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Review: Huawei P8 and P8max

By Staff writer

Two years ago Huawei launched the P6, the first in a series of smart, beautiful devices; today the company unveiled its two latest P Series smartphones – the Huawei P8 and the Huawei P8max.

The Huawei P8max builds on the P8 design and features a larger 6.8-inch screen, longer battery life and a unique camera with light tracing for any environment.

It also inherits the ID design and light painting capabilities of the P series devices.

The large 4360 mAh battery features Huawei’s power saving technology and power consumption management technology that ensures outstanding battery life. With this battery, consumers can watch downloaded video for over 15 consecutive hours.

The front and rear cameras of Huawei P8max use a 5+13 mega pixel combination and the rear camera is equipped with a professional-grade Image Signal Processor (similar to the technology found in DSLR cameras) and dual-tone flash to bring out true color in night photos. Additionally, Light Painting and Director mode filming provide users with more creative instruments at their fingertips.

Bigger Screen, Bigger Battery and “Bigger” Dreams

The P8max is likely to compete with the top end smartphones – Samsung and iPhone.

The Huawei P8max uses a 6.8-inch high definition JDI screen that is the largest in-cell FHD screen in the world. The 16:9 screen enables the device to be slimmer, with a better feel and easier to carry. The smartphone supports landscape mode, which enables consumers to view and read on the phone, while color enhancement technology enables a better visual experience.


The Huawei P8max has a 6.8-inch large screen and is equipped with a 4360mAh large battery – all contained in a super slim 6.8 mm body. It is there for your long-time recreational needs, enabling over 10 hours of video streaming with Huawei’s power saving management technology.

Unique Photo-Taking Functions for More Creativity

The Huawei P8max uses a combination of 5+13 mega pixel front and rear cameras. The rear camera Image Signal Processor, with a 13 mega pixel Optical Image Stabilization provides better night view photo-taking. The Huawei P8max’s optical image stablization technology reduces the aperture time 2-3 grades, which ensures brighter and clearer pictures. Additionally, the dual-tone flash effectively brings back true color and creates vivid pictures in dark and dim lighting.

The Huawei P8max offers consumers with the best instrument for art through a light painting function and video filming function that reduces later editing. It also has face-enhancing, Selfie, Pano, and Lapse modes for photo-taking. The large screen of the Huawei P8max enables consumers to create and enjoy the freedom of creating art.

Unlike light painting functions on ordinary phones, the Huawei P8max provides real time preview display and hand controlled aperture of a picture. The device has an Optical Image Stabilization function on the rear camera, which enables great pictures even without a tripod, and the unique Director mode enables consumers to share what they have just filmed. The smartphone can also form a filming group with three other phones, and by switching different views, consumers can make a blockbuster without having to edit.

Watch Huawei P8 announcement live stream

Huawei lights up London with Huawei P8 Smartphone launch on 15th April 2015. Watch the highly anticipated…

Soweto wireless pushes for content to stay local

The Soweto Wireless User Group (SOWUG) says it will go live this month, and it is partly thanks to critical support received from Africa’s only vendor neutral data centre, Teraco. By Staff writer

SOWUG is a registered Non-Profit Organisation that provides free wireless to residents of Soweto.  It forms part of a number of development projects facilitated by The Foundation for Internet Development (FID), which was formed by ZACR (formerly UniForum SA), ISPA, WAPA and ISOC-ZA to provide a mechanism for ICT industry players to make a meaningful contribution in terms of Enterprise Development, but do not have the capacity, nor the platform to do so themselves.

SOWUG founder, Jabulani Vilakazi says that Teraco’s donation has played a significant role in the formation and launch of the SOWUG.

“Teraco’s Joburg data centre is where backhaul fibre and Internet breakout aggregate. Access to this kind of world-class infrastructure enables network peering with the likes of NAPAfrica, Africa’s largest Internet eXchange point. This is a fundamental element that reduces the cost of local bandwidth to users and makes what we are trying to do possible.”

The purpose of FID is to consolidate the Enterprise Development efforts of the ICT industry. Vilakazi says that Teraco took the initiative and supported FID by offering to host SOWUG as part of its Enterprise and Supplier Development Initiative.

