Toby Shapshak, Author at Stuff

Toby Shapshak

Editor, columnist, strategist and speaker; Toby writes and speaks about Innovation. And Africa. Most eloquently about Innovation in Africa. Through a range of media, from newspapers to television and radio, he speaks regularly on the trends in technology and innovation; and where they are going.

The new eSIM card is a boon to consumers and a possible threat to mobile networks

But a new upgrade to the SIM card means life can even simpler.  Called an electronic SIM or eSIM, it is a way of linking your phone, using software, to a SIM (usually in a server rack at the service provider). The new iPhone Xs, which I am using, has an eSIM built in.

Leaked unencrypted passwords and the Christchurch massacre show Facebook’s problems aren’t going away

The good news is Facebook has shut down white supremacists and hate speech. The bad news was that it happened after the live streaming of the horror Christchurch massacre in March. The even worse news is that Facebook's notoriously lax policies around data privacy were confirmed when it was revealed that hundreds of millions of its users' passwords were stored in an unencrypted plain text format.

Apple remarkably announced new devices as a warm up to a hype-filled launch of new services

This week Apple announced its much-anticipated news service, as well as a streaming service to rival Netflix, a games arcade and a credit card. Instead of the usual hype around physical product launches, Apple casually announced a new iMac, two new iPads and new AirPods as a warm up to Monday's hype-filled launch of these new services. That alone is remarkable.

Last week Facebook indicated it is moving into an ecosystem that may look like China’s WeChat

If you want a good picture of what Facebook seems to be pivoting itself to become, start using that great everything app WeChat. South Africans tend to think of it as just a messaging app, an alternative to WhatsApp.

Apple’s second-gen AirPods have officially been announced

In what seems to be a daily hardware update before next week's major services announcement, Apple has revealed upgraded AirPods that include wireless charging and better battery life.

Facebook CEO’s missive on privacy disturbs as it tries to take over messaging too

If ever Alanis Morrissette wanted a definition of "ironic" it was Mark Zuckerberg's use last week of the word "privacy". He says bizarre things like Robert Mugabe used to, oblivious to the reality on the ground, and how absurd his utterance sound.

Foldable phones are the hot new thing, representing a new whole form factor

The newest sensation to hit these all-important devices are foldable screens. Last week Samsung got the jump on its competitors by announcing its Galaxy Fold before the annual Mobile World Congress. As the cellular industry gathered in Barcelona this week, Huawei announced their own foldable, the Mate X, the day before the main conference began on Monday.

If President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona address argues for the importance of telecoms, why are the ministers all as wacky and out of touch?

What is it about the portfolio that the communications minister so often seems bereft of their senses? During the ongoing Please Call me saga between Vodacom and its former employee Nkosana Makate, Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams last month tweeted: "Just shut up Vodacom and do the right thing. ’Talk to Makate’ instead of this poor PR stunt. Don’t talk to us until you have reach...[Read More]

Facebook is a teenager tone deaf to its self-centred destructiveness. Also, happy birthday

Turning 15 is a drag. Just ask any teenager about this most awkward age of life and the pain of living through it. Imagine then that you’re Facebook. Last week as the largest social media network reached this milestone it seemed every bit the gangly kid trying to look cool while being beset by angst and self-doubt. And being hated by the rest of the class.

Though the Vodacom Please Call Me saga is unresolved, at least inventor Ari Kahn has finally been acknowledged

Who really invented the Please Call Me service? It’s the question that’s been repeated innumerable times as the free messaging service saga reached a crescendo last week with threats, accusations and demonstrations outside Vodacom World. The answer – as is now common cause – was Ari Kahn, MTN’s lead data consultant who pioneered this innovative idea. “Callme” as he first na...[Read More]

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Logitech Spotlight review: A presenter’s perfect pointer

If you’ve ever given a presentation, you’ll know that time has seemingly stood still for the remote clickers used to control your slides. In the age of the minimalist Apple-inspired design aesthetic, most clickers look like they were designed by a rugby player. Luckily Logitech, maker of so many sexy, small, shiny things — from PC peripherals to IP cameras — has reinvented the cl...[Read More]

By combining its various messaging services, Facebook is treading on dangerous ground with privacy and anticompetitive monopoly

Facebook intends to combine is messaging apps – WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram – into a single backend so people can message across the various platforms. While Facebook clearly believes it will make it easier for its users to communicate, the rest of the rational world is alarmed at its unprecedented monopoly of communication getting worse, and potentially compromising our data privacy even mo...[Read More]

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