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Liquid buys Tanzania ISP

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Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Global, has announce that it has completed the acquisition of Tanzania’s leading internet service provider Raha.

As the company’s new majority shareholder, Liquid Telecom will strengthen Raha’s position in the Tanzania market through further investment in both its network and services.

Raha will become part of Liquid Telecom’s extensive fibre network, providing businesses with access to one single network that runs all the way from Cape Town up through Dar es Salaam and onto Nairobi, stretching over 40,000km and connecting 12 countries.

It will also enhance Liquid Telecom’s award-winning East Africa Fibre Ring, which connects Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania with direct connectivity to international subsea cables. It is the region’s first fully redundant fibre ring with multiple routing options, ensuring that customers are not affected by fibre cuts and network outages.

“We welcome Raha as the latest exciting addition to the Liquid Telecom group. Tanzania is a rapidly growing and dynamic African market, and through this acquisition we will be able to greater support the demand for internet access across the country,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO, Liquid Telecom.

Raha currently serves over 1500 businesses as well as a growing number of retail customers with a range of connectivity solutions, including fibre, satellite, WiMAX and Wi-Fi.

Liquid Telecom plans to invest further in the rollout of fibre across Tanzania, enabling greater access to high-speed, reliable broadband for more businesses and households. The rollout of new fibre will also help provide high-speed connectivity to more state schools across the country, supporting key education initiatives by the Tanzania government.

In addition, Liquid Telecom will explore ways to develop and enhance Raha’s data centre facilities in Dar es Salaam.

Liquid Telecom also plans to significantly increase the number of free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Tanzania, helping to bridge the digital divide by providing more of the population with access to the internet. Raha has already introduced over 150 free Wi-fi hotspots across all major cities in Tanzania, which are currently enjoyed by over 150,000 unique users.

“With Liquid Telecom’s support, Raha can explore new ways to increase connectivity within Tanzania as well as to the rest of the region. We will also benefit from the group’s skills and expertise, helping us to achieve our vision of a more connected Tanzania,” says Aashiq Shariff, CEO, Raha.  “Our rollout plans will allow us to extend fibre coverage to thousands of new customers and create hundreds of new jobs.”

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Data journalism takes top prize in revamped awards

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The entries to the 2018 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards were extraordinarily varied and of an excellent standard, with new categories introduced which are based on content as opposed to platforms. This year, the judges decided that two entries were equally worthy of the coveted Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award.

The first co-winning entry, in the new Data Journalism category, is a set of stories by Alastair Otter and Laura Grant of Media Hack which showed how Data Journalism is shaping the future. The second co-winning entrant is Bongani Fuzile of the Daily Dispatch for his articles in the investigative category on how migrant workers were being ripped off by pension deductions (full citations below).

Convenor of the judging panel Ryland Fisher says: “This year we modernised the 12 categories that journalists could enter their work in and the change was embraced by entrants. In a turbulent time for media, the 2018 entries once again proved that there are excellent South African journalists delivering praiseworthy work, and we commend them for finding new and innovative ways to cover the news.”

Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at the Vodacom Group, says: “Vodacom is proud of its 17-year association with these prestigious awards, which make an important contribution to our society through the recognition of journalistic excellence. I’d like to congratulate all of tonight’s winners and, as always, I’d like to pay tribute to our hardworking judges. Ryland Fisher, Mathatha Tsedu, Arthur Goldstuck, Collin Nxumalo, Elna Rossouw, Patricia McCracken, Megan Rusi, Mary Papayya, Albe Grobbelaar and Obed Zilwa: thank you for making these awards a continued success.”

Veteran journalist and media stalwart Ms Amina Frense is the winner of the 2018 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Lifetime Achiever AwardShe has spent decades in mainstream media both locally and internationally. She is a former Managing Editor: News and Current Affairs at the SA Broadcasting Corporation. She has worked in many countries abroad as a producer and a foreign correspondent, has written two books and is also a founding member of SANEF where she still serves as a council member (full citation below).

The overall winners share the R100 000 main prize. National winners in the various categories are as follows, with each winner taking home R10 000:

SPORT

The entries in this category were of an exceptionally high standard. One entrant stood out and became the unanimous winner. This journalist showed an exceptional skill for story-telling and for finding unexpected angles and unknown facts. For his stories about Musangwe’s fight for recognitionAge cheating in SA football, and Hansie Cronje revisited, the winner is Ronald Masinda, and the team of Gift Kganyago, Nceba Ntlanganiso and Charles Lombard from eSAT TV.

Click here to see who won the awards for data journalism , CSI/sustainability and photography.

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Cons exploit Telegram ICO

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Kaspersky Lab researchers have uncovered dozens of highly convincing fake websites claiming to be investment sites for an initial coin offering (ICO) by the Telegram messaging service. Many of these websites appear to belong to the same group. In one case alone, tens of thousands of US dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency were stolen from victims believing they were investing in ‘Grams’, Telegram’s rumoured new currency. Telegram has not officially confirmed an ICO and has warned people about fraudulent investor sites.

In late 2017, stories started to circulate that the Telegram messaging service was launching an initial coin offering (ICO) to finance a blockchain platform based on its TON (Telegram Open Network) technology. Unverified technical documentation was posted online, but there appears to have been no confirmation from Telegram itself. The resulting confusion seems to have allowed fraudsters to capitalise on investor interest by creating fake sites and stealing vast sums of money.

Kaspersky Lab researchers have discovered dozens of such sites, possibly belonging to the same group, claiming to sell tokens for ‘Grams’ and inviting investors to pay with cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, lice litecoin, dash and Bitcoin dash. A record of transactions on one site revealed that the scammers were able to steal at least $35,000 US dollars’ worth of Ethereum from investors.

The researchers found that some of the websites were so convincing that even after Telegram and others began to issue warnings, they were still able to recruit potential investors. Most use a secure connection, require registration and generate a unique online wallet for each new victim, making it harder to track the money.

Judging by the content of the fake websites, it appears they may have common ownership. For example, several have the exactly the same ‘Our Team’ section.

“ICOs are a fairly risky investment and many people don’t yet fully understand how they work, so it is not surprising that high quality fake websites, with seemingly reassuring features such as a secure connection and registration are successful at luring people in. People wishing to invest in an ICO would do well to check with the company behind it and make sure they know exactly who they are giving their money to, or they may never see it again,” said Nadezhda Demidova, Lead Web-Content Analyst, Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky Lab offers the following advice for users considering investing in an ICO:

  • Check for warning signs: for example, some of the fake Telegram ICO websites had the same wrong image next to the name of Telegram’s Chief Product Officer.
  • Do your homework: always check with the brand’s official site to verify the legitimacy of the investment site and, if necessary contact the company’s ICO teams before investing any money or currency.
  • Use reliable security solutions such as Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, which will warn you if you try to visit fake internet pages.

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