Start-up takes computing to the people

first_img23 January 2013A South African entrepreneur is providing residents from some of the country’s most impoverished areas with an opportunity to access the internet and learn about computers.Luvuyo Rani’s Silulo Ulutho Internet Cafe, which started out as a small business in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats, is changing the lives of students and adults who would otherwise have no opportunity to become computer literate.Since 2004, when Rani first opened the business with his brother and a friend, the demand for Silulo Ulutho’s services has grown so much that he’s opened 18 stores in Khayelitsha and five in the Eastern Cape – in Queenstown, Butterworth, Mthatha and East London.Through these centres at least 10 000 students have been educated, right up to advanced computer literacy programmes.‘Thinking out of the boot’It all started eight years ago when Rani, who worked as a teacher in Khayelitsha for five years, started selling refurbished computers out of the boot of his car in the Western Cape township.Little did he know that his creative idea would grow to become a successful and award-winning business.“People told me I was crazy,” Rani says, who started the business without any funding.But he had a dream, and he was determined to make it work.“I always knew it would work because I saw then, and still see now, many opportunities in the ICT sector in the townships,” he says.“We are actually overwhelmed by the response. People are hungry to learn, and are hungry to access the internet.”A teacher turned social entrepreneur“At the time when I was teaching, the Department of Education was just starting to introduce Outcomes Based Education, and teachers needed computers,” he says. But soon after selling the computers, Rani found out that the teachers weren’t using them at all.“They were gathering dust and this bothered me,” he says. “The teachers had no skills to use them, and they didn’t have access to the internet.”This is what sparked his idea to start a business that would give people in Khayelitsha access to the internet and teach them how to use computers as well as how to access the information stored on the web.Within a year of starting up, he won best entrepreneur in the Western Cape. “And then it all grew very, very fast,” he recalls.Initially, his main goal was to use the facility as a computer skills training venue for teachers, but soon the business started to meet a major need for computer services in Khayelitsha.“People needed help. They could operate Facebook, but didn’t have the skills to type out their own CVs. People couldn’t differentiate between a fax and e-mail,” he says.The absence of computer skills, or the technology and facilities to learn, is a dilemma for many people living in townships and remote areas in South Africa.“If you don’t have computer skills, you are at a disadvantage in the job market,” says Rani.To add to this predicament, people often have to travel long distances to an internet cafe to distribute their CVs when searching for jobs.“People have to do this at great expense and it takes a lot of time.”The Silulo Internet Cafe caters for both needs, and Rani has ensured that the pricing of his services are within reach of the majority of South Africans.An affordable service“What is central to my business model is affordability,” he says. “Our prices are low.” He believes that companies operating in emerging market economies should adjust their business models and profit expectations.“It is essential for entrepreneurs in these markets to be socially minded and not only profit-driven.”For just R6 (70 US cents), Rani’s customers can access the internet for one hour, whereas some internet cafes in the Eastern Cape charge as much as R30 ($3.38) an hour, R10 ($1.12) to send a fax and R3 (34 cents) for a photocopy.“This is simply unaffordable for most people,” he says. “Even if you just have R2 (23 cents), you can go onto the internet for 15 minutes,” he says.Silulo Ulutho operates in the Western and Eastern Cape, but in the future Rani would like to grow the business in other provinces, possibly through a franchise business model.“But the core must always remain that the business must benefit the community,” he says. “I am passionate about this.”In addition to internet cafe services, computer sales are still a core part of the business. Silulo offers IT support to assist customers with network connections, computer repairs, and maintenance, and software installation.As part of its computer sales division, Rani has entered into a partnership with mobile provider Vodacom. Customers who buy computers from Silulo can access prepaid internet services using a 3G connection from Vodacom, the dongle for which is part of the deal.More innovative thinkers for South AfricaRani believes there is nothing stopping more entrepreneurs from building successful businesses that can also impact society positively.“What we need is innovation. Young entrepreneurs must inspire and give hope to other young black people that they can do it if they work hard,” he says.He spoke out against entrepreneurs who want to achieve quick riches. “With transformation more people have been afforded opportunities, but this system is abused and people take shortcuts,” he says.He maintains the only way to grow a business is through hard work and commitment. “My advice to young entrepreneurs is to focus on your business and do it better than anyone else. Always maintain good business values, integrity and humility.”Thinking back on his childhood, Rani says he always had an interest in business. “My mother ran a tavern and I grew up in this environment which exposed me to entrepreneurship,” he says, remembering how he watched her run the business and interact with customers.“This shaped me more than anything.”First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

