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Acer debuts big-screen flexibility in 15″ Chrome

At its annual global press conference in New York last week, Acer introduced the industry’s first convertible Chromebook with a 15.6-inch display. The Acer Chromebook Spin 15 (CP315-1H) has a large touchscreen display with a convertible 360-degree design.

In addition, Acer is launching a new Chromebook 15 (CB315-1H/1HT) line that pairs a large 15-inch display and long 14-hour battery life at a budget-friendly price.

“Acer has led the Chromebook market with a wide range of form factors, sizes and designs to meet the needs of our customers, and we’re expanding our line with new exciting 15-inch models today,” said James Lin, General Manager, Commercial & Detachable Notebooks, IT Products Business at Acer. “Acer’s new Chromebooks with large 15-inch Full HD displays are ideal for collaborating on projects for work and school, enjoying streaming media and running the latest apps. Plus, the Acer Chromebook Spin 15 is the company’s first to combine a large 15.6-inch display with a convertible design, so customers can use the device in different modes.”

Both the new Acer Chromebook Spin 15 (CP315-1H) and Chromebook 15 (CB315-1H/1HT) fully support Android apps via Google Play, joining the performance, security and simplicity of Chrome with the more than two million Android apps that consumers know and love.

Chromebook Spin 15 Provides Big Entertainment

The new Acer Chromebook Spin 15’s large 1080p display is ideal for people who want an affordable computer that can also be used for entertainment in homes, apartments or dorm rooms. The 1920×1080 resolution delivers sharp visuals while IPS technology provides wide viewing angles for sharing streaming video. Plus, the display supports 10-finger touch for responsive website browsing and running the latest apps. The large FHD IPS display is complemented by two full-sized upward-facing speakers that deliver enhanced volume and audio range for an excellent HD entertainment experience. The large display boosts productivity with the additional screen real estate for apps and tabs. This also makes room for a comfortable full-sized keyboard and a large Corning Gorilla Glass touchpad that provides smooth navigation through sites and apps.

Flexible Design That Looks Great

The Acer Chromebook Spin 15’s 360-degree hinges allow the touchscreen display to be rotated a full 360°until it becomes completely open and ready for use as a large tablet for reading online content, enjoying video and staying in touch on social media. This convertible design means that the keyboard can be quickly manoeuvred back for use in traditional notebook mode. In addition, customers can stand it up in display mode to get closer to the screen, or use it in tent-mode for constrained spaces like airplane cabins.

The Chromebook Spin 15 has a silver cross-hairline pattern on the top cover that looks great in any setting. This unique silky texture provides a premium look that’s professional enough for the office and stylish enough for the home. The Chromebook Spin 15 can easily be moved around the home or office since it weighs only 2.1kg (4.63 pounds). 

Performance and All-Day Battery Life

The new Acer Chromebook Spin 15 can be used for a full day of work or school, plus streaming and fun since it delivers industry-leading battery life of up to 13 hours1. The fanless design allows it to run quietly, making it great for shared spaces such as a family room, library or coffee shop.

It provides solid everyday performance, since it’s powered by the quad-core Intel Pentium N4200 processor, Intel Celeron N3450 processor, or the dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor. It comes with 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4 memory and either 32GB or 64GB of on–board eMMC storage.

Staying Connected

Fast and reliable 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi keeps customers connected, while Bluetooth 4.2 provides a convenient connection to peripherals. The Acer 720p HD webcam has high dynamic range (HDR) and a wide field of view for accommodating groups in video conferences and Google Hangouts.

The new Acer Chromebook Spin 15 has two USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 ports for quick transfer of data, connecting to an HD display as well as charging the device or other products. In addition, the Acer Chromebook Spin 15 includes two USB 3.0 ports and a MicroSD card reader.

New Value-Oriented Chromebook 15 Model

Acer is also introducing a new model in its popular Chromebook 15 line that delivers the same large 15.6-inch display and long 14-hour battery life at a budget-friendly price. The Chromebook 15 has a vibrant Full HD 15.6-inch display in both touch (CB315-1HT) and non-touch (CB315-1H) displays that both provide a Full HD 1920×1080 resolution ideal for enjoying Android apps and viewing multiple tabs and apps. The Chromebook 15 is powered by the quad-core Intel Pentium N4200 processor, the dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor, or quad-core Intel Celeron N3450 processor and comes with two full-sized upward-facing speakers that support high-definition audio. It can be connected to a wireless network via Intel® Wireless-AC 7265 (802.11ac 2×2 MIMO) WiFi and to other devices with its two USB 3.1 Type-C ports and two USB 3.0 ports. It will be available with up to 8MB dual-channel LPDDR4 memory and 64GB of on–board eMMC storage.

Chrome OS Provides Speed, Simplicity and Security

Both new Acer Chromebooks are easy to use and can be easily shared between multiple users. Customers simply log into their own Google account to access their Gmail, Google Docs, apps, extensions, bookmarks and other information. Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS platform, which provides automatic updates and multiple levels of security to guard users against ever-changing online threats.

