Privacy Policy

What is the POPI ACT?

We respect your right to privacy and therefore aim to ensure that we comply with the legal requirement of the POPI Act which regulates the manner in which we collect, process, store, share and destroy any personal information which you have provided to us.

Your privacy is important to us. We strive to ensure that our use of your personal information or personal data is lawful, reasonable, and relevant to our business activities, with the goal of improving our services and your experience.

This privacy notice sets out what personal information we collect from you when you use our platform (which could be our website or any other electronic platform), how we collect your personal information, why we collect it and how we use it, and related matters.

Please read this privacy notice carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal information and how we will treat it. You can contact us if you need any clarity or assistance, using the contact details set out at the end of this policy.

With consideration and compliance with South African privacy, protection, and other consumer laws as applicable.

Why do we collect Personal Information?

We collect personal information in order to liaise with you telephonically or via email so that we may:

Respond to any query or comment received from you;

Inform you of new services;

Enable us to process, validate and verify information and requests for the supply of services;

For the purposes for which you specifically provided the information.

Processing of Information

We will only share your personal information:

  • In order to comply with applicable law or with legal process served on our company;
  • In order to protect and defend the rights or property of our company;
  • With employees and/or third parties / international organizations who assist us in providing services to you and thus require your personal information in order to render a proper and efficient service. We will ensure that all such employees and third-party service providers, having access to your personal information, are bound by confidentiality agreements.

Security Measures
We will treat your personal information as strictly confidential. Take appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure that your personal information is kept secure and is protected against unauthorized or unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction or damage, alteration, disclosure, or access. We will promptly notify you if we become aware of any unauthorized use, disclosure, or processing of your personal information and provide you with reasonable evidence of our compliance with our obligations under this policy on reasonable request. We will not retain your personal information longer than the period for which it was originally required, unless we are required by law to do so, or you consent to us retaining such information for a longer period.

ALTHOUGH WE TAKE THE AFOREMENTIONED PRECAUTIONS IN PROTECTING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION, WE SHALL HOWEVER NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE, HOWSOEVER ARISING, SUFFERED AS A RESULT OF THE DISCLOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION IF BEYOND OUR REASONABLE CONTROL.

Collection of Information by “Cookies”
You are aware that information and data is automatically collected through the standard operation of the internet servers and using “cookies.” “Cookies” are small text files a website can use to recognize repeat users, facilitate the user’s ongoing access to and use of the website and allow a website to track usage behavior and compile aggregate data that will allow content improvements and targeted advertising. Cookies are not programs that come onto your system and damage files. Generally, cookies work by assigning a unique number to you that has no meaning outside the assigning site. If you do not want information collected using cookies, there is a simple procedure in most browsers that allows you to deny or accept the cookie feature; however, you should note that cookies may be necessary to provide you with certain features (e.g., customized delivery of information) available on our website.

Your rights
You have the right to:

  • Rectify your Personal Information collected by us;
  • Object to the processing of Personal Information (subject to legislation);
  • Request the return or destruction of Personal Information (subject to legislation;
  • Lodge a complaint with our company.

All inquiries must be addressed to the deputy information officer:
Christine Coetzer can be contacted via email at popi@deck.co.za or via telephone at (021) 5598373

You can also complain to the Information Regulator if you are unhappy with how we have used your information.
Their contact details are as follows:

The Information Regulator (South Africa)
JD House, 27 Stiemens Street,
Braamfontein, Johannesburg 2001
Complaint’s email: complaints.IR@justice.gov.za

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

WE SELL THE KIT IN STORE FOR – R1199

The Raspberry Pi 3 is here! Hopefully some of you were still surprised by the announcement today. Over the past four years, the Raspberry Pi has sold eight million units – three million in the last year alone – and now on its fourth birthday a brand new upgraded Pi has been released. You can read absolutely everything you’d want to know about it in issue 43 of the magazine coming out on Thursday but for now we thought we’d give you the hard facts about this brand new Raspberry Pi.

