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Looking towards robotic 2045

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Kaspersky Labs’ experts have made a few predictions as to what our world may look like in 30 years time.

About 30 years ago the personal computer began to make its way into regular use – and it went on to transform society and the way we live our lives. Kaspersky Lab’s experts decided to mark that anniversary by looking further into the future and imagining how information technology might develop and change our lives in the new digital realities of 2045, 30 years from now..

The current rate of development in IT makes it difficult to deliver precise predictions about where we will be in a few decades. However, it is clear that every year our technologies will get even smarter and the people who work with them will need to keep up. We can certainly be sure that cybercriminals will continue to make every effort to exploit any new IT advances for their own malicious purposes,” said Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert at Kaspersky Lab. “But whatever our world looks like in 30 years, we should start improving its comfort, safety and well-being now. Technology is just a tool, and it is entirely up to us whether we use it for good or for evil.”

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Robots Everywhere:
Before long it’s likely that the world’s population will include billions of people and billions of robots, with the latter doing almost all of the heavy, routine labour. People will work on improving the software for the robots and the IT industry will be home to companies developing programmes for robots just like they now develop apps for users to download and install.

Mechanical People:
To a certain extent the boundaries between robots and humans will become blurred. Transplants will start using electronically controlled artificial organs and prosthesis will be a routine surgical procedure. Nanorobots will travel deep into the body to deliver drugs to diseased cells or perform microsurgery. Specially installed sensors will monitor people’s health and transmit their findings into a cloud-based storage that can be accessed by the local doctor. All of this should lead to a considerable increase in life expectancies.

Smart Homes:
Moreover, people will live in smart homes where most creature comforts will be fully automated. The software that runs the house will take care of energy, water, food and supplies consumption and replenishment. The residents’ only concern will be to ensure there is enough money in their bank accounts to pay the bills.

Hyper Intelligence:
Our digital alter egos will finally be fully formed within a single global infrastructure capable of self-regulation and involved in managing life on the planet. The system will operate a bit like today’s TOR; the most active and effective users will earn moderator rights. The system will be geared towards distributing resources between people, preventing armed conflict and other humanitarian actions.

3D Printing – Fast and Cheap:
It won’t just be dreary chores that are consigned to the history books – production of certain items will no longer be needed. Instead 3D printers will enable us to design and create what we need, from household items like dishes and clothes to the building bricks for a future home.

No More Computers:
The PC might have started the whole IT boom, but by 2045 we’ll probably only see it in museums. To be more precise we will no longer need a single tool for working with data – which is basically all a computer does. There will be an even greater range of smart devices and these different gadgets will steadily take over the functions of today’s PCs. For example, financial analysis will be done by a server controlled by the organisation concerned using electronic documents, not by an accountant on a personal computer.

Technophobia:
Not everyone will be excited by a brave new robotic world, however. New Luddites will likely emerge to oppose the development of smart homes, automated lifestyles and robots. The opposition to IT developments will shy away from using smart systems, appliances and robots for certain types of work, and will not have any digital identity.

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Opera launches built-in VPN on Android browser

Opera has released a new version of its mobile browser, which features a built-in virtual private network service.

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Opera has released a new version of its mobile browser, Opera for Android 51, which features a built-in VPN (virtual private network) service.

A VPN allows users to create a secure connection to a public network, and is particularly useful if users are unsure of the security levels of the public networks that they use often.

The new VPN in Opera for Android 51 is free, unlimited and easy to use. When enabled, it gives users greater control of their online privacy and improves online security, especially when connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots such as coffee shops, airports and hotels. The VPN will encrypt Internet traffic into and out of their mobile devices, which reduces the risk of malicious third parties collecting sensitive information.

“There are already more than 650 million people using VPN services globally. With Opera, any Android user can now enjoy a free and no-log service that enhances online privacy and improves security,” said Peter Wallman, SVP Opera Browser for Android.

When users enable the VPN included in Opera for Android 51, they create a private and encrypted connection between their mobile device and a remote VPN server, using strong 256-bit encryption algorithms. When enabled, the VPN hides the user’s physical location, making it difficult to track their activities on the internet.

The browser VPN service is also a no-log service, which means that the VPN servers do not log and retain any activity data, all to protect users privacy.

“Users are exposed to so many security risks when they connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots without a VPN,” said Wallman. “Enabling Opera VPN means that users makes it difficult for third parties to steal information, and users can avoid being tracked. Users no longer need to question if or how they can protect their personal information in these situations.”

According to a report by the Global World Index in 2018, the use of VPNs on mobile devices is rising. More than 42 percent of VPN users on mobile devices use VPN on a daily basis, and 35 percent of VPN users on computers use VPN daily.

The report also shows that South African VPN users said that their main reason for using a VPN service is to remain anonymous while they are online.

“Young people in particular are concerned about their online privacy as they increasingly live their lives online,” said Wallman. “Opera for Android 51 makes it easy to benefit from the security and anonymity of VPN , especially for those may not be aware of how to set these up.”

Setting up the Opera VPN is simple. Users just tap on the browser settings, go to VPN and enable the feature according to their preference. They can also select the region of their choice.

The built-in VPN is free, which means that users don’t need to download additional apps on their smartphones or pay additional fees as they would for other private VPN services. With no sign-in process, users don’t need to log in every time they want to use it.

Opera for Android is available for download in Google Play. The rollout of the new version of Opera for Android 51 will be done gradually per region.

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Future of the car is here

Three new cars, with vastly different price-tags, reveal the arrival of the future of wheels, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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Just a few months ago, it was easy to argue that the car of the future was still a long way off, at least in South Africa. But a series of recent car launches have brought the high-tech vehicle to the fore in startling ways.

The Jaguar i-Pace electric vehicle (EV), BMW 330i and the Datsun Go have little in common, aside from representing an almost complete spectrum of car prices on the local market. Their tags start, respectively, at R1.7-million, R650 000 and R150 000.

Such a widely disparate trio of vehicles do not exactly come together to point to the future. Rather, they represent different futures for different segments of the market. But they also reveal what we can expect to become standard in most vehicles produced in the 2020s.

Jaguar i-Pace

The i-Pace may be out of reach of most South Africans, but it ushers in two advances that will resonate throughout the EV market as it welcomes new and more affordable cars. It is the first electric vehicle in South Africa to beat the bugbear of range anxiety.

Unlike the pioneering “old” Nissan Leaf, which had a range of up to about 150km, and did not lend itself to long distance travel, the i-Pace has a 470km range, bringing it within shouting distance of fuel-powered vehicles. A trip from Johannesburg to Durban, for example, would need just one recharge along the way.

And that brings in the other major advance: the i-Pace is the first EV launched in South Africa together with a rapid public charging network on major routes. It also comes with a home charging kit, which means the end of filling up at petrol stations.

The Jaguar i-Pace dispels one further myth about EVs: that they don’t have much power under the hood. A test drive around Gauteng revealed not only a gutsy engine, but acceleration on a par with anything in its class, and enough horsepower to enhance the safety of almost any overtaking situation.

Specs for the Jaguar i-Pace include:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Twin motors with a combined 294kW and 696Nm
  • 0-100km/h in 4.8s
  • 90kWh Lithium-ion battery, delivering up to 470km range
  • Eight-year/160 000km battery warranty
  • Two-year/34 000km service intervals

Click here to read about BMW’s self-driving technology, and how Datsun makes smart technology affordable.

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