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Snake gets AR makeover

HMD Global, has announced new additions to the classic snake game with augmented reality. Snake Mask and Snake Real World filters bring the game to a new generation of fans.

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The addictive premise of the game remains the same, but with a fun AR twist fans can now be the apple munching Snakes. Snake Mask utilises new Facebook AR technology to bring Snake to the widest audience possible.

Snake at the zoo? Snake at the beach? Snake… on a plane? Now it’s all possible when Snake is on Facebook camera. Plus, with Facebook Live integration, it’s straightforward to broadcast gameplay live to the Facebook news feed, allowing friends to join the action.

The all new Snake Mask uses the front-facing camera of Nokia smartphones running Android™ to allow players to turn themselves into the iconic Snake character, reacting to the motion of the player’s face. Snake Real World activates the rear facing camera.

To celebrate the release of the updated Nokia classic, comedian and YouTuber Matt Keck, the man behind the accidentally hilarious viral sensation “I’m a Snake” which received 23 million hits on YouTube, tested out Snake on Facebook camera. Matt has recreated his own viral hit, this time using the Snake Mask filter to show off the brilliant new features.

Pekka Rantala, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of HMD Global said: “The world famous game snaked its way back into people’s hearts at MWC in 2017, when we announced Snake for Facebook Messenger.

It was designed for a new social generation; fans could invite friends to play and share scores making it even more playable than first time round. This was the first time in Snake’s history that it went onto a universal channel, rather than a device preload, and it gained 121 million players around the world.

Now we launch an even more immersive experience to fans by allowing them to be the snake itself and eat the apples with filters available on Facebook camera – here at HMD Global we are bringing the much-loved gaming icon to a new AR era.”

The camera effect can be accessed via the Facebook camera and is universally available, not just to Nokia smartphones. It is available on Android and iOS.

HMD Global is encouraging players to share the most unusual places they play the game using the hashtag #imasnake2.

How to play

1. Open the Facebook app

2. Click the camera Icon top left to open Facebook Camera

3. Scroll to the Snake Mask

4. Ssstart to play!

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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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