4 Dec 2012

IT & Telecommunications


Labour unrest: SA faces decisive choices

Agri SA says that the choices on labour unrest will be decisive for South Africa. It says in a statement that it is evident that the wage and related challenges are not exclusively, but mainly that of seasonal workers who have to earn their annual income over a period of a few months.

On the education front, something really needs to be done to jack up our education system after the latest results show that maths and science skills remain poor, with grade nine pupils recording a dismal average score of 12.7% in mathematics and 35% in first additional language in the Department of Basic Education's second annual national assessments of pupils' mathematics and literacy abilities.

Such results will have a massive impact on school-leavers' ability to find employment.

On the tourism front, Chris Moerdyk asks: Is SA being priced out of the tourist market? As comments on the article seem to have it, the answer could be a big "Yes!" and remember, once tourists have been ripped off - or feel they have been ripped off - they will never come back, and they will tell everyone they know.

Finally, Amelia Jones reckons that the proposed BEE amendments are nonsensical, immoral and counter-productive and will hamper social development efforts in the Western Cape and elsewhere.

Rod Baker: Content Director

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IT & Telecommunications

Government must set the example by embracing green IT
With its growing focus on policies and laws aimed at ensuring environmental sustainability, the South African government should set an example for the private sector by embracing green IT as a way of saving costs and cutting carbon emissions. Read more >>

IT company sustainableIT nominated for Trailblazers Awards
Local company sustainableIT has been nominated in two categories for the international Tech Trailblazers awards. The Tech Trailblazers awards were designed specifically for tech start-ups and not only recognise innovation, but also proactively helps companies to grow their businesses with exclusive coaching, mentoring and development services. The awards are focused on the key enterprise IT sectors of cloud, infosecurity, mobile, networking, storage and virtualisation. Read more >>

Samsung prepares for LTE growth in Africa
[Craige Fleischer] With the recent introduction of its Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2 mobile devices in South Africa, Samsung is reinforcing its commitment to ensure that local users are able to benefit from high-speed LTE data networks. Read more >>


Shanduka buys stake in MTN Nigeria
[Sure Kamhunga] A company owned by Cyril Ramaphosa's Shanduka Group has bought a minority stake in MTN Nigeria from MTN International‚ raising questions about corporate governance and a potential conflict of interest‚ Business Day reports Read more >>


Lack of competition hurts mobile market in SA
[Bekezela Phakathi] The key reason why the "true" cost to communicate in SA remained high was because of lack of competition‚ Cell C chief executive Alan Knott-Craig said on Friday (30 November). Read more >>

SMS use declining after 20 years
[Thabiso Mochiko] The short message service (SMS) or text message has been around for 20 years and has paved the way for a wide range of value added services. Read more >>

Vodacom introduces voice and SMS alongside 4G/LTE services
Vodacom South Africa's 4G users can now enjoy voice calls and text messaging (SMS) along with their 4G service. To provide this service continuity, the operator has selected Nokia Siemens Networks' Liquid Core to enable circuit switched fall-back (CSFB) functionality in its LTE network. This functionality allows 4G users to make and receive voice calls using either the GSM or 3G network while retaining the benefit of ultra-fast data services via LTE. Read more >>

Cloud email storage must deliver business continuity
Cloud based archiving solutions are evolving beyond just providing safe, cost-effective off-site storage of business information and transactions contained in emails. Read more >>


Social media may boost financial services
[Sure Kamhunga] Online and social media could help South African financial institutions target the youth and the unbanked in their strategy to expand market share Deloitte said on Monday (3 December). Read more >>

iPad app saves life of Kruger lioness
At 16 Nadav Ossendryver has designed an iPad app, saved a lioness's life, cracked an invite to the Google offices and had more than a million people watch his YouTube videos. Read more >>

SARS gets top marks from PwC
South Africa's tax system measures up well against those of other countries, but will need to reform further as other countries are catching up. Read more >>

Google's view of Okavango
GABORONE, BOTSWANA: Botswana on Monday (3 December) became the second African country to be featured on Google Maps' Street View, allowing users to explore landmarks such as the Okavango Delta. Read more >>

Tweet via voice mail from Syria
WASHINGTON, USA: Google and Twitter announced Friday (30 November) they have reactivated a voice-tweet program to allow Syrians affected by the shutdown of the Internet to get messages out. Read more >>

October 2012 US mobile subscriber market share
RESTON, US: comScore, Inc has released data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the US mobile phone industry during the three-month average period ending October 2012. Read more >>

Microsoft's Surface Pro surfaces
SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Microsoft announced on Thursday (29 November) that its Surface Pro tablet aimed at business users, would be available in January next years starting at US$899. Read more >>

Mobile phone suits women's vanity
TOKYO, JAPAN: A mobile phone that monitors a user's skin condition, checking for blemishes and colour, was unveiled in beauty-conscious Japan on Thursday (29 November). Read more >>

Point, shoot and share from Samsung
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Samsung Electronics on Thursday (29 November) launched a new Internet-connected camera in South Korea, as the electronics giant intensifies efforts to expand its dominance in the mobile phone market to other sectors. Read more >>

Blackberry in trouble with Nokia?
HELSINKI, FINLAND: Finnish mobile giant Nokia said on Wednesday it had filed lawsuits in the US, Britain and Canada against Blackberry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) claiming it has breached patent agreements. Read more >>

Siri on hand to assist in GM cars
LOS ANGELES, USA: General Motors said on Tuesday (27 November) it will integrate Apple's voice-activated software Siri in some of its cars next year to allow iPhone users to perform hands-free tasks. Read more >>

Apple sacks its Maps boss
SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Apple has ousted the executive who oversaw the mobile maps program which was a spectacular flop, a report said Tuesday (27 November). Read more >>

GE says 'Industrial Internet' could be worth trillions
WASHINGTON, USA: Connecting industrial operations to the Internet could lead to significant gains in productivity, potentially worth between US$10tn to US$15tn globally, a study by General Electric said on Monday (26 November). Read more >>

Ericsson now sues Samsung for patent infringement
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson said on Tuesday (27 November) that it was suing South Korean rival Samsung in a US court for violating patents. Read more >>

Facebook adds iTunes credits in gift service
SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Facebook said on Monday, 26 November, it was adding Apple iTunes digital credits to its new gift service at the social network. Read more >>

More International...

More than 5m tax returns received
A new record of 5.66m income tax returns have been submitted during this year's tax season‚ the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said on Tuesday (27 November), 16,4% higher than the previous year. Read more >>

More Government news...

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