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New Mac OS out today

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Apple has announced that OS X El Capitan, the latest major release of the mac desktop operating system, is available now as a free update for Mac users.

El Capitan builds on the features and design of OS X Yosemite, refining the Mac experience with updates to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search, and performance improvements to make everyday activities — like launching and switching apps, opening PDFs and accessing email — faster and more responsive.

“People love using their Macs, and one of the biggest reasons is the power and ease-of-use of OS X,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “El Capitan refines the Mac experience and improves performance in a lot of little ways that make a very big difference. Feedback from our OS X beta program has been incredibly positive and we think customers are going to love their Macs even more with El Capitan.”

Apple provided the following information:

El Capitan gives you simpler and smarter ways to do the things you do most with your Mac. A streamlined Mission Control makes it easier to see and organise everything you have open on your Mac. With a single swipe, Mission Control arranges all your windows in a single layer so you can find the window you need even faster. When your desktop gets crowded, simply drag a window to the top of your screen to create a new Space and spread out your work. And the new Split View feature automatically positions two app windows side-by-side in full screen so you can work with both apps without distraction.

Spotlight gets even smarter in El Capitan. You can now use Spotlight to check stock prices, weather conditions and forecasts, sports scores, schedules and standings, and even athlete information. You can also search with Spotlight to find a file using natural language. Simply type “email from Harrison in April” or “presentation I worked on yesterday” and Spotlight will help you find exactly what you are looking for. You can resize the Spotlight window to display more results or move it anywhere on your desktop.

OS X built-in apps are even better in El Capitan. Safari now features Pinned Sites to keep your favourite websites open and active and a new mute button to quickly silence browser audio from any tab. Mail introduces Smart Suggestions, which recognises names or events in a Mail message and prompts you to add them to your contacts or calendar with a single click. You can also swipe to delete messages, just like in iOS, and juggle multiple emails while Mail is in full screen. In Photos, you can now edit locations, batch change descriptions, sort albums by date or title, and take editing to the next level with third-party editing extensions from your favourite developers.

El Capitan features an all-new Notes app that lets you drag and drop photos, PDFs, videos and other files into a note, and add content directly from other apps, such as Safari web links or Maps locations, using the Share menu. Easy-to-create checklists help you keep track of important to-do items, and the new Attachments Browser organises your attachments in one simple view, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. With iCloud, your notes stay in sync so you can create notes on one device and edit them or check off items on your other devices.

Improvements to System Performance

OS X El Capitan improves system performance across your Mac, making many of the things you do everyday faster and more responsive. Metal, Apple’s groundbreaking graphics technology, accelerates Core Animation and Core Graphics to boost system-level rendering by up to 50 percent, and efficiency by up to 40 percent, resulting in faster graphics performance for everyday apps.* Metal also takes full advantage of your CPU and GPU, delivering up to 10 times faster draw call performance for a richer, more fluid experience in games and pro apps.

El Capitan also features enhanced international language support, including a new Chinese system font for both Traditional and Simplified, with 50,000 beautifully designed characters for crisp on-screen readability. Chinese keyboard input methods now offer regularly updated vocabulary lists and a smarter candidate window. El Capitan makes entering Japanese text faster by automatically transforming Hiragana into written Japanese and reducing the need to individually select and confirm word conversions. You can now also select the perfect font for your documents using four new Japanese typefaces.

Pricing & Availability

OS X El Capitan is available as a free update starting Wednesday, September 30 from the Mac App Store. El Capitan supports all Macs introduced in 2009 and later, and some models introduced in 2007 and 2008.

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SA consumers buy 3.2m smartphones in Q1

Smartphone sales in South Africa grew by 12.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, reaching around 3.2 million units for the period.

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However, the value of the smartphone segment increased by 22.8% as sales of entry-level devices to low- and mid-income consumers continued to drive the market, according to point of sale data from market research firm, GfK South Africa.

GfK South Africa’s data reveals that telecommunications retail enjoyed a strong start to the year, with revenue growing 22.4% year-on-year. The growing popularity of phablets and higher unit prices (as a result of a weaker rand) helped to drive this increase in revenue, against a backdrop of low or negative growth in many segments of the consumer technology market.

“The mobile device market showed good growth in the quarter, despite rising prices during the period under review,” says Norman Muzhona, Solutions Specialist for Telecommunications at GfK South Africa. “In addition to the exchange rate, the introduction of popular, new mid-tier devices by several leading vendors helped to drive higher retail revenues in the telecoms market.”

Information technology retail revenues for the quarter contracted 4.8% compared to 2017, largely because of decreasing monitor prices and a 38.9% decline in tablet revenues. However, desktop computer revenues grew 39% and mobile computing revenues grew 6.5% year-on-year, thanks to higher prices and increased sales of higher-end products.

Says Berno Mare, Solutions Specialist for IT, Office Equipment and Value Added Services: “Retailers introduced new computing devices priced in the R3000 band during the quarter and enjoyed surprisingly strong demand for these entry-level units.

“Telcos enjoyed robust growth in mobile computing retail sales, thanks to credit deals, subsidised contracts and attractive data offers. However, South African consumers are heavily indebted, which may dampen growth for the rest of the year.”

