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Intel brings i9 to laptops

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Intel last week unveiled a mobile range of its powerful Core i9 series processors. The new line-up brings desktop performance to laptops, writes BRYAN TURNER.

Since Intel’s announcement of the first Core i9 processors in early 2017, consumers have considered it to be desktop-exclusive, because of the power it requires to operate. At a global event in Beijing, Intel claimed that the Core i9 series for laptops will deliver the best gaming and content creation that the market has ever seen.

The new 8th generation Core i9, i7, and i5 processors for laptops are based on the Coffee Lake platform, which brings up to 41% more frames per second in gameplay and a 59% speed increase in rendering 4K video, compared to the previous Kaby Lake mobile processors.

The new processors compete directly with AMD’s mobile lineup. Last year’s launch of the AMD Ryzen series of processors gave Intel’s rival a massive lead in mobile processing power.

The top-of-the-range Core i9 for laptop processors are the first mobile processors to use 6 cores and 12 threads.

This means that software can make use of an additional 2 cores and 4 threads, compared to the previous top-of-the-range Core i7 series. This translates into more processing power and faster performance.

This level of processing will only be economically viable to consumers who need to make heavy use of mobile gaming or video editing while on the go. Intel also only allows utilisation of the processor’s full 4.8GHz if the laptop is in a well-ventilated area and is plugged in to charge. Without this, Intel’s Thermal Velocity Boost will not kick in.

The 8th generation Core i5+, i7+, and i9+ processors represent the Intel Core extension platform, which allows external chipsets to develop Intel-approved processor extensions for specific applications. This extension platform is powered by Intel’s Optane memory extension, which provides on-demand acceleration of everyday tasks. 

The implementation of Optane memory in the previous generation of processors has shown a browser launch speed increase of up to 5 times and a Microsoft Office program launch speed increase of up to 3.8 times. This high performance is described by Intel as revolutionary, because acceleration is exclusively on-demand and does not affect the battery life of the laptop.

Intel is shifting a large amount of its processor attention to mobile computing, as the demand grows for mobile gaming and streaming those games from non-desktop environments. This shift in attention has been welcomed by the PC gaming industry, says Intel, as it has a track record of delivering sharp and immersive graphics experiences on desktop computers.

However, gaming is not the focus of Intel’s offerings for the Core i9 for laptop processors. Editing and rendering of 4K video, digital publications, digital art, and other digital content creation have quickly moved to the mobile space. Creators of this content are finding themselves less and less behind desktop computers and interacting with their colleagues and clients on the go. Intel is tapping into this market with the Core i9’s graphics delivery, with desktop-grade VR experiences on a mobile device.

Intel’s chipsets have also been improved, with the introduction of the Intel 300 Series Chipset, bringing on-board gigabit AC Wi-Fi. This chipset has a Wi-Fi transceiver that is twice as fast as the previous series chipset. This is huge step forward for local area networks which need to transfer files quickly, but the average home network infrastructure will not yet be able to maximize this chip’s potential. For example, MWEB’s current offering of gigabit fibre-to-the-home, which will match the Wi-Fi card’s speed, costs R2500 per month – unlikely to gain much consumer uptake in the short term.

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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