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The hard drive behind RoBoHoBo’s game-winning drive

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A hard drive’s speed affects a computer’s overall performance, especially when gaming. African gaming icon, Luca Tucconi, believes his 1TB Western Digital Black drive gives him the competitive edge when competing against dozens of other players.

Performance hard drives are a critical component of any gamer’s hardware arsenal, affecting his or her ability to play seamlessly and to the best of their ability. This is particularly important for professional or competitive gamers, whose livelihood depends on their equipment’s ability to perform. For pro gamer, business owner and South African gaming icon Luca Tucconi, also known as RoBoHoBo, his 1TB WD Black drive gives him an important competitive edge. With advanced technology that delivers superior system performance, WD Black redefines RoBoHoBo’s gaming experience, minimising lag and maximising his multitasking capability.

Tucconi is a 23-year-old economics student living in Cape Town, South Africa. He is also the face behind the well-known gamer RoBoHoBo, and the CEO and co-founder of Orena, a South African competitive eSports portal that brings together gamers from across the country. He has won many accolades as a First Person Shooter player and an in-game leader and has played under the biggest gaming banners in the country, including Bravado Gaming, Ventus E-Sports and First in Battle. He is currently part of the Bravado Gaming organisation as manager of the Call of Duty division and as a brand ambassador. He also hosts professional gaming tournaments in South Africa, and runs a very successful Twitch channel, offering the South African gaming community a fully optimised and internationally recognised streaming platform.

“When my old hard drive failed after many years of use, I approached Frances Lombard, Head of Gaming and Business Development at Pinnacle Africa, to help me with obtaining a replacement. Without a suitable hard drive, I was not only unable to play, but also unable to stream our gaming tournaments and my own individual gaming stream. As this is the crux of my livelihood, time was of the essence. She assisted me with providing the 1TB WD Black drive quickly, enabling me to get back to business in short order,” he explains.

“Pinnacle has developed a working relationship with RoBoHoBo as one of the sponsors in his organised gaming tournaments, and we were thrilled to be able to assist with a new hard drive. WD Black was the ideal solution for RoBoHoBo’s needs, offering generous capacity and incredible performance as well as supporting the high resolution needed for HD gaming. It also features a number of technological enhancements to maximise system performance, including Vibration Control Technology for faster, longer and harder gaming, and a dual core processor that offers twice the processing power to maximise drive performance,” says Lombard.

WD Black also features Corruption Protection Technology, which helps to protect and limit the potential problem of data loss during power failure or power loss to the hard drive, protecting important game data. In addition, Dynamic Cache Technology increases performance by improving caching algorithms in real time and optimising the cache allocation between reads and writes. This results in the drive automatically allocating more cache for read data, which reduces data congestion and increases overall performance. Topped off with an industry-leading five-year limited warranty, the WD Black drive is the ultimate gaming solution.

“Having a powerful PC is critical to gaming ability. Regardless of your talent or skill, if you are using low quality or out-dated hardware, you will feel an impact on your maximum output as your computer will be unable to process newer, more detailed gaming titles. Your virtual character is restricted by the capabilities of the machine that is projecting it. The WD Black drive gives me a smooth and seamless experience when dealing with multiple administrative operations and gaming at the same time. I definitely have felt a major difference with regards to hardware related lag”, says Tucconi.

For RoBoHoBo, the top features of the WD Black drive include the 64MB cache, the generous 1TB hard drive capacity, and the Corruption Protection Technology that helps save information when the PC is turned off abruptly, essential given recent load shedding issues. He also cites the improvements in Frames Per Second with the new hard drive, which has assisted in significantly improving general game play.

“I would definitely recommend the WD Black drive to my fellow gamers. It has proven to be the perfect addition to my current setup. My parts were slowly but surely beginning to become out-dated with my hard drive taking the first hit. The new WD Black drive has provided me with sufficient storage space as well as a piece of gaming hardware that supplies a high speed and quality experience. These drives are definitely suited to an avid or professional gamer!” states Tucconi.

 “Gaming is becoming a significant force in the South African entertainment industry, as the number of players and tournaments, and the size of the prize pools, continues to grow. As a manufacturer of performance hard drives, gaming is an area of focus for us both locally and across the globe, and we are proud to be behind such legendary gaming names as RoBoHoBo. We look forward to working together to grow gaming to new heights in South Africa,” Kalvin Subbadu, Product Manager: Components at WD South Africa, concludes.

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Smart home arrives in SA

The smart home is no longer a distant vision confined to advanced economies, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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The smart home is a wonderful vision for controlling every aspect of one’s living environment via remote control, apps and sensors. But, because it is both complex and expensive, there has been little appetite for it in South Africa.

