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Fitbit unveils new Charge, Flex

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Fitbit this week unveiled two new fitness wristbands, the Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 with new sleek looks and a more engaging experience designed to motivate users to reach their goal’s.

The following information was supplied by Fitbit:

  • Fitbit Charge 2: The most popular fitness wristband from Fitbit just got better. In addition to PurePulse heart rate tracking, it now features an enhanced exercise experience, new health and fitness tools, the smart notifications you need most, and a new design with a larger display and interchangeable bands that easily let you go from a workout to a night out.
  • Fitbit Flex 2: Fitbit’s ultra-slim, first-ever swim-proof fitness wristband, features a removable tracker that transforms with classic bands, elegant bangles or pendants, allowing you to effortlessly track all-day activity, exercise and sleep in a style that’s all your own.

“Over the past nine years it has been our ability to innovate on both design and utility, and our deep understanding of what consumers want, that has made us the leading global wearable company,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.

The newly launched FitBit Charge 2

The newly launched FitBit Charge 2

“Flex quickly became the best-selling tracker on the market as one of the first wearables to successfully merge fitness and fashion; we’ve revolutionised Flex 2 by making it swim-proof and adding more features in a design than is 30% smaller than the original. We broke new ground with Charge HR by making wrist-based heart rate accessible to millions of users around the world, and we’ve done it again with Charge 2, giving users a snapshot of their cardio fitness based on estimated VO2 Max.”

Fitbit, the world’s leading wearables company1, has reimagined Fitbit Charge HR, its most popular fitness wristband that was the first to bring continuous, automatic heart rate to your wrist. With a new, sleek look and an easy-to-read display that is four times larger than its predecessor, Charge 2 brings an experience that is more engaging, motivating and personal to help you reach your goals.

Top features include:

  • Innovations from PurePulse: Continuous heart rate tracking makes it easier to optimise workouts, better track calorie burn, and get a picture of your overall health. Charge 2 advances health and fitness tracking with two new impactful features that are powered by your personal heart rate:
    • Get a snapshot of your cardio fitness level: Automatically find out how fit you are with a personalised cardio fitness level and score, based on your estimated VO2 Max, that are calculated using your user profile, heart rate and exercise data. Plus, get guidance to take action and improve your score over time by increasing exercise frequency, intensity, or by reaching a healthier weight.
  • Relax with guided breathing sessions: Charge 2 offers a relaxing mindfulness experience that calms your body and mind through personalised deep-breathing sessions called “Relax”. Beat-to-beat changes in your heart rate determine your personalised breathing rate. Two-and five-minute sessions display real-time heart rate visualisations, animations and vibrational cues to help you align each inhale and exhale with the guide, and find moments of calm throughout your day. Research has shown that developing a long-term guided breathing practice can have health benefits including reducing stress and anxiety, and lowering blood pressure.
  • Enhanced fitness experience: Get real-time, actionable exercise stats right on the display so you can make instant adjustments during your workouts and improve over time.
    • Multi-sport modes: Track specific workouts like runs, bike rides, weights, yoga and more, plus get post-exercise summaries and a detailed report of your activity in the Fitbit app.
    • Connected GPS: Links your fitness wristband with the GPS in your smartphone to provide even more precise and actionable real-time stats, like pace and distance when you’re running, while recording a map of your route in the app.
    • Interval workout mode: Guides you in alternating periods of high-intensity exercise and recovery to optimise workouts like circuit training so you can stay focused on your workout.
  • Smarter, easier all-day tracking: Advanced sensors make tracking your whole day effortless by automatically capturing all-day activity and sleep. SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition records everyday activities like walking, running, elliptical, and more with ease. Reminders to Move motivate you to stay active throughout the day.
  • Sleek, new design: The modular design and easy-to-read tap-sensitive display is four-times larger than Charge HR, letting you personalise a look that fits your style with interchangeable bands and clock faces – while keeping you connected with the smart notifications you need most.

“Ever since my days as a competitive athlete, staying healthy and fit has always been a top priority and I’ve built my life around those goals,” said Gabby Reece, athlete, model, mother, fitness leader and Fitbit ambassador.

