Jon on Tech – Dell Pushes the Boundaries

 

At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Dell is unveiling a suite of elegant new products and software to address the myriad ways people play and work. In addition to revealing some of the world’s most beautiful devices, Dell will highlight incredible hidden innovations within these products designed to improve performance, functionality and the overall user experience.

“At Dell, innovation never sleeps. We’re passionate about creating technology that expands the boundaries of what’s possible,” explains Sam Burd, president, Client Solutions Group, Dell. “With Dell, the incredible product design you see on the outside makes for gorgeous machines, but one of our most striking advantages comes from the innovation within. Beauty and brawn lurk beneath those beautiful exteriors, revolutionizing and redefining personal computing, and giving people experiences they want – and some they’ve never dreamed possible.”

Feats of engineering—XPS 13 and XPS 15 2-in-1

Dell’s XPS portfolio has won more product awards than any other brand in the company’s history. The latest XPS 13 is improved in every conceivable way and was just named a CES 2018 Innovation Award honoree. Along with its next-generation InfinityEdge 4K Ultra HD display, the XPS 13 adds a dazzling Rose Gold with Alpine White woven glass fiber interior as an option to traditional silver and black, with narrower borders and up to 80% more thermal headroom. Inside its thinner, lighter design, the Dell Power Manager delivers power just when you need it, while GORE Thermal Insulation, the same silica aerogels used in the Mars Rover to diffuse and dissipate heat, introduces an innovative material into the thermal design to keep the system cool while it works hard.

Addressing a gap in the marketplace for thinner, lighter and more powerful mobile devices that both hobbyists and professional creators demand, Dell unveils the first XPS 15 2-in-1, the world’s most powerful 15-inch 2-in-1, a feat of engineering that embodies innovation on every level. Balancing high performance with a sleek design, the smallest and thinnest 15.6-inch 2-in-1 available delivers the CPU and graphics horsepower to run content creation apps, process huge files and play AAA games while featuring touch, pen, an innovative maglev keyboard and the screen real estate that creators crave. New 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor combining a high-performance Intel CPU and discrete Radeon™ RX Vega M graphics in a single package, help make the new XPS 15 2-in-1 possible. The XPS 15 2-in-1 also offers an eye-catching next-generation InfinityEdge 4K Ultra HD display with vivid colour and cinematic immersion in an impossibly slim 16mm form. Expert craftsmanship, premium materials and finishes including machined aluminium, carbon fibre and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 make this a functional, futuristic design.

Dell PC and smartphone integration with Dell Mobile Connect Software

 
People don’t just have a mouse and keyboard in their hands when using a computer, they now also have a smartphone. To increase convenience and productivity, Dell is the first PC maker to introduce a software solution that enables complete wireless integration between Dell PCs and smartphones (iOS and Android). Pre-installed on all new Dell consumer PCs, Dell Mobile Connect empowers users to make calls, send texts, get notifications and even fully mirror their phones to interact with all their favourite mobile apps.

Immersive experiences with Dell Cinema

Now more than ever, people watch movies and TV shows on their PCs with the expectation of a full cinematic experience, including studio sound and visual quality, as creators intend. That experience is now available on XPS and select Inspiron PCs through Dell Cinema, an immersive audio and visual experience.

  • CinemaColor: powered by Windows HD Color, decodes and displays high dynamic range (HDR) streamed content with enhanced detail, more vivid hues, sharper brightness and a wider colour gamut; Netflix in HDR also is supported on Dell Cinema PCs
  • CinemaSound: a Dell exclusive audio innovation powered by Waves MaxxAudio Pro that delivers clearer highs, enhanced bass and higher volume for a true cinematic audio experience
  • CinemaStream: powered by Killer and SmartByte, a software-based solution co-developed by Dell and Rivet Networks that optimizes online streaming and interactive video resulting in less buffering, more bandwidth and better resolution

Dell debuts new Alienware Software Command Center and eSports Training Centers


Redesigning its software from the ground up, Dell debuts the new Alienware Command Center that merges system settings, content and other functions into a simple and elegant interface. Alienware Command Center helps a novice to experienced gamers optimize and tune PCs and peripherals to their unique gaming needs. Now a gamer can access her or his game library from all sources on a PC, easily create custom profiles for each game and squeeze out more performance with power management and overclocking tools.

