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AppDate: Bloodhound rockets onto smart devices

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In his latest AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Bloodhound Blast, CrashDetech, the latest GarageBand, Samsung’s free access to the Google Play Music store and Folx 5 download manager for Mac.

Bloodhound Blast

Want to know how fast the Bloodhound rocket car will go? How it works? Where it will be driven? Yes, in South Africa! But where, exactly? Sure, one can research all these details on the Internet, but there is also an app offering all this and more. The Bloodhound Blast app gets the user up-close with the car, the team and the technology behind the entire project. It includes great images with data on the cockpit, the propulsion system and the aerodynamics, as well as a quiz to see how much you know about Project Bloodhound.

Platform: iOS and Android

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists:  Visit the store linked to your device.

 

CrashDetech

CrashDetech is a smartphone application which, once set up, automatically detects a serious car crash, pinpoints the location and immediately dispatches the nearest ambulance and supplies paramedics with lifesaving information. The app will put you in touch with a trained paramedic to provide life-saving assistance like CPR until emergency services arrive on the scene. CrashDetech also enables users to manage their Road Accident Fund claim, should it apply.

Chivas Regal recently named Jaco Gerrits, founder and CEO of CrashDetech as the South African winner of their Social Entrepreneurship competition, The Venture. He is now one of 27 finalists competing for a share of US$1 000 000 in funding.

Platform: iOS and Android

Expect to pay: Various subscription options depending on services needed.

Stockists: www.crashdetech.com

 

GarageBand update

The latest version of GarageBand is dedicated to the rich history of Chinese music. It includes a range of Chinese music and instruments, like the pipa and erhu, along with 300 Apple-created Chinese musical loops. Users will also get two new Chinese templates for Live Loops, and new sharing options for popular Chinese social networks.

Platform: iOS or Mac OS 10 and above.

Expect to pay: A free update.

Stockists: Visit the Apple App Store for downloading information.

 

Free access to Google Play Music for Samsung S7 users

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge users now have free six month access to the Google Play Music store – with unlimited downloads. Customers will have access to over 35-million ad-free songs and can also stream radio stations. They also have the option to add up to 50 000 songs to their own music collection, which can be streamed from almost anywhere in the world.

Platform: Only Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge devices

Expect to pay: Free for the first six months.

Stockists: Access the Google Play Music store from an S7 device.

 

Folx 5 download manager for Mac

Downloading apps, games, music and movies can sometimes take ages – especially if the server one is connected to becomes overcrowded. However, with Folx 5, one can easily manage downloads by tagging and prioritising them. To speed things up, the app is able to split into two threads and then put it back together once it is completed. The app offers the same classic look and feel of the Mac operating system so getting used to it should take no time at all.

Platform: Mac OS 10 and above.

Expect to pay: Two versions are available, a free one with very basic functionality and the pro version with costs R300

Stockists: Visit www.mac.eltima.com

* Sean Bacher is editor of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

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Huawei Consumer Business Group today launches the Huawei Mate 20 Series in South Africa.

The phones are powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date, the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the 7nm process, incorporating the Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU, the SoC offers improved performance and, according to Huawei, “an unprecedented smooth user experience”.

The new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with improved battery life. A Matrix Camera System includes a  Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users see both wider and closer, with a new macro distance capability. The camera system adopts a Four-Point Design that gives the device a distinct visual identity.

The Mate 20 Series is available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, across four devices: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. They ship with the customisable Android P-based EMUI 9 operating system.

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, at the global launch in London last week. “The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance.”

The SoC fits 6.9 billion transistors within a die the size of a fingernail. Compared to Kirin 970, the latest chipset is equipped with a CPU that is claimed to be 75 percent more powerful, a GPU that is 46 percent more powerful and an NPU (neural processing unit) that is 226 percent more powerful. The efficiency of the components has also been elevated: the CPU is claimed to be 58 percent more efficient, the GPU 178 percent more efficient, and the NPU 182 percent more efficient. The Kirin 980 is the world’s first commercial SoC to use the Cortex-A76-based cores.

Huawei has designed a three-tier architecture that consists of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores. This allows the CPU to allocate the optimal amount of resources to heavy, medium and light tasks for greater efficiency, improving the performance of the SoC while enhancing battery life. The Kirin 980 is also the industry’s first SoC to be equipped with Dual-NPU, giving it higher On-Device AI processing capability to support AI applications.

Read more about the Mate 20 Pro’s connectivity, battery and camera on the next page. 

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How Quantum computing will change … everything?

Research labs, government agencies (NASA) and tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Google are all focused on developing quantum theories first put forward in the 1970s. What’s more, a growing start-up quantum computing ecosystem is attracting hundreds of millions of investor dollars. Given this scenario, Forrester believes it is time for IT leaders to pay attention.

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“We expect CIOs in life sciences, energy, defence, and manufacturing to see a deluge of hype from vendors and the media in the coming months,” says Forrester’s Brian Hopkins, VP, principal analyst serving CIOs and lead author of a report: A First Look at Quantum Computing. “Financial services, supply-chain, and healthcare firms will feel some of this as well. We see a market emerging, media interest on the rise, and client interest trickling in. It’s time for CIOs to take notice.”

The Forrester report gives some practical applications for quantum computing which helps contextualise its potential: 

  • Security could massively benefit from quantum computing. Factoring very large integers could break RSA-encrypted data, but could also be used to protect systems against malicious attempts. 
  • Supply chain managers could use quantum computing to gather and act on price information using minute-by-minute fluctuations in supply and demand 
  • Robotics engineers could determine the best parameters to use in deep-learning models that recognise and react to objects in computer vision
  • Quantum computing could be used to discover revolutionary new molecules making use of the petabytes of data that studies are now producing. This would significantly benefit many organisations in the material and life sciences verticals – particularly those trying to create more cost-effective electric car batteries which still depend on expensive and rare materials. 

Continue reading to find out how Quantum computing differs.

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