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Travelstart, offering cheap flights to Brazil

travel-start

Brazil has always been a historically preferred holiday and travel destination for many people around the world. Renowned for having fair weather, lofty heights of the Corcovado and Sugarloaf mountains, beautiful Copa Cabana beach, spectacular carnivals and Samba and the 38 metre statue of Christ the Redeemer which is one of the 7 wonders of the world, Brazil attracts approximately 3 million international tourists annually. The year 2014 provides even a greater opportunity and reason to visit this South American country. The main attraction for the year 2014 is the fact that Brazil plays host to the world-famous soccer world cup.

In order to provide a rare opportunity to as many people as possible to be part of the world cup festivities, Travelstart has put together discounted travel packages and flights to Brazil. Clients on these packages are assured of enjoying the pristine Leme and Copacabana beaches, visit the wealthy area of Zona Sul, spend time at the National Museam of Fine Arts, visit the Imperial Palace which was built in the 18th century and offers interactive history lessons. There is also a chance to buy all kinds of souvenirs from T-shirts to small-scale statues.

The good news for travelers is that South African passport holders who want to travel to Rio de Janeiro for tourism or business purposes do not require a Visa to stay up to 90 days. Travelers should just make sure the passport is valid for 6 months and have 3 blank pages available for entry and exit stamps.

Travelstart can be contacted on 0861878278.

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WIZZIT internet banking

internet-banking

The internet age has drastically changed how business is done. The internet has given the masses the power to do so much by clicking the mouse. This new way of doing business has however brought about risks of fraud. In order to provide a quality internet banking system, WIZZIT came on the scene.

WIZZIT is the provider of the iWIZZ which is an internet payment facility which enables individuals and organisations to make electronic funds transfers as well as pay salaries and creditors via the internet. It has been designed specifically for SME’s, service providers and individual entrepreneurs. This facility is controlled by the application of individual/multiple passwords and account holders mobile phone creating two access channels of internet and GSM.

The benefits of this facility include being convenient and cost-effective group and individual payments, full mobile banking functionality, free online statements and balance checks, suitable for salary payrolls, creditor payments and interpersonal cash transfers, customised to each business units unique requirements, allows for multiple levels of approval prior to payment, payment files can be loaded 30 days in advance, detailed payment reports and account statements are readily available, built-in beneficiary groups and individual beneficiary files.

No training is necessary to use this facility, detailed user guidelines will be supplied after registration and activation. WIZZIT can be contacted on 0861949948.

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FNB iPad Mini with Retina Prices

Not only mobile network providers are lending mobile gadgets to their customers but rather banks have introduced mobile devices in their lending facility. One of South Africa’s big four banks First National Bank, well known as FNB, launched the iPad Mini Retina Wi-Fi and Cellular to its state of the art mobile devices.

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Graph flow, matching products with clients

graph flow

Graph flow is an organisation that believes a successful and growing business is about product, user, good service and profits. In a competitive economic and market environment with so many similar products and services, the home work for clients to find the right products is a tricky one. Graph flows mission is to provide organisations customers with personalised recommendations in order to increase profits and enhance customer experience.

The recommendation engine matches customers with products by analysing historical and real-time data and uncovering patterns in customer behaviour. This data is collected through processing millions of requests and billions of interactions every day on a scalable platform. Every clients data is securely segmented with unique API keys and credentials. The engine is scalable across industries and has the ability to match users with any products. e.g education, healthcare, entertainment, energy etc.

The success of this service depends on careful modelling of customer behaviour. This is done by analysing the user’s behaviour and predicting the kind of products a customer is likely to purchase next. A careful look at product interactions is also used to find other products with a high correlation to a specific product. A list of products which a customer similar to the current one have previously interacted with. Recommendations based on an existing product interaction is returned as data of products bought together by customers..

Graph flow can be contacted here.

