Young entrepreneurs need big business support

first_imgPolitical economist Siya Biniza emphasises the need for big business to act as mentors for young entrepreneurs.Political economist Siya Biniza believes South Africa’s youth possess great ideas that, with enough entrepreneurial verve, can be turned into thriving businesses. However, the only thing preventing them from chasing their dreams is the lack of support from big business.Speaking at a South African Competitiveness Forum research reference group held at Brand South Africa offices on Saturday, 18 August, Biniza said there is little support for young entrepreneurs in terms of finance and knowledge.Biniza, chief financial officer at Rethink Africa, a youth-led non-profit company that looks for alternative solutions to the continent’s economic challenges, said young entrepreneurs without prior business experience are not easily supported because funders are afraid of taking risks on them.Another factor impeding the growth of young businesspeople is intellectual property. Biniza said old entrants’ ideas are readily patented whereas new and young entrants are hardly considered because of the amount of money backers are risking. This occurs even though most business people know that one of the drivers of economic growth is innovation, he added. Fedusa secretary-general Dennis George says that if youth become active citizens, South Africa’s global competitiveness can be boosted. Despite Trevor Manuel’s efforts in getting youth involved with the National Development Plan (NDP), Biniza believes young men and women have not engaged with it as much as they could. “The youth need to take control of the NDP and make it ours by making leaders accountable.”Guest speaker Dennis George, secretary general of the neutral Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), said if youth become active citizens, South Africa’s global competiveness would be boosted.According to the 2014 World Competitiveness Yearbook published by Switzerland’s Institute of Management Development, South Africa’s competitiveness rose slightly in the last year, an indication that its productivity has increased. Its ranking improved from 53rd in 2013 to 52nd this year based on its economic growth.Despite increasing productivity, George said the number of jobs that have been lost in recent years has not been made up.Experience vs youthful enterpriseBiniza said successful entrepreneurs gain experience through making mistakes and learning from them. However, he said experience can hold young entrepreneurs back. “In as much as experience is important, it also inhibits creativity because the more you repeat a task, the more you get used to certain ways of doing things.”The advantage young people have, he added, is they are not “set in a way of conducting business” and have room to be creative; “We do whatever creative thing comes first.”But, he argued, entrepreneurs cannot be innovating all the time; there has to be a point where an idea becomes sustainable. This is when young entrepreneurs need experienced business people and even large corporations to be supportive.“If we are going to start talking about South Africa in 2030, it’s got to be about young people. It does not mean we are cutting big business out. Big business is very important in creating the development capacity of young entrepreneurs through their mentorship and making sure they procure from young businesses.”Biniza said big businesses may generate the most income, but they only employ 10% of the country’s population. Small- to medium-sized businesses, he said, are the backbone of the country’s economy, employing up to 90% of South Africans. In such a situation, small businesses need to access corporate funds for a cooperative form of monetary redistribution to occur.“We can measure the impact of the money you are sending off to smaller businesses,” said Biniza. “And this money can earn you returns if you create infrastructure such as social impact bonds, seed funding and venture capital frameworks. It’s about tapping into that money and having a collaborative approach to redistribution.”last_img read more

