Cheaper Broadband On The Way To SA Next Year – Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) launched a new process last week which sees affordable broadband just around the corner. Some time next year spectrum in the 2.6 gigahertz (GHz) and 800 megahertz (MHz) will be licensed to successful applicants. The spectrum in the 2.6GHz band is ideal for high-density urban areas and will enable the next generation of broadband network based on a technology — called long-term evolution (LTE) — to be rolled out. [mail&guardian]
Mandela’s Grandson Legally Blocked From Marrying – Tando Mabunu-Mandela has successfully interdicted her husband, Mandla Mandela, from marrying Swazi princess Nodiyeala Makhathini this weekend. Mabunu-Mandela’s lawyer filed an urgent application at the Mthatha High Court on Thursday to prohibit Mandela from getting married while there was still a divorce process underway. [timeslive]
Property: Rentals Are The Way To Go – Although the scene is set for a flat residential property market next year, rentals may well be more lucrative as rates climb higher than a bank’s savings rate. First National Bank property analyst John Loos projects slow nominal growth for house prices at between 1% and 2% for the new year, from an estimated 3% for 2011. [mail&guardian]
(Spoiler alert) X-Factor WINNER – An emotional Melanie Amaro won the TV singing contest “The X Factor” on Thursday, earning a $5 million recording contract and closing the first U.S. season of the heavily hyped Fox show. Josh Krajcik finished second after a public vote and Chris Rene came in third after a Christmas-themed, two-hour finale that also saw performances by Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder, Leona Lewis and 50 Cent. [reuters]
Lost David Bowie Footage Emerges – A rare David Bowie Top of the Pops performance will be shown on television for the first time since it was originally broadcast in 1973. It was believed that every recording of the singer’s performing number two hit “The Jean Genie” had been destroyed. It emerged in October that one had been found – and it will feature in a Top of The Pops Christmas Special on BBC 2. [bbc]
New Blackberry 10 Phone Is A Failure – Bad products, horrible software and no cohesive vision have seemingly turned Research In Motion into a company without motion at this point. Throw in a huge delay before BlackBerry 10 smartphones start shipping, and it’s clear why people are losing, or have lost, faith in a company that played a tremendous role in making the smartphone industry what it is today. [bgr]
Kirsh Buys Landmark London Skyscraper – South African billionaire property investor Natie Kirsh is poised to become the new owner of Tower 42, the tallest occupied skyscraper in London, after BlackRock UK Property Fund, Hermes Property Unit Trust and Royal Mail Pension Plan agreed to sell it to his Kirsh Group for £282,5m. [businessday]
Wake Up Tomorrow As A Billionaire – If you would like to buy buildings willy-nilly like uncle Kirsh, then maybe you should allow yourself the opportunity to become a billionaire? Tonight’s Mega Millions lottery is sitting at R1.4 billion ($173 million). You can buy tickets online. And remember, you can’t just play once for your lucky moment to hit. You need to keep the window of opportunity open. [2oceansvibelottos]
Gauteng Fuel Stations Run Dry. Again – The South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) has confirmed that the petroleum industry is experiencing supply constraints in some areas of Gauteng. Some service stations may face sporadic shortages of one or more grades of fuel as oil companies try to reduce the delivery back-log, the body said. [fin24]
Facebook Wants To Be Blue Chip – Mark Zuckerberg spent Facebook Inc.’s early years trying to keep it cool. But the founder and CEO of the social-networking giant has spent the last 18 months methodically preparing Facebook to look and act more like a blue-chip business. “There was a period in Microsoft’s evolution where they said, we want to put a computer on everyone’s desk,” said Mr. Zuckerberg in a recent interview. “That’s the way that I want to run Facebook” [wallstreetjournal]
James Franco’s Bad Grade Got Professor Fired – A professor who was fired by New York University has filed a lawsuit claiming he was dismissed for giving celebrity student James Franco a D grade for poor attendance. Apparently Franco missed 12 out of 14 classes. Not ideal. But clearly you can’t give Hollywood stars bad grades. [guardian]
There Are “New Developments” With Selebi’s Health – A media briefing about former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi’s health, scheduled for Friday, has been postponed, the National Press Club said. The briefing, by Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, was postponed due to “new developments” and the need for consultations with doctors. [news24]
HQ Restaurant Throwing New Year Party – HQ and Caveau restaurants are teaming up with DJ Rene again this year, to celebrate New Year at Heritage Square in Cape Town. They have a variety of tickets available, including VIP and VVIP. To book, contact Cheryl on 021 4248154.
Mysterious Metal Ball Falls From The Sky – It left locals baffled when it fell from the sky without explanation. Now police have notified NASA and the European Space Agency of this mysterious metal ball, which landed in northern Namibia. It weighs around 6 kilograms and has a circumference of 1.1metres, according to police. [iol]
The Biggest Media Gaffs Of 2011 – The cameras are always rolling, profane words do not always get “bleeped” out, and teleprompters can sometimes go a little crazy. In 2011, some of the media’s most seasoned professionals were reminded of these facts, and others had to learn the hard way. Check these out. [huffpo]
Quakes Rattle New Zealand – A series of strong earthquakes hit the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, sending goods toppling from shelves, causing rockfalls and driving terrified residents from buildings 10 months after a quake killed almost 200 people in the city. [nytimes]
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