continue reading » There’s a new kind of fraudster out to steal credit union members’ financial information – and they may not even possess the electronics expertise or computer savviness of a typical cybercriminal. In fact, they can be anyone.Modern technology has made it easy for anyone to become a fraudster. Skimming devices, in particular, are becoming more widely available on the dark web for the average criminal to buy. The thieves discreetly place these fake card readers on point-of-sale (POS) machines, most commonly ATMs and gas station pumps, to steal credit and debit card numbers, PIN numbers and other account data from unassuming consumers when they use their cards.Experienced fraudsters are manufacturing these skimming devices and selling them on the black market. They’re also providing free and searchable online access to forums, video tutorials and other instructional guides to entice others to use these devices, as well as advice on how to commit fraud online (such as spamming) and circumvent security measures.Skimming devices have also become more inconspicuous and accommodating for capturing card data. Many of them are smaller in size and can be mounted in various positions on ATMs and gas pump machines, and can even fit inside the card reader. They also contain less metal parts and a larger memory, as well as lithium batteries for extended recording times. Additionally, they have wireless Bluetooth or mobile capabilities. This means that the fraudster can simply download the stolen data from the device and does not need to return to retrieve the equipment. Wireless technology keeps the fraudster out of sight from security cameras and reduces the risk of getting caught. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr read more
Justice MalalaWriting in the New York Times in late July this year, Howard W French told a truth often ignored.“As a matter of convention,” he wrote, “we constantly say and write things about Africa that would be unimaginable with any other continent.“An often thoughtless broad-brush treatment belies the fact of diversity on a continent of 53 countries (even this is not a settled number) and close to a billion inhabitants, a place of light and dark, rich and poor, increasingly well-governed and still appallingly illgoverned people.”These words came back to me a few days after they were published while I listened to the speeches at the Sunday Times Book Awards on 1 August. As the finalists and winners were announced to a room packed with government ministers, academics, authors, publishers, intellectuals and journalists, it occurred to me that perhaps here, in South Africa, we are beginning to show that indeed we are like the rest of the world.We are, in French’s words, “light and dark, rich and poor”. In so many of the works that nearly made it, and the two fiction and non-fiction titles that finally won, this world of light and dark is explored and expanded upon. It is more than light and dark: it is a multicoloured thing, complex and worthy of investigation.In politics, Africa conjures up certain images. People speak of the “dark continent” and easily draw the line towards the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin or the former Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko.And yet I know I have lived for five years under the most benign, democratic presidential term many anywhere in the world can ever have known. I lived from 1994 to 1999 under President Nelson Mandela. That image, that five years, and the 10 after it under Thabo Mbeki, is not the “dark continent”. It is another country. It is the shining light to the dark.I write two weekly columns for two different publications. Never once have I felt that I cannot write what I like; criticise as I like, offend as I feel. I live in a free country.As I write this the new president of our republic, Jacob Zuma, has just visited a township where over the past few weeks there have been service delivery riots. The people of Balfour complained about poor provision of water, electricity and corruption.Zuma arrived unannounced, walked and talked with the people of the township and then went to the mayor’s office. A worker tucking into her lunch was so shocked to see him there her plate fell out of her hands and smashed to the floor.The mayor was not around. Zuma told his officials he would sit in the mayor’s office until the man came to the office. Many have asked why the mayor was not at his desk. He could have been out seeing residents – like Zuma. In the dark light, in the broad brush, many rushed to say he was lazy and was caught out by the president.The man had been booked off sick. He roused himself out of bed and came to see Zuma. Sometimes, you see, things are grey. Not dark, not light. This is what Africa needs: the chance to be all shades, not just the “dark continent”.Over the past few years the eyes of the international community have increasingly been turning towards South Africa. With the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup in June, the Lions Tour and the Indian Premier League, billions of people across the world were glued to their television screens watching the various sports events unfold.At the end of each of these sports fests, not many would say that South Africa had not pulled off the organisation spectacularly well. I remember speaking to Hans Klaus, head of communications for Fifa, who told me that if anyone ever thought the 2010 World Cup could not be staged in South Africa then they had their answer: the Confederations Cup was an outstanding success.On the economic front, many across the world expected the Zuma administration to follow a leftist economic slant due to the ruling African National Congress’s closeness to its trade union allies. Talk of nationalization of mines was rife. Yet Zuma has dismissed this talk.The respected ratings agency Moody in July showed its faith in the new government’s economic policy probity by upgrading its foreign currency rating. