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Remote working can help rescue Cape Town economy

Cape Town’s SMEs should drive the shift to remote Working as COLIN THORNTON, Managing Director of Turrito Networks and Dial a Nerd, says this is a key part of the city’s efforts to save water.

In March, rating’s agency Moody’s warned that the water crisis affecting Cape Town would cause the city’s borrowing to rise sharply – and the provincial economy to shrink – the longer the situation lasted. As it stands, Cape Town is the first major metropolitan to face the possibility of running out of water. The City’s residents are bracing themselves for “Day Zero” in late August, when Cape Town’s taps could literally run dry.

For Cape Town’s business owners and managers, it is now imperative to find ways to alleviate not only operating costs in a stressed local economy, but overall pressure on the City’s infrastructure. Arguably, enabling employees to work remotely – either from home or from a different province, is one way to ease both of these burdens. 

Although remote working has been topical for some time, it has now become critical that businesses in Cape Town start to explore feasible remote working solutions. From a technology/IT perspective, this means putting the right IT infrastructure in place to ensure that employees and managers have the right tools, platforms and support to make the strategy a success. 

To begin with, robust connectivity is key. If your company’s Internet connection is not already both fast and reliable, this must be addressed as a matter of urgency. Secondly, every business should be looking to harness Cloud based tools and platforms to bolster collaboration, productivity and overall communication as the company embraces worker mobility….

Making the Shift

By moving enterprise systems, software and processes to the Cloud – and away from locally hosted environments [on-site servers and exchanges] SMEs in particular will automatically be enabling themselves to succeed during and after the water crisis. Indeed, with Cloud based platforms in place, SMEs can achieve a new level of independence, responsiveness and agility – as employees will be able to safely access key data anytime, and from anywhere. 

Let’s take email, for example, which is the lifeblood of today’s SMEs. Without properly functioning email connectivity, any small business will be brought to a halt.  

For SMEs looking to support a host of remote working capabilities, they must immediately consider their email solution. So, do they choose a Cloud-based product, or rather to ‘insource’ email and go with an on-site mail exchange service? 

From an efficiency and remote working point of view, the Cloud-based option is a no-brainer. By adopting the Cloud, SMEs can rest assured that their email will be up and running 99% of the time, and employees will have simple, secure and easy access from anywhere – as long as they have reliable connectivity. 

Streamlined Cost Structures

Without doubt, there is also a huge cost implication for SMEs that wholeheartedly embrace Cloud computing and, simultaneously, mobility. With most of today’s Cloud computing platforms and services, there are no expensive licensing costs to deal with nor long term contracts– which allows each business to scale up or down according to their current needs. This can free up operating capital to spend more on new mobile devices and mobile connectivity that promotes and supports the shift to remote working. 

As Cape Town’s businesses explore ways to cut costs, drive efficiencies and reduce pressure on the City’s water infrastructure, embracing a more mobile and streamlined working culture can certainly make a major difference…

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Eugene Kaspersky posts from 2050

In his imagined blog entry from the year 2050, the Kaspersky Lab founder imagines an era of digital immunity

In recent years, digital systems have moved up to a whole new level. No longer assistants making life easier for us mere mortals, they’ve become the basis of civilisation — the very framework keeping the world functioning properly in 2050.

This quantum leap forward has generated new requirements for the reliability and stability of artificial intelligence. Although some cyberthreats still haven’t become extinct since the romantic era around the turn of the century, they’re now dangerous only to outliers who for some reason reject modern standards of digital immunity.

The situation in many ways resembles the fight against human diseases. Thanks to the success of vaccines, the terrible epidemics that once devastated entire cities in the twentieth century are a thing of the past.

However, that’s where the resemblance ends. For humans, diseases like the plague or smallpox have been replaced by new, highly resistant “post-vaccination” diseases; but for the machines, things have turned out much better. This is largely because the initial designers of digital immunity made all the right preparations for it in advance. In doing so, what helped them in particular was borrowing the systemic approaches of living systems and humans.

One of the pillars of cyber-immunity today is digital intuition, the ability of AI systems to make the right decisions in conditions where the source data are clearly insufficient to make a rational choice.

But there’s no mysticism here: Digital intuition is merely the logical continuation of the idea of machine learning. When the number and complexity of related self-learning systems exceeds a certain threshold, the quality of decision-making rises to a whole new level — a level that’s completely elusive to rational understanding. An “intuitive solution” results fromthe superimposition of the experience of a huge number of machine-learning models, much like the result of the calculations of a quantum computer.

So, as you can see, it has been digital intuition, with its ability to instantly, correctly respond to unknown challenges that has helped build the digital security standards of this new era.  

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M-Net to film Deon Meyer novel

A television adaptation of Deon Meyer’s crime novel Trackers is to be co-produced by M-Net, Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF, and HBO subsidiary Cinemax, which will also distribute the drama series worldwide. 

Trackers is an unprecedented scripted television venture and MultiChoice and M-Net are proud to chart out new territory … allowing local and international talent to combine their world-class story-telling and production skills,” says MultiChoice CEO of General Entertainment, Yolisa Phahle.

HBO, Cinemax, and M-Net also launched a Producers Apprenticeship programme last year when the Cinemax series Warrior, coming to M-Net in July, was filmed in South Africa. Some other Cinemax originals screened on M-Net include Banshee, The Knick and Strike Back. 

“Cinemax is delighted to partner with M-Net and ZDF in bringing Deon Meyer’s unforgettable characters and storytelling—all so richly rooted in the people and spectacular geography of South Africa—to screens around the world,” says Len Amato, President, HBO Films, Miniseries, and Cinemax.    

Filming for Trackers has already started in  locations across South Africa and the co-production partners have been working together on all aspects of production 

Deon Meyer, whose award-winning crime novels have been translated into more than 20 languages, with millions of copies sold worldwide, serves as a supervising screenwriter and co-producer; British writer Robert Thorogood (Death in Paradise) is the showrunner. The team of South African writers on the project includes the Mitchell’s Plain playwright, screenwriter and director Amy Jephta (Die Ellen Pakkies Story) and local writer/directors Kelsey Egen and Jozua Malherbe. 

The cast for the six-part miniseries includes Ed Stoppard, Rolanda Marais, James Alexander and Thapelo Mokoena. 

Trackers will make its debut on M-Net 101 in October 2019 and will also be available on MultiChoice’s on-demand service, Showmax. The six-part drama series is produced by UK production company Three River Studios as well as South Africa’s Scene 23. 

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