SAFE AND SOUND?: At the Internews station, Power Reporting delegates got the chance to have their software and anti-virus checked for safety. Photo: Lameez Omarjee
Hackers pose the threat of defacing media organisations or putting news sources at risk. Besides surveillance by mobile companies and internet service providers, digital safety is most threatened by using pirated software, followed by spam.
Pirated software creates “weaknesses or vulnerabilities” and create an “open window” for hackers, said Dylan Jones from international non-profit organisation Internews. Surveillance technology poses a greater threat to journalists than regular citizens because journalists collect and work with information.
“Surveillance technology can track your physical location, the calls you make and messages you send and to whom.”
Pirated software is most well-known as programmes for which the users download and do not pay for. However, some journalists may be using pirated software without even realising it if their devices are set up by others. This puts them, their sources and their work at risk.
Surveillance technology can track your physical location, the calls you make and messages you send and to whom. It can cause financial loss and theft to individuals, companies and government and journalists can lose years of work, said Jones.
Zimbabwean journalist Winstone Antonio said he was aware of telephone hacking, but he was not sure about the extent to which it happened, or how he could become a victim or the measures to protect himself.Antonio says as a journalist he is most concerned about “protecting his sources.”
Antonio said he knows using pirated software poses a threat to his work and tries to get a specialist to check his devices regularly. For journalists and delegates at the Power Reporting Conference, Internews set up a work station to check if their mobile devices and laptops have genuine software. The station offers the free service of updating software with genuine programmes. Additionally the anti-virus software is checked.
“You can’t trust a pirated anti-virus to protect against malware,” said Jones.
Previously Antonio relied on using strong passwords to protect the different accounts on his devices. Since attending the session on how to be digitally secure, he learnt that “encryption of data” could be useful in helping him protect his sources. This works by encoding the data before it is sent to a cloud archive like Google Drive.
“You need to have a secure foundation before you do anything else,”said Jones. Encrypting data on devices is among the most important protection measures.
Apple products and Android devices come with encryption settings to protect data. However, a lot of countries have laws against using encryption, said Jones.
Jones also suggests practical ways to keep your digital accounts and movements secure. These include using “real” software and anti-virus applications, updated programmes and two-step verification to protect accounts.
Unnecessary information or messages, photos and videos should be cleared from your device. Using a password is more effective than a four-digit pin or a swipe-pattern and fingerprint technology.
Although, these solutions are not perfect, they are better than not having any safety measures at all.
PRESS POWER: Human rights ‘defender’ and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais received a standing ovation for his address at Power Reporting’s third Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture. Photo: Zelmarie Goosen
Standing in solidarity with imprisoned Ethiopian journalists, Rafael Marques de Morais received a standing ovation from fellow journalists and other guests, at the Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture held this evening at Wits University.
Human rights activist and journalist, de Morais delivered the address for Power Reporting’s third Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture. He stressed the importance of investigative journalism in advancing democracy and defending the freedom of expression in the face of opposition and fear incited by government authorities.
Driven by “national and civic conscience”, de Morais says he is proud of his work in defending the rights of fellow Angolan citizens through the exposure of conflict diamonds and corruption. “Journalists should defend constitutional rights”, he said to a packed auditorium.
SOLIDARITY BROTHERS: Human rights ‘defender’ and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais received a standing ovation for his moving address at Power Reporting’s third Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture. Photo: Zelmarie Goosen
De Morais criticized the Ethiopian government as an enemy to journalism for arresting and imprisoning journalists. “Journalists and human rights campaigners must be embarrassed for doing little to support our peers in Ethiopia.”
He also called for a campaign to move the African Union, currently based in Ethiopia, to a country that respects human rights.
Although the challenges of investigative journalists have not changed since de Morais started practicing, he says the Internet has proven to be an advantage in publishing content and reaching wider audiences. De Morais has started his own watchdog website Maka Angola which exposes corruption through his investigations.
De Morais told Wits Vuvuzela that as the values in society have deteriorated, so has the quality of investigative journalism. He says investigative journalists can combat opposition if they realise “government officials are men and women like us”. He says we can limit their abuse of power because “the power comes from the people”.