And yes, it has wireless internet.

See also:

The newer Raspberry Pi 3B has been released. It has a faster 1.4GHz CPU, Gigabit Ethernet (via USB), Dual Band wireless LAN and lots of interesting hardware tweaks. You can read the Raspberry Pi 3B specs and benchmarks story here.

Click here for our latest benchmarks of all models, including the Pi Zero family and Raspberry Pi 3A+.

Raspberry Pi 3 Specifications

SoC: Broadcom BCM2837
CPU: 4× ARM Cortex-A53, 1.2GHz
GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV
RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz)
Networking: 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy
Storage: microSD
GPIO: 40-pin header, populated
Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm analogue audio-video jack, 4× USB 2.0, Ethernet, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI)

Get a a brand new Raspberry Pi Zero W, a case for it, and a selection of adapter cables with a twelve-month print subscription to The MagPi!

Wireless radio

So small, its markings can only be properly seen through a microscope or magnifying glass, the Broadcom BCM43438 chip provides 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless LAN, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Bluetooth 4.1 Classic radio support. Cleverly built directly onto the board to keep costs down, rather than the more common fully qualified module approach, its only unused feature is a disconnected FM radio receiver.

Getting Started

You’ll need (not included):

  • Micro SD card with NOOBS
  • Micro USB power supply (2.1 A)

And to use it as a desktop computer, you’ll need:

  • TV or monitor and HDMI cable
  • Keyboard and mouse

For a step-by-step guide to getting your Pi up and running, check out our online Getting started guide.

Elon Musk shows off SpaceX’s 60 internet-beaming satellites packed together for launch

On Saturday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed the 60 satellites his company will be launching this week — the first batch of thousands of satellites that SpaceX hopes to deploy in the years ahead to provide global internet coverage from space. Musk tweeted a picture of the satellites packed tight together inside the nosecone of the Falcon 9 rocket that will take the spacecraft to orbit.

The satellites are the first operational units of SpaceX’s Starlink initiative, a planned mega-constellation of nearly 12,000 spacecraft that will sit in a low orbit above Earth and beam internet connectivity to the surface below. The Federal Communications Commission has granted SpaceX permission to launch two groups of satellites for the Starlink project: one constellation of 4,409 satellites, followed by a second constellation of 7,518 that will operate at a slightly lower altitude than the first. Together, the satellites are meant to fly in a synchronized dance over the Earth, providing internet to every region of the planet.

Link to full Article

Ransomware 101: Understanding cyber security’s biggest threat

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats in today’s security landscape; it has been on the scene for more than a decade and, as it continues to prove successful for cyber criminals, more high-profile business targets fall victim on an almost daily basis.

Ransomware is always evolving. Attackers are getting more sophisticated in how they infect systems, avoid detection and foil decryption efforts. Nobody is safe, says Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET South Africa.

Do you know what ransomware is? Do you know a filecoder from a lockscreen?

How does ransomware attack?

Ransomware is one of the worst forms of malware. Once your machine is compromised, two significant things happen.

1. The malware will start to encrypt as many files as possible. In its simplest form, this will convert the files from a readable to an unreadable format.

2. Then you will be sent a notification that the encryption has happened, and you will need to pay a ransom to get your files back.

The usual process is that you are required to pay a ransom in bitcoins (digital currency) to gain a code, the you will enter the code to prove you have paid the ransom, then the software will, if you’re lucky, decrypt your files.

What happens when this attack takes place?

All or most of your files are encrypted; this essentially means they are wrapped in a protective program to stop you or anyone else accessing them. It’s like a lock box. The files are still inside, but unless you have the key to unlock them, you cannot access them at all.

Ransomware can be a truly devastating piece of malware to hit your business; it has no morals and it doesn’t care if you provide a product, service or just information. What it does is cause mayhem, worry and concern.

