Opinion

A new way of looking at business productivity

0

By Hein Taljaard, engagement lead for business productivity solutions at Decision Inc.

Business productivity solutions have evolved significantly in recent years. Even in South Africa, workflow is taken more seriously than in the past when the cost and effort did not justify any value derived from it. But thanks to the arrival of cloud-based productivity solutions, momentum is shifting and companies are looking at embracing a new way of thinking.

In no industry is this change more acutely felt than in mining. Executives are now looking at going beyond the traditional workflow of IT and HR. With platforms and intellectual capital built over the years across governance, health and safety, document control, and others, the industry is ripe for more effective business productivity solutions.

While IT still provides much input on workflow implementation, the decision-making process is one driven by business. In part, this is the result of how compliance requirements have changed and there is an expectation of much more rapid deployment of solutions. Today, it is less about the bits and bytes of software solutions and more on how workflow can improve and help overcome business challenges.

Improving efficiencies

IT is no longer the bottleneck in terms of delivery of workflow. Now, business can take ownership of it and use technology to give more employees access to related solutions.

Fortunately, workload automation is being helped to a certain extent through machine learning. The likes of artificial intelligence and bots will have a bigger role to play when it comes to how employees engage with their companies through productivity solutions.

Companies are more open to new and innovative approaches around workflow. In South Africa, the traditional feelings of fear and intimidation around technology are starting to disappear. The workflow value proposition has changed with the competitive space necessitating the need to adapt to a more connected business environment. It is no longer sustainable to operate inefficiently.

Integration

Technology is now more positioned to assist business with improving workflow and efficiencies. There is much tighter integration across business. The silo approach of the past is not practical. Cross-departmental work is imperative.

For this to work, there needs to be a centralised platform for employees to do their work. It is not so much a case of what happens in the back-end as it is about linking to it, securely and effectively.

As organisations look to automation, more elements from workflow will be used to reduce development cycles. If the business can achieve quick wins, it can focus on the core processes needed to deliver on corporate strategy.

For workflow, the cloud will be a major focus in the months to come. With a large multinational opening data centres in South Africa next year, the impact will be significant. It now becomes compelling to move to the cloud. And for workflow and business productivity, this could see a totally new dynamic where it becomes the priority it should be in business across industry sectors.

ROPEMAKER: Email Security Weakness – Vulnerability or Application Misuse?

0

Blog by Matthew Gardiner, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Mimecast

 

Most people live under the assumption that email is immutable once delivered, like a physical letter.  A new email exploit, dubbed ROPEMAKER by Mimecast’s research team, turns that assumption on its head, undermining the security and non-repudiation of email; even for those that use SMIME or PGP for signing.  Using the ROPEMAKER exploit a malicious actor can change the displayed content in an email at will. For example, a malicious actor could swap a benign URL with a malicious one in an email already delivered to your inbox, turn simple text into a malicious URL, or edit any text in the body of an email whenever they want. All of this can be done without direct access to the inbox.

Described in more detail in a recently published security advisory, Mimecast has been able to add a defense against this exploit for our customers and also provide security recommendations that can be considered non-customers to safeguard their email from this email exploit.

So what is ROPEMAKER?

The origin of ROPEMAKER lies at the intersection of email and Web technologies, more specifically Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) used with HTML.  While the use of these Web technologies has made email more visually attractive and dynamic relative to its purely text-based predecessor, this has also introduced an exploitable attack vector for email.

Clearly, giving attackers remote control over any aspect of ones’ applications or infrastructure is a bad thing.  As is described in more depth in the ROPEMAKER Security Advisory, this remote-control-ability could enable bad actors to direct unwitting users to malicious Web sites or cause other harmful consequences using a technique that could bypass common security controls and fool even the most security savvy users.  ROPEMAKER could be leveraged in ways that are limited only by the creativity of the threat actors, which experience tells us, is often unlimited.

To date, Mimecast has not seen ROPEMAKER exploited in the wild.  We have, however, shown it to work on most popular email clients and online email services.  Given that Mimecast currently serves more than 27K organizations and relays billions of emails monthly, if these types of exploits were being widely used it is very likely that Mimecast would see them.  However, this is no guarantee that cybercriminals aren’t currently taking advantage of ROPEMAKER in very targeted attacks.

For details on email clients that we tested that are and are not exploitable by ROPEMAKER and the specifics on a security setting recommended by Apple for Apple Mail, please see the ROPEMAKER Security Advisory.

