Suburbs with highest broadband speeds in SA

The Q4 2017 MyBroadband Speed Test app results show that Midstream Estate, Cornwall Hill Country Estate, and Country Lane Estate have the highest broadband speeds in South Africa.

To calculate the average speed in an area, results from speed tests performed by MyBroadband Speed Test app users were compiled.

MyBroadband’s Speed Test app for Android and iOS gives smartphone users the ability to test their Wi-Fi and mobile data connections.

In Q4 2017, over 200,000 Wi-Fi tests were performed by iOS and Android users.

The average download speed over Wi-Fi in South Africa was 11.59Mbps, while the average upload speed was 6.99Mbps.

These speeds are closely linked to the average broadband speeds in the country, as most Wi-Fi connections are linked to a fixed broadband connection.

Highest speeds
The results show that Midstream Estate was the suburb with the highest average download speed, at 42.57Mbps.

Cornwall Hill Country Estate and Country Lane Estate were second on 36.42Mbps, and Durbanville and Bellville third on 34.70Mbps.

The table below shows the suburb results. Only suburbs where a large number of tests from multiple devices were performed are listed.

Broadband Speeds in South Africa

Source: MyBroadband

An app-based bank is coming

Bank Zero appears set to accelerate the evolution of the South African banking industry by offering a fresh take on banking and highly competitive fees.

The bank — the brainchild of tech entrepreneurs and banking innovators Michael Jordaan and Yatin Narsai — has received a provisional licence from the South African Reserve Bank. It is due to launch a smartphone app, through which transactional and savings accounts can be opened and managed, in the fourth quarter.

The digital-only play, built using free open-source technology, is expected to lower banking fees thanks — in part — due to a lack of legacy systems and absence of traditional bricks and mortar branches, which will enable it to keep costs down.

“We certainly hope to come up with a very competitive structure. We do realise that we have certain disadvantages — we won’t have branches and we won’t have lending products — so we’re going to have to make an impact in the areas where we’ll play, being deposits and fee structures.

“It’s a bit too early to disclose exactly what we’re going to do because that would give competitors an advantage but we really hope to delight you and other potential South African customers when we launch toward the end of this year,” said Jordaan, co-founder and chairman of Bank Zero, when asked whether his offering would be cheaper than that of Capitec. Of the listed banks, Capitec’s offering, which includes a base fee, pay-as-you-transact charges and interest on positive account balances, is considered the most competitive.

In an attempt to nurture a savings culture, the bank is to offer attractive interest rates on deposits and has chosen upfront not to engage in lending.

Its target market includes individuals and businesses, which it feels are under-served by the traditional banks.

New normal
In a statement, Jordaan said the bank’s offerings would be in line with modern day realities, where the likes of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram represent a new normal. “Why shouldn’t banks also innovate in this era of wider connectedness whilst still ensuring a robust banking value proposition? Bank Zero is addressing these realities, while employing cutting-edge technologies, minimising typical admin-intensive processes and delivering state-of-the-art security.”

Bank Zero is to operate under a mutual licence, like that of Finbond, GBS and VBS. This will allow the bank to create financial communities and give customers the opportunity to become shareholders in the bank. Bank Zero will, after breaking even, be able to issue shares along with voting rights to deposit holders.

Jordaan would not disclose the value of the capital invested in Bank Zero nor its breakeven point, saying only that it is more than adequate in relation to the the Reserve Bank’s minimum requirements. The bank is being funded by seven individuals, all of whom are seasoned banking or IT and software development professionals, and is 45% black owned.

“We are fortunate in that we didn’t have go to any institution to raise the capital. And that does allow us to take a slightly different approach to the market. It means that we can focus on the long term so we’re not just focused on chasing short-term profitability; nor are we chasing maximum profitability in the short term. We really think that there is an opportunity here to cast many of the benefits of the business model and of the technology back into the target market in South Africa.”

Although no institutions are financial backers of the bank, it will have to select one of the big four banks as a mentor bank to help it fully integrate into the payment system. Jordaan said Bank Zero has not yet selected a mentor bank but that it will do so with guidance from the Reserve Bank.

