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Assassin’s Creed roadmap revealed

Ubisoft has announced the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey post-launch plan, including a Season Pass with two major, episodic pieces of narrative content and Assassin’s Creed III Remastered.

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Additionally, all Assassin’s Creed Odyssey players will have access to free content, including the story-focused and episodic Lost Tales of Greece, as well as daily and weekly in-game events.

The Assassin’s Creed Odyssey live roadmap plan is the biggest and most ambitious in the franchise, giving players more story content than ever before, in a brand new, episodic format, for the two story arcs included in the Season Pass. Players will be able to dive into new episodes as they premiere, or experience the epic adventures in their entirety once all episodes are available.

The Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Season Pass includes:

  • Story Arc 1 – Legacy of the First Blade: This episodic adventure will introduce players to the first hero to wield the iconic hidden blade, changing the course of history. Players will learn more about the backstory of the Assassins and why they choose to fight from the shadows. Starting December 2018, episodes will be released approximately six weeks apart.
  • Story Arc II – The Fate of Atlantis: In the second story arc, players will confront godly creatures and uncover the secrets of the legendary sunken city. In a surprising saga filled with twists and turns, players will get even closer to Greek mythology and the First Civilization. Coming spring 2019, episodes will be released approximately six weeks apart.
  • Assassin’s Creed III Remastered: Ignite the American Revolution as Connor, the master assassin, born amidst the beauty and the brutality of 18th century America. As a bloody uprising draws ever nearer, your clan is threatened by a powerful group seeking to crush the American Revolution and control the thirteen colonies. Shocked into action by the devastation of your village, you pledge your life to the cause of freedom, and embark on a decades-long quest to achieve it. Assassin’s Creed III Remastered will be released in March 2019 and will include :
    • All the DLC: The Benedict Arnold Missions, Hidden Secrets Pack and Tyranny of King George.
    • Assassin’s Creed Liberation Remastered.

The Remastered editions will feature 4K and HDR on PS4 Pro, Xbox One X and PC, higher resolution textures, a new graphics engine, and several other graphical enhancements. Gameplay mechanics and ergonomics have also been improved. Assassin’s Creed III Remastered will be sold as a stand-alone title for players who do not own the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Season Pass.

The Season Pass is included in the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Gold, Ultimate, Spartan and Pantheon Editions, and is also available for purchase separately.

In addition, an extensive lineup of free content, including new narrative content and in-game events, will be available for all players after launch, including:

  • The Lost Tales of Greece: Free episodic questlines will release regularly in-between episodes, providing a constant flow of new stories for players to discover. These quests will feature familiar faces and new characters from the world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
  • Recurring In-Game Events: Each week a new epic ship or mercenary will appear, presenting players with challenging battles as they hunt down these powerful enemies. Daily and weekly contracts will send players on new quests across Greece.
  • Discovery Tour: The educational tool that lets anyone explore the game in a conflict-free environment, will be available for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Players can traverse the entire interactive 3D recreation of Ancient Greece, free of conflict, time pressure or gameplay constraints, after launch.
  • Many more updates, including new monstrous and mythical creatures to defeat and a New Game Plus mode presenting new challenges and the ability to see how different choices affect players’ stories.

There will be more to come as the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey development team is committed to support the game and continued improvement of the core experience with additional content, yet to be revealed.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be released worldwide on October 5th, 2018. Gold, Collectors and Ultimate Editions owners will have access to the game three days early, starting October 2nd, 2018.

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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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