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Dell goes bigger on Big Data

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Dell has announced a series of new big data and analytics solutions and services designed to help companies quickly and securely turn data into insights for better, faster decision-making.

The solutions include a new release of Dell’s advanced analytics software platform and new Analytics-as-a -Service offerings for multiple industry verticals such as banking, healthcare and insurance. Together, these new offerings and capabilities enable companies to embed analytics across their core processes and disseminate analytics expertise across the organisation to drive better business outcomes.

Data-driven decision-making is the pathway to competitive advantage in the modern data economy. The Dell Global Technology Adoption Index 2015 (GTAI 2015) revealed that those organisations robustly using big data show 50 percent higher growth rates than organisations that aren’t.  However, the study also found that 44 percent of organisations still don’t understand how to extract value from their data.

With the latest enhancements to its big data and analytics portfolio, Dell says, it is helping customers overcome that uncertainty and invest wisely in data technologies by delivering flexible, end-to-end solutions that help organisations foster IT and business alignment, drive operational efficiency, and leverage the power of predictive analytics.

Dell provided the following information on its new products and services:

Launch of Statistica 13 Further Simplifies Deployment of Advanced Analytics Across the Enterprise 

The launch of Statistica 13, the latest release of the company’s popular advanced analytics software platform, helps simplify and improve the process by which organisations deploy predictive models directly to data sources inside the firewall, in the cloud, and in partner ecosystems. An easy-to-use solution that requires no coding and integrates seamlessly with open source R, Dell Statistica delivers a full range of data blending, data discovery, and advanced and predictive analytics tools that help organisations tap into all data to predict future trends, identify new customers and sales opportunities, explore “what-if” scenarios, and reduce the occurrence of fraud and other business risks. Enhancements and new capabilities in Statistica 13 include:

·         A completely revamped and modernised GUI for greater ease-of-use and visual appeal

·         Deeper integration with the recently added Statistica Interactive Visualisation and Dashboard engine for more effective communication to data consumers

·         Tighter integration with open source R for easier sharing and control of R scripts

·         A new stepwise model tool that progressively recommends optimum models for users

·         New Native Distributed Analytics (NDA) capabilities that allow users to run analytics directly in the database where data lives and work more efficiently with large and growing data sets

NDA functionality pushes predictive algorithm model-building and scoring functionality directly into the data source. This eliminates the time-consuming and data-limiting process of pulling data to an intermediate server or desktop, allowing all analytic processing to occur directly in the database and enabling organisations to leverage the power of Hadoop clusters, database appliances and other high-performance platforms. Statistica 13 will initially feature NDA capability for Microsoft SQL Server databases, with additional databases to be added in subsequent releases.

Dell Services Continues to Strengthen IP-led Service Offerings in Advanced Analytics and Data Science

Dell Services is expanding its Analytics-as-a-Service offerings with industry-specific services that help customers unearth insights, predict business outcomes, and improve the accuracy and efficiency of critical business processes.  For example, new BPO services help embed analytics across an organisation’s core processes and disseminate analytics expertise to give scalability to data-based decision making. The new services include:

·         Fraud, Waste and Abuse Management:  Helps organisations identify cases of medical identity theft, unnecessary diagnostic services or medically unnecessary services and incorrect billing

·         Denial Likelihood Scoring and Predictive Analytics: Helps organisations proactively identify which claims are most likely to be denied, and provide at-a-glance activity data on each account, detailed monitoring and follow-up, in the process helping eliminate up to 40 percent of low- or no-value follow-up work

·         Churn Management/Customer Retention Services: Helps organisations leverage predictive churn modelling – the processing and correlation of new social data sources with traditional data sources – to identify customers they are at risk of losing, and proactively take preventative measures

In addition, emphasising Dell’s continued focus on enabling Analytics-as-a-Service solutions, the Dell Services team has introduced Dell Service Desk Analytics and Dell ModelHealth (DMH) Tracker.

·         Dell Service Desk Analytics transforms IT service desk management by enabling predictive error management and automation. It creates early warning alerts and text analytics to improve the end-user experience and reduce business disruption.

·         Dell ModelHealth Tracker helps customers track and monitor the effectiveness of their various scorecard or predictive analytics models. Particularly in industries with compliance requirements, including banking and insurance, companies use scorecards or other predictive models to predict critical outcomes, such as a customer’s creditworthiness or the likelihood of an insurance claim being fraudulent. DMH plugs into multiple data sources to track, archive and manage these models, and more importantly, monitor them for effectiveness and compliance.

These new offerings join the more than 50 solutions from Dell Services in the area of advanced analytics, including healthcare analytics offerings focused on critical issues like population health, patient readmission, and health risk stratification; financial analytics offerings focused on online transactions and fraud detection; and insurance-focused offerings centered on reducing customer churn via analytics embedded within Lifesys, Dell’s platform for insurance claims processing.

