Hisense has released a trio of LTE-enabled Android smartphones equipped with dual-SIM slots and compatible with all networks in South Africa.
Hisense provided the following information:
Hisense INFINITY PureShot LTE (L671)
Although designed for selfies, the Hisense INFINITY PureShot LTE can easily be seen as the Jack-of-all-Trades in the line-up, offering a range of features at a very strong price point. This 5-inch (720×1280 resolution) device’s stand out feature is its unique camera setup. With a 13 megapixel camera at the back, the PureShot has the unique distinction of also including an LED flash for the front facing five megapixel camera. This should help when capturing selfies in low-light environments, further enhanced by an 85 degree wide angle lens, coupled with auto-face detection and intelligent white-balance.
The Hisense PureShot is no slouch in the hardware department either, making use of a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8929 (1.36 GHz) octa-core processor and a solid 2GB of RAM. With 16GB of onboard storage available, it includes a microSD card slot to further enhance storage by up to 128GB. Ensuring the resilience of the phone is the 5-inch Corning Gorilla Glass 3 touchscreen, while the smartphone includes a 2200 mAh removable battery.
The Hisense Infinity PureShot (L671), which runs on Android 5.0 (Lollipop), will retail at approximately R3 499.
Hisense INFINITY K8 (H910)
The INFINITY K8 is the apex of the new Hisense LTE line-up, boasting a 5.5-inch Full HD Gorilla Glass 3 screen (1080×1920). Its coffee coloured metal frame and leather finish back lend the unit the merit it deserves as a flagship device, backed by compelling internal specifications.
Doing the hard work is a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8939 octa-core processor running at 1.5GHz and 2GB of RAM, with 16GB of storage space (with expandable microSD storage) available. Catering to photographers’ needs is a 13 megapixel back facing camera with LED flash, and an eight megapixel front facing unit. To ensure a decent battery life that can power this Android device efficiently, the K8 comes equipped with a 2700 mAh battery.
Apart from robust innards and its Full HD screen, one of the stand-out features of the Hisense INFINITY K8 (H910) is its price, retailing for approximately R4 999.
Hisense INFINITY Pulse LTE (L682)
Rounding off Hisense’s trio of LTE smartphones is the Hisense INFINITY Pulse LTE (L682). Also including a dual SIM slot, this unit features a 5-inch IPS touchscreen (720×1280), an eight megapixel main camera and a five megapixel front facing snapper. The kick in its bonnet is provided by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, with users provided with 16GB of storage.
The Hisense Infinity Pulse LTE (L682) has the honour of breaking through the sub-R3 000 price barrier, offering solid specifications and 4G connectivity in the region of R2 799.
An all LTE affair
According to Mark Zhang, Product Manager at Hisense South Africa, the company’s new line-up is a boost for customers on the hunt for the best value for money. “All three of our new smartphones are LTE enabled, allowing for fast internet access and speedy video downloads. Hisense have also included dual-SIM slots to ensure that users can switch between networks when they want,” Zhang notes.
It is, however, the Hisense Infinity PureShot LTE that stands out for attention, with Zhang believing it provides customers with one of the most full featured front facing cameras on a smartphone ever. “The fact that the PureShot includes not just a flash on the back of the unit, but also on the front makes it a must for those who loves selfies.”
As a final highlight, Zhang points to the smartphones’ costing. “If you look at what is on offer for each phone, and then look at the price, it’s easy to see that, pound-for-pound, the three new Hisense smartphones offer the best value for money in the South African market,” Zhang enthuses. “I can strongly recommend that customers compare our phones to any others before making a choice. They will be pleasantly surprised,” Zhang concludes.
The Hisense LTE enabled smartphones will be available from November 2015 at retail stores nationwide.
How to rob a bank in the 21st century
In the early 1980s, South Africans were gripped by tales of the most infamous bank robbery gangs the country had ever known: The Stander Gang. The gang would boldly walk into banks, brandishing weapons, demand cash and simply disappear. These days, a criminal doesn’t even have to be in the same country as the bank he or she intends to rob. Cyber criminals are quite capable of emptying bank accounts without even stepping out of their own homes.
As we become more and more aware of cybersecurity and the breaches that can occur, we’ve become more vigilant. Criminals, however, are still going to follow the money and even though security may be beefed up in many organisations, hackers are going to go for the weakest links. This makes it quintessential for consumers and enterprises to stay one step ahead of the game.
“Not only do these cyber bank criminals get away with the cash, they also end up damaging an organisation’s reputation and the integrity of its infrastructure,” says Indi Siriniwasa, Vice President of Trend Micro, Sub-Saharan Africa. “And sometimes, these breaches mean they get away with more than just cash – they can make off with data and personal information as well.”
Because the cyber criminals operate outside bricks and mortar, going for the cash register or robbing the customers is not where their misdeeds end. Bank employees – from the tellers to the CEO – are all fair game.
