Thomson Reuters expands sentiment data to track Top 100 Cryptocurrencies

Thomson Reuters expands sentiment data to track Top 100 Cryptocurrencies

Thomson Reuters expands sentiment data to track Top 100 Cryptocurrencies

Thomson Reuters has expanded its sentiment data offerings to track the top 100 cryptocurrencies through its partnership with MarketPsych Data LLC, a market leader in quantitative behavioral science. This new MarketPsych Indices (TRMI) package uses machine learning and natural language processing to measure a breadth of emotional and topical items across news and social media sites that may drive market participant behavior in cryptocurrency markets.

According to a Thomson Reuters survey released in April 2018, approximately 20% of financial firms indicated they are considering trading cryptocurrency over the next 3-12 months. However, providing trading insight to the cryptocurrency market is unique, as online communications and information flow are significant drivers of cryptocurrency values, in comparison to traditional financial services assets. Sentiment analysis of this market therefore often requires understanding the top cryptocurrencies at any given time, where individuals get their information, which digital platforms are used for communication, and how specific language or terms used may signify future trends (for example: FOMO, HODL, etc.).

Following the successful launch of bitcoin sentiment data in March 2018, Thomson Reuters has now created a dedicated TRMI Cryptocurrency Sentiment package (TRMI 3.1). TRMI 3.1 monitors more than 2,000 global news and 800 social media sites in real-time, yielding 43 themes and sentiments on the top 100 cryptocurrencies. Historical data dates back to 2009. To help identify the predictive value in this data, TRMI 3.1 is accompanied by visualization tools and a suite of quantitative research results developed by MarketPsych, including regression and cross-sectional rotation models, to help traders identify influential themes and more rapidly develop actionable strategies.

“The Thomson Reuters cryptocurrency survey revealed a shift in the market, with cryptocurrencies gaining some mainstream acceptance and financial institutions looking to start trading them over the coming months,” said Pradeep Menon, Managing Director, Global Head of Investing and Advisory, Thomson Reuters. “Adding a cryptocurrency-focused sentiment feed to our suite of cross-asset solutions has therefore enabled us to provide our customers with invaluable insights that may help them make strategic investment decisions.”

TRMI 3.1 is part of the comprehensive suite of cross-asset solutions and end-to-end trading insights that Thomson Reuters is delivering to customers for both traditional and emerging asset classes like cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, Thomson Reuters introduced cryptocurrency trading capabilities on Thomson Reuters REDI, its execution management system, allowing users to trade CBOE and CME Group Bitcoin futures with full price discovery and charting capabilities. REDI is interoperable with Eikon’s pre-trade content and functionality that supports an integrated and seamless trading workflow. Thomson Reuters currently provides prices for various cryptocurrencies via Eikon, and new Cryptocurrency Real Time Rates are accessible via Elektron Data Platform and through a customized API on Eikon.

 

Edited by Daniëlle Kruger

Follow Daniëlle Kruger on Twitter

Follow IT News Africa on Twitter

Powered by WPeMatico

Twitter prioritizes breaking news in an app redesign

Twitter prioritizes breaking news in an app redesign

Twitter prioritizes breaking news in an app redesign

Online news and social networking service, Twitter, announced on Wednesday that it is changing up its service in favour of major events to make it easier for people to access the latest breaking news.

This shift in focus sets the service apart from other social media networks such as Facebook who have opted to focus less on live events and news and more on the personal lives and interests of its user base.

In terms of what they’re changing, the Twitter app will now feature a “happening now” module to highlight all kinds of breaking news, as well as “personalized news” based on your interests. Entering into one of the events will bring up a separate timeline dedicated to that particular event, with relevant tweets, photos, and videos highlighted. Twitter launched a similar feature called “Moments” in 2015, and the latest changes expand on that feature.

Twitter might also send push notifications that would direct you into the same kind of “happening now” experience but specifically catered towards your interests or what Twitter thinks you will be especially interested in. The service will also start notifying users in its app when an event is happening that might be of interest to them.

“We want Twitter to be the little bird on your shoulder that tells you what you need to know when you need to know it,” said Keith Coleman, Twitter vice-president of product in a briefing with reporters.

