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Rise of Crowdsourced Safety

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The very nature of social media’s open communication and crowdsourced information provides a powerful tool for public safety says co-founder of ttrumpet, GRANT THEIS.

“The growth of social media continues to grow exponentially – and the sharing of information amongst individuals has the real potential to improve vigilance and ultimately lead to safer communities.”

Recent community horror stories have sparked the debate around public safety through citizen engagement, and the role technology is playing here has come to the fore.

“With so many citizens witnessing and experiencing almost daily incidents in their city – imagine the sheer volume and content that can be generated,” adds Theis. “One of the best ways to garner this information is through crowdsourcing – which involves engaging and enabling citizens to actively take a part in the fight against crime and by reporting suspicious activities or crime or vandalism by reporting information in real-time and in a convenient and accessible way using their smartphones.”

Theis cautions that these platforms shouldn’t be mistaken for a security app – but rather they are about connecting individuals in real-time with their communities and syndicating information that enables individuals and communities to empower themselves when it comes to keeping themselves and their families safe.

“Having said that however, follow-me-home features and community channels are just a few aspects that can be incorporated here,” says Theis. “Think of the possibilities of correlating these citizen activities and reports with data from other systems, such as video surveillance, traffic monitoring or even security companies. Having such an integrated system, with the community at the centre, allows officials to gain a better understanding of what is happening at any moment, where their serves are required as well as trends that may emerge over time and work hand-in-hand with the community to eliminate crime.”

Over the last 6 months ttrumpet has been focused on creating a security eco-system with tailored features including:

·         Tag-Me: a my-safety, real time feature within the app aimed at families, friends and active sportsmen. The feature enables individuals to “pin” or mark their journey while travelling, allowing personally selected people to identify their exact location and whether they have gone off route, as well as allowing the user to alert their “followers” in cases of distress

·         Security Channel: a dedicated channel for communities to report and record security issues and other community related information. Ttrumpet’s security gives an intelligent view of all incidents as well as a map and of course, full user control of notifications. Ttrumpet offers this service for free to all resident’s associations, safety/community forums and similar groups.

·         SOS Button: a free SOS service which contacts your loved ones and sends them your location when pressed.

Ttrumpet is being used actively across Pretoria and Johannesburg currently – with over 100 Community Police Forums and Neighbourhood Watches actively using the app for their security communities. Warrant Officer A.C. Holtzhausen Sector Manager, sector 1 Pretoria North SAPS, is currently using the ttrumpet app to connect with his sector community. He says: “Having used it for a few months, I have to say it’s become a must to combat crime in the community as not only does it bring the community together, but it is helping the police to combat crime in the area and encouraging fellow residents to identify hotspots, be more vigilant and be on the lookout to assist the police.”

“Active citizenry, coupled with a strong purpose-built platform that brings together relevant parties, has real potential to change the status quo. It truly is the rise of crowdsourced safety,” says Theis.

Featured

Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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