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Interview: Dominic Cull on the Films and Publications Amendment Bill

In this episode, TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod is joined by Regardt van der Berg for an interview with Dominic Cull on the contentious Films and Publications Amendment Bill, which may soon be signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Cull, who is a legal and regulatory expert with Ellipsis and regulatory advisor to the Internet Service Providers' Association, has been intimately involved in lobbying to have the bill extensively redrafted. However, it still contains serious flaws, Cull says, which could have a serious impact on content creators and ISPs in South Africa.
In the podcast, Cull explains the origins of the impending legislation and why the original Films and Publications Act had to be updated for the Internet age. While the amendment bill has some good aspects to it, he warns that the final version now awaiting the president's signature is badly drafted, is likely to face constitutional challenge if enacted and could prove harmful in several key respects.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the bill is that it fails to draw a clear line between commercial and non-commercial providers of content. It also places onerous conditions on ISPs and demands high fees from content distributors, which Cull says will hurt smaller players.
What are the biggest problems with the impending legislation? Is it simply a revenue-raising exercise for the Film and Publication Board (FPB)? How does it affect people posting content to the Web, including YouTube, which hasn't been classified by the FPB? Does the bill constitute legislative overreach? And will it ultimately have a chilling effect on free speech?
Cull answers these questions and more in the podcast. Don't miss this important discussion about a critical piece of legislation and what happens next.

Interview: Pinnacle Dell EMC brand manager Ricky Pereira

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral talks to Ricky Pereira, Dell EMC brand manager at Pinnacle, about how companies are using hyperconverged infrastructure to solve their complex IT challenges.
In the podcast, Pereira talks about Dell EMC’s VxRail appliance solution, which helps companies virtualise their IT infrastructure, in the process reducing complexity and making it easier to manage IT resources.
Pereira explains the concept of a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform, and the benefits it offers to businesses trying to manage disparate legacy systems. As part of companies’ digital transformation journeys, he explains how VxRail can help them get ready for the era of cloud computing.
The interview touches on the impact that HCI can have on businesses’ IT costs, while delving into how it can make disaster recovery much more effortless.
Lastly, Pereira explains how Pinnacle works with Dell EMC and its channel partners to go to market with the solution.

Interview: Kwese Free TV's Zolile Ntukwana

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Econet Media group regulatory affairs executive Zolile Ntukwana about the new licensed free-to-air television provider Kwese Free TV, for which he is spokesman.
Kwese Free TV was awarded a licence from communications regulator Icasa last week to launch a free-to-air terrestrial service - the first such licence to be granted in South Africa since was licensed more than 20 years ago.
Econet Media owns 20% of Kwese Free TV, while Royal Bafokeng Metix and Mosong Capital own the remaining 80%.
In the podcast, Ntukwana explains why the consortium bid for the licence, its launch plans and the channels it intends offering.
Kwese Free TV has been given 55% of what is known as digital Mux 3 - a chunk of radio frequency spectrum that it plans to use to offer half a dozen channels, including a high-definition sports channel.
Ntukwana explains why Kwese believes there is room in the market for another terrestrial television player, what it still has to do before it's ready for launch and how consumers will be able to receive the broadcasts.
Don't miss this discussion.

Interview: Standard Bank Group CIO Alpheus Mangale

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod speaks to Standard Bank Group chief information officer Alpheus Mangale about its big announcement on Wednesday that it has selected Amazon Web Services as its preferred cloud provider.
Standard Bank plans to shift various production workloads, including its customer-facing platforms, to the cloud, it said.
The banking group will also move “strategic core banking applications” to AWS systems. It will “leverage AWS services, including data analytics and machine learning, to automate financial operations and enhance customer-facing Web and mobile applications”.
Mangale explains the reason for the decision, how its multibillion-rand investment in SAP's core banking software in South Africa in recent years has allowed it to do it and ultimately what it will mean for Standard Bank customers.
He talks about the regulatory implications, too, and what it will mean for the re-skilling of Standard Bank IT staff.
Read the full story about the partnership between Standard Bank and Amazon Web Services on TechCentral:

Interview: Seacom chief commercial officer Steve Briggs

In the second of a series of promoted podcasts with Seacom, TechCentral's Duncan McLeod talks to chief commercial officer Steve Briggs about how technology is reshaping society.
The conversation touches the digital divide - especially in the South African context - and what can be done to address it. This divide is not only about access to the Internet, but also to work opportunities and growth in an environment where technology skills are increasingly prized by business.
Automation and digital processes are transforming businesses, and Briggs believes this could ultimately have a very real social impact. Are we rushing blindly into this future without giving sufficient thought to the potential consequences?
Briggs talks about how the concept of work is changing, how new skills will be needed as business transforms for the digital era and the impact this will have on employment and employability.
The conversation touches on the concept of a universal basic income grant and whether it has to a role to play in avoiding social unrest and other problems that might emerge as the world moves to the so-called fourth Industrial Revolution.
Briggs talks about the impact of social media, why it's not necessarily a force for good, the impact on democracy and the role of government regulation. He explains why he believes it's ultimately up to ordinary citizens to escape the echo chambers that social media platforms tend to reinforce.

