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  • Net neutrality: Africa, tech giants and the fate of the web

    Not to be too dramatic about it, but the internet as we know it is all but dead. And unless there is a collective outcry and immediate action from the masses who “live” and rely on the freedom of the internet each day, it will die. I’m talking about Net Neutrality, and there have been a number of movements from the US Senate all the way through to the Ugandan and Kenyan governments. First though, let’s just get a common understanding of Net Neutrality. Today, as you read this article in fact or when you access any other site on the internet...

  • South Africa sees 12.4% growth in smartphones sales in Q1 2018

    South Africans might be pinching their pockets in other sectors of their financial lives (not to mention the upcoming petrol price hike), but they're not shy to splurge in others. One particular sector of interest is smartphones. According to research firm GfK South Africa, the country's smartphone sales grew by 12.4% over the previous year's first quarter, with 3.2-million devices sold within the first three months of 2018. Telecoms retail saw a 22.4% spike in revenue over Q1 2017, while the value of the smartphone market in South Africa grew by 22.8% over last year's first quarter too. GfK suggests that...

  • Week of rain leaves Cape Town’s dams just shy of 30% mark

    How quickly things can change, Cape Town. According to the City's latest dam report, Cape Town's six largest dams' total storage now stands at 29.8%. That's a gain of 5.8% in a single week. To put that into perspective: At the current rate of consumption, that's enough water to last Cape Town 98 days The city's six largest dams now hold more than 52 000 additional megalitres, that's 52-billion litres. In essence, just less than an entire Wemmershoek Dam's worth of rainfall fell within the dams' catchment areas last week Dam levels in the first week of June 2016 also stood...

  • Upcoming petrol price hike sends South Africans into mild Twitter panic

    From midnight on Wednesday 6 June 2018, the price of a litre of petrol will jump by 82 cents. This will push the total damage per litre to just below R16. Last month, a litre of petrol cost motorists R14.72. But it's not just petrol facing a price spike. Its dirtier cousin diesel is set for an 86 cents/litre increase, and those who rely on paraffin for cooking and warmth will also require more than 80 cents/litre more. At this point, it might be cheaper to fill your tank with soft drink. Understandably, South Africans are keen to vent, mildly panic and offer...

  • GitHub could soon be Microsoft’s new baby, report suggests

    In a report published Monday, Bloomberg is notably confident that Microsoft is about to purchase code repository website GitHub. GitHub isn't a new social network, but the "world's leading software development platform" it self-exclaims. Founded in 2008, the site has become the largest host of source code on the planet, with more than 20-million users and 57-million respositories of code in April 2017. The Redmond-based company will reportedly announced its acquisition today, although the financial damage is not yet know. According to Bloomberg, GitHub was last valuated at US$2-billion in 2015. There's also no indication from GitHub that is has been purchased, however...

  • The case for security-as-a-service for budding SMEs

    It isn’t a case of if a small to medium enterprise, startup, entrepreneur and genius business idea will be hacked. No, today it is a case of when. Ransomware, fraud, hacks, breaches -- the list is fairly endless, especially as cybercrime continues to evolve at a rapid rate. Research undertaken by Barclays Bank in the UK has found that cyber fraud costs the SME around £1000 (R17 000) every, single time, and cost more than 50 000 jobs. he impact is vast and the reality, according to Experian, is that around 51% of small businesses don’t have a response plan in...

  • Cape Town to host Wikipedia’s ‘Wikimania’ conference in July

    Wikipedia is hosting its annual conference in Cape Town in July. Announced by the non-profit today, Wikipedia's Wikimania conference will be heading to the African continent for the first time, bringing with it volunteers from around the world and Wikipedia royalty. "Attendees will be made up of members of the global Wikimedia movement, including those who volunteer their time to edit and improve Wikipedia articles, create bots, or organise events and projects to draw more content onto Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects," the company wrote in a press release. "Other open knowledge  advocates will also attend, along with local academics, teachers, heritage...

  • Weezer’s Twitter fans get their wish after the band covers Toto’s ‘Africa’

    Chances are, if you're a little kid and you ask your parents incessantly for a chocolate chip cookie, they'll give it to you. Now, imagine in this scenario that Weezer is the adult, Twitter the kid, and Toto's "Africa" the chocolate chip cookie. After one of the bands' fans on the social network urged it to remake the earworm and now cultural stalwart for kicks and giggles, the band obliged. And has arguably made the song even better. Sorry Toto. And thank you @weezerafrica. Although we did have to wait a while. @RiversCuomo it's about time you bless the rains down...