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Internet Of Things: The Danger of Ignoring the Problem of RF Pollution

first_imgRadio-frequency (RF) noise is around us everywhere.  The sources of RF pollution come from things like electric motors,  digital appliances, and industrial machinery.  All these machines and devices are sending out signals across a range of frequencies which can interfere with other devices.Imagine now what happens when we now start deploying thousands or millions or even billions more tiny Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, each equipped with a transmitter or a way to connect to the Internet.  RF pollution will undoubtedly increase, and so also will the likelihood that device transmissions will interfere with each other.“The coming Internet of Things is going to make things worse. Much worse. It will do so by adding complex RF-control chips to countless common devices, like door locks, light switches, appliances of every type, our cars, and maybe even our bodies, which will enable them to connect to the Internet. Each of these chips is a potential source of noise. Plenty of technological fixes are available, of course, but the huge number of chips means that manufacturers will be more reluctant to add costly shielding and other noise-muffling features to their products,” write Mark A. McHenry, Dennis Roberson and Robert J. Matheson in an IEEE article.Wireless phones are likely victims of RF pollution.  On the one hand, devices like cellphones are being made to work using the lowest amount of power possible, but that can also result in devices that are more susceptible to RF interference.Solutions to the RF pollution problem are complicated by the fact that actually very little data has been collected about RF pollution.  We know it’s out there, but there have been few studies to measure how much there is, or to find out where there are RF pollution hotspots, or to know which devices are most likely to interfere with each other.  That kind of research just hasn’t been done.  But RF pollution is a problem that can ultimately cause very serious problems if we continue to ignore it.last_img read more

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Data Center Power Management for 2012

first_imgTo put these capabilities in practice in your data center environment, you can adopt one of the solutions described under Policy-Based Power Management in the Intel® Cloud Builder library.I would love to hear from you if you have a specific usage case that is not covered.Best Regards! Although energy costs are the fastest-rising cost element in the data center, the power battle hasn’t been lost. There are still many opportunities to improve efficiency. These include cooling optimization using hot and cold aisles, increasing rack density, turning on/off machines on demand, and balancing load in the data center to optimize cooling and reduce power consumption.All these opportunities can potentially be achieved with Intel® Intelligent Power Node Manager, a technology embedded into Intel chips in a select group of servers. Some of most common scenarios where Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager can be applied beyond monitoring include: The Static Power Capping usage model employs more aggressive capping.  There will be some performance impact during peak, but this should be OK as long as the service level agreement (SLA) is met.  The effect is to increase infrastructure utilization.Usage model No. 4 (Dynamic Power Capping) implements continuous capping for additional power savings.  The capping level is determined by the application performance monitor driving a power management policy.  This scheme may not be practical if the performance monitoring facility is not available.For instance, in virtualized environments, where hosts run a variety of applications, it is difficult to isolate a meaningful indicator representing the application mix. For want of a better indicator, monitoring CPU utilization has been surprisingly useful in some settings. The idea is to impose a cap on a server based on the current CPU utilization in that server. The actual capping level, in watts, is derived heuristically from offline experiments with representative workload mixes, yielding energy savings of 10 to 15 percent over a daily workload cycle.In usage model No. 5 (Hybrid Usages), the practical capping range is limited to about 30 percent of peak power in light configurations. If the goal is energy saving, non-operating states, such as hibernation, must be added to Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager policies.  This is possible in virtualized cloud environments that allow dynamic consolidation of workloads into a pool of active machines and the shutting down of unused machines.What’s new with Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager 2.0The following table compares the features in each version of Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager.center_img Increasing compute density—enforcing power limits based on power reported and populating racks with more servers using the previously stranded power capacity in the rackLinking cooling to actual demand—coordinating Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager power and thermal data with data center cooling controls to help ensure that adequate, but not excessive, cooling is provided, minimizing cooling costsDynamically balancing resources—using migrations tools to move workloads to racks with available power headroom, and using Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager’s power capping to help ensure the rack budget is not exceededIn addition to these optimization scenarios, Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager can be applied to increase availability, applying power capping in case of power outage and reducing the overall consumption with some performance penalty.With the launch of the Intel® Xeon® E5 processor, the second generation of Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager (aka. 2.0) has been released. It is designed to improve monitoring and control granularity and to allow implementation of a range of usage models, as depicted here:These scenarios go from simple real-time power monitoring to integrated data center power management practices. Expected higher payoffs for power management require higher investment and process maturity to deploy.You don’t necessarily have to step up to the top, or even one of the more advanced usage models. Some situations could be enough for usage model No. 1, Real Time Server Power Monitoring. There may be no reason to invest beyond this point.In usage model No. 2 (Power Guard Rail) and No. 3 (Static Power Capping), Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager allows you to pack servers more densely in a rack by imposing a guaranteed power limit.Consider this scenario: In a traditional method, we usually take the specification of the power supply rating from the server manufacture, e.g. 650W, and test in a lab the real power consumption using a power meter. We then discover that 400W is reasonable to be used. In a typical 4KW power envelope, we usually populate the rack with 10 servers (i.e. 4.000W/400W = 10). Using Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager in the same server, measurements indicate that for a defined workload, the power consumption rarely exceeds 250W. Using that as an aggressive power/server budget, and enforcing 4KW for a global cap, i.e. the entire rack, only on rare situations could the consumption exceed the 4KW envelope, and will not exceed that amount due to Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager policy. In this scenario, we can then populate a rack with 16 servers instead of 10 (i.e. 4.000W/250W = 16), for an increase of 60 percent in rack density.last_img read more