Interview: ZimboCash's Philip Haslam

In this episode of the TechCentral podcast, Duncan McLeod speaks to Philip Haslam, one of the people behind ZimboCash, a company that is building an alternative national currency for the troubled Zimbabwean economy.
Built on a blockchain, the idea behind the cryptocurrency is to help ordinary Zimbabweans escape the clutches of hyperinflation, which is once again menacing the country’s economy.
Haslam, who has co-authored a book on the Zimbabwean economic meltdown with economist Russell Lamberti called When Money Destroys Nations, speaks about why and how Zimbabwe got itself into trouble and the recent developments that once again threaten the impoverished Southern African nation.
How does ZimboCash work, how is the company working to ensure it become trusted and used by ordinary Zimbabweans, and what impact could it have on the country if it takes off as expected?
It’s a fascinating discussion about concepts such as quantitative easing, hyperinflation, money printing, blockchain, crypto and the future of money. Don’t miss it!

Interview: Ari Kahn speaks out on the 'please call me' saga

In this episode of the podcast, TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod is joined by Ari Kahn, the former MTN contractor who invented and patented the "Callme" service while working at the mobile operator.
Kahn, who Vodacom recently admitted came up with the idea on which its own "please call me" service is based, provides an in-depth overview of how he conceived of and developed Callme, why and how he patented it, how MTN implemented it, and why Vodacom's rival "please call me" offering, launch soon after Callme, was basically a clone of the MTN service.
He sets out the timeline of events that led to the MTN launch and speculates about why the operator didn't enforce its patent after Vodacom's launch of "please call me". MTN eventually allowed the patent to lapse, which Kahn describes in the podcast as "shocking" and an "almost wilful destruction of property".
Kahn, who now lives in California, says the concept that former Vodacom employee Nkosana Makate came up with and presented to his bosses was very different to the MTN offering and not what Vodacom eventually implemented. He explains why he doesn't believe Makate is entitled to compensation for "please call me" and advises him to take Vodacom's "overwhelmingly generous" offer - said to be R49-million - because if he continues to pursue the case in the courts, he "stands to lose everything".

Interview: BCX chief sales officer Werner Lindemann

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews newly appointed BCX chief sales officer Werner Lindemann about the challenges facing companies as they grapple with digital transformation and the move to cloud.
Lindemann, a veteran of South Africa's ICT industry - he has worked for, among others, IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Kagiso Media - talks about how the conversations with corporate South Africa have changed markedly in recent years, how IT is no longer simply a cost centre for many companies but has become integral to their growth, and how different industries are tackling digital transformation in different ways.
Don't miss the discussion.

Interview: Seacom CEO Byron Clatterbuck

In the first of a series of promoted podcasts with Seacom, TechCentral's Duncan McLeod talks to CEO Byron Clatterbuck about the origin of the business, how he became involved, the launch of Seacom Business and where the company is going.
Clatterbuck talks about the launch nine years ago of the Seacom submarine cable system that connects countries along Africa's east coast with India and Europe, how the cable project came about and what was involved in building it.
He then turns his attention to how Seacom has grown since then, the decision to launch Seacom Business, providing connectivity to enterprises in South Africa and later Kenya, and the company's acquisition strategy.
Clatterbuck explains the rationale behind the acquisition of national fibre operator FibreCo - currently awaiting regulatory approval by the competition authorities - and how he sees the telecommunications landscape evolving in South Africa and the broader region in the years ahead, and the role he sees Seacom playing as the industry continues to develop.
Don't miss it!

Promoted | Exploring Huawei's network energy solutions, with Pinnacle

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral interviews Huawei and Pinnacle executives on Huawei’s IT networking energy portfolio.
Fred Saayman, Huawei Business Unit executive at Pinnacle, and John Davidson, senior product manager at Huawei, talk about the Chinese ICT giant’s range of product offerings in the networked energy space, which makes for a particularly interesting discussion in light of the energy-supply challenges South Africa is currently facing.
From UPSes to hybrid power solutions and solar inverters, Davidson walks through the portfolio and talks about some of the key challenges that corporate buyers are facing in South Africa. He also looks at how the conversations with business have changed in recent years as load shedding became a reality.
Saayman also spends a few minutes talking to Huawei's partner structure in South Africa and how this works, with particular reference to the reseller channel.

Promoted | Exploring Huawei's IT solutions, with Pinnacle

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral interviews Huawei and Pinnacle executives on Huawei's IT solutions portfolio, from servers to storage and everything in between.
Fred Saayman, Huawei Business Unit executive at Pinnacle, and Morgan Malyon, executive product director in the South Africa enterprise solutions sales department at Huawei, talk about the Chinese ICT giant's range of product offerings in the IT space.
Saayman talks at a high level about the Huawei Enterprise Group's IT portfolio, while Malyon delves into specific product areas, including its server and storage solutions, its all-flash Dorado offerings and its products for the SAP Hana in-memory database technology.
Malyon talks about how Huawei is positioned in the IT solutions market and how the company is gaining market share in key areas.

Interview: CEO Farzam Ehsani

Former Rand Merchant Bank blockchain lead Farzam Ehsani returns to the TechCentral podcast to talk about his latest venture, cryptocurrency exchange
In the podcast, Ehsani explains why he left RMB to start VALR, what the start-up does, who it's targeted it and who's backing it.
He explains why VALR has partnered with US company Bittrex, why he believes the company's fee structure and access to a large number of cryptocurrencies gives it an edge over rivals, and its expansion plans.
VALR uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning for identity validation, and Ehsani explains how this works.
He also provides his views on the cryptocurrency bear market of 2018 and where the market might be going next.
It's a fascinating discussion. Be sure not to miss it!

189 episodes

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