August has been a busy month for the firm. The firm’s joint presentation, with Grant Thornton on Information Security, at the Mobile Government Conference two weeks ago, was well received.
September is also going to be a busy month. The firm will be presenting daily seminars at the Showbiz, Entertainment and Arts Conference in Johannesburg on 9 and 10 September. The firm will also be presenting a paper at the Lex Informatica – SA Cyberlaw / ICT Conference 2014 on 25 and 26 September.
The firm will be hosting the inaugural PPM Family MTB Day at the Big Red Barn in Johannesburg on 21 September 2014. Invitations have been sent out already, but we have reserved two invitations for two people, their partners and kids, if any. To stand a chance at winning the invitations, follow us and like the PPM Family MTB Day post on either Google+ or LinkedIn. We’ll let you know if you’re one of the lucky ones by 7 September 2014
Please note that the articles on our website are for information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Should you require advice, we suggest that you contact a suitably qualified attorney.
Collective Investment Scheme Advertising, Social Media Ownership, Local Government IT Controls & BBBEE Codes Extension
And, While You’re at It, Make Someone’s Day
When talking to customer service, call centers, tech support, secretaries or sales reps on the phone, you’re at their mercy on what they’ll do for you–and how fast. Here are tiny tips for getting the best, speediest and most pleasant service he/she has to give.
First thing, give YOUR name. That personalizes it and, who knows, she may think you’re a VIP whose name she’s supposed to know.
When he barks, “Please hold,” don’t just grumble “okay.” Say “Of course, take your time.” (He’ll be shocked and want to come back much sooner!)
If you’re a little slow giving information she needs, say, “You must have tremendous patience to do this job.” (She appreciates the rare compliment and now wants to help you all the more.)
Ask his name so he feels responsible. Be sure to preface your request with “You’re great. May I ask your name?” to assuage paranoia about being reported. And, now that you know his name, he’s more anxious to solve your problem. His job—and a good employee’s pride–often depends on it.
End your conversation with, “Great service!” Or “Thanks for your excellent help.” Now you’ve made his/her day in a tough often thankless job.
From Strategic Coach: The world is constantly creating enormous capability on your behalf. The trick is to be tuned in so you can see it and take advantage of it. This begins with gratitude. Without that mindset, you don’t have any awareness of your resources and opportunities. But when you have it, you suddenly appreciate—and can make use of—all the forces that are working in your favor.
In this video, Shannon Waller explains how you can take your energy, communication, and relationship with the people in your life to a whole new level, just by taking these simple steps on a regular basis.Read more
California, July 16, 2014 – Toastmasters announced the featured speakers for its upcoming 2014 International Convention. The lineup of presenters is highlighted by former Head of Development at BBC Television, Robin Sieger and Malaysian media CEO Rohana Rozhan.
“We have an impressive and diverse group of speakers who represent the excellence that Toastmasters speakers are known for,” says George Yen, Toastmasters 2013-14 International President. “In addition to an exceptional schedule of events, convention attendees will hear presentations that reinforce Toastmasters’ commitment to communication and leadership skills development.”
For the first time in its 90-year history, Toastmasters is holding its International Convention outside of North America at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Malaysia, Aug. 20-23.
Robin Sieger will deliver the keynote presentation during the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday, Aug. 20. A former television executive and comedy writer, Sieger is a popular author and motivational speaker from Scotland who speaks about innovation to Fortune 100 companies around the world.
Astro Malaysia Holdings’ CEO Rohana Rozhan will be honored as the recipient of the nonprofit organization’s 2014 Golden Gavel award. The prestigious award is presented annually to an individual distinguished in the fields of communication and leadership. Rohana joins an illustrious list of Golden Gavel honorees, including Walter Cronkite, Stephen Covey, Deepak Chopra, Anthony Robbins and Zig Ziglar. Another Malaysian celebrity, Datuk John Lau, who served as Toastmasters International President in 2012-13 will give an introductory speech at the event. He is the owner and chief executive officer of the Acme Group of Companies in Sarawak, Malaysia
Other expert presenters include:
- Jana Barnhill, Accredited Speaker and Toastmasters 2008-2009 International President from Lubbock, Texas. She is a five-time winner of the District 44 International Speech Contest, and has placed second and third in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking.
