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Technology & Communications News

Enterprises increasingly looking to machine learning – Deloitte

By: Natasha Odendaal     Updated 4 hours ago Deloitte’s yearly ‘Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions’ report has forecasted major strides in machine learning for enterprises this year. The report predicted a doubling of the number of enterprise machine learning pilots and deployments this year and, subsequently, the... 

Wits University launches technology innovation programme

By: African News Agency      22nd January 2018 Wits Univesity says it has launched a digital innovation programme to help local technology start-ups grow. The project, part of local firms BCX and Telkom's innovation programme, is targeted towards digital business working in fields like agriculture, smart cities, safety and security, education... 

Toothpaste ingredient could fight malaria, research shows

By: Reuters     19th January 2018 Research carried out in part by an artificially-intelligent (AI) ‘robot scientist’ has found that a common ingredient of toothpaste could be developed to fight drug-resistant strains of malaria. In a study in the journal Scientific Reports, scientists from Britain’s Cambridge University who used... 

Wits unveils oldest hominid fossil

By: Schalk Burger     19th January 2018 The oldest and most complete fossil of an Australopithecus prometheus, named Little Foot owing to the 1994 discovery of four small foot bones by University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Evolutionary Studies Institute Professor Ron Clarke, in the Sterkfontein caves, was unveiled in December. The... 

Wits unveils oldest hominid fossil
Photo by University of the Witswatersrand
CLARKE AND LITTLE FOOT The Little Foot fossil is the oldest and most complete known fossil of Australopithecus

UK announces further funding for small modular nuclear reactor programme

By: Keith Campbell     19th January 2018 The British government last month announced the next phase in its programme of funding the development of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), which forms part of a larger programme to develop the nuclear technology and energy sector in the UK. This phase will see Westminster awarding up to... 

Top UK group, varsity unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th January 2018 British aerospace, defence, security and shipbuilding group BAE Systems and the University of Manchester unveiled their joint Magma experimental jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme in the middle of last month. They announced that the Magma had successfully completed its first... 

National nanotechnology centre developing prototypes, commercialising technologies

By: Keith Campbell     19th January 2018 The National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM) at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research plans to commission its third pilot plant during the course of this year (2018). The centre’s current two pilot plants were both brought into operation in the middle of 2016. One of... 

Channelling all ewaste to one plant the best way to ensure viability of recycling in Southern Africa

By: Schalk Burger     19th January 2018 The establishment of an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling plant, which can cost R1.5-billion to build, will work best if the e-waste streams from across southern Africa can be channelled to such a megaplant, says information technology asset and e-waste recycling company Xperien CEO Wale... 

Channelling all ewaste to one plant the best way to ensure  viability of recycling in Southern Africa
WALE AREWA Consolidation in the local industry will help to attract investment that will then enable larger scale recycling

MTN optimistic about Africa’s future growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th January 2018 Nine months after taking the reins as president and CEO of MTN, Rob Shuter remains confident of the future of the company and its opportunities across its 22 markets in the Middle East and Africa. Addressing delegates at Deloitte’s yearly Africa Outlook conference, Shuter said there were more... 

IT spending to reach $3.7tr in 2018

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th January 2018 A new Gartner report released on Tuesday projects a 4.5% year-on-year increase in worldwide information technology (IT) spend to $3.7-trillion in 2018. Driven by enterprise software, digital business, blockchain, the Internet of Things and the progressions from big data to algorithms, machine... 

De Beers turns to blockchain to track diamond origins and purity

By: Reuters     16th January 2018 Anglo American's diamond unit De Beers aims to launch the first industry-wide blockchain this year to track gems each time they change hands starting from the moment they are dug from the ground, its chief executive said on Tuesday. De Beers, the world's biggest diamond producer by the value of... 

De Beers turns to blockchain to track diamond origins and purity
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver

Global semiconductor market to grow 7.5% in 2018

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th January 2018 The revenue of the global semiconductor market is forecast to expand 7.5% to $451-billion in 2018, surpassing technology research firm Gartner’s earlier growth forecast for the year of only 4%. This can be attributed to continued favourable market conditions for memory sectors, which account for... 

