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IFA: Lenovo gets smarter

At Lenovo’s annual Tech Life event at Berlin’s IFA, the company unveiled a series of new smart home, laptop and AR devices as part of its “Intelligent Transformation” strategy of engineering with purpose.

Lenovo provided the following information:

Bringing the Smart Home Vision to Life

Lenovo Smart Home Essentials is a new family of connected devices that offer a simple, one-stop shop for a smarter, more intelligent home. Addressing today’s fragmented smart device landscape, Lenovo’s family of connected home essentials – and the recently launched Lenovo Smart Display – signal the company’s growing and multi-platform AI ecosystem and ambitions in the smart home category.

The Lenovo Link app serves as a centralized control center to set up and manage all applicable devices, as opposed to an individual app for each device. Users can control specific groups of devices at once or automate them to make certain actions at specific times during the day. Not only do the Lenovo Smart Home Essentials work with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but customers will be able to easily set up, automate and control various aspects of the home with just their voice using the Lenovo Smart Display as a control hub.

Lenovo Smart Essentials includes:

●     Lenovo Smart Plug – a small, simple-to-use device that can be plugged into any open outlet, letting users control any compatible device that’s plugged into it

●     Lenovo Smart Camera – a smart surveillance camera that lets you monitor live video footage inside the home—even at night—through infrared night vision. Its built-in mic and speaker allow for two-way audio capability

●     Lenovo Smart Bulb – a smart light bulb that lets users remotely schedule and customize lighting—adjusting coloru temperature and dim brightness, or turning it on and off from anywhere and at any time through the Lenovo Link app.

The Lenovo Smart Essentials range of products will be available starting in the US in November and is expected to expand to other markets including EMEA and Australia later. Lenovo Smart Display is expected to be available in Australia and the UK starting October.

The Best of Innovation and Design Come Together with the New Yoga PC Range

Lenovo’s premium Yoga consumer PC portfolio offers top quality craftsmanship, meaningful innovation and immersive entertainment for on-the-go users who expect powerful and agile performance. Powered by 8th Gen Intel Core processors, the Yoga C930 is Lenovo’s flagship Windows 10 consumer 2-in-1 laptop, debuting a never-before-seen Rotating Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos Speaker System, speakers custom-designed to deliver breakthrough moving audio. It supports Dolby Vision HDR, which transforms your entertainment with ultra-vivid imaging. The Yoga C930 also features a Garaged Pen that charges in its compartment, providing more intuitive productivity. Far-range mics enable Cortana and Alexa on the Yoga C930 to recognize voice command from up to four meters away, even in standby mode.

The new Yoga Book C930 is the world’s first dual display laptop with E Ink, rewriting the rules of portable productivity. The versatile E Ink screen turns into a dynamic, customizable keyboard with multi-language support, digital paper for notes or sketching, and even an eReader at the touch of a button. All this combined with Windows 10 and Intel Core processor performance in an ultra-thin and ultra-light form factor with great battery life.  As the industry’s first device to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform, the thin and light Yoga C630 WOS combines the power and productivity of a Windows 10 laptop with the always-connected mobility of a smartphone. Made for today’s mobile generation, it has integrated LTE Advanced Pro with up to 25+ hours of local video playback. The Yoga C930 and Yoga Book C930 will be available in EMEA from end of September with a starting price of €1,499 (inc VAT) and €999 (inc VAT) respectively. Availability for the Yoga C630 WOS is November with a starting price of €999 (inc VAT).

Turbo Charged Productivity with the New ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Lenovo’s new slim and stylish ThinkPad X1 Extreme will enable users to power through intensive tasks thanks to its discrete NVIDIA GeForce graphics and the latest 8th Gen Intel Core processors featuring integrated Gigabit Wi-Fi, which includes Core i9. The multi-monitor support enables multitasking and RapidCharge technology charges the battery up to 80 percent in just 60 minutes. Its 4K, 100 percent Adobe RGB color gamut display with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos immersive audio set the bar high for content creation or consumption activities on this device. Innovative security features include ThinkShutter camera cover, Windows Hello facial recognition, and touch fingerprint reader. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme will be available in EMEA from September with a starting price of €1,695 (exc VAT).

“We are excited to see new devices that harness the incredible performance, connectivity, intuitive voice experiences and battery efficiency enabled by the latest 8th Gen Intel Core processors,” said Chris Walker, Vice President of the Client Computing Group at Intel. “Intel and Lenovo have a long history of collaboration that has resulted in amazing mobile computing innovations, and that is on full display with this new lineup.”

