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Apple brings Retina displays to iMac family

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Apple has updated the entire iMac family, bringing a new Retina 4K display to the 21.5-inch iMac for the first time and the Retina 5K display to every 27-inch iMac.

The new Retina displays make photos and videos more immersive and true-to-life thanks to a wider colour gamut and spectacular image quality. The updated iMacs also feature more powerful processors and graphics, two Thunderbolt 2 ports and new storage options that make the high-performance Fusion Drive more affordable.

Apple this week also introduced a new lineup of wireless accessories including the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2. The Magic devices have been redesigned to feel more comfortable than ever, and feature rechargeable batteries that eliminate the need for disposable batteries. The new Magic Trackpad 2 also brings Apple’s Force Touch interface to the desktop, adding a new dimension to the iMac experience.

“From the first iMac to today, the spirit of iMac has never wavered — deliver the ultimate desktop experience with the latest technologies, gorgeous displays and cutting-edge designs,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “These are the most stunning iMacs we’ve ever made. With our gorgeous new Retina displays, more powerful processors and graphics and all-new Magic accessories, the new iMac continues to redefine the ultimate desktop experience.”

Apple provided the following information:

With Retina display, text appears sharper than ever, videos are unbelievably lifelike and you can see new levels of detail in your photos. The 21.5-inch iMac is available with the all-new Retina 4K display featuring an amazing 4096 x 2304 resolution and 9.4 million pixels, 4.5 times more than the standard 21.5-inch iMac display. Every 27-inch iMac features a Retina 5K display, the world’s highest resolution all-in-one display with a stunning 14.7 million pixels, 7 times more pixels than an HD display. With a Retina display now on the 21.5-inch iMac and every 27-inch iMac, iMac with Retina display is more affordable than ever.

The new Retina displays feature a wider colour gamut that brings more brilliant and true-to-life colours to your desktop. With standard sRGB-based displays, many of the colours you see in real life never make it to your screen. The new Retina 5K and 4K displays feature a wider P3-based colour gamut that provides a 25 percent larger colour space, and with more available colours, images are more vivid, reveal even greater detail and appear more lifelike than ever.

Faster and more powerful than ever, the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display now comes with sixth-generation Intel Core processors and the latest AMD high-performance graphics that deliver up to 3.7 teraflops of compute power. The new 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display features a fifth-generation Intel Core processor and enhanced Intel Iris Pro Graphics. Two Thunderbolt 2 ports now come standard on all iMacs and deliver up to 20Gbps data transfer speeds for external drives and high-performance peripherals. And three stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi allows iMac to support up to 1.3Gbps wireless networking.

Fusion Drive combines the large storage capacity of a hard drive with the high performance of flash to deliver shorter boot times and faster access to apps and files. Fusion Drive works in conjunction with OS X to adapt to the way you use your iMac and automatically moves the files and apps you use most often to flash storage. The incredible performance of Fusion Drive is now more affordable with a new, lower-priced configuration that pairs a 1TB hard drive with 24GB of fast flash. Fusion Drive is also available with 2TB and 3TB configurations with 128GB of fast flash for more demanding workloads. For the ultimate in storage performance, optional all flash storage is available up to 1TB and is now up to 2.5 times faster.

The all-new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 are more comfortable, capable and environmentally friendly. Designed around a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, all three accessories eliminate the need for disposable batteries and feature a noticeably more solid internal structure and quality feel. The new Magic Keyboard features a full-size keyboard in a sleek new design that takes up 13 percent less space on your desktop. With a new scissor mechanism and lower profile, the Magic Keyboard provides an incredibly stable, precise and comfortable typing experience. The new Magic Mouse 2 is lighter, sturdier and features an optimised foot design for a smoother glide. The new Magic Trackpad 2 features a 29 percent larger surface and brings Force Touch to the desktop for the first time. Force Touch enables a range of new ways to interact with your Mac, including the new Force click to quickly look up a word, preview a file or bring up a map from an address. The new Magic devices pair instantly with your Mac as soon as they are plugged in via the Lightning-to-USB charging cable, and can last about a month or more on a full charge.

Every new Mac comes with OS X El Capitan, the latest version of OS X that refines the Mac experience and improves system performance. El Capitan builds on the groundbreaking features and beautiful design of OS X Yosemite, with updates to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search, and performance improvements to make everyday activities — like launching and switching apps, opening PDFs and accessing email — faster and more responsive. El Capitan was specifically designed for the Retina display and features a new system font called San Francisco that has been fine-tuned for optimal readability on a Retina display.

iMovie, GarageBand and the suite of iWork apps come free with every new iMac. iMovie, updated today to support 4K video, lets you easily create beautiful movies, and you can use GarageBand to make new music or learn to play piano or guitar. The iWork suite of Pages, Numbers and Keynote makes it easy to create, edit and share stunning documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iCloud let you create a document on iPhone or iPad, edit it on your Mac and collaborate with friends, even if they are on a PC.

Pricing & Availability

The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display is available today at Apple.com and select Apple Authorised Resellers. The 27-inch iMac comes in three models and additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/imac.

The 21.5-inch iMac is available today at Apple.com and select Apple Authorised Resellers. The 21.5-inch iMac is available in three models and with a Retina 4K display. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/imac.

Every new iMac comes standard with the new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2, and customers can order the new Magic Trackpad 2 as an option. The new Magic accessories are also available at Apple.com and select Apple Authorised Resellers.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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By 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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How load-shedding is killing our cellphone signals

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Extensive load-shedding, combined with the theft of cell tower backup batteries and copper wire, is placing a massive strain on mobile network providers.

MTN says the majority of MTN’S sites have been equipped with battery backup systems to ensure there is enough power on site to run the system for several hours when local power goes out and the mains go down. 

“With power outages on the rise, these back-up systems become imperative to keeping South Africa connected and MTN has invested heavily in generators and backup batteries to maintain communication for customers, despite the lack of electrical power,” the operator said in a statement today.

However, according to Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive: Corporate Affairs, at MTN SA, “The high frequency of the cycles of load shedding have meant batteries were unable to fully recharge. They generally have a capacity of six to 12 hours, depending on the site category, and require 12 to 18 hours to recharge.”

An additional challenge is that criminals and criminal syndicates are placing networks across the country at risk. Batteries, which can cost R28 000 per battery and upwards, are sought after on black markets – especially in neighbouring countries. 

“Although MTN has improved security and is making strides in limiting instances of theft and vandalism with the assistance of the police, the increase in power outages has made this issue even more pressing,” says O’Sullivan.

Ernest Paul, General Manager: Network Operations at SA’s leading network provider MTN, says the brazen theft of batteries is an industry-wide problem and will require a broader initiative driven by communities, the private sector, police and prosecutors to bring it to a halt.

“Apart from the cost of replacing the stolen batteries and upgrading the broken infrastructure, communities suffer as the network degrades without the back-up power. This is due to the fact that any coverage gaps need to be filled. The situation is even more dire with the rolling power cuts expected due to Eskom load shedding.”

Loss of services and network quality can range from a 2-5km radius to 15km on some sites and affect 5,000 to 20,000 people. On hub sites, network coverage to entire suburbs and regions can be lost.

Click here to read more about efforts to combat copper theft.

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