Review: Twitter App LMAO!

Before I begin, it is good if I ask you to register the following information somewhere in your subconscious mind: I am not a tech guy. I try to know what is helpful for me, and let other people, whom I can consult when I need to know about something, worry about the newest inventions. For example, it is enough for me to know Google Chrome is a better browser than Internet Explorer. What use is it for me to know that Internet Explorer 9 is about to be released or Google has ditched built-in H.264 support in Chrome? No use whatsoever! Now that we have a background on where I am coming from, we can begin.

I think twitter has more apps than I have followers! One of them is LMAO! LMAO! is a “mobile web interface to twitter’s API. It is a twitter client for idiots developed by another!” according to the developer, Amasy. I have used it for about two weeks now and I have no doubt it is one of the best out there. LMAO! is like Dabr’s sister, only she is younger and therefore, more attractive. Not only is it developed by a Kenyan, it has several Swahili and sheng words such as “Fuata” and current in-words such as “mpango wa DM”, “Mara that”, “PAP!” etc. I can only hope that the words will be replaced with other in-words when their time has come to an end. However, I must say the use of words that are in general use by almost any young adult makes this app much more fun to use than its sister!

Unlike snaptu, I did not have to download anything. I just went to where I was asked my twitter username and password. Once I gave it permission to access my account, I was good to go, as easy as it sounds! The first thing I saw was the purplish background with menus at the top. (Luckily, I was able to change it to a more male colour of Blue.) The menus are as follows:

Home: which displays the tweets of the tweeps you follow according to date and how long ago the tweet was posted. This can be changed in settings so that instead of how long the tweet was posted, it shows the time. I should also mention that unlike snaptu in which you can only view a maximum of the last 200 tweets, in LMAO! you can view as many as possible by clicking the “older” tab available down the page.

Replies: No points for guessing what is found here!

Directs: Again no points for guessing what is here. I should mention that unlike snaptu, LMAO! allows you to view the DMs you have sent in the “Ma DM’s Zile Umesend” section

Search: I really enjoyed using this part, mainly because it was faster than I imagined.

Favourites: All my over 500 favourite tweets were here. Favouriting a tweet is also as easy as ABC. Unfavouriting a tweet, however, gave some sort of error, but still did the job.

Followers: Shows my followers in the order in which they followed me from the latest. There is some information given to help me decide whether to follow (Fuata) or not. For example, the average tweets per day, number of followers, bio etc. This info is normally not available in snaptu. On clicking the username of the tweep following you, you get more options including @replying them, following them, blocking them (Block hii fala) or reporting them (snitch this ass to twitter) and not forgetting the tweep’s tweets.

Friends: Shows the tweeps I follow with the options as I have given in “Followers” above.

Twitpic: You can upload a twitpic directly from the device you are using or from the memory card, easily I must say. You also have an option of adding a message of 110 characters!

Trends: Show the Trending Topics. You have an option of checking the TT of certain areas/countries like the UK, Canada, India, various states in the US etc. Unfortunately Kenya is not on the list.

Lists: Show the lists I am in

Settings: You have options to adjust the app to suite you. You can change the background colour, set the app according to the device you are using (if it is touch screen, a PC, normal phones etc)

About: Tells you one or two things about the app and developer. (not three.)

Logout: I know you are smart enough to know what this does.

The app does not refresh itself, which means you have to refresh it in the “Si urefresh?” tab. The advantage of this is that it does not eat up your data charges if you forget to close it. Another disadvantage is that, unlike snaptu, it does not allow you to use multiple accounts. When writing a tweet, snaptu will not let you continue once you reach the 140 character mark. LMAO! on the other hand will let you be an “idiot” and write whatever you want, only for it to give you an error when you post it. I also forgot to mention that you have two options of retweeting (old school, where you can edit the tweet or new school).

I assume that the app is a work in progress, even though it is better than most apps around, since the developer does not mind comments, suggestions or questions. He does not seem the type to take criticism though, and fairly, for coming up with such an app, he should not get any. Big up to Amasy for LMAO! I will suggest you take a look at it, and give it a spin. If you do not like it, “download snaptu uache kusumbua watu kichwa!


Matatu Etiquete by Alffie

Most Kenyans have or have had many encounters with this iconic Kenyan means of transport. But like many things, they are prone to abuse & disturbing trends. The matatu operators-some not all-are incorrigible so I won’t talk of them. My focus is the passengers. This is addressed to most of us I suppose.. If you see yourself here…let me put it this way; someone is watching & not liking the view.

Do not play music on your phone (China or otherwise) on loudspeaker! We board matatus with no music for just that reason: no music = quiet! It’s not rocket science. Take the hint!