New Star Wars: Jedi Challenges Dark Side Content Expansion and Limited Edition Kylo Ren Lightsaber

Fan-favorite Star Wars: Jedi Challenges will receive a Dark Side Expansion, a new, free content update that allows fans to play through new challenges as Kylo Ren – dueling Yoda, Rey and more in AR. The Dark Side Expansion update will be available as a free update this winter.

In celebration of the new dark side content, a limited-edition Lightsaber Controller modeled after Kylo Ren’s iconic weapon from the films will be coming to select markets this winter. In the U.S., availability is $99.99 on Lenovo online and select online retailers. The controller is fully compatible with all content in the Jedi Challenges app.

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Eugene Kaspersky posts from 2050

In his imagined blog entry from the year 2050, the Kaspersky Lab founder imagines an era of digital immunity

In recent years, digital systems have moved up to a whole new level. No longer assistants making life easier for us mere mortals, they’ve become the basis of civilisation — the very framework keeping the world functioning properly in 2050.

This quantum leap forward has generated new requirements for the reliability and stability of artificial intelligence. Although some cyberthreats still haven’t become extinct since the romantic era around the turn of the century, they’re now dangerous only to outliers who for some reason reject modern standards of digital immunity.

The situation in many ways resembles the fight against human diseases. Thanks to the success of vaccines, the terrible epidemics that once devastated entire cities in the twentieth century are a thing of the past.

However, that’s where the resemblance ends. For humans, diseases like the plague or smallpox have been replaced by new, highly resistant “post-vaccination” diseases; but for the machines, things have turned out much better. This is largely because the initial designers of digital immunity made all the right preparations for it in advance. In doing so, what helped them in particular was borrowing the systemic approaches of living systems and humans.

One of the pillars of cyber-immunity today is digital intuition, the ability of AI systems to make the right decisions in conditions where the source data are clearly insufficient to make a rational choice.

But there’s no mysticism here: Digital intuition is merely the logical continuation of the idea of machine learning. When the number and complexity of related self-learning systems exceeds a certain threshold, the quality of decision-making rises to a whole new level — a level that’s completely elusive to rational understanding. An “intuitive solution” results fromthe superimposition of the experience of a huge number of machine-learning models, much like the result of the calculations of a quantum computer.

So, as you can see, it has been digital intuition, with its ability to instantly, correctly respond to unknown challenges that has helped build the digital security standards of this new era.  

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M-Net to film Deon Meyer novel

A television adaptation of Deon Meyer’s crime novel Trackers is to be co-produced by M-Net, Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF, and HBO subsidiary Cinemax, which will also distribute the drama series worldwide. 

Trackers is an unprecedented scripted television venture and MultiChoice and M-Net are proud to chart out new territory … allowing local and international talent to combine their world-class story-telling and production skills,” says MultiChoice CEO of General Entertainment, Yolisa Phahle.

HBO, Cinemax, and M-Net also launched a Producers Apprenticeship programme last year when the Cinemax series Warrior, coming to M-Net in July, was filmed in South Africa. Some other Cinemax originals screened on M-Net include Banshee, The Knick and Strike Back. 

“Cinemax is delighted to partner with M-Net and ZDF in bringing Deon Meyer’s unforgettable characters and storytelling—all so richly rooted in the people and spectacular geography of South Africa—to screens around the world,” says Len Amato, President, HBO Films, Miniseries, and Cinemax.    

Filming for Trackers has already started in  locations across South Africa and the co-production partners have been working together on all aspects of production 

Deon Meyer, whose award-winning crime novels have been translated into more than 20 languages, with millions of copies sold worldwide, serves as a supervising screenwriter and co-producer; British writer Robert Thorogood (Death in Paradise) is the showrunner. The team of South African writers on the project includes the Mitchell’s Plain playwright, screenwriter and director Amy Jephta (Die Ellen Pakkies Story) and local writer/directors Kelsey Egen and Jozua Malherbe. 

The cast for the six-part miniseries includes Ed Stoppard, Rolanda Marais, James Alexander and Thapelo Mokoena. 

Trackers will make its debut on M-Net 101 in October 2019 and will also be available on MultiChoice’s on-demand service, Showmax. The six-part drama series is produced by UK production company Three River Studios as well as South Africa’s Scene 23. 

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