What to watch on Netflix and Showmax this weekend

Here are the latest shows you can watch on Showmax and Netflix South Africa.


Friends from College – Season 1

Netflix

IMDb: 6.8

friends-from-college


Invader Zim – Season 1

Showmax

IMDb: 8.4

invader-zim


Shooter – Season 2

Netflix

IMDb: 7.7

shooter


Blue Crush

Showmax

IMDb: 5.6

blue-crush


Handsome Devil

Netflix

IMDb: 7.3

handsome-devil


The Night Of – Season 1

Showmax

IMDb: 8.6

the-night-of


Intelligence – Season 2

Netflix

IMDb: 8.3

intelligence


Man About Town

Showmax

IMDb: 5.6

man-about-town


Shark Tank – Season 7

Netflix

IMDb: 7.5

shark-tank


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Epic photos from #Mediatech Africa 2017

Mediatech Africa 2017 kicked off this week, with the show taking place from 19-21 July at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg.

The biennial trade show has the latest in audio and visual technology from around the world, with a specific focus on the growing South African AV industry.

The expo floor includes interactive workshops, presentations, demonstrations, and exhibitor stalls where attendees can buy a range of equipment.

Photos from the event are posted below.

Lighting Stages

Drone Cage

Hardware

Music

Trade Show Floor

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How much Vodacom subscribers spend on out-of-bundle rates

Vodacom has published a trading update for the quarter ended 30 June 2017, showing a significant increase in data revenue.

Data revenue grew 18.1% to R5.5 billion, despite an 18.9% reduction in the overall effective price per megabyte.

This is due to an increase in Vodacom’s customer base, increased bundle sales, and an increase in the average amount of data smart devices consume on the network.

Vodacom reported that it added 463,000 4G customers in the quarter, reaching a total of 5.5 million customers.

Active smart devices on the network increased by 18.4% to 16.6 million, with the average monthly data used on these devices increasing to 734MB per device.

Bundle sales also increased by 56.1% during the quarter.

“We have continued to introduce new initiatives to reduce the out-of-bundle-data spend by our customers and to give customers more control, resulting in an improved customer experience,” Vodacom said.

In-bundle vs out-of-bundle revenue

The table below shows how much of Vodacom’s mobile revenue is derived from in-bundle usage, compared to out-of-bundle.

Contract mobile in-bundle revenue is defined as revenue from all bundles and add-ons lasting 30 days or more.

Prepaid mobile in-bundle revenue means revenue from bundles lasting seven days or more.

Out-of-bundle revenue comes from minutes, messages or megabytes of data which are in excess of the amount included in customer bundles.

Vodacom revenue for the quarter ended 30 June
Revenue (R million) 2017 2016 % change (YoY)
Mobile contract revenue R5,889 R5,738 2.6%
In-bundle R4,286 R4,129 3.8%
Out-of-bundle R1,603 R1,609 -0.4%
Mobile prepaid revenue R5,536 R5,149 7.5%
In-bundle R1,383 R1,189 16.3%
Out-of-bundle R4,153 R3,960 4.9%

Now

Bitcoin price bounces back as miners signal support for scaling proposal

Bitcoin reversed steep losses as miners began using new software which aims to bridge an ideological gap that has threatened to divide the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin’s community has been at bitter odds for more than two years about how to solve its scaling problem, which has hampered the cryptocurrency’s growth and allowed rivals like ethereum to steal some of the spotlight.

The new software, known as SegWit2x, is seen as a compromise for the two sides of the debate: miners who act as the backbone of the blockchain, and developers known as Core who uphold bitcoin’s bug-free software. While both sides have incentives to reach a consensus, bitcoin’s lack of central authority has made reaching agreement difficult.

The price of bitcoin rose to as high as $2,302 before trading at $2,282 as of 8:03 a.m. in New York. The digital currency slumped to as low as $1,758 over the weekend on Coinbase’s exchange. Bitcoin, which has more then doubled this year, climbed to just shy of $3,000 on June 12.

SegWit2x was formally released over the weekend and has already gained adoption by large miners Antpool, BTCC and Bixin. About 55 percent of blocks mined in the last 24 hours were done with SegWit2x, according to coin.dance, which monitors blockchain activity.

If support reaches 80 percent and maintains that threshold from more than two days, it will move bitcoin closer to avoiding a split.

“Traders are excited by the prospect of a resolution to the scaling debate, which is why the price has rallied,” said Thomas Glucksmann, head of marketing at Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange Gatecoin.

