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Acer throws weight behind League of Legends

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Acer has become an official sponsor of the 2016 League of Legends World Championships and 2016 All Star Event.

Assisted by sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in setting up the partnership, Acer will supply Predator XB1 monitors for these global e-sports events, equipping the professional practice rooms and stages, displaying all of the action during matches. The marketing partnership also includes branding integration during Worlds and ASE broadcasts, and unique experience opportunities will also be offered to avid gamers.

“Acer is committed to pushing boundaries in the gaming arena and has built a strong reputation with its widely acclaimed Predator line of gaming notebooks, desktops and displays, consistently delivering new, relevant technology to the market,” said Vincent Lin, senior director, Global Product Marketing and Planning at Acer.

“This sponsorship for the 2016 League of Legends World Championships and 2016 League of Legends All-Star Event, two of the world’s most popular and exciting e-sports events, will help Acer demonstrate its gaming prowess to gaming enthusiasts around the globe. The Predator XB1 monitors will give professional players an immersive experience that will enable them to push their skills to the limit and delight their e-sports fans.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Acer to the game as a partner as we get ready to celebrate the competitive pinnacle of 2016 and crown a new World Champion,” said Jarred Kennedy, Riot Games.

Acer provided the following information:

The Acer Predator line has earned countless industry awards and accolades for giving a competitive edge to gamers. The Acer Predator XB241H sports a brilliant 24-inch Full HD 1080p display featuring NVIDIA G-Sync, a quick 1ms response and up to a fast 144Hz refresh rate rendering fast-moving actions and dramatic transitions without smearing or ghosting. For enthusiasts and professionals who like to push gaming to the outer limits, the Predator XB241H can be overclocked up to 180Hz. It also provides wide viewing angles with accurate colours up to 170 degrees horizontally and 160 degrees vertically, so no targets are missed.

Featuring GameView, the Acer Predator XB241H lets gamers quickly and easily toggle between three customisable profiles to tweak settings in-game without the need to navigate an OSD menu, a significant benefit when every second counts. Other settings include the ability to adjust black levels to ensure every threat is seen, aim-point assistance to get a lead on opponents and perfect the shot, and the ability to select the on-screen refresh rate. Acer EyeProtect leveraging flicker-less, blue-light filter, ComfyView and low-dimming technologies prevents glare and allows the user to reduce blue light emissions, which may help decrease eye fatigue during long gaming matches. VESA wall mountable, the Predator XB241H maximises desk space and the stand can be adjusted up to 5.9 inches and tilted from -5 to 35 degrees for more comfortable viewing. Powerful connectivity is enabled vis HDMI and DisplayPort. 

The 2016 League of Legends World Championship, or Worlds, is an international e-sports tournament that takes place over five weeks of competitive play. The top 16 teams from around the world who have conquered their regional leagues come together to compete on the international stage; teams from North America, Europe, Korea, China, Taiwan and other regions will compete for a prize pool of more than $2 million (USD). Worlds kicks off on Sept. 29 and the finals will take place on 29th October in Los Angeles.

After the 2016 League of Legends World Championship, fans get to join in on the fun and vote on their favourite players to compete in the 2016 League of Legends All-Star Event. The All-Star Event introduces fan voting, unexpected match-ups and game modes to really test pros’ skills and create a unique, memorable event. It will take place in Barcelona from December 8 to 11.

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Small SA town goes smartphone-only

Vodacom partners with farming business to upgrade all residents of Wakkerstroom from 2G devices to smartphones

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All residents of the small town of Wakkerstroom, which straddles Mpumalanga and kwaZulu-Natal provinces, have had their 2G feature phones upgraded to 3G devices.

The initiative is a result of Vodacom partnering with BPG Langfontein, a farming business that employs the majority of the people living in Wakkerstroom. It is now the first smartphone-only town in South Africa. This is a model the network provider says it hopes to replicate across the country as part of its mission to connect people who live in deep rural areas and are still dependent on 2G networks.

Wakkerstroom, is the second oldest town in Mpumalanga province, on the KwaZulu-Natal border, 27 km east of Volksrust and 56 km south-east of Amersfoort.  

“There are growing expectations for big corporates the size of Vodacom to serve a social purpose, and for us to use our resources and core capabilities to make a significant contribution in transforming the lives of ordinary people,” says Zakhele Jiyane, Managing Executive for Vodacom Mpumalanga. “We are helping to remove communication barriers, so that citizens in the area can be part of the digital revolution and reap the associated benefits. By moving the more than 1400 farm workers from 2G to 3G devices, this will also free much needed spectrum and this spectrum can be re-farmed to provide for faster networks such as 3G and 4G.

