African Science and Technology

    • Official Post…-launched-in-kenya-2020-7

    Google has just launched giant balloons to bring internet to Africa

    Business Insider SA

    Jul 09

    A balloon from Google's "Project Loon" - to supply remote areas with Internet connections. Photo: Getty Images

    • Google's parent company Alphabet just built a network of floating cellphone towers in Kenya.
    • The network will provide 4G LTE connectivity to remote parts of the country.
    • A similar service, run by Vodacom and Alphabet, is being set up in Mozambique, and is due to come online in the coming months.

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    Google's parent company just deployed the world's first commercial high-speed internet - via balloon. Alphabet, which is Google's parent company, partnered with Telkom Kenya to bring the service to a remote area of Kenya's Rift Valley. Google's sister company, Loon, is providing the infrastructure.

    The companies essentially built a network of floating 4G cellphone towers. The balloons can stay in the air for months. Similar technology is also being deployed in Mozambique, but it hasn't gone live yet. Kenya is the first country... to have base stations high up in the sky. Now we will be able to cover the whole country in a very short span of time, said Information Minister Joe Mucheru at the launch.

    In May, Vodacom announced that it is partnering with Loon, to build its own network of floating cellphone towers in Mozambiques two northernmost provinces, Cabo Delgado and Niassa. The balloons are launched from the United States, where they go sailing in the stratosphere up to a height of 20kms in the air. From here they fly, ambling above aeroplanes, until they come to rest, oscillating below the ozone layer.

    Once in place the balloons act as floating base stations, and they provide very decent 4G LTE network coverage, supporting data, voice, SMS and USSD. Users in these regions will finally have access to mobile banking services.

    According to Loon, the balloons are designed to fly for hundreds of days. When ready to come down, the balloons are navigated to a sparsely populated area and brought down for a controlled landing. Once on the ground, the balloon and components are collected by local recovery experts.

    Users will not need to do anything special to connect to the service, the companies said in a statement. They will connect just as they would to a normal cell tower. In fact, its unlikely that a user will know that they are connected to the service provided by a high altitude balloon, except for the fact that they may have a signal in a location where it previously did not exist.

    There's no exact date, but the companies said they expect to begin providing service to users "in the coming months".

    (Compiled by Edward-John Bottomley)

    Related - Facebook Surrounds Africa

    • Official Post…cybercrime-victims-2020-6

    Hackers on the dark web love South Africa - here's why we suffer 577 attacks per hour

    Business Insider SA

    Jun 03

    A new report by Accenture found that South Africa had the third-highest number of cybercrime victims last year.

    Fraud with mobile banking applications doubled in a year, The report also noted that talk about South Africa among criminals on the so-called dark web has increased markedly since 2016.

    For more articles, go to

    Last year, South Africa had the third-highest number of cybercrime victims of any country, despite ranking 25th in population, a new report by consultancy Accenture shows.

    This was due in part to the rapid increase in people using banking apps, which are often targeted by hackers. Fraud via mobile banking applications doubled in a year, contributing to the R2.2 billion in losses due to cyber attacks in South Africa.

    South Africans suffered 577 malware attacks per hour, an increase of 22% from the previous year. (A malware attack is when criminals seek to install malicious software on a device to steal personal information, and money.)

    “In addition to these worrying general trends, 2019 was a year in which a range of different threat actors found success when attacking high-profile South African targets, from internet service providers to electricity providers,” says Clive Brindley, senior manager within the security practice at Accenture in Africa.

    Last year, a ransomware attack paralysed Johannesburg agency City Power’s systems, while the City of Johannesburg itself was hit by a group who called themselves the Shadow Kill Hackers demanding a ransom payment in bitcoin. Shortly thereafter, hackers launched distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on the local banks, flooding them with fake traffic. The criminals also demanded a ransom.

    The report analysed mentions of South Africa among the criminal underground on the dark web (the part of the internet not visible to search engines). Up to 2014, South Africa hardly featured – but especially from 2016 interest has increased markedly.

    Source: Accenture

    Accenture found that some of these criminals may view South Africa as a testing ground for malware because cybersecurity measures are not as robust here.

    Ransomware is now on sale on the dark web for as low as $100 (around R1,700), making it accessible even to the most unskilled criminals, says Brindley.

    The skilled criminals are typically targeting larger companies, thought to be able to afford to pay higher ransoms, he adds.

    “The increased focus on South Africa by cyber threat actors is due to interconnected factors such as lack of investment in cyber security, developing cybercrime legislation and law enforcement training, poor public knowledge of cyber threats – to mention a few,” says Brindley.

    “South Africa has been slow to adopt legislation to tackle cybercrime, and the National Assembly finally adopted the Cyber Crimes Bill in January 2020."

    • Official Post

    Who says Africa can't take care of itself? It has its smart can-do people too.…kles-coronavirus-20200519

    'We can get it done here': Africa's tech scene tackles coronavirus

    Watching from afar as much of the world was brought to its knees by the coronavirus, African scientists, engineers and innovators have turned to homegrown solutions to prepare for the worst case scenario.