Receiving phone calls is inevitable but you can control what conversations to have where. CCK categorizes phone calls as private conversation, so please don’t torture others with your endless & LOUD calls! No one wants to know how many chicken you have at home or that you take hot showers in the evenings!!

A prelude to an annoying call is, more often than not, a just as annoying ring-tone! Worse still you let it ring for so long like you want everyone to hear it! The vibrate feature on your phone is a feature to be used.. it wasn’t just a marketing pitch!! On the off-chance that your phone doesn’t vibrate or may have valid reasons not to use it, please don’t let it ring more than 3 times or beyond the count of 10! As a side note: An “I’m a Barbie girl” ring-tone?! You are a grown man, what do you want us to think? That you are a … or a … A ring-tone says a lot about u! So choose your ring tone wisely!

Someone else’s phone is their own property and by extension, their own business so DO NOT SNOOP to find out what they are browsing or texting or posting or tweeting! I never say this but GET A LIFE!!

Worse than playing loud music from your phone is singing! Why would we want you to sing? Unless you are Mary J Blige, Cece Winans, Chrisette Michelle, Lauryn Hill, Dela, Atemi, Nanjira or the like.. PLEASE DO NOT SING…ANYTHING in a matatu!! We don’t want to hear you KILL music. Men…don’t even think about trying to sing!

When you sneeze in a matatu, please cover your mouth and open the window. After H1N1 and the likes of TB, we’d like to still be healthy when we get home. Always carry a handkerchief – a dozen costs only 200!!

You know those seat belts you see inside? They are not for aesthetic value. They are actually for your safety so use them! (Plus it’s the law to use them!) Don’t go shouting at the driver every time he hits a bump and you don’t have your seatbelt on!! *This depends on how well fitted they are so choose your matatus wisely too!

The matatu driver is doing his job.. he didn’t come to your office to tell you how to do your job so stop giving him directions as to the best & presumably shorter short cuts you think he should use!!

Do not disturb..*now in caps* DO NOT DISTURB a passenger with earphones (or headphones) with your uncanny ability to talk about the mundane details of politics, weather & of course..the road construction. They are listening to music or maybe even audio books so that they don’t chit-chat with you or people like you! So please, get your own music box or just fall back!!

You don’t have to see everything along the road you are using so stop craning your head every time the matatu stops like you want to save the day. Newsflash! That pilsner Ad on TV is just an Ad! You can’t help clear a jam like that! Plus, you use that route almost daily, what new thing can crop up along the road in 8-10hrs (time within which you are at work) Kenya?!!

Ask the fare cost before you board. Causing drama and throwing tantrums when the *kange gets to you when everyone else has paid the default amount doesn’t make you Rosa Parks-you are not fighting anyone’s right other than your own right…to look stupid!

The *kange is not in the least bit psychic or telepathic to know where you are to alight so inform him when you are about to reach your destination instead of sitting back and going into fits of vain rage when you are clearly to blame when the matatu doesn’t stop at your stop. Your outbursts just make you look psychotic & telepathic*

Removing your shoes, picking your nose, teeth plus all the other “Ushenzi” behavior should be a common sense thing not to be done in a matatu (among many other places).

If you like to sleep in a matatu and you can’t keep from leaning on your neighbour & even drool, get yourself a neck-brace! That should keep your head upright! Or just don’t sleep!!

Your cologne or perfume should be just enough! The point is to make sure your natural odor (read ‘sweat’) is kept at bay not to suffocate people so that they don’t get to smell your odor! Subtlety is the key in choosing the cologne/perfume for you. The other extreme is just as bad if not worse!

Learn to keep your cool, understand what a quarrel between a passenger & kange is about before you publicly display your ignorance because contrary to popular belief the customer can be wrong & often times is irrational!

So you know you are supposed to pay fare so why do you wait to be asked & give the kange a puzzled look like he’s bothering u? You didn’t think it was free did you?!!

So you board a matatu with a friend or 2.. your escapades are your own so keep your chatting A.L.A.P – As Low As Possible! Other passengers are not really interested to know!

*kange – Derived from ‘Makanga’ a variation of ‘Manamba’ which is equal to ‘conductor’ or ‘tout’ which points to the person in the matatu responsible for collecting fare from passengers, signaling the driver to stop the bus for passengers to alight & sometimes act as a co-driver.

Disclaimer: These are just what I’ve seen & experienced. I’m sure there are many many more.


