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CES 2016: Acer styles up Chromebook

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Acer rolled out the newest model in its Chromebook 11 line, with a more durable design that features a nano-imprinted cover, at CES 2016 in Las Vegas last week.

“Acer’s position in the Chromebook market is unparalleled because we offer the range of Chromebook products that our customers want – including larger 15-inch displays and convertible models,” said Jerry Kao, president of Acer Notebook Business Group. “We know what our customers want most in a Chromebook are the attributes that complement the mobile lifestyle – great performance and a portable design at an excellent value – all this can be found in the Chromebook 11.”

According to data from Gartner, Acer Group is currently the world’s leading Chromebook brand with over 34% market share for the first three quarters of 2015.

Acer provided the folloiwing information on the new laptop:

The Chromebook 11’s cover is made with a nano-imprinted pattern which gives it a premium look and feel while also boosting durability. The Chromebook 11 has been reinforced like Acer’s models for commercial and educational customers to handle extra-stressful environments. It can handle up to 60kg of downward force on the top cover, while the corners can tolerate up to 60cm drops without damage. The reinforced case results in greater resistance to twisting and stress.

The slim and portable form factor makes the Acer Chromebook 11 ideal for use anywhere – at home, school, work and on-the-go. It measures only 0.73 inches (18.6mm) thin and weighs only 2.42 pounds (1.1kg).

The Acer Chromebook 11 has an 11.6-inch display that features non-glare Acer ComfyView, so it limits eye-strain even after long hours of use. The display has a 1366×768 resolution that ensures sharp and legible text as well as vivid, clear videos and photos.

Customers will enjoy video chats on Google Hangouts and capturing crisp, clear photos with the high-dynamic range (HDR) camera. The webcam experience is further enhanced by the two stereo speakers and integrated microphone for top-notch audio and video capabilities.

Solid Performance and All-Day Battery Life

The Acer Chromebook 11 delivers solid everyday performance using Intel Celeron quad-core processors. Further contributing to responsiveness and a fast boot time, the Chromebook 11 features 2GB or 4GB of memory and a 16GB or 32GB eMMC storage. Customers on the go will be able to experience all-day productivity and fun since it provides up to 9 hours of battery life.

Keeps Customers Connected on the Go

With the fast dual-band 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi on the Acer Chromebook 11, customers can stay connected and in touch with up to three times faster wireless connectivity compared to 802.11n. The device connects easily to peripherals via Bluetooth 4.0, or the USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and HDMI ports. Customers can transfer files to or from the Acer Chromebook 11 and access media on SD cards with the SD reader.

Acer Chromebook 11 Simplifies Security and Collaboration

Chromebooks are simple to use and ideal for sharing by multiple users. Customers simply log into their own Google account to access Gmail, Google Docs, favorite bookmarks, and other information. Plus, the Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-131 can be used by customers to create, edit and collaborate both on-line and off-line in programs, such as Office documents.

Security is a key benefit of the Chrome OS, as it’s automatically updated to guard against ever-changing online threats. Every time Chrome OS boots, it checks the integrity and validity of system files. In addition, user files stored on the device are in a separate partition to keep data secure. Many customers prefer to keep all their files on Google Drive which protects files, documents, and photos safely in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version of the file or document is always available and safe, even if the Chromebook is lost or stolen. In addition, the Supervised Users feature helps get children online in a safe, controlled way.

Models, Availability and Pricing

The Acer Chromebook 11 line (CB3-131) will be available in South Africa from Q2 2016 at the suggested retail price of R 4 499,

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Bring your network with you

At last week’s Critical Communications World, Motorola unveiled the LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. It allows rescue personal to set up dedicated LTE networks for communication in an emergency, writes SEAN BACHER.

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In the event of an emergency, communications are absolutely critical, but the availability of public phone networks are limited due to weather conditions or congestion.

Motorola realised that this caused a problem when trying to get rescue personnel to those in need and so developed its LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. The product is the smallest and lightest full powered broadband network to date and allows the first person on the scene to set up an LTE network in a matter of minutes, allowing other rescue team members to communicate with each other.

“The LXN 500 weighs six kilograms and comes in a backpack with two batteries. It offers a range of 1km and allows up to 100 connections at the same time. However, in many situations the disaster area may span more than 1km which is why they can be connected to each other in a mesh formation,” says Tunde Williams, Head of Field and Solutions Marketing EMEA, Motorola Solutions.

The LXN 500 solution offers communication through two-way radios, and includes mapping, messaging, push-to-talk, video and imaging features onboard, thus eliminating the need for any additional hardware.

Data collected on the device can then be sent through to a central control room where an operator can deploy additional rescue personnel where needed. Once video is streamed into the control room, realtime analytics and augmented reality can be applied to it to help predict where future problem points may arise. Video images and other multimedia can also be made available for rescuers on the ground.

“Although the LXN 500 was designed for the seamless communications between on ground rescue teams and their respective control rooms, it has made its way into the police force and in places where there is little or no cellular signal such as oil rigs,” says Williams.

He gave a hostage scenario: “In the event of a hostage situation, it is important for the police to relay information in realtime to ensure no one is hurt. However the perpetrators often use their mobile phones to try and foil any rescue attempts. Should the police have the correct partnerships in place they are able to disable cellular towers in the vicinity, preventing any in or outgoing calls on a public network and allowing the police get their job done quickly and more effectively.”

By disabling any public networks in the area, police are also able to eliminate any cellular detonated bombs from going off but still stay in touch with each other he says.

The LXN 500 offers a wide range of mission critical cases and is sure to transform communications and improve safety for first responders and the people they are trying to protect.

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Kaspersky moves to Switzerland

As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.

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This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.

Global transparency and collaboration for an ultra-connected world

The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and Kaspersky Lab understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.

The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Center.

Relocation of customer data storage and processing

By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility, will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.

Relocation of software assembly

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

Establishment of the first Transparency Center

The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year. This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyberthreats.

Independent supervision and review

Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.

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