Columns Archives - Stuff

Columns

Have you heard? The hazards of voice assistants

Voice assistants are recording everything said by their owners, some of which – including sex and medical records – are being heard by humans for quality control.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni shows that territorial infighting is still dominating government while the economy burns

South Africans can be forgiven for being confused by the release, and subsequent condemnation, of a broad-ranging policy document this week.

How 24 started our binge-watching world

The Collins Word of the year in 2015 was binge-watching, now not only is binging part of the dictionary but it's part of our lives.

We live in a golden age of television that explores human nature as novels once used to

With new streaming services emerging as alternatives to the traditional broadcasters and an "unprecedented" splurge on making original content, television viewers have never had it this good.

A preferred partner ripped off Instagram user data, right under Facebook’s nose

Facebook’s decision to rebrand its Instagram and WhatsApp apps as part of the Facebook empire, seems ironically well-timed as the data privacy sins of the parent were revealed to be as common at the photo-sharing app. Last week it emerged that Instagram allowed its users’ personal data to be violated by an outside company which harvested large amounts of info it wasn’t supposed t...[Read More]

Telkom’s clever use of its mobile networks demonstrates how the once sluggish monopoly has evolved into a nimble underdog

Telkom, which has battled copper cable theft for decades, has started transitioning its landline users to it mobile network. Instead of my 91-year-old mother's phone using wires to connect to the network, it now uses Telkom's mobile network. It's been a game changer.

The brazen attack on City Power is a sign of the growing confidence of cybercriminals to exploit software weaknesses for financial gain

If you thought last week's ransomware attack on City Power sounded like a movie script, it’s because that kind of scary possibility has been fictional fodder for years. Films have long proposed the idea of hackers taking over a computer network for their own nefarious ends.

Facebook’s attempts to capture financial services through a cryptocurrency is a step too far, as US lawmakers find their teeth

During hearings into Facebook's new Libra cryptocurrency, she grilled David Marcus, the head of its Calibra wallet, which is how its users will interact with Libra. "So, we are discussing a currency controlled by an undemocratically selected coalition of largely massive corporations. Do you believe currency is a public good?"

The 50th anniversary of the moon landing is a reminder of what humanity can achieve

Fifty years ago this week humanity landed on the moon. The moon landing was a pivotal moment in human history that has shaped our self-consciousness about humanity and our place in the universe.

Ramaphosa’s big picture dream is what SA needs to participate in the new tech ecosystems

I think it's a good thing that President Cyril Ramaphosa is dreaming of a high-tech future. We need someone to dream big about the way our country will operate, not in some distant sci-fi future, but in the next few years. We need to start embracing the technologies that can make us a better place to live, find work for our youngsters in the new growth industries, and make us more attractive to in...[Read More]

Huawei’s six-week blacklisting has shaken up the global supply chain and threatened multiple companies in many countries

And then sanity prevailed. On Sunday, US President Donald Trump effectively lifted the ban on US firms dealing with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. This follows a turbulent six weeks where the threat of not being able to buy from US firms sent the telecoms industry and its supply chain into chaos.

How Dyson rejuvenated a host of otherwise humble household objects

The first thing that Stoffel van Wyk appreciated about his new Dyson hairdryer is how quiet it is. These days, he says: “I can have a discussion with my client over the sound of the hairdryer.” Van Wyk has been a hairdresser for 25 years. “I’ve lost a bit of my hearing because of the constant droning of hairdryers. This is far less intrusive,” he says from his Sandton salon...[Read More]

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