Cheaper internet for SA

first_imgSouth Africans are tipped to access affordable internet.(Image: Bongani Nkosi)Broadband pundits are predicting internet connection rates in South Africa to drop by between 20% and 25% in the next 12 months. Most of the executives who spoke at the My Broadband conference in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, on 20 October forecast that prices will drop significantly in the next year, citing new infrastructure developments and escalating competition in the industry.Broadband wholesaler and network operator Neotel forecast price cuts of about 20%. Underwater cable operator Seacom’s Suveer Ramdhani said they expect international rates to drop by between 20% and 25%.South Africans who are connected to networks are now using more broadband, a trend that’s a plus to the growth of the young industry.  “You’ll see costs dropping in the next 12 months. People are using more bandwidth,” said communications company Telkom’s managing executive Steve Lewis.Since the introduction of the Eassy and Seacom fibre optic cables, rates are said to have come down by about 40%. Eassy came online this year, while Seacom has been operational since 2009.“It’s great to see that prices have come down,” said Ryan Sher of Eassy. “There’s now more competition,” he added.“As an industry we’ve been keen to bring down prices,” said Sameer Dave of mobile provider MTN.There has certainly been an upsurge of mobile internet usage across the country. More and more South Africans now have Facebook accounts. Thousands of youngsters use Mxit and other chat sites. This is a prevailing trend even in rural areas where broadband connectivity is limited, and is aided by a range of data packages offered by all of South Africa’s mobile networks.“Prices are coming down, it’s a continuous evolution,” said mobile operator Vodacom’s CEO Pieter Uys.A great number of South Africans are currently without access to broadband connectivity. Of the estimated population of 47-million, between one and four million are said to be connected. This is blamed on inaccessibility to fibre optic networks in many areas, and excessively high rates for both internet service providers and consumers.“Local tariffs are still high, they have to drop,” said Uys.Infrastructure being improvedMobile service provider Cell C has embarked on a campaign to broaden its HSPA+ 900 network across the country. It’s already covered most of Port Elizabeth, where it started in September, and is aiming to have 34% of the country on the network by the end of 2010, with 64% connectivity by 2011.“We’re really serious about bringing the internet to the 45-million have-nots,” said Cell C’s CEO Lars Reichelt.The provider’s services have become the fastest in South Africa at 5.23 Mbps, surpassing other internet service providers including Telkom, Mweb, Vodacom, MTN and Internet Solutions. “Cell C is number one in terms of speed,” said Reichelt.He predicts that South Africa’s broadband capacity will improve within the next 12 months. “The amount of fibre that we have coming up is unbelievable. It is good news and we have to be smart about embracing it.”The West Africa Cable System fibre optic infrastructure is scheduled to go live by mid-2011. The 14 000km-long submarine network is predicted to be the next most exciting broadband connectivity development for Africa.Vodacom’s Uys said the group has also improved its infrastructure, having replaced all their equipment in Johannesburg over the last 18 months.The state-owned Broadband Infraco will launch in the third week of November, opening its fibre optic network for usage by internet service providers, which include the likes of Vodacom, Cell C, iBurst, MTN and a range of others. Infraco is focused on widening connectivity to provinces that are currently underserved.DOC and Icasa urgedThe industry called on the Department of Communications and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to play more decisive roles in regulating the telecommunications industry. “We need a strong DoC and a strong Icasa,” said John Holdsworth, CEO of telecoms group ECN.Icasa “should stand up and take control” over the current 89 cents charged for interconnection between mobile networks, Holdsworth said. “The interconnection rate is too high.”Internet rates in South Africa remain high compared to that of many countries, despite recent industry developments.8.ta bringing competitionIntroduced on 18 October, Telkom’s new mobile network 8.ta promised to “disrupt” the telecommunications industry. 8.ta became the fourth mobile network operator in South Africa, thereby increasing competition.Like the three other network operators, MTN, Vodacom and Cell C, 8.ta is also offering data services. Industry analysts have predicted tough times ahead as the new network attempts to penetrate the market, given that Cell C, which became a third mobile network operator in 2001, is yet to reach its maximum customer base.Virgin Mobile relies completely on Cell C’s network, therefore isn’t considered a mobile network operator but a units reseller.Telkom is confident of the network’s prospects. “We really believe this will succeed,” said Lewis.The network already enjoys a nationwide connectivity through its 800 new base stations. Telkom also signed agreements with Vodacom and MTN’s to roam on their infrastructure. “We’re starting to disrupt the market,” Lewis said.He added that they want to make broadband more affordable.More competition is good for consumers, the experts agreed. “We embrace competition. It’s good for everybody, for us and the consumers,” said Uys.last_img read more

