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MWC: How Huawei claims the lead in foldable handsets

The new Huawei Mate X, which unfolds into a tablet, is an attempt to claim the future, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

However, Samsung leads in two respects: availability and price. The Fold will go on sale in initial markets from April 26. The Mate X does not have a release date.

Bruce Lee, vice president of the Handset Business at Huawei CBG, said in an interview after the launch that, because it was the first foldable handset to use 5G, the next generation connectivity technology, it would have to wait for mobile networks themselves to introduce 5G.

“The 5G networks of the operators have not yet been commercialised, and we still need to do a lot of testing regarding interoperation of this phone before the phone can be put to market,” he said. “We estimate it will be by the middle of 2019, but there are a lot of changeable factors that affect the timeline of this launch.”

The other small advantage of the Samsung Fold is price, although the question is really academic, considering the high cost of both devices. The Fold will cost $1800 in the USA, which may translate into well above R40 000 in South Africa. That makes the phone not only highly expensive, but also prohibitively costly for what is clearly the first generation of foldable device from Samsung. Future versions will be sleeker, more elegant, with bigger screens, and at a lower cost.

That is also the one downside of the Mate X. Until Richard Yu announced the price, the audience had cheered almost every feature of the device as it was announced. The announcement of the price brought gasps of surprise: Euro2200, or the equivalent of $2600. That means a device that would cost as much as R60 000 in South Africa.

Again, however, the device is not geared towards sales, but to show technology leadership.

Said Bruce Lee, “Huawei never pursues an excessively high profit margin. We pursue providing the consumer with a better product with higher technology. The price is high not for pursuit of margins but due to the materials and technologies involved, due to the foldable screen. In future, we will work with partners to improve the technology, increase the production of foldable panels, and bring down the price.”

Click here to watch the Gadget exclusive Huawei Mate X demo, recorded by Arthur Goldstuck.

  • Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee
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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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