  • Cape Town’s dams slowly fill to 24% after May’s rainfall

    At the end of the fifth month of 2018, Cape Town finally has some positive water-related news. As of 28 May 2018, total dam levels stand at 24% full. That's still low, sure, but its marks an increase of 2.9% over the previous week. In terms of raw volume, that's more than 26 000 megalitres or slightly less than the Steenbras Upper dam's total capacity when full. At the current consumption rate of 505-million litres per day, that's enough water to last the city for more than seven weeks. This week, all six of Cape Town's major dams and all eight of...

  • Cell C customers will soon roam on MTN’s network in smaller cities

    A pretty big announcement in South Africa's telecoms world this morning. MTN will soon let Cell C users roam on its network, to supplement the latter's coverage across smaller towns. In an announcement issued Tuesday, MTN's CEO Godfrey Motsa explained the move is beneficial for both parties. "This deal will help fund our ongoing network expansion while also immediately offering more South Africans in peri-urban and rural parts of our country greater connectivity, as they roam off MTN’s existing network," he explained in a press release. Additionally, for Cell C, it means greater coverage in smaller cities and rural areas, where MTN's...

  • 211 000 Cape Town households use less than 6000L per month

    Although Cape Town is set to enjoy one of the wettest weeks of the year thus far, the city's still in the middle of a drought. As of 25 May, the City of Cape Town suggests that dam levels remains at 23.1%. Granted, that's a gain of 2.8% over the year's lowest point, but it remains a dire situation. Still, the city's residents are seemingly continuing to reduce their consumption. The City today revealed that 211 000 households in April 2018 used less than 6000 litres per month. "211 000 households are living the #50LitreLife, using less than 6000 litres per month. Thank...

  • Viral video: 22-year-old ‘Spiderman’ saves dangling child in Paris high-rise rescue

    Some world leaders regard immigrants with the utmost disregard, but in Paris this past weekend, a 22-year-old Malian national did something pretty damn incredible. As a toddler hung from a fourth storey balcony just moments from death, 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama leapt from the ground, pulled himself up floor by floor and scaled the balcony railings to save the kid. This sentence doesn't do his efforts justice, so just watch the clip. Les héros ne portent pas de cap. 👏👏 #Paris pic.twitter.com/QrOn3YB4Q7 — •NubiΔΠ• (@Adil__Brown) May 27, 2018 From another angle. Holy shit, this guy is amazing. What a hero. https://t.co/XVWbaULkFp pic.twitter.com/hHnF150XL5 — Hannah Jane Parkinson...

  • The future of marketing is data-driven, creative, and (most importantly) people-based

    For most of its history, digital marketing has largely involved adapting traditional marketing methods to the digital space. Whether in the online, mobile, or social spaces, agencies have largely stuck to the same old methods of coming up with a piece of creative and broadcasting it to the widest audience possible. Thing is, there’s plenty of evidence that those methods no longer work, not in the sense that they’re supposed to: increasing sales of a product or use of a service.  All the metrics so beloved of digital advertisers -- views, clicks, engagement, time on site -- mean little if...

  • Yes, YouTube is ‘experimenting’ with users’ subscriptions feed

    Hold onto your hats, folks. Google's fixing what isn't broken again. Facebook did it. Instagram followed. Even Twitter's done it to an extent. So it was seemingly only a matter of time until Google gave YouTube the algorithm treatment. In a tweet this week, Team YouTube revealed that the company's "experimenting" with a non-chronological order for a select number of users' subscription feeds. "We are currently experimenting with how to show content in the subs feed," the company began. "We find that some viewers are able to more easily find the videos they want to watch when we order the subs feed in...

  • After 16 years, StumbleUpon’s pioneering service is coming to an end

    StumbleUpon, the content discovery service aiding procrastinators at work and kids at homework since 2001, is finally bidding farewell. The service, which allows users to visit page after page of related content on the web based on a subject picked by the user, made searching for high school research projects a breeze, or catching up on the latest Scottish Terrier sweater trend a complete joy. In a solemn but reverent blog post, co-founder StumbleUpon Garett Camp revealed the company's roadmap, and took a moment to reflect on the impact StumbleUpon has had on the internet. "StumbleUpon pioneered content discovery on the web,...