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Batman turns 1000

As Batman turns 80, a special 1000th edition of Detective Comics wows his followers.

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As fans across the globe celebrate Batman’s 80th birthday Saturday, March 30, the comic book series that first launched the crime fighting adventures of the world’s most popular super hero reached a milestone this week with the release of DC’s Detective Comics #1000. Pre-orders for the 96-page oversize collector’s edition have passed 600, 000. The issue features star writers and artists paying tribute to an iconic pop culture character, honoring Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27 on March 30, 1939.

The 1,000th issue of Detective Comics, the title from which the DC brand itself was born, celebrates Batman through a series of seven-to-nine-page standalone short stories. A highlight of the issue is an original story revealing a never-before-seen iteration of the Arkham Knight, written by New York Times best-selling author Peter J. Tomasi (Batman and Robin, Detective Comics, Batman: Arkham Knight) with artwork by Doug Mahnke (Batman: The Man Who Laughs, Blackest Night).

“Detective Comics #1000 is a remarkable milestone in Batman’s publishing history and he’s had a seismic cultural impact on fans for eight decades,” said DC publisher Dan DiDio. “As one of DC’s most iconic Super Heroes, Batman has inspired every writer and artist who contributed to this book, and we can’t wait for fans to connect with these new stories that celebrate the entire Bat-universe.”

This must-have collector’s item also features an all-star array of top writers and artists in Batman’s recent history, including Tom King, Tony S. Daniel, Joëlle Jones, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, Warren Ellis, Becky Cloonan and more. Detective Comics #1000 is available now at comics retailers and digitally for $9.99.

The release of Detective Comics #1000 follows the spectacular oversize hardcover Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman The Deluxe Edition, also available now. From guest editor Paul Levitz, the hardcover volume is packed with classic reprints of the Caped Crusader’s most memorable adventures. Featuring an all-new cover by Jim Lee, several unpublished treasures and a foreword from Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the celebratory book includes essays looking at Batman from extraordinary perspectives, including Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Glen David Gold, Denny O’Neil, former San Diego police chief Shelley Zimmerman and pulp historian Anthony Tollin.

This weekend, fans across the globe can celebrate Batman’s 80th birthday on Saturday, March 30 with the following festivities:

For those attending WonderCon in Anaheim, CA, there is a can’t-miss opportunity to join a collection of stars who have contributed to Batman’s legacy at a special “Happy Birthday Batman!” panel event at 3:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center (Room: North 200B). Featuring DC Publisher, Chief Creative Officer and Batman: Hush artist Jim Lee, as well as David Mazouz (Gotham), Lee Meriwether (Batman), Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Arkham Asylum), Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Ninja), Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and Grace Randolph (Beyond the Trailer), the ultimate celebration of Batman will honor the Super Hero’s legacy along with a slice of Bat-cake.

DC Universe will open its digital doors to Batman fans for a day of free live action and animated films, TV series and comics beginning at midnight EDT Saturday, March 30 until 11:59 p.m. EDT. From the Caped Crusader’s origin in Frank Miller’s landmark Batman: Year One to Tim Burton’s 1989 movie blockbuster to the epic Batman: The Animated Series, users will able to binge hundreds of the greatest superhero stories of all time, featuring the most iconic character in pop culture history. Plus, the first month of DC Universe will cost only $0.80 cents for new members who sign up between March 29, 2019, 12:01 EDT and April 4, 2019 11:59 p.m. EDT. The special offer is available in the U.S. at www.dcuniverse.com. After the first month at $0.80 the monthly subscription price will renew at the standard rate of $7.99 a month.

Bat-fans across the globe are welcome to join the stars of Gotham, Supergirl, Pennyworth and more to post special birthday shout-outs this Saturday to Batman with the hashtag #LongLiveTheBat.

A word of warning to would-be comics investors: this is not the one that will make you wealthy. The more copies that are printed, and the more people who keep it in pristine condition as a collector’s item, the less its value will increase.

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ASUS puts more screen into gaming

While others battle over the thinnest bezel for maximizing screen space, ASUS released a dual screen laptop that uses the space where one’s palms would usually rest, writes BRYAN TURNER

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When one imagines dual screen, it’s usually two screens side-by-side on a desk, providing a horizontally long desktop experience. There have been clunky dual screen laptops in the past, some that folded out horizontally, but these never really caught the attention of the consumer.  

Enter Asus with the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15. Like the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, the ROG Zephyrus Duo features two screens – the main screen on the top panel (as we’re all used to) and another screen just below that, where the top of the keyboard would usually be. The main difference is the secondary screen pops out at a 13-degree angle to bridge the gap between the two screens, and to give better viewing angles.  

