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Blockchain conference will reimagine business

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The Blockchain Africa conference next March will include insights from event sponsor SAP on the unlimited potential for reimagining both businesses and industries.

Blockchain is a great way to get companies to rethink and reimagine how a business or industry operates, says Lucy Channing, SAP Africa’s marketing manager for strategic industries, explaining why SAP wll be an official sponsor of the Blockchain Africa Conference 2017.

The event, organized by Bitcoin Events, will be held in Johannesburg from 1 to 3 March 2017.

SAP is working with various blockchain technologies, including Ethereum and Bitcoin. Its Hana Cloud Platform allows its customers to connect blockchains to the platform, providing an online database where its customers can add new functions to their SAP systems.

“We see the Blockchain Africa Conference 2017 as an opportunity to collaborate and network with like-minded business people on a topic that is at the forefront of today’s technology changes,” says Channing. “We want to help businesses and our customers to re-envision their business operating model and the potential impact of Blockchain.  This means we need to think broadly about change.”

Darrel Orsmond, industry head for financial services at SAP Africa, will discuss how, though blockchain technology may only just be emerging, the potential is unlimited for reimagining business and industries.

The conference will be showcasing many blockchain and digital currency opportunities and use cases, from identity, payments, and remittances to smart contracts, Blockchain-as-a-Service, and settlement and clearing. In addition to the opportunities that exist, industry experts will discuss the challenges, such as regulation, security, scalability and tax compliance.

A diverse range of local and international speakers from various industries will attend the conference. They include Tanya Knowles, executive director of Fractal Solutions, a division of Strate, a central security depository company doing the settlement and clearing for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; Farzam Ehsani, leader of Rand Merchant Bank’s Blockchain Initiative; Llew Claasen,  executive director of the US Bitcoin Foundation; and John Karanja, founder of BitHub Africa, a blockchain accelerator in Kenya that provides consultancy and incubation services for individuals and firms interested in Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Bitcoin Events will also hosting a Blockchain workshop on 1 March 2017, focusing on giving delegates a good understanding of digital currencies such as bitcoin, its underlying technology and why this technology is being referred to as the next industrial revolution. The workshop will cover smart contracts, smart property, side chains, decentralised services, world computers, and other innovative services and opportunities being used around the world. It will also look at current regulation and compliance globally and in South Africa.

Gadget will be a media partner of the Blockchain Africa 2017 conference.

* For more information on the conference, visit www.blockchainafrica.co or email info@blockchainafrica.co.za 

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro matches camera benchmark record

A benchmark by DxOMark sees the triple-cam handset tie with the P20 Pro for best smartphone camera on the market.

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The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has come out top in a camera benchmark test that assesses all aspects of smartphone camera performance.

DxOMark, which conducts rigorous hardware testing and is trusted as an industry standard for image quality measurements, has just released the results of its in-depth analysis of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone camera. 

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest top-end device. Building on the P20 Pro’s camera technology, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica-branded triple-camera setup, but swaps its stable-mate’s monochrome camera for a super-wide-angle module, offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from 16 to 80mm—the widest of all current smartphone cameras.

The handset is in direct competition with the Apple iPhone XS Max, the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among other. How does it fare?

“With a total photo score of 114, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ties the record-setting score of its cousin, the P20 Pro,” says DxOMark. “The overall Photo score is calculated from sub-scores in tests that examine different aspects of its performance under different lighting conditions.”

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieves a photo score of 114 points. In stills mode, the Mate 20 Pro’s triple camera captures images with good target exposure and a wide dynamic range, recording both good highlight and shadow detail even in difficult high-contrast situations. Noise levels are well under control down to low light levels, and the camera’s white balance system and colour rendering settings produce a pleasant colour response in almost all circumstances.

At 97 points, the Mate 20 Pro is very close to the best for video as well, thanks to a fast and smooth autofocus system with good tracking performance, accurate white balance as well as pleasant colour rendering, and low levels of noise, especially in bright shooting conditions. Our testers also liked the exposure system’s ability to adapt quickly and smoothly to changes in illumination.

It was not all good news. DxOMark also had some criticism for the device.

Click here to read about the drawbacks of the Mate 20 Pro camera, and other positives.

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SA car wins
Dakar Rally

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The final stage of Dakar 2019 drew to a close at the bivouac in Pisco, Peru, and saw Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel bring home their South African-built Toyota Hilux for an historic victory. Not only was it a first win for Toyota, but it was also the first petrol-powered car to win the Dakar in the South-American era.

The Qatari driver ensured his French navigator, who turned 43 years old on Thursday, 17 January, received a great birthday present, when the pair arrived at the final time control of Dakar 2019 with teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in close formation. The two Toyota Hilux crews completed the entire stage together, as De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz waited nearly 55 minutes for the leaders to start the stage, in order to shadow them to the finish.

The emotions bubbled over for Team Principal Glyn Hall, who found himself without words as his two crews drove into the media area after the time control. “This victory was long overdue,” he finally managed, before being swamped in a sea of well-wishers.

The winning driver, however, was much more vocal: “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA led Dakar 2019 from the first to the last stage, with Al Attiyah/Baumel drawing first blood, before handing the mantle to De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz during stage 2. But then a disastrous Stage 3 saw the Qatari retake the lead – a lead he didn’t relinquish despite some of the toughest stages yet seen on any South-American Dakar.

“When we first heard that the rally was going to take place only in one country, we were skeptical,” said Hall after regaining composure. “But the organisers made sure that this year’s race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”

Al Attiyah / Baumel’s victory at Dakar 2019 means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both of the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the DakarRally.

Click here to read Glyn Hall’s comment on winning the Dakar Rally, as well as the rankings.

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