Monday, 30 July 2007

Neti ball Muhimu shuleni

Muda si mrefu hapo nyuma kulikuwa na mashindano ya michezo ambayo iliweza kutoa wanafunzi wenye vipaji mbalimbali vya michezo ikiwemo huu wa mpira wa kikapu. Leo hii wanamichezo wetu wanaandaliwa kwa pesa kibao lakini kwenye michezo ya kimataifa wanaibuka na zero. Je hii inasababishwa na nini? mi naona hakuna ushindani wa kweli katika michezo sasa, wanamichezo wameweka maslahi mbele kuliko michezo yenyewe. wako wapi wanariadha walioweka taifa kwenye ulimwengu wa michezo, inatia aibu kila siku kuona msururu wa wanamichezo katika mashindano ya kimataifa wakirudi mikono mitupu nyumbani.


Anonymous said...

Johannesburg - A few months ago Pinkie Baloyi went from unemployment to become an entrepreneur who makes a tidy profit from the Internet shop she opened in Diepkloof, Soweto.

WiMax trial

Thanks to Baloyi's determination to start her own business, locals don't have to travel to town to surf the Internet, print, fax, make photocopies and scan documents. Her modest shop, which she opened in February, is stocked with three computers. Users pay R5 for 15 minutes of Internet access.

Until three weeks ago, Baloyi had about 10 customers a day at her Londz Internet Cafe. But since she was selected to take part in MWeb's WiMax free trials launched in Soweto, customers numbers have doubled to about 20 a day. MWeb chose 100 people for the township early last month to take part in its trials.

WiMax is an Internet technology that offers fast data connectivity, mainly by wireless connection. With 3G and high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA), it has been touted as the answer to South Africa's broadband shortage and high Internet costs.

WiMax can beam Internet data over 50km, rather than within one home or office, as with fixed-line connections such as asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL). This makes WiMax particularly suitable for areas that are far from an ADSL exchange or have little broadband coverage.

"My customers don't complain any more … With dial-up their minutes would finish before they could even download information," Baloyi says. Another plus is that since she migrated the business to a WiMax network, customers can access the Internet even after a storm. Previously, storms were bad for her business as they meant disruption in services.

"WiMax is ideal for achieving rapid Internet installation in areas that were previously not catered for by fixed-line operators."

MWeb chief executive Rudi Jansen says: "WiMax is ideal for achieving rapid Internet installation in areas that were previously not catered for by fixed-line operators… It is far easier and quicker to deploy a WiMax network than a fixed-line network. In addition, there is worldwide and local support for the technology, which, in future, will drive costs down further as the uptake increases."

WiMax enables users to download big files such as music and pictures. It is cheaper than fibreoptic cable.

Installing a cable can cost up to R1-billion. Vodacom plans to spend R7-billion over five years to lay fibreoptic cables in metropolitan areas. Rival MTN is going to spend R10-million on a cable network pilot project that will ease Internet congestion in Rosebank and Sandton. By contrast, MWeb is spending R13-million on building WiMax base stations that will connect 1 000 people in Cape Town, Sandton, Randburg and Boksburg as part of its trials.

The cellular operators don't have WiMax licences, though they see the technology as strategic for their businesses. MWeb, Telkom, fixed-line challenger Neotel and Internet service provider iBurst were awarded WiMax spectrum licences by the Independent Communications Authority of SA last year.

Since receiving the licence, Telkom has installed WiMax base stations in Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. It says it will install more towers this year. It would not divulge how much it was spending on WiMax, but says it will provide the technology as an alternative for customers who cannot access ADSL.

Jonathan Mguni, a librarian at John Wesley College in Soweto, has been using MWeb's WiMax to access the Internet. "The past four weeks have been a life-changing experience. I didn't know there was so much one can do over the Internet," he says.

"I didn't know there was so much one can do over the Internet."

But industry observers say he is one of a small number of people who are aware of WiMax. Dobek Pater, a telecoms analyst at Africa Analysis, says only 10 percent of South Africa's 3,5-million Internet users use 3G or HSDPA. "This is small if you take it as a percentage of the total mobile market, but very significant if you take it as a percentage of the broadband market." There are about 35 million active SIM cards in South Africa.

Geoff Carey, the managing executive of Tellumat Radio Communications, says: "I do not think that the extent of the benefit is well understood. It has created an awareness that wireless broadband is available, but I believe only a small proportion of users have harnessed the value."

Even so, Rudolph Muller of MyADSL predicts that technologies such as WiMax will play a more significant role. "The roll-out of new technologies is needed to keep South Africa in touch with the rest of the world in the broadband space. Unless we have similar services to what international users are used to, a digital divide will develop."

This article first appeared in the Business Report.

Anonymous said...

Software aims to detect copied work

Plagiarism has reached such proportions at tertiary institutions that drastic measures - including the development of software designed to detect plagiarised work - have been put in place.

Speaking at the Durban University of Technology on Wednesday, the University of KZN's Deputy Vice-chancellor of Research, Knowledge Production and Partnership, Prof Ahmed Bawa, said it was no longer possible to trust the integrity of senior researchers because of the amount of plagiarism taking place.

"The history of science and knowledge production is littered with cases of plagiarism."

"This problem is not confined to UKZN or South Africa, it is a global problem. It is not a new problem. The history of science and knowledge production is littered with cases of plagiarism," said Bawa.

The university has been in the spotlight as a result of high-profile plagiarism accusations, one of which involved former lecturer Chippy Shaik. The allegations were that Shaik, aided by his supervisor, Viktor Verijenko, had plagiarised his mechanical engineering doctorate.

Both denied the charges.

Another high-profile case involved the university's former chief financial officer, Prof Kanthan Pillay, who was dismissed amid questions over the awarding of his master's of commerce degree.

Bawa said plagiarism was committed by students, lecturers, professors and academics, illustrating how widespread it had become. It was possible, he said, that increased pressure on academics to do research and have their work published was behind the explosion in plagiarism.

This pressure came from the individuals themselves and from universities, with many academics being forced to publish at least one piece of research a year.

"Sloppiness and laziness"

Bawa said that programmes, such as the university's Research Awards Programme, which allocated money for research at the university based on published work, was also increasing pressure on researchers. It was not clear how beneficial such projects were. However, they could lead to plagiarism, and this should be balanced against its benefits, he said.

Other pressures, including expectations from the government and private companies to publish important research, were also prominent.

Despite the pressures, said Bawa, it was often "sloppiness and laziness" that were the biggest problems.

He said that academic freedom was enshrined in the constitution because it was important that research was done by South African people on their own issues. "We do not want to have other people tell us about ourselves when they don't understand our context and, therefore, when any researcher plagiarises, it seriously undermines society and is a fundamental breach of trust."

Universities needed to find ways to determine if documents had been plagiarised to curb the problem, Bawa said. One method was to use software that compared the text in research papers to thousands of previously published works and determined whether portions, large or small, had been stolen.

"Plagiarism is a very serious problem. If it wasn't, there wouldn't be such software because there would be no market for it. There is just so much published these days that it is impossible for the assessor to read everything that has been published. So we have to use technology like this," said Bawa.

Universities should have good governance systems in place to deal with plagiarism, he said. A university had to be in position to deal swiftly and ruthlessly with plagiarism when it was brought to the fore.