55% of mobile devices using unprotected WiFi networks
The data on most mobile devices could easily fall into the hands of cyber criminals. That's the alarming conclusion reached by Kaspersky Lab experts based on research carried out by Harris Interactive in February-March 2012. The company surveyed almost 9000 consumers from the USA, Europe and Russia. The survey has shown that about 70% of tablet owners and 53% of mobile phone users use free public Wi-Fi hotspots to go online. This is one of the most popular ways to access the internet, along with cellular networks, which are used by 58% of those surveyed for data communication. But it seems that many users are unaware of the dangers of free Wi-Fi networks, especially the fact that data transferred across the link can easily be intercepted by cybercriminals. The survey also reveals that security solutions are installed on less that half of all tablets and barely a quarter of mobile phones/smartphones (28%).
Telkom improves visibility of its online fault reporting tool
Telkom has improved the visibility and ease of use of its online fault reporting tool following feedback from its customers. Customers visiting www.telkom.co.za will notice that the "report a fault" section stands out clearly and conspicuously under "support", which is located on the right-hand side of the landing page. By clicking on "report a fault", users will be directed through to the fault-reporting screen, where the first step to take is clearly highlighted in green. After taking that first step, which entails an entry of the customer's Telkom line number, customers can navigate quickly and easily through the second, third and fourth steps until finally, an automatic confirmation is received that the fault has been reported.
New Android apps for EE Publishers' magazines
EE Publishers has launched free Android apps for its EngineerIT, Energize, Vector and PositionIT magazines. These complement the free Apple iPad apps which were launched in February 2012. These state-of-the-art Android and iPad apps deliver a fast, high-resolution and feature-rich reader experience in full colour at no cost. The apps may be downloaded free-of-charge from the Google Play Store or the Apple iTunes Store to your Android-based tablet and smart phone, or to your Apple iPad and iPhone.
Market leadership in Oracle’s cloud-based offerings
Bytes Technology Group has announced the acquisition (subject to fulfillment of certain conditions precedent) of Alliance Business Solutions through Bytes Systems Integration for an undisclosed amount. The rationale for the transaction is to leverage synergistic Oracle capabilities and position the company as the partner of choice for Oracle end-to-end offerings and cloud-based solutions to customers. Bytes SI will become one of the few Platinum partners within the Oracle PartnerNetwork Ecosystem in South Africa, that are able to sell and deliver specialised services across the entire application, middleware, database technology and hardware layers of the Oracle "Red Stack", securing its goal of becoming a R1-billion plus revenue business.
Alcatel-Lucent supplies network for superfast broadband services in SA
Telkom is to dramatically expand the availability of superfast broadband services throughout South Africa. Alcatel-Lucent will supply the network equipment to enable this network transformation. The project includes upgrading the existing access network with new-generation VDSL2 technology serving 4,4-million subscribers, and where commercially viable will also include the introduction of gigabit passive optical network technologies to support fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) capabilities. With Alcatel-Lucent's ISAM product family, Telkom can support a mix of FTTH, fibre-to-the-node and fibre-to-the-building deployment models, giving enormous flexibility to choose the quickest, most cost-effective way to meet broadband needs.
Sweeping away business credit granting mystique
The mystique long clouding criteria for business credit lending – a major challenge for any business – is being swept away by a new approach. Experian SA is pioneering an innovative solution that automates credit decisions by combining the group's comprehensive data assets, predictive analytical models and best-of-breed application processing systems into a single model, KreditAutomate. The KreditAutomate solution's intrinsic workflow capabilities ensure that customer service standards are maintained and administrative backlogs reduced. The system facilitates the processing of routine applications, thereby enabling the more effective re-allocation of resources.
StartMe – new funding facility for SA entrepreneurs
South African entrepreneurs, hard pressed to find funding via traditional means such as bank loans, can now take advantage of a new funding mechanism in South Africa – StartMe.co.za. StartMe is the next generation of business investment and is an internet-based funding portal which allows a number of small investors to network and pool resources to finance projects, businesses and other ventures. Specifically, this involves raising capital by receiving small investments from a large cross-section of people in an internet community. Commonly referred to as crowd funding, the concept has gained international popularity and interest in recent years as everyone, from non-profits and music groups to politicians and artists, look for alternative means of financing for their endeavours.
"VirtualBagel" experiment – Facebook advertising not ineffective
The effectiveness of advertising on Facebook was called into question following revelations from the BBC that its "VirtualBagel" experiment, an imaginary business which it started in a bid to test it, received 1600 "likes" in just 24 hours despite the fact that the "VirtualBagel"' page offered no products or interesting content. According to the BBC, almost all "likers" came from India, Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines. What was most notable was the almost virtual absence of the US or UK – two of the most valuable markets for advertisers. Moreover, some of those liking the page did not appear to be who they said they were. Facebook claims lack of interest in a targeted market is often the result of poor targeting of adverts.
ITU online public platforms to enable multi-stakeholder consultation
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) council debated the issue of making ITU documents publicly available, especially those submitted to treaty-making conferences such as the forthcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) which aims to review and update the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs). The council agreed that the latest version of the main conference preparatory document will be made publically available on the ITU website. Often referred to as TD64, it gathers together more than 450 contributions from members during the preparatory process of WCIT-12.