Is ROPEMAKER a software vulnerability, a form of potential application abuse/exploit, or a fundamental design flaw resulting from the intersection of Web technologies and email?  Does it really matter which it is? For sure attackers don’t care why a system can be exploited, only that it can be. If you agree that the potential of an email being changeable post-delivery under the control of a malicious actor increases the probability of a successful email-borne attack, the issue simplifies itself.  Experience tells us that cybercriminals are always looking for the next email attack technique to use.  As an industry let’s work together to reduce the likelihood that the ROPEMAKER style of exploits gains any traction with cybercriminals!

 

Want to learn more? Download the full ROPEMAKER security advisory.

Kenyans: Buy the Infinix Note 4? Or wait for the Note 4 Pro? Here’s what we think

0

The Infinix Note 4 arrived in Kenya some weeks ago and while the Nigerian Infinix lovers have had a feel of the Infinix Note 4 Pro, Kenyans will have to wait for some couple of hours as the Infinix Note 4 Pro launches on Monday, 28 August, 2017.

The Infinix Note 4 successes the 6 inch beast, the Infinix Note 3 and trust Infinix as a mobile brand – a lot of changes were brought on board.

Upon seeing teasers of the Note 4 Pro, major Infinix hard-core fans who have love for what they have seen on the Note 4 are now caught in between the “Buy the Note 4 or wait for the Note 4 Pro” web. That’s absolutely normal and the points below are there to help you make your purchasing decision.

1. Not a heavy smartphone user? Go ahead, the Note 4 is a good buy

Considering that one of the major catch-spec of the upcoming Note 4 Pro is an increase in RAM size to 3 GB, it gives the impression that the Note 4 Pro was specifically made for frequent smartphone users and gamers. And if you are not any of the two, the Note 4’s 2 GB RAM is enough.

But if you are, then a 48 hour wait for the Note 4 Pro is all you need.

2. Poor electricity supply? Wait for the Note 4 Pro

If you are always on the phone, on the move, a traveler or you live in an area of Kenya where there isn’t constant electricity supply, the Note 4 Pro’s 4,500 mAh battery capacity will do much more than the Note 4’s 4,300 mAh. Trust me, 200 mAh can make a difference.

3. A Writer, Journalist or your job involves note taking? Then do not buy the Note 4

As we have seen from the many video teaser and images, the Infinix Note 4 Pro will come with the X-PEN. This is Infinix first device that will feature a stylus pen and we think if you are a writer, a student, a journalist, a manager or you work at a place where you have to take note of a lot of things, the Note 4 Pro is best suited for you; and a 48 hours wait (or less) would not hurt.

4. Just want to take beautiful pictures and selfies? The Note 4 is what we advise

Are you the type that’s all about the camera in a device? Then just walk right into any gadget store and buy the Infinix Note 4. Why? The Note 4 and Note 4 Pro have the same camera quality and it wouldn’t agree with the rule of logic to wait 48 hours to buy the same camera at a more expensive amount, right?

The Infinix Note 4 was available for purchase on Jumia early July but this time, the Note 4 Pro will exclusively launch on Kilimall.

Has Mi-fone abandoned the Nigerian market despite the Mi-Tribe A500 success?

0

“With the mi-Tribe A500, we have launched a mobile device that offers convenience, style and affordability, made exclusively for the people of Nigeria, as a way of giving them quality, backed up by superior after sales support.” said Alpesh Patel, CEO and founder of the mi-Fone during the announcement of its partnership with Nigeria’s leading online mall, Konga to launch the Mi-Tribe A500 in Nigeria.

Truth be told, the Mi-Tribe A500 was a success. With thousands of units sold both online (particularly on Konga) and offline in local mobile retail stores and a chunk of positive reviews and feedbacks, one would think that Mi-Fone as a mobile brand has come to stay. Little did we know that we would not be hearing from the OEM in a really long time.

Mi-Tribe A500

The Mi-Tribe A500 was announced and launched in Nigeria February 2016 but didn’t start selling until March 2016. Nigerians rushed to purchase the device because it  had pretty decent specs and was affordable – the Mi-Tribe A500 sold around N23,000 when it launched. Couple of months later, the price nose-dived to about N20,350 on Konga and the sales volume of the device almost doubled.

This could be attributed in part to the then economic recession the country was facing which saw prices of most gadgets snowball. So, given the specs and price of the Mi-Tribe A500 that period, it was a steal.

Mi-Tribe A500S

July 2016, the Mi-Tribe A500S was launched. The A500S was an upgrade of the earlier released A500. However, only the camera quality and processor cores were upgraded. The primary camera was upgraded from 8 MP to 13 MP while the secondary camera was upgraded to 5 MP from the low-end 2 MP found on the A500.