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Mobile is the new branch

Standard Bank has launched an account for mobile devices that gives back 500MB of data a month

Standard Bank has introducd a R4.95p/m bank account called MyMo that customers can open on their mobile devices, loaded with data and airtime offerings and other benefits such as virtual and Gold physical card.

MyMo account holders will also enjoy the convenience of a cheque account through a Visa and Mastercard gold card. Once the account is open, users can choose to either receive R50 in airtime or 500MB of data a month, if their card is swiped more than four times a month. A further megabyte of data is loaded on the account for every R20 spent.

“MyMo is an account for everyone, whether you just landed your first job or have been around the block. With no documentation required it only takes a few minutes to open the account,” says Funeka Montjane, Chief Executive for Personal and Business Banking, South Africa, at Standard Bank Group. “For just R4.95 a month customer will be able to enjoy free swipes and ATM withdrawals at only R6.50 for amounts under R 1 000.

“Mobile is the new branch. This account is about bringing the mobile branch into customers hands, it is about convenience and security while banking.”

She says mobile offers low cost transactional banking which integrates people and businesses into the new connected economy, making mobile the new branch ecosystem that will drive and connect Africa’s growth. Physical connections to the economy are rapidly changing to digital where banks have to move from being financial institutions to service organisations.

“In the past people congregated in communities and eventually cities to maximise the advantages of connectivity. Today a simple hand-held device has the potential to open infinite doors, transforming individuals’ access to opportunities, regardless of where they are, and like never before in history. 

“Historically, a bank account represented access to economic citizenship. Today, having a simple device enabling digital access to a modern banking platform is a passport to global connectivity and vast human development potential.”

The bank says it is using technology, and mobile phones in particular, to deliver low-cost transactional channels accessible to all our customers. The evolution in mobile can be seen in transaction options like cash back at the retail checkout till rather than the ATM, free digital banking rather than using a branch, and the ability to transact using digital wallets, even without a bank account.

“Developing comprehensive connected ecosystems requires a mind-set change from Africa’s banks,” says Montjane. “Banks will evolve away from traditional financial service organisations, into service ecosystems enabling broad universal access to almost everything like enhanced purchasing experiences of vehicles and homes, online procurement of goods and services and lifestyle elements like rewards and travel. 

“These connectivity drivers will also act to future-proof evolving connectivity ecosystem by allowing us to offer untold future services while deriving income from as yet unrealised revenue streams,.   

From a customer perspective, the kind of ecosystems of knowledge, access and, ultimately, connectivity that banks will come to provide will radically transform the share of life that almost all individuals will be able to access.”

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Two-thirds of SA staff hide social media from bosses

With 90% of people in employment going online several times a day, it can be hard for most workers to keep their private and work-life separate during the working day (and beyond). The recently published Global Privacy Report from Kaspersky Lab reveals that 64% of South African consumers choose to hide social media activity from their boss. This secretive stance at work also extends to their colleagues, with 60% of South Africans also preferring not to reveal online activities to their co-workers.

Globally, the average employee spends an astonishing 13 years and two months at work during their lifetime. Interestingly though, not all this time is directly related to solving work tasks or earning a promotion: almost two thirds (64%) of consumers admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.

Not surprisingly, 35% of South African employees are against their employer knowing which websites they visit. However, more interestingly, 60% of South African are even against their colleagues knowing about their online activities. This probably means that colleagues constitute an even greater threat to future perspectives of an office slouch or maybe the relationships with colleagues are more informal and therefore, more valuable.

On the contrary, social media activity appears to be a less private domain for many and therefore, more suitable for sharing with colleagues but not the boss. This is probably because workers fear harming the public image of a company or interest in decreased staff productivity motivates companies to monitor employees’ social networks and make career changing decisions based on that. Such policies have led to 64% of South Africans saying that they don’t want to reveal their social media activities to their boss and 53% even don’t want to disclose this information to their colleagues.

A further 29% are against showing the content of their messages and emails to their employer. In addition, 3% even said that their career was irrevocably damaged as a consequence of their personal information being leaked. Thus, people are worried about how to build a favourable internal reputation and how not to destroy existing workplace relationships.

“As going online is an integral part of our life nowadays, lines continue to blur between our digital existence at work and at home. And that’s neither good nor bad. That’s how we live in the digital age. Just keep remembering that as an employee you need to be increasingly cautious of what exactly you post on social media feeds or what websites you prefer using at work. One misconceived action on the internet could have an irrevocable long-term impact on even the most ambitious worker’s ability to climb the career ladder of their choice in the future,” comments Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab.

To ensure workers don’t fall prey of the internet threats at a work, there are some core guidelines to adhere to in the digital age:

  • Don’t post anything that could be considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libellous. If in doubt, don’t post.
  • Be aware that system administrators may at least, in theory, be informed about your web browsing patterns.
  • Don’t harass, threaten, discriminate or disparage against any colleague, partner, competitor or customer. Neither on social networks or in messages, emails, nor by any other means.
  • Don’t post photographs of other employees, customers, vendors, suppliers or company products without prior written permission.
  • Start using Kaspersky Password Manager to ensure your social media and other personal accounts are not at risk of unauthorised access by someone else in an office. Install a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Security Cloud to protect your personal devices.

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