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BOLT Browser: Awesome Mobile Internet Experience

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Recently, I wrote that I wasn't very happy with Opera Mini, a Java-based mobile application for connecting to the Internet. Well, after reading my post, a commenter suggested that I try out BOLT browser, an application very similar to Opera Mini, but with hardly any problems (I say "hardly" because the app is still in beta, so a few problems here and there can be expected).

However, I found absolutely NO problems in installing and running the browser on my mobile. The installation process was very straightforward, seamless and quick. The interface is slick and professional, and I was impressed (I'm an admirer of well-designed applications).

Without reading the extensive FAQ list on the BOLT browser website, I was still able to get started pretty quickly. That's because the app is very easy to use, with a straightforward interface.

However, one little gripe that I have with the app, and which I wish the developers would add in a future release, is that there isn't a "mobile" view. This is a feature in Opera Mini that I use extensively, which cuts down data a lot, and thus saves a lot of my airtime. Another feature lacking is the ability to turn images off - another way for a teen like myself, who has a tight mobile budget, to save airtime.

Overall, though, BOLT is an exceptional browser that is really fast and has an intuitive, stylish interface. You can download the beta by following the instructions on the BOLT browser website (http://boltbrowser.com/).

Opera Mini has Lost its Magic

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I rely heavily on my mobile for some of my Internet use, and my app of choice when on the go, is, of course, Opera Mini.

Mini has become the "de facto" standard for thousands of mobile users, and it's come to my rescue many times when my main Internet connection, my computer, fails. However, as I've progressed with the app from version 3 to the now current version 4.1, I've found a rapid decline in the quality of the software.

Granted, I don't live in the US, or any of the regions where the new servers are powering version 4.2, but, surely, now that quite a large chunk of traffic has been removed from the main servers, the service should get better? Well, apparently no.

For over quite a few months, I've been experiencing sluggish loading with the app, (even though I'm getting perfect cellphone reception, and other Internet apps on my mobile are connecting quite fine to the net), and, more that often my connection attempts are greeted with the formidable "Failed to Connect to the Internet" error.

I'm just hoping that a newer version of Opera Mini is released very soon. This is an excellent app for mobile phones, and I really hate to see it decline in such a way. Comments are open for what you think of Opera Mini.

The Internet: Politically Speaking

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Today’s blog post is going to be slightly different - I’m taking on a political slant that’s been inspired by a minor “debate” that was sparked in one of my classes in school today.

It was argued that the majority of the Internet’s population is not interested in politics, but rather in entertainment-related content (e.g. talent shows, gossip news, movie news etc.)

Now perhaps this held true before, say, 2007. But, as we started getting closer to the elections for the United States’ president, a lot changed, and the face of politics became fiercer than it ever was. And we can all thank one man for this: President Barack Obama.Even today, months after the historical inauguration, journalists and political analysts are drawing comparisons with the success of Obama’s campaign and the campaigns of their own local politicians (a notable example is of the recent 4th democratic elections in South Africa). This has to confirm the success of such a campaign, a campaign that utilised technology, and specifically the brute power of Web 2.0, to such an extent that it helped win him the presidency and paved the way to his walk into the history books.So, the real question here is this: does the Internet, one of our most powerful means of communication, have a user base that leans toward the politically sympathetic, or the entertainment-crazed? The answer to that, dear reader, lies in how well Obama, the first politician in history to use this method so thoroughly, performed. And I think we can all agree that, judging by the fact that he’s now president, it’s gone pretty well. One of the most talked about aspects of the Obama campaign was the mobilising of the youth and the instigation it created in youth interest in politics. In fact, one of the biggest voting demographics for the Democrats (Obama’s political party) was the youth demographic. This suggests that this particular campaign created great interest in politics in the youth of America, a country where about 80% of its youth spend more than two hours on the Internet (thus making them part of the online citizenship). And, in turn, this tells us that, yes, users of the Internet do have an interest in politics, but most of them maintain this interest along with having an interest in other sectors - e.g. technology, or the aforementioned entertainment-related content.

So from this, we can conclude that the Internet has a particularly large interest base in politics, and I think the time has finally arrived for political parties to harness this power to enhance their campaigns, gather a larger support base, and ultimately refresh the way politics is done.

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