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9 days agoEverton lose Philippe-Gbamin for three months

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Everton lose Philippe-Gbamin for three monthsby Freddie Taylor9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveEverton have lost Jean Philippe-Gbamin for up to three months.The summer signing from Mainz underwent thigh surgery in France on Tuesday.Gbamin played against Crystal Palace and Watford in August before getting injured.Everton are currently 18th in the table having won only two of their first eight Premier League matches this season. last_img

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6 days agoEx-Liverpool striker Sturridge scores first Trabzonspor goal

first_imgEx-Liverpool striker Sturridge scores first Trabzonspor goalby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge scored his first goal for Trabzonspor as he helped his side to victory against Gaziantep.He opened the scoring for the six-time Turkish champions, firing into the bottom corner from just inside the box.Five minutes later, the 30-year-old provided the assist for on-loan Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth to score their second.Sturridge joined Trabzonspor in August having been released by the Reds.The England international – who also played for Manchester City, Chelsea, Bolton and West Brom – won the Champions League with Liverpool last season.Trabzonspor are top of the Super Lig having picked up 15 points from their opening eight matches. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Companies Office of Jamaica to Set Up Additional Kiosks

first_img The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) will be placing additional kiosks across the island to improve service to its customers.Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on June 20, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Judith Ramlogan, said this is part of the company’s continued efforts to facilitate new businesses and customers.“We have an agreement with (Tax Administration Jamaica) to set up kiosks in their branches in Montego Bay, Twickenham Park and Constant Spring to allow access to our new electronic business registration form (eBRF),” Mrs. Ramlogan noted.The CEO pointed out that additional access will be at the COJ Montego Bay office, which will prevent persons from journeying to the head office in Kingston.“Trained COJ employees will be stationed at each location to guide customers through the process to register their businesses if they don’t have access to the Internet,” she said.Mrs. Ramlogan said that the COJ team is currently in discussion with the Post and Telecommunications Department to have the kiosks in post offices across the island.The CEO explained that the kiosks are strategically placed to encourage stakeholders and business operators to become familiar with the eBRF platform, which she said is a $35-million project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under the Public Sector Efficiency Programme (PSEP) loan. Story Highlights The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) will be placing additional kiosks across the island to improve service to its customers. “We have an agreement with (Tax Administration Jamaica) to set up kiosks in their branches in Montego Bay, Twickenham Park and Constant Spring to allow access to our new electronic business registration form (eBRF),” Mrs. Ramlogan noted. Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on June 20, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Judith Ramlogan, said this is part of the company’s continued efforts to facilitate new businesses and customers.last_img read more