De Morais said he corresponded with but never met Carlos Cardoso, in whose name the lecture was given. Cardoso, a journalist and a Witsie, was murdered in Maputo in 2000 while working on a investigation into fraud at a major bank.
The unidentified body of a small child was discovered in a plastic bag outside Wits University residence Noswall Hall earlier this evening.
A homeless child picked up the bag on Empire Road after it was dropped off by someone in a passing car. The child picked up the packet thinking it contained “something nice,” according to Campus Control officer George Masilo. The child walked up Bertha street and only discovered the body in the packet when he opened it outside Noswall Hall.
The child is still being questioned by the police and was not able to speak to Wits Vuvuzela. His friends, while reluctant to answer other questions, said the car that dropped the packet off was a VW Polo. At the scene, the police cordoned off the body with barricade tape and cones, and a police car blocked off onlookers. The body, which bystanders say was wrapped in cello tape, was covered by an insulation blanket. The police were not able to make a statement.
“How dare they … how can you do this to a baby!” said Palesa Hlungwane, 1st year BA, who lives in Diamond House. “What about conscience? What about maternal attachments?”
“I feel bad, it’s so bad to have so many irresponsible mothers in this day and age,” says Nonkululeko Njilo, 1st year BA from Diamond House. “I feel like we’re a lost generation.”
LIGHTYEAR: The Wits solar car will race from Pretoria to Cape Town starting this Saturday. The winning car must travel the longest distance in eight days. Photo: Provided
Witsies will race a solar-powered car from Pretoria to Cape Town in an eight-day challenge starting later this week. The Wits solar car is hoping to go the distance in this year’s Sasol Solar Challenge, a race based on the distance covered and not speed.
Solar cars are raced all over the world, but the South African race is unique in that it is based on distance covered said team manager Kamil Midor. Midor is a visiting lecturer in the Wits School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering.
The cars will travel a distance of 2000km on the main route with campsites every 230km. Cars can expand the distance travelled up to 6000km by doing loops that vary between 58km and 132km. “The final winner is the car that travelled the longest distance during the period of eight days,” said Midor. Each day the cars must reach the designated finish line by 5.30pm.
Wits participated in the race for the first time in 2012 and came fourth. Learning from the previous race, they built the new car with improvements. “It’s much lighter, much more energy efficient than before,” said Midor.
“It’s like a bicycle, just with more energy”
This is one of the cheapest cars in the competition, and it cost R130 000 to make it, said Midor. The car can convert 22% of the sun’s energy into electricity. This is an improvement from the previous race where it could only convert about 16%.
The car uses less energy than a hairdryer and can reach a top speed of 120km/h. “It’s like a bicycle, just with more energy,” he said.
Besides other South African universities, Wits will also compete against international teams from India, Turkey, Iran and current world champions, Holland.
It is party season at Wits with res parties and the Engineer’s Breakfast still to hit campus. But with dangers of date rape, theft and drunken fights threatening festivities, Witsies have developed their own ways of safe-guarding their after-dark activities.
First year, BSc student Xiao Liang always makes sure to hold her drink in her hand at all times and when dancing, makes sure no one dumps anything inside.
Wandile Ngwenya, 2nd year BAccSci said “I’m holding a bottle and if I’m not looking I put my thumb over it.”
Melissa Kabanguka, 2nd year BA Psychology said it’s important to go out with friends you trust. “Don’t stay alone with someone you are not comfortable with”.
Witsies are encouraged to drink responsibility to avoid dangerous situations.
WORK, SLEEP, REPEAT: Applied Drama MA student Limpho Kou reenacts a “sleeping” situation amongst Witsies working and studying in the CNS labs in Senate House, to draw their attention to the issue that their peers live and sleep in computer labs and libraries on campus. Photo: Lameez Omarjee
A new project to create awareness about homeless students sleeping in campus libraries and computer labs, is gaining attention.
The project was spearheaded by a Wits master’s student, as part of her academic research. It aims to give voice to students living in computer labs and libraries on campus.
The hope is that through exposing this on-going issue, there would be some solutions by the Wits community to help those who do not have the financial means for proper accommodation.