Vilakazi added: “They provided cabinet space and power, connecting us to what is most definitely a global standard data centre. As an NGO we could never afford this high level infrastructure.”

He says that what is more significant is that SOWUG’s presence in Teraco will provide opportunities for local developers to produce content, which will be hosted locally, reducing international transit costs and stimulating local emerging online services.

“The locally hosted content can either be cached or stored in servers and because we have access to the last mile, we can deliver content closer to the end user, minimising the distance that video data travels over the general Internet, and ultimately deliver it more quickly and reliably.”

Lex van Wyk, CEO, Teraco says that the SOWUG concept is exactly what needs to be happening in and around South Africa: “Access to information is critical and keeping content local is even more significant.  We are privileged to be working with SOWUG and remain committed to help achieve its goal of providing access to information to all residents in and around Soweto.”

Vilakazi says that when visiting Teraco, the team was impressed by its world-class infrastructure.

“We were also excited to learn that the Netherlands (AMS-IX) and London (LINX) have partnered with Teraco. This together with its Internet exchange point, NAPAfrica, opens SOWUG to content from global content providers such as YouTube and Facebook. We are also hoping to learn more data centre skills, which will enhance Internet usage and improve the existing access infrastructure,” says Vilakazi.

Is downloading really stealing? The ethics of digital piracy

By Christian Barry

Many millions of people throughout the world will illegally download the fifth season of Game of Thrones, released today by HBO. Legally speaking, what they will be doing is a violation of intellectual property rights, or “piracy”. But will they be doing anything morally wrong?

It might seem obvious that what they will do is wrong. After all, it is illegal. But there are many things that have been illegal that people don’t think are morally wrong. Same-sex relationships, divorce and many other practices that are now widely accepted as morally acceptable were once outlawed and criminally sanctioned.

Few people think they were wrong just before they were legalised. Rather, they tend to think the laws governing these behaviours were unjust. So appeal only to the illegality of downloading doesn’t settle whether it is okay, morally speaking.

Opposing views

Two rival camps dominate public discussion around the ethics of illegal downloading. On the one hand, there are what might be called “fundamentalist libertarians”. These think that all ideas and artistic creation should be held in common and be freely accessible to all.

In their view, intellectual property, in the form of copyright and patents, unfairly restricts access to ideas and expression. They consider illegal downloading to be victimless crime, and do not think it imposes significant cost on anyone. In their view, the serious criminal sanctions that sometimes attach to illegal downloading are draconian and unjustified.

On the other hand, there are what might be called the “fundamentalist protectors”. This camp thinks that illegal downloading is equivalent to common theft.

This view is vividly expressed in the aggressive message that often precedes films in Australia:

You wouldn’t steal a car, you wouldn’t steal a handbag, you wouldn’t steal a television, you wouldn’t steal a movie. Downloading pirated films is stealing.

According to fundamentalist protectors, owners of intellectual property deserve just as much protection and means for redress as those who have had their handbags or televisions stolen, including civil and criminal sanction against those who have violated their intellectual property.

For them, the massive penalties that are sometimes attached to illegal downloading are important because they send a clear message that this practice should not be tolerated. This seems to be the view of much of the entertainment industry, as well as public officials and legislatures in countries that produce and export a lot of intellectual property.

In a recent speech, for example, US President Barak Obama claimed:

We’re going to aggressively protect our intellectual property […] Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people […] It is essential to our prosperity. But it’s only a competitive advantage if our companies know that someone else can’t just steal that idea and duplicate it.

Excluding theft

Despite their currency, both of these positions are overdrawn and seem at odds with moral common sense. The fundamentalist protector position is problematic because there are clear and morally relevant differences between stealing someone’s handbag and illegally downloading a television series.

In common theft, the owner of property is entirely deprived of its use, as well as their ability to share it and dispose of it as they choose. Common theft is zero-sum: when I steal your handbag, my gain really is your loss.

The same is not true when I download a digital file of your copyrighted property. In downloading your film, I have not excluded you from its use, or your ability to benefit from it. I have simply circumvented your ability to exclude me from its use. To draw an analogy, this seems more like trespassing on your land than taking your land away from you.

