Huge Group is acquiring Otel in a share-swap deal involving its subsidiary, Huge Networks, the JSE-listed telecommunications specialist said in a statement to shareholders after markets closed on Thursday.
The deal will result an effective merger of Huge Networks and Otel — Huge Networks will own 50.03% of the merged entity and Otel Communications will own 49.97%.
The Otel brand will be “migrated” to the Huge Networks brand, Huge Group said.
Otel is a national provider of Internet-based voice telephony and broadband infrastructure-as-a-service telecommunications solutions.
We have already identified several areas of growth and the backing of Huge Group will unlock these growth initiatives
The deal allows Huge Group to scale its operations and grow its customer base, it said. It will “expand both the national reach and footprint of Huge, while also increasing its network capacity and connectivity options and allow for network synergies and efficiencies”.
The combination of the management teams from Huge Networks and Otel will “significantly enhance the intellectual capacity within the telecoms grouping”, it said.
Huge Networks will become a more substantial provider of end-to-end ICT services as a result of the deal, it added. “It will also provide Huge Networks with an opportunity to enter new customer segments.”
“Huge Networks will be well-positioned to capitalise on the further expansion of the Internet service provider and ICT service provider industry through various organic and acquisition growth strategies.”
‘Huge real estate’
“We believe that the merger will enable us to extend our customer value proposition and give us access to a huge real estate of customers. We have already identified several areas of growth and the backing of Huge Group will unlock these growth initiatives”, said Otel CEO Rad Jankovic in the statement.
Marius Oberholzer will remain MD of the enlarged Huge Networks.
Huge Group CEO James Herbst said the company “needs to continue to augment its existing offering by making strategic acquisitions like Otel”.
I’ve tried a lot of fitness trackers. It’s part of my job. Every few weeks, I put a new one on, take it running, hiking, and swimming, and then ship it back to the manufacturer. I like them a lot and have devoted serious thought to buying one of my very own, to have and to hold, et cetera. But after years of reviewing fitness trackers, I have yet to pull the trigger.
A big part of my reluctance stems from the price tag. Coughing up $400 for an Apple Watch feels absurd, especially for someone who ran with a cheapo Timex Ironman for a decade. That’s exactly what makes Fitbit’s new, lower-priced offerings so appealing to customers like me. At $160, the Versa Lite is one of the most affordable smart fitness watches around, which Fitbit accomplished by scaling back on features like onboard Wi-Fi and NFC payments (all still available on the original Versa and the Versa Special Edition).
I think it was a great decision. A year after testing the Versa, I am surprised by how delighted I was to strap it back on my wrist. I don’t miss a lot of the features that Fitbit cut out, and a few have even improved. If you’re looking for a great-looking, back-to-basics fitness tracker that fulfills a few smartwatch functions, the Versa Lite is a great choice.
Everything Old Is New Again
As my colleague Lauren Goode noted, you could very easily mistake the Versa Lite for the original Versa (and the original Versa for the Apple Watch). The two biggest differences are the buttons—the Versa Lite has one, not three—and the vibrant new colorways.
I didn’t miss the two right-hand buttons, which served as shortcuts to see your notifications or open apps in the original Versa. Since you can easily swipe and tap on the touchscreen to accomplish these same functions, I almost forgot that the missing buttons ever existed at all. The new colors, which include a bazonkers-bright mulberry and marina blue in addition to lilac and white, are very hard to miss. They also look great.
My not-very-fashion-conscious husband even squinted at my marina blue tester, after I’d switched out the blue straps for the white ones, and pronounced it “stylish.” That’s a word I’m not sure he’s ever uttered before, especially not as applied to me. But I digress.
As with the Versa, the Versa Lite is low-profile and slid easily under all my jacket sleeves. Fitbit claims that the Versa gets four days in between charges, but I found that the battery lasts even longer with the Versa Lite. I got through five days with one or two tracked daily activities before I got notifications that the battery was low, at around 22 percent. It took an hour to charge it fully. This is spectacular performance when compared to the Apple Watch Series 4, for example, which has to be charged every night.
