Unlocking the blockchain – An introduction to bitcoin and distributed ledger technology

While not many vendors in South Africa accepts cryptocurrency as a valid payment method, Bitcoin has started taking over the entire world. Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money. Invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Published in 2008, and was released as open-source software in 2009.

And although the Rand continuous to weaken, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is growing fast, with currency values climbing in 2017. Bitcoin enjoyed an increase in price of 63% during the last month and trade volumes almost ten folded on our local exchanges.

In light of this, Sabinet hosted the annual Organisation of South African Law Libraries (OSALL) breakfast workshop in Centurion that focused on this very topical matter and the impact thereof.

Norton Rose Fulbright’ Kerri Crawford and Rakhee Bhikha, based in Johannesburg, shared mind-boggling insights with law librarians and other professionals from the legal industry.

One might be familiar with cryptocurrencies, digital currencies or virtual currencies, but they all mean the same thing. Bitcoins hold many benefits in which they are readily available and the cost of transactions are very low. None of these however are linked to a bank or country.

Bitcoins are preferred by many online patrons, because of its real-time processing, easy accessible and most likely the anonymity factor to it. These days, you can purchase almost anything using bitcoins form coffee to houses, and you can use it in any country.

But the real question everyone is asking is how can something so anonymous and acquired so easily over the internet be legal? Every day we hear about how people are using their hard-earned Rands and buying bitcoins – whether it is for an investment or the thrill of buying internet currency and watching it grow by the day, sometimes even doubling overnight. Fact is Bitcoins are changing the financial industry the same way web changed the publishing industry.

Bitcoins are ‘mined’, using computing power in a distributed network. This network also processes transactions made with the virtual currency, effectively making bitcoin its own payment network.

Only 21 million bitcoins can ever be created by miners. However, these coins can be divided into smaller parts (the smallest divisible amount is one hundred millionth of a bitcoin and is called a ‘Satoshi’, after the founder of bitcoin).

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The University of KwaZulu-Natal is now live with OCLC WorldShare Management Services®

University becomes first African institution to implement OCLC’s cloud based library management services

LEIDEN, Netherlands, February 10, 2015 – The University of Kwazulu-Natal, a leading African university, is now using OCLC WorldShare Management Services (WMS) as its library management system.

WMS provide cloud-based library management and discovery applications in an integrated suite, offering librarians a comprehensive and cost-effective way to manage library workflows efficiently, and improve end users’ access to library collections and services. (more…)

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Sabinet Regional Projects Proposals – Deadline Extension: 20 February 2015

Due to a few requests received we have decided to extend the Call for Proposals deadline. Please note the new Regional Projects submission deadline below.

The Sabinet Chairperson’s Fund supports several projects in Tshwane such as ABET classes, maths tuition, school funding and Enterprise Development. Over the past few years we have also sponsored a number of regional projects.

This year we have decided to increase the funding amount to R30 000 for each regional project awarded. We encourage all libraries country-wide to submit their proposal for consideration. The Sabinet Chairperson’s Fund committee members will, at their discretion, decide on the amount of projects that will receive funding for the 2015 period. (more…)

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Sabinet’s Annual Paper and Pizza day

“The hardest thing about recycling is changing our attitudes, we at Sabinet believe in a greener, cleaner and better world for future generations, remember, it only takes one person to start recycling.”

Regardless of how hectic our schedules are, each year we set aside one day to clean house! On this day, the Sabi-staff clean out the clutter from their offices, do their filling or get rid of all the items that were seemingly of use, they amassed during the course of the year. More importantly all the paper we no longer have a use for, is recycled. Check out our pictures on Facebook

Recycling paper saves trees, water and the energy needed to cut down and transport the trees, then grind them into paper pulp. Recycling all our paper can have a big impact on reducing the amount of raw materials and energy needed to produce fresh paper. Paper is often the major contributor to waste in the office, and it’s easy to recycle. In our office, we have boxes which are clearly assigned in areas where people can deposit their paper, including one next to the printers and copiers. Source: http://www.greenworks.co.za/recyclepage.html

We are responsible for preserving and protecting our resources for ourselves and for future generations, it is for this reason why we are involved in recycling projects. Materials which are not recycled are filling up our landfill sites.

