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ESS Technology Introduces Suite of USB CODECs featuring Audiophile SABRE DACs

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MILPITAS, Calif., Jan. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ESS Technology, the industry leader in audio and analog design, announced today a series of USB Low-Power Audiophile CODECs that feature QUAD DAC™ Technology. Intended for use in headsets and audio adaptors that demand high-quality sound, the new line of CODECs can support end-to-end audiophile quality.  The family is built around a low-power USB controller that supports USB 1.1 & 2.0, and can handle audio data rates up to 32-bit 384kHz PCM.  At its heart is the legendary SABRE® DAC audio converter with HyperStream® II modulation that provides the ultimate in sound quality and stable sound field. The integrated headphone amp delivers that performance all the way to the headsets with up to 2.0Vrms output voltage, ensuring plenty of headroom for demanding headsets.

The highly-integrated parts also include all the needed blocks to make designing a USB audio system simple, including jack detect, button detection and GPIO inputs/outputs for custom buttons or switches.  Reference designs are available for USB-C audio adaptors and USB-C headsets, and the parts can be easily customized using external EEPROM.

The ES9281PRO is the flagship of the new line and can provide best-in-class audio performance at 124 dB DNR and -112 Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise (THD+N).

The ES9281PRO is the first USB product to offer an integrated hardware MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) renderer that makes MQA playback easy and cost-efficient.  MQA technology is becoming widely accepted as the standard for distributing ultra-high-quality music across a variety of platforms.  The encoding process folds extra information into the signal that can be recovered later.  The subsequent “unfolding” process takes place in two steps: the first unfold, called Core Decoding, can be done on most DSP systems, including software included in smartphone applications.  The final step in the unfolding, called rendering, needs to be done in tight cooperation with the DAC.  The ES9281PRO will automatically detect the MQA stream and engage the rendering; the entire process requires no additional design work.

An integrated Audio Signal Processor (ASP) allows for creating real-time audio filters for use as Active Noise Cancelation (ANC), customized Parametric Equalizer (PEQ), Sidetone, or other filter-based audio effects.

The ES9280PRO offers the same impressive audiophile features as the ES9281PRO but without the MQA rendering. Both products feature a wide range of additional input formats beyond USB.  In addition to the standard microphone support, they feature stereo line input and 8-channel I2S, allowing it to act as USB audio bridge for desktop audio player applications.

The third product in the line, The ES9270, offers a streamlined solution focused on creating high-quality headsets and dongles.  The ES9270 can provide 117 dB DNR and -110 Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise (THD+N) and features the same low-power audio controller as the flagship, without the ASP or I2S bridge.  These parts are ideal for mainstream USB-C headsets and adaptors that still want great sound.

Samples, evaluation boards, and reference designs are available now for all three parts; in addition, the ES9281PRO will be featured for listening in the ESS demo suite at the 2019 CES show in Las Vegas, January 8th – 11th.  For more information, contact your local sales representative.

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Press Release

Frontier Airlines Expands Partnership With Points To Enhance Travel Redemption Program

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Frontier leverages Points Travel services for members to gain access to over 300,000 hotels
TORONTO, Feb. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — the global leader in powering loyalty commerce, today announced that it has expanded its partnership with FRONTIER Miles, the recently reinvented frequent flyer program of low-fare carrier, Frontier Airlines to leverage Points Travel services, the industry leading white label hotel platform for access to over 300,000 hotels at the click of a button.

Through a single integration with Points’ Loyalty Commerce Platform, which powers Points Travel services, FRONTIER Miles members now have the ability to redeem miles when booking on over 300,000 hotels across the globe. This significant program enhancement is following a successful partnership launch this year with Points and Groupon when FRONTIER Miles leveraged Points’ platform to offer Groupon customers the opportunity to earn up to 5 FRONTIER Miles per dollar spent when buying eligible Groupon deals.

“With the introduction of our recently reimagined FRONTIER Miles program, we’re excited to expand our relationship with Points, growing our redemption capabilities to more than 300,000 hotels, and ensuring the redemption of miles is made even easier and more rewarding for our customers,” said Tommy Langhauser, senior manager of loyalty and partnerships, Frontier Airlines. “The addition of mileage redemption for hotels through Points allows us to give our passengers added flexibility in redeeming their FRONTIER Miles for any part of their next vacation and beyond.”

Frontier Airlines first partnered with Points in 2011 to offer a number of Points’ Loyalty Currency Retailing services, including Buy, Gift and Share to enable its members to get more out of their participation. The introduction of Points Travel services and overall closer collaboration with Points will ensure the recently reinvented FRONTIER Miles loyalty program can continue to better engage their members, generate incremental revenue and drive new member acquisition.

“We have been proud partners of Frontier Airlines for many years now, and are thrilled to be able to further expand our relationship,” said Rob MacLean, CEO of Points. “We look forward to leveraging our platform to power new features for Frontier to attract new members, and to deepen loyalty and flexible engagement opportunities with its existing members.”

Points Travel can be quickly integrated into any loyalty program’s web and mobile properties to create a highly-converting, travel eCommerce offering that is program-branded and leverages the capabilities of the Points Loyalty Commerce Platform. The user experience is simple and intuitive, taking members from consideration to purchase in just a few clicks, ultimately rewarding members with thousands of points or miles as well as being able to redeem points for bookings at thousands of hotels and car rental companies around the world.

