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Social Media giant, Facebook, has opened its first office in Africa to further the company’s commitment to help businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally.

According to the company the branch will be based in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, Facebook’s newest business office will be headed by Ogilvy veteran, Nunu Ntshingila, the company’s new Head of Africa.

Facebook is already an important part of how people and business connect in Africa. This office will support the significant growth in businesses and people using Facebook — Facebook’s active user population in Africa has grown 20% to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014. More than 80% of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones.

“We are inspired by the incredible ways people and businesses in Africa use Facebook to connect. This momentum in Africa comes on top of strong advertiser partnerships and excellent adoption of our products across all regions. In Q1 2015, 52% of our total ad revenue came from outside the US and Canada. But we’re just getting started,” says Nicola Mendelsohn, VP, EMEA, Facebook. Read more

Writing in the journal Science

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Researchers have announced an advance that could double the capacity of fiber-optic circuits, potentially opening the way for networks to carry more data over long distances while significantly reducing their cost.

Writing in the journal Science on Thursday, electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego proposed a way to extend the range that beams of laser light in fiber-optic glass wires can travel and, in theory, achieve that dramatic improvement.

One way to understand the challenge of sending data through fiber-optic circuits is to imagine a person shouting to someone else down a long corridor. As the listener moves farther away, the words become fainter and more difficult to discern as they echo off the walls.

A similar challenge confronts the designers of networks that carry data. Beams of laser light packed densely in fiber-optic glass wires need to be both amplified and recreated at regular intervals to send them thousands of miles. The process of converting the optical ones from light to electricity and then back again is a significant part of the cost of these networks. The process also limits how much data they can carry. Read more

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the City of Johannesburg’s transformation drive into a Smart City received a boost on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, when the metropolitan signed a collaboration deal with Microsoft South Africa.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement between the two organisations was signed by Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Councillor Parks Tau, and Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Mr Ali Faramawy, at the Metropolitan Centre in Braamfontein.

This comes just over a month after Mayor Tau unveiled the transformation plan of the municipality into a Smart City that thrives on easily accessible state of the art citizen interaction platforms such as free Wi-Fi hotspots and applications that boost service delivery.

The new public-private agreement will see Johannesburg and Microsoft  explore ways of partnering on a variety of programmes and initiatives to achieve their mutual goals of skills development, job creation, promotion of SMME’s – as well as to attract foreign direct investment into the City.

Speaking shortly after the signing, Mayor Tau said: “The agreement paved the way for joint efforts in the promotion of innovation and an easily accessible IT economy within the City. This will help us bridge the current digital divide faster.”

“Microsoft has already demonstrated its great appetite to bring value into the public sector through its push to take the lead in cloud-based approaches for particularly smaller businesses,” he said.

by Staff Writer @ IT News Africa

Johannesburg Smart City gets boost from Microsoft.

“This speaks to several of the City’s developmental and job creation programmes such as Jozi@Work, Vulindlel’eJozi – and the much anticipated Jozi Digital Ambassadors programme. The fact that Microsoft ‘s developmental objectives match those of ours as a City gives us confidence that a lot is to come from our partnership for the overall benefit of the people of Johannesburg,” said Mayor Tau.

Mr Faramawy said the partnership with Johannesburg is part of the global software giant’s programmatic value and contribution to areas of public interest.

“Microsoft continues offering value to small and emerging businesses, particularly in the digital entrepreneurial space. This includes a number of programmes that provide support ranging from free or very low cost software – to online business support tools to physical locations where entrepreneurs can operate,” he said.

Both Johannesburg and Microsoft have recently been involved in running hackathons and other developmental competitions for both applications and games in a bid to seek out new technology and talent.

“Through the new partnership with Johannesburg, Microsoft is very keen to calibrate this process for bottom of the pyramid impact,” Mr Faramawy said.

Read More at IT News Africa 

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Ethiopian Airlines is set to buy six more 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft after striking a deal with Boeing at the Paris Air Show.

The order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s orders and deliveries website.

we will keep investing heavily in technologically advanced and modern airplanes

The Dreamliners complement the airline’s existing 787 that are part of Ethiopian’s long-term strategy to increase capacity and provide greater route flexibility to and from its hub in the capital, Addis Ababa.

