Mobile transaction machines are becoming popular. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) The mobile swipe-card machine industry is booming and looks set to grow further, as more businesses and consumers in South Africa realise how convenient and safe the devices are.An increasing number of establishments are enlisting the services of such machines, said Paul Kent, managing director SureSwipe – an independent supplier.The gadgets have gained popularity as local consumers have become more confident in using them.“It’s almost unheard of for a business not to have a portable swipe-card machine,” Kent said.Debit cards are being used more and more in swipe machines, as opposed to credit cards – although the latter still dominates the market. Debit card users now account for about 30% of the market share, Kent said, but he predicts that by 2012 the market will be 50% debit and 50% credit cards.Debit-card usage is “around 30% at present and growing fast”, he added.The machines, also known as speedpoints, have grown in popularity over the last 12 months as new, faster technology has been introduced. About two years ago the industry was still using “first-generation machines that were not as reliable”, said Kent.Swipe-card machines are very popular in the hospitality sector, Kent said. These days one doesn’t need actual cash when eating out or even enjoying a drink at a bar, as a waiter can bring the handy device to your table.Grocery outlets, both big and small, have also introduced the machines in some of their branches. Furniture and clothing stores are using them too.“For consumers, the peace of mind of watching the transaction taking place in front of them, and the convenience of the machine being brought to their table, if they are at a restaurant, … is a significant advantage,” Kent said.“This market is growing rapidly and soon we might tell our grandchildren that once cards were taken from us and swiped some distance from us,” he added.Rental agreementSwipe-card machines are supplied by all four major banks in South Africa – Absa, Standard Bank, FNB and Nedbank – and groups like SureSwipe. Kent said the industry standard is for suppliers to rent out the devices and provide internet connectivity for them.He said they charge businesses R400 (US$58) per month to rent out a mobile machine and R250 ($36) for a fixed machine. Internet connectivity is R119 ($17.20) per month for a portable machine and R180 ($26) for fixed one.“This is the industry standard. With these machines, rental is more expensive than connectivity.”Machines currently available in South Africa take between 10 and 20 seconds to complete a transaction. Kent said his organisation is now eyeing machines that are much faster, like those recently introduced in Brazil, which “cut the time of a swipe to less than three seconds”.New mobile phone technology is changing the way payments are made overseas. Kent said that in the US, consumers can make purchases using their smartphones.With these gaining significant market share in South Africa as well, the country may not be too far away from adopting such payment methods.“The technology is advancing rapidly – from wireless links to satellite transmission – and even capacity to swipe using smartphones,” Kent said.Preventing fraudThe prevailing concern for retailers is that swipe machines use sim cards for internet connectivity, which Kent said can be taken out and used in any mobile phone. “For instance, a waiter could take this out and use it in his or her cellphone to make personal calls. It is quite difficult to do this, but not impossible,” he added.Another concern is that older credit cards can be used without the consent of the owner, as they do not require a secret pin code for machine transactions – but banks are aware of this and have started introducing a pin system for such cards.Debit cards are generally safer, as a user always needs to enter his or her secret pin number when buying or withdrawing money.If a credit card is lost or stolen, it needs to be reported to the police and bank as soon as possible, so it can be barred.“If the credit card company has frozen the account, the machine will decline the card and the credit card company will receive an alert about the transaction,” Kent said. “Overall, credit-card swipe machines can also prevent fraud or criminal activity.”