Christmas caring packed in a shoebox

first_imgToddlers at the celebrations in Swellendam,Western Cape province, get stuck intoopening their gifts.(Image: Santa Shoebox) Thousands of pairs of willing hands havepacked Santa Shoeboxes according to aset of guidelines, and with more than adash of love and care, for South Africa’sneedy children this Christmas.(Image: Fiona McRae)MEDIA CONTACTS • Janie van der SpuyFivestar PR+27 21 462 1677Fiona McRaeThanks to an innovative community project, some of South Africa’s underprivileged children will be able to experience the joy of Christmas.In a heart-warming display of the festive season spirit of caring and sharing, a plethora of presents and a whole lot of love have been carefully packed into shoeboxes to provide almost 32 000 needy children with a gift this Christmas.The Santa Shoebox Project was established in Cape Town in 2006 by Dee Boehner, director of the public benefit organisation then known as From the Children, To the Children.The organisation has since changed its name to the Kidz2Kidz Trust, but its principle of providing privileged children with an opportunity to do something for their not-so-fortunate peers, thereby teaching them the importance and the joy of giving, remains the same.The project’s first outing five Christmases ago saw 180 personalised gift boxes pledged, packed and delivered for distribution to needy youngsters. The following year’s total reflected a strong growth to 2 000 boxes, which burgeoned to more than 8 000 in 2008.Last year’s donations grew even more to see Santa’s bags at collection points around the country stuffed with more than 16 000 beautifully decorated shoeboxes, which were distributed to more than 200 children’s homes, childcare facilities and places of safety.The target for 2010 was initially set at 16 000 boxes but strong support saw this figure revised upwards to 28 000.In a thrilling indication of how the project has captured the imagination of a caring nation, a phenomenal 31 663 boxes were eventually pledged and have been dropped off at the 15 collection points around the country.This year, for the first time, the project is also extending into neighbouring Namibia, with a collection point in Windhoek.Spreading the spiritOne of those who took part this year for the first time was Lauren Collier of Port Elizabeth. She heard of the initiative from friends in Cape Town who had previously supported it.While Collier was wondering how she would be able to get her box to one of the drop-off points in the Mother City, she learnt that the project was coming to Port Elizabeth this year for the first time thanks to the initiative of local co-ordinator Kim Keen. After also learning of the venture while on a visit to Cape Town, Keen was determined to see it implemented in her home city.And the response has “completely blown me away”, she says.She started her planning with a very conservative and, she hoped, reachable target of 150 boxes. Within a week of online pledges opening nationally on 1 September, all of these Port Elizabeth boxes had been snapped up and Keen was inundated with calls from would-be donors eager to deliver.As word of the project spread rapidly, local pledges kept pouring in until there were 1 125 boxes, enabling Keen to increase the initial list of four beneficiary facilities in Port Elizabeth to 18. Supporters even drove in from the neighbouring centres of Grahamstown and Port Alfred, more than 100km away, to drop off their boxes, she says.But it did not end there. East London, some 300km further up the Eastern Cape coast, got wind of the project and collected 60 boxes for its needy children – despite having no official co-ordinator. Keen roped her mother, a Buffalo City resident, in to help. “She didn’t know what had hit her,” she laughs.Another Eastern Cape town, the surfing mecca of Jeffreys Bay, collected 70 boxes, while a supporter from George, on the Garden Route, approached Keen to volunteer as co-ordinator for next year, to see the project also implemented there.An easy way to contributeBut what is it about this particular project that has caused an interested South African public to so generously open their hearts, and their wallets, for the country’s children?“I always like to do something for those less fortunate at Christmas, and this seemed an ideal way to contribute,” says 23-year-old Collier, who has just completed her studies as a primary school teacher.What especially appealed to her were the very clear guidelines for packing a box, which she found on the project’s website“This makes it so much easier than trying to figure out what is appropriate to give – and all the children at any one facility then get more or less the same sort of things, making sure no one is disappointed when they open their box.”Another aspect that appealed to Collier was the personalised gift-giving. Project supporters can select the age and gender of the child (or children) for whom the box is intended, and receive a gift label with the child’s name to be attached to it. They also know the organisation through which the child will be reached.Keen agrees that this is one of the project’s most appealing aspects – that supporters can know exactly where their donations will be going and who will benefit. However, generic boxes are accepted when the number of boxes donated exceeds the number of children whose names have been provided by the beneficiary organisations.The project, on its website, explains that many people want to contribute to their community or do their bit for charity, but often do not know where to start.“The Santa Shoebox Project takes pride in channelling all that positive energy and goodwill into something that is credible, achievable, makes a real difference in a specific child’s life and leaves the donors feeling really good about themselves,” it says.Gift guidelinesThe website indicates a list of items that must be packed into each box – and those to be avoided. Boxes are required to contain a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and a facecloth, an item of clothing, educational supplies, sweets and a toy. This carefully thought-out list ensures the child gets something to use, to wear, to do, to eat and to love.Gift ideas for each category are provided, with further ideas for boxes for babies and teenagers. All gifts must be new and age-appropriate. The organisation also warns of items which should not be packed into the box, such as fragile objects, electronics, medicines or violence-related toys such as guns or soldiers.Creativity is encouraged in both gift selection and decorating of the boxes, which can then become special keepsake boxes for the children – many of whom might never previously have had anything they could claim as exclusively their own.Volunteers at the designated drop-off points receive the boxes for distribution – this year to about 350 child-care facilities throughout the country, usually at Joy of Giving celebration parties.And Keen found plenty of local businesses only too happy to come to the party this year – all of Port Elizabeth’s celebration events have been sponsored by local companies, further enhancing the children’s Christmas experience.For her, being involved in “this amazing project” has been a humbling experience, Keen says. “It has been absolutely fantastic to realise how many genuine, caring and wonderful people filled with humanity there are out there.”And she has indeed seen the joy that both giving and receiving can bring. “Parents have really encouraged their children to get involved and make this project their own,” she says. “So youngsters have arrived beaming and proudly bearing their boxes – to be given to ‘a little boy’ or ‘a little girl … just like me’.”And the excitement and joy that opening a box holds for the receiver are something to behold, she says. “We had one young boy of about 10 who nearly went into orbit with delight when he unpacked his box to find a really cool Ben 10 t-shirt inside.”So, while it might not yet be the night before Christmas, Santa’s ever-growing band of helpers is already out there, hard at work delivering the goods.Swellendam Santashoebox Celebrationslast_img read more

