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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • 4 Xiaomi mobile devices we’d like to see in South Africa

    You can’t deny that the Xiaomi brand has made quite a splash in South Africa since it landed late last year. The Redmi 2 and Mi 4 (review) smartphones provide excellent value for money, coming in at just under R2000 and R4000 respectively. Local distributor MIA Group hasn’t stopped here either, bringing in the R2999 Redmi Note 2 (review) and the R7999 Mi 5 flagship recently as well. Still, there are a few more Xiaomi phones and tablets we’d like to see on the African continent…

  • What Streisand Effect? Axl Rose tries to remove ‘fat’ photo from web

    We've all had disappointing photos taken of ourselves and published on Facebook, featuring a double chin, red eyes or a bit of a boep. Kicking up a fuss only seems to make things worse, right? Well, someone better tell that to Axl Rose, who probably hasn't heard of the Streisand Effect. According to Torrent Freak, the singer has issued a DMCA takedown notice to Google, demanding that a certain unflattering photo be removed from various blog websites. The publication tracked down original photographer Boris Minkevich of Winnipeg Free Press, who had no idea that his photos were rehosted or that Rose was trying to...

  • TeamViewer confirms compromised accounts, blames other services

    TeamViewer has confirmed that an unspecified number of accounts on the remote desktop support service have been compromised. In a blog post discussing new security features, the company included an open letter to TeamViewer users, informing them of the news. The company pinned the blame on compromised services elsewhere though. "As you have probably heard, there have been unprecedented large scale data thefts on popular social media platforms and other web service providers. Unfortunately, credentials stolen in these external breaches have been used to access TeamViewer accounts, as well as other services," the firm explained. Read more: 427m leaked passwords surface from enormous 2013 MySpace...

  • Twitter’s the top social network for diplomacy, new study finds

    A new study has revealed what some may have already suspected: Twitter is the top choice for diplomats compared to other social media platforms. The 2016 Twiplomacy study by communications firm Burson-Marsteller found that Twitter was used by world leaders or governments in 173 nations - equal to 90% of all UN member states. By comparison, Facebook just missed out on the top spot, being used by 169 governments (87%). Rounding out the top four was Twitter (78%) and Instagram (70%). The study added that governments with large social media teams were also dipping their toes into Snapchat and Vine's waters. "Governments that do not have...

  • Watch the weekend’s major motorsport crashes here

    It was a big weekend for motorsport, as Formula 1 hosted the Monaco Grand Prix and the IndyCar Series held the 100th running of the Indy 500. Only care for the crashes and mishaps? Well, we’ve got you covered you filthy casual, so check out some of the bigger shunts below.

  • Astra, Crashing Season and Brothers: this week’s top mobile games

    Welcome to Gearburn’s Mobile Game Picks of the Week, a weekly series in which Hadlee takes a look at the latest, most entertaining, or time-consuming mobile games on portable screens. We're over the midweek hump, which means it's time for us to pick some great mobile games! It's a bumper edition this week too, as we've got five titles featured. Our favourites this week include Crashing Season, a port of an indie classic and the weird and atmospheric Astra.

  • Vox Telecom continues ADSL power play with cap increases

    Vox Telecom made tech headlines in South Africa last year with its capped ADSL promotions. The ISP delivered several affordable capped "Fat Pipe" offerings at the time, including 100GB of data for just R164 a month (which has since been bumped to 150GB). Now, in the wake of Telkom's IP Connect discount to service providers (which takes effect as of today), Vox has revealed larger caps for its Fat Pipe packages. So what can you expect for your cash then? The entry-level 75GB/R189 a month option has been bumped up to 100GB, the 100GB/R249 a month option is increased to 150GB, while the top-end 1TB/R1899 a month...

  • Xiaomi: the latest Android manufacturer to shake hands with Microsoft

    Xiaomi has become the latest Android manufacturer to reach a patent agreement with Microsoft. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but Xiaomi executive Hugo Barra and Microsoft confirmed that the deal includes a cross-license and patent transfer agreement. How will Xiaomi users be affected by this deal? The agreement will see Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype come preinstalled on Xiaomi phones and tablets, starting in September 2016. Xiaomi devices set to receive the apps include the Mi Max, Mi 5, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3 and the Redmi 3. Microsoft noted that this wasn't the first time it has worked with Xiaomi, saying that its Azure technology powers the Mi...

  • Joy and (some) confusion: Twitter reacts to Alexander Rossi’s Indy 500 win

    Winning the Indy 500 is a milestone achievement for any racing driver, being part of the Triple Crown of motorsport. Winning the 100th running of the event though? That’s a surefire way to go down in the history books, as Alexander Rossi did, competing in his first Indy 500. The American, who previously raced in F1 for Manor and Caterham and is currently Manor’s test driver, managed to coast across the line in sensational fashion. While rival racers opted for a splash and dash pit stop several laps from the end, Rossi managed to save fuel by coasting at every opportunity.

  • Vega School will offer a degree in game design from 2017

    South African institutions are steadily embracing video game design courses, and Vega has stepped up to the plate by offering a degree in game design. In a press statement emailed to Memeburn, Vega said that there has been a growing need for formal training in the field. "Heeding calls from industry to fulfill this need, Vega School, a division of The Independent Institute of Education, has announced that it will introduce a Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Game Design and Development into its 2017 academic calendar, making it one of the first degrees of its kind in South Africa," the...

  • 5 things we learnt from Mars One finalist Adriana Marais

    The opportunity to settle on Mars is simply too good to pass up for Dr. Adriana Marais, one of five South African finalists in the Mars One initiative. The programme hopes to recruit several people on a one-way trip to the Red Planet, although there are several significant challenges that still stand in its way by most accounts. But if anything, Marais has some impressive qualifications, with an extensive background in quantum biology, for one. The Mars One finalist was on-hand to talk about the opportunity and more at a Heavy Chef event in Cape Town on Wednesday night. What did we learn from the talk then? There...

  • Google wins landmark legal battle against Oracle

    After almost four years of legal wrangling, a US jury has ruled in favour of Google in its long-running dispute with Oracle. The jury unanimously ruled that Google's use of Java APIs to create Android was indeed fair use. Oracle had reportedly been seeking $9-billion in damages. Oracle has indicated that it will appeal the decision however. "We strongly believe that Google developed Android by illegally copying core Java technology to rush into the mobile device market. Oracle brought this lawsuit to put a stop to Google's illegal