At Home

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SA’s first pay-TV provider, MultiChoice, is further evolving its DStv set-top box suite, with plans to connect its latest generation decoder, the Explora, to the Internet. Group CEO of broadcast technology at MultiChoice Gerdus van Eeden says DStv subscribers who own the Explora will be able to use its built-in Ethernet connection for online functions before the end of the year. – ITWeb

Apple’s official reseller in SA, the Core Group, says the new 21.5-inch iMac will be available from early July locally, at a recommended price of R14 999. This follows Apple’s recent announcement that it was launching the new machine from $1 099. The new iMac features a 1.4GHz dualcore Intel Core i5 processor, Intel HD Graphics 5000, 8GB of memory, and a 500GB hard drive. – ITWeb

A Stellenbosch-based mobile payment start-up has identified a way to capitalise on near-field communication (NFC), a wireless connectivity payment standard that has received mixed reviews worldwide. Gust Pay is a geo-fenced mobile payment experience, created for music and sports events, says , founder of Gust Pay. The system allows users to pay with their phones or NFC wristband independently, Botha says. – ITWeb

Microdoft has confirmed the will be available in South Africa on 23 September, with prices starting at R6 300. Every Xbox One system will include the Xbox One console – which features a 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray player and built-in WiFi – one Xbox One Wireless Controller and a free 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold for new members. – ITWeb

Sales in external disk storage systems are falling worldwide, according to the ’s latest report. The South African market, on the other hand, is booming, says , sales manager at First Distribution. Olivier sees “doubledigit growth” in external disk storage sales year-on-year, with customer demand growing by between 10% and 30% each year. – ITWeb

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Sal Laher, Eskom" />Eskom’s increasing reliance on technology is driving the state-owned power utility’s efforts to meet its mandate of supplying electricity to SA’s homes and businesses. So says Sal Laher, chairman of the African User Group and Eskom CIO. According to Laher, the roll-out of is improving process automation and the quality of data within the organisation. – ITWeb

Gauteng’s R2 billion plan to remove paper from schools and replace it with tech is laudable, but experts question whether the province will pull off the project, given its history of failing to implement ICT speedily. The plan follows last year’s announcement by the province that the revamped Gauteng Online Project, now the e-Learning Solution, would supply tablets and connectivity to 2 200 public schools in the province. – ITWeb

According to SAS on Business Analytics in SA study findings, South African businesses understand the importance of analytics, but the results of most implementations are still mainly used for reporting rather than forward-looking strategies and analyses. SAS carried out the study to assess the rate of adoption, the faith in the data and the level of buy-in to the results of business analytics implementations. – ITWeb

(BCX) will operate as a standalone entity within , should the telco be successful in its R2.67 billion offer for the listed IT company. This is according to spokesman
, who says the telco explained that some functions within its Cybernest unit will move to BCX. He notes is buying a profitable business, so there will be no need to restructure it. – ITWeb

Into Africa

Technology giant has earmarked Botswana and Namibia as the next African countries to be part of its television white spaces broadband Internet project. Television white spaces technology taps
unused portions of spectrum in frequency bands to provide wireless broadband services. ’s technology policy group director Paul Garnett told ITWeb Africa that Namibia and Botswana are next on the company’s sights. – ITWeb Africa

Samsung Electronics Africa unveiled its Solar Powered Internet School at the Dakar Financing Summit for Africa’s Infrastructure in Senegal. Samsung first launched the mobile schools back in 2011, and they have been deployed in many other African countries since. Each classroom is fitted with a 50-inch electronic whiteboard and different Samsung Notebooks and Netbooks. The classrooms can accommodate 24 learners. – ITWeb Africa

Morocco’s number of smartphone users have more than doubled in one year, says the country’s telecoms regulator. An ICT survey conducted by the Agence Nationale de Réglementation des Télécommunications (ANRT) reveals that 33% of Moroccans aged 12 to 65 had smartphones in 2013, compared to just 16% in 2012. Usage of mobile applications has also doubled in the country, according to ANRT. – ITWeb Africa

Poor network quality and bad customer service could land workers of Malawi’s mobile operators in prison. The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority has formulated regulations that give it power to send representatives of mobile networks to jail. The regulations are aimed at forcing operators in the southern African country to improve their network and customer service quality. – ITWeb Africa

Zambia plans halting imports of old computers, television sets, radio cassettes and DVD players to reduce e-waste levels in the country. The Zambia Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA) has deployed officers at all border checkpoints in a bid to prevent the imports. The agency said Zambia has no capacity to dispose of hazardous waste resulting from old electronic products being imported into the country by individuals and organisations. – ITWeb Africa

Kenya’s government says it has taken serious precautions to ensure a pending digital identity register for the country is safeguarded from cyber in. “We are of course alive to the fact that everyone is worried about the of the networks and of our information,” cabinet secretary in charge of information and technology, Dr Fred Matiang’i, said. – ITWeb Africa

Mobile money and digital currencies are being used to boost remittances into Africa and drive down the cost of sending money to the continent, experts said recently. Speakers at the Mondato Summit Africa, in Johannesburg, said remittances contribute more than 2% of the gross domestic product in most sub-Saharan African countries. – ITWeb Africa

An Israeli headquartered satellite firm plans on selling high-quality underground voice call services to African mines. Gilat Satcom intends targeting African underground mines with its ‘SuricatePRO’ satellite phone service. “Traditionally, communication with underground workers has been via temporary coax cables which are prone to damage and unsuitable for many locations,” says Gilat in a press statement. – ITWeb Africa


Apple, Samsung Electronics and Google, searching for applications that could turn nascent wearable technology like smartwatches and bracelets from curiosities into must-have items, have all set their sites on monitoring blood sugar. The first round of technology may be limited, but eventually the companies could compete in a global blood-sugar tracking market worth over $12 billion by 2017, according to research firm GlobalData. – Reuters

Google’s Nest Labs will buy home-monitoring camera start-up Dropcam for about $555 million in cash, technology blog Re/code reported, taking another step deeper into consumers’ homes. Google is increasingly expanding into new markets, with efforts ranging from high-speed Internet access to advanced research on self-driving cars and robotics. – Reuters

Adam Bain, Twitter Photo: Gabriela HasbunAdam Bain, Twitter Photo: Gabriela Hasbun

Twitter split the roles of recently departed COO Ali Rowghani at a time when the micro-blogging site is seeking to revive slowing user growth. Adam Bain is in charge of revenue and partnerships, while Gabriel Stricker is responsible for marketing and media, according to their latest Twitter profiles. – Reuters

Sprint has lined up eight banks to finance its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile US, edging closer to a deal that would merge the third- and fourth-biggest US mobile operators. The debt package exceeds $40 billion and includes a bridge loan of roughly $20 billion from Japan’s Softbank to Sprint, as well as $20 billion refinancing of T-Mobile’s existing debt. – Reuters

The Google doodles adorning the company’s famous homepage are being made outside the United
States for the first time, as illustrators from California sit in on Brazil’s World Cup to provide a fresh take on football, fans and favelas. Google produces between 300 and 400 doodles each year, up to 50 of them moving or interactive. – Reuters