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World’s biggest tech buy complete

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Dell Technologies has announced the completion of the acquisition of EMC Corporation. The merger, is said, creates “a unique family of businesses that provides the essential infrastructure for organisations to build their digital future.”

The combination creates a $74-billion market leader with an expansive technology portfolio that addresses complex problems for customers in the fast-growing areas of hybrid cloud, software-defined data center, converged infrastructure, platform-as-a-service, data analytics, mobility and cybersecurity.

Dell Technologies serves 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and comprises several market leading businesses. The two largest, and most well-known, are the Dell client solutions business and the Dell EMC infrastructure solutions business – both of which are supported by Dell EMC Services. In addition, Dell Technologies contains Boomi, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware.

This structure, according to a Dell Technologies statement, “combines the focus and innovation of a startup with the global scale and service of a large enterprise.

“Dell Technologies’ scale will enable it to deliver more innovation and investment in R&D, sales and marketing, services and support and deliver more efficient and cost-effective solutions for customers. Furthermore, while the company will publicly report its financial results, it is privately controlled, enabling it to better focus investments on its customer and partner ecosystem over the long term.”

Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, said, “We are at the dawn of the next industrial revolution. Our world is becoming more intelligent and more connected by the minute, and ultimately will become intertwined with a vast Internet of Things, paving the way for our customers to do incredible things. This is why we created Dell Technologies. We have the products, services, talent and global scale to be a catalyst for change and guide customers, large and small, on their digital journey.”

Dell Technologies “blends Dell’s go-to-market strength with small business and mid-market customers and EMC’s strength with large enterprises and stands as a market leader in many of the most important and high-growth areas of the $2 trillion information technology market”.

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase, commented, “Financial services is one of the first-movers in embracing technology to better serve our customers, and the next wave of digitalization continues a trend that’s been occurring my whole lifetime. As one of the world’s biggest users of Dell and EMC, we spend approximately $9 billion a year on technology, including infrastructure as well as cloud computing, big data analytics and cybersecurity.

“We make sure we spend wisely and select our partners very carefully. I’ve known Michael Dell for 30 years. He’s top notch, ethical, and deeply cares about everyone he works with – both internally at his company and across the industry. I’m thrilled for Michael and the new company, and we are eager to see everything they create in the future.”

Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce, added: “Salesforce’s partnership with Dell and EMC has been instrumental in pushing innovation across the industry. Michael is an incredible visionary and one of the most important leaders in our industry. He has been an amazing partner contributing to our success. Now with Dell Technologies, he is once again reshaping the technology industry.”

As part of today’s announcement, the company unveiled its new branding. A video along with additional information on the new brand is available here.

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The myths of microwaves

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We all know microwaves make cooking a breeze and it helps save those minutes, we rarely have enough of these days. However, some people do have those lingering doubts about whether microwaving food destroys nutrients or that it emits harmful radiation. However, the truth is a lot more comforting and positive.

“The microwave makes life so much easier,” says Tracy Gordon, Head of Product – Home Appliances at Samsung South Africa. “It’s human-centred technology at its most helpful. The Samsung Hotblast for example, has revolutionary functions, which are tailor-made to create fast, tasty and healthy meals in minutes.”

A recent article by Harvard Health Publishingclaims stated that “microwave ovens cook food using waves of energy that are remarkably selective, primarily affecting water and other molecules that are electrically asymmetrical. Microwaves cause these molecules to vibrate and quickly build up thermal (heat) energy.” The article debunks two common myths about microwaving food.

Myth 1: Microwaving kills nutrients

Whether in a microwave or a regular oven, some nutrients, including vitamin C, do break down when exposed to heat. However, the fact is, cooking with a microwave might be better when it comes to preserving nutrients because it takes a shorter time to cook. Additionally, as far as vegetables go, cooking them in water robs them of some of their nutritional value because the nutrients seep out into the cooking water,” states the report by Harvard Health Publishing. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), food cooked in a microwave oven is as safe and has the same nutrient value, as food cooked in a conventional oven.

Myth 2: Microwaving food can give you cancer

The American Cancer Society (ACS) says that microwaves do not make food radioactive. Microwaves heat food but they do not change the chemical or molecular structure of it. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence that microwaves pose a health risk to people when used appropriately, the organisation added.

With those myths well busted, it’s comforting to know one can make full use of the convenient kitchen appliance. And when the time comes to use a microwave to heat up a tasty meal in no time, one can trust the Samsung Hotblast to do the job. The HotBlast has multiple air holes blowing out powerful hot air, which reduces cooking time. Samsung claims the Slim Fry technology ensures that food is perfectly crisp on the outside and delicious and juicy on the inside. Additionally, this versatile microwave has a wider grill, making it easier to brown food fast and evenly. The turntable is wider, measuring 345mm, making it possible to prepare bigger portions of food. And with its Eco Mode power, it significantly reduces energy consumption with its low standby power. Its intelligent features and stylish design makes it very useful and as we now know – a safe, healthy way to enjoy a meal.

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New BMW 3-series ushers in autonomous future

The new BMW 3-series is not meant to be an autonomous car, but it is so close, ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK discovers.

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It was not meant to be a test-drive of an autonomous vehicle. But the Driving Assist button on the steering wheel of the new BMW 330i was just too tempting. And there I found myself, on Sir Lowry’s Pass near Cape Town, “driving” with my arms folded while the vehicle negotiated curves on its own.

Every 10 seconds or so, yellow or red lights flashed to alert me to put my hands back on the wheel. The yellow lights meant the car wanted me to put my hands on the wheel, just to show that I was in control. The red lights meant that I had to take over control from the artificial intelligence built into the vehicle.

With co-driver Ernest Page, we negotiated a major highway, the bends of Sir Lowry’s pass, and the passes of Hell’s Heights (Hel se Hoogte) above the Cape Winelands.

As the above video of the experience reveals, it can be nerve-racking for someone who hasn’t experienced autonomous driving, or hasn’t been dreaming of testing it for many years. For this driver, it was exhilarating. Not because the car performed so magnificently, but because it tells us just how close true autonomous driving really is.

There was one nervous moment when the autonomous – or rather, Driving Assist – mode disengaged on Hell’s Heights, but fear not. A powerful sense of responsibility prevailed, and my hands hovered over the steering wheel as it took the curve. Assist disengaged, and the car began to veer towards the other side of the road. I quickly took over, and also sobered up from the giddiness of thinking I was already in the future.

In reality, Driving Assist is part of level 2 of driving autonomy, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. A presentation on the evening of the test drive, by Edward Makwana, manager of group product communications at BMW Group in South Africa, summed up the five stages as the driver having Feet Off, Hands Off, Eyes Off, Mind off, and finally, only being a Passenger.

However, the extent to which the hands-off mode of Driving Assist mimics self-driving, and easily shows the way to eyes-off and mind-off, is astonishing.

Click here to read about the components that make the Driving Assist work.

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