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Expected internet technologies 2014

The advent of the Internet has altered the way human beings live, interact, exchange information or even do business through instant messaging, internet forums and social networking. The building of robust, fault tolerant communication via computer networks has also redefined most traditional communications media including telephone, music, film and television. There are however a number of social and economic sectors that the internet has positively affected and will continue to affect in the future. These sectors include education, healthcare, crime prevention and manufacturing.

Education – Thanks to the internet, education related activities such as research, games, web seminars and even distance education can now all be done at a click of a button. Research has been made  easier because students can use the internet and digital encyclopedias to obtain the needed research information. Students can also use the internet to virtually attend web seminars put on by other education institutions. Due to the use of technology and internet, students can take courses from distant institutions over the internet at their own convenience. The future will continue to see students and pupils learn from the comfort of their homes through the use of internet.

Healthcare – The health care industry has had its doctor-patient relationship changed over time with the use of internet. The internet has also brought about electronic medical record and electronic medical billing process. To an extreme level, even surgeries can now be done remotely. A number of surgeries especially micro-surgeries are now done with the use of robots. Usually the surgeon is located in the operating room but he/she is at the control panel looking through a camera and not beside the patient. Therefore, it does not matter where the surgeon is located as long as the connection is uninterrupted. Fiber-optic technology with its fast rate of data transmission could provide such a connection.

Crime prevention – Internet capabilities with regards to crime prevention have continued to advance over time. Constant development of miniaturisation in the near future result in invisible cameras everywhere, even embedded in clothes. Recording daily actions of citizens in communities and around the world will result in decreased visible crime because it will be aborted before it happens.

Impact of technology on Manufacturing – Home design inventions will increase over the years due to the growing adoption of 3D printing which allows people to print things at home. Technology will also cause a complete reshaping of supply chains and a further shift to an economy based not on the supply of physical objects but digital ones.

The possibilities of the internet age will continue to be truly limitless for the good of mankind and the global community.

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My Budget Book, Android financial app

Personal budget. Google is a technology organisation and phenomenon which has really altered research dynamics, how people and organisations exchange information and generally how business is done. As a technology giant, Google has been at the forefront of developing unique apps. One of the apps to emerge from Google is the Budget Book.

This app can best be referred  to as a finance management programme. It allows users to keep track of both earnings and expenditure. The Budget Book comes with distinctive features such as being able to be used for more than 100 currencies, available in 10 different languages namely English, Deutsch, Espanola, Portuguese, Francais, Italiano, Nederlands, Pyccknn, Polska and Magyar, its tablet optimised, it requires no registration and it offers easy access with no internet connection required.

Allowing users to use the individual transfers and standing orders feature to have a good idea of foreseen expenses for the coming few months and compare with available finances. With a graphical overview of the information, planning for larger purchases in up-coming months becomes easy. The budget mode feature also allows users to set goals and limits for various criteria and periods. For instance, a user can create a monthly limit for refuelling or a weekly limit for food. Users can also define limits for accounts such as credit cards or define limits for payment types. It can also be determined whether recurring budgets should be transferred in the next periods and users can also adjust the limit in recurring budgets for individual time periods if you have a month more or less money to spend.

The Budget Book can downloaded here.
A similar app can be found here

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MTN Sky, unlimited voice calls, data and SMS

MTN launched their MTN Sky service recently, in a bid to curtail the subscriber shedding the cellular operator is currently going through. According to reports, MTN shed over 800 000 customers in the three month period between December and the end of March 2014, average user revenue also showed a user slump of 11.4% over the same period.
MTN’s new service, MTN SKY, is offering subscribers unlimited voice calls, data and SMS from R1,699 per month. This new service also offers customers priority call centre support, free Smartphone repairs and access to local and international airport lounges. The “unlimited” data comes with a catch though. According to the South African mobile business, the 5GB comes with a fair use limit. Once you’ve reached the maximum usage of 5GB per month, the subscriber’s internet access will be throttled. Access to international and local airport lounges is also limited to a maximum of 24 visits.

