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SA’s new mayors must focus on SMEs

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South Africa’s newly elected mayors and municipal officer bearers should move quickly in making investments and creating policies to support Small & Medium Enterprises in their towns and cities, says ANTON VAN HEERDEN, EVP and MD, Sage South and Southern Africa.

I am highly encouraged by the support several mayors have already pledged for small businesses in their constituencies. Before the local government elections, I have urged political parties to put Small & Medium Businesses on the political agenda. It’s great to see that some newly elected officials are already thinking about how they can help South African entrepreneurs to thrive.

For example, Herman Mashaba, the new mayor of the Johannesburg metro, has promised to treat small businessmen and businesswomen as friends and to create an enabling environment for their success. He said that they create employment opportunities and generate much needed taxes for the city.

We congratulate all the individuals and parties who have just taken office in local government, but their hard work is just about to begin. There is so much local government can do in terms of creating infrastructure and cutting away red-tape to help entrepreneurs to prosper – whether it’s making it easier to apply for trading permits, creating safe places for informal traders to operate, or providing value-added services like broadband.

Entrepreneurs power the economies in our towns and cities. It is these entrepreneurs who are the drivers of prosperity for our country, and it is in government’s interest in every sphere – from local to national – to support them as they create jobs, pay taxes and provide vital services to their communities.

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Samsung unfolds the future

At the #Unpacked launch, Samsung delivered the world’s first foldable phone from a major brand. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK tried it out.

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Everything that could be known about the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range, launched on Wednesday in San Francisco, seems to have been known before the event.

Most predictions were spot-on, including those in Gadget (see our preview here), thanks to a series of leaks so large, they competed with the hole an iceberg made in the Titanic.

The big surprise was that there was a big surprise. While it was widely expected that Samsung would announce a foldable phone, few predicted what would emerge from that announcement. About the only thing that was guessed right was the name: Galaxy Fold.

The real surprise was the versatility of the foldable phone, and the fact that units were available at the launch. During the Johannesburg event, at which the San Francisco launch was streamed live, small groups of media took turns to enter a private Fold viewing area where photos were banned, personal phones had to be handed in, and the Fold could be tried out under close supervision.

The first impression is of a compact smartphone with a relatively small screen on the front – it measures 4.6-inches – and a second layer of phone at the back. With a click of a button, the phone folds out to reveal a 7.3-inch inside screen – the equivalent of a mini tablet.

The fold itself is based on a sophisticated hinge design that probably took more engineering than the foldable display. The result is a large screen with no visible seam.

The device introduces the concept of “app continuity”, which means an app can be opened on the front and, in mid-use, if the handset is folded open, continue on the inside from where the user left off on the front. The difference is that the app will the have far more space for viewing or other activity.

Click here to read about the app experience on the inside of the Fold.

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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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