With consumers rapidly migrating to smartphones, sales of traditional mobile phones continued to decline, down 1.6% year-on-year to around 2 million for the quarter. However, the exchange rate and the introduction of higher-priced brands helped to drive a 8.9% year-on-year revenue increase in mobile phone revenues during the period under review.

This follows the 21% drop in mobile phone unit sales in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. “Operators continue to lead the transition from feature phones to smartphones as they pursue higher data revenues,” says Muzhona. “The entry-level market for smartphones is fiercely competitive, and the minimum specs of lower cost smartphones is improving all the time.”

GfK South Africa expects the migration from mobile phones to smartphones to accelerate in 2018. However, it remains to be seen if the introduction of 4G-enabled, Voice-over-LTE-ready feature phones will have any impact on the South African mobile phone market.

Sectors of the consumer electronic market that showed strong growth for the first quarter of 2018 include loudspeakers—revenues up 21.6% year-on-year, thanks to demand of Bluetooth-enabled product—and ultrahigh definition (UHD) panel TVs—where revenues grew 33%, thanks to the growing affordability of the technology. UHD unit shipments were up 76%, while the average selling price of the products fell 24%.

Other market highlights for the first quarter of 2018 include:

  • Photo category revenues were up 8.1% year-on-year.
  • Small domestic appliance revenues grew 8%, following a 10.3% decline in Q1 2016 over Q1 2015. Hot air fryers sold well, as did kettles and toasters.
  • Major domestic appliances showed small year-on-year growth over Q1 2016, despite a decline in average selling price in many sub-categories of this market. Cooling products continued to make the highest contribution to growth in this segment.
  • Office Equipment revenues declined 18% year-on-year, led downwards by lower printer and cartridge sales volumes.
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What kids want online

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Kaspersky Lab’s latest report on the online activities of children – based on statistics received from its solutions and modules with child protection features – highlights children’s online activities and the importance of protecting them when online. For example, video content globally, comprised 17% of searches over the last months. Although many videos watched as a result of these searches may be harmless, it is still possible for children to accidentally end up watching videos that contain inappropriate content.

The report shows anonymised statistics from Kaspersky Lab’s flagship consumer solutions for Windows PCs and Macs that have the Parental Control module switched on and from Kaspersky Safe Kids, a standalone service for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.

In South Africa, communication sites (such as social media, messengers, or emails) were the most popular pages visited by computers with parental controls switched on – with users in South Africa visiting these sites in 69% of cases over the previous 12 months. Software, audio, and video accounted for 17% of searches. Websites with this content have become significantly more popular since last year, when it was only the fifth most popular category globally at 6%. The top four is rounded off with electronic commerce (4.2%) and alcohol, tobacco, and websites about narcotics (3.9%), which is a new addition compared to this time last year.

The report presents search results on the ten most-popular languages* for the last 6 months. The data shows that the video & audio category – including requests related to any video content, streaming services, video bloggers, series and movies – are the most regularly ‘googled’ by children (17% of the total requests). The second and third places go to translation (14%) and communication (10%) websites respectively. Interestingly, games websites sit in fourth place, generating only 9% of the total search requests.

We can also see a clear language difference for search requests: for example, video and music websites are typically searched for in English, which can be explained by the fact that the majority of movies, TV series and musical groups have English names. Spanish-speaking kids carry out more requests for translation sites, while communication services are mostly searched for in Russian.

More than any other nationality, Chinese-speaking children look for education services, while French-speaking kids are more interested in sport and games websites. In turn, German-speaking requests dominate in the “shopping” category. The leading number of search requests for porn are in Arabic, and for anime are in Japanese.

“Kids in different countries have different interests and online behaviors, but what links them all is their need to be protected online from potentially harmful content. Children looking for animated content could accidentally open a porn video. Or they could start searching for innocent videos and unintentionally end up on websites containing violent content, both of which could have a long-term impact on their impressionable and vulnerable minds,” says Anna Larkina, Web-content Analysis Expert at Kaspersky Lab.

As well as analysing searches, the report also looks into which websites children visit or attempt to visit that contain potentially harmful content which falls under one of the 14 preset categories** for the last 12 months.

The mobile trend is again highlighted in the figures for computer games, which are now in fifth place locally on the list at 3%. As kids continue to show a preference for mobile games rather than computer games, this category will only continue to decrease in popularity on computers over the coming months and years.cleardot.gif

“No matter what they are doing online, it is important for parents not to leave their children’s digital activities unattended, because there’s a big difference between care and obtrusiveness. While it is important to trust your children and educate them about how to behave safely online, even your good advice cannot protect them from something unexpectedly showing up on the screen. That’s why advanced security solutions are key to ensuring children have positive online experiences, rather than harmful ones,” adds Anna Larkina.

The Kaspersky Total Security and Kaspersky Internet Security consumer solutions include a Parental Control module to help adults protect their children against online threats and block sites or apps containing inappropriate content. In turn, the Kaspersky Safe Kids solution allows parents to monitor what their children do, see or search for online across all devices, including mobile devices, and offers useful advice on how to help children behave safely online.

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