ICT

EASSy Cable Open for Business

The days of limited and expensive international bandwidth in South Africa are over as the EASSy cable became the second submarine cable to launch on the East coast of Africa.

MTN's Trevor Martin's, who also serves as the EASSy consortium's chairperson, has announced that the cable has come in ahead of schedule and almost 10 percent under its US$300 million budget.

UAE to Suspend Blackberry Services

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) says it plans to block some messaging and Web services on BlackBerry smartphones.

The announcement, which comes days after the country warned the device could pose a potential threat to national security and social values, will see BlackBerry messaging, e-mail and web browsing services suspended starting October 11.

The government has singled out BlackBerry, and not other phones that can access e-mail and the Web, because the devices automatically send users' data to servers overseas, where local laws do not apply.

Google to Delete WiFi Data

Google has agreed to delete all personal WiFi data gathered by its ‘Street View’ mapping service in Hong Kong, in what the city's privacy commissioner says is the first.

After carrying out a compliance check, Hong Kong privacy commissioner, Roderick Woo, says he requested that Google completely erase all WiFi data collected in the city and provide third-party verification it had done so.

Survey: ICT for Social Change Funding Landscape

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), as part of its Network of Networks project for a free and open internet, is conducting a survey into the information communication technology (ICT) for social change funding landscape.

The organisation says the survey is aimed at tracking the shifts in funding and and making recommendations on collective advocacy with donors on funding.

The APC says the survey will also examine the possibilities for creating an annual civil society summit on ICT public policy.

Digital Dzonga Council Dissolved

The Minister of Communications, Siphiwe Nyanda, has announced his decision to dissolve the Digital Dzonga Council, following a meeting with its members.

The council was appointed in 2008 to advise and oversee the process of migrating South Africa's analogue broadcasting services to a new digital technology known as digital terrestrial television (or DTT.

Partnership to Challenge Google

Microsoft and Yahoo have received clearance from regulators in Washington and Europe to proceed with a search partnership intended to challenge Google.

The two companies announced that the partnership had been approved without restrictions by the US Justice Department and the European Commission.

Under the 10-year agreement, Microsoft's Bing search engine will process search requests and steer search-related advertisements on Yahoo.

NGO Provides Multi-media Educational Content to 16 Under-privileged Schools

On Friday, 5th February 2010, sixteen schools from Limpopo, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and North West will receive training and educational content to help improve education at their communities. The participating schools have been nominated by Mindset Network’ staff members, who come from under-privileged communities and want to plough back to their schools. The content, called digital library contains curriculum aligned videos and interactive lessons of Grades 09 to 12 Physical Sciences, Mathematics, English, Mathematical Literacy, Information Technology and Financial Literacy.

Portal Launched to Celebrate Mandela’s Release

The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), in partnership with the Visual History Archive (VHA), has launched a free online archival portal to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of former president, Nelson Mandela.

The ‘Nelson Mandela 20 years of freedom’ website involves the integration of documents, photographs and audio-visual material related to Mandela’s release and allows users to explore the spatial and temporal relationships between items.

Google to Roll-out Buzz to SA

South African users of Google email service Gmail can expect to be part of the international roll-out of ‘Buzz’, the Internet giant's social networking application.

Google's Hugo Barra, director of product management for mobile, says that, "We'll be rolling out ‘Buzz’ in about a week and we're doing it carefully so we don't take down Gmail."

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