Thursday 24 June 2021

MultiChoice Says YES to 300 More Youth @MultiChoiceGRP

Hi Friends, 

As part of its continued commitment to South Africa’s youth, MultiChoice Group has extended its partnership with the Youth Employment Service (YES) to assist with the recruitment and training of 300 learners.

Started by President Cyril Ramaphosa three years ago, the YES initiative calls on business to help the government create critical work experience for unemployed youth who would otherwise have had limited opportunities for employment across the country.

This is the second year that MultiChoice has taken in a cohort of learners as part of the programme. Last year the partnership resulted in the creation of 400 new job opportunities. In addition, MultiChoice also created 100 sports coaching learnerships through its Let’s Play initiative. The two partnerships equated to a total investment of R50 million towards putting 500 South African youth to work.

As part of the programme this year the learners, who have been recruited across all nine provinces, will receive work readiness training with MultiChoice and MultiChoice will also provide each of them with a stipend. Following the training, each of the 300 learners will receive employment opportunities, either with MultiChoice or externally.

“The main objective for this programme is to create work opportunities for youth who have previously not been afforded the opportunity. It is our contribution to responding to youth unemployment in a meaningful way that impacts our communities,” says Joe Heshu Group Director for Corporate Affairs at MultiChoice.

The program is split into learnerships and internships. There are 75 TVET college students who will receive internships across a diversified portfolio that includes HR, Finance, Marketing, Law, and IT.

The remaining 225 places are prioritised for learnerships in the ICT space for matriculants and others with qualifications but who are not working.
MultiChoice Says YES to 300 More Youth @MultiChoiceGRP
These learnerships will focus on:
  • 3D Animation and Visual Effects
  • Television and Radio production
  • Interactive Media
  • System development
  • End-user design
  • Telecommunications
  • Business Analysis
  • Technology database development
MultiChoice is a keen supporter of South Africa’s youth and already makes a conscious effort to tell stories that affect young people today, with DStv shows like The River and reality show Becoming actively spotlighting these issues. And, through the MultiChoice Talent Factory, they equip young film and television students with skills and knowledge to tell their own stories.

“MultiChoice has long been an advocate for South Africa’s youth, providing mentorship opportunities and a platform for young people to tell their stories. This year we have deepened our commitment to the youth and through partnerships such as the one with YES we hope to continue to have a meaningful impact in the lives of young South Africans,” Heshu concludes.

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@Visa Research Reveals SA, Nigeria and Kenya are Top Drivers of #eCommerce volumes in SSA

Hi Friends, 

A recent Visa report has shown that the top market contributors to eCommerce in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the last 3 years were South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya, with Ghana, also showing growth, having replaced Kenya in the top three contributors in 2020. SSA may be one of the smallest regions of eCommerce globally, but it shows steady growth potential. During the lockdown, the region saw new eCommerce users rise by 5% when compared to the active base in SSA the previous year.

“The three leading markets in SSA are starting to mature, providing the region with an established foundation and when twinned with the growing penetration of eCommerce, it offers players in the payment space an opportunity they can capitalise on while helping to further accelerate the expansion of eCommerce in the region,” explains Lineshree Moodley, Head of Visa Consulting and Analytics (VCA) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Visa’s white paper, entitled eCommerce developments across Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), confirmed that, as the world becomes increasingly digital, eCommerce has been driving the acceleration of digital commerce. It has experienced phenomenal growth rates around the world, and even recent setbacks as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic haven’t stopped its rise. In fact, according to recent GroupM estimates, eCommerce sales are projected to grow to $7 trillion across the globe by 2024.
@Visa Research Reveals SA, Nigeria and Kenya are Top Drivers of #eCommerce volumes in SSA
The research paper found that in SSA:
  • Cross-border transactions make up half of all eCommerce transaction volumes
  • eCommerce is driven by retail goods and professional services
  • Mobile phones are the main source of digital access
  • Payment facilitators are a critical catalyst for digital payments
  • Fraud protection is key to maintaining customer trust
In terms of the merchant categories driving eCommerce, for Kenya and Nigeria, there is a steady dedication to service-based merchants with a strong spread across services categories such as professional services, education, government, and business-to-business merchants. In South Africa, professional services and telecom/utilities merchants were the top drivers of eCommerce in 2020.

The most important eCommerce enablers – the ability to access financial services, digital payment channels and digital infrastructure – are starting to take hold across SSA. Although cash may remain the dominant payment instrument in the region, for now, there are signs that this will eventually change. In Nigeria, for example, cash is still particularly prevalent, while in Kenya mobile money is most popular and many South Africans choose cards as their main payment methods.

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed consumers towards digital payments in the key eCommerce markets for SSA. At a primary level of cash versus digital payment instruments, there has been a strong move away from the use of cash across the board. This is due to a shift to eCommerce behaviour that is mostly enabled by digital payments and a reduced preference for face-to-face interactions that involve handling common surfaces, such as cash.

When exploring digital payments usage, the use of cards has increased across the continent, with the highest uptick taking place in Kenya. However, the nature of this usage is interesting. There has been a strong preference for contactless payments, a notable point for enabling safe card payments on delivery, as well as in the use of e-wallet services, as cash is seen as a vector for the virus.)

With these realities, how can payment industry stakeholders and merchants capitalise on these opportunities, to sustain the growth of eCommerce in the region? Aldo Laubscher, Country Manager at Visa South Africa said that it is important that eCommerce platforms are designed with end-to-end mobile enablement in mind, and that online payments provide a strong user experience that is secure and appears seamless to the customer, both for local and cross-border transactions.

“Customers in SSA are making use of a wide range of digital payment instruments, so it is becoming increasingly important that eCommerce offers multi and even omnichannel experiences. At Visa, we continue to work with traditional and new financial services companies to develop new products and capabilities that deliver on this.”