As part of a project for theatre as activism, education and therapy, masters in applied drama student Susie Maluleke chose the topic as she remembers seeing students sleeping in the CNS labs on campus since first year.
The project plan consists of hosting workshops at the project sites: the computer labs and libraries, to ask students whether they know that their peers use the same space for sleeping or living.
Additionally, with the help of classmates, Maluleke will put up displays of make-shift sleeping spots, “I’m going to provide a blanket to create a sleeping display, but not a comfortable sleeping place to make people realise the space is used for different purposes.”
Maluleke identified the students through their “huge bags”.
“You could see these people weren’t living anywhere outside that space.”
At the time Maluleke felt there was nothing she could do, but now she has an opportunity to address the issue by creating dialogue around it and find help for these students by talking about it.
A friend of hers knew someone who spent two years living and sleeping in the labs, “because they didn’t qualify for financial aid from NSFAS”. Students struggle to afford accommodation off campus and transport costs for places outside Johannesburg are also hard to cover.
“You get to go to Wits but you might not be able to afford to eat or live.”
Maluleke had a friend who was sleeping in the computer labs because she could not afford to pay for taxi services from Wits to Soweto every day. “They don’t have bus services, they don’t have scholarships.”
She was particularly struck by the fact that there was no visible information in labs indicating where students could seek help. “It saddens me. There must be something that can be done about these people.”
Lecturer Cherae Halley who gave the students the project as part of their course said they were required to find a community or site to address a social issue for their final year project. In previous years, students raised awareness about the sexual assault by lecturers on students, according to Halley.
Even though this is course work, this project could possibly help the homeless students, through raising awareness.
Her supervisor Anthony Schrag commended Maluleke for taking on a local and context specific project that resonated with national issues. “We have these positions of privilege that people sort of access but not really access. You get to go to Wits but you might not be able to afford to eat or live.”
The project is only in its beginning stages and will continue until the end of the semester. However, Maluleke hopes the impact of the project will be big enough to continue even after she graduates. She hopes that Wits would create a body for students to go to for help.
She does, however, know of a student in the same situation who received help from Wits Services.
“She is trying to challenge those departments and challenge them to do more about it. If she makes an impact future students that arrive here might not find themselves here, said Schrag.
Maluleke will only know how successful the project is once it is complete. “Success for me will be creating dialogue within those spaces. Make people engage or talk.” Schrag agreed, “With art you don’t really know until you do it.”
Halley sees the potential of the project to grow and impact the Wits community.
HECTIC HEADER: During soccer practice at Diggs fields on Tuesday, Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje said he is confident in his team’s performance for their upcoming semi-final match against Tuks in the USSA Gauteng League, where a top three spot will get them to nationals.
Photo: Lameez Omarjee
If the Wits men’s soccer team beat Tuks, Pretoria University’s log leaders, next week, it will go through to the national finals of the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament in December.
Through this possible win at next week Tuesday’s match, Wits would attain one of the top three positions in the Gauteng USSA League and would then qualify for the national tournament to be held in Durban, in the first week of December.
Meeting for the second time with their opponents, Wits University football coach Karabo Mogudi said his men were more than prepared for Tuks.
Cruising through competition
“They are good football players; they play high intensity football which is a strong point for them. I’ve prepared the team to play the same as well. They must bring it on because we know we [are] going to bring it too,” said Mogudi.
Wits thrashed Tuks with a 3-1 win the last time there was a face-off between the two in August. Mogudi is confident his team could win against them again, even though the match is in Pretoria, on their rival’s home turf when they duel on Tuesday, September 23.
The rankings so far are as follows: Tuks first, Vaal University of Technology (VUT) second, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) third and Wits, in fourth place.
Attaining a position in the top eight of the USSA national champs will then qualify Wits for the Varsity Football league. They did not qualify last year.
“The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple”
Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje, 2nd year BSc Property Studies, who joined the team last year felt that their performance this season was better because the squad was bigger. About 25 players are registered for the USSA Gauteng League. Last year the smaller team battled without squad rotations between games.