More DroidDream Details Emerge: It was Building a Mobile Botnet

first_imgTags:#Google#mobile#news#security#web Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement sarah perezcenter_img New details have emerged regarding the purpose behind the DroidDream malware that was found in over 50 applications in the Android Market last week. After a brief investigation, Google opted to use its “remote kill switch” this weekend to wipe the vicious apps off end users’ mobile phones. Google also promised that going forward, it was “adding a number of measures to help prevent malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through the Android Market” in the future.But how dangerous was DroidDream, after all? What was it up to? And was it able to inflect any real damage to end users’ devices before it was removed?According to Lookout, a security firm which makes an anti-malware application for Android phones, DroidDream was the first piece of malware to use an exploit that gave it root permissions over the device. In layman’s terms, that means that the malware had complete administrative control over the phone. Or in iPhone terms, it would be like you downloaded an app that jailbroke your phone without your knowledge.Evil Androids Wake at Night, Do Server’s Bidding But what was the malware’s purpose? This appears to still be somewhat of a mystery. Much of the code appeared to be incomplete – a work in progress where some of its most dangerous aspects were still yet to be implemented. Instead, the malware was configured to run overnight – from the hours of 11 PM to 8 AM – when the phone’s owner was probably sleeping and wouldn’t notice strange behaviors on the phone, says Lookout. During this time, the malware author(s) could send down new code and new instructions and ask the phone to do their bidding.Upon installation, DroidDream would initially root the phone, as mentioned above, and install a second app that prevented its removal. It then sent select information about the phone to a remote server, the “command and control server,” which tells the malware what actions to perform.The details it collected, while disturbing of course, were not really that bad in the grand scheme of things. It did not attempt to determine a user’s password, phone number or sensitive financial information, it appears. It didn’t steal your files or photos. It didn’t login into your Gmail account and send out spam (well…yet). Lookout says that DroidDream gathered only the following info: ProductID, Partner, IMSI, IMEI, Model and SDK value, language, country and UserID. This is “device-specific” information, explains Google. Not personal info.What’s really interesting is that DroidDream had a commands section that dealt with details relating to the Android Market: ratings, comments, assetIDs and install states, specifically. Although incomplete, Lookout says it’s possible the author(s) intended to listen to Android Market downloads and possibly to trigger downloads and comments on downloaded applications.Those instructions could have been there to boost the ratings of its own malware-infected apps on the Market and to leave comments that would give them an air of legitimacy. That, in turn, would have encouraged more downloads of the apps in question.Mobile Botnet Creation was DroidDream’s End Goal But at the end of the day, DroidDream’s goal was not identity theft – although that could have come later – it was to set up a system for downloading and installing additional applications on the end users’ phone without their knowledge. DroidDream was laying the groundwork for a comprehensive system of remotely-controlled Android phones. A mobile botnet.Zombie Androids.DroidDream would have created a mobile botnet similar to those we have today in the PC world. There, infected, virus-laden Windows PCs are now controlled by remote servers for purposes that include everything from sending spam emails to launching distributed denial of service attacks on remote targets. For example, the attacks the online group Anonymous launched towards businesses and organizations severing ties with Wikileaks were botnet-driven. A botnet’s creator (the bot herder) can rent out his zombie machines to others for financial gain. It can be a lucrative business, in fact. It’s not surprising that someone would attempt to build a botnet using mobile phones, given their growing market share and capabilities. This won’t be the last time we see such malware, either, we can guarantee. This is only the beginning.What’s Google Doing?When asked what, specifically, Google was doing to make good on its promise to make sure threats like this are kept out of the Market in the future, a company spokesperson would not go on record to provide details.However, people with knowledge of Google’s plans say that the company will not take the dramatic step of pre-screening applications for security issues prior to their inclusion in the official Android Market. There will be no “curation” of apps, a la Apple. The Android Market will continue to be the open app store it is today, where Google only steps in after issues occur, not prior.These plans seem to fit with what Google says it’s working on: closing security holes (aka “working with our partners to provide the fix for the underlying security issues.”) But Google can’t lock down Android completely, nor does it want to. That leaves room for more mobile malware creations to make their way to users’ phones in the future. For end users, it means the burden is on them to be vigilant with app installations and security. And for Android developers, the challenge will not only be getting their app discovered from a group of hundreds of thousands of others, but establishing an app is safe and trustworthy, too. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