As domestic eCommerce provision in SSA is continues to grow, there is an exciting opportunity for SSA to develop its own regional eCommerce platforms and sustain growth, while increasing the continent’s connection to the rest of the world.

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@SamsungSA Hosts Virtual Event “Samsung Networks: Redefined” #NetworksRedefined

Hi Friends, 

Samsung has shared its 5G vision and latest network innovations at “Samsung Networks: Redefined”, a virtual event where the Samsung Networks leadership team presented an overview of Samsung’s notable 5G accomplishments and new solutions driving network transformation.

At the event, Samsung Networks highlighted key developments in its global expansion, which includes the delivery of over four million 5G-ready radios around the world. Samsung focused on how it is advancing virtualisation to drive next-generation networks and leading 5G radio innovation by embedding its radios with the company’s latest in-house chipsets.

“We are delighted to discuss the infinite possibilities of wireless technology, as we continue our 5G journey, and pave the way towards the next phase of 5G,” said Justin Hume. Director: Integrated Mobility at Samsung South Africa. “Samsung’s 5G vision includes bringing together the best global expertise and technical insights that can help operators and consumers take full advantage of 5G benefits. We’re grateful that our customers and partners have joined us on this journey, and look forward to achieving many more 5G milestones together.”

The following are key areas of advancement that Samsung Networks leadership covered at the virtual event:
@SamsungSA Hosts Virtual Event “Samsung Networks: Redefined” #NetworksRedefined
Virtualisation of an entire network from Radio Access Network (RAN) to Core will offer multiple benefits to operators, bringing greater efficiency, scalability and flexibility in network management, as well as easier upgrades through software implementations. Recent vRAN accomplishments include the following solutions:

Samsung vRAN has virtualised all elements of a baseband unit. Backed by years of R&D, Samsung deployed the industry’s first fully-virtualised commercial 5G RAN delivered end-to-end (Link). Recently, the company demonstrated the capability to support multi-gigabit speeds of Massive MIMO radios on COTS servers (Link), showing how the performance of vRAN technology is now near the performance of custom hardware solutions.

Samsung vCore is built with a cloud-native containerised architecture, enabling operational automation while ensuring optimised performance. With high adaptability and scalability, Samsung 5G vCore allows network operators to quickly launch new services and upgrade per business needs. Since introducing its first virtualised Core in 2015, the company has successfully commercialised the world’s first 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) vCore and achieved a significant milestone in data processing capacity on its 5G Standalone (SA) Core (Link).

Network management solutions help optimise operational efficiencies in virtualised networks. Samsung Cloud Orchestration, known as SCO, coordinates an entirely automated process of network deployment and optimisation. Samsung’s Network Slice Manager supports simplified management of slice resources, while AI-based analytics provides intelligent analysis of network performance.

5G Radios
Samsung has been pioneering 5G technology to support RAN solutions for more than a decade, through research, standardisation and commercial rollouts of its highly competitive 5G solutions. New developments are:

In-House Chipsets: Samsung continues its leadership in chipset research and development, with an expanded line-up of new chipsets, including a 3rd generation RFIC, 2nd generation 5G modem and DFE-RFIC integrated chip (Link), part of the company’s initiative to help foster compact and efficient, yet high-performing 5G solutions.

New Solutions: Samsung continues to expand its 5G radio lineup. The company recently unveiled its wideband radio (Link) supporting 400MHz of bandwidth in mid-band and designed to help operators drive more flexible and cost-effective deployments. Also introduced are the next generation 5G Compact Macro and baseband units, as well as its new One Antenna Radio (Link), a solution that delivers a more compact form factor with antenna integration, offering simplified installation and deployment efficiencies.

Private Networks
Samsung has the capability to build reliable and secure private networks, leveraging its comprehensive solutions portfolio. The company’s industry-leading 5G solutions offer a resilient backbone to private 5G networks, introducing use cases such as smart factories (Link) and a real-time 4K video monitoring system (Link). Samsung also provides end-to-end PS-LTE solutions, from network equipment to applications and devices. The company is powering the world’s first 3GPP-compliant nationwide PS-LTE network in Korea (Link), and accomplished the demonstration of the industry-first MCPTX video call on a cloud platform (Link).

6G Future Vision
As part of its networks overview, Samsung Networks: Redefined shares Samsung’s vision of 6G technology, and the world it will help create. Samsung stays ahead in preparing for new generations of wireless technologies. The company led 5G research and development even before 4G deployments and is already preparing for 6G. Now, the company is set to accelerate 6G innovation, bringing hyper-connected experiences to users (Link). Samsung recently explored the potential of the Terahertz (THz) spectrum application for 6G wireless communications, demonstrating an end-to-end 140GHz wireless link using a fully digital beamforming solution (Link).

Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios, and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from fully virtualised RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.

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@SamsungMobileSA Newest 108Mp Mobile Image Sensor with Advanced Features @SamsungSA

Hi Friends, 

Samsung ISOCELL HM3 comes in 0.8µm and with nine-pixel binning, providing optimum brightness and enhanced auto-focusing Smart ISO Pro and Super PD Plus fine-tune the sensor’s performance for premium mobile imaging experiences

Samsung, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today introduced its latest 108-megapixel (Mp) mobile image sensor, Samsung ISOCELL HM3. With a wide spectrum of advanced sensor technologies, the HM3 can capture sharper and more vivid images in ultra-high resolution with faster auto-focus and extended dynamic range.

“While a pixel is just a single dot of colour when in millions, these dots can be transformed into stunning snapshots of life. With more pixels, images are sharper, with fuller details that can maintain their integrity even when enlarged. Samsung has been at the forefront of bringing the most pixels to mobile image sensors as well as various supporting technologies that take sensor performances to the next level,” said Duckhyun Chang, executive vice president of the sensor business at Samsung Electronics. “The ISOCELL HM3 is the culmination of Samsung’s latest sensor technologies that will help deliver premium mobile experiences to today’s smart-device users.”

