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Issue 11 •  February 2017

Dear Liz,
 
We hope that 2017 is a great year for you. Our big news is that KRS turns 30 at the end of March! Not many IT companies in South Africa that can claim that! Thank you to everyone who has been part of this amazing 30-year journey.
 
We’re committed to bringing you more newsletters and updates this year. Keep an eye on our new TLDR (too long didn’t read) summary service for all matters mobile, by following us on Linked In or Facebook.
 
Please let us know if you like our articles, or if you don’t! The newsletter is our way of keeping in touch, and we’d love to hear back from you.
 
“When you have mastered numbers, you will in fact no longer be reading numbers, any more than you read words when reading books. You will be reading meanings.” 
W.EB Du Bois.



Lor


30 years is a long time in the Tech Industry! It’s the entire period of personal computing, from early IBM PCs to powerful mobile devices.

End of March this year, Khanyisa Real Systems will be throwing a party to celebrate 30 years as a software house. It’s a unique opportunity for a reunion of past and present staff to celebrate our 30 year journey, and the very unique KRS culture that’s held us together for so long.

Read more

This year’s KRS Internship was hotly contested with a number of applications coming in from all across the country. The final nine who joined us in January, have got off to a roaring start, not least of all because many of them… already know each other…

Unbeknownst to each other, former school chums Nadav, Anton and Sean all applied and were accepted for the internship, while Themba from Pretoria arrived in Cape Town to discover he’d been at school with existing staff member Arnold. Other participants hail from Bloemfontein, East London and Cape Town, but no matter where they come from, all will leave with a deeper, practical understanding of their chosen career.

Here’s a snapshot of what the ‘canny-nine’ are covering:
  • Scrum Training - overview of the process and practical implementation for three sprints
  • TDD - Test Driven Development with a focus on Test First principles
  • DDD - Domain Driven Design - a focus on understanding Entities, Value Objects and Aggregates
  • An introduction to SQL with stored procedures including joining tables and normalization
  • Connection from C# to SQL using an Object Relational Mapper called Dapper.
  • OWIN Self Hosted Web API 2 - the backend web API
The front-end is a Single Page Application, which is responsive and has the following frameworks: Bootstrap, Knockout, jQuery written in TypeScript.

Completing the family picture at KRS is a furry quadruped adopted in January. ‘Pixel’, as she is now called, is approximately one year old and joins us to take care of the KRS property.

Did you know?

A cat’s purr can heal humans - Scientists are still mystified by a cat’s purr. But what we do know that they purr during both inhales and exhales by “intermittent contracting of their laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles.” The purr typically ranges from 25 to 150 Hertz and this can actually help in their healing process and ours. Because many cats don’t spend all day constantly moving, the vibrations from purring can help make their bones denser.

Routine is everything - Disrupting their routines can make them act sick.

Cats love computers - Your cat loves to sit on your computer, probably because it is warm. But computers apparently love cats too: Google’s artificial “Brain,” a computer that contains 16,000 processors also apparently likes watching cat videos on the Internet.

Get the water level right – Pressure on their whiskers while they eat or drink, can cause ‘whisker stress’. Usually the water in their bowl is too low, which is why they sometimes prefer to lick the water from their paws. It could also be that they simply like watching the patterns in the moving water too.

The origin of ‘tabby’ - Researchers believe the word “tabby” comes from Attabiyah, a neighbourhood in Baghdad, Iraq. Tabbies got their name because their striped coats look like the famous wavy patterns in the silk produced in this city.

Meows are not innate cat language — they developed them to communicate with humans.

Listening in - Cats can rotate their ears 180 degrees. Ganging up - A group of cats is called a “clowder”.

Copy Cat - The first commercially cloned pet was a cat named "Little Nicky." He cost his owner $50,000, making him one of the most expensive cats ever

Sleep tight - On average, cats spend 2/3 of every day sleeping. That means a nine-year-old cat has been awake for only three years of its life.

Isaac Newton invented the cat flap - Newton was experimenting in a pitch-black room. Spithead, one of his cats, kept opening the door and wrecking his experiment. The cat flap kept both Newton and Spithead happy.

Leading on from our article in the December issue of Leadership magazine, which explored cloud, the IoT and Big Data, we look at some other key trends that are predicted to dominate our industry this year:
 
Data is still human - Data will continue to be a dominant force in enterprises throughout 2017 and beyond.  But the key to business growth and sustainability is going to be effective information management.  That’s where KRS comes in.  As a pioneer in enterprise IT infrastructure development in South Africa, we recognize the importance of data as an asset – not just the nuts and bolts of the systems, but the content itself.  Building a cohesive bridge between business improvement desires from the executive and IT infrastructure requirements to capturing and analysing data, will lead to better planning for a host of applications such as marketing to health management and everything in between.

Smart Apps – software that can think for itself and for you, have been around for a while, but will grow in prominence and dominance in the year ahead.  This is also true of the convergence of cloud-based mobile apps that allow users to synch their business and personal lives between wearables, smartphones, smart offices, smart homes, IoT and of course smart transportation.  Apps are going to be HUGE as businesses develop both android and iOS apps linked to tablets and mobile for their employees – to facilitate the emergence of working anywhere at anytime economy.

Personalisation – on the app front, location based marketing is going to infiltrate big brands and everyday business alike.  Right here, right now for instant gratification.
 
Vocal – voice over data gets an update from voice search to voice notes (even radio stations are cashing in on the trend).  Get heard.

One of the world’s largest gadgets shows take place in Las Vegas each year. 2017, marked the 50th hosting of CES (Consumer Electronics show), and whilst many of the big brands like Google and Apple prefer to host their own events, there was still plenty of exciting new technological breakthroughs.

Screen time - one of the biggest themes in 2017, revolved around the good old television. Micro-thin sets competed with gigantic TVs, along with convertible computers and their ultra slim casing. In addition to size, it was also about the number, with an array of multi-screened options such as Razer’s Project Valerie concept that has two foldout screens to support the primary central screen.

A notable exception to the rule is the ‘Alo’ concept smartphone designed by French duo Philippe Starck and Jerome Olivet that does away with the screen. The device uses a vocalised interface that can be spoken to and that will read pertinent content to users.

The 'Alo' can be spoken to in order to draft emails and texts, and also offers a 3D hologram projector that can be used for multimedia purposes or to visually see a message that has come through.

Concept Cars - Artificial Intelligence (AI) autonomous driving car from Toyota was a real showstopper. By chatting with the on board driving assistant, ‘Yui’ Toyota believes the car will be able to learn more about the driver and their destination preferences, even suggesting alternatives.

Drones – not as prominent as in previous years, an aquatic offering from Powervision, the PowerDrone, operates in both fresh and salt water using a 4k camera that can shoot 12-megapxel stills.

Voice activation – There were plenty of smart speaker options on offer, activated by voice, with Amazon Echo and Mattel’s Aristotel coming out tops.

Smart homes – intelligent kitchen appliances and household safety tech abounded. From wireless connected blenders, intelligent toasters controlled by smartphones and refrigerators that can tell expiry dates, to indoor hydroponic appliances to help you grow your own food.
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