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New Pokemons to pocket

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The Pokémon Company and Nintendo have announced new Pokémon that can be found in the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon video games for Nintendo 3DS.

These Pokémon appear in the newest Pokémon video games, launching in Europe and South Africa on November 23:

Team Skull

In the Alola region, a group of ruffians known as Team Skull causes a lot of trouble. They steal other people’s Pokémon, mess up the trial sites, and delight in all kinds of evil deeds.

Team Skull Boss: Guzma

Guzma is the boss of Team Skull, the one who holds these ruffians together. Guzma pours on the attacks, battling without mercy. He certainly does seem strong, but he claims that he “never could become captain.” He seems to have a bone to pick with Professor Kukui, as well.

Team Skull Admin: Plumeria

Plumeria is considered the big sister of Team Skull. She’s a tough lady who keeps the members of Team Skull in line and working together, in the sort of way a strict older sister would. She seems to care for the Grunts who are below her in the pecking order, and she’s not one to let it go if anyone gives them a walloping.

Team Skull Grunts

Both male and female Team Skull Grunts wear matching black Skull Tanks. And these uniforms aren’t even provided for them—all Grunts have to buy their own!

The newly revealed Pokémon include:

Wishiwashi

Type: Water

Wishiwashi have a new Ability, Schooling, which no Pokémon has previously had. Under certain conditions, Wishiwashi will change in battle to their School Form.

  • Solo Form

A single Wishiwashi is tiny and weak. Measuring just eight inches from nose to tail, Wishiwashi is very small, even for a Pokémon. Yet the people of the Alola region seem to view it as a terrifying Pokémon. When it’s in danger, Wishiwashi’s glistening eyes catch the light and shine out, sending a distress signal to its allies.

  • School Form

The seemingly weak Wishiwashi is called the demon of the sea because of its ferocious School Form. When Wishiwashi receive a distress signal, they unite in a huge battle formation.

Pyukumuku

Type: Water

Due to their appearance and way of life, Pyukumuku are considered unappealing to tourists. Part-time work pulling Pyukumuku off the beach and chucking them back into the sea is available at tourist beaches. But no matter how far they’re thrown, Pyukumuku will always return to the same spot. Pyukumuku have a new Ability, Innards Out, which no other Pokémon has had before. When this Pokémon faints, Innards Out lets it dish out a final bit of damage to its opponent, equal to the amount of HP it had left before it received the final blow.

Morelull

Type: Grass/Fairy

Morelull are nocturnal Pokémon that walk around at night on their leg-like roots. They move because staying in one spot and sucking all the nutrients from the soil would cause surrounding plants to wither. With their roots, they make contact with other Morelull and communicate with one another.

Pokémon Adapted to the Alola Region

Some Pokémon have adapted to the distinctive microclimates of the Alola region and have taken on different forms than they have in other regions. These Pokémon are called regional variants. After settling in the Alola region, they live like native Pokémon. These regional variant Pokémon can have different appearances and types, and their way of living can also differ from that of the forms previously known.

Alolan Meowth 

Type: Dark

Meowth is a Pokémon that did not originally live in the Alola region. They were sent to the royal family of Alola as an offering from another region, and only a select few could have them as partners. It’s said that the Meowth that were offered to the royalty lived a life of luxury and pampering, which led them to have a selfish and prideful attitude. This caused Meowth’s form to change.

Alolan Marowak

Type: Fire/Ghost

The Marowak in the Alola region take bones and light both ends on fire by rubbing them against their foreheads. Then they spin the bones around! Marowak’s rarity and its fearsome appearance when it dances with its bone led the people of Alola to dub it a conjurer and regard it with fear.

Alolan Raichu

Type: Electric/Psychic

The Raichu in Alola have two types—Electric and Psychic—and they are able to wield psychic power. What’s more, they can gather their psychic power in their tails and then ride on them to float in the air!

A new trailer that showcases these new Pokémon and much more can be found here: Video

Arts and Entertainment

VoD cuts the cord in SA

Some 20% of South Africans who sign up for a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service such as Netflix or Showmax do so with the intention of cancelling their pay television subscription.

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That’s according to GfK’s international ViewScape survey*, which this year covers Africa (South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria) for the first time.

The study—which surveyed 1,250 people representative of urban South African adults with Internet access—shows that 90% of the country’s online adults today use at least one online video service and that just over half are paying to view digital online content. The average user spends around 7 hours and two minutes a day consuming video content, with broadcast television accounting for just 42% of the time South Africans spend in front of a screen.

Consumers in South Africa spend nearly as much of their daily viewing time – 39% of the total – watching free digital video sources such as YouTube and Facebook as they do on linear television. People aged 18 to 24 years spend more than eight hours a day watching video content as they tend to spend more time with free digital video than people above their age.

Says Benjamin Ballensiefen, managing director for Sub Sahara Africa at GfK: “The media industry is experiencing a revolution as digital platforms transform viewers’ video consumption behaviour. The GfK ViewScape study is one of the first to not only examine broadcast television consumption in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, but also to quantify how linear and online forms of content distribution fit together in the dynamic world of video consumption.”