The 1/1.33” ISOCELL HM3 with 0.8μm-sized pixels is a new addition to Samsung ISOCELL’s 108Mp product line-up. For faster auto-focus, the HM3 integrates an improved Super PD Plus feature. Super PD Plus adds AF-optimised micro-lenses over the phase-detection focusing agents, increasing measurement accuracy of the agents by 50-per cent. The enhanced phase-detection autofocusing (PDAF) solution helps to keep moving subjects in sharp focus and delivers optimum results in dark environments.
@SamsungMobileSA Newest 108Mp Mobile Image Sensor with Advanced Features Captures More Details and Produces Sharper Results @SamsungSA
In mixed-light environments, such as at the end of a tunnel, the HM3 adopts Smart ISO Pro, a high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging technology that uses an intra-scene dual conversion gain (iDCG) solution. Smart ISO Pro simultaneously captures a frame in both high and low ISO, then merges them into a single image in 12-bit colour depth and with reduced noise. As Smart ISO Pro does not require multiple exposure shots to create a standard HDR image, it can significantly reduce motion artefacts. In addition, with a low-noise mode, it improves the light sensitivity by 50-per cent to capture brighter and clearer results in low-light environments than its predecessor.

The HM3’s pixel layout is specially arranged in three-by-three single colour structures suitable for nine-pixel binning. By merging nine neighbouring pixels, the 108Mp HM3 mimics a 12Mp image sensor with large 2.4μm-pixels, heightening light sensitivity when taking photographs in low-light environments. With an improved binning hardware IP, the HM3 supports seamless transitions between 108Mp and 12Mp resolutions.

Designs of the new sensor have also been optimised to reduce energy usage under preview mode by 6.5-per cent, offering added power efficiency to the overall mobile device.

Samsung ISOCELL HM3 is currently in mass production.

Actual performance may vary depending on the device and user environment.

* Samsung first announced its ISOCELL technology in 2013, which reduces colour crosstalk between pixels by placing a physical barrier, allowing small-sized pixels to achieve higher colour fidelity. Based on this technology, Samsung introduced the industry’s first 1.0um-pixel image sensor in 2015 and a 0.9-pixel sensor in 2017. Samsung continues to enhance its pixel isolation methods with ISOCELL Plus and the ISOCELL 2.0 technologies.

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Wednesday 23 June 2021

Saving The Planet One Meal At A Time @SamsungSA #SamsungGasCooker

Hi Friends, 

Samsung’s new gas cooker benefits both customers and the environment

This year Samsung launched its innovative, new gas cooker in South Africa. The Samsung stainless steel gas cooker has arrived at a time when gas cooking has become more relevant in the country than ever before. The design is aligned with the needs of South Africans as well as Samsung’s mission to explore sustainable ways to respond to climate change across all aspects of its business operations. The stylish gas cooker offers greater versatility in the kitchen as it is powered by five burners, including a Triple Burner, a Rapid Burner, and a Simmer Burner. Beyond its well-considered design, the gas cooker is clearly going to resonate with many in a country where mealtimes are often interrupted by the frustration of load-shedding. Not only does gas cooking ensure you can still cook, but it is also energy efficient so it plays an important role in conserving the environment.

Unlike a conventional electric stove that requires you to wait for the plate to heat up, a gas stove heats up instantly. It gives you better temperature control so you can swiftly change from lower to higher temperatures, as professionals have known for a while. Gas cooking makes it easier to control the heat by adapting the flame, bigger or smaller for precise changes in heat. You can now get a heated stove closer to the temperatures recommended in recipes you love. Your pots, pans and even woks will heat up much quicker, which means you can get dinner ready more efficiently – with less power use.
Saving The Planet One Meal At A Time @SamsungSA #SamsungGasCooker
As many of us in the country are aware of how power failures can damage electric stoves and other appliances. When they are disposed of, these damaged products contribute to the ever-increasing industrial waste burden the country faces. While the smooth tops on induction cooking tops of electric stoves won’t have this problem, they are not as sturdy as the metal grates of a gas stove. This is another reason a gas stove is a great investment in the long run. Additionally, gas is simply cheaper. With the seemingly endless rise in electricity costs, the initial price of a gas cooker is easily offset over time. That’s the incredible potential of gas cooking to save costs, meal times and the environment. Every meal made places less stress on the household and the country’s natural resources, and ultimately its an amazing way to enhance your culinary skills.

Here are a few of the features that make the Samsung gas cooker a wonderful addition to your normal cooking routine:
  • The Power Grill Heater is 2-step adjustable to cook different types and quantities of food.
  • Its High Grill quickly and evenly cooks big dishes or a large number of items simultaneously.
  • The Low Grill can cook small amounts of food while it effortlessly saves energy.
  • You can enjoy perfectly grilled food, much faster.
  • It includes an intuitive Digital LED display that lets you check the cooking time and mode at a glance.
  • The cooker’s timer function alerts you to turn off the oven when a dish is ready.
  • A storage compartment under the oven cavity provides a handy place to keep dishes, pots, pans, and other oven accessories or your favourite serving dish, so you can find everything quickly.
This Samsung gas cooker is available at participating retailers at a Recommended Retail Price of R17,9991. It comes with a 2-year warranty and Signature Service². This premium service offers customers free delivery and installation.

Saving the environment just got a lot more satisfying!

