Louise is the founder of Symphonia, a group of organizations committed to sustainable transformation in people, teams, companies, organizations and communities throughout the world. Through Symphonia, Louise works to mobilize citizens to become actively involved in addressing the education crisis facing South Africa. In this deeply personal and moving talk from TEDxCapeTownED 2012, Louise talks about her experience as a partner with a school principal, humbly sharing the hard lessons she had to learn.Read more
StopWatching.us is a coalition of more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies from across the political spectrum. This video harnesses the voices of celebrities, activists, legal experts, and other prominent figures in speaking out against mass surveillance by the NSA. Please share widely to help us spread the message that we will not stand for the dragnet surveillance of our communications.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a nonprofit civil liberties law and advocacy center that has been fighting the NSA’s unconstitutional spying for years.Read more
The Mobility 2014 research study, conducted by World Wide Worx with the backing of First National Bank, reveals that the 19-24 age group – representing students and entrants into the workforce – is abandoning voice faster than any other segment. Only 56% of this group’s mobile budget is now spent on voice, down from 66% in mid-2012. Data spend, on the other hand, has increased from 17% to 24%.
The trend for the overall market also shows a dramatic shift: voice spend has dropped from 73% of mobile budget to 65%, while data has increased from 12% to 16%. At the beginning of 2010, voice stood at 77% and data at 8%.
SMS spend remains steady at 13%, while full music tracks, which featured for the first time in 2012, have doubled from 1% to 2% of the average mobile budget.
“Older users continue to spend far more overall, but the powerful shift in spend from voice to data will work its way up the age segments in the coming years,” says Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx. “Already, we are seeing a flattening out of the curve of data use from the 25-34 through to the 46-55 age groups. Only above that age does data spend drop off – but not very significantly.”
The survey, conducted among adult cellphone users living in cities and towns in South Africa, reveals that Nokia remains the most popular phone brand in the country, but its market share has dropped significantly, from 50% to 44%. Blackberry has increased its market share locally, despite almost vanishing as a force in Western markets, from 18% to 23%, thanks to its continued aspirational appeal in younger markets.
Samsung has increased share marginally, from 18% to 19%. In mid-2012, consumers had indicated they would move away from the brand, with a third of its users saying they would opt for other phones. However, the appeal of its Galaxy range of Android devices across all smartphone price segments has resulted in a resurgence for Samsung.
The survey reveals substantial shifts in the mobile banking environment, with the biggest proportional shift coming in the use of banking apps. From only 1% of all banking customers using banking apps in mid-2012, the figure has shot up to 9% in late 2013. Cellphone banking has also surged, from 28% in mid-2012 to 37% in late 2013.
“One in ten banking customers are now using apps, and that number is still rising fast, which vindicates our strategy of expanding our offerings as the market’s use of these tools evolves,” says Dione Sankar, Head of Cellphone Banking and Messaging at FNB. “At the same time, looking after the non-smartphone customer through basic cellphone banking has also paid off. We have never experienced such dramatic growth across all mobile channels.”
The most popular feature used on phones remains the camera, at 73% of cellphone users, with FM Radio far behind at 51%, and the music player on the phone catching up to FM, at 49%.
Tablet usage was measured for the first time in the Mobility project, revealing that approximately 5% of adult cellphone users also have a tablet. The vast majority use it for Internet access (77%) and e-mail (57%), with social media and downloading apps in joint third place (43%). Samsung dominates tablet usage by adults, with 52% market share, while Apple iPads hold 23% of the adult market. Both tablet penetration and market share is set to shift in the coming year: a quarter of respondents said they expected to buy a tablet, with 44% of these saying they will buy a Samsung device, and 32% opting for Apple.
The Mobility 2014 project comprises two reports, namely The Mobile Consumer in SA 2014, comprising cellphone usage and mobile banking trends, and The Mobile Internet in SA 2014, exploring online trends. It is based on face-to-face interviews with a nationally representative sample of South African adult cellphone users living in cities and towns. Fieldwork was conducted by Dashboard Marketing Intelligence in late 2013.