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Honda profit slips on airbag woes despite sales growth

first_imgTOKYO – Honda Motor Co.’s fiscal second quarter profit slipped compared to a year ago as costs related to a massive air-bag recall erased the perks of strong sales, the Japanese automaker said Wednesday.Honda reported its July-September profit totalled 174 billion yen ($1.5 billion), down 1.7 per cent from 177 billion yen a year earlier.Quarterly sales jumped nearly 16 per cent on-year to 3.78 trillion yen ($33 billion), according to the Tokyo-based maker of the Accord compact, Odyssey minivan and Asimo robot.In September, Honda and some people suing the automaker over faulty Takata Corp. air-bag inflators agreed to a $605 million settlement in the U.S.Honda was among Takata’s biggest customers. The defective inflators are linked to 19 deaths and dozens of injuries. Some 100 million air-bag inflators were recalled worldwide.Honda raised its full year forecast through March 2018, to 585 billion yen ($5.1 billion) from 545 billion yen ($4.8 billion) projected earlier, but that’s still 5 per cent lower than what it earned the previous fiscal year.For the latest quarter, a favourable currency rate helped Honda’s bottom line. A weak yen is a plus for giant Japanese exporters like Honda, whose overseas earnings rise in value when converted into yen.The biggest sales growth for Honda is recently being marked in China, where demand is strong for the Civic compact, as well as the UR-V and Avancier sport-utility vehicles.Honda is also banking on electric car sales growth in China, where the government is pushing EVs as a major policy, the company said.Honda’s sales did well in Japan as well, where its N-Box series, a tiny car that looks like a box, was a hit.Its motorcycle sales rose 15 per cent during the quarter compared to the previous year on healthy demand in India, Indonesia and Vietnam, the company said.Honda recently marked a milestone with its Super Cub motorcycle, reaching 100 million units of global production. Super Cub production began in 1958, and the small scooter-like motorcycle is now produced in 15 countries and sold in more than 160 countries.Although the U.S. auto market lagged in recent months, Honda marked solid sales of its new Accord sedan, Civic Hatchback and Acura RDX luxury crossover, doing better than the overall market trend, it said.___Yuri Kageyama can be reached at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaHer work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyamalast_img read more

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Gallery Mens Basketball vs UNC Pembroke

Ohio State freshman guard Duane Washington Jr. (4) blocks a member of UNC Pembroke’s offense during the first half of the game on Nov. 1. Ohio State won 81-63. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorThe Ohio State Men’s Basketball team took on UNC Pembroke in its final exhibition on Nov. 1 at Value City Arena. Ohio State won 81-63. Photos by Amal Saeed and Casey Cascaldo.

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Neville continues attacking Ed Woodward

first_imgOn Monday Night Football the ex-Manchester United footballer continue throwing “punches” to the Red Devil’s CEOAfter a not very successful summer transfer window for Manchester United.And after a bad start of the 2018-2019 Premier League season.Football Legend Gary Neville has been attacking the Red Devils’ CEO, Ed Woodward, all day.Tonight on Monday Night Football he still had many things to say.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“Woodward trying to justify to the media why he’s not backed the manager, it undermines Jose [Mourinho]… it’s been messy…,” Neville said as reported by Give Me Sport.“The CEO of the football club sat in his spot for two minutes after the game and I don’t want to see him do that.”“At the end of the game, stand up, shake the hands of the opposition, tell him well done, smile and be bigger than that,” he added.“The Club need serious footballing people who know how to make decisions about football. Moyes was sacked in the middle of the season, LvG was sacked after winning the FA Cup, Mourinho isn’t a typical United manager.”“The clubs structure has gone out the window,” he explained.last_img read more

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Butcher reveals modern footballers face more pressure

first_imgFormer England defender Terry Butcher insists there is more pressure and demand in modern football that players of his generation were not required to handle.Speaking about Celtic striker, who had been giving an extended time off due to battles with depression and mental illness, the 60-year-old insists the presence of social media makes it more difficult.Butcher said, according to Daily Mail:“The stress and depression – was that part of our game and was it pushed under the carpet? You never know.‘It’s sad to think that it was prevalent in our day and that went on. Because you didn’t think it was.”Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“It would have been a case of: Why are you depressed? You’re a footballer, what’s there to be depressed about?”“But it’s so much more prevalent today and there’s so much pressure on younger players today. Not just from fans and family and club but social media.”“It’s awful, a minefield. I’m not on social media, never will be. No chance.. I couldn’t deal with that. That would break you if you really got involved with that.”“In our day it used to be physical strength that got you through games. Now you have to be mentally strong.”“If there are cracks and flaws in your mental fabric that can easily be widened then it can be catastrophic as an individual, never mind a footballer.”last_img read more

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