Criminal sanctions seem warranted in thefts where one person’s gain is very clearly another person’s loss. But things are not so clear when the relationship between gain and loss are more complex.

And of course there are ways that owners of intellectual property can gain, overall, from infringements of their rights. The more accessible their products become, the more people may want to consume them. This certainly seems to be the case with products like Game of Thrones, a fact recognised by its producers.

Protecting public goods

On the other hand, the fundamentalist libertarian position is problematic because it treats all intellectual property infringement as a victimless crime. For one thing, intellectual property rights are an important means by which people gain profit from the effort that they put into the production of creative works.

That they can profit in this way provides an important incentive – aside from the intrinsic value of the productive activity itself – for them to engage in socially useful productive activity.

This is evident in other fields, such as research and development of medical treatments: firms have little reason to invest the time and resources in developing vaccines and other public goods if they cannot benefit from their distribution.

Thus, not protecting the rights of the producers in some meaningful way is bad for everyone. Infringing intellectual property rights can also increase cost to those do pay for the good, in the form of higher prices. Those who pay for intellectual property are effectively subsidising its use by those who do not pay for it. In most cases this seems unfair.

A different kind of theft

The question of the morality of illegal downloading is so difficult because it takes place in an environment in which the penalties attached to this behaviour ordinarily seem to be overkill, but where there are pretty clear social costs to engaging in it.

What, then, should be done? For starters, it seems important to stop treating intellectual property infringement as common theft, and to develop different legal remedies for its protection. Various kinds of property are different, and warrant different forms of protection. This is hardly a novel idea.

In his fascinating book, 13 Ways to Steal a Bicycle: Theft Law in the Information Age, the legal philosopher Stuart Green has pointed out that treating all infringement of property as theft subject to the same legal rubric is a relatively new development.

Prior to the 20th Century, theft law consisted of a sort of ad hoc collection of specific theft offences and specific kinds of property that were subject to theft. Different rules applied to different offences, and intangible forms of property, like intellectual property, were not included in theft law at all. We may need to return to rules that are well suited to protecting different forms of property.

In the meantime, it seems incumbent on consumers to try to respect intellectual property unless doing so imposes unreasonable cost on them. Refraining from accessing patented essential medicines that are inaccessible due to price does seem unduly costly. Refraining from watching the latest season of Game of Thrones, the ardour of its fans notwithstanding, does not.

At the same time, we should also strongly resist massive penalties levied on downloaders when they are caught. The practice of “speculative invoicing” – whereby people are sent threatening letters that offer the opportunity to pay a sum to prevent legal action seeking vast sums – is seriously objectionable. Even if what the downloaders have done is wrong, it is much worse to over-punish them.


MTN optimising its network

For immediate release

15 April 2015


MTN optimising its network


To improve the coverage and quality of its network, MTN announced a R10 billion investment in capital expenditure in March earmarked for 2015. This massive investment has been allocated for infrastructure upgrades across the country in order to optimise the network and provide better service and connectivity to our customers.


The network upgrades have already commenced at various regions across the country and entail, among others, the construction of new base stations, the refarming of existing voice spectrum for deployment of new generation technologies such as the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network.


Upgrades in KZN, Northern Province, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Centurion outside of Pretoria have been successfully completed this week.

This optimisation exercise is aimed at ensuring that the network is of an acceptable standard and is capable of satisfying their needs of the customers.


We are currently upgrading our DPI connectivity and this might result in intermittent service disruption when streaming on certain website in the areas where upgrades have not taken place.


It must be noted that in the event of a power failure, MTN base station are powered by batteries or generators and part of our investment is to ensure that all base stations are capacitated with the necessary batteries and generators.


We wish to apologise profusely for any inconvenience caused. The upgrades are expected to be completed by the beginning of May.





