News Room

This Week In Tech: No More Stealing Images

Author: Jason Snyman
Date: 2018-02-20
This Week In Tech – Google clamps down on image theft, Telkom Mobile announces plans for 2018 and we now have to pay for Wikipedia…
This last week in tech news saw a number of improvements on the image-stealing front, from Google to Instagram. We also find a way to keep track of Elon Musk’s space-roadster and Telkom Mobile announces their plans for a better 2018.

Track Starman’s Journey

A little while ago, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster into space with their powerful Falcon Heavy rocket. Starman, the mannequin driver of the Roadster, and his journey have since become the object of our fascination. Wearing a full spacesuit, Starman has been shot toward an Earth-Mars elliptical orbit around the Sun. Thanks to Musk fitting the roadster with cameras, they were able to capture a few images of the car as it hurtled down the galactic highway. But, the batteries have since run out. So where is the Roadster now? Thanks to electrical engineer, Ben Pearson, we’re able to track its progress on his Where Is Roadster website.
“I have a script that I run periodically to update the information files that I have, which will allow for me to track this object, to the best of human understanding, for some time to come,” he said.
The website, using JPL Horizons data, is also able to predict Starman’s progress and alert us when the Roadster nears Mars or the Sun.  

Tech To Protect Your Stories

Your screenshotting days are almost over. Last week it was reported that Instagram had begun testing a screenshot alert feature for stories. To begin with, a small number of users would be receiving notifications whenever somebody else took a screenshot of their stories. Your days are numbered, perverts and stalkers. Instagram has announced that it has no current plans to roll the feature out to all users. It will be keeping the testing to a select few for now. Luckily for those who enjoy taking screenshots for non-nefarious reasons, the user will receive a warning the first time they take a screenshot of somebody’s story. The next time you take a screenshot, the owner will receive a notification with your name all over it. The Twittersphere has gone into meltdown mode over the news, which just goes to show how many stalkers we have out there. Of course, if you’re still adamant on being a creeper there are ways around it. You could just browse Instagram Stories from your PC and use the Snipping Tool. Nobody would ever know.
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Google Removes ‘View Image’ Button

A few days ago, avid Google users looking to steal a couple of images found that something had gone quite amiss. The ‘View Image’ button is gone. Without this button, you cannot access the best quality image you so desire for your latest Mom’s Love Wine blog entry. Google has effectively attempted to make images harder to steal, but also force users through to the website which owns the image. At least this way, the websites make ad revenue. Many of these websites have disabled right-clicking though, so no luck there. This is all frustrating and awful for the user, but better for photographers and artists. Naturally, there’s a way around it. You just wait for the image to load on the Image Search Results screen. Right-click on it. Click on ‘Open Image In New Tab’ and voila! Let the pilfering proceed.  

No More Free Access To Wikipedia

The Wikipedia Zero partnership programme is coming to an end this year. That means everybody in the world will now be paying to access Wikipedia from their phones. Basically, in 2012 the Wikipedia Foundation had come to an agreement with mobile operators for them to waive the mobile data fees so that Wikipedia users could access the online encyclopaedia free of charge from their mobile phones.
“Over the course of this year, no additional Wikipedia Zero partnerships will be formed and the remaining partnerships with mobile operators will expire,” said the Wikimedia Foundation.
For 6 years, the Foundation had reached agreements with no less than 97 network providers in 72 countries, including MTN in South Africa.
“Since 2016, we have seen a significant drop off in adoption and interest in the program.”
What effect this will have on low-income areas, where students rely on free Wikipedia access to do their schoolwork, remains to be seen.

Telkom Mobile In 2018

At least it’s not all doom and gloom on the communication front. Telkom Mobile has announced their plans for 2018:
  1. Reduce the cost to communicate;
  2. Provide users with better internet access.
Simple, right? We can get behind that. The company had a good year last year, enticing us over with better prices, zero-cost streaming and social media add-ons.
“Consumers can expect Telkom to continue to disrupt the data market with product innovation that continues to offer free data content,” the company said.
Champions of the consumer, these guys. For those who haven’t been too keen on their 2-year contracts, Telkom will also be bringing their prepaid portfolio back to life. The company went on to state that it will ‘look to offering customers further parity between prepaid and postpaid offerings.’ They’re anticipating huge data growth, and the company has said that it will be investing heavily in infrastructure development. In fact, they have already begun to implement Massive MIMO (Large-Scale Antenna Systems) which will enable improved coverage and faster speeds. There will also be an increase in the deployment of LTE as means of wireless access. The demand for quality WiFi at home has increased dramatically, and Telkom has recognised this.
“This will require additional high-speed access points and Wi-Fi mesh technologies.”
So, going into 2018, customers can expect increased access to content, such as over-the-top streaming services. Telkom is ready to meet that demand, and has said that it will continue its ambition to improve customer satisfaction this year.