Neotel launches home phone service

first_imgPrice differentiator 23 October 2008 “We believe that we have hit the nail on the head with this product, particularly in light of the current economic conditions,” Neotel Consumer Business Unit head Mukul Sharma said in a statement this week. According to Neotel, a key differentiator of the company’s home phone offering is the call rates. “During the course of 24 months, a usage discount of up to R25 will be given back to the consumer every month,” Sharma said. “This effectively means that consumers could be reimbursed for the full purchase price of the phone.” “This eliminates the risk of losing your service due to copper [cable] theft.” Two packages There is no differentiation between Neotel-to-Neotel peak and off peak rates, which are charged at 17 cents per minute for local calls at all times. Both packages operate on true per-second billing for all calls, from the first second onwards. SAinfo reporter Neotel’s home phone is available in two packages, the first of which allows the consumer to purchase the phone upfront for R599, followed by a monthly service fee of R99. “While the product focuses on providing consumers with high-quality voice, they also have the option of utilising data, sms and e-mail, which is provided as part of the service,” Sharma said, adding that a further benefit of Neotel’s home phone was that the service was delivered via a fixed-wireless product. The second package does not require an upfront payment for the phone, and is charged at R199 per month. “Consumers are feeling the pinch of global and local economic pressures and are continuously looking to save costs, but still stay in touch. “At 34 cents per minute for local peak landline calls, and 17 cents per minute for local off-peak landline calls, communicating will become more affordable for the consumer,” Sharma said. Neotel has launched a home phone service in South Africa’s major metropolitan areas, making use of the company’s fixed-wireless network – with local peak rates to all landlines set at almost half the price consumers are currently paying. “Neotel’s home phone is a home phone that offers impeccable voice quality, delivery within 48 hours of successful order completion and no installation required,” he said. “On this package, users receive 1 000 free Neotel-to-Neotel minutes and 200 free sms within Neotel’s coverage area, [with] the free minutes [being] applicable for local, regional and national calls,” Sharma said. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Call for ‘gender-responsive’ budgeting

first_img3 August 2012Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana has called for “gender-responsive” budgeting to be used as a tool for reducing inequality and advancing women’s empowerment.“We are fully aware that budgets have been instrumental in perpetuating gender biases globally,” Xingwana said during the launch of South Africa’s Women’s Month in Pretoria on Wednesday. “We also know that budgets can be instrumental in transforming and redressing existing gender inequalities.”Earlier this year, the department launched the Women and Budgeting Initiative in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation. The aim was to reflect on the budgeting process and economic frameworks and how these could constrain or promote the development and implementation of policies aimed at empowering women and vulnerable groups.South Africans will commemorate Women’s Month under the theme “56 Years of Women United against Poverty, Inequality and Unemployment”.The government declared August Women’s Month as a tribute to the thousands of women who marched, on 9 August 1956, in protest against the extension of apartheid’s hated Pass Laws to women.Xingwana said South Africa had registered significant progress in women’s empowerment and gender equality.“An array of measures, introduced since 1994 to promote women empowerment and uphold gender equality, have drastically improved the position and conditions of women in our country. Women occupy influential positions in government and play an important role in decision-making processes.”Xingwana pointed out, however, that women still bore a disproportionate burden of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.“Women continue to be marginalised and discriminated against in terms of economic opportunities, the labour market as well as access to land, credit and finance.”Xingwana said the process of developing the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill was at an advanced stage, and it would be tabled before Cabinet during the 2012/13 financial year.The Bill will help enforce compliance in both the government and the private sector.Source: read more

