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How AI drives Huawei Nova 5T

The new Huawei Nova 5T smartphone uses various AI techniques to capture photos that are claimed to produce better photos than SLR cameras, in some conditions.

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The Huawei Nova 5T incorporates a quad-camera array on the rear, comprising a 48MP HD lens, 16MP wide-angle lens, 2MP macro lens, 2MP bokeh lens and 32 MP selfie Superstar lens, with AI technology and advanced beautification algorithms. This means that, among other, it balances exposure under all lighting conditions and in scenarios ranging from vast landscapes to close-ups.

Early adaptations of beautification algorithm technology resulted in every image being treated with the same adjustments, often resulting in the image appearing obviously fake, or applying an extremely pale skin tone to the subject. The current AI beautification algorithms on the Huawei Nova 5T, however, contour a specific face shape based on individual features. By operating with the Kirin 980 chipset’s dual NPUs, the AI system is able to tailor the beautification influence on the image, avoiding a caked-on appearance and accentuating the user’s characteristics.

Another drawback of many smartphone cameras is that the contrast between the brightest and darkest areas can prove difficult for even a professional SLR camera to capture effectively. However, with the 5T, multi-frame synthesis is deployed for backlit scenes that snaps a number of images in one shot.  The system then merges the best parts of each shot to form one final photo, in which the dynamic range is effectively widened, and image contrast, sharpness, and quality are substantially enhanced. This ensures images with ultra-clarity definition and enhanced sharpness and detail, down to the finest of hair strands.

The embedded technology combines AI-fuelled image semantic segmentation and partition optimisation technology via the lenses. The handset’s AI-powered cameras also lay the groundwork for optimal video shooting effectiveness, with settings such as AI Image Stabilisation (AIS), Auto Exposure Lock (AEL), and Auto Focus Lock (AFL) technologies working together. It comes equipped with an automatic video editing feature that is suitable for novices and brings simplicity to the video editing process. The camera has the ability to recognise recurring subjects in videos, thus saving the user the hassle of sorting through clips, by creating edited subject-based videos.

AI also assists in applying auto-beautification for the subjects in video clips. Developing this technology required substantial trial and error, including testing on approximately 60,000 models before the beautification effects were fine-tuned. Over the course of this process, Huawei developers took into account factors such as brightness contrast, inactive blur, saturation, as well as advanced photography composition principles.

The Huawei Nova 5T’s Kirin 980 chipset is equipped with dual NPU computing, resulting in the ability to cipher advanced algorithms. This AI-powered colour results in the camera capturing and keeping the colour of a subject in a video, while applying a greyscale background to the image, and thus giving it the appearance of leaping off the screen.

This smartphone comes pre-installed with all Google apps and Google Play Store.

The Huawei Nova 5T comes in two colour schemes – Crush Blue and Midsummer Purple. The smartphone is available on contract from the following service providers:

  • Vodacom – R599 Smart XS+ Plan
  • MTN – R599 MFMXS Plan
  • Telkom – R599 FREEME 1GB Plan
  • CELL C – R619 Pinnacle 2G Plan

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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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