Despite the progress with SegWit2x, some warned that bitcoin isn’t out of the woods yet. Many Core members still vehemently oppose the software, which they say hasn’t been properly vetted for bugs. Also, not all miners support SegWit2x, which they say is a flawed compromise that doesn’t solve the root scaling problem.

“This price rally is a bounce, we are very bearish in the near term for a number of reasons,” said Harry Yeh, managing partner at digital currency dealer Binary Financial, who cites the lack of support from Core developers as one of his biggest worries. “Anytime the price rockets up quickly, it will be followed by a strong correction which we are starting to see. We are definitely headed for some turbulent and volatile times in the short term.”

Cell C launches “free fibre” promotion

Cell C has launched a new fibre-to-the-home promotion, giving new customers three months of free C-Fibre access.

Until 30 September 2017, new customers signing up for C-Fibre packages will be eligible for the promotion.

The Cell C C-Fibre promotion is available on the Openserve, Vumatel, FrogFoot and Mitsol fibre networks.

“It is open to all new residential signups, limited to one offer per household line. Once activated, you will enjoy hassle-free, cost-free high-speed Internet for 90 days,” Cell C said.

This offer covers all popular line-speeds – from 5Mbps to 100Mbps – and is available for symmetrical and asymmetrical packages.

The promotional packages include a free Wi-Fi Router with LTE Failover, free standard installation, 1GB of free monthly LTE mobile data, and free device setup.

All the C-Fibre products offer uncapped data.

“Once you are a customer of our service, you can use as much fibre data as you want or need,” Cell C said.

The tables below show the monthly price of Cell C’s uncapped C-Fibre products.

C-Fibre Symmetrical Uncapped Vumatel FrogFoot Mitsol
C-Fibre 5Mbps R699
C-Fibre 10Mbps R749 R749
C-Fibre 20Mbps R899 R799 R799
C-Fibre 50Mbps R1,099 R899 R899
C-Fibre 100Mbps R1,499 R999 R999
C-Fibre Asymmetrical Uncapped Openserve Vumatel
C-Fibre 4Mbps/1Mbps R699
C-Fibre 10Mbps/5Mbps R999
C-Fibre 20Mbps/2Mbps R849
C-Fibre 20Mbps/10Mbps R1,099
C-Fibre 40Mbps/20Mbps R1,499
C-Fibre 50Mbps/5Mbps R1,049
C-Fibre 100Mbps/10Mbps R1,299
C-Fibre 100Mbps/50Mbps R1,699

What you don’t want to hear about #DataMustFall

#DataMustFall has become a popular slogan in the fight for lower mobile data prices, but the campaign risks doing more harm than good.

Just like the political slogans “White Monopoly Capital” and “Radical Economic Transformation”, “Data Must Fall” has become a statement of little true value.

And just like Bell Pottinger’s campaigns, the target of the Data Must Fall is big business – shifting the blame away from the real problem, the ANC government.

To be clear, I am not defending R2-per-MB or other high mobile data prices.

In fact, I think these prices should be lower, especially when mobile data is the only means of accessing the Internet for millions of South Africans.

However, the focus of the campaign should be the failure of the ANC government rather than the mobile operators.

ANC government to blame

Over the past 10 years, the Department of Communications and the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services have failed to improve the local telecoms market.

Digital TV migration had to be completed by 2011, but this deadline has been moved back numerous times.

The spectrum assignment process has dragged on since 2006, which means spectrum that can make mobile broadband faster and cheaper is wasted.

Without additional spectrum, operators have to roll out more sites and invest more in their networks to provide a high-quality broadband experience.

These costs are passed to consumers, who then pay higher data prices than they should.

Increasing competition

When OECD telecoms analyst Taylor Reynolds was asked what should be done to improve broadband access in South Africa, his answer was competition.

Reynolds said aggressive price reductions and better services in the market were always a result of competition.

South Africa’s mobile broadband market has enough infrastructure players, with Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, and Rain operating networks.

However, more can be done to increase competition in the mobile space:

  • Assign more spectrum to the operators, which will lower investment costs and let them cut data prices.
  • Make it easier for operators to roll out networks, which lowers operational costs and helps new players.
  • Make it more affordable for ISPs to offer mobile data services, which will fuel competition.

The effect of competition on broadband prices can be seen in the ADSL market, where prices remained high for years, but plummeted after ISPs were allowed to enter the market.

The government’s stupid plan

Instead of implementing measures to lower the cost for operators and help increase competition, the government is moving in the opposite direction.