1Price may vary depending on retailer pricing policy
² Terms and Conditions apply

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Tuesday 22 June 2021

The Minimalist Design of @SamsungSA #NeoQLEDTV #8KTV

Hi Friends, 

When it comes to eliminating unnecessary elements in the design, the first stage in the process is to ascertain what aspects are essential. In designing their TVs, Samsung Electronics pursues a design evolution aesthetic that brings about value through careful elimination – rather than unnecessary addition.
The Minimalist Design of @SamsungSA #NeoQLEDTV #8KTV
Removing Boundaries
The Infinity Screen, a unique aspect of Samsung’s TV design, maximises immersion by reducing the number of bezels to almost nothing. The boundaries of Samsung Neo QLED 8K have been trimmed to near-zero thanks to advanced technologies and design processes. It's 0.8mm stainless steel frame removes the boundary between the screen and its environment, practically giving the illusion that the screen is floating. To further remove any hindrances to a viewer’s experience, the Samsung logo has also been reduced in size so that the product itself, not just its name, stands out as the icon.

Despite its slim appearance, the TV’s performance is powerful thanks to the inclusion of innovative technologies. The speaker hole and subwoofer systems, precisely implemented in the back of the screen, emit sound quality rich enough to require no additional speaker, and thanks to AI technology, users can enjoy optimised sounds tuned to their content and environments. The Neo QLED 8K offers viewers immersion from both inside and outside of the screen – all wrapped up in a sleek, thin package.

Reimagining One Connect
One of the main benefits of a large screen TV is the ability to true and vivid immersion in your favourite content, but if the area surrounding the TV is distracting, this enjoyable experience can be interrupted. In designing the Neo QLED 8K, Samsung’s designers took into consideration such scenarios and underwent a re-examination of the way the product fits into its space.

Wall-mounted TVs usually require accessories embedded into both the product and the wall they sit against, while stand-type TVs require tables or other furniture that can quickly become cluttered. To avoid any of these inconveniences, Samsung’s One Connect has been redesigned to fit various usage environments in order to enhance viewer immersion. The optimised size and thickness of the renewed One Connect was determined through careful consideration of different environments, and its plate-type, slim appearance makes installation easy and neat.
The Minimalist Design of @SamsungSA #NeoQLED8KTVs
Part of this redesign to the existing One Connect led Samsung designers to devise a new accessory: the Attachable Slim One Connect, which can be utilised as a TV stand. While the stand has always been an integral component of TV design, it has not played any role other than that of screen support – until now. The Attachable Slim One Connect has been designed as a stand, too, with a form that interferes neither with function nor shape and effectively disguises the Attachable Slim One Connect as a simple stand.

Further to the space efficiency and aesthetic benefit offered by the Attachable Slim One Connect, elements on the TV itself have been reorganised in order to preserve immersion and prioritise ease-of-use, such as the change of the placement of the cable input module from the back of the TV to the side of the Attachable Slim One Connect stand for seamless access. You can also find more details at Design Samsung website.

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Saturday 19 June 2021

PATI, PATNI AUR PANGA @MXPlayer #Comedy #Drama #PatiPatniAurPanga #MXOriginalSeries

Hi Friends, 

As I told in my earlier post that you want to see all the series for a particular artist when he gains immense popularity and the same happened to Naveen Kasturia. I found another small 6 episodes web series on MX Player app named PATI, PATNI AUR PANGA which seemed like an adult comedy but the story turned out to be an eye-opener and really challenges your thinking. The director Abir Sengupta has really brought about the topic of the LGBTQ community with a good social message and really poses a lot of challenging questions to your ages-old thinking pattern. 

The web series stars Naveen Kasturia as Romanchak Arora, Adah Sharma as Shivani Bhatnagar along with Hiten Tejwani as Advocate Prem Prakash Tiwari and Alka Amin as Renu Arora - mother of Romanchak, Gurpreet Saini as Jeetu. The series is a little bit on the adult side of things which some of the words thrown all around in the episodes. Adah's has looked so beautiful and her beauty has been captured greatly by the cameraman too in all her scenes. Gurpreet players the character of Jeetu who is one of the best friends of Romanchak from childhood. Together they spend a lot of time making Romanchak's mother think that they are in love with each other and feels very happy when she is introduced to Shivani by Romanchak. 

PATI, PATNI AUR PANGA @MXPlayer #Comedy #Drama #PatiPatniAurPanga #MXOriginalSeries

The story revolves around a courtroom drama with some of the flashbacks going back to falling in love between Romanchak and Shivani. The whole drama is around the Shivani being Shiv before her marriage and undergone a sex-change operation to become what she was throughout her life. The question now arises about if the same was communicated to the groom before the marriage or not? There is a lot of situational comedy built around the topic and also a lot of questions gets raised during the courtroom drama on the problems faced by the girls and LGBTQ community in their daily environment. Hiten Tejwani has played the role of advocate very nicely and is a comical addition to the sometimes emotional drama happening in some of the episodes. 

This web series is a must-watch if you want to challenge and check your thinking about being in the situation from Romanchak or Shivani's point of view. The social stigma surrounding the topics which we feel we are cool about but when it happens to us our whole outlook changes. The romantic shots are really awesome and you feel the chemistry between the two stars. The courtroom scenes are also engaging and shot well. Overall this web series is something you can binge-watch and enjoy on the MX Player app for free. RATING - 3/5

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RUNAWAY LUGAAI @MXPlayer #Comedy #Drama #RunawayLugaai #MXOriginalSeries

Hi Friends, 

After the grand success of Aspirants, I started looking for more web series featuring Naveen Kasturia to check out his acting and came across this one on MXPlayer Digital Platform where a lot of web series are getting launched. They have been funded by Tencent and Times Group and moved into the OTT platform on 20 February 2019. They have a lot of good web series including Aashram for which Bobby Deol won the best performance male aware from Filmfare last year. 