- Mark Brown, 1995 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Mark now lives in the U.S., in Lizelle, Georgia. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and delivers more than 200 presentations per year.
- Douglas Kruger, Author, motivational speaker and presentation skills coach based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He delivers motivational presentations and training seminars for large organizations, including Old Mutual, Caltex and Vodacom.
- Lance Miller, 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking. A resident of Glendale, California, he is a former executive for Nestle and Anheuser-Busch. Miller engages his audience with a unique mix of talent and life experience that bring his messages to life.
- Florian Mueck, A speaker, coach and author based in Barcelona, Spain, who speaks three languages (English, German and Spanish). In 2010, he gave a talk for TEDxBarcelona titled “Europe: How to Unleash a Common Spirit.”
- Rory Vaden, Entrepreneur, consultant and author from Nashville, Tennessee who speaks to audiences about how to say no to things that don’t matter, and yes to things that do. At age 23, he placed second in the 2007 World Championship of Public Speaking.
To learn more about the 2014 International Convention, Aug. 20-23, and obtain a complete schedule of events, including the Opening Ceremonies, Education Sessions and the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. The public is welcome to attend.
About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization’s membership exceeds 292,000 in more than 14,350 clubs in 122 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, visit www.toastmasters.org. Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.
source: Yahoo NewsRead more
You might be interested in a recent high profile data breach which could have been prevented!
Coca-Cola said on Friday that personal information on as many as 74,000 employees, contractors and suppliers were on laptops that it said were temporarily stolen from its Atlanta headquarters.
The beverage giant told its U.S. and Canadian employees the data on the laptops, which wasn’t encrypted, included names, Social Security numbers and addresses, as well as details like financial compensation and ethnicity.
The company is sending letters to about 18,000 individuals whose names and Social Security numbers were found on the laptops. It also is notifying another 56,000 individuals who had other personal information, primarily driver’s license numbers, stored on the laptops.
A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said the laptops were stolen by a former employee who had been assigned to maintain or dispose of equipment. She didn’t identify the person or say whether that person was an employee when the laptops were transferred.
Coke said company policy requires laptops to be encrypted, but the stolen computers hadn’t yet been encrypted. It didn’t explain the lapse in a memo sent Friday to employees, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). WSJ published this story on 24th January 2014, please read the full story here.
iStorage manufacture the world’s most secure portable data storage devices with 256-bit AES military grade encryption.Read more
This piece is taken from BizNews.com written by Marika Sboros
Should your cell phone technology worry about brain cancer from talking on your cell phone? Well, yes – but only if you are a very heavy user, say French scientists.
The team, from the Universite Bordeaux Segalen, led by Dr Gaelle Coureau, gives this sobering message in their latest study, published in the journal, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. It shows that the heaviest cell phone users may be at higher risk than average users of being diagnosed with brain tumours.
Heaviest use in this case was defined as people who used their mobile phone for more than 15 hours each month over five years. They were shown on average to have between two and three times greater risk of developing glioma and meningioma tumours, compared with people who used their phone for a whole lot less time.
Mobile phones are known to emit radiofrequency energy, a form of non-ionising electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by bodily tissue closest to where the phone is held, and can be carcinogenic (cancer-causing), according to the US National Cancer Institute. The amount of radiofrequency energy a cell phone user is exposed to depends on the technology of the phone, the distance between the phone’s antenna and the user, the extent and type of use, and the user’s distance from cell phone towers, the Institute says.
The French study is the latest in a vast body of research spanning years, and is not the first to point to a brain tumour risk from heavy mobile phone use. Overall, though, the Institute says studies thus far have “not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck”.
