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Thousands flock to Brazilian tech event

Sao Paulo, Brazil -

Hundreds of geeks and gamers braved Sao Paulo's torrid heat on Tuesday to play online video games at the fifth edition of Brazil's Campus Party, an annual, week-long technology fest.

Cloud computing is set to transform the way that small South African businesses consume ICT services within the next two years. Credit: AFP

Jefferson Almeida, a 21-year-old engineering student, said he traveled from Dourados, in the center-west state of Mato Grosso do Sul, to show his work and take part in “technological conferences that are very good.”

He is one of the participants gathered in the huge Anhembi convention center in northern Sao Paulo, where from Tuesday to Saturday, 7,000 accredited web fans will have access to more than 500 hours of conferences with international experts, take part in contests or debates or take up courses.

On long tables crammed with laptops and huge screens, visitors, most of them aged between 18 to 29, sought to distribute their work and get informed about market needs.

“To learn from success stories also helps you get good results,” said Erica Brasil, a 32-year-old business consultant on social networks.

It was her first appearance at Campus Party, which in the past she has monitored on the Internet.

“It's good to make friends and to salute them 'off line,'“ she said with a smile.

Others were absorbed by video games, taking advantage of 20Gb (gigabit) speed to wage online warfare, test new technologies which accurately detect body movements or to play on car simulators.

One of the main attractions is Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), the world's biggest video game tournament which is making a stopover in Brazil to pick those who will qualify for the finals in Germany in March.

“For serious players, to play with a faster machine is good,” said Americo Tome, head of products at Intel Brasil, told AFP.

US maker Microchips came to unveil on the Brazilian market its new “ultra book”, a slim and powerful machine with the familiar feel of the netbook or laptop and designed to compete with the tablets.

Organisers are expecting more than 200,000 visitors.

Founded in 1997 as a gaming event, Campus Party was first held in Malaga, Spain, and has since spurred editions in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Ecuador and Chile. - Sapa-AFP

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