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Editor’s update

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NASA made headlines this week with the news that in just one month’s time, the New Horizons spacecraft will make its closest approach to the dwarf planet Pluto, 7,5-billion kilometres from Earth. New Horizons will also venture into the Kuiper Belt, a relic of solar system formation. New Horizons launched on 19 January 2006; it swung past Jupiter for a gravity boost and scientific studies in February 2007, and is conducting a six-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons that started in early 2015.

Also making headlines this week was the news that South Africa has missed the 17 June 2015 deadline – set out by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – for full digital broadcasting to take over from analogue. Because of this, analogue users will no longer be protected from signal interference. With South Africa still some way from finalising its Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration, there is a risk that television viewers could face broadcasting disruptions. Meanwhile, South Africa is also suffering from a qualifications fraud epidemic, having had the problem increase by 200% over the last five years. Qualifications fraud is occurring even at the highest executive levels.

And finally, a Grade 9 learner from the Free State, Albert Dreyer, has surprised the Applications Olympiad organisers by making it to the finals with 13 matriculants. The Applications Olympiad is aimed at learners who take the subject CAT (Computer Application Technology) – which is offered in Grades 10, 11 and 12 only. Dreyer took part in the Olympiad via an enrichment project offered at the University of the Free State.

Until next week,

The IT-Online team