Are Samsung’s best days behind it?

Best of the Web | In this new feature, TechCentral’s editors curate 10 of the most interesting technology pieces from around the Web they’ve read in the past week.

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In this new feature, TechCentral’s editors curate 10 of the most interesting technology pieces from around the Web they’ve read in the past week.

Are Samsung’s best days behind it?
Samsung Electronics warned its operating profit could fall a two-year low in the second quarter as it grapples with a slowdown in its smartphone business among other challenges — so are the South Korean tech giant’s best days behind it? Read more…

The NSA and the corrosion of Silicon Valley
I believe that the people who work at the National Security Agency (NSA) are patriots. They devote their considerable intellects to preserve, protect, and defend the people of the US. I wish their patriotism and brainpower would do the same for the US constitution. But those issues are getting plenty of ink elsewhere. My concern is more personal and local: the NSA’s version of patriotism is corroding Silicon Valley. By Michael Dearing. Read more…

A quest for the secret origins of lost videogame levels
If I could have told my fifth-grade self that one day I’d be sitting in lobby of storied videogame maker Sega’s central building, waiting to meet with Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka, I think young me would have imploded with excitement. And yet there I was, in the oppressively hot and humid Japanese August of 2005, preparing for an interview with Naka. Read more…

The ex-Google hacker taking on the world’s spy agencies
During his last six years working as an elite security researcher for Google, the hacker known as Morgan Mayhem spent his nights and weekends hunting down the malware used to spy on vulnerable targets like human rights activists and political dissidents. His new job tasks him with defending a different endangered species:American national security journalists. Read more…

The original Sony Walkman

The original Sony Walkman

The history of the Walkman: 35 years of iconic music players
The first of Sony’s iconic portable cassette tape players went on sale on this day, 1 July, back in 1979 for US$150. As the story goes, Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka got the wheels turning months before when he asked for a way to listen to opera that was more portable than Sony’s existing TC-D5 cassette players. The charge fell to Sony designer Norio Ohga, who built a prototype out of Sony’s Pressman cassette recorder in time for Ibuka’s next flight. Read more…

Cabling Africa’s interior
FOR an hour it seemed as if Liquid Telecom’s grand scheme to bring fast internet access to Zambia and other landlocked parts of Africa might be thwarted by a swarm of bees. It had been no small challenge to bring its fibre-optic cable this far—from Cape Town, near the southern tip of Africa, to Chirundu on the Zambezi river (pictured) which marks the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Read more…

The jet with a 17-ton telescope that Nasa uses as a flying observatory
If you thought Boeing 747s weren’t useful for understanding how stars are formed, you don’t know about Sofia. Officially known as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, Sofia is a heavily modified Boeing 747 Special Performance jetliner, with a 17-ton, 8-foot telescope mounted behind a 16-by-23-foot sliding door that reveals the infrared telescope to the skies. Read more…

The rise of thin, mini and insert skimmers
Like most electronic gadgets these days, ATM skimmers are getting smaller and thinner, with extended battery life. Here’s a look at several miniaturised fraud devices that were pulled from compromised cash machines at various ATMs in Europe so far this year. Read more…

New Zealand ISP allows customers to subscribe to US Netflix
Slingshot, an Internet provider in New Zealand, wants to give its subscribers a little extra perk: the ISP just added a new “global mode” to its Internet plans that allows its customers to access video services like Netflix or Hulu without getting in trouble for coming from the wrong country. Read more…

A weekend with the all-electric BMW i3
I’ve never driven a BMW, or an electric car, so I might have been an odd choice to test drive the new BMW i3, the German car maker’s all-electric hatchback, which packs the equivalent of 170hp into its electric engine. Read more…

THE WEEK’S PICKS FROM TECHCENTRAL

Ex-UCS bosses eye new tech fund
Capital Eye Investments, the company that emerged out of what was left of JSE-listed UCS Group after Business Connexion acquired its services businesses four years ago, plans to launch a private equity fund to invest in start-ups and established technology businesses. Read more…

Icasa has become a ‘political football’
Icasa has become a “political football”, according to the Democratic Alliance. Just weeks after it seemed certain that the communications regulator would report into the department of telecommunications and postal services, communications minister Faith Muthambi has told parliament that it will, in fact, be staying in her portfolio. Read more…

Telkom boss signals a change of attitude
South Africans love to complain about Telkom. It’s been a national pastime for years. The customer service problems associated with the fixed-line operator are the stuff of legend — and nightmare. So, when Telkom’s CEO, Sipho Maseko, steps up to the plate and promises to fix these deep-seated problems, it’s easy to suggest he’s simply spouting empty rhetoric. Read more…

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