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Garmin launches next gen GPS smartwatches

Garmin has announced the fēnix 6 series, the next generation of its flagship GPS multisport smartwatch lineup, which features a solar changing watch.

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The fēnix 6 collection includes Power Manager for longer battery life, allows runners to compensate for elevation changes with new PacePro technology, and introduces the largest round display yet from Garmin.

“We are thrilled to introduce solar charging into the new fēnix 6X Pro Solar edition, giving users all of the features they’ve come to expect from the fēnix lineup with increased battery life and larger displays,” says Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “In addition to our brand-new solar technology, we’ve built the fēnix 6 to redefine expectations, with enhanced features and design elements to appeal to adventurers of every kind.”

fēnix 6X Pro Solar

As the first Garmin GPS watch to offer solar charging, the fēnix 6X Pro Solar edition is designed with Power Glass, a transparent solar charging lens that uses the sun’s energy to extend battery life. Because of its solar charging technology, users will have more on-wrist time to enjoy their activities, training features, colour mapping, and music streaming. 

The fēnix 6X, and fēnix 6X Pro Solar feature a rugged, sophisticated design with a large 1.4” sunlight-readable display, which is 36 percent bigger than previous fēnix 5X models. Users can check the latest solar input right on the wrist, so they know in real-time how much solar energy the Power Glass has been exposed to. The battery performance on the fēnix 6X Pro Solar in smartwatch mode is 21 days plus an additional 3 days when using the solar charging capabilities.

fēnix 6 Series – Pro & Sapphire

The fēnix 6 and fēnix 6X multisport GPS watches are constructed for a trimmer fit on the wrist, while increasing the display size to 1.3″ and 1.4″ respectively from the existing fēnix 5 Plus series. In addition to bigger display sizes, Garmin has introduced new QuickFit nylon bands and silicone colours. Sapphire editions add the quality and durability of a scratch-resistant sapphire lens and other high-performance premium materials.

The fēnix 6 series introduces a PacePro feature, which keeps a runner’s pacing strategy on track with grade-adjusted guidance as they run a course. Runners can create plans directly from the watch or ahead of time on Garmin Connect or Garmin Connect Mobile. While running the course, users will be able to see their target split pace, the actual split pace, distance to the next split, and how much time they are ahead/behind on their target, all on the watch face.

Out of the box, the fēnix series includes topographic maps for outdoor adventures, ski maps for over 2,000 ski resorts worldwide, and 41,000 golf courses. The series features on-device music storage of up to 2,000 songs, allowing users to sync playlists from several music services, no phone required.

The new customisable Power Manager allows the user to see and control how various settings and sensors impact battery life. For more confidence before a trip or activity, battery remaining can be represented in hours and days to help determine whether the adventure can last until the next charge. Users can adjust their battery saving modes, which disables certain features to extend battery life on the fly. The watches are packed with easy-to-access features, including built-in activity profiles, VO2 max estimates and training status with adjustments for heat and altitude.

South African pricing for the range will be available soon.

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Acer launches two new 4K monitors

Acer has launched two monitors for higher-end consumers who use their home computers for gaming and graphically-intensive work.

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Acer has unveiled two new monitors, CB342CKC and CB282K, which form part of its high specification range of 4K monitors.

The monitors feature In-Plane Switching ZeroFrame technology, which removes the bezel to give seamless visuals. The sharp 4K UHD display is 16:9 up to 3840X2160 high resolution.

Vesa DisplayHDR creates deeper levels of black and white contrast, giving a greater immersion through realistic image recreation. Brighter scenes glimmer with detail, while in darker scenes, details typically hidden in the shadows are enhanced for greater overall luminance.

With Radeon FreeSync, a game’s frame rate is determined by the graphics card, not the fixed refresh rate of the monitor, which eliminates screen tearing and delivers very smooth gaming experiences. The Acer CB342CKC monitor also features 1ms Visual Response Boost (VRB), which results in a much clearer and less noticeable blur in fast-moving images.

