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AppDate: Showmax comes to the PS4

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In this AppDate instalment, SEAN BACHER features Showmax on PS4, SweepSouth, iBeat, admyt ticketless parking, Hot Christmas Menu Recipes and Medici.

Showmax on PS4

Homegrown video-on-demand service Showmax has launched an app for the Sony PlayStation 4. The addition of this new app means that PS4 and PS4 Pro owners in South Africa who have connected their consoles to the Internet can watch on-demand TV shows and movies with no need to buy new equipment.

Each Showmax account allows for viewing different shows on two different devices simultaneously. Showmax’s smartphone and tablet apps also support downloads, meaning that subscribers can start watching on their PS4 and then continue watching even when on the move and not connected to the Internet.

To watch Showmax via the PS4, follow these steps:

• Sign up for Showmax at www.showmax.com.

• Go to the PlayStation Store on the PS4.

• Search for “Showmax”.

• Install the app.

• Sign in to the app using the same email and password you used to sign up for Showmax.

Platform: Sony Playstation 4 and Playstation 4 Pro

Expect to pay: A free download, but with a R99 monthly subscription for Showmax.

Stockists: Visit  the PlayStation Store from your Playstation.

SweepSouth

We’ve entered the busiest time of the year, with year-end functions, weddings, engagements, and dinner parties. Needless to say, we now hardly have time to keep our homes or even holiday accommodation spotless. Enter SweepSouth, an online home cleaning platform in the form of a website and mobile app that connects cleaners with homeowners.

Users can manage bookings and payments or book cleaners on a regular or ad-hoc basis that suits them.

The app has created work opportunities for over 3 800 experienced cleaners, with 74% of them being primary breadwinners at home, most of whom were previously unemployed.

Platform: Android, iOS or a computer with an up-to-date Internet browser.

Expect to pay: A free download; cleaners’ rates start at R26 per hour.

Stockists: www.sweepsouth.com

iBeat

Although most companies have dedicated customer service channels that allow users to lodge complaints or compliments, they are hardly ever managed correctly and the customer is, more often than not, ignored. Customers can turn to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms but here, too, requests are often ignored. Locally developed iBeat aims to better customer service by putting the customer directly in touch with the company. Once the app is downloaded, a user signs in, selects the company or outlet using the phone or tablet’s location, types in a comment, snaps a picture if needed, and submits it. The comment can also be shared to Facebook or Twitter ,allowing others to comment.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Free to use.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

admyt ticketless parking

Sandton City and the Nelson Mandela Square have recently signed up with admyt – a ticketless parking and payment solution provider. In order to use the app, one needs to register their car’s number plate and enter a payment method. The next time they arrive at the booms at Sandton City or the Nelson Mandela Square, the plate will be scanned and the booms opened. Once finished shopping, the exit booms will also automatically open and the amount debited from the registered credit or debit card. Bear in mind, however, that the app does not always work. The Sandton City implementation, in particular, is hit and miss, so be ready to take a ticket when the app won’t do it for you.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Hot Christmas Menu Recipes

With Christmas just around the corner, deciding what to cook can be a challenge – especially with larger families and each one with a different preference. Hot Christmas Menu Recipes brings a range of different dishes into one easy-to-use application. Users select what they want to cook, based on starters, mains and desserts. Once a dish is selected, a recipe is displayed with all the ingredients needed, along with step-by-step cooking instructions.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Medici

The Medici app puts users in touch with their circle of doctors – even after hours. Once the app is downloaded, one invites dentists, doctors and even vets to connect with them through the app. Patients and doctors can then contact each other 24/7 via a secure and uncluttered interface. Should you need to, you can add more than one doctor to a chat, much like a group chat on WhatsApp, allowing the doctors to consult each other while keeping you in the loop.cleardot.gif

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockist: Visit the store linked to your device.

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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