Concurrently hitting the market is AlienFX 2.0, the second generation of Alienware’s proprietary in-game lighting system that works across Alienware PCs, mice and keyboards. The Alienware Command Center provides even more customization of individual keys and key groups with more than 16.8 million colours in each lighting zone.

Dell and Alienware have long invested in the eSports industry: supporting the first Championship Gaming Series in 2007; working with Team Liquid, Team Dignitas and ELEAGUE; and most recently working with Tobii to infuse eye-tracking technologies into eSports tournaments revolutionizing the spectator experience. Alienware currently is the hardware of choice for Team Liquid, who have selected Alienware peripherals (mice, keyboards, monitors) for use in training and competitions. Today, Dell is announcing the launch of the new Alienware eSports Training Facility for Team Liquid setting a new standard for a dedicated eSports training centre. The new 8,000 square foot facility in Los Angeles will serve as Team Liquid headquarters, supporting multiple competitive teams with an in-office chef, sports psychologists, nutritionists, dedicated coach and analyst and training spaces– with everything powered by the newest and most powerful Dell and Alienware technology. Athletes will be training for high stakes competition while design teams, video crews and coaching staff make use of monitors, touchscreen displays and more to break down the action and create content for fans.

Dell makes VR a reality

Alienware is collaborating with NVIDIA and Oculus to create a new category of competitive virtual reality (VR) eSports that combines physical and mental competitive gaming and brings it to the masses. During the last two months, more than 200 participants across 14 different cities competed on Alienware systems to get the fastest time on Survios’ latest VR game, “Sprint Vector.” 

Dell also is announcing a new VR-ready Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop starting at just $799 to reduce the entry cost of VR. Engineered for PC gamers, the new Inspiron Gaming Desktop features 8th Gen Intel Core processors with up to six cores and graphics, solid-state drive options for faster boot-up times and intelligent thermal design for longer gaming sessions.

Adding to the ease of one-stop shopping, Dell is the first PC provider to sell the consumer version of HTC Vive VR headsets. In addition to offering the HTC Vive Business Edition, Dell is also confirming a deal with Meta to offer its immersive augmented reality (AR) headset. This move will satisfy those developing new solutions with latest VR and AR technologies. Check out the blog for more information.

New monitors and a significant performance uplift for Dell’s Latitude portfolio

Dell continues to lead the industry in displays with the addition of the world’s brightest ultrathin monitors in their class: the Dell 27 Ultrathin Monitor (S2719DM) and Dell 24 Ultrathin Monitor (S2419HM). Pictures come to life in luminous, vivid colour and both monitors support HDR-content playback for a CinemaColor experience, producing beautiful colour depth, clarity and contrast in a virtually borderless InfinityEdge display for strikingly realistic images. With a sleek profile at only 5.5mm at its thinnest, both monitors deliver peak brightness of 600 nits.

Designed for the mobile workforce, Dell’s Latitude portfolio of secure and manageable commercial notebooks and 2-in-1s has been fully refreshed with the latest 15W dual-core and quad-core 8th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro™ 15W processors delivering significant performance improvement. Productivity benchmark tests show dramatic performance uplift over products based on the previous generation processors. The additional cores and threads make a noticeable difference on company networks when IT is running encryption, malware scans and other background apps to secure and connect employees. The Latitude product line also has been updated with several exciting new hidden innovations. For example, the Latitude 7490 notebook features an exclusive active steering antenna that delivers better WiFi range, speed and connection reliability, and a new Full HD super low power display that reduces power consumption by up to 50%, resulting in several hours of additional battery life. Check out this blog for more details on these innovations and the exciting new lineup of Latitude business solutions.

To maximize productivity for on-the-go professionals and media enthusiasts, Dell is introducing the world’s most compact Thunderbolt™ 3 storage device and one of the fastest portable drives available, the Dell Portable Thunderbolt SSD 1000 (1TB) and SSD 500 (500GB).

