Archive for Kwiecień, 2014

Take a Guzzle Selfie, Win a PS4

By admin, 2 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Guzzle.co.za has launched the mobile version of their site with a major bang…and the chance to win a Playstation 4!

Guzzle is South Africa’s online portal to the country’s daily, weekly and monthly specials and deals. Whether the catalogues are online, from magazines or newspapers they can all be found on Guzzle.

The idea behind the site is not just to help consumers find the lowest possible prices for items, but to find the lowest possible prices on items that are already discounted or on special. And it doesn’t stop there, not only can you browse these catalogues, you can search for specific items, and if they are not currently on special you can opt to be alerted as to when they are. And with the launch of Guzzle’s Mobi site http://m.guzzle.co.za, you can now do all of this from your smartphone – giving you no excuse not to find the best value for your buck.

To celebrate the launch of the Mobi site Guzzle is giving away 10 MTN Steppa Smartphones and a Grand Prize of a PlayStation 4 Bundle in a Social Media run competition.

The #GuzzleSelfie competition, launched on 17 March (and runs until 14 April) gives users a variety of ways to enter – with the common denominator of visiting Guzzle’s mobile site and Facebook or Twitter pages. The competition encourages entrants to visit the mobile site in search of the catalogue bearing the Guzzle Shark emblem. Once they have located that catalogue they have a couple of options. For two entries, per Social Media stream, entrants can take a screenshot of the catalogue and post it on Guzzle’s Facebook or Twitter pages with the #GuzzleSelfie. However, they can also choose to visit the store from where the catalogue comes, and take an actual selfie with one of the catalogue’s featured product in-store. They will then receive three entries into the competition, per Social Media stream, when they upload their selfie, with #GuzzleSelfie onto Guzzle’s Facebook or Twitter Page.

It may seem a little complicated at first, and Guzzle has taken this into consideration – giving users the opportunity to get a single entry when they like, share, and comment on the daily Facebook post. The great thing about this is, not only are entrants able to enter quickly, they are also getting the opportunity to view various deals and specials from one of the many retailers featured on the Guzzle site.

Of course, entering all three options on both Facebook and Twitter will give you the greatest chance of not just winning one of the Smartphones but also the coveted PlayStation 4 Bundle, which retails at R7500*.

No matter which way you look at it, there is no losing with this kind of competition. While you may not be one of the lucky prize winners, you are still getting the opportunity to find the best deals and specials in SA – all the tap of a Smartphone screen away.

Enjoy seamless connection and mobility anywhere, anytime

By admin, 2 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Samsung introduces wireless enterprise solution for the business

MIA Telecoms, the sole distributor of Samsung telecommunication and PABX equipment in Sub-Saharan Africa, has introduced Samsung WLAN for Wireless Enterprise. This innovative solution enables business executives to create an efficient work environment where information can be easily and securely shared anytime, anywhere.

The Company’s managing director Bryan Driessel says the wireless enterprise environment is facing a paradigm shift with the constant introduction of new smart devices. “The benefits of mobility and stability provided by advanced mobile devices are driving businesses to turn to wireless environments. Now, your enterprise is also required to face the new mobile environment which brings its own challenges and opportunities.”

Samsung WLAN for Wireless Enterprise boasts Intelligent Beam Selectable Antenna (IBSA), a technology that ensures that the antenna can accurately receive a signal from a mobile device with weak transmission power, even from a long distance. The Samsung AP contains 14 antennas, two antennas are used for monitoring and the remaining 12 provide an optimised RF pattern selecting a beam for each environment. As a result, dead areas are minimised, service coverage is expanded, and the receiving sensitivity is 2 dB higher than competitors.

Furthermore, Samsung has introduced AirMove, a feature that uses LTE Handover technology that allows the AP controller to determine the best timing and a target AP for handover. This way, users can enjoy seamless service during voice calls and video play, and a greater throughput that is double than what legacy Wi-Fi handover guarantees. In a legacy Wi-Fi handover, a device scans for other APs and connects to an appropriate AP when the AP signal detected by the device is below a certain threshold. This technology basically requires a long scan time and degrades service quality.

Driessel points to AirEqualizer, Samsung’s Traffic Schedule technology that ensures the most optimised Wi-Fi service by allocating equal airtime to multiple devices. “This technology guarantees airtime fairness when multiple devices connect to an AP at the same time. It also allows seamless service even in an environment where devices with different traffic are used, without any effects from a device. In addition, it can maximise the AP’s total cell throughput by more than 50% when compared with others, providing the best performance that adapts to the Wi-Fi connection specifications (11a/b/g/n) and signal intensity characteristics.”