For more information contact:
First National Bank:
Christine Burrows, Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile: 078 355 9390
Telephone: 087 312 8632
World Wide Worx:
Arthur Goldstuck, MD
Mobile: 083 326 4345
Telephone: 011 782 7003
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgRead more
Most people start their email messages with the recipient’s name. Example: “Maya, I really enjoyed meeting you.” But it sounds more personal if you use it at the END of the sentence: “I really enjoyed meeting you, Maya.”
When you have something really important to convey, use their name in the MIDDLE of a sentence to make that particular point jump out. Instead of just telling Chuck that “It is crucial that you come to the meeting,” drive it home by writing, “It is crucial, Chuck, that you come to the meeting.”
A final note: It’s super warm and fuzzy to put their name as the final word in the message. Hearing their own name last is more pleasurable (and original) than “Sincerely,” “Best” or “Thanks.” Close your email with the “sweetest sound in the English language” to them–which is, of course, their own name.
Of course, don’t overdo their name – once or twice is per message is enough!
source: Leil LowndesRead more
By Amanda Hess
We are living in a time of great transition for digital romance. A new study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, released Monday, found that 59 percent of American Internet users believe that “online dating is a good way to meet people,” a 14-point jump since 2005. Among Americans who identify themselves as “single and looking,” 38 percent say they’ve used a dating site or app to try to meet a match. But 21 percent of plugged-in Americans still think that “people who use online dating sites are desperate.” (In 2005, 29 percent of them said so.) Even 13 percent of people who date online consider themselves desperate. Though online dating has become normalized, it’s still seen as a little sad.
I’d submit that the framework of popular dating sites like Match.com and OkCupid only contribute to that notion. These sites still situate online dating as a meat market for semi-anonymous singles that’s disconnected from the rest of our online (and offline) identities. Our online dating profiles are typically not linked to our other public profiles, like Facebook and Twitter. And the sites’ matching strategies—which connect users based on questions they’ve answered about themselves—rely on a primitive idea of the interplay between digital technologies and human relationships. They assume that we can just plug our metadata into a computer, run it through an algorithm, scroll through a list of prospects sorted by the mathematical possibility that we’ll get along, and find someone. That’s just not how human relationships work—not on the Internet and not off. That’s particularly true for the 54 percent of online daters who have encountered a match they felt “seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile.”
We all know that the Internet can be a powerful tool for connecting people, so why do these sites still carry some stigma? Perhaps because the best connections, online and off, are made more holistically in the context of our everyday lives. This explains the success of Tinder, the hookup app that enables daters to assess photographs of other singletons in their general area, then right-swipe with their index finger when they like what they see. Tinder requires users to login through Facebook, which unfortunately only increases Mark Zuckerberg‘s creeping command over all online spaces. But it fortunately means that the dudes and ladies you’re meeting through the app are representing themselves roughly similarly to how they’re doing so on more public forms of social media. (Perhaps Zuckerberg was onto something with Facematch, the proto-Facebook that allowed Harvard students to check out potential hookups living in neighboring houses.) It helps that, in order to message someone on Tinder, you both have to “choose” each other, so you’re not inundated with missives from the creepiest users. (Pew also found that 42 percent of female online daters and 17 percent of male ones have experienced “uncomfortable or bothersome contact” on Internet dating sites.)Read more
New findings from leading hi-tech analysts, Juniper Research, finds that more than 80% of the total enterprise and consumer owned smartphone device base will remain unprotected through 2013, despite a steadily increasing consumer awareness of mobile security products.
Juniper claims that the low level of adoption of security software can be attributed to a number of factors, including the relatively low consumer awareness about online attack on mobile devices and a widespread consumer perception that the price of security products is excessive.
The report found that nearly 1.3 billion mobile devices including smartphones, featurephones and tablets are expected to have mobile security software installed by 2018, up from around 325 million this year.
Increasing Risks for Mobile
The Mobile Security: BYOD, mCommerce, Consumer & Enterprise 2013-2018 report found that security risks are also on the rise due to an explosion of mobile malware over the last two years. It found that cyber criminals are transitioning their focus from PCs onto the mobile platform – across both enterprise and consumer segments. These findings support Trend Micro’s data showing that that there will be more than 1 million malwares in the market by the end of this year.