Coming back to the Runaway Lugaai, the web series starts Naveen in the main role as a Judge Rajnikant Sinha, being led by his father MLA Narendra Sinha played by Sanjay Mishra. The story revolves around the relationship between father and son and that's the funniest part of the whole series. There are some of the courtroom drama that too brings in a lot of comical moments too. Naveen has played his role really well and has created great chemistry with all the artists he is shown closure to in this web series. Narendra wants to get the ticket for the next elections and wants to use his Judge son to clear all the cases on the current CM and his henchmen. There are certain secrets that get revealed as you go episode after episode which will bring you to the irony of life. 
RUNAWAY LUGAAI @MXPlayer #Comedy #Drama #RunawayLugaai #MXOriginalSeries
The Lugaai who is being chased is Bulbul Pandey played by Ruhi Singh. Rajni chooses to marry Bulbul when he goes to see his sister for an arranged marriage proposal but she has certain demands that one who wants to marry her should come on 10 white horses carriage. She is a tomboyish bold kind of personality and lives her life on her own terms. This gives Rajni some kind of power and freedom to go against his father as he starts to fall in love with Bulbul. Her role is limited in the web series as compared to the other artists shown throughout the series. 

Arya Babber plays Justin Biber aka Rakesh who is one of the friends of Bulbul from which she seeks help to run away to chase her dreams of becoming a movie star. Even the father of Bulbul, Dashrath Pandey played by Chittaranjan Tripathy whose acting is really matching the level of Sanjay Mishra. Both of them have created a lot of funny moments throughout this web series. 

Runaway Lugaai is a 10 episode long web series on the MX Player app for free and can be easily binge-watched in a single sitting. There is nothing much in terms of being extraordinary but if you are a fan of Sanjay Mishra or Naveen Kasturia, you can definitely watch the same. Even if you don't want to watch, you can save your time for sure. There is a small role given to Ravi Kishen too to bring in star power but there is nothing much overall in this web series. Also, this is an adult comedy so don't watch it with kids and there are some scenes too as the whole story revolved around marriage and thereafter. 

RATING - 1.5/5

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Friday 18 June 2021

Preserving Our Planet! @SamsungSA Makes TV Accessories More Sustainable #EcoPackaging

Hi Friends, 

Did you know that out of the more than 50 million[1] tons of electronics that are thrown away each year, only a mere 17 per cent is eventually recycled? Most of this ‘e-waste’ ends up polluting the environment by sitting in landfills or being incinerated. With annual e-waste expected to reach as much as 74 million tons by 2030, the global community has started taking steps to reduce consumption and minimise waste.

Driven by a desire to keep our planet clean for generations to come, Samsung regularly engages in eco-conscious efforts that are helping to establish a circular economy. The company is constantly exploring ways to reduce its products’ impact on the environment, including increasing products’ lifespans and spearheading efforts to recycle their resources.

In celebration of Earth Day 2021 (April 22), this special series will shine a light on Samsung initiatives that are paving the way for a circular economy. Our first article took a closer look at how the company’s recycling campaigns are giving old phones new life. Here, we’ll examine how Samsung’s Visual Display Business is making its TVs more sustainable by adopting eco-friendly packaging and solar-cell-powered remote controls.

Today, innovation no longer focuses solely on creating a more convenient and efficient future, but a sustainable one as well. As such, leaders in the fields of science and technology are devoting their utmost efforts to making their products eco-friendly without compromising on performance.

Samsung consistently pursues innovations that allow it to make its products more environmentally friendly. Recently, the company added an eco-friendly touch to one of the consumers’ favourite appliances by developing a remote control that’s made using renewable plastic and powered by photovoltaic energy rather than disposable batteries, as well as TV packaging that can be reused as small furniture. Samsung Newsroom recently sat down with members of the team behind the innovations that are making Samsung TVs more sustainable.
(From left) Engineers Kwanyoung Kim and Seungsan Han, and designer Sungdo Son – members of Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business, and the developers behind the company’s new solar cell-powered remote control and environmentally friendly TV packaging
(From left) Engineers Kwanyoung Kim and Seungsan Han, and designer Sungdo Son – members of Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business, and the developers behind the company’s new solar cell-powered remote control and environmentally friendly TV packaging

A Solar Cell-Powered Remote Control That Charges Itself Using Photovoltaic Energy
Even if you have a nice, big, high-performance TV in your living room, you won’t be able to fully enjoy its countless channels and manage the volume and other features without a remote control. When exploring ways to make remote controls more eco-conscious, Samsung’s developers focused their attention on disposable batteries.

“Supposing that a typical TV is used for around seven years, changing the batteries in its remote just once a year would mean that 14 batteries would get used and thrown out,” said Kwanyoung Kim, an engineer. If we apply that number to Samsung Electronics’ expected annual global TV sales, it amounts to approximately 99 million discarded batteries. If we apply it to annual TV sales overall, it adds up to nearly 3.1 billion batteries.[1]

[1] 2020 global annual TV sales figures are based on findings from market research firm OMDIA.

Preserving Our Planet! @SamsungSA Makes TV Accessories More Sustainable #EcoPackaging
Over the course of a TV’s lifetime, a solar cell-powered remote control could effectively prevent up to 99 million AA batteries from being used and discarded.
Rather than using disposable batteries in the remote, the engineers decided to go with a self-charging battery instead. Many charging methods were considered, including one that harnessed the kinetic energy that’s created when the remote is shaken, and one that utilised the vibrational energy that’s created when the microphone picks up sounds. As Kim explained, at the end of the day, the optimal charging solution turned out to be a solar cell.

“Even when we aren’t watching our TV or using our remote, we usually have the lights on, except when we are sleeping. This makes light an easily accessible charging solution,” said Kim. “If we substituted disposable batteries with self-charging solar cell batteries like the one we’ve developed; it would amount to reducing up to around 6,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.”

How exactly does the remote control generate energy from the fluorescent lights in our living rooms? Put simply, its solar panel takes in photons from light, which react with the electrons in the solar cells to create electricity. The difference between outdoor panels and indoor panels is the spectrum of light being used. “You can’t get as much light indoors compared to sunlight,” added Kim, “so we decided to utilise solar cells that generate energy even in low-light indoor environments.”

