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How social tech fights crime

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Over the last few months, ttrumpet has been working with the Community Police Forums (CPF) in Pretoria to connect individuals in real-time with their communities, to syndicate information to keep themselves and their families safe.

“Social media continues to grow exponentially – where the sharing of information amongst individuals has the real potential to improve vigilance and ultimately lead to safer communities,” says Charles Murray, director at ttrumpet. “As such, we’ve engaged with a number of parties in the region to bring two critical parties together – the community and the CPFs – over a mobile platform – for better safety.”

Currently, ttrumpet, along with the CPFs already covers over 700km2 in the Pretoria region, covering an impressive 289 241 households – a number that grows bigger every day as new security channels join the platform. The platform’s security channel is being used to provide updates to the community, report suspicious activity, highlight the real crime hotspots and generate better community awareness and vigilance to assist the police.

Warrant Officer A.C. Holtzhausen, Sector Manager, sector 1 Pretoria North SAPS, is currently using the ttrumpet app to connect with his sector community. He says: “ttrumpet is an enabler to combating crime. Not only is it bringing our community together to raise security awareness and report criminal activity, but if used correctly, it also provides the perfect platform to gather real statistics around the activity in the area – which enables us to deploy units more effectively, look out at certain crime hotspots and be more readily available when needed.”

As an example: if a community member sees a suspicious car that is in the process of stealing another car, they can report the incident on ttrumpet, with a picture and a registration number. Then through the technology, the registration number can be extracted from ttrumpet and placed into a database on which ANPR cameras work on. Once the ANPR camera recognises the registration number it then informs the police/sector manager where that vehicle is situated. The police can then respond accordingly – streamlining the entire process and assisting criminals to be caught faster – just from a message that was sent.

To date, 55 channels have been created in the Pretoria region where the current incidents posted over these channels are at 1318. The current channels include a channel created specifically for schools in the Pretoria North region which keeps parents informed of suspicious activity and/or any incidents related to child-safety as well as a second-hand goods channel that protects store owners from buying stolen goods. Adds Murray: “We’ve seen a major uptake specifically in the school’s channel as parents can now ask for extra patrols during sports or other events and they are made aware, in real time, of any suspicious vehicles/persons in the vicinity of their child’s school.”

“Active citizenry, coupled with a strong purpose-built platform that brings together relevant parties, has real potential to change the status quo. Pretoria is actively looking at this – and reaping the benefits – and we look forward to working with the other regions to drive safer communities,” says Murray.

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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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