Usually, the only fail-proof way of getting your data back is through backup and disaster recovery, but it’s not just whether you pay up or not, it’s the inconvenience your users suffer as a result. Restoring data can take hours, if not days, depending on the systems, and the actual malware must be completely eradicated from your network or it’s just going to start all over again.

What is the best way to prepare for potential attacks like this?

Safeguard yourself from ransomware attacks by implementing a multi-layered approach when dealing with cyber security safety, starting with the right security software; this will allow you to detect and react to cyber threats fast and effectively.

Make sure that you have a good point-in-time backup at regular intervals stored offline and off-premises. That way, if you get compromised, it’s just a case of restoring from backup once you have dealt with the initial malware infection.

Here is a link to the Full Article

You could be on a Non-VAT compliant version of Pastel

This is an official notification following the Budget Speech announcement that the VAT rate will increase from 14% to 15%, effective 01 April 2018.

What does this mean for you?

You could be on a Non-VAT compliant version of Pastel. Older versions of Sage Pastel (V11 and older) are not entitled to any legislative changes or product updates and upgrades, and as a result you may become VAT non-compliant effective 01 April 2018.

We recommend upgrading to the latest version (V18) to ensure that you remain VAT compliant. Version 18 will also offer you an increased feature set and full access to support.

Upgrade to the latest version at a substantially discounted rate, use the below coupon to get 20% additional discount if you are on version 12 or higher.

Coupon code: SBP201

Take advantage of this offer before 01 April 2018 to ensure that you are VAT Compliant

Posted in TAX

Global Ransomware Attack: Outbreak disrupts IT Systems Worldwide

Global Ransomware Attack: Outbreak disrupts IT Systems Worldwide

A new wave of ransomware known as “WannaCry” has spread across the globe and infected tens of thousands of computers.  This ransomware propagates by exploiting a Microsoft Windows vulnerability in unpatched computers. According to Europol, more than 200,000 victims had been hit in more than 150 countries – the largest ransomware attack observed in history.

The malware encrypts data on a computer within seconds and then displays a message asking the user to pay a ransom of about R4,000, which is lower than other ransomware we have seen – but the true cost will be all the time, lost files, and other collateral damage caused by this attack.

The files touched by the attack are encrypted and the attacker is the only source for the key to reverse that – this can have dire consequences, especially in the healthcare sector.  Encrypted patient records, doctor’s files and other items may not be able to be usable or accessible unless there is a good backup to restore from. So far the culprits are unknown – but it is unlikely that it was one person.

Fortunately, to protect yourself against this threat, there is much that you can do, and you should probably get started sooner rather than later:

  • Install anti-malware software – this will give you a fighting chance at stopping this before you are affected
  • Update your windows machine – don’t ignore the security update they exist for a reason.   For businesses patches can be very very difficult to get deployed across the entire network – this one you will want to install. It has been available since mid-April and actually  stops the exploit from gaining a foothold in your environment.

ESET detects and blocks the WannaCryptor.D threat and its variants. With ESET’s network protection module, we are blocking the leaked version of the exploit on the network level.  We have issued an alert on our Knowledge Base site providing step-by-step instructions for our customers to ensure they are protected.

E3 Announcements

Update: EA Play is EA’s event that runs from June 10 to June 12 alongside E3 and they’ve announced what games fans can expect to be able to play this year.

Titles you’ll see at the stand include Star Wars Battlefront, Need For Speed and EA Sports games Madden NFL 18, Fifa 18 and NBA Live 18. These aren’t the only titles that will be at the show, but EA has said they’ll confirm more in the coming months. 

Tickets for the event will go on sale at 9am PST on April 20. For those who can’t make it to the event, there’ll also be streams online. 

Original article continues below…

E3 is the world’s biggest gaming show. Every June, the video game development community and press gather in Los Angeles to learn about what the next year has in store for the world of video games. This year 15,000 members of the public will be joining the party too.

