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Mario evolves today

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The next evolution of the Super Mario Bros. series arrives now in the shape of Super Mario Maker. It’s a game that its Nintendo “lets the imagination of fans run wild by bringing their very own Super Mario levels to life”.

To date, the Super Mario series has sold more than 310 million copies globally, with Mario, one of the world’s most recognisable entertainment characters, at its centre. With the release of Super Mario Maker, friends – for the first time ever – can play through Super Mario levels they create for one another.

With the game containing a toolkit packed with iconic Mario enemies, items and areas at their disposal, fans can share their creations online, while checking out and rating an almost limitless supply of levels constructed by fellow players from across the globe.

Reviews have been pouring in for Super Mario Maker on the eve of its launch to fans across South Africa:

Aside from the game releasing at retail and on Nintendo eShop for Wii U as a standalone product, there are a range of other purchase options:

 

  • Super Mario Maker Wii U Premium Pack: a black Wii U Premium console, a physical copy of Super Mario Maker, a Hardcover Artbook and a Classic Colours Mario amiibo from the Mario 30th Anniversary Collection.
  • Super Mario Maker Limited Edition Pack: a physical copy of Super Mario Maker, a Hardcover Artbook and a Classic Colours Mario amiibo from the Mario 30th Anniversary Collection.

The Classic Colours Mario amiibo from the Mario 30th Anniversary Collection will also be available on its own from 11th September, while the Modern Colours variant will go on sale from 23rd October.

Super Mario Maker releases in time for a special landmark on 13 September, when video game fans from all over the world will be toasting the 30th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. series. With three decades having passed since the Japanese release of Super Mario Bros. in 1985, and Mario having traversed hundreds of memorable levels and defeated the dastardly villain Bowser on countless occasions, some classic Mario moments can be viewed at the Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary website.

 

Meanwhile, the creator of the Super Mario series himself, Shigeru Miyamoto, has been helping clear up some long-running fan debates in his own inimitable way in a “Mario Myths with Mr Miyamoto” video on Nintendo’s YouTube channels.

Whether it’s littering a level with multiple Bowsers, transforming Mario into other Nintendo characters such as Pikmin, Wii Fit Trainer or Link using an in-game Mystery Mushroom item, or creating custom sound effects to insert into a level, with Super Mario Maker it’s the first time in 30 years that fans get to write the rules. Anyone picking up a copy of the game at retail can also learn more about the boundless possibilities in the game by perusing a Hardcover Artbook coming with their copy of the game.

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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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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