Netflix launches offline viewing, matching Amazon

Netflix launches offline viewing, matching Amazon

PHOTO:AFP

Netflix said Wednesday it would allow offline viewing of streamed videos, a feature long sought by users who want to watch on a plane or to avoid data-connection charges.

A Netflix statement said that “many of your favorite streaming series and movies” would be available for download and offline viewing on mobile devices.

“While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their ‘Stranger Things’ binge while on airplanes and other places where internet is expensive or limited,” said a blog post from product innovation chief Eddy Wu.

“Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection.”

Netflix did not offer details on how much content would be available offline, noting that it was in discussion with copyright owners.

“Netflix is working with lots of partners globally to get downloading rights for the bulk of the content on our service,” a statement emailed to AFP said.

“This is an ongoing effort as we know consumers want this capability and we are working to provide it.”

Netflix, which is in a global push and has more than 86 million members, is facing increasing competition from rivals including Amazon, which also is in the midst of an international expansion of its streaming service.

Amazon already allows downloads of videos — noting that some content is restricted by copyright holders in terms of offline viewing.

Netflix users had been unable to download and view videos offline through its mobile application, but workarounds had been offered by third-party apps.

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Manchester City partners with TECNO Mobile

Manchester City partners with TECNO Mobile

Stephen Ha, TECNO Mobile’s Managing Director, and Tom Glick, Chief Commercial Officer for City Football Group, moments after signing the partnership agreement between TECNO Mobile and Manchester City. (image: FTP Edelman)

TECNO Mobile, and the Premier League’s Manchester City, are celebrating the launch of their new global multi-year partnership.

As the Official Tablet and Handset Partner of Manchester City Football Club, TECNO Mobile will work with the Club to grow their strategic marketing and advertising campaigns across the globe, including Africa where TECNO is already recognised as the market’s leading mobile phone brand.

TECNO, part of Transsion Holdings, was first established in China and over the last decade has grown its global presence to over 40 emerging markets, where City’s fan base is also strong and continuing to grow every day.

Speaking at the launch of the global partnership, which took place at the City Football Academy, Manchester City’s elite training and youth development facility, Tom Glick, City Football Group’s Chief Commercial Officer, said:

“We are delighted to welcome TECNO Mobile to Manchester City’s growing repertoire of global partners. Its global focus coupled with a commitment to each of its local markets reflects our ethos and we look forward to working with them to connect with Manchester City’s global fan base.”

Stephen Ha, General Manager of TECNO Mobile, speaking at a launch event at Manchester City’s City Football Academy added:

“We are honoured to be partnering with such a successful and well known club as Manchester City, continuing our long association with sport at the highest level.

“Providing our consumers with an unparalleled mobile experience is a top priority for TECNO Mobile and we see many similarities with Manchester City when we look at their commitment to delivering a premium matchday and digital experience for their fans.

“We are delighted to join their team and can’t wait to kick start this partnership together.”

Staff Writer

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Ghana: Cyber crime thrives as unemployment sores

Ghana: Cyber crime thrives as unemployment sores

Cybercrime in Ghana is increase as the number of unemployed youth take advantage of unsuspecting people online. (image credit: inspireinsurance.co.uk)

The youth in Ghana have resorted to using fake online identities to make a living, this is according to a report by Africa News. With a capita income of $1 700 per year the unemployment rate is at its highiest and the youth seek other means of making a living.

Africa News reports that the young people of Ghana create aliases to lure unsuspecting internet mostly on dating sites and scam them off their money. The fraudsters go to a dating sites to chat and sometimes send pictures in exchange for money.

According to Africa News youth unemployment has risen since 2014 due to slower growth caused by a fiscal crisis and lower global prices for Ghana’s gold, cocoa and oil. Experts say many African countries face a race to increase growth fast enough to absorb young people entering the labour market as the continent’s population swells in coming decades.

Africa News reports that experts believe that the new trend is not a result of unemployment but is a result of a booming e-commerce industry and tech savvy youth taking advantage of it.

Africa News reveals that Ghana’s dating companies warn against giving money online and the government has proposed a security bill to make it easier to stop abuses but smartphones and mobile money services make crime harder to detect.

While some believe the unemployment rate is a result of government not prioritising job creation. Ghana votes on December 7 with President John Mahama and opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo as he vies for a final four-year term and both candidates consider job creation a top priority.

Staff Writer

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Ghana: Cyber crimes thrives as unemployment sores

Ghana: Cyber crimes thrives as unemployment sores

Cybercrime in Ghana is increase as the number of unemployed youth take advantage of unsuspecting people online. (image credit: inspireinsurance.co.uk)

The youth in Ghana have resorted to using fake online identities to make a living, this is according to a report by Africa News. With a capita income of $1 700 per year the unemployment rate is at its highiest and the youth seek other means of making a living.

