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Technology & Communications News

MeerKAT radio telescope inaugurated as precursor to larger SKA project

By: Simone Liedtke     13th July 2018 After a decade in design and construction, the MeerKAT radio telescope, located about 90 km from Canarvon in the Northern Cape, was inaugurated on Friday. The MeerKAT is the precursor to the R10-billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – an international enterprise to build the largest and most... 

UJ researchers develop new model to improve causality links

By: Schalk Burger     13th July 2018 University of Johannesburg (UJ) researchers professor Tshilidzi Marwala and Dr Pramod Kumar Parida have developed a multivariate additive noise model (MANM), which they say serves as a robust model for general causality that identifies multiple causal connections without time-sequence data. The... 

UK continues to push development of small and modular reactors

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th July 2018 The UK Government has reaffirmed its commitment, including research and development (R&D) funding, to the development of small and modular nuclear reactors. It has done so in the Nuclear Sector Deal, developed by Britain’s Nuclear Industry Council in cooperation with the Government, and published... 

Cable theft stunts connectivity availability

By: Paige Müller     13th July 2018 South Africa’s cable-theft pandemic has made the prospect of a copper-based fixed digital subscriber line (DSL) infrastructure framework unachievable for the country’s Internet service providers (ISPs), says international wireless connectivity provider RADWIN. RADWIN sales director Nick Ehrke... 

Cable theft stunts  connectivity availability
CABLE FREE COUNTRY The significant cost associated with cable theft in South Africa is forcing internest service provider to find alternative methods of providing connectivity

Data-driven HR can augment, rather than weaken, human touch

By: Schalk Burger     13th July 2018 Data-driven human resource (HR) management systems are arming managers with facts to improve employee management and are also helping the company to attract and retain staff more effectively, says JSE-listed information technology multinational Dimension Data Middle East and Africa HR executive... 

Mintek, Unisa acquire 3D X-ray microscopy system

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th July 2018 Minerals beneficiator Mintek and Unisa’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology have jointly acquired a three-dimensional (3D) X-ray microscopy system, which the companies will launch on July 24 at Unisa’s Florida science campus.  

Ski Monkey paves the way to study the Indian Ocean

By: News24Wire      12th July 2018 The sun is shining, the sea is sparkling and a whole pod of humpback whales have been putting on the most spectacular display, leaping out of the water so close you can see the white and dark patterns on their bellies. It is a thrill to be near these big mammals, and everyone on the pool deck who... 

African countries rapidly expanding use of UAVs, while South Africa lags

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th July 2018 The number of applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)/unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in Africa is expanding rapidly, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) principal aeronautical engineer John Monk told the aviation session of the Southern African Transport Conference in... 

African countries rapidly expanding use of UAVs, while South Africa lags
Photo by CSIR
An unidentified CSIR research team member making adjustments to a CSIR-designed modular UAV

Home Affairs to automate births, marriages and deaths certification system

By: Nadine James     11th July 2018 Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday announced a significant system upgrade aimed at facilitating the automation of the births, marriages and deaths (BMD) certification system. The BMD automation process forms part of the Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA’s) flagship R2.2-billion... 

Home Affairs to automate births, marriages and deaths certification system
Photo by Nadine James
Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni, Minister Malusi Gigaba and deputy director-general Thulani Mavuso

Gauteng govt, UJ sign MoU for tech collaboration in social infrastructure delivery

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th July 2018 Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo and University of Johannesburg (UJ) vice-chancellor Professor Tshilidzi Marwala on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that paves the way for the use of cutting-edge technologies to ensure the more efficient delivery of social... 

Modest growth in device shipments expected this year – Gartner

By: Schalk Burger     10th July 2018 Worldwide shipments of devices, including personal computers (PCs), tablets and mobile phones, are on pace to record 0.9% growth this year to reach 2.28-billion units, says market research and advisory multinational Gartner. The PC and tablet market is expected to decline by 1.2% this year, while... 

CSIR-designed LiDAR system to measure air quality in uMhlathuze

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th July 2018 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has designed and built a mobile light detection and ranging (LiDAR) lab that will be operating at the University of Zululand, in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal.  

CSIR-designed LiDAR system to measure air quality in uMhlathuze
CSIR LiDAR system containerised

Israel plans to land unmanned spacecraft on moon in February

By: Reuters     10th July 2018 An Israeli non-profit group plans to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon in February in the first landing of its kind since 2013. The craft, which is shaped like a round table with four carbon fiber legs, is set to blast off in December from Florida's Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9... 

