Egyptian woman builds solar heaters

Aliaa Assem, a 29-year-old telecoms and electronics engineer from Cairo, took interest in the activities of icecairo, an Egyptian DIY/hack group. From there, she got involved in a series of projects that would aim to bring eco-friendly heating, light, and water purification – all using the power of the sun. Their first project? Building a solar heater for the impoverished town of Marsa Alam.

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SA game developer gets the green light

Local gaming outfit, Free Lives, has been working on a game called Broforce since 2012. Having submitted their title to Valve’s Green Light programme, the community has since voted for it to be green lit – and now Valve will help the Cape Town boys to get their game all polished and ready for an international debut.

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Mark Shuttleworth wants to build a smartphone

South Africa’s tech exports are doing well for themselves – Elon Musk is building electric cars, and now Mark Shuttleworth wants to build a smartphone.

His company, Canonical – responsible for Ubuntu Linux – has set up a project to build an Ubuntu-powered smartphone called the Edge. It’s in funding stages at the moment, but needs R324-million to be successful. Will you get one?

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SEACOM turned 4 – here’s how the net has changed in SA

In 2009 the SEACOM cable landed in South Africa, bringing hope to the country – and African continent – in need of affordable internet access. We went digging and found some old pricing for ADSL and 3G connections, pre-SEACOM. Compared to today, it’s easy to see that things are getting better, bit by bit.

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The cheapest ADSL connection in the country

Been scrimping on your internet connection because ADSL is “too expensive?”

While it’s not as accessible as a 3G connection, getting a stable connection at home enables many streaming services, smart TVs, and other connected devices. We found not only the cheapest overall connection, but also the ones that present the best value for the least amount of money. It’s time to get connected, and it won’t cost a fortune.

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Microsoft’s plans to bring us broadcast-powered broadband for R20 a month

The biggest news of all, this week, was Microsoft’s announcement that it plans to use TV whitespace – basically, broadcast spectrum – to South Africa. Properly implemented, the technology could offer uncapped broadband services to poor areas for just R20 a month – just what the textbook-disenfranchised youths in Limpopo need to build futures for themselves.

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Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.