While Gartner in its ‘Top Ten Strategic Technology Trends for 2016’ says the year will be all about the Internet of Things and smart devices talking to each other, Prof Barry Dwolatzky, director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) says that he believes that while the hype continues around these areas including big data, cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the theme really should be the Internet of Everything. “I fully expect to see a level of maturity reached within these technologies with significant application during 2016. We should see some solid impact from big data and AI as a result of the hype over the past two years,” says Dwolatzky. The challenge, according to Dwolatzky, is figuring out how to use the information that all the devices and associated technology would produce: “While there are huge possibilities, the challenges are almost as big.” According to Gartner, by 2020, 25 billion devices will be generating data about almost every topic imaginable. This is equal parts opportunity and challenge. There will be a plethora of data, but making sense of it will be the trick. Those companies that harness the power of this tidal wave of information will leapfrog competitors in the process. “While South Africa does lag behind international markets adoption curves, I fully expect to realise some benefits in 2016. We should see results from AI and big data, in fact so much so, there should be real disruption that challenges traditional industries to either reinvent or shut their doors,” says Dwolatzky. In five or ten years we will be living in a different world he says, but in 2016, it should really be the Internet of Everything. “However, one thing that won’t change is that we will always need good quality software. While how we use it will change dramatically, the basic need for world class software that is handcrafted will always be relevant,” concludes Dwolatzky. Author: Kirsty Thompson from Watt Communications. More . . .
Isilumko Activate (powered by Studentwise), a market leader in the activations space, has been recognised for its commitment to meaningful transformation at the 13th National Business awards, where the company was presented with the Diversity in the Workplace Award. Recognised for “outstanding business achievement in bettering our people, planet and profits through excellence” Isilumko was the obvious choice for the award, often exceeding the criteria included in the assessments. Isilumko also achieved a highly commended certificate as the runner up in the Customer Focus Award, while parent company EOH Holdings received the 2015 National Business of the Year Award. Focused on facilitating creative, integrated one-on-one interactions between brands and consumers, Isilumko has always viewed BBBEE as an opportunity to make a positive contribution towards transformation of the activations industry and indeed the greater South African landscape. Evidence of its position on the matter, the company has a Level 2 BBBEE contributor status; with black ownership currently at 73.51% and black female ownership at 45.5%. Believing in real change, the company focusses its attention on more than just employment equity, investing in skills development, preferential procurement, enterprise development and socio-economic responsibility. Isilumko director Brendan Powell says that the group is understandably delighted with the recognition and honoured to have been acknowledged for the work it’s done in the area of diversity development. “This award doesn’t indicate that we have arrived and while an endorsement that we are on the right track, we will need to remain focused on making further improvements to our employment equity profile and skills development initiatives in the future, and ultimately making a difference in the development of South Africa.” Introduced in 2002, The National Business Awards recognise the success, innovation and ethics of South African . . .
Regardless of whether it is a buyer purchasing their first property or an experienced investor who is expanding their portfolio, buying a property is a large investment, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “Due to the fact that a property investment can have such a significant impact on a buyer’s financial well-being, it is imperative that they look past the aesthetic appeal of a home and focus rather on the integrity of the components that make up the property. While a home can be beautiful at first glance, there may be underlying elements that could end up costing the buyer a lot of money in the long run,” says Goslett. “While the seller is required to provide the buyer with a list of defects, it is still advisable for the buyer to be aware of certain aspects when viewing a property.” Goslett provides a few defects that buyers should keep an eye out for when looking at a home: Rotten wood Areas in the home such as bathrooms and kitchens are often exposed to moisture, which could cause the wooden elements in these areas to rot over time if not maintained. It is important that wood is treated and protected with a paint or finish that is specifically designed for this purpose. Exterior features such as decks or trims that are made from wood should also be checked as these will be exposed to the elements. Loose or dangerous railings While inspecting the exterior decks, it is vital to ensure that all the railings are fastened securely and that none are missing. This applies to any staircases or balconies as well – unstable or insecure railings can be very dangerous. Ventilation Adequate ventilation is essential to ensure that any moisture in the home can evaporate. Moisture that sits for extended periods of time can cause issues. Another important aspect to consider is the space between the roof and the ceiling. This area should be well ventilated to ensure the longevity of the roof. Weep holes and ventilation . . .
