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All posts by Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings almost seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat.
  • WhatsApp Status: will it be a Snapchat clone?

    Who knew that WhatsApp originally started out as a way to leave status messages, so others knew what you were up to? Well, it looks like that feature is finally receiving an overhaul this week. "The original idea behind the project was to build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you're up to . This was months before we added messaging," said WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum in a blog post. Koum explained that the team had always wanted to updating and "evolving" the feature. Who knew that this evolution might be rather similar...

  • 15 must-have Android apps under 15MB [Tech Savvy SA]

    Tech Savvy SA is a series of articles on Gearburn and Memeburn that aim to deliver useful, locally relevant advice to the average South African. Mobile data isn't super cheap in South Africa, but that doesn't mean you should skimp out on quality app downloads though. We've sifted through the Google Play Store, delivering 15 useful Android apps that weigh in at 15MBs or under. Pocket Weighing in at roughly 12MBs, Pocket (formerly Read It later) is arguably the best solution of its kind on the Google Play Store. The app allows users to save articles for later reading, delivering offline reading functionality in the process....

  • Deloitte outlines its 7 big tech trends for 2017 and beyond

    What does 2017 and beyond hold for the technology sector? Well, according to Deloitte, you can expect "dark analytics" and "everything-as-a-service" to join the likes of Blockchain. The multinational firm listed the aforementioned trends as part of its Tech Trends 2017 report. So what should you know, then? Dark Analytics Starting with this term, Deloitte expects previously unstructured and unanalysed archives of data to be a hefty resource in the next 12 to 24 months. The company cites examples such as image, audio and video files, machine and sensor information from the Internet of Things and data from the deep web as some...

  • Thought #SONA2017 was bad? Watch these international political brawls

    Viewers across South Africa endured what is quickly becoming an annual (yet dramatic) farce in the form of last night's #SONA2017 State of the Nation Address. From a heavy security presence by the ruling party to the EFF's hectoring of President Jacob Zuma, things only went downhill from there. The low point of the night was marked by the EFF's removal from the chamber, making for shocking scenes on television. But, believe it or not, this sort of violence takes place around the world as well -- we look at a few notable videos. Also, be sure to find the bulk...

  • South Africa in last place for ‘digital civility’ – study

    A new study conducted by technology giant Microsoft, marking Safer Internet Day (7 February), found that South Africa was ranked last out of 14 countries for so-called digital civility. The study is part of a Microsoft challenge for people to embrace digital civility, or treating each other "with respect and dignity online". Microsoft conducted the study last year in order to gauge the degree of civility across online interactions. So what did it find? "South Africa ranked in 14th place in the Digital Civility Index, making it the country with the highest online risk exposure and lowest degree of digital civility out of...

  • 20 SA game development personalities to follow on Twitter [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. You wouldn't think this was the case as an outsider, but South Africa has a vibrant game development community. Between high-profile releases, experimental fare and everything in between, South Africa's game developers are a force to be reckoned with. But just who are the standout people you should follow on Twitter? We gathered a few notable personalities/developers you...

  • Snapchat IPO: 6 more things you should know

    Snap Inc's IPO filing was made public overnight, revealing a variety of details surrounding Snapchat's operations. For one, we know that the firm hasn't made a profit in 2015 and 2016 (although it's quickly catching up), then there's the claim of 158 million daily active users. But what else do the documents tell us? Yes, Snapchat's prioritising iOS Many Android users have long held that Snapchat didn't pay enough attention to the Google platform -- something the company admitted in the filing. "The majority of our user engagement is on smartphones with iOS operating systems. As a result, although our products work with...

  • Snapchat IPO: the key figures revealed

    Snap Inc. filed a confidential initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission last year, leaving many to wonder about the details. But now, the house of Snapchat has raised the curtain on aspects of the deal. The IPO could value the company at up to US$25-billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. "Snap Inc. is a camera company. We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate," read an excerpt of founder Evan Spiegel's letter in the filing. "Our products empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about...

