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Intel goes partly cloudy

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Intel has announced a range of new technologies, investments and industry collaborations aimed at making it easier to deploy scalable clouds so businesses can deliver new services faster and drive revenue growth.

Businesses want flexibility and choice in cloud deployment models to support innovation while maintaining control of their most strategic assets. Despite a willingness to invest in modern software-defined infrastructure (SDI), businesses find the prospect of doing so themselves to be complex and time-consuming.

Intel is easing the path with new processors, solid state drives and a range of industry collaborations to help businesses deliver new services at the scale and speed previously found only in the most advanced public clouds.

“Enterprises want to benefit from the efficiency and agility of cloud architecture and on their own terms – using the public cloud offerings, deploying their own private cloud, or both,” said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Centre Group. “The result is pent-up demand for software-defined infrastructure. Intel is investing to mature SDI solutions and provide a faster path for businesses of all sizes to reap the benefits of the cloud.”

Key Ingredients for the Modern Cloud

SDI is the foundation for the most advanced clouds in the world. It makes the delivery of cloud services faster and more efficient by dynamically allocating the required compute, storage and network resources through intelligent software, carefully orchestrating the delivery of applications and services on-demand and across many users.

The Intel Xeon® processor E5-2600 v4 product family, built on 14nm process technology, provides the key ingredients for SDI including Intel Resource Director Technology, which enables customers to move to fully automated SDI-based clouds with greater visibility and control over critical shared resources like processor caches and main memory. The result is intelligent orchestration and improved utilisation and service levels.

The new product family delivers improved performance for cloud tasks with more than 20 percent more cores and cache than the prior generation, supports faster memory, and includes other integrated technologies for accelerating a wide range of server, network and storage workloads. Security enhancements like workload isolation, security policy enforcement and faster cryptography have been added to help protect data more effectively.

For fast and reliable data access to the cloud, Intel unveiled new solid state drives (SSDs) optimised for the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 family, enterprise storage and cloud deployments. The Intel SSD DC P3320 and P3520 Series are the first Intel SSDs to use the industry’s highest density 3D NAND technology to provide users with a highly efficient, dense storage solution. The DC P3320 offers up to a 5-times performance boost compared to SATA-based SSDs.

The new Intel SSD DC D3700 and D3600 Series are Intel’s first dual-port PCI Express SSDs using the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) protocol. The dual-port design provides critical redundancy and failover, safeguarding against data loss in mission-critical storage deployments. Customer systems using the D3700 can see up to a 6-times increase in performance over today’s dual-port SAS solutions.

Unleashing Tens of Thousands of New Clouds

As part of the Intel Cloud for All initiative, Intel is investing in others in the industry to accelerate SDI-enabled clouds, optimising key technologies, and aligning the industry to drive the development of standards and easy-to-deploy cloud solutions.

·         Intel is collaborating with CoreOS and Mirantis to bring together two of the most popular open source technologies to orchestrate container and virtual machine-based applications. The merging of these two technologies into a single solution will simplify choices for cloud operators to accelerate the adoption of cloud solutions.

·         Intel and VMware announced a network of Centres of Excellence aimed at accelerating cloud deployments. The centres will drive custom optimisations, facilitate proof-of-concept testing and integrate cybersecurity best practices in collaboration with The National Institute of Standards and Technology.

·         Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and Intel announced the world’s largest cloud application testing cluster for applications “born in the cloud.” The cluster will include more than 1,000 Intel Xeon processor-based server nodes designed to provide developers with the opportunity to test applications at larger scales and deliver the efficiency and portability of cloud native applications to businesses.

·         Intel is expanding its Cloud Builders programme to include SDI use cases and accelerate ecosystem optimisation efforts that allow customers to take full advantage of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) orchestration and automation. The new Storage Builders programme also aims to accelerate the industry’s use of cloud-ready, next-generation storage solutions by fostering greater innovation by matchmaking between in the cloud ecosystem. Intel currently has more than 300 member companies across its cloud, storage and network “builders” programmes.

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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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You can blame Oxford Dictionaries for making the “selfie” respectable. After all, being named Word of the Year, as it was in 2013, does tend to soften some of the self-consciousness in this most self-conscious of actions.

Once seen as a symbol of narcissism and self-obsession, it is now the new normal, to the extent that most smartphones are sold on the basis of the front camera. Or, as that feature is now almost universally named by manufacturers, the “selfie camera”.

I was one of the hold-outs, having a near-allergy to the selfie. I still resist, but succumb more often than I would like. The reason for continued resistance is that it remains a big leap from the word becoming respectable to the action itself shedding its narcissistic image. 

For most, it’s already happened, and for that you can blame Ellen DeGeneres. She  choreographed the most famous group selfie yet at the 2014 Oscars, when she roped a bunch of actors into a group selfie, using the then-new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Her tweet of the photo became what was then the most retweeted posting ever on Twitter, and was estimated to have been worth a million dollars in marketing value to Samsung.

Ironically, it was Samsung’s up-and-coming challenger, Huawei, that came up with a new word for this type of selfie: the “groufie”. Thanks to an 8 Megapixel front camera on the new Huawei Ascend P7 camera that year which took the highest quality selfies – and groufies – possible on a smartphone at the time.

It didn’t end there, and selfies and groufies have morphed into variations like selfscapes (selfie in a landscape), skyfies (selfies from the air, using remote controlled devices) and jerkies (selfies to make an idiot out of yourself). I invented all of those on the fly, so it’s easy to imagine a new word emerging for every type of selfie.

Continue reading about selfie improvements through the years.

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Mickey’s 90th for SA

Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

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As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

o   Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October

o   Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November

o   Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag#Mickey90Africa.

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