Bridget Bhengu: Senior Manager – PR and Communications, MTN SA

Cell: 083 212 1964 / E-mail: Bhengu_b@mtn.co.za


Mamello Raborifi: PR Specialist, MTN SA

Cell: 083 214 5681 / E-mail: mamello_r@mtn.co.za



Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 31 December 2014, MTN recorded 223.0 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit us at www.mtn.com


SME survival guide for load shedding  

By Daryl Blundell, General Manager at Sage Pastel Accounting

Load shedding is here to stay, so every small business needs to take steps to protect its systems and data when the lights go out as well as from power surges when electricity is restored after an outage.

PCs are sensitive to power cuts, power dips and power surges, so take the necessary steps to protect them. When Eskom cuts the power, you could not only lose the latest changes to the files you’re working on, your open files could become so corrupted  or damaged that you will not be able to restore them.

Here are some suggestions about how you can manage this reality of daily South African life.

Regular backups

You should keep your latest data backed up so that you won’t lose hours of work or any important information when the power goes out. Regular data backups are a must, not only because of load shedding, they can also be a lifesaver if your hard drive crashes or your computers are stolen.

If possible, invest in an offsite backup system. For example, the Pastel Iron Tree online backup system lets you make backups to the cloud. Data backups are kept safe on secure servers and can be accessed wherever you have an Internet connection

2. Invest in Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) for your PC’s as well as any network hubs or switches

In the event of a power failure or load shedding, a UPS will give users time to exit the applications they are working on and save their work before they safely shut down their PCs. Even if you have generators, they’ll take a few seconds to kick in after a power failure – a UPS will prevent them from losing power before you’ve saved your work.

A backup power inverter system is another option. For less than R10, 000 you can find one that will keep your routers, a couple of computers and some lights going for a few hours.

3. Switch off all PC’s not performing critical functions when not in use

Any data that is open on a PC is at risk of being damaged or corrupted in the event of a power failure. For that reason, you need to get into the habit of closing applications and shutting down desktop computers when you are not using them for a while.

4. Switch off PCs and unplug them when the lights go out

To reduce the risk of damage to hardware, switch off your PCs and unplug them from the main power source. Otherwise, power surges when electricity is restored may damage your hardware.

5.  Consider investing in a power bank

A power bank can be invaluable for managing your business when there’s load shedding. These portable chargers let you top up the battery of your USB-powered mobile devices so you can keep going when there’s a long power outage.

This is especially helpful if your PBX and landlines go down when there’s no power – at least, your mobile phone will be powered up and you’ll be reachable. Power banks are also helpful if you’re out and about for most of the day, and constantly finding yourself out of battery power for your smartphone.

Vox Telecom brings first unlimited hosted backup service to SA

By Staff writer


Vox Telecom has launched CloudBackup, an online application to deliver simple, secure, local and reliable backup aimed at consumers and small businesses, at a competitive and cost effective price point.

“We all know someone that has lost all of their music, photos and personal documents when their computer crashed or was stolen.  Backing up data just isn’t second nature for us – but the results of losing everything is undeniably catastrophic,” says Says Justin Elms, Senior Product Manager of Infrastructure Services.

CloudBackup from Vox Telecom not only simplifies backups, by automating them, it makes the recovery of data from anywhere, easier because it stores this data (be it music, photos or personal documents) in the cloud.


“Critical to the success of CloudBackup, is understanding the difference between file storage and backups. It may mean the difference between starting from scratch, or just restoring your content,” adds Elms.


Storing photos, music and more, just became easier and safer


“Simply put, file storage services like Dropbox, GoogleDrive and OneDrive store your content off-site and enable sharing of that content across devices and with others. Its main purpose is not for disaster recovery but rather for storage and access. Backups on the other hand, are physical copies of files that are saved and stored locally, on a disk or hard drive, or in the cloud.  It has built-in backup times, version control, encryption, data management features and enables users to restore files that may become corrupted or have been deleted from your device.”

Unlike file storage services, CloudBackup from Vox Telecom, provides secure, encrypted backups of your data.  It is hosted in South Africa, guaranteeing increased security and data protection, and for small businesses it meets local regulatory compliance requirements.


Elms added that the combination of unlimited storage, with the added peace of mind that backups can be scheduled, and that content is encrypted before being transmitted and stored all for a cost effective, fixed monthly fee, makes this a compelling option for small businesses and consumers alike.