Digoamaje revealed that past lost matches were due to mistakes they had made, rather than their opponent’s performance.
However, he had “full respect for every opponent” they played against. In preparation for their game against Tuks, he said, “We’ve implemented a number of strategies, various ones, and the coach will decide which will lead us to victory and get us to nationals.”
Left wing Neo Makua, 3rd year BSc Quantity Surveying, felt confident that the team will go through to national championships. “The coach made us become a team, so we put the team before the individual.”
Although there are strong individuals playing, Mogudi emphasised team play rather than individual stars. “The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple,” he said.
Mogudi is confident in the team’s tactics and credits his technical team, which consists: assistant coach Dumisani Thusi, goal-keeper coach Kgabo Ditsebe and team manager, Sanele Nene for developing new ideas and strategies for success.
COURT ORDER: Witsie Adam Gordon, third year BCom Law student triumphed over his coach and took the top spot in the Wits Tennis Club Championships. Photo: Bongiwe Tutu
By Lameez Omarjee and Bongiwe Tutu
In a scorching battle for the top spot, a Wits student outplayed his coach at the men’s final of the Wits Tennis club championships, earlier today at the Bozzoli tennis courts.
Third year BCom Law student, Adam Gordon, was quick to take the lead over Wits head tennis coach, Byron Werbeloff (23). Gordon finished the first set 6-1. Werbeloff fought hard to recover but conceded the second and final set 6-4 to Gordon.
Despite his quick victory, Gordon felt he could have done better. “It feels good. I did what I could to win, it helped that I remained consistent.” He added: “I didn’t play my best tennis, I should have been more aggressive”. Werbeloff also felt he could have been more aggressive in the game.
Tennis club tournaments are open to all members and this is why Werbeloff could play in the championship even as a coach. Werbeloff however gave his second place to student Rishay Bharath, 2nd year BSc mechanical engineering, saying “since I am the coach I would rather have one of my students take the win”. Witsie Mike Stephansen, 3rd year BAccSci, was placed third.
In another match Vladimer Makic, 2nd year BSc Applied Maths took fourth place when he beat Michael Wrathall, 1st year BSc aeronautical engineering. Makic said he won because “I served like a machine.”
The Wits tennis club has “raised record numbers of tennis players” and is one of the top five university clubs in the country, according to Werbeloff. A wooden racket tournament will be hosted in October to raise funds for the team, possibly for bursaries. The club hopes to revive tennis and reach the number one spot in the country.
The Women’s finals will take place on Tuesday at 5pm, at the Bozzoli tennis courts.
PLAN A: Wits Masters students hosted a career day at Morris Isaacson Secondary School in Soweto yesterday after they identified the need to make information about career options more accessible to learners from underprivileged areas.
Photo: Lameez Omarjee
A group of Witsies spent part of their weekend with learners at the Morris Isaacson Secondary School yesterday to try and expose the youngsters to a wider range of careers options.
The Masters in Development Theory and Policy students, who are also part of the non-profit organisation, Rethink Africa, visited the school in Soweto to “express the broadness of the choices” available to grade nine and 10 learners.
“Normally people are told you can either be an accountant, engineer or physicist but there are other careers that people never get a taste of,” said Witsie Ayabonga Cawe.
Cawe said one of the most important things of the initiative is to share information not normally accessible to students of Soweto. “One of the biggest challenges is that most people don’t see themselves going to university. They don’t have resources to get there and don’t have role models in their social network who have been to university and done so successfully,” he said.
The purpose of the day’s event was to “empower young people in local communities, specifically in the underprivileged areas,” said one of the organisers, Nompumelelo Melaphi.
The event, in partnership with the School of Economics and Business Sciences, included up to 135 high school students from Emshukantambo, Morris Isaacson, Immaculate and Reasoma schools.
“Us coming up here and actually giving career advice and informing them of ways to finance their studies is very useful in them planning ahead.”
Witsie Siya Biniza said it was important to host the event as the students were entering the most “decisive year of their high school career.”
“Us coming up here and actually giving career advice and informing them of ways to finance their studies is very useful in them planning ahead.”
