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AppDate: Quickly design a reliable wireless network

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In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights NetSpot’s Network Analyser, Qlik European Championships, Google Play Music Concierge, BlackBerry’s BBM Everyday competition, and Rush courier’s updated website.

NetSpot Network Analyser

Having a Wi-Fi connection at home is exceptionally convenient but, no matter where the router is installed, there will always be those dead spots – or places where the router’s Wi-Fi signal does not reach. In the past it was a matter of trial and error when looking for the ideal

spot for a router. With the NetSpot Network Analyser ,however, one is able to load a house plan and find the best spot for the router without difficulty. The app also displays a network’s noise and security levels.

Platform: Mac and Windows.

Expect to pay: Three packages are available,:a free version with a very basic network scan function, a pro version that allows one to add additional zones, and an enterprise version that can be used by up to 10 users and retailing for around R7 500.

Stockists: Visit www.netspot.com

 

Qlik European Championships App

Did you know that 579 goals have been scored since the first Euro championship in 1960? Or that Bulgaria is the country to have received the most red and yellow cards so far? All these facts and more are instantly available in the Qlik European Championships App. In addition, soccer fans can access details on every player and team since the beginning of the championship and have the option to pit one team against the other to see what the chances are of their chosen team winning.

Platform: Most modern, desktop-based Internet browsers

Expect to pay: Free to use.

Stockists: Visit www.webapps.qlik.com/Euro2016/Euro2016

 

Google launches Google Play Music Concierge in South Africa

Google Play Music Concierge gives Play Music subscribers access to a large set of playlists targeted to specific contexts – what users are doing or how they’re feeling. Next time a user opens Google Music Player, they will be prompted to say whether they would like to listen to music according to mood or time of day. Google will then search for music in that category and begin streaming it.

Platform: Android

Expect to pay: A free upgrade.

Stockists: Visit the Play Music store from an Android device.

 

BBM Everyday competition

BlackBerry has launched a BBM Everyday competition that is designed to cast light on South Africa’s lesser-known treasures. The competition is open to anyone using BBM and invites everyday photographers to enter the #BBMEveryday competition by sharing their photographs. Each week, for the next month, photographers simply need to submit images

of everyday South Africa to www.bbmeveryday.com, according to the weekly clues that will be revealed through the #BBMEveryday BBM channel (Pin: C0022F31B). Prizes range from an all-expenses trip for two to Zanzibar to one of five BlackBerry Priv smartphones.

Platform: Any platform running BlackBerry Messenger

Expect to pay: Free to enter.

Stockists: Visit www.bbmeveryday.com for more information.

Rush courier service upgrades

Since its launch late last year, the Rush courier service is making waves in the courier industry. In addition to being operated via WeChat, the company has recently launched its new website, which now allows users to easily find quotes, place orders and track their

parcels in real-time. The site also offers the functionality to book bulk deliveries around South Africa and includes an address book for recently used addresses.

Platform: Most modern, desktop-based Internet browsers

Expect to pay: Registration is free, courier costs depend on the package and its destination.

Stockists: Visit www.rush.co.za

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

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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