Dstv payments are now 3D secure

Dstv recently enabled 3D secure payments on its online platform. The technology prevents fraudulent activities. This means no one can use your card to pay for services without your consent.

How does 3D Secure work?

You must register your card with your bank to enable 3D secure. Each time you make a payment on a 3D secure enabled site you will have to input an OTP (one-time-password), which is a pin sent to your registered phone number.

Does it affect Ecocash Users?

I have tried making a payment to DSTV and I did not face any challenge at all. The system is working perfectly as before. I believe authentication is automatic.  You do not require OTP with Ecocash’s virtual debit card.

Which other sites use 3D Secure

So far, sites which are 3D Secure in Zimbabwe are Air Zimbabwe and DSTV Zimbabwe. Let me know in the comments if there are any other 3D secure sites you know. To avoid inconvenience when accessing services on such platforms in the future, make sure you register your card to be 3D Secure. Steward bank offers free registration for 3D Secure

Is Nivacity the best hosting company in Zimbabwe

A lot of website hosting companies are sprouting in Zimbabwe largely because of the ease of launching a hosting business. If you search about reseller web hosting you will find that starting a hosting company is easy and requires a few dollars. I have found a company which allows you to resell hosting at a fee of only twenty dollars a month!

Most of the web hosting companies which are emerging in Zimbabwe might be using different servers but definitely employ the same software to manage their clients. This can be clearly noticed from the similarity of the web interfaces. So what does it take to be the best hosting service provider?

Pricing

The biggest factor in choosing a hosting package is the cost. A lot of people go for the provider offering the lowest price. Free hosting is sought after by many people and the good news is that there is a company offering that in Zimbabwe. The company is linked to Nivacity. So does that make Nivacity the best web hosting service provider? Pricing is not the only thing that people consider when choosing hosting. The number of features in a single package is another factor.

Features

Hosting  companies have different packages for their customers. You simply choose the package which you can afford. Feature you need to look out for are the number of subdomains and  add on domains that you can create. You also have to look at the amount of disk space that you can get as well as the number of databases that you can create. From my research, there is none else offering  a lowest tier package which can beat Nivacity’s  CPanel starter package.  You can get 5GB of disk space, 10 MySQL databases, unlimited subdomains and one website.

Support

I recently tried one of the cheapest hosting service which I shall not name. Their price was superb but their support was poor.  It took ages to get responses from them and that was frustrating. Nivacity has the most affordable prices and a professional support team. If we combine that with their feature laden web hosting packages, we can undoubtedly declare them the best web hosting company in Zimbabwe.

MXQ whirring sound fix

Recently my MXQ pro broke and I searched online for a fix and I could not find anything. The unit was producing a whirring sound which seemed to come from the led lights which also show the status of the TV box. Both red and blue lights were on but deem. No signal was on the TV screen.

Reset and Reboot failed

Rebooting is usually the first thing to try when fixing computer hardware and it did not work. I attempted resetting the unit through the reset button which is located at the end of the AV socket and it was, again, futile.

I suspected the power supply to be broken but since I did not have a replacement, I could prove that the power cable was broken. The next option was to look around in nearby shops for a replacement. I then visited several shops and the power cable for the MXQ pro was not available.

Improvise

I decided to salvage parts from the broken cable and make a replacement. I noted that the power supply is a 5V 2A type which is an exact match with most phone chargers. I knew that there were high chances that the jack from the broken cable was still functional so I cut it off and I looked for a USB cable which I also cut into two. I then joined one half of the USB cable with the jack from my TV box.

The USB cable I found had four wires and I searched online about the wires. I got information that two of the wires are positive and negative while the other two are for data transfer. I only needed two wires to connect to my TV box. I tested with a bulb which only works with DC to find the correct wires. I then connected the wires to the jack and my MXQ pro box started working again.I was ecstatic.

I could not believe that I had finally fixed the unit. I almost gave up. It runs Android 7 and therefore I was already looking forward upgrading it to a Chromecast with Google TV or to a better box like Mi box. However, I wanted badly  to fix my MXQ pro as it is of sentimental value to me. I have put up this article as it might help others who are facing a similar issue.

Netflix Zimbabwe Packages

Netflix introduced a mobile plus package this year in a select countries . Zimbabwe is one of those countries. In some countries there is even the mobile only package. A lot of people were expecting it to be availed to Zimbabwe as well but it has not yet been launched and the year is fast coming to an end. So what are the current packages?

There are now a total of four packages namely : mobile plus, basic, standard and premium. The lowest priced package, mobile plus, costs $4.99. Premium, the most expensive, costs $11.99.