But how do they do it? Taking money out of an account is not the only way to steal money. Cyber criminals can zero in on the bank’s infrastructure, or hack into payment systems and even payment documents. Part of a successful operation for them may also include hacking into telecommunications to gain access to one-time pins or mobile networks.
“It’s not just about hacking,” says Siriniwasa.. “It’s also about the hackers trying to get an ‘inside man’ in the bank who could help them or even using a person’s personal details to get a new SIM so that they can have access to OTPs. Of course, they also use the tried and tested method of phishing which continues to be exceptionally effective – despite the education in the market to thwart it.”
The amounts of malware and available attacks to gain access to bank funds is strikingly vast and varies from using web injection script, social engineering and even targeting internal networks as well as points of sale systems. If there is an internet connection and a system you can be assured that there is a cybercriminal trying to crack it. The impact on the bank itself is also massive, with reputations left in tatters and customers moving their business elsewhere.
“We see that cyber criminals use multi-faceted attacks,” says Siriniwasa. “This means that we need to come at security from multiple angles as well. Every single layer of an organisation’s online perimeter need to be secured. Threat isolation is exceptionally important and having security with intrusion protection is vital. Again, vigilance on the part of staff and customers also goes a long way to preventing attacks. These criminals might not carry guns like Andre Stander and his gang, but they are just as dangerous – in fact – probably more so.”
Beaten by big data? AI is the answer
by ZAKES SOCIKWA, cloud big data and analytics lead at Oracle
In 2019, it’sestimated we’ll generate more data than we did in the previous 5,000 years. Data is fast becoming the most valuable asset of any modern organisation, and while most have access to their internal data, they continue to experience challenges in deriving maximum value through being able to effectively monetise the information that they hold.
The foundation of any analytics or Business Intelligence (BI) reporting capability is an efficient data collection system that ensures events/transactions are properly recorded, captured, processed and stored. Some of this information on its own might not provide any valuable insights, but if it is analysed together with other sources might yield interesting patterns.
Big data opens up possibilities of enhancing internal sources with unstructured data and information from Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Furthermore, as we move to a digital age, more businesses are implementing customer experience solutions and there is a growing need for them to improve their service and personalise customer engagements.
The digital behaviour of customers, such as social media postings and the networks or platforms they engage with, further provides valuable information for data collection. Information gathering methods are being expanded to accommodate all types and formats of data, including images, videos, and more.
In the past, BI and Data Mining were left to highly technical and analytical individuals, but the introduction of data visualisation tools is democratising the analytics world. However, business users and report consumers often do not have a clear understanding of what they need or what is possible.
AI now embedded into day to day applications
To this end, artificial intelligence (AI) is finishing what business intelligence started. By gathering, contextualising, understanding, and acting on huge quantities of data, AI has given rise to a new breed of applications – one that’s continuously improving and adapting to the conditions around it. The more data that is available for the analysis, the better is the quality of the outcomes or predictions.
In addition, AI changes the productivity equation for many jobs by automating activities and adapting current jobs to solve more complex and time-consuming problems, from recruiters being able to source better candidates faster to financial analysts eliminating manual error-prone reporting.
This type of automation will not replace all jobs but will invent new ones. This enables businesses to reduce the time to complete tasks and the costs of maintenance, and will lead to the creation of higher-value jobs and new engagement models. Oracle predicts that by 2025, the productivity gains delivered by AI, emerging technologies, and augmented experiences could double compared to today’s operations.
According to the IDC, worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics (BDA) solutions was expected to total $166 billion in 2018, and forecast to reach $260 billion in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.9% over the 2017-2022 forecast period. It adds that two of the fastest growing BDA technology categories will be Cognitive/AI Software Platforms (36.5% CAGR) and Non-relational Analytic Data Stores (30.3% CAGR)¹.
Informed decisions, now and in the future
As new layers of technology are introduced and more complex data sources are added to the ecosystem, the need for a tightly integrated technology stack becomes a challenge. It is advisable to choose your technology components very carefully and always have the end state in mind.
More development on emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, IoT, virtual reality and others will probably be available on cloud first before coming on premise. For those organisations that are adopting public cloud, there are opportunities to consume the benefits of public cloud and drive down costs of doing business.
While the introduction of public cloud is posing a challenge on data sovereignty and other regulations, technology providers such as Oracle have developed a ‘Cloud at Customer’ model that provides the full benefits of public cloud – but located on premise, within an organisation’s own data centre.
The best organisations will innovate and optimise faster than the rest. Best decisions must be made around choice of technology, business processes, integration and architectures that are fit for business. In the information marketplace, speed and informed decision making will be key differentiators amongst competitors.
¹ IDC Press Release, Revenues for Big Data and Business Analytics Solutions Forecast to Reach $260 Billion in 2022, Led by the Banking and Manufacturing Industries, According to IDC, 15 August 2018