QuickPic embarked on creating the ultimate in simplified and accurate media monitoring solution for a Public Relation’s and Marketing team’s needs. The realm of media influence ensures that no brand can solely rely on the perception they have of their influence on today’s ultra-informed markets. And with an ever increasing focus on direct market influence, brands are becoming more aware of their impact through in-depth analysis of impact sentiments and influence. QuickPic prides itself on providing a specialised monitoring service catered uniquely to your brand. There is no one-size-fits-all methodology. Media’s entire spectrum of print, broadcast, social and online is meticulously covered and content is analysed through a second-tier human perspective, thus ensuring the accurate monitoring of relevant media. Quickpic understands your brand and delivers the content relevant to you within your desired search parameters. Reputation is included among the filter covered by human impact. The ongoing debate around AVE and Reach/Impact does create room for personal preference as QuickPic caters for both by using a combination of measurements. The QuickPic methodology is based on the universally accepted Barcelona Principles. Also, QuickPic based its AVE measuring on the actual calculation as editorial is perceived less impartial than advertising and relies less on AVE as QuickPic desires to be accountable and demonstrate value. This ensures for a rounded approach to accurately measuring relevant data. Meaningful insight into the brand’s media reputation is accomplished through measurement of human-analysed content which enables the understanding of brand perception. All this meaningful data intelligence is presented in a world-class automated and graphic report tailored around brand specific requirements. QuickPic provides the creation of LIVE brand specific tracking dashboards thus enabling public relations members to track leads, media influencers and . . .
In anticipation of the US Federal Reserve bank hiking its benchmark Fed Funds interest rate, the first rate hike in the US in almost a decade, the South African Reserve Bank took proactive action by hiking the interest rate by 25 basis points at the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting. This was an attempt to lessen the residue effect that the hike would have on the South African market. Some economists believe that the reaction of the US equity markets to the hike in the US interest rates will be one of the most crucial influences on South Africa’s financial markets this year. Fed Chair, Janet Yellen had prepared the financial markets for the rate hike by describing the contraction in the US GDP during the first quarter of the year as transitory. The rate was already expected to rise in September this year, however the rate increase was pushed back to the end of the year. Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that the US has a major impact on the markets around the world, pointing to the sub-prime crisis as an example. “Often the monetary policies of the US Fed have a knock-on effect, with investors closely watching the US markets. While there are currently not that many US investors in South Africa when compared with some other emerging markets, the hike in rate is likely to increase investment interest in the US, with many choosing to take their money out of foreign countries and place it back into the US markets,” says Goslett. “Although year-to-date foreign investors have bought approximately R8.5 billion worth of SA bonds and around R22.9 billion in equities, data has shown that the percentage of non-resident owned SA government bonds has dropped to its lowest level in 18 months due to a loss of appetite ahead of the Fed’s expected interest rate hike. Now that the rate has been hiked this trend is likely to continue.” South Africa, along with other emerging-market economies will have to adopt measures that will . . .
Up until recently MyPR.co.za has only made a summary of each article available via our numerous RSS feeds. We now make the Full Press Release text available via our RSS feeds. AND, for the busy publisher using Wordpress, we have a way for you to now automatically aggregate niche content from MyPR and encourage you to follow the model that MyCapeTown has pioneered. MyCapeTown is based on the Wordpress Content Management Platform and utilises an autoblogging platform called WP Robot and the 'Cape Town' tagged RSS feed to automatically publish press releases from MyPR to MyCapeTown The steps are simple: You must be running your site on Wordpress Purchase and install WP Robot HERE * If you are bewildered, help is at hand - for $5.00 I will install WP Robot and set up three campaigns for you. * Current prices range from $89 (Basic) to $129 (Full) to $329.00 (Developer). As a dyed in the wool tight-ass I hummed and hawed about spending money on WP Robot but, after due consideration, went big and bought the developer's version. (Scroll down for links to more auto blogging plugins). My reasons for buying the developer version were: Once off price and lifetime updates. The ability to give proper accreditation and not just 'steal' other peoples work. The fact that it is keyword or RSS based and can be tweaked to whatever niche that I am targeting. The once off price I paid was equivalent to one month of the monthly salary I would have paid a data capturer. Back to a practical example: Once you have installed WP Robot you have the choice of fetching articles from MyPR (and many other sources), republishing on your site as a draft or immediately all under remote control and as regular as you deem fit, whilst you sleep, eat and play. Your WP Robot won't take holidays or day's off sick, ask for an increase or use your resources without your permission. Now that is a sweet deal for a tight-ass such as myself. See MyCapeTown.co.za . . .
By Kroshlen Moodley, GM: Public Sector and Utilities at SAS South Africa is a water scarce country. With average annual rainfall of 450mm – compared to a global average of 870mm – the country is ranked the 30th driest in the world. One would assume that we would be more cautious when it comes to water usage and wastage and that conservation would be a priority for everyone. Unfortunately, it’s not, and the current drought has brought this into stark focus, sparking crucial conversation about how to secure future supply to meet increasing demand. We can prevent an even bigger crisis. But it requires public-private partnerships, better resource management, efficient infrastructure planning and, most importantly, the aggregation of all available data to inform decision-making. It’s a data problem When talking about water management and advanced data analytics, we have to consider the whole picture. This includes water sources and treatment plants, the distribution network and usage, as well as overarching legislature and weather and demand/supply analysis to obtain a holistic view of the current situation. According to water expert Anthony Turton, many of the country’s water problems are because of poor government data. To have the biggest impact, we need reliable data analysis in the following areas: Supply SA’s drought is the result of an El Niño, a complex weather pattern that results in drier than normal conditions from December to January in south-central Africa. Historical weather data shows that an El Niño occurs every two to seven years. By analysing this data, as well as normal rainfall data, we could have predicted the current drought with relative accuracy five years ago.This would have given us time to plan accordingly for water shortages, for example, by making better decisions on how to supplement supply and prioritise infrastructure development. Treatment Waste water treatment plants spew more than four billion litres of untreated or . . .
