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All posts tagged "internet"

  • Vumatel gets big backing, to spend R3bn on home fibre

    Vumatel is one of the most prominent players in South Africa's fibre internet market. Now, it's received some significant financial muscle courtesy of a deal with Standard Bank. The service provider has announced a deal with the bank which is "likely to be one of the largest debt capital raising-based deals of its kind in the fibre-to-household industry", it said in a statement. The move comes after it launched its first residential fibre network to residents of Parkhurst, Johannesburg in August 2014. "Since its launch less than 18 months ago, Vumatel, as a supplier of high-speed fibre connectivity to homes, has become one of...

  • AP Styleguide strips the ‘internet’ of its proper noun status

    The AP Stylebook -- an influential media style guide that shaped online writing styles the world over -- has announced on Twitter that it will no longer refer to the internet as a proper noun, using a lower case I instead. The change will come into effect when the 2016 version of the Stylebook launches, and also marks a change in the way the world sees the internet. As the internet grows, it becomes a more "decentralised", ubiquitous web of communication and information, Thus referring to it as a proper noun, or a single, defined entity, doesn't quite make sense. Oh, and...

  • This is why the internet really needs green energy

    The physical realities of data are far from popular conceptions of the internet as a vapourless “cloud.” Online services, especially for streaming video content, consume vast amounts of power. Greenpeace has in fact noted that if the internet were a country, its electricity usage would rank sixth globally. We once built steel mills near energy sources, but now that’s where we construct data centres -- the factories of the digital economy. The virtual cloud starts with coal, which provides much-needed electricity as well as the greenhouse gases which greatly contribute to global warming. The consequences of warming world are...

  • Google to launch hundreds of internet-enabled balloons in 2016

    Google's Project Loon never seizes to impress. Though the initiative started testing about two years ago, the US internet giant's moonshot of sending internet-beaming balloons into our stratospheres have just gone up a notch. According to the BBC, the internet giant is planning to launch a string of 300 balloons, enough to create continuous on-the-ground coverage of a section of the world's Southern Hemisphere. Each balloon will cover around 40km in diameter, with speeds of up to 10 megabits a second. The longest a balloon has remained afloat has been 744 days. "We hope next year to build our first continuous ring...

  • Half-a-billion-dollar satellite launches to beam broadband to Australia’s most remote areas

    A rocket carrying a satellite worth an estimated half-a-billion Australian dollars (around US$350-million) has successfully launched from French Guiana today. The aim? To bring high-speed broadband access to around 400 000 homes and businesses in remote areas of Australia. ABC reports that the organisation behind this expensive initiative, the National Broadband Network (NBN), expects to connect 200 000 premises by the second half of next year, including Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie and Cocos islands. NBN spokeswoman Frances Kearey told ABC that "It's one of the world's largest communication satellites and is purpose-built to deliver broadband to Australia -- an incredibly vast country". Kearey...

  • Google Chrome unleashes The Great Suspender

    Chrome has introduced an extension that sounds like a film title with Denzel Washington and his definitive walk playing the lead. The Great Suspender is here and it will sort out your problem. The Great Suspender is a lightweight chrome extension to help reduce Chrome's memory footprint for users who like to have more than one tab open at the same time. It replaces the URL, with a simple screen that says "Tab suspended, click to reload” and opens whenever the user is ready to do so. A tab can be restored by clicking anywhere on the page when it...

  • Error 404: Democracy Not Found — what social media tells us about the state of our culture

    At a time in our world when there are more people voting for their government representatives than ever before, it's a discomforting thought that most of us are unhappy with the way our lives are run. To be fair, we are growing up alongside financial crises alongside an overpopulated planet. Still, whether political systems are under more assault due to having so many more eyes on it or whether people are feeling somewhat more entitled, the fact remains that the web -- specifically when we look at social media -- is playing a massive role in how it's being...

  • HTTP is getting its first upgrade since 1999. Here’s what you can expect

    While the web has gone through a lot of changes since it first came into existence in the early 1990s, the fundamental tech behind it hasn't changed since 1999. That's until now with the introduction of a fresh new upgrade to HTTP 2.0 (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), spelling faster page loads, more mobile-friendly and more encryption. HTTP is a big deal. It's the application that makes the web what it is -- enabling the transferring of packets of data between the user (your browser) and the server host (the website). Before recently confirming that the second version of HTTP, Mark Notingham --...

