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BRCK is Africa’s best

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The innovative BRCK Kio Kit, a “Digital Classroom in a Box”, was named Best Pan-African Initiative at the annual AfricaCom awards in Cape Town this week.

Kenyan start-up BRCK wowed the judges in the African continent’s most prominent annual industry awards for the African Telecommunications, ICT and Media sector this week. At the AfricaCom Awards in Cape Town, BRCK’s Kio Kit, a “Digital Classroom in a Box”, won the prize for Best Pan-African Initiative. The awards celebrate and pay tribute to the industry initiatives that improve connectivity and digital transformation across the continent.

There were over 100 entries, with 13 overall winners.

Adam Thompson from KNect365 TMT said: “This year’s awards saw an exceptional shortlist of entries. The judging panel were thoroughly impressed with the quality of entries and the range of industry projects carried out. These awards allow us to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts presented by industry players and to motivate others to continually develop game-changing and innovative projects. There were definitely some stand-out winners this year, with Ghanaian projects scooping three awards.”

Initiatives in Ghana over the year proved successful projects with operators Tigo Ghana scooping two awards including the widely coveted Changing Lives Award for their Mobile Birth Registration project.  Keeping the Ghanaian presence strong Ebenezer Twum Asante of MTN Ghana scooped the CEO of the year. The judges’ most notable entry came from BRCK with their Kio Kit – Digital Classroom in a Box which won Best Pan-African Initiative.

Huawei also made an impressive showing, taking two of the awards, for both networking and customer management initiatives.

The winners were:

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The AfricaCom Awards 2016 Judges were: Russell Southwood, Chief Executive, Balancing Act; Thecla Mbongue, Senior Analyst, Ovum; Danson Njue, Research Analyst, Ovum; Tom Jackson, co-founder, Disrupt Africa; Lynette Hundermark, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Useful & Beautiful; Matthew Reed, Principal Analyst, MEA, Ovum; Arthur Goldstuck, MD, World Wide Worx, and Editor-in-chief, Gadget;  Scott Bichino, Editorial Director at Telecoms.com; Bradley Shaw, Regional Manager – Middle East and Africa at NuRan Wireless; and Prakash Patel, Chief Strategy Officer at Fogg Experiential Design Cape Town.

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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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