“Fitbit Charge 2 is unique in that it gives me the tools and guidance for both. I not only have continuous visibility into my heart rate which gives me real insight into my overall health including workouts – but Fitbit built on that even further with access to my cardio fitness level. This new feature provides an estimate of my VO2 Max, which is something I only had access to in a lab during my pro days. But it’s Charge 2’s guided breathing sessions that really resonate with me as one of the most important things I do to improve my health and manage stress.”

Fitbit has enhanced its iconic and industry-defining tracker, Fitbit Flex, into an ultra-slim, swim-proof fitness wristband that can transform to fit your personal style with a variety of stylish new accessories. With smarter exercise features, Flex 2 effortlessly tracks your fitness and provides friendly motivation to help you stay active throughout your day.

Top features include:

  • Ultra-slim, minimalist design: Now 30% smaller, Flex 2 features a removable tracker and interchangeable slim, classic fitness bands in seven colours that are perfect for every day, hitting the gym or going for a swim.
  • Premium accessory options: Transform and customise Flex 2 in a variety of Fitbit-designed bracelets and pendants to best suit your style or activity. Choose from a range of luxe, premium mirror-finish bangles in silver stainless steel, and 22k-plated gold or rose gold stainless steel, or elegant lariat-style necklaces in silver stainless steel or 22k-plated gold stainless steel for an elevated look that fits seamlessly into your everyday life – from the office to a night out.
  • Swim-proof and automatic swim tracking: As Fitbit’s first swim-proof wristband, Flex 2 is water resistant up to 50 meters, whether you’re in the shower, pool or ocean, and automatically tracks your pool swims including laps, duration, and calories burned in the Fitbit App.
  • Effortless and automatic: Track your most important health and fitness stats, plus:
    • SmartTrack automatic exercise tracking recognises select workouts (walks, runs, rides, elliptical, sports, aerobic workouts, and now swims).
    • Reminders to Move help you stay active with friendly reminders to reach mini hourly step goals and reduce stationary time.
    • Personalised weekly exercise goals to help you embrace a consistent routine and stay motivated.
  • Smarter: A simple LED display uses colour-coded lights to show progress toward your daily goal, and keeps you connected with call and text notifications.

“Whether I’m working out, taking a class, rehearsing or running errands I want a device that is small, yet stylish, that I can match to whatever I’m wearing,” said Julianne Hough, dancer, singer, actress and Fitbit Ambassador. “Fitbit Flex 2 helps keep me motivated to hit my health and fitness goals and it’s even swim-proof, so I can truly get credit for everything I do in my day.”

Pricing and Availability

Charge 2 and Flex 2 will be available globally at major retailers in September and October, respectively. Pricing below is recommended retail pricing; pricing at retailers may vary.

  • Fitbit Charge 2 (R2,999.00) tracker with a classic fitness band in black, blue, plum or teal
    • Classic fitness accessory bands in four colours – sold separately
    • Luxe premium leather accessory bands in blush pink, brown, and indigo – sold separately
    • Special edition series in gunmetal and rose gold  – sold separately
  • Fitbit Flex 2 (R1,899.00) tracker with a classic fitness band in black, lavender, magenta or navy
    • Classic fitness accessory bands in seven on-trend shades of black, blush pink, grey, lavender, magenta, navy and yellow – sold separately
    • Bangle accessory in gold, rose gold and silver stainless steel – sold separately
    • Pendant accessory in gold and silver stainless steel – sold separately

Charge 2 and Flex 2 will be available in South Africa in selected colours at major retailers in September and October, respectively. Retail pricing and launch dates for accessory bands, special edition series and other accessories noted above from Fitbit will be confirmed at a later date.

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Facebook fakes behind most phishing attempts

In the first quarter of 2018, Kaspersky Lab’s anti-phishing technologies prevented more than 3.7 million attempts to visit fraudulent social network pages of which 60% were fake Facebook pages.

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The results, according to the Kaspersky Lab report, ‘Spam and phishing in Q1 2018’, demonstrates that cybercriminals are still doing what they can to get their hands on personal data.