The Acer CB342CKC monitor features a USB 3.1 Type-C port that can plug into smartphones, tablets or laptops. This provides the device that’s plugged in with data transfer and device charging capabilities, while it mirrors the display, with a single cable.

With a firm, stainless steel base, monitors can easily tilt, pivot and swivel to make height adjustments without a hassle. A quick-release design means the monitor can be separated from its stand so it can be VESA wall-mounted. Both Acer CB2 monitors also feature Acer Display Widget utility software. The split-screen feature is able to divide the screen into several regions. Users can quickly split the window with a hotkey or via the split-screen setting menu, making the workspace as clean as possible.

The Acer CB342CKC monitor will be available in EMEA in May starting at €549, while the CB282K monitor will be available in April starting at €399.

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Sophos launches AI-enhanced firewall

Cybersecurity provider Sophos has launched a firewall product that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and reduce security risks associated with encrypted traffic.

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Sophos has introduced a new architecture for the Sophos XG Firewall called “Xstream”, which traffic decryption capabilities for encrypted malware connections. XG Firewall now also features AI-enhanced threat analysis from SophosLabs and accelerated application performance.

Sophos says 23% of malware families uses encrypted communication for Command and Control (C2) or for installation of the malware. Three common present Trojans – Trickbot, IcedID, and Dridex – leverage TLS during the course of their attacks. Cybercriminals also use TLS to hide their exploits, payloads and stolen content and to avoid detection. In fact, 44% of prevalent information stealers use encryption to sneak hijacked data, including bank and financial account passwords and other sensitive credentials, out from under organisations’ noses.

“As SophosLabs’ research demonstrates, cybercriminals are boldly embracing encryption in an attempt to bypass security products,” says Dan Schiappa, chief product officer at Sophos. 

“Unfortunately, most firewalls lack scalable TLS crypto capabilities and are unable to inspect encrypted traffic without causing applications to break or degrade network performance. With the new Xstream architecture in XG Firewall, Sophos is providing critical visibility into an enormous blind spot while eliminating frustrating latency and compatibility issues with full support for the latest TLS 1.3 standard. Sophos’ internal benchmark tests have clocked a two-fold performance boost in the new XG TLS inspection engine as compared to previous XG versions. This is a game-changer.”

Latency too often deters IT admins from using decryption, as seen in an independent Sophos survey of 3,100 IT managers in 12 countries. The survey white paper, The Achilles Heel of Next-Gen Firewalls, reports that while 82% of respondents agreed TLS inspection is necessary, only 3.5% of organisations are decrypting their traffic to properly inspect it.
Key new features of XG Firewall include:

  • Inspection of TLS 1.3 to detect cloaked malware: New port-agnostic TLS engine doubles crypto operation performance over previous XG versions
  • Optimised critical application performance: New FastPath policy controls accelerate performance of SD-WAN applications and traffic, including Voice over IP, SaaS, and others, to up to wire speed
  • Adaptive traffic scanning: The newly enhanced Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) engine dynamically risk-assesses traffic streams and matches them to the appropriate threat scanning level, enhancing throughput by up to 33% across most network environments
  • Threat analysis with SophosLabs intelligence: Provides network administrators with the SophosLabs AI-enhanced threat analysis needed to understand and adjust defences to protect against a constantly changing threat landscape
  • Comprehensive cloud management and reporting in Sophos Central: Centralised management and reporting capabilities in Sophos Central provide customers with group firewall management and flexible cloud reporting across an entire estate without additional charge
  • Integration with Sophos Managed Threat Response (MTR) service: Customers of XG Firewall who also subscribe to the Sophos MTR Advanced service will have deeper actionable intelligence to prevent, detect and respond to threats, as a result of the integration

Sophos XG Firewall is available in the cloud-based Sophos Central platform alongside Sophos’ portfolio of cybersecurity solutions. Sophos’ Synchronized Security approach empowers these solutions to work together for real-time information sharing and threat response.

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