    By the time the virus hit Africa, where cases have risen relatively slowly, images of overwhelmed hospitals and stories of health workers strapped for protective gear had been streaming in for weeks. Mehul Shah from Ultra Red Technologies, a 3D printing company in Nairobi, said he and his partner Neeval Shah quickly realised they could be "first responders" in producing locally-made equipment. In only three days they put together a working design for 3D-printed face shields made up of a visor that clips onto a plastic sheet. They currently produce around 500 a day.

    "It's very important that we can show Kenyans that we can do this here and we don't need to rely on importation. We have got the innovative know-how and the means to get this done here," he said.

    Mehul Shah, the director of Ultra Red Technologies, works on ear protectors for a 3D printed face shield, to be used for protection of the entire face area from splashes, sprays and spatter of bodily fluids as a preventive measure against the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. (Simon Maina, AFP)

    The team is also helping produce components that would allow ventilators to be used on more than one patient, as well as printing parts for locally-made ventilators.

    While Kenya only has 912 cases and 50 deaths after a little over two months: "We are preparing for the worst case scenario," Mehul said.

    He said it was "a first" to see manufacturers in Kenya and even worldwide collaborating so much. "All the companies are looking at how they can use their resources to help out. All the competitors who would be fighting against each other are all coming together."

    In Benin, the start-up Blolab - a digital fabrication laboratory - has also been printing 3D face shields. Developers in Kenya's thriving tech scene are among several on the continent working on contact tracing apps. FabLab, an innovation hub in western Kisumu has developed an application called Msafari (Safari means journey in Swahili) which can track passengers on public transport.

    With it, passengers entering a minibus taxi - known as a matatu - can input a simple code on their phone along with the vehicle registration number. "If one of those passengers tested positive we are now able to trace all the contacts who checked in on that particular vehicle," said Tairus Ooyi, the lead app developer and data scientist at FabLab.


    Another busy area of innovation has been the production of ventilators, which have been in short supply even in rich countries as Covid-19 patients needing oxygen have swamped hospitals. Most African countries have only a handful of the machines and 10 have none at all, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

    In Kenya, engineering students in collaboration with the medical department at the Kenyatta University, produced a low-cost ventilator at a tenth of the price of an imported machine -estimated at $10 000.

    Doctor Gordon Ogweno, a medical professor at the university said Kenya had about 50 working ventilators for a population of more than 50 million. "We are making machines with locally available material ... pandemics can come and go but other conditions also require critical care," he said. The ventilator is undergoing clinical trials.

    Fidel Mukatia (R), an electrical engineering student from Kenyatta University, stands with a group of students who made a ventilator, at the university's facility (Chandaria Business Innovation Incubation Centre) in Nairobi on May 8, 2020, to mitigate the shortage experienced in the country and fight against Covid-19 coronavirus. (Simon Maina, AFP)

    In Ghana, the Academic City College in Accra and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi managed to produce a ventilator costing between $500 and $1 000 which takes only an hour to assemble. A group of Rwandan biomedical scientists at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional College in Kigali have also been testing a locally made prototype ventilator.

    Meanwhile in Somalia, which has limited capacity to respond to its growing caseload, 21-year-old Mohamed Adawe has invented an automated resuscitator. While doctors normally need to pump oxygen via an Ambu bag valve mask by hand on patients struggling to breathe, Adawe's contraption - made up of a wooden box, pipes and an electric system - pushes oxygen from an air tank into a mask placed over the patient's mouth. "I saw people having difficulties in breathing and many have died because they could not get a machine to help them provide vital oxygen," said Adawe, who is studying public health.

    Aside from locally-made items - African countries are also employing other technology to tackle the virus.

    Rwanda last week began using four humanoid robots in coronavirus treatment centres to minimise human to human contact. They can screen temperatures and monitor the status of patients.

    In Ghana, the US-based company Zipline which uses drones to ferry medicines, blood and vaccines to avoid poor roads, has begun to transport coronavirus tests. "The government told us that their biggest challenge is that the virus has spread out of the cities, they have suspected cases popping up in the rural areas and the logistics from the rural areas to the cities are very difficult," said Zipline CEO in Ghana, Daniel Marfo.

    • Official Post

    New Internet cable will serve Africa and the Middle East - 6:15

    Published on May 14, 2020

    Chief Editor of TechCentral, Duncan McLeod explains a new undersea broadband cable is to be built around Africa and the Middle East. Courtesy of #DStv403

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    Massive undersea cable project set to give Africa internet boost

    Telecoms and internet giants unveiled on Thursday a mammoth project to lay a subsea cable around Africa to boost internet access to the underserved continent.

    The consortium, which includes China Mobile International, Facebook, Orange and Vodafone, said a cable 37 000km long will make landfall in 16 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

    "The system is expected to go live in 2023/4, delivering more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today," said the group, which includes regional operators.