TED, the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference made up of short talks by brilliant people from around the world, is now making its archives available with subtitles in more than 40 languages. This is the kind of news that could make a real impact in a lot of peoples’ lives.TED Talks are brain stretching, tear-jerking, 18 minute nuggets of emerging wisdom. The new translation project is sponsored by Nokia and uses the awesome volunteer-powered translation service DotSub.Unfortunately, the multi-lingual subtitles aren’t available in the embedded TED video players. They are in DotSub’s usual players, though that service uses an iframe. (Update: June Cohen from TED drops by in comments to let us know that this will change. “We’ll actually have subtitles available on our embeddable player, in around a week’s time. We’ll follow that with subtitled MP4s you can download (maybe 6 weeks later). Watch this space…” Thanks June!) If you speak languages other than English, the rest of the DotSub site is quite worth a visit as well. So far 306 translations have been completed, hopefully more will be performed soon. Bringing these TED videos to more people around the world is a big win for humanity. It is truly remarkable how TED has gone from a closed gathering for the global elite to becoming far, far more publicly available. Andy Carvin has some more details over at NPR. Tags:#international#news#NYT#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting marshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts
8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Update: A spokesperson for Citrix has clarified that what Citrix is releasing is not actually an IaaS: “The company is launching a product that public and private clouds can build their IaaS services on (they won’t competing with established IaaS providers).”Today Citrix announced that it will launch a new infrastructure-as-a-service based on the OpenStack platform. The new service is called Project Olympus and will be available for as both a public cloud and as a platform for private clouds. The first offering, which will include a “cloud-optimized” version of Xen Server, should be ready later this year.The selection of OpenStack is important as various initiatives vie to become the standard for cloud computing. OpenStack is the open source initiative started by Rackspace and NASA and now supported by over 60 companies, including AMD, Canonical, Cisco, Dell, Intel and Citrix. Other potential cloud standards include Red Hat’s Deltacloud and the NRE Alliance‘s proposal.Citrix will be taking on established IaaS providers like Amazon Web Services, Joyent and Rackspace. Dell and HP are expected to launch public and private IaaS solutions as well. It might be worth noting though that both Dell and Rackspace gave positive supporting quotes in the announcement.Also, a few IaaS providers have been acquired by telcos this year, meaning that much of the competition has very deep pockets. Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#cloud#Cloud Providers klint finley
CCH Tax Day ReportThe inflation-adjusted property, payroll, and sales factor thresholds for determining whether a multistate corporation is doing business in California for corporation franchise and income tax purposes have been set for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2016. The property factor threshold is increased to $54,771 (previously, $53,644 for 2015), the payroll factor is increased to $54,771 (previously, $53,644 for 2015), and the sales factor is increased to $547,711 (previously, $536,446 for 2015).Doing Business in California, California Franchise Tax Board, December 1, 2016
It sounded like an innocuous question from a TV reporter – “It will be your brother’s birthday three days from now, how do you plan to celebrate it?” Except it was at the funeral of the boy in question, Abhishek Mishra.A final-year student of the Birla Institute of Technology, Mishra,It sounded like an innocuous question from a TV reporter – “It will be your brother’s birthday three days from now, how do you plan to celebrate it?” Except it was at the funeral of the boy in question, Abhishek Mishra.A final-year student of the Birla Institute of Technology, Mishra had drowned in a waterfall near Ranchi, a death instantly propelled into the spotlight because he was accompanied to the excursion by Railways Minister Lalu Prasad’s daughter Ragini.Welcome to the loud, weird world of 24-hour news television with its parallel universe of breathless and sometimes heartless anchors, the unlikely stars and specials with cheesy B-movie titles. It’s a mad mix of news and nonsense, causes and circuses, fundamental issues and feel-good frivolity. It is often grisly, sometimes ghoulish and usually plain voyeuristic.Sensationalism is taking over Indian mediaClick here to EnlargeFrom the public visit to Varanasi of a very private couple (Abhishek Ki Ash) to the private spat between a very public couple (Rahul Ne Shweta Ko Rulaya), every episode is designed for maximum impact and