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All posts by André-Pierre du Plessis

André-Pierre du Plessis
From a very young age, AP du Plessis has had an unhealthy obsession with Lego. Trumping Mattel to become the world's top toy maker, Lego has made it particularly difficult for him to quit bricks. AP worked at Bloomberg, Media24 and eNCA before joining Memeburn as managing editor.
  • SA’s first social media lawyer on sex tapes, penis transplants and Pistorius

    She’s been described as the Dr. Eve of social media, ready with that much-needed reality check just before we send out a message into the world that one day will come back to haunt us. Invited to SXSW to talk about South Africa’s first trial by social media, Memeburn had the opportunity to sit down with Emma Sadleir at one of Austin’s most opulent hotels, the Driskill. Sadleir shot to fame as host on DStv’s Oscar Pistorius channel fielding Twitter questions about the country’s first televised trial. Viewers could send questions using the #AskEmma hashtag which would often trend while...

  • Seinfeld’s SNL speech is the greatest new thing in virtual reality

    After Facebook acquired Oculus VR for US$2-billion last year, it was to be expected that virtual reality experiences would be a key feature at this year's SXSW Interactive festival. Read more: Here are the winners and losers in Facebook’s $2bn Oculus VR deal One of the most publicised virtual reality experiences was brought to Austin by Paramount Pictures as a way of promoting the digital and Blu-Ray release of Interstellar. On an open field next to an iHop and across a building site, stood what looked like a deserted white dome. Inside three La-Z-Boys were ready to give you the feeling of entering the...

  • Recovering from SXSW FOMO? Don’t worry, so is everyone in Austin

    It's the last day of SXSW Interactive, and finally the rain set in. Judging by the amount of cat love in Austin, rain is keeping people indoors today which is a good thing. Why? Because it gives everyone some time to relax; avoiding lines outside; not running around; not acting out their FOMO. It's coming. #SXSW is the Olympics of #FOMO and we medal every year. pic.twitter.com/DJjNCb4y6R — Dell Blue (@dellcreative) February 27, 2015 South By (short for SXSW) is the ultimate Fear Of Missing Out event. You think you've planned your schedule ahead of time (there's this crazy app sending push notifications on the hottest events...

  • Possibilities for Bitcoin’s social value in developing world discussed at SXSW

    A US non-profit charity is using Bitcoin to build on Mpesa’s existing infrastructure, making the transfer from US Dollars to Kenyan Shillings that much easier. Connie Gallippi is the founder and director of BitGive, a California-based charity that raise donations solely in Bitcoin. With over a decade’s experience in working with non-profits, Connie was attending a conference on Bitcoin in 2013 when she realised there could be an opportunity to demonstrate Bitcoin’s social value. One charity that was already accepting Bitcoins as donations was the Water Project, a non-profit building water wells in Kenyan communities without running water. In partnering with them, Connie was...

  • Momofuku founder David Chang talks robots and restaurants at SXSW

    In what feels like the far-off southeastern corner of Manhattan, stands a small restaurant attracting foodies from across the world. They serve tiny buns that wrap around a certain deliciousness, the type this journalist doesn’t have the proper vocabulary to describe. It’s called Momofuku and has since it opened in 2004, made its owner David Chang one of the most celebrated chefs in the US. When restaurants saw their most valuable assets reduced to Instagram fodder, David made many enemies by outlawing social media use at his restaurants. Instead of spending time on social media, David seemed to say, he...

  • e.tv’s David Kibuuka travels to hipster mecca SXSW, reveals he owns 5 iPods

    "If you go to Cape Town there's a lot of coloured people, right," David Kibuuka replies after I ask what he makes of all the SXSW hipsters. "But I wouldn't say Cape Town is a coloured place. There just happen to be coloured people too. In the same way when you come to Austin there's a lot of hipsters. So if you came here and asked me if this a hipster place, I wouldn't say that. But if we were going to discuss hipsterness then we would do it here, so that the hipsters wouldn't have to travel that far." A jaunty grin...

  • SXSW Highlight: Biz Stone admits defeat in post-Twitter foray, asks ‘Does anybody want Jelly?’

    Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is looking for someone to take Jelly off his hands. During a talk at SXSW in Texas, Stone admitted to a massive group of fans that Jelly is dead. (Gasp). “We built Jelly as we figured mobile devices are humanity's hyperlinks so we can democratise info to bring knowledge online,” Stone told a packed hall at the Austin Convention Centre. But in less than a year his great idea flopped, bottoming out of the App Store within its first month. Read more: Jelly’s first week: 100k questions asked, 25% answered Despite being Silicon Valley's nice-guy, Stone just couldn't...