Nevertheless, the report asserted that steadily increasing consumer awareness, allied to far greater visibility of product adoption levels, had resulted in rapid service adoption during H2 2012, leading to higher than anticipated service revenues.
Growth in the Enterprise Segment
Juniper found that growth in the enterprise space for security products is being fuelled by a number of factors, including increases in IT budgets and greater implementation of security policies and security products; along with training for employees. However, with the trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) where employees bring their own computing devices to the workplace becoming increasingly common, a single policy or measure may not be sufficient and a unified perspective on mobile platform risks is critical.
Other Key Findings
- Despite the prevalence of free security software, the scale of cyber-crime’s expansion in the mobile arena offers a clear opportunity for the creation of a new revenue streams for mobile security providers.
- Device manufacturers and security vendors need to strike a balance between security and user-friendliness.
The Mobile Security – What’s the Risk? Whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report and the attendant Mobile Security Interactive Forecast Excel.
Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.
For further details please contact Michele Ince, Press Relations.
T: +44(0) 1256 830001
As more than half a million matrics in South Africa begin their exams soon, the hopes and dreams of our country rest on their shoulders. This is a huge responsibility for many teens who hope to succeed, despite tremendous adversity. Knowing they are not alone and having every South African rooting for them will help them be champions- not only today, but in the future as well.
Here are 10 practical tips all of us can follow to help our matrics:
- Be patient and understanding by providing your 12th grader with silence, private space and support while he studies. Keep other children in the home quiet and away from him. Television and radio should be played softly so as not to distract the student. It is a good time to encourage silent reading in the family in support of the matric student. Family arguments should be taken outside where he can’t hear you. Worrying about family members will create an enormous amount of unnecessary anxiety and stress for him.
- Have loads of healthy ”brain food” snacks around the house for him to munch on such as bananas, chocolate, fresh fruit and vegetables, watermelon, wholegrain bread and cereals, unsalted nuts, fresh water, and sugar- free chewing gum. Limit the amount of caffeine, sugar and energy drinks available to him. Provide healthy balanced meals which contain eggs, yoghurt, sweet potatoes, turkey, beef, and fish for omega 3 fatty acids. Supplement his diet with a tonic containing vitamins C, E, B6, B12, calcium, magnesium, and Alpha-lipoic Acid.
- Invite your child to exercise with you during his breaks. Walk the dog or encourage your teen to join in a family dance/sing-a long. Even playing a quick game of table tennis or swimming can help release endorphins that enhance serotonin production, which combats feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Take the pressure off your child. At this stage, your child needs support, patience and understanding. He is under enough strain as it is, so nagging him while writing exams is counterproductive. Help him to problem solve and think critically if the exams are proving to be difficult. Arguing about his untidy room is pointless at this stage.
- Teach your teen perseverance. Even if he fails his matric exam, it is not the ‘end of the world.’ “Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success,” says Denis Waitley. People who ultimately succeed in life have the ability to pick themselves up, create a new path, and continue with determination. Devise a plan B with your 12th grader which he is excited about if things are not going well. “It matters if you just don’t give up,”says famous scientist Stephen Hawking
- Be aware of signs of depression, negative self talk, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, changes in your teen’s personality, and behaviour such as withdrawing from the family. Seek help immediately through your family doctor. Alternatively contact the South African depression and anxiety group on 0800 20 50 26 or the suicide hotline on 0800 567 567.
- Sleep is vitally important for a student to be able to concentrate in an exam, so spending nights studying is not conducive to good results. Encourage your teen to get eight hours of sleep. If he is having trouble falling asleep, play a meditation or sleep CD that could help him to control his breathing and thoughts.
- Teach your 12th grader the power of positive thinking and visualisations. We don’t know the true power of the human brainl. Positive self- talk and creativity may help him through a difficult paper.”Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results,” says James Allen
- Provide practical support in the form of tutors, study guides, study groups, and assistance from teachers. Even at the last minute a session with a good tutor or a chat with his Maths teacher can provide your child with valuable tips.
Remember to celebrate even the smallest success with your 12th grader, looking forward with optimism and enthusiasm. “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”says Nora Roberts.
