Calling all reluctant designers

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Whether you are a professional, aspiring or reluctant designer, occasionally you have to rustle up a poster, flyer, ad or some form of graphic representation.

Canva an Australian company, was founded in 2012 to easily create graphic designs for whatever purpose.

The web site rapidly became popular, with more than 750,000 users in its first year. It currently has over 10 million users across 179 countries. It’s also considered to be one of the easiest graphic design platforms available at the moment. 

Canva is considered to be one of the easiest (according to some THE easiest) graphic design platforms currently available. One of the biggest challenges with graphic design is learning to use software like Adobe Photoshop, a fairly complicated programme. Canva eliminates this learning process and doesn’t expect you to be an expert designer to use it. How is this possible?

One way with which Canva simplifies the design process is by using an easy, intuitive drag and drop system which makes adding, removing, and editing elements extremely easy. You can choose between 11 available templates or customise your document from scratch. It also provides over 8,000 free and paid layouts.

Additionally, it offers a free photo editing tool, colour palette generator, and font combination tool, along with a database of over a million photographs, graphics and fonts. Many of the images are for the Premium package, which will cost you $1 per image, but you can easily upload and use your own images.

All these tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics. Canva is free for individuals, but also offers a ‘Team’ tier at $12.45/month,


ServiceNow is ready to use

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Information Technology (IT) recently implemented ServiceNow, a new request and incident logging system for SU staff and students.

Our first step was to register all staff on the system. If you haven’t done this yet, please go to, click on Register for ServiceNow and log in. Once logged in, you are automatically registered.

ServiceNow is ready for you to use. We’d like to encourage you to use the Self Service function as much as possible to save you time and improve IT services. It can be used to:

1. log IT related incidents or requests,
2. track the progress of your requests,
3. get quotes on IT hardware and related items and
4. find IT related information.


1. Who needs to register for ServiceNow?
All staff and students have to register if you want to use this powerful tool.
2. How do I register?
Follow the link and log in with your SU username and password.
3. How do I log an incident? Click here.
4. How do I log a request? Click here.
5. How do I track my incidents and requests? Click here.

If you still have questions after you’ve registered, please contact the IT Service Desk at 021 808 4367.

Wherever you roam, eduroam

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

eduroam (education roaming) is the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community.

Users can move between campuses and visit other participating institutions at home or abroad and get instant, secure network access, without having to arrange and use guest accounts or extra passwords. The visiting user is authenticated using the same credentials (username and password)  they use at their home institution, the institution or organisation they are affiliated with.

Visiting dignitaries who subscribe to eduroam will be able to connect to all wireless access points across campus.

More information on how to use and activate the eduroam service can be found in our service catalogue. Also consult the eduroam websites at www. and

Register for ServiceNow

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Information Technology (IT) will soon implement ServiceNow, a new request logging system for all SU staff and students. However, to register you need to follow a simple registration process. Please go to and click on the Register for ServiceNow button.

ServiceNow is a one-stop service to keep track of all your IT related requests. This multi-functional platform will enable us to streamline services for our clients, ensuring greater efficiency.

With ServiceNow, you or someone on your behalf, can submit your request online within seconds. You can log incidents, request IT services, search a knowledge base, and track progress on your requests. All these functions can be performed from any type of device, at any time, on a web-based IT self-service portal or Android or iPhone app.

Please take note that this process is only to register. After you logged in, you can close the web page again. We ask that you try not to log any requests, as we want to give everybody a chance to register before going live. When the registration process of users has been completed, we will notify you via e-mail and newsletter and you can start using the system.

If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk at 021 808 4367 or


Alternative facts, fake news or lies?

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

If there’s one thing the US election taught us, it’s that “alternative facts” exist and any news which puts Trump in a negative light is, apparently, “fake news”. Fake news does exist, but it’s not what Trump wants it to be.

“Fake news, or hoax news, refers to false information or propaganda published under the guise of being authentic news. Fake news websites and channels push their fake news content in an attempt to mislead consumers of the content and spread misinformation via social networks.” (

During the US election, it became clear that most of the fake news generated, including sites that improved Donald Trump’s chances as a candidate, originated from outside the United States. In Macedonia, one teenager started a lucrative business spreading the pro-Trump fake news. Whether this played any role in Trump’s presidential win, we’ll never know. Speaking of Trump – Did you hear he signed a visa-free travel policy for South Africa? Not true! Fake news! Sad! Even in South Africa, it was suggested that the ANC used fake news to try and influence the local elections. 

It’s easy to get swept up when you read something upsetting or ludicrous and of course, your first instinct is “I have to tell someone!” So you share it on Twitter, you send it via e-mail and you post it on Facebook and you feel like you are involved in spreading the news. And so something that’s not true spreads like wildfire and fake news peddlers are laughing all the way to the bank.

The increase of fake news means that we have to be more careful and even suspicious of what we read on the internet. If it looks like a news website, it doesn’t mean it is. On the contrary, it’s remarkably easy to create fake websites. There are ways to spot fake news, but it will require you to be more vigilant and above all, read more critically. Local (real) news website EWN lists a few tips to help you to distinguish between the real and the ridiculous. Mybroadband goes into even more detail with their article “How to stop falling for fake news on Facebook.”

Fake news characteristics are easily recognisable if you take the time to read the article before sharing it. By reading, you will notice details which don’t fit. If a headline sounds sensationalistic, it’s probably a fake article attempting to lure you into clicking.  Remember Google is your friend and can indicate whether the same news is shared by legitimate news sources or if this is the only one. It will also show if the article is an old one recycled to generate new clicks.

Avoid getting trapped in an echo chamber. We prefer to only read information and opinions we agree with and inevitably search engines only suggest similar articles with similar views. Try to read a bit wider – even articles covering topics that don’t necessarily interest you or you don’t agree with. Challenge your own viewpoints. 


More articles on fake news: 

We can’t talk about ‘fake news’ if we can’t agree what it means
Google and Facebook partner for anti-fake news drive during French election
Fake news website (Wikipedia)
List of fake news websites
List of satirical websites




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