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#CodeClimber aims at SA peaks for IT kids

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Four world-class climbers are summiting nine South African peaks in a record time in pursuit of generating support of R100 000 to equip 350 learners with unique software-development and IT-skills.

All of this form part of project  #CodeClimber, as Tian Liebenberg, head of the Volunteer24-led project, and three fellow-climbers are embarking on one of the most ambitious South African mountain-summiting adventures ever attempted on South African soil.

If they break the SA record and the SA public generously support #CodeClimber on the crowd funding platform Backabuddy, Liebenberg and Co would purchase code-programs from the organization Code$Change to equip 125 learners with the IT-development, soft-ware programs and technological advancement

The long-term goal is to impart skills to 300 000 learners in 500 schools by 2020.

The four climbers will attempt to reach the peak of nine South African summits in a whirlwind cord-breaking time. The expedition leader Tian Liebenberg is at the helm of this Volunteers24-project.

The first stop for the partners in the #CodeClimber-project (the members include Code4ChangeBackabuddy and the expedition leader of the SA record attempt, Tian Liebenberg, and his Volunteers24-colleagues at the Zitikeni Secondary School in Tembisa.

The coding program will equip learners with the different soft-ware programming platforms and a unique coding-language to acquire advanced IT-skills.

The record-breaking adventure to ascend the nine highest summits in South Africa in aid of education promises to be a pulsating, action-packed adventure. Improving on the current team record for completing the nine summits in South Africa means you have to smash the daunting current record or four days, 18 hours and 38 minutes.

“Basically, to beat the record, we will have to negotiate the 145 km by running almost the equivalent of two Two Oceans Marathons in successive days, then rest for a day and then complete almost another Two Oceans marathon,” mentioned Liebenberg.

“That is how challenging this is,” he added.

The idea to summit the nine South African peaks while pursuing a record was birthed when Liebenberg approached Adrian Saffy, an attorney and adventure racer, Alex Harris and Sean Disney to embark on this race for mountain glory.

Both Harris and Disney have ascended and conquered the highest peaks in each of the continents, including reaching the peak of Everest. The have summited some of the peaks more than once and are considered mountaineering legends

Harris rode his mountain bike from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to the coast in less than 24 hours – a world-record in 2017. He also led mountain bike riders to the base camp of Mount Everest in May 2017.

Liebenberg and his two colleagues who have surveyed the world from the top of Everest before, Harris and Disney, will be at the Zitikeni Secondary School on Tuesday afternoon to mingle with the learners and generate support for the coding project.

Jonathan Novotny, founder of Code 4 Change, who is developing the coding programs said the aim is to inspire the next generation of (Mark) Zuckerburgs (founder and chief executive officer of Facebook) in Africa.

“The cause is to donate R300 to introduce training during a week-long coding course to eager and excited youth in Tembisa’s schools.

“We are raising R100 000 to bring coding to three schools in Gauteng and impact 350 learners with a fun, basic coding course, while encouraging the start of new coding clubs in these schools,” Novotny said.

“But we need the public’s support on the crowd funding platform Backabuddy in support of the world-class climbers’ quest and in financing the code cause for these 350 learners,” he added.

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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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