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Festival offers free coding workshops

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Africa Code Week will be coming at the Cape Town Science Centre from 15 to 23 October with a wide variety of free coding workshops and other related activities for all ages.

As part of the week’s activities, the Science Centre based in Observatory just in front of the Groote Schuur Hospital will host two free-entry Festival of Code days on the Saturdays 15 and 22 October.  In addition, free after-school coding workshops will be held every afternoon from 17 to 21 October.

“We know that coding is a critical 21sts Century skill that is easily learnt and loads of fun,” says Julie Cleverdon, director of the Cape Town Science Centre and global coordinator of ACW. “The motto of Africa Code Week is: ‘Coding is a new language. Every child deserves to be fluent.’ That’s why the Cape Town Science Centre is endeavouring to make as many relevant activities in this week accessible to everyone. We are grateful for the support from both Woolworths Financial Services and SAP for making this possible at our centre.”

Activities include coding, data story-telling and robotic workshops; talks from some of the most talented and inspiring young coders in Cape Town and a host of other activities in addition to the opportunity to interact with the many hands-on exhibits in the Cape Town Science Centre.  Even if you’ve never written a line of code in your life, the workshops on offer will get participants started one step at a time. They are styled to help encourage today’s young digital consumers to become tomorrow’s digital creators. Based around Scratch, a popular system adopted by millions of young learners worldwide as it fosters youthful curiosity, promotes creativity, and provides a basis for lifelong programming learning.

In addition to the Cape Town Science Centre’s efforts, other Cape Town organisations have embraced the initiative and are set to create a coding buzz by organising a host of coding activities across the city. Those interested in attending these activities can visit the Africa Code Week live map http://africacodeweek.org/activities/live-events/, which itemises the events taking place in Cape Town, and indeed across Africa.

Africa Code Week (www.africacodeweek.org.), first run in 2015, is a spearheaded by the software company SAP in association with the Galway Education Centre in Ireland and the Cape Town Science Centre. The first year of Africa Code Week sparked the interest of more than 89,000 children across 17 African countries to write their first lines of code. Of the 89 000 youth engaged continent-wide in 2016, almost 4,000 were from Cape Town and the Western Cape. This year the goal is to engage 150 000 children and youth in 30 African countries. Teachers and others in Cape Town can once again work towards achieving the goal for Africa Code Week in 2016 and empowering our youth.

To learn more about the activities for the Festival of Code taking place on the 15th and 22nd of October at the Cape Town Science Centre, visit (http://ctsc.org.za/festival-of-code-africa-code-week-free-entry/) or contact the Cape Town Science Centre on (021) 300-3200.

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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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