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World at a tipping point on privacy

World at a tipping point on privacy

We are living through a privacy tipping point. Technology is changing dramatically what is possible in terms of surveillance, monitoring, persistence, analysis. We are cracking open the lid of Pandora’s Box. We still don’t really know what’s in the box. Maybe the benefits of the

Viruses go from nuisance to plague

Viruses go from nuisance to plague

Biological viruses are among the most rapidly evolving organisms on our planet. The same is true of computer viruses, except that malevolent human organisations are driving this evolution, not natural selection. The most recent strains of these digital pathogens are evidence that virus

Flashes of genius in SA’s tech sector

Flashes of genius in SA’s tech sector

In recent weeks, I’ve been fortunate to meet a range of really smart South African entrepreneurs who are doing incredibly exciting stuff in the technology space, often with relatively few resources. Despite all the doom and gloom that is our politics, and despite the poor state of

How Popi will change retail

How Popi will change retail

Given the upcoming Protection of Personal Information (Popi) Act, retailers have to be prepared to deal with customers’ questions about the type and amount of personal information that they are collecting, why they are collecting it and how they intend to protect it against abuse

What’s in store in tech in 2014

What’s in store in tech in 2014

Last year proved to be a little quiet on the technology front. Internationally, there were few major developments, at least in consumer electronics. Manufacturers continued to refine their televisions, smartphones, notebooks and tablets rather than cracking

Why wearables are computing’s future

Why wearables are computing’s future

For many technophiles, 2013 was a slightly disappointing year. Sure, there were one or two groundbreaking launches (such as Google Glass), but for the most part it was a year of consolidation rather than raw innovation. This year is likely to be more exciting as several waves of long-awaited

Time is running out for Telkom

Time is running out for Telkom

All indications are that Telkom is and will remain implacably opposed to the regulations introducing local-loop unbundling. This is deeply unfortunate – a drawn out legal process will not solve any of Telkom’s longer term problems. If past legal processes of this nature provide any guide, then by the time

Unbundling fight goes down to the wire

Unbundling fight goes down to the wire

The scene is set for a bruising showdown between Telkom and its regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), over local-loop unbundling. This is after the authority this week said it would disregard the fixed-line operator’s arguments about how much money it’s losing for each

Some things are best left to computers

Some things are best left to computers

I don’t know my Internet banking password. I don’t know my Facebook password either, or my Web e-mail password. I couldn’t even tell you the first three letters. And no, I don’t have them written down in a book or saved on my phone. Since two months ago, I only have two passwords to remember: the one

Spectrum auctions for beginners

Spectrum auctions for beginners

In the previous column, I looked at the merits of licensed versus unlicensed spectrum and suggested that there might be scope for some new approaches. I’d now like to turn to licensed spectrum and the process of auctioning spectrum which has become the dominant means of assigning popular licensed

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