Things have been less than fun with respect to freedom of speech and freedom of expression in the landlocked central African country of Ethiopia in recent years. And they just got worse. Because now a simple 30-second Skype call could land you in jail.
Yesterday, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international body that regulates the Internet, released its list of applicants for new .com alternatives. There are obvious ones like .amazon and .hsbc, but less obvious ones like .ninja have also crept in. A few South African companies also got involved.
Sir John Major has been giving testimony at the Leveson inquiry into British press ethics today. Some of his testimony appears to directly conflict that of Murdoch’s, who in April claimed: “I have never asked a prime minister for anything.” Major becomes the first ex-Prime Minister to claim Murdoch tried to get him to change government policy.
Jonathan Shapiro, more commonly known as Zapiro, has been named the 2012 recipient of the International Publishers Association (IPA) award for Freedom to Publish. He’ll receive it for his exemplary courage in upholding the freedom to publish whatever he wants, basically.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, left his eldest daughter, Nancy, at a pub following a Sunday lunch. It happened after a mix-up with his wife Samantha, Downing Street has admitted. The couple only realised their daughter was missing when they got home.
Cell C’s Alan Knott-Craig Senior says he’s not surprised by the Cabinet’s decision to turn its nose up at a proposal from Korea Telecom to buy a 20% stake in Telkom. Why: because in the past, foreign companies have let South Africa down. He says governments, especially in developing countries, have to be involved in telecommunications penetration.
A very stimulating new book has just launched: Do Ideas. The book, curated by Don Packett, features contributions from some of South Africa’s brightest minds. They want you to embrace your ideas: “don’t be afraid”, they say. The best bit? It’s free, and online. Go on, you want to have a look.
Following the announcement that Cell C had drastically dropped their prepaid cell rates, Alan Knott-Craig Senior has seemingly checkmated the competition yet again. Cell C announced today that they would also be reducing their contract rates with the launch of six “Straight Up” packages for postpaid and Top-Up customers on 22 June 2012. This is big.
Right now, you could be using the new Internet, and you probably didn’t know. Essentially, the Internet got too small, and we’d have run out of addresses if they didn’t do something about it. But, we’ll let Vint Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, guide us through the jargon.
On the back of the release of new and depressing US job data, Barack Obama has timed an attack on Mitt Romney to perfection. Obama wants Americans to pay attention to Romney Economics, and “remember, we’ve seen it all before.”
By definition, lucid dreaming refers to any occasion when a sleeping person is aware that they are dreaming. But, it’s also used to describe the idea of being able to control those dreams. Think: Inception. Today, lucid dreaming has evolved into an industry worthy of a discussion.
It’s not often Juju gets good press. In fact, we couldn’t really remember the last time it happened. But, we’re going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he wrote this all himself now that he is well into his BA degree in communications through Unisa. Yesterday, Malema touched on some very important notions in a column for the City Press; notions that Nelson Mandela raised as critical 18 years ago.
On Saturday, the EU Cookie Directive goes into effect. It’s a European Union law governing the opting in and out of website cookies. The law was ratified in the name of privacy, but, the impact on the digital industry will be immense and, possibly, damaging.
All of the major search engines are experimenting with new formats intended to make it easier for users to find information without clicking through to page after page of results. It’s Yahoo’s turn, and they’ve decided on a new browser enhancement they call “Axis.” It alters browsers made by other companies to display search results in a more convenient and visual format.
Finance Minster, Pravin Gordhan, has warned that South Africa would face a dark economic future if the interdict temporarily halting the e-toll project wasn’t set aside urgently. We’d have to brace ourselves for negative international credit ratings. And essential services to schools, hospitals and roads would also be adversely affected, he said.
Apple’s Tim Cook and Samsung’s Choi Gee-sung were instructed by a San Francisco federal judge to meet for a two-day mediation to help resolve a high-profile US patent case. The companies are locked in bitter patent litigation all over the world, and the judge diarised the meeting to take place yesterday and today, with the intention of bringing one of the many cases to a close.
Pakistan yesterday temporarily banned Twitter in the region. The move was in response to a competition on Facebook called Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, now in its third year. The competition encourages entrants to draw caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, and Pakistan authorities actually used censorship to quell the spread of images, unlike South African authorities who dealt with a similar “caricature” incident on Friday.
Tomorrow, SA Maritime Safety Authorities will make another attempt to remove the stranded Eihatsu Maru from Clifton’s First beach. Last night, 2oceansVibe spoke to one of the men in charge, Samsa’s chief operations officer, Sobantu Tilayi. Many questions still remain about the reasons why the captain grounded the vessel, but Tilayi said the operation has now reached a critical stage.
Earlier we reported that Rebekah Brooks, the ex-News of the World editor, and her husband, Charlie Brooks, had been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Another four people have also been charged. Rebekah and her husband have come out fighting however, and have called the charges “weak and unjust”.
News has just emerged that Former News Of The World editor, Rebekah Brooks, and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie Brooks, have been charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to the phone-hacking scandal.
In February this year, Twitter unveiled a service that allows researchers, and anyone who has the money to pay for the service, to unlock the Twitter archives, as it were. They’ve expanded their product range again; and now you can get a weekly email summarising the most relevant tweets and stories distributed by the people on your timeline.
Various officials are currently meeting with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) to establish a salvage operation for the stranded trawler on Clifton’s First Beach. A source familiar with the maritime industry believes it’s quite unlikely that the vessel wouldn’t have known what it was doing, and that fog would not have played a role in the grounding.
A short while ago, Jessica Leandra dos Santos and Tshidi Thamana seemed to try to apologise for their recent actions, as well as form some kind of friendship. But Itumeleng Mabeba, a man at the centre of hate speech allegations for sending a very disturbing tweet, has claimed his Twitter account was hacked. His employer is also instituting an internal disciplinary process against him.
Politicians reacted angrily at the decision to move Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli out of his crime intelligence position yesterday. A collective feeling amongst opposition parties was that this was simply not good enough, and that Mdluli should be suspended again.
We had been wondering what might have been stolen from advocate Muzi Sikhakhane’s home in Northcliff, Jozi, last month. Sikhakhane is acting in a matter against controversial police crime intelligence boss, Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli. Turns out, one of the documents stolen was an affidavit penned by Tokyo Sexwale, which accused Mdluli of abusing state resources.
By now, many people within South Africa’s news-following public are familiar with the recent burst of racism that took place on South Africa’s twittersphere involving a model and a “model”. Mistakes were made, but the backlash and long-term effects from a social and mainstream media clamouring may have devastating consequences on the individuals involved. Things begin to go pearshaped when the media is inaccurate with information that disperses frantically when a news story of this nature breaks.
LG Electronics, the world’s second biggest TV maker, will launch Internet-enabled TV based on Google’s platform in the United States in May. The South Korean firm is after a share of the emerging Internet TV market, a senior LG executive said today.
47 Ethiopian men were rescued on the weekend from being sold into slavery by a human-trafficking syndicate in Limpopo. Snatched for ransom, those whose families can’t pay, have their relatives unwillingly sold into slavery in SA. The United Nations now estimates that there are more than 27 million slaves in the world.
Comedian, actor, writer, director and presenter, Rob Van Vuuren, needs no introduction. Tonight, Rob will undergo severe comedic treatment at the hands of his colleagues and friends. The event, taking place at Mercury Live in Cape Town, promises to leave your stomach muscles in agony. Details after the jump.