End-to-End Portfolio Simplifies Deployment and Allows Customers to Achieve Insights Faster

In addition to software and services, Dell has a history of offering engineered solutions and reference architectures that speed deployment times and time to value. These solutions are tested and validated to relieve customer pain points associated with deployment of effective data management techniques. Most recently, Dell announced its 15th reference architecture in collaboration with Cloudera, this time also including Syncsort DMX-h software. The Dell | Cloudera | Syncsort Data Warehouse Optimisation – ETL Offload Reference Architecture streamlines the planning, design, construction and deployment process of transforming data into a ready state for analysis, also known as the extract, transform and load (ETL) process, using the Hadoop data platform. The reference architecture offers customers cost savings, faster time-to-value and quicker access to insights than an open-source, do-it-yourself solution.

In addition, Dell’s ProDeploy Enterprise Suite offers customers a complete suite of deployment services and professional certifications designed to simplify deployments and help customers rapidly adopt new technology with confidence.

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Acer gaming beast escapes

Acer this week unveiled two notebooks that take portable gaming to new extremes.

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Acer  unveiled two new Predator Helios gaming notebooks this week at the next@acer global press conference in New York. They include the powerful Predator Helios 500, featuring up to 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors, and the Predator Helios 300 Special Edition that includes upgraded specs from its predecessor and a distinctive white chassis. Both feature VR-Ready performance, advanced thermal technologies, and blazing-fast connectivity.

“We’ve expanded our Predator Helios gaming notebook line in response to popular demand from gamers seeking extreme performance on the go,” said Jerry Kao, President of IT Products Business, Acer. “The Predator Helios 500 and Helios 300 gaming notebooks feature Acer’s proprietary thermal technologies and powerful components that, coupled with our award-winning software, deliver unparalleled gaming experiences.”

“The 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processor for gaming and creation laptops is the highest performance Intel has ever delivered for this class of devices; purpose built for enthusiasts who demand premium gaming experiences whether at home or on the go,” said Steve Long, Vice President and General Manager, Client Computing Group Sales and Marketing, Intel. “Intel and Acer’s long relationship has produced amazing products over the years, and the new Acer Predator Helios gaming notebooks are powerful examples of what’s possible with this unprecedented level of performance.”

Predator Helios 500 is a gaming beast featuring overclocking, 4K 144 Hz panels

Designed for extreme gamers, the Predator Helios 500 is a gaming beast. It features up to overclockable 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors and overclockable GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. Intel Optane memory increases responsiveness and load times, while ultra-fast NVMePCIe SSDs, Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, and up to 64GB of memory keep the action going, making the Helios 500 the ideal gaming notebook for graphic-intensive AAA titles and live streaming.

Top-notch visuals are delivered on bright, vibrant 4K UHD or FHD IPS 17.3-inch displays with 144Hz refresh rates for blur- and tear-free gameplay. NVIDIA G-SYNC technology is supported on both the built-in display and external monitors, allowing for buttery-smooth imagery without tearing or stuttering. For those looking for maximum gaming immersion, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, and display and HDMI 2.0 ports support up to three external monitors. Two speakers, a subwoofer, and Acer TrueHarmony and Waves MAXXAudio technology deliver incredible sound and hyper-realistic 3D audio using Waves Nx.

The Helios 500 stays cool with two of Acer’s proprietary AeroBlade 3D metal fans, and five heat pipes that distribute cool air to the machine’s key components while simultaneously releasing hot air. Fan speed can be controlled and customized through the PredatorSense app.

A backlit RGB keyboard offers four lighting zones with support for up to 16.8 million colors. Anti-ghosting technology provides the ultimate control for executing complex commands and combos, which can be set up via five dedicated programmable keys.

Acer’s PredatorSense app can be used to control and monitor the notebook’s vitals from one central interface, including overclocking, lighting, hotkeys, temperature, and fan control.

Predator Helios 300 Special Edition brings a sophisticated design twist to gaming notebooks

Acer’s budget-friendly Helios 300 gaming line sees the addition of a Special Edition model featuring an all-white aluminum chassis accented with gold trim, an unusually chic design for gaming notebooks.

The Helios 300 Special Edition (PH315-51) allows for ultra-smooth gameplay via its 15.6-inch FHD IPS display with an upgraded 144Hz refresh rate. The rapid refresh rate shortens frame rendering time and lowers input lag to give gamers an excellent in-game experience. It’s powered by up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7+ processor, overclockable GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, up to a 512 GB PCIe Gen 3 NVMe solid state drive, and up to a 2 TB hard disk drive.

The Helios 300 Special Edition also comes equipped with up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory, and is upgradable to 32GB. Intel Optane memory speeds up load times of games and applications, access to information and improves overall system responsiveness. In addition, Gigabit Ethernet provides fast wired connections, while Gigabit Wi-Fi is provided by the latest Intel Wireless-AC 9560 that delivers up to 1.73Gbps throughput when using 160 MHz channels (2×2 802.11ac, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz).