Your MySpace Web Browser Is Coming

first_imgsarah perez Flock, the Mozilla-based social web browserhas made the announcement that everyone has been waiting for: they will nowintegrate with MySpace. Building on the MySpace Developer Platform,Flock will allow users to surf the web with their MySpace friends in theirsidebar. At Tuesday’s MySpace Developer Platform kick-off, Flock demonstrated thisintegration by giving event attendees a sneak peak at the upcoming Flockfeatures. Although details of the new functionality are limited at this point,we do know that the MySpace People integration, as it’s being called, isexpected to function in a manner very similar to the Facebook integration thatis already in use in Flock. This integration will expose all of therelevant actions made available by MySpace and will build them into the People Sidebar of theFlock browser. Related Posts Tags:#Product Reviews#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Also, like with Flock’s Facebook functionality, the MySpace integration willallow you to easily upload new media, meaning video and pictures, to yourprofile as well as viewing media belonging to your friends.Although we don’t know for sure what functions will be included on the“Actions” button that appears by each friend’s profile card, an educated guesswould include things like commenting, emailing, visiting their profile page, andmaybe even un-friending. Unfortunately, MySpace integration will not be part of the nextrelease (version 1.1) and no one would share timing information at thispoint as to when these features will arrive.However, when Flock finally has the number one social network on board, theymay actually get noticed outside of the “hip-web-geek” crowd. In the screenshot I received (above), you can see that you will be able to update your MySpace status (aka “headline”) from the browser. By comparing the icons at the top of the sidebar to those in MySpace’s new profile theme (below), they appear to allow for MySpace email, groups, blogging, friending, and events. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Security: Security Budgets Grow as Sophistication of Threats Increase

