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App turns old smartphone into no-cost security cam

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A new free app allows users to turn just about any smartphone or tablet into a security camera. In fact, users can set up multiple monitoring devices around their homes for a DIY CCTV installation.

New Zealander Melissa Rodrigues’ three-year-old son claimed he heard an intruder. The first time she didn’t believe him. The second time, he showed her the proof – footprints in the mud. The third time the intruder appeared, Melissa and her husband caught him using the free app, Salient Eye (www.salient-eye.com), which allowed her to transform an old smartphone into a camera and motion detector.

“The support this app gave us was absolutely fantastic,” said Ms. Rodrigues. “It meant we didn’t have to put ourselves in harm’s way to look for him, and with the email alert we were on the phone to the police in literally seconds!”

Salient Eye’s free Android security alarm system transforms cameras on old mobile devices into motion-sensitive alarms with immediate notification. Users can even put smartphones throughout their houses to create an instant security network for free.

Haggai Meltzer, founder and CEO, Salient Eye, created the app after he’d been robbed. “I had a drawer full of old smartphones. They were too old for the thief to take an interest, but not too old for me to figure out a better way to use them.”

The only hardware required is an old phone or tablet, with security only two clicks away. Requiring no registration nor payment, app setup is not technical; it’s all icon-based for simplicity. Salient Eye works on any Android system, as far back as 2.2 (2010) and sends notifications to any device.

Although the story is rather frightening – Ms. Rodrigues property was violated three times in three nights – there’s a happy ending.

Once the Salient Eye app “saw” the intruder, Melissa was immediately notified with an email alert. She called the police, and a manhunt of five police cars and a dog tried to track him down. The dog actually lost his scent, but the picture from the Salient Eye app provided enough details that the man could easily be identified. He was a neighbor living a few houses away. He was on a spree and confessed to everything – not only stealing tools from the Rodrigues family but also stealing from other neighbors.

Ms. Rodrigues found Salient Eye online. “Having no money to be able to buy a ‘proper’ system, I stumbled across the app, which allowed me to have a free, immediately available security setup. The app literally helped our whole community,” she said.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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