Along with the form factor, many other features remain
Technology group Altron said on Thursday that is has appointed Cedric Miller as its new chief financial officer. He will join the group on 1 May.
Miller has 27 years of financial and accounting experience, having worked extensively in global investment and retail banking, Altron said in a statement.
“Cedric brings a wealth of knowledge to our company and his experience in the financial services is a distinct advantage,” said CEO Mteto Nyati.
Cedric will be key to driving our growth through the One Altron strategy
“Given his track record in leading people and companies through periods of change, Cedric will be key to driving our growth through the One Altron strategy.”
Miller is a qualified CA and certified financial planner and holds an advanced certificate in taxation.
He is currently CFO of Standard Bank’s Personal and Business Banking (Global) unit and was previously CFO for its Global Investment Banking division and chief operations officer for the bank’s subsidiary in Argentina.
Altron group chief operating officer Andrew Holden, who had been acting CFO, will step down from this position at the end of April. — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media
The ASUS ZenBook 15 is sleek, lightweight and a fantastic all-rounder. Summary:
The ASUS ZenBook 15 is one of the latest laptops in the ASUS ZenBook line of devices.
Inside the box, you can find a 90-watt charger, a padded sleeve for the device to slip into, and a cleaning cloth. There aren’t any additional accessories for the ZenBook 15.
The ZenBook 15 is the world’s most compact 15” laptop and is about the same size as a standard 14” ultrathin laptop. The standard colour scheme for this model is a beautiful Royal Blue spun-metal, giving it the look and feel of more higher-end devices. It’s also available in an Icicle Silver finish. Although beautiful, both this kind of finish and the Royal Blue on the casing do have a tendency to pick up fingerprints. Not the biggest design issue out there, but it could get annoying if you find yourself constantly wiping it down to maintain that luxurious look.
The NanoEdge display gives you so much more screen real estate. The super thin bezels, only 3 mm thick on the sides and 6 mm thick at the top, make for a sleek and minimal design and the webcam integrated into the top is both aesthetically pleasing and useful. Bezels this minimal on an LCD are pretty impressive, especially when you consider how much of the screen’s components are usually hidden underneath those bezels.
They also could have gone as far as removing the webcam altogether to max out the screen, but keeping the webcam was a smart move because a detail like that could make or break a sale when someone is comparing devices. The designers ultimately decided to keep the webcam because their research found that 76% of laptop users still use a webcam at least once a month. They also found that 80% of users prefer the webcam at the top of the screen.
An ultrathin camera module was used for the webcam and it has 3D IR capability for fast face-login, so it can take advantage of Microsoft’s biometric facial recognition feature known as Windows Hello. It also has a new four-element lens for sharper images which made for better quality video calls.
A pretty nifty design feature on the ZenBook 15 is what they’ve aptly dubbed the ErgoLift Hinge. What it essentially does is lift up the backend of the laptop as you open the screen. This tilts the keyboard at an angle for more comfortable typing and also creates a space below the device for better airflow and audio performance. It’s such a simple solution that tackles three common problems at once.
The latest plants built by South Africa’s financially strapped power utility experienced outages on Thursday that led to ongoing electricity cuts.
The Medupi and Kusile coal-fired stations, both unfinished and behind schedule, had units trip, Eskom’s acting head of generation Andrew Etzinger said in a response to questions. Eskom said on Thursday afternoon it will increase cuts to 2GW from 3pm to 11pm.
The cost of Eskom’s new Medupi and Kusile plants has ballooned to more than R300-billion, up from an original projection of R109.6-billion, and they have proved unreliable since being commissioned.
In addition to the Medupi and Kusile outages on Thursday, a unit at the Matla station in Mpumalanga also tripped — together accounting for over 2GW.
Total outages, including the new units, accounted for 12.7GW. Eskom has a total nominal capacity of about 45GW. The utility said last year that its plant availability is only set to improve from this month.
