Tech News Roundup - Pay TV scene hots upBy Hanleigh Daniels 7 May 2010 | Categories: news
Competition on the local subscription TV scene
MultiChoice’s DStv had to deal with the first competitor on the pay TV block when On Digital Media launched TopTV last Saturday. 50 000 TopTV decoders were sold out in under six hours when subscription opened on the 1st of May, which the company claims is a world first.
Super 5 Media (previously known as Telkom Media, before Telkom sold its share) is another pay-TV licensee that is set to join these two. According to TechCentral, Super 5 Media plans to target 400 000 subscribers within the first 18 months of operation (200 000 on satellite as well as another 200 000 receiving television services over cable), with their launch date set for 1 June.
Meanwhile DStv wasn't resting on their laurels this week, with the launch of an online streaming service called ON DEMAND. It is available only to DStv Premium subscribers.
WWDC seats sell like hotcakes
Tickets for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), scheduled to take place between 7 and 11 June at the San Francisco Moscone West centre, are already sold out. It is widely expected that the new iPhone 4G will make its debut at the event.
Apple announced the event on 28 April and it took just eight days for all the available tickets to be sold, despite costing $1 599 (over R12 500) each. Apple has stated that the first ever iPad development sessions and hands-on working labs for iPhone OS 4, as well as Mac OS X core technology labs, will be included in the five day conference.
Facebook addresses privacy issue
Facebook (FB) has quickly fixed a security flaw allowing users to see their FB friends’ live chat conversations as well as their pending friend requests, which was originally reported by TechCruch.
“For a limited period of time, a bug permitted some users’ chat messages and pending friend requests to be made visible to their friends by manipulating the ‘preview my profile’ feature of Facebook privacy settings,” FB said in a statement. “When we received reports of the problem, our engineers promptly diagnosed it and temporarily disabled the chat function. We also pushed out a fix to take care of the visible friend requests which is now complete. Chat will be turned back on across the site shortly. We worked quickly to resolve this matter, ensuring that once the bug was reported to us, a solution was quickly found and implemented.”
FNB Connect Talk VoIP app now available
First National Bank’s (FNB) ‘Connect Talk’ Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) app is now available for free on the South African Apple Application (App) Store, allowing owners of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad to make calls at reduced rates. This pre-paid system offers call rates from 33c to 49c per minute for local calls, 25c per minute for international calls and 99c per minute to any local mobile number when making calls via an internet connection.
Currently FNB Connect is offering R10 free airtime for new registrations. Sign up for the service is free and users simply pay for minutes they use. Airtime can be purchased through setting up a non-transactional account online via FNB Connect, which can be linked to a regular bank account to transfer money to when needed.
RSAWEB launches True Cloud Servers
Local internet service provider RSAWEB has announced the immediate availability of True Cloud Servers, a cloud hosting platform that allows users to deploy and provision fully operational servers in minutes. Prices for the service start at R256 per month for the Server 256 (256MB RAM, 1 vCPU, 10 GB Storage), rising to up to R1 495 p/m for the Server 4G (4096 MB RAM, 4 vCPU, 80 GB Storage).
RSAWEB is assuring a 99.99% guaranteed uptime on the product, backing this up with a refund for any downtime that is experienced. They are also offering a free trial until 30 May to anyone who wants to take the service for a test run (see their website for more details).
Seagate announces new external HDD range
Seagate announced their new range of GoFlex storage solutions on Tuesday, which is the next evolution of their popular FreeAgent series of Hard Disk Drives. This new series of plug-and-play portable and desktop drives will sport an assortment of interchangeable cables and desktop adapters, which will allow each drive to adapt to the interface or device being used. You’ll be able to upgrade your GoFlex and GoFlex Pro ultra-portable USB 2.0 drives to USB 3.0, eSATA or FireWire 800 connections simply by switching out the cable adapter.
The company also announced another first, which is the inclusion of a NTFS driver for Mac OS X on all GoFlex drives, that will allow users to store and access files from their Windows-based PC and their Mac OS X computer.
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