October 2018: Everyone agrees, technology and the internet of things (IoT) has transformed the way we live our lives and co-existing without our gadgets, a screen full of applications, and an internet connection is near impossible these days. “South Africans should prepare to take IoT just a notch up by incorporating cutting-edge tech advancements into the home and even at work, making things a lot more exciting, not to mention safe and convenient,” says Craig Nowitz, managing director of Syntech – a tech firm that sources industry-leading technology products from around the world for distribution in sub-Saharan Africa. “Collecting information is what makes the IoT, and applies to everything we use that needs an internet connection, even a game,” Nowitz says. In this snippet, Nowitz simplifies the IoT for the layman, discusses where South Africa finds itself with embracing this phenomenon, and highlights the tech and digital advancements we can expect see in the coming months. The need-to-knows about IoT: • It’s a system of physical things embedded with software, electronics and connectivity. • It allows you to perform better by exchanging information with other connected devices, operators and manufacturers. “In simple speak, it’s a network in which physical devices can exchange data internally with other connected devices,” he says. IoT innovations in the pipeline: • The Geyser: Soon geysers will be fitted with a power shut-off button, a turn-off valve and a water leak detector, which connects to a special network. Should a mishap occur, homeowners will receive an immediate notification via their mobile phone, through an active network, informing them that something has gone wrong. • Smoke detectors: Imagine if authorities could be alerted to a potential fire somewhere in an area? Soon, they will be. As IoT tech advances, in time fire and rescue services will be able to place a network operated smoke detector device somewhere in the . . .
The sea is a vast area and, unlike in traditional land based game parks, is not fenced off in any way - marine life has free and unfettered access to the vastness of the ocean and humans are not able to see through the water to witness the sea life teeming below. When one searches for animals in a game park the surest way to find them is at a water hole or, when searching for predators, at the source of food. In the sea, things are slightly different: The entire sea is a 'water hole' The food source is a long chain normally near reefs but subject to 'invisible' currents. With reference to the image above, consider the following: The Agulhas Current flows down the East Coast of Africa to the geographic Southernmost tip of Africa - Cape Agulhas - a rocky headland and the beginning of the dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. As the Agulhas current passes Algoa Bay off of Port Elizabeth it veers South and the first of the significant counter currents occurs. The Agulhas Bank South of the tip of Africa shows a large area of shallower and warmer water. The large area is the 'entry point' for Whales traveling North from the Arctic and 'funnels' these predators North East towards Algoa Bay and beyond. Migrating marine animals such as Whales come past our coastline to mate and feed so it makes sense that they will be best spotted in a warm/ish place where their potential mates are, combine that with a food source and the chances of spotting these creatures are very high. The Agulhas current after veering South will get small fish and nutrients in its grip and, when the Agulhas counter current veers back into the Southern Coastline, including Algoa Bay, it will bring this food source close to land. The Sardine Run Season - January to August - is proof that the prevailing winds of South West and West are at work bringing the Agulhas Current and valuable nutrients, close to the shore. So, what ideal conditions does . . .
South Africa’s Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) has secured the services of a dedicated Compliance Manager to oversee the department tasked with monitoring members‘ products and services offered to cellular consumers. WASPA’s over 400 members are required by the self-regulating industry body to advertise and provide their mobile content and applications services in accordance with its world-leading Code of Conduct. The new head of WASPA’s Compliance Department, Tshepo Jeremia (Jerry) Maseko, joins the team that proactively evaluates activity by WASPA members to ensure they remain on the right side of the highly-regarded Code. Ensuring that mobile content products and value-added services offered by WASPA members and their clients, are actively and continuously monitored, tested and checked for compliance with the provisions of the WASPA Code of Conduct, is a daily operational objective of the Association’s compliance department. It is this fastidiousness that has helped create consumer confidence in the country’s mobile content and applications industry since WASPA was founded with the full support of SA’s mobile network operators and other industry stakeholders almost two decades ago. “WASPA welcomes Jerry to the compliance team and is delighted to have another world-class resource to help ensure that South African consumers can use mobile services with confidence,” says Ilonka Badenhorst, WASPA General Manager. “I’m thrilled to be able to play a leading role in helping secure the long-term sustainability of an industry that contributes so much to the wider mobile industry and to the greater South African economy as a whole,” comments Mr Maseko. WASPA’s compliance department helps monitor the local WASP industry in an independent, objective and transparent manner. Any non-compliant conduct by members is documented, reported and escalated for immediate remedial action. This ensures that consumers are protected at all . . .