97% UN member States use Twitter – study

By: Thabi Madiba     10th July 2018 A new study has revealed that 97% of the 193 United Nations (UN) member States have a presence on Twitter, with the South African government’s Twitter page the fourth most active on the African continent. Global communications agency Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) released its yearly Twiplomacy Study... 

97% UN member States use Twitter – study

Mokonyane appoints broadcasting digital migration advisory council

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th July 2018 Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has appointed a broadcasting digital migration advisory council to advise on various issues on the digital terrestrial television (DTT) migration project. These included the analogue switch-off plan, strategies to increase DTT uptake by households and to... 

Digital content incubator launched at Tshimologong precinct 

By: Schalk Burger     9th July 2018 An incubation hub for digital audio-visual content opened on Monday in the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, through the support of the French development institution Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS). A... 

Digital content incubator launched at Tshimologong precinct
Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct CEO Lesley Williams

MTN Uganda says security personnel raided its data centre

By: Reuters     6th July 2018 MTN Uganda, a unit of the South African telecoms firm, said security personnel had raided its data and disconnected four of its servers. The firm said in a July 3 letter to the State-run telecommunications regulator that it had "reported to police a case of illegal intrusion into the data centre... 

Second-hand textbook sales app wins e-commerce competition

By: Schalk Burger     6th July 2018 A second-hand textbook transaction application (app) written by a University of Cape Town (UCT) student was used from the start of the current academic year, and is being developed further to manage transactions after it won the UCT incubation competition. The app, Quillo, was developed by UCT... 

Russian nuclear group further develops cooperation with Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th July 2018 Russian State-owned nuclear group Rosatom has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Infrastructure of Rwanda. The MoU covers cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. This is the first agreement between the two countries regarding the... 

STEM career expo seeks to link youth with prospective employers

By: Schalk Burger     6th July 2018 The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Career Expo will provide school goers, undergraduates and graduates with the opportunity to interact directly with companies to determine what careers are available to those interested in STEM, says STEM Career Expo CEO Eric Wright. The... 

Technology provides digital water solution for Africa

6th July 2018 The water industry has been focused on ushering in a new era of water management, with an emphasis on automation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and sophisticated data management and analysis software that enables the water end-user or plant operator to have valuable, actionable information, says... 

Technology provides  digital water solution  for Africa
GOING DIGITAL Siemens shows how digitalisation of water management processes is creating impressive new possibilities to increase efficiency and reduce costs

New tech, investments can reduce water crisis

By: Donald Makhafola     6th July 2018 New technologies for water and wastewater treatment plants, as well as investments in ecological infrastructure, could reduce the risks of water pollution and failure of critical water supply infrastructure in the country, says global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon South... 

New tech, investments can reduce water crisis
Photo by Bloomberg
COLLABORATIVE MANAGEMENT South Africa is depending on a complex and technically challenging bulk-water supply which requires a high level of expertise and coordination

Intelligent management of data key to human-machine interactions

By: Schalk Burger     6th July 2018 The way data is viewed, managed and used is becoming more complex, requiring intelligent management to enable people to interact with machines, devices and services, says enterprise information management multinational OpenText product marketing VP Stephen Ludlow. The effects and combinations of... 

Intelligent management of data key to human-machine interactions
STEPHEN LUDLOW The growth of connected devices, systems and people necessitates a change in the concepts of production and use of data

Kenya to use Alphabet's balloons for rural Internet

By: Reuters     5th July 2018 Kenya will use Alphabet Inc's system of balloons to beam high-speed Internet access in hopes of connecting more of its rural population to the web, its ICT minister said. Known as Project Loon, the technology was developed by Alphabet's X, the company's innovation lab. It was used by US telecom... 

Kenya to use Alphabet's balloons for rural Internet

Teraco to invest R1bn to expand Isando data centre

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th July 2018 Neutral data centre provider Teraco will be expanding its largest infrastructure build project to date, the Teraco Isando Campus (JB1), in Gauteng, by adding 2 000 cabinets during Phase 1, which will boost JB1’s capacity to 5 700 cabinets.  