MTN Sky packages come in two basic forms:

  • MTN Sky SIM-only package at R1,699 on a 24 month contract
  • MTN Sky package with a handset at R1,999 on a 24 month contract (the price may differ depending on the chosen handset).
    Prepaid customers are also catered for in a number of MTN Sky prepaid products, including:
  • MTN Sky Absolute (2GB) at R599, with unlimited calls and SMS to all networks and 2GB of data, lasting for 7 days.
  • MTN Sky Super (1GB) at R999, with unlimited calls and SMS across all networks and access 1GB of data, lasting for 30 days.
  • MTN Sky Super (Uncapped) at R999, with unlimited calls and SMS across all networks, uncapped data of 3GB, lasting for 15 days. This offer comes with a Fair Use Policy.
    MTN also recently dropped their PayAsYouGo call rates to just 79c per minute, billed per second, on a promotional basis, in a bid to curb the loss of customer. MTN has since announced that they plan on making the 79c permanent.

Update

It’s good to note that we have been notified by some of our readers that MTN Sky does define in their small print that members are in actual fact being capped at R1500. Let us know if you have tried MTN Sky, and have any feedback for us?

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Learn about browsers – world of browsers

Learn about browsers

Recently, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a strange advisory; Americans are warned against using the Internet Explorer Web browser until a serious security flaw has been resolved. The security flaw was discovered over the weekend by an internet security software firm, FireEye. We take a look at the vulnerabilities of web browsers, and ultimately hope that we make it easier for you to choose a browser that suits all your needs. Or at least, most of them:

    According to the US’ Dept of Homeland Security Computer Emergency Readiness, Internet Explorer (IE) is broken. Beyond repair, it would seem. “We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem…” says the department. Among the solutions punted is disabling your Adobe Reader/Flash. IE, however is missing the built in sandbox feature. More on that later.

  • A lot of people used, and are still using IE. Hackers know this and IE is seen as a very valuable target to attack a large group of people simultaneously. Staying away from IE means you are safer from targeted software viruses. Choose other browsers to circumvent this vulnerability. Or else, IE could give us sandboxing of individual tabs, like Chrome.
  • Unlike Chrome and Firefox, IE doesn’t automatically look out for updates for your out-of-date plugins or extensions. A favourite amongst hackers, out-of-date extensions/plugins are an entry point into your computer. If you are using IE, you will need to be continuously on the lookout for updates. Chrome, for example, has a safe area in your computer (a sandbox), which ensures that even if you are a victim of an attack, the corrupted plugins (Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader) won’t do any damage.
  • IE offers no synchronization, up to version 8, if you using different computers. There are no built in features to synchronize bookmarks and more between different instances of the browser. Chrome and Firefox offer this feature. If you are using anything after Windows 8 however, your Bookmarks and tabs are synced through the OS
  • If you are an Apple product user, IE is made nearly obsolete. Following the expiration of a business agreement between Mac and Microsoft, and the halting of development of the Safari for Windows a few years ago, uninstalling it for security reasons would be the best thing to do. Working across a number of platforms, FireFox and Opera are the only true cross platform browsers, working on all 3 desktop platforms and the two big mobile platforms.

There is an array of Web browser options available, free of charge. Like many other browsers, IE has its issues and is ultimately no better – or worse – than any of the browsers available. For instance, IE is the only browser to encrypt your stored usernames and passwords for the websites you frequent. Firefox will lock them IF you set a master password, while Chrome stores them in plain text. Strides have been made in IE 10 and 11. Due to lack of web standards, no single browser does it all well, many have found it beneficial to use a bit of everything from the browsers. What is important to note is that all browsers have vulnerabilities

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Facebook is still holding firm

Facebook quarterly results

Not as many corporations are ditching Facebook regardless of the fact that many vowed to do so recently. The numbers reveal that those that actually go through with the abandonment are in minority. No matter what you think about the social media giant, recent figures prove that Facebook is very hot right now.
Yesterday, Facebook released its first quarter results showing the high numbers in usage and revenue and their continued soaring. According to the numbers, over 1.2 billion people use Facebook, every month. A 15% jump up from last year. Everyday usage is up by 21%, with 802 million people utilising the social network on a daily basis.

