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The WWW turns 30: what we want next

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To mark the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web this week, over 11,000 survey respondents from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (including 1,000 from South Africa) shared what the Web has made possible for them today, and what they hope it will make possible for future generations.

Whilst the web has delivered many ‘firsts’, from the first website (info.cern.ch – 1990) and the first online takeaway order (pizza -1994), to the first Internet connection in space (Cisco – 2010), people’s ambitions for the Internet’s future overwhelmingly highlight what it can make possible for society.

Enabling ‘better access to education’ tops the list of South African respondents’ aspirations for the future of the Internet (83 percent).  This figure is far higher than any other country surveyed.  The average across the 13 countries surveyed for enabling ‘better access to education’ was 63 percent.

Other notable findings specific to South Africa were:

  • Enabling ‘better healthcare’ was also high (69 percent).  Only Poland was slightly higher (71 percent).
  • More than any other country, South Africa wants the internet to be a platform for social/political change (50 percent).
  • South Africa ranked highest across the markets surveyed for ‘the internet allowed people to work in different ways’ (74 percent) and be more productive (69 percent).
  • Respondents from South Africa placed the greatest emphasis on the value of the internet in the past 30 years ‘as a means of connecting people’ (56 percent), ‘allowing new ways of learning’ (46 percent), ‘career opportunities’ (39 percent) and ‘giving opportunities for new business start-ups’ (30 percent).

“Cisco has built, and continues to build, the Internet as we know it today. In South Africa, we are dedicated  to build networks and bring technology solutions that address citizens’ needs. But we also see beyond technology: in education for instance, Cisco committed to training 10 million people worldwide for jobs in the digital economy over the next five years, including one million in Africa. Through Cisco’s Networking Academy, over 62 000 South African students (29% of whom are female) have been trained with technical skills so far,” says Clayton Naidoo, Cisco’s General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Last year, Cisco also unveiled its cutting-edge Incubation Hub in Pretoria to help develop SMMEs in the digital age and speed up their entry to market. The hub equips SMMEs with state-of-the-art Cisco technology, training and enablement programs, and helps them grow their business with the help of Cisco experts.

Based on the survey of respondents across 13 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the findings showcase the enormous impact that the World Wide Web, as the largest application on the internet, has had in connecting people and information, over the last 30 years.

Key EMEA findings:

  • The last 30 years: The number one thing the internet has made possible for consumers is to ‘stay up-to-date and informed’ (74 percent) followed by ‘entertainment’ (71 percent) and to ‘stay in touch with family and friends’ (70 percent).
  • The entertainment industry (39 percent) is seen as the primary beneficiary of technological advances to-date, followed by the finance industry (31 percent).
  • The next 30 years: Better access to education is the number one thing respondents want the internet to make possible over the next 30 years (63 percent) followed by better access to healthcare (57 percent).
  • When asked which industries will benefit most from technological advancements, the top choice was ‘healthcare’ (at 34 percent) followed by ‘education’ (32 percent).
  • Most positive impact: ‘Connecting people’ (39 percent), ‘enhanced communication’ (35 percent) and ‘new ways of learning’ (35 percent) are seen as the top three ways in which the web has benefited society to-date.
  • We can’t live without it: Over a third (39 percent) of people can’t imagine being able to function in their personal lives without the internet.

“We live in a hyper-connected world. By 2022, we are going to see more traffic crossing global networks than in the entire history of the Internet combined. This traffic comes from all of us, and increasingly, our machines. The survey shows the impact that the World Wide Web and the Internet has had on our lives, and what people expect for the future. To realize that potential, organisations – be it in healthcare, education, or any other industry – must be able to understand the power of connections and securely extract value from them. In addition, they need to manage the complexity that comes with the explosion of connecting people, places, ideas and things across a network.”

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1 Comment

  1. Ellis Falkof

    Mar 13, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Perfect time for a whiskey

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Google announces its ‘Netflix for gaming’

The new gaming platform, Stadia, promises high-definition gaming on TVs, computers, and mobile devices, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Google has announced that it has moved into the gaming space, and it focuses on two big aspects of gaming: streaming of games for gamers, which will allow gamers to game anywhere with a fast, low-latency Internet connection; and audiences that watch gamers in-game.

This is a big move in making gaming accessible to more gamers, as it reduces hardware costs, by utilising the benefits of low-latency cloud computing. This will be achieved by using a globally connected network of Google data centres. Gamers who stream games are most likely already using a high-speed, low-latency Internet connection, so access to the Stadia platform will be an added expense.

Through the Stadia platform, gamers will be able to access a large library of games at all times, with no installation time, on virtually any screen. Scaling of hardware like CPU, GPU, memory, and storage is also possible, as one would for cloud server resources.

Google will be leveraging its other platforms, like YouTube, with Stadia streaming. It claims that 200-million people are watching game-related content daily on YouTube. This allows, for example, Stadia players to jump in with other Stadia players – no downloads, no updates, no patches, and no installs.

For console players, Google has designed a custom controller.

The controller was designed to establish a direct connection from the Stadia controller to Google’s data centre through Wi-Fi for the best possible gaming performance. The controller also includes a button for instant capture, saving, and sharing gameplay in 4K resolution. It sports a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone, as many Google products do, for voice control. 

The device is expected to be released later this year, pending FCC approval.

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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