The hardest thing about recycling is changing our attitudes, we at Sabinet believe in a greener, cleaner and better world for future generations, remember, it only takes each one of us to be more conscious about how we regard waste for the impact to be felt the world over.

Recyclable paper products:
• White office and typing paper
• Envelopes
• Faxes
• Printouts
• Accounts
• Junk mail
• Newspapers
• Cereal boxes
• Medicine boxes
• Tissue boxes
• Clothing tags
• Cardboard boxes
• Cards
• Magazines
• Flyers
• Pamphlets
• Brochures
• Catalogues
• Calendars
• Phonebooks
• Egg cartons
• Toilet paper inners
• Roller towel inners
• Notes
• Till slips
• Wrapping paper

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Sabinet Chairperson’s Fund to make a difference

The Sabinet Chairperson’s Fund supports several projects in Tshwane such as ABET classes, maths tuition, school funding and Enterprise Development. Over the past few years we have also sponsored a number of regional projects.

This year we have decided to increase the funding amount to R30 000 for each regional project awarded. We encourage all libraries country-wide to submit their proposal for consideration. The Sabinet Chairperson Fund committee members will, at their discretion, decide on the amount of projects that will receive funding for the 2014/2015 period.

The basic guidelines of this funding are:

  • A single project should not exceed R30 000;
  • The project must be community based;
  • The project should make a measurable difference to the community;
  • The project must be able to stand alone (i.e. the funding cannot be used for an existing or larger project);
  • The project may also be one that endeavors to improve library infrastructure through the supply of ICT equipment or services to community libraries in South Africa;
  • The closing date for project proposals is 9 January 2015.

The following information should be provided in the project proposal and should not exceed 10 pages:

  • Name of the Project Coordinator;
  • A brief description of the library;
  • Information on existing outreach projects initiated by the library including outcomes of projects (statistics, news clips, pamphlets, photos, etc. can be used);
  • A description of the involvement of the friends of the library or user-committee in the library;
  • Information on the marketing strategies for the library;
  • A detailed motivation for funding of the proposed project including;
    • a project overview;
    • a budget of how the funding will be spent and
    • benefits of the project to the community
  • Project proposals should be clearly marked as follows; Sabinet Chairperson’s Fund Regional Project 2015 and be sent to cpf@sabinet.co.za;
  • The closing date for project proposals is 09 January 2015. Project coordinators will be notified no later than 16 February 2015 if their project proposal was selected for funding.

Once the sponsorship has been awarded, the project coordinator will be responsible to provide a full report, news clips, photos etc. in order for the Chairpersons Fund Committee to report back to the Sabinet shareholders.

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Sabinet participated in the National Business Challenge Relay for 12 years running

Our staff participated in the National Business Challenge Relay for the 12th time this year. This event is held every October and every year, we look forward to it with the same, if not more enthusiasm.

We all know the benefits of exercise, and there are indeed many but this event provides a relaxing and social environment in which organisations can compete in other ways outside the strenuous business environment.

What makes the National Business relay great is that it is open to full-time employees of corporations, government departments, private companies or any other employment organisation where people work together. Each company may enter an unlimited number of teams and everyone is encouraged to participate. This type of event encourages teamwork and participation from people of all walks of life; everyone is equal on the track, from the CEO to the driver, competing for their company’s honour.

This year, we entered a total of 7 teams who competed in the two categories of walkers and runners, even though we came to compete, the main focus of the day was to have fun, and that’s exactly what we did. The Sabinet team didn’t disappoint with their team spirit.

This event is organised to promote company involvement and teamwork in the best spirit of competition. All participants are encouraged to wear their company regalia and rally non-competing co-workers to the race site to cheer their team to victory. Thank you to the Sabinet Cheerleaders who cheered our athletes on to the finish line and to everyone involved in making the day the huge success that it was! A special thanks to the sponsors, who even through this tough economic climate still sponsor events like these, thank you @Avis, @Sportsman’s Warehouse, @Athletics Gauteng North and @Magnolia Road Runners.

See you again next year!

Check out our Facebook pages for pictures of the Sabineters doing us proud! Go Team!

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