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PS4 gets Black Ops beta boost

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Megarom has announced that Treyarch’s Black Ops III Beta has set a new standard as the number one Beta on PlayStation 4.

Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer Beta, which began on August 19 and ran through August 23, has become the largest beta in PlayStation 4 (PS4) history.

Millions of gamers downloaded and played the beta, which provided critical feedback and technical data at scale for the Treyarch development team to further fine-tune and polish in preparation for the November 6 launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

“This is about making sure we deliver to our fans the best possible game at launch,” said Rob Kostich, senior vice president and general manager of Call of Duty, Activision Publishing. “Becoming the biggest beta on PS4 speaks to the excitement felt by gamers and the quality of work by Treyarch. And remember, this beta is just a fraction of the overall multiplayer experience and a portion of what’s coming on November 6 when the full game – spanning campaign, multiplayer and Zombies hits worldwide.”

“We’ve been looking forward to getting the game into the hands of the people that matter most – the fans,” said Mark Lamia, studio head of Treyarch. “We can’t thank them all enough for participating and providing us with invaluable feedback and data that Treyarch is already hard at work incorporating into the game for launch. Our goal is to deliver the best Day One experience possible and this beta – along with the input from our passionate community of fans – has helped position us to do just that.”

“Played by millions of PlayStation fans around the world, the response to the beta was massive and shows the strength when bringing together the best-selling console franchise with the best-selling game console,” said Adam Boyes, VP of Publisher and Developer Relations, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “Signaling an impressive start of a new era for PlayStation and this famed franchise, there was no better way to welcome Call of Duty to its new home on PlayStation 4.”

The Call of Duty: Black Ops III beta set new marks on PS4 delivering the most downloads, gameplay sessions and hours of gameplay to date, according to Activision and Sony PlayStation.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III is in development at Treyarch for PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC. The Call of Duty: Black Ops III multiplayer beta is available now on Xbox One and PC.

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AppDate: Shedding light in our times of darkness

SEAN BACHER’S app roundup highlights two load-shedding apps, along with South AfriCAM, NBA 2K Mobile, Virgin Mobile’s Spot 3.0 and SwiftKey.

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Load Shedding Notifier

With all the uncertainty about when South Africans will next be plunged into darkness by Eskom, the Load Shedding Notifier tries its best to keep up with Eskom’s schedule. The app is very simple to use. Download it, type an area in and click the save button. The app automatically tells you what load shedding stage Eskom is on, the times you can expect to start lighting candles and for how long to burn them.

Multiple areas can be added and one can switch between the different stages to see how each one will affect a certain area.

A grid status is also displayed, showing how strained the country’s electrical network is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

EskomSePush Load Shedding App

EskomSePush does much the same as the Load Shedding Notifier, but allows multiple cities to be tracked. However, they may just want to rethink the name of the app if they want wider respectability.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

South AfriCAM

South AfriCAM enables users to add branded stickers and frames from popular lifestyle magazine titles to their posts, including Huisgenoot, YOU, Drum, Move!, TRUE LOVE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health. 

In the process, they can earn JETPoints for their social influence: through the app’s built-in JET8 social currency, users are rewarded for their engagement. For every in-app like, comment, and share, users earn JETPoints, which can be used to redeem products online or over the counter across more than 2 500 retail stores in South Africa. Users are additionally awarded JETPoints for cross-posting onto external social media networks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

Click here to read about console quality graphics on a mobile phone, Virgin Money payments made easier, and an app that redesigns the keyboard.

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Drones to drive
Western Cape agritech

Aerobotics is set to change how farmers treat their crops by using drones and machine learning, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The Western Cape is poised to be a hotbed of innovation in the agritech sector, with drone piloting set to playing a major role in in the tech start-up scene.

This is the view of Tim Willis, chief operating officer of pioneering drone company Aerobotics, a Cape Town drone company recognised as a world leader in agritech.

“Drone piloting is a key skill that feeds into the value chain of the budding 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Willis. “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned to be the melting pot for innovation in the agritech sector, as a leading agricultural exporter and a hub for creative tech start-ups.”

He was speaking at AeroCon, a drone expo organised by Aerobotics and held in Johannesburg this week aimed at providing opportunities for drone pilots to apply their skills in South Africa, and to show how drones are being used to collect data on crops. 

The event was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Wesgro, PROMMAC, MicaSense, and Rectron, among other

“We’re starting to sign up farmers across the country,” said Willis. “It’s exciting because farmers are starting to use drone technology on their farms. When a farmer wants a drone flown, they want it flown [now] so it’s important for us to capture that data as quickly as possible to show that drones are fast and effective.”

According to aerobotics, drone technology can help farmers reduce pesticide use on their crops by up to 30%. The result is environmentally friendly farming, reducing stressed crops and a healthier harvest. 

“We use aerial imagery from drones to recreate a 3D model of every single tree on a farmer’s orchard,” said Willis. “We’ve done this for millions of trees and it starts to give the farmers metrics of what they’re doing. We provide them with the health of the trees, the height, the volume, the canopy area, which enable the farms to make decisions on what to do next.”

Click here to read more about AeroCon and what it offers to those wanting to get into the drone industry.

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