Stage 6 returns indefinitely
Stage 6 loadshedding will be implemented from 05:00 on Tuesday until further notice pic.twitter.com/S9rxax7fXD
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) September 4, 2023
Eskom, the state-owned power utility South Africans love to hate, has announced the return to Stage 6 load shedding. That’s indefinitely, too – in case your day wasn’t already bad enough. The reason? The usual excuse of urgent maintenance, in this case, on two additional generating units at Lethabo and Matla power stations. That’s on top of the generating units taken offline at Kriel and Medupi’s power stations on Sunday, which set the country on course for the return to Stage 6.
“Breakdowns are currently at 16,210MW of generating capacity while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 5,894MW,” says Eskom. Making up part of that 5,894MW of planned maintenance is the power utility’s delay in returning a generating unit each at Hendrina and Tutuka power stations, which is “contributing to the current capacity constraints.”
Stage 6’s return is only contributing to South Africa’s worst year for load shedding thus far. 2023 has so far seen 5,276 hours of load shedding – the equivalent of 220 days – completely dwarfing 2022’s 3,776 hours. For news on your area’s load-shedding schedule, you could visit Eskom’s website to check the latest times… but checking ESP is much easier.
No 4K for 2023’s Rugby World Cup
DStv has confirmed that it won’t be broadcasting the 2023 Rugby World Cup in 4K (UHD), and will stick with the standard HD feed, according to MyBroadband. MultiChoice first announced its intentions to broadcast the World Cup in 4K back in February, with the caveat being that the deal could still fall through with the necessary ‘upstream content providers’.
“Having explored the possibility of broadcasting the Rugby World Cup in 4K, SuperSport and DStv have, for a number of reasons, decided to remain with HD, with additional focus on streaming and mobile viewership,” says MultiChoice. “Customer viewing needs remain at the heart of the content we offer, and HD broadcasts, such as the coming Rugby World Cup, continue to offer sharp detail and exceptional resolution for fast-action sport,” it added.
So we’ll just have to make do with DStv’s capped 1080i resolution for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, kicking off on Friday, 8 September at 21:15. The Boks’ first game is on Sunday against Scotland at 17:15.
Until then, you can satiate the 4K-shaped hole in your heart by checking out RugbyPassTV, the world’s first
free dedicated rugby streaming service, filled with highlights from previous World Cups.
Major price hike expected for the iPhone 15 Pro lineup
We’re exactly a week away from Apple’s ‘Wanderlust’ event, which is where we’ll get our first look at the slate of new iPhones, and probably even a new watch or two. While we’ve already got a rough idea of what features the iPhone 15 line-up might sport, pricing (obviously) hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.
The rumour mill hasn’t left us high and dry, though. It’s expected that the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will maintain their usual prices of $800 and $900 respectively – totalling around R20,000 and R24,000 in South African money. The Pro line-up, however, is a different story. Thanks to the new titanium chassis and periscope camera – prices could shoot up by $100 for both the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.
That could mean we’re looking at a $1,100 starting price for the iPhone 15 Pro and a $1,200 price for the Pro Max. What that’d look like on South Africa’s shelves – we can’t be sure. We do know it won’t be pretty, considering the 14 Pro and Pro Max’s starting prices of R25,700 and R28,400 in 2022.
This is all according to DigiTimes (via Macrumors). It lines up with what Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said back in July, predicting the Pro line-up’s price hike. Another Apple analyst, Jeff Pu (via Macrumors), shared the same sentiment, confirming that all the signs are pointing to a Pro line-up price hike. Great.
Meta and LG team up to take on Apple
Meta’s been a longtime player in the VR space, after acquiring Oculus back in 2014. Despite Zuckerberg’s apparent misunderstandings of what makes VR fun, the half-lizard half-man is reportedly working with LG behind the scenes to create a VR headset that’s actually good and produce some competition to Apple’s AR efforts, the Vision Pro.
This won’t result in some radical new VR headset, though. The report, shared by a Korean news outlet, Maeil Business Newspaper (via UploadVR), reckons the team-up would amount to new versions of the Quest Pro headsets. At first, it was believed that Meta was only working with LG’s subsidiary display supplier for the new headsets, but the partnership has since turned into a “much broader partnership” with more of LG’s other subsidiaries.
It’s believed that LG Electronics will handle the new headset’s assembly, with LG Energy being responsible for the batteries. LG Display, of course, would supply the micro-OLED displays that sit inside the device. Not much else is known of the headset’s potential specs, though Meta is expected to debut the product sometime in 2025, with a $2,000 price tag attached – a direct attack on Apple’s $3,500 Vision Pro.