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Kids online in SA: chats, games, drugs

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A recent Kaspersky Lab report has revealed that chatting, gaming and searching for narcotics are among the few of the highest activities children perform online.

Kaspersky Lab’s latest report shows that children around the world spend most of their time online using communication tools such as social networks, email, chats, etc. (accounting for 67% of online activity). Globally, gaming portals (11%) and websites containing information about alcohol, narcotics and tobacco (9%) came second and third, respectively. At the same time, there is a noticeable difference between children’s interests in different countries. 

In South Africa, the figures are as follows:

·         Social networks (56%)

·         Email (12%)

·         Chats (6%)

·         Gaming (9%)

·         Drugs (7%)

The report, covering 12 months, shows anonymised statistics from Kaspersky Lab solutions for Windows PCs and Macs with the Parental Control module switched on, and presents the share of visits or attempted visits to websites with potentially harmful content that fall under one of the 14 preset categories. The statistics show that during the reporting period, children cut back on visits to communication media and adult-themed websites. This trend can be explained by children moving most of their sensitive activities to mobile devices, which were not covered in the report.

The “Internet communication media” category was most popular in Mexico (86%), Russia, Brazil and Italy (all slightly more than 70%). The least communicative during this period were children in China (30%), Germany (31%) and the UK (32%). Interestingly, the less popular this category was in a country, the more popular the “Computer games” category was. Children in the UK (28%), Germany (26%) and Australia (21%) are most likely to play online, while children from Mexico (4%), Italy (6%) and Japan (7%) do so less frequently.

When it comes to watching videos, listening to music and downloading software, kids in Japan are the clear leaders (12% of all Parental Control notifications). They are also more likely to shop online (17%), as are children and teenagers in China (20%). The category “Alcohol, tobacco and narcotics” racked up the most notifications in Germany (23%) and the UK (25%). In its turn, adult content generated most interest among children in China (23%) and Japan (5%). This topic was of least interest in the UK and the US (both less than 1%).

“The popularity of certain types of websites among children in different countries can be linked to each country’s cultural traits and economic conditions. We see that children are becoming more self-reliant online: they choose what music to listen to, what movies and cartoons to watch, and what software to install. This independence is great, but on the Web, as well as in real life, it is necessary to guide youngsters and teach them how to behave wisely, safely and responsibly. We at Kaspersky Lab believe that to prevent encounters with harmful content, parents need to combine a comprehensive security solution with constant communication. Conversations educate young users about online threats and help to build trusting relationships in families, while security solutions provide a basis for such conversations and a safe environment for all the family,” says Anna Larkina, Senior Web Content Analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The Kaspersky Total Security – multi-device and Kaspersky Internet Security – multi-device consumer solutions include a Parental Control module to help adults protect their children against online threats and block any sites or apps with inappropriate content.

Kaspersky Lab also offers the Safe Kids solution that allows parents to monitor what their children do, see or search for online across all devices, and to show them what is dangerous or inappropriate online.

*Categories of websites which can be blocked by Parental Control module in Kaspersky Lab’s solutions: Adult content; Alcohol, tobacco, narcotics; Computer games; E-commerce; Explicit language; Gambling, lotteries, sweepstakes; HTTP query redirection; Internet communication media; Job search; News media; Religions, religious associations; Software, audio, video; Violence; Weapons, explosives, pyrotechnic.

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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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