Find More Writings by Alffie here

Phone Etiquette

Nowadays, it is not the eighth wonder of the World to see a six year old with a mobile phone. When I was six, probably only six people in the country had satellite mobile phones. A friend of mine (Hey, I am human, I have friends, albeit few though) was once asked what I would not leave the house without and he correctly guessed “my phone!” I think it is more of, the phone will not dare be left behind or probably the phone cannot leave me behind etc. The problem is that most of us are given phones without manuals, and on the few instances that manuals have been given, most men have behaved like men by ignoring the manuals. And I am not talking about the manuals from the manufacturers. There are a few DO’s and DONT’s when it comes to using mobile phones so as to make the person on the other end not drop his/her phone in awe at how the writers of the dictionary failed to include your name when defining the word “IDIOT!” I will take a look at some of these as a reminder since I know these are things that have been discussed time and time again.

Flashing/Beeping: This is self explanatory, is it not? For the sake of the few idiots, you are only permitted to use this service when you have been told rapture is five minutes away, you have to tell all your friends to repent and your friend list consists of people whom God would rather take Idi Amin or Adolf Hitler to heaven rather than them. If you are not in such a situation, DO NOT flash!!!

Replying a text a million light years after it has been sent: You are given 24 hours to reply a text. If you do not use that grace period, you are better off not replying at all! Enough said!

Please Cannibal Me: This service is the second worst invention in the history of mankind. I still do not understand how some people can use the same service ten times in twenty-four hours when the daily allocation is just five, oh, I forget. They use our allocations! Please, do not send me a Please Call Me text unless ……….scratch that, DO NOT SEND ME A PLEASE CALL ME TEXT, EVER!!!

Missed Calls: There is probably a good reason why I am not picking up your call at the moment, among them being I do not want to or you do not have a sexy voice etc. Calling a million times will not change the situation. It is not ok if I get two missed calls from the same number, but I could leave with that trauma! Anything more than that is stooping too low and should be punishable by law! On the same, it is your duty to call back after seeing my missed call (notice that it is singular, meaning that it will only be one missed call, and it will not be as a result of me beeping). If you do not return that call and (due to my ego, I do not call again and) hence I spend the night in jail, then you are entitled to one more phone call from me in which I will use all the curse vocabularies that have been invented and some that I will invent at that moment before hanging up!

Ring Back Service:  Please warn me in advance that if I call you, I will subject my ears to an annoying noise that you will have paid for so that I never ever call you! The only thing that made me not to smash my phone against the hardest surface I could find the first time I called someone with that Skiza tone service was the notification my brain sent my hand telling it how much my phone had set me back! I am still undergoing therapy as a result of the shock!

Shortening of Words:  I have said this before and idiots still do not listen! If you were born in pre multi party era in Kenya, you are banned from shortening everything you write. What the hell is wrong in writing words in full? If anyone would know how getting a text full of words that I have to use the rocket-science part of my brain to decipher irks me, they would not send that text in the first place.  You can use short form if you were born after Matiba lost his head or in moderation. If you have to write a text in short form, use the accepted short forms. I am is shortened as I’m and not Am! Cnt can be interpreted as anything ranging from Cannot to something associated with the human body (I mean Carbon Nanotube and not what you were thinking, but it serves to strengthen my point!)

TLS: Shouting on the phone does not make you use less money but more importantly, we are not interested in knowing you finally got that tender that is supposed to change your life, that I can finance with the tax part of my income! We do not Take a Lot of $#!+ so Talking Loudly Syndrome will make you Tell the Lord the Story of how you died prematurely!

Calling at Odd Hours: You can call me at 2 am if it is a rave night or if we live in different time zones. If you must call someone at 3 am, call your boy/girl friend, NOT ME!

Call the people who call you: If I call you three consecutive times, common sense dictates that you are the one to make the next call. When I was still not so wise, I used to call everyone, then I realised that only “some” people make it a point to call me later on. As a rule, I call only the people on my “received and missed calls.” The rest can be called by the people they call and the idiots who do not know this rule.

Service Providers: So there is a new toy that comes with a phone that sounds so cheap that if I bought it and took it to my six year old nephew, he will throw it at me and hate me for the rest of his life. You have taken that toy and you want to target and trick unsuspecting uncles so that they can buy it for their nephews. Kindly do not send me that text telling me to buy a Kshs. 888.89 toy called Kabambe. Infact, Safaricom, I do not want any texts from you unless they are from your more beautiful cousin M-Pesa confirming that I need to rid my account of money so as to allow incoming money to be credited!

I can only hope that the MPigs can come up with legislation to help catch and punish anyone who comes close to breaking these rules even before they break them!

Find More Writings by The Greatrnk here