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General Tech

  • 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...

  • Why businesses should not be intimidated by data governance

    Market forces are driving data awareness as businesses realise that they can derive significant value from effectively analysing data and applying the findings to decisions and actions, and as regulators tighten rules around how data should be managed. ‘Big data’ is still used as a buzzword in business. But data has always been available – it’s just evolving as more data sources become available, such as cloud, mobile and click-stream data. And with the growth of machine-to-machine technology and the Internet of Things, even more data sources will come online soon. So how do we manage these new data types? Proper...

  • The ethics of crowdfunding: should sites just say no to some campaigns?

    The crowdfunding landscape has grown enormously. In 2014 alone, projects on Kickstarter raised US$529-million. According to Massolution’s 2015CF-Crowdfunding Industry Report, in 2014 the global crowdfunding scene expanded by 167% to reach US$16.2-billion raised, up from US$6.1-billion in 2013. But with this growth comes a number of challenges -- one of which is how to monitor and exclude crowdfunding campaigns that may be offensive or even illegal. The sites generally list terms and conditions that apply to the campaigns they host. In most cases these are sufficient - but occasionally the rules are not enforced strictly or clearly enough, resulting in controversy. This issue recently reared...

  • Here’s how to bridge the gap between humans and technology adoption

    Are you considered an expert at work because you are the one who always knows about the latest technologies, and are eager for your colleagues to try them out unsuccessfully? Or even worse, is your job to get people to adopt new technologies across corporations that have been repeating processes for a number of years, and are quite happy doing so? The above situations are common in today’s digital environment, from my observations, and conversations with people such as the abovementioned guy. The question is: is it not contradictory that even though we live in a hyper connected world,...

  • This is the tech that’ll help you get your office green

    Going green is gaining momentum – whether it’s to save the environment, lower your building costs or get your utility bills under control, everyone seems to be finding a reason to think sustainably. Being environmentally friendly doesn’t mean creating a bland office, though; there are plenty of ways you can spice up your space. An office in Amsterdam used pallets to create a customized office space. The pallets were used to make the desks, the platform area the desks were on and even the stairs leading up to the platform. Not only does this design create a unique work area,...

  • As tech takes over, we’re not always in control of our lives

    Technology has a rapid rate of change and with this comes new mechanisms for communication. Today, most people use these services to communicate on a daily basis from remote areas to urban centres and among individuals and corporate groups. One of the main challenges for remote areas is affordable access to the internet to enable communication mechanisms. If this is resolved, adoption rates and the ability of everyone to communicate regardless of personal circumstances will be far greater. That is why national policy for enabling internet access across the country should address this. Free WiFi services is one...

  • Deep analytics could help resolve SA’s power crisis: here’s how

    Now is the ideal time for Eskom to use advanced analytics to improve decision-making and better handle South Africa’s power crisis. Eskom has always used a degree of analytics to manage power supply. However, the big data it gathers from power plants, transformers, generators and other machinery only reflects events that have already happened, making decisions based on this historical data ineffective. Looking back vs looking ahead The biggest problem is that decision-making is reactive rather than proactive. Take infrastructure maintenance as an example. Many of South Africa’s power plants are operating well beyond their 30- to 35-year lifespans....

  • Here’s what you need to know about getting digital transformation right

    There has been a lot of talk recently about digital transformation and how every business has to be a digital business. And it is certainly true that the rise of the web, digital communications and internet tools have penetrated and disrupted just about every aspect of business life. To take digital at its simplest, for example, I don’t think there are many enterprises out there now who would argue against the urgent need for some sort of presence on the web. But digital transformation is about more than just a website, it is about taking advantage of technology to...

  • 5 ways technology impacted the Nigerian elections

    Last Saturday (and Sunday in some parts of the country), Nigerians went to the polling stations to participate in the presidential election which was eventually won by four-time presidential candidate and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. For this electoral exercise, technology was on trial as those in favour of -- and those against the deployment of technology -- in the electoral exercise anticipated the outcome of the election and how far technology would, or could, go in the country’s electoral process. 1. Rigging could be curbed Rigging during elections is a fairly popular electoral tactic in Nigeria. ‘Rigging’ is the word...

  • Error 404: Democracy Not Found — what social media tells us about the state of our culture

    At a time in our world when there are more people voting for their government representatives than ever before, it's a discomforting thought that most of us are unhappy with the way our lives are run. To be fair, we are growing up alongside financial crises alongside an overpopulated planet. Still, whether political systems are under more assault due to having so many more eyes on it or whether people are feeling somewhat more entitled, the fact remains that the web -- specifically when we look at social media -- is playing a massive role in how it's being...

  • Standard wank in a digital world: using someone’s likeness in video games

    We love the digital space because it’s so creative and communicative. Our ability to blog, meme, post and share content through digital platforms is sexy. Naturally, in digital and “real world” contexts there are limitations on an unfettered ability to create and share content. What is unclear is if using someone’s likeness in video games is part of those limitations? The gaming industry is big business. Global gaming is forecast to rise to US$70.1-billion in 2015. South Africa’s gaming industry is worth roughly R2.5-billion domestically. In the USA, a trend has emerged of using a celebrity’s likeness (rather than their...

  • Your 10-Point checklist for integrating digital and mobile at your next live event

    To elevate your live event game, you probably wouldn’t look to Maroon 5’s wedding-crashing stunt for inspiration. But you might reconsider when you recognize the massive engagement the chart-topping band achieved through a combination of digital marketing and in-person connections. To create footage for their “Sugar” video, band members traveled around Los Angeles and crashed weddings, surprising couples with concerts at their receptions. The resulting music video perfectly captures the reactions of the brides, grooms, and wedding guests and has become a viral marketing asset. This stunt not only speaks to the benefits of experimenting with fan engagement, but...

  • 5 ways tech companies can take customer support offshore

    The internet has given technology businesses an easy way to build a presence in new markets by localising their websites to make products available to international customers. But before you start adapting your product and website for Kenya, Nigeria and Mauritius, have you thought about customer support? As technology gets more complex, consumers and enterprise users alike don’t always instinctively understand a new product. There needs to be some way for customers to get in touch with your company’s reps or support team. Research has shown that personal recommendations are the number one driver of consumer purchase decisions and enterprises also...