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Sony points to PS4 future

Sony Computer Entertainment has lifted the lid on the future of PlayStation 4 (PS4), with a wide range of software announcements from both first and third party studios, as well as new content announced for PlayStation VR. 

On stage at the PlayStation Media Preview in Paris, France, SCEE unveiled new details and PlayStation – exclusive features for over 20 games, with 9 of these newly announced, demonstrating why PS4 is the best place to play this holiday season and beyond.

In addition to this, Jim Ryan, President and CEO of SCEE celebrated twenty years of play and the success of PS4, the fastest selling system in PlayStation history with a global sell-in set at 25.3 million as previously revealed*(Number as at June 2015). In addition he commented on the impressive range of network services offered across the region.

A number of exciting new exclusive games for PS4 were revealed for the very first time, including the latest title from critically acclaimed studio Quantic Dream, Detroit, as well as a brand new racing simulator from Polyphony Digital, GT SPORT. A beta test for GT SPORT was also announced for early 2016.

New footage from other exclusive titles was also shown during the conference, including the multiplayer premiere of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (SCE Worldwide Studios), as well as a look at the gameplay vision for Michel Ancel’s WiLD (WiLD Sheep Studios). In addition, exclusive content was revealed for the latest installment in one of PlayStation’s most revered franchises, Tekken 7 (Bandai Namco Entertainment), with a launch date provided for Street Fighter V (Capcom). Finally SCEE debuted exciting new downloadable content for PS4 exclusive, Bloodborne (SCE WWS) and, DRIVECLUB BIKES (SCE WWS), which will be available either as a standalone or as an expansion pack.

PlayStation’s enthusiasm for the best games is also shared by the publishers of this holiday’s biggest blockbusters, with downloadable content for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Activision Publishing., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc.) available exclusively for 30 days only on PS4, as well as a partnership with Electronic Arts to release a limited edition Star Wars Battlefront PS4 bundle this November.

Away from PS4 software, SCEE also offered the latest glimpse of PlayStation VR, a breakthrough innovation that will take the PS4 experience to a new level of immersion. New software for the system was shown, including a global announcement of Until Dawn: Rush of Blood from Supermassive Games as well as never before seen footage of Guerrilla Cambridge’s VR shooter, RIGS and a brand new title from Crytek, ROBINSON: THE JOURNEY partnering the famous CRYENGINE and the PlayStation VR system’s ground breaking technology.  SCEE demonstrated that VR offers a wide variety of completely new experiences above and beyond gaming, by blowing away viewers with a special trailer for the film that’s getting cinema-goers talking: The Walk (Sony Pictures Entertainment).

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Mobile is the new branch

Standard Bank has launched an account for mobile devices that gives back 500MB of data a month

Standard Bank has introducd a R4.95p/m bank account called MyMo that customers can open on their mobile devices, loaded with data and airtime offerings and other benefits such as virtual and Gold physical card.

MyMo account holders will also enjoy the convenience of a cheque account through a Visa and Mastercard gold card. Once the account is open, users can choose to either receive R50 in airtime or 500MB of data a month, if their card is swiped more than four times a month. A further megabyte of data is loaded on the account for every R20 spent.

“MyMo is an account for everyone, whether you just landed your first job or have been around the block. With no documentation required it only takes a few minutes to open the account,” says Funeka Montjane, Chief Executive for Personal and Business Banking, South Africa, at Standard Bank Group. “For just R4.95 a month customer will be able to enjoy free swipes and ATM withdrawals at only R6.50 for amounts under R 1 000.

“Mobile is the new branch. This account is about bringing the mobile branch into customers hands, it is about convenience and security while banking.”

She says mobile offers low cost transactional banking which integrates people and businesses into the new connected economy, making mobile the new branch ecosystem that will drive and connect Africa’s growth. Physical connections to the economy are rapidly changing to digital where banks have to move from being financial institutions to service organisations.

