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General Tech

  • Backup and recovery: out with the old, in with the new

    Deloitte made two significant technology predictions for 2015. The first was the idea of the re-enterprisation of IT, which suggests that there is a shift in the way enterprises are adopting technology. Whereas in the past, enterprises would adopt new technology before consumers did, the opposite is now true. With the rise of wearables and the Internet of Things, consumers are bringing new devices into the workplace every day, compounding IT management and security challenges. The second prediction was that we are moving into an era of software-defined everything, bringing with it a host of benefits – by virtualising entire...

  • Want to race a drone? This Cape Town company will teach you how

    While new legislation may have been a blow to South Africa's burgeoning drone scene, there are still people doing interesting things in the space. You can now, for instance, learn to build and fly your own racing drone. Cape Town-based maker hub Curiosity Campus is set to launch its first drone academy this July. The aim of the course is to allow students to build their own drone, learn to fly it, and then race it (we're guessing the ultimate goal is to get as good as these guys). Once the course is done, participants will be able to...

  • How can we narrow the ‘achievement employment gap’ among SA’s tech talent?

    We’ve all heard about the IT skills shortage. We also know that we need to encourage students into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, but do we know what our IT students experience once they’ve completed their studies? For a small handful, their IT qualification is a golden ticket to a great job. The large corporates and big consulting firms hotly pursue the top students, particularly Honours graduates. There are even signing bonuses being thrown around, to encourage the small handful of A-List students to accept these companies’ job offers. This is all well and good for these students. They...

  • Forget the buzzwords: mind your (IT consulting) Language

    What I mean to say is: Mind your buzzwordlittered jargoninfested language. Yikes. Too much? Well, let me tone it down a little. Among the many things that irk me about dealing with consultants, the one that tops the list would probably be their penchant for buzzwords. Every industry has its own collection of buzzwords. They are carefully inserted into research papers and proposals, if only to lengthen sentences that could have been understood in half the word count and quarter the time. They are skillfully included in conversation and are so overused or misused that eventually, a carefully constructed...

  • Lenovo: why the world’s biggest PC maker isn’t really a PC company any more

    Lenovo is an anomaly in the PC space. While the market as a whole has struggled with declining growth, the Chinese tech giant has grown both its sales and marketshare. In fact, according to the latest stats from Gartner, Lenovo now owns nearly 20% of the global PC market. It's managed to get to that position through a combination of smart acquisitions (most notably IBM's PC division), improvements in the quality of its products, and applying the lessons from its Chinese growth to other emerging markets. Despite that, and despite the fact that PC sales still account for...

  • AI smartens up as robot learns through trial and error

    Over the past few years, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) have come a long way. The technology has evolved from soccer-playing spiders to bipedal robots and even sex dolls. Now it’s time to create AI through reinforced learning. Berkeley, the research department at the University of California, has begun to create the T-101, well just its predecessor. The department has developed algorithms which enable the test unit -- called BRETT (Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks) -- to learn tasks through trial and error. BRETT is given simple tasks, such as putting together two building blocks or a part...

  • Billionaires, icons and movie stars — why geek is now chic

    We’ve seen the unstoppable rise of the geek over the past few years. From popular culture to big business, the geeks have inherited the Earth. They’re the billionaires, the modern day rock stars, and their many achievements have resulted in a significant change to their status in popular society. They are now often championed, given the limelight or even imitated – geek is now chic! So let’s take some time out to look at how the geek -- and our perception of the geek -- has evolved. The geek revolution Before the dawn of the Information Age, being an IT expert...

  • 3 profound ways technology is affecting the global business landscape

    As the Digital economy begins to dominate, it is imperative that businesses exemplify agility, coherence, and market edge in order to establish themselves as relevant and competitive. This is now, more than ever, important given that the marketplace is still fighting to emerge from recession. Gartner uses an interesting phrase in many of their Digital economy research presentations: “We spend more time in the virtual world than we do sleeping.” I have young children and it is a constant challenge to keep them away from screens but I have come to accept that it is an important component of our...

  • Here’s why you shouldn’t bet the farm on untested tech

    While a plethora of new payment solutions are coming to market, businesses should be cautious about moving to new solutions just for the sake of it. Customers are driving a great deal of change in how transactions are carried out, with the younger generation of consumers in particular demanding newer, faster and more convenient ways of transacting, using a variety of electronic channels. Some of these channels are proving highly successful: thanks to developments such as mobile banking and online banking, the unbanked are becoming banked and consumers have greater convenience than ever before. But with a continually growing list of...

  • Delivering against ‘always-on’ expectations with software-defined infrastructure

    We’re living in an "always-on" age, where consumers, employees and business leaders alike expect 24/7 responsiveness and availability. Keeping an IT infrastructure performing at this level can be an uphill struggle, particularly as businesses are consuming more applications, storing more data and working faster than ever before. This can put a huge amount of pressure on hardware resources and IT staff. Adding more capacity to the problem can work, but it tends to be a short-term solution. As a result, significant pressure is being felt by IT staff in particular who are expected to respond quickly in complex, high-scale...

  • Could Stellar be the answer to enable financial inclusion around the globe?

    When the internet first came round in the mid-nineties, people didn’t expect to see impactful tools like open-source libraries like Wikipedia or renting sites like AirBnb or car-sharing ones such as Uber and Lyft. As an open tool, the internet has laid the foundation for these products to be born, reaching audiences far and wide with powerful applications that impact most of our daily lives, whether we like it or not. But a lot of important industries have been left behind in the process. This, however, might be starting to change. Vumi is an open-source messaging app that doesn't rely...

  • 7 top tips for making it as a woman in tech

    As a woman with more than 17 years of work experience in the challenging and constantly evolving tech industry, I have had my fair share of learning experiences over time. These are my top tips for women keen to survive and climb to the top in this exciting and dynamic environment: 1. Follow your passion I am truly passionate about what I do. The moment I stop feeling that excitement, I look for other areas in the field that are able to challenge me and keep my mind working. 2. Learn to integrate your work and family life I don’t...

  • 3 reasons you should be wary of free WiFi

    Public Wi-Fi is almost everywhere nowadays. Coffee shops, libraries and even airports have installed hotspots to feed the growing demand for ubiquitous Wi-Fi. While convenient to use, there are hidden security risks you should know about. 1. Packet sniffing Remember, the Wi-Fi you're connecting to is shared with others which substantially increases your risk of becoming a victim. Shared connections allow others to read your data and track your online activity. Sensitive information, such as your username and password, can be captured in the process. Since most people use the same username and password for multiple accounts, the risk is magnified. An...

  • Protect yourself, protect your business: get your website’s terms and conditions in order

    Does your website protect you and your business? You may have a website for your business which is an important tool as you grow and develop. Whether your website is a way in which customers can directly purchase goods and services from your business (e commerce), or whether your website is simply an advertising tool and a way that you provide your brand or business with an on-line presence, it is important to have terms and conditions, and a privacy policy which are reflected on your website. It is also vital to refer to the website...

  • It’s all about the tech, so quit asking me about my gender

    The burning question that any female in tech is being asked at the moment is “How have you managed to cope as a female in tech? “ After 17 challenging years in the technology industry, I am usually on the receiving end of this question about 20 times a year. However, recently the frequency of this question has shot up to about 20 times a month. I made the choice to be in technology at a very early age, long before “geeks” were seen as cool. I was drawn to the tech space from the first moment I watched...