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan welcomed the move, saying: “We welcome their understanding that President Zuma’s government … is committed to maintaining a very sound approach to fiscal policy, but at the same time ensuring that we remain agile and responsive to the many challenges that countries like South Africa face.”Dark continent? Hardly.So what favours can we be done as we hurtle inexorably to the 2010 World Cup? How can the world help us? No favours, really, except for the world’s eyes to be opened, for our “light and dark” to be seen in full splendour and not rolled into one “dark continent”. The world merely needs to start seeing Africa, and South Africa, as a place of many shades, of many contradictions, of many triumphs and many failures. Like Europe, like any other place on earth.It is the least the world can do for us. It is all we ask for. The rest, the proof (if any is needed) that we are special, is up to us.Justice Malala is an award-winning former newspaper editor, and is now general manager of Avusa’s stable of 56 magazines. He writes weekly columns for The Times newspaper and Financial Mail magazine, as well as a monthly media and politics column for Empire magazine. He is the resident political analyst for independent television channel e.tv and has consulted extensively for financial institutions on South African political risk. Malala was also an executive producer on Hard Copy I and II, a ground-breaking television series on SABC 3. Hard Copy I won the Golden Horn Award for best television series. Malala’s work has been published internationally in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Financial Times, The Independent, Forbes, Institutional Investor, The Age and The Observer. read more
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Consumers aren’t sure they can trust the way food is produced today, skeptical “Big Food” will do what’s right for people, animals and the planet. To build consumer trust, it’s time for a new approach.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On Sept. 19, rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHD2) was detected in a domestic rabbit in Medina County. This is the first confirmed case of RHD2 in the United States. It’s important to remember RHD2 does not pose a threat to humans or other animals, but is highly fatal in rabbits.The rabbits at this location were housed in horse stalls and ran free in those stalls. They have been on site for several years and there has been no movement of rabbits on or off the premises recently. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will work with state and federal partners to conduct surveillance of wild rabbits near the location.RHD is a viral disease that causes sudden death in rabbits. It can be spread through contact with infected rabbits, as well as by materials having contact with infected animals. Again, this disease does not affect people or other animals. There are two main types of RHD — RHD1 and RHD2. This is the first detection of RHD2 in the United States. Currently there are no vaccines for use in the U.S. so the best way to protect rabbits is by enhanced biosecurity practices.The time from infection to first signs of RHD2 disease may be up to nine days. Affected rabbits may develop a fever and die within 12 to 36 hours. Infected rabbits may appear dull and be reluctant to eat; have congested membranes around the eyes; show nervous signs, incoordination or excitement; and paddling. Breathing may be difficult and a blood-stained, frothy nasal discharge may be seen at death. Rabbits shed RHD2 in the urine or feces for as long as four weeks after infection. RHD virus can be spread on contaminated food, bedding, fur and water. Transmission of the RHD virus over short distances can occur by the contaminated clothing of people, biting insects, birds, rodents, wild animals, fur or vehicles.Although RHD2 does not pose a threat to humans, other animals or the food supply, it must be reported to state or federal authorities immediately upon diagnosis or suspicion of the disease. If you suspect cases of the disease, have questions or need more information, please contact ODA Division of Animal Health at (614) 728-6220. read more