  • Liquid Telecom secures $150m funding for Africa-wide fiber network expansion

    Independent data, voice and IP provider Liquid Telecom Group has announced it has secured additional funding totalling US$150-million to finance the expansion of its fiber network to more locations in Africa. The fund was facilitated by Standard Chartered and provided by large global investment banks. Over a period of about five years, the company says it built what it calls the largest independent cross-border fiber network in Africa -- which spans more than 18 000km and connects a total of 15 countries in East and Central Africa. The additional fund, Liquid Telecom says, will be spent on the extension of...

  • BlackBerry says apps should work on all mobile operating systems

    Do you ever feel limited by your Apple, Android or Microsoft ecosystem? Well, you're not alone. BlackBerry CEO John Chen feels that exclusive applications and content for different mobile operating systems are discriminatory, and should thus cater for all ecosystems if true net neutrality is to be achieved. In a blog post Chen uses the analogy of a train system, saying that most of the discussion involving net neutrality focuses on the carriers which represents the tracks. The railway cars, Chen argues, are operated by content and applications. Neutrality legislation must take a "holistic view", he says. If we are...

  • One sixth of Europeans say they’ve never used the internet

    From where you stand, it might seem like everyone in your sight is either chatting, updating a status update, tweeting or sharing a picture but elsewhere there are people to whom the word Internet means nothing. According to the latest annual survey from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics offices, as much as one in five Europeans aged 16 to 74 have still never used the internet. Eighteen percent of people surveyed answered "never" to the question “When did you last use the Internet?” down from 43% in 2006. The drop is mostly down to the widespread use of smartphones...

  • Orange wants to bridge SA’s digital divide with free WiFi initiative

    Free WiFi services seem to be proliferating in South Africa, with startups like Project Isizwe and telecoms like Orange stepping up to connect the country's citizens. French telecommunications service provider Orange, in partnership with the City of Cape Town, is planning to launch its new Orange WiFi service, which will be offered to people living in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain. The partnership was announced earlier today at an official address by the Mayor of the City of Cape Town. Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain were chosen by Orange as part of its plan to connect people who cannot afford the cost of data. "What we...

  • Elon Musk wants to bring ‘low cost internet’ satellites to the world

    Elon Musk never ceases to surprise. Even when the tech billionaire entrepreneur is up to something surprising it's still in apt character. From building an ambitious space exploration corporation to creating sexy electric sports cars, the South African-born founder of PayPal always seems to be dabbling with some kind of super Sci-Fi initiative. It's been reported by the Wall Street Journal that Musk is gearing up to announce the launch of "around 700 satellites, each weighing less than 250 pounds," in an attempt to deliver internet access across the globe. Musk backed this claim when he recently tweeted that his space...

  • Fiber-optic cable to increase Africa’s mobile coverage by 20% in 2015

    We all know Africa has a massive mobile population, right? Well, recent efforts will see a massive increase in internet coverage for this fast-growing population. Telecom operator Angola Cables has just announced an investment of US$100-million together with Brazil's Algar Telecom, Antel from Uruguay and Google that will increase mobile coverage to internet by 20% in 2015 of Africa's population. The Angolan telecom has already invested US$200-million in 2013 to construct a submarine cable from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil. “The new cable route will be 10,556 km long and have six fiber pairs. According to estimations, it will...

  • Internet for the masses: Google’s Project Loon finally takes off in SA

    Google's Project Loon has finally launched in South Africa. We've picked up wind about Google's Project Loon a while ago -- the very exciting project that's looking to use balloons and wind currents to bring internet to rural areas around the globe. It's as out-of-the box, it's ambitious and it's trying to solve a real problem: the digital divide. Perfect. Conceived in the company’s secretive Google X research lab, the project is said to beam internet access to the ground “at speeds similar to today’s 3G networks or faster”. "The idea may sound a bit crazy—and that’s part of the reason we’re...