 

By Daniëlle Kruger

Follow Daniëlle Kruger on Twitter

Follow IT News Africa on Twitter

Powered by WPeMatico

Creating coding prodigies in previously disadvantaged schools

Creating coding prodigies in previously disadvantaged schools

Girls coders from the Mikateka Primary School, Ivory Park

Learning to code is a critical element in the 21st century school curriculum, giving learners the ability not only to use technology but to create it, as the world ushers in the fourth industrial revolution. Learners equipped with these skills will be in high demand in the labour market of the future.

Non-profit educational organization, ORT South Africa (ORT SA) and Chevron South Africa have partnered up to implement coding programmes in previously disadvantaged schools in Ivory Park, north of Johannesburg. A total of 150 learners from six primary schools and six high schools participate in the extra mural coding classes. In each of the targeted schools, ORT SA facilitators is on hand to train teachers to assist the participants with their projects. After learning the basics of coding, learners start work on their own projects, based on developing programmes that find solutions to real-life problems. Each group of five learners is provided with a coding kit which is the ‘brain’ that they learn to programme in order to carry out various tasks such as operating a security system, a drone or a driverless bus.

“STEM subjects are at the heart of disruptive technology which is where the future of our economy lies. Equipping learners with the skills they will need for tomorrow’s job market is what makes this programme exciting and is the reason Chevron has chosen to partner with ORT SA,” says Jill Koopman, Policy, Government and Public Affairs Manager at Chevron South Africa.

Mpho Matlala, head of the ORT SA STEM Academy says, “Our goal is to reach as many pupils as possible with this critical skill-enhancing programme and we are delighted to welcome Chevron as a valued partner. The pupils will be presenting their projects at an event on 8th November 2018. From experience, we can expect the most ingenious projects!”

 

Edited by Daniëlle Kruger

Follow Daniëlle Kruger on Twitter

Follow IT News Africa on Twitter

Powered by WPeMatico

Postal operators can help drive down remittance costs in parts of Africa

Postal operators can help drive down remittance costs in parts of Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s most expensive region to send money home

Money received from loved ones working abroad can transform a family’s living standards. From Albania to Australia and from Bahrain to Bangladesh, the essential bridges built between countries due to remittances support migrant families and keep children in desperately needed education.

For parts of Africa, however, life-enhancing remittances come at a high price. Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s most expensive region to send money home. Africans last year paid, as a fee, an average of almost 10 cents from every dollar sent back, and these excessive costs strike hardest at the poorest, especially in rural areas.

More than 200 million people in Africa rely on payments from abroad and some 80 million live in rural areas. The lack of roads and bridges, and other essential infrastructure can make badly needed access to financial services challenging. There are also significant hidden costs, including transport fees, potential dangers along the route and monopolies on the services provided.

All of these problems drive up costs, and make the receipt of remittances prohibitive in the region. The question for governments, international organizations and consumer groups has been how to reduce these costs by finding alternative providers capable of delivering services that are cost effective and reliable.

An efficient solution may come in the form of something that has been a staple of African community life for over a hundred years: the humble, but resilient local post office. The historic footprint of the post office, and the inherent trust placed in these community services, serve to reinforce their suitability.

In some Sub-Saharan countries, post offices are less than 10 minutes’ walk away for 42 per cent of their customers; their proximity shows that postal operators are well placed to deliver financial services to their customers. The facts speak for themselves: In Benin and Madagascar, for instance, 67 per cent of remittance recipients walk to the Post Office for their money, and in Senegal and Ghana it is 62 per cent and 57 per cent respectively.

Digitalization is also sweeping relentlessly across Africa, perhaps at a greater speed than many other parts of the world. These trends are forcing rapid changes in the remittance market and revolutionizing payment systems. The opportunities for postal operators to develop sustainable finance networks that support migrant families and further financial services are immense.

The findings in the African Postal Financial Services Initiative. A success story on remittances at the post in Africa, authored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and its partners, including the Universal Postal Union, support these findings and highlight the urgency of the situation. We cannot afford to ignore the impact of high costs on the poorest sections of society.

Reductions in remittance costs are on everyone’s list of global priorities. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under Goal 10, on reducing inequality, calls for steep reductions to less than 3 per cent of the transaction costs of migrant remittances and the elimination of remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent.