With the release of the A500S, its second smartphone, five months after the launch of the first, mi-Fone seemed like a company that had the Nigeria market at heart. Apparently, our perception of the company was faulty.

It has been way more than 12 months now and not only have we not seen any new device from the company, the company in itself have failed to release any teasers, updates, or statements as regards its continued silence.

Leaves us wondering: Has mi-Fone abandoned the Nigerian market? Was the Mi-Tribe A500 the only device the company planned for the Nigeria people? Will there be any other device from the company asides the A500 and A500S to the Nigerian people?

So many questions begging for answers.

The Mi-Tribe A500 is a 5.0 inch smartphone with 2GB of RAM, 720 x 1280 pixels display resolution, Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, 8 MP rear camera, 2 MP front facing camera, Quad-core processor, 16GB built-in storage and 2,300 mAh battery.

6 essential tips to make sure your conveyor belt stays in good shape

0

Sure, as far as you can recollect, your conveyor belt has given you no problems so far. A decent amount of time has passed and it’s still seemingly running as smooth as butter. Well, that’s great, but that doesn’t automatically mean that nothing will happen in the future either. After all, most things across the board tend to show signs of breakdown sooner or later beyond a certain point.

Hence, the onus is completely on you to make sure that you take proper care of your conveyor belt in every possible way. Once you do that, you need not have to worry all that much about a premature breakdown taking place, as chances of that happening will be much less.

So how do you ensure that you ultimately end up getting the most out of your conveyor belt? Here are 6 simple tips to do so :-

  • Choosing the correct belt: In this regard, there are a couple of factors that you will have to keep in mind. Some of the factors include – the products being conveyed, minimum pulley, temperature, speed and load size. Keeping the aforementioned aspects in mind, you are sure to get hold of the best belt for the job.
  • Applying the correct tension: This is an aspect a great number of people go wrong in. Once the over-tension of belts take place, you will being to see the laps coming apart or prematurely pulled out. Furthermore, this leads to the ruin of shafts and bearings as well.Since most belts happen to be tensioned around the elongation of 0.4% and 0.7%, you need to keep the particular elongation in mind. Just remember to avoid putting more tension on the belt to make it turn.
  • Making sure that the belt is tracked properly: While replacing an old belt with a new one, there are enough chances that the old belt would have caused a few changes to the conveyor over a certain period of time. So do make sure that you make the necessary adjustments for proper tracking, as well as getting the conveyor back to its original specifications.
  • Ensuring that the conveyor is in good condition: As long as you ensure that this is done, you can be sure that your conveyor will run for a longer time without any issues. Make sure that it is level and square and there should not be any idle conveyor rollers.
  • The importance of cleanliness: Pollution of any kind happens to be the number one cause of belt failure. Hence, especially if your conveyor is in the food industry, you cannot afford to forget getting it cleaned on a daily basis.
  • The proper storage of conveyor belts: In the case of belt failure, it is imperative that you stock extra belts, just in case. Otherwise, smaller belts need to be stored in plastic bags in order to protect them from contamination, light and moisture.

As long as you keep these particular factors in mind, you don’t need to worry about your conveyor belt. Not only will you end up extending the life of your conveyor belt, but you will also end up saving a great deal of time and money as well.

Just remember this – there is no great rocket science or technical knowledge in any of the aforementioned tips. There is no great deal of expertise required to do the same either. Many people make the automatic assumption that it’s simply too hard, when nothing could be further from the truth. All you need to do is take good care of your conveyor belt and make sure that it stays in good shape.

Will the Apple Watch 3 Change the Way We Game?

0
Image:Dailystar.co.uk
Image:Dailystar.co.uk

The Apple Watch was a huge deal when it was first released. It really was the first quality smart watch of its kind, and its sleek Apple design and customizable bands made it all the more appealing. However, the initial smart watch phase had a functionality problem.

Most smart watches, the Apple Watch included, basically amounted to fancy fitness trackers that you sometimes checked text messages on. We have seen some great advancements since then, but not nearly enough. However, the Apple Watch 3, set to launch later this year, could be the big jump the product needs to really become a mainstream necessity.

The big question, the one that will make the Apple Watch truly relevant, is whether or not it can be used for casual entertainment. Or, in other words, can it game?

New Design, Bigger Display?

The Apple Watch 3 will almost certainly have a new design, and that may come with a slightly larger face display. Part of the challenge in designing a smartwatch is balancing the size of the watch with functionality. The 42mm design of the Apple Watch is a little on the large side for watches, but perhaps a clever redesign could give us a few more millimeters to enjoy.

A larger display would make it easier to play games on the Apple Watch without squinting or holding it directly in front of your face.

