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Inventor wins R1m in Cell C reality show

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Klerksdorp’s Christo Rossouw has escaped the noose and has been named the winner of Cell C’s thrilling reality show Hangman walking away with R1-million prize money.

The 35-year-old impressed the judges and viewers with his innovative mosquito repellent lamp and beat off strong challenges from the remaining two finalists – Bonex Mwakikunga with his diabetes breathalyser and Chelsea Anne Hornby who developed the Elle reusable menstrual cup.

Thanks to the TV series, Rossouw also has a distribution deal with Fever Tree, who will be testing his products in the market in three big supermarket chains, and believes the potential for his product is endless.

“I always focus on social innovations when entering competitions,” says an elated Rossouw. “There is a huge need to provide the underprivileged with affordable and effective solutions to problems that they are facing. One of the biggest issues in the world that poor people face is malaria. Mosquito-borne diseases are responsible for close to a million deaths annually, infecting around a billion people every year.

“I was looking to design a product that would be more effective and more affordable than products already on the market. Something that would act as a social innovation, but also have market potential.  My mosquito diffuser is three times cheaper than the cheapest electric heater on the market. It does not use additional electricity to work and is compatible with refills from all major brands.”

Says Jose Dos Santos, Chief Executive Officer of Cell C: “This show was a first for South Africa. The quality of the production was world-class and viewers really embraced the show and participated actively through the Cell C reality app. More so, we are delighted that we were able to provide talented South African innovators with a platform to realise their dreams.”

The Hangman “backers”, acting as judges, included economist Iraj Abedian, billionaire Quinton van der Burgh, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa Bonang Mohale, and businesswoman and entrepreneur Connie Mashaba. The show was hosted by Maps Maponyane.

A repeat of Hangman will be broadcast on e.tv on Saturday, December 16, at 13h00. It will also screen on eExtra (http://eextra.etv.co.za) on Wednesday (December 13) at 19h30 with a repeat on Thursday (December 14) at 10h00.

The complete Hangman series is also available – for free – on Cell C’s newly launched entertainment and content platform, black. South Africans, on any network, can download the GETblack Android & iOS apps using a tablet or smartphone. It is also available on a web interface at www.black.co.za.

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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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