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Four more Joburg suburbs sign up for Fibre to Home

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The Johannesburg suburbs of Victory Park, Linden, Blairgowrie and Bryanston South have endorsed Vumatel to bring fibre to their suburbs, bringing to 11 the number of suburbs becoming “fibrehoods”.|The Johannesburg suburbs of Victory Park, Linden, Blairgowrie and Bryanston South have endorsed Vumatel to bring fibre to their suburbs, bringing to 11 the number of suburbs becoming “fibrehoods”.

The Vumatel Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) network expansion continues unabated with news that residents of Victory Park, Linden, Bryanston South and Blairgowrie have unanimously endorsed the company to provide fibre services to their suburbs. Residents can expect trenching operations to commence in the final quarter of the year.

The newly announced suburbs join a growing list of “fibrehoods” in the Johannesburg area. Already benefiting from FTTH are the suburbs of Parkhurst, Greenside and Parktown North.  Joining these VUMA enabled suburbs within a few months are Killarney, Riviera, Saxonwold and Parkwood, where construction is planned to commence during July 2015.

Niel Schoeman, CEO of Vumatel, says: “Together with the newly announced suburbs, this brings the tally to eleven confirmed ‘fibrehoods’ within the relatively short time since announcing the Parkhurst endorsement in July 2014.

Work from home entrepreneurs and SME’s in particular in connected suburbs have seen their productivity increase substantially while families are celebrating the new-found speeds that make music streaming, video on demand (VOD), online video sites and more a world class experience.

The FTTH rollout in South Africa has been met with great interest from not only residents and business, but technology commentators too.

“With Vumatel expanding its reach from one suburb to the next, to cover an ever-increasing expanse of suburban Johannesburg, we are seeing nothing less than the emergence of an alternative communications network in the city,” says technology commentator and Victory Park resident Arthur Goldstuck.

The open-access VUMA FTTH network offers real consumer choice through the provision of not only competitively priced services, but choice of service providers too. Within the context of a 24-month contract driven environment, the ability to sign up on a month-to-month basis is a highly desirable benefit offered to potential consumers.

“The expanse of both our installed and planned network clearly reflects the demand for world class broadband connectivity. We see an increasing number of suburbs pledging their support for VUMA, and we look forward to bringing the benefits of fibre not only to the newly announced suburbs, but to all those that will be joining us on our journey in the near future,” concludes Schoeman.

Over 40 suburbs are in a race against each other to become the next VUMA ‘fibrehood’. Consumers are encouraged to pledge their support on VUMA’s website at www.vumatel.co.za by simply checking their address to ensure it falls within one of the planned suburbs identified as a possible future ‘fibrehood’.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time. 

Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable. 

We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks. 

So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility? 

Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly. 

The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.  

Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.

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