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Beastly battery promises end to powerlessness

Flat batteries. They’re the bane of a gadget-loving geek’s life. As phones get more powerful, with bigger screens, battery life is just not what it used to be. Users of modern smartphones know the drill only too well: grab that bit of precious juice when you can, be it from your computer’s USB trickle-charge when you’re at your desk, or from a car cigarette-lighter charger while you’re driving around town.

Why mobile TV won’t fly

More than four years after the first mobile-TV service was introduced, only 3,2m users worldwide are paying to receive broadcasts to their handsets, according to research by international analyst firm Juniper Research. This is probably bad news for pay-TV incumbent MultiChoice and cellphone operator Vodacom, both of which have recently introduced mobile-TV products.

Nokia music store freed of DRM

Songs in Nokia’s SA music store will be free of digital rights management (DRM) software from 9 September, meaning consumers will be able to copy their downloaded tunes and listen to their purchases on any device of their choosing. They’ll also be in MP3 format and available for Apple Mac and Linux users for the first time. At the same time, the name of the Finnish company’s music store is changing from the Nokia Music Store to Ovi Music.

Porn bill needs to be stripped

Deputy home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba’s plan to fast-track the drafting of a law that will compel Internet service providers to filter adult content on their networks has telecommunications industry players concerned. They say the bill is not practical. Earlier this year, the Justice Alliance of SA (Jasa) produced a draft Pornography Bill, which holds Internet and mobile providers legally responsible if their users download porn onto their computers.

Eassy bandwidth arrives as capacity is trebled

Bandwidth on the East Africa Submarine System (Eassy), a new, 10 000km-long submarine fibre-optic cable on Africa’s east coast, is now available from Neotel and MTN, the two telecommunications operators announced at a press conference on Thursday. At the same time, the design capacity of the system has almost been trebled, going from 1,4Tbit/s to 3,8Tbit/s, making it the fastest cable system serving the African continent. However, only 60Gbit/s on that capacity has been “lit up” so far.

Slippery slope to repression

Deputy home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba wants to introduce legislation that will compel Internet service providers to block pornographic material online. It’s all in the name of protecting the children, of course. According to a Sapa wire report last week, Gigaba intends “fast-tracking the passage of a yet-to-be-drafted law that will compel In- ternet service providers to filter content pro- vided to users to ensure it does not contain any pornography”.

Google pulls the plug on Wave

Web search giant Google has pulled the plug on its Wave service, saying it hasn’t gained the traction it needed to be sustained. In a posting on its official blog, Google says it will no longer develop Wave as a standalone system. However, it says some of the technology will be used in other products.

ZA Tech Show: Episode 122

Our panel this week includes World Wide Worx Strategy’s Steven Ambrose and TechHuman.com’s Brendon Ambrose, with regulars Brett Haggard and Simon Dingle. They discuss the launch of Samsung’s Wave and the Bada operating system, Google’s mobile ecosystem, StarCraft 2, the new Amazon Kindle, and much more

As Super 5 fails, WowTV talks of launch

South Africans’ last hope for more competition in the country’s pay-TV market, Walking On Water Television (WowTV), is gearing up to launch a satellite TV service within the next couple of months. TechCentral can reveal that WowTV plans to launch two bouquets of channels, one costing R49/month and the other R99/month. The low prices suggest the company is hoping to appeal to a broad market.

Cell C’s new clothes

Cell C is like a new company. In a presentation to media on Wednesday morning, CEO Lars Reichelt set out a radical new strategy and unveiled a revitalised brand image for the mobile operator. It may still be SA’s smallest cellular network by market share — Telkom hasn’t launched its mobile business yet — but under Reichelt, who was appointed to the job last year, Cell C is fast becoming the market’s feistiest player.

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