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Power-saving arrives in browser

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Opera for computers has become the first major browser to feature a power saving mode. The new mode extends the laptop battery life by up to 50% compared to earlier versions of the Opera browser and to Google Chrome.

The web browser is among the most used software on the computer. It’s the browser that enables people to work in the cloud, search the web, listen to music and watch videos. However, having many tabs open simultaneously often results in rapid battery drain that reduces a laptop’s performance.

“It’s extremely frustrating to run out of battery on your computer, whether you are out traveling, watching videos, or you have just left your charger behind. Our new power saving mode will nudge you when the laptop starts to consume battery, and, when enabled, it can increase the battery life by as much as 50%,” says Krystian Kolondra, SVP of Engineering for Opera.

Battery saving on Opera for computers is possible thanks to optimizations, such as reducing activity from background tabs, adapting page-redrawing frequency and tuning video-playback parameters.

How it works

Using the new power saving mode is easy. Once the laptop’s power cable is unplugged, the battery icon will appear next to the search and address field in the Opera browser.

Click the battery icon to activate the power saving mode and flip on the switch. The browser will also detect when the laptop’s battery is running low and will suggest enabling power saving mode.

Increased performance

This developer version of Opera 39 brings yet more performance improvements that will extend your laptop’s battery life. Some parts of the code have been simplified, while animated themes have been optimized. In this version, we are also testing a smarter way of managing memory, which ensures that constantly opened tabs like Gmail and Facebook will be much more responsive.

The recently released native ad blocker reduces memory consumption by up to 47%, which also contributes to longer battery life. Using the ad blocker along with the power saving mode means even better power savings and performance.

Test results

In our test, designed to reflect the way people use browsers in real life, the latest Opera developer version was able to run 3 hours longer than browsers like Google Chrome on a laptop running Windows 10, 64-bit.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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