Africa News reports that the young people of Ghana create aliases to lure unsuspecting internet mostly on dating sites and scam them off their money. The fraudsters go to a dating sites to chat and sometimes send pictures in exchange for money.

According to Africa News youth unemployment has risen since 2014 due to slower growth caused by a fiscal crisis and lower global prices for Ghana’s gold, cocoa and oil. Experts say many African countries face a race to increase growth fast enough to absorb young people entering the labour market as the continent’s population swells in coming decades.

Africa News reports that experts believe that the new trend is not a result of unemployment but is a result of a booming e-commerce industry and tech savvy youth taking advantage of it.

Africa News reveals that Ghana’s dating companies warn against giving money online and the government has proposed a security bill to make it easier to stop abuses but smartphones and mobile money services make crime harder to detect.

While some believe the unemployment rate is a result of government not prioritising job creation. Ghana votes on December 7 with President John Mahama and opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo as he vies for a final four-year term and both candidates consider job creation a top priority.

Staff Writer

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Lesotho: How mobile technologies are saving thousands

Lesotho: How mobile technologies are saving thousands

Vodafone Foundation helps save mothers’ and children’s lives in Lesotho. (Image source: Google/ telegraph.co.uk)

The Vodafone Foundation announced a mobile-based HIV programme in Lesotho, where an estimated 23% of the population is HIV positive, many of whom live in extreme poverty in remote rural communities separated by mountainous terrain with minimal infrastructure.

The Vodafone Foundation programme combines Vodafone’s M-Pesa mobile money service – which is widely used across sub-Saharan Africa – with travelling clinics and a smartphone app designed for healthcare professionals which enables the tracking of patients in remote areas.

The travelling clinics – using a fleet of 4×4 vehicles – provide on-site HIV testing in remote areas as part of a wider effort to provide basic primary healthcare. When people are identified as HIV positive, they are immediately registered with the M-Pesa mobile money service* and receive the M-Pesa funds needed to pay for transportation to a treatment centre. At the same time, their details are recorded – via mobile – on a central database so that their future treatment and care can be planned and recorded. These details can then be recalled in real time by healthcare professionals in the field using a smartphone app produced by the Vodafone Foundation and Vodacom Lesotho.

As many as 5,000 children under the age of 14 are estimated to be undiagnosed and living with HIV and their lives are therefore at immediate risk if they are not identified and put on treatment. There are a further 7,000 children already diagnosed who require ongoing specialist HIV treatment.

The programme is specifically oriented towards pregnant women, mothers and young children who are among the most vulnerable groups in Lesotho society as they are less able to walk many hours to the nearest HIV clinic. The Vodafone Foundation has developed the programme in conjunction with the Lesotho Ministry of Health. The Lesotho government has welcomed the outcomes from the roll-out in the Maseru and Leribe districts and has now committed to integrating the programme within the country’s primary healthcare strategy.

The costs of the programme will be fully funded by the Lesotho government from mid-2017. This is expected to be followed by a full roll-out across the other Lesotho districts, transforming the life prospects for vulnerable people in hundreds of remote villages across the country.

The mobile clinics are run in partnership with Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) and Riders for Health. Other partners in the wider Lesotho programme include some of the global leaders in HIV prevention, testing and treatment such as funding partners USAID, ViiV Healthcare, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Elma Philanthropies. In addition to BIPAI and Riders for Health, the Vodafone Foundation is also working closely with NGOs Kick 4 Life and PSI to deliver the programme.

Vodafone Foundation Director Andrew Dunnett said: “HIV is an immense healthcare crisis for the people of Lesotho. This pioneering Vodafone Foundation programme will ensure that thousands of mothers and young children in some of the poorest communities in the world receive the care and support they need.”

Staff Writer

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Eseye achieves AWS IoT competency status

Eseye achieves AWS IoT competency status

Eseye is among the first to receive this designation for delivering effective solutions and providing deep expertise in IoT.

Eseye announced that it is among the first to achieve Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT Competency status. The designation recognises Eseye for delivering effective solutions and providing deep expertise in IoT.

Achieving AWS IoT Competency differentiates Eseye as an AWS Partner Network (APN) member that has demonstrated advanced levels of technical IoT proficiency and proven customer success, delivering solutions seamlessly in the AWS Cloud environment. To receive the designation, APN Partners must possess deep expertise in the AWS platform and undergo an assessment of the security, performance and reliability of their solutions.

