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Oracle gears cloud for customers in SA

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Enabling organisations to move workloads to the cloud while keeping their data on their own premises, Oracle has launched the Cloud at Customer solution in South Africa.

Oracle Cloud at Customer is designed to enable organisations to remove one of the biggest obstacles to cloud adoption—data privacy concerns related to where the data is stored. While organisations are eager to move their enterprise workloads to the public cloud, many have been constrained by business, legislative and regulatory requirements that have prevented them from being able to adopt the technology. These first-of-a-kind services provide organisations with choice in where their data and applications reside and a natural path to easily move business critical applications eventually to the public cloud.

“Oracle Cloud at Customer is a direct response to the remaining barriers to cloud adoption and turning those obstacles into opportunities by letting customers choose the location of their cloud services,” said Francois-Xavier Leclercq –  Senior Vice President Business Development EMEA & APAC applications. “We are providing a unique service that enables our customers to leverage Oracle Cloud services, including SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, both on their premises and in our cloud.  Customers gain all the benefits of Oracle’s robust cloud offerings, in their own datacentres, all managed and supported by Oracle.”

Underpinning Oracle Cloud at Customer is a modern cloud infrastructure platform based on converged Oracle hardware, software-defined storage and networking and a first class IaaS abstraction. Oracle fully manages and maintains the infrastructure at customers’ premises so that customers can focus on using the IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services. This is the same cloud infrastructure platform that powers the Oracle Cloud globally.

Customers will also have access to all of Oracle’s major PaaS categories, including Database, Application Development, Analytics, Big Data, Application and Data Integration, and Identity Management with Oracle Cloud at Customer These services take advantage of specific enhancements that have been made to the underlying Oracle Cloud at Customer platform such as servers with faster CPUs and NVMe-based flash storage, as well as all-flash block storage to deliver even better performance for enterprise workloads.

Oracle has also made available via Oracle Cloud at Customer, the ability to consume Oracle SaaS services such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Human Capital Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Supply Chain Management in their own datacentres. These best-in-class, modern applications help unlock business value and increase performance by enabling businesses and people to be more informed, connected, productive, and engaged. Major organisations are already adopting this new option to modernise their key enterprise operations and benefit from the speed of innovation in Oracle SaaS without having to move sensitive application data outside their premises. With the addition of SaaS services to Oracle Cloud at Customer, customers have access to Oracle Cloud services across the entire cloud stack, all delivered in a subscription-based, managed model, directly in their datacentres.

Also, newly available is the Oracle Big Data Cloud Machine, which is an optimised system delivering a production-grade Hadoop and Spark platform with the power of dedicated nodes and the flexibility and simplicity of a cloud offering. Organisations can now access a full range of Hadoop, Spark, and analytics tools on a simple subscription model in their own datacentres.

Oracle Cloud at Customer delivers the following Oracle Cloud services:

  • Infrastructure: Provides elastic compute, containers, elastic block storage, object storage, virtual networking, and identity management to enable portability of Oracle and non-Oracle workloads into the cloud.
  • Data Management: Enables customers to use the number one database to manage data infrastructure in the cloud with the Oracle Database Cloud, including Oracle Database Exadata Cloud for extreme performance and Oracle MySQL Cloud.
  • Big Data and Analytics:  Empowers an entire organisation to use a single platform to take advantage of any data to drive insights. Includes a broad set of big data cloud services, including Oracle Big Data Cloud Service, Oracle Analytics Cloud, and Oracle Event Hub Cloud.
  • Application Development: Enables organisations to develop and deploy Java applications in the cloud using Oracle Java Cloud, Oracle Application Container Cloud, Oracle Container Cloud, and Oracle WebCenter Portal Cloud.
  • Enterprise Integration: Simplifies integration of on-premises applications to cloud applications, as well as cloud application to cloud application integration using Oracle Integration Cloud, Oracle SOA Cloud, Oracle Data Integrator Cloud, Oracle GoldenGate Cloud, Oracle Managed File Transfer Cloud, and Oracle Internet of Things Cloud.
  • Security: Enables organisations to use Oracle Identity Cloud to implement and manage consistent identity and access management policies.
  • Software-as-a-Service: Provides organisations with a complete suite of software to run their businesses, including Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle CX Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud, and Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud.