The Emthonjeni informal settlement in Zandspruit is part of F.A.C.T., a project focused on reaching out to the most vulnerable. The goal is to improve quality of life without uprooting people’s lives. As part of its commitment to making a difference through hands-on support and community upliftment, Ozone Information Technology Solutions, leading South African channel partner and distributor, works closely with the organisation and the Emthonjeni community. “We support Emthonjeni residents in a muffin project that allows us to consistently donate around R2,000 every month,” says Henk Olivier, MD, Ozone Information Technology Solutions. “These muffins are made and sold within the community at R1.50 per muffin but it costs them R3 per muffin to make. We have stepped in to cover the shortfall.” The project is set to remain a part of Ozone’s focused commitment towards uplifting communities and people and, to date, F.A.C.T. has provided the Emthonjeni community with 59 995 meals. To find out more about Emthonjeni visit http://www.embarkfoundation.co.za/projects/f-a-c-t/. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The international launch of landmark management software, developed by a team led by well-known businessman Niels Andersen, kicks off in East London yesterday. Together with fellow engineer Aubrey Bahula and enterprise architect Dave Sokolich, the product is fast-gaining traction in South Africa with plans underway to build global partners. The software, newly-developed for the web, has an impressive incubation track record with the product having already being implemented at 100-year old JSE-listed York Timber in Nelspruit, one of the country’s foremost timber companies in South Africa, as well as engineering firm Fabkomp in King William’s Town. Its latest site is at the Port Elizabeth-based Tier 2 automotive supplier, Formex Industries, whose ambitious expansion plans are already underway. Andersen says Activios is principally transformation solution software that enables management to manage across an organisation while at the same time measuring tiered company scorecards. “However,” he says, “it is so much more than that. It is an enabler of a high-performance leadership culture and style that is founded on values of respect, transparency, performance, integrity and accountability. “These values,” he explains, “also build a culture where employees are informed-engaged-empowered and, ultimately, a critical part of the engine that drives a business’s metamorphosis into a world-class organisation.” The transparent nature of the software allows for results in improved understanding for employees which, in turn, influences their behaviour to understand better and more effectively execute business strategy. The result is a winning culture which is more sustainable in the long-term and acts as a catalyst for innovation. He quotes the latest Gallup research which gives some perturbing insight into how companies are suffering because of their disconnected workforce. Gallup estimates that about 85% of employees are disengaged at work with . . .
New open banking ecosystem could render card payments obsolete Those who believe that ‘tap and go’ credit cards are the pinnacle of banking payment solutions are in for a big surprise. Chris Michael, a UK-based payments specialist and head of technology at Open Banking Limited UK, says that developments in open banking APIs could render card payments obsolete and significantly reduce levels of card fraud. Open Banking is a non-profit organisation established to help banks comply with The UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) Order and Europe’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2). Michael, who visited South Africa as a guest of Africa’s largest identity-focused security provider, Ubusha Technology, held a series of discussions with local banks to discuss Open Banking and PSD2. European regulators believe that the directive will lead to a single integrated market for payment services and usher in an era of increased competition and transparency among banking and third-party financial services providers worldwide. “Open Banking is supporting the move to PSD2 by developing a set of standards for APIs; a platform that manages the identities of banks and regulated third parties; and a suite of software and services to establish and run an open banking ecosystem,” says Michael. The API standards, which sit at the heart of the open banking ecosystem, are more secure and transparent than current solutions which often rely on risky ‘screen scraping’ and credential sharing to access accounts and complete payments. The open banking methodology centres on the customer’s exclusive ownership of his or her data, with the customer having the final say as to which third-party providers can access this information. “A core principle of open banking is that customers do not have to share their banking credentials,” says Michael. “In conjunction with the Open ID Foundation, we have developed a security model that allows them to authenticate any payment transaction . . .