“This new addition to our fleet will not only benefit Ethiopian because of its unmatched operating costs, but will also help us to enhance overall travel experience of our customers,” said Tewolde Gebre Mariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

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My grandmother used to speak of Klansmen riding through Louisiana at night, how she could see their white robes shimmering in the dark, how black people hid in bayous to escape them. Before her time, during Reconstruction, Ku Klux Klan members believed they could scare superstitious black people out of their newly won freedom. They wore terrifying costumes but were not exactly hiding — many former slaves recognized bosses and neighbors under their white sheets. They were haunting in masks, a seen yet unseen terror. In addition to killing and beating black people, they often claimed to be the ghosts of dead Confederate soldiers.You could argue, of course, that there are no ghosts of the Confederacy, because the Confederacy is not yet dead. The stars and bars live on, proudly emblazoned on T-shirts and license plates; the pre-eminent symbol of slavery, the flag itself, still flies above South Carolina’s Capitol. The killing has not stopped either, as shown by the deaths of nine black people in a church in Charleston this week. The suspected gunman, who is white and was charged with nine counts of murder on Friday, is said to have told their Bible-study group: “You rape our women, and you are taking over our country. And you have to go.”

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This just in: Tech companies are fighting to be your main source for news.

Twitter will highlight tweets for breaking news, Google launches YouTube Newswire, and LinkedIn ruins the Pulse app to pick stories it thinks you should like. Along with Apple and Facebook, more tech companies want to decide which stories you read.

There’s a shift happening in how we consume news. More people depend on social media and mobile apps to stay informed — and that means more tech companies can influence the news you see.

By

Apple is launching its News app later this year to curate top stories, but will it shy away from stories critical of Apple? Facebook’s Paper app also picks articles it deems most important. But perhapsFacebook is working on something that can give users a little more control over the headlines in their feed.

Read More At CNET

recommend spending as little as possible

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Commentary: It’s almost always a waste of money to spend more on HDMI, USB, optical digital and speaker cables, not to mention DisplayPort, DVI, Ethernet and VGA. But are there any exceptions to the rule? Maybe.

There are few things that come in as wide a variety of prices as cables and interconnects. HDMI cables, for instance, can run from $1 to over $1,000 for the same length. USB cables can be similarly cheap or high-end. Speaker cable is even more extreme, from pennies per foot, to hundreds of dollars for the same 12 inches.

we recommend spending as little as possible.

But there are rare times where spending a bit more is actually a good idea. Here are when those occasional exceptions to the rule occur — along with the 99 percent of the time they don’t.

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malaria vaccine

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For over two decades, the quest to develop a working malaria vaccine has proven largely fruitless. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 3.2 billion people worldwide are at risk of being diagnosed with malaria. Every year, nearly 198 million cases are identified. WHO says a significant number of the almost 200 million cases are from Africa. However in recent times not only is there a potential malaria vaccine in the pipeline, a new device which is capable of diagnosing Malaria in minutes has emerged.

John Lewandowski, co-founder and CEO of Disease Diagnostics Group, has invented a new way of diagnosing the deadly disease using two magnets and a laser pointer. He believes that this will eradicate malaria by strengthening the offensive against it, while curbing issues regarding delay in detection.

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Squeezed profit margins and new technology developments are driving the Nigerian oil and gas industry to adopt new and innovative solutions that enable them to work smarter, faster and above all, cheaper.

By Staff Writer @ IT News Africa

Be there to showcase your digital mobility solutions to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Digital technology, including robust data management systems, cloud services and mobile applications is helping global industry operators keep costs low by achieving:

– Increased workforce productivity: develop applications and could services, enabling staff to access relevant tools and systems while out in the field

– Decreased downtime: receive automated reports and increase visibility to remote operations to make informed decisions quickly

– Improved data accuracy – generate automated reports to ensure quality and relevance of data gathered from assets

– Cost savings – shorter project lead times, decreased downtime and faster reporting cycles all contribute to improved productivity, increased efficiency and boosts the bottom line

CWC’s Enterprise Mobility –  Nigeria Oil & Gas Forum is the only meeting place for Nigerian oil and gas operators, technology solution providers and OEMs to discuss how to integrate digital solutions to enable smarter and faster workflows as well as maximised return on investment.

Be there to showcase your digital mobility solutions to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Read More at IT News Africa