Toby Shapshak Archives - Stuff

Toby Shapshak

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.

Calling for Facebook’s breakup, co-founder argues Zuckerberg’s “…power is unprecedented and un-American”

The Facebook CEO "controls three core communications platforms… that billions of people use every day" namely Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and has control of 60% of the voting stock. "I’m worried that Mark has surrounded himself with a team that reinforces his beliefs instead of challenging them."

Facebook used F8 conference to announce changes, shift towards private messaging

This will be published after South Africa's election, which we certainly hope has only been manipulated by the usual political forces and not online trolls using Facebook, as happened in the Great Brexit Scandal and the US presidential elections of 2016

Finding that “SA prices are high”, “lack transparency” latest salvo in war on costly data

The Competition Commission last week confirmed what all South Africans have been telling each other for years: the cost of cellular data is too high. Releasing a provisional report from its data services market inquiry, which has been dragging on since August 2017, the commission’s finding no doubt contributed to the fall of Vodacom and MTN shares. They said the convoluted pricing structured...[Read More]

From an early mobile social network, to high-end cameras, Nokia innovated in its prime

In 2004 at a Nokia event in Helsinki a nerdy engineer showed off a fancy new concept that he hoped would be a big hit. Calling it an “automatic multimedia diary” it was a way to upload pictures, thoughts and other titbits from a mobile phone to an online site. Using the then popular concept of blogging, he called it a Lifeblog. “Lifeblog is a PC and mobile phone software combinat...[Read More]

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.

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]

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