Encased in aluminum with genuine walnut veneer, the Heritage Headphone Amplifier exudes quality, even before plugging in the headphones. All switches, knobs, and controls are weighted and anodized aluminum for great feel and tactile response. All analog switches operate through relays for the cleanest signal while maintaining a vintage feel. The Heritage Headphone Amplifier delivers a clear sound and minimal distortion. Built for the most discerning ears, the Heritage Headphone Amplifier doubles as an ideal processor of any digital source, whether the output is a pair of headphones or RCA line-out. • Asynchronous USB interface • Complete with dual amplifiers for balanced output. • Versatile inputs and outputs. • Lowest distortion in its class. • This amplifier will enhance the quality of any headphone or audio system plugged into it. Retail: R 11 890 Perfectly paired with the Heritage Headphone Amp, the Heritage HP-3 Headpones deliver the legendary sound of Klipsch to its fullest extent. You're not just buying a pair of headphones, you're taking home a piece of American audio heritage that's backed by over 70 year of acoustic technology. Designed from the most functional and premium materials available, the Heritage HP-3 headphones feature die-cast steel, milled wood, premium leathers, and machined aluminum components. Boasting a 52mm KG-520 biodynamic driver housed in a back-vented design, the HP3 headphones deliver unsurpassed acoustic performance. Retail: R 21 990 Homemation is the exclusive specialist South African suppliers of premium branded audiovisual and home theatre products. The brands in their stable offer some of the most advanced and sought-after AV and home automation technologies in the world. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The Electrical Contractor's Association for South Africa (ECA SA) showcased Port Elizabeth based Building Automation firm, BA Systems, in their October 2018 Magazine, Electrical Contractor. BA Systems scooped the ECA SA Presidential Award as the Best Contributor to Energy Efficiency following their project at the Product Testing Institute in the Coega IDZ, Port Elizabeth. This R4 Million project saw Building Automation Systems facilitate the installation of the building management system, and help the facility attain a 5 Star Green Star compliance rating. Green Star is a voluntary rating system for building projects, and is used to encourage the implementation of new and emerging technology, and to encourage a more environmentally friendly approach to designing and developing buildings. The Design phase of the Product Testing Institute building attained a 6 Star rating. The Product Testing Institute has been fitted with a modern building management system, which allows for cost efficient, environmentally friendly, automated management of the lighting, air-conditioning and blinds within the facility. Through the clever use of C-Bus and StruxureWare systems, Building Automation Systems was able to reduce power consumption by ensuring that lights and air-conditioners are not left on needlessly when an area is unoccupied. With the use of sensors located throughout the building that provide feedback to the building management system, it is possible for the building management and maintenance employees to monitor and keep track of the water, electricity and gas consumption, along with the amount of Solar Power generated. This information provides valuable insight into the cost of running and maintaining the facility. A record of environmental conditions is also maintained, with the current and previous day’s weather conditions being shown on the system monitor. The environmental factors will over time reveal the peak periods for Solar PV production, . . .
The Family Law Database The Family Law Database is a comprehensive collection of the most recent matrimonial law reports from all superior courts across South Africa. Each one of the law reports is concisely summarised into one or two pages. Apart from the summaries, users can also view the original law reports. From as little as R75 per month this database can be a great add-on for those that are already using LexisNexis or Jutastat. It can also provide excellent value for those who find LexisNexis or Jutastat subscription fees to be too exorbitant. The platform was recently launched on 5 October 2018 at a Family Law conference in Sandton that was hosted by Clarks Attorneys (a specialised family law firm). Delegates at the conference expressed that this was a long-awaited technological intervention within this sphere of the law and a must have for any lawyer who deals with family law matters. The Family Law database platform is plain and straightforward. The cases are assorted under various subject categories, and within those categories, the cases are succinctly described in four to five sentences giving you sufficient information about the case to decide whether you want to read the whole document. It also contains a simple and advanced search functionality. Using the advanced search panel, users can limit their search queries to a specific jurisdiction and within a specific topic. All these functionalities can reduce legal research time that would have otherwise taken 5 hours to just 45 minutes. The service is currently only available via P.C. However, it will soon be available across various mobile platforms. Visit www.matrimoniallaw.co.za to create an account or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
SITA invests in 7th school computer Lab at Academia Primary School in Khayelitsha - Khayelitsha, Cape Town - on the 28th of September 2018, the SITA South Africa team joined the learners and teachers at Academia Primary School in Khayelitsha, Cape Town to celebrate the opening of their new SITA ICT Lab. The Academia Primary ICT Lab is the seventh school Lab funded by SITA, the worlds leading air transport IT and communications specialist, and the first time they have invested in an ICT Lab in a primary school and in the Western Cape of South Africa. Khayelitsha is one of the poorest areas of Cape Town with 70% of the residents living in shacks and 40% being under the age of 19. Academia Primary educates 557 primary school children and attains a strong pass rate making it an appealing school within this impoverished community. For this reason SITA chose to build the 7th SITA ICT Lab here with the help of Melisizwe consulting- Computer Lab Project Managers. The state of the art ICT Lab with 40 new PC’s, a smart board and academic software was revealed to staff, learners and Cape district of education delegates alongside sponsors SAA and SITA. Suren Naidoo, Senior Manager Customer Services at SITA, addressed the gathering highlighting the importance of investing in the education of the youth to provide access to critical IT skills much needed to develop the economy of South Africa. Suren noted he hoped to see some of the learners attending the ceremony working in the aerospace sector one day. Bruce Croza, head of IT at SAA, a longtime partner and customer of SITA encouraged the learners to bring their passion and innovation to their use of the new ICT Lab as this Lab is only the start of the technological journey for these young children. Tech education will be vital to enabling the kids of Khayelitsha, and their community, to rise above their circumstances and embrace the fourth industrial revolution with confidence. Around the world, nearly . . .