Distracted driving kills


Driving under the influence of alcohol was once considered the main cause of road accidents. A study by the Allianz Center for Technology now shows that the risk of an accident increases significantly when drivers focus on technical devices. Of the 3500 road users who died on German roads last year, over 7% (256) were involved in an accident with someone under the influence of alcohol. Considerably more (approximately 350) died in accidents caused by distractions.




Secure your info




Your cellphone, computer, laptop and tablet contain much of your life’s most important information, including access to your banking details. We need to ensure that this info cannot be accessed by snoopers or criminals, and that our gadgets cannot be hacked by data-stealing malicious apps. Protecting yourself using passwords is obvious – but how clever do these passwords have to be? Here are some tips about what passwords NOT to use!




Weird claims


Various oddball insurance claims were received by companies during 2016. A woman tried to get her medical aid to pay for treatment of stress caused by a neighbour’s overhanging branches banging against her window. Another tried to claim for replacing a pet parrot that supposedly had a heart attack during a robbery. Perhaps the most bizarre is the claim that the gearbox of a new bakkie was possessed. The client wanted the ‘evil spirits’ removed or a replacement bakkie delivered.



Unkind South Africans




The Charities Aids Foundation’s ‘world-giving’ index for 2016 showed that South Africa dropped nine places to 19th when it came to helping a stranger in need. Apparently people living in some of the world’s most dangerous, unstable places are most likely to offer help. Four of the countries in the top 10 are either currently embroiled in conflict or have been recently. The country where people are kindest to strangers is Iraq.


Pacemaker scam


Fraudsters could be costing healthcare companies millions with a new scam. The Hawks, the police’s Durban commercial crimes unit, the ombudsman for long-term insurance and the South African Insurance Crime Bureau are investigating at least two cases involving cardiologists and surgeons who performed unnecessary pacemaker operations to the value of R30.5-million. Conmen persuade people to get insurance cover, hugely inflating their monthly earnings when applying. The new insurance scheme “member’ borrows money from the scammers to pay for the premiums for a short time before submitting a claim.


Lucky Friday 13th ?


Fear of Friday the 13th or triskaidekaphobia could have some positive spinoffs. The Dutch Centre of Insurance Statistics reports that “fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or stay at home”. In the last two years, an average of 7 800 traffic accidents occurred each Friday, but decreased on Friday 13th to 7 500.


Dangerous teens


According to Arrive Alive, drivers aged between 16 and 19 are four times more likely to cause an accident than older drivers, showing an increased tendency to speed, jump red robots and drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.




Data explosion


More data has been created in the past two years than ever before, aided by the increasing number of connected devices. Within five years there will be over 50 billion smart connected devices globally, all collecting, analysing and sharing data.




New antibiotic?


German researchers have discovered a compound that could fight ‘superbugs’, making it the first new antibiotic since the 1980s in an era when antibiotic-resistant bacteria are steadily increasing. It originates in bacteria found in the human nose.


Safire Berg 100 approaches!



We are counting down the weeks until this year’s Safire Berg 100 MTB event, which takes place on 18 March in the KZN Midlands. This challenging race winds through some of the country’s most beautiful scenery. Have a look and be inspired to start training!






3 – maximum distance in metres from which hackers can copy fingerprints from a photograph, potentially gaining access to phones, computers and tablets.




£17-million – cost of hosting the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this year. The figure increases by 5% annually, raising queries about whether the race might have to be dropped for a year.




1.79-billion – number of monthly active Facebook users globally, a 16% increase year over year. A staggering 1.18-billion people log onto Facebook each day.


$360-billion – amount that China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, plans to invest in renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gases. Pollution frequently blankets its industrial cities.




$66.1-million – amount of his own money that Donald Trump spent to reach the White House, less than the $100-million that he said that it would take to get there.




1 – placing of Mauritius on Africa’s best countries to do business with list, boosted by its trade freedom and property rights rankings.



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