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Red Hat releases new Linux

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Red Hat has announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 with new automation capabilities designed to limit IT complexity while enhancing security.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 offers new automation capabilities designed to limit IT complexity while enhancing workload security and performance for traditional and cloud-native applications. This provides a powerful, flexible operating system backbone to address enterprise IT needs across physical servers, virtual machines and hybrid, public and multi-cloud footprints.

From traditional physical servers and virtual machines to next-generation cloud and container services, the operating system serves as a critical linchpin in connecting deployment footprints across the enterprise. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 acts as this keystone by pairing open source innovation with enterprise-grade stability, providing a foundation for digital transformation while still maintaining existing systems and workloads.

Security Features

As threats to IT infrastructure evolve, enterprises require more security innovation in their software stack to help prevent breaches and more proactively manage vulnerabilities. This innovation starts at the operating system level, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 brings to bear new and enhanced features designed to foster a more secure production environment for mission-critical workloads, both cloud-native and traditional. This includes:

  • Updated audit capabilities to help simplify how administrators filter the events logged by the audit system, gather more information from critical events and to interpret large numbers of records.
  • USB Guard, a feature that allows for greater control over how plug-and-play devices can be used by specific users to help limit both data leaks and data injection.
  • Enhanced container security functionality with full support for using SELinux with OverlayFS helps secure the underlying file system and provides the ability to use docker and use namespaces together for fine-grained access control.

Performance

Modern business applications require more bandwidth and increased storage, placing a performance strain on traditional operating systems and hardware. Engineered to meet the needs of organizations seeking to both modernize and optimize their enterprise IT infrastructure, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 offers new features designed to improve the performance of both networking and storage. New features include:

  • Support for NVMe Over Fabric helps to provide customers with increased flexibility and reduced overhead when accessing high performance NVMe storage devices located in the data center on both Ethernet or Infiniband fabric infrastructures.
  • General enhancements to Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s performance when deployed on the public cloud, highlighted by decreased boot times to better enable mission-critical applications to start sooner, and support for the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enable new network capabilities.

Linux Containers and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host

Linux containers present an evolution in how businesses develop, deploy, and manage modern applications, helping enterprises scale to new levels of operational efficiency, speed application development and drive increased flexibility in managing application life cycles. Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4, the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host further refines enterprise-grade Linux containers with enhancements that include:

  • Improved security without sacrificing performance, thanks to integrated support for SELinux and OverlayFS, as well as full support for the overlay2 storage graph driver.
  • Full support for package layering with rpm-ostree, providing a means of adding packages like monitoring agents and drivers to the host operating system.
  • The introduction of LiveFS as a Technology Preview, which enables users to install security updates and layer packages without a reboot.

Management and automation

With datacenter footprints that span from bare-metal to the cloud, the complexity associated with controlling IT environments continues to increase. Complementing the capabilities of Red Hat Satellite and automation via Ansible Tower, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 introduces Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Roles as a Technology Preview. System Roles provide a common management interface across all major versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, enabling an automated workflow via Ansible automation to be created once and used across large, heterogeneous Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments without additional modifications.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for multiple architectures

Red Hat remains committed to providing customer choice when it comes to datacenter infrastructure. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 maintains this commitment with availability across multiple architectures, including IBM Power, IBM z Systems and 64-bit ARM (as a Development Preview). For the IBM Power Little Endian architecture, this release enables support for the High Availability and Resilient Storage Add-Ons as well as the Open Container Initiative (OCI) runtime and image format.

 

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Showmax launches half-price mobile streaming service

A new streaming product designed specifically for Africa, featuring TV series as well as African content and live sport, is aimed at filling the gap in subscription video on demand services

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The subscription video on demand (SVoD) model, which originated in the USA, spread rapidly in countries where uncapped broadband is affordable and widely available. However, because the model also relies on consumers being comfortable with transacting online and having ready access to credit cards, it has barely scratched the surface across Africa.

On top of that, smartphones are often the only only form of Internet access across Africa, and none of the popular SVoD services have been designed for the format.

