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A South African scientist, Professor André Strydom from the Department of Physics at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), made headlines this week with the news that his team discovered a novel approach to crafting higher thermoelectric efficiencies, which can help develop electrical energy from waste heat such as that emitted by internal combustion engines.

Also in the headlines was the news that large caches of data had been stolen from online cheating site AshleyMadison.com, and then posted online by an individual or group that claims to have completely compromised the company’s user databases, financial records and other proprietary information. This is according to the KrebsOnSecurity blog, with says the still-unfolding leak could be quite damaging to some 37-million users of the hook-up service, whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” According to Terence Williams, CEO of Aon South Africa, nothing feeds the news cycle like a company scandal, and with social media and citizen reporting on the rise, serious blows to a company’s reputation and market value can spread in nano-seconds. The likes of BP, Goldman Sachs, Toyota, Nestle, Domino’s Pizza, and locally and more recently Eskom, Capitec, KFC, the Estate Agency Affairs Board and Lonmin are among a host of brands that have taken a reputational hammering in the court of public opinion.

And fianlly, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has officially launched its technology-enabled teaching and learning programme to Grade 12 learners in the Gauteng province. The programme, commonly known as “the paperless classroom”, entails the usage of interactive boards, mobile devices such as tablets, and laptops with complete Internet connectivity to conduct teaching and learning.

Until next week,

The IT-Online team