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FIFA 19 raises the stakes

Electronic Arts has launched EA Sports FIFA 19 across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Electronic Arts provided the following information:

Fans can achieve glory with UEFA Champions League across a variety of modes including the new Kick Off, which also features ‘House Rules’ and deeper stat tracking to heighten the competition among friends. In FIFA Ultimate Team™, brand new ICONS join the roster, and an all new mode, Division Rivals, offers a new way to compete online. Additionally, the final chapter of the critically acclaimed story mode, The Journey: Champions, culminates with three playable storylines, each with their own distinct journey through an interconnected football story. Bleacher Report highlights that “this is definitely a FIFA to get excited about” and Four Four Two says “FIFA 19 is a must-own”. Learn more about the available features and modes in FIFA 19 here.

“This year the game has been elevated to a new level of authenticity with the deep integration of the UEFA Champions League,” said Aaron McHardy, Executive Producer for EA SPORTS FIFA. “We’ve also received really positive feedback on the new gameplay mechanics and addition of new modes in Kick Off from players who’ve experienced the game through hands on with the demo, EA Access, and Origin Access. We’re very excited for even more players from across the globe to jump into the world’s game.”

In The Journey: Champions, Alex Hunter returns to pursue UEFA Champions League glory with Real Madrid FC on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Players can choose between three distinct storylines from Alex Hunter, Danny Williams and Kim Hunter. After signing with Real Madrid FC, Alex is thrust into the spotlight to come to terms with balancing stardom and family. Danny continues his career in the Premier League, challenged with taking on a new role for his club. Meanwhile, Kim finishes her last year of high school and faces big decisions about her future and the pressure that comes with playing football at the highest level in the Women’s World Cup. The Journey: Champions original soundtrack, featuring Oscar winning composer Hans Zimmer and composer Lorne Balfe, is also available now. Listen to the full soundtrack. 

FIFA 19 also introduces new features on Nintendo Switch, delivering a champion-calibre experience on and off the pitch. From live content updates in FIFA 19 Ultimate Team, to an authentic Career Mode, and the all-new standalone UEFA Champions League Mode, players can enjoy a full FIFA experience wherever they play. FIFA 19 on Nintendo Switch also brings distinctive team and player personalities, official broadcast presentations for some of the world’s biggest leagues and elevates players ability to finish with the all-new striking overhaul. 

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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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