The Helios 300 Special Edition also includes two of Acer’s ultrathin (0.1 mm) all-metal AeroBlade 3D fans designed with advanced aerodynamics and superior airflow to keep the system cool. They can be controlled with Acer’s PredatorSense app, which offers three usage modes:

1. Coolboost mode:

For heavy loading games, rendering, streaming, and extended video consumption

2. Normal mode:

For productivity tools like Microsoft Office

3. Silent mode:

For web browsing and online chatting

Price and Availability

Predator Helios 500 will be available in South Africa in June starting at R34 999.00

Helios 300 Special Edition will be available in South Africa in August 2018. Exact Price will be communicated closer to the time.

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LG G7 arrives in SA

LG this week introduced South Africa to its latest premium smartphone, the LG G7 ThinQ, focused on bringing useful and convenient AI features to the smartphone experience.

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Powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, the LG G7 ThinQ offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage to run demanding tasks and apps with. It is equipped with a 6.1-inch Super Bright Display, but the LG G7 ThinQ remains compact enough to use with one hand.

Sporting a new design aesthetic for the G series, the polished metal rim gives the LG G7 ThinQ a sleeker, more refined look, complemented by Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and the back for enhanced durability. Rated IP68 for dust and water resistance, the LG G7 ThinQ is also awarded MIL-STD 810 c certification, having been subjected to a range of extreme temperature and environment tests designed by the United States military.

The LG G7 ThinQ has an 8MP camera up front, rendering clear and natural selfies, with two 16MP cameras at the back that deliver higher resolution photos with more detail, as well as a Super Wide Angle configuration.

As with other leading brands, LG has evolved its signature camera by including AI functionality. The AI CAM offers 19 shooting modes for intelligence-optimised shots. Users can also improve their photos by choosing from an additional three effect options should the AI CAM recommendation not suit their taste.

The new Super Bright Camera captures images that are up to four times brighter than typical photos shot in dim light. Through the combination of pixel binning and software processing, the AI algorithm adjusts the camera settings automatically when shooting in low light.

Live Photo Mode records one second before and after the shutter is pressed for snippets of unexpected moments or expressions that would normally be missed. Stickers uses face recognition to generate fun 2D and 3D overlays, such as sunglasses and headbands, that can be viewed directly on the display.

New to the G series is Portrait Mode, which generates professional-looking shots with out-of-focus backgrounds. This effect can be generated using both front and rear standard lenses as well as the rear Super Wide Angle lens.

LG G7 ThinQ offers further AI functionality with the inclusion of Google Lens features. Google Lens is a new way to search using the AI and computer vision. Google Assistant and Google Photos allow users to access more information on objects such as landmarks, plants, animals, and books. It can identify text or visit websites, add business cards to contacts, events to the calendar or look up an item on a restaurant menu.

A button just below the volume keys launches the AI functionality. A single tap of this button launches the Google Assistant, while two quick taps launches Google Lens. Users can also hold down the button to start talking to the Google Assistant without the repetition of the OK Google command.

With Super Far Field Voice Recognition (SFFVR) and the highly-sensitive G7ThinQ microphone, the Google Assistant can recognise voice commands from up to five meters away. SFFVR is able to separate commands from background noise, making the LG G7 ThinQ an alternative to a home AI speaker, even when the TV is on. Commands for the Google Assistant have been increased in the LG G7 ThinQ so users can get more done with their voice alone.

“The LG G7 ThinQ is strongly focused on the fundamentals and its launch marks a new chapter for our company,” said Deon Prinsloo, General Manager for Mobile Communication, LG Electronics S.A Pty Ltd. “Through the combination of personalised and useful AI functionalities with meaningful smartphone features, this is LG’s most convenient and in the moment smartphone yet.”

Key Specifications

  • Mobile Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform
  • Display: 6.1-inch QHD+ 19.5:9 FullVision Super Bright Display (3120 x 1440 / 564ppi)
  • Memory:
    • LG G7 ThinQ: 4GB LPDDR4x RAM / 64GB UFS 2.1 ROM / MicroSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera:
    • Rear Dual: 16MP Super Wide Angle (F1.9 / 107°) / 16MP Standard Angle (F1.6 / 71°)
    • Front: 8MP Wide Angle (F1.9 / 80°)
  • Battery: 3000mAh
  • OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Size: 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 162g
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5.0 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1 compatible)
  • Colours: New Aurora Black
  • Others: Super Bright Display / New Second Screen / AI CAM / Super Bright Camera / Super Far Field Voice Recognition / Boombox Speaker / Google Lens / AI Haptic / Hi-Fi Quad DAC / DTS:X 3D Surround Sound / IP68 Water and Dust Resistance / HDR10 / Google Assistant Key / Face Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Technology / Wireless Charging / MIL-STD 810G Compliant / FM Radio
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