  • SXSW Day 1: New media challenges in a world (still) dominated by traditional media

    This week Snapchat’s value jumped to US$15-billion after Alibaba invested some US$200-million in the mobile messaging company. It’s something that on day one of SXSW came up in talks across the city because Snapchat is the latest and greatest disrupter. You might not even think about it when using Snapchat, but as media companies are fighting to gain more real estate on the platform, they are simultaneously having to consider how their standards should adapt to the unknown corners of Snapchat. That is for example one of the things that got Fusion thinking when it joined Snapchat and its editor...

  • Do’s and don’ts in Austin: why the internet loves to hate SXSW

    Driving into Austin feels like entering an episode of Portlandia. I’ve been told the place is overrun by hipsters but didn’t think it could outdo Portland. “Austin has way too many young, white and myopic hipsters for my taste,” says a dear friend and resident of the city. Now consider that this is an opinion of the city in its quiet months, which makes the arrival of 30 000+ people for a "five day flurry of buzzwords and gamification" in Austin that much more Portland/hipster/tweetworthy. SXSW (or simply “South By”) is an indaba of creatives: musicians, filmmakers and geeks get...

  • Airline apps review: the best, the worst, and the one that makes you feel good

    There’s actually no reason whatsoever for anybody in this day and age to walk around with paper boarding passes. When airport companies came up with the bright idea of introducing self check-in kiosks it didn’t make the experience any easier either. Meanwhile most of those travelling by air are carrying smartphones these days. So why not invest in an app? It’s mostly been American airlines which have commissioned some incredible apps these last few years. Surprisingly it doesn't seem to be much of a priority for European or Gulf airlines. Instead of trying to save on leg room, they could...

  • CHAPPiE is an elaborate feature-length music video for Die Antwoord

    Ninja cried at the end of Chappie. Many others didn't even get that far into the movie. Released in the US a week ahead of its South African release, Chappie has left Americans dumbfounded. I went to see the movie in a New York cinema where people actually walked out while others stopped paying attention halfway through to discuss the weather. Chappie is South African-born director Neill Blomkamp's third Sony blockbuster, following the runaway success of District 9 and the less-successful Elysium. Six years after its US release, District 9 is still a hit in America. When I first moved to the...

  • 9 things Jon Stewart taught the world about South Africa

    Jon Stewart taught the world a great deal. After more than 15 years as host of Comedy Central’s Daily Show, Stewart announced he'll step down later this year, and with it will come a drop the global average IQ. Thank you Jon. pic.twitter.com/yPdxjnkuLw — Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) February 10, 2015 Stewart’s “fake news” taught Americans more about the world that their own news channels did, including the ever valuable lesson that Africa is in fact not a country. In fact, Stewart taught the world so much about Africa, and South Africa specifically, that we’ve decided to compile a video (below) of some of our...

  • 4 years on: 4 reasons why Bloomberg West is the best tech TV show

    Four years ago this March, Bloomberg TV made the (then) unusual decision to create the only daily business news TV programme focusing exclusively on technology news. Called Bloomberg West, the show's mantra -- which gets repeated at the top of every broadcast -- hasn't changed a bit: "innovation, technology and the future of business" is still its driving force. Although South African tech-news show Tech Report premiered some 6 months prior to this (and is therefore worth a mention), Bloomberg West is a whole different kettle of fish. For one it's a daily show, which means the kind of pressure to keep viewers entertained for an...

  • You can now be a grownup and invest actual money through an app

    I honestly thought it couldn't be done. I thought it was too risky and that my money would disappear in a day. But it didn't. I've actually become someone who invests my savings, and it's all thanks to an app. Back in 2012, I was probably one of the first people to start using 22seven, at least the first among my friends and family. At the time most major banks didn't trust the service and prevented 22seven from accessing users' personal bank accounts. But I trusted the guy who worked for a bank where I nearly lost my money but...

  • Cape Town startup throws its weight behind Cape fire rescue efforts [update]

    As raging fires in the Cape's Southern Peninsula continued today, rain finally brought relief to some of the firefighting efforts although it wasn't enough to complete douse the flames. As firefighters continue working tirelessly, various companies have started using the power of social media to bring support to these firefighting volunteers. Through its LeadSA initiative, Primedia started a #FireRadiothon hoping to get the public donating R 2-million by 7pm tonight: Will give you a call if short "@Abramjee: #FireRadiothon Dear @brucebusiness - You have to ensure R2m target is reached...you have till 7pm — Bruce Whitfield (@brucebusiness) March 4, 2015 Now big banks...