30 Oct 2012

IT & Telecommunications


e-toll uncertainty - we can't stand it either

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan has said that the fiscus can't sustain the uncertainties around e-tolls. Well, a great many motorists and companies are also uncertain of what impact e-tolling is going to have on their monthly costs. After much to-ing and fro-ing, the monthly bill was capped at R550 per month for light vehicles, but in this report, Gordhan is reported as saying "statistics derived from the gantries on the highway showed that people would not be paying more‚ on average‚ than R150 or R100 a month. He said inflated numbers were being put out to the public." Clear as mud?

These tolls are going to impact on every one of us, everywhere in the country, because every company based in Gauteng, having operations in or through Gauteng or dealing with any such company, will face increased costs. And guess who will have to pay...

On the mobile front, Lax Faure discusses the technology tsunami... No other development in the history of the world has caused so much change, in such a short time period, he writes.

Food-crop improvement by conventional plant breeding, without resorting to GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) technology, is the goal of the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) and its work has borne fruit and African farmers can now select seeds for their needs.

Thinking of travelling to the US? Think again... Travel chaos is looming as the US cancels flights thanks to Cyclone Sandy. Air France, British Airways, Virgin and other European airlines cancelled all flights into New York, Baltimore, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia on Monday, while US airlines called off thousands of domestic flights and diverted planes away from Sandy's path. There is likely to be a knock-on effect, so check with your travel agent or airline if you're due to travel to the US.

Rod Baker, content director

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IT & Telecommunications

TeleMasters to supply retail motor industry its own telco
The South African Retail Motor Industry (RMI) has joined forces with TeleMasters Limited to lead up to what will be South Africa's first industry-specific telecommunications company. Read more >>


The power of the cloud collective
[Bruce von Maltitz] The cost-cutting advantages of cloud computing are well publicised and accepted. Which company wouldn't relish the prospect of paying only for the services they use or adjusting consumption up and down according to business needs? Of course - it is not without its pitfalls. Read more >>

Why Bill Gates is right to be excited about online education
[Riaan Steenberg] Bill Gates recently predicted that the Web will be the place to learn in the near future. It will be "better than any single university", he stated, believing "place-based" learning will be less important going forward (Techonomy Conference). Read more >>

ESN can impact positively on businesses
While many employers are still trying to come to terms with Facebook and the myriad other social networking platforms on the web, and wondering whether they should ban - or unban - their employees from accessing it while at work, they now also have enterprise social networking (ESN) to contend with. Read more >>

Online safety tips for children
[Carolyn Holgate] MWEB has taken child safety online into consideration - as the Internet becomes upgraded, so should parents' knowledge about online safety for their kids. With 71% of teens accessing the World Wide Web daily from school and home, it's imperative that parents are kept up to date with the dos and don'ts of online safety. Here are a few tips. Read more >>


Mobile - the technology tsunami
[Lex Faure] No other development in the history of the world has caused so much change, in such a short time period, as the explosive growth of the mobile phone in general, and the smart phone in particular. Read more >>


2go big in Nigeria
When enterprising Wits University computer science students Alan Wolff and Ashley Peter decided in 2006 to come up with a cellphone-based website to organise their class schedules, they did not imagine it would lead a few years later to them founding a company, called 2go, which now runs the largest instant message service in Nigeria. Read more >>

R100 million investment in Mxit growth
Africa's largest mobile social network‚ Mxit‚ is set for massive growth following a R100 million investment by shareholders. Read more >>

Expansion of connectivity in Africa depends on affordability of devices
The rapid drop in smartphone pricing will play a major role in bringing Internet connectivity to Africans over the next five to ten years, uplifting economies throughout the continent in the process. That's the word from Aidan Baigrie, head of Business Development at SEACOM. Read more >>


Vodacom's earnings may be 25% higher this year
Vodacom's share price rose 4.77% to close at R108.50 on news that the company's first half headline earnings per share were likely to rise by as much as 25%. Read more >>

Government contact centres: Please hold
[Karl Reed] There's good news and bad news for citizens frustrated by their interactions with government call centres: major change is happening, but it will take time. Government-run contact centres get a lot of bad publicity. Some of it is deserved, but some of the bad press is purely because bad news sells. Read more >>