Improved Battery Life

The original Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2 already had great battery life. Both models lasted between two and three days on a single charge, putting it at the top of the smart watch market in that regard. However, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better.

One of the rumors spreading about the Apple Watch 3 suggests there will be modest battery improvements, which means we could see the watch last for 4 or even 5 days. Could you imagine having a device that lasted almost a full week on one charge? Not only would it be less tedious to maintain, but it would also be ideal for people who love using it to play games.

Dedicated LTE Support

Smart watches with LTE isn’t a new thing. Samsung introduced it with the Galaxy Gear S2. However, Apple likes to do things in their own time to make sure they get it just right. It’s likely they have put it off this long so they can find a way to include LTE without sacrificing battery life.

The rumor mill is suggesting that the Apple Watch 3 will have LTE support, and that can only be a good thing for gamers. LTE support will allow players to finally connect with games that have leaderboards, chat options, or really any other kind of online feature. That greatly increases the amount of games one could potentially play on the Apple Watch 3.

Wider Support for Games

The Apple Watch has already seen a decent amount of support from mobile game developers, and the inclusion of LTE will likely expand that support. There are already some great games on Apple Watch, such as turn-based puzzler Best Fiends and Runeblade, a fantasy adventure created specifically for the Apple Watch, but we could always use more. Could you imagine what life would be like if we had great games like Candy Crush on our Apple Watch? Enjoyment of the device would exponentially improve, while productivity would undoubtedly plummet.

Quite a few developers have already jumped on board with the Apple Watch, and not just with games designed for the Apple Watch. Some online slots have also recently become playable on smartwatches, with Microgaming’s Thunderstruck II considered the first casino game available on Apple Watch. The online casino industry is known for its early adopter tendencies, and smartwatches are no exception. One of the reasons this happens is the intense competition between online casinos, which also bring no deposit bonuses and other attractive offers to the table.

Custom Gaming Bands

The Apple Watch 3 will supposedly support modular “smart bands” that come with their own unique features. There aren’t any other details on what these features are, but there will likely be some great options for Apple Watch gamers. For instance, what if one of these watches improved battery life or added additional storage to your Apple Watch? Both of those things are great options for someone who uses their Apple Watch to play games.

We Will Know Very Soon

The Apple Watch 3 will likely launch sometime this year, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it launched alongside the new iPhone. Those normally launch in September, so that’s probably when we can all expect to see the Apple Watch 3 and what it offers to gamers.

President Buhari’s Return to Nigeria

0

The president of Nigeria feels quite healthy to go home after his Britain and is awaiting his doctor’s permission. Only his doctor`s permission is required to board.

Since the beginning of May 2017, a 74-years-old fifteenth Nigeria’s president has been treated in London for an unnamed illness. The complete lack of information about the head of the state led to numerous protests.

Muhammadu Buhari, in his turn, said he felt ok and were ready to continue ruling the country despite numerous protests about his resignation. “There is a tremendous improvement in my health,” promised the president.

Additionally, Buhari`s office revealed some photos on which the president stands outside the hospital, and smile through sunglasses. There is a large card in his hands with a sign “I will get well soon.”

It is the second extended absence of the president during a single year. Since January 2017, Buhari spent twice more time in the UK, than in Nigeria. From January to March the president had a sick leave. On early May he returned to London to continue treatment. Both times, Muhammadu Buhari appointed Yemi Osinbajo, his deputy, an acting president.

Owing to this fact, many Nigerians are sure that it is enough for him to run the nation. Some officials even called to replace the president. However, the military immediately reminded the army to serve the current president.

From the time when the 13th president of Nigeria Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died in his office in 2010, Buhari`s health problems have caused a sensitive issue, which caused many months of political disorder.

Source: Naij Nigeria.

Solve digital parenting concerns using a parental control app

0

Although smartphones have become a primary source of attraction for kids these days but, you cannot just let your child own one without keeping an eye on their activities. Digital parenting concerns include pornographic content, dangerous digital apps, cyberbullying, sexting, online predators, gaming and screen addiction etc.

  1. The Need of Using a Parental Control App

Mobile phones are no longer limited to texting and calling friends and family, in fact, nowadays the mobile devices play the role of full-featured computers provided with an Internet connection. Your child can download several different apps and can explore a multitude of content on the web using their cell phones. With the increasing concerns regarding digital traps, more and more parents are adapting digital parenting.

Using a parental control app to keep kids safe online is extremely necessary. Children don’t often realize the consequences of their digital action until it is too late. But, when parents monitor their child’s digital conduct, they can identify the problematic behavior sooner and can assure their child’s safety. One such app is the FamilyTime App.

