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MWC: Cubroid Coding Blocks

Coding gets physical with Cubroid’s coding blocks, which work with programmable sensor blocks that are triggered by sound, light, or touch.

Click here to read how Cubroid’s coding blocks work.

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The notion of children learning to code in the 21st century has become a major trend, and the skill is a type of literacy that should be explored in a child’s development. Thanks to the hype around the 4th industrial revolution, new skills and competencies are now the foundation for  solving problems in order to thrive in this ever-changing digital world.

Knowing how to code fosters logical reasoning, critical thinking and expands creativity and problem-solving skills and abilities in our digital worlds today. 

Due to this, Cubroid is making efforts to support STEM education. It also claims to contribute to the world of Robotics and AI by emphasising learning by doing and through play by using already existing technologies.

With its coding blocks, children can enjoy building robots and code them in order to bring their ideas to life. “There is no limitation. Your imagination is your limit,” says Anita Emefa Hato, customer success manager at Cubroid.

The Coding Blocks, which was fully supported through a Kickstarter Campaign, consist of 7 sensors that can be coded and connected with other building blocks wirelessly. Cubroid claims it is user-friendly and that children who do not have any knowledge about coding can learn it through play. The blocks introduce 7 sensors to children. They come in the form of the sound block, light and touch sensor block, 2 DC motor blocks, an LED block, a proximity sensor block, and a “Master Block”. Children who want to take their coding to the next level can use it with Scratch.

Cubroid is showcasing its technologies at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

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Energizer releases Power Max smartphone in SA

Energizer’s latest smartphone, the Power Max P600S, comes with an 18:9 full HD screen and an ultra-powerful 4500 mAh battery, as one would expect from the battery brand.

Click below to read about the smartphone.

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The Energizer Power Max P600S is equipped with a 4500 mAh battery, which lasts more than 16 days in standby mode and 12 hours in use, according to Energizer. It comes with a Fast Charge 12V charger and a USB-C cable.

It’s the first smartphone in the range to feature a near bezel-less 5.99″ 18:9 full HD screen. This ergonomic format allows for enhanced multitasking (2 applications can be placed side by side) and makes it easier to hold (narrower, one-handed use is made possible).

Colin Williamson, Managing Director for Pure Distribution says: “At barely 9.8 mm thick, the Power Max P600S does not compromise on quality or looks and features smooth lines, fluid, ergonomic curves and a vibrantly coloured carbon-effect back case which is pleasant on the eye, slick enough to fit in your jacket pocket and comes with an affordable price tag of R3,999.”

A dual 13 and 5 megapixel Samsung main camera and an 8-megapixel front camera gives the photos and videos greater depth, better picture clarity, and faster focus. The front camera offers richly detailed selfies, while video chats are crystal clear.

Energizer says the P600S meets Google’s performance requirements, which allows users to take advantage of the most widely used mobile platform in the world. Updates are carried out automatically via the mobile network or via Wi-Fi thanks to the FOTA Firmware Over-The-Air function.

It comes equipped with a Mediatek Helio P25 MT6757CD Octo Core 2.5 GHz processor and 3 GB or 6 GB of RAM. The 4G / LTE capabilities allow the device to reach up to 300 Mbps download speed, keeping in line with the market.

The smartphone can support two SIM cards or a SIM card and an SD card up to 256 GB.

Availability: The Energizer mobile phone range is available through Takealot and Incredible Connection, with additional retail outlets being added later this year. The Energizer Power Max P600S has a recommended retail price of R3,999.

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Lenovo embraces AMD for faster server computing

Lenovo has jumped on the AMD train early with its ThinkSystem SR servers, which enables faster single-socket server processing at a fraction of the cost of competitors.

Click below to read about the server upgrades.

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Lenovo has announced the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR635 and SR655 server platforms, two of the industry’s most powerful single-socket servers. As businesses are tasked with doing more with less, the new solutions provide the performance of a dual-socket server at the cost of a single-socket. 

These new additions to Lenovo’s expansive server portfolio are powered by next-generation AMD Epyc 7002 Series processors and were designed specifically to handle customers’ evolving, data-intensive workloads, such as video security, software-defined storage, and network intelligence, as well as support for virtualised and edge environments. The result is a solution that packs power along with efficiency for customers who place a premium on balancing throughput and security with easy scalability.

Doug Fisher, COO and Senior VP of Business Units, Lenovo Data Center Group, says: “Lenovo’s endless pursuit of innovations to accelerate our customers’ intelligent transformation has been paramount in our rise to become one of the fastest-growing data center OEMs in the world. Today Lenovo is expanding our AMD relationship with new, fully optimised solutions to help our joint customers address complex and data-intensive workloads, enabling them to do more with less while still providing uncompromised end-to-end security.”

The technological breakthroughs and increased capabilities of the new platforms are in line with recent governmental commitment to further implement fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technology across industry verticals. As South Africa continues to implement new, data- and processing-intensive technology, it is more necessary than ever that the backbone behind it be tailored for growing workloads.

Organisations are juggling business priorities with tight budgets. Lenovo’s new ThinkSystem SR server platforms allow customers to run more workloads on fewer servers, and offer up to 73 percent savings on potential software licensing, empowering users to accelerate emerging workloads more efficiently. Customers can also realise a reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) by up to 46 percent2. Further supporting these advances in workload efficiency and TCO savings are the ThinkSystem SR635 and SR655 servers’ 16 world records, including two for energy efficiency3. The net result of all these enhancements is a better price for performance.

The Lenovo ThinkSystem SR provide more throughput, lower latency, and higher core density, as well as the largest NVMe drive capacity of any single-socket on the market. Beyond that, the new 2nd Gen AMD Epyc processor-based systems also provide a solid opportunity for the enablement of additional hyper-converged infrastructure solutions. This gives Lenovo the ability to offer customers SAN and other certified nodes and future ThinkAgile software-defined appliances for simple deployment, management, and scalability.

The new Lenovo ThinkSystem SR635 and SR655 solutions are now available through Lenovo sales representatives and channel partners across the globe.

For more information, please visit https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/data-center/single-socket-innovation.


1 Software licensing:

(a.) 9x x3650 M5 servers -18 sockets VMware vSphere 6 w/ 5 years support ($9,390.48 per socket) =$169,020

(b.) 5x SR655 servers – 5 sockets VMware vSphere 6 w/ 5 years support = $46,950 **software licensing costs taken from DCSC (https://dcsc.lenovo.com/#/) on 6.2.19

2 TCO Calculation: Retrieved 6.9.2019: https://amd.valuestoryapp.com/epyc/sales;  https://dcsc.lenovo.com/#/ | VMware vSphere 6 w/ 5 years support ($9,390.48 per socket) | 9x x3650 M5 servers (Xeon E5-2699 v3 2.3GHz) – 2 CPUs x 18 cores = 320 VMs | Total TCO: $389,908 | 5x SR655 (AMD EPYC 7002 @ 2.2GHz (225W) – 1 CPU x 64 cores = 320 VMs  | Total TCO: $179,822

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