You can get the first 30 days free, when signing up for CloudBackup from Vox Telecom.  The promotion runs from 1 April 2015 to 30 July 2015. For more information go to www.voxtelecom.co.za

e-Tender Publication Portal is up and running

Government’s e-Tender portal should be up and running and will incorporate tenders from municipalities as from the 1st of July 2015.

The e-Tender portal was launched on the 1st of April 2015 under the command of the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer.

The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) is responsible for technical support, maintenance and hosting of the portal.

In a statement announcing the project, National Treasury said the e-Tender project is linked to a broader objective of modernising the state’s Supply Chain Management which includes the establishment of a central supplier database.

The e-Tender portal was described as “a single platform for the publication of tenders to eliminate duplication and fragmentation of notices for government tenders.

“The central supplier database (CSD) will be a consolidated list of all supplier information for national, provincial and local government.”

The Treasury statement added that the e-Tender Publication portal is aimed at simplifying, standardising and automating the procurement process. “National and provincial departments will publish their tenders in accordance with the demand plans for acquisition of goods, services and infrastructure. The tenders for the 2015/16 financial should start going through towards the end of April 2015 for procurement plans that have been approved.

“Municipalities will start to publish their tenders on the portal on 1 July 2015 to coincide with the start of the financial year for municipalities.”

The statement added that “the eTender portal is a first step towards implementing government’s eProcurement system as part of the Integrated Financial Management System and will directly contribute to reducing duplication, fragmentation and inefficiency in government tender publications.

“The benefits of the portal include cost reduction and effort associated with traditional tender publications and an improvement in transparency and accountability with regards to the award of government tenders.”

The e-Tender portal can be accessed at www.etenders.gov.za.

Vox IP-camera keeps an eye on your home via smartphone

If you need to secure your home and are looking for affordable quality monitoring equipment that that’s easy to set up and use both indoors and outdoors, I recommend that you get yourself a Vox Telecom Guardian Eye Lite outdoor IP camera.

This Wi-Fi-enabled IP-based camera keeps an eye on your home or business via a smart device – smartphone or tablet. You will, however, need a Wi-Fi router and internet connection to activate the camera.

I mounted the camera on my garage, which has a Wi-Fi network from Telkom. I was able to view the access area to my gate. I have the option of moving the camera back inside the house when I need to.

The beauty about this kit is that it works perfectly during the day and night via dual lense, which allows it to record quality images and videos.

I also found that it was easy to set up the monitoring equipment. I simply downloaded the free mEZViewerPro app. After that I was able to monitor my house from my Samsung smartphone and MTN Steppa Tablet.

The camera connects to an existing network, which is easy to sync with your smartphone, tablet or personal computer.

The mEZViewerPro app enables the user to view the feed from the camera remotely using a compatible smart device. The video feed can also be recorded for playback later. It also takes still images and  you can upload them remotely to Dropbox.

Even after had I left my house, I was still able to view it on my Samsung smartphone and MTN Steppa Tablet.

The quality of the colour images was amazing and was way more advanced than ordinary security cameras.

For more than a month I have had the privileged of trying out a Wi-Fi-enabled IP camera from Vox Telecom. I am frankly reluctant to let go of it.

It has made my life easier, especially when my security company alerts me of an activated alarm.

I can quickly check on my house no matter where I am and initiate the necessary action to safeguard my property.

The Wi-Fi-enabled IP camera enables me to watch and listen to live footage of videos and audio sounds in my house whenever I want from anywhere.

The Guardian Eye Lite camera from Vox Telecom is certainly a breath of fresh air.

Never before have I felt this safe – I can first check on the live video that everything is in order outside and inside the house before I return home.

The only drawback is that the camera can’t work without internet or electricity.

The Wi-Fi-enabled IP-based camera – which has its own unique code and password – comes with a metal casing with extendable lip for shade and protection from the elements. It also has been built to resist vandalism.

The mEZViewerPro app is accessible for free for both Android and iOS smartphone users.

The Vox Telecom’s Guadian Eye Lite camera is easy to install. It comes with all the required screws for mounting and cables to connect plus an instruction CD to show users how to install a wired or wireless connection.

