Computer News - In Brief


- A Cape Town information technology company has designed software that can be used to enhance the experience of reading non-fiction books. The software has "conversational guides" called "cogs", that prompt thinking by asking the user questions designed by people who have read the books or the books' authors. Four universities were running pilot projects using the software, called Cognician, to interact with existing books, said Cognician's chief operations officer Patrick Kayton last week, while demonstrating the software to the Johannesburg media ahead of its launch later this year. The product is web-based and users will buy downloads to use at will.

- As part of a major Business Reform Agenda aimed at easing doing business in the country, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) last week officially unveiled the online business registration service which will be accessed by prospective investors wherever they may be. The new business registration went live on Friday at the RDB offices and can be accessed on The new system provides a single point registration where the RDB clients will have interface with a single agency by filling a single consolidated dossier. The online registration form is then confirmed by a registration certificate and a single identifier (unique identification number) signed by the Registrar General of companies.

- One Laptop Per Child is giving laptop production and will produce a sub-US$100 tablet with Marvell Technologies.

- Tea farmers can now track their sales at the trading auction and determine their earnings at the touch of a button -- thanks to a new electronic system at the public sales.The board which tracks the tea trading auction has revolutionalised the industry, eliminating inefficiency associated with the previous open cry auction system.

- Galaxy Backbone Plc, a public enterprise of the Federal Government has concluded plans to provide a common platform for Internet connectivity and transversal services to all Federal Government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs). The firm is also providing connectivity solutions to enable data acquisition in the 104 unity schools across the country. The connectivity and data acquisition project is aimed at providing cohesive data and tools for the analysis of information that would improve the Nigerian education sector.