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Submission + - Why Is Internet Access In Africa So Difficult? (

jfruh writes: Eight of the ten countries in the world with the lowest levels of Internet penetration are in Africa. Some of the reasons may seem obvious to outside observers — the poverty of much of the continent's population for instance. But it's also true that broadband rates on undersea cables that connect the continent remain prohibitively high.

Submission + - The Browser Cold War (

MrSeb writes: "Microsoft has just announced that, starting January, your copy of Internet Explorer will be automatically and silently updated to the latest version (unless you have explicitly opted out). This is just the latest sortie in the propaganda-oriented, FUD-fueled Browser Cold War. Google and Microsoft now spend millions on advertising their browsers — and if that wasn't bad enough, they leverage their huge web properties to drive more people to their browsers. It's hard to ignore Google's efforts to come across as the secure and fast alternative too, even if the actual differences are negligible — and likewise, Microsoft's Beauty of the Web movement sure is a rather dramatic about-face. Mozilla, with less resources, has to rely on social media, and cute tools like Firefox Live which uses red panda (firefox) cubs to push you towards its browser. Is there an end game, though? Does one of the Big Three have the equivalent of a nuke, or are the browsers now so commoditized — thanks to open web standards like HTML5 and JS — that this episode of the Browser Wars is inconsequential anyway? What if Mozilla is squeezed out by MS and Google — will HTML5 live on, or will we see the return of custom extensions like DHTML?"

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