Jon on Tech – How to survive the Digital Revolution

In the early 1800s, William James Chaplin did something daring. Chaplin was called the ‘Napoleon of Coaching,’ due to his overwhelming market share in the UK’s horse-drawn coach services. Yet he sold it all and reinvested in what was then a controversial new industry: the railways.

It made Chaplin even richer. Yet a few decades later, the bubble burst on railway stocks and sent many to the poorhouse. Chaplin wasn’t among them, but it does illustrate that a business revolution can cut both ways.

 This is the conundrum facing business leaders today. The world is again tipping into a new age, this time a digital technology revolution that is already changing the rules. Not getting onboard is certainly the worst strategy. Yet a ticket to ride is not only expensive but also complicated. How can companies determine what is necessary for them to become part of the digital world?

 Speaking on the sidelines of the Dell EMC Forum, held recently in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nigel Moulton offered some advice. As the EMEA CTO of CPSD – The Converged Platform and Solutions Division of Dell EMC, he has a front row experience of the advantages these new technologies are delivering, as well as the difficulties that companies encounter when trying to understand and adopt them.

 If success in the digital age could be distilled to one key rule, Moulton has a straightforward answer: it’s about separating signals from noise:

 “Where I’m starting to see examples of the digital revolution is where job roles, roles that didn’t exist prior to us doing things with data and analytics, are starting to appear. It’s the growth of data science, the growth of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and programming and language skills where what you’re trying to do is not so much write lines of code, but interpret data. People who can interpret the data, separating the signal from the noise: there’s a massive amount of value in that. I’m not sure it, as a function, existed broadly prior to this sort of conversation.”

 The demand is evident in overseas job markets: Across Europe and the UK, data science vacancies have grown by double digits. In countries such as France, there is nearly a 60 percent increase in these type of roles.

 But finding the right signal also requires the right technology environment. Traditionally IT has been kept at arm’s length from the rest of the business. This, says Moulton, needs to stop. Technology leaders must be at the top of the company in order to bring technology and business objectives together:

 “When you put a CIO on the board, what you saying is: ‘I trust that individual to guide me from a technology standpoint.’ So I need that individual to be aware of what’s happening in the market, both from what’s possible and what’s practical, because sometimes what’s possible is absolutely not practical. Sometimes there are external governance rules that dictate that to be the case.”

 This can encourage knowledge sharing among other leaders in the business. The barriers need to come down on both sides, Moulton added:

 “Executives of all cloths need to be curious. They have to figure out that they want to understand this and want to get engaged in it. Yet there is an element of some of this technology having these ‘magical’ qualities to people that don’t understand it. So you put a CIO on the board who can guide the board about the best decisions they need to make.”

 These two areas create the fundamentals of the digital transition. The goal is to gain better insight from business data for efficiency, deeper customer understanding or predicting where your sector may be going. The catalyst is a leadership that is willing to grasp technology, with the help of other leaders sitting at the decision-making level.

 The possibilities are astounding. Just as the horse coach made way for what would become a better and more dominant mode of transport, data-driven businesses are creating a new landscape. This is not the time to take a wait-and-see attitude:

 “Don’t miss the opportunity. You’re not going to find these things out unless you go exploring. Frankly, if your competitors are out there exploring, you should be out there exploring too.”

Jon on Tech – Dell & Ocean Plastics

Dell announces the technology industry’s first shipment of ocean plastics packaging, the result of an innovative, commercial-scale pilot program. Dell recycled plastics collected from waterways and beaches for use in the new packaging tray for its Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, building on Dell’s broader sustainable supply chain strategy. In 2017, its ocean plastics pilot will keep 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean.

Dell will transition its award-winning XPS 13 2-in-1 to ocean plastics packaging beginning April 30, 2017. The company also will include educational information on its packaging to raise global awareness and action on ocean ecosystem health solutions, an area of shared interest between Dell, its Social Good Advocate, Adrian Grenier and the Lonely Whale Foundation. To help ensure the packaging does not end up back in the oceans, Dell will stamp each tray with the No. 2 recycling symbol, designating it as HDPE (which is commonly recyclable in many locations). Dell’s Packaging team designs and sources its product packaging to be more than 93 percent recyclable by weight so that it can be reused as part of the circular economy.

