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How social tech fights crime

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Over the last few months, ttrumpet has been working with the Community Police Forums (CPF) in Pretoria to connect individuals in real-time with their communities, to syndicate information to keep themselves and their families safe.

“Social media continues to grow exponentially – where the sharing of information amongst individuals has the real potential to improve vigilance and ultimately lead to safer communities,” says Charles Murray, director at ttrumpet. “As such, we’ve engaged with a number of parties in the region to bring two critical parties together – the community and the CPFs – over a mobile platform – for better safety.”

Currently, ttrumpet, along with the CPFs already covers over 700km2 in the Pretoria region, covering an impressive 289 241 households – a number that grows bigger every day as new security channels join the platform. The platform’s security channel is being used to provide updates to the community, report suspicious activity, highlight the real crime hotspots and generate better community awareness and vigilance to assist the police.

Warrant Officer A.C. Holtzhausen, Sector Manager, sector 1 Pretoria North SAPS, is currently using the ttrumpet app to connect with his sector community. He says: “ttrumpet is an enabler to combating crime. Not only is it bringing our community together to raise security awareness and report criminal activity, but if used correctly, it also provides the perfect platform to gather real statistics around the activity in the area – which enables us to deploy units more effectively, look out at certain crime hotspots and be more readily available when needed.”

As an example: if a community member sees a suspicious car that is in the process of stealing another car, they can report the incident on ttrumpet, with a picture and a registration number. Then through the technology, the registration number can be extracted from ttrumpet and placed into a database on which ANPR cameras work on. Once the ANPR camera recognises the registration number it then informs the police/sector manager where that vehicle is situated. The police can then respond accordingly – streamlining the entire process and assisting criminals to be caught faster – just from a message that was sent.

To date, 55 channels have been created in the Pretoria region where the current incidents posted over these channels are at 1318. The current channels include a channel created specifically for schools in the Pretoria North region which keeps parents informed of suspicious activity and/or any incidents related to child-safety as well as a second-hand goods channel that protects store owners from buying stolen goods. Adds Murray: “We’ve seen a major uptake specifically in the school’s channel as parents can now ask for extra patrols during sports or other events and they are made aware, in real time, of any suspicious vehicles/persons in the vicinity of their child’s school.”

“Active citizenry, coupled with a strong purpose-built platform that brings together relevant parties, has real potential to change the status quo. Pretoria is actively looking at this – and reaping the benefits – and we look forward to working with the other regions to drive safer communities,” says Murray.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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