minimum illumination. Want a quick scroll?Try this. Nagin Ka Khauf, the saga of a 12-year old boy pursued by a snake; Prem Tapasya, the tale of a yogi living in with his disciple; Gharwali Baharwali, the story of a man’s extramarital affair; or Maut ka Drama, wherein Kunjilal, a 75-year-old astrologer from Betul, Madhya Pradesh, had the country holding its collective breath after claiming he would die between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on October 20 last year.advertisementIt’s the kind of shrill in-your-face coverage that had Naresh Gupta, Adobe India CEO, bowing before the media and beseeching them to stop the saturation coverage of his four-year old son Anant because the kidnappers could have harmed him.”In the new global economy viewers look for titillation in news which is why we show a lot of cinema, lots of cricket and plenty of crime.”LAXMI NARAIN GOEL, DIRECTOR – NEWS GROUP, ZEE NEWS It’s also the kind of relentless campaigning that can force Priyadarshini Mattoo (see box) to get justice seven years after she was murdered.In this chaos and cacophony, it is easy to miss the real megastar-the medium itself: Twenty-four-hour news TV, which reaches out to 50 million cable homes in a dozen languages. At nearly 20 per cent per annum, it’s growing full throttle. With 38 news channels at last count, more than in any nation on the planet, news TV is growing faster than any other genre in India.From just two channels six years ago, one new news channel joins the race every four months now. As a genre, television news viewership ranks fifth, below entertainment, regional, sports and children’s channels.”Viewership ratings are a critical element because we depend on advertising revenue and clients go by research findings.” G . KRISHNAN , CEO , TV TODAY From a nation that first tasted satellite TV thanks to a news event, the 1991 Gulf War, India now binges on news TV. A study by public relations firm Edelman shows that 49 per cent of Indians tune in to TV first for trustworthy news and information, compared to just 31 per cent in Asia Pacific-TV has clearly beaten newspapers as the medium of first contact with news.When a five-year-old boy spends 52 Truman Show-like hours in a 60-ft well, the entire nation watches and prays even if it means listening to: “Dharti mata ki god mein pachaas ghante bitane ke baad, ab apni ma ki god mein hai Prince (after spending 50 hours in the lap of the earth, Prince is now in his mother’s lap).””Sensationalism in place of substance, trivia in place of content, exaggeration instead of moderation and living for the instant and not even the hour have become the greed of contemporary visual media,” says Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, himself no stranger to the siren-like allure of the cameras.A 61-hour songathon by Aakansha Jachak of Indore created a world recordClick here to EnlargeFrom political parties to business houses, everyone courts news channels, timing their announcements around prime time and judging the importance of a news event by the presence of OB vans. It’s also raking in the cash.Six years back, news television had less than a 2 per cent share of the total TV advertising market. It now stands at nearly 12 per cent or Rs 650 crore of the annual Rs 5,500 crore TV ad spend. “It’s a demand-and-supply combination, because there is a certain male audience for products like automobiles, banking and finance which TV news brings in,” says Shekhar Swamy, president of R.K. Swamy BBDO Advertising.advertisement”As the fastest growing genre of television, news has in fact been eating into the primetime viewing of popular soaps.”L.V. KRISHNAN, CEO, TAM MEDIA RESEARCH The growth of news television has also been fuelled by lower launch costs. Aaj Tak, a 24-hour news channel which is part of the India Today Group, was launched at a cost of Rs 40 crore in December 2000. Today, however, it costs only Rs 3 crore to launch a small news channel.Bandwidth costs on satellites have dropped from approximately $3500 (Rs 1.5 lakh) per Mhz per month to $2000 (Rs 90,000) per Mhz per month for regional beam and $6500 (Rs 2.9 lakh) per Mhz per month for wide beam to $5000 (Rs 2.2 lakh) per Mhz per month.This growth is now beginning to bite at the heels of TV’s prime locomotive, the soap. Two years ago Delhi housewife Nancy Hajela, 42, cut down on watching Ekta Kapoor serials because they were getting increasingly predictable.News TV is mutating, changing the audienceClick here to EnlargeShe watches over four hours of news every day now. “It’s much more interesting,” she says. Now, Harish Tomar driving a car from the passenger seat triggers more public debate than Parvati’s travails in Kahani Ghar Ghar Kii.This broadening of the audience has led to a change in the profile of the TV news advertiser. The usual profile of the TV advertiser-a mix of corporates and financial services-is now slowly giving way to FMCG firms and consumer durables. “News TV has managed to broad-base itself to a mass audience,” says Television Audience Measurement (TAM) CEO L.V. Krishnan.Very hyped Prince case and ghost running a carClick here to EnlargeTelevision news, which would have completely ignored nobodies like Kunjilal even two years ago, has now begun chasing them. The interest is often mutual. So when retired government employee Chedi Lal, borrowing from Lage Raho Munnabhai’s Gandhigiri, stripped down to his briefs in Lucknow in October to demand a revision in pension, he remembered to bring a TV camera crew along.If the definition of news has changed, so has the coverage-with well-groomed anchors, anchors, designer clothes and colloquial Hindi. “TV covers everything from a funeral to a Friday cricket match with the same sense of breathless urgency. If everything is important and nothing is trivial, then what is news,” asks sociologist Shiv Visvanathan.Well, how about rival ghosts battling over a village belle and women claiming to be reincarnated snakes- Zee News even runs a half-hour weekly show, Kaal Kapaal Mahakaal, devoted to the paranormal. Critics say the channels that blur the distinctions between news and entertainment run the risk of diluting their brand character.TV’S BODY LINEEven gestures, a lack thereof, make headlines and multiple action replaysSALMAN’S HUG: All his Salaam-e-Ishq co-stars got a hug onstage at a fashion show, except John AbrahamCHAPPELL’S MIDDLE FINGER: The coach showed it to Ganguly supporters at Eden GardensadvertisementPONTING’S PUSH: The Aussie captain and his mates shoved Sharad Pawar off the frameUMA’S TEARS: Her tearful allegations of a murder plot at a press meet got her ratings “The day you become entertainment, you lose your credibility as a news channel,” says Channel V head Amar K. Deb, who has launched the show Well Done, a spoof on the TV news genre, with fake anchors like Charkha Bahar. MTV veejay Cyrus Broacha, who anchors another news spoof on CNN-IBN, is on his knees: “We were always the most shallow form of television and we looked up to news TV. Now, after stories of milk adulteration and casting couches, we bow to them. They are the originals.”Sometimes news TV crosses the line altogether-media persons who handed 30-year-old Manoj Mishra diesel and a matchbox in Patna to set himself on fire on August 15, now stand charged with homicide and abetment of suicide.Sometimes, it gets taken for a ride-TV crews in Delhi were shocked to discover that the ‘special police officer’ they were interviewing over a Belgian diplomat’s murder in September, was actually a local resident who did a Borat on the channels.TV reporters from the “aap ko kaisa lagta hain (how do you feel)” school of journalism routinely quiz their subjects with this line. When asked how he felt when his older brother Shammi was in the ICU, actor Shashi Kapoor retorted that he felt like dancing. Another bright-eyed reporter asked Naresh Gupta’s distraught wife if she felt like crying because her son had been kidnapped. “Vultures aren’t becoming extinct,” rues a senior TV journalist, “they are joining TV.””There are competitive pressures and we cannot be oblivious to the market. The challenge is to avoid getting into the sandpit.” RAJ DEEP SARDESAI , EDITOR – IN – CHIEF, CNN – IBN Channel heads, however, say trivial TV is the exception and not the rule, and point to the larger crisis of content that all media faces. “There are competitive pressures and we cannot be oblivious to the market; the challenge is to avoid getting into the sandpit,” says Rajdeep Sardesai, editor-in-chief, CNN-IBN. The sandpit is the mayhem called primetime which has Hindi language channels battling to the death with stories of shock and awe.”In an average of 500 hours of fresh programming beamed every day, such incidents don’t take up even five hours or just 1 per cent of programming,” says Star News CEO Uday Shankar. Yet, it is these exceptions which supply the rocket fuel for channel ratings in an age when channel heads say the ordinary simply doesn’t sell.Matuk Nath, Julie case in Patna and Maut ka drama in MPClick here to EnlargeThe problem is no one knows what will sell. “How can we explain that even in a mature market like Delhi, the viewership of Mumbai blasts was a lot lower than that of the small boy who miraculously survived a 60-ft fall?” asks G. Krishnan, CEO, TV Today, which broadcasts Aaj Tak and Headlines Today (both sister concerns of INDIA TODAY).On December 12, 2005, Aaj Tak exposed 11 corrupt MPs accepting cash on camera in return for asking questions in Parliament, a moral victory for the traditional tenets of journalism. “Yet, when we showcased a car being driven without anyone on the driver’s seat, it drove our viewership through the roof. The car story got a channel share of 41 per cent, while Operation Duryodhan got just 35 per cent,” says Krishnan.Sameer Manchanda, joint managing director, CNN-IBN, says the media is at an evolutionary cusp which channels looking for their own evolutionary positioning. “It’s not always a numbers game-a loyal audience gets a bigger premium than a mass audience.”Indian media has turned the spotlight on the corrupt and crimesClick here to EnlargeWith channels engaged in a bloody war for ratings based on TAM, channel heads privately rue what they call the TAM-ification of news TV. “If you don’t have high ratings, you don’t have ads and if you don’t have ads, you are dead in the water as TV has no secondary revenue source,” says a channel head.Is this race sustainable? Sociologists predict the end of tamasha news. “Indian viewers are gradually learning to discern the difference between news and trivia and they are now much more critical. I only expect it to get sharper over the years,” says sociologist Ashis Nandy. Until then, it’s going to be snake chases, ghost sightings, reincarnation dramas and driverless cars.