Good luck to you all! Recommended Resource: The IQ Answer by Dr. Frank LawlisRead more
Parents are over-confident about keeping their children safe online but many are avoiding difficult conversations about sexting and cyberbullying, according to research.
Andy Phippen, professor of social responsibility at Plymouth University, said sexting – where schoolchildren are encouraged to take explicit photographs of themselves and send to other pupils – was a problem in most schools, despite the study revealing that 89% of parents believe their child has not been touched by cyberbullying or sexting.
“There is a disconnect between how safe parents think they can keep their children online and their actual ability to do that,” Phippen said. “Those conversations are not being had – we have a hell of a long way to go on internet safety. In schools we hear teachers unwilling to talk to teenagers about sexual images because they worry about their jobs, schools unwilling to record instances of cyberbulling because they are worried about their Ofsted reports.”
But sexting was a real and present problem, he said, adding that on a recent school training day on internet safety boys at the school said sexting was common and cited an example of a video that had been shared of a 14-year-old girl at the school inserting a hairbrush into her vagina.
Phippen said that some girls he had worked with around sexting said it was flattering if a “fit boy” asked for a explicit photograph of them, while others felt under pressure from older boys to send photographs of themselves in order to gain popularity. “It can be part of the mating ritual for teenagers,” said Phippen. “We know that schools are dealing with this on a regular basis, it is extremely rare to come into a school where it is not at all at problem.”
More than half of parents with children in primary and secondary school and 42% of parents with teenagers who were questioned had not discussed porn with their children. And only 15% of parents with 15-18 year olds thought their children accessed pornography online. Parents are likely to be turning a blind eye to the real impact of online pornography, as evidence from the NSPCC shows that the majority of 14 year old boys and many teenagers have accessed this content.
AVG security expert Tony Anscombe said half of the parents consider a school’s internet safety policy when making their selection, and 95% thought online safety should be mandatory in schools. “We know parents take responsibility of online safety seriously […] yet we’re not living up to the standards we’re setting by avoiding conversations about exposure to explicit adult content, privacy or other Internet-related threats,” he said. “It comes as no surprise then that nearly 90% of parents aren’t aware of whether their child has been exposed to cyberbullying or sexting – two of the most common internet risks facing children.”
The survey of 2,000 parents carried out by AVG technologies and Plymouth University found 92% were confident about their ability to teach online safety. “People tend to think they are protected in some way, that there are parental fixes in place – but that is not always the case,” said Phippen.
Some schools were making big efforts to ensure children stayed safe online, but without a lack of statutory guidance and compulsory sex and relationship education in schools, tackling of the issues facing children was patchy around the country, he said. The government was lagging behind internet service providers who were coming up with solutions to issues raised, such as “splash pages” due to be introduced that will warn users when they area about to view illegal online content and server setting that restrict access to content throughout a home, he added. The study showed that 79% of parents had not received an invite to discuss online safety at school, but 89% felt the government needed to do more to teach children about internet safety.
“The industry is responding, but the government’s rhetoric is that ‘someone should do something’ instead of funding better education in this area, and making sex and relationship education compulsory,” he said.
source: The Guardian newspaperRead more
It seems like every time I get to the register of a chain store, they offer me a new way to pay with my phone. But these new modes of paying have serious pros and cons – and there may be compelling reasons not to dive into mobile payments just yet, despite their growth.
Mobile Payments Predicted To Go Up 44% in 2013
Research firm Gartner says over $235 million in payments will be made with mobile devices this year. In retail outlets, those pay-by-phone options break down into three main categories: brand specific apps (like the Starbucks app), payment apps (like PayPal or Square Wallet), and NFC – Near Field Communications (special phones linked to a Google Wallet or Isis account).
NFC – Near Field Communication
Let’s start with NFC since it’s gotten all the hot press. This technology is built into certain devices, predominantly Android and Blackberry phones. You link the phone either to a Google Wallet account (tied to your bank or credit card), to an NFC credit card account (like Mastercard PayPass), or to an Isis account (tied to your mobile phone billing), then tap a terminal at the checkout to pay. But these tap-and-go contact-less payments will account for only 2% of all mobile payments in 2013 according to Gartner. Stores with NFC terminals are limited, and only a handful of phones have NFC technology built in (and the iPhone is NOT one of those).
