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Acer throws weight behind League of Legends

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Acer has become an official sponsor of the 2016 League of Legends World Championships and 2016 All Star Event.

Assisted by sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in setting up the partnership, Acer will supply Predator XB1 monitors for these global e-sports events, equipping the professional practice rooms and stages, displaying all of the action during matches. The marketing partnership also includes branding integration during Worlds and ASE broadcasts, and unique experience opportunities will also be offered to avid gamers.

“Acer is committed to pushing boundaries in the gaming arena and has built a strong reputation with its widely acclaimed Predator line of gaming notebooks, desktops and displays, consistently delivering new, relevant technology to the market,” said Vincent Lin, senior director, Global Product Marketing and Planning at Acer.

“This sponsorship for the 2016 League of Legends World Championships and 2016 League of Legends All-Star Event, two of the world’s most popular and exciting e-sports events, will help Acer demonstrate its gaming prowess to gaming enthusiasts around the globe. The Predator XB1 monitors will give professional players an immersive experience that will enable them to push their skills to the limit and delight their e-sports fans.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Acer to the game as a partner as we get ready to celebrate the competitive pinnacle of 2016 and crown a new World Champion,” said Jarred Kennedy, Riot Games.

Acer provided the following information:

The Acer Predator line has earned countless industry awards and accolades for giving a competitive edge to gamers. The Acer Predator XB241H sports a brilliant 24-inch Full HD 1080p display featuring NVIDIA G-Sync, a quick 1ms response and up to a fast 144Hz refresh rate rendering fast-moving actions and dramatic transitions without smearing or ghosting. For enthusiasts and professionals who like to push gaming to the outer limits, the Predator XB241H can be overclocked up to 180Hz. It also provides wide viewing angles with accurate colours up to 170 degrees horizontally and 160 degrees vertically, so no targets are missed.

Featuring GameView, the Acer Predator XB241H lets gamers quickly and easily toggle between three customisable profiles to tweak settings in-game without the need to navigate an OSD menu, a significant benefit when every second counts. Other settings include the ability to adjust black levels to ensure every threat is seen, aim-point assistance to get a lead on opponents and perfect the shot, and the ability to select the on-screen refresh rate. Acer EyeProtect leveraging flicker-less, blue-light filter, ComfyView and low-dimming technologies prevents glare and allows the user to reduce blue light emissions, which may help decrease eye fatigue during long gaming matches. VESA wall mountable, the Predator XB241H maximises desk space and the stand can be adjusted up to 5.9 inches and tilted from -5 to 35 degrees for more comfortable viewing. Powerful connectivity is enabled vis HDMI and DisplayPort. 

The 2016 League of Legends World Championship, or Worlds, is an international e-sports tournament that takes place over five weeks of competitive play. The top 16 teams from around the world who have conquered their regional leagues come together to compete on the international stage; teams from North America, Europe, Korea, China, Taiwan and other regions will compete for a prize pool of more than $2 million (USD). Worlds kicks off on Sept. 29 and the finals will take place on 29th October in Los Angeles.

After the 2016 League of Legends World Championship, fans get to join in on the fun and vote on their favourite players to compete in the 2016 League of Legends All-Star Event. The All-Star Event introduces fan voting, unexpected match-ups and game modes to really test pros’ skills and create a unique, memorable event. It will take place in Barcelona from December 8 to 11.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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By 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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How load-shedding is killing our cellphone signals

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Extensive load-shedding, combined with the theft of cell tower backup batteries and copper wire, is placing a massive strain on mobile network providers.

MTN says the majority of MTN’S sites have been equipped with battery backup systems to ensure there is enough power on site to run the system for several hours when local power goes out and the mains go down. 

“With power outages on the rise, these back-up systems become imperative to keeping South Africa connected and MTN has invested heavily in generators and backup batteries to maintain communication for customers, despite the lack of electrical power,” the operator said in a statement today.

However, according to Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive: Corporate Affairs, at MTN SA, “The high frequency of the cycles of load shedding have meant batteries were unable to fully recharge. They generally have a capacity of six to 12 hours, depending on the site category, and require 12 to 18 hours to recharge.”

An additional challenge is that criminals and criminal syndicates are placing networks across the country at risk. Batteries, which can cost R28 000 per battery and upwards, are sought after on black markets – especially in neighbouring countries. 

“Although MTN has improved security and is making strides in limiting instances of theft and vandalism with the assistance of the police, the increase in power outages has made this issue even more pressing,” says O’Sullivan.

Ernest Paul, General Manager: Network Operations at SA’s leading network provider MTN, says the brazen theft of batteries is an industry-wide problem and will require a broader initiative driven by communities, the private sector, police and prosecutors to bring it to a halt.

“Apart from the cost of replacing the stolen batteries and upgrading the broken infrastructure, communities suffer as the network degrades without the back-up power. This is due to the fact that any coverage gaps need to be filled. The situation is even more dire with the rolling power cuts expected due to Eskom load shedding.”

Loss of services and network quality can range from a 2-5km radius to 15km on some sites and affect 5,000 to 20,000 people. On hub sites, network coverage to entire suburbs and regions can be lost.

Click here to read more about efforts to combat copper theft.

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