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Cape Town gets faster push to digital city

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Alcatel-Lucent in partnership with Bytes System Integration will speed up Cape Town’s digital transformation with delivery of advanced IP routing technology.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its IP core routing network technology in Cape Town as it transforms itself into a fully digital city.

As the economic hub of the Western Cape, a major tourist destination and one of the most populous cities in South Africa, Cape Town is home to many technology start-ups and a base for many global software companies, retail chains and financial companies. To drive growth and encourage new businesses to the area, the City of Cape Town wants to reduce the cost of broadband in order to expand access.

The new IP-based ultra-broadband infrastructure will help to lower the cost of broadband connectivity, connect underserved communities and stimulate new digital business development, while facilitating high-speed local government services.

With just 34 percent of South Africa’s population connected to the Internet in 2013, the national government wants to see that number increased to 50 percent, connected at 5 Mbps, by 2016 and 90% by 2020 under the national broadband plan.

Working with its former subsidiary, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (divested to China Huaxin in 2014) and Bytes Systems Integration, Alcatel-Lucent is providing its IP routing portfolio – including the powerful 7950 Extensible Routing System – for the development of a high-performance IP network infrastructure.

This will initially enable high-speed government administration and management services including access for emergency services. In addition the City of Cape Town wants to encourage infrastructure sharing to allow third party communications providers to connect underserved communities, facilitate the delivery of e-services and drive socio-economic growth.

Key Facts:

* The City of Cape Town has signed a three-year agreement with Bytes Systems Integration to expand its broadband and IP routing architecture including the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 extensible routing system, 7750 Service Router Portfolio, the 7210 Service Access Switch and the 5620 Service Aware Manager for a broadband IP infrastructure project.

* Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise will provide OmniSwitch® Ethernet LAN switching portfolio to extend the services envisaged by the City of Cape Town to offices and remote locations as the network edge switches in connecting via Metro Ethernet.

* Bytes Systems Integration is seamlessly integrating the 7950 extensible routing system 

* Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one of the key priority areas in the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Technology Plan. The communication network will reduce costs, and make high-speed data, voice and video services available to municipal facilities, and provide government e-services. It will also enable the City of Cape Town to become a ‘carrier of carriers’ providing infrastructure for MVNO’s to deliver last mile broadband connectivity to homes and businesses.

* Alcatel-Lucent’s 7950 XRS offers class-leading switching capacity, port density and power efficiency (only 1 Watt per Gigabit traffic) on a single platform, allowing providers to grow capacity in minimal space and power footprint – power efficiency is a critical requirement in South Africa.

Quotes:

Leon Van Wyk – Telecommunications Manager, City of Cape Town said: “The development of this high-speed communications infrastructure will further reduce the cost of broadband services through enabling open access to the City’s broadband infrastructure for commercial service providers. This is facilitating easy access and driving competition hence reducing broadband services cost to the citizens. As a result of this, commercial ISPs are also using the City’s broadband infrastructure to provide internet access to the public via Wi-Fi® Zones.”

Rob Griggs, Managing Director, Bytes Systems Integration said: “As Bytes SI, we are entrusted with global technology collaborations by some of the world’s leading organisations to manage and support these world class product solution sets on behalf of our clients. We have the credentials and track record that will ensure that the City of Cape Town has the support needed for the network design and support services required in delivering a secure and reliable network that offers broadband for all.”

Daniel Jaeger, Vice President Alcatel-Lucent Africa, said: “This project highlights how our powerful 7950 XRS core router can serve the needs of governments and other organizations in addition to telecommunications service providers. This agreement builds on our growing momentum with governments in EMEA and around the world to develop more competitive nations and smarter cities, leveraging our expertise in IP networking, ultra-broadband and cloud technologies.”

Ravin Naidu, Regional Director, Sub-Saharan Emerging Africa, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, said: “Our aim is to deliver world-class technologies to our customers. Our products and expertise in LAN networking offer a compliment to the capabilities Alcatel-Lucent and Bytes Systems Integration deliver on this important network and adds to the growing momentum of work we’re doing with governments around the world as they use technology to enable more competitive nations and smarter cities. ”

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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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You can blame Oxford Dictionaries for making the “selfie” respectable. After all, being named Word of the Year, as it was in 2013, does tend to soften some of the self-consciousness in this most self-conscious of actions.

Once seen as a symbol of narcissism and self-obsession, it is now the new normal, to the extent that most smartphones are sold on the basis of the front camera. Or, as that feature is now almost universally named by manufacturers, the “selfie camera”.

I was one of the hold-outs, having a near-allergy to the selfie. I still resist, but succumb more often than I would like. The reason for continued resistance is that it remains a big leap from the word becoming respectable to the action itself shedding its narcissistic image. 

For most, it’s already happened, and for that you can blame Ellen DeGeneres. She  choreographed the most famous group selfie yet at the 2014 Oscars, when she roped a bunch of actors into a group selfie, using the then-new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Her tweet of the photo became what was then the most retweeted posting ever on Twitter, and was estimated to have been worth a million dollars in marketing value to Samsung.

Ironically, it was Samsung’s up-and-coming challenger, Huawei, that came up with a new word for this type of selfie: the “groufie”. Thanks to an 8 Megapixel front camera on the new Huawei Ascend P7 camera that year which took the highest quality selfies – and groufies – possible on a smartphone at the time.

It didn’t end there, and selfies and groufies have morphed into variations like selfscapes (selfie in a landscape), skyfies (selfies from the air, using remote controlled devices) and jerkies (selfies to make an idiot out of yourself). I invented all of those on the fly, so it’s easy to imagine a new word emerging for every type of selfie.

Continue reading about selfie improvements through the years.

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Mickey’s 90th for SA

Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

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As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

o   Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October

o   Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November

o   Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag#Mickey90Africa.

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