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  • Instagram fast becoming a powerful marketing tool in SA

    Facebook-owned Instagram has grown exponentially over the last few years and brands are adopting ways to utilise this social media platform to tell a visual brand story and sell products or services through appealing imagery. In fact, Instagram has seen the fastest growth of any social network in South Africa over the past year, according to the South African Social Media Landscape 2016 study. It grew an impressive 133%, from 1.1-million to 2.68-million users. Taking our own experiences with the platform into consideration, and we have some experience as our communities range from motorheads to job-seekers and enthusiasts of just about...

  • Google Drive gets updated search with autocorrect

    Google is the king of search and it's now bringing its skills to Google Drive. In a new update, Google Drive is getting faster search functionality, complete with New Language Processing (NLP) capabilities. Announcing the update, Josh Smith, Product Manager at Google Drive, pointed out that the engineering of Google Search is coming to Google Drive. "Innovation is critical for business success, so we're constantly trying to build tools that enable our customers to do more," Smith said. The update is being rolled out today and will allow Google Drive users to make use of the new search feature and its NLP capabilities. The...

  • Most popular products on PriceCheck from 2006-2016 [infographic]

    Popular price comparison/ecommerce website has been around for quite a long time, starting out way back in 2006. Now, the company has issued a rather cool infographic, detailing the five most popular products for each year of its existence. "Over the past 10 years, PriceCheck has tracked the most popular categories on its platform, starting with digital cameras in 2006 and 2007. By 2008, smartphones had overtaken the photography addiction, with the Apple iPhone 8GB garnering 1500 views on the site since launch," the company wrote in a press statement. PriceCheck reported a 500% increase in queries for HTC phones in 2014...

  • Ever heard of DNA robots controlled by thought?

    A research paper published in the scientific journal Plos One, titled Thought-Controlled Nanoscale Robots in a Living Host, has garnered a lot of attention this week. Israeli computer science graduate Shachar Arnon and his team have found a way to combine the exciting with the somewhat terrifying by developing remote-controlled nanobots that can operate in a living subject using nothing but the power of thought. "We report a new type of brain-machine interface enabling a human operator to control nanometre-size robots inside a living animal by brain activity. Recorded EEG patterns are recognised online by an algorithm, which in turn controls the state of an electromagnetic...

  • Feeling impatient? Here’s how to get Google Allo in SA

    It's been a long time coming, but Google Allo is finally rolling out across the world, bringing a variety of cool features to a messaging platform. As with many app rollouts, these things can take a bit of time and Google Play isn't granting access at the time of writing. But if you're feeling a little impatient like us, we show you how to get Google Allo in SA... Enable installations from third party sources For starters, you'll want to visit your settings menu and the privacy or security sub-menu. From this sub-menu, you should be able to enable installations from third party/unofficial sources. You'll need...

  • Employees download malware every four seconds

    A new pair of studies reveals that employees are downloading unknown malware at a staggering rate. The Check Point 2016 Security Report and the SANS 2016 Threat Landscape Study revealed "critical challenges" facing businesses, Check Point wrote in an emailed press statement. The Check Point report saw the company analyse the activity of 31 000 Check Point "gateways" around the world. The SANS study, on the other hand, saw 300 IT security professionals being surveyed. "Researchers found a 9x increase in the amount of unknown malware plaguing businesses. This was fuelled by the employees -- who downloaded a new unknown malware every four...

  • Google Photos gets update: so what’s new then?

    It's been a busy work for Google. The company launched Google Trips and announced the launch of Google Allo, its messaging app. And now it has announced that Google Photos is receiving an update. The update will see Google Photos deliver all-new movies and a faster way to share photos and videos. Now users can simply pick the photo that they want to share and select the people they want to share the photo with - no need to select a third-party app. The new update, according to Google, is ultimately to reduce the time users spend toggling from one app to another...

