29 November 2013Entries for the 2014 Comrades Marathon will close at the end of business on Friday, a day earlier than had been planned because the cap of 18 000 runners has been reached ahead of schedule.In recent years the cap has been implemented for logistical and organisational purposes; the race has been oversubscribed since 2009.Online and in-house entries at the Comrades Marathon offices in Pietermaritzburg will close at 16:30 on Friday. However, Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) General Manager Chris Bruwer said: “We will still accept postal entries, but they must be postmarked by the Post Office with [the] date of 29 November 2013. Entries made after this date will be rejected.”Heightened interestSince a massive entry in 2010, when the Guinness World Records recognised the Comrades Marathon as the biggest ultra-marathon in the world, and the event was named the winner of the Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards for South Africa’s “Best Sport Participation Event”, there has been a heightened interest in the race, which was first run in 1921.The 2010 race, which benefited from the excitement surrounding the 2010 Fifa World Cup, had 23 568 entries, with 14 343 runners finishing before the 12-hour cut-off time.The iconic road running race enjoys recognition as Africa’s oldest marathon and ultra-marathon at the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).2014 raceNext year’s event will be the 89th running of the Comrades Marathon. It was only during the Second World War, in the years from 1941 to 1945, that it was not held.Pietermaritzburg will host the start of next year’s Comrades Marathon on Sunday, 1 June. Competitors are allowed up to 12 hours to reach the finish in Durban.The defending men’s champion will be South African Claude Moshiywa, while Elena Nurgalieva, the defending women’s champion, will have an opportunity to match Bruce Fordyce’s nine wins in the race.SAinfo reporter and Comrades Marathon
Secure Cloud Computing. To some, at least with the current state of technology, that might sound like an oxymoron. When asked about cloud computing, security is the main issue that concerns most organizations. That sentiment isn’t being ignored by cloud vendors. In fact, many cloud vendors realize that the long-term success of their businesses depends on the need for them to convince customers that their data will be secure.Forrester Research has picked up on this. Jonathan Penn, analyst at Forrester, recently wrote that “heightened pressure by cloud customers and prospects is fueling the rapid evolution of solutions. How rapid and radical an evolution? By 2015, security will shift from being the No. 1 inhibitor of cloud to one of the top enablers and drivers of cloud services adoption.” Penn is predicting that by 2015 the cloud security market will be a $1.5 billion force with 5 percent of all security spending going towards the cloud.Many organizations already have security budgets for their in-house IT projects. Forrester sees the allocation of those funds changing, and moving towards being applied to cloud application computing. He sees a new category of products being created that can specifically enhance the security of cloud applications. A Forrester report observes that “end user organizations are beginning to seek security as an inherent feature of cloud services, where it is more effective, more easily managed, and less expensive.”Partnerships between cloud vendors and security vendors is beginning to happen. Amazon has teamed with Symantec’s Symantec Endpoint Protection product for Windows. Verizon Business and McAfee are also teaming up. We can expect more such partnerships and products in the future.Penn argues for the cloud security market to take shape and for there to be more acceptance that cloud security standards are needed. Many of the existing standards around hosted applications aren’t sufficient for guaranteeing security of data. Penn wrote that “Certifications and other operational standards such as SAS 70 Type II (or even the new SSAE 16 designed to replace it), SEI CMMi and ISO 27001 are ill-fitted assurances for the security of cloud environments. Nor can SLAs sufficiently cover everything: Adopting organisations need more detail and concrete assurances of operational practices – such as specifying both the control technologies and policies in place, access to system logs, and regular communication of results from security scans – rather than relying on general contract language.”eWeek quotes Allen Allison, chief security officer at naviSite as saying that “it must be understood that not all clouds are the same, not all security requirements are equal and not all customers have the same level of expectations; thus, costs of compliance should be considered as standards as cloud security is developed.”
Iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was among a host of dignitaries, who paid homage to late former President APJ Abdul Kalam at his residence here today.Kalam, aged 83, passed away yesterday in Shillong where he had gone to deliver a lecture to IIM students. Kalam’s mortal remains were flown in here and have been kept at his Rajaji Marg residence where political bigwigs and commoners paid their last respects to the departed soul.”The nation mourns the loss of a great person. Former President of India, a renowned scientist, an inspiration to all, a terrific human being..RIP Abdul Kalam,” Tendulkar had tweeted.The nation mourns the loss of a great person (1/2)& sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 27, 2015Former President of India, a renowned scientist, an inspiration to all, a terrific human being…RIP Dr. Abdul Kalam (2/2)& sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 27, 2015Former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said that A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s simplicity touched not just him but everyone. ” Had met him quite a few times and knew him personally. Not just me, everyone who met him will agree that one thing that touched everyone was his simplicity which got people attached to him,” Ganguly said. Dr Kalam collapsed while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.