Teraco to invest R1bn to expand Isando data centre
Teraco CFO Jan Hnizdo

Scientists hope test-tube embryos can save near-extinct white rhino

By: Reuters     5th July 2018 Scientists have created hybrid embryos from the sperm of near-extinct northern white rhinoceroses in the laboratory, hoping they can ultimately help save the species. The northern white rhino is the world's most endangered mammal, and its only two living members are a mother and daughter, living... 

Scientists hope test-tube embryos can save near-extinct white rhino

Unlocking South Africa’s high-demand spectrum 

4th July 2018 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Natasha Odendaal about how South Africa’s high-demand spectrum can benefit the country and the challenges telecommunications operators are facing as they await the allocation of this spectrum. 

Unlocking South Africa’s high-demand spectrum
Unlocking South Africa’s high-demand spectrum

South Africa works on policy as fintech gives rise to innovation

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd July 2018 South Africa’s complex financial technology (fintech) domain is in flux and morphing into never-seen-before services within every aspect of the financial sector, with regulators and policymakers working on a coordinated approach to policymaking that will leverage fintech innovation in a way that... 

South Africa urged to improve energy efficiency

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th June 2018 A report commissioned by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and compiled by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has called for energy efficiency to be given “the priority it deserves” in future versions of the country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The report is entitled... 

Expo aims for 50% more visitors this year

By: Halima Frost     29th June 2018 Building on record attendance of more than 2 280 visitors to Africa's leading transport, materials handling, logistics and fleet management event the TruckX Conference and Expo (TruckX) at the Kyalami grand prix circuit, in Midrand, last year, TruckX 2018 hopes to increase this year’s attendance... 

Expo aims for 50% more visitors this year
BIGGER SPACE EQUALS BIGGER VISIBILITY The capacity for larger outdoor stands is seen in Sasol’s TruckX 2017 stand

Intelligent data management capabilities support future services

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2018 Intelligent data management across a company’s information technology environment is a key element supporting faster and more effective use of business data and new technologies and capabilities, such as Internet of Things (IoT) systems, which can involve thousands of different data-generating... 

Intelligent data management  capabilities support future services
GREGG PETERSEN Data in enterprises includes multiple devices and data sources per user, as well as multiple public and private cloud systems

Opportunity for smaller exporters amid global ecommerce trend

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2018 The growth of e-commerce and changing retail industry trends provide entrepreneurs and small businesses with new opportunities to sell their products and services to international markets, says courier multinational FedEx Express Southern Africa operations VP Mike Higley. According to the PayPal... 

Entrepreneurial spirit, collaboration, education needed to advance Fourth Industrial Revolution – WEF chairperson  

By: Nadine James     28th June 2018 South Africa must create ecosystems that foster entrepreneurial activity and multistakeholder collaboration, while furthering innovation and education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) fields, if it is going to benefit from opportunities that result from the Fourth... 

Entrepreneurial spirit, collaboration, education needed to advance Fourth Industrial Revolution – WEF chairperson
Photo by Dylan Slater
World Economic Forum executive chairperson Professor Klaus Schwab

South African computer boffins claim third place at international high-performance computing contest

By: News24Wire      28th June 2018 South African computer boffins have claimed third place at an international high-performance computer competition in Germany. The team, made up of Meir Rosendorff, Joshua Bruton, Kimessha Paupamah, Katleho Mokoena, Nathan Michlo and Njabulo Sithole, from Wits and the University of Limpopo,... 

STS develops world-first VR solutions to revolutionise mining training  

28th June 2018 Simulated Training Solution’s world-first VR blast wall and its VR cube have resulted in efficient, effective and memorable training programmes for Anglo American Platinum’s Engineering Services Training Centre and Murray and Roberts Cementation Training Academy. Nadine James has the story. 

STS develops world-first VR solutions to revolutionise mining training
STS develops world-first VR solutions to revolutionise mining training

Ellies announces new CEO

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th June 2018 JSE-listed Ellies on Thursday announced the appointment of Shaun Prithivirajh as CEO, effective August 1. He succeeds Wayne Samson, who resigned in November 2017 and, in February, left the company in the hands of executive chairperson Elliot Salkow and CFO Adrian Bock while the appointment of a... 

Rebranded Ansys posts double-digit plunges in earnings, revenue

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th June 2018 Diversified digital technology group Etion, formerly known as Ansys, on Wednesday posted significant double-digit declines in earnings and revenue for the financial year ended March 31, owing to challenging market conditions. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) plunged 50% to 7.29c, while earnings... 

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