Eskom recently revised higher its estimate of how much more it will cost to fix issues discovered at the new plants. The problems will cost at least R2-billion to resolve, it said in January. — Reported by Paul Burkhardt, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP
Domain names can be stolen, held hostage and used to wreak havoc for a business website owner. Domain hijacking entails cyber criminals unlawfully gaining access to a website’s unique domain in order to impersonate the business for other illegal activities such as phishing and harvesting customer information.
With the passing of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI), businesses can face lawsuits if they do not take reasonable steps to protect customer data stored on their domain from this form of cyberattack.
“A domain should always be renewed on time. If a domain expires, or enters a redemption period, it is often very difficult and expensive to redeem. If the domain is eventually deleted from the registry, after the redemption period, it becomes available again. Anyone can legally claim it,” says head of local hosting company 1-grid, Thomas Vollrath.
A hijacked domain is a worst-case scenario for a business with a website. Possible fallouts include lost revenue, reputation damage and financial penalties for failing to protect customer data. Not to mention the loss of the URL customers type in to find your business. “Think of it as brandjacking,” says Vollrath.
What you can do to prevent your domain from getting hijacked:
Practice strict online security – strong passwords, two-factor authentication and knowledge of how to spot a phishing scam are crucial. Most hijackers get control of a domain by getting hold of the personal and login details of the individual in whose name it is registered. Enable WHOIS protection – WHOIS protection hides information like your physical address, telephone number and email address from people looking into your website’s domain. Cybercriminals have been known to use this information in impersonating domain owners. Choose a good domain registrar – look for things like full DNS control, automatic domain locking and good technical support in the company you choose to register your domain through. These features ensure that domain registrations cannot be changed without authorisation. Get a watchdog for your website – one of the first things cybercriminals will do is transfer your domain to another registrar, making it very difficult to get it back. Strong, 24-hour website security ensures that suspicious activities are picked up and flagged immediately, day or night, so that actions can be taken to stop the transfer of your domain before it’s too late.
“Aside from the loss of business and brand damage incurred by a domain hijacking, attackers often go on to stage elaborate phishing campaigns and other scams targeting your business and its customers,” says Vollrath. Some hold domains ransom, demanding money for their return – or, depending on the value of the domain, sell it for
Not long ago, upcycling became ultra hip. It’s now common in consumer soft goods to find apparel, tote bags, backpacks, and laptop sleeves made of material that was used for something entirely different in a previous life. You can get shoulder bags made of discarded sailcloth and pillows sewn from Japanese shibori remnants.
But one of the first brands to stoke the upcycling craze was Freitag. The Swiss company has been making backpacks and messenger bags out of recycled truck tarpaulins since the early 1990s. In fact, those rubbery and rugged truck tarps—weatherproof polyvinyl sheets used by shipping companies to secure their clients’ inventory on a truck bed and keep it from getting blown all over the freeway—have come to define the brand.
Now Freitag is bringing a new design to market: a line of bags that are made partially of truck tarp, and partially of material spun from recycled plastic bottles. For the new line, Freitag has partnered with a Swedish company called We aRe SpinDye, one of several companies making synthetic yarns out of broken-down PET plastic bottles. SpinDye’s plastic yarn is woven into a textile which Freitag uses to build the inner lining and the more flexible parts of the bag. Truck tarps make up the rest of the piece.
The first bag from this “Tarp on PET” collection, a drawstring-closure backpack/tote combo named Cinnamon, was released on February 14. Now, exactly one month later, Freitag is adding three new designs. There’s a commuter backpack called Carter, a sling/fanny-pack piece called Phelps, and a roll-top shoulder bag named Rollin.
The most noticeable advantage of this new design is a big reduction in weight. The truck tarp material is insanely durable—just yesterday I met somebody who’s been using the same Freitag truck-tarp laptop sleeve for 20 years—but it’s also thick and rather stiff. Make a whole backpack out of truck tarp, and weight starts to become an issue. These new Tarp on PET bags, however, are mostly constructed from that new plastic-bottle fabric, so they’re much lighter and more pliable. The brightly colored tarp sections are incorporated sparingly, giving the bag structure and adding durability where it’s needed the most: in the straps, along the bottom, and on the seams that see the most stress.