Oracle Cloud at Customer

The Oracle Cloud at Customer portfolio of services enables organisations to get all of the benefits of Oracle’s public cloud services in their datacentres. The business model is just like a public cloud subscription; the hardware and software platform is the same; Oracle experts monitor and manage the infrastructure; and the same tools used in Oracle’s public cloud are used to provision resources on the Oracle Cloud at Customer services. This is the only offering from a major public cloud vendor that delivers a stack that is 100 percent compatible with the public cloud but available on-premises, ensuring that customers get the same experience and the latest innovations and benefits using it in their datacentres as in the public cloud.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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SAFTA awards get first streaming video nominees

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The 2019 nominations for The South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) were announced late last week, and for the first time in the 13-year history of the awards, a TV series produced for a video-on-demand service was in contention. The result was a surprise boost to streaming service Showmax.

The comedy series Tali’s Wedding Diary, which premiered in December 2017, represented a major step for the then two-year old streaming service. It was the debut Showmax Original, the first time Showmax ventured into producing its own content. The gamble paid off, with the show becoming the most watched of any series on its first day on Showmax, and now Tali’s Wedding Diary has been further recognised with seven SAFTA nominations, making it this year’s most nominated comedy.

“When we first floated the idea of Tali’s Wedding Diary, we joked about winning awards,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content. “At that point, just getting our first Showmax Original off the ground was already a major challenge and it was more than we could hope for to actually hit it out of the park. I was stunned when I heard the news about the nominations – it’s amazing to be considered in the same company as these other shows and thanks to this we’re already seeing a fresh spike in Tali views.”

Tali’s Wedding Diary was also a first for co-creator and star Julia Anastasopoulos, who until then was best known as YouTube star SuzelleDIY. “I am so thrilled about the SAFTA nominations for Tali’s Wedding Diary,” says Julia, who is up for Best Actress – TV Comedy and Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – TV Comedy, along with her husband Ari Kruger and Daniel Zimbler. 

“It was such a big and daunting step to create a full TV comedy series and intro a brand-new character. I really didn’t know how it would be received and am so happy to have received such positive feedback for the show and the Tali Babes character, along with the nominations. It feels so good to be recognised for something we poured our hearts into. None of it would have been possible, of course, without the incredible hard work and vision of my husband Ari and the incredible team, cast and crew that were part of the show. And a huge thank you to Showmax of course for making it all possible. Congratulations and best of luck to the entire team and to all the other nominees.”

Tali’s Wedding Diary is a mockumentary that follows Tali, a self-obsessed Joburg princess who’s moved to Cape Town and is planning her wedding to property-agent fiancé Darren (Anton Taylor). The series was inspired by Julia’s own wedding to Ari, her SuzelleDIY and Tali’s Wedding Diary co-creator, who is also up for Best Achievement In Directing – TV Comedy.  

In addition to Julia and Ari’s nominations, Tali’s Wedding Diary is up for Best TV Comedy, Art Direction (Keren Setton),  Cinematography (James Adey), and Editing (Richard Starkey). Winners will be announced on 2 March 2019 at Sun City Superbowl.

Following the success of Tali’s Wedding Diary, the second Showmax Original, The Girl From St Agnes, was released earlier this month. A third Showmax Original, Trippin With Skhumba, is slated for release at the end of February.

“With three Showmax Originals now under our belt and more on the way, we’d like to think this is the start of many more SAFTA nominations for shows from a streaming service,” concludes Candice.

South African content currently on Showmax has 110 nominations and includes the most nominated movie (Five Fingers With Marseilles), telenovela (The River), drama (Lockdown) and soap (Isibaya), with more SAFTA nominees scheduled for the coming months.

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