Patterns did not follow assumptionsResearchers photographed 55 buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens over a three-month period in 2012. The properties included 18 commercial and 37 residential buildings. With more than 100 photos in hand, researchers then measured the fraction of each window covered by blinds or shades.Here are some of their findings:More than three-quarters of the buildings had more than half of their window area covered by blinds or shades.Tenants don’t seem to use blinds and shades to block strong morning and afternoon sun. That is, in the morning, slightly more window area on the western side of the buildings was covered, and in the afternoon, slightly more east-facing windows were covered — exactly the opposite of what might be expected.Patterns seemed roughly the same no matter which direction the windows faced, and there was “no appreciable difference” between commercial and residential buildings.The use of blinds and shades didn’t seem to increase at night.“This suggests glare may not be the reason blinds are widely in use,” the council says. “Perhaps it’s privacy, the inconvenience of raising them once they are lowered, or some other cause.” Environmental price tag is very highIf the only downside was the amount of money tenants waste by not taking advantage of the views they pay for, there might not be much to squawk about. It is, after all, their money.But walls of glass are extremely poor thermal insulators, leading to a variety of ill effects on society as a whole, the Urban Green Council says. Among them: higher energy costs, increased power requirements, more carbon pollution that contributes to global climate change, and more air pollution. Because windows last 50 years or more, those problems are extremely long lasting.“Tenants also experience drawbacks from large windows,” the report concludes, “including less privacy, more noise, and an increased risk of dangerous indoor temperatures during a blackout.”The Council made two suggestions. First, professional who design buildings should collaborate on ways to maintain great views while solving energy and comfort issues. Using fiberglass frames, for example, rather than more conductive aluminum would save energy. Insulating the lower two or three feet of outside walls would still provide plenty of natural light but also cut down on energy losses.Second, the council said brokers should make sure that tenants understand the “full implications” of living in a building with lots of glass. “That way,” the council says, “prospective tenants can make decisions with a clear understanding of what’s in store before they move in.” Apartment and condo dwellers in New York City pay extra for great views, with rents typically rising just as quickly as the elevator. But a study by the Urban Green Council in New York reveals that most of this high-price glass is usually covered up.Night and day, residential or commercial building, and regardless of the window’s orientation, well over half the total window area is obscured.“While the environmental downside of all-glass buildings is well documented in the green building community, we set out to answer a different question: what is the behavior of tenants in NYC who live and work in the all-glass residences and offices with those breathtaking views?” says the council’s report. “We looked at dozens of all-glass buildings and found that on average, blinds or shades covered about 59% of the window area. Tenants are moving into these rooms with a view, but more often than not, can’t see out the windows.” read more
We tend to think of the final close as being the most difficult to obtain. But this isn’t true. Here is a lis of the commitments you need to gain by degree of difficulty. These three commitments are relatively easy to gain. Even signing the contract is an easy commitment to gain, if you’ve done great work up until that point.Review Your Solution: Everyone likes to learn, and everyone likes to see something new. Gaining the commitment to review your solution in your presentation is easy after you’ve had a single conversation about your dream clients needs. This is the easiest of all the commitments you need to gain.Collaborate: The commitment to collaborate around a solution is one of the easier commitments to gain. Your dream client has ideas about how they need things to work, and they’re more than happy to share them with you.Signing the Contract: For all of the hoopla about closing and getting the final commitment, this isn’t anywhere near the most difficult client commitment to gain. If you’ve done good work up until this point, this is a very easy and natural commitment again.These commitments are more difficult to gain.Resolve Concerns: Your dream client will tell you they need time to make a decision. Without you being there to help provide them with information and insight, they will struggle to resolve their concerns. This commitment is more difficult to gain.Decision: The commitment to make a decision to act is one of the more difficult decisions you will have to gain. Even if your dream client knows and understands their need to change.Consensus: One of the biggest obstacles to a deal is getting everyone on your team clients team on the same page at the same time. Consensus is difficult. The status quo as many allies.These are some of the most difficult commitments you will need to gain to create and win an opportunity. None of these is the final “close.” Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Time – First Appointment: Your dream client is extraordinarily busy. They have more work than they have time. They’ve had too many experiences with bad salespeople to risk spending time with another one. They’ve changed providers three times and never gotten a better result. They’re comfortable with the status quo and they trust their problem more than they trust you. This makes time difficult to gain.Invest Enough to Succeed: If your customer was capable of getting the result they needed with their current investment they would not be speaking to you. They need help justifying the need to spend more to produce the real outcome they want.Execution: There is nothing more difficult for you or your client then executing. This is the most difficult commitment again because it requires that your customer change what they are presently doing. read more