  • SuperSport to trial Facebook for live broadcast

    Popular South African sports channel family SuperSport has announced that it will Thursday broadcast its first live TV event on Facebook. This will be the broadcast of the Varsity Football final between TUT and UJ taking place in Pretoria. This move aims to encourage more people to discover the tournament, and perhaps appeal to younger audiences who don't have access to DStv. The move also depicts SuperSport's renewed interest in social media as an alternative broadcast scheme. The channel also recently began broadcasting eSports tournaments on its bouquet as well. According to the press release, "this is a first for SuperSport, making...

  • F35 fighter jet still has ‘significant’ tech issues

    The Lockheed Martin F35's troubles have been well-documented, ranging from major software issues to a horrendous price tag. But is one of the most advanced military jets in history making good progress? According to a Secretary of Defense memo, spotted by Bloomberg and the Project for Government Oversight, the F35 is "on a path toward failing" to deliver the full capabilities for the programme by 2018. The memo added that the Department of Defense was paying US$400-billion for the programme. The memo noted that the military jet would be unable to perform close air support operations as effectively as the older F16,...

  • Moore’s Law under threat thanks to silicon alternatives

    Moore's Law suggests that computational power should, in theory, double every two years; but that understanding is now being put under severe strain. Mardochee Reveil, a chemical and biomolecular engineering PhD student as well as a member of the Paulette Clancy research group, is one at the forefront of researching processes at the heart of computational power. Reveil's primary focus is researching new materials that could be used for semiconductors as an alternative to silicon. Progress in computing power focused on reducing transistors' sizes made of silicon, but now tech industries have to face the scalability limits of the element. For example, the...

  • Telkom Mobile revises uncapped LTE throttling policy

    Telkom Mobile has announced a revised fair usage policy (FUP) for uncapped LTE users, following negative publicity on social media. Users who had allegedly fallen foul of Telkom Mobile's FUP expressed frustration after being throttled to extremely slow speeds. Now, the network has announced an overhaul of its policy for uncapped users, giving them an extra 100GB of full-speed data before throttling comes into effect. "This means that customers would have to use in excess of 300GB of data per month before Telkom's FUP will be applied. Telkom has also included an additional 50GB data allocation for peer-to- peer services such as BitTorrent and...

  • Google Trips is Google’s nifty dedicated travel app

    Google Now already delivers a bunch of features for travellers, but the Mountain View company is upping the ante in a big way with the launch of Google Trips. The new app serves as a hub for travel information, offering trip details from your Gmail account and taking the form of Google Now style cards. So that means you have a card dedicated to your upcoming Johannesburg trip, for instance. Tap the card and you'll get a ton more details to check out, such as reservations, things to do, saved places from Google Maps, day plan options, food and drink choices and...

  • Curro Grantleigh, Meridian Cosmo City win local leg of World Robot Olympiad

    Independent educational provider Curro saw two of its South African schools -- Grantleigh and Meridian Cosmo City -- walk away with gold and silver medals respectively at the World Robot Olympiad's national finals held in Pretoria earlier this month. This year's theme "Rap The Scrap" focuses on best recycling practices. Students were required to build LEGO-based robots which could reduce or manage recyclable waste. The Grantleigh team, consisting of 16-year old Dominique Spies and 15-year old Bonga Gumbi, designed a robot which sorts waste into its respective recycling containers at recycling plants. The team's robot had two minutes to complete its given challenge...

  • WhatsApp adds Twitter-like mentions to group chats

    Facebook's other chat app WhatsApp has received some shiny new updates today, with others arriving in the coming weeks. Available at the time of writing, the app now allows users to tag individuals in group chats by using the @ symbol. This seems to be the only actively-functioning new addition to the Android app, but also works on iOS. Users can simply head to a group chat, drop the @ symbol in the text field, and WhatsApp will pull up a list of names within that group. Users can then tap on a name to add them as a mention. It's...

  • Twitter’s 140 character stretch begins today

    Great news, Twitter users. From today, the social network will no longer count certain types of content towards the arbitrary 140-character limit. First announced in May 2016, the move will allow tweeters to get more written content into their tweets, regardless of how many images or @names they have included. Previously, these were counted towards the limit. Twitter did ponder pushing that limit to 10 000 characters back in January Polls, videos, GIFs, images, @names and practically any other embedded media won't be counted as one of the 140 characters. Say more about what's happening! Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and...