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PayPal offers more protection in Africa

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PayPal has announced the  launch of its Seller Protection Programme in several Sub-Saharan Africa  countries, in an effort to protect local businesses that trade  online, both locally and globally.

PayPal’s Seller Protection Programme  is designed to help protect merchants  from buyer’s claims, chargeback, and reversals, so that they are  better able to take advantage  of the opportunities offered by eCommerce. The programme may provide coverage  to sellers  against claims, chargebacks or reversals on eligible sales in the case of unauthorised transactions – when a buyer claims not to have authorised the payment for the purchase – and for items not received – when buyers claim not to have received the goods or services purchased.

The service is now available in South Africa, Kenya and Mauritius, and seeks to empower business owners in the region as they grow and expand their ecommerce  activity.  The launch of the service comes in time for festive season shopping, when many retailers sell more goods and services online.

“The African continent is making immense strides in technology and ecommerce, but many are still unsure of the risks associated with selling goods and services online,” said Efi Dahan, general manager for Middle East and Africa at PayPal.. “The PayPal Seller Protection Programme allows merchants to trade online with greater confidence

PayPal’s Seller Protection Programme  covers  both tangible and intangible goods. Intangible  goods  include  services  such  as  flights and accommodation for travel, tickets to concerts or events, and professional services like graphic design, photography or business consulting. The programme helps protect sellers with services such as enhanced security, 24/7 monitoring, merchant fraud prevention, dispute resolution and support for selling around the globe in 25 currencies and 200 countries.

“At PayPal, when we approach online shopping, we don’t just look at the point of purchase. We’re invested in every step of the journey,” said Dahan.  “We are pleased to be able to introduce these improved protections – as part of our work to increase trust and confidence in ecommerce.”

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CES: Most useless gadgets of all

Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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