The typical gamer’s console is not used all day, so they do not need to worry about power consumption, right? According to a study done at Carnegie Mellon University, it looks like game consoles waste a lot of energy when not used. It seems that the average user does not actually power down his console, instead leaving it in idle mode. Becauase of this, 68 percent of all games console energy consumed in 2010 was while the device was in idle mode.
The study focussed on US households, and it found that game consoles now contribute to 1% of all household energy usage, which is a 50 percent increase within a year. The primary reason for this high energy usage is that the average games console does not power down when unused – and if it is set to switch off automatically, the delay is very long. For example, the Xbox 360 only powers down after 1 hour in idle mode, but not while in game mode while paused.
The Playstation 3 does not power down by default, and requires the user to download a software update to make it power down automatically. “We demonstrate that the most effective energy-saving modification is incorporation of a default auto power down feature, which could reduce electricity consumption of game consoles by 75 percent (10 TWh reduction of electricity in 2010),” says the authors.
So users are recommended to switch on their console auto-download functions – you can read the full research document here.
The notorious Flashfake Trojan that helped to create a botnet of 700k+ Mac computers may be the most prominent example of vulnerabilities in a Mac OS X environment, but it is certainly not alone. Kaspersky Lab’s researchers have discovered another malicious program that targets Apple computers, which has subsequently been confirmed as an Advanced Persistent Threat. Unlike the Flashfake Trojan, which has uncovered the theoretical dangers of an unprotected Mac OS X environment, the new malware known as Backdoor.OSX.SabPub.a is a real example of how a vulnerable Apple computer could be fully controlled by cybercriminals.
The new backdoor was spotted in the wild in early April 2012. Similar to Flashfake, it used certain vulnerabilities in Java Virtual Machine. The number of users infected with this malware is relatively low, which also suggests this backdoor is used in targeted attacks. After activation on an infected system, it connects to a remote website for instructions. The command and control server was hosted in the US, and used a free dynamic DNS service to route the infected computers’ requests – sneaky.
Local startup Pashash is the latest Google Umbono funded project and is in the process of developing a brand new app that helps people share real shopping with their mobile phones.
Bandwidth Blog had the opportunity to chat with co-founder Faheem Kajee to tell us more about the new app, the experience of creating a startup and the motivation behind it. Faheem even offers up some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to make their mark on the local app market. So listen closely.
Tell us more about Pashash and its aim?
Pashash is an iPhone and Android app which lets you share and discover the coolest stuff and the best buys wherever you are.
Where does the name ‘Pashash’ come from?
The word “Pashash” itself is local, South African slang for something that is cool. You could say that “Those are a Pashash pair of jeans” or “the sale on muffins at Woolies is Pashash.” Although we’re targeting global markets with our app, we like the idea of giving it a bit of a local flavour.
What was the motivation behind Pashash?
Going to the store down the street or to the shopping mall has always been an immensely social experience. Real-world shopping is about more than just purchasing something. People want to share the things that they buy, express their tastes, be the first to find something or just help their friends find a great deal.
Pashash lets you take everybody with you every time you go shopping in the real-world.
Local company Triloq Payment Services (TPS), part of the World of Avatar Group of companies, has recently launched a new online payment solution called 1-2-Pay-Online. The solution was developed in collaboration with Standard Bank and Master Card and makes it easier for customers without a debit or credit card to shop online.
The online payment solution is aimed at individuals who either do not own a debit or credit card and therefore cannot shop online or those who can shop online but fear online fraud. Any banked South African with a valid ID number can register and use 1-2-Pay-Online.
This is how it works: After registering with the service via the 1-2-Pay-Online website, users can then load their online profile by depositing funds into a Standard Bank Trust Account. Once the funds are cleared and allocated to the users online profile, virtual prepaid cards can then be created. These virtual cards may be created via the website or via a mobile phone. Registered users can create a virtual prepaid card up to a maximum value of R200 per card. For added safety some security details of the virtual prepaid card are sent via sms to the registered user’s mobile number.
Every time a virtual prepaid card is created, the user incurs a fee of 3.5% based on the value of the card created and no additional charges apply. The card can then be used for a single online purchase on any local website accepting VISA or Master Card. To ensure the security of the process, any virtual prepaid card can only be issued once. Assuming that all the funds on the virtual prepaid card created are not used, then the residual funds are credited back to the user’s profile.