Samsung’s Powerful WLAN technology provides optimised wireless environment for smartphones as well as notebook PCs by applying automatic handover and cell design through mobile technology integration. Independent RF sensing offers enhanced security via its embedded, dedicated security RF monitoring module, and reduced total investment cost. It also guarantees coverage and fairness that exceed the limitation of legacy wireless LAN through mobile telecommunication and multi-antenna technology. It ensures a cost effective operation with an existing enterprise network environment by providing support for L3 routing, powerful firewall, 10G interface and power redundancy.

More importantly, it provides stability and operational convenience through wire and wireless integrated management and quick troubleshooting anytime, anywhere through remote management using smart devices.

By adding LTE technology to the existing transmission power and channel optimisation technology through wireless resource management, Self-Organising Network (SON) automatically optimises the cell configuration and coverage, considering the device features for voice environments. This allows a high level of quality management during operations and dramatically shortens design schedule and reduces design cost.

More importantly, Samsung’s patented technology Voice Aware Traffic Scheduling (VaTS), efficiently sends Voice Frames to multiple devices using mobile communication traffic scheduling technology. This means that there is no voice quality degradation due to an increase of devices in concurrent calls. This technology increases the concurrent call capacity even in areas with high call volume.

He says Samsung’s Powerful WLAN technology is equipped with dedicated security RF monitoring module. “The importance of security in the enterprise communication environment cannot be over-emphasised. Particularly for the WIPS that provides security through RF sensing, a sensor AP for RF sensing is also required in addition to the APs for service provision. There are two types of WIPS architectures, the Overlay that that installs an additional sensor AP, and Time Slice that splits the service and sensing by time and provides them at the same AP.”

“Samsung Wireless Enterprise AP combines the advantages of the two configurations and has the dedicated security RF monitoring chip embedded independently of the service RF chip to enable continuous real-time monitoring of data service. This maximises the RF sensing performance and reduces design cost,” he explains.

The Samsung WLAN Manager supports the access switch management function for AP as well as AP/APC. It provides an efficient wireless infrastructure management by supporting the Samsung L2 switch management function, including the AP connection port control for AP failure or remote AP reboot through its integrated User Interface. In addition, it supports the remote management function to help administrators respond to possible failures by using the smartphone fault monitoring and fault notification functions.

“You can use your smartphone to control remotely the wireless network status anytime, anywhere and quickly respond to any issues. You can easily identify the Critical/ Major/Minor alarm status. When a fault occurs, you can send its related information and a linkable URL to a specified device via SMS to check the status and troubleshoot in real time,” he concludes.

For more information contact MIA Telecoms on (011) 799 7720.

Prank programmes, altruistic malware and stoned viruses: Kaspersky Lab remembers ‘benign’ malware

By admin, 1 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

In the history of malware writing and malware hunting, there are a number of unusual stories involving programmes which looked like typical malware – but did nothing more damaging than putting a smile on users’ faces. In a few extraordinary cases, viruses were even seen getting rid of dangerous malware or optimising the computer’s resources. To mark April Fools’ Day, Kaspersky Lab looks back at the “benign malware” which has occasionally spread over the World Wide Web.

The first known computer virus in history was a harmless specimen. It was called the Creeper, and it appeared in 1971, written by an employee at the US Ministry of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. This primitive worm looked for other computers on the network – which back then was a small, localised affair, copied itself to them and displayed the following message: “I’M THE CREEPER: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.” If Creeper found an existing copy of itself on a computer, it simply “jumped over” to another computer. It did not cause any harm to the computer system.

Stoned was another “fun” virus whose main purpose was to promote a message to the user. It was first detected in 1988 in New Zealand. The original version of this virus landed on a computer system via the floppy disk drive, and, just like Creeper, did not cause any harm to the computer. It simply displayed the message on the screen: “Your computer is now stoned. Legalise Marijuana.”

The “prank virus” title is deservedly held by HPS, a programme which was created specifically for the Windows 98 operating system but in fact spread months before this environment was released. One of the odd things about this virus was that it was only active on Saturdays: once a week it reversed non-compressed bitmap graphic objects. In other words, it mirrored the entire display on the monitor.