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Press Release

Facebook partners with more than 20 African NGOs for Safer Internet Day 2019

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Facebook partners with more than 20 African NGOs for Safer Internet Day 2019

The campaign covers most of sub-Saharan Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, February 4, 2019/ — In line with its commitment to building a safer online world for all, Facebook (Facebook.com) is supporting Safer Internet Day (5 February) with a campaign spanning 15-plus African countries. Aligning with the Safer Internet Day call to action – “Together for a better internet” – by joining hands with more than 20 non-profit organizations and government agencies, the campaign aims to raise awareness about Internet safety and security concerns such as cyberbullying and cyber-crime.

Facebook partners with more than 20 African NGOs for Safer Internet Day 2019

Facebook is supporting the Safer Internet Day by:

Sponsoring the printing of online safety awareness booklets.
Facilitating training sessions.
Creating a family-friendly animation to help raise awareness of the Facebook Safety Centre (https://www.Facebook.com/safety)

“We know that safety is a shared conversation, which is why we are excited to be working with so many stakeholders around the continent to make the Internet a better place,” says Sherry Dzinoreva, Public Policy Programs Lead at Facebook Africa. “Together, with Safer Internet Day as a platform, we can address emerging online concerns, so that people and especially children and the youth, can get the most from their Internet experience.”

The campaign covers most of sub Saharan Africa, including Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Facebook’s highlights for the week of Safer Internet Day include:

South Africa
Facebook is partnering with The Film and Publication Board (FPB), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), Google, Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) to launch the Web Rangers Programme 2019. Facebook is also supporting this effort with educational content. Facebook’s Emilar Gandhi will participate in panel sessions to talk about how Facebook strives to keep its community safe.

“Together for a Better Internet is a call to action for every government agency, private company, civil society organisation and citizen of South Africa. A force for good, the digital world also holds some dangers. But these dangers are all created. In and of itself the internet can only cause harm if it is used expressly for that purpose. We all need to respect the rights of others on the internet, as much as we expect our rights to be respected,” says Film and Publication Board spokesperson, Lynette Kamineth.

Kenya
Facebook is supporting Watoto Watch’s Safer Internet Day event for students at Ngunyumu Primary School in Nairobi. The event is the launchpad for the “A Million Campaign”, which seeks to raise awareness about online safety among schoolchildren. Facebook is providing ad credits and safety booklets for the event.

“The Internet enables us to connect with friends and family, access a wealth of knowledge and information, and express our thoughts and creativity,” , says Lillian Kariuki, Executive Director at Watoto Watch. “Along with these positives, children also need to understand how they can manage online risks as they make use of the Internet’s resources. Our aim, with the help of Facebook, is to equip children with this knowledge.”

Nigeria
Paradigm Initiative Nigeria is running workshops on safer internet use as part of its LIFE program in Kano, Lagos and Aba. Facebook’s Safe Online trainers will run two-hour workshops in both PIN’s LIFE Centers and at schools in Kano and Lagos for this initiative.

“Working with Facebook on online safety aligns with our focus on driving digital inclusion and educating the youth about their digital rights,” Tope Ogundipe, Director of Programs at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria “This programme promises to equip the children who participate with skills and knowledge that will enable them to make confident use of the Internet in their day to day lives.”

 

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Press Release

Retail Pro International Adds Reseller in Mexico, Increasing Specialty Retail Access to Unified Retail Pro POS

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Retail Pro International deepens investment in Mexico specialty retail with addition of another reseller partnership, POS Latinoamericana.

Folsom, CA, Jan. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Retail Pro International, developer of global, flexible Retail Pro POS platform, announces deeper investment in Mexico retail by expanding their existing local reseller channel in partnership with Naucalpan-based IT company, POS Latinoamericana.

Specialty retailers will benefit most from this partnership, gaining greater access to software that top retailers like Samsonite, Puma, Oakley, Adidas, Diesel and Under Armour use to centrally manage in-store and ecommerce retail – Retail Pro.

Current efforts for Retail Pro International include a focus on helping retailers unify data and operations in Retail Pro, a platform store-management software. Unified data gives end-to-end visibility, helping retailers accomplish the following:

Uncover areas for performance improvement
Improve replenishment across channels
Increase efficiency in store operations

Retail Pro International CEO, Kerry Lemos, comments, “Mexico has sophisticated retailers, with high demand for modern POS technology that helps maximize ROI with better data-driven store management. We are pleased to meet that need with the introduction of more Retail Pro resellers to serve this market.”

Retail Pro International VP of Channel Sales for Latin America, Shaff Kassam, adds, “Retailers are equipped to make the most of their Retail Pro software through our Retail Pro Business Partners. Our partners offer local IT support and training for retailers’ IT teams and provide technical expertise and consulting for tailoring Retail Pro software to a retailers’ needs and regional requirements.”

The developer currently supports 54,000+ retailers in 130+ countries via Business Partner services. The availability of this local support in regions worldwide gives retailers advantage when expanding to new markets in the global economy.

POS Latinoamericana CEO Hector Jaramillo comments, “We look forward to helping Mexico retailers improve productivity and competitiveness with Retail Pro software. Because the technology is localized for Mexico and is easily customized for a retailer’s specific business operations, we believe retailers will be better positioned to respond quickly to industry change and increase profitability.”

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