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CES 2016: 170 000 visitors included 50 000 non-US

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CES 2016 wrapped this weekend with more than 170 000 industry professionals, including more than 50 000 from outside the USA, having been drawn to this Las Vegas business event driving the global technology industry. 

“At CES 2016 everyone saw that tech is about more than single products and services, it is about improving our world and providing hope for our future. It was awe-inspiring to see traditional and non-traditional ‘tech’ industries meet to brainstorm, partner and collaborate on ways to do business and address global issues,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

“Technology now touches every facet of our lives, from improving our workouts and the way we sleep, to keeping us safe on the roads and in our homes and even preventing or treating illnesses. CES has cemented its position as the global gathering place for all industries to be wowed by the tens of thousands of ways that technology is changing the world as we know it.”

“CES is the one place where expanding global innovation, the technology community and government can join and showcase a better future for us all,” said John Penny, chief strategy officer, Starz.

CES once again confirmed its position as the global stage for innovation, with attendees from more than 150 countries and more than 100 official delegations, including the first Cuban delegation organized by the Cuban Embassy of the U.S.

“CES allows us to reach almost all of our key global partners – dealers, technology partners, suppliers and a huge press core from around the world – in a single efficient place,” said Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO, Gibson Brands Inc. “It is not possible to touch base with so many relationships anywhere else. To have such intensity in a fun, hospitable and well organized show makes attendance a pleasure.”

Emerging innovation was at the heart of this year’s show with 500 startup companies in the Eureka Park Marketplace, up from 375 in 2015. “Eureka Park was incredibly inspiring,” said Paul Sabbah, president, Stamford International Inc.  “The exhibitors see a future that many of us have forgotten was ever there.”

From automotive technology and unmanned systems to wearables and 3D printing, the breadth and depth of innovation on display at CES is unmatched and growing. “You see so many important trends at CES,” said David Hagan, chairman and CEO, Boingo Wireless. “This week we saw that devices are no longer just connecting to the Internet, they are increasingly connected to each other.”

CES 2016 welcomed government officials including every member of the Federal Communications Commission and four members of the Federal Trade Commission. Two cabinet level officials, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and United States Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Forman, as well as U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Mark Warner and Representatives Darrell Issa and Will Hurd also were in attendance. Other top level government attendees at CES included representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Environmental Protection Agency, the International Trade Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, NASA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, among other government agencies.

With more than 6,000 members of the media in attendance, CES 2016 garnered worldwide media coverage. The show also received impressive social media momentum, including 1,278,870 mentions of the #CES2016 hashtag and 15.2 billion total potential social media impressions from January 5-9.

“We had amazing press coverage,” said Pat Lavalle, president and CEO, VOXX International. “We were able to see our customers, government guests and international partners all in one place. CES is the most efficient place in the world to do business.”

While attendance numbers reached a record high, improvements to show operations enabled attendees to navigate CES 2016 with ease. For the first time, Uber and Lyft were allowed to operate in Las Vegas, increasing transportation options for attendees. “Having Uber and Lyft available here was just amazing,” said Lee Cheng, chief legal officer, senior vice president, corporate development and corporate secretary, Newegg Inc. “It made it so much easier and convenient to get around and attend meetings.”

CTA will release final CES 2016 attendance figures upon completion of the show’s independent audit late this spring. CES will return to Las Vegas Thursday, January 5 through Sunday, January 8, 2017. For the latest CES news and videos, visit CESweb.org and CESweb.org/videos. B-roll for CES 2016 also is available online.

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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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