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HP unveils OMEN, demon machines for gamers

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HP has announced its range of OMEN high-end notebooks and PCs which are designed for gaming enthusiasts as they feature fluid graphics, immersive sounds and thermal cooling to keep things running smoothly – even when playing the most demanding of games.

HP today announced the OMEN portfolio, a range of high-end, high-powered laptops and PCs built exclusively for gamers needing the performance to take on competition.

As part of the company’s strategy to reinvent personal systems, says the company, it is introducing a unified gaming portfolio based on OMEN by HP with a range of options spanning different price points to meet the various needs of gamers today. The new portfolio makes it easier to find the right platform to deliver the best possible experience for mainstream gamers. In short, says HP, “it’s for the gamer who wants even more aggressive performance with enthusiast-level customisation options”.

This OMEN by HP gaming PCs feature a family of three devices built to maximize gamers’ experience. The OMEN laptops are designed to deliver an immersive experience to compliment the laptops’ smooth performance. The 15.6” and 17.3” diagonal OMEN laptops are available in Full HD and 4K IPS display options to enhance gameplay with true-to-life visuals. Sound effects are crisp and clear with expert audio tuning by Bang & Olufsen and HP Audio Boost technology for added depth on dual speakers.

“We created OMEN by HP for gamers who need their PC to deliver a great experience while also allowing them the flexibility to choose the level of performance and design that fits their needs,” said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, consumer personal systems, HP. “The new OMEN platform offers the features gamers rely on – power for battling on the go, graphics for smooth gameplay and advanced thermal cooling to tackle the latest games. The OMEN by HP delivers gamers what they need to strike first, and last.”

HP Provided the following information:

The OMEN by HP line-up includes:

·       OMEN Laptops: Equipped with powerful hardware and stunning 4K displays, the 15.6” and 17.3” diagonal gaming laptops deliver winning performance.

·       OMEN Desktop: Combines liquid cooling with the latest Intel Core processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX and AMD Radeon graphics to deliver performance that is VR certified to power Vive by HTC.

OMEN Laptops Engineered for Gaming

Featuring a Dragon Red backlit keyboard with OMEN branding on the keyboard deck and on the black shadow mesh laptop lid, the OMEN laptops run cool with a dual fan design to maintain top performance. The 62 watt battery sits flat and towards the front of the machine to allow more cooling surface area and airflow for thermal management without sacrificing performance. Powerful NVIDIA GTX 965M graphics (on select models) and up to 6th Generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processors equip gamers for any challenge or challenger.

Other features include:

•        Wide Vision HD Camera or optional Intel RealSense Camera for 3D experiences and to enable gesture control apps to interact with the PC when gaming.

•        Up to 16GB of memory and up to 512GB PCIe SSD or up to 2TB for single storage options or dual storage options with up to 2TB HDD and 128GB SSHD on select models.

•        HP Fast Charge and up to 10 hours of battery life on select models.

OMEN by HP Desktop Certified for Virtual Reality and Offers Latest NVIDIA Graphics

Engineered with the power and tuning for virtual reality, the OMEN Desktop features the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics to perfect the gaming experience. The unlocked Intel Core i7 processor delivers the performance required to keep up with the most demanding games and VR experiences. Optional liquid cooling, an advanced thermal system, keeps it running quiet and cool to virtually eliminate video lag time. The OMEN Desktop is upgradeable with tool-less access to the hardware to allow gamers to crank up gaming power with customizability.

The OMEN Desktop features the new OMEN logo on its signature vertical design with a brushed-metal chassis and HP LED Lighting that reacts to performance levels depending on customization by the gamer.

Other features include:

•        Intel Core i7-6700K processors with overclocking capabilities in select models.

•        Up to 32GB memory and ample storage with up to 512GB SSD and up to 3TB of HDD to host a massive amount of large format VR games and content.

•        Options up to NVIDIA GTX 1080 Founder Edition or AMD Radeon R9 390X graphics cards, offering better frame rates at increased resolution.

Pricing and Availability

·       The 15.6” diagonal OMEN Laptop is currently available in retail for R36,999.00

 

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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By 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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How load-shedding is killing our cellphone signals

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Extensive load-shedding, combined with the theft of cell tower backup batteries and copper wire, is placing a massive strain on mobile network providers.

MTN says the majority of MTN’S sites have been equipped with battery backup systems to ensure there is enough power on site to run the system for several hours when local power goes out and the mains go down. 

“With power outages on the rise, these back-up systems become imperative to keeping South Africa connected and MTN has invested heavily in generators and backup batteries to maintain communication for customers, despite the lack of electrical power,” the operator said in a statement today.

However, according to Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive: Corporate Affairs, at MTN SA, “The high frequency of the cycles of load shedding have meant batteries were unable to fully recharge. They generally have a capacity of six to 12 hours, depending on the site category, and require 12 to 18 hours to recharge.”

An additional challenge is that criminals and criminal syndicates are placing networks across the country at risk. Batteries, which can cost R28 000 per battery and upwards, are sought after on black markets – especially in neighbouring countries. 

“Although MTN has improved security and is making strides in limiting instances of theft and vandalism with the assistance of the police, the increase in power outages has made this issue even more pressing,” says O’Sullivan.

Ernest Paul, General Manager: Network Operations at SA’s leading network provider MTN, says the brazen theft of batteries is an industry-wide problem and will require a broader initiative driven by communities, the private sector, police and prosecutors to bring it to a halt.

“Apart from the cost of replacing the stolen batteries and upgrading the broken infrastructure, communities suffer as the network degrades without the back-up power. This is due to the fact that any coverage gaps need to be filled. The situation is even more dire with the rolling power cuts expected due to Eskom load shedding.”

Loss of services and network quality can range from a 2-5km radius to 15km on some sites and affect 5,000 to 20,000 people. On hub sites, network coverage to entire suburbs and regions can be lost.

Click here to read more about efforts to combat copper theft.

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