Posts are well-positioned to help achieve this goal: They have the networks, the logistics, and the strong ties to government. If these connections are bound to a farsighted strategy and a commitment to offering inclusive financial services, they can succeed in this challenge. The time for action, however, is now. Posts need to reach out and seize this generational opportunity.

By the Director General of the Universal Postal Union Bishar A. Hussein

Powered by WPeMatico

The IoT platform market has entered a consolidation phase

The IoT platform market has entered a consolidation phase

IoT platforms provide middleware to connect and manage devices and integrate collected data into various applications and services.

According to a new research report from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, the global market for IoT device management and application enablement platforms reached US$ 1.1 billion in 2017.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.2 percent, the total market value is expected to reach US$ 4.9 billion in 2022. IoT platforms provide middleware to connect and manage devices and integrate collected data into various applications and services.

These platforms are intended to reduce the cost and development time for IoT solutions by providing standardised components that enterprises can build upon.

The IoT platform market is notably crowded and hosts a multitude of players spanning from small start-ups to major companies in the technology and industrial sectors. These companies have developed offerings that typically have a specific focus on a set of capabilities, often related to their core businesses.

GE and PTC spearheaded the effort of promoting IoT in the industrial sector on a broader scale. While GE has shifted focus to mainly provide solutions rather than its Predix platform alone, PTC has emerged as the leader in the space. Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT business and the wireless IoT module vendor Telit have also built strong positions in the industrial sector. Software AG’s platform has for example been selected by Siemens to complement its IoT operating system MindSphere. Telit holds a strategic partnership with Wind River that leverages Telit’s technology in its Helix Device Cloud.

Additional providers with high involvement in the industrial sector include Bosch, IBM, SAP, Oracle, Exosite, Device Insight and Altair Engineering.

In 2017–2018, the major cloud infrastructure vendors Amazon, Microsoft and Google continued to invest heavily in their IoT offerings to drive growth in their cloud businesses. “The involvement of the cloud infrastructure providers will over time lead to commoditisation of some services currently offered by vendors in the IoT platform market and result in further specialisation of IoT platform providers”, said Fredrik Stålbrand, IoT Analyst, Berg Insight. Merger and acquisition activity has risen sharply in recent time and the market has now entered a consolidation phase. “Some level of fragmentation in the market is expected to remain due to lack of standards, but also due to specific requirements in industries characterised by mission critical applications such as automotive, healthcare and manufacturing, as well as in the critical infrastructure industries”, concluded Mr. Stålbrand.

Edited by Neo Sesinye
Follow Neo Sesinye on Twitter
Follow IT News Africa on Twitter

Powered by WPeMatico

SAFPS commends Home Affairs for automated identity verification as aid to curb crime

SAFPS commends Home Affairs for automated identity verification as aid to curb crime

SAFPS commends Home Affairs for automated identity verification as aid to curb crime

SAFPS says biometric identification is nothing new but commends the ABIS system for its capacity to provide a single data repository.

Automated Biometric Identification System ABIS is a milestone in South Africa’s pathway towards a new digital national identity system,” said Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Minister Malusi Gigaba, at the May 2018 launch.

Gigaba says that ABIS is a modern system that promise may possibilities in identity management.

As part of the capturing of biometrics, the DHA is also set to improve access to South Africa, with the roll-out of eVisas, with the pilot phase expected to begin early in 2019.

While ABIS is a milestone for Home Affairs, biometric identification in itself is nothing new, says Manie van Schalkwyk, executive director Southern African Fraud (SAFPS).

While the system will help to curb theft by biometric authentication requirement, Van Schalkwyk says, that finger print identification has been available to banks for many years.

What is different with the system at Home Affairs is that it provides a centralised data source of consumer information. “This finger print identification is a cradle to grave situation,” Van Schalkwyk says. In other words, it will allow for enhanced and safer data in terms of digital processing, storage of photos, fingerprints, signature, voice recording, demographic information and scanned supporting documents. Thus, it makes it easier to verify all the pieces of information pertaining to an individual.”

There has been an increase in new fraud listings of 52% more this year than last year and identity theft is one of the most serious concerns. The request for Protection Registration is up by 70% which is further indication of the real increase in fraud, Van Schalkwyk says.

