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Top ICT award for Gadget founder

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Gadget founder Arthur Goldstuck has been named recipient of the Distinguished Service in ICT Award 2013 by the ICT industry’s professional body.

Gadget founder and editor-in-chief Arthur Goldstuck has been named recipient of the Distinguished Service in ICT Award 2013 by the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) and the award sponsor, EngineerIT.

The IITPSA, the professional body of the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, in conjunction with EngineerIT, determine a worthy candidate for this award for ‘distinguished service’ to the IITPSA and/or the IT Industry based on the following criteria:

The Award criteria are:

* The recipient ideally should have been a member of the professional body of the IITPSA for 10 years;

* Has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the objectives of the IITPSA and the ICT sector.

* Has been a role model and mentor showing dedication to the advancement of
the ICT industry in SA.

* Is recognised as having made an exceptional, career-length contribution to
the ICT industry.

The person who receives the award is also bestowed with the grade and title of Fellow (or Honorary Fellow) of the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa, if he/she is not a Fellow already. The ‘worthiness and acceptability’ of the nominee for this award is assessed by the Committee of Past Presidents of the IITPSA where a majority must support the nomination and recommend it to the IITPSA Executive Council. Here, in turn, the nomination must also receive the support and approval of the majority of the Executive Council.

The Citation for Goldstuck’s award, presented at the IITPSA President’s Awards Breakfast last week, reads:

“It is our custom not to mention the name of the Award Recipient until the end of the citation, but we will be very surprised if everyone in this room, including the recipient (who doesn’t yet know that he is getting the award), doesn’t work out who is being referred to after the first few sentences that follow.

“This person is a well-known South African journalist, media analyst and commentator on information and communications technology, internet and mobile communications and technologies.

“He is a former investigative journalist and news editor at the Mail & Guardian, one-time South African correspondent for Billboard, contributor to numerous magazines and newspapers on tech and popular culture. He has written 18 books, including 7 on Internet- and mobile-related topics, 6 on urban legends and 3 humour books. Most have been best-sellers in South Africa, with “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Internet: A South African Handbook” the biggest selling IT book ever in this country.

“He is the Editor-in-Chief of Gadget Magazine which is South Africa’s oldest online technology magazine, launched in 1998. In June 2011 it became a content partner of the MSN portal, replicating its content on the Tech & Gadgets section of the MSN.co.za portal.

“This person is the founder (in 2000) and Managing Director of World Wide Worx, a leading independent technology market research organisation. World Wide Worx researches Internet access, mobile consumers, mobile Internet, mobile payments, online banking, online media, social media, cloud computing and trends shaping business and consumer use of technology in Africa. It has established itself as one of the leading independent technology research organisations on the continent.

“He was a pioneer in the South African market in the use of the internet as a tool for productivity. He developed the first South African benchmarks for website strategy, and has represented South Africa as a judge for events ranging from the International Advertising Festival in Cannes to the Global Mobile Awards at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. World Wide Worx research is used by international, regional and local organisations, corporations and universities. He also provides regular newspaper columns on IT-related topics, and has been interviewed on SA radio stations many times, making technology interesting and accessible to the general public.

“He is both a true stalwart and a justifiably well-known personality of the South African ICT Industry and is fully deserving of the 2013 award for Distinguished Service in ICT, having made a genuine career-length contribution to the community and the world of ICT.

“The Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa and EngineerIT are thus delighted to present both an Honorary Fellowship of the Institute and the 2013 Distinguished Service in ICT Award to Arthur Goldstuck.”

The IITPSA President’s Awards Breakfast, hosted by ITWeb, also saw the following awards presented:

Sal Laher, CIO of Eskom, was named the 2013 Visionary CIO of the Year winner.

Mteto Nyati, Microsoft SA MD, and Barry Dwolatzky, director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering, were the co-winners of 2013 IT Personality of the Year Award.

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SA gets gaming awards

Reed Exhibitions Africa recently announced that the inaugural South Africa Gaming Awards will be hosted at Comic Con Africa 2019.

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The South Africa Gaming Awards is set to become a key feature of Comic Con Africa and has been established to celebrate individuals, teams, developers, streamers, journalists and the like in the gaming industry. Categories and submission details will be announced early in 2019 for the awards which will take place in September.

Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Reed Exhibitions states: “On the back of the roaring success of the inaugural Comic Con Africa earlier this year we came to the realisation that there is no platform of this nature on the African continent where those who are excelling in the gaming industry have an opportunity to be acknowledged. We want to bring peers and like-minded individuals together to celebrate this industry and build this community across the board. To all future entries: Game on!”