Social network phishing is a form of cybercrime that involves the theft of personal data from a victim’s social network account. The fraudster creates a copy of a social networking website (such as a fake Facebook page), and tries to lure unsuspecting victims to it, forcing them to give up their personal data – such as their name, password, credit card number, PIN code, and more – in the process.

At the beginning of the year, Facebook was the most popular social networking brand for fraudsters to abuse, and Facebook pages were frequently faked by cybercriminals to try and steal personal data via phishing attacks. This is part of a long-term trend: in 2017, Facebook became one of the top three targets for phishing overall, at nearly 8%, followed by Microsoft Corporation (6%) and PayPal (5%). In Q1 2018, Facebook also led the social network phishing category, followed by VK – a Russian online social networking service and LinkedIn. The reason for this is likely to be the worldwide 2.13 billion active monthly Facebook users, including those who log in to unknown apps using their Facebook credentials, thereby granting access to their accounts. This makes unwary Facebook users a profitable target for cybercriminal phishing attacks.

This all reinforces the fact that personal data is valuable in the world of information technology –both for legitimate organisations and attackers. Cybercriminals are constantly searching for new methods to hit users, so it’s important to be aware of fraudster techniques to avoid becoming the next target. For example, the latest trend is spam emails related to GDPR (Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation).  Examples include offers of paid webinars to clarify the new legislation, or invitations to install special software that will provide access to online resources to ensure compliance with the new rules.

“The continuous increase in phishing attacks – targeting both social networks and financial organisations – shows us that users need to pay more serious attention to their online activities. Despite the recent global scandals, people continue to click on unsafe links and allow unknown apps access to their personal data. Due to this lack of user vigilance, the data on a huge number of accounts gets lost or extorted from users. This can then lead to destructive attacks and a constant flow of money for the cybercriminals,” said Nadezhda Demidova, lead web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky Lab experts advise users to take the following measures to protect themselves from phishing:

  • Always check the link address and the sender’s email before clicking anything – even better, don’t click the link, but type it into your browser’s address line instead.
  • Before clicking any link, check if the link address shown, is the same as the actual hyperlink (the real address the link will take you to) – this can be checked by hovering your mouse over the link.
  • Only use a secure connection, especially when you visit sensitive websites. As a minimum precaution, do not use unknown or public Wi-Fi without a password protection. For maximum protection, use VPN solutions that encrypt your traffic. And remember: if you are using an insecure connection, cybercriminals can invisibly redirect you to phishing pages.
  • Check the HTTPS connection and domain name when you open a webpage. This is especially important when you are using websites which contain sensitive data – such as sites for online banking, online shops, email, social media sites etc.
  • Never share your sensitive data, such as logins and passwords, bank card data etc., with a third party. Official companies will never ask for data like this via email.
  • Use a reliable security solution with behaviour-based anti-phishing technologies, such as Kaspersky Total Security, to detect and block spam and phishing attacks.

Other key findings in the report include:

Phishing:

  • The main targets of phishing attacks have remained the same since the end of last year. They are primarily global Internet portals and the financial sector, including banks, payment services and online stores.
  • About $35,000 USD was stolen through one phishing site that appeared to offer the opportunity to invest in the rumoured Telegram ICO. Approximately $84,000 USD was stolen following a single phishing email mailshot related to the launch of ‘The Bee Token’ ICO.
  • Financial phishing continues to account for almost half of all phishing attacks (43.9%), which is 4.4% more compared to the end of last year. Attacks against banks, e-shops, and payment systems remain the top three, demonstrating cybercriminals’ desire to access users’ money.
  • Brazil was the country with the largest share of users attacked by phishers in the first quarter of 2018 (19%). It was followed by Argentina (13%), Venezuela (13%), Albania (13%), and Bolivia (12%).

Spam:

  • In the first quarter of 2018, the amount of spam peaked in January (55%). The average share of spam in the world’s email traffic was 52%, which is 4.6% lower than the average figure of the last quarter of 2017.
  • Vietnam became the most popular source of spam, overtaking the U.S. and China. Others in the top 10 included India, Germany, France, Brazil, Russia, Spain, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • The country most targeted by malicious mailshots was Germany. Russia came second, followed by United Kingdom, Italy, and the UAE.
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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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