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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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KUX DROPS LEFATSHE LENO

Keletso Thobega

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Hip-hop artist Kux has dropped a single dubbed Lefatshe leno, out of his latest EP titled That’s Me. The song is currently on high rotation on local radio stations and notable music platforms. In an interview with Vibe this week, Kuk said that he was pleased with the positive feedback to the song.

Born Kutlwano Kabelo Mokgatla in Selebi-Phikwe, 31-year-old Moshupa native, is also a composer and writer. He started his solo career in 1999. His first solo track, I Kicks It, was recorded by Young Sluggz and produced by Motswako Makaveli. He was still schooling in Johannesburg, South Africa then, and it was during this time that he got to interact with the likes of Zeus, KB and Samba T who he says are still some of his inspirations in the local music industry.

He recorded his second song Huskey with Loso and Lunatic in 2010. Lif Aman, produced by Skywalker Productions, recorded the song at Bazamele Records. In 2012 he put together a mix tape and worked with QBio and Uzzi among others. Last year he linked with GreedySkillz, which resulted in the introduction of long-time producer Lil Boi and signed onto his label Fiendz Music Records. “That is when we decided to fuse and create a dynamic apply named Motswako Palamente,” he recalls. Their track Shots played on Yarona FM for the first time in 2013. In 2014 he worked on a new EP titled L.I.F.E.S.T.Y.L.E ya mrepa.

The first single, Campus, featuring Saxxx, was released online and was downloaded more than a thousand times, and also featured on Yarona FM Hip hop show Headspace. In 2015 he recorded his second single Cough It Up featuring Jinx and Swazi Block. In 2016 he linked with Lanie and recorded and released a cover song titled R.I.C.O. originally done by Drake and Meek Mill, which raised heads for both of them. He later dropped his second mixtape, Phapha, which dropped later that same year. To wrap things up, he dropped BluChampagne. In 2017 he featured on Free, another single off Jinx mixtape. In 2018 he shot the video for BluChampagne and recorded a follow-up single titled CBD later the same year.

He says that he is working on more music individually and also wants to collaborate with local artists such as Apollo and Loosecat among others. He said he chose artists who he admires and has a strong following as this would also give him the vantage to extend into their markets. Kux also said that he is working towards a full studio album. He said he has international appeal and wants to create a brand that will be competitive globally.

“I dream of more than local awards…I aspire to clinch MTV and Grammy awards.” Earlier this year Kux was signed to Exclusive Media, which handles publishing, recording, vocal mixing mastering, recording, brand development, show outsourcing and general management. His management team explained that they are working hard to create a brand out of Kux and subsequently attract endorsements for him.

They said they had collaborated with several youth owned companies to help them build capacity and create seamless solid brands. “Through Exclusive Media, we have also created platforms for young artists, particularly those who are upcoming, to not only show them the ropes but also help them elevate their careers.”

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MARUATONA PUBLISHES ABSTRAXTION BOOK

Keletso Thobega

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Oarabile Omaru Maruatona has published a book titled Abstraxtion, a collection of literary summaries. He recently explained to Vibe that an abstract in a literary sense is a summary of a larger text.

“The pieces I wrote are abstracts in both a literary and artistic sense. In this book, I take the reader through the exhibition of my abstracts, hence Abstraxion. This is a word I came up with, and it is as daring as the book itself is,” he said. He further said his context at the time he started writing is what got him to write in the first place. “In 2010, I decided to leave the best job I could ever have in Botswana, as a graduate with Debswana to return to Australia.

I had previously studied my bachelors’ degree in Australia on a Debswana scholarship. I probably had the best job any graduate could have at the time, and I spent it moving from one section of the mine to another until I had covered the entire mining value chain. As you can imagine, it was an amazing opportunity and I was getting paid for it. So to walk away from a gig like that, I had to think deeper about the new Australian opportunity, an industry PhD.

“This is a PhD that one does in collaboration with an industry entity who have a direct interest in the research or the research outcome. My PhD was in collaboration with one of the biggest banks in Australia and involved researching and developing Artificial Intelligence algorithms to be used in the bank’s Internet banking systems for security. So all this overwhelmed me and I felt like I was going insane at some point. I needed an occasional outlet. To reaffirm my sanity, I started writing short pieces, mostly reflecting on my experiences and learnings.

I have always been a keen reader and a conscious consumer of music so as I started to write, my musical, literary and other artistic tastes came together and the product was the unique style of writing and content found in Abstraxion.”  Maruatona further noted that he first wrote the book for his sanity and intellectual freedom, and mostly because he loved it. “Over time, I realized my topics were always political, Africanist, philosophical and somewhat activist.

I resolved that if these pieces had to form a book, it had to inform and inspire the reader. I also knew that the book had to be on-point content-wise, style-wise and timewise. I wrote every piece when I had at least an hour to write, most pieces were written in between times, which is why the whole book took the duration of my PhD.

The book includes 45 pieces and I cover a range of topics including the state of Africa, the global economic system, climate change, personal introspection, old African legends and a few homages including one to women, one to my unborn child and another to the people who have enriched my life one way and another.” Maruatona noted that this book is for knowledgists: those who love and seek knowledge. “The book came from deep intellect but the philosophical notions shouldn’t scare the everyday reader. It is a book to be read, shared and discussed.”

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