“In the past people congregated in communities and eventually cities to maximise the advantages of connectivity. Today a simple hand-held device has the potential to open infinite doors, transforming individuals’ access to opportunities, regardless of where they are, and like never before in history. 

“Historically, a bank account represented access to economic citizenship. Today, having a simple device enabling digital access to a modern banking platform is a passport to global connectivity and vast human development potential.”

The bank says it is using technology, and mobile phones in particular, to deliver low-cost transactional channels accessible to all our customers. The evolution in mobile can be seen in transaction options like cash back at the retail checkout till rather than the ATM, free digital banking rather than using a branch, and the ability to transact using digital wallets, even without a bank account.

“Developing comprehensive connected ecosystems requires a mind-set change from Africa’s banks,” says Montjane. “Banks will evolve away from traditional financial service organisations, into service ecosystems enabling broad universal access to almost everything like enhanced purchasing experiences of vehicles and homes, online procurement of goods and services and lifestyle elements like rewards and travel. 

“These connectivity drivers will also act to future-proof evolving connectivity ecosystem by allowing us to offer untold future services while deriving income from as yet unrealised revenue streams,.   

From a customer perspective, the kind of ecosystems of knowledge, access and, ultimately, connectivity that banks will come to provide will radically transform the share of life that almost all individuals will be able to access.”

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Two-thirds of SA staff hide social media from bosses

With 90% of people in employment going online several times a day, it can be hard for most workers to keep their private and work-life separate during the working day (and beyond). The recently published Global Privacy Report from Kaspersky Lab reveals that 64% of South African consumers choose to hide social media activity from their boss. This secretive stance at work also extends to their colleagues, with 60% of South Africans also preferring not to reveal online activities to their co-workers.

Globally, the average employee spends an astonishing 13 years and two months at work during their lifetime. Interestingly though, not all this time is directly related to solving work tasks or earning a promotion: almost two thirds (64%) of consumers admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.

Not surprisingly, 35% of South African employees are against their employer knowing which websites they visit. However, more interestingly, 60% of South African are even against their colleagues knowing about their online activities. This probably means that colleagues constitute an even greater threat to future perspectives of an office slouch or maybe the relationships with colleagues are more informal and therefore, more valuable.

On the contrary, social media activity appears to be a less private domain for many and therefore, more suitable for sharing with colleagues but not the boss. This is probably because workers fear harming the public image of a company or interest in decreased staff productivity motivates companies to monitor employees’ social networks and make career changing decisions based on that. Such policies have led to 64% of South Africans saying that they don’t want to reveal their social media activities to their boss and 53% even don’t want to disclose this information to their colleagues.

A further 29% are against showing the content of their messages and emails to their employer. In addition, 3% even said that their career was irrevocably damaged as a consequence of their personal information being leaked. Thus, people are worried about how to build a favourable internal reputation and how not to destroy existing workplace relationships.

“As going online is an integral part of our life nowadays, lines continue to blur between our digital existence at work and at home. And that’s neither good nor bad. That’s how we live in the digital age. Just keep remembering that as an employee you need to be increasingly cautious of what exactly you post on social media feeds or what websites you prefer using at work. One misconceived action on the internet could have an irrevocable long-term impact on even the most ambitious worker’s ability to climb the career ladder of their choice in the future,” comments Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab.

To ensure workers don’t fall prey of the internet threats at a work, there are some core guidelines to adhere to in the digital age:

  • Don’t post anything that could be considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libellous. If in doubt, don’t post.
  • Be aware that system administrators may at least, in theory, be informed about your web browsing patterns.
  • Don’t harass, threaten, discriminate or disparage against any colleague, partner, competitor or customer. Neither on social networks or in messages, emails, nor by any other means.
  • Don’t post photographs of other employees, customers, vendors, suppliers or company products without prior written permission.
  • Start using Kaspersky Password Manager to ensure your social media and other personal accounts are not at risk of unauthorised access by someone else in an office. Install a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Security Cloud to protect your personal devices.

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