Microsoft has been criticized in the past for the sheer number of SKU’s they roll out for Windows. Windows 7 arrived in quite a few editions – Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, and also Windows 7 Enterprise for the volume licensing customers. All of these version have their own capabilities, and the Starter version had some severe limitations, that basically just begged the user to upgrade it. Confusing right? Compare that to Apple, who only makes one edition of Mac OSX for consumer machines. The good news is that Microsoft has finally listened to the criticism, has made the Windows 8 choice a lot easier for customers.
Here are the “normal” versions of Windows 8:
Windows 8: This is the defacto version of Windows 8 which will ship with most new consumer x86 based computers. x86 processors are your standard Intel or AMD based laptops or desktops. Users of Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium will have an easy upgrade path to this version of Windows 8. Expect the new Start Menu, with its all the included “tile” based apps, like Mail, Calendar, Messaging, Photos, Music, Video, and some social features. The user will of course still have access to the traditional desktop for apps that have not been written to utilize the new Start Menu tile interface.
Windows 8 Pro: Another x86 based Windows version, but focussed on business-line machines, who also require business features, like joining domains. Users from all versions of Windows 7 (except Enterprise) can upgrade to this version of Windows 8, and the feature additions are all valuable to power users. Security features include Bitlocker encryption, encrypted file system, group policy and remote desktop host. Expect business-focussed hardware to ship with this version of Windows.
BGR has reported that more information is beginning to surface about the new Samsung Galaxy SIII that is scheduled to be announced on the 3rd May.
A source has revealed that “there will be a huge international roll-out for the Galaxy S III” and that the company’s new flagship handset will be the official device of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which explains why Samsung are unveiling the device in London with additional simultaneous launches across the globe including Dubai, Seoul and New York City.
Leaked details of the the new Samsung Galaxy SIII, the successor of the Galaxy SII, revealed back in February that specifications include: a 1.5GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, 4.8-inch “full HD” 1080p resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio display, 4G LTE and will run on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Consumers will be offered the device in both 16GB and 32GB storage options.
The site also reveals that the Samsung Galaxy S III will be available in two colour options with one in blue and black and the other in white.
MWEB has dropped its 1Mbps uncapped data-only pricing to R199 per month, and will offer a free upgrade to all data only uncapped 384Kbps customers.
The move makes MWEB’s 1Mbps Uncapped data package the most cost effective uncapped, unthrottled ADSL offering in South Africa. This is in-line with MWEB’s aim to make 1Mbps Uncapped ADSL the new entry level uncapped product in South Africa.
MWEB’s existing 1Mbps Uncapped customers will be given a R100 reduction on their monthly bills – a saving of over 33%. 384Kbps customers, who upgrade their ADSL lines to cater for 1Mbps speeds, will see their connection speed more than double on their new 1Mbps uncapped packages, while paying R20 less per month for their data.
Derek Hershaw, CEO of MWEB ISP, says MWEB has made the call to use the 30 percent cut in Telkom’s IP Connect (IPC) pricing in two ways. The ISP will use part of the savings to continue enhancing its Tier 1 network, thereby benefitting all MWEB ADSL customers. MWEB claims that the balance is being used to make 1Mbps Uncapped ADSL the “best internet deal in South Africa” by dropping the price on that product to just R199 per month.
Finally, the wait is over and we have the winner of the RCS Competition where RCS gave one lucky Bandwidth Blog reader the opportunity to walk away with R5000 worth of tech and gadgets!
After reading through 45 cool and creative answers about what gadgets you’d buy with a budget of R5000, RCS has selected the winner and it wasn’t an easy task.
And the winner is…Samora Bikwani!
Samora’s comment reads as follows:
“Perfect timing. I mistakenly left my 8GB ipod touch in a minibus taxi and shouted to the driver when I realised my error. Obviously the guy accelerated away when he realised I left something and I didn’t get his number plate either. Now I go into itunes on my PC and look longingly at all the apps I had. A perfect replacement would be the 64GB ipod touch and a clock radio/dock with the remaining R1000. I will be taking the train in the meantime.”
We’re very excited about handing over your prize to you.
Thanks to all of you who contributed to the success of the competition and provided such great content for the Bandwidth Blog team and audience to read.
For more information on how you can get your hands on an RCS card click here.