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Code Sparring comes to Agile

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The upcoming Agile Africa conference in Johannesburg will feature a Code Sparring Tournament, where coders get to practice their skills by competing head-to-head with fellow coders in a test of programming and problem solving skills.

The Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University is gearing up for its third annual Agile Africa conference from 24 to 26 August 2015. Headline speakers include renowned Agile expert Kent Beck, ThoughtWorks Chief Technology Officer Dr Rebecca Parsons, and software gurus Aslam Khan, Paul E McMahon and Doug Bradbury.

“We are very lucky to have Doug Bradbury, Director of Software Services for 8th Light in Chicago, host the Code Sparring tournament,” says JCSE director Professor Barry Dwolatzky. “Doug helped 8th Light develop and refine its modern apprenticeship program, and has mentored several apprentices into successful software careers.”

Dwolatzky says that there are also five workshops from which to choose, covering topics such as user-centred design, and how to cope with agile and change. Topics include The New Essence: A Thinking Framework To Power Software Development Team Performance, by Paul E McMahon.

“We have 25 talks and poster sessions ranging from adopting agile in corporate environments to dealing with conflict in agile teams, agile on steroids, real agile quality, agile analyst mind sets and more,” says Dwolatzky. “Agile Africa 2015 is going to be the best yet and anyone who has an interest in agile needs to attend.”

Agile Africa 2015 is a major highlight on the JCSE calendar. It aims to cover as many aspects of agile, while providing excellent networking sessions with some leading agile experts.

It also marks the beginning of the Fak’ugesi Festival, a 3-week programme of everything digital that takes place in and around Braamfontein.

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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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