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Kobo unveils new waterproof ereader

Kobo has announced its latest Kobo Libra H2O in a video, which shows off waterproof capabilities and impressive pricing, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Almost a year since the launch of the Kobo Forma, the company has returned with another e-reader that looks similar to last year’s model, but supports more “life-proof” features.

The device looks like the Amazon Kindle Oasis, but costs almost $100 less in the US market.
The Libra H2O is a smaller device in the Kobo Forma family. It shares a similar design to last year’s device, but features a smaller form factor, with a 7″ panel. A 1,200mAh battery provides a few weeks of charge and the ComfortLight Pro LED array helps users get a comfortable reading experience.
The announced price for the Libra H2O is $170, which is very reasonable for an e-reader with such high specifications.
It features an IPX 8 rating, which means the device can drop to the bottom of a pool and emerge to tell the tale. It comes with a 300ppi E Ink Carta display, and a wide bezel on one side to keep fingers off the page. On the wide bezel, it has navigation buttons for tactile readers.
Like the previous generation Kobo Forma, it can be used in either portrait or landscape with a built-in orientation sensor. Adding to the new user experience, it features a new interface, which will also be rolled out to other Kobo eReaders later in the year. 
One can store around 6,000 eBooks on the built-in 8GB storage. External storage has not been specified yet.

The Kobo Libra H20 will be available in black or white on pre-order in the US from 10 September and ship a week later. No announcements have been made about South African availability.

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IBM unveils new cloud data privacy platform

Designed for hybrid multicloud security, IBM z15 enhances cloud-native app development and includes a new instant recovery feature.

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IBM has announced IBM z15, a new enterprise platform delivering the ability to manage the privacy of customer data across hybrid multicloud environments. With z15, clients can manage who gets access to data via policy-based controls, with an industry-first capability to revoke access to data across the hybrid cloud. 

The movement of data between partners and third parties is often the root cause of data breaches. In fact, 60 percent of businesses reported they suffered a data breach caused by a vendor or third party in 2018. With the growing adoption of hybrid multicloud environments, the challenge of maintaining data security and privacy only grows more acute and challenging.

The IBM z15 system culminates four years of development with over 3,000 IBM Z patents issued or in process and represents a collaboration with input from over 100 companies. Key z15 innovations from these investments across IBM Systems and Research include:

  • Encryption Everywhere – Building upon pervasive encryption, IBM unveiled new Data Privacy Passports technology that clients can use to gain control over how data is stored and shared – enabling the ability to protect and provision data and revoke access to that data at any time, not only within the z15 environment but across an enterprise’s hybrid multicloud environment. z15 also can encrypt data everywhere – across hybrid multicloud environments – to help enterprises secure their data wherever it travels.
  • Cloud-Native Development – Can give clients a competitive advantage by evolving how they modernize apps in place, build new cloud-native apps and securely integrate their most important workloads across clouds. Clients are already using IBM Z for their mission-critical workloads to build, deploy and manage next-gen apps and protect data through advanced security.
  • Instant Recovery – An industry-first approach to limiting the cost and impact of planned and unplanned downtime, enabling users to access full system capacity for a period of time to accelerate shutdown and restart of IBM Z services and provide a temporary capacity boost to rapidly recover from lost time.

Rising Importance of Data Privacy in Doing Business

A new IBM commissioned study conducted by The Harris Poll released today found that 64 percent of all consumers have opted not to work with a business out of concerns of whether they could keep their data secure. However, that same study found 76 percent of respondents would be more willing to share personal information if there was a way to fully take back and retrieve that data at any time. With z15, pervasive encryption is designed to extend across the enterprise enforcing data privacy by policy even when it leaves the IBM Z platform. With this industry-first capability, clients can offer new services and features that give their consumers stronger control over how their personal data is used.

The Next Phase of Digital Transformation – Moving Mission-Critical Work to the Cloud

Businesses today have reportedly already completed the first 20 percent of their cloud journey. z15 is uniquely positioned to help companies take this next step in their digital transformation efforts to move mission critical workloads (the other 80 percent) to the cloud by delivering a hyper-secure, agile and continuously available platform.

As the center of a secured hybrid cloud strategy, today, two-thirds of the Fortune 100 are using IBM Z. With z15, clients can:

  • Process up to 1 trillion web transactions a day, support massive databases, and scale-out to 2.4 million Linux containers in a single z15 system — up to 2.3 times more Linux containers per core on a z15 LPAR versus a compared bare-metal x86 platform, running an identical web server load. 
  • Address mission-critical latency challenges by delivering up to 30x lower latency and up to 28 times less CPU utilization on z15 by compressing secure web transaction data before encryption using the Integrated Accelerator for z Enterprise Data Compression instead of using software compression.
  • Leverage 12 percent more cores than z14, and 25 percent more memory than z14 to help meet the needs of today’s digital businesses.

Data-Centric Privacy Controls 

Data Privacy Passports is a consolidated data privacy solution that is engineered to extend clients’ ability to deliver privacy by not only protecting data on-premises at the infrastructure level, but allows clients to provision data rules to manage individual user access across private, public and hybrid cloud data at the data level.

Bringing Cloud-Native App Development to IBM Z 

Last month, IBM announced intent to deliver Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Z and LinuxONE. This offering will accelerate the transformation to greater portability and agility through integrated tooling and a feature-rich ecosystem for cloud-native development on Linux on IBM Z and LinuxONE offerings. Cloud developers can deploy z/OS applications on OpenShift with no special Z skills required.

Mission-Critical Work Done with No Time Lost 

For both planned and unplanned downtime, Instant Recovery brings clients the ability to unlock the full power of z15, spinning up built-in cores to return to pre-shutdown SLAs, while uniquely catching up on business transactions up to 2.5x faster than previously possible.

For more information on z15, visit www.ibm.com/z15.

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New Fortnite figurines to launch at Comic Con Africa

McFarlane Toys will introduce new Fortnite figurines at Comic Con Africa this week.

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Megarom Interactive has announced a partnership with McFarlane Toys to release a range of Fortnite premium collectible action figures at Comic Con Africa 2019.

The new Fortnite branded collection will feature seven-inch premium figures, inspired by top character skins across the game’s universe and modelled from in-game assets. Each figure has over 22 moving parts for increased pose-ability as well as their own back bling, weapon, and pickaxe.

The McFarlane Toys Fortnite collection will be on display and available for purchase from the Fortnite Merchandise Store in Hall 5, stand H03, at Comic Con Africa 2019.

The collection will be available from these participating retailers across South Africa at the end of September:

  • Toy Kingdom
  • Game4U
  • Takealot
  • Raru
  • Loot
  • PWNED
  • Dark Carnival
  • Juice bubble
  • Local independents

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