“A biometric system definitely curbs fraud, but what consumers must be careful of is that when fraudsters are stopped in one way, they will get creative in another.”

A common tactic, he says, “is to recruit runners, or money mules, as they are called in the United Kingdom, to open accounts in their own names that then become a biometric match for the fraudster and leaves the runner in a great deal of trouble.”

There has also been a surge in online fraud where people are enticed by an email notification of a prize win, or the inheritance of a deceased rich uncle, which requests bank details for the funds to be transferred.

This also happens by phone, he adds. “A caller will phone posing as a legitimate bank employee with a story to ‘authorise a debit order that is about to be processed on your account’. They will extract a lot of information from you and even go as far as asking for your password, admitting that they know they should not be asking for it. The money in your account will be wiped out. Once you have given your password willingly, you have no recourse with your bank,” Van Schalkwyk cautions.

“Never provide information where you have not solicited the enquiry yourself,” he adds. “We are in the electronic age where information is easily available to fraudsters. Treat your information in the same way that you treat cash. Be prudent.”

If you feel your privacy has been threatened then it is advisable to apply for Protective Registration on the SAFPS website. This will provide added security and alert the credit provider or the bank that the specific ID number has been compromised. This service is free of charge to consumers.

 

Edited by Daniëlle Kruger

Follow Daniëlle Kruger on Twitter

Follow IT News Africa on Twitter

Powered by WPeMatico

Facebook unveils fun features for 2018 World Cup

Facebook unveils fun features for 2018 World Cup

As the 2018 FIFA World Cup gets underway in Russia, Facebook and Messenger are introducing a number of product features to help fans cheer on the action during the football fiesta.
With the new features, Users will see an animated message on their News Feed inviting them to share their support by accessing one of the 32-team frames, which they can use as their Facebook profiles.

These new features include Show your team colours, which allows fans to see an animated message at the top of their Facebook News Feed inviting them to share their fandom with a profile frame of their favourite team competing in the World Cup. Fans clicking on the message will be able to update their profile frame with the team frame of their choice. Profile frames are available for all 32 teams competing in the tournament.

There’s also Cheer together with animations in posts and comments, which helps fans to discover fun animations when they celebrate their favourite team using select phrases in News Feed. This feature will unlock new ways for friends to cheer together and celebrate the action on the pitch. For example, someone may see this feature if they type in “gooaal” to celebrate their favourite team scoring, or if they type in a select cheer from one of the 32 competing countries. These phrases can be activated by posting or commenting with the correct phrase or tapping on the phrase when highlighted.

The Get Creative with Effects in Facebook Camera and Messenger allows fans to swipe right into the Camera on Facebook and Messenger to capture and share their team spirit using the following effects throughpout the tournament.

On Facebook, click on the effects wand to find augmented reality stickers of players such as Sergio Ramos. Drop them in the scene around you and start filming – juggle alongside Sergio Ramos and share your moments to Stories or News Feed.

For Facebook/Messenger, via the camera on both Facebook and Messenger, add AR effects to show off your fandom. You can snap a photo with face paint or a festive flag wig to show off your fandom and celebrate the 32 competing teams.

There’s also Play a game with friends on Messenger, a new twist on the keepie uppie game on Messenger. You can play the hidden keepie uppie game in Messenger by sending a flag of your choice and a football/soccer ball to your friends in a chat. Show your country pride and compete with friends across the globe. To win, don’t drop that ball! These product experiences were rolling out globally on Monday, June 11.

Powered by WPeMatico

Rosatom launches students’ video competition, calls for entries

Rosatom launches students’ video competition, calls for entries

The Russian state-owned nuclear corporation, Rosatom has officially opened submissions for its fourth yearly students’ video competition, devoted to the potential of nuclear power to help bolster Africa’s economic and social development. Students and young professionals from all Sub-Saharan African are invited to participate. This year, the contest is supported by the African Young Generation in Nuclear (AYGN), South African Network for Education in Nuclear Science and Technology (SAN-NEST) and South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE).  

The competition is aimed at encouraging students do their own research into various nuclear applications and the benefits they might have for Africa. The contest will run till 25th August 2018, and young people between the ages of 18 to 30, alone or in a group of up to 3 people, are encouraged to film a 60 to 120 second video on their findings. 