  1. How Does FamilyTime Help in Reducing Digital Concerns?

FamilyTime parental control app is programmed specially to help the concerned parents. It is a comprehensive app which brings to you every feature you require to protect your kids from digital traps. Want to see how it works? You can get the app from Google play store, iTunes or just by clicking the buttons below!

Here is a quick overview of the features provided by the FamilyTime parental control app. Have a look at what does the app offer to you and in what ways it can be beneficial!

    • Schedule auto screen lock: You can customize the screen time for all your children and can restrict them to use their smartphones only for a certain time period
    • Keep tabs on Digital Apps: You can view the apps installed along with their usage frequency and can even block those apps that are inappropriate according to your child’s age
    • Track Call Logs and Text Messages: You can get access to the call logs on your teen’s device and can monitor sent or received text messages on their mobile phones

 

  • Protect Kids from Vulgar Content: You can check the web-browsing history on your child’s device and can also see the frequently visited URLS along with the date and time stamps. This helps you analyze whether your child visited a certain inappropriate website on purpose or not

 

  1. Switch to Smart Parenting!

A parental control app is exceptionally helpful for parents who don’t want to deprive their kids of the modern technology but at the same time want to keep their kids protected from the threats of the Internet. Smart parenting is the best option for parents in this digital era. Happy Parenting!

Innovation Doesn’t Have To Be Disruptive

0

Howard Miller and Grace Njoroge dig deeper into the idea of innovation and what it means for the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity.

 It is clear that technology is changing the landscape of financial services in rural Africa. From the largest banks to the smallest fintechs, financial service providers are gearing up for a world in which finance is digital first and in which anyone with access to a mobile phone can also derive benefits from formal financial services.

The rapid uptake of mobile money in many countries has sowed the seed for a thousand new innovations that could further extend inclusive financial services. An outcome of this success has been that everybody in digital finance is looking for “the new M-Pesa”, in the same way that elsewhere, entrepreneurs want to be “the Uber of…” An underlying assumption here is that change is generally linear until a special company comes along with an idea that creates non-linear change, which we often call disruption.

But when you map this idea on to the landscape of unbundling that financial services are currently going through, it is not so clear that disruption is what’s needed. It used to be that a bank, or a microfinance institution, or an insurance company, would aim to provide a vertically integrated service to the customer, from initial acquisition to all aspects of relationship management and back end services. This is changing. Technology, and in particular the ability for different platforms to link with each other, opens up new opportunities for collaboration. Not everyone needs to develop the next big product or service – there may be much more value and impact for a fintech company to build a business- to-business solution that works at a specific pain point for a financial institution.

For example, the Fund is supporting a partnership between Juhudi Kilimo, an asset financing company, and the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab to develop a psychometric credit scoring tool for smallholder farmer borrowers with no or limited verifiable credit information. This is a tech-enabled solution for a specific challenge – how to estimate likelihood of repayment in a data-light environment – that could reduce costs and improve efficiency of Juhudi Kilimo’s credit processes.

A similar partnership in the Fund portfolio is between First Access, a fintech company, and Esoko, an agricultural information and communications company. The two will develop a rural agricultural credit-scoring platform for lending institutions from disparate data sets, from soil and weather data to mobile phone usage and farmer profiles. The solution has the potential to impact a large number of farmers who do not have traditionally accepted banking histories.

These are great innovations, that could have a real impact on micro and small business finance, but they probably won’t be putting other lenders out of business. And that’s fine. Innovation can be highly effective without being disruptive.

There’s nothing wrong with ambition, and there is certainly scope for massive changes in Africa’s rural finance markets. But if you focus too hard on the next disruption you can lose sight of the great ideas that represent an evolution, not necessarily a revolution. At the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity, we love big ideas. But the most important aspect of the big idea is the impact it has on the livelihoods of rural communities in Africa, not necessarily on how it disrupts the structure of the financial system.

So if you want to apply for support from the Fund, we’re not so fussed about if you’re the next big disruption to African financial markets. We want a credible plan that overcomes some of the many challenges of financing rural populations, and can have a real impact on the lives of people living in or close to poverty. We want ideas that work from the bottom up, which solve real problems. Maybe you’ll be disruptive. If you’re not, that’s fine too.

Howard Miller is an Associate Consultant, Nathan Associates

Grace Njoroge is a Financial Inclusion Advisor, KPMG International Development Advisory Services

The Ethics of Code: Developing AI for Business with Five Core Principles

0

By Kriti Sharma, VP of Bots and AI at Sage.

