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Fed-up with Facebook? New social network promises ‘privacy utopia’



Neone, a company that claims to be “on a mission to make social media fun, safe and private again,” today launched a private, secure and ad-free social media service “to build community with people you truly care about”.

However, the overblown expectation it is attempting to create around being a “privacy utopia” may well prove its undoing.

Founded by free speech and privacy advocate Dave Glassco, Neone was created in response to those “fed up with data privacy violations like Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, tired of data breaches from media giants like Facebook, Google and Yahoo that expose your personal data on the web, and for those who can no longer tell real users from bots on Twitter”.

“Social media was supposed to be fun, safe and private — a place where users could share their interests and news with friends, family and followers,” said Glassco. “Instead, social media has become a minefield of advertising, data tracking and mining, and media manipulation. Today’s social media is increasingly anti-social and privacy invasive.”

In a 2019 study,  Edison Research found that while 80% of Americans post, tweet or snap on social platforms, fewer are doing so on Facebook — the platform lost an estimated 15 million users over the last two years, with the largest exodus occurring among 12- to 34-year-olds.

Neone provided the following information:

When you create a Neone account, you gain access to a privacy utopia — a friendly, self-contained network where you and your friends can build and enjoy the community you want. Neone saves you from:

  • Unauthorized third-party data sharing that leads to massive privacy violations and data breaches
  • Media manipulation and deep fakes from bots that polarize online conversations
  • Creepy personalized ads that follow your social media journey
  • The constant barrage of negative news and updates that clutter your feed
  • Awkward, unwanted friend invitations from total strangers
  • Vicious online stalking and trolling by intrusive interlopers

Get the Benefits of a “By-Invitation-Only” Social Media Experience

Your Neone experience enables you to post and share messages, images, videos and other content in by-invitation-only groups comprised of real people. Neone doesn’t bombard you with unwanted advertising, doesn’t sell your personal data and doesn’t track your movements and browsing habits. You and your community are in complete control of community membership and content.

Control Your Data Forever with Neone

So how do we ensure that Neone stays fun and safe forever? Neone is a subscription-based service. Subscriptions start at just $4.99 a month and subscribers can invite their friends onto Neone for free. Subscribers and their guests have complete and permanent control over their community and their data.

How does that control work? For each subscription, Neone creates a secure, encrypted container (we call them “hubs”) for personal and community data and connections. Neone does not search inside your hub or mine the data there. Also, every time a Neone user connects to their Neone community, the connection occurs over SSH-encrypted tunnels. At rest and in transit, user data is secured with 256-bit AES encryption.

Get Started with Neone Today

Just download the Neone mobile app and select a trial subscription. Every subscription creates a dedicated Neone hub — a meeting place and container for social content, hosted in the cloud.  You can invite friends, family members and other social connections as Neone guests without worrying about exposing content to strangers and marketers. And you can connect to other Neone users on other hubs, creating a truly social network. Neone can’t (and won’t) mine, distribute or resell information posted by hub users, nor sell ad space to third parties.

“Social media went from fun online interaction to a commerce-heavy activity fraught with threats to privacy and to individual well-being — risks from malware, trolls, stalking and mining and leaking personal data,” Glassco explained. “We launched Neone to bring social media back to the experience we crave and deserve.”

Neone Features

The Neone social media platform features:

  • Safe sharing of social posts with links, images, audio, video and other documents (even spreadsheets and word processing documents)
  • No ads, tracking, data mining or influence campaigns
  • Customisable user profiles and simple user management
  • The Neone app for iOS 12 and 13
  • Fully encrypted social hubs and communications
  • privacy policy that is compliant with CCPA and other national and regional statutes
  • Neone subscriptions — starting at $4.99/month — allow subscribers to invite friends, family and colleagues as free guests to join a private Neone social hub
  • Sustainable business model — no need to up-sell or nickel-and-dime users with surprise charges for media types or incremental capabilities

Neone subscriptions can accommodate tight-knit groups of friends with as few as six users up to extended families and far-reaching social networks with thousands of members. Users can limit themselves to a single hub or join as users on others’ hubs as they choose, by invitation only.

Future versions of Neone will include support for other client software platforms (Android, Windows, MacOS), new media formats, inter-hub bridging, and features to support business applications (intranet, etc.).


IoT sensors are anything from doctor to canary in mines

Industrial IoT is changing the shape of the mining industry and the intelligence of the devices that drive it



The Internet of Things (IoT) has become many things in the mining industry. A canary that uses sensors to monitor underground air quality, a medic that monitors healthcare, a security guard that’s constantly on guard, and underground mobile vehicle control. It has evolved from the simple connectivity of essential sensors to devices into an ecosystem of indispensable tools and solutions that redefine how mining manages people, productivity and compliance. According to Karien Bornheim, CEO of Footprint Africa Business Solutions (FABS), IoT offers an integrated business solution that can deliver long-term, strategic benefits to the mining industry.

