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Female gamer boom in 2019

South Africa’s gaming industry is undergoing a paradigm shift, which is expected to filter into 2019, as more female gamers look to join the industry and participate on a competitive level, says GARETH SCOTT, coach for esports organisation xTc Esports.

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Image courtesy of gointernationalgroup.com

The gaming industry has already taken the world by storm, registering around two billion players internationally, with a net worth of about R1.3 trillion. In South Africa alone, the overall industry was worth roughly R100 million just last year. More South African women are set to participate competitively in the gaming sector come 2019. But financial backing is a fundamental requirement to demonstrate gender transformation in the sector, and tech-based businesses are urged to come on-board to provide that support.

Gamers need to focus on gaming, and they need that sponsorship to give them peace of mind, it allows them to focus on what they need to, to further boost this multi-million-rand industry.

In this snippet, Scott shares the need-to-knows about gaming in SA and debunks some common myths associated with being a gamer.

What it takes:

·         Commitment

·         Talent and love for the game

·         Practice, practice, practice

Gamers aren’t couch potatoes:

In order for gamers to perform optimally, they need to lead a balanced lifestyle, which means maintaining an exercise programme, a healthy diet and staying fit is essential.

Stick to a healthy diet and look after yourself. As a gamer you’re also spending hours in front of a screen, roughly 6-8 hours at a time, and that means you need to pay attention to your posture as well, don’t slouch. Above all else your mindset is important, healthy thoughts equal healthy actions.

Balance is basic:

It’s not all always about the game, for gamers to build and maintain relationships and to engage in activities outside of the gaming world too.

Gaming vs traditional sport:

Yes, there are a few notable similarities between the two and they include:

·         Resilience

·         Self-discipline

·         Team player

How lucrative is it really:

It has the potential to be financially viable after about five years. To experience good financial return, gamers should be resolute, and work hard in order to participate in big league titles. Scott says a sponsorship can also contribute to extra cash in your pocket.

Sponsors take care of the big stuff, and that allows the gamer to participate fully without having to worry about any additional costs. That also means profit margin increases for the gamer.

Ryan Martyn, co-founder of tech firm Syntech agrees. Since 2015 the business has committed to sponsoring three of South Africa’s largest Multi-Gaming Organizations. He says sponsorship takes the form of helping cover costs, and helping outfit players with the best gaming gear to enable them to succeed. Syntech also sponsors the Ballistix Masters annual esports tournament, which boasts prize pools in excess of R150 000 each year.

“Distributors and key brands will continue to sponsor gamers and competitions while the market is showing growth. In South Africa, prize pools and sponsorships are unlikely to make any gamers wealthy, but they do provide enough security for individuals to develop their profiles and generate additional revenue streams via endorsements, streaming advertising and even participating in international events,” Martyn says.

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Samsung unfolds the future

At the #Unpacked launch, Samsung delivered the world’s first foldable phone from a major brand. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK tried it out.

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Everything that could be known about the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range, launched on Wednesday in San Francisco, seems to have been known before the event.

Most predictions were spot-on, including those in Gadget (see our preview here), thanks to a series of leaks so large, they competed with the hole an iceberg made in the Titanic.

The big surprise was that there was a big surprise. While it was widely expected that Samsung would announce a foldable phone, few predicted what would emerge from that announcement. About the only thing that was guessed right was the name: Galaxy Fold.

The real surprise was the versatility of the foldable phone, and the fact that units were available at the launch. During the Johannesburg event, at which the San Francisco launch was streamed live, small groups of media took turns to enter a private Fold viewing area where photos were banned, personal phones had to be handed in, and the Fold could be tried out under close supervision.

The first impression is of a compact smartphone with a relatively small screen on the front – it measures 4.6-inches – and a second layer of phone at the back. With a click of a button, the phone folds out to reveal a 7.3-inch inside screen – the equivalent of a mini tablet.

The fold itself is based on a sophisticated hinge design that probably took more engineering than the foldable display. The result is a large screen with no visible seam.

The device introduces the concept of “app continuity”, which means an app can be opened on the front and, in mid-use, if the handset is folded open, continue on the inside from where the user left off on the front. The difference is that the app will the have far more space for viewing or other activity.

Click here to read about the app experience on the inside of the Fold.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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