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2016 habits to lose and innovations to expect

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It’s a brand new year, so why not start it off right by ditching the shackles of old habits and trying some new things to make your tech life easier? We know that old habits die hard and that’s why we’ve also narrowed down these habits to show you how to handle these common practices

Using the same passwords for multiple sites
Using the same password on multiple sites is trouble because if any one of those sites is hacked, that information could be used against you in many different places. Yes, it’s inconvenient to have multiple passwords if you are relying only on your memory. That’s why it’s a good idea to give a password manager like LastPass a chance.

If you’ve never tried a password manager, it can store your usernames and passwords for you it can generate new passwords for you, and is accessible online. There’s even a tutorial on http://www.cnet.com/news/how-to-protect-your-passwords-with-lastpass/ – how to use the app if you’re up for a change.

Not backing up your photos
Imagine the panic of almost losing hundreds of photos of your newborn or your wedding because you didn’t regularly sync your phone to your PC. Nowadays, that is a simple problem to overcome. If your phone is your primary camera (like it is for many), do yourself a favour and download an app that will automatically backup your photos and videos to the cloud.

There are plenty of options out there.
If you like Google, you can use either “https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google+/id447119634?mt=8” \t “blank”_Google+_ on iOS or the Photos app on Android to set up auto backup. “http://dropbox.com/” \t “_blank”_Dropbox_ also offers the same functionality if you turn on the camera upload option. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you get unlimited storage of your photos as well with the “https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/home/” \t “_blank”_Amazon Cloud Drive_ app.

Not minding your Facebook settings
It’s easy to visit Facebook, see what your friends are up to, and post your own status updates. However, when was the last time you took a look to see what content you were posting and who could see it? Diving into those Facebook settings can seem like a nightmare, but its quiet important to know “http://www.cnet.com/news/secure-your-facebook-account-in-six-easy-steps/”_how to secure your Facebook account_.

Running Flash all the time on your laptop
We are all fans of running online videos on our computers, but sometimes Flash can cause your computers fans to spin up to try to cool down your PC. You should give up having Flash running all the time. If you’re on Google Chrome, try out “https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/flashcontrol/mfidmkgnfgnkihnjeklbekckimkipmoe” \t “_blank”_FlashControl_.

If you’re on Firefox, try out “https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flashblock/” \t “_blank”_FlashBlock_. By default, these plugins will not load Flash content on a page unless you put a site on a whitelist or if you click the Flash item to load it. You’d be surprised how much battery life you can save if you turn off Flash on a number of sites. Be warned that the web might look very different to you at first, but it’s definitely worth it.

If you want to squeeze more battery life out of your laptop or phones, check out our guide on “http://www.cnet.com/how-to/battery-life-how-to/”_battery life and how to preserve it_.

Bonus for Android users: Accepting your phone’s default interface.
If you’re like the majority of people who use Android smartphones, you may just enjoy all the great apps on your phone. But, did you know that you can change the entire way your phone presents your apps and widgets? Manufacturers like Samsung, HTC and LG all put their spin on Android with their own customizations.

However, you can modify your phone by trying any number of launchers. If you’ve never heard of a launcher, there’s “http://www.cnet.com/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-android-launchers/”_everything you need to know about Android launchers_ online. Installing one is as easy as installing any other app and you can always go back to your phone’s default if you so choose.

2016 promises some amazing new releases, with Samsung already rumored to be cooking something in the form of a Galaxy S7. The rise of Virtual Reality in gaming will also dominate the headlines this year.

Have you heard of a 3D Printer? Of course you have. If you haven’t, this printer allows you to print 3D objects directly from a digital file! This means you can print 3D models immediately with no need to wait for your 3D prototypes or concept models to be delivered.

I have no reservations about 2016 and the jaw-dropping news and releases that will probably come out of Silicon Valley.

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Making outstanding art through waste material

Keletso Thobega

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Following one’s vocational calling can be a tall order in a world that still believes that white-collar work is the only way to make a living. No one knows this better than 28-year-old Khumoyame

Addam Ndove, who is a police officer by profession and an artist by vocation. While he is committed to his work as a law enforcer he dedicates most of his free time to making art. Ndove runs a company called Craft-eyed Designs which specialises in upholstery designing, artistic furniture and décor ornaments, mostly made out of waste materials such as empty oil drums, tyres and pallets, among others. The Francistown born and raised lad tells Vibe that his artistic journey started with a passion he had for art and using recycled material to create distinct new pieces.

One day he got an idea to try out a few art works and he went out to collect raw material and got down to work. “I knew I was talented in hand craft but had never explored my potential. I was impressed with what I managed to do. My work was interesting and outstanding. I also received positive feedback from the public and realised that this was something I could do out of passion and to complement my earnings,” he says.

Ndove explains that Art is a way of expressing himself. “I enjoy art because that is how I communicate and share what is in my mind.” He points out that he is also a businessman so selling his craft was not too difficult as he has the acumen. He however notes that the biggest challenge he faces is that a large number of Batswana do not appreciate art and therefore do not recognise the value of his work. Other challenges he faces include lack of operational space and shortage of capital.

He says that shortage of raw materials limits him from unleashing his full creative potential. Ndove currently runs his company alone and juggles it with his day job. He hopes to one day get an investor to bolster his business so that he can employ other people and grow the enterprise. “I would like to get a spacious workshop and showroom, and also hire relevant employees.” But doing what he loves makes him content. “Bringing an idea to life makes me fulfilled. I always feel great when I see my finished products.”

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BOMU awards go on…

Keletso Thobega

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The 10th annual Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) awards will be held on 26 January 2019 at GICC. Revellers should expect performances from Lister Boleseng, Nono Siile, Perion, Slizer, Matheke Letane and Kwaito Nation among others. Tickets are said to be already on sale through Webtickets.

The awards will also be broadcasts.
Over the past few weeks there has been confusion over whether the awards will go and this week Phemelo ‘Fresh Les’ Lesokwane officially confirmed that it is all systems go. Artists caused a stir this week on social media when they indicated that was confusion and miscommunication around the awards. But Lesokwane insists that there is nothing confusing going on as the interim committee had been planning the awards for a while now, and had even roped in sponsors.

He said that the awards had been organised since last week but they had to change the date due to a few glitches. Lesokwane says that they had opted for the people’s choice approach to awards. “We have given the public the power to decide who they want to vote for under the different categories. What happens is that when you vote you sms the category and name of the artist to 16565. We are then going to tally the votes when voting lines close on 23 January 2019.

We will then cut down the number of entries based on the number of votes. This will make the process easier for our judges, who will listen to the artists’ CDs and give them points.” He further said that having a high number of votes would not automatically mean that an artist makes it. “One might have many votes but with low quality music and we consider that. We are looking at quality
Lesokwane said that when former chairperson Pagson Ntsie was outsed, the awards were still open. “Registration is still on at BOMU office in Kgolagano at Main mall. Those who had registered can check their documentation.”

Last year BOMU was wrecked by infightings following a ruling that Pagson Ntsie is not the legitimate chairperson of the music body. The ruling was passed in August by the Registrar of Societies. The ruling came following investigations regarding adherence to the BOMU Constitution and corruption claims. Accusations of financial mismanagement and poor leadership also cropped up.

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