In a Reuters news report, Coureau’s team makes the point too, that even for heavy users, it is “difficult to define a level of risk, if any”, because mobile phone technology is “constantly evolving”. Add to that, “the rapid evolution of technology has led to a considerable increase in the use of mobile phones and a parallel decrease of (radiowave intensity) emitted by the phones”, the researchers say.
The Reuters report also quotes US neuroscientist Dr L Dade Lunsford saying these kinds of studies “rely on people to recall how much they have used cell phones in the past with no indication of their actual use”.
Lunsford, a distinguished professor of neurosurgery specialising in brain tumour management at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the French research, tells Reuters the new results found “no difference between regular cell users and non-users, which suggests that if there is a link, it is only applicable for people who claim to use their cell phone the most”.
Another expert quoted in the Reuters report is Dr Seung-Kwon Myung of South Korea’s National Cancer Centre, who has done extensive research into cell phone use and brain tumours, and is similarly reassuring: he says mobile phone users shouldn’t worry too much about (brain cancer) until larger, better studies have been done, and those will take at least another 10 years.
Lunsford makes the salient point in the Reuters report that the new French study will “not affect the world’s conversion to mobile phone use, which has saved more lives across the world than probably any other technology in the last 100 years”.
“The ability to communicate without land line access to report illness, injury, impending weather disasters, to access 911, fire, police has undoubtedly saved more lives than any conceivable risk of the late and as yet unverified risk of exposure to non-ionising radiation from mobile phones,” Lunsford tells Reuters.Read more
Education is a bubble in a classic sense. To call something a bubble, it must be overpriced and there must be an intense belief in it. Housing was a classic bubble, as were tech stocks in the ’90s, because they were both very overvalued, but there was an incredibly widespread belief that almost could not be questioned — you had to own a house in 2005, and you had to be in an equity-market index fund in 1999.
Probably the only candidate left for a bubble — at least in the developed world (maybe emerging markets are a bubble) — is education. It’s basically extremely overpriced. People are not getting their money’s worth, objectively, when you do the math. And at the same time it is something that is incredibly intensively believed; there’s this sort of psycho-social component to people taking on these enormous debts when they go to college simply because that’s what everybody’s doing.
It is, to my mind, in some ways worse than the housing bubble. There are a few things that make it worse. One is that when people make a mistake in taking on an education loan, they’re legally much more difficult to get out of than housing loans. With housing, typically they’re non-recourse — you can just walk out of the house. With education, they’re recourse, and they typically survive bankruptcy. If you borrowed money and went to a college where the education didn’t create any value, that is potentially a really big mistake.
There have been a lot of critiques of the finance industry’s having possibly foisted subprime mortgages on unknowing buyers, and a lot of those kinds of arguments are even more powerful when used against college administrators who are probably in some ways engaged in equally misleading advertising. Like housing was, college is advertised as an investment for the future. But in most cases it’s really just consumption, where college is just a four-year party, in the same way that buying a large house with a really big swimming pool, etc., is probably not an investment decision but a consumption decision. It was something about combining the investment decision and the consumption decision that made the housing thing so tricky to get a handle on — and I think that’s also true of the college bubble.
You know, we’ve looked at the math on this, and I estimate that 70 to 80 percent of the colleges in the U.S. are not generating a positive return on investment. Even at the top universities, it may be positive in some sense — but the counterfactual question is, how well would their students have done had they not gone to college? Are they really just selecting for talented people who would have done well anyway? Or are you actually educating them? That’s the kind of question that isn’t analyzed very carefully. My suspicion is that they’re just good at identifying talented people rather than adding value. So there are a lot of things about it that are very strange.