It is likely to become the fourth new bank to enter the market in 2018 alongside Discovery’s bank, Tyme Digital by Commonwealth Bank and Post Bank.

By Prinesha Naidoo for Tech Central 

Facebook kills off its own creation

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced a major revamp of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm to prioritise content shared by friends and family, and demote branded posts from publishers and businesses.

It seems that after pushing Facebook as a source of trending news, Dr. Zuckenstein is horrified by his own creation. And, after a year of trying unsuccessfully to police false and click-baity news, he’s given up on trying to control his monster — now, he’s killing it off.

Here’s how it affects the the major parties involved: publishers, Facebook, and its 2B+ users.

FB-based publishers are screwed
Publishers like Elite Daily, LAD Bible, and the approximately one jillion meme pages that rely on promoted Facebook posts to drive site traffic, will likely see a huge decrease in audience reach.

That said, most established, “premium” publishers are more balanced in their sources of Web traffic, and have been quick to highlight that Facebook doesn’t owe anything to publishers who chose to hinge their entire business on a third party platform.

In the words of Axios CEO Jim VandeHei, “Facebook is a public company that controls its own decisions… Publishers should do the same d*mn thing.”

Facebook’s market cap took a $25bn hit
In their decision to commit to “bringing people closer together,” Facebook is effectively choosing to slow their own growth for the sake of society (and their brand reputation).

Theoretically, the change means they’ll make less money off publishers and advertisers (their stock dropped 5% following the news).

In Zuck’s own words, it could also mean that people may spend less time on Facebook.

You’re gonna see a lot more of Aunt Sally’s DIY craft posts
Remember the simpler days of Facebook? You know, back when people posted innocent statuses about things they were doing like, “going to see How To Train Your Dragon! I love movie popcorn!”

Well, we can’t turn back the clock, but we will start seeing more posts from friends in our feed. With a caveat: highly shared and liked articles will still rise to the top. So the “tag a friend who needs this!” articles could still prosper.

Source: The Hustle

Is SARS coming for your Bitcoin?

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has said that it will soon provide some much-needed clarity on the tax implications for transferring and purchasing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They have advised that traders should declare in the meantime if they need to.

eNCA spoke to SARS about the ever-growing use of cryptocurrencies in the country. While SARS is treating cryptocurrencies as part of Capital Gains Tax, head of SARS tax research Randall Carolissen said they are still exploring it further.

“Because by the very nature it lends itself to money laundering and anonymised trading, so yes we have to put in and place additional regulations. And to that end, we are going to release an interpretation note from our legal department to guide taxpayers as to their implications with respect to this Bitcoin technology,” Carolissen told eNCA

SARS revealed that it is also working with top global technology companies that are doing similar work regarding crypto and tax. With block chains being incredibly difficult to monitor, the deductions will depend on what coin is used.

“Since it’s not legal tender it is treated as an asset in your hands. And depending on your intent with this asset, it can trigger different tax instruments. It can either be a revenue nature or it could be an asset, capital gains tax in nature,” Carolissen said.”

“People need to come forward and regualise their tax affairs with us. And the guideline will also assist them with that. But as and when you submit your tax returns you must declare that as either additional income or additional asset revenue realisation that you’ve had. So it’s very important that you don’t discard that or ignore that part. Especially those people who took advantage of Bitcoin in the early stages.”

By Nic Andersen for The South African

Twitter is now finished with a several week process updating rules to curb abuse on the platform — but now the platform is refuting several undercover videos by Project Veritas trying to point fingers at the network.

On January 16, Twitter shared a statement on the latest video that suggests Twitter engineers access private direct messages, calling the project “deceptive”.

The video in question appears to be an undercover project where Project Veritas members recorded Twitter engineers — without their knowledge — while in a bar. In the video, the Twitter employees mention a machine learning system that goes through both Tweets and direct messages, while according to the video, some staff members go through the messages flagged by the machines.

The video was the third recent dig from the organization directed at Twitter, and the platform called the videos “deceptive” and “selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative.” In a statement on the direct message video, Twitter said, “We do not proactively review DMs. Period. A limited number of employees have access to such information, for legitimate work purposes, and we enforce strict access protocols for those employees.”

