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BlackBerry takes next smartphone Leap, but not yet in South Africa

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BlackBerry has announced the BlackBerry Leap in the United Kingdom and a rollout in major markets, but a South African release date has yet to be announced.

The UK became the first roll-out market on 15 April, with the company targeting what it called “the first young power professionals who want to get things done and companies looking for enterprise fleet renewals”. The BlackBerry Leap was made available on ShopBlackBerry.com and through select carriers and partners. It will continue to rollout over the next few weeks across various countries, including Germany, France, United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and India. South Africa is not part of the initial release.

“With an all-touch screen, the BlackBerry Leap rounds out our portfolio of BlackBerry 10 devices, offering an affordable choice to mobile professionals who require a smartphone that safeguards sensitive communications and keeps them productive,” said Ron Louks, President, Devices and Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry.

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BlackBerry Leap features the latest BlackBerry 10.3.1 operating system, a brilliant edge-to-edge five-inch HD display and more than a full day’s battery power.

The company provided the following description of the top features of the BlackBerry Leap:

Security to Maintain Privacy – You can feel safe in the knowledge that BlackBerry Leap was designed with the highest standards of security in mind to protect your privacy. It is equipped with support for encryption, plus built-in malware protection and back-up, wipe and restore. All to give you control and help secure your data against the next embarrassing and potentially costly cyberattack.

Battery That Powers Through a Full Day – With up to 25 hours of heavy use, the BlackBerry Leap will power through even your most demanding day. The impressive 2800 mAh battery and optimization of power consumption in BlackBerry 10 gives users more than a full day of productive usage.

Best-in-Class BlackBerry Keyboard – Type faster and more accurately on a touchscreen keyboard that learns how you write. With superior error correction, multi-language support, customized adaption and flow, BlackBerry’s touchscreen keyboard helps to reduce the mistakes and missteps that can hold you back.

BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3.1 –BlackBerry Leap comes preloaded with the new BlackBerry 10.3.1 operating system, offering a fresh look that incorporates updated icons and an instant action bar so that users’ most commonly accessed functions are in the center of their screen. Additional features include:

BlackBerry Blend – BlackBerry Blend brings messaging and content that is on your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and tablet. Get instant message notifications, read and respond to your work and personal email, BBM or text messages, and access your documents, calendar, contacts and media in real time on whatever device you are on, powered by your BlackBerry. BlackBerry Blend works across desktop operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.7 +, Windows 7+ and Android tablets running Android 4.4+ via cellular, USB or Wi-Fi connections.

BlackBerry Assistant – The BlackBerry Assistant is BlackBerry’s first digital assistant and can be used with voice and text commands to help users manage work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other native BlackBerry 10 applications. It’s the only smartphone assistant on the market today that can access both personal and work content in your work perimeter. BlackBerry Assistant intelligently determines how to respond to you based on how you interact with it – if you type, it responds silently, if you speak, it speaks back and if you activate over Bluetooth, it speaks back with additional context because it assumes you might not have access to the screen.

Dual app storefronts preloaded for access to a huge selection of apps for work and play:

BlackBerry World – BlackBerry World offers essential business and productivity apps for professionals looking to drive efficient communications and collaboration including Box, Evernote, Cisco WebEx Meetings and Documents to Go.

Amazon Appstore – Discover and download popular Android apps and games through the Amazon Appstore including Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest, SoundCloud, Kindle and Amazon Shopping.

* Visit Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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