Total revenue in the first-quarter saw a 72% increase compared to the same period last year [2013]. In the first quarter of 2014, Facebook raked in a total of $2.5 billion, a total of $642million was profit, compared to last year’s $219 million. Advertising revenue was also on the up; up 82% from the corresponding quarter last year. Facebook banked a totalled of $2.27billion from advertising in the first quarter of 2014.

Recently, Facebook acquired Apple’s top app of 2013, Instagram. At a price tag of $1 billion, this was Facebook’s largest acquisition yet and is a push by the social network to get more of the users, who rely on portable devices for their digital needs. Good news for all Instagram users, the photo-sharing app is to remain ad free. For now. And the app has insisted that it would continue to develop with a degree of independence from Facebook.

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Best companies to work for in South Africa

best company to work for

Best companies in SA, professionals in different sectors of the economy and even graduates coming out of tertiary institutions are every now and then confronted with the question of identifying  the ideal employer. While the hierarchy in terms of whats important may differ from one employee to the other, generally good employers are about good leadership skills such as courage, patience, positive attitude, good financial rewards for employees in form of wages, a genuine concern for the well-being of employees which is exhibited in things like contributing towards employee medical care, providing a conducive and enabling working environment also ranks quite high on the qualities of a good employer.

In South Africa, research conducted in the recent past has indicated some names which can not be ignored. While this list may fluctuate from time to time, the following organisations are worth highlighting.

Best companies to work for
Big companies in south africa

Coca Cola South Africa – Coca Cola is the worlds largest beverage company. This business entity employs thousands of people in the country, pays healthy wages and has been commended for prioritising black economic empowerment (BEE).

Unilever South Africa – This reputable firm tracing its roots to the United Kingdom and Netherlands is one of the best employers with strong emphasis on training and skills development. Unilever also rewards its employees with performance based bonuses which are paid annually as well as other cash prizes which reward exceptional competency and delivery. Unilever believes people are its greatest assets, in this breath, Unilever employees enjoy a 24 hour Vitality assist funded by the company which gives them and their families counseling, financial assistance and legal advise when needed.

Group Five Construction – Group Five is a renowned construction and engineering firm and it has over the years become a leading employer in South Africa. Boasting of a level 3 BEE certificate, Group Five has strongly committed itself to shareholders, customers, employees and communities.

Cell C – Cell C is South Africa’s third cellular provider and also the smallest in terms of workforce. This factor has played to its favour by offering good conditions of service and an enabling working environment for its workforce.

Nestle – This is one of the famous dairy brands around the world. In South Africa, they have created a business presence characterised by trust, quality, honesty and diversity as well as promoting the culture of an informal work environment which supports values of openness, trust and transparency.

Vodacom Group -Vodacom is under the umbrella body of Vadafone.Vodacom has been commended for being an employer that puts employee wellness on top of its priorities. This leading telecommunications provider has a corporate wellness programme that includes an Employee Assistance Programme, HIV and Executive Health Management Programmes.

South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) – SANRAL as it is famously known is a government parastatal run by the department of transport with a mandate to improve, manage and maintain the national road network. This organisation has continued to employ many people and enjoy the benefits of working under a semi-autonomous government wing.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) – The JSE is the most respected financial market on the African continent. The JSE is an ideal employer which is driven by enthusiasm, a passionate team, exciting workplace and constant innovation.

SAS Institute – SAS International has recently been named the number one company in the US for Fortune magazines  100 best companies to work for. SAS has developed a unique bonus plan that recognises both performance and achievement on the part of the employee.

MTN South Africa – MTN is one of the country’s biggest brands. MTN has a proactive model which assists to identify high performers called Leadership Talent Management. It also offers a service called MyMTN Emergency which is a home and roadside emergency assistance for workers.

For professionals who are already employed or even unemployed and looking for better opportunities as well as students who will soon be graduating from tertiary institutions, the above list provides great employment pointers.

Highest paying jobs can be found here.

Related:
Jobs in IT.

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