4Sight Holdings says reaches agreement to acquire Foursight South Africa

By: African News Agency      15th January 2018 4Sight Holdings said on Monday it had entered into an agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital and loan account claims of the Foursight South Africa group, effective from January 1. "Foursight South Africa and its subsidiaries will become subsidiaries of 4Sight Holdings and will... 

MTN takes top spot in Q4’s best network rankings

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th January 2018 The fourth-quarter edition of MyBroadband’s Mobile Network Quality Report shows mobile operator MTN outperforming its rivals as the best network in South Africa. The report and network scores were based on about 113 000 speed tests performed by more than 8 000 MyBroadband Android Speed Test App... 

UJ researchers seek origin of stone that casts questions over solar system’s formation

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th January 2018 Researchers are still seeking answers to the origin of a small pebble found in south-west Egypt in 1996 after a 2013 analysis sparked “significant questions” on a widely held view about the primitive pre-solar dust cloud from which the Sun, Earth and other planets were formed. A 2013 study... 

UJ researchers seek origin of stone that casts questions over solar system’s formation

Dell to recycle gold from e-waste for use in new motherboards, jewellery

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     11th January 2018 Technology company Dell is piloting a project to recover gold from used electronics for use in new computer motherboards and jewellery. Dell has partnered with Wistron GreenTech, which uses an environmentally responsible extraction process to break the used electronics down into individual... 

Dell to recycle gold from e-waste for use in new motherboards, jewellery

BCX CEO appointed to iamtheCODE board

By: Anine Kilian     11th January 2018 Information and communication technology company BCX CEO Ian Russell has been appointed to the Board of Africa-led global female coding movement iamtheCODE. iamtheCODE is designed to mobilise governments, businesses and investors to support young women in science, technology, engineering, arts,... 

Personal devices soon to become more intuitive, Gartner predicts

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th January 2018 As artificial intelligence (AI) development continues on a path of exponential growth, a new research report by Gartner indicates that, by 2022, personal devices will know more about an individual's emotional state “than his or her own family”. The ‘Predicts 2018: personal devices’ report notes... 

IEB achieves 98.76% matric pass rate

By: African News Agency      3rd January 2018 The Independent Examination Board (IEB) has announced an increase in the pass rate in last year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric examinations to 98.76%, from 98.67% in 2016. There were 11 464 full-time and 666 part-time candidates across South Africa. This is also an increase from 2016... 

IEB achieves 98.76% matric pass rate

Phone company MTN assigns its long dated shareholder loan to IHS Holding

By: African News Agency      29th December 2017 Mobile phone company MTN said on Thursday it had, through MTN Nigeria Towers, assigned its shareholder loan of approximately $231-million, which was due in 2024/25, to IHS Holding. The group said the agreement allowed MTN Nigeria to continue to invest in its network more efficiently, and further... 

Phone company MTN assigns its long dated shareholder loan to IHS Holding

European chipmakers tumble on iPhone demand scare; miners rally

By: Reuters     27th December 2017 European tech stocks tumbled on Wednesday as the region emerged from a two-day trading holiday and investors reacted to reports that demand for Apple's iPhone X may be weaker than expected. The pan-European STOXX 600 inched 0.1% higher, as the downturn in the high-performing tech sector was... 

European chipmakers tumble on iPhone demand scare; miners rally

Star Alliance, Plug and Play partner to develop start-ups

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th December 2017 Global airline alliance Star Alliance has teamed up with start-up accelerator and innovation centre Plug and Play to identify and support relevant start-ups that are developing disruptive technologies in the travel and hospitality industry. The partnership will see the pair “accompany” the... 

Local pharma firm targets cost drivers to ensure competitiveness

By: Keith Campbell     15th December 2017 Cost-competitiveness is the key element in the market strategy of local pharmaceuticals company CPT Pharma (CPT standing for Chemical Process Technologies). The company opened its R50-million generic active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) pilot plant in Pretoria in early November. This is a joint... 

Mobile lab for polymer powders launched

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 Munich-based chemical company Wacker launched a mobile containerised laboratory – MyLab – together with their long-term distributor IMCD in Randburg at the end of November.  

