Continuing our analysis of the year’s biggest news events (and some of the smallest but most fun), February was one of the busiest months of the year owing largely to the fact that it’s time for the annual Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona which dominated the first few weeks of coverage but there were plenty of other interesting things happening that would influence South Africans for the rest of the year.
Mobile World Congress is the place to be if you’re a smartphone junky and 2014 was the year to be there. Samsung announced its flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone while Sony launched the Xperia Z2 and Tablet Z2 right across the hallway. Nokia took its first foray into the world of Android with the X series of phones which have done almost nothing to stem the tide of change at the mobile phone manufacturer that would land up being owned by Microsoft before the year was out.
On Valentines Day 2014 South African paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp with the trial that ensued set to enthrall the nation and take over the news coverage on almost every platform. Judge Dunstan Mlambo’s ruling that cameras would be allowed to broadcast from within the court room was a decision that would help to feed the media’s and the public’s feeding frenzy around the trial helping to make it one of the biggest stories of the year.
After flip-flopping around the issue of mobile termination rates the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) decided to implement the much criticised termination rates on 1st April, making a fool of the potential profits of some of the larger networks. In fact Vodacom would mention the impact of the MTRs in its next few financial results with specific mention of how they were hurting profits.
Mark Zuckerberg is no stranger to spending money but the massive $19 billion price tag that Facebook paid for the world’s largest messaging application was nothing short of a shock. Just a year earlier there were rumours that Google and Facebook were both shopping for WhatsApp with a paltry $1 billion suggested purchase price that would be easily dwarfed.
Most kids just build it as they see it, 12-year-old Shubham Banerjee from Santa Clara in California decided to ditch the instructions and built a Braille printer out of his LEGO called Braigo. Since then he’s gone on to make a follow up to the original which was shows off at Intel’s Developer Forum later in the year.