Showmax says it plans to change this with the launch of a new mobile plan that costs 50% of the standard Showmax package but still features 100% of the same video content. Showmax is set apart by a combination of four pillars: hit African content, exclusive international series, topkids’ shows, and live sport, including weekly matches from the English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, and Spain’s La Liga.

Showmax says the new plan is aimed at consumers who only use smartphones and tablets to watch video content. Video resolution peaks at standard definition to help reduce data consumption. As it is a product aimed at individuals, only one concurrent stream is included in the plan. As with the regular service, it is also available for a 14-day free trial.

“This is all about an African service developing a solution that meets the needs of African consumers,” saus Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice. “Customer feedback consistently points to local content and sport as some of the things that people value most from Showmax. That’s of course on top of the international series, movies, and kids’ shows that are our bread and butter. With all of that content now available in a product designed specifically for mobile usage, we’re doing something no other service can offer.

“On top of that, with groundbreaking deals like our new offer with Vodacom in South Africa, we solve the credit card issue through add-to-bill payment and the data issue by including data directly in the package. We’re looking to launch similar offers in Kenya and Nigeria soon.”

Both the standard and mobile plans include live sport, sport magazine shows and sport documentaries. The 2019 Rugby World Cup Final was streamed live on Showmax earlier this month, and the following is a selection of some of the football due to be live-streamed in November:

22 November: Levante vs Mallorca (La Liga)

23 November: Arsenal vs Southampton (Premier League)

24 November: Bologna vs Parma (Serie A)

25 November: Aston Villa vs Newcastle United (Premier League)

29 November: Celta Vigo vs Valladolid (La Liga)

30 November: Fiorentina vs Lecce (Serie A)

30 November: Chelsea vs West Ham United (Premier League)

Showmax’s mobile plan is currently available in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. 

Comparison of Showmax plans:

Mobile Standard
Price per monthR49 / N1450 / KSh 375R99 / N2900 / KSh 750
Watch on smartphone or tabletYesYes
Watch on smart TV and computerNoYes
HD streamingNoYes
TV series, movies, kids’ showsYesYes
SportYesYes
Concurrent streams12
Cancel anytimeYesYes
14-day free trialYesYes
Chromecast and AirPlayNoYes
Number of devicesOne registered device5 devices can be registered, with 2 able to stream at the same time

For a 14-day free trial, visit www.showmax.com

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Online series wins SA’s Journalist of the Year award

A series of stories on gang warfare in Hanover Park earned Tammy Petersen of News24 the ultimate prize in South African journalism. Here are all the winners of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards.

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At the 18th edition of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards held at Vodacom World earlier tonight, News24’s Tammy Petersen took top honours and the R100,000 grand prize as national winner for her body of work on a gang war series entitled When you live in Hanover Park, you know death. Petersen’s submission was one of over 1,000 entries received from around the country across 12 categories – Investigative, Opinion, Lifestyle, Photography, Sport, Economics, Politics, CSI, Live reporting/ breaking news, Data Journalism, Multi-platform and the Young Journalist of the Year Award. This year’s theme – Connect the Dots – pays tribute to the best-of-the-best of those entries.

Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group says: “This year has seen extraordinary entries to the 18th Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards. Not all the stories that are national winners were about huge events but also showed the importance of telling the stories of ordinary people. In line with our theme, the dots were indeed connected, and we congratulate all the winners.”

Convenor of the judging panel Ryland Fisher says: “The quality of entries has convinced the judges once again that our industry is in good hands, as far as journalism is concerned, despite the many problems that have beset the industry in recent times. Judging from the entries, South African journalists are determined to fly the flag high for a free, independent, and vigorous media, which augurs well for our democracy. As judges, we can only salute all the entrants for the great work that they submitted. In the end, our industry is probably the biggest winner.”

Judges for this year’s awards are: Ryland Fisher (convenor), Jermaine Craig, Arthur Goldstuck, Albe Grobbelaar, Franz Kruger, Patricia McCracken, Mapi Mhlangu, Collin Nxumalo, Mary Papayya, and Obed Zilwa.

Visit the next page for the full list of winners and their citations.

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