Twitter says the employees in the video were not speaking on behalf of Twitter at the time. Twitter’s Privacy Policy says that for direct messages, “we will store and process your communications, and information related to them.”

The video comes after another report on Twitter’s shadow-banning, and another undercover video where a Twitter engineer says they’d happily hand over President Donald Trump’s data for an investigation. Twitter also refuted both earlier videos.

While a number of individuals are using the recent videos against the platform, others are looking deeper into Project Veritas — an organization run by conservative James O’Keefe that also tried to get the Washington Post to publish fake news against a political candidate. As Twitter’s new rules result in more users getting banned from the platform, some groups aren’t happy with the switch from a platform that was previously more open, saying the changes create more bias.

Twitter, however, isn’t the only one calling the organization’s tactics deceptive. Wired suggests that the videos are part of the inevitable backlash from the new rules designed to combat abuse and eliminate hate groups and hate speech from the platform, suggesting the rules have the “alt-right” groups mad over the removal of some accounts. The video also comes after a handful of lawsuits filed against Twitter, including a complaint from one user that lost Twitter access after a post threatening to “take out” a civil rights activist. While the lawsuit is recent, the account ban happened three years ago.

The videos factor into a larger discussion as Twitter strengthens policies against abuse, and multiple social media networks struggle against fake news and now removing extremist content. No matter what side of the conversation you fall on, the “legitimate work purposes” access is a nice reminder that the internet isn’t the best place for the most private conversations.

By Hillary Grigonis for Digital Trends

The tech reckoning – and other trends for 2018

Technology is driving exponential growth and mind-blowing innovation in all areas of life, all around the world.

The tech reckoning 

Certainly, in recent years there have been concerns about rapid changes to our culture and questions about people’s ability to keep pace with those changes. But we have now lived with this generation of consumer technology long enough to all begin seeing very real downsides.

– Facial recognition and other biometrics amp up already serious privacy concerns

– Facebook and Twitter have failed to earn public trust. They’ve failed to police their platforms, letting cyber thugs in to divide the nation and affect an election. Not to mention an avalanche of extremist and offensive postings still finding their way online, despite claims of corrective action by the tech giants.

– Tech ethicist, Tristan Harris, schooled us on the addictive properties of social media, and how we are being controlled by a steady drip of “likes” and retweets — just enough to keep us hooked.

– Some research has shown that depression in teenagers is skyrocketing due to mobile phone use and social media influence.

– Alexa and Google Home are always listening—during a party, at dinner, or even in an argument with your loved ones! The possibility that voice data can be used in court as evidence is going to be the next big hurdle for these products. Where does your privacy begin and end?

– The big five – Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple – (FAMGA) have grown beyond all expectations and are coming under increasing scrutiny for all manner of business, political, and social practices. Coming face to face with a world they didn’t intend to create, Silicon Valley has created its own retreat — disconnected from the billions of “users” they court — in order to reflect on what they wrought.

What this means for business

According to Edelman’s 2017 Trust Barometer, trust has imploded, reaching an all-time low. Their latest report shows that “85% lack full belief in the system, this belief increases vulnerability to fear and further distrust.”

This is the climate we are in now. Brands, business, boards should take note that this sort of disillusion bleeds over into multiple categories putting loyalty, revenue and brand image at risk.

Retail singularity

The gravitational pull of Amazon continues to challenge all of retail as they struggle to innovate and morph to keep their businesses and customers from being swallowed into the void.

– Just when e-commerce looks to be the only channel, “Spending growth at mom-and-pop businesses has outpaced that of the big chains in the past 2 years”

– “Companies using print catalogs, cut through email clutter social-media saturation to help differentiate brands, sustain existing customers”

– Stores are finding new life as community spaces with live events attracting “Millennials focused on connection and community”

– Bricks and mortar are re-emerging from the black hole of e-commerce. Bonobos and Warby Parker opened physical stores over the last year and now Everlane has just announced 2 new stores. CEO Michael Preysman said “Our customers tell us all the time that they want to touch a product before they buy it. We realized we need to have stores if we’re going to grow on a national and global scale.”

– Technology continues to create amazing in-store experiences for shoppers with VR and AR.