“Crucially, the move opens a new world of connectivity for farm workers in Wakkerstroom. As a result, most people in the area will now be able to use the Vodacom network to connect on the net and access online government services, eHealth services such as Mum&Baby and eCommerce. Learners can now surf the internet for the first time and access Vodacom’s eSchool free of charge and those who are actively looking for jobs can start using their smartphones and tablets to apply for jobs over the internet on Vodacom’s zero-rated career sites. This will be key for driving growth to the benefit of people living in this area.”

Vodacom has already deployed 4G base stations in Wakkestroom as part of this initiative.

For the next phase of this project, says Vodacom, it is going to educate the farm workers about data and the benefits of the Internet. Vodacom will also look at various ways in which it can help empower members of this community in areas of education, gender-based violence and health.

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Facebook fact-checking goes to 10 more African countries

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Facebook today announced the expansion of its Third-Party Fact-Checking programme to 10 additional African countries, which now join  Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and Senegal in the project,

In partnership with Agence France-Presse (AFP), the France 24 Observers, Pesa Check and Dubawa, this programme forms part of its work in helping assess the accuracy and quality of news people find on Facebook, whilst reducing the spread of misinformation on its platform.

Working with a network of fact-checking organizations, certified by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network, third-party fact-checking will now be available in Ethiopia, Zambia, Somalia and Burkina Faso through AFP, Uganda and Tanzania through both Pesa Check and AFP, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote d’Ivoire through the France 24 Observers and AFP, Guinea Conakry through the France 24 Observers, and Ghana through Dubawa.

Feedback from the Facebook community is one of many signals Facebook uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review. Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of our fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.

Kojo Boakye, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa, said: “The expansion of third-party fact-checking to now cover 15 countries in a little over a year shows firsthand our commitment and dedication to the continent, alongside our recent local language expansion as part of this programme. Taking steps to help tackle false news on Facebook is a responsibility we take seriously, we know misinformation is a problem, and these are important steps in continuing to address this issue. We know that third-party fact-checking alone is not the solution, it is one of many initiatives and programmes we are investing in to help to improve the quality of information people see on Facebook. While we’ve made great progress, we will keep investing to ensure Facebook remains a place for all ideas, but not for the spread of false news.”

When third-party fact-checkers fact-check a news story, Facebook will show these in Related Articles immediately below the story in News Feed. Page Admins and people on Facebook will also receive notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that’s been determined to be false, empowering people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share.

Providing fact-checking in English and French across eight countries, Phil Chetwynd, AFP Global News Director said: “AFP is delighted to be expanding its fact-checking project with Facebook. We are known for the high quality of our journalism from across Africa and we will be leveraging our unparalleled network of bureaus and journalists on the continent to combat misinformation.”

Eric Mugendi, Managing Editor from Pesa Check who will provide fact-checking services in Swahili and English added: “Social networks like Facebook haven’t just changed how Africans consume the news. Social media is often the primary access to digital content or the ‘Internet’ for many Africans. They shape our perceptions of the world, our public discourse, and how we interact with public figures. This project helps us dramatically expand our fact-checking to debunk claims that could otherwise cause real-world harm. The project helps us respond more quickly and directly. We’re seeing real positive results in our interactions with both publishers and the public itself. The project also helps our fact-checks reach a far larger audience than we would otherwise. This has helped us better understand the information vacuum and other viral dynamics that drive the spread of false information in Africa. Our growing impact is a small but tangible contribution to better informed societies in Africa.”

Caroline Anipah, Programme Officer, Dubawa (Ghana) said: “Dubawa is excited to be in Ghana where the misinformation and disinformation have become widespread as a result of technological advancement and increasing internet penetration. Dubawa intends to raise the quality of information available to the public with the ultimate aim of curbing the spread of misinformation and disinformation and promoting good governance and accountability.”

Derek Thomson, editor-in-chief of the France 24 Observers, said: “Our African users are constantly sending us questionable images and messages they’ve received via social media, asking us ‘Is this true? Can you check it?’ It’s our responsibility as fact-checking journalists to verify the information that’s circulating, and get the truth back out there. Participating in the Facebook programme helps ensure that our fact-checks are reaching the people who shared the false news in the first place.”

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