It’s an exciting show. The big players in the industry, from Sony to Microsoft and Nintendo to Ubisoft, all compete to get the biggest headlines by saving their biggest announcements for the show.

In previous years we’ve seen the announcement of new consoles and new games, and with two new consoles being released this year (the Nintendo Switch and Microsoft’s Project Scorpio), we’re expecting the major publishers to have something big lined up for the show.

But what exactly is coming? Read on for our top predictions for this year’s show, and if you’re interested in reading about what went down at E3s past, check out our pages on E3 2016 and E3 2015.

Nintendo

It’s a big year for Nintendo. Last summer’s Pokemon Go reminded everyone how much affection there still is for Nintendo’s classic franchises, and consequently Pokemon Sun and Moon went on to be one of the fastest selling Pokemon games in some time.

But Nintendo wasn’t done there. Its NES Classic Mini, which bundled 30 classic NES games into a cute little chassis was one of the hottest presents of the holidays, and its Nintendo Switch reveal had us all very excited indeed for the company’s new console.

Nintendo has a lot to play for at this year’s E3. The Switch will be three months old at that point, and Nintendo will need to use its presence at the show to maintain the console’s momentum, and convince people that it has a lot of games coming for the console for the coming years.

At a minimum we expect the new Super Mario Odyssey to form a big part of Nintendo’s showing, but we’d be disappointed if we didn’t see at least one new big game announced, such as the rumored Pokemon Stars.

Every year we cross our fingers and hope that Retro Studios will be allowed to make another Metroid Prime game, or that Nintendo might see fit to resurrect F-Zero for another outing, but what’s more likely is that the company will be hoping to launch a couple of all new franchises with its new console.

We’ve already seen the company pushing its new games Arms and 1-2 Switch at the console’s hands on event, but we’re sure the company has a lot more in store for the new hardware.

If the response so far has been an indicator of anything, it’s that Nintendo could really use a game to show what the Switch is capable of, in the same way that Wii Sports perfectly showed off the capabilities of the Wii.

Sony

Sony has developed a knack for showstopping E3 presentations in recent years. Two years ago it stole the show by announcing a long-anticipated remake of Final Fantasy 7 alongside Shenmue 3, and last year it let games such as God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn speak for themselves alongside an appearance from legendary game designer Hideo Kojima.

It then went on to be a big hardware year for Sony. It launched a refresh of the PS4’s hardware with the PS4 slim, a new 4K console in the form of the PS4 Pro, and the first ever console virtual reality headset, the PlayStation VR.

We think virtual reality will be a big focus for Sony at this year’s event. Its VR headset is out in the wild now, and people need big meaty gaming experiences to convince them it’s a worthwhile investment.

Announced at last year’s presentation, Star Wars VR ended up being an amazing experience whose biggest problem was its length. We’d love to see a full-length Star Wars X-Wing game that can be played in virtual reality in its entirety announced at this year’s show.

We also saw the announcement of a new Spider-Man game developed by Ratchet and Clank studio Insomniac games last year, and with Spider-Man: Homecoming arriving on the big screen a month after E3 in July it’s highly likely that Sony will want to capitalise on the excitement with another announcement.

Otherwise we expect Sony to be pretty much business as usual at this year’s show. It’s developed a comfortable lead over Microsoft in hardware sales, and it’s unlikely to want to upset this too much.

Microsoft

Microsoft has confirmed that this year its conference will take place on Sunday June 11 at 2pm PT/ 5pm ET/ 10pm BST which is slightly earlier than its usual Monday slot.

Last year Microsoft announced not one, but two new pieces of hardware – the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio.

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The former sounded at first as though it was going to be a traditional slimline console, but Microsoft then announced it would bundle in an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and support for 4K streaming for good measure.

Project Scorpio, meanwhile, is looking like it’ll be a much more major upgrade. Microsoft is promising it will bring native 4K gaming to consoles for the first time.

