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AppDate: Google plugs into video chatting

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In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Google Duo video chat, xRapid, Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool for Business, FitKey and MessageBird’s Chat API.

Google Duo video chat

Google Duo provides simple one-to-one video calling directly from a smartphone. The app features a knock-knock option that gives a preview of incoming calls from one’s contacts. It works over both Wi-Fi and cellular networks, and will hand over a call from one to the other should the user be moving about.  According to Google,  the app has been optimised to connect faster than most other video apps. To ensure it stays in sync, it will work over slower connections like 2G. All calls are encrypted and users don’t need a Google account to make and receive calls.

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: Visit the app store linked to your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

xRapid

Digicape has extended its range of healthcare solutions with the local availability of xRapid. The app uses a combination of digital imaging and artificial intelligence that allows doctors to diagnose the early onset of tuberculosis and malaria without the need to take blood samples to a lab. The solution includes an iPhone, the xRapid app and equipment that will work on most compound and field microscopes. The solution is robust, making it great for health professionals and aid workers in remote areas with limited resources.

Platform: iOS

Stockists: Visit www.rapid.org

Expect to pay: Prices are available on application

Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool for Business

Kaspersky’s Anti-Ransomware Tool for Business offers complimentary security to protect corporate users from ransomware. To identify ransomware behaviour patterns and protect Windows-based endpoints, the app leverages two other products: Kaspersky Security Network and Kaspersky System Watcher. System Watcher’s capabilities include the possibility of blocking and roll-back of harmful changes. Kaspersky Security Network is a cloud-based service dedicated to processing depersonalised cybersecurity-related data streams from millions of voluntary participants around the world.

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

FitKey

FitKey, a local fitness startup that electronically pairs those wanting to find exercise with classes and gyms in their area. Fitkey members simply log in to the FitKey mobile app or website, browse all classes and activities available, and then reserve a class they want to attend in their area.

Platform: Android, iOS or any Internet browser.

Stockists: Visit www.fitkey.co.za for registration instructions.

Expect to pay: R450 per month with access to various studios and classes nationwide.

MessageBird Chat API

MessageBird’s latest app now integrates chat applications like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook Chat directly into their own CRM tools, like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and Zendesk. From there, users can send and receive text, audio, images, videos and can also share their location for a better customer experience. Furthermore, once the Chat API is integrated, newer chat applications are automatically added, from which users can choose.

Platform: Most popular CRM platforms.

Stockists: Visit www message bird.com

Expect to pay: A variety of pricing options are available depending on the number of messages being sent and received as well as where the target audience is located.

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Bring your network with you

At last week’s Critical Communications World, Motorola unveiled the LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. It allows rescue personal to set up dedicated LTE networks for communication in an emergency, writes SEAN BACHER.

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In the event of an emergency, communications are absolutely critical, but the availability of public phone networks are limited due to weather conditions or congestion.

Motorola realised that this caused a problem when trying to get rescue personnel to those in need and so developed its LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. The product is the smallest and lightest full powered broadband network to date and allows the first person on the scene to set up an LTE network in a matter of minutes, allowing other rescue team members to communicate with each other.

“The LXN 500 weighs six kilograms and comes in a backpack with two batteries. It offers a range of 1km and allows up to 100 connections at the same time. However, in many situations the disaster area may span more than 1km which is why they can be connected to each other in a mesh formation,” says Tunde Williams, Head of Field and Solutions Marketing EMEA, Motorola Solutions.

The LXN 500 solution offers communication through two-way radios, and includes mapping, messaging, push-to-talk, video and imaging features onboard, thus eliminating the need for any additional hardware.

Data collected on the device can then be sent through to a central control room where an operator can deploy additional rescue personnel where needed. Once video is streamed into the control room, realtime analytics and augmented reality can be applied to it to help predict where future problem points may arise. Video images and other multimedia can also be made available for rescuers on the ground.

“Although the LXN 500 was designed for the seamless communications between on ground rescue teams and their respective control rooms, it has made its way into the police force and in places where there is little or no cellular signal such as oil rigs,” says Williams.

He gave a hostage scenario: “In the event of a hostage situation, it is important for the police to relay information in realtime to ensure no one is hurt. However the perpetrators often use their mobile phones to try and foil any rescue attempts. Should the police have the correct partnerships in place they are able to disable cellular towers in the vicinity, preventing any in or outgoing calls on a public network and allowing the police get their job done quickly and more effectively.”

By disabling any public networks in the area, police are also able to eliminate any cellular detonated bombs from going off but still stay in touch with each other he says.

The LXN 500 offers a wide range of mission critical cases and is sure to transform communications and improve safety for first responders and the people they are trying to protect.

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Kaspersky moves to Switzerland

As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.

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This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.

Global transparency and collaboration for an ultra-connected world

The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and Kaspersky Lab understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.

The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Center.

Relocation of customer data storage and processing

By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility, will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.

Relocation of software assembly

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

Establishment of the first Transparency Center

The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year. This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyberthreats.

Independent supervision and review

Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.

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