The top ten videos will be shortlisted and posted on the company’s Facebook page, the creators of the three videos with the most likes will win an all-expenses paid trip to Russia on 6 – 12th October, 2018. In addition to the cultural tours of Moscow, the agenda includes a visit to one of Russia’s Nuclear Power Plants (NPP), and the first City of Science, Obninsk. The winners will have a chance to meet African students who are currently studying nuclear physics at MEPhI nuclear university. 

To help applicants increase their chances of winning, Rosatom together with Wits University will hold an online webinar “Atoms Empowering Africa” on Thursday at 9:00 am GMT, to introduce the potential of nuclear for Africa, showcase Rosatom’s latest activities on the continent and answer questions regarding the competition. 

For young people wishing to get a head start on a promising career in the nuclear field, Rosatom regularly holds physics competition for high school pupils and students of technical universities, where the winners get a chance to complete their education in Russia and join the nuclear elite when they come back home.

Powered by WPeMatico

Kaspersky says 93% Nigerian children visit communication sites with parental controls on

About 93 per cent Nigerian children visits communication sites, such as social media, messengers and e-mails, with computers that have parental controls switched on, global cybersecurity company, Kaspersky Lab, has said.

The company, in a statement signed by its web content analyst, Ms. Anna Larkina, said: “Kids in different countries have different interests and online behaviours, but what links them all is their need to be protected online from potentially harmful content.

“Children looking for animated content could accidentally open a porn video. They could start searching for innocent videos and unintentionally end up on websites containing violent content.“Both can have a long-term impact on their impressionable and vulnerable minds.”

According Larkina, the second most popular category of websites visited in Nigeria by these users are software, audio and video, adding that in Nigeria, websites with such content became more popular since last year.“It is important for parents not to leave their children’s digital activities unattended to, because there is a big difference between care and obtrusiveness.

“While it is important to trust your children and educate them about how to behave safely online, even your good pieces advice cannot protect them from something unexpectedly showing up on the screen.“That is why advanced security solutions are key to ensuring children have positive online experiences, rather than harmful ones,” Larkina said.

Powered by WPeMatico

Load shedding expected throughout the weekend

Load shedding expected throughout the weekend

Eskom is cutting power to certain areas on Friday as protesting workers make it impossible to sustain full electricity supply.

On Friday, June 15, South Africa experienced its second consecutive day of load shedding, with power outages likely to continue over the weekend.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said that stage 1 load shedding started at 11:30 and would continue until 21:00 due to “multiple trips of its power generation units”.

In a statement Eskom says it has mobilised responders across the company and is working with other national structures and stakeholders to keep its plant operating in the context of current industrial action.

Stage 1 load shedding means that 1 000 MW of electricity needs to be shed in order to prevent the national grid from becoming severely damaged. As a last resort, Eskom will implement its power system contingencies, including controlled load shedding, to avoid a blackout/shutdown of the national power system.

“Eskom calls on all consumers to assist by reducing their electricity consumption by switching off geysers, electric heating, pool pumps, and all non-essential appliances throughout the day,” the statement read.

The utility says the outages are the result of protests by its workers over pay and has thus far obtained a court interdict to prevent workers striking and disrupting both power and coal supplies.

In a tweet Phasiwe confirmed the wage dispute had been referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

#PowerUpdate: Eskom has obtained a court interdict which essentially prohibits:
– the intimidation of workers and contractors who are not part of the illegal industrial action;
– the highjacking of coal trucks; and
– the sabotaging of Eskom’s electricity infrastructure. pic.twitter.com/wM2gERnz8P

— Khulu Phasiwe (@KhuluPhasiwe) June 15, 2018

Area that are expected to be affected in Johannesburg are:

Aeroton
Alan Manor
Amalgam
Bassonia
Brixton
Crown
Fleurhof
Garden City Clinic
Glenvista
Homestead Park
Liefde and Vrede
Mayfair
Mayfair West
Micor Industrial
Mondeor
Mulbarton
New Canada
Noordgesig
Pageview
Pennyville
Ridgeway
Southgate
Suideroord
The Glen

Eskom added that it will provide regular updates on the status of the power system through all media platforms.

By Neo Sesinye
Follow Neo Sesinye on Twitter
Follow IT News Africa on Twitter

Powered by WPeMatico