Probably the biggest issue is that NFC is a solution in search of a problem: how difficult is it to swipe a credit card? More explicitly, what does NFC payment do for the consumer’s convenience that swiping a credit card can’t? If NFC terminals were everywhere, maybe it would facilitate leaving home without cash or a credit card, but until then, the technology faces significant inertia, and I wouldn’t buy one phone over another just because it has NFC baked in.
Many chains have their own apps that let you input your credit card info and “load” money on the app for in-store payments. By combining the payment functionality with apps that track purchases and reward loyalty, “regulars” get a significant convenience and can even frequent their favorite joint without a wallet. Do you go for a run every morning and grab a coffee when you finish? Hello Starbucks app on your phone!
I particularly like the order ahead and pay by mobile functionality that chains like California Pizza Kitchen App have brought to market. This makes the take-out pizza experience incredibly easy. Order and pay by app, walk in, tell them your name, get your food and walk out in under three minutes. The app even remembers your previous orders so you can replicate them with one click – genius. Jamba Juice is said to be testing pre-order and pre-pay for their app, and when this is a feature is replicated by more chains, it will bring many loyal customers into the mobile payment world.
Paypal and Square wallet are the two biggest players in app-based mobile payments. Stores that offer payment by app either let you key in your mobile phone number and a pin or use location data captured by your phone, in which case the phone will generate a QR code to be scanned at the register. Again, stores need special equipment and merchant accounts. Plus, the major benefits of using Paypal or Square are still limited to people who don’t have a bank account or credit cards and prefer a mobile option.
While in-store mobile purchases are growing, 71% of all mobile payments are money transfers – and most often, person-to-person transfers. The clear winner here is Paypal, which lets you email or even text money to anyone’s phone or email address. The recipient needs to have a Paypal account (or sign up for one) but so long as it’s not a business payment, just between individuals, there are no fees.
These types of transfers are ideal for repaying a friend, or sending money to a family member who needs the cash immediately. Some services don’t even need a bank account to work – good news for the 8% of US households that don’t have bank accounts. Customers can use cash to purchase a PayPal card or Money Pak card in retail outlets, and then use the pin numbers on those cards to deposit money into the Paypal mobile account (but beware: prepaid card purchases can have fees associated).
Text Money From your Online Banking App
Banks like Wells Fargo and Chase now allow you to send money to individuals directly from their phone app. There’s also a brand new mobile phone-based bank called GoBank that, among many other innovative features, lets you send money directly to a friend from your GoBank account.
Send Money via Gmail
Google is also entering the mobile transfer space; they are trying out a product that lets you send money through Gmail, almost like an attachment. Google said in a statement this is only available to users over 18. It’s slowly being rolled out to users in the U.S., and we assume later, internationally.
Person-to-Person Credit Card Payments
PayPal and Square both offer credit card readers that plug into a smart phone and allow anyone to swipe a credit card and accept payment. If you have an account, the readers are free. They make great sense for small business owners, fundraising events, or even collecting money around the office for a baby gift. But the big gotcha here is the roughly 3% that the services charge you to accept money via credit card.
The weakest link in the mobile payment security chain is not the wireless transmission of your data via NFC or the scanning of QR codes from a store’s app. The technology is not the problem; it’s what that technology enables: more corporations may have your credit card and billing info on their servers (hello hacking target). And an even bigger vulnerability: if your phone is stolen, thieves have access to a treasure trove of accounts and payment methods. If you plan to pay with your phone, you’d better have security software enabled, like Lookout for Android or Find My iPhone – both of which allow you to erase your phone remotely as soon as it’s stolen.
Bottom Line: Mobile payments make sense if you don’t have a bank account or credit card, if you frequent a chain that offers mobile payments and reward features, or if you want to transfer money to friends and family in a secure and convenient way. But be sure you know the fees associated with these payments and can remotely erase your phone if it’s stolen.
source: Yahoo! NewsRead more