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How SF becomes reality

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Speaking at the recent Datacentrix event, LENORE KERRIGAN, Country Sales Director of OpenText Africa, spoke about the realisation that what was once pure science fiction, is now our everyday reality.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary  Science Fiction is defined as: fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component.  The term was first used in 1851, and now almost 170 years later, it seems that art is reflecting life more and more.

Speaking at the recent Datacentrix event held in Johannesburg, Lenore Kerrigan, Country Sales Director of OpenText Africa, spoke about the realisation that what was once pure science fiction, is now our everyday reality.  Cell phones were first seen in ‘Star Trek’, a smart car like the one in ‘Knight Rider’ are examples of how imaginations have become reality.

A more recent series ‘Person of Interest’ depicts a computer able to discern patterns of any person and predict what will happen to them is not as far-fetched as it sounds.  Organisations have access to data which is able to predict buyer behaviour, buying patterns, and online personae.  The issue is that this data sits in pools around the organisation and the only way to effectively use the potential information is to create a data lake.  Having a centralised ‘data lake’ which combines structured as well as unstructured data, will enable organisations to accurately predict behaviours – leading to a proactive approach to retaining clients.

Another shift that has occurred as a direct result of the ‘Technological Revolution’ is how careers which seemed like science fiction not even a decade ago, are now mainstream and in demand.  Machine learning is one of those careers, there are people who hold a PhD in this field.  The financial services industry has experienced a fundamental shift in how money is transferred, saved, and spent.  Innovative applications like SnapScan, cryptocurrency such as BitCoin are examples of why brick and mortar banking institutions will struggle in the next few years if they don’t adapt dramatically.  Another element one needs to evaluate is how these technologies will affect economies in the coming years.  One thing is certain – the younger generation of financial experts know how to deal with these shifts and business models in the cloud.  Businesses who are apprehensive about moving with the revolution will be left behind.

Another sector that needs to evolve is the building industry.  A house can be printed using a 3-D printer in less than two days, if construction and manufacturing companies don’t reinvent their business models to include this incredible technology, they will be left behind.

In closing, Kerrigan urged businesses to look at their own business models and asked if they are in control of the ‘data lake’ available to them.  Intelligently using data available in your organisation will make determine if you survive or not.  Businesses need to remember that customers are no longer content with a reactive relationship, they are more demanding and as such businesses must use information to continually evolve and become more customer-centric.

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Smash hits the Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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