Fixed-Line Broadband Use Declines in SA

Fixed-line broadband use in South Africa continues to decline as more users switch to cellphone Internet connections - which are more expensive but more convenient.

Fixed-line penetration has fallen to fewer than four million connections this year, compared with 5.5 million connections 12 years ago.

Last year there were enough cellphones in circulation for every South African to have one.

Web Censorship on the Increase – Google

Political commentary remains a prime target as governments increase the number of requests for Google to remove material from the reach of Internet users, according to Google.

Releasing its fifth semi-annual Transparency Report, which provides insights into requests by countries around the world to ‘take down’ content from search results or Google venues such as YouTube, Google senior policy analyst, Dorothy Chou, points out that, "Just like every other time before, we've been asked to take down political speech."

Hackers Target Foreign Policy Group Websites

Internet security researchers have warned that foreign policy and human rights websites are being booby-trapped by hackers in what appears to be cyber espionage.

As of 14 May 2012, websites for Amnesty International Hong Kong, the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United States Center for Defence Information (CDI) remained rigged to slip ‘hostile’ code onto visitors' computers, according to Shadowserver Foundation devoted to tracking and reporting Internet threats.

Internet Users on the Increase in SA

A new study by research company, World Wide Worx, and the howzit MSN online portal, has found that the number of South Africans using the Internet has significantly risen.

The study, which found that the Internet usage grew by 25 percent in 2011, link the increase to the impact of smartphones and mobile phones.

The study further shows that 7.9 million South Africans accessed the Internet via their cellphones, and that 2.48 million do not have access to computers.

The Innovation of the Printing Technology

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, the technological world offers yet another innovation – 3D printing technology. 3D printing has been around for decades, but has been mostly used by shoe making, car and technological gadget manufacturers, for their product prototypes. It has proven to be beneficial in their production processes, as well as cost effective.

Google Launches ‘Drive’ Service for Users

Google has launched a long-anticipated ‘Drive’ service that lets people store photos, videos, and other digital files in the Internet ‘cloud’.

Google vice president for Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai, points out that, “Google Drive software has been tailored for Windows and Macintosh computers as well as smartphones or tablets powered by Google-backed Android software.”

New Google Feature for Monitoring Online Activity

Google has started letting people get monthly reports summarising what they have been up to at the Internet titan's free online services.

Announcing the ‘Account Activity’ feature in a blog post, Google product manager, Andreas Tuerk, points out that, “Sometimes it's helpful to step back and take stock of what you're doing online.”

Tuerk states that knowing more about your own account activity also can help you take steps to protect your Google Account.

Free Websites for Small Businesses

The Woza Online initiative has successfully helped 11 200 South African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) set up websites easily and for free, two months after it was launched.

This was announced at a Woza Online roadshow in Durban, showing businesses in the city that having an online presence can expand their customer base.

More Social Media Platforms for South Africans

With the popularity of social media platforms continuing to grow, South African users should brace themselves for more and more players in the market, according to Trevor Neethling.

Neethling argues that Google raised its stakes in the battle for South African social media users with the launch of its Google+ platform in isiZulu and Afrikaans last week.

He further says that in the same week, Yookos, an ‘Africa-specific’ social media network, announced its entry into the space, claiming six-million users across the continent.

Mobile Phones Usage on the Increase in Africa

According to an article titled ‘Africa’s rise is not myth’ by Jonathan Power, a veteran foreign affairs commentator, approximately half the people of Africa own a mobile phone.

Power says that in many African countries, phone technology is ahead of Europe and North America.

He argues that it may be more difficult to build up fast Internet penetration on desktops, adding that in some countries 40 percent of mobile owners are using phones for electronic mail and the Internet.


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