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Coffee culture meets style

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Nespresso has “combined coffee culture with style” and created a new milk frother for coffee fans, the Aeroccino4.

The Aeroccino4 is more versatile and convenient than its predecessors. With two types of hot foam, hot milk and cold foam, the Aeroccino4 offers a wide choice to prepare more coffee and milk recipes at home in a simple way.

With one single whisk, one can now do all the preparations: pour in the milk and select the desired button to obtain a milk froth for a variety of recipes. The Aeroccino4 is also dishwasher proof to ease cleaning.

According to Nespresso, the Aeroccino4 offers the following key benefits and features:

  • The Aeroccino4 provides the user with two types of hot milk froth (airy or dense) for even more incomparable recipes
  • The Aeroccino4 is able to prepare a cold milk froth and hot milk preparation for your hot chocolate or caffé latte
  • It uses a single whisk for all preparations
  • It is dishwasher proof (below 70°C / 158°F)

Max capacities

  • For hot or cold milk froth: 120 ml (for two Nespresso Cappuccino’s or one Latte Macchiato)
  • For hot milk: 240 ml

Preparation times

  • For hot milk froth:  approximately 80 seconds
  • For cold milk froth: approximately 80 seconds
  • For hot milk:  approximately 150 seconds

Nespresso also provided the following two ideal recipes to try out with the frother:

Milk Tart Coffee

Ingredients

  • 1 Vanilio Grand Cru
  • 2 Marie biscuits crushed
  • 2tsp condensed milk
  • Cinnamon for flavour
  • 20ml Vanilla syrup

Directions

  • Crush the Marie biscuits and place on a saucer. In another saucer place a touch of caramel syrup. Using the rim of your glass, swirl it around in the caramel syrup and then dip into the saucer with the crushed Marie biscuits.
  • Add the 2tsp of condensed milk at the bottom of the glass.
  • Place the 20ml of vanilla syrup into the Aeroccino4 milk frother using the spring whisk for your cappuccino.
  • Once milk is done, pour it directly into a glass cappuccino cup on top of your mixture.  Wait a few seconds for your froth and milk to separate and prepare the 40ml espresso Vanilio Grand Cru directly into cup.
  • Sprinkle on some of the crushed Marie biscuits on top of the milk froth and sprinkle with cinnamon for decoration and taste.

Milk and Spiced Ice Coffee

Ingredients

  • Capsules of either Ristretto or Decaffeinato Intenso Grand Cru (to produce 2.7 oz / 80 ml of Espresso coffee)
  • A few tablespoons of crushed ice
  • 5 oz / 150 ml of cold milk
  • Ground cinnamon, nutmeg or chocolate shavings

Materials

  • Tall recipe glass (12 oz/350 ml)
  • Cappuccino cup (5.75 oz/170 ml)
  • Aeroccino4

Directions

  • Prepare the Espresso in a Cappuccino cup and add sugar if desired
  • Pour the preparation into a 12 oz/350 ml glass with the crushed ice
  • Prepare 5 oz / 150 ml of cold milk froth using the Aeroccino4
  • Add the milk to the iced coffee and top with a few spoonfuls of froth
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg or chocolate shavings to finish

The Aeroccino4 is available at the Nespresso Boutiques in Cape Town at the V & A Waterfront and at the Canal Walk Shopping Centre, in Johannesburg at Sandton City and Hyde Park Shopping Centre, and at Nespresso Gateway in Durban. It retails for R1450.

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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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