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Lego opens in SA

The Great Yellow Brick Co has opened the first LEGO Certified Store in South Africa. Doors to the brightly coloured shop in Sandton City are now open for fans, collectors and consumers who are yet to discover the delight of the versatile bricks.

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While LEGO products are available at independent toy retailers elsewhere in South Africa, The Great Yellow Brick Co’s shop is the first LEGO Certified Store in the country and will stock and display a variety of LEGO options, exciting installations, exclusive and extended sets, and experiences not yet seen in South Africa.

The store will include these signature features:

  • Pick A Brick Wall – a custom-built fixture with round canisters, each filled with an assortment of LEGO bricks and elements that consumers can purchase in set priced cups or by weight
  • Build a Minifigure Station – guests to the store can customise up to three minifigures from a large variety of parts and accessories.
  • A mosaic of the Big 5 and a 3D model of the Johannesburg skyline designed and built out of LEGO bricks exclusively for the Sandton store.

Special build areas will encourage fans to unleash their imaginations, while augmented reality screens will help shoppers visualise the contents of box sets, in 3D, before they purchase.

“The Great Yellow Brick Co‘s Sandton City shop will offer limited and special edition LEGO sets at the same time that they’re launched internationally, meaning that consumers no longer have to wait for months to buy them, or hunt them down online,” says co-founder Robert Greenstein.

“For example, we’re opening with the new Bugatti Chiron set, a magnificent working roller coaster, the Disney Castle, the Star Wars Y-Wing and the Hulk Buster, and collectors that have been hunting for the Star Wars Millennium Falcon need look no further…”

The Great Yellow Brick Co has also extended its offering online giving consumers access to the most extensive LEGO range available in the region, offering all the convenience of online shopping as well as a click and collect service should customers prefer.

The store’s Brick Rewards loyalty programme will see customers earn points back based on their spend, with points translating into monetary savings on future purchases, while exclusive gifts with purchase not available anywhere else will also be available from time to time.

“LEGO bricks are so much more than just toys or collector’s items – playing and building with them promotes the development of fine motor skills, encourages team work, and improves creativity,” Greenstein explains.

“Building sets or creating their own masterpieces teaches problem-solving skills to children, and improves their communication skills too,” he adds. “It also develops persistence, lateral thinking and planning skills, and placing that final brick into a creation boosts a child’s self-esteem – something that’s clearly evident in the broad smiles that are sure to happen at about the same time!”

The 179m2 Sandton City store is close to Sandton City’s Fun District, a level dedicated to family entertainment, and it significantly enhances the centre’s offering for children.

“South Africans have a decades-long love for LEGO sets and products, from children who follow instructions to build sets before they can read, to adults who will go to extraordinary lengths to complete their themed collections,” says Kristian Imhof, Country Manager for The LEGO Group in South Africa. “There are also many South Africans who have never been exposed to its possibilities, and we are looking forward to introducing them to the limitless ways they can play with, build and collect LEGO bricks and sets.”

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Jaguar drives dictionary definition

Jaguar is calling for the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries to update their online definition of the word ‘car’

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Jaguar is spearheading a campaign for the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Oxford Dictionaries (OxfordDictionaries.com) to change their official online definitions of the word ‘car’.

The I-PACE, Jaguar’s all-electric performance SUV, is the 2019 World Car of the Year and European Car of the Year. However, strictly speaking, the zero-emission vehicle isn’t defined as a car.

The OED, the principal historical dictionary of the English language, defines a ‘car’ in its online dictionary as: ‘a road vehicle powered by a motor (usually an internal combustion engine) designed to carry a driver and a small number of passengers, and usually having two front and two rear wheels, esp. for private, commercial, or leisure use’.

Whereas the current definition of a ‘car’ on Oxford Dictionaries.com, a collection of dictionary websites produced by Oxford University Press (OUP), the publishing house of the University of Oxford, is: ‘A road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people.’

To remedy the situation, Jaguar has submitted a formal application to the OED and OxfordDictionaries.com to have the definitions updated to include additional powertrains, including electric vehicles (EV).

David Browne, head of Jaguar Land Rover’s naming committee, said: “A lot of time and thought is put into the name of any new vehicle or technology to ensure it is consumer friendly, so it’s surprising to see that the definition of the car is a little outdated. We are therefore inviting the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionaries to update its online classification to reflect the shift from traditional internal combustion engines (ICE) towards more sustainable powertrains.”

The Oxford English Dictionary is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words – past and present – from across the English-speaking world.

Jaguar unveiled the I-PACE, its first all-electric vehicle, last year to deliver sustainable sports car performance, next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technology and five-seat SUV practicality.

Featuring a state-of-the-art 90kWh lithium-ion battery, two Jaguar-designed motors and a bespoke aluminium structure, the I-PACE is capable of 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds and a range of up to 470km (WLTP).

While both the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries review the application, Jaguar is encouraging people to get behind the campaign by asking how the word ‘car’ should be defined. Contact Jaguar on TwitterFacebook and Instagram using #RedefineTheCar with your thoughts.

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How Internet blocks visually impaired

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Picture: Amelie-Benoist / Getty Images

A pervasive “digital divide” inhibits blind people from accessing the Internet, according to a study conducted by Nucleus Research for Deque Systems, an accessibility software company specialising in digital equality. This results in visits to websites being abandoned, further resulting in a missed market opportunity for the websites in question.

The study, which conducted in-depth interviews with 73 U.S. adults who are blind or have severe visual impairments, revealed that two-thirds of the Internet transactions initiated by people with vision impairments end in abandonment because the websites they visit aren’t accessible enough. Ninety percent of those surveyed said they regularly call a site’s customer service to report inaccessibility and have no choice but to visit another, more accessible site to make the transaction.

The Nucleus study also scanned hundreds of websites in the e-commerce, news and information and government categories and found that 70 percent had certain “critical blockers” that rendered them inaccessible to visually impaired users.

“Besides the moral dilemma and legal risk, businesses with inaccessible websites are missing a huge revenue opportunity by ignoring an untapped market,” says Preety Kumar, CEO of Deque Systems. “Among internet retailers specifically, two-thirds of the top ten online retailers had serious accessibility issues, meaning they are leaving $6.9 billion in potential North American e-commerce revenues on the table.”

Web accessibility refers to the ability of people with disabilities to independently gather information, complete transactions, or communicate on the Internet. Most visually impaired Internet users rely on assistive technologies like screen readers or screen magnifiers to render sites perceivable and operable. However, these assistive technologies require that websites be built with accessibility in mind and optimized to interface with assistive technology, in order to convey information in an accurate and understandable manner.

Critical accessibility blockers can vary across industries. In e-commerce, problems include issues like missing form and button labels (thereby making forms or the “checkout” button invisible without context). Amazon, Best Buy and Target were found to be accessibility leaders in this space. Additionally, the study found:

  • Eight out of ten news sites had significant accessibility issues.
  • Seven out of ten blind persons reported being unable to access information and services through government websites, including Medicare’s site.
  • Fewer than one in three websites have clear contact information or instructions for blind persons to seek help if they encounter accessibility issues, meaning many have low levels of success in reporting and solving these problems.

“A focus on accessibility needs to be a core part of the website design and development process,” continues Kumar. “Considering accessibility as early as the conception phase, and proactively building and testing sites for accessibility as they move towards production, is significantly more effective than remediating it later, helping organizations save significant time and resources while avoiding unnecessary customer grievances.”

To download the report, visit: https://accessibility.deque.com/nucleus-accessibility-research-2019

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