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AppDate: DStv Now spreads its wings

In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights three new versions of the DStv Now app, Moya Messenger, SANewsLIVE, WhatsApp’s Enterprise Solutions and MTN Asphalt Cup.

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New DStv Now apps

MultiChoice has recently added three new versions of its streaming content app – DStv Now. The new apps can now be downloaded on selected Samsung TVs, Apple TV devices from 4th generation up and Google Certified media players running Android TV.

The DStv Now app service features live sports, live TV, shows and movies in the Catch Up library. It can, however, only be used by those who have a DStv subscription, as account details will need to be entered to activate it.

When originally launched in 2014, the idea behind the app was to give DStv subscribers a means to watch TV while not at home. However, it has also turned into a great method for allowing family members to watch their preferred shows on different devices at home. For instance, one person could be watching the Discovery Channel via the decoder while another could be watching Cartoon Network via the DStv Now app on a tablet or phone, or even on another TV in the house.

Although the DStv Now app is only available on certain devices, MulitChoice says it will soon be available for LG TVs, as well as a range of additional mobile devices.

Platform: Selected Samsung smart TVs, Apple TV devices, Google Certified media players

Cost: A free download – but a DStV subscription is needed.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Moya Messenger

The newly announced Moya Messenger was developed in South Africa and functions much the same as WhatsApp, but with one fundamental difference. It doesn’t need data to work. This is made possible by telco reverse bilging where biNu – the company that developed the app – pays for all messages that pass through Moya Messenger.

Moya Messenger offers unlimited texting, group chats, end-to-end security with automatic encryption of all messages, and automatic contact discovery that allows users to connect with others using the Moya app. Moya users are always logged on, so won’t miss a message, and all their messages are saved when their phones are switched off.

Although messages are free, sending video, images and other rich content does use airtime or data and users are warned when they will incur mobile data costs, or need to switch to Wi-Fi to send media files.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: A free download.

Stockist: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

SANewsLIVE,

Tiso Blackstar has launched SANewsLIVE, a mobile news-reading app that provides users with content from Tiso Blackstar’s existing websites without incurring data costs. The app has been developed for the cost-conscious consumer market or those who can’t afford large amounts of data each month, but still want to keep up to date with current news and events. SANewsLIVE delivers South African breaking news 24 hours a day and covers local, world, sports, entertainment, celebrity and business news produced round the clock by the Tiso Blackstar editorial team.

Unfortunately, in order to offset the cost of free news, users are inundated with 10 second videos, which they cannot opt out of, before they can read an article or access any video.

All major cellular networks support the SANewsLIVE service and users can download the app with a zero data balance.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: A free download and service

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

WhatsApp’s Enterprise Solutions

Most companies still use SMS to communicate with their customers. However this is not an ideal means of communication anymore –  mainly due to the confines of the short message. A new message delivery service developed by Praekelt.org and WhatsApp now allows users to customise a delivery profile, when signing up with a company, that will enable the company to deliver WhatApp messages based on that profile. For instance, users can decide what language that want their messages to appear in and what time they should arrive. In addition, a WhatsApp message allows for the delivery of rich content, for example the inclusion of video and images, making the message more personal.

The Praekelt WhatsApp starter plan provides a single WhatsApp number, natural language support, quick replies, FAQ management and an API for 3rd party integrations.

The service is still in a Beta launch. Those interested can sign up here: www.praekelt.org/whatsapp/

 

MTN Asphalt Cup

MTN has modified the Asphalt Cup racing game to give it a local look and feel and has set up a tournament to run from 17 August to 2 September, with gamers competing to win up to R87500 in weekly prizes. Winners are entered into the leaderboard, with eight of them getting the chance to compete in the final at Comic Con Africa event from 14 to 16 September. The winner will take home R250 000.

To participate, download the game from mtnasphaltcup.mobi or dial *464*80#.

Platform: And Android smartphone.

Cost: A free download.

Stockist: Visit: mtnasphaltcup.mobi or dial *464*80#.

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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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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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