 

Digital Entertainment on Demand- Review

Digital Entertainment On Demand(DEOD), is an online television service providing movie rental or subscription services. I paid for the take all DEOD premium daily package so that I could binge-watch movies for a day and here is my take on the service.

Telone provides this online television service and I should applaud them for that. DEOD is a platform which allows Zimbabweans to watch international and local content for free or after paying a fee in local currency.

The platform can be accessed in any web browser or through a mobile app. Ecocash is supported and payment is easy. The service is instantly activated upon payment. So far there are about eleven free channels which you can watch. These include Aljazeera, Russia Today, Africa news and DW as well as some gospel channels. The paid TV channels comprise of BBC, Bloomberg TV and several others.

One thing I like about DEOD is Zollywood. You can access a variety of locally produced films. However, they come as a separate package which needs a monthly subscription. This means you can not access local content with a premium package.

A sad thing to note is that even after you pay for the premium package you may still have to pay more in renting some selected movies. Some movies can cost you as much as $2.50 to rent. When we compare DEOD with Netflix you might find that the latter is cheaper overall as there are no extra charges once you subscribe.

Should you ditch WhatsApp for Sasai?

WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging service in the world. Even though there are a lot of enticing alternatives, many people have remained loyal to the platform. Now, with the advent of Sasai- a messaging service laden with cool features, are we going to see people migrating from WhatsApp to Sasai?

Sasai is an all-in-one app that you can use to send and receive money, pay bills as well as chat with friends and family. It is owned by Cassava Fintech.

What mainly sets WhatsApp apart from Sasai at the moment is Sasai Pay. In the meantime, one can only use Ecocash to make transactions. With Sasai 2.0 on the cards we expert the ability to link a variety of payments options. WhatsApp is currently testing its own payment solution and it has recently launched WhatsApp pay in India.

Sasai Pay is not the only feature you can have on Sasai. There are several other things you can do using Sasai like gaming and music streaming. You can also order services such as to hail a ride or call a plumber. Another great thing, according to Sasai, is a chance to make passive income while using the app.

With Sasai you can also make some money through our paying Ads integration. We’ve partnered with an international technology company that gives subscribers a chance to earn $$ for watching Ads on Sasai.

As seen above, WhatsApp and Sasai are two totally different platforms and therefore one can choose to have one or both. When it comes to messaging, there is no doubt that the former will remain the number one choice. The latter is feature-laden and with time it will continue to grow and have a large number of users globally. It poses no threat to any other instant messaging service as it is in a league of its own and therefore will not disrupt other social media platforms which came before it.

Do you really need a web designer?

There are many ways to get your business online these days. Therefore, it is worth taking some time to reflect before you seek the services of a web designer. You need to ask yourself if you do really need a web designer.

Web design is used in many cases to refer to web development in general. I shall therefore adopt the phrase ‘web design’ in this article. In actual fact, web design is only a part of the whole web development process.

What web designers do

Web designers are experts who dedicate their time to the design process of websites. Front-end developers make websites dynamic while backend developers connect websites to databases so that you can have a newsletter subscription, or enable login and registration or even set up an e-commerce shop. I shall use ‘web designer’ to refer to a person who can do any of the above jobs.

Available ways of getting a website

Nowadays there are a lot of ready-made templates which you can download for free and upload to your website. Free website templates have attribution in the footer which usually tells visitors that it is a free template. This is a drawback if you want to create a professional-looking website. There is a simple fix though which is paying the developer of the template a few dollars to have the attribution removed.

Instead of scouring the internet to find web templates to buy or download, you can simply go straight to your web hosting portal and use a website builder if they have one. Website builders are popular and you can choose a website hosting service with one. It does not cost you any extra money. Your hosting fee covers everything including the website builder too.

The advantage of website builders or templates is that they are easy to customize. You can get your website online in a few minutes. There is usually a support team which is ready to assist when you experience challenges. Web pages created using website builders or templates are mobile-friendly and offer a good user experience.

You can do without a web designer

Most individuals and small businesses can do without a web designer. The challenge with employing the services of a web designer is that they might do a shoddy job which can hurt your website’s performance. If that happens you will be destined for failure.

Website development is usually perfect when done by a team of experts. Therefore if you decide to go for the customized website route, make sure you pay a company to do that for you. There are also individuals who can manage all aspects of development. These are full-stack web developers. You can have them design your website if you trust them. To avoid being duped, you should ask for their portfolios. Check their recent work. If it is not up to par you will be better off with a website builder.

Hire a web designer

If you have an online business which requires that you update your content frequently and which generates income through the website then you definitely need to hire a web designer. This is because a web designer can help you with search engine optimization which is an ongoing process. Sometimes you may have to employ a web designer permanently.