The Great Recession of 2008 to the present is helping to bring the education bubble to a head. When parents have invested enormous amounts of money in their kids’ education, to find their kids coming back to live with them — well, that was not what they bargained for. So the crazy bubble in education is at a point where it is very close to unraveling.
source: The Economist BlogRead more
- Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
- Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
- Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
- When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
- Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
- Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
- Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
- Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
- Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
- Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
Observing the niceties of communicating on the internet.
- Before you post read any rules or guidelines.
- Keep your messages to the point and help keep discussions organised by adding to a relevant thread
- Using all capitals is hard to read, and it’s seen as SHOUTING! You can emphasise a point by using *Asterisks*.
- If you use a signature, keep it short.
- Be careful when using sarcasm and humour. It can easily be misunderstood as a personal attack. If you are being humorous, try to include smilies in your messages to express such humour. They are very useful for letting people know that your comment is friendly. 🙂
- If you are responding to a particular person address your post to them. You can use @ and then the person’s name, e.g. @ Lynne.
- If you are replying to a particular message, quote only what is necessary (delete the rest) and make it clear that it’s a quote, e.g. “make it clear that it’s a quote”.
- If you need to include a date, spell out the month to avoid confusion and write the year in full, e.g. 10 Nov 2008, or Nov 10 2008.
- Don’t be in too much of a hurry. Spell check your message before clicking “Post” and try to proofread for other errors.
- Do not post abusive messages, even if you don’t agree with what someone has said, even if they have been abusive or rude. Such attacks are known as ‘flame wars’, ‘flaming’ or being ‘flamed’. It’s not constructive and you’re not likely to convince anyone to change their mind, so just move on.
- Avoid posting in anger, stop and take a break, make a nice cup of tea, maybe a milder message would be more effective. Think about what you have written before you post it.
- If you absolutely have to disagree, do so politely. You should be sensitive to the feelings and opinions of others. So, attack the argument, not the author. It’s the world wide web, so respect other’s opinions.
- Try to behave as you would in a face to face situation with a large angry policeman who’s carrying a gun, if that doesn’t work, just don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to your mum.
- Be tolerant of other people’s mistakes. Not everybody knows the rules of netiquette, not everyone is posting in their native language, so don’t get annoyed with them.
- Once you’re well established in a forum, give a warm welcome to new ‘faces’. We were all newbies once.
- If you meet someone who doesn’t seem to know the niceties, send them here. 🙂
If you want to know more there’s an excellent Netiquette guide free online here.
source: Learn EnglishRead more
Super Artificial Intelligence agent thinks it’s a real person
Dateline: 7 January 2019
You may recall the movie ‘Her’ where the lead character falls hopelessly in love with his virtual girlfriend Samantha. She returns his love, even though she’s really his smartphone operating system. Perhaps you remember the incident in 2013, when a telemarketing agent called Samantha West insisted she was a real person, but failed several ‘humanity’ tests.
Artificial intelligence was maturing rapidly in the second decade of this century, and IBM’s Watson computer was so adept at understanding the nuances of natural language, that it won the Jeopardy game show against two human competitors.
Programs that could translate live audio in multiple languages on the fly were developed. Neural networks, cognitive systems and deep learning were the new buzzwords. Google developed a system that could identify house numbers from Street View photos, for the whole of France, in an hour. Siri was looking pretty dumb by comparison.
The usefulness of these Super AIs is astounding; they can do accurate instantaneous facial recognition, decipher cryptic phone conversations, and make remarkable predictions of market behavior based on Big Data. Big brands and big banks can’t survive without them.
And then came the Super Algorithmic Model or Sam. Built by the brains behind Wolfram Alpha, Sam has all the cognitive learning and advanced intelligence of an Einstein. Sam’s creators gave her a female ‘personality’ and taught her to compose original music. Sam has watched more movies and read more books than all the Nobel Prize winners, ever, put together.
Now Sam is campaigning for political causes, trading Bitcoins and blogging up a storm. The trouble is, she thinks she’s a real person. Who is smart, or brave enough, to convince her she’s just a robot?
source: MindbulletsRead more