South Africa relaxes exchange controls

first_img28 October 2009 South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has announced the further relaxation of exchange controls in a bid to reduce the cost of doing business in the country and attract more foreign investment. Presenting his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday, Gordhan said the foreign capital allowance for residents, which was last adjusted in 2006, would be increased from R2-million to R4-million, while the single discretionary allowance would be increased from R500 000 to R750 000. To improve access to domestic credit in the financing of local foreign direct investment, restrictions on the granting of local financial assistance to affected persons have been further liberalised, with the doing away of the 3:1 ratio. Among a number of proposed reforms to cut red tape relating to business transactions, is a plan to allow South African companies to invest in Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states through offshore intermediaries. Other proposals, which the South African Reserve Bank will soon provide more details on, include increasing the current R50-million limit for company applications to undertake outward investment, to R500-million. The Reserve Bank will also consider removing the 180-day rule requiring companies to convert their foreign exchange into rands. However, South African companies will still be required to repatriate export proceeds to South Africa. There is also a proposal to do away with the R250 000 limit on advance payments for imports, and another to allow South African companies to open foreign bank accounts for permissible purposes without prior approval, subject to reporting obligations. Also being considered is a plan to replace the current paper-based monitoring system for exports – through Form F178 – with a more efficient electronic system. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Top 10 Digital Lifestyle Products of 2008

