hire strong people again.

But what should startups do if they’re unlucky enough to be getting off the ground when there’s a ton of recruiting competition and everyone wants to start their own company? You know, like now?

Rabois laid out four strategies for founders facing a tough hiring climate:

Sell The Mission – Founders must learn to convince potential recruits that their company will do good for the world, not just make a lot of money. Sure, they could go start their own company and potentially get rich, but joining this one will let them have a real impact. Founders have to sell both this macro mission, but also the micro mission of why the recruit’s contribution will be critical to making people’s lives better.

Recruit Outside Of Central Casting – Rather than just trying to hire seasoned technologists or entrepreneurs, Rabois suggests sidestepping that scene and looking for people beyond the startup sphere. That could include prodigy college kids or geniuses from other industries, who haven’t seduced themselves into founding a company.

Create A Founder Culture – People often become founders because they can’t or think they can’t submit to being managed by someone else. To hire these types, companies have to build a culture where free-thinking self-starters can flourish. Rather than process-driven bureaucracy and hierarchy, founders must empower employees to make and execute decisions so they feel self-actualized while still having a boss.

Mentorship – Create a culture of learning, not just doing. When founder types know they can get an education that could help them start a company later, they’ll be more willing to join one now. If they only stay two years before fleeing, that’s still two years of valuable talent, and it’s on the founders to make the company interesting enough that employees want to stick around.

The tactics might seem time-consuming, but early hires set the tone for the company, and mediocre recruits can be toxic. It’s worth the effort for founders to enlist lieutenants they can trust to inspire the rest of the troops.

Story originally from: Techcrunch

In business, just as in any other area of your life, the long way hurts, the long way is boring but the long way leaves you rich in experience, knowledge and very satisfied.

Take the analogy, you want to travel from Nairobi to Mombasa. You have several options, take a plane and arrive within the hour or take a train or bus and arrive after several hours.

Business is just like the trip to Mombasa.

If you take the plane, you will arrive at your destination within a short period. You have met your target, but have missed out on a more personalised experience, you have a shallow depth of knowledge about the physical features, culture and more that you could have encountered had you gone by road or rail.

If you take the train or go by road, you amass a wealth of deep knowledge about different things that you encounter along the journey. This is the equivalent of gathering deep knowledge in different aspects of business.

More often than not, people want to know, what’s the secret, what’s the shortcut? You ought to start asking, what’s the long way? Sometimes it is worth taking the long way so that you form a deep understanding of the subject.

So next time you want to get into a business, think of all the benefits you’ll amass by going the long way. Take time to hone your skills. Enroll in business studies. You’ll find that you are worth much more because of the little struggles you faced along the long road to success as opposed to the short quick wins you had.

I leave you with an excerpt from Kevin Amulega’s Facebook post:

“What I find funny is people wanting to profit from any business venture without investing in any education and dedicating time and effort to learn the skills of any trade.

It is like someone with a degree in economics and no piloting skills or experience, going to an airline and requesting them to give them one of their Boieng 747’s to fly yet they do not have any professional training to fly a plane. Knowing nothing about necessary active flying hours to prove they can fly the plane. Yet new traders expect to learn some pre-packaged strategies for 2 or 3 months or peruse through trade forums and expect to make money.

It doesn’t happen and were it that easy, every economist, financial analyst and trader would be overnight millionaires. It takes hard work, patience, an open mind, and willingness to learn to attain competence in any skill or field.”