Cabinet has approved the National Housing Trust’s renewal of its general insurance contract in the sum of $1.28 billion for the 2017/18 fiscal year.The figure excludes General Consumption Tax, Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said at Wednesday’s (June 7) post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House.Meanwhile, Senator Reid advised that the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has awarded a contract valued at $121.2 million to Contraxx Enterprise Limited for the Barrett Town Integrated Infrastructure Project in St. James.The project, which is being administered under JSIF’s Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), will entail a major rehabilitation and activities in Barrett Town, including a zinc fence removal programme.The Minister also told journalists that a contract in the sum of $65.7 million has been awarded to Jamaica Drip Irrigation Limited for the Hounslow Agro-Park irrigation project in St. Elizabeth.The project is being administered under the Agricultural Competitiveness Programme.Meanwhile, Senator Reid advised that Cabinet has approved Petrojam Limited’s proposed acquisition of land at 77 Marcus Garvey Drive at a cost of $43 million, to facilitate upgrading of the State refinery’s facilities.
Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has been awarded the EA Sport’s Player of the Month award for NovemberThe 24-year-old winger proved to be as impressive as ever by helping City win all three of their Premier League games against Southampton, Manchester United and West Ham last month.In the process, Sterling added three goals and three assists to his tally in November as City continued their impressive start to the 2018/19 campaign.While Sterling has been at the centre of racism controversy over the past weekend, EA Sports gave him a timely boost by naming him their Player of the Month on Twitter.The England international emerged victor seven-man shortlist including City teammates Leroy Sane and David Silva along with Andrew Robertson, Felipe Anderson, Lucas Digne and Moussa Sissoko.Report: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…Sterling has already managed a total of eight goals and six assists in 13 league games for City.⚽⚽⚽ goals, 3️⃣ assists. @sterling7 is the #PL POTM for November 🏆 #PLAwards #FUT #FIFA19 @premierleague pic.twitter.com/rD3v4eDnSa— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) December 12, 2018
Kolkata: Two car lifters, who used to operate in Salt Lake, were arrested from Ranaghat in Nadia.Police said they had initiated a probe after receiving a complaint from a resident of AE block in Salt Lake. The complainant, Santanu Banerjee, had lodged a complaint with the Bidhannagar North police station stating that his car bearing registration number WB 06A 4249 was stolen.He informed the police that the car was stolen at around 8.30 am on April 21. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe car was stolen away from in front of his house in Salt Lake. Police initiated a probe after registering a case on charges of theft under section 379 of the Indian Penal Code.After preliminary investigation, police came to know that the car was taken out of the district without losing anytime. They had gone through footages of several surveillance cameras in the area.The Bidhannagar police had also initiated exchange of information with their counterparts in adjacent Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killeddistricts in this connection and based on a tip off, policemen conducted a raid at Cuppers Camp near Ranaghat in Nadia.During the raid, police arrested an 18-year-old boy and one Rittik Mukherjee. The stolen car was also recovered. Cops are now trying to ascertain whether they had stolen more cars from any parts of Salt Lake and any other adjacent areas.Police are also trying to find out whether the duo is involved in any big car lifting racket and had a connection with any inter-state racket.Police also suspect involvement of a local in the case and the investigating officers also feel that the duo had kept a watch on the car for the past few days before committing the crime. They also did a reccee of the area to prepare a route through which they can easily flee with the car. Police have taken necessary steps to check recurrence of such incident in the area.
