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CES: Cassette becomes player

Nostalgic for the days of cassette players? The new MIXXTAPE is a player that looks like a cassette, but it’s so much more …

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Ready, Cassette, Go! The new old thang, in all its skinny, nostalgic, iconic glory, is back and has evolved into a fully functional HiFi digital music player. Mixxim (mixtapeboss.com) has launched MIXXTAPE, which was 1215% funded on Kickstarter in just 30 days, and has been recognised as one of ten finalists at the 2019 CES Last Gadget Standing competition.

Inside its nostalgic exterior is a powerful music player that supports all the major audio formats, up to 8GB of internal memory, and up to 256GB microSD card support for expanded storage. Songs, podcasts and audiobooks can be transferred onto it from a PC or Mac via USB-C, and your files are managed through an OLED display. Its rechargeable battery powers it for over six hours of continuous music playback which it delivers via its built-in headphone jack, Bluetooth, or from the deck of a good old-fashioned boombox. See the full list of features here.

“It was imperative that MIXXTAPE not just be a digital music player that looked like a cassette. It had to actually play as a cassette,” says inventor Paul Burns. “Originally it was a combination of many little pieces that made cassettes what they were: the sound, the physical object, the customization, the personalization, the accessibility, the secrecy, the community. Also, music was much more than Music files and virtual avatars. It was tangible, meaningful, and personal. MIXXTAPE brings that back in its own way.

“I think people just love the nostalgic feeling MIXXTAPE gives them. And by combining digital and analogue elements, it gives people an opportunity to be creative and express themselves in fun and unique ways.”

MIXXTAPE is available now exclusively on mixtapeboss.com for $100 and includes free shipping worldwide.

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DStv Now adds free education to ‘lockdown channels’

In its response to the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa, DStv is offering 16 free channels on its streaming app

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Two new channels have been added to a free service being provided on DStv Now, the online version of DStv. 

In response to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, DStv owner MultiChoice worked with local and international news channels in mid-March to add 24-hour news coverage to the DStv Now free service.

The company says the intent was to help all South Africans stay up to date with announcements and developments, and the results so far are encouraging. Usage of the service has increased 20% since the lockdown began, and peak usage is up 80% compared to pre-crisis peaks. 

 Now, in another step to help families through the lockdown period, MultiChoice has added additional educational content to the free service with the Mindset PoP channel. This channel features educational programming covering the entire General Education and Training (GET) phase, including Early Childhood Development (ECD), as well as a key focus on the Grade 4 – 9 curriculum. 

The channel aims to prepare children for when schools reopen. Mindset PoP will deliver live lessons daily, with six fresh hours every day. A website is available for parents to download worksheets and information sheets to work through with expert teachers. Lessons are based on the South African Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) and are also aligned to the Cambridge curriculum.

“We’re extremely grateful to all of the channel providers for being so willing to work with us to help all South Africans through this unprecedented lockdown period,” said Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice. 

“Thanks to their support we’re able to keep people informed, keep kids’ educations going, and keep people entertained.”

The full list of channels available to non-DStv customers on the DStv Now free service is:

100 – DStv

180 – People’s Weather

238 – SuperSport Play

313 – PBS Kids

317 – Mindset PoP

320 – Channel O

343 – TBN

400 – BBC World News

401 – CNN

402 – Sky News

403 – eNCA

404 – SABC News

405 – Newzroom Afrika

405 – AlJazeera

414 – Euronews Now

417 – africanews

To sign up for the DStv Now free service, go to http://now.dstv.com 

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FNB Connect cuts data price by 55%, offers 1GB free

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FNB Connect has reduce its data prices by up to 55%. It is also doubling customers’ data on Lifestyle plans without any price increase.

This weekend, FNB Connect will also give all its customers 1GB of free data during the national lockdown, with a validity period of 30 days. This lockdown data allocation is in addition to the Free Connect allocations that customers with qualifying transactional accounts receive monthly.

“This will enable our customers to save on telco spend, which is a regular feature in household budgets,” says Raj Makanjee, CEO of FNB Retail. “Access to affordable and free data goes a long way in assisting our customers navigate difficult times and is also aligned to our ethos of offering real help when it’s needed the most.”

Shadrack Palmer, FNB Connect product head, says: “In our efforts to provide our customers with more value for their money, we’ve reduced our mobile data prices and doubled the data bundles on most of our Lifestyle plans, to give our customers more reason to connect anywhere and anytime. This is needed now more than even, as South Africans are observing the 21-day national lockdown, with many strapped for cash during these challenging times.”

The new data prices and doubling of the Lifestyle plans are to be repriced as follows:

“Since the launch of our Free Connect offering in July 2019, we’ve tried to remain consistent to see how best we can incentivise our customers when they need it most,” says Palmer.  “As FNB Connect, we understand the pressures customers are facing financially and are committed to providing better value at every opportunity.”

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