2015 was a watershed year according to Prof Barry Dwolatzky, director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE). Working tirelessly to ready Braamfontein as the digital hub of Johannesburg, he says that 2016 is time to ‘take the great leap forward’ and move from a planning and development phase to becoming fully operational. “I predict continued innovation in the ICT sector as the Internet of Things becomes the Internet of Everything. The international trend for technology innovation to result from spontaneous collaboration will continue unabatedly. To this end, innovators need a creative space where they can work together in a multidisciplinary environment to develop their skills, generate ideas with like-minded individuals, and progress on a course of rapid innovation. Tshimologong is ready to be this space,” says Dwolatzky. Aside from celebrating a decade of achievement and success building the JCSE, Dwolatzky has focused significant energy on creating the Tshimologong Precinct, an innovative new-age digital technology development and innovation hub. Undoubtedly one of Wits University’s most significant projects, it is a logical extension of the JCSE’s role and partnership with Joburg City. The project involves the renovation of five buildings, owned by the University, that cover half a city block. 2015 was definitely a year that focused on developing the Precinct and reaching out to industry for not only support, but also collaborative ways to build and grow what will become an important ICT hub in Gauteng. “There have been some great successes and we end 2015 on a momentous high as we formally hand over an area within Tshimologong to IBM Research Africa. This new lab will be the most sophisticated in Africa and will focus on advancing big data, cognitive computing, cloud, and mobile technologies to support South Africa’s promising but underperforming economy,’ says Dwolatzky. He says the location within the Precinct will enable IBM’s . . .
Eastgate Shopping Centre has taken time out to give back to the community. The Centre supports its community through various initiatives and activations throughout the year. With the assistance of loyal shoppers, Eastgate Shopping Centre is able to donate significant funds to its charities and through these campaigns support the local community. Some of the noteworthy initiatives this year included supporting Elandspark School, Cupcakes of Hope, Kids Haven, Coach and Hospice Wits. Eastgate Shopping Centre donated R16 000.00 to Elandspark School, a “special needs” school where their aim is to equip their learners with practical skills via vocational training that they can use in ‘the real world’. The funds were utilized to purchase roller-shutters for their feeding schemes. Furthermore, Eastgate table cloths were donated to support their Needle Work Classes. During the June/July school holidays, Eastgate Shopping Centre brought shoppers the Eastgate Ice Rink to enhance the entertainment offering and to provide a fun experience for the whole family. Eastgate Shopping Centre donated R20252.50 each to Kids Haven and COACH. Kids Haven provides guidance, therapy, training and support to children on the streets and others in need in the local community. COACH was formed to administrate three Children’s Homes, namely St George’s, St Joseph’s and St Nicolas’ with the Anglican Diocese of Johannesburg. COACH has transformed these centres from simply providing custodial care into fully therapeutic, life space intervention centres. Cupcakes of HOPE hosted the 5th National Cupcake Day at Eastgate Shopping Centre in September to raise funds for kids with cancer. The event raised a total donation of R37 341, 50 Cupcakes for HOPE is a Non-Profit organisation that aims to raise awareness for families in need of medical assistance. The Eastgate Look of Fashion Top 16 Finalists collected and donated clothes to Hospice Wits. Eastgate Look of Fashion is one of the . . .
Former professional soccer player Nick Gindre shares his insights How often have you not over-indulged during the long summer holidays and the festive season with the promise that you are going to get back in shape as from 1 January? You may even have spent a good part of January alcohol, sugar and carb-fee. If this sounds familiar and you are keen to break the spiral of long-discarded and unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions, this one is for you. Stand by as former international soccer player and fitness boffin Nick Gindre shares a number of practical and easy-to-follow tips for getting the best long-term fitness results, thereby sustaining your motivation well into 2016 and beyond. “Many people will kick off the New Year with strong motivation to get fit and healthy, but as the weeks go by it is easy to get disheartened,” says Nick. He is preparing for the Ironman African Championship, to be held in Nelson Mandela Bay in April 2016, in which Resolution Health Medical Scheme (Resolution Health) will be one of his key sponsors. As a professional athlete and fitness expert who runs his own gyms, Nick says that sport has always played an important role in his life. “When you are exercising, eating and living healthily it makes you feel great. I think everyone should give fitness a chance as this will help them to become the best they can possibly be. Apart from the obvious health benefits, physical wellbeing will spill over into every aspect of your life.” Resolution Health’s principal officer, Mark Arnold, said that a few months ago he threw down the gauntlet to his colleagues to commence a serious exercise programme. “The team has seen positive results, not only in terms of physical health and wellbeing but also in their personal and professional lives. Instead of just encouraging medical scheme members to exercise, the team at Resolution Health is now walking the talk in one of Nick’s gyms by practicing sustained personal health and wellbeing.” “The . . .