Julian Hardy, CEO at Eseye, says: “We’re delighted to be among the very first to have achieved the new AWS IoT Competency status. Eseye remains at the forefront of innovation around IoT and is heavily focused on increasing the ease at which projects can be deployed at scale globally.”

The AWS Cloud is enabling scalable, flexible and cost-effective solutions from start-ups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, AWS established the IoT Partner Competency Program to help customers identify Consulting and Technology APN Partners with deep industry experience and expertise.

Eseye is an AWS Advanced Technology Partner, providing global cellular connectivity for IoT devices to automatically activate, provision, authenticate, certify and to securely ingest data.

Staff Writer

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Nigeria: Social Media reacts to data hikes

Nigeria: Social Media reacts to data hikes

Nigeria’s prepare to pay more for their data starting December 1, 2016.

With reports making the rounds about the increase of data with effect from December 1, 2016 social media has been abuzz. This has got many in Nigeria voicing their disappointment on the issue. Although there has not been an official statement from the Global System of Mobile telecommunications the rumour has sent the messes on panic mode.

The directive to increase data prices was given by the Nigeria Communication Commission and telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria sent out SMS’s to subscribers its subscribers confirming the news. Glo also sent a message to subscribers

The decision was taken by the Federal Government when it was discovered that Nigeria has the lowest data rates compared to other countries.

Many pointing their frustration on newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari. Users on twitter had this to say:

May God punish everyone, male and female that campaigned and voted for Buhari.

You can insult me now that you still have data to waste.

— Dragonfly (@AuntyOsaki) November 29, 2016

Buhari increased fuel price and nothing happened
No ‘occupy’ because “our people dey power now”
What is Data that he can’t increase?

— Ebube D Statesman (@akaebube) November 29, 2016

Buhari wants to increase the price of data so it will be too expensive for us to come on twitter and lament about his government.
Stay woke

— sleezy E. (@BadmanSophss) November 28, 2016

Data price increase: Buhari trying to reduce criticism of his government – Social media users… https://t.co/orqUslphhe

— gia (@nottinbutaig) November 30, 2016

On the first day of Christmas Buhari sent to me:
An increase in Data tariff…

— Mike Asukwo (@Asukwoeb) November 30, 2016

When I said we haven’t hit rock bottom yet with Buhari, you thought it was just yarns…soon you won’t have data to disturb my mentions. 😂

— JoyceOdukoya (@JoyceOdukoya) November 29, 2016

WhatsApp just started video call and Buhari wants to increase data price pic.twitter.com/dpHLF0GdUy

— Yoruba Boy Not Demon (@iam_tomilade) November 29, 2016

Just when people started dancing that data will soon be very cheap, buhari happened.

— Eshin Monaco (@5nBOI) November 29, 2016

How I’ll start dodging twerk videos on Instagram once Buhari turns data to diamond pic.twitter.com/blnXl01DoX

— BILLION (@BillionTwiTs) November 29, 2016

Increase in bank charges and mobile data prices
… Smart buhari… His real target #mmm

— MusicGeneralNG (@MusicGeneralNG) November 29, 2016

Staff Writer

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BaySand, Codasip, Codeplay and UltraSoC accelerate IoT development with RSCV-C

BaySand, Codasip, Codeplay and UltraSoC accelerate IoT development with RSCV-C

BaySand, Codasip, Codeplay and UltraSoC announced an integrated IoT development platform based on the RISC-V open processor instruction set architecture (ISA). The platform offers an open-standards-based solution that allows designers of systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) for IoT applications to get from concept to silicon with a high level of software integration in record time and substantially de-risks the entire product development process.

BaySand, Codasip, Codeplay and UltraSoC accelerate IoT development with “silicon-to-intelligence” RISC-V platform. (image: pixabay.com)

The new collaboration was formally announced at the 5th RISC-V Workshop (Google Quad Campus, Mountain View, CA, 29th November), and combines the following partnership:

  • BaySand’s foundational IP and Metal Configurable Standard Cell (MCSC) technology
  • Codasip’s extensible Codix Bk RISC-V-compliant processor implementation
  • Codeplay’s ComputeSuite software development tools for open standards middleware, and
  • UltraSoC’s on-chip debug and analytics architecture

The result is an end-to-end development flow that supports the rapid evolution of IoT systems, enabling timely market entry, in-market feature enhancement and on-going usability and cost optimization, all at the price points demanded in this highly cost-sensitive market.

“RISC-V adoption is accelerating, and the IoT is clearly an arena where an open, independent processor architecture offers very powerful advantages,” said Caroline Gabriel, Research Director of ReThink Research. “But as with any processor architecture, the RISC-V ISA needs a healthy, co-operative ecosystem surrounding it: an ecosystem that puts designers in control and empowers innovation.”