If you choose to hire a web designer, it is their job to decide whether to create the website from scratch or to use ready-made templates. They can opt to use a content management system like WordPress. The purpose of the web designer is to help with the setup as there are some settings which require a tech-savvy person to complete quickly without wasting time.

An ethical web designer will not charge you a lot of money to set up your website template. The task is not as taxing as building a site from scratch. If you are quoted exorbitant prices for a website then you consider other means of getting a website. Sometimes you can do without a web designer.

 

Should you do a short course or a degree in software?

What are the current trends in Zimbabwe as far as learning software programming is concerned? Some people take short courses and become freelancers while some go to college to get a degree. There is also a significant number of people who take both the short course and the college degree albeit simultaneously regardless of order.

Certifications

It is typical for employers to require certification of some sort in certain areas like Java programming, networking or database management. This prompts graduands to do short courses in order to gain those qualifications. There are people who just go straight to acquire such qualifications since a degree is not a prerequisite. Those programmers who get their qualifications through short courses also compete with degree holders on the job market. This makes people wonder if a college qualification is worthwhile. The answer is, it depends on the job market and the programming language you want to learn.

Recommendation

As someone who has done both, I recommend starting with a short course first. This is advisable if you want to change a career or if you are not planning on going to college immediately after graduating from high school. This allows you an opportunity to start earning through part-time employment or freelancing. Some people even form their own startups.  Short courses give you a chance to live your dream of becoming a coder in no time. This helps you decide if coding is really what you wanted without wasting your time.

The money you earn while freelancing can also contribute towards your tuition when you eventually embark on a degree programme. This is good news for those who can not afford to pay for their education.

Short courses prepare you for a job much more quickly than a college degree. You can be ready to seek employment in less than six months compared to four years needed to complete a computer science degree. Not only will you be employable but you will also start to feel comfortable in participating in online discussions.

Some people, as mentioned earlier, complete a degree first before taking a short course. This shows that both pathways are vital and you can not do without them. This is true if you want to have an edge over other competitors when job hunting. The order in which you obtain your qualifications is not important but starting with a short course is wiser.

 

How to set up WordPress for the first time

WordPress sites are very easy to set up. All you need to do is edit the title and a few other information. However, there are some important changes that you should make before it is too late.

If you are a blogger you might want your home page to display your blog instead of a static page. If you are a business you definitely require a static page to display on your home page. You can also create pages to act as landing pages for future marketing purposes. The purpose of a blog is to drive traffic through content marketing.

For bloggers or for companies who are serious about their content marketing, there is a need to adjust the permalink settings. Change the settings to post name, the default is ‘day and name’ and this can affect your SEO. You can also create a custom URL structure using some suggested tags to make the process seamless.

The privacy page is already set up for you unlike on other platforms. You also have the option to edit the auto-generated privacy policy to suit your needs. If you already have a privacy policy somewhere online you have an option to paste the link.

 

Tips for buying an Intel Processor

Intel offers numerous CPUs, from Celeron to Xenon. Which one meets your requirements and how do you know you are getting the latest Technology when buying an Intel processor?

Some facts about Intel CPUs

Did you know that an Intel Core i3 processor is actually a dual-core processor? Many people are confused by the name ‘core i3’ and think that it has three cores. Rule number one when buying an Intel processor is that the name of the CPU has nothing to do with the number of cores. It is just a naming convention.

Generation

Intel has been producing CPUs with the same names for years now and therefore, how can one tell if the processor they are buying is the latest one? The answer is that you should inquire about the generation of the processor. Be aware that if you want to upgrade or replace your CPU then you need to buy a processor compatible with your existing hardware and not just any processor.

Multithreading

As alluded to earlier, the number in the name of an Intel processor does not represent the number of cores. When you do find the actual number of cores you should also be cognizant to the fact that processors with the same number of cores might actually perform differently depending on whether they use multithreading.

CPU Socket

When choosing a desktop processor you should also take note of the CPU socket type as this also changes periodically. Again, if you want to upgrade your computer you can only do so with compatible hardware which means that you can not expect a CPU using the latest socket to fit into an old socket. LGA 1151 is currently the latest desktop CPU socket for Intel CPUs.

Building your own desktop computer?

If you are going to build your own desktop computer and do not know where to start, my advice is that go for a motherboard with the latest CPU socket. Then buy a CPU compatible with the socket on the mobo. The rest of the components will follow the same protocol of first checking compatibility. I hope this guide has been helpful in allaying any fears you might have of using outdated technology on your computer.

 

Technology News from Zimbabwe

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