“To fully harness the business potential of IoT, the mining sector has to understand precisely how it can add value,” she adds. “IoT needs to be implemented across the entire value chain in order to deliver fully optimised, relevant and turnkey operational solutions. It doesn’t matter how large the project is, or how complex, what matters is that it is done in line with business strategy and with a clear focus.”

Over the past few years, mining organisations have deployed emerging technologies to help bolster flagging profits, manage increasingly weighty compliance requirements, and reduce overheads. These technologies are finding a foothold in an industry that faces far more complexities around employee wellbeing and safety than many others, and that juggles numerous moving parts to achieve output and performance on a par with competitive standards. Already, these technologies have allowed mines to fundamentally change worker safety protocols and improve working conditions. They have also provided mining companies with the ability to embed solutions into legacy platforms, allowing for sensors and IoT to pull them into a connected net that delivers results.

“The key to achieving results with any IoT or technology project is to partner with service providers, not just shove solutions into identified gaps,” says Bornheim. “You need to start in the conceptual stage and move through the pre-feasibility and bankable feasibility stages before you start the implementation. Work with trained and qualified chemical, metallurgical, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and structural engineers that form a team led by a qualified engineering lead with experience in project management. This is the only way to ensure that every aspect of the project is aligned with the industry and its highly demanding specifications.”

Mining not only has complexities in compliance and health and safety, but the market has become saturated, difficult and mercurial. For organisations to thrive, they must find new revenue streams and innovate the ways in which they do business. This is where the data delivered by IoT sensors and devices can really transform the bottom line. If translated, analysed and used correctly, the data can provide insights that allow for the executive to make informed decisions about sites, investment and potential.

“The cross-pollination of different data sets from across different sites can help shift dynamics in plant operation and maintenance, in the execution of specific tasks, and so much more,” says Bornheim. “In addition, with sensors and connected devices and systems, mining operations can be managed intelligently to ensure the best results from equipment and people.”

The connection of the physical world to the digital is not new. Many of the applications currently being used or presented to the mining industry are not new either. What’s new is how these solutions are being implemented and the ways in which they are defined. It’s more than sticking on sensors. It’s using these sensors to streamline business across buildings, roads, vehicles, equipment, and sites. These sensors and the ways in which they are used or where they are installed can be customised to suit specific business requirements.

“With qualified electronic engineers and software experts, you can design a vast array of solutions to meet the real needs of your business,” says Bornheim. “Our engineers can programme, create, migrate and integrate embedded IoT solutions for microcontrollers, sensors, and processors. They can also develop intuitive dashboards and human-machine interfaces for IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) devices to manage the input and output of a wide range of functionalities.”

The benefits of IoT lie in its ubiquity. It can be used in tandem with artificial intelligence or machine learning systems to enhance analytics, improve the automation of basic processes and monitor systems and equipment for faults. It can be used alongside M2M applications to enhance the results and the outcomes of the systems and their roles. And it can be used to improve collaboration and communication between man, machine and mine.

“You can use IoT platforms to visualise mission-critical data for device monitoring, remote control, alerts, security management, health and safety and healthcare,” concludes Bornheim. “The sky is genuinely the limit, especially now that the cost of sensors has come down and the intelligence of solutions and applications has gone up. From real-time insights to hands-on security and safety alerts to data that changes business direction and focus, IoT brings a myriad of benefits to the table.”

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Oracle leads in clash of
e-commerce titans



Three e-commerce platforms have been awarded “gold medals” for leading the way in customer experience. SoftwareReviews, a division of Info-Tech Research Group, named Oracle Commerce Cloud the leader in its 2020 eCommerce Data Quadrant Awards, followed by Shopify Plus and IBM Digital Commerce. The awards are based on user reviews. 
The three vendors received the following citations:

  • Oracle Commerce Cloud ranked highest among software users, earning the number-one spot in many of the product feature section areas, shining brightest in reporting and analytics, predictive recommendations, order management, and integrated search. 
  • Shopify Plus performed consistently well according to users, taking the number-one spot for catalogue management, shopping cart management and ease of customisation.
  • IBM Digital Commerce did exceptionally well in business value created, quality of features, and vendor support.

The SoftwareReviews Data Quadrant differentiates itself with insightful survey questions, backed by 22 years of research in IT. The study involves gathering intelligence on user satisfaction with both product features and experience with the vendor. When distilled, the customer’s experience is shaped by both the software interface and relationship with the vendor. Evaluating enterprise software along these two dimensions provides a comprehensive understanding of the product in its entirety and helps identify vendors that can deliver on both for the complete software experience.

“Our recent Data Quadrant in e-commerce solutions provides a compelling snapshot of the most popular enterprise-ready players, and can help you make an informed, data-driven selection of an e-commerce platform that will exceed your expectations,” says Ben Dickie, research director at Info-Tech Research Group. 

“Having a dedicated e-commerce platform is where the rubber hits the road in transacting with your customers through digital channels. These platforms provide an indispensable array of features, from product catalog and cart management to payment processing to detailed transaction analytics.”

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