07 August

Obox & RSAWEB: Startups can Dominate Online in an Instant

Setting up a website for your company used to be a time consuming hassle. Now thanks to our partner Obox, one of the worlds leading WordPress theme and plugin developers, you can set up a beautifully designed website in a few minutes. Adding beauty with speed when setting up your website is what Obox’s new service, ‘Instant’, is all about.

 

oboxrsaweb

 

‘Instant’ is Obox’s latest product that enables people to set up a website without the need to know complex coding and back-end development,  uploading and setting your chosen theme to look just like the theme demo they show on their website. To enable Instant they chose to use RSAWEB’s cloud hosting platform that provides ample online storage space and easy setup in mere minutes. It’s all about speed, simplicity and style.

 

“It’s not uncommon that our customers purchase a product from Obox without knowing that they need to setup hosting, install WordPress, and configure their theme,” says Obox co-founder Dave Perel, “With all your information entered, we will setup your new website to look exactly like the theme demo.”

 

It’s important to invest in your company website and even better if it is at a low cost but still provides high value. “Partnering is close to our heart and we are building an ecosystem to enable guys like Obox to use our infrastructure easily through API’s that will take the hassle out of hosting and allows them to focus on what they do best.” says Rob Gilmour, RSAWEB MD.

 

Why Obox Instant?

 

Instant is great for startups who don’t want the hassle  setting up their own web hosting. It takes care of everything from domain name selection and theme installation to hosting and alterations.

 

“Paying [R522,85] per month lets customers get going right away, provides one centralized location for all website support, and makes for a really easy and smooth website launch,” comments SkyVerge Content Manager, Beka Rice, “I also really like that customers aren’t tied into the service…Obox registers the site in the customer’s name so that they can take everything about the site with them if they switch away from Instant.”

 

themes

 

Why RSAWEB Cloud?

 

Being in the Cloud is ideal for reducing capital expenditure, especially if you’re a startup. It’s easier and cheaper if you don’t have to spend thousands of Rands on the servers and networking you will need to operate your business. With RSAWEB’s Cloud solution and MyRSAWEB Control Panel you can set up numerous machines at almost a moment’s notice. And the bonus, since resources in the Cloud are elastic, you can scale as needed without any difficulties. Get in touch with us to explore how you can use our infrastructure to enable your business.

 

RSAWEB Free Cloud Trial

 

If Instant sounds like the service for you, contact Obox now for more information. You can also contact RSAWEB to speak to a consultant that can advise you on what internet infrastructure would best benefit your business, or click here to start setting up your Cloud.

07 August

Future Tech: The Influential Power of Dynamic Perspective

Ever tried looking around the edge of a TV screen? You know, trying to see what the camera doesn’t show. Doing so is less silly now that Dynamic Perspective is on the scene via the new Amazon Fire Phone.

 

What is Dynamic Perspective?

 

In simple, Dynamic Perspective is a technology that affects the visual display in response to the way a user holds, moves and views a device. The concept reminds many users of the Oculus Rift, the 3D virtual reality goggles, with the ability to reveal more of a displayed scene by titling the screen or your head.

 

“To achieve this effect,” says renowned technology guru and writer, Adario Strange, “Amazon equipped the phone with special front-facing cameras with a wide 120-degree view. Four cameras handle the head tracking, with two taking on the task at any given time, so no matter how you hold the phone the cameras have a good shot at locking in on your head’s position.”

 

 

The Benefits of Dynamic Perspective:

 

  • It creates a more immersive feel.
  • It enables landmarks on mapping apps to pop.
  • It eases one-handed usage and shortcuts.
  • It improves reading and game-play.

 

Still confused?

Have a look at the overall experience of Dynamic Perspective with the Amazon Fire Phone:

 

 

 

Will it change the industry?

Whether it will change the mobile industry is still unknown according to most tech experts. The Jury is still out.

 

“That kind of seems like our overall feeling of Dynamic Perspective; it’s a neat party trick, but it seems more in the way than anything. You’ll be impressed for all but five minutes, only to wish it would just go away,” says Director of Special Projects at TechnoBuffalo, Brandon Russell ,”Luckily, you can turn the feature off.”

 

However, we may be surprised as more Dynamic Perspective apps fill the mobile market.

 

“The company is also making a Developer Kit for Dynamic Perspective available,” comments Strange, “a decision that could result in a wide array of head-tracking applications eventually coming to the Fire Phone’s ecosystem. That is, assuming developers buy into the Fire Phone as a true platform, rather than merely a money-printing machine for Amazon’s e-commerce storefront.”

