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Free e-learning platform reaches 200k in SA

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South Africans are taking to the Internet in greater numbers than ever before to gain workplace skills, according to new figures released by Alison.

The Irish organisation, which is one of South Africa’s largest free e-learning providers, has announced that the site has passed the 200 000 registered user milestone in South Africa. It also revealed that 57% of its users in 2016 were female, and that the site is most popular in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Mike Feerick, Founder and CEO of Alison, said: “South Africa has been quick to take up online learning, which is seen in almost 600 000 visits to our site in 2016. The feedback we’re getting from learners here suggests that they value the flexibility and breadth of subjects we can offer. It’s not a surprise to us that the majority of our South African learners are women; this reflects a pattern we have seen in other parts of the world.”

According to newly released figures for 2016, the most popular courses including Touch Typing TrainingDiploma in Project ManagementHuman Resources and Business Management & Entrepreneurship.  Other top courses South African learners took included Web Design, Workplace Health and Safety, Psychology and Customer Service.

Eric Corbett, Course Publishing Manager at Alison, said: “Increasingly, we’re seeing learners turn to us for skills that are vital to the workplace but don’t tend to receive much focus in schools – South Africa is no different. The range of free courses we’re offering is set to grow dramatically over the next 12 months, and we expect to grow our learner-base in South Africa in tandem with this.

“We would encourage students, jobseekers and workers who want to upskill to consider how a course might help them achieve their goals.”

Alison will celebrate its 10th birthday next month. The site currently boasts almost 10 million individual learners globally studying hundreds of courses. Alison is a for-profit social enterprise with a goal to drive the cost of all education and skills training to zero, headquartered in Galway, Ireland.

What They Say

What our South African learners say about Alison:

“There are so many great options that I am excited about. I’ve just completed the Microsoft Access 2010 course and I am enrolled for the ABC IT Suite course and for the Diploma in E-Commerce.” – Nadia du Plessis, Cape Town.

“It is so empowering… I apply Alison to pretty much every aspect of my life due to all the great courses and diplomas offered on the platform. Accounting is teaching to me look at my business in a different language, the language of numbers. HR has taught me about recruiting the best of the best that are aligned with my vision.” – J. J. Oosthuizen, Pretoria

“I learnt a lot about IT on Alison. I am so confident now that I have knowledge that I did not have a few years back, which I can now share with my kids or friends and family.” – Andreas Shabalala

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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