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AppDate: Quickly design a reliable wireless network

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In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights NetSpot’s Network Analyser, Qlik European Championships, Google Play Music Concierge, BlackBerry’s BBM Everyday competition, and Rush courier’s updated website.

NetSpot Network Analyser

Having a Wi-Fi connection at home is exceptionally convenient but, no matter where the router is installed, there will always be those dead spots – or places where the router’s Wi-Fi signal does not reach. In the past it was a matter of trial and error when looking for the ideal

spot for a router. With the NetSpot Network Analyser ,however, one is able to load a house plan and find the best spot for the router without difficulty. The app also displays a network’s noise and security levels.

Platform: Mac and Windows.

Expect to pay: Three packages are available,:a free version with a very basic network scan function, a pro version that allows one to add additional zones, and an enterprise version that can be used by up to 10 users and retailing for around R7 500.

Stockists: Visit www.netspot.com

 

Qlik European Championships App

Did you know that 579 goals have been scored since the first Euro championship in 1960? Or that Bulgaria is the country to have received the most red and yellow cards so far? All these facts and more are instantly available in the Qlik European Championships App. In addition, soccer fans can access details on every player and team since the beginning of the championship and have the option to pit one team against the other to see what the chances are of their chosen team winning.

Platform: Most modern, desktop-based Internet browsers

Expect to pay: Free to use.

Stockists: Visit www.webapps.qlik.com/Euro2016/Euro2016

 

Google launches Google Play Music Concierge in South Africa

Google Play Music Concierge gives Play Music subscribers access to a large set of playlists targeted to specific contexts – what users are doing or how they’re feeling. Next time a user opens Google Music Player, they will be prompted to say whether they would like to listen to music according to mood or time of day. Google will then search for music in that category and begin streaming it.

Platform: Android

Expect to pay: A free upgrade.

Stockists: Visit the Play Music store from an Android device.

 

BBM Everyday competition

BlackBerry has launched a BBM Everyday competition that is designed to cast light on South Africa’s lesser-known treasures. The competition is open to anyone using BBM and invites everyday photographers to enter the #BBMEveryday competition by sharing their photographs. Each week, for the next month, photographers simply need to submit images

of everyday South Africa to www.bbmeveryday.com, according to the weekly clues that will be revealed through the #BBMEveryday BBM channel (Pin: C0022F31B). Prizes range from an all-expenses trip for two to Zanzibar to one of five BlackBerry Priv smartphones.

Platform: Any platform running BlackBerry Messenger

Expect to pay: Free to enter.

Stockists: Visit www.bbmeveryday.com for more information.

Rush courier service upgrades

Since its launch late last year, the Rush courier service is making waves in the courier industry. In addition to being operated via WeChat, the company has recently launched its new website, which now allows users to easily find quotes, place orders and track their

parcels in real-time. The site also offers the functionality to book bulk deliveries around South Africa and includes an address book for recently used addresses.

Platform: Most modern, desktop-based Internet browsers

Expect to pay: Registration is free, courier costs depend on the package and its destination.

Stockists: Visit www.rush.co.za

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

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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