Korean managers of the Rs 16,000-crore LG Electronics, based in Greater Noida, routinely play nukkad cricket, baseball style, with their colleagues on the company’s premises. They do not understand the game but know that cricket is religion in India. That’s a fact that the company, one of the 10 on-ground sponsors of the 2011 World Cup, has come to realise. No wonder, it will spend close to Rs 100 crore on cricket-related activities this year.Rs 150 crore will come from ticket sales in the World Cup, Rs 700 crore from TV ads.The company’s association with the sport has not only boosted tv sales-at least 50-60 per cent during the cricket season-but also built stronger brand equity for India’s largest consumer durables manufacturer. LG isn’t alone. Any marketer, wanting a strong toehold in the subcontinent is targeting cricket, be it Reliance Communications, Hero Honda Motors, PepsiCo or even those companies which have earlier invested in the Indian Premier League (IPL). “When we up the ante on cricket, our brand scores show an upward swing,” says Anil Dua, senior vice-president (marketing and sales), Hero Honda Motors.And the stakes are just going up. Around Rs 1,500 crore will be spent on cricket-related activities on tv alone during the World Cup and IPL 4. Of this, Rs 700 crore will be spent on the World Cup, while Rs 800-900 crore will be riding on the IPL. Only half of this amount was spent during the last World Cup in 2007, when India crashed out ignominiously in the first round. Comparatively, advertisement volumes for IPL 2 grew 17 per cent over IPL1. IPL 3 saw a rise of 35 per cent since the inaugural IPL in 2007. Sponsors Hero Honda, LG and PepsiCo would be spending Rs 70-80 crore each, estimate agencies.advertisementHyundai, the official car partner of the 2011 World Cup, will spend Rs 200 crore on ICC-related events till 2015. Sony India is planning to spend Rs 100 crore this year. Reebok India is planning to hike its advertising spending by 25 per cent. Sixty per cent of its total marketing budget will be consumed by the cricketing season.Around 70 million Indian households will be watching the ICC World Cup 2011.Is IPL bigger than the World Cup when it comes to advertising revenue on tv? Samir Kale, managing director of CMCG, a sports marketing consultancy, thinks so. “It has three times the playing time of the World Cup and primetime viewership which makes it more attractive for advertisers.” While average tv advertising rates would be around Rs 1-1.5 lakh for a 10-second commercial, it could go up to Rs 3.5 lakh on broadcaster ESPN Star Sports during the World Cup. Compare that to Rs 5.5 lakh during IPL on Set Max. “IPL’s tv viewership could be much more than the World Cup that has only six guaranteed India matches in the first round of 42 matches, making advertising spend riskier,” says Hiren Pandit, managing partner, GroupM.That’s the reason why LG, despite being a ground sponsor, is not buying airtime on ESPN Star Sports. “If India doesn’t do well, or doesn’t make it to the quarter-finals, public interest will drop,” says L.K. Gupta, marketing head, LG India. IPL guarantees more bang for the buck. According to tam Media, the IPL has been generating average television ratings (TVR) of 4.2-4.7, with finals shooting up to as high as 10.5, while the 2007 World Cup had average TVRs of 2.1 with the finale touching only 4.5.For some sponsors, however, both are important. While the World Cup is all about nationalistic fervour, IPL is about being with it. So Hero Honda, which was one of the ground sponsors of IPL 3 and also sponsor of the Delhi Daredevils, is ICC’s global sponsor for World Cup too. read more
Real Madrid coach Solari on early Bale exit: We’ll talkby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid coach Santiago Solari says they’ll be speaking with Gareth Bale after he left the defeat to Real Sociedad before the final whistle.Bale, who was watching from the stands as he is currently injured, departed in the 78th minute.Solari was asked on Tuesday for his thoughts on the fact that the Welshman didn’t stay to support his teammates and revealed that the situation would be discussed internally.”These are things that are solved privately,” he told reporters. About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say read more
Arsenal cannot afford £10m for Barcelona midfielder Suarezby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal have agreed with personal terms with Denis Suarez, but are struggling to come up with the £10m fee demanded by Barcelona. The Gunners are on a tight budget this month after spending in the previous three transfer windows.Marca believes the north London club have practically no money as they are unable to fork out £10m for the 25-year-old. Manager Unai Emery wants to add another winger to his squad and has pinpointed Suarez as a suitable option, having worked with him for one season at Sevilla.Barcelona have promised Suarez that he can leave this month, but they will continue to hold out for a fee. TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say read more
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange looks on as Damron Malcolm, a student of Central Branch Infant School signs the Book of Condolence for South African Activist, Winnie Madizike Mandela, who died on April 2.