– AI is helping us find the right clothing for every size. Among the many new developments is Start Today USA with their ZOZOSUIT that captures 15,000 measurements so you can confidently order the right size and fit from ZOZO.

– Those dash buttons will probably change into auto-replenishment, subscription services will become even more valuable as they get to know each customer better, and hotels are going to be IoT showrooms answering our every need at a mere mention.

– Micro-leases are the new legal offering that will fill empty spaces with new startups, seasonal, or experiential offerings.

What this means for business

As if Amazon weren’t threat enough, the industry-blurring mega-mergers of Amazon/Whole Foods and CVS/Aetna has more than retailers paying attention. Every big brand should be thinking about how they can be the business that responds to the entire consumer journey — or risk being eaten up by a business that will.

One thing to remember about change is that even though technology is the new shiny thing, people are still your audience and their need for personal attention, products just for them, fun sensorial experiences, confidence in their purchases and authentic community will never, ever go away. Those retailers that can keep innovating around those evergreen consumer desires will eventually win out.

By Mary Meehan for Forbes 

Judge President Dunstan Mlambo says none of the grounds of review of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report have any merit and President Jacob Zuma is not entitled to the review he seeks.

Zuma had applied to the High Court for the State of Capture report to be reviewed and set aside.

Mlambo says the president was ill-advised and reckless to launch this review, adding that his court challenges had delayed resolution of state capture allegations.

Earlier on Wednesday found that the Public Protector does have the power to instruct the president to exercise executive authority.

This means the remedial action instructing Zuma to appoint a state capture commission of enquiry – led by a judge appointed by the chief justice – was lawful.

The court further held that the Public Protector’s powers are wide.

It also ruled that Zuma will have to foot the legal bill for trying to halt the state capture report.

Zuma has been dealt a second legal blow with the High Court dismissing his application to set aside the public protector’s state of capture remedial action.

The president has also been ordered to establish a commission of enquiry led by a judge chosen by the chief justice within 30 days.

The full bench in Pretoria rejected every ground of Zuma’s argument for review.

He was also ordered to personally pick up the costs of this application as he was ordered to pay the costs of an earlier application which was dismissed on Wednesday.

In the nearly two-hour judgment, Mlambo rejected each and every one of President Zuma’s grounds of review.

“None of the grounds of review has any merits and the president is not entitled to the relief that he seeks. The remedial action taken by the Public Protector is lawful, appropriate and reasonable and rational.”

He says Zuma’s statement to Parliament that he intended to establish a Commission of Enquiry undermined any basis to challenge the remedial action.

“The review application was a clear nonstarter and the president was seriously reckless in pursuing it as he has done. His conduct falls far short of the high standard expressed in Section 195 of the Constitution.”

The president has been ordered to establish the commission of enquiry, and fully support the judge appointed by the chief justice.

Rule of law upheld

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has given her first reaction to Wednesday’s judgment.

She says it upholds the rule of law and enforces accountability.

“The essence of this judgement is the rule of law… justice and as Judge President Mlambo said, it’s really about restating and reinforcing the rule of law.”

Madonsela was also asked about how the ANC should have responded to reports of state capture.

“I expected nothing from the governing party, given the fact that we govern through indirect democracy because of proportional representation. I believe that the governing party should’ve ensured that this matter is investigated.”

Victory of accountability

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has released a statement in response to Mlambo’s ruling.

The EFF welcomes the judgement of the North Gauteng High Court that Zuma must personally pay the legal costs in the case.

“We welcome this damning judgment as a victory of accountability because many public representatives use public resources to defend personal interests and not those of the state or the public.”

The EFF says Zuma is one individual who has used taxpayers’ money to defend personal wrongdoing.

He has engaged in expensive litigation not to defend public interest or even state interest, but a persona, the opposition party said.

“We call on Zuma to immediately comply with the directive of the court and personally pay all the costs of the litigation. He must waste no time and no single taxpayers’ cent to appeal a clear and cogent judgment.”

Read the whole State of Capture report here.

By Barry Bateman for EWN 

Asher Bohbot returns to beleaguered EOH

Former EOH CEO Asher Bohbot has returned to the business he founded. He has taken up a full-time role focusing on strategy and stakeholder management, the listed technology group said in a statement on Wednesday.

