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2016, the year of comparisons

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The information economy should make it easier to be a smart consumer – but the sheer amount of data out there can make it harder. However, various comparative tools are available to help customers make the correct purchasing choice.

Consumers need access to all the information about products they’re interested in, but we also need a system that shows us exactly how relevant products compare to each other.

Fortunately, consumer technology is catching up and providing reliable and effective comparisons that can save consumers a lot of money.

That’s why 2016 may finally be the year of the comparison.

Making cellular simple

Cellular contract are a great example of how complicated consumer decisions have become.  The market has become bewildering with over 10,000 combinations of packages on bundles available for you to choose. Which contract will be most cost effective? What phone should you get? Is my network right or should I migrate?

A prime example of a tool to help sort through this complexity is Tariffic – a web-based service that helps you find the best package for your unique needs, taking the guesswork out of choosing the perfect cellular contract.

Smarter saving

Comparisons aren’t just about spending less, they can also be about earning more. Another valuable comparison tool for consumers is the new free mytreasury.co.za Savings Optimiser, which finds you the savings account with the highest interest rate. Until now bank accounts have been notoriously opaque. With so many products giving hundreds of different rates based on a range of criteria across numerous banks, finding the best interest rate was almost impossible. My Treasury now makes it quick and easy.

It doesn’t cost anything to put your cash in a high interest savings account, making it an smart and effective way for ordinary people to grow their wealth.

Real value insurance

Now that you can get instant quotes from a range of insurance companies, there’s no longer any reason to stick with an insurance policy if you can get a better deal somewhere else.

However, there are some important points to bear in mind. When it comes to insurance, reliability is key. A cheaper premium is worth nothing if you can’t depend on the insurer to pay out when you need it. Look for the best deal, but don’t compromise on quality cover.

Information is consumer power

The great thing about effective comparison technology is that it makes consumer markets more transparent, which increases competition. It’s time consumers stop accepting complex price plans that conceal high prices. When it comes to being a smart consumer, knowledge really is power.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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