The Guardian Eye Lite camera is priced at R2 459 cash. It is also available on a 12-month contact at R270 a month. Alternatively one can opt for a 24-month contract at a cost of R150/month.

Finally, if you’re looking at monitoring your house in a digital world via your smart device with best quality images and videos, then Guardian Eye Lite camera is for you. It is available at Vox Telecom. This camera is made for those customers seeking a basic monitoring system that’s easy to set up and use.


  • Provides good results
  • Perfect video and quality still images
  • No installers or technical knowledge required
  • Better night vision
  • Detects movements
  • Affordable if you have an Internet access
  • Weather and vandal resistant
  • Could save images and videos on 32GB SD card
  • View live or push notification clips on smart device
  • The free mEZViewerPro app is easy to install and use


  • 32GB SD card for recording not included
  • Camera not feasible if you want to mount the camera within a 15.1 metre radius of the Wi-Fi router
  • No back up battery
  • Useless when there is electricity load shedding

Firefox OS-based smartphone could lower costs at bottom market

Mobile phone operators have increased efforts to bring internet services to the average South Africans through cheaper communication gadgets.

Until now the local smartphone industry had been dominated by Android and iOS operating systems.

However, smartphones that use this type of operating systems are mostly expensive – even the lower-end ones are still out of reach for  the average person.

High-end models like Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge, which allow users internet connectivity, cost several thousand rand.

However, there is good news.

MTN has introduced cheaper Alcatel OneTouch Fire E smartphone, which is a Firefox OS-based smartphone.

Alcatel with its OneTouch Fire E is planning to make its presence felt in the burgeoning South African smartphone industry.

Placed in the ultra-low cost category, the Firefox OS-based cellphone provides customers with freedom to surf the internet with no walled gardens like those found on the Android and iOS smartphone such as Samsung and iPhones.

Firefox OS and Firefox Marketplace, Mozilla – maker of the Firefox browser – are driving efforts for “open” mobile ecosystem.

Firefox OS also delivers the exceptional security, privacy, customisation and user control that users have come to expect from the Firefox Web browser.

The Alcatel OneTouch Fire E will be available on prepaid for R1699 or on contract for R89 per month on the MTN MyChoice 25 package.

President of Mozilla Li Gong says that his organisation built Firefox OS as part of Mozilla’s mission to put “the power of the web in people’s hands”.

“We are excited to see MTN launching the first Firefox OS devices in South Africa, enabling millions more people to access the mobile web at an affordable cost,” says Gong.

The Alcatel OneTouch Fire E smartphone is based on a cross-platform HTML5, which provides solid features and encourages innovation from app developers.

Already MTN South Africa is tapping into this.

Larry Annetts, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN South Africa, says having a smartphone based on the Firefox operating system means the company can deliver more unique product innovations.

“For example, the phone can be easily set up for four of the 11 official languages, namely English, Afrikaans, isiZulu and Xhosa,” explains Annetts.

“MTN will incorporate other languages in future versions of the phone. This means that our customers can choose the language they are most comfortable with and get a more naturally appealing connected experience,” he says

Alcatel OneTouch Fire E smartphone entrance won’t be easy

The South African industry is already flooded with a number of Android-based smartphones.

Both MTN and Vodacom have also successfully brought their own-branded Android smartphones to the local market, which retail at less than R600.

In January 2014 MTN – South Africa’s second biggest mobile phone operator – started retailing its own-branded Steppa 1, which has become the second biggest selling smartphone in the country.

In August 2014 South Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator Vodacom introduced an entry level smartphone, Vodacom Smart Kicka, as part of its strategy to connect the country.

Vodacom shipped more than 170 000 own-branded tablets in the last quarter of 2014, according to a report from global research firm IDC.

“South Africa is a country of early adopters of the latest smartphone trends and I am convinced they are going to love the Alcatel OneTouch Fire E smartphone now available from MTN,” says Ernst Wittmann Southern Africa Country Manager for Alcatel OneTouch.

The sleek design of the Alcatel OneTouch Fire E may entice South Africans to consider buying it and those who can’t afford the high-end smartphone may see it as an alternative.