first_imgGartner defines the security infrastructure market as the software, services and network security appliances that are used to secure IT equipment.  The security infrastructure market segment is expected to grow between 9 and 11 percent annual both this year and next.  Worldwide spending on security is expected to rise to $60 billion in 2012, up 8.4 percent from $55 billion in 2011. Gartner expects this trajectory to continue, reaching $86 billion in 2016.Within security infrastructure, the fastest growing industry segments include: IT outsourced security services, secure Web gateway appliances, and security and event management (SIEM).Gartner finds that 45 percent of businesses are increasing their budget for security while  most other companies are keeping their security spending at the same level.Driving the growth in demand for security infrastructure products is the increase of sophisticated threats.  Threats include hacks, malware, phishing, and other software exploits.  BlueCoat, a Web security company, for example, estimates that the amount of activity related to malicious sites on the internet increased by 240 percent in 2011. Tom Cross, director of security research for network security company Lancope, said that “The significance and sophistication of computer security threats is growing with each passing year.  Today’s enterprises have to worry not only about widespread malware attacks and hacktivism, but also more stealthy, targeted attacks from various parties including unfriendly nation states and corrupt insiders.”The following InfoGraphic created by security company F5 show how the nature of security threats has been rapidly changing:last_img read more

Sachin Tendulkar falls six short of long-awaited 100th century

first_imgUnlike on the last three mornings of the Test match, on Friday there was unusually hectic activity on the Marine Drive, connecting the ‘D’ Road on which the Wankhede Stadium is located, barely 15 metres away from the junction.People looked anxious, even worried, as they looked around for tickets to get inside the venue with the hope to watch Sachin Tendulkar complete his 100th international century and make history.”Us gali mein jaao, sab milega (go to that lane, you’ll get everything),” a person was seen telling another person who was looking for tickets, just outside the main stadium gate. Officials claimed that all tickets for the fourth day of the third Test against the West Indies were sold out, but tickets were reportedly being sold in black.Just a little farther from the Wankhede, on the PM Shukla Marg-Marine Drive junction, MMK College (Bandra) students had put up a special billboard, calling for a ‘signature campaign’ for Tendulkar.The impromptu billboard had two giant photos of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (SRT) and the words ‘Young India Salutes You SRT’ on it.Millions of his fans around the world would have tuned in to either their television/radio sets or online streaming to be ‘part’ of the history that seemed imminent – Tendulkar required 33 more runs to become the first ever batsman to score the magical feat.Those who came late ran to their seats, eager that they don’t miss Tendulkar scoring the magic 100th run. But all of them were shocked to watch the maestro, at 94, slash at a rising ball from speedster Ravi Rampaul into the safe hands of captain Darren Sammy at the second slip. Suddenly, the packed and noisy stadium fell silent. All the anticipation and expectations came to nought as the maestro began the slow and long walk back to the dressing room.advertisementIt took some time for the spectators to accept the reality – that Tendulkar had indeed failed to get to his 52nd Test century; he has 48 tons in ODIs. He has now gone 16 innings, or eight months and 13 days – in both Tests and ODIs – without a century, though he had come close to it on a few occasions after scoring his 99th ton, against South Africa during the World Cup on March 12.And when normalcy returned to the Wankhede Stadium, people were quick to pronounce a variety of reasons as to why the 38-year-old righthanded batsman failed to score six more runs.While some felt he was too anxious to get to the mark, others insisted that he had become habitual of playing the uppish shot over the slips due to excess ODI cricket.There were others who said that Tendulkar would like to score the much-anticipated century of his 22-year international career in the five-match One-day International series against the Caribbean team, starting on November 29 in Cuttack. As it turned out, Tendulkar has been rested for the first three ODIs.last_img read more