Rick O’Connor, Executive Director of the RISC-V Foundation, commented: “A key part of our mission at the RISC-V Foundation is to bring technology developers together, in a standards-based environment, to build a robust ecosystem around the RISC-V ISA. We’re delighted to see these four leading firms in the RISC-V community coming together to offer such a powerful solution.”

The new platform leverages BaySand’s patented MCSC technology which delivers the power, performance and density advantages of standard cell ASIC technology while reducing NRE and time to market (TTM) and dramatically increasing design flexibility. The company’s UltraShuttle multi project wafers (MPW) and MetalCopy FPGA porting technology help to bring new designs to market quickly, with low risk: they combine with a proven and predictable design flow and a rich IP library to create an ideal solution for IoT class designs.

At the IP level, Codasip’s Codix-Bk IP cores are the industry’s first commercially available RISC-V compliant processors, and are at the heart of the new joint platform offering. They are available in multiple configurations and can be quickly and easily customized to the exact needs of IoT designs via unique application analysis technology and a model-based IP structure.

UltraSoC contributes silicon IP and software tools that enable secure, non-intrusive monitoring and analysis of IoT device behavior. These powerful features ease the task of writing and debugging the software that is intrinsic to the operation of complex ICs; they accelerate first-time bring up of new devices; and the same IP allows robust hardware-based security features that can detect unexpected behavior caused by bugs or by malicious interference (Bare Metal Security™).

At the highest level within the new platform, Codeplay provides developers with an open standards based programming model that extends from device-specific functionalities all the way up to highly abstracted machine learning paradigms such as Google’s TensorFlow. ComputeSuite extends the RISC-V platform with OpenCL™ and SYCL™ allowing applications to target the underlying hardware for highest performance, using standard APIs.

Rupert Baines, CEO, UltraSoC: “We’re delighted to be coming together with three of the other key players in the RISC-V arena, BaySand, Codasip and Codeplay. Our aim in this collaboration is to enable accelerated product development cycles, lower costs and more agile development, in particular for IoT designs. Our technology helps SoC developers across the chip and throughout the development flow, and this partnership reinforces the strength of that offering.”

Karel Masarik, CEO, Codasip: “This collaboration is an important one for our customers as they look to replace proprietary ISA’s with RISC-V. It allows them to quickly bring new SoCs to life, while providing functionality that exceeds what they have had access to in the past. Our Codix-Bk series of RISC-V processor IP, with its LLVM-based development environment, make integration quick and low risk, demonstrating the power of commitment to open standards.”

Ehud (Udi) Yuhjtman, EVP marketing and Sales at BaySand: “BaySand is a supporter of open source hardware and we are excited to be part of this great team that brings together an open source ISA complete solution. This RISC-V implementation with the UltraSOC tools is a game changer that will enable designers and companies to design at an affordable budget their own efficient IoT ASIC and system. We are working on the ASIC implementation which will be available for evaluation to our customers and partners. The complete solution and technology provides the ability to build custom designs with BaySand special UltraShuttle MPW and the Metal Configurable Standard Cell (MCSC)”.

Andrew Richards, CEO, Codeplay: “Codeplay is excited to see RISC-V gaining in popularity and we are keen to ensure software developers are correctly equipped to host their software applications on it. Codeplay is working extensively with machine learning solutions such as Google with TensorFlow, and we will bridge the gap on RISC-V with the open standards OpenCL and SYCL.”

Staff Writer

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Veeam joins HPE Complete Program

Veeam joins HPE Complete Program

Peter McKay – President and Chief Operating Officer_Veeam.

Veeam® Software has partnered with the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Complete program. The program adds Veeam solutions to HPE’s price list so that customers can purchase complete HPE and Veeam solutions directly from HPE and its resellers. This enables customers to benefit from Veeam’s Availability solution, enabling them to operate 24.7.365 in today’s cloud-first era.

Customers receive the following benefits from Veeam joining the HPE Complete program:

  • One stop shop — purchase a complete HPE and Veeam solution via a single HPE purchase order
  • Validated solution — be confident of HPE’s interop assurance validation for Veeam to complement HPE Storage & Server solutions

As part of the HPE Complete program, customers will be able to purchase Veeam Availability Suite, Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam Backup Essentials Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions for both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments.

“Veeam has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with HPE, and I am delighted that we are further strengthening this by becoming an integral part of the HPE Complete program,” said Peter McKay, President and COO at Veeam. “By combining Veeam’s class-leading Availability solution with HPE’s heritage in servers, storage and converged systems, we will enable customers to thrive in the Digital Transformation era.”

