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Tech gives a boost to giving

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According to the annual Giving Report by the Charities Aid Foundation of Southern Africa, over 88% of South Africans contributed to a charitable organisation through time, money and other donations in 2018. Most people who contributed did so through a monetary donation and by signing petitions. It was also noted that because NGOs have recently upped their reporting, people can now see how their donations have made a difference and how many like-minded people donate to their chosen causes, thus spurring them to donate more.

What’s interesting is the correlation between the spike in younger people giving back and the introduction of online/digital donations. These new platforms have made it easier than ever for anyone to pay it forward. 

Below are just five of the many ways in which we are able to give back to those less fortunate using whichever platform suits you best.

Online: Quicket’s Haven Night Shelter passport 

Quicket recently partnered with The Haven Night Shelter to create the shelter passport – enabling anyone to go online and buy a passport filled with printable, charity-ready reprieve for those in need. Each ticket guarantees the grateful recipient a hot meal, a shower, and a bed for the night (provided there is one free) at any Haven night shelter in the Western Cape. In addition, they’ll receive access to the assistance The Haven provides in terms of social services and helping to get people back on their feet. 

The tickets are sold in batches of five and cost just R12 per ticket. Most customers buy a pack of 10 or even 50 at a time and keep them handy to give out as needed – especially since they don’t expire. Since the initiative was launched on the site, over 1000 tickets have been sold. Quicket also gives the option of donating straight to The Haven Night Shelter through the platform. Users can insert any amount and a donation will be made to the shelter in their name. 

In the real world: Relate bracelets 

The most heartfelt and sustainable gifts are those that endure and keep on giving. When it comes to charitable causes, giving of one’s self is of course crucial, but what if there was an avenue through which to amplify a small donation and see it resonate for generations? Fortunately there is.

Relate is a 100% not-for-profit social enterprise, which donates the majority of its revenue to credible causes and continually creates income opportunities for South Africa’s most desperate citizens. Recipients aren’t merely given cash hand-outs, but instead receive upskilling, training and education, which equips those living in poverty with the tools to uplift themselves. Among numerous ongoing partnerships and campaigns, Relate has recently launched DIG60 – an initiative in association with Ikamva Labantu – which aims to honour South Africa’s elder population, while providing support to those in need. Visit Relate.org for further information and to give the gifts of dignity and longevity.

Use your card: MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet community loyalty programme

The MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet community loyalty programme is one of South Africa’s biggest community loyalty programmes that is making a difference in the lives of South Africans. It allows supporters to raise funds for their chosen beneficiaries – be it a school, charity or environmental organisation every time they shop at any of the more than 1500 partner stores across the country. It doesn’t cost you a cent – you simply swipe your card  when you shop and the partner makes a contribution on your behalf. 

The programme raises over R7 million every month for schools, charities, animal welfare, and environmental organisations. In addition to the card that you swipe, the 22-year-old programme has entered the digital age and now has a virtual card that is accessible via their app that you can scan at till points to give back every time you shop.

Download the app or visit www.myschool.co.za for more information on how you can give back.

SnapScan: the CCID

The Social Development department of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) runs a “Show you care” campaign every year to raise funds for the homeless community of the Central City during the bitterly cold and wet winter months. This year the aim of the campaign, driven through SnapScan, is to raise R100 000 for the CCID’s NGO partners that work with this vulnerable community. Members of the public can look out for the code and details of how to donate on the CCID’s social media pages, on posters in the CBD and in over 300 participating retailers, restaurants and hotels in which table talkers with the campaign details are displayed. If anyone would like to donate via EFT, they can find the details on the CCID website. Pat Eddy, Social Development manager, says the CCID is asking people to make “a life-changing” donation, no matter how big or small. The CCID’s “Show you care” campaign supports its Winter Readiness Campaign during which “care bags” with basic toiletries, shoes, raincoats, blankets and mattress protectors and food is supplied to certain of its partner NGOs as well as the subsidising of extra beds at shelters.

On your travels: BONangels by BON Hotels 

This hotel group offers its guests an opportunity to assist them in helping those less fortunate. BONangels aims to take care of the communities that service their hotels to establish a society of guests and staff who want to give back and build a platform that allows everyone to do something for others less fortunate.

Their most recent beneficiary is the Sunflower Fund, South Africa’s well-known donor recruitment centre and registry. Show you care by registering to be a stem cell donor, donating money or volunteering on the BON Hotels website

It’s estimated that for South Africans, charitable contributions will continue to increase, and with the addition of online donations, giving back is easier. 

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The PC is back!

