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Signups for ChatGPT Plus are on hold.
Yesterday, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman took to Twitter to announce that y’all are doing too much with GPT-4.
Per Altman, there’s been a surge in usage since the company released GPT Builder, a feature which allows people to build their own versions of ChatGPT. The company is struggling to keep up with demand.
BTW, OpenAI reportedly spends $700,000 per day in computing costs for its AI service alone, so a feature that allows people to build other versions means increased costs.
Multichoice reports $50 million loss
Image source: MultiChoice
MultiChoice faced a setback in the first half of its fiscal year.
The African entertainment company reported an after-tax loss of R911 million ($50 million) for April to September 2023, a significant downturn from the R55 million ($3 million) profit after-tax it recorded during the same period last year.
What caused it? MultiChoice attributed the decline in profitability to power interruptions, pressures from the cost of living, and a sharp depreciation of local currencies against the US dollar. Revenue also declined by 1%, dropping from R28.7 billion ($1.58 million) to R28.3 billion ($1.56 million).
A loss in South Africa: Notably, MultiChoice observed a 70,000 increase in DStv subscribers across the rest of Africa, but this growth was offset by a loss of 486,000 subscribers in South Africa, resulting in a net loss of 416,000 90-day active subscribers across the group.
Subscriber losses in South Africa were also influenced by the company’s choice to remove 311,000 non-revenue-generating customers from the base, who were “linked to special load-shedding campaigns” the group ran.
Zoom out: Although the company has experienced a loss, there are some positives, such as the increase in Showmax’s external revenue by 46% from R381 million ($21 million) to R555 million ($30 million), and the 5% growth in MultiChoice’s premium customer base.
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Google Maps will avoid South Africa’s crime hotspots
In South Africa, Google Maps will now avoid directing motorists through crime hotspots.
Fifty-nine of these hotspots have been confirmed by tourism minister Patricia de Lille who signed a memorandum of understanding with Google country director, Alistair Mokoena, on Monday.
Google country director, Alistair Mokoena. Image source: MyBroadBand
How dangerous are these places? Per MyBroadband, one recent incident saw a US tourist surviving being shot in the face after his phone directed him through Nyanga, on his way to Simon’s Town. His iPhone map warned him of heavy traffic on the freeway and suggested he cut through Nyanga instead. It is unclear whether he used Google Maps, Waze (which Google owns), Apple Maps, or another app.
Sidebar: In the US, a North Carolina man’s family is also suing Google. The family alleges that Google Maps directed the man to drive off a collapsed bridge to his death.
Safety over speed: Google reasons that it is not just about finding the fastest route to a destination. They think that the nature of the road and safety matter too. The tourism minister additionally advised tourists to do research about crime hotspots before coming into the country.
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In August 2023, Paystack reduced payout time for ZAR payments in South Africa to just 2 working days. See what Paystack has been up to in 2023 →
Showmax gets a $27 million makeover
GIF source: Tenor
MultiChoice might have recorded some losses, but it’s shaking things up with a big win. The pan-African streamer is revamping Showmax, and the new version will hit screens in February 2024.
This makeover comes after MultiChoice invested about $27 million (R500 million) into Showmax.
Out with the old, in with the new: MultiChoice is ditching the standard and Pro subscriptions and welcoming three fresh faces: Showmax Entertainment, Showmax Entertainment Mobile, and Showmax Premier League. The Entertainment plan will feature entertainment content including movies and shows from the US-based Peacock.
Per TechCabal, the Entertainment Mobile plan is the same but will only be accessible on mobile devices. But the two plans don’t provide access to all Premier League live matches and extra content from the competition. The Showmax Premier League plan will exclusively stream all the games from the Premiere league, and no other entertainment.
Bigger and better: MultiChoice’s new plans and content partnership with Peacock spells intense competition for its streaming rivals. A recent report shows that Showmax has overthrown Netflix as the market leader in Africa with 1.8 million subscribers. The streamer’s new plans tells us that it does not plan to give up that title any time soon.
MTN Nigeria in talks to acquire 9mobile spectrum
Image source: Zikoko Memes
MTN Nigeria, a subsidiary of South Africa’s MTN Group, is negotiating to claim a role in 9mobile’s spectrum.
The telecomis reportedly in advanced negotiations with Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service Limited (EMTS), known as 9mobile in Nigeria, to acquire a significant stake in its spectrum.
The deal, if successful, would mark a significant step in the revival of 9mobile, which has struggled financially since the departure of its key technical partner and investor, Mubadala of the United Arab Emirates in 2017. At that time, MTN also bid to acquire the telecoms. The success of the present bid could also see 9mobile’s 12 million subscribers join MTN’s 77.6 million subscribers, giving the telecom 76% of Nigeria’s telecoms market.
No confirmations yet: While neither 9mobile nor MTN have confirmed the plan, sources close to the companies have hinted that the negotiations are indeed underway and progressing seriously. The National Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s regulatory agency for telecoms, also says it is not yet aware of the ongoing discussions between both parties.
Zoom out: This isn’t the first time MTN has tried to acquire another telecom company in the country. In 2015, it successfully acquired Visafone Communications Limited. This move included the transfer of shareholdings and frequency spectrum, helping MTN expand its network coverage in the country.
Attend the Tek Experts Webinar
Tek Experts, a leading global provider of technical talent solutions through its cybersecurity brand, is set to hold a webinar themed “Ensuring Cybersecurity Resilience in Financial Services Companies in Nigeria”, to address cybersecurity challenges in the industry,
Date: Wednesday, 22nd November, 2023 at 12:30 WAT. To register for free, please click here.
The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 21:05 PM WAT, November 15, 2023.
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South Africa has teamed up with 47 other countries to crack down on tax-dodging crypto and NFT traders. Per MyBroadBand, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is implementing the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) standard, which will allow tax authorities to automatically exchange information about cryptocurrency transactions. This is part of a broader effort to increase tax transparency and combat tax evasion in the cryptocurrency market.
The Supreme Court of India has dismissed a petition asking the government to create crypto guidelines. CoinDesk reports that the public interest litigation, which also asked for a direction for the prosecution of cases involving digital assets, was denied last Friday. It’s not the end for crypto regulation in the country though. In 2021, India developed a bill for the regulation of crypto assets, and at the G20 Summit in September 2023, it announced that it would decide its stance on crypto in “coming months”.
- Applications are open for the Aurora Tech Award 2024. The Award is an annual global prize for women founders of tech startups. Winners of the first prize get $30,000, the second prize gets $20,000 and the third prize gets $10,000. Apply by December 1.
- Applications are open for the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research fellowship 2024(up to $15,000). The Social Science Research Council offers fellowships to support the completion of doctoral degrees and to promote next-generation social science research in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. The fellowships support dissertation research on peace, security, and development topics. Apply by February 11, 2024.
- The citizens of Commonwealth countries in Africa can now apply for the Commonwealth Africa Cyber Fellowship Programme 2024. Selected experts will serve as fellows for a year, and get exclusive access to academic research opportunities, networking events and annual conferences, with a focus on enhancing cybersecurity policies and institutions across Commonwealth countries in Africa. Apply by December 10.
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