Increasing Electricity Efficiency Makes Solar Cell-Powered Remote Controls Possible
Because the amount of electricity that could be created by converting light energy simply wasn’t enough, it would be impossible to generate enough energy for the remote control using solar cells alone. This led the engineers to create a low power remote control instead of searching for ways to increase energy production.

The engineers succeeded in increasing the remote control’s energy efficiency by reducing its power consumption by 86 percent.[1] They did this by taking users’ TV watching patterns, the number of times they pressed their remote control’s buttons, and usage time into account. As Kim explained, the solar cells in the final product “can provide up to 70 percent of the power used by the remote control.”

[1] Compared to remote controls of Samsung Electronics’ 2020 TV models.

Making the design of the typical TV remote control, which has remained unchanged until now, more sustainable was no simple task. The colour of the solar panel was already determined, so it was difficult to apply various colours to the remote control’s design. One of the team’s key concerns was that the remote control’s panel would need to be raised up high in order to be charged via light. “The solar panel itself is grey, so if we used a colour other than black for the battery, it wouldn’t go well with the overall product design,” said Kim. “We also needed the design to encourage consumers to do their part to help the environment.”

The remote control is so small that you could ask whether it even needs to be energy-saving. If you asked the developers, they would tell you that, because the final product is even more eco-conscious than they anticipated, its design was undoubtedly meaningful and their efforts were worthwhile. Their ultimate goal is to develop a solar cell-powered remote control that is capable of charging itself up to the full amount of energy that it needs.

“TV remote controls are frequently used products, and our aim is to create the kind of remote that offers users meaningful value and can be a deciding factor when purchasing a TV,” said Kim.

Use of Recycled Plastic Materials Contributes to a Huge Reduction in CO2 Emissions
Solar panel technology isn’t the only thing that makes Samsung’s new remote control especially eco-friendly. Indeed, the plastic material used to create this roughly 50g device is comprised of 28 percent recycled plastic. Samsung has been utilising recycled plastic in its products for a long time and has received various certifications for its eco-friendliness. Now, the company has expanded its scope by applying recycled materials to accessories like remote controls as well.

Recycled plastic is enticing because it reuses resources, but not everything about it comes easily. For a start, unit prices go up during the manufacturing process. While Samsung’s VD business does utilise plastic waste that has been collected in Korea, the volume is so small that additional resources need to be imported from overseas. This process causes costs to go up by five percent at the least, and 10 percent at the most.

“The amount of plastics used by Samsung Electronics’ VD Business alone is 250,000 tons,” said Seungsan Han, an engineer and colleague of Kim’s. “Even substituting 10 to 30 percent of that with recycled plastics would require 30,000 to 70,000 tons.”

Despite those costs, Samsung is committed to increasing its usage of recycled materials based on their clear eco-conscious benefits. According to Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), a methodology for assessing environmental impact, products made using approximately 28 percent recycled plastics emit 15 percent less CO2 than products made from non-recycled plastics. In an effort to maximise its use of eco-friendly materials, Samsung also explores ways to utilise waste that has been thrown indiscriminately into the sea. “Twenty percent of the waste that gets thrown into the sea is plastic bottles,” said Han. “That coastal waste is called OBP material, and we can use it to produce electronics.”

More Interest in Eco-Friendliness Widens the Range of Recycled Materials
Samsung has long practised eco-conscious business management and has been developing eco-conscious products and technologies for several years. As a result, the company is now capable of producing high-quality products using recycled materials, while keeping unit prices at manageable levels.
Preserving Our Planet! @SamsungSA Makes TV Accessories More Sustainable #EcoPackaging
Samsung’s eco-friendly solar cell-powered remote control
Samsung currently utilises recycled plastics when producing many products, including not just its new, solar cell-powered remote control, but other remote controls as well. Eco-conscious materials are used in the company’s monitors, signage stands, and back covers, too. “In the future, the use of recycled materials will be expanded to include more Samsung TV products,” said Han. “With 2030 being the year when we hope to reach our ultimate achievement, we will keep increasing our use of recycled plastics each year.”

Eco-Packaging: What Would Be Trash Becomes Small Furniture
Increasing products’ efficiency and using recycled materials are clear ways to become more eco-conscious. Now, efforts are being made to address the eco-friendliness of products’ packaging, which would usually be thrown away. Allowing consumers to use their TV’s packaging to make small furniture, the eco-packaging that Samsung introduced in 2020 is a perfect example of this point.

The TVs’ eco-packaging first began as a project of C-Lab, Samsung’s in-house start-up incubation program. The C-Lab developers were wondering how best to recycle TVs’ packaging when they noticed that Serif TV users were placing their set-top box, small furniture, and electric devices under their TV as if it were a cabinet. This led them to the idea to use TVs’ strong cardboard packaging to make small, long-lasting furniture, which became the foundation for a new type of ‘eco-packaging.’

Eco-packaging’s manufacturing process is mostly the same as that of another packaging, but also includes the application of a dotted pattern that helps users assemble the packaging into furniture. Although adding the dotted patterns sounds easy and could be achieved by simply printing graphics, the task presented some difficulties as well. The thicknesses and specifications of the cardboard boxes varied slightly by country, which entailed continuous communication with various parties. “Although we faced many difficulties when making the eco-packaging, we managed to do a great job thanks to the efforts of many people, including the Graphics Team,” said Sungdo Son, a Samsung Electronics designer.

Easy to Make, Beautiful to Behold
Simple steps for assembling the furniture can be found on the website embedded in the QR code printed on the side of the eco-packaging. “The website, which was recently updated, not only offers instructions on how to make furniture but also provides an overall introduction to eco-packaging with relevant videos,” said Son. “We’ve arranged the website based on difficulty, so users can choose the type of furniture they’d like to make depending on their skill level.”