    The cable will be one of the longest in the world, providing the continent with new high-speed links to Europe and the Middle East.

    The connector will travel down the east coast of Africa and then up the west coast and connect to Britain, using new technology that doubles the number of optical fibres.

    Internet reliability a problem

    "2Africa will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, supplement the fast- growing capacity demand in the Middle East and underpin the further growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people," the consortium said. Its statement did not detail the cost of the scheme.

    Many Africans access the internet via their phones, and even those who have a landline generally have slow speeds with the rest of the world due to insufficient bandwidth.

    Internet reliability is also a problem the cable serving the west coast of Africa and which links to Britain has suffered disruptions this year.

    The consortium said the new cable will be buried in trenches 50% deeper than before, and skirt areas where existing cables have been damaged.

    The announcement comes after a major scheme to provide high-speed internet access via satellites in low-Earth orbit, OneWeb, filed for bankruptcy as the coronavirus pandemic complicated its efforts to secure additional financing.

    • Official Post

    Titanium Implants | Carte Blanche |M-Net - 8:10

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    This video shows a new South African developed technique for hip replacements using 3d designed and printed individualised titanium implants.

    • Official Post

    5G is a higher vibrational lighted technology for the time of the Millenium Reign of Christ which began on 5 February 2019. It is necessary for the high speed and capacity communication systems which will be fully implemented after the Magnetic Reversal. It is also a non-ionising type of radiation, meaning it does not harm DNA. The Gamma rays we`re currently getting from the galactic center and via bursts from StarFleet craft are ionising radiation which does harm DNA. Much of that is responsible for the deaths attributed to Corona and not 5G danger.…inst-conspiracy-theories/

    'It's Just a Technology': Nigerian Pastor Defends 5G Against Conspiracy Theories

    The pastor argued that 5G tech merely helps people "do things at greater speed" and has nothing to do with the coronavirus infection that is ravaging the world today.

    While some outlandish conspiracy theories have linked the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with 5G technology, one pastor in Nigeria stepped forward to address this issue and insist that the tech in question is not related to the disease, local newspaper The Punch reports.

    According to the media outlet, Femi Emmanuel, presiding pastor of Livingspring Chapel International, spoke about the issue during the Fresh 105.9FM COVID-19 Situation Room interview session on Good Friday, insisting that "5G is just a technology".

    "5G is an advancement of technology that would help us to do things at a greater speed than we are doing now. It has nothing to do with COVID-19 at all", the pastor said.

    Femi also broached the subject of people comparing the pandemic to the apocalyptic prophecies mentioned in the Bible, arguing that while "there would be pestilence" at the end of time, "those who are relating 666 to what is happening now have forgotten that the whole concept of 666 and the Anti-Christ would be post-rapture". [Hano - There has always been pestilence, man-made and natural, and the Anti-Christ game is being played out once and for all now as the last vestiges of the Lucifer Rebellion. There will be none of it after the coming magnetic reversal and cleansing and also no "rapture" as Christians understand.

    "The rapture" is actually not an old biblical idea. It's a hoax idea created by an American pastor in the 1880's. See - - Excerpt: The rapture concept is relatively new. It started with an Anglo-Irish theologian, who in the 1830s invented the concept. This may come as a shocker to many, but it's a fact: Before John Nelson Darby imagined this scenario in the clouds, no Christian had ever heard of the rapture. Also see this interesting article -…opular-but-false-doctrine

    Regards 666. It is not an evil number. It is actually the last 3 numbers of Urantia's aka Earth's registration number (5,342,482,337,666) in the records of this superuniverse Orvonton's aka the Milky Way's capital world Uversa and on Paradise.]

    "We should ask them, has rapture taken place? People are destroyed for lack of knowledge", Femi lamented.

    "I believe this is a dress rehearsal for the coming of Jesus Christ. The scriptures say the trumpet shall sound and Jesus would appear in the sky and they say how can. [Hano - The trumpet is already sounding and has been for some time. It's called AbundantHope. Jesus will not appear in the sky and wait for anyone to "rapture" up there naked just to die in the freezing cold and by falling back to earth. How would that work?] Now, just one virus has come into the world and there is trepidation in the whole world."

    Finally, the pastor pointed towards the role that technology plays in the resolution of the current crisis, stating that "God gave us the brain so that we can give Him rest".[Hano - So why do so few use it properly?]

    "God heals in two ways; supernaturally and through medical assistance, so one of our prayers should include God, help us to discover the vaccine that can cure the virus", Femi suggested. [Hano - "Supernaturally" is just the naturally not yet understood. As to medical assistance, very true, and one of those is a treatment which is not a vaccine, per se, as currently understood, which stimulates anti-body creation, which will be available after the magnetic reversal. This "vaccine" will once and for all eliminate all RNA type viruses from humanity such as the Corona group. Bill Gates is currently involved in the development of it and it is good, as is he. It is necessary to create a more advanced human]

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