A few weeks ago, the company loaned me a Cinnamon bag to check out. I used the 17-liter tote on a few commutes and shopping trips, where the design drew compliments and lingering looks. Behind the front tarp section, there’s a stash pocket with a magnetic closure that’s perfect for your phone and keys. One quibble, though. The Cinnamon has four straps: two handles, and two backpack straps. The tote-that’s-also-a-backpack is on-trend right now, and similar designs I’ve seen let you unhook the backpack straps and stash them somewhere in the bag, like behind a flap or in a
From left to right Desan Naidoo Vice President Africa at SAS, David Macdonald Executive Vice President & Chief Sales Officer at SAS, Mteto Nyati Altron Group Chief Executive, Riad Gydien Senior Vice President, South EMEA at SAS.
Global analytics software and services company, SAS, and JSE-listed technology company Altron, today announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement, with exclusivity for the public sector.
The two companies will combine their strengths in a collaborative effort to help customers in South Africa transform their data into intelligence through the application of analytic software and services, focusing on all industries with exclusivity for the public sector.
A first for SAS in the South African market, this landmark partnership will see Altron establish a dedicated SAS business unit within its Bytes Systems Integration (Altron BSI) operation to sell and licence SAS software to support both the public and private sectors in industries such as financial services, retail, healthcare, education, revenue services etc.
Mteto Nyati, Altron Group Chief Executive, pointed out that the strategic partnership between Altron and SAS will empower our customers to make informed decisions through analytics in critical areas of business such as workforce management, detection of fraudulent payments, public safety information to keep watch on offender crime rates and patters, immigration violations and the like.
“When data is correctly processed and analysed, it is possible to make predictions about behaviours, potential risks, fraud and likely outcomes etc.,” he said. “For example, predictions made by means of an algorithm could be used to adjust the deployment of police services to address challenges of citizen safety and security in South Africa.”
“As Altron is a proudly South African company with an extensive customer base and deep local expertise, this partnership will enable us to deploy our solutions into the market with speed and agility to help our customers transform their data into intelligence and insights. It also illustrates the synergies between us – we are the global leader in advanced data analytics, while data analytics is one of Altron’s focus areas for growth as a business,” said Desan Naidoo, SAS Vice President for Africa.
He added that the partnership between Altron and SAS would be built on the principles of mutual value, complementary value proposition and the shared commitment to provide extended value to our customers and the public sector community.
“We are already providing a breadth of technology solutions to our customers and this partnership with SAS will expand our offering in data analytics. Our customers will receive end-to-end solutions for their data analytics requirements,” Nyati added.
The Global Business Intelligence & Analytics Market is poised to grow to US$26.78 billion by
Integrated ICT and infrastructure provider Vox has entered into a strategic partnership with the Activate Group to expand its Internet of Things (IoT) product offering.
“As an organisation, we have been making significant investments in the IoT sector given its potential in the connected business environment of today. Working with Activate will enable us to provide an even more enhanced solution offering built on quick development principles to rapidly meet customer needs across industry sectors,” says Craig Freer, Executive Head: Cloud at Vox.
Vox has selected the Yodiwo IoT application enablement platform that supports the fast, secure, and smooth development and deployment of large-scale IoT solutions.
“We have been working with Yodiwo for many years to help organisations realise the full potential of IoT and the latest wave of mobile technologies. IoT is now translating into tangible solutions that drive business value and is rapidly changing the way we work, play and live. Our partnership with Vox will enable more organisations to take advantage of IoT to transform their business,” says Rodney Taylor, Founder and CEO of Activate Group.
Adds Freer, “Using Yodiwo, we will be able to design and develop bespoke IoT customer applications within days instead of weeks. This relationship complements our other partnerships with device manufacturers, network providers and business application software vendors to give stakeholders a one-stop-shop for all their IoT needs.”
In addition, Vox has expanded its software development team with dedicated IoT specialists. This puts the organisation in a position to be a turnkey IoT provider from the network through to the device incorporating workflow and analytics.
