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Spoken like an addict

Spoken like an addict

I always seem to be defending myself when the topic of cellphone or Internet addiction comes up. When it happens, everyone around the table turns to look at me first. Why is it that I have to explain myself? Yes, I have a smartphone and, yes, like many people, I use it a lot. Except

End of the Silk Road

End of the Silk Road

It’s a familiar story: a young computer nerd creates a new online service that attracts nearly a million customers in a couple of years and has earned tens of millions of dollars. Except that the service in this case – Silk Road – was not only secret, it was also illegal. Started in early 2011, Silk Road was designed as a marketplace

Give the markets a proper chance

Give the markets a proper chance

Government, well intentioned as might be, could be on the verge of committing a serious blunder in its attempts to sort out South Africa’s poor broadband penetration rates — one that could stunt and distort the telecommunications industry for years to come. Communications

A recipe for a high-fibre diet

A recipe for a high-fibre diet

The launch of the Tshwane Municipality’s online wayleaves management system should be welcomed – and emulated – by other local authorities in South Africa. The processes involved in securing permission and the associated bureaucratic bottlenecks

How the Internet is changing the world, again

How the Internet is changing the world, again

When Roy Amara was president of The Institute for the Future, he famously remarked: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” Looking at the current crop of start-ups now hitting their stride, it’s safe to say online

Snapchat valuation points to new bubble

Snapchat valuation points to new bubble

It emerged this week, in an article in the Wall Street Journal, that Snapchat, a Californian start-up that develops a smartphone app of the same name popular among teens, recently spurned a US$3bn-plus all-cash offer from Facebook to buy it out. The offer value was at least three times the already

How to fix SA broadband

How to fix SA broadband

While there is and likely will always be fundamental disputes amongst economists and policymakers about the best models and policies for economic growth, there is now wide consensus on one thing: increased Internet and broadband access causes increased rates of economic growth

Time to deal with digital TV mess

Time to deal with digital TV mess

Communications minister Yunus Carrim demonstrated in parliament this week that government may finally be dealing decisively with the impasse over digital terrestrial television that is undermining efforts to get more South Africans connected to broadband. Carrim’s remarks to

At Telkom, Maseko takes the tiger’s tail

At Telkom, Maseko takes the tiger’s tail

Sipho Maseko is a really nice guy – which makes me want to pity him over the challenge he’s taken on at Telkom. Some would say accepting the group CEO position at South Africa’s biggest fixed-line operator is like grabbing a tiger by its tail. Sooner rather than later, you get eaten

Tide turning again in mobile

Tide turning again in mobile

A profound and dramatic thing happened in the computer industry last week. And it wasn’t the introduction of the new iPad Air. But it was, not surprisingly, from Apple, which has proved that most important (and brave) of lessons to the rest of the world: cannibalise yourself before someone else does. Though

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