Comic Con Africa 2019 will take place from 21 – 24 September 2019, at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

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What tech’s 3 wise men tell us to expect

Advice from three wise men will lead SA into the 4th Industrial Revolution, writes ANDRIES BRINK, CEO of Andile Solutions

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Over the past 50 years, 3 wise men made predictions that have become definitive in our time. Gordon Moore said data processing would double in capacity every 18 to 24 months, Mark Kryder predicted that data storage would expand at about the same rate, and George Gilder said the bandwidth connecting different nodes would double at three times that speed. Like the sages from the biblical story, they saw a massive star rising ahead of them.

Today we stand in the radiance of technology’s sun. My consumer grade phone is more powerful than most corporate data centres at the turn of the century. It has 200,000 times more memory than Voyager 2, which just left our solar system. In lockstep with this progress, today’s data centres produce decentralised processing power at incredibly cheap prices. These have found their way to humanity and are delivering on the promise of a new dispensation. Maybe LOCNVL had a point when they sang in 2010 that they had a sun in their pocket.

Let’s change our focus, for a moment, to Africa, which despite having nearly a billion people still only produces roughly $3.5 trillion in GDP. Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook have a collective market capitalisation of the same amount, yet do so with 0.08% of the number of people. To say Africa is missing out on the technology sun is an understatement. While everyone can benefit from this change, only a few will be positioned to lead it. It’s a fact quite visible wherever you look.

Andries Brink, CEO, Andile Solutions

Over the centuries, we have learnt that only four composers (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky) wrote almost all the music played by modern orchestras. Similarly, just a handful of authors sell all the books (of 1,5 million books published each year, only 500 sell more than a hundred thousand copies), and of the few scientists that actually publish papers that are accepted, only a very small percentage are then actually referenced by their peers. Business majors will note that this phenomenon was captured eloquently by 18th century Italian polymath Vilfredo Pareto and his 80/20 principle.

The question we should ask ourselves is: how can SA be part of the 20%, the mavericks that change the world instead of the 80% who end up as followers? For the answer, we need not look further than Lesetja Kganyago, the governor of our Reserve Bank:

“Lasting wealth… isn’t in a country’s soil but in its citizens’ heads. Countries get rich because people develop specialised skills, and because they find ways to cooperate so they can do things much too complex for any individual to do alone. To handle all this complexity and specialisation, people gather in firms, and firms interact in markets.”

He warned that when a state declares war against market mechanisms and wealth, it kills off investment and scares skilled people away. Natural resources don’t get used effectively, no matter how abundant they are, and the economy doesn’t develop other kinds of industries either.

It’s not hard to back this view: the mess in the DRC, the collapse of Zimbabwe, and the unbelievable accumulation of debt by Zambia reveal how disdain for market principles have hobbled what should be highly productive nations. Neither is it hard to find positive examples: India and Singapore have transformed their economies thanks to very business-friendly environments, and they have reduced poverty as well. The rise of the Asian Tigers had a lot to do with using market mechanisms effectively.

This brings us to the saviour part.

Minister Rob Davies recently declared that “there would be serious winners and losers due to the 4th industrial revolution (4IR).”, sounding vaguely familiar to a disturbing passages from the Holy Bible, a book that we can be certain the Minister did not mean to reference. In Matthew 13:12, Jesus says that:” For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” (The reader should be aware that economists often refer to the Pareto principle as the Matthew principle in relation to the above)

A significant number of things have been taken away from South Africa during the Zupta era. Yet South Africa still has an incredible opportunity here:

Yes, since 2008 SA has plunged 22 spots from 45th position. Yet we are still in the game and can reverse the trend, particularly if we harness 4IR beyond mentions in speeches. To me the opportunity is obvious. We have the finance system, market size and innovation capability to create a hotbed for 4IR-fueled progress. Looking at my industry, we should find ways to bring the smartest fintechs to South Africa.

Therefore, during this festive season, let us listen to our favourite devices streaming Mozart and Beethoven whilst we study and embrace the wise words of Pareto and other trusted saviours. The governor has confirmed our course. If SA Inc. could open doors for that 0.08 % of innovators and give them a reason to bring their wealth and knowledge here, we can accomplish amazing things as a nation. The three wise men have shown us a great rising star that everyone, even our most Marxist ministers, can see on the horizon. In 2019, let’s hope, and pray, we can converge on the opportunity.

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