The study finds that just over a third of South African adults are using streaming video on demand (SVOD) services, with only 16% of SVOD users subscribing to multiple services. Around 23% use per-pay-view platforms such as DSTV Box Office, while about 10% download pirated content from the Internet. Around 82% still sometimes watch content on disc-based media.

“Linear and non-linear television both play significant roles in South Africa’s video landscape, though disruption from digital players poses a growing threat to the incumbents,” says Molemo Moahloli, general manager for media research & regional business development at GfK Sub Sahara Africa. “Among most demographics, usage of paid online content is incremental to consumption of linear television, but there are signs that younger consumers are beginning to substitute SVOD for pay-television subscriptions.”

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New data rules raise business trust challenges

When the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect on May 25th, financial services firms will face a new potential threat to their on-going challenges with building strong customer relationships, writes DARREL ORSMOND, Financial Services Industry Head at SAP Africa.

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The regulation – dubbed GDPR for short – is aimed at giving European citizens control back over their personal data. Any firm that creates, stores, manages or transfers personal information of an EU citizen can be held liable under the new regulation. Non-compliance is not an option: the fines are steep, with a maximum penalty of €20-million – or nearly R300-million – for transgressors.

GDPR marks a step toward improved individual rights over large corporates and states that prevents the latter from using and abusing personal information at their discretion. Considering the prevailing trust deficit – one global EY survey found that 60% of global consumers worry about hacking of bank accounts or bank cards, and 58% worry about the amount of personal and private data organisations have about them – the new regulation comes at an opportune time. But it is almost certain to cause disruption to normal business practices when implemented, and therein lies both a threat and an opportunity.

The fundamentals of trust

GDPR is set to tamper with two fundamental factors that can have a detrimental effect on the implicit trust between financial services providers and their customers: firstly, customers will suddenly be challenged to validate that what they thought companies were already doing – storing and managing their personal data in a manner that is respectful of their privacy – is actually happening. Secondly, the outbreak of stories relating to companies mistreating customer data or exposing customers due to security breaches will increase the chances that customers now seek tangible reassurance from their providers that their data is stored correctly.

The recent news of Facebook’s indiscriminate sharing of 50 million of its members’ personal data to an outside firm has not only led to public outcry but could cost the company $2-trillion in fines should the Federal Trade Commission choose to pursue the matter to its fullest extent. The matter of trust also extends beyond personal data: in EY’s 2016 Global Consumer Banking Survey, less than a third of respondents had complete trust that their banks were being transparent about fees and charges.

This is forcing companies to reconsider their role in building and maintaining trust with its customers. In any customer relationship, much is done based on implicit trust. A personal banking customer will enjoy a measure of familiarity that often provides them with some latitude – for example when applying for access to a new service or an overdraft facility – that can save them a lot of time and energy. Under GDPR and South Africa’s POPI act, this process is drastically complicated: banks may now be obliged to obtain permission to share customer data between different business units (for example because they are part of different legal entities and have not expressly received permission). A customer may now allow banks to use their personal data in risk scoring models, but prevent them from determining whether they qualify for private banking services.

What used to happen naturally within standard banking processes may be suddenly constrained by regulation, directly affecting the bank’s relationship with its customers, as well as its ability to upsell to existing customers.

The risk of compliance

Are we moving to an overly bureaucratic world where even the simplest action is subject to a string of onerous processes? Compliance officers are already embedded within every function in a typical financial services institution, as well as at management level. Often the reporting of risk processes sits outside formal line functions and end up going straight to the board. This can have a stifling effect on innovation, with potentially negative consequences for customer service.

A typical banking environment is already creaking under the weight of close to 100 acts, which makes it difficult to take the calculated risks needed to develop and launch innovative new banking products. Entire new industries could now emerge, focusing purely on the matter of compliance and associated litigation. GDPR already requires the services of Data Protection Officers, but the growing complexity of regulatory compliance could add a swathe of new job functions and disciplines. None of this points to the type of innovation that the modern titans of business are renowned for.

A three-step plan of action

So how must banks and other financial services firms respond? I would argue there are three main elements to successfully navigating the immediate impact of the new regulations:

Firstly, ensuring that the technologies you use to secure, manage and store personal data is sufficiently robust. Modern financial services providers have a wealth of customer data at their disposal, including unstructured data from non-traditional sources such as social media. The tools they use to process and safeguard this data needs to be able to withstand the threats posed by potential data breaches and malicious attacks.

Secondly, rethinking the core organisational processes governing their interactions with customers. This includes the internal measures for setting terms and conditions, how customers are informed of their intention to use their data, and how risk is assessed. A customer applying for medical insurance will disclose deeply personal information about themselves to the insurance provider: it is imperative the insurer provides reassurance that the customer’s data will be treated respectfully and with discretion and with their express permission.

Thirdly, financial services firms need to define a core set of principles for how they treat customers and what constitutes fair treatment. This should be an extension of a broader organisational focus on treating customers fairly, and can go some way to repairing the trust deficit between the financial services industry and the customers they serve.

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