 

As a technology that increases immersion, Dynamic Perspective is a very useful tool to entertain viewers. Just like the Oculus Rift has business potential, so does Dynamic Perspective as a more affordable option to create virtual platforms.

11 July

Stuart Marais & The Big 5

Stuart Marais is dominating the men’s category at the Pick ‘n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Big Five Sport Challenge this year, with a score of 3831 out of 5000 for the first four events. In second place is Andrew Houston with 3528 points, followed by Kent Horner with 3474 points. The final event will take place on Saturday, before the medals and R35 000 in prize money is bestowed at the Award Ceremony.

 

Photo by Jacques Marais: Stuart Marais leading at the Big Five Challenge

Photo by Jacques Marais: Stuart Marais leading at the Big Five Challenge

 

“I come to Knysna every year for the Oyster festival,” says Marais, “It is a great way to get started again with my training after my mid-year break. The competition is often very tough and difficult to call on the longer days. I am happy to be in the lead and look forward to building in it throughout the week.”

 

This is the fifth year of the Big Five Sport Challenge, taking place from the 5th to 13th July, 2014. The Big Five has fast become one of South Africa’s more renowned multi-sport challenges, testing the endurance and skills of all participating athletes.

 

“The festival-long challenge will have you cycling and running on both the road and breath taking trails, as well as paddling or swimming on the Knysna estuary as you prove yourself worthy of the title athlete.” – Magnetic South, the organizers of The Big Five.

 

Photo by Peter Kirk: Stuart Marais cycling at the Big Five Challenge

Photo by Peter Kirk: Stuart Marais cycling at the Big Five Challenge

Mens Podium for the Totalsport XTERRA Event.

Mens Podium for the Totalsport XTERRA Event.

Photo by Peter Kirk: Stuart Marais in the lead.

Photo by Peter Kirk: Stuart Marais in the lead.

 

Marais, aged 29 and sponsored by RSAWEB, did South Africa proud in June 2014 when he took the gold in his first Ironman 70.3 in Pescara, Italy, finishing in an amazing 3:48:49. Having achieved top scores in the first four events of the Big Five, namely the 80km Mountain Bike race, the Dragons Lagoon mile Swim, the 14km Trail Run, and the Totalsports XTERRA, Marais is proving worthy of the winning the Big Five title.

 

“Coming off a win in Europe is very good for my race confidence,” says Marais, “I have been working hard on my bike and run and so the Big Five is a nice way to showcase the work I have been putting in. This is a good build week for me as I start my preparations for 70.3 World Champs, taking place in Canada in early September.”

 

You can stay in the loop of all Big Five results by visiting the Oyster Festival’s Big Five Challenge Results page, or by following Team RSAWEB on Facebook or Twitter.

10 July

Future Tech: The Oculus Rift & 3D Business Breakthroughs

It was by blog post on the 25th of March, 2014, that Facebook announced their agreement to purchase Oculus VR for over R21 Billion, compiled of approximately R4,2 billion in cash and R17 billion in Facebook stock.

 

“Facebook’s move – essentially signalling the arrival of virtual reality into mainstream digital life – will have far greater implications for business in general and sustainability in particular,” writes founder of Sustainly and the author of the Social Media Sustainability Index, Matthew Yeomans, “… already, brands and digital agencies are licking their lips at the various immersive marketing experiences they can serve up.”

 

What is the Oculus Rift?

 

The Oculus Rift (OR) is a virtual reality head-mounted display, invented by 21 year old Palmer Lucky and currently being developed by Oculus VR. Lucky is proof that youngsters are changing the world as we know it. Through his involvement as moderator in the Meant to be Seen (MTBS) 3D’s discussion forums, Palmer came up with the concept of creating a new, more effective and affordable head-mounted display than those currently on the market.

 

800px-Oculus_Rift_Dev_Kit Oculus_Rift_-_Developer_Version_-_Front Orlovsky_and_Oculus_Rift

 

Oculus VR managed to raise around R973 million for development during their time as an independent company, and we can expect to find consumer versions of the Rift later this year, or early in 2015.

 

Business Uses for the OR:

 

Entertainment:

The OR has already made a hit in the gaming industry, as have 5D Theatres. It’s only a matter of time before films can also be experienced from a 3D virtual perspective.

