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AppDate: 20 of the greatest Google Easter Eggs

In his latest AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights 20 of the greatest Easter Eggs hidden in Google, Facebook Watch, BBM Scratch2Win, the camera update to the latest Nokia phones, and Opera News for Africa.

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20 of the best Easter Eggs hidden in Google

Bored at work? Or looking for something fun  to take you mind off the mundane? The programmers over at Google have built a range of Easter Eggs or hidden programs into their search engine, accessible through the Google home page.

Here are the top 20:

– Typing “Google in 1998” into the search bar will take you on a trip down memory lane — the results page is formatted exactly the way Google appeared in 1998.  

 – Search “Build with chrome” and click “I’m feeling luckily” for a game of LEGO.

 – Type “play snake” into your search bar to play a round of your favourite Nokia 5110 game, albeit with sleeker interface and sound-effects.

 – Type “pacman” into your search bar to fire up a round of catch with your favourite gameboy critters.

 – Heads or Tails – making tough decisions remains just as easy as it was back in the day: Type “flip a coin” into your search bar and Google will do just that – flip a coin!

 – If the decision you need to make is a little bit more complicated you can always search “roll a die.”

 – Naughts & Crosses – search for “tic-tac-toe” to challenge your computer to a game.

 – Searching for “sonic the hedgehog” will call up an interactive Sonic logo complete with sound effect and iconic spin.

 – Search for “solitaire” to play a round against the computer.

 – Launch an image search of “Atari breakout” to play the game. 

 – Search for “zerg rush” to play a game and improve your mouse-eye coordination while you’re at it.

 – Search “I’m feeling curious” for a Chappies-esque fun fact.

 – Disable your internet connection, then go to your Chrome browser and hit the spacebar to call up a game of T-Rex Runner where you help the pixelated dinosaur navigate a cactus obstacle course.

 – Search “spinner” and you can toggle between a number spinning wheel and a fidget spinner.

 – Search “internet speed test” to check how fast your connection is running.

 – Search “breathing exercise” if you are feeling a bit stressed and just follow the instructions to calm yourself down.

 – Type “Google gravity” into search bar and click “I’m feeling lucky” and watch your browser succumb to the force.

 – Type “epic google” into the search bar and click “I’m feeling lucky” to see just how big Google can get.

 – Search “blink html” to see a canny demonstration of basic coding. 

 – Type “Google sphere” into the search bar and click “I’m feeling lucky” to orbital results.

 

Facebook Watch

A while ago Facebook unveiled its Watch application, and has recently made it available to users world-wide. And no, it’s not a wristwatch.

Facebook Watch allows users to find shows and video creators they like and start conversations with friends, other fans, and even the creators themselves. Since its launch Facebook has made the experience more social — such as making it easier to see which videos friends have liked or shared, creating shows that have audience participation at their core, and the ability to open Watch videos from Facebook pages.

Facebook Watch offers the following features:

 – A place to discover new videos: Find the latest videos spanning entertainment, sports, news, in a personalised Watch feed.

 – A way to catch up with creators and publishers: At the top of the Watch, a Watchlist shows a collection of recent videos from Pages being followed. Users can customise this section by following more Pages or removing Pages from their list.

 – An option to save for later viewing.

Platform: Any smartphone with or desktop with the latest version of Facebook.

Stockists: Visit www.facebook.com

Cost: Free to use.

 

BBM Scratch2Win

Available in the BBM Discover menu via the Scratch2Win icon, Scratch2Win requires users to register their profile the first time they access the service. They are then presented with a list of active mobile scratch card campaigns. Each campaign requires the user to answer a short survey or poll, which then generates a unique mobile scratch card, revealing instant rewards and prizes. Airtime and data prizes are topped up instantly to users’ mobile accounts, while digital coupons and vouchers are stored in prize wallets for redemption at participating brands and retailers. In addition to instant prizes, users can also win entries into grand prize draws.

Platform: A BlackBerry smartphone running the latest version of BBM.

Stockists: Visit the Scratch2Win option via BBM.

Cost: Free to use.

 

Camera update for the lates Nokia smartphones

HMD Global has added an update for Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 6.1 devices, focused on the imaging offering of the phones. It is now easier to switch between aspect ratios and shooting functions, as well as adjusting parameters within different camera modes, such as the intensity of effects like Bokeh and Beautify.

Google Lens has also been integrated directly into the viewfinder, using augmented reality to add additional information to each image as it is taken.

The update supports Google Motion, enabling short videos to be shared directly to messaging services and social media as GIFs. 

Platform: The Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 6.1 range of smartphones.

Stockists: Check for the updates under the setting menu of the phone.

Cost: A free download.

 

Opera News for Africa

Opera News for Africa is an  AI-powered app which allows people to access news articles and trending videos without high data use. It follows Opera’s recent announcement that its AI-powered news service inside Opera Mini grew to more than 100 million active users in less than a year.

The app runs off a “recommendation engine” designed to keep readers on top of their selected news, entertainment and video categories. The engine gets smarter the more it is used, as it is able to drill down and deliver even more personalised content based on a user’s likes and dislikes. Opera News is able to save up to 80% of mobile data use, thanks to its data-saving capabilities. 

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Cost: A free service.

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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