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AppDate: Free WhatsApp roaming with KnowRoaming

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In his latest AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Free WhatsApp voice and data with KnowRoaming, Apple’s new TV App, Shell foetal heartbeat listener, My Vodacom with Masterpass feature and Absa walletdoc.

Free WhatsApp voice and data with KnowRoaming

The KnowRoaming products allow users traveling abroad to chat via WhatsApp without having to worry about huge roaming data costs. KnowRoaming comes in the form of a sticker that activates whenever it detects the device is on an international network or in the form of a SIM that can be swapped out when overseas.

Platform: Any smartphone or tablet
Expect to pay: R450 for the sticker or R150 for the SIM card.
Stockists: Visit www. knowroaming.com

Apple TV App

Apple’s new TV app is designed to offer a unified experience for accessing TV shows and movies from multiple apps on an Apple TV, iPhone or iPad. The TV app provides a single place to access TV shows and movies, as well as a place to discover new content to watch. Also included is a Siri feature that lets viewers tune in directly to live news and sporting events across their apps.

Platform: Apple TV, iPhone and iPad
Expect to pay: A free update.
Stockists: Visit http://www.apple.com/tv/ for more information.

Shell foetal heartbeat listener

Shell by Bellabeat is a non-invasive foetal heartbeat listener for expectant families. It enables one to listen to the sound of a baby’s heart without the use of Doppler technology – very much like resting an ear against the tummy, but at a higher volume. Shell works by placing a phone’s microphone on the belly, which then captures sounds from the womb and isolates the heartbeat.

In addition to listening to the heartbeat, moms can record and store the tracks and share them through social networks.

Platform: Devices running iOS
Expect to pay: A free download
Stockists: Visit the Apple App Store

My Vodacom with Masterpass feature

The latest My Vodacom app now allows Vodacom customers to buy airtime, data bundles and SMS bundles straight from the app. To make a purchase, customers simply load their payment card information into the secure app, select “pay with Masterpass”, and enter in their bank PIN to complete the purchase. Masterpass speeds up the buying process as payment card information – including card details from both Mastercard and other payment forms – are only captured once, meaning that consumers do not have the repeated hassle of entering these details each time they want to complete a transaction.  Another benefit of Masterpass is that it uses multiple layers of security, ensuring the personal details are protected. Unlike some other solutions, each Masterpass transaction is classified as an Authenticated Mobile Transaction by South African banks.

Platform: Android devices with iOS support coming soon.
Expect to pay: A free download.
Stockists: Visit the Google Play Store.

Absa walletdoc

Absa’s walletdoc now offers users a more convenient way to pay utility and monthly subscription bills. The solution notifies one when bills arrive, and automatically reminds users when payments are due. walletdoc also takes care of account and reference numbers, ensuring billers always receive reconciled payments. Once payment card details have been setup, they can pay multiple bills in a single transaction and walletdoc digitally stores bills and payment history.

A list of walletdoc’s supported billers can be found at www.walletdoc.com/supported-billers.

Platform: Android and iOS
Expect to pay: A free download.
Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

* Sean Bacher is editor of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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