The Cruncher virus also turned out to be absolutely benign. On the face of it, it was a regular resident file virus, and used an algorithm to compress data and pack the infected file, so the infected file was shorter than the original. This freed up room on the user’s hard drive. Moreover, it turned out that Cruncher used a compression algorithm from the then-popular utility DIET 1.10, so the user could use this absolutely legal programme to unpack the files infected by the virus and regain access to the data, while still enjoying the extra space created on the hard drive.

The Welchia virus also became famous for its good deeds. This was one of the most unusual worms in the history of cyber threats. Although its creators designed it to be malicious, Welchia did not in fact cause any harm. On the contrary, it helped to remove the dangerous Lovesan worm, also known as Blaster, from the system. By imitating the behaviour of this malicious programme, Welchia penetrated a computer using vulnerabilities in legal software. Then it checked if Blaster was present in the processor memory: if so, it stopped its operation and deleted the entire malicious file from the disk. This was not the end of Welchia’s mercy mission: after eliminating the malware, the “benign” virus checked if there was an update in the system to patch the vulnerability through which the worm penetrated the system. If not, the virus initiated a download from the manufacturer’s site. Welchia then destroyed itself after completing all these operations.

“These examples of funny, innocuous and even helpful viruses are of course very rare exceptions to the general rule, and are essentially tales from bygone days. Modern malware writers are no longer cyber pranksters or newbie hackers learning the ropes in a new sphere of activity. Today, practically 100% of viruses are written with just one goal in mind: stealing money or confidential data,” said Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert at Global Research & Analysis Team, Kaspersky Lab.

South Africa’s ICT industry – lacking women at the helm

By admin, 1 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

South Africa’s Information Communications Technology (ICT) industry is slowly transforming to be more welcoming and accessible to women. Over the past few years, a number of senior female executives have moved up the ranks, but the numbers, compared to male counterparts are still low. Kgabo Ralebepa, Associate Director in the IT Audit division at SekelaXabiso believes it is up to her female counterparts to turn these figures around.

Women should focus on developing their business and leadership skills which will enable them to take up leadership roles within any organisation. This can be done by further developing their management skills and getting involved in other areas of their respective businesses.

Typically, women in the South African ICT industry are more focused on the technical aspects of IT. As one of the few black women in South Africa who has risen to the level of a decision maker in ICT, I believe it’s time to change and do things differently. We need to acquire business skills in order to move to higher decision making roles.

Statistics such as those released by the Institute of Information Technology Professionals (IITPSA) state that 56% of global ICT professional jobs are held by women, but in South Africa – where women comprise 55% of the country’s entire workforce – only 20% of the ICT workforce are women.

What these numbers do not reflect is the fact that more than 68% of South African women have enrolled in the ICT related courses at tertiary institutions in the last few years. Most tertiary institutions’ science and technology faculties are also dominated by female students these days.

The first step of learning new skills and getting involved in other areas of the business is to understand the business models, learn how other business units such as operations, finance, HR and marketing operate and develop interpersonal and leadership skills.

Secondly, join a firm which will offer enough exposure to training and clients. Accounting firms such as SekelaXabiso are leading the way when it comes to empowering women in this manner, giving women in the IT Audit business unit the opportunity to be at the helm.

As one of SekelaXabiso’s biggest clients, Transnet is making an effort by appointing women to lead their bigger ICT projects. As one of key decision makers within Transnet – and a member of the group executive committee reporting directly to the Group Chief Executive – Group Executive: Enterprise Information Management Systems Mantsika Matooane plays an important role in making sure that the needs of the business and IT users are met.

SekelaXabiso’s IT Audit business unit assists companies such as Transnet manage the business risks associated with the use of information systems and build sustainable solutions to improve the overall controls of their IT environments.

The ICT industry is transforming and more welcoming to women – the opportunity is in our hands now. I urge women to take initiative, get involved in other areas of the business, learn, lead and take charge.

Dell Eliminates Price Barriers with New Entry-Level Mobile Workstation with ISV-Certified Performance

By admin, 1 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment
  • Dell removes cost-barriers for workstation-class performance and mission-critical reliability so more designers, engineers, artists and students can run their software to its full potential    
  • Dell Precision M2800 provides professional graphics and quad-core processors optimised and certified for professional software applications 

Dell has introduced a new mobile workstation category with the Dell Precision M2800, a 15-inch mobile workstation offering ISV-certified and optimised performance and dependability at a breakthrough price. With the lowest price available for 15-inch mobile workstation, the Dell Precision M2800 helps to bridge the gap between business-class laptops and mobile workstations by offering an affordable ISV-certified system with professional graphics and processors. Engineers, designers and video editors now have access to the right tool to perform their critical functions with the speed, accuracy and reliability of a Dell Precision workstation.