The two main routes for smart home installation are both fraught with peril – financial and technical.

The first is to call on a specialist installation company. Surprisingly, there are many in South Africa. Google “smart home” +”South Africa”, and thousands of results appear. The problem is that, because the industry is so new, few have built up solid track records and reputations. Costs vary wildly, few standards exist, and the cost of after-sales service will turn out to be more important than the upfront price.

The second route is to assemble the components of a smart home, and attempt self-installation. For the non-technical, this is often a non-starter. Not only does one need a fairly good knowledge of Wi-Fi configuration, but also a broad understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) – the ability for devices to sense their environment, connect to each other, and share information.

The good news, though, is that it is getting easier and more cost effective all the time.

My first efforts in this direction started a few years ago with finding smart plugs on Amazon.com. These are power adaptors that turn regular sockets into “smart sockets” by adding Wi-Fi and an on-off switch, among other. A smart lightbulb was sourced from Gearbest in China. At the time, these were the cheapest and most basic elements for a starter smart home environment.

Via a smartphone app, the light could be switched on from the other side of the world. It sounds trivial and silly, but on such basic functions the future is slowly built.

Fast forward a year or two, and these components are available from hundreds of outlets, they have plummeted in cost, and the range of options is bewildering. That, of course, makes the quest even more bewildering. Who can be trusted for quality, fulfilment and after-sales support? Which products will be obsolete in the next year or two as technology advances even more rapidly?

These are some of the challenges that a leading South African technology distributor, Syntech, decided to address in adding smart home products to its portfolio. It selected LifeSmart, a global brand with proven expertise in both IoT and smart home products.

Equally significantly, LifeSmart combines IoT with artificial intelligence and machine learning, meaning that the devices “learn” the best ways of connecting, sharing and integrating new elements. Because they all fall under the same brand, they are designed to integrate with the LifeSmart app, which is available for Android and iOS phones, as well as Android TV.

Click here to read about how LifeSmart makes installing smart home devices easier.

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Matrics must prepare for AI

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students writing a test

By Vian Chinner, CEO and founder of Xineoh.

Many in the matric class of 2018 are currently weighing up their options for the future. With the country’s high unemployment rate casting a shadow on their opportunities, these future jobseekers have been encouraged to look into which skills are required by the market, tailoring their occupational training to align with demand and thereby improving their chances of finding a job, writes Vian Chinner – a South African innovator, data scientist and CEO of the machine learning company specialising in consumer behaviour prediction, Xineoh.

With rapid innovation and development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), all careers – including high-demand professions like engineers, teachers and electricians – will look significantly different in the years to come.

Notably, the third wave of internet connectivity, whereby our physical world begins to merge with that of the internet, is upon us. This is evident in how widespread AI is being implemented across industries as well as in our homes with the use of automation solutions and bots like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. So much data is collected from the physical world every day and AI makes sense of it all.

Not only do new industries related to technology like AI open new career paths, such as those specialising in data science, but it will also modify those which already exist. 

So, what should matriculants be considering when deciding what route to take?

For highly academic individuals, who are exceptionally strong in mathematics, data science is definitely the way to go. There is, and will continue to be, massive demand internationally as well as locally, with Element-AI noting that there are only between 0 and 100 data scientists in South Africa, with the true number being closer to 0.

In terms of getting a foot in the door to become a successful data scientist, practical experience, working with an AI-focused business, is essential. Students should consider getting an internship while they are studying or going straight into an internship, learning on the job and taking specialist online courses from institutions like Stanford University and MIT as they go.

This career path is, however, limited to the highly academic and mathematically gifted, but the technology is inevitably going to overlap with all other professions and so, those who are looking to begin their careers should take note of which skills will be in demand in future, versus which will be made redundant by AI.

In the next few years, technicians who are able to install and maintain new technology will be highly sought after. On the other hand, many entry level jobs will likely be taken care of by AI – from the slicing and dicing currently done by assistant chefs, to the laying of bricks by labourers in the building sector.

As a rule, students should be looking at the skills required for the job one step up from an entry level position and working towards developing these. Those training to be journalists, for instance, should work towards the skill level of an editor and a bookkeeping trainee, the role of financial consultant.

This also means that new workforce entrants should be prepared to walk into a more demanding role, with more responsibility, than perhaps previously anticipated and that the country’s education and training system should adapt to the shift in required skills.

The matric classes of 2018 have completed their schooling in the information age and we should be equipping them, and future generations, for the future market – AI is central to this.

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