The cardboard furniture displayed on the website is all items that were chosen by designers who actually tried making them themselves. “When we focused on aesthetics, it became difficult to make the furniture, and the designs often didn’t end up being very useful,” said Son. “On the other hand, when the furniture was too easy to make, it didn’t look so great. We also got rid of any furniture designs that could potentially create safety issues.”

Samsung’s safety- and environmentally conscious eco-packaging has gone beyond lifestyle TVs and is now being applied across the company’s entire 2021 TV line-up. The employees involved in developing the eco-packaging hope that it will eventually reach much more consumers, and will help encourage them to contribute to environmental conservation in any way they can. “Samsung is known for producing technologically advanced products, but I want others to know that Samsung also believes that little things like these matter, and we are working on them as well,” said Son.

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A First in #SouthAfrica @GLAMOUR_sa Shoots June Cover Using #GalaxyS21Ultra5G @SamsungMobileSA #GLAMxShudufhadzo

Hi Friends, 

Conde Nast and Samsung create a powerful collaboration by shooting GLAMOUR’s first-ever cover using a smartphone

The recent GLAMOUR South Africa June cover is a testament to the rapid evolution of smartphone technology. A first for the publication saw inimitable photographer Austin Malema swap his traditional DSLR camera for Samsung’s internationally acclaimed Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G device, to capture the stunning Miss South Africa, Shudufhadzo Musida cover shoot in the latest edition of the popular magazine’s cover and fashion pages.

The cover of every GLAMOUR magazine is the culmination of a carefully considered vision. This is where stars shine in pictures expertly curated by the best photographers under the eagle-eyed direction of visionary editors. In the June issue, Miss South Africa dazzles on the cover. A fascinating component amongst this stellar cast of professionals is that a smartphone was used to shoot the covers. Less surprising is the choice: the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. Samsung’s greatest Galaxy yet again took centre stage at the locations, armed with its array of ground-breaking camera technology.
A First in #SouthAfrica @GLAMOUR_sa Shoots June Cover Using #GalaxyS21Ultra5G @SamsungMobileSA #GLAMxShudufhadzo
Nontando Mposo editor-in-chief of South Africa’s leading fashion and beauty magazine, GLAMOUR says, “Yes we are a lifestyle, fashion and beauty publication, but we are also looking at disruptive innovations that are shaping the future. That’s why this collaboration with Samsung was a no-brainer for me”.

Beyond the dimensions of this special project with Samsung, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G garnered a lot of praise from the Conde Nast team for the fastest processer in a Galaxy device, massive battery and the smartest and brightest screen in a Galaxy ever. On the shoot days, cover photographer Austin Malema used the combination of these incredible features, along with the acclaimed state-of-the-art prograde camera features to great effect.

The famed photographer was tasked to explore the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G’s range of camera technologies, that have attracted massive attention around the globe. Malema said, “I accepted the challenge as it tested my ability to embrace new technology in a meaningful way. As someone who usually relies on traditional DSLR camera features, I considered the impact on my normal creative process and approach. I however soon realised that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G would be more than capable of producing images that effortlessly measured up to DSLR quality.”
A First in #SouthAfrica @GLAMOUR_sa Shoots June Cover Using #GalaxyS21Ultra5G @SamsungMobileSA #GLAMxShudufhadzo
Austin was impressed by the powerful quad-camera the Galaxy S21 5G Ultra features including a 108MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, two 10MP zoom lenses, and a 40MP front camera. Malema continued, “Another big plus for me with shooting with the Galaxy S21 Ultra was that it is capable of shooting raw images and I knew that would be a big help. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is armed with raw shooting skills with support for 12-bit raw files”. Pro photographers, who want the utmost control and quality from their images to capture a more dynamic range, meaning more detail in the highlights and shadows, normally use these files.

For Nontando, it was the Single-Take feature that captured her heart. Here’s why: “As an editor, I am always looking for the best angle and filter. Now I can have it all with one tap. It’s a feature that allows you to capture a variety of stunning stills and highlight reels. What’s not to love”.

The combination of star power with creative minds and a smartphone that acts like it’s a photographer’s assistant are what have made the GLAMOUR feature so epic. So make sure you look out for GLAMOUR’s June Issue and see the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G in action.

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Monday 14 June 2021

SKATER GIRL @NetflixSA #Movies #Sports #Skating

Hi Friends, 

If you want to watch something which has a lot of soul and will bring you tears of joy and pain at the same time and worth your every second spent in this 107 minutes long movie released by Netflix on their platform on 11-June-21. The Skater Girl movie spans a story of a village girl and her day to day life where she is helping her family doing household chores and not going to school because her school dress is now small for her growing body. Enter a girl from London named Jessica played by Amrit Maghera, who came to the village to search her father's roots from the place and incidentally meets Prerna played by Rachel Sanchita Gupta and her naughty little brother Ankush played by Shafin Patel. 

The kids are introduced to the skateboard as one of the friends of Jessica, Erick arrives at the village to meet her and brings a skateboard along with him played by Jonathan Readwin. The skateboard matches the design of something similar the kids used to play and Ankush is being dragged to school by Prerna every morning using a rope tied to one of the board with 3 wheels. 

The story is set in a small village Khempur near Udaipur some 40kms away from the city where Jessica arrives and brings about a change as her duty towards fulfilling someone's dream. She comes across that Prerna is not able to go to school just because of her school dress, she buys her the same and as Indian's we don't trust anyone easily, her mother is seen asking her what's her selfish motive and why did she accept the gift from her? 
Skater Girl @NetflixSA #Movies #Sports #Skating
Meanwhile, Erick's board gets popular as he tries to teach Prerna and she feels so free balancing on the same for the first time in her life. She tries to do it using her homemade trolley but it doesn't have the swiftness of the skateboard. Erick lets her keep the board which gets accidentally drowned in the lake. Jessica sees the spark in the kids towards skateboarding and buys them a whole lot of skateboards for everyone. As kids start to become normal with skateboarding making it a little difficult for the villagers as they start skating inside the markets and other spots of the village. The kids also start missing school as they are having more fun enjoying skateboarding. 