With Scorpio due out at the end of this year, we expect it to form a big part of Microsoft’s presentation at this year’s show, particularly since its image was the focus of the company’s flier for the event. The company needs to show off exactly what the console will be capable of, and have a pile of games to demonstrate this.

This is a lot to try and cram into one presentation so to make things a little easier Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, hinted in a recent interview that Microsoft may host an event dedicated to detailing the hardware of Scorpio before E3 though nothing has been finalized yet.

The idea behind this, we imagine, is that it would allow Xbox to get the console’s hardware specs out in the open before using the platform of its E3 conference to properly showcase what this hardware can do with game announcements and demos.

We wouldn’t be surprised if some existing Xbox One games see Scorpio patches or re-releases for Scorpio. Flagship titles like Halo 5, Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3 are obvious contenders, but we’re crossing our fingers that Microsoft finally gets around to fixing the Master Chief Collection for a 4K re-release.

We know for definite that the console will support Middle Earth: Shadow of War so we imagine footage of that title will feature heavily.

We’re also likely to see more talk of Rare’s Sea of Thieves, but beyond that Microsoft doesn’t have many franchises that have been missing in action recently that it could do with resurrecting.

This leaves the door open for third-party publishers to make announcements at their show. Assassin’s Creed seems likely, and Call of Duty is an obvious crowd-pleaser, but we can always dream about some shock surprises from the  home of Halo.

EA, Activition, and the rest

It would be great to see a Half Life 3 reveal. At this point it’s basically not going to happen, but it’s become a tradition to half-heartedly hope for it to make an appearance at E3.

From the rest of the publishers it’s going to be a bit of a weird year with a lot of different hardware combinations to support.

Developers now have around five different pieces of hardware to worry about supporting. There’s the PS4 and PS4 Pro, the Xbox One and the upcoming Project Scorpio, not to mention the Nintendo Switch and the sea of PC gaming combinations.

There’s also the three separate VR headsets to worry about supporting.

We imagine the PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio will form the basis for most of their bigger games. These games will still come to the original PS4 and Xbox One, but we think publishers will focus on the more powerful hardware, while mentioning that games will also be available for the older hardware.

Will publishers embrace the Switch? They’ve been burned before with the Wii U, so we’d say it’s unlikely that they put all their eggs in Nintendo’s basket. Expect a couple of smaller announcements for the console however, such as ports from biggest franchises like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed.

The plans of specific publishers are a little harder to predict. Activision is unlikely to return to the show, and EA has already announced that it will be hosting its alternative EA Play event once again rather than exhibit at E3.

EA Play is EA’s event that runs from June 10 to June 12 alongside E3 and they’ve announced the games that fans can expect to be able to play this year.

Titles you’ll see at the stand include Star Wars Battlefront, Need For Speed and EA Sports games Madden NFL 18, Fifa 18 and NBA Live 18. These aren’t the only titles that will be at the show, but EA has said they’ll confirm more in the coming months.

Tickets for the event will go on sale at 9am PST on April 20. For those who can’t make it to the event, there’ll also be streams online.

Criterion, the lead developer on Battlefront’s X-wing VR mission, is also apparently working on the game’s development which suggests we could see some VR experiences.

Aside from Star Wars, BioWare’s planned new IP was discussed.  According to EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson, the new game will arrive in early 2018 and is more of an action adventure rather than an action RPG like the studio usually develops.

At the very least we’d expect to see some kind of reveal trailer for this title at EA Play.

After giving its Assassin’s Creed series a year off, 2017 might be the year Ubisoft brings it back with a fresh coat of paint and some new ideas under the hood. The games haven’t gotten bad exactly, but the formula has worn thin over the years. Hopefully the year’s break will have been enough to reignite the franchise.