The joint solution leverages Veeam’s vision for today’s cloud-first era – Veeam Availability Platform for the Hybrid Cloud – in which businesses are actively seeking true availability solutions to meet modern Service Level Objectives (SLOs) for recovery of data and applications in the Hybrid Cloud to deliver enhanced efficiency, agility and reliability across their entire operations.

The integration of Veeam’s Availability solutions with flash-optimized HPE 3PAR StoreServ and HPE StoreVirtual Storage, coupled with HPE StoreOnce Systems for data protection, provides unmatched data and application availability. Users are able to leverage storage snapshots and utilize industry-leading recovery capabilities to minimize data loss and downtime while implementing a more cohesive data backup, recovery and disaster recovery strategy that tightly integrates their primary storage, protection storage and data availability software components. The result delivers maximum application uptime, enables dramatically faster item and VM-level recoveries, increases IT efficiencies and bridges the gap to achieving Availability for the Always-On Enterprise.

“The way users interact with data and applications has changed irrevocably, and as organizations seek to adopt more agile business models, the vendor community needs to evolve,” added Patrick Osborne, Senior Director of Product Management and Marketing, Storage Division, HPE. “HPE is, and always has been, committed to delivering the very best to our customers, and by coupling our storage and server portfolio with Veeam’s Availability products, we are giving our users the ability to deploy holistic solutions that advance their operations, enhance reliability and radically reduce cost and complexity.”

Veeam recently announced VeeamON 2017, the world’s Premier Hybrid Cloud Availability Event, taking place May 16 – 18, 2017 in New Orleans, LA. Register now to Experience Availability.

For more information, please visit https://www.veeam.com.

Staff Writer

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Dimension Data releases IT predictions for 2017

Dimension Data releases IT predictions for 2017

Dimension Data has released their list of top IT predictions for 2017, and the focus on digital is set to remain the key trend in the industry for the next 12 months.

Dimension data has published the Top IT predictions for 2017. (Image Source: gregcaliphotography.com).

Dimension Data’s Chief Technology Officer, Ettienne Reinecke says digital is about building truly customer-centric business models on IT including the network, data centre, applications, and other infrastructure – which may be on-premise, or cloud-based. “Today, there’s no such thing as a digital strategy – just strategy in a digital world. And while the digital age is creating a degree of uncertainty for some organisations, it’s also opening the doors to exciting possibilities and ushering in an era of infinite potential.”

Reinecke cites ownership and access to data – and metadata – as a key theme. “In the year ahead, control and ownership of data and metadata will emerge as a point of discussion – and indeed contention. That’s because data and metadata are the ‘gold dust’ that allow organisations to glean rich insights about customer behaviour. In addition, metadata allows organisations to identify specific behavioural patterns, derive business intelligence, and make informed business decisions,” Reinecke explains.

As a result, organisations are becoming increasingly protective of their metadata, and wary of who has access to it. “Organisations don’t just want ownership and control of their data for compliance reasons: they want it to perform analytics. We expect that this will trigger some interesting discussions between businesses and their cloud providers. For example, where are the boundaries with respect to ownership, especially around metadata. We foresee this issue resulting in a bit of ‘push and pull’ among the various parties.”

Other IT trends that Dimension Data predicts will make their mark in 2017 include:

Cybercrime is big business. Over the last few years, cybercriminals have been re-investing much of the ill-gotten gains into developing more sophisticated capabilities, using more advanced technologies. Despite ongoing innovation in the cybersecurity industry, much of the effort remains reactive. Cybersecurity will become more predictive, rather than proactive.

A new generation is starting to show up at work, and they’re not millennials, or even Gen Z: they’re machines. And it won’t be much longer before holographics, augmented reality, and virtual reality begin to move from B2C into B2B. Also, over the next two to three years these technologies will drive a fundamental transformation of the workspace.

IoT will deliver on the promise of big data. Increasingly, big data projects are going through multiple updates in a single year – and the Internet of Things (IoT) is largely the reason. That’s because IoT makes it possible to examine specific patterns that deliver specific business outcomes, and this has to increasingly be done in realtime. This will drive a healthier investment, and faster return in big data projects.

In 2017 we’ll see more widespread adoption of containers, but the transition to a fully containerised world will take few more years. In addition, we’ll see increasing adoption of network function virtualisation (NFV) when cloud-enabling existing networks, and for new networks to be architected with hybrid cloud in mind.

Visit dimensiondata.com/ITtrends to read more about Dimension Data’s 2017 IT predictions.

Staff Writer

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