 

Tourism:

Planning the perfect holiday will be so much easier once travel agencies can give you virtual tours and teasers of your destinations.

 

Property Development:

Investors will no longer have to use their imaginations to get an idea of what a property will look like on completion, instead developers can give virtual tours of their projects.

 

Psychology:

In 2005, Researcher Albert Rizzo from the University of California’s Institute for Creative Technologies developed ‘Virtual Iraq’ in order to help soldiers recover from ordeals and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The OR will definitely find a few uses in the health sector.

 

Education:

It won’t be long until the OR will allow users from across the globe to attend the same virtual classroom. This could allow universities to take on more students per year, allowing for a substantial educational boost worldwide.

 

Demonstrations:

Imagine the ease of studying something as complex as surgery or mechanical engineering with the help of virtual demonstrations and simulations. Similar technology is already utilised to train pilots. Promotions and trade shows will also be an OR hotspot with exhibitors advertising their product via virtual experiences.

 

Art:

New virtual spaces and venues will form where you can view artworks and designs from the comfort of home, and perhaps even the birth of a new virtual art movement.

 

“But this is just the start,” Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Facebook, “Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.”

 

Can you imagine the possibilities?

 

 

You can also look at 7 Tips for Using Oculus Rift at Your Next Trade Show, if you’re already planning to make use of your first Oculus Rift.

 

However, it’s not all good news. With new development comes change, and in the case of the Oculus Rift some jobs may become more redundant. For example, should the OR take over the education sector many teacher may lose their jobs. There’s also the potential side-effects, usually due to excessive use, that can leave a user nauseous and disorientated.

 

In the same breath, technology developments also create thousands of new careers on a daily basis; from website and program developers to graphic designers and social media managers, and soon, Virtual Reality Programmers…or is that Creators?

 

One thing is for certain; the world is changing and we will soon be experiencing the fastest technology revolution in history.

25 June

How to Survive a Zombie (Network) Attack

Zombie Networks (or ‘botnets’) have grown increasingly popular among computer hackers since 2005. A simple virus or piece of malware download can easily lead to slow and expensive internet issues, and you may remain oblivious while your ‘zombified’ PC spams the globe.

 

“Spammers, hackers and other internet criminals often use these zombie networks to get the computing power they need to commit their crimes, whether it’s the sending of spam or the sending of other malicious software, most infected users will never even know,” says RSAWEB Helpdesk Consultant, Bevan Stapelberg, “The implications of this vary from simple speed decreases when using your PC to being involved in a criminal investigation in extreme cases.”

 

2. Zombie Botnet

Have you been infected?

The initial step for a hacker is to ensure, somehow, that their victim installs the malware. This can be done through simple paths like e-mail, peer-to-peer networks or on specific web sites.

 

“There are lots of ways malware can infect a user’s pc or network,” says Stapelberg, “Most common are innocent looking files pretending to be something they are not and when run they install the malware. Also common are pop-ups that appear when browsing the internet. These pop-ups often install the malware regardless of whether you click the “OK”, “Accept”, “Close” or “Cancel” options. In this day and age verifying the source of applications is trusted and being on your toes when confronted by suspicious email or webpages is key.”

 

The symptoms to lookout for:

 

* Suddenly sluggish broadband connection,
* Anti-spam requests and warning emails from your ISP,
* An unresponsive mouse or keyboard,  
* Excessive hard drive activity,
* Bounce notifications in your inbox from people you never tried to contact.

 

Keep in mind that your PC can still show these symptoms without being infected, instead it may simply be hardware failure due to damage.

 

Is there a cure?

As security protocols and anti-malware software improve, hackers are finding alternative ways to hack your computer for their Zombie Network. However, experts still agree that having antivirus software and a personal firewall in place, while ensuring your system updates are up to speed, can greatly reduce the risk of being hacked.

 

“Having a well configured firewall is essential to protect your network against becoming part of a zombie network,” says Stapelberg, “This will allow you to monitor traffic coming in and out of your network. If your network is spamming people, you can check outbound traffic on port 25 or use an SMTP traffic analysis tool. In the case of large amounts of traffic on your internet connection you can check for odd behaviour like increased UDP traffic or traffic on random port numbers, keeping in mind that most legitimate traffic will be on port 80 or 443.”

 

Stapelberg advises that the best way to prevent an infection is to ensure that you have the right security measures in place. Alternatively, you can also talk to your Internet Service Provider, like RSAWEB, to remain updated with your network’s health status.