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Blockchain conference will reimagine business

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The Blockchain Africa conference next March will include insights from event sponsor SAP on the unlimited potential for reimagining both businesses and industries.

Blockchain is a great way to get companies to rethink and reimagine how a business or industry operates, says Lucy Channing, SAP Africa’s marketing manager for strategic industries, explaining why SAP wll be an official sponsor of the Blockchain Africa Conference 2017.

The event, organized by Bitcoin Events, will be held in Johannesburg from 1 to 3 March 2017.

SAP is working with various blockchain technologies, including Ethereum and Bitcoin. Its Hana Cloud Platform allows its customers to connect blockchains to the platform, providing an online database where its customers can add new functions to their SAP systems.

“We see the Blockchain Africa Conference 2017 as an opportunity to collaborate and network with like-minded business people on a topic that is at the forefront of today’s technology changes,” says Channing. “We want to help businesses and our customers to re-envision their business operating model and the potential impact of Blockchain.  This means we need to think broadly about change.”

Darrel Orsmond, industry head for financial services at SAP Africa, will discuss how, though blockchain technology may only just be emerging, the potential is unlimited for reimagining business and industries.

The conference will be showcasing many blockchain and digital currency opportunities and use cases, from identity, payments, and remittances to smart contracts, Blockchain-as-a-Service, and settlement and clearing. In addition to the opportunities that exist, industry experts will discuss the challenges, such as regulation, security, scalability and tax compliance.

A diverse range of local and international speakers from various industries will attend the conference. They include Tanya Knowles, executive director of Fractal Solutions, a division of Strate, a central security depository company doing the settlement and clearing for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; Farzam Ehsani, leader of Rand Merchant Bank’s Blockchain Initiative; Llew Claasen,  executive director of the US Bitcoin Foundation; and John Karanja, founder of BitHub Africa, a blockchain accelerator in Kenya that provides consultancy and incubation services for individuals and firms interested in Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Bitcoin Events will also hosting a Blockchain workshop on 1 March 2017, focusing on giving delegates a good understanding of digital currencies such as bitcoin, its underlying technology and why this technology is being referred to as the next industrial revolution. The workshop will cover smart contracts, smart property, side chains, decentralised services, world computers, and other innovative services and opportunities being used around the world. It will also look at current regulation and compliance globally and in South Africa.

Gadget will be a media partner of the Blockchain Africa 2017 conference.

* For more information on the conference, visit www.blockchainafrica.co or email info@blockchainafrica.co.za 

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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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