MWEB’s Free the Web (FTW) initiative has taken up the cause of Naked ADSL, calling on South Africans to take a stand and add their vote to remove mandatory landline billing with ADSL lines.
Derek Hershaw, CEO MWEB ISP, says: “With Uncapped ADSL finally becoming the norm for fixed line access, the time has come for Free the Web to focus on the next cause. So we’re asking consumers to take a stand and call for Naked ADSL.”
“There are currently three costs associated with having ADSL connectivity in South Africa: the ADSL line rental; the cost of the ADSL data; and the cost of the landline rental from Telkom,” says Hershaw.
As Telkom is bundling the landline with the ADSL line, consumers are unable to subscribe to an ADSL-only service, where they just rent the ADSL line and pay for data usage. If they want ADSL, customers are forced to also pay the rental fee for the landline, irrespective of whether they use the line for voice calls. Although our voice lines do currently subsidise a portion of our ADSL line costs, consumers should still see a reduction in costs if you didn’t have to have a landline.
“Since a landline is not required for ADSL connectivity, Naked ADSL calls for Telkom to unbundle landlines from ADSL lines, ensuring that ADSL customers who don’t want a telephone line don’t end up having to pay for one unnecessarily,” says Hershaw. (more…)
Despite increasing pressure on the BlackBerry brand and worldwide sales decreases, the BlackBerry brand is stronger than ever in Africa. BIS is still a very compelling deal in SA with its high data prices. But Blackberry’s App World still has very few apps, which was one of our primary criticisms against our recent review of the otherwise brilliant BlackBerry Bold 9900.
South African developers are also slow to adopt BlackBerry, as the choice of apps might suggest. But still we think it is necessary to focus on some the good Made in SA BlackBerry apps, scarce as they might be. Here is our favourite South African developed BlackBerry apps.
There are only a few app developers in SA who cater for multiple mobile app platforms, and News24 is one of them. While the app is by no means as sexy as the iPhone and Android versions, it is functional and stable. Using a similiar structure to the other News24 apps, the app also focusses more on weather with a quick 3 days summary of upcoming weather. Users can also check Lotto results, but cannot seem to see comments, just like with the iPhone and Android. As many would agree, it is sometimes more interesting to see people’s comments on article than the article itself. Maybe we can see this in future.
A hacker, known as plamoni, has created a Siri proxy server that could allow anyone to use it and make it function with a wide range of non-Apple devices.
A development firm called Applidium, hacked Siri’s security protocol and has explained the process so it can be available for anyone to use. Siri is a personal assistant application for iOS, that Apple acquired last year, that when prompted by voice commands, can perform a variety of tasks.
One implementation of Siri + the proxy server is sending commands to any standard thermostat with Wi-Fi capabilities. Plamoni has taught Siri (no jailbreak required) to send commands over the network. If anyone is interested, the source code is available for free online. Anyone with an iPhone 4S unique identifier and knowledge of networking can get it working. Setting up Siri to control your home’s temperature involves the use of a DNS server that uses a proxy to send requests to Siri’s server. The hack lets Siri control the thermostat by adjusting the temperature with the current temperature being relayed.
Plamoni stated that the hack will only let a user run Siri on the iPhone 4S.
View the Siri proxy demo video below:
“The BlackBerry Curve series is already incredibly popular in South Africa and we think customers will be very impressed with this new model and with the new BlackBerry 7 operating system. The BlackBerry Curve 9360 makes it easier than ever to stay socially connected and offers a significant performance boost with a much faster and smoother web browsing experience,” says Rui Brites, Director of Product Management for Africa at RIM.
The new BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone is ergonomically designed with a comfortable and iconic keyboard for fast, accurate typing and an optical trackpad for easy, one-handed navigation. GPS and Wi-Fi support are also included, as well as a 5MP camera with flash and video recording so that memories can be captured and instantly shared on social networks. The microSD/SDHC slot supports up to 32 GB memory cards for additional media storage.
Macquarie, a global provider of banking and investment services, needed a new group office space to hold all of its employees that were scattered around a number of different buildings in London. The company hired West Hollywood-based Clive Wilkinson Architects, who designed their offices in Sydney, to create a brand new space in London in a project that was completed earlier this year. The company occupies 217,500 square feet on six floors in the 20-storey, LEED Platinum building Ropemaker Place in the heart of the city.
Apple has been pretty late to the subscription game for its iTunes store, and has only recently started offering its iTunes Match service in the US. But Apple has now made a deal with Big Fish Games, the creator of games like “Mystery Case Files” and “Mahjong Towers”. The service will give dozens of the Big Fish games for $7 a month.
This will work in a similiar fashion to services like Netflix. Instead of purchasing a game once off, you only pay the subscription fee, and use a internet connection to play the game. You can access a free version of the service which limits the games to 3o minutes a day. This is a significant change for Apple, as they have not used a trial version system of software until now, and the use of a monthly fee for a catalogue of games is a pretty great idea. Right now the user will install the Bigfish app, and then purchase a monthly subscription in app, which is taken from iTunes credit. Apps will be streamed over air, so you might need a decent internet connection.
While iOS games typically have low purchase prices, they tend to have limited game time associated with them. While $5 for a great game is a lot cheaper than other handheld platforms, you eventually stop playing it. We can only hope Apple brings this service to other game publishers as well – only time will tell if someone like EA is willing to work with this type of distribution model.
Oh – this is of course not available in SA, so you will need a US iTunes account to make this work. If you want to be able download Apps, Music, Movies, TV Series etc from the US iTunes store, even if you live in SA, here is how to do it.
The DStv Mobile Decoder Beta app now available for free download on Blackberry App World, launched on 22 November, allows users to watch DStv Mobiles DVB-mobile television broadcast on certain BlackBerry devices using a Drifta mobile decoder.
However, in order to view DVB-H mobile television, the application requires an active DStv Drifta mobile decoder in a DVB-H coverage area.
Compatible BlackBerry devices include: Bold 9000, Bold 9300, Curve 9500, Curve 8520 and Curve 8900.
To download the free app click here.
To have access to the service, users will have to register a free FNB online banking profile and submit a “Know Your Customer” form, as well as FICA documentation. Once this information as been collected and validated FNB will link users’ PayPal accounts with their personal bank account through the FNB online banking profile. While there are no additiaonl fees for utilising the service, non-FNB customers won’t be able to load money onto their PayPal to make payments with PayPal TopUp.
The press release announcing the launch stated that: South Africans already making use of PayPal but not banking with FNB have been able to make credit card-based payment transactions and benefit from the added security of transacting online with PayPal by linking their credit card to an authorised PayPal account.
Chris Savides, FNB’s General Manager for FNB Complementary Online Services said that ““One and a half years after launching our exclusive Top Up and Withdraw services for FNB customers we are pleased to open up the PayPal service for receiving funds to all customers with a South African bank account. They will now be able to withdraw funds from a PayPal account into a qualifying South African bank account regardless of which South African bank that they bank with. FNB is a proud supporter of entrepreneurship in South Africa and PayPal provides entrepreneurs with a safer and easier way to get paid by anyone, anywhere in the world, and in over 24 currencies.”