RamsayMedia and Snapplify - mobilising with a new partnership
RamsayMedia is set to expand its role in the digital space. A partnership with leading SA mobile solutions provider Snapplify will see the media house provide content, service and support though mobile apps developed by the award-winning tech start-up, which will also manage their hosting in app stores. Read more >>

MWEB tops in online-gaming survey
MWEB has recently been voted the most popular primary ADSL ISP amongst SA gamers in a MyGaming Survey, in which 42.8% of those questioned indicated that MWEB is their preferred ADSL ISP. Read more >>


VoIP comes of age - business-grade quality, scalability and functionality
Organisations that still doubt the suitability of Voice over IP for business must have missed the final act, in which VoIP grows up, gets the girl and drives off into the sunset in smoking hot yet reliable wheels. Read more >>

Kaspersky Lab improves its position on Sunday Times Top Track 250
Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, has been placed 89th in this year's Sunday Times Top Track 250, moving up from its 90th position in 2011, following an increase in sales. Read more >>

New car validation app enhances verification reports
Lightstone, specialists in spatial and data driven insights, has announced the launch of a new application (app) for computers and smart devices. The app will significantly enhance the car sales industry by enabling car dealers, banks and insurers to generate instant car verification reports. Read more >>

Google boss meets French president amid revenue row
PARIS, FRANCE: Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt was to meet French President Francois Hollande yesterday amid a revenue row with French, German and Italian media firms who want the Internet giant to pay for content. Read more >>

Google unveils large tablet, revamped Nexus line-up
NEW YORK, US: Google yesterday unveiled a large-format tablet computer to compete against the original iPad as part of a revamped line of its Nexus devices, and touted a new music service for Europe. Read more >>

Comment: Launch of Microsoft Windows 8
LONDON, UK: Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media comments on the launch of Microsoft Windows 8. Windows 8... goodbye personal computers, welcome personalised computing: Read more >>

Top 50 US web properties for September 2012
RESTON, US: comScore, Inc, a leader in measuring the digital world, released its monthly analysis of U.S. web activity at the top online properties for September 2012 based on data from the comScore Media Metrix service. Schools were back in session in September, sending an influx of students, teachers and parents to Education sites. Read more >>

OTT VoIP costs: 'Death of telephone' exaggerated
LONDON, UK: While over-the-top (OTT) VoIP services are not about to replace traditional telephony, they will have a marked impact on telcos' revenues over the next eight years, according to Ovum, one of the Datamonitor group of companies. Forecasts from the global analyst firm reveal that OTT VoIP will cost the global telecoms industry $479bn in lost cumulative revenues by 2020, which represents 6.9% of cumulative total voice revenues. Read more >>

2013 telecoms and media industry survey
LONDON, UK (Industry Outlook): According to the results of Informa Telecoms & Media's annual industry survey, innovation is a key priority for global telecoms and media players in 2013. Over 500 senior executives from across both these sectors were asked how their businesses and markets would perform in 2013 and the role innovation would play in driving future revenue growth. Read more >>

More International...

Company news

IT & Telecommunications

IT crucial element for success in contemporary business world as summit aims to define IT governance - Kinetic Events
The 4th annual IT Leaders Africa Summit will be held in South Africa's city of gold, Johannesburg from 13 to 14 March 2013. The summit is hosted and produced by international business-to-business conferencing company, Kinetic Events. Read more >>


The end of the mouse: How you will touch, wear and speak to your computer in the near future - NATIVE
[Jarred Cinman] The way we use computers has remained largely unchanged for nearly 40 years. Even with the advent of touch screens and tablets in the past 10 years, we have only experienced a slight modification of the familiar point-and-click paradigm. Read more >>

Pule thanks outgoing Telkom board members
Communications Minister Dina Pule has thanked the outgoing members of the Telkom Board of Directors for their contribution in turning around Telkom and for their service to the country. Read more >>

More Government news...

Jobs offered
Senior System Administrator - Linux/HPC Systems - Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch University invites applications for a suitably qualified and experience senior system administrator: Linux and HPC systems to commence duties on 1 December 2012 or as soon as possible thereafter. Read more >>

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