This is the second year the event has taken place and there are hopes to expand it to the Eastern Cape and other provinces, according to Masters student Gillian Chigumira.
The learners were encouraged to study in all fields, including science, arts and commerce. Economists, doctors and forensic anthropologists also addressed the learners as part of the day’s programme.
BATTLEFIELD: Evasan Chettiar, 2nd year BEng represented South Africa at the World University Chess Championships held in Poland last week. He is pictured taking on an opponent during the 4th round of the competition. Photo: Provided
A number of Witsies helped to land the South African chess team on the 13th spot overall at the World University Chess Championships in Katowice, Poland, last week.
Seadimo Tlale, 2nd year LLB,and 2nd year BEng student, Evasan Chettiar, were faced with tough competition, but helped to improve South Africa’s overall international ranking.
“The tournament was the toughest tournament I’ve played in my whole life. I played World Juniors in 2008, but oh my word, it was nothing like that,” said Tlale, the only female in the team, said. She started the tournament with the lowest rating of 0 but ended with a rating close to 1600.
THINKER: Seadimo Tlale, 2nd year LLB was the only female in a team of four students representing South Africa in the World University Chess Championships held in Poland last week. She is pictured in the first round of the competition. Photo: Provided
“We discovered that South Africans were underrated and we performed well above our national ratings,” said Chettiar, who scored the highest in the men’s section, amongst his South African teammates.
His male teammates from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and North West University scored half a point below him.
Overall, team South Africa’s ratings were below 1800. “Over there, our performances were above 2000, and that’s good in chess,” he said.
Tlale and Chettiar were exposed to competitors of different cultures, which added to the value of their experience. Besides learning new techniques to aid their game, they also made new friends from Japan, Switzerland and France and learnt a bit of Polish.
“There’s a lot of stuff I changed about my personal play that I think I can even bring back home and start playing at that level and that style,” said Tlale.
“We learnt how to take advantage of opening mistakes and how to avoid making opening mistakes,” said Chettiar.
“If we could keep up to par internationally, maybe we will do better nationally and locally”
Wits Sports officer TebogoRabothata is looking forward to the contribution Tlale and Chettiar will make to the chess club.
“Their fellow players would also want to up their game,” and possibly “emulate them” which would help the club get more sponsorships in the near future.
“It will actually help the young players going forward,” he said.
Tlale and Chettiar hope to inspire their teammates by incorporating more online tournaments and touring. They are both nominees for full Blue Cum Laude colours and Sportswoman and Sportsman of this year’s Sports Awards, respectively.
Given “home-ground advantage”, according to Tlale, Poland took the first place in the tournament, followed by Russia and Armenia.
“I come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is and always will be yours.” – Edward Ferrars, in Sense and Sensibility.
Jane Austen ruined us … or rather Emma Thompson did, with that exceptional screenplay. We expect men to profess exactly what they mean when it comes to love. We expect them to be expressive.
Women. We always seem to take it to the extreme when it comes to our affections. If it’s not too much, it’s too little. It’s never in between. Either way, you are almost certain to come across as “crazy”. I hate that.
I hate that a conversation with a guy is never just a conversation with a guy. And I hate that we are blamed for over-thinking statements like “you’re brilliant”, or “you look lovely” or “you get me”. I hate that we are prone to misreading those “harmless” words and actually thinking a guy might like us. We were seriously misinformed by those Drew Barrymore films.
The flipside is having your guard up all the time. This is my favourite default. Sure, being risk averse is boring, but it is safe. You will not be the one lying on the bathroom floor, wiping tears away on a Friday night because you finally realised that “he’s just not that into you”. (That movie ruined us too, by the way).
You will, however, be the shoulder on which your damaged friend leans while you hand her a Kleenex. And you will be relieved that you are not her, for one night.
Every other night, you see, you’ll be attending parties alone. Banquets and weddings included. (Gay best friends are not as abundant as one would think). And it’s not some hard-core act of supreme feminism. It is excruciatingly awkward.
I know because I have had to answer questions like: “Where is your date?” or “Don’t you have a boyfriend?” or “Have you considered becoming a lesbian?” And I have had to watch purses. I am the official PURSE GIRL. It is not cool to be the purse girl, unless you’re Tina Fey.