“This enhanced IoT value proposition sees us targeting the ERP market with tailored solutions for that segment. We do not believe in a cookie-cutter approach but instead work with our customers to develop solutions that provide demonstratable business returns in the fast-growing IoT space,” concludes Freer.
IoT Forum Africa, scheduled for 26 & 27 March 2019 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg South Africa, will be bigger and better than ever before.
Returning for the third year, IOTFA will assemble the finest selection of over 400 leading IoT experts, business leaders and solution providers for two days of insightful presentations, interactive panel discussions, industry-focused break-away sessions, and plenty of networking.
Facebook is under criminal investigation in the US over the alleged sharing of user data with some of the world’s biggest technology firms, a report has claimed.
At least two manufacturers of smartphones and other devices have been asked to submit records to a grand jury in New York, although it is not clear when the inquiry started, according to the New York Times.
The social network is accused of sharing private data with around 150 companies ranging from Amazon and Apple to Microsoft and Sony.
We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged that we’ll continue to do so
“It’s already been reported that there are ongoing federal investigations, including by the department of justice,” Facebook said. “As we’ve said, we’re co-operating with investigators and take those probes seriously. We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged that we’ll continue to do so.”
Last year, Facebook denied disclosing the contents of private user messages to third-party firms, the latest in a growing list of data scandals to hit the company.
Bing, Netflix, Spotify
Documents obtained by the publication claim to show the social network allowed Microsoft’s search engine Bing to see the names of “virtually all” Facebook users’ friends without consent, while Netflix and Spotify were able to read users’ private messages.
Facebook has previously said many of the features were “experimental and have now been shut down for nearly three years”, but insists it never allowed third-party services to read messages.
The site is already being sued in the US over the Cambridge Analytica incident, which exposed the data of millions of users.
Mervin Archary, sales director at XDN and Ashley Sewpersadh, owner of Lithomaster
Durban-based commercial litho and digital print business Lithomaster has boosted its revenue and growth with the purchase of two new Xerox printers: the Xerox Versant and a Xerox D125. This investment has enabled the business to grow, while reducing operating costs and increasing output.
Lithomaster first became a Xerox customer in 2011, when owner Ashley Sewpersadh bought two Xerox DC 252s, a Xerox 4112 and two Xerox C70s, from Xerox concessionaire Xerox Digital Print Specialists (XDPS). XDPS has since been acquired by Xerox business partner Xerox Document Network (XDN) making XDN the largest Xerox partner in the KwaZulu-Natal region.
XDN has expanded its own growth and market share opportunities by leveraging the rich Xerox and Altron heritage and providing a broader set of services to existing and new customers across the entire region. This strengthens XDN’s position to add value to customers and to further help their customers transform their business operations.
DPS introduced us to Xerox and opened a whole new digital revenue stream for our business
Lithomaster has remained a loyal customer since, growing its business and increasing their customer base.
“We have been a happy Xerox customer for seven years,” says Sewpersadh. “XDPS introduced us to Xerox and opened a whole new digital revenue stream for our business. The quality of service we have received over the years has been exceptional and was critical to our buying decisions.
“Xerox products are outstanding, but it’s the excellent support that we received from XDPS and now XDN that makes all the difference to the devices performance.”
Year on year, Lithomaster’s digital portfolio has grown by between 20% and 25%. In the first year of its digital offering, the company was producing 12 000 A4 colour documents per month; currently, its output exceeds between 80 000 and 90 000 A4 colour documents monthly.
“The introduction of digital printing has been a real boon for our business,” says Sewpersadh. “Prior to our Xerox introduction, we couldn’t offer short print runs, nor could we meet clients’ demands for colour variable prints. Now we have evolved into a one-stop shop with fast turnaround times and exceptional quality. In today’s environment, it is vital to be able to complement litho with digital printing. Clients get what they want when they need it, and they have grown accustomed to receiving the exceptional customer service we are known for.”