“Dell has found a way to disrupt the market and remove barriers for a certain set of customers who require a workstation experience yet are constrained by budget,” said Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie Research. “The M2800 brings forth a tremendous opportunity to address a gap in delivering an entry-level workstation with strong performance and ISV certifications to run demanding, mission-critical applications, at a great value.”

Offering workstation-class performance in a mobile form factor, the Dell Precision M2800 can be configured with fourth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, AMD FirePro W4170M graphics with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory, up to 16GB of system memory and up to 1TB of storage to run graphic and data intensive workloads seamlessly in the office or with clients on-site. Delivering amazing clarity for detailed work, the Dell Precision M2800 comes with a 15.6-inch UltraSharp display available in HD or FHD (1920 x 1080), external multi-monitor support and docking compatibility to simplify the transition from the road to a desk-based workspace.

To maximise performance of CAD, digital content creation and editing software, the M2800 will be ISV-certified for leading applications such as Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor and Revit, Dassault Systèmes Solidworks, PTC Creo, among others. In addition, the M2800 comes with Dell Precision Performance Optimiser (DPPO) which automatically adjusts system settings for optimising specific applications.

“Prior to the Dell Precision M2800 many AutoCAD users were running their software on a non-professional workstation due to budgetary constraints,” said Amy Bunszel, vice president of AutoCAD products, Autodesk. “Now our customers will be able to upgrade to a workstation-class system that has been tested, optimised and certified for AutoCAD, increasing performance for minimal cost.”

The M2800 will be available to customers and channel partners worldwide in April. For additional product details, visit www.dell.co.za.

“Many designers and engineers are not realising the full potential of their professional software because they are using a business or consumer-class PC instead of a workstation,” said Boitumelo Kgonare, Client Product Marketing Manager at Dell South Africa. “We are filling that gap by introducing a new mobile workstation at a price that lets more professionals and students maximise their software while on the go. This is the right tool to help more people design and deliver innovations faster – no matter where they are.”

Embedding new business processes – the key to bringing an organisational strategy to life

By admin, 1 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Organisations can dramatically enhance the return on investment from new business systems by investing in user adoption programmes to embed new business processes deeply into their cultures and workflows.

That’s the word from Lyndsey Moorhouse, managing director at Can!Do, who says that user adoption programmes allow for tight alignment of operational outcomes from new systems and processes with the organisation’s strategic goals. She adds that such programmes break down organisational siloes and ensure closer integration of the organisation’s departments and functions.

Says Moorhouse: “Helping process operators not only to understand how the system helps them carry out their own tasks, but also how their work impacts on the whole organisation is key to ensuring the success of a new business solution.

“Once users understand their role in the business processes and understand the impact they have on the business, they are better able to perform in a way that enhances the performance of the whole organisation. They understand how their work links into the business’s strategy as well as how it helps other people do their work.”

Moorhouse says that the lack of this contextual understanding among users is one of the major reasons for new systems failing to deliver on expectations. “It is easy for top management to formulate a vision for a new business system – not as easy to translate this into organisational action,” she adds. “The reality is that even departmental heads and middle managers often lack insight into how their departments impact on business performance.”

Moorhouse says that business metrics that are silo-based need to change as companies put in place integrated systems. Older ways of measuring and rewarding managers based only on their own performance does not help to encourage cross-functional collaboration.

It’s also important that business process champions with a cross-functional view of the organisation are empowered to lead business process design as well as user adoption strategies. Their job should be to ensure that the process – as it spans multiple departments – delivers the performance that the business is looking for.

“They should measure and optimise the whole process to ensure that it delivers optimal performance for the organisation and that it aligns with the organisational strategy,” she says. “They create, approve and measure the process, and then help to embed it in the organisation through training and change management initiatives.”

“Process owners need to be people with a big picture view of the organisation, a strong feel for operations, and strategic insight,” Moorhouse says. “They need to be good collaborators who have the language to translate between strategy and operations.

A step down from that, operational managers need to be incentivised and trained to focus as much on the whole process as they do on their own tasks.”

“Whether they’re in procurement, finance, distribution, HR, manufacturing or product marketing, they need to know how their business processes link into the organisation’s performance.”

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