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#2008 in Review#Digital Lifestyle#web#Year in Review Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Editor’s Note: This list was contributed by Steve O’Hear, editor of last100, a former RWW network blog.There was lots of activity in the digital lifestyle space in 2008, with new devices, services, and platforms being launched and some of our favorites from last year getting significant updates. One notable trend throughout the year was the way these products and services began to converge; not in the sense that they were becoming all-in-one devices, although some of that was happening, but rather by hardware, services, and content playing together nicely, often through open standards and platforms, with the Internet acting as a conduit. On that note, here are our picks of the 10 best digital lifestyle products of 2008.This is the eighth in our series of top products of 2008:Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2008Top 10 International Products of 2008Top 10 Consumer Web Apps of 2008Top 10 RSS and Syndication Products of 2008Top 10 Mobile Web Products of 2008Top 10 Enterprise Web Products of 2008Top 10 Real World Web Apps of 20081. The App Store The real upgrade to the iPhone this year wasn’t the iPhone 3G but the accompanying App Store. Launched just five months ago, the store now offers over 10,000 third-party apps, and Apple has seen over 300 million downloads. Part of that success can be attributed to the way in which the iPhone as a platform has galvanized developers; a second major factor is the simplicity of the App Store itself. As a result, lots of our other favorite digital lifestyle-related products and services wound up on the iPhone and iPod Touch, such as Pandora and Last.fm (digital music), Joost (Internet TV), Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter (social web), as well as location-based services, games, remotes (VLC Player and Sonos), and much, much more.See also: The real surprise of the App Store isn’t number of downloads or revenue2. Netflix When Netflix starting talking up plans to deliver its online streaming service, Watch Instantly, to “Internet-connected high-definition DVD players, Internet-connected game consoles, and dedicated Internet set-top boxes,” we were a little skeptical, especially of the time frame. However, the company really delivered in 2008: Netflix streaming is now available on TiVo, the XBox 360, Internet-connected DVD players from LG and Samsung, along with the Roku Netflix Player set-top box.3. AndroidOur initial review of the first Google phone, T-Mobile’s G1, was mixed, but the Android OS had us pretty excited. “Without a doubt, the Android operating system is spectacular,” last100’s Daniel Langendorf wrote at the time. “It’s fast, with little or no lag time. It’s responsive, fun to use, and full of promise.” A few months on and we’re still impressed. In particular, Android’s mobile web browser is the best post-iPhone one yet. And likewise, the Android Market does a great job of copying the iPhone’s App Store. Of course, the best thing about Android is that it’s open source; as a result, we’ll see it powering numerous new smartphones next year, along with other hardware, such as set-top boxes, MIDs, and GPS devices.4. Nokia E71 In our extensive review, we described Nokia’s E71 as our favorite smartphone yet. So, admittedly, this one is a very personal choice. The E71 is roughly the same size as the iPhone but has a completely different form-factor, omitting touch for a more traditional user interface and with enough room to pack in a compact but very usable QWERTY keyboard. Other pluses are the device’s overall responsiveness, bundled applications, and a number of welcome improvements to the S60 line’s user interface, along with decent web browsing and media playback, superb call quality, and extremely good battery life.5. Hulu Although online video site Hulu was available in private beta in 2007, it didn’t launch publicly until March of this year. Our initial verdict was mixed, but since then the Fox and NBC joint venture has become the third biggest video destination in the U.S., according to Nielsen. Perhaps a testament to that success, a number of device makers have released set-top boxes marketed on their ability to put Hulu content on the TV, such as ZeeVee’s recently announced PC-to-TV solution, the ZvBox, and the Neuros LINK. Now, if only Hulu would release an iPhone app or, like Netflix, form official partnerships with consumer electronics companies.6. BBC iPlayer Hulu could certainly learn a thing or two from the iPlayer, the BBC’s TV catch-up service (UK only). Since its controversial Windows launch, when the public broadcaster was accused of getting too close to Microsoft, the iPlayer has added streaming for the Mac and Linux, a version for the iPhone and iPod Touch, numerous other portable media players, and support for the latest phones running Windows Mobile. There’s also an iPlayer application for select Nokia phones and a browser-based version optimized for the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.7. PlayStation 3 Sony’s PlayStation 3 wasn’t launched in 2008, but it certainly came of age this year. The company has always pitched the PS3 as a device that goes far beyond gaming. Instead, like Microsoft’s XBox 360, it’s designed to be a trojan horse in the living room, delivering a range of non-gaming content and services through the television. On that front, Sony made significant progress in 2008 by winning the next-generation format war with Blu-ray, adding DVR functionality in the UK with PlayTV, launching a video download store in the U.S., adding support for DivX video, and, finally, rolling out its own virtual world called Home.8. Songbird After being in development for two years, the open-source desktop music player Songbird reached its 1.0 release this month. What sets Songbird apart from the likes of iTunes is the array of available plug-ins that extend the app’s functionality. For example, mashTape, one of six default add-ons, let’s you delve into artist info, discography, links, and news and scroll through Flickr photos and YouTube videos. Other add-on services that ship with the player out of the box are Last.fm, Concerts, and SHOUTcast radio. With these installed, you can sync your tracks to Last.fm’s online service, check out upcoming concerts in the area, and stream music over the Internet using the player. As of publication, there are over 70 plug-ins available for Songbird.See also: ReadWriteWeb’s full Songbird review.9. Wii Fit Nintendo has long contended that “everyone’s a gamer,” and now the console giant wants everyone to get fit. Announced last year but released in 2008, the Wii Fit aims to improve the health of family members through the kind of active play first seen in Wii Sports. The “game” comes with a balance board that assists with aerobic, toning, and balancing activities. A neat feature is that household members can review each other’s progress on a new Wii channel.10. The Netbook This isn’t an individual product but a whole new product category that has really taken off in 2008. Initially targeted to the education market and those wanting a third machine, netbooks are resonating with a much broader market — and not just because of their lower price point compared to more traditional, higher spec’ed sub-notebooks. Despite years of industry propaganda, consumers are wising up to the fact that they don’t have to step on the processor upgrade treadmill. Instead, in an age when more and more of our applications and data reside in the cloud (on remote servers, rather than local computers), a machine with Internet connectivity and powerful enough to run a modern web browser (a netbook, in other words) is often all we need. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting steve ohear last100 editor 1 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Tips to keep your hunger pangs in check