The Only iPhone 5 Feature That Matters

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Apple’s iPhone 5 goes on sale Friday, including a polished new look. But only one new feature actually matters: Its super-fast LTE wireless connection. With Internet access that’s amazingly quicker than before, mobile computers like the iPhone 5 can finally live up to their promise.What’s LTE?Simply put: It’s the latest version of wireless network technology, used in the U.S. by Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and more recently, Sprint. LTE has been around for a couple of years, and Apple included it in this year’s new iPad. (That’s how I know firsthand how amazing it is.)But this is the first time Apple is including LTE in an iPhone. This means millions of people will be using it for the first time over the next few months. You may hear the terms “4G” or “4G LTE” too, but nevermind the jargon. Just know that LTE is impossibly fast.Why LTE Is RevolutionaryStop me if this sounds familiar: Walking to the train station, want to load my email before I get on the train… Waiting… waiting… waiting. And, there goes my train. Or: Trying to load this map so I can find where to meet you… Loading… loading… loading… loading…In practical terms, LTE means you’ll finally be able to download stuff to your phone fast – in many cases, faster than your home broadband connection. It means you’ll finally be able to stream video – even in high resolution – without endless buffering. Or even video chat. It means you’ll load your Instagram feed in a snap. It means never waiting for your phone anymore; it’ll finally be waiting for you.Don’t get me wrong: Having an iPhone for four years (and a Palm Treo for two years before that) has been much better than the dinky candybar phones before. Relatively reliable access to maps, GPS, email, shopping, and entertainment has legitimately changed my life. But the lag of a slow mobile Internet connection – familiar to many AT&T iPhone subscribers! – has always added an element of frustration. I stopped trying to watch video on my phone a long time ago.As I’ve experienced on my iPad, LTE changes this. It’s going to be as big of an improvement to the iPhone as the iPhone was to prior phones. Or, if you’ve used a computer with a solid-state (“flash”) disk, as big of an improvement as that was from old, spinning hard drives. Especially for a mobile device, speed really matters.And don’t take my word for it. LTE got a lot of praise in the early iPhone 5 reviews. LTE “data downloads and uploads just fly,” Walt Mossberg wrote for the Wall Street Journal. “Using the iPhone 5 on LTE is nearly indistinguishable from using it on Wi-Fi,” John Gruber said at Daring Fireball. “Web pages load in a snap, Siri parses input and responds promptly.” The New York Times’ David Pogue called it “wicked-fast.”What’s The Catch?For one, there’s a risk that mobile operators – running LTE networks for the first time – will be in for a cruel surprise, just as they were with the iPhone 3G and their old networks. We simply don’t know if LTE networks will be able to keep up with rising traffic. AT&T and Verizon could each conceivably get 5 million or more new LTE users by the end of this year, and that might swamp their networks. We just don’t know.The other potential catch is that LTE ends up being so good that we use it more than we ever used 3G, costing us more money. Mobile operators are switching their pricing to match the future of their business, where Internet access is more relevant than selling “buckets” of voice minutes for phone calls. If you fall in love with streaming video or music over LTE, it may be costly. Perhaps it’ll be worth it, if you’re getting a lot of value out of it. But don’t be surprised if your mobile bill goes up rather than down over the next few years.Still, if all goes according to plan, LTE is going to be a killer feature for the iPhone 5 and for mobile computing. This stands to benefit phone makers, mobile operators, and especially application developers. Apps should work as well on mobile devices now as they do on desktop computers. And that opens all kinds of new doors.Photo: NASA/MSFC via FlickrRelated: The Real Reason AT&T And Verizon Are Switching To “Shared” Pricing Plans dan frommer Tags:#Apple#iPhone#web Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Why four-phase polls in Odisha, questions BJD

first_imgOdisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal on Monday questioned the Election Commission of India’s decision to conduct elections in the State in four phases. Previously, the polls were being held in the State in two phases. Addressing a press conference here, party spokesperson Amar Patnaik alleged that the ECI had been influenced by the BJP which is trying to occupy the non-BJP States.While polling will be held in one phase in several other States, including Gujarat, having more number of seats than Odisha, the ECI prepared the poll schedule in multiple phases in the States where the BJP is weak, Mr. Patnaik said. Not only Odisha, but several non-BJP ruled States have been made a victim of the Centre’s conspiracy, he charged.Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik claimed that his party will perform “very well” in the upcoming simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The list of the party candidates will be finalised soon, he added.Polling for the 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats in the State is scheduled to be held in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.‘Centre’s apathy’ On Monday, the BJD launched a ‘Haq Maguchhi Odisha’ (Odisha seeks its due) campaign alleging Centre’s apathy towards the State.Thousands of activists of the party’s youth and students’ wings took out a rally in Bhubaneswar seeking replies from the Centre to a series of questions.“Even as the mineral and natural resources-rich Odisha is playing a key role in the development of the country, the Centre has been neglecting the State for political reasons. The Centre has been deceiving Odisha people in exchange of high revenue earning from the State,” the party alleged.The protesters targeted the Centre over lack of political will to grant special category status to the State, to solve the Mahanadi water-sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh, non-revision of coal royalty and poor service by banks and the BSNL.last_img read more