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Huawei launches cloud Atlas

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Huawei recently released Atlas, a new-generation, intelligent cloud hardware platform designed for the public cloud, AI, and HPC scenarios.

Positioned for scenarios like public cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and high-performance computing (HPC), Atlas rides on key technologies like heterogeneous resource pooling and intelligent orchestration to deliver new levels of hardware resource utilisation and adapt more flexibly to service demands. As a result of Huawei’s Boundless Computing strategy, the Atlas platform is intended to position Huawei to steer the infrastructure resource pool revolution.

With the rise of AI research and application, AI and cloud computing technologies will be integral to people’s daily lives. From applications like smart manufacturing to autonomous driving, AI and cloud technologies are spreading. Meanwhile, pivotal to intelligence is having capabilities that allow numerous systems to process in real time the massive volumes of data generated from a world of full connectivity.

For example, a city with 100 000 cameras installed can produce 100 billion car plate records and 1 trillion facial recognition records a year. It has become a tremendous challenge for traditional computing systems to deliver the required capabilities in order to process, query, and analyze data of such a high order of magnitude.

Built for the public cloud, AI, and HPC scenarios, the Atlas platform addresses the data processing challenges in the AI era. The Atlas platform is based on Huawei’s FusionServer G series heterogeneous servers. The FusionServer G series leverages technologies such as heterogeneous resource pooling and intelligent orchestration to pool resources like GPUs, HDDs, and SSDs, and provisions hardware resources on demand to suit the needs of specific service models.

Huawei provided the following information:

Atlas drives an over 50% higher resource utilization efficiency, and boosts performance by over 10x compared with the traditional x86 architecture, meanwhile slashing the hardware device types for customers. Additionally, Atlas can provision logical servers in different resource configuration ratios, and deploy the servers within seconds, significantly shortening the service rollout cycle while empowering customers with the flexibility to adapt to service changes.

“As the AI era is approaching, traditional hardware cannot meet the requirements on development of AI and cloud technologies.” said Qiu Long, President, IT Server Product Line, Huawei. “Positioned as a new-generation intelligent cloud hardware platform, Huawei’s Atlas pioneers heterogeneous resource pooling and intelligent orchestration technologies to bring resource utilization and performance to new high levels. Atlas is also the fruit of Huawei’s Boundless Computing strategy. Huawei has been inspired by the idea of making computing simple through continuous innovation, and keeps customers’ requirements in mind to build servers that are stable, reliable, and high-performing, to help customers better cope with the challenges for successful transformation in the AI and cloud era.”

Huawei has strategized Boundless Computing as a major step to building a better connected world. The Boundless Computing strategy advocates innovations around computing and leverages innovative chips, heterogeneous computing, and edge computing in order to push the traditional computing boundaries that used to be confined to CPUs, servers, and data centers. At HUAWEI CONNECT 2017, Huawei has released multiple brand new public cloud services based on the Atlas hardware platform, including GPU and FPGA cloud services, empowering AI applications with cloud capabilities and enabling customers to access heterogeneous computing services with more ease and speed.

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AppDate: Shedding light in our times of darkness

SEAN BACHER’S app roundup highlights two load-shedding apps, along with South AfriCAM, NBA 2K Mobile, Virgin Mobile’s Spot 3.0 and SwiftKey.

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Load Shedding Notifier

With all the uncertainty about when South Africans will next be plunged into darkness by Eskom, the Load Shedding Notifier tries its best to keep up with Eskom’s schedule. The app is very simple to use. Download it, type an area in and click the save button. The app automatically tells you what load shedding stage Eskom is on, the times you can expect to start lighting candles and for how long to burn them.

Multiple areas can be added and one can switch between the different stages to see how each one will affect a certain area.

A grid status is also displayed, showing how strained the country’s electrical network is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

EskomSePush Load Shedding App

EskomSePush does much the same as the Load Shedding Notifier, but allows multiple cities to be tracked. However, they may just want to rethink the name of the app if they want wider respectability.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

South AfriCAM

South AfriCAM enables users to add branded stickers and frames from popular lifestyle magazine titles to their posts, including Huisgenoot, YOU, Drum, Move!, TRUE LOVE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health. 

In the process, they can earn JETPoints for their social influence: through the app’s built-in JET8 social currency, users are rewarded for their engagement. For every in-app like, comment, and share, users earn JETPoints, which can be used to redeem products online or over the counter across more than 2 500 retail stores in South Africa. Users are additionally awarded JETPoints for cross-posting onto external social media networks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

Click here to read about console quality graphics on a mobile phone, Virgin Money payments made easier, and an app that redesigns the keyboard.

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Drones to drive
Western Cape agritech

Aerobotics is set to change how farmers treat their crops by using drones and machine learning, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The Western Cape is poised to be a hotbed of innovation in the agritech sector, with drone piloting set to playing a major role in in the tech start-up scene.

This is the view of Tim Willis, chief operating officer of pioneering drone company Aerobotics, a Cape Town drone company recognised as a world leader in agritech.

“Drone piloting is a key skill that feeds into the value chain of the budding 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Willis. “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned to be the melting pot for innovation in the agritech sector, as a leading agricultural exporter and a hub for creative tech start-ups.”

He was speaking at AeroCon, a drone expo organised by Aerobotics and held in Johannesburg this week aimed at providing opportunities for drone pilots to apply their skills in South Africa, and to show how drones are being used to collect data on crops. 

The event was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Wesgro, PROMMAC, MicaSense, and Rectron, among other

“We’re starting to sign up farmers across the country,” said Willis. “It’s exciting because farmers are starting to use drone technology on their farms. When a farmer wants a drone flown, they want it flown [now] so it’s important for us to capture that data as quickly as possible to show that drones are fast and effective.”

According to aerobotics, drone technology can help farmers reduce pesticide use on their crops by up to 30%. The result is environmentally friendly farming, reducing stressed crops and a healthier harvest. 

“We use aerial imagery from drones to recreate a 3D model of every single tree on a farmer’s orchard,” said Willis. “We’ve done this for millions of trees and it starts to give the farmers metrics of what they’re doing. We provide them with the health of the trees, the height, the volume, the canopy area, which enable the farms to make decisions on what to do next.”

Click here to read more about AeroCon and what it offers to those wanting to get into the drone industry.

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