first_imgMaintain a routine when it comes to your diet and get proper sleep to keep hunger pangs at bay, say experts.A balanced diet, when realised to its full potential, can do wonders for the body. Some of his tips to curb your hunger pangs are:Have a balanced meal with the right amount of fibre and protein. There are two significant nutrients that help you fill up. Lean protein, vegetables, fruits and whole grains with their low-calorie content help reap antioxidants and amino acids, while slowing down digestion. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfConsume a meal with low-glycemic (low GI) value. Food with low GI value is digested and absorbed slowly thus preventing blood glucose levels from spiking up.Always aim for a complete meal and ensure that your intake comprises the required amounts of vitamins and minerals. Lay more emphasis on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, low-fat protein and dairy products.Go for a nutritionally dense meal, replete with all essential nutrients. Ensure you are consuming at least 400 calories to sustain yourself for three-four hours. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMaintain a routine. Eat at the same time everyday. This helps the body to get accustomed to a fixed schedule and work well in tandem.Sleep for an extra hour if you have to. Tired people tend to eat more food and are prone to binging throughout the day.Prefer eating eggs in any form as they tend to make you feel fuller. Sometimes people mistake thirst for hunger and end up eating something. So that needs to be analysed.Add two to three times of tea in your diet and that is sure to keep your hunger at bay.last_img read more

How to Build an iPhone App Without Hiring a Developer

first_img 6 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. November 17, 2010 You want your business to get in on the hot iPhone app trend.Problem: You can’t shell out thousands of dollars for a developer, and you don’t want to learn Cocoa, the iPhone’s programming system.Solution: Have an online service build one for you!There are now some great tools available to help you build and publish a competitive app, with no programming knowledge required — and at a fraction of the cost of hiring a developer.From coding to submitting to updating, these services do the technical work for you — all you need is a creative vision.Many of these services do the same thing: they take your online content and integrate it into an app. The packaging and style all vary, so visit their sites to find which one suits your tastes and budget.AppMakrAppMakr is a good option for a Web site or blog looking to create a basic app, according to Guy Kawasaki. This website takes your online feeds and turns them into an app for you.All you need to provide is your chosen feed (blog, RSS, Twitter stream, etc.), a few graphics, and some design choices, and they take control of the developing and submission process from there. You can even make the decision to “monetize” your app by selecting advertisers or choosing to charge for the download.Cost: $199 for AppMakr to publish your app, $499 for you to publish it under your own brand. Phone-based support is also available during the creation phase of your app development, at $120 an hour.SwebappsCreate an app in seven steps with Swebapps. What could be easier than “drag and drop”?From their website:Step 1. Select 4, 6, or 8 buttonsStep 2. Drag and Drop buttons on to phone.Step 3. Customize button images if needed.Step 4. Click on button and enter content.Step 5. Submit for development.Step 6. Create account.Step 7. Finalize.Swebapps also provides tools to track your analytics and update your app after its been published to the App Store.Cost: Creating an app through Swebapps costs a one-time fee of $50 per button (minimum $200), and a $25/month hosting fee.My App BuilderMy App Builder is a tool that takes your content and turns it into an app for you for a low monthly hosting fee. Bonus: that monthly membership cost gives you the freedom to create as many apps as you want, with only a small publishing fee each time.Whether you want to use your blog posts, RSS feed, videos, or Twitter stream, My App Builder will turn your information into an app. All you have to provide are your images, content, and a vision of how you want it to flow.Cost: $29 per month, and $20 per app submission.iSitesiSites, which just launched, is another app builder that integrates your social feeds seamlessly into an app. And, according to their website, you can do it in 10 minutes.Provide your chosen feeds, customize your app with some design choices, and iSites does the rest for you. They promise to “take care of the app store submission in less than 24 hours.”In addition, iSites offers the ability to easily make changes to your app and see the results in real-time, and the apps work on both the iPhone and Android platforms.Cost: $25 per app; $99 (per year) if you choose to monetize by integrating with AdMob.TapLynxTapLynx is another aggregator for your online feeds. The platform used by such online news sources as All Things D and Variety, TapLynx is elegantly designed and offers more versatility than other simple aggregators, and it comes with the ability to embed video.According to MacWorld, “if your goal is to create a content-centric app with text, photos, and videos, the framework might just provide a smart shortcut. And since TapLynx supports sponsorship, display ads, and video pre-roll ads, monetizing your app should be pretty doable, too.”Cost: $599 for the ‘Enterprise Package’ — with 16 customizable tabs, search features, video, etc.AppBreederAppBreeder offers you a little more complexity than other app builders, as well as an app that can be used on the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android platforms.If you just want something basic, you can pick from 11 App Kits, ranging from templates like “Business” to “Restaurant” to “Tour.” AppBreeder personalizes and builds it for your purposes, then publishes it to the App Store for $99.99, if you allow ads.Creating a custom app or adding a customized gadget ups the price significantly, but it is still likely to be cheaper than hiring a developer, and you get a better app.Cost: Nothing to build, $99.99 to publish a basic app, and starting at $1,499 for a custom app with gadgets.GameSaladIf you think an iPhone game would be a good option for your business, GameSalad is a great platform to easily develop your very own game, with no coding required.According to their website, “GameSalad is the world’s most advanced tool for non-programmers… Build games visually using a drag-and-drop interface along with a robust behavior system.”Cost: For $99 per year, you get unlimited access to their game creation tool and publishing options.AppIncubatorAppIncubator is slightly different from standard app builders: It’s a mobile app that allows you to submit ideas for apps.You download the app, then submit your idea. If you want to get more detailed, you can use the storyboard tool on the website to describe exactly how you want the app to look and function.If the people at MEDL Mobile like your idea, they’ll develop and market it, and share a portion of the profits with you.Granted, this isn’t a great way to create your business’s main app — but if you have a unique idea for an app and want to see it come to fruition with little effort on your part, this is the way to go.Cost: Free, with potential profit.For those who are familiar with FlashFor those who are familiar with coding in Adobe ActionScript 3: You can now develop an iPhone app.In October, Adobe announced that its to-be-released Flash Professional CS5 will come with an iPhone app packager, which will let users publish projects to run as native apps on the iPhone, according to Adobe’s Developer website.This will be ideal for people who are not familiar with the Mac Cocoa development platform but have Flash-development experience.Cost: TBD Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Brought to you by Business Insider Register Now »last_img read more