Building chatbots and AI that helps our customers is the easy part – the wider questions that the rising tide of AI bring are broad and currently very topical. Because of this, we developed our AI within a set of guiderails, these are the core principles that we believe help us to ensure our products are safe and ethical.

The ‘Ethics of Code’ are designed to protect the user and to ensure that tech giants, such as Sage, are building AI that is safe, secure, fits the use case and most importantly is inclusive and reflects the diversity of the users it serves. As a leader in AI for business we would like to call others to task – big businesses, small business and hackers alike – and ask them to bear these principles in mind when developing or deploying their own Artificial Intelligence.

  1. AI should reflect the diversity of the users it serves

Both industry and community must develop effective mechanisms to filter bias as well as negative sentiment in the data that AI learns from – ensuring AI does not perpetuate stereotypes.

  1. AI must be held to account – and so must users                     

Users build a relationship with AI and start to trust it after just a few meaningful interactions. With trust, comes responsibility and AI needs to be held accountable for its actions and decisions, just like humans. Technology should not be allowed to become too clever to be accountable. We don’t accept this kind of behaviour from other ‘expert’ professions, so why should technology be the exception.

  1. Reward AI for ‘showing its workings’

Any AI system learning from bad examples could end up becoming socially inappropriate – we have to remember that most AI today has no cognition of what it is saying. Only broad listening and learning from diverse data sets will solve for this.

One of the approaches is to develop a reward mechanism when training AI. Reinforcement learning measures should be built not just based on what AI or robots do to achieve an outcome, but also on how AI and robots align with human values to accomplish that particular result.

  1. AI should level the playing field

Voice technology and social robots provide newly accessible solutions, specifically to people disadvantaged by sight problems, dyslexia and limited mobility. The business technology community needs to accelerate the development of new technologies to level the playing field and broaden the available talent pool.

  1. AI will replace, but it must also create

There will be new opportunities created by the robotification of tasks, and we need to train humans for these prospects. If business and AI work together it will enable people to focus on what they are good at – building relationships and caring for customers.

 

Bio:

Kriti Sharma is VP of Bots and Artificial Intelligence at Sage and a trailblazer for smart machines that work and react like humans to help to make business admin invisible. Kriti is the creator of Pegg, the world’s first accounting chatbot, launched to market in 2017 which now boasts users in 135 countries.

After graduating from St. Andrews University with a Masters in Advanced Computer Science six years ago, Kriti led product management for award-winning mobile payments app Barclays Pingit. She was also Head of Big Data and Analytics at Barclays before joining Sage. Kriti is a noted personality in the computer engineering space and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Google Grace Hopper Scholar and Government of India’s Young Leader in Science.

7 Things to Expect from Future Healthcare

0

Healthcare research and advancements are changing our quality of life for the better before a person even receives a diagnosis. We are therefore looking at seven things we can expect from healthcare in the near future.

  • Preventative Medicine

Many medical establishments are storing electronic medical records in the cloud, which allows healthcare tasks to become available online. As a result, it will become easier to detect early symptoms and changes, as the sensors will inform patients to care for their body before they become sick. While this technology remains in the early stages, it may become the forefront of medicine with further investment.

  • Robots

Predictive data will allow devices and robots to perform various healthcare tasks alone. For instance, the San Francisco Medical Center uses Eve, an Aethon-built robot, to deliver supplies and samples. As a result, this could become the norm in many healthcare practices in the not-so-distant future.

  • Improved Data and Diagnosis

Many doctors are already using high-tech computers and devices to improve the standards of healthcare. However, data will soon become at the forefront of modern medicine, as it is expected to become more readily available. As a result, a physician can use this extensive information to diagnose and treat patients at a faster rate effectively.

For instance, the X Prize Foundation is providing $10 million to the first team who can deliver a tricorder. This is a hand-held diagnostic device that will be able to detect diseases, and it might be available sooner than you think. Dr. Peter Diamandis believes it could be created within the next five years.

  • Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is already available in more than half of all US states, as it can effectively treat various health conditions, such as arthritis, cancer prevention and depression. With further research taking place to understand the different types of marijuana and their medical benefits, it may very well become a legalized drug across the world in years to come.

  • The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things could connect modern devices to predictive medicine. For instance, it may soon become possible to connect a person’s general health to their lifestyle. With data and technology advancing at a rapid rate, many entrepreneurs may be able to utilize new technologies to improve the patient experience.

  • Healthcare Collaborations

Medical researchers are expected to increasingly collaborate with innovative entrepreneurs to improve the healthcare sector. Their goal will be to identify how new technologies can fill any gaps in healthcare to stop, prevent or treat various medical conditions and illnesses.

