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DFA targets 20 000 business connections via fibre

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By March 2016, Dark Fibre Africa hopes to give 20 000 businesses access to its high-speed fibre optic network using a service provider of their choice.

Fibre backbone provider Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) aims to establish 20 000 business connections in its fibre to the business network by March 2016. These connections will provide businesses across South Africa with access to a high-speed fiber optic network via an internet service provider (ISP) of their choice.

There is an increase in demand for fibre optic network connectivity across South Africa, which is partly due to the country playing catch up to other more developed markets around the world. According to Reshaad Sha, Chief Strategy Officer at DFA, “Although there are several drivers leading to increased demand for connectivity, we have identified that globally cloud computing is a critical driver for the adoption of fibre based connectivity. In order for cloud computing to deliver the benefits of cost saving, business continuity and business agility, it requires a secure and super-fast connection that only a fibre network can provide.”

Although cloud adoption in Africa is still in its infancy, demand for cloud services are growing in the private sector across South Africa. Almost half of 100 JSE-listed corporations are using a form of cloud computing as they are looking to use innovative solutions to develop a competitive edge and drive efficiencies across the business. “The challenge that many of these businesses face is that the demand for bandwidth is dependent on availability and ease of access, but the demand is needed to motivate for the investment in this infrastructure,” says Sha.

To address this challenge, DFA will expand its network and simplify the ease of access to this high-speed fibre network for businesses across all major and secondary cities across South Africa. This will complement the work that is being done by various ISPs that have, over the past 18 months, accelerated their enterprise sales activity to increase market penetration and connect customers to fibre based networks.

According to Sha, “This is a step in the right direction to help South Africa to catch up to some of the more developed and even some of the emerging markets around the world that have already invested significantly in fibre connectivity.” The Network Readiness Index 2014 which ranks countries in terms of ICT readiness, digital infrastructures and robust innovation systems, ranks South Africa at number 70 while countries such as Brazil (69), Mauritius (48), Turkey (51) and Saudi Arabia (32) rank higher. In terms of the readiness subindex which looks at infrastructure, affordability and skills, South Africa ranks even lower at 98 out of 144 countries across the globe.

“By investing in our fibre networks, we aim to help address two of the drivers mentioned in the readiness subindex, namely infrastructure availability and affordability. In doing this, we will provide the infrastructure needed for companies to adopt cloud based services, use collaboration tools and leverage technologies that will support their own innovations and business growth,” concludes Sha.

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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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