Toby Shapshak Archives - Stuff

Toby Shapshak

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]

Africa has attracted significant investments this year, most recently from Microsoft with a $100m gift to African engineers

Africa's burgeoning reputation as a source of programming talent got a major boost last month when Microsoft launched its Africa Development Centre (ADC) that will invest $100-milliion over the next five years.

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.

A new holographic headset, image sensor are evolving computers in this cloud computing era

The HoloLens is a powerful example of this, as multiple demonstrations of its capabilities showed. The original model was launched four years ago and was used by NASA for its Mars Rover mission. Because of the eight-minute delay in communications from earth to the red planet, controllers needed to map, plan and execute the path the rover would take, former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told me...[Read More]

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]

Digital art is a nascent field that is just beginning to gain recognition as a bone fide art form

So what constitutes art? I've been asked about this a lot in the last few months. I was asked to help curate a digital arts festival, called Creativate, which took place last year for the first time as part of the National Arts Festival in Makhanda.

Uber’s vision of “urban air mobility” tempered by a lack of profitability and driver issues

Despite all the advances of technology and transportation, what hasn't transformed is the amount of time it takes the average person to get to work, says Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber. Access to a city's centre is a greater success factor than education, he told the Uber Elevate conference in Washington last week. "It Is the key to success in society."

YouTube is the cesspool of the internet as recent scandals around bigoted videos – and their recommendations – have shown

I’d never heard of Carlos Maza until this month, when the Vox video producer made a supercuts video of all the homophobic and racist ranting by a popular YouTuber called Steven Crowder. The right-wing pundit has 3.8m subscribers to his YouTube channel has attacked Maza repeatedly, called him an “anchor baby, a lispy queer, [and] a Mexican”.

US antitrust officials have woken up to Big Tech’s monopolies and numerous competition investigations are coming

But the big news on Monday was that the Department of Justice was investigating Google and Apple; while the and Federal Trade Commission (FTCO is looking into Facebook and Amazon. All of accused of anticompetitive tactics for promoting their own services over that of rivals.

Life without Google is virtually impossible in this mobile smartphone era

The first problem I encountered, as I gave up Google for a week, was that I couldn't get my email. As the possibility of living without Android and Google services emerged as the US government banned American firms from dealing with Huawei, I tried to live without the world's biggest mobile operating system (OS). The short answer: it’s virtually impossible to live without Google in this smartphone...[Read More]

If Huawei makes its own mobile OS, the knock-on effects for smartphones could be drastic

When the news broke that the US government was blacklisting Huawei in the last two weeks, it seemed like another incremental escalation in the China trade war that could blow over.

Shortly after Mark Zuckerberg’s “privacy-focused vision” a WhatsApp vulnerability reveals how hard this new direction is for Facebook

That didn’t take long. Facebook's new plan to be more secure lasted just two months since Zuckerberg's pronouncement in early March about this shift after 2018's annus horribilis.

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