  • Zenimax wins $500m in Oculus VR verdict

    A Dallas jury has awarded US$500-million to Zenimax Media after it took legal action against Facebook-owned Oculus. The gaming publisher claimed that it was responsible for the key technology used in the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The case focused on former Zenimax employee and game development icon John Carmack, who joined Oculus in 2013. Carmack told the court that he took email records, including VR-related code, when he left, Bloomberg reported. The jury found against Zenimax's claims of trade secret theft. However, it ordered Oculus to pay US$200-million for a non-disclosure agreement violation, US$50-million for improper use of Zenimax trademarks and...

  • Apple sells 78m iPhones in quarter, record revenue in tow

    Apple didn't have the greatest fourth quarter results last year, but the new iPhone has done massive business for the brand. "The company posted all-time record quarterly revenue of $78.4-billion and all-time record quarterly earnings per diluted share of $3.36. These results compare to revenue of $75.9-billion and earnings per diluted share of $3.28 in the year-ago quarter," read an excerpt of the Q1 fiscal year earnings report. The firm added that 64% of their revenue came from international markets. "We're thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple's highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way....

  • Cassini beams back unprecedented views of Saturn’s rings

    NASA's venerable Cassini spacecraft is currently grazing Saturn's rings, beaming some astounding images back to Earth in the process. The images, published on NASA's website, effectively show twice the level of detail as previous imagery of the area. "The new images resolve details as small as 0.3 miles (550 metres), which is on the scale of Earth's tallest buildings," the agency added, giving you a sense of how close Cassini is to the gas giant. Saturn's outer B ring. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute "As the person who planned those initial orbit-insertion ring images -- which remained our most detailed...

  • Fitbit to slay 110 employees in midst of buying spree

    Wearables company Fitbit may have gone on a spending spree recently, but the firm is beginning to feel the pinch thanks to lower than expected sales of its gadgets. "Based upon preliminary financial information, Fitbit expects to report 6.5 million devices sold and revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 to be in the range of $572-million to $580-million, compared to the company's previously announced guidance range of $725-million to $750-million," read an excerpt of the firm's financial report. As a result, Fitbit will conduct a "reduction in force, that will impact approximately 110 employees, constituting approximately 6% of the company's global...

  • Twitter to launch new anti-harassment features

    Twitter has been waging a lengthy war with online bullies and trolls, introducing several key features over the past year or two. Between filing multiple tweets in a single report and the ability share a list of blocked users, it's definitely gone some way to fight harassment. But Ed Ho, vice-president of engineering at Twitter, says the firm still has a long journey ahead. "We'll be rolling out a number of product changes in the days ahead. Some changes will be visible and some will be less so," he tweeted. "This week, we'll tackle long overdue fixes to mute/block and stopping repeat offenders from creating new accounts," the VP...

  • #MuslimBan: Uber, Lyft, Airbnb take different approaches

    Uber and Lyft have both reacted to the so-called #MuslimBan enacted by US president Donald Trump -- albeit in very different ways. The ban sees citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) not being allowed entry to the USA for 90 or more days. The ban crucially affects legal residents of the USA that are not naturalised citizens. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sent an email to drivers, announcing that the company was opposed to the ban. He also confirmed that Uber would be financially compensating drivers who are affected by the ban. "This order has far broader implications as it...

  • UberEATS’s David Kitley on expansion plans and more

    UberEATS launched in Cape Town this week, offering a trendy food delivery service to take on the likes of OrderIn and Mr Delivery. What should you expect from the service? Are there any plans for expansion? We interviewed David Kitley of UberEATS South Africa at the Cape Town launch event. UberEATS will launch in the city centre, Atlantic Seaboard, Woodstock and Observatory, but Kitley says that there are plans to expand. "Southern Suburbs is a priority of ours, we're actually working on that at the moment. And then hopefully even expanding to other areas, you know... obviously Constantia... and even looking as...