Mobile lab for polymer powders launched
MYLAB LAUNCH Wacker’s MyLab officially opened at its new South African home at IMCD

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 The regulations and laws governing access to South African air space for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are sound and among the “best in the world”, according to Edenvale-based commercial drone operator Visual Air Productions director Stephen Verheul.  

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

Technology can improve effectiveness of emergency response agencies

By: Schalk Burger     15th December 2017 Information technologies that unify emergency response agencies and allow for efficient interoperation between agencies will enable more effective incident responses, says information technology multinational Huawei Enterprise global public safety expert Peter Goulding. The effective sharing of... 

Telco infrastructure still relevant in IoT world, but models are changing

By: Schalk Burger     15th December 2017 The changes being wrought by Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, including the need for collaboration and sharing across various portions of commercial supply chains, are forcing companies to change their business models, says digital security multinational Gemalto Commonwealth of Independent... 

Reusing data to augment as business processes

By: Schalk Burger     15th December 2017 The aim of new thinking regarding the storage and use of data is to reuse the data to augment as many processes as possible and, thereby, improve the value gleaned from the data, says analytics multinational SAS Big Data VP Paul Kent. “The collection, processing, moving, sharing and reuse of data... 

Demand for ICT skills outstripping supply, survey shows

By: Schalk Burger     15th December 2017 Delays in information and communication technology (ICT) policy implementation, as well as a lack of improvement in basic education and current, coordinated data, are reducing the potential economic contribution of the ICT sector, according to the University of the Witwatersrand-based... 

Demand for ICT skills outstripping supply, survey shows
ADRIAN SCHOFIELD South Africa is lagging its peers in Africa to unlock the value of technology for economic growth and social development

Ansys acquires LAWtrust

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th December 2017 JSE-listed Ansys has entered into a sales agreement with the shareholders of information technology developer Law Trusted Third Party Services (LAWtrust) to acquire the firm for an undisclosed amount. Ansys on Thursday said in an update to the market that the transaction remained subject to... 

Data analytics trends spill over into energy sector 

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th December 2017 The vision of a low-carbon future allied with advances in the information technology sector are set to become game changers that will shift the future energy landscape as technology gives rise to peripheral industries and cross-sector transformations. The future of energy generation is embedded... 

UK group and top university unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th December 2017 British aerospace, defence, security and shipbuilding group BAE Systems and the University of Manchester unveiled on Wednesday their joint Magma experimental jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme. They announced that the Magma had successfully completed its first phase of flight... 

UK group and top university unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV
Photo by BAE Systems
The Magma UAV. Chairs just visible in the background give a rough idea of scale

Electronic waste at new high, squandering gold, other metals – study

By: Reuters     14th December 2017 Electronic waste rose to a record 45-million tonnes worldwide in 2016, squandering valuable metals such as gold and copper since few trashed televisions, cellphones or other products get recycled, a UN-backed study showed on Wednesday. Rising incomes and falling prices for everything from solar... 

ICT service provider Ayo to list on JSE

By: Schalk Burger     13th December 2017 Ayo Technology Solutions will list on the main board of the JSE on December 21. The company provides information and communications technology (ICT) services to the healthcare industry, as well as information systems for hospitals, pharmacies and laboratories. 

Blue Label concludes 3G acquisition after Competition Tribunal thumbs up

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th December 2017 JSE-listed Blue Label has secured Competition Tribunal approval for the acquisition of the remaining 52.63% of mobile device distributor 3G Mobile. The local telecommunications firm had, through its The Prepaid Company subsidiary, acquired 3G Mobile for R1.9-billion, with the initial acquisition... 

Ballistic firearms ‘fingerprinting’ futile, wasteful – SA Hunters

By: Dylan Slater     8th December 2017 Recent proposals by the South African Police Service (Saps) to establish a national “ballistic fingerprint” database of legally owned firearms in South Africa and for this database to be used as a forensic tool in criminal investigations is a largely futile and wasteful exercise in Saps’... 

CSIR nanotechnology centre: foundations laid, future challenging

By: Keith Campbell     8th December 2017 A key success of the National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM), a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been its role in developing skilled researchers. This was highlighted by NCNSM Director... 

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