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Online alert for ISIS in SA

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ISIS is using the Internet for their recruitment drive, making no country unreachable. To try and combat any new South Africans being recruited, South Africa’s State agencies are monitoring cyberspace for any suspicious activity, writes ADAM WAKEFIELD.

South Africa’s State agencies were monitoring cyberspace for recruitment by the Islamic State (ISIS), State Security Minster David Mahlobo said on Tuesday.

“International terrorism is the biggest challenge in the world, it is the challenge of our lifetime,” he said at a media briefing in Cape Town and Pretoria, via video-link.

“ISIS is a little bit sophisticated because in their own recruitment drive they are using cyber space… In terms of the world, there is no country where they are not recruiting.”

Describing the ISIS as promoting a “funny ideology”, he said state security agencies were monitoring cyberspace to stop them from trying to radicalise South Africans to their cause.

“In South Africa, there is work we are doing in terms of monitoring cyberspace, including social platforms,” he said.

Referring to the 15-year-old Cape Town girl pulled off of an international flight on her way to reportedly join ISIS, Mahlobo said that if state security agencies had not been doing their job, the girl could have left the country.

“If the police and state security agencies had never done our work, that child could have left,” he said.

“The child that was trying to get out of this country, we intervened.”

Earlier at the same media briefing, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the recruitment of young people to take part in acts of terror was a growing global concern.

“The JCPS [Justice, Crime Prevention and Security] cluster will not allow South Africa to be used as a recruitment platform for terror groups. We wish to reiterate our resolve to ensure that South Africa remains a place where people feel and are safe,” she said.

“We want to sound a note of caution to all South Africans not to lend themselves to terrorist activities.”

Against the background of the 15-year-old being stopped from joining ISIS, government encouraged the community at large, and parents in particular, to be cautious and concerned about what activities their children might be involved with.

“Cyber technology has proven itself to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand it enables development, whilst on the other hand, greater internet accessibility poses major risks, especially for children,” the defence minister said.

“Parents should take an extra effort to monitor their children’s online activities. Parents and guardians need to know who their children are chatting with. They need to know what websites their children visit. We need to keep our children safe.”

News24

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http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/State-agencies-monitoring-cyberspace-for-ISIS-recruitment-20150414

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The myths of microwaves

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We all know microwaves make cooking a breeze and it helps save those minutes, we rarely have enough of these days. However, some people do have those lingering doubts about whether microwaving food destroys nutrients or that it emits harmful radiation. However, the truth is a lot more comforting and positive.

“The microwave makes life so much easier,” says Tracy Gordon, Head of Product – Home Appliances at Samsung South Africa. “It’s human-centred technology at its most helpful. The Samsung Hotblast for example, has revolutionary functions, which are tailor-made to create fast, tasty and healthy meals in minutes.”

A recent article by Harvard Health Publishingclaims stated that “microwave ovens cook food using waves of energy that are remarkably selective, primarily affecting water and other molecules that are electrically asymmetrical. Microwaves cause these molecules to vibrate and quickly build up thermal (heat) energy.” The article debunks two common myths about microwaving food.

Myth 1: Microwaving kills nutrients

Whether in a microwave or a regular oven, some nutrients, including vitamin C, do break down when exposed to heat. However, the fact is, cooking with a microwave might be better when it comes to preserving nutrients because it takes a shorter time to cook. Additionally, as far as vegetables go, cooking them in water robs them of some of their nutritional value because the nutrients seep out into the cooking water,” states the report by Harvard Health Publishing. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), food cooked in a microwave oven is as safe and has the same nutrient value, as food cooked in a conventional oven.

Myth 2: Microwaving food can give you cancer

The American Cancer Society (ACS) says that microwaves do not make food radioactive. Microwaves heat food but they do not change the chemical or molecular structure of it. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence that microwaves pose a health risk to people when used appropriately, the organisation added.

With those myths well busted, it’s comforting to know one can make full use of the convenient kitchen appliance. And when the time comes to use a microwave to heat up a tasty meal in no time, one can trust the Samsung Hotblast to do the job. The HotBlast has multiple air holes blowing out powerful hot air, which reduces cooking time. Samsung claims the Slim Fry technology ensures that food is perfectly crisp on the outside and delicious and juicy on the inside. Additionally, this versatile microwave has a wider grill, making it easier to brown food fast and evenly. The turntable is wider, measuring 345mm, making it possible to prepare bigger portions of food. And with its Eco Mode power, it significantly reduces energy consumption with its low standby power. Its intelligent features and stylish design makes it very useful and as we now know – a safe, healthy way to enjoy a meal.

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New BMW 3-series ushers in autonomous future

The new BMW 3-series is not meant to be an autonomous car, but it is so close, ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK discovers.

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It was not meant to be a test-drive of an autonomous vehicle. But the Driving Assist button on the steering wheel of the new BMW 330i was just too tempting. And there I found myself, on Sir Lowry’s Pass near Cape Town, “driving” with my arms folded while the vehicle negotiated curves on its own.

Every 10 seconds or so, yellow or red lights flashed to alert me to put my hands back on the wheel. The yellow lights meant the car wanted me to put my hands on the wheel, just to show that I was in control. The red lights meant that I had to take over control from the artificial intelligence built into the vehicle.

With co-driver Ernest Page, we negotiated a major highway, the bends of Sir Lowry’s pass, and the passes of Hell’s Heights (Hel se Hoogte) above the Cape Winelands.

As the above video of the experience reveals, it can be nerve-racking for someone who hasn’t experienced autonomous driving, or hasn’t been dreaming of testing it for many years. For this driver, it was exhilarating. Not because the car performed so magnificently, but because it tells us just how close true autonomous driving really is.

There was one nervous moment when the autonomous – or rather, Driving Assist – mode disengaged on Hell’s Heights, but fear not. A powerful sense of responsibility prevailed, and my hands hovered over the steering wheel as it took the curve. Assist disengaged, and the car began to veer towards the other side of the road. I quickly took over, and also sobered up from the giddiness of thinking I was already in the future.

In reality, Driving Assist is part of level 2 of driving autonomy, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. A presentation on the evening of the test drive, by Edward Makwana, manager of group product communications at BMW Group in South Africa, summed up the five stages as the driver having Feet Off, Hands Off, Eyes Off, Mind off, and finally, only being a Passenger.

However, the extent to which the hands-off mode of Driving Assist mimics self-driving, and easily shows the way to eyes-off and mind-off, is astonishing.

Click here to read about the components that make the Driving Assist work.

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