In its Policy White Paper it calls for radical changes in the telecommunications market, including the creation of a Wireless Open Access Network which all unassigned high-demand spectrum will be allocated to.

This will remove network competition, which is incredibly stupid, as competition is the driving force behind better and cheaper broadband access.

But don’t take my word for it – just look at the impact of Telkom’s fixed-line exclusivity in the nineties and early 2000s.

The ANC’s deep distrust of free-market capitalism has resulted in numerous failed telecoms projects, and its Open Access Network is a disaster waiting to happen.

Vodacom and MTN’s huge investments

Over the last year, MTN and Vodacom have invested R11.5 billion and R8.5 billion into their networks respectively.

These investments allowed the operators to increase 3G and 4G data coverage, improve voice quality, and increase data speeds.

This is aimed at improving a user’s experience, and the investments are far larger than the profits generated by data.

South Africa has some of the best cellular networks in the world, which is thanks to the competition between operators.

When people complain about mobile data prices, they often forget they have alternatives, like the Tshwane free Wi-Fi network.

Over the last decade, local governments have spent billions on their own telecoms networks, with the promise of offering citizens affordable broadband services.

However, few people use these networks by choice, due to their lack of coverage and poor service levels.

People prefer mobile networks, as they offer excellent coverage and great performance.

The only reason these high-quality cellular networks exist is because companies want to make money.

To now attack these companies and remove their ability to make profit means they will cut their network investments, which will result in users having a terrible experience.

Shifting blame with #DataMustFall

Data Must Fall is shifting the blame from the ANC government to Vodacom and MTN, which is unjustified.

To make the digital migration happen without missing deadlines, to assign spectrum within strict time frames, and to create effective pro-competitive telecoms policies is hard work, and the easy way out for politicians is to blame big business.

So, the next time you see Data Must Fall slogans being thrown around, know that the ANC government is the organisation you should direct your complaints to.

To picket against Vodacom and MTN is the same as marching to the JSE to fight “White Monopoly Capital” – you are doing the work of the true guilty party.

What you don’t want to hear about #DataMustFall

#DataMustFall has become a popular slogan in the fight for lower mobile data prices, but the campaign risks doing more harm than good.

Just like the political slogans “White Monopoly Capital” and “Radical Economic Transformation”, “Data Must Fall” has become a statement of little true value.

And just like Bell Pottinger’s campaigns, the target of the Data Must Fall is big business – shifting the blame away from the real problem, the ANC government.

To be clear, I am not defending R2-per-MB or other high mobile data prices.

In fact, I think these prices should be lower, especially when mobile data is the only means of accessing the Internet for millions of South Africans.

However, the focus of the campaign should be the failure of the ANC government rather than the mobile operators.

ANC government to blame

Over the past 10 years, the Department of Communications and the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services have failed to improve the local telecoms market.

Digital TV migration had to be completed by 2011, but this deadline has been moved back numerous times.

The spectrum assignment process has dragged on since 2006, which means spectrum that can make mobile broadband faster and cheaper is wasted.

Without additional spectrum, operators have to roll out more sites and invest more in their networks to provide a high-quality broadband experience.

These costs are passed to consumers, who then pay higher data prices than they should.

Increasing competition

When OECD telecoms analyst Taylor Reynolds was asked what should be done to improve broadband access in South Africa, his answer was competition.

Reynolds said aggressive price reductions and better services in the market were always a result of competition.

South Africa’s mobile broadband market has enough infrastructure players, with Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, and Rain operating networks.

However, more can be done to increase competition in the mobile space:

  • Assign more spectrum to the operators, which will lower investment costs and let them cut data prices.
  • Make it easier for operators to roll out networks, which lowers operational costs and helps new players.
  • Make it more affordable for ISPs to offer mobile data services, which will fuel competition.

The effect of competition on broadband prices can be seen in the ADSL market, where prices remained high for years, but plummeted after ISPs were allowed to enter the market.

The government’s stupid plan

Instead of implementing measures to lower the cost for operators and help increase competition, the government is moving in the opposite direction.

In its Policy White Paper it calls for radical changes in the telecommunications market, including the creation of a Wireless Open Access Network which all unassigned high-demand spectrum will be allocated to.

This will remove network competition, which is incredibly stupid, as competition is the driving force behind better and cheaper broadband access.

But don’t take my word for it – just look at the impact of Telkom’s fixed-line exclusivity in the nineties and early 2000s.

The ANC’s deep distrust of free-market capitalism has resulted in numerous failed telecoms projects, and its Open Access Network is a disaster waiting to happen.

