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Z-Wave opens Lab programme

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The Z-Wave Alliance is looking for individuals or companies to submit their best implementation of Z-Wave for a chance to win memberships and IoT development kits.

The Z-Wave Alliance, an open consortium of leading global companies deploying Z-Wave, the world’s largest ecosystem of wireless control products and services, is announcing the opening of applications for Z-Wave Labs. The program is a brand new competition to support and incentivise IoT innovation on the Z-Wave platform. The Alliance is seeking entries from start-up companies and entrepreneurs looking to bring Z-Wave products to market.

“With an incredible year of growth for the Z-Wave platform, the Alliance is excited to open its doors to start-ups and disrupters in the IoT,” said Mary Miller, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at Sigma Designs and a Principal Board member of the Z-Wave Alliance, “We’re looking for innovators excited about using Z-Wave in their designs and who want to join our industry leading member companies and list of more than 1300 certified interoperable products in the rapidly growing IoT market.”

Eligibility

Z-Wave Labs is a global competition open to private companies of any size and individuals 18 years of age or older as of March 1, 2015 who submit their Z-Wave product innovation through the online application. Each entrant must submit an application before the 15th of each month in order be considered for that month’s contest. Applications can be for products in any IoT related industry, including but not limited to: residential, commercial, automotive, healthcare, energy, security and aging-in-place.

Winners

The panel of judges will use, but are not limited to, the following criteria to select one Z-Wave Labs winner per month for 12 months: innovation, functionality, engineering and design style, ingenuity, breadth of applicability, marketability and ease of use. Winners will be notified and announced at the end of every month and featured on the Z-Wave Labs website and on social media.

Each winner will receive access to the Z-Wave IoT 500 series development kits from Sigma Designs and one full year of Alliance membership at Full Member level, subject to the execution of a Z-Wave Alliance Full Membership and confidentiality agreement by the winner. Benefits of Alliance membership include the opportunity to participate in Alliance trade shows, working groups, PR and marketing opportunities and other related activities. Winners will also get paired up with mentors from the Z-Wave community in their related industry to provide technical and marketing and business development support.

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AppDate: DStv taps Xbox, Hisense for app

DStv Now app expands, FNB gets Snapchat lens, Spotify offers data saver mode, in SEAN BACHER’s apps roundup

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DStv Now for Xbox and Hisense

Usage of DStv Now, the online DStv service available free to DStv customers, is increasing rapidly with more than two million plays of live and Catch Up content per week. In addition to using DStv Now to watch TV on tablets and smartphones, an increasing number of DStv customers are also opting to use it as their primary method of getting DStv on additional TVs in the house. This is set to increase with the release of two new big-screen TV apps, one for Xbox gaming consoles (Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X) and another for Hisense smart TVs (2018 and newer models).

Expect to pay: A free download.

Platform: Any of the Xbox One range of gaming consoles and 2018 or later Hisense smart TVs.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your Xbox console or HiSense smart TV.

Santam Safety Ideas

Start-up businesses that have a FinTech or InsurTech business venture brewing are called to enter the third annual Santam Safety Ideas competition. Safety solutions or InsurTech ventures that are ready for piloting could win up to  R150 000 worth of incubation support and R200 000 in seed funding. 

The Safety Ideas competition was launched two years ago in partnership with LaunchLab,  Stellenbosch University’s startup incubator that facilitates valuable connections for corporates and startups sourced from the startup ecosystem and partner universities in South Africa. The previous winners are Herman Bester and Anton Swanevelder, co-founders of MyLifeLine – a wearable panic device that won the competition last year; and Ntsako Mgiba and Ntandoyenkosi Shezi, co-founders of Jonga – a cost-effective security system for low income families, which won the competition in 2017.

Entries close on 28 February 2019. For more information on how to enter, visit: www.santam.co.za/safetyideas/

Click here to read about the FNB Snapchat lens, Spotify Free with data saver, and 00:37.

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Fortnite fixes hackers’ hole

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Epic Games has repaired a vulnerability that exposed Fortnite, the world’s most popular game of the moment, to hackers. The hole, which was left in Epic’s web infrastructure,  allowed hackers to target players with email that appeared to come from Epic Games, but would have led them to a phishing site, where their log-in details would have been stolen.

Researchers at cyber security solutions provider Check Point Software alerted Epic to vulnerabilities that could have affected any player of the hugely popular online battle game.

Fortnite has nearly 80 million players worldwide. The game is popular on all gaming platforms, including Android, iOS, PC via Microsoft Windows and consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  In addition to casual players, Fortnite is used by professional gamers who stream their sessions online, and is popular with e-sports enthusiasts.

If exploited, the vulnerability would have given an attacker full access to a user’s account and their personal information as well as enabling them to purchase virtual in-game currency using the victim’s payment card details. The vulnerability would also have allowed for a massive invasion of privacy, as an attacker could listen to in-game chatter as well as surrounding sounds and conversations within the victim’s home or other location of play. 

While Fortnite players had previously been targeted by scams that deceived them into logging into fake websites that promised to generate Fortnite’s ‘V-Buck’ in-game currency, these new vulnerabilities could have been exploited without the player handing over any login details.

Click here to read how the Fortnite hack worked

To win a set of three Fortnite Funko Pop Figurines, click here.

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