Carnival Expects Fuel Cost Currency Headwinds in 2019

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Miami-based cruise ship major Carnival Corporation expects its fiscal 2019 earnings to be hit by fuel cost and currency headwinds.For the full year, Carnival Corp’s earnings guidance now reflects USD 155 million from fuel price and currency moving against the company. Operationally, the cruise major continues to expect revenues and adjusted earnings per share improvements in line with its December guidance.“We expect adjusted earnings per share to be higher than the prior year, despite a USD 45 million year-over-year drag from currency and the price of fuel,” Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer, said.Carnival Corp explained that cumulative advanced bookings for the remainder of 2019 are currently ahead of the prior year at prices that are in line with the prior year on a comparable basis.Based on current booking trends, the company continues to expect full year 2019 constant currency net cruise revenues to be up approximately 5.5 percent, with capacity growth of 4.6 percent, and net revenue yields in constant currency expected to be up approximately 1.0 percent compared to the prior year.Carnival Corporation unveiled the lowered expectations as part of its first quarter earnings report. The company. During the three months ended February 28, 2019, the company’s net income reached USD 336 million, compared to a net income of USD 391 million recorded in the first quarter of 2018. Revenues for the first quarter of 2019 were USD 4.7 billion, higher than the USD 4.2 billion in the prior year.For the second quarter of the year, the company expects constant currency net revenue to be in line with the prior year. Changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to decrease earnings by USD 0.08 per share compared to the prior year. Based on these factors, the company expects adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter 2019 to be in the range of USD 0.56 to USD 0.60 versus 2018 adjusted earnings per share of USD 0.68.last_img read more

generationCURE To Hold Annual Holiday Party For amfAR This Week

first_imgThe annual amfAR generationCURE Holiday Party will take place on Wednesday, December 7.generationCURE is a group of young amfAR supporters committed to ending the AIDS pandemic in their lifetime by helping the Foundation raise funds for its cure-focused research programs. Since its inception in 2011, generationCURE has raised more than $450,000 for amfAR through events in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.Event chairs include Kelly Osbourne, Christian Siriano and Jussie Smollett.Wednesday, December 7, 2016 7:00–10:00 P.M.Cocktails, Hors d’Oeuvres, Entertainment, Silent AuctionCadillac House330 Hudson StreetNew York CityTICKETS$125 in advance $150 at the doorTICKET PACKAGESFive tickets for $575Ten tickets for $1,125EXCLUSIVE ONLINE AUCTIONDon’t miss the opportunity to own works by Slim Aarons, Jessica Craig-Martin, Sonia Moskowitz, Terry O’Neill, and Robert Rauschenberg. The online auction ends at 6 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 8, 2016.Click here to view the auction.All proceeds from the auction will benefit generationCURE.last_img read more

King Tides prompt Coastal Flood Advisory for San Diego beaches

first_img July 14, 2018 King Tides prompt Coastal Flood Advisory for San Diego beaches SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The highest tides are forecast Saturday evening for the Orange and San Diego county coastlines, the National Weather Service said.So-called King Tides resulted in coastal flooding since Wednesday night when water breached a seawall on Balboa Peninsula causing street flooding.The National Weather Service in San Diego issued a Coastal Flood Advisory through 11 p.m. for areas susceptible to flooding during high tides, including Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Newport Beach, Balboa, Oceanside Beach and Imperial Beach.The high tide at Newport Beach was forecast to hit 6.7 feet at 10:50 p.m. The tides were expected to hit 6.7 feet at 10:45 p.m. in La Jolla.“Low lying roads or parking lots near the water’s edge may experience minor tidal overflow during the highest tide cycles,” the NWS advisory reads. “Minor flooding of roads occurred Wednesday evening in Newport Beach between 26th and 38th streets.”“A Coastal Flood Advisory indicates onshore winds and/or tides will generate flooding of low areas along the shore, “the NWS said.“King Tide is a non-scientific term people often use to describe exceptionally high tides.,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. “Tides are long-period waves that roll around the planet as the ocean is ‘pulled’ back and forth by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun as these bodies interact with the Earth in their monthly and yearly orbits. Higher than normal tides typically occur during a new or full moon and when the Moon is at its perigee, or during specific seasons around the country.” Posted: July 14, 2018 KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more