That ZenBook Pro Duo is also a pretty good machine for gaming, because it features Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics, but it doesn’t have the latest graphics. With the new machine, Asus is one of the first manufacturers to release a laptop featuring Nvidia’s latest RTX 2080 Super Max Q GPU for mobile devices. This is a momentous feat, considering that not only are the external features  cutting edge, but also the internals. 

The main panel is configured to be either 4K 60Hz or 1080p 300Hz. The former is most likely going to be picked up by video editors and photoshop gurus, because it covers 100% of the Adobe RBG colour space, and the latter will appeal to gamers who want to see their high frame rates in action. Both panels are Pantone Colour Calibrated for high colour accuracy. 

The secondary panel features a 32:9 resolution, which is equal to putting two standard 16:9 widescreen panels together. The touchscreen panel outputs a 3840 x 1100 resolution at 60Hz.  

The combination of these panels will be ideal for portable gamers. The main game can be on the main panel, while Discord and game streaming software can be on the secondary panel, all at a glance. Not to mention the game developers that have support for two screens, where the second screen highlights stats and other components that had to be crammed into the main screen’s space.   

On the inside, the laptop features liquid metal cooling, which lowers the temperatures by 8°C and allows the computer to function with less fan noise. Asus has also slipped some very interesting cooling tech behind the secondary panel, when it pops open, to maximise airflow into the computer from both the bottom and the top of the device. 

The laptop features the biggest battery Asus has yet put in a computer, at 90Wh. This is incredibly close to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA’s) limit of 100Wh batteries being allowed on flights to the US. Fortunately, this computer can be taken around the world if necessary. 

These computers will come in two variants of 10th Generation Intel processors, namely the i9-10980HK or i7-10875H. They support up to 2 M.2 NVMe PCIE 3 slots for SSDs. 

The new ROG gaming range from Asus will be available later this year. The price of the computer has not yet been confirmed

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Vodacom, Discovery launch free virtual COVID-19 tests

Vodacom and Discovery have teamed up to launch free virtual COVID-19 testing for all South Africans – not only for their customers.

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Vodacom and Discovery have partnered to deliver a powerful online healthcare platform for the benefit of all South Africans during the COVID-19 pandemic. This platform provides easy access to a COVID-19 risk tool for all South Africans, to help understand your personal risk for COVID-19. Where needed, it assists immediately to schedule virtual healthcare professional consultations and get advice.

Globally, telemedicine has proved to be vital in the management of this disease, with many governments and healthcare systems advocating for digital healthcare tools and virtual consults to be the first step and primary means of healthcare support during the COVID-19 outbreak. The risk assessment and virtual healthcare tools can help to identify people who need health professional engagement and a potential referral for testing or to a hospital.

The online healthcare platform therefore makes it possible for South Africans to access a healthcare professional without them having to travel to a healthcare facility.

This reduces overcrowding at clinics and doctors’ rooms where there is greater risk of the virus spreading. It also protects healthcare professionals from potential repeated exposure to COVID-19.

It is free to use and available on any web browser or mobile phone to facilitate a full consultation with a doctor, either through video calls, voice calls, or by text. The service can be accessed by visiting either the Discovery or Vodacom websites. Vodacom customers can get additional information and do a self-assessment via USSD by dialling *111#.

Through a partnership with Vodacom, Discovery’s existing DrConnect platform, which was previously available only to Discovery clients, is now accessible to all South Africans. Vodacom and Discovery have also jointly created a fund to pay doctors for approximately 100,000 consultations, making them free to any South African.

There are seven easy steps to use an online doctor consultation:

  1. Start the process by visiting Discovery’s COVID-19 information hub or Vodacom’s website. Members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme can access the service through the Discovery app. Vodacom customers can get additional information and do a self-assessment via USSD by dialling *111#.
  2. Utilise the COVID-19 self-screening risk assessment tool, by answering a few easy questions.
  3. If you are confirmed as high risk of having COVID-19, a short registration and consent process on the DrConnect app will follow.
  4. Book a virtual consultation with a doctor who is available to assess the need for COVID-19 testing.
  5. If the doctor recommends testing, a photo of the completed pathology form will be sent to you by SMS, WhatsApp or email. The same process will apply to scripts for medicine.
  6. Testing and collecting of medicine will be facilitated by the relevant essential healthcare service providers that you must visit.
  7. Doctors will receive test results electronically and can then advise if you should schedule follow-up appointments to discuss results and next steps.

The Vodacom COVID-19 information hub contains other up-to-date information for consumers about COVID-19.

With virtual consultations, the location of the doctor or the location of the patient will not restrict access to fast and effective healthcare. All doctors can register to help.

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