Vodacom and MTN’s huge investments

Over the last year, MTN and Vodacom have invested R11.5 billion and R8.5 billion into their networks respectively.

These investments allowed the operators to increase 3G and 4G data coverage, improve voice quality, and increase data speeds.

This is aimed at improving a user’s experience, and the investments are far larger than the profits generated by data.

South Africa has some of the best cellular networks in the world, which is thanks to the competition between operators.

When people complain about mobile data prices, they often forget they have alternatives, like the Tshwane free Wi-Fi network.

Over the last decade, local governments have spent billions on their own telecoms networks, with the promise of offering citizens affordable broadband services.

However, few people use these networks by choice, due to their lack of coverage and poor service levels.

People prefer mobile networks, as they offer excellent coverage and great performance.

The only reason these high-quality cellular networks exist is because companies want to make money.

To now attack these companies and remove their ability to make profit means they will cut their network investments, which will result in users having a terrible experience.

Shifting blame with #DataMustFall

Data Must Fall is shifting the blame from the ANC government to Vodacom and MTN, which is unjustified.

To make the digital migration happen without missing deadlines, to assign spectrum within strict time frames, and to create effective pro-competitive telecoms policies is hard work, and the easy way out for politicians is to blame big business.

So, the next time you see Data Must Fall slogans being thrown around, know that the ANC government is the organisation you should direct your complaints to.

To picket against Vodacom and MTN is the same as marching to the JSE to fight “White Monopoly Capital” – you are doing the work of the true guilty party.

Eskom employee murder case postponed to September #Eskom

The employee’s body was discovered in a storeroom at the Pietersboth substation after she went missing.

The murder case of Eskom employee Thembisile Yende was on Monday postponed by the Springs Magistrates’ Court for further investigation.

David Ngwenya, 43, a technician at Eskom, allegedly murdered Yende after he suspected that she was set to blow the whistle on a copper theft syndicate. He is facing charges of premeditated murder.

Ngwenya terminated his mandate with his previous legal representative, and was being represented by a new counsel on Monday.

The matter was postponed to September 18 for further investigation.

Yende’s body was discovered in the storeroom at the Pietersboth substation after she went missing on May 17. This was after her office and the substation was searched by officers, and nothing was found.

Ngwenya was arrested on June 15, and was denied bail at his previous appearance on June 29 after he failed to show exceptional circumstances why he should be released on bail.

During the bail application, the court heard the murder scene looked like it was “staged” to make it look as if Yende had committed suicide.

Ngwenya stands accused of injecting Yende with a substance before striking her head with a crowbar and subsequently suffocating and strangling her after a struggle.

Yende’s older brother, Jabu Yende, said that his sister had been the pillar of his family and that her death had affected them as well as their community.

Following court proceedings, Nester Yende, the mother of Thembisile, said she felt lost because an Eskom employee had allegedly kidnapped her child and her child’s body had been found decomposed on their premises.

“Is Eskom helping me or not ? The masterminds must show themselves, and that will set me free.”

MTN’s fibre network goes open access

MTN will open its FTTH access network to independent Internet service providers from 1 September.

“Open access networks remain one of the critical pillars of our converged strategy,” said John Lewis, chief officer for managed network services at MTN.

“This will also stimulate competition amongst service providers, lower the costs for subscribers, and reduce the barriers to entry for new service providers entering the market.”

MTN said it has significantly increased its FTTH footprint following its acquisition of Smart Village.

Smart Village fibre will also be made available on the same open access terms and conditions, once the access network upgrade and integration into MTN’s core network is complete.

ISPs which sign a wholesale service agreement with MTN will be able to lease a fibre broadband connection from the optical network terminal within the home, linking to a network-to-network interface, established with MTN in any Teraco data centre.

The ISPs will then provide the fibre connectivity, Internet, and other value-added services to their customers via MTN’s wholesale broadband fibre connection.

New Game of Thrones episode on piracy sites immediately after launch #GameOfThrones

The first episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 aired early this morning, and was quickly uploaded to various torrent websites.

Torrent sites listing the new episode included The Pirate Bay, RARBG, and, 1337X.

Episode 1 aired internationally at 03:00 SAST, and began appearing on piracy websites half an hour later.

This means a pirated version of the episode was uploaded before the episode had finished broadcasting on TV.

Game of Thrones has historically been one of the most popular downloads on piracy websites.

HBO has attempted to combat illegal downloads of the show, including sending takedown requests and appealing to ISPs to take action against piracy.