Finally, Konami will be in attendance. Will it have some new Metal Gear wares to show off now that Kojima has well and truly departed? Despite our curiosity, we have to admit that we’d be ok if it just let the franchise fade into obscurity now that its project lead has left the business.

Finally, outside of the big players there’s sure to be a couple of interesting indie games on show, and these might end up making an appearance at the PC Gaming Show, a conference dedicated to showing off games for the PC gaming market.

Microsoft phone scam

If you receive a phone call from a security ‘expert’ offering to fix your PC – it’s a scam. Here’s how to avoid the ‘Microsoft phone scam’, and what to do if you fear you have fallen victim to it.

Despite having gone on for years – since 2009 in fact – the “I’m from Microsoft and you’ve got a problem with your PC” scam phone calls haven’t gone away

Microsoft phone scam: how it works

The scammer calls you, and asks for you by name. They say they are a computer security expert from Microsoft (or another legitimate tech company or a Microsoft ‘partner’). The ‘security expert’ is plausible and polite, but officious. They say that your PC or laptop has been infected with malware, and that they can help you solve the problem. What happens now depends on the particular strain of scam with which you have been targeted.

Some crooks will ask you to give them remote access to your PC or laptop, and then use that access to get hold of your personal data. Others get you to download a tool which they say is the “fix” for your problem, but is actually malware. A more straightforward scam is to simply ask for money in return for a lifetime of ‘protection’ from the malware they pretend is on your machine.

Here’s the important bit: no legitimate IT security company – certainly not Microsoft – is ever going to call you in this way. For one thing, they can’t even tell that your PC is infected. They’ve got your name from the phone book, or any one of the thousands of marketing lists on which your details probably reside. They know nothing about your home computing set up – they’re just chancres.

Basically, somebody is sitting in a room calling number after number hoping to find a victim. It’s not personal, but it is ultimately dangerous to your financial and technological health.

Microsoft phone scam: what to do if you are called

1. Put the phone down. Get rid of the caller and move on with your life. It is not a legitimate call.

2. During your conversation, don’t provide any personal information. This is a good rule for any unsolicited call. And certainly never hand over your credit card or bank details. Just don’t do it.

3. If you’ve got this far, we can only reiterate point number 1: get off the phone. But whatever you do don’t allow a stranger to guide you to a certain web page, or instruct you to change a setting on your PC or download software.

4. If possible get the caller’s details. You should certainly report any instance of this scam to Action Fraud.

5. Finally, change any passwords and usernames that could plausibly have been compromised, and run a scan with up-to-date security software. Then ensure that your firewall and antivirus are up to date and protecting your PC.

Oh, and there is a number 6: tell everyone about it. This scam preys on people’s insecurity about lack of tech knowledge. It is very easy to be a victim, and the best defense is sharing knowledge. It is much easier to put the phone down if you are forewarned.

 

Microsoft phone scam: what to do if you have been a victim

First of all don’t beat yourself up. This could happen to anyone (and does). You need to change all the personal data that you can change. As much as you might like to you can’t change your date of birth, and changing your name and address seems extreme. But you can change all your passwords and usernames, starting with your main email account and any bank- and credit card logins. Also, contact your bank to ask them to be on the lookout for anything dodgy.

Again, use up-to-date security software to scan and cleanse your PC, and if the scammer did get you to do something to your PC using System Restore to roll back the settings is always a good idea. And tell the police. If you have lost money, it’s possible your credit card company or contents insurance will cover the loss.

 

Storage prices will go up

Prices of SSDs are going up due to shortages, and that could have an impact on the price of laptops, 2-in-1 computers and storage. Dell’s XPS 13 with Intel’s Kaby Lake chips and a 512GB SSD, for example, is not available right now.  Other laptops with 512GB SSDs are priced unbelievably high. Most PC makers are offering 128GB or 256GB SSDs in PCs by default. Choose storage wisely, as it isn’t easy to screw open a superthin 2-in-1 to replace an SSD.