Honouring and felicitating talented cinematic personalities not only marks the beginning of a revolution in cinema but also has the power to change the face of new age film industry. An attempt to make this happen, India International Centre, Film Club, organised a Retrospective of Pavan Malhotra’s 25 years journey in films from January 11 to 21.An unassuming, modest luminary of the Indian small and silver screen, Pavan has to his credit a prodigious body of work. He enjoys instant recognition, born out of stellar performances as the simpleton Hari in Nukkad, Ghunuram in Bagh Bahadur, Salim in Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro, Tiger Memon in Black Friday, Kareena Kapoor’s uncle in Jab We Met, the benevolent coach in Bhag Milkha Bhag. In the south, for his performance in the Telugu film Aithe (2003), the British film, Brothers in Trouble, that enjoyed eminence at the London Film Festival as well as at the Berlin and San Francisco Film Festivals. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Other films that quickly followed included, Antarnaad (1991), Tarpan (The Absolution) (1995), Pardes (1997) and Earth (1998). These firmly entrenched him in audiences’ mind as a powerful character actor. His body of work is impressive, with a host of no-nonsense roles. Some other notable performances of Pavan Malhotra’s include De Taali (2008), Delhi-6 (2009), Road to Sangam (2010) and Badmaash Company (2010). His role of a religious head trying to make a political fortune out of strife in Road to Sangam, highlighted his immense potential as an actor. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWith such variety behind him, he can still surprise the audience with his versatility. He works with a few definite beliefs that include, “You have to learn to be a good actor. The main thing, however, is to feel it in you. Otherwise, the emotion is not reflected in your eyes. The body language is also very important.”Pavan Malhotra imbibed the critical pillars of his character namely discipline, dedication, commitment and hard work from his father – a strict disciplinarian, who ran a successful machine tools business. It was expected of Pavan, that he would take up the reins of the family business, however his innate interest was in observing people and decoding their behavior and mannerisms, a habit he found very fundamental to his renditions as an actor in later years. His commercially successful films include Shaitan (2011), Bhindi Bazaar (2011), Ek Thi Daayan (2013) and Bang Bang (2014). Owing to his performances, several prestigious awards naturally made their way to Pavan Malhotra’s repertoire over the years. A few of the awards won by him include the BFJA Award for Bagh Bahadur (Bengali) – 1990, National Award for Fakir (Hindi) – 1998, Nandi Award and Filmfare award for Best Villian – Aithe (Telugu) – 2003, Dainik Jagran Award for Best Actor and Dadasaheb Phalke Film Festival Award for Best Character Actor for Children of War – 1984, and last but not the least-the Best Actor Award in a foreign language film at the St. Tropez International Film Festival, France is also to his credit.Pavan Malhotra’s recent films of prominence include, Punjab 1984 (2014), Children of War (2014) and the biopic, Eh Janam Tumhare Lekhe (2015) based on the life of Bhagat Pooran Singh, the founder of the Pingalwara movement.