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The Telecoms Action Group, with funding from Mark Shuttleworth and the help of lawyer Michael Alachouzos, is planning to ‘kick Telkom where it hurts’.

Lawyer for TAG, Michael Alachouzos said at iWeek yesterday that the best way people can put pressure on Telkom is to become shareholders of Telkom. By doing so, any person with even a single share has various rights, including looking at the company’s share register and attending its Annual General Meetings.

Alachouzos says that any 100 shareholders can convene a general meeting and giving it rights as shareholders. He stated TAG has lots of shares and has started handing them out to individuals with the end goal of convening a meeting.

So far the TAG has transferred shares to around 70 individuals, but it is an ongoing project which is expected to reach many more individuals in the next few months.

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New Ipod Lineup, Touch It

September 06, 2007

At the recent Apple “The beat goes on” special event, Steve Jobs refreshed the entire iPod lineup. The old iPod’s have been improved and a new touch screen iPod was released. The biggest news of all was the price drop for the 8Gb iPhone, that has been reduced by $200.

So lets introduce the new ipods:

Ipod Nano: the new Nano features a beautiful colour screen and metallic finish. The unit is still extremely small and thin, but the proportions have been changed, so its now a little more stumpy, wider and shorter. The real bonus is that video playback has been added as well as Coverflow, which allows a more graphical music selector. All in all, its a great improvement on Apples most successful iPod, and offers great value for a small device. 4Gb and 8Gb models are available.

iPod Classic: the old iPod as we knew it has changed and now will be referred to as the “Classic”. Being the only hard drive based iPod, the Classic now has the same metallic finish as the Nano, and is available in larger 80GB and 160GB capacities. Battery life has also been injected with steroids and the Classic has 30 hours of battery for audio playback, 6 hours of video on the 80GB version, and 40 hours / 7 hours for the 160GB unit. The iPod Classic is also slimmer than its predecessor.

iPod Touch: the new member of the iPod family, and possibly the most talked about addition since the launch. The new flagship device features a touch screen the same size as the iPhone, while the device is 8 millimeters thinner. Its basically an iPhone without the phone part, and features the “same multi-touch interface”. The best addition is WiFi, coupled with a built in Safari web browser, allowing you to browse the web and watch YouTube video’s. Apple also released a wireless version of iTunes for the iPhone and iPod touch, that allows downloading of music, podcasts and ring tones directly to the device, via the Wifi/GSM connection. The iPod touch will be sold in 8GB and 16GB flavors and will be priced at $299 and $399 respectively. This is a real alternative for people outside the US, who love the iPhone, but could never get their hands on them due to carrier wars. There may not be a GSM connection on board, but WiFi offers faster speeds and really justifies the investment made by many web companies such as Facebook and Meebo, in an iPhone specific web app. I see the Touch being very popular and indicative of where Apple is moving their iPod lineup.

iPhone: the iPhone hasn’t changed, it Just got $200 cheaper (yes, that isnt a typo) . With almost 1 Million iPhone’s sold Apple is phasing out the 4Gb model and has dropped the Price of the 8Gb model to boost further sales. While this penalizes early adopters, its a great move to get more users onto the platform and bring the iPhone in line with the Touch pricing.

The iPod Shuffle has also been released in a range of new colours, but nothings changed in terms of the device’s specs.

So to recap, thats two new full fledged iPod’s, a new Wireless iTunes store and updates/upgrades to the rest of the lineup.


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Gadgets that run on body heat

September 06, 2007

All you warm bodied people may have an advantage with this new innovation. You may soon be able to power your personal devices like mobile phones, iPods, digital cameras and other devices using just your own body heat. Whats best is you dont need to be riding a bike with a dynamo or walking on the treadmill!

The new circuits utilize the principle of thermoelectric generators (TEG) made from semiconductor elements. According to the scientists, from Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits the TEGs extract electrical energy simply from the temperature difference between a hot and a cold environment. Normally, a difference of several tens of degrees would be required in order to generate enough power, but the difference between the body’s surface temperature and that of its environment is only a few degrees. To boost the energy, they combined a number of components that store up the energy until there’s enough to operate the electronic device.