The ocean plastics supply chain process is made of multiple stages: Dell’s partners intercept ocean plastics at the source in waterways, shorelines and beaches before it reaches the ocean. It then processes and refines the used plastics, mixes the ocean plastic (25 percent) with other recycled HDPE plastics (the remaining 75 percent) from sources like bottles and food storage containers. Finally, it molds the resulting recycled plastic flake into new packaging trays and ship the trays for final packaging and customer delivery.

Dell’s pilot program – another environmental industry-first– follows a successful feasibility study launched March 2016 in Haiti. The company has a long history of incorporating sustainable and recycled materials into its products and packaging. Since 2008, Dell has included post-consumer recycled plastics in its desktops, and as of January 2017, reached its 2020 goal of using 50 million pounds of recycled materials in its products. Increasingly, the company’s focus has been on delivering in a circular way – where materials from someone else’s waste stream can be used as inputs into products and packaging. Dell was the first – and continues to be the only – to offer computers and monitors that contain e-waste plastics and recycled carbon fiber.

In partnership with Adrian Grenier and the Lonely Whale Foundation, Dell has helped to increase understanding of ocean health issues, using virtual reality technology to bring people closer to the issues facing the oceans. A recent study[1] reported between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste entered the ocean in 2010 alone. Dell has published a white paper on sourcing strategies and plans to convene a cross-industry working group that will address ocean plastics on a global scale.

Coke Studio

We spoke with Salma, Nina and Sheela about their collaboration in eTV’s new music show “Coke Studio“.
Hear how they started, worked together and what they hope to achieve now that their single has hit iTunes.

More videos are here and here.

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https://youtu.be/TiMGhCP7UEw

The Color Run Jozi

The Color Run Jozi

 

Color Runners country-wide have been eagerly waiting for “The Happiest 5k on the Planet” to arrive in their hometowns. Johannesburg is next on The Color Run 2015 calendar.

The Color Run is a five kilometre un-timed race in which thousands of participants, or “Color Runners”, are doused from head to toe in different colours at each kilometre.

Mark your diaries:
When: 20 September 2015
Where: Roosevelt High School, Emmarentia Dam
Time: 09H00 for 10h00

The Color Run is brighter, shinier and happier this year, with the introduction glitter powder. The event is designed to uplift and inspire runners to stand out from the crowd, sweat sparkles, and continue to live their lives in a happy and healthy way. Get ready for special shine elements at the Finish Festival. This is the year to unleash your inner sparkle!

“The Color Run is bigger and better than ever, and that’s thanks in part to the fact that South Africa’s happiest bank, Capitec Bank, has come on board as the headline sponsor,” says Leon Swanepoel, The Color Run South Africa event producer.

“And, it is about so much more than just one day, which is why we are thrilled to have a sponsor that shares The Color Run’s passion for social upliftment,” says Swanepoel.

“Capitec Bank, like The Color Run, believes in health, happiness, individuality, giving back, living life in technicolour and having fun, while caring about the community,” says Charl Nel, head of communications at Capitec Bank.

“We are so excited to get colourful with Johannesburg, and to brighten not only Color Runners, but the community too,” says Nel.

Capitec Bank and The Color Run have partnered with Adopt-a-School Foundation and are donating R10.00 from every ticket sold to support education in each city hosting The Color Run.

“We were able to raise over R40 000 for Ndukwenhle High School in Umlazi Township when The Color Run came to Durban. We’re drumming up support and awareness by taking a giant takkie on The Color Run tour – come and check it out in Joburg,” says Nel.

Color Runners will each receive a race pack with includes a 2015 edition Race T-Shirt, headband, bag of colour powder, temporary tattoos, and a race number.

Additionally, every Color Runner will receive a R200 voucher from Takealot.com for the purchase of The Color Run powder and merchandise, as well as a R200 voucher from Superbalist to be redeemed against a minimum spend of R250.

Charity and school fundraising is a big part of The Color Run. Register your own school or charity on the Fun Raiser programme and raise money for every ticket sold under your unique Fun Raiser code. To give back, contact The Color Run on hello@thecolorrun.co.za.

Tickets are available online from The Color Run website and Facebook . Individual ticket prices are R245 and R220 for groups of 4 or more. Manual entry points are listed on the website.