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R500 fine for CT drivers caught texting, talking

Published by on Jul 3rd, 2012, 2 Comments

My Broadband has reported that the City of Cape Town will be handing out heavy fines for people caught talking on their cellphones or texting while in the driver’s seat.

The new by-law, that took effect on 1 July, could see motorists having their phones confiscated as well as receiving a R500 fine.

Cell phones can then be collected after a 24 hour period from the Gallow Hills Traffic Department, in Green Point that includes weekends. Drivers will also be required to produce a valid ID document in order to have the phone returned to them.

Safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith, who hopes that the new by-law will send a strong message across to drivers who are in the habit of texting or talking while behind the wheel, said that “Phones will be placed in very secure containers, which have a double seal [and serial number]. The box will be sealed and opened in front of the motorist.”

According to IOL, the by-law states that:


Amazon acquires 3D mapping startup UpNext

Published by on Jul 3rd, 2012, No Comments

In an exclusive report, tech site Gigaom has reported that Amazon has acquired 3D mapping startup UpNext for an undisclosed amount.

This acquisition sees Amazon joining the likes of Google and Apple by also entering into the 3D mapping arena with its very own service that will see it offering native mapping capabilities.

In order to access maps on the Kindle Fire, users currently need to download third party applications from Google Play or access maps from a web browser from the device, like Google Maps for example. The report speculates that the addition of the service could see the development of a more advanced Kindle Fire and possibly even a smartphone in the future.


Samsung’s Smart App Challenge for Developers

Published by on Jul 3rd, 2012, No Comments

Samsung has introduced the Smart App Challenge 2012, a global app competition aimed at boosting the mobile ecosystem for GALAXY Tab and GALAXY Note users.

The contest is divided into two categories – ‘Samsung Apps Super Apps’ and ‘Best S Pen Apps’. A total of 80 entries will be selected as winners, receiving a record total of $4.08 million in prize money along with a variety of promotional benefits.

The challenge is open to all mobile application developers across the globe. Developers who wish to participate should sign up directly on the App Challenge website (http://www.smartappchallenge.com) and register their apps on Samsung Apps. Registration will run until 30th September 2012.

“Given the size of prize money and a variety of other benefits, we expect the competition will foster the growth of the ecosystem for GALAXY Tab and GALAXY Note applications,” said Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics SA. (more…)

Be part of the next #HackSTB event in July

Published by on Jul 2nd, 2012, No Comments

Bandwidth Blog previously featured a review of a recent HackSTB event that took place in Stellenbosch. HackSTB is a social event showcasing projects that hack out solutions to challenges given to participants either by businesses or by themselves.

The event provides an opportunity to see what technology innovations are being created locally through the display and presentation of three different ‘Hacks’.

Everyone is welcome. You could be a developer, a designer or a businessman – hacks are described in simple terms together with visual and sound effects. Grab a beer and be part of the HackSTB event this July.

Demos confirmed for this event are:

  • Having fun with Continuous Integration (Pieter Rautenbach)
  • Next-Gen Gust (Joe Botha)
  • Building a microlight (Otto Strydom)

Sony acquires cloud gaming service Gaikai

Published by on Jul 2nd, 2012, No Comments

According to Venture Beat, Sony has confirmed in an announcement, that was expected at the E3 video gaming conference in June, that it has purchased game streaming service Gaikai for $380 million.

While rumours of the move had been circulating online in the last couple of months, this very announcement by Sony confirms it.

The deal, that was officially closed on 30 June, is part of a move by Sony to compete more aggressively with rivals Nintendo and Microsoft, that will see it adopt Gaikai’s cloud-based infrastructure and survivor network.

While the potential benefits for Sony from the acquisition are significant, it is unclear what this deal means for other companies like Samsung and LG that have partnerships with Gaikai.


AppMonday: South Africa Radio

Published by on Jul 2nd, 2012, No Comments

Amidst the furore over the Internet radio statistics currently being spread all over the internet (courtesy of Shaun Dewberry, Ballz Radio and 2OceansVibe), there is comfort in the fact that you can still listen to your “offline” radio stations online as well, and naturally also on your phone.

Even older feature phones have a built-in radio, usually one that works only when you plug in headsets, which normally function as antennae at the same time. Since then, there have been numerous apps that look at the radio side of things, but I hadn’t found one that can give me the radio stations I want, until now.

The simple reason I’ve looked for one, is that sometimes I need to listen to the radio to hear an upcoming interview, or for whatever other reason, but unless it’s a radio station I know, I’ll never find or hear it. It’s also interesting to listen to different radio stations, because as some online radio has pointed out, people are tired of the “same-old, same-old”.

South Africa Radio (built by ISHIP INC) is the only one I’ve found that does this seamlessly and responds very well, at least on Android. I could not find it in the iPhone or BlackBerry stores.


Apple pays $60m to settle iPad dispute in China

Published by on Jul 2nd, 2012, No Comments

A court in China has announced that Apple has settled a dispute over the ownership of the iPad name, initiated by Shenzhen Proview Technology by paying the company $60 million.

While Apple said that it bought the rights to the iPad name from Proview back in 2009, the technology company claimed that it in fact, owned the name in China.

This brought a halt to sales of the iPad in the country as a court in December, who ruled that Proview still owned the name in China, ordered that all iPads be seized and no longer sold.

The long running dispute, that began in 2010, looked to be drawing to a close when in May, Apple offered to pay a settlement of $16 million. However, because this amount fell way too short of the $400 million Proview initially asked for, the offer was rejected and the case continued, ending in an agreed settlement of $60 million.

The settlement was confirmed by the Guangdong High People’s Court who said in a statement that, “The iPad dispute resolution is ended, Apple Inc. has transferred $60 million to the account of the Guangdong High Court as requested in the mediation letter.”

According to The Guardian China is Apple’s second-largest market following the US and ironically where every iPad is manufactured by Taiwanese contract manufacturing company Foxconn.

In other recent news, Apple Inc. agreed to pay a $2.25 million settlement in Australia after admitting that it misled the public by advertising the new iPad as 4G compatible with Australia’s network.

Do Broadband Wrong: Telkom Increases Prices

Published by on Jun 29th, 2012, 11 Comments

When it comes to broadband worldwide, the general trend is quite well known by now – over time, while broadband internet becomes faster and better, the cost comes down. Quite simple. That is why we keep on seeing great offers for internet bundles on our mobile devices. But, leave it to the fixed line operator Telkom to go and change that little formula.

A few weeks ago we got the great news that Telkom would be increasing its minimum ADSL line speeds from 384kbps to 1Mbps, while 1Mbps clients get their lines upgraded to 2Mbps. This is great, but those speeds are still way  behind the rest of the world. But now, just as Telkom is increasing the speed, they have decided it is also good time to bump up the price of ADSL line rentals, as well as most of their other services, by a few percentage points.

New pricing: 

Speed Old Price New Price
Fast 152 165
Faster 289 299
Fastest 413 425