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Free Soweto library as art

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Massmart recently launched its first Urban Bookshelf, a literacy project developed to increase access to books in under-served communities at Phefeni Recreation Centre in Orland, Soweto.

Through a curated process Massmart commissioned GASS Architecture Studio to design the unique book sharing station, or lending library, and a renowned graffiti artist Rasik Green aka Mr Ekse to enrich the design.

“This is the first of many artist-designed free miniature libraries” says Massmart Sustainability Executive Alexander Haw “We have earmarked other locations around Johannesburg and will be collaborating with various other artists and architects to create different interpretations of the Massmart Urban Bookshelf. We hope that through this project we will promote reading and improve literacy.”

Made of powder coated steel, the book sharing station is 2.8m high and consists of durable steel boxes that ensure the books are protected from all the elements. The structure is tailored to both kids and adults, with children’s literature at the bottom for easy access. The structure also has built-in benches so people can have a seat while browsing. It can store 450 to 500 books and books are arranged into eight genres, namely, African Fiction; General Fiction; Non-Fiction; Current Affairs & Politics; Law & Business; Self Help & Motivation Young Adults and Children’s books.

The Urban Bookshelf works similarly to a traditional library except there is no need for library card and there are no fees. The community can borrow and return books at their leisure.   To provide and replenish the structure with a diverse range of reading material Massmart partnered with major publishers, namely Jacana and Jonathan Ball. To ensure that the books cater to the local taste of readers in the community Massmart conducted extensive research.

Haw says “We deployed field researchers to study the habits of readers in the community. Our survey looked into several dimensions of this exploration by noting the role of libraries in people’s lives and by paying particular attention to people’s purposes for reading. Our research’s key findings highlighted how libraries add value communities and serve as cultural centres where individuals gather to learn, explore and interact. It also gave us insight into the local book taste of the community and informed us on which books and genres are required and desired for our structure.”

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AppDate: DStv taps Xbox, Hisense

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DStv Now for Xbox and Hisense

Usage of DStv Now, the online DStv service available free to DStv customers, is increasing rapidly with more than two million plays of live and Catch Up content per week. In addition to using DStv Now to watch TV on tablets and smartphones, an increasing number of DStv customers are also opting to use it as their primary method of getting DStv on additional TVs in the house. This is set to increase with the release of two new big-screen TV apps, one for Xbox gaming consoles (Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X) and another for Hisense smart TVs (2018 and newer models).

Expect to pay: A free download.

Platform: Any of the Xbox One range of gaming consoles and 2018 or later Hisense smart TVs.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your Xbox console or HiSense smart TV.

Santam Safety Ideas

Start-up businesses that have a FinTech or InsurTech business venture brewing are called to enter the third annual Santam Safety Ideas competition. Safety solutions or InsurTech ventures that are ready for piloting could win up to  R150 000 worth of incubation support and R200 000 in seed funding. 

The Safety Ideas competition was launched two years ago in partnership with LaunchLab,  Stellenbosch University’s startup incubator that facilitates valuable connections for corporates and startups sourced from the startup ecosystem and partner universities in South Africa. The previous winners are Herman Bester and Anton Swanevelder, co-founders of MyLifeLine – a wearable panic device that won the competition last year; and Ntsako Mgiba and Ntandoyenkosi Shezi, co-founders of Jonga – a cost-effective security system for low income families, which won the competition in 2017.

Entries close on 28 February 2019. For more information on how to enter, visit: www.santam.co.za/safetyideas/

Click here to read about the FNB Snapchat lens, Spotify Free with data saver, and 00:37.

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Fortnite fixes hackers’ hole

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Epic Games has repaired a vulnerability that exposed Fortnite, the world’s most popular game of the moment, to hackers. The hole, which was left in Epic’s web infrastructure,  allowed hackers to target players with email that appeared to come from Epic Games, but would have led them to a phishing site, where their log-in details would have been stolen.

Researchers at cyber security solutions provider Check Point Software alerted Epic to vulnerabilities that could have affected any player of the hugely popular online battle game.

Fortnite has nearly 80 million players worldwide. The game is popular on all gaming platforms, including Android, iOS, PC via Microsoft Windows and consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  In addition to casual players, Fortnite is used by professional gamers who stream their sessions online, and is popular with e-sports enthusiasts.

If exploited, the vulnerability would have given an attacker full access to a user’s account and their personal information as well as enabling them to purchase virtual in-game currency using the victim’s payment card details. The vulnerability would also have allowed for a massive invasion of privacy, as an attacker could listen to in-game chatter as well as surrounding sounds and conversations within the victim’s home or other location of play. 

While Fortnite players had previously been targeted by scams that deceived them into logging into fake websites that promised to generate Fortnite’s ‘V-Buck’ in-game currency, these new vulnerabilities could have been exploited without the player handing over any login details.

Click here to read how the Fortnite hack would have worked.

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