… and 2020 will be its big year, writes CHRIS BUCHANAN, client solutions director at Dell Technologies

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Concept Ori

It turns out the PC’s death has been exaggerated. PC sales grew between 1.1% and 1.5% in the last few quarters of the year, according to Gartner. While those don’t sound like massive leaps, they represent a large market that has been declining for several years. Windows 10 is credited for this surge, especially as Windows 7 is leading towards its end of life (EOL).

But I don’t think that is the entire picture. Windows 10 upgrades have been taking place for several years, and the market has also gotten savvier about managing EOL. Other factors are driving the adoption of PCs.

A specific one is how much closer the PC now sits to smartphones. I recently watched some youngsters work with laptops that had touchscreens. They hardly ever touched the keyboard, instead tapping and swiping on the screen. Yet they were still working on a laptop, not a smartphone. Certain things are much easier to do on a PC than a phone, and users are realising this. They aren’t relinquishing the convenience of their smartphones but applications are now available on PC’s and often easier to use.

Convertible or 2-in-1 machines have closed the gap between the two device types. This is in contrast to tablets. If you observe how people sit with tablets, it’s the opposite of smartphones or laptops. With the latter, we sit forward, attentive and focused. But tablets often prompt people to recline. It’s just a casual observation, yet I believe that PCs and smartphones have much more overlap with each other than pure tablet devices. Additionally, the convertible laptop has become the new tablet.

Chris Buchanan

Why does this bode well for PCs in 2020? 2-in-1 machines break down the barriers between the utility of a PC and collaborative culture of a smartphone. You can now flip a laptop into tent mode and use it as an interactive presentation screen on a boardroom table, or cradle it like a clipboard you jot on with a digital pen.

In the next year, we’ll see more of the market responding to this trend. Premium 2-in-1 devices have a stable and growing audience of users who are now going into their second, third and even fourth generations of devices. Mid-range and entry-level laptops are also starting to adopt touchscreens and flip displays.

2-in-1 devices are also pushing innovation, such as the emergence of dual-screen systems. Dell revealed two such concept devices at CES this year: Project Duet, a dual screen laptop, and Project Ori (for origami), a more compact approach to foldable devices. We also unveiled Project UFO, a prototype Alienware device that puts triple-A PC gaming into a handheld device. All of these reflect the desire for touch-enabled devices that are portable without sacrificing performance or excellence. They definitely point us to the future.

Convertible devices are not a new form factor. I can recall the first flip-over touchscreen designs appearing 15 years ago. Back then they were exotic and the standard laptop ruled the roost. But today, the habits and expectations of users are driving a change decisively towards convertible devices.

Desktop PCs are meanwhile becoming more specialised, yet also more widely appreciated for their versatility. Specialist non-Windows PCs, such as those used by designers, are being replaced by Windows PCs, often for lower costs. Integrated discrete graphics chips and other advancements add a lot of value to modern desktops. The smartphone overlap also appears here: many people use services such as Whatsapp Web on their PCs, and Dell customers use the Dell Mobile Connect app to show their smartphone screen on their PC display.

There is a new synergy between the PC and smartphone, created by users who find the two complement each other. Not everyone has realised this yet, but in 2020 that will be the resounding message. The PC is back and 2020 will be its year.

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Jaguar designs ‘seat of the future’

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Jaguar Land Rover is developing the seat of the future – a pioneering shape-shifting system designed to improve customer wellbeing by tackling the health risks of sitting down for too long.

The ‘morphable’ seat, being trialled by Jaguar Land Rover’s Body Interiors Research division, uses a series of actuators in the seat foam to create constant micro-adjustments that make your brain think you’re walking, and could be individually tailored to each driver and passenger.

More than a quarter of people worldwide – 1.4 billion – are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles, which can shorten muscles in the legs, hips and gluteals causing back pain. The weakened muscles also mean you are more likely to injure yourself from falls or strains. 

By simulating the rhythm of walking, a movement known as pelvic oscillation, the technology can help mitigate against the health risks of sitting down for too long on extended journeys with some drivers doing hundreds of kilometres per week. 

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Medical Officer, said: “The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects. We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe.”

Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles already feature the latest in ergonomic seat design, with multi-directional adjustments, massage functions and climate control fitted across the range. Dr Iley has also issued advice on how to adjust your seat to ensure the perfect driving position, from removing bulky items in your pocket, to shoulder positioning and from ensuring your spine and pelvis are straight to supporting your thighs to reduce pressure points. View the video here.

The research is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to continually improving customer wellbeing through technological innovation. Previous projects have included research to reduce the effects of motion sickness and the implementation of ultraviolet light technology to stop the spread of colds and flu. 

Together, these efforts are driving towards Destination Zero; Jaguar Land Rover’s ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner – a responsible future for our workers, customers and communities around us. Through relentless innovation, Jaguar Land Rover is adapting product and services to meet the rapidly-changing world.

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