The photo shows a wireless transmitter being powered by the heat given off by a person’s hand via a thermoelectric generator with the output being displayed on the screen.

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All new ADSL customers will need to purchase their modem now, even when doing a self install. Telkom previously ran a special, that gave a free modem to all clients who made use of the self install option, regardless of which ISP they purchased their bandwidth from. The special ran from Febuary 2007 till the 31st August this year.

The ADSL self install option allows you to get your ADSL line setup quicker & faster than before because a Telkom engineer doesnt have to come to your premises. The self install option is still available and I would still recommend it in order to fasttrack your ADSL line installation, however you will need to purchase a modem.

Speak to an RSAWeb consultant to get advice on ADSL modems and how to aquire one with your RSAWEB ADSL service.

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Google MyMaps

September 03, 2007

Google has now made it even easier to embed maps into your website. If you have a coding background and have played with Google Maps intergation via the API, you will know thats its pretty easy to do, and in a day or two you can have a customizable app build, but the average blogger on the web has’nt got the time or the inclination to get that technical. Most bloggers have posted code from Youtube into their blog, so Google jumped on that fact and built Mymaps. Mymaps is an extra tab on the already well known Google Maps page, allowing you to plot markers and even add HTML text into descriptions. The “link to this page” facility has been upgraded to include the iframe text for easy blog insertion. Here is a simple map to the RSAWEB Cape Town office.

View Larger Map

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Rugby World Cup Calendar

September 03, 2007

The Rugby World Cup is almost upon us, and there have been many calendars released in the newspapers detailing when each game is going to be played. Well now you can bypass all the paper, save the environment and import an online one instead. If you are using a Mac, or use Zimbra, you can import an iCal calendar and never miss a game. Zimbra also does all of the time zone changes, so your South African calendar remains up to date.

Click here for the zimbra import, or if you are still stuck with Outlook, you can download it in Outlook format.

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Simpsonize me

September 03, 2007

Have you ever wondered how you would look if drawn by Matt Groening, and appeared in The Simpsons movie. Well now you can find out. A new website Simpsonizes you by looking at an uploaded photo and matching it to a Simpson character. What do you think of my character, I call him Robart. Here he is walking to the Springfield kwik-Mart. Enjoy the website…

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Telkom’s R2.4bn proposed purchase of BCX was denied by the Competition Tribunal because it was a clear business tatic to prevent deregulation and stifle competition.

Business Connexion shareholders accepted the offer readily, but there was a staff exodus as technicians baled out, fearing they would became part of a parastatal notorious for stifling technology innovation. Both the ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association) and multiple ISP’s challenged the bid.

The tribunal said convergence of voice and data services depended on networking technologies dominated by market leaders. The takeover would have removed an effective competitor as Business Connexion was “poised to become a formidable competitor to Telkom” in managed network services. The deal would have let Telkom gain a much larger market share and had a detrimental effect on competition by making it harder for rivals to grow and possibly push smaller rivals out of business.

The tribunal ruled that Telkom would just be taking BCX out of the market to compete against telkom for converged data and voip services.

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Hot on the heals of the Tokai base station news, Belville South now has iBurst coverage. If you live in the Access City/Shirley Valley area, you can now wake up to fast wireless internet access. Check out the map below, or go to the iBurst website. Meyerhof, Labiance and Glenhaven all have good coverage. iBurst has been expanding its coverage and now has 22 base stations in Cape Town.


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A new base station has been erected in Tokai giving customers additional coverage and covering previously poorly covered areas. This new base station will also take some of the load of the Plumstead base station.

Suburbs that will get more coverage are: Westlake, Steenberg, Kirstenhof, Retreat, Coniston Park, Lakeside, Muizenberg, Pelican Park, Tokai and Marina da Gama.


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