iAfrikan Daily Brief - BlackBerry, SABC, Lynda.com And Steve Biko
Monday, 19 December 2016
BlackBerry Announce Launch Of Autonomous Driving Research Center
BlackBerry, once the leading smartphone maker, is now changing course and looking to be one of the leading companies which make software for autonomous self-driving cars. The Canadian company has announced that it will, later today, be launching an autonomous driving research centre. This announcement can be viewed as the next logical step given how BlackBerry’s QNX Operating System (OS) runs in millions of cars globally including the likes of Ford, Porsche, Bentley and many more car brands. Currently, BlackBerry’s QNX OS is mission-critical embedded software for automotive which runs a car’s infotainment system but also has features such as Telematics, Advanced Driver Assistance (e.g.active safety systems and automated driving technologies), Driver Information Systems (e.g. maintenance reminder) and more. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau will apparently be in attendance at the launch Although BlackBerry has an advantage in this space given QNX OS for cars, they shouldn’t rest as the likes of Intel are looking for new areas of growth and one such area is having their chips run in autonomous cars while they possibly ship them with free or heavily discounted software.
South African Police Yet To Identify Who Sent Anonymous Texts To Journalists Testifying In The SABC Inquiry
During South Africa’s parliament inquiry into the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board fitness to hold office, journalists testifying revealed how they received texts with death threats since the inquiry started. Although they notified South African police, police are yet to trace the alleged people who sent them. Technically speaking, in South Africa it isn’t possible to send and receive an “anonymous” text thanks to the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA) which requires telecommunications companies to register every SIM card purchased against a person who must produce an identity document and proof of address. Thus the likely scenarios under which a text is untraceable is either the SIM card was not registered or it was registered to a person who is likely not using it, something which is rumoured to be common as allegedly one can purchase a pre-registered pre-paid SIM card.
Linkedin's Lynda.com Reset Some User Passwords Following A Database Breach
In a statement issued to some users by online learning company Lynda.com, which is owned by LinkedIn, which in turn is owned by Microsoft, it alerted them of a breach of a database that includes contact information and courses some users viewed. Apparently, the number of affected users is fewer than 55,000, these are the users whose passwords were in the breached database. Lynda.com has since reset their passwords although the passwords were “salted and hashed (cryptography)”. It is further stated that no credit card information was included in the breached database. This breach comes a few days after Yahoo revealed over 1 billion of its user account passwords were hacked dating back to 2013.
Google Honoured What Would Have Been Steve Biko's 70th Birthday With A Doodle
Credit: Google Africa
18 December 2016 would have marked Stephen Bantu Biko’s (better known as Steve Biko) 70th birthday. As such, Google decided to honor him on the day with a Google Doodle on their search home page for their South African users. South Africa’s Biko co-founded the Black Consciousness Movement, which rejected apartheid policies and encouraged black people to take pride in their racial identities and cultural heritages. Biko famously said, “Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time.” Biko’s legacy continues to this day through various projects being run by the Steve Biko Foundation.