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Apple brings Retina displays to iMac family

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Apple has updated the entire iMac family, bringing a new Retina 4K display to the 21.5-inch iMac for the first time and the Retina 5K display to every 27-inch iMac.

The new Retina displays make photos and videos more immersive and true-to-life thanks to a wider colour gamut and spectacular image quality. The updated iMacs also feature more powerful processors and graphics, two Thunderbolt 2 ports and new storage options that make the high-performance Fusion Drive more affordable.

Apple this week also introduced a new lineup of wireless accessories including the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2. The Magic devices have been redesigned to feel more comfortable than ever, and feature rechargeable batteries that eliminate the need for disposable batteries. The new Magic Trackpad 2 also brings Apple’s Force Touch interface to the desktop, adding a new dimension to the iMac experience.

“From the first iMac to today, the spirit of iMac has never wavered — deliver the ultimate desktop experience with the latest technologies, gorgeous displays and cutting-edge designs,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “These are the most stunning iMacs we’ve ever made. With our gorgeous new Retina displays, more powerful processors and graphics and all-new Magic accessories, the new iMac continues to redefine the ultimate desktop experience.”

Apple provided the following information:

With Retina display, text appears sharper than ever, videos are unbelievably lifelike and you can see new levels of detail in your photos. The 21.5-inch iMac is available with the all-new Retina 4K display featuring an amazing 4096 x 2304 resolution and 9.4 million pixels, 4.5 times more than the standard 21.5-inch iMac display. Every 27-inch iMac features a Retina 5K display, the world’s highest resolution all-in-one display with a stunning 14.7 million pixels, 7 times more pixels than an HD display. With a Retina display now on the 21.5-inch iMac and every 27-inch iMac, iMac with Retina display is more affordable than ever.

The new Retina displays feature a wider colour gamut that brings more brilliant and true-to-life colours to your desktop. With standard sRGB-based displays, many of the colours you see in real life never make it to your screen. The new Retina 5K and 4K displays feature a wider P3-based colour gamut that provides a 25 percent larger colour space, and with more available colours, images are more vivid, reveal even greater detail and appear more lifelike than ever.

Faster and more powerful than ever, the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display now comes with sixth-generation Intel Core processors and the latest AMD high-performance graphics that deliver up to 3.7 teraflops of compute power. The new 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display features a fifth-generation Intel Core processor and enhanced Intel Iris Pro Graphics. Two Thunderbolt 2 ports now come standard on all iMacs and deliver up to 20Gbps data transfer speeds for external drives and high-performance peripherals. And three stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi allows iMac to support up to 1.3Gbps wireless networking.

Fusion Drive combines the large storage capacity of a hard drive with the high performance of flash to deliver shorter boot times and faster access to apps and files. Fusion Drive works in conjunction with OS X to adapt to the way you use your iMac and automatically moves the files and apps you use most often to flash storage. The incredible performance of Fusion Drive is now more affordable with a new, lower-priced configuration that pairs a 1TB hard drive with 24GB of fast flash. Fusion Drive is also available with 2TB and 3TB configurations with 128GB of fast flash for more demanding workloads. For the ultimate in storage performance, optional all flash storage is available up to 1TB and is now up to 2.5 times faster.

The all-new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 are more comfortable, capable and environmentally friendly. Designed around a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, all three accessories eliminate the need for disposable batteries and feature a noticeably more solid internal structure and quality feel. The new Magic Keyboard features a full-size keyboard in a sleek new design that takes up 13 percent less space on your desktop. With a new scissor mechanism and lower profile, the Magic Keyboard provides an incredibly stable, precise and comfortable typing experience. The new Magic Mouse 2 is lighter, sturdier and features an optimised foot design for a smoother glide. The new Magic Trackpad 2 features a 29 percent larger surface and brings Force Touch to the desktop for the first time. Force Touch enables a range of new ways to interact with your Mac, including the new Force click to quickly look up a word, preview a file or bring up a map from an address. The new Magic devices pair instantly with your Mac as soon as they are plugged in via the Lightning-to-USB charging cable, and can last about a month or more on a full charge.

Every new Mac comes with OS X El Capitan, the latest version of OS X that refines the Mac experience and improves system performance. El Capitan builds on the groundbreaking features and beautiful design of OS X Yosemite, with updates to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search, and performance improvements to make everyday activities — like launching and switching apps, opening PDFs and accessing email — faster and more responsive. El Capitan was specifically designed for the Retina display and features a new system font called San Francisco that has been fine-tuned for optimal readability on a Retina display.

iMovie, GarageBand and the suite of iWork apps come free with every new iMac. iMovie, updated today to support 4K video, lets you easily create beautiful movies, and you can use GarageBand to make new music or learn to play piano or guitar. The iWork suite of Pages, Numbers and Keynote makes it easy to create, edit and share stunning documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iCloud let you create a document on iPhone or iPad, edit it on your Mac and collaborate with friends, even if they are on a PC.

Pricing & Availability

The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display is available today at Apple.com and select Apple Authorised Resellers. The 27-inch iMac comes in three models and additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/imac.

The 21.5-inch iMac is available today at Apple.com and select Apple Authorised Resellers. The 21.5-inch iMac is available in three models and with a Retina 4K display. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/imac.

Every new iMac comes standard with the new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2, and customers can order the new Magic Trackpad 2 as an option. The new Magic accessories are also available at Apple.com and select Apple Authorised Resellers.

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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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