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Amazon misfires with the Fire Phone

Amazon misfires with the Fire Phone

Amazon is not a consumer electronics company. Yes, the e-commerce giant has sold tens of millions of its own devices to customers. And yes, it has just launched a smart phone, but measuring Amazon by Samsung’s or Apple’s standards overlooks the most important thing about its business. When Amazon

Zuma leaves ICT policy in a vacuum

Zuma leaves ICT policy in a vacuum

It’s been more than six weeks since the election and nearly a month since President Jacob Zuma stunned the information and communications technology industry by dumping his hardworking communications minister, Yunus Carrim, and splitting the communications portfolio in two. Since then, there has been

Public Wi-Fi is key to getting SA online

Public Wi-Fi is key to getting SA online

Regard-van-der-Berg-180Wi-Fi hotspots are popping up everywhere, and access is no longer uncommon in public spaces. Even minibus taxis will soon become Wi-Fi hotspots, with nearly 90% of taxi body Santaco’s fleet earmarked for Wi-Fi deployment over the next three years

Toughest challenges loom for Telkom

Toughest challenges loom for Telkom

Telkom’s share price has risen sharply in the past year on optimism that the new leadership team under CEO Sipho Maseko has what it takes to turn the lumbering telecommunications giant around. Since last June, the share price has gained more than 150%. And since its low point in May last year, it has

Icasa’s new service obligations half-baked

Icasa’s new service obligations half-baked

In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell demonstrated how fines that are set too low create the wrong behaviour. Only if they are set right does the required modification occur. I suspect we have a case of this here in South Africa, with the recent universal service obligations imposed on our leading national telecommunications

Hitting back at the surveillance state

Hitting back at the surveillance state

Someone may be reading all your e-mail. At both security agencies and cybercrime enterprises, thousands of geeks are busily sifting through e-mails that they have intercepted. This is happening every second of every day, around the world. Of course it’s highly unlikely that anyone at America’s National

Risks to Africa’s mobile boom

Risks to Africa’s mobile boom

In the mid-1990s, there were fewer telephone connections in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa than there were in Manhattan. What a difference two decades has made: by the end of this year, there will be more than 635m active telephone subscriptions on the sub-continent. That number is twice the population of

Battle lines drawn over white spaces

Battle lines drawn over white spaces

SpectraLink Wireless, with help from Facebook and Microsoft, has rolled out broadband coverage using television white spaces (TVWS) across campuses at All Nations University College and Koforidua Polytechnic in Koforidua, Ghana. The spectrum being used has been

Straight out of Cupertino

Straight out of Cupertino

Their idea was simple — a line of high-quality headphones, each with Dre’s explicit stamp of approval. Recognising that more and more music was being consumed using mobile devices, Dre and Iovine capitalised on both the appetite for quality headphones and the enormous power and authenticity

Pretoria, we have a problem

Pretoria, we have a problem

What was the president thinking? Last Sunday, Jacob Zuma sent shockwaves through South Africa’s technology industry by dumping his hardworking communications minister, Yunus Carrim – arguably the most competent person to fill the portfolio since the 1990s – and splitting the ministry in