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Alienware Alpha lands in SA

Starting at the beginning of March, gamers will be able to buy the Alienware Alpha gaming console that among other features, allows them to play PC games on Xbox consoles.|Starting at the beginning of March, gamers will be able to buy the Alienware Alpha gaming console that among other features, allows them to play PC games on Xbox consoles.

Alienware has announced the South African availability of the Alienware Alpha gaming console. Starting from March, 2015, gamers will have the opportunity to ensure they are among the first to own the Alienware Alpha in the EMEA region. Fans that are eager to get their hands on the Alienware Alpha gaming console will be able to secure their system direct from Dion Wired, with configurations starting at R10 000.

Gamers can now secure their gateway to the entire Steam library on a system that was engineered to provide an immersive PC gaming experience, custom-tailored for the living room. The Alienware Alpha merges the open ecosystem and flexibility of PC gaming with the ease-of-use and intuitive interface of consoles. This enables gamers to choose what and how they want to play, whether it’s a competitive online FPS with the bundled Microsoft Xbox 360 wireless controller for Windows, or having their friends bring their controllers of choice for a fragfest in the newest indie side scroller.

“The Alienware Alpha is purpose-built for living room gaming, and represents a new direction for a truly open console platform,” said Frank Azor, Alienware General Manager. “With the Alpha, Alienware has made playing fun, new games with your friends in the living room not only simple, but affordable. With the exclusive Alpha-UI, gamers will be able to navigate all of Alpha’s core features with only a gamepad, without ever needing a keyboard and mouse.”

Alienware developed the Alpha’s hardware, design and price to satisfy the demands of gamers everywhere. A range of configurations will be available to purchase in South Africa, starting with a Dual-Core i3 processor, 4GBs of RAM and 500GBs of storage from R10 000, up to an Intel Quad-Core i7 processor, 8GBs of RAM, 2TB of storage, blazing 802.11 AC wireless adapter, and NVIDIA’s Maxwell-based GPU and bundled with a Microsoft Xbox 360 controller to give gamers the edge they need to game victorious in any room of the house.

Alienware also revealed details about the exclusive Alpha UI developed specifically for the Alienware Alpha that gives users an intuitive interface ideal for navigating the Alienware Alpha console with a controller. The Alienware Alpha is set to boot straight into the customizable Alpha UI, giving gamers the control they need to get into their titles and featuring full integration with Steam Big Picture Mode while providing rapid access to configuration options and common settings all without ever having to reach for a keyboard or mouse.

This gives gamers the absolute best interface for navigating their Alienware Alpha from the comfort of their couch with their choice of controller in hand and offers gamers an experience that blends the intuitive interface of a console and all of the power and flexibility of a PC.

Availability

The Alienware Alpha gaming console will be available to purchase at Dion Wired stores across South Africa.

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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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Edge computing brings IT home

Edge computing is an IT architecture designed to put applications and data closer to the users or ‘things’ that need them. Whereas cloud computing drove the creation of mega data centres, edge computing brings distributed IT, with an exponential number of micro data centres.

“Edge computing deployments require the same level of reliability and performance as large data centres,” says George Senzere, solutions engineering manager at Schneider Electric South Africa.

“Edge’s value proposition is to manage data at the local site, sending only what is necessary to the central systems. Instead of transferring all data generated, edge systems can prune the streams down to the necessary. In more advanced use cases, the edge systems can extend the capabilities of business applications to the remote servers.”

“Thanks to inexpensive and scalable IoT systems, gathering data from anything – trucks on a mine, queuing systems at a bank, pipelines on a site – is not just conceivable, but critical. From predictive maintenance to planning future capacity, there is strategic value in this data,” says Senzere.

“Digital twin technology is a hint of where digital technologies, combined with IoT, can take us. A digital twin is the virtual doppelganger of a real-world system, such as an aircraft engine. Data is fed from the actual system to the digital version, which can create rich insights that even mirror complex engineering. Engineers can inspect the engine and make predictions around maintenance without stripping it. Capturing data is becoming easier and today you can monitor a bridge, crops, even the freshness of milk shipped to a store. Many possibilities are locked in the data we can harvest today,” he said.

“Digital systems are enabling us to watch how a process behaves and performs without needing to be close to it. The edge offers more insight without interference and ends the challenges of enforcing oversight from afar. There is much to be gained by embracing the edge.”

“Edge computing moves computational and storage capabilities from larger central data centres to near or on the sites where the initial data is being generated. Today, it is very affordable to deploy micro data centres or small server rooms, thanks to turnkey infrastructure and connectivity solutions that scale as demand does.”

“Infrastructure for digital systems is becoming commoditised,” said Senzere. “You can deploy the underlying support for a data centre – cooling, power and connectivity – with little fuss. The primary differentiator is not the hardware, but how it is brought together and configured. As companies often plan multiple edge data centre deployments, it is important to ensure that they are standardised, repeatable and rapid. Therefore, the right solution – we call EcoStruxure – makes deployment of edge computing very practical. We have become the standard in a number of our markets, and we want to power the digital economy in Africa.”

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