  • Home Healthcare

Apps on the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home may soon change home healthcare for the better. They are expected to soon talk to the Internet of Things devices within the home, such as wearable technologies, glucometer and blood pressure cuffs. What’s more, they may be able to run a daily healthcare check and can call emergency services by a person simply saying “Alexa, call 911”.

 

The Benefits Of Getting A Good Education

0

 

There’s nothing like getting a solid education. It stimulates your mind and provides you with a pass to a world of possibilities. Learning is one of those aspects in life that’s priceless. Knowledge is powerful and has the ability to deliver positive outcomes throughout your career.

Don’t hesitate if you’re ever offered the opportunity to receive a decent education. You won’t know it at the time, but it has the capability to change and improve your life. If you’re thinking of going to school, or back for higher education, it’s worth highly considering. See the benefits of getting a good education.

Career Opportunities

Going to school opens up a whole new world as to what you can learn. You don’t have to decide on a degree right away. Feel out a few different fields of study and classes. There are so many to choose from that it’s important you research on your own too. For example, there are non clinical healthcare careers that don’t require patient care. Healthcare professions exist that can lead to healthcare careers outside of direct patient care. Be open to new possibilities and ideas when you’re exploring your options.

Personal Growth

There’s no chance you won’t grow as a person while you’re in school. You’re constantly being challenged and asked to give feedback. You’re learning each day and tackling subjects you may have never even heard of before. You’ll succeed at times, and there’ll be other instances where you continue to struggle. Learn from your mistakes and bring what you absorb with you to your personal and professional life. Apply your knowledge to your other classes and in your daily encounters.

Time Management

One important lesson you learn in school is to be on time. It’s imperative for exams and turning in assignments. It’s a priceless skill that you can take with you wherever you go. It’ll be critical in your career and personal life going forward. It becomes a balancing act of what’s going on in the classroom and responsibilities outside of school. The pressure pushes you to become an expert in managing your time and getting it all done.

Social & Organizational Skills

A few other skills you gain along the way are your social and organizational techniques. Improve how you communicate with others by continuous interactions. You have to be organized with your school work, and if you’re not, you’ll soon learn. You’re being tested daily as you exchange information with others and balance your social and academic responsibilities.

Opinions

The best part about college is that you gain your own perspective. You learn how to form opinions and give your feedback to others. It’s also a way to build self-confidence and start believing in yourself. It enriches your conversations with others and allows you to step up and share your view down the road when you’re in the workforce.

Conclusion

Going through schooling is tough, but invaluable. Don’t sell yourself short if you ever get the chance to attend. These are the benefits of getting a good education.

Digital Entertainment – Good For Us All

0
If you like loud music, then this phone's earphones will offer you the best when it comes to quality music. It has earbuds that provide a comfortable feel

We live in an increasingly digital age. We use technology to improve our working practices to increase efficiency and productivity. We use technology in our homes to make once cumbersome tasks easier to complete and at a quicker pace. It is no surprise then, that we use technology for the benefit of our entertainment, whether it’s our digital televisions or blue tooth sound systems. There are very few homes across the land that do not use digital technologies for entertainment.

There are very few homes of teenagers that have not been the site for numerous discussions about the amount of time the kids spend on their gaming devices, but over the years as games have evolved, this online form of entertainment now crosses the generations. Whereas previously playing games was deemed as being bad for you, the genre has moved on and can no longer be categorized; after all, we all need entertaining.

So, why do so many people now play games online?

The Sport

With the rise of free baseball simulation games and other fantasy sports, people are now spending on average up to 3 hours a week managing their teams. It offers sports lovers the opportunity to be involved with their favorite sport without the need to spend money going to real life games: it mixes spectating with participating.

People love sport, but often they are unable to participate in games like they used to, either because of a reduction of physical fitness, or due to time constraints within the working week, or because going to watch sporting events costs money. By participating in online games, people can virtually play the sport at a convenient time from the comfort of their own home. Players of virtual sports have been found to watch more games on television, read more related newspaper articles and buy more team merchandise – the impact on real life is real!

The Camaraderie

People love playing sports together and against each other. There is a real sense of community amongst gamers with tips and hints being shared to help other players overcome the challenges of the game. There are multitudes of forums devoted to gamers helping each other defeat the game, and offering a space of reflection for failed strategies or even celebration. It is a social environment that goes beyond any social boundaries that exist in the real world.

The Life Skills

People love using their life skills to succeed. Is there any other environment where people can display how adept they are without any external pressure to do so? There’s only personal gain from their ability to be organized, make choices, prioritize, feel empathy, and on a good day, show mercy. There are no real life affecting consequence to making mistakes, only knowledge to be gained to play better next time.