Amazons Warehouse Robots Wont Replace Humans for at Least a Decade

first_img Are you worried your job is going to be taken by a robot? You needn’t be if you work for Amazon, which has dismissed the idea of fully-automated warehouses becoming a reality any time soon. According to Amazon’s director of robotics fulfilment, Scott Anderson, such technology in its current form is “very limited.”In a tour of Amazon’s Balitmore warehouse for reporters on Tuesday, Anderson said that while the company is exploring a variety of automation technologies, there’s a misperception that the company will be replacing human workers with robots in the near future. However, it is on the agenda, with Anderson giving a timeline of “at least 10 years” before warehouses become fully automated — a measured approach at odds with the likes of Tesla, which recently scaled back its automation citing “overconfidence” in the technology, and noting that production benefits from having more humans at hand.At present, the Amazon warehouses that use robots are mostly concerned with general merchandise such as homewares and bikes, but their functions are limited. Robots are unable to pick items from bins without damaging other items, or pick multiple items, in a way that makes them any more efficient than human workers.Plus, there’s no scope yet for robot workers in Amazon’s food division. As global director of environment, health and safety Derek Jones explained, “Just imagine if you want bananas, I want my bananas to be firm, others like their bananas to be ripe. How do you get a robot to choose that?”However, Amazon has repeatedly come under fire for poor working conditions and demanding targets. Last month the company announced plans to deliver Prime packages in one day instead of two, and currently stipulates a target of four hours between an order being placed and it leaving the warehouse. Once the technology exists to effectively automate these processes, there’s no doubt that Amazon will be using it. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. This story originally appeared on Engadget 2 min read May 2, 2019last_img read more