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It’s the PC, just not as we know it

It’s the PC, just not as we know it

Susan started her new job as a junior attorney at a prestigious law firm today. She was given a company tablet, running Windows 8, to ensure she can work from anywhere. Susan has never worked with Windows 8 before. At university, she would often start an assignment on her personal MacBook, which she didn’t like carrying around

Make or break moment for SA telecoms

Make or break moment for SA telecoms

It is no exaggeration to claim that the coming week will be make or break for affordable mobile communications in South Africa – quite possibly for the next 20 years. On 1 April 1994, Vodacom and MTN launched a service in South Africa, a launch brought forward to support the Independent Electoral Commission in managing the first

Neil Young’s righteous music crusade

Neil Young’s righteous music crusade

Neil Young is angry. As he paces the stage at this year’s South By Southwest music conference he growls and spits about the cheapening of an art form, and the hollowing out of an industry by uncaring corporations. But he’s not talking about the record labels — he’s talking about MP3s. For more than a decade, Young has been

Cool the invective in MultiChoice row

Cool the invective in MultiChoice row

The war of words that erupted between MultiChoice and communications minister Yunus Carrim this week is extraordinary. It is also, unfortunately, very damaging. It is unusual in South Africa – or most countries, for that matter – for a large company to take on a cabinet minister directly, aggressively and in public like this. One has to

Gov’t must back off on MultiChoice

Gov’t must back off on MultiChoice

The ongoing spat between government and MultiChoice about the pay-television operator monopolising content rather reminds me of a domineering parent chastising his child for not sharing his toys without realising that the poor kid is being bullied to death at school. It is absurd that government should even consider

Mobile operators fighting the wrong war

Mobile operators fighting the wrong war

The mobile operators are fighting the wrong war, and they’re squaring up to the wrong enemy. They should be fundamentally revising their business models to prepare for Google, Facebook and Microsoft, which are taking aim directly at their voice business. Let us take a step back. For well over a decade, South

Want competition? Do this, Icasa

Want competition? Do this, Icasa

Communications regulator Icasa this week kicked off a high-level formal inquiry into the state of competition in South Africa’s information and communications technology sector. In the coming months, the authority, which regulates the telecommunications, broadcasting and postal services sectors, has promised

For Google, it’s all about the data

For Google, it’s all about the data

Google recently grabbed headlines with its US$3,2bn acquisition of home automation company Nest Labs. The deal is the second biggest in Google’s history, after the $12,5bn it splashed out for Motorola Mobility in August 2011. But why did it buy it? Nest Labs designs and manufactures Wi-Fi-enabled

All is not well in technology land

All is not well in technology land

All is not well in technology land. The normally ebullient mood at the annual SxSW Interactive conference is darker this year, weighed down by concerns about the prying eyes of governments. A keynote address by WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange over the weekend captured this growing unease. Speaking to a

SA operators jostle for spectrum

SA operators jostle for spectrum

While all the focus in the telecommunications industry is on the fight over call termination rates, an even more important battle is looming large, this time over access to radio frequency spectrum. Billions of rand are at stake as South Africa’s big telecommunications operators