Java: A Retrospective

first_imgIt was 1995 and C++ was the language of choice for building large-scalesoftware systems. C++ was a powerful object-oriented programming language, thesuccessor of widely used procedural language called C. But not only was C++powerful, it was also quite complicated. Seasoned programmers enjoyed the intricacies andthe possibilities, but newbies would get burned after the firstmishandled copy constructor. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Then there were the libraries. Java’s libraries made a huge impactbecause they shifted developer focus from worrying about the infrastructureto worrying about the application. Some of the earlier Java librariestruly set the bar for innovation, flexibility and utility. For example,the JavaBeans framework showed that component development can be easy(unlike COM and ActiveX). And the collections framework delivered reusable and extensiblestandard data structures and algorithms.But probably the most important thing that Java taught many of us was to thinkabout interfaces. The power of any object-oriented language is abstraction, and by emphasizingthe interface, Java brought that power forward. Debunking the inheritance myth, Javanamed the interface to be a king of object-oriented programming.Java’s Enterprise AmbitionsAs Java’s popularity grew, so did the ambitions of its creators. Sun wantedJava everywhere: on the web, on the desktop, on mobiles and in theenterprise. The enterprise market looked particularly attractive because Sunwould have the opportunity to sell its servers as well.Thus was born J2EE – a powerful infrastructure for building large-scale enterpriseapplications. Unfortunately, unlike the earlier Java libraries J2EE wasquite complicated and even rather cumbersome. Nevertheless J2EE gave rise to numerousstandards, including probably the most important one –the modern application server. In a rather unexpected turn of eventscompetitors like BEA, IBM, Oracle and Sun converged to create a set of standardsthat benefited first and foremost, the customers. All this was accomplishedthough the Java Community Process (JCP) – an industry round tablefor generating standard Java specifications.The Java Community ProcessSince its early days, the software community has lacked standards.In the 1980s and early 1990s consulting companies made a fortune buildingadapters that transformed output from one application into the input for another.Among the remarkable things that Sun managed to do with Java was introduce a process for generating industry-wide standards.In a brilliant move, Sun shared its baby with everyone by inviting peopleto participate in the Java Community Process. The process consisted ofphases, starting with the introduction of a new specification. If the need was established and approved,the draft and review phase focused on generating the first version of the spec and doing a public review.Anyone could provide feedback during the process, and then a group of authors would incorporate it into the draft.IBM Hijacks Java With EclipseSun has done many wonderful things with Java, but it also fell short at a few critical moments in history.First, it was a shame when Java was running faster on Windows than on Solaris. Their case for selling Sparcs asmachines optimized for Java fell through. Sun recovered, but too late for people to buy into the benefits. Next,Sun did not develop a serious Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE) until late in the game. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The problem with politics, though, is that it’s the people that get hurt, not the politicians. The fact is thatAJAX, which has received a ton of positive press over the past couple of years, is a hacky, inelegant technology that pales in comparison to what exists in Java.If Java was part of the browser, it could manipulate HTML/DOM in exactly the same way that JavaScript does. But with Javawe would get a first class programming language, a set of standards, robust libraries and a wide range of development tools.Alas, that’s not to be.ConclusionThe first decade of Java is a history of rapid rise and wide adoption.It is also a history of political battles and wrong choices made for the sake ofmarketing.It is difficult to justify using inferior languages and tools to develop modern software.Java has come a long way and to throw it away would be a big mistake. Before inventing new languagesand re-inventing new ways of doing things, the industry should pause and re-think the fate of Java in the browser.This is sure to be a contentious post with people falling on both sides of the fence. Please, do not hold back, bare it all! Let’s have some great discussion on this issue – leave your thoughts in the comments below. Related Posts Tags:#Analysis#web Enter Java – a language of great elegance, power and, most importantly,simplicity. Designed by James Gosling and his team at Sun Microsystems,Java became a phenomenon that won hearts and minds, changed the rulesof enterprise programming and seriously wounded Microsoft. Yet despiteits glory, Java lost one of the most important battles – the battlefor the web browser. In this post we look at what happened to Java inthe last decade, from its glorious rise, to market politics, to the battlefor the browser.The Beauty Of JavaThe first great thing about the core Java language was that it wassimple. The creators of the language made assumptions and compromises and decidedto take away some power from programmers, but the benefits by far outweighedthe limitations. The second great thing was the virtual machine. To make a C++program run on another platform required a lot of effort. Java programs, on the other hand, wereportable automatically. alex iskold 1 IBM took advantage of this mistake and released a product ironically called Eclipse. This open source IDEallowed IBM to not only take over the basic development shell, but also release and distribute its own version of Java.IBM then made another clever move: it added standard development applications includingtesting tools, profiling tools, version control, etc. to Eclipse. And all of this it gave away free. With this move, IBM effectivelycornered the developer tools market and cleared the path for selling more Web Spheres (IBM Application Servers) and Blades(IBM Servers).Java Loses The Desktop And The BrowserJust like IBM out-maneuvered Sun, so did Microsoft. Microsoft has long maintained that Java is slow.Perhaps it was in the early days, but certainly that is no longer true. In fact, in most cases it runs as fast asnative applications because of just in time compilation and various other optimizations. But Microsoft stuck to itsguns, saying continuously that Java was slow, and added that Java user interfaces were also poor.The image above is from Swing, written by Information Laboratory in 2003, and shows that Swing can draw its UI with thousands of objects.Unfortunately for Java its first UI toolkit, AWT, was indeed not up to par. Eventually Sun came out with Swing,which was a superb UI framework; much faster than its predecessor and capable of creating the same kind of applications as Microsoft’s tools.However, the myth had already been spread and middle management throughout the country trumpeted Microsoft’s tune:Java was not good for the desktop.And then there was the applet fiasco. Java applicationswhere little applets that everyone grew to hate, thanks to their initial slowness and later inertia. Because of people’s hatred for applets,Java lost the battle for being the programming language inside the browser.That loss is huge, given that the web isbecoming more and more ubiquitous. What’s sad is that Java lost to JavaScript (which has nothing to do with Java) and Flash –both inferior programming languages. The irony, of course, is that Java started with the web in mind.The Cost Of Language PoliticsThere are great lessons to be learned from Java’s story. The first is the lesson of simplicity and elegance.Java taught us that software can be simple to write. But another side of the Java story is about politics. Java won over people’s hearts and mindsand that alone made it a desirable target. IBM and Microsoft, both companies that have controlled dominant programminglanguages at different times in their histories, understood the value of Java and went after it.IBM executed perfectly. Microsoft pushed as hard as it could to block Java from the desktop and from the browserand succeeded. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more