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Court matches digital rights with registered post

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Two judgements in the Randburg Magistrates Court have afforded digital registered communication the same status as conventional registered post in cases that tested provisions in the Magistrates Court Amendment Act 19 of 2010 and the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (the ECT Act).

Both judgements related to Section 129 final demands for payment on defaulted personal loans, which were sent to the defaulter’s mobile phone number via Registered SMS. The Registered SMSs were made possible by Registered Communication, South Africa’s leading registered electronic communications provider.

Registered Communication’s digital Registered SMSs and Emails comply with Section 19(4) of the ECT Act, which has specific requirements relating to the legality of electronic registered post. They also comply with Section 12 of the Act, which deems a data message to be ‘in writing’.

The Registered SMSs in question was confirmed by a registration certificate, included proof of content, proof of delivery, and proof of receipt at the location chosen by the addressee, which is deemed sufficient in the serving of legal documentation in terms of Section 129 of the National Credit Act (NCA).

The magistrates overseeing the cases accepted that the digital letters of demand complied with all requirements outlined in the NCA, confirming that they provided an efficient alternative for any person or business seeking a quick, efficient, cost-effective way of delivering registered messages.

“Sending registered communication digitally saves the sender time and money, as the cost of a Registered SMS or Email is nearly half the cost of a traditional registered letter,” explains Norman Colling, a Partner at Registered Communication.

“Delivering a digital registered communication is instantaneous, meaning that the sender can receive an audited report confirming that the addressee has received the document within seconds, rather than waiting for the somewhat slower traditional registered mail delivery,” he adds.

Furthermore, large financial services providers have noted a 17% increase in payments received in response to a digitally delivered final letter of demand, noting that South Africans seem to respond more positively to communication delivered to their mobile phone than traditional messaging channels.

This could be because addressees must still go to the post office to collect a traditional registered letter to sign documentation as proof of receipt, while digital registered letters’ proof of receipt is generated without the addressee having to take any action.

Addressees in remote locations may struggle to get to their local post office to collect registered mail, which may further negatively impact on sender’s success in communicating with the addressee. South Africa has the highest mobile penetration rate in Africa, with 37.5 million unique mobile subscribers with 80 million connections, highlighting the significant potential reach of registered digital communication.

Registered Communication’s internationally recognised services replace traditional registered post with digital options, providing its clients with an auditable digital communication service across all channels. The service produces an instant and detailed audit report confirming that the addressee received the communication to the mobile number or email address they supplied when signing a contract.

The service can be integrated into businesses’ various communication platforms, and can generate validation certificates for conversations in email, SMS, WhatsApp, Twitter direct messages, Facebook direct messages, and various other platforms where brands engage with their customers.

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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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You can blame Oxford Dictionaries for making the “selfie” respectable. After all, being named Word of the Year, as it was in 2013, does tend to soften some of the self-consciousness in this most self-conscious of actions.

Once seen as a symbol of narcissism and self-obsession, it is now the new normal, to the extent that most smartphones are sold on the basis of the front camera. Or, as that feature is now almost universally named by manufacturers, the “selfie camera”.

I was one of the hold-outs, having a near-allergy to the selfie. I still resist, but succumb more often than I would like. The reason for continued resistance is that it remains a big leap from the word becoming respectable to the action itself shedding its narcissistic image. 

For most, it’s already happened, and for that you can blame Ellen DeGeneres. She  choreographed the most famous group selfie yet at the 2014 Oscars, when she roped a bunch of actors into a group selfie, using the then-new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Her tweet of the photo became what was then the most retweeted posting ever on Twitter, and was estimated to have been worth a million dollars in marketing value to Samsung.

Ironically, it was Samsung’s up-and-coming challenger, Huawei, that came up with a new word for this type of selfie: the “groufie”. Thanks to an 8 Megapixel front camera on the new Huawei Ascend P7 camera that year which took the highest quality selfies – and groufies – possible on a smartphone at the time.

It didn’t end there, and selfies and groufies have morphed into variations like selfscapes (selfie in a landscape), skyfies (selfies from the air, using remote controlled devices) and jerkies (selfies to make an idiot out of yourself). I invented all of those on the fly, so it’s easy to imagine a new word emerging for every type of selfie.

Continue reading about selfie improvements through the years.

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Mickey’s 90th for SA

Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

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As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

o   Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October

o   Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November

o   Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag#Mickey90Africa.

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