It's really a touching story as Jessica faces issues with the villagers and especially from Prerna's family for motivating her in so-called boys sports. She continues her fight and finally opens up a full-fledged Skateboarding park, the first in the state of Rajasthan with the help of Udaipur's Royal Family played by Waheeda Rehman. Meanwhile, Prerna continues to show some great efforts to learn the sport and puts in a great belief in herself to reach a place where she gives wings to her dreams and tries to fulfil them. It's really a nicely directed movie by Manjari Makijany and music by Salim-Sulaiman adds to the overall feel of the movie. A must watch I must say and kids will really enjoy the movie a lot. Acting is superb by each and every character and there is no dragging of the story. You won't want to stand up unless you have finished watching the whole movie in a single go. I totally enjoyed the same. 
RATING - 4.5/5

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SUNFLOWER @ZEE5India #Mystery #Comedy #SunflowerOnZEE5 #TheUncooperativeSociety

Hi Friends, 

SUNFLOWER is the latest murder mystery and comedy built into a web series on the ZEE5 Online Platform featuring Sunil Grover as Sonu Singh who lives in a society in Mumbai where murder happens and all the tenets, maids, guards etc are seemed to be the suspects for the same. Sonu is also living in one of the houses where the murder of Mr Raj Kapoor played by Ashwin Kaushal takes place. The suspects are basically Mr Ahuja played by Mukul Chadha and Sonu Singh. Mrs Ahuja is played by Radha Bhatt and the interactions between them are the most amazing part of this web series as they cover their tracks of murder as they were shown doing something which was going to kill Raj Kapoor. They had a regular fight for a number of reasons like Kapoor parking his Mercedes in Ahuja's parking lot and also Kapoor playing Table Tennis on the wall while Ahuja is making love with his wife. I think the character of Mr Ahuja whose first name is not known and the same goes for Mrs Ahuja too is more of a psychopath who sees good in scratching the car of Mr Kapoor. But the actor looks more irritated, tired and doesn't convince you as a psychopath whom you are afraid to go in front of as a Professor. Beard won't make you look and act like the Professor in Money Heist if the character is inspired by the web series. 

As it happens in so many building societies based web series or TV serials, this one also has a lot of fights and love between various tenets and owners living in the society. This one has a lot of comedy sequences where everyone has to go through some kind of interview process and admission form to stay in the society in the backdrop of the election being held for Chairman of the Sunflower Society. There are two candidates who want to stand for the same - one is our main actor Sonu Singh and another one is Dilip Iyer played by Ashish Vidyarthi. Ashish is central to the moral police they have in their society while her own daughter is not following the steps he wants her to follow. As shown in several other serials, the building will contain all kinds of tenets and they will have their own kind of behaviour and selfish intents - this web series too focussed on many of those and the age-old thinking affecting us in the modern world. It's a great direction by Vikas Bahl to retouch those small peculiarities of the society in a nice way so that people can think about the same. It's like watching Queen movie but on a different topic. 

SUNFLOWER @ZEE5India #Mystery #Crime #Comedy #SunflowerOnZEE5 #TheUncooperativeSociety

Sonu Singh also has some hidden agenda which was showcased in the last two episodes but the conclusive end of murder is not shown as the story is left hanging for the next season if it arrives. Raj Kapoor's wife had an affair with his younger brother played by Shonali Nagrani and Arav Chowdharry. Then there are the police guys investigating the murder as DG played by Ranvir Shorey and Girish Kulkarni as Chetan Tambe. There are a lot of girls whom Sonu wants to impress in society and at his workplace too played by Saloni Khanna, Pallavi Das, Dayana Erappa, Ria Nalavade and Simran Nerurkar. 

A lot of focus is given to the day to day lifestyle of Sonu Singh where he spends a lot of time talking to tele-callers in the evening calling him for some kind of Credit card, Data SIM or various other insurance products. Basically, it's shown he doesn't have a lot of friends and talks to his mom three times a day. He orders food from various eateries especially Chinese noodles and also is fully organised. He even keeps his doormat in a certain order matching the line of the flooring. He befriends some of the girls from the office and his neighbours from the opposite door and keeps cracking these PJs from time to time. Guthi reference does come up once or twice in the show but Suni Grover is nothing unless he is accompanied by Kapil Sharma. Together they are awesome and separated they are not something people will enjoy. 

Sonu Singh as showcased in the 8 episodes is shown as a loving cute character by everyone and his good side is shown so far but there can be a real psychopath building up who loses his girlfriend due to Mr Raj Kapoor's influence as she used to work for her and he convinced her to marry someone else. Sonu follows strict principles in his day to day lifestyle and says that no sex before marriage. He is a top employee at his previous job as well as the current one at Ladies Makeup manufacturing company. The best scene is when he tries to take his trouser back from the office boy in the conference room. There are some funny moments in the story with a lot of adult angle also imbibed in the web series. Ranvir Shorey has made his character of Inspector DG interesting. Girish Kulkarni seems to be a real police guy with the mannerism he has in certain of his characters played in various web series. 

In the end, it's a combination of a lot of different stories happening in each and every person related to the Sunflower society where a murder mystery is being solved by the viewers as well as the police. There is the removal of evidence - incidental or intentional which have not followed the police protocol to come to a conclusion which is showed as Sonu Singh to be behind the murder of Mr Raj Kapoor but whether he is a murderer or not will be shown until there is a season 2 of the Sunflower on ZEE5 platform. This is something intentional that the director and Reliance Entertainment has done to its viewers as the story is not closed after 8 episodes. Watch it if you are a fan of Sunil Grover who in several scenes tries to copy Shahrukh Khan's character of Surinder Sahni from Rab Ne Bana De Jodi keeping his face shut while smiling etc. RATING - 3/5

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