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Wits marks 25 years of SA Internet

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Next week is Wits Internet Week, and during that week various speakers will look back on what key events helped shape the history of the Internet in South Africa, how its progress has been and what the future holds.

We are rapidly approaching the next milestone for the Internet in South Africa, a mere 16 months away now, 25-years of the Internet on 12 November 2016. What are our memories of the early days, what are the key events that shaped the history of the Internet in South Africa, has progress in connecting South Africans been fast or slow, what are the successes and failures, what can we learn from the past and how can we build the future Internet? These questions will be considered by a number of speakers and debated by participants. Speakers include William Stucke (ICASA Councillor 2009 – 2014), Mike Lawrie (Internet pioneer), Nkateko Nyoka (Head of Regulatory Division, Vodacom), Pria Chetty (EndCode), Ant Brooks (ISPA), Ntsibane Ntlatlapa (CSIR Meraka), Duncan Martin (ZA Central Registry), Peter Knight (Fernand Braudel Institute, Brazil), Adrian Shofield (JCSE) and Luci Abrahams (LINK Centre).

This public seminar is part of Wits Internet Week 2015 and has been developed as part of the research project on the history of the Internet in South Africa commissioned by the ZA Central Registry. All are welcome including practitioners from the electronic communications sector; practitioners, advocates and innovators from the main user sectors such as policymakers, the sector regulator, media, banking and finance, travel and tourism, education and health, government departments, researchers and postgraduate students.

The Internet is the most important medium promoting digital transformation of society and the economy, reshaping trade, commerce and social services. As more and more South Africans join the mobile Internet, access online content at public Wi-Fi spots and communicate across the country, the continent and the globe, new questions, challenges and public debates arise relating to costs and benefits, access and the digital divide, Gigabit Internet in fibrehoods, cybersecurity and harmful content. Come and participate in the discussions towards 25 years of the Internet in South Africa.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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