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Gorillaz and Jaguar Land Rover nab a code-cracker

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Jaguar Land Rover has hired the first of the next generation of electronics and software engineering geniuses, following the recent code-breaking recruitment challenge within the Gorillaz app.

Daniel Dunkley, a 23-year-old from Gloucester, UK, is the first successful code-breaker to join Jaguar Land Rover. Daniel left school at 16 and was working as a controls engineer at a local quarry. His coding and software skills are completely self-taught from an early interest in playing computer games at home with his older brother. He starts work on 2 October as a software engineer at Jaguar Land Rover in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Gorillaz and Jaguar Land Rover will continue the search for world-class talent at Jaguar Land Rover’s inaugural Tech Fest event (#JLRTechFest), from 8-10 September at London’s Central Saint Martins art, design and technology college.

While the search continues at #JLRTechFest, potential geniuses from around the world – including South Africa – can still complete the coding challenge on the Gorillaz app. The code-breaking puzzle tests real-world skills the new generation of software and engineering talent must have. The challenge remains open.

Noodle, the virtual band’s guitarist and a Jaguar Land Rover ambassador, said: “Think big and do better, my motto. Stop putting those filters on your food and download this app immediately. The first hire has happened, so get involved and win!”

Daniel Dunkley said:

“I’m overwhelmed by how much has happened in the last two months. I read about the coding challenge set by Jaguar Land Rover and Gorillaz on BBC News and decided to have a go. We did the interview by Google Chat then I was invited to Gaydon to talk about my new job. It completely blew me away that I didn’t have to fill out any application forms.

“I was thrilled when they offered me a job! My dad drives a Land Rover Defender so I have always been a fan. I can’t believe I may now get to work on the next generation Defender!”

So far, almost 400,000 people have downloaded the Gorillaz app. Of the 41,000 who have taken the challenge, almost 500 cracked the code.

Alex Heslop, Head of Electrical Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said:

“Daniel is exactly the kind of person we need. Technology companies like Jaguar Land Rover provide an exciting opportunity for the brightest and best. We want to attract top-notch talent in software, cyber systems, app development and graphics.

“We don’t do ordinary and that means hiring extraordinary people. Jaguar Land Rover makes some of the world’s most exciting cars and it needs brilliant people to create them.”

In the spirit of collaborative innovation, Jaguar Land Rover has invited an array of speakers to take part in a series of debates and talks throughout Tech Fest, which will be attended by an audience of global influencers and journalists from four continents. Topics will include the future of diesel, electrification, women in industry and robotics, debated by a range of global industry and consumer experts from around the world. To learn more and see the full speaker line-up, visit www.jaguarlandrover.com

The search for young talent goes on. Interested applicants can download the Gorillaz app now at the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

To find out more about Jaguar Land Rover recruitment, click here: www.jaguarlandrovercareers.com. For specific roles in electrification see:  www.jaguarlandrovercareers.com/jlr-roles/product-creation/electrification/

Traditional application methods remain open and CVs will be accepted, but Jaguar Land Rover invites potential applicants to download the app, break the codes and solve the problems to fast-track their way into employment.

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Opera launches built-in VPN on Android browser

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Opera has released a new version of its mobile browser, Opera for Android 51, which features a built-in VPN (virtual private network) service.

A VPN allows users to create a secure connection to a public network, and is particularly useful if users are unsure of the security levels of the public networks that they use often.

The new VPN in Opera for Android 51 is free, unlimited and easy to use. When enabled, it gives users greater control of their online privacy and improves online security, especially when connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots such as coffee shops, airports and hotels. The VPN will encrypt Internet traffic into and out of their mobile devices, which reduces the risk of malicious third parties collecting sensitive information.

“There are already more than 650 million people using VPN services globally. With Opera, any Android user can now enjoy a free and no-log service that enhances online privacy and improves security,” said Peter Wallman, SVP Opera Browser for Android.

When users enable the VPN included in Opera for Android 51, they create a private and encrypted connection between their mobile device and a remote VPN server, using strong 256-bit encryption algorithms. When enabled, the VPN hides the user’s physical location, making it difficult to track their activities on the internet.

The browser VPN service is also a no-log service, which means that the VPN servers do not log and retain any activity data, all to protect users privacy.

“Users are exposed to so many security risks when they connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots without a VPN,” said Wallman. “Enabling Opera VPN means that users makes it difficult for third parties to steal information, and users can avoid being tracked. Users no longer need to question if or how they can protect their personal information in these situations.”

According to a report by the Global World Index in 2018, the use of VPNs on mobile devices is rising. More than 42 percent of VPN users on mobile devices use VPN on a daily basis, and 35 percent of VPN users on computers use VPN daily.

The report also shows that South African VPN users said that their main reason for using a VPN service is to remain anonymous while they are online.

“Young people in particular are concerned about their online privacy as they increasingly live their lives online,” said Wallman. “Opera for Android 51 makes it easy to benefit from the security and anonymity of VPN , especially for those may not be aware of how to set these up.”

Setting up the Opera VPN is simple. Users just tap on the browser settings, go to VPN and enable the feature according to their preference. They can also select the region of their choice.

The built-in VPN is free, which means that users don’t need to download additional apps on their smartphones or pay additional fees as they would for other private VPN services. With no sign-in process, users don’t need to log in every time they want to use it.

Opera for Android is available for download in Google Play. The rollout of the new version of Opera for Android 51 will be done gradually per region.

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Future of the car is here

Three new cars, with vastly different price-tags, reveal the arrival of the future of wheels, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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Just a few months ago, it was easy to argue that the car of the future was still a long way off, at least in South Africa. But a series of recent car launches have brought the high-tech vehicle to the fore in startling ways.

The Jaguar i-Pace electric vehicle (EV), BMW 330i and the Datsun Go have little in common, aside from representing an almost complete spectrum of car prices on the local market. Their tags start, respectively, at R1.7-million, R650 000 and R150 000.

Such a widely disparate trio of vehicles do not exactly come together to point to the future. Rather, they represent different futures for different segments of the market. But they also reveal what we can expect to become standard in most vehicles produced in the 2020s.

Jaguar i-Pace

The i-Pace may be out of reach of most South Africans, but it ushers in two advances that will resonate throughout the EV market as it welcomes new and more affordable cars. It is the first electric vehicle in South Africa to beat the bugbear of range anxiety.

Unlike the pioneering “old” Nissan Leaf, which had a range of up to about 150km, and did not lend itself to long distance travel, the i-Pace has a 470km range, bringing it within shouting distance of fuel-powered vehicles. A trip from Johannesburg to Durban, for example, would need just one recharge along the way.

And that brings in the other major advance: the i-Pace is the first EV launched in South Africa together with a rapid public charging network on major routes. It also comes with a home charging kit, which means the end of filling up at petrol stations.

The Jaguar i-Pace dispels one further myth about EVs: that they don’t have much power under the hood. A test drive around Gauteng revealed not only a gutsy engine, but acceleration on a par with anything in its class, and enough horsepower to enhance the safety of almost any overtaking situation.

Specs for the Jaguar i-Pace include:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Twin motors with a combined 294kW and 696Nm
  • 0-100km/h in 4.8s
  • 90kWh Lithium-ion battery, delivering up to 470km range
  • Eight-year/160 000km battery warranty
  • Two-year/34 000km service intervals

Click here to read about BMW’s self-driving technology, and how Datsun makes smart technology affordable.

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