The Emotions

People love the emotions created by games. There is nothing better than feeling happy; it’s a state that we all try to work towards, whether it’s the happiness achieved by winning, or the happiness gained through healthy competition. Overall, gaming makes the players happy. Games provide a route for escapism from the responsibilities and hum drum of real life.

 

3 basic edtech features everyone should know

0

Edtech: e-learning, mobile learning and MOOC

 A new educational frontier for Africa

EdTech is the use of digital education technology to facilitate teaching and learning. It’s a rapidly expanding sector with enormous potential. Providers around the world are now incorporating education technology into their delivery strategies. The development of mobile technology such as tablets and smartphones offers great opportunities for anywhere, anytime learning. E-learning, mlearning (mobile learning) and online courses have particular potential in areas where access to more traditional forms of education is restricted or non-existent.

 A growth area for Africa

With the possibilities it offers for distance and independent learning, EdTech has specific relevance for the continent of Africa, where it’s becoming one of the biggest and most important developing educational markets. A pressing need for high level skills is leading to a rising demand for higher education in a part of the world where traditional education models are not always appropriate. Using education technology in teaching and learning is a way of thinking differently and increasing opportunity.

 A flexible approach to learning

One of the major strengths of EdTech is that it can be tailored to meet the different needs of learners. It can be used to augment and enrich teaching and learning in a classroom setting. Such an example are online courses as support for the medical exam preparations (MCAT, All India Pre Medical test, etc).

Perhaps its most powerful application, however, is in opening up new areas outside the classroom by facilitating distance and independent learning via online courses. Students can have the convenience of on demand resources combined with the support of a tutor. Digital connectivity can provide the collegiality of a learning group, but students can also learn alone at a time that suits them. Education technology also enables the exploration of fresh approaches to enhance learning, such as learning through games (gamification).

 Edtech Key terms

EdTech is a dynamic, ever-evolving area that is not always talked about in the clearest possible language. Discussion can be poorly informed and confusing with words and phrases used imprecisely and interchangeably. In addition to discussing some of the benefits of education technology, this article aims to offer some clarity by highlighting and explaining some key terms and abbreviations.

E-learning

This is a commonly used abbreviation for ‘electronic learning’ and means the use of computer technology to deliver programs of study either in whole or in part. This might be by standalone packages or, increasingly frequently, though online courses where resources and tuition are accessed via the internet. E-learning is a way of expanding opportunities for learning beyond traditional settings using digital technology such as PCs, laptops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones.

Mobile learning

As digital technology becomes increasingly portable, mobile learning, often referred to as m-learning or mlearning, is emerging as a key element of e-learning strategies. M-learning means that a student is not tied to a particular place and can learn wherever they are. In an African context, m-learning is a means of reaching potential students, for example by their mobile phone, in areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. This might be by a distance learning course hosted by a university or other institution or through independent study.

MOOCs

Massive open online courses, commonly abbreviated to MOOCs, are courses made available for free over the internet to large numbers of people. MOOCs give learners access to a whole range of resources that would otherwise be unavailable to them. They also connect students to expert tuition, wherever they are. As a means of providing large scale distance learning for geographically dispersed students, they have great potential in Africa as part of a mobile learning strategy.

 Edtech conclusion

Edtech features such as e-learning, m-learning and online courses (MOOC) are a rapidly evolving market in education in general and in Africa in particular. Students can learn via their mobile phones or other portable devices anywhere and anytime. As mobile and e-learning is independent of geography, it does not need the traditional infrastructure of schools, classrooms and libraries. This means that development steps can be leapfrogged and gaps in skills and training can be filled more quickly.

Edtech is one of the relatively new applications which use the new internet and mobile phone based technologies to improve the access to some basic needs or skills, such as medical education, app based language learning or cheap online money transfers.

There is a rising amount of local and regional companies which provide products and materials for online courses and exam preparations, the classical fields of m-learning. This table of African e-learning providers illustrates a list of edtech startups in several countries.
Online courses – Boost your skills now!

For more information about this important and exciting educational market, visit my apps-for-learning.com site. Alternatively, if you wish, contact me directly today: Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Whether you are a student or teaching professional, we specialize in mobile education within Africa and will be pleased to help you with your enquiry.

By the way: If you are a medical student, try online medical courses as wonderful support for your medical exam preparation! They have a proven record.

Enjoy the article and let me know what you think by posting your comment below. I would be grateful if you also and share this post with friends and colleagues.

 

Your e-learning and online courses specialist,

Jens Ischebeck, www.apps-for-learning.com