“I’m so sorry for all those guys out there who do not have any balls.”
I wouldn’t know how it is for guys, but I have heard (from a guy) that approaching a girl with a “big” personality and intellect is quite daunting. Apparently it’s much easier to forego that girl for a less intimidating one. Gee … I’m so sorry for all those guys out there who do not have any balls. (Not really, it would be a disservice to humanity if they had the opportunity to procreate).
So the rest of us are in a catch-22 situation. You can’t wear your heart on your sleeve, but you can’t wear your “go-away” face either.
I like to consider what Mindy Kaling would do. Only because she’s a Hollywood leading lady of colour, who happens to be a graduate from Dartmouth College (I know, right! She’s talented and smart) and is in denial about her weight. Also she dated BJ Novak, so she makes good choices. Unfortunately, I don’t have her on speed dial.
So the next sensible thing to do is this: don’t create unrealistic expectations or manufacture relationships in your head. A conversation with a guy is just a conversation with a guy. And a compliment from a guy is a just compliment from a guy.
Also, do not do this:
Elinor Dashwood: “Did he tell you that he loved you?”
Marianne Dashwood: “Yes … No … Never absolutely. It was every day implied but never declared.”
Wits’ women basketball players have outshone their male counterparts in the 2014 season, taking gold in the national league and tying for first place in the provincial league.
The women’s team, Wits Lady Bucks, is now regarded as “the best university team in the country for the 2014 season”, according to team captain Modiegi Mokoka, 3rd year BSc Construction Studies. The team won the University Sports South Africa (USSA) basketball national championships in July.
Since then, the team has continued competing in the Gauteng Women’s Basketball League and the Gauteng University Basketball League (GBUL), in which they tied with the Vaal University of Technology for first place.
The men’s team came third in their division in the USSA national championships.
This year, the women’s team adopted a “win at all costs” system as opposed to the “everyone must play” approach of previous years, said Mokoka. Their successful performance this year was attributed to team work.
“We listened, we had confidence, we executed but, most of all, we played for each other. We went from 4th place to number one in the country. There’s no better progress than that,” she said.
After years of competing in the USSA championships, this was the first time the team took the top title, having progressed from sixth place in 2011 to first in 2014.
“We had faith,” said Patience Gumbo, BHSc Honours in Forensic Science and vice-chairperson of the club. “We wanted to win it. We really were determined this time. We have gone through so much and pushed through so much that we deserved and owed it to ourselves to give it all.”
The core team competed together since 2010, said Gumbo. “Bit by bit, we kind of became who we are now, but we are still growing … We have been improving over the years and winning USSA national championships showed that.”
“Losing to VUT constantly by two points since the 2012 season pushed us to our limit.”
The win had inspired and motivated the team to keep working harder, she said. “The other teams won’t be easier on us and they are just going to keep pushing harder.”
The toughest teams in the competition were Cape Peninsula University of Technology which reached the finals in 2012 and 2013, and Vaal University of Technology (VUT). VUT were national champions for six years in a row, according to Coach William Matlakala, who has coached the women since 2010.
“The biggest pusher was that we were tired of defeat,” said Mokoka. “Losing to VUT constantly by two points since the 2012 season pushed us to our limit.”
She said VUT’s team consisted of national and international players and the entire team was on full sports bursaries (tuition and accommodation). This made it easier for the team to be “basketball orientated”, compared to Witsies who played for the “love of it”.
“VUT and CPUT have scholarships for their players and athletes,” confirmed Matlakala. “We can’t do the same so that has been the main challenge.”
Mokoka said the team’s dynamics were “play as a team to win as a team”, but individuals had opportunities to improve on their own goals. Their plans were to continue their success until the end of 2014 and to develop new players for the new season in 2015.
Coach Matlakala said defending the championship next year would be much harder, but fortunately, only a small number of players were due to graduate at the end of the year. Before the end of 2015, they hoped to recruit new and advanced players.
GUBL games will take place this Sunday, from 9am to 5.45pm at Hall 29.