Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tech News from Around South Africa

BBM Welcomes over 20 Million New Active Users in the First Week

After the amazing launch of BBM on Android and iPhone devices, with more than 10 million downloads in the first 24 hours, BBM has now ended its first week with more than 80 million monthly active users, including over 20 million new users on Android and iPhone devices.

Useful Links
Inside BlackBerry Blog – BBM posts

(Source - Blackberry) 

Samsung and Mindset Network Partner to enhance the education experience

In line with the Metric Examinations which kicked off yesterday, Samsung Electronics South Africa a leader in mobile technology and digital solutions are proud to announce their partnership with the Mindset Network aimed at assisting learners nationwide with revision and guidance to master particular concepts in subjects such as Mathematics and Science. Students with an eligible Samsung GALAXY device will be able to access Samsung’s Learning Hub and browse free content and revision material for Grade 10 – 12’s, until  31 December 2013.

 During the promotion period, 50% of the content can be accessed at no cost, where course material retails for R8.37 per piece. The revision resource focuses on providing overviews and summaries of the most difficult and yet important sections of the exam paper.

Seventy two live shows are scheduled across 4 channels viz, DSTV, Top TV, ETV’s new Open View HD and Sentech’s Freevision channel featuring the Samsung Note 10.1, Learning Hub and instructions on how to get the content at the beginning of the show – with the assistance of a live demonstration. 

Content is currently available for:
·         Grade 10, 11, 12 Mathematics
·         Grade 10, 11, 12 Maths Literacy
·         Grade 10, 11, 12 Physical Sciences
·         Grade 10, 11, 12 Life Sciences
·         Grade 12 English FAL
·         Grade 12 Geography

DSTV Channel 319
·         Grade 10 revision at 16:00 to 16:59 Monday to Thursday
·         Grade 11 revision at 17:00 to 17:59 Monday to Thursday
·         Grade 12 revision at 18:00 to 18:59 Monday to Thursday

For more info visit

(Source - Samsung) 

The winners of the 2013 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards nationally are:

2013 CSI/Sustainability winner
Sipho Kings of the Mail & Guardian for his critical look at how a biofuel project was not worth the costs in terms of agriculture and issues affecting people. Kings’ exposition showed that CSI/Sustainability reporting requires journalists to dig deep, to move away from desks and press releases and to apply critical thinking and investigation into stories. Kings, who was the regional winner in the category for the Northern Region, wins for his exposition of a biofuel plant entitled Biofuel Plant Backfires on Community.

2013 Financial/Economic winner
Jacques Pauw takes the national prize in this category, after winning the award in the Northern Region, for his coverage of alleged tender irregularities surrounding the construction of stadiums for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. His coverage in Rapport/City Press Nes van Bedrog, shows how journalism can act as a watchdog when the journalist is prepared to look beyond the hype and excitement of an event such as the World Cup and take a long, hard look at the facts. 

2013 Online winner
Greg Marinovich of the Daily Maverick takes this award. His coverage of the Marikana Massacre, The Murder Fields of Marikana, stood out for the manner in which he combined traditional media values of meticulous professionalism while working within the flexible publication advantages of the relatively new field of online journalism. His coverage broke not only new angles on the story, but also contributed to the establishment of the Marikana Commission. Marinovich took the regional award for the Northern Region with a painstaking photographic and analytical investigation which stood head and shoulders above other submissions.

2013 Photography winner
Brenton Geach of Independent Newspapers Cape takes the photographic award. His coverage in a body of work on the farmworkers’ strike, service delivery protests and the sheer horror of the revival of necklace murders in the Western Cape told a grim story, combined with a lyrical quality, combining split-second artistry with high-level techniques capturing the most telling moments of news action. Geach was the recipient of the regional awards in the Western Region. His work proved that having the latest technology doesn’t make a great photograph; it requires the skills of a photo-journalist.

2013 Print Feature winner
Msindisi Fengu of the Daily Dispatch won in this category in the Eastern Region for his story Hostels of Shame. In tracking and researching this story, which revealed an extensive pattern of institutionalised abuse, Fengu showed how hearing a chance remark by a government official led to a two-month journey to tell the story of the disintegration of school hostels. He wins the award for exposing a shameful story, and for his tenacity in following through on a single tip-off. His story proves that journalism is best done away from a desk.

2013 Print News winner
Rob Rose, Mzilikazi wa Afrika, and Stephan Hofstatter took the Northern regional award for their coverage of the Dina Pulestory for the Sunday Times. The team, which takes the National Award in this category, also won the overall Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award, followed this story while remaining undeterred by attempts to thwart their efforts to uncover the truth. This was a story that exposed conduct unbecoming of a government official and contributed to her removal from office.

2013 Radio Feature winner
Tashreeq Truebody of Radio 786 takes the national award in this category for his coverage of the farm workers’ strike in the Western Cape. This was a hotly contested category across all regions and Truebody won the award in the Western Region. Tashreeq ticked the boxes in terms of coverage that was focused, had impact, and appeal to listeners beyond the region. His coverage displayed all the criteria for a great radio feature: high-quality scripting, use of sound, in-depth research and remarkable presentation.

2013 Radio News winner
Gia Nicolaides of Talk Radio 702 impressed the judges with her coverage of the Marikana Massacre. Gia took the regional award for the Northern Region. Nicolaides’ coverage showed great courage and determination. She delivered content that was rivetting, balanced, and newsworthy. The story, often a dangerous one to cover, saw the reporter making Marikana her second home as she delivered news to the nation of the highest quality and integrity.

2013 Sport winner
Sameer Naik of the Saturday Star took the national award in this category for excellent research, quality of scripting and presentation, as well as showing originality and creativity in the telling of the story of Team South Africa’s golden road to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. Naik won the Regional Sport Award for the Northern Region. His passion for his topic and the way in which he sought to tell the whole story over all sporting codes made for compelling coverage.

2013 Television Feature winners
Mpho Lakaje, Dzivhuluwani Ramabulana, and Dirk Fourie of e-TV share the national prize in this category for their featureAgainst All Odds. This crime feature chronicles the story of the Ncholos family whose son and brother was killed in a hijacking. The coverage goes beyond the obvious and tells the story from every possible angle. We are used to crime stories, but this one chronicled the family’s story and sensitively covers their act of forgiveness and generosity to the convicted killer. The Ncholos family has undertaken to pay for the killer to study in jail and for his medical expenses. By showing the final twist in the story, through showing the victim’s family’s response this team took what could just have been another crime story, and followed it through to the very end. 

2013 Television News winner
Janine Lee of SABC news takes the national award in this category for her coverage of the killing of Reeva Steenkamp. She receives the award for her powerful, innovative profiling and general news coverage around a tragic breaking story. Lee managed to keep the public informed while balancing her coverage against sketchy facts. Being able to package information on her own, without the benefit of a producer – she won the Regional Award for the Eastern Region - and dealing with people who were close to Steenkamp and closing ranks, she showed sensitivity and commitment to doing the story justice without resorting to sensationalism.

(Source - Vodacom) 

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