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Alienware laptops are landing

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The new generation of Alienware gaming laptops is about to be made available in South Africa through gaming supplier Prima Interactive.

One of the country’s leading gaming and entertainment distributors, Prima Interactive is the sole supplier of Microsoft Xbox hardware, including the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and peripherals. Prima Interactive is also the distributor of chart-topping triple-A gaming titles, such as Halo, Gears of War, Battlefield, FIFA, Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto.

“The Alienware brand has always set the standard for high-end gaming on laptops, rivalling desktop systems,” said Chris Buchanan, Director of Client Solutions at Dell EMC. “They play in a very competitive market, where second-best won’t do. This requires a specialist distributor that has the credentials and reputation the gaming market respects. Prima Interactive is a giant of that industry, having represented many of the top gaming titles and studios for years. It is without questions the partner to take the Alienware family of gaming laptops to new heights.”

The new Alienware family of gaming laptops run on the latest 7th generation of Intel Core i chipsets, with the flagship model powered by the new i7 7700 Intel processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB graphics processor. Available with dynamic overclocking and in 13”, 15” and 17” screen sizes, every new Alienware machine runs on Windows 10, available in Single Language and Pro versions. The family of laptops supports DirectX 12 and also include additional features designed specifically for gamers.

The chassis are designed with carbon fiber, inspired by aerospace technologies. This sturdy and reliable design reflects in the keyboard, which is reinforced with a steel plate and guaranteed for up to 10 million keystrokes. Customisable keys can be set to 15 unique commands, including in-game macros, programmed via the Alienware Command Center software.

“Being appointed the Alienware distributor is a very exciting opportunity for Prima”, says Ian Hepplewhite CEO. “Alienware is the premier brand of gaming laptops, and it’s the device most PC gamers aspire to have. Apart from cutting edge specifications, the build quality is awesome, and Alienware laptops are finely tuned to deliver peak performance”.

Owning a new Alienware also includes access to Microsoft Play Anywhere. This innovative cross-platform service lets players purchase just one digital copy of a game and play it on both their Xbox console and Windows 10 PC. The Play Anywhere family of games keep growing and already include Halo Wars 2, Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4. Play on PC or Xbox, using the same save games and progress across all supported devices.

Prima Interactive will also distribute Alienware accessories, such as the Alienware Graphics Amplifier. This expands the graphics power of your Alienware experience, including 4K graphics, support for multiple monitors and virtual reality.

Other accessories include Alienware backpacks, Tactx headsets and Alienware sleeves.

The new generation of Alienware gaming laptops, powered by Intel Core i7 SkyLake Dual Core technology, will retail from R23,999, below the traditional R 25,000 mark previously seen in the market, while the top of the range bring unparalleled gaming performance for only R49,999.

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Load-shedding leads
local searches

South Africans are searching in the dark, according to the latest Google Search trends.

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With more 1 million search queries generated in the space of 76 hours, load-shedding was by far the top trending search on Google South Africa this week.

Valentine’s Day came a distant second.

After news emerged last Sunday of the impending stage 3 load shedding, South Africans had generated more than 1-million load-shedding search queries by the time Tuesday came around:

  • “Loadshedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Eskom load shedding” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding Cape Town” – generated more than 50k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 400k on Monday
  • “Load shedding Johannesburg” – generated more than 20k searches on Monday
  • Load shedding schedule” generated more than 200k search queries on Tuesday

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, South Africans generated close to 300k search queries related to the romantic festival, including searches for quotes and gift ideas:

  • “Valentines Day” generated more than 100k search queries on Thursday
  • “Happy Valentines Day Images” and “Valentines Day Images” generated more than 10k search queries each on Thursday, with “Happy Valentines Day 2019” generating more than 20k search queries on Wednesday
  • “Valentines Day Specials 2019” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Love quotes” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Valentines Day quotes” generated more than 100k search queries and “Valentine messages” generated more than 50 000 search queries on Wednesday

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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Showmax invites
student films

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Thanks to the growing popularity of video-on-demand services, there’s a new opportunity to help kickstart the careers of local filmmakers.

Numerous Hollywood blockbusters (District 9Tomb Raider 2018, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) have featured substantial shoots in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While providing great opportunities for SA’s production talent, aspiring writers and directors don’t get the same benefit.

So where can local creatives showcase their work? Broadcast TV isn’t a natural home for unknown short films, and while self-publishing platforms are readily available hosting options, it’s tough to get noticed and get traffic when competing with videos from across the planet.

But with the emergence of video-on-demand services into the mainstream, there’s now a solution. The African film school AFDA has teamed up with the streaming service Showmax to give local talent a much larger platform than ever before. From 18 February, eighteen of the best recent short films made by AFDA students from their Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth campuses will be live on Showmax. Drama, documentary, fantasy, and animation are all represented, in pieces running from under eight minutes to almost half-an-hour long. The full list of movies is included below.

Teresa Passchier, CEO of AFDA, said: “AFDA, Africa’s number-one school for the Creative Economy, is proud to kickstart this exciting and meaningful journey with Showmax and AFDA students, ensuring emerging young African filmmakers’ voices are heard and given a platform. It’s ground-breaking to share young, local, culturally relevant content on the same platform as Hollywood blockbusters. I am certain that this unique initiative will serve to boost and develop the African film industry and the careers of many young South African and African students alike.”

Included in the short films coming to Showmax are the award winners Junior and O-PunchaJunior, directed by Bert Dijkstra, picked up the Audience Award in the Made in South Africa Competition at the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival Awards 2017. O-Puncha, directed by Adam Hansen, won two awards at the 5th annual Eldorado Film Festival: Best Student Made Short, and Best Editing – Alexander La Cock.

Another celebrated film is Sicela Amanzi directed by Mlu Godola, which talks to the subject of water shortage. The film’s heroine Zoleka is a mild-mannered young woman forced to go to extreme lengths when a small community’s only source of water unexpectedly collapses. The power of films like this is they shine a light on critical topical issues in new ways.

Speaking about working with the film school, Candice Fangueiro, Head of Content for Showmax, said: “There’s immense depth of filmmaking talent in Africa and it’s a privilege to be able to give that talent a home and a platform. Showmax is becoming part of the fabric of film and TV production in Africa, and importantly we’re doing this as a partner rather than just as a consumer. This is a key competitive advantage of being local and something we aim to continue to work on.”

AFDA is an Academy Award-winning institution, founded in 1994, and the first and only African film school to win an Oscar – for the Best Foreign Student film in 2006, the postgraduate film Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.

The full list of AFDA short films coming to Showmax is as follows:

Film titleDirectorGenre
Lullaby from the CryptKeenan Lott & Raven DavidsAnimation
Ko Ga CherenyaneSibonokuhle MyatazaDocumentary
IzilwaneKyllian RouxDrama
MallemeuleJaco Van BoschDrama
Canal StreetBrodie MuirheadDrama
On the FenceWarrick BewsDrama
The Righteous FewLindo LangaDrama
Hlogoma PeakLuke AhrensDrama
Frozen FlameCameron HeathmanAnimation
WolfBrett van DortFantasy
The Walk HomeSisanda DyantyiDrama
BearWesley RoodtDrama
JuniorBert DijkstraDrama
O-PunchaAdam HansenDrama
UmngenoSiphosethu NdungeDrama
DoreenLuvuyo Equiano NyawoseDrama
ForeverLindo LangaMusical
Sicela AmanziMlu GodolaDrama

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