He credits Mervin Archary, sales director at XDN, for ensuring that Lithomaster didn’t get left behind in the digital revolution. “Mervin convinced us to take the leap into the digital space. Our first purchase was at entry level, and the quality was exceptional. Our two machines delivered 140 pages per minute and because we had a pair, we were able to deliver on clients’ needs even if one went down. This convinced us that Xerox was the best solution for our business.
It’s a press that allows print shops to boost productivity and
Eskom implemented stage-one rotational load shedding on Thursday, then progressed the blackouts to stage two later in the day. The state-owned utility blamed a “shortage of capacity” for the move.
In a statement, the company said the rolling blackouts would start at 11am and would likely continue until 11pm. It later said it would move to stage-two load shedding from 3pm.
Stage one involves cutting 1GW of capacity from the grid on a national basis, while stage two cuts 2GW.
“Load shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout,” it said in the statement.
“We continue to appeal to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly during this period. Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electrical appliances to assist in reducing demand,” it added. — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media
Actress Sunny Leone says entertainers make the worst friends because they are never available.
Sunny expressed her views when she appeared on an episode of show “By Invite Only” on zoOm Styled by Myntra. The episode will air on Saturday, read a statement.
“Actors and entertainers make the worst friends because they are never available, neither emotionally nor physically. We are not there for our own birthdays, let alone somebody else’s birthday,” Sunny said.
On the appreciation she has received from the industry, she said: “I don’t set very high expectations when it comes to the industry reaching out and appreciating me, so I’m never really disappointed.”
Sunny has been trolled time and again. But she wouldn’t want to be trolled about her children.
“I don’t care what people say about me but I wouldn’t want people to say bad things about my kids,” said the actress, who has three children.
The actress expressed that if she sees people trolling her children on social media or television, it would irritate her but if she hears it in person, they better watch out as she is a “mumma bear when it comes to her kids”.
Ritika Singh made debut in Tollywood opposite Venkatesh in Sudha Kongara directed Guru. Later she appeared in Aadhi Pinishetty starrer Neevevaro. The talented actress is now heating up the social media with her hot pictures.
Ritika is not known for her regular heroine roles. Looks like Ritika is up for glam characters as well. Are filmmakers watching her Instagram?
Text: Telugucinema.com Images: Ritika on Instagram
Rwandan entrepreneurs benefit from Alibaba training programme
Alibaba Business School, Alibaba Group’s university, last week hosted 30 Rwanda-based entrepreneurs at the company’s global headquarter in Hanghzou to learn from Alibaba’s experience and the tools needed to run successful business in the digital era.
This was the first cohort of the Alibaba ‘Netpreneur Training Programme’ that aimed to assist the entrepreneurs in Rwanda in bringing a metamorphosis in their businesses for the digital era and overcome country-specific challenges.
The programme is the outcome of a collaboration between Rwanda Development Board and Jack Ma-owned Alibaba. The programme ensured to assist them in solving problems and issues that every business owner confronts within their local ecosystem, as reported by The New Times. Hence, it is believed to surely benefit both digital entrepreneurs and leaders of traditional businesses, spanning from tea growers and shoe manufacturing to financial technology and logistics, in seizing the opportunities offered by the digital economy.
A joint statement released by Alibaba and Rwanda Development Board stated that Netpreneur Training Programme aimed to establish digital success cases that could serve as role models for other entrepreneurs and business owners across the country and even the entire continent.
“We are thrilled to be launching a programme that will impact businesses that can benefit most from the adoption of digital technology. We believe by sharing our lessons and experiences with local entrepreneurs, we can enable multiple segments of the local value chain and strengthen Rwanda’s overall capabilities to utilise e-commerce for local and international trade,” Brian Wong, AlibabaGroup’s Vice President who also heads the Global Initiatives programme opined.
On the other hand, the programme follows the unveiling of the first African eWTP (electronic world trade platform) hub in Rwanda in October 2018. Based on the eWTP agreement, the government of Rwanda and Alibaba are committed to work together to promote policy innovation and ensure the augmentation of digital economy in Rwanda.