Bohbot returns to EOH at a difficult time for the group, after its share price was pummelled following the forced sale of shares by two of its directors and investigations around possible corrupt dealings involving one of its now former subsidiary companies.

“The intention was always that Asher would return at the end of his six-month sabbatical, having stepped down in May this year,” said EOH CEO Zunaid Mayet in the statement.

EOH had previously said Bohbot would return to the group’s board as a non-executive director. An EOH spokeswoman told TechCentral that Bohbot is not returning to the board.

“Asher brings extensive experience and depth of knowledge to the business, which will be extremely valuable, so I’m most grateful that he’s agreed to join us for a period on a full-time basis,” Mayet said. His contract does not have a fixed term and is open ended, according to the spokeswoman.

The appointment is effective immediately, EOH said.

Last week, EOH shares were sold off aggressively, with the counter shedding more than 40% at one point on Friday (on top of a 35% slump on Thursday) to reach lows last seen six years ago, well below R30/share. It later bounced back. It closed on Friday at R49.01/share, still well off its recent trading range around R75-R80/share.

The slump was likely in part related to Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) raids last week to do with alleged corruption at the South African Police Service.

Analysts have also blamed contagion related to the accounting scandal by furniture retailer Steinhoff, with investors selling off equities that are perceived to have high risk.

Forced sale

The forced sale of shares by financial institutions against equity financed transactions to various individual shareholders, including two EOH directors — John King and Jehan Mackay — compounded the fall.

EOH said last week that it had reached agreement with the former shareholders of Grid Control Technologies, Forensic Data Analysts (FDA) and Investigative Software Solutions to unwind a 2015 deal to acquire them, with unwinding effective from 31 October 2017.

The Daily Maverick reported earlier this month that Ipid’s head of investigations told parliament’s standing committee on public accounts that there had been a “clear manipulation of the procurement system” in favour of FDA, a company led by controversial businessman Keith Keating. The Ipid official reportedly said there was a corrupt relationship between FDA and the police service.

Source: Money Web 

What did South Africans google in 2017?

Google has revealed the results of its 2017 Year in Search, offering an overview of the year’s major moments and top trends.

“This year’s trending searches show growing interest in local celebrities and events, with seven of the top 10 trending search terms being local,” said Google.

The results are detailed below.

Top trending South African searches

Dumi Masilela
Zimbabwe
Cyclone Dineo
Joe Mafela
Karabo Mokoena
Joost van der Westhuizen
Black Friday
Mayweather vs McGregor fight
Fast & Furious 8
Hurricane Irma

Trending personalities

Dumi Masilela
Joe Mafela
Joost van der Westhuizen
Zodwa Wabantu
Mandla Hlatshwayo
Lundi Tyamara
Simphiwe Ngema
Grace Mugabe
Hugh Hefner
Chester Bennington

Top ‘near me’ searches

Pharmacy near me
Dentist near me
KFC near me
Jobs hiring near me
Hardware store near me
Gynaecologist near me
Printing shops near me
Steers near me
Sushi near me
Doctors near me

Top TV show searches

13 reasons why
Games of Thrones
Isibaya
Uzalo
Big Brother Naija
American Gods
Idols SA
Sex in the City
Big Little Lies
Riverdale

Top searched recipes

Oxtail recipes
Sweet potato recipes
Beef stew recipes
Vegan recipes
Creamed spinach recipes
Halal recipes
Prawn recipes
Spaghetti recipes
Cauliflower recipes
Bread recipes

Avis trials system to use an app as a car key

Avis and Continental have teamed up to offer travellers a mobile app that features keyless entry and ignition for their cars.

Select vehicles in the Avis Car Rental fleet are equipped with Continental’s Key-as-a-Service technology.

The technology lets Avis customers use the Avis app to lock and unlock their car and start the engine.

The new service debuts in Kansas City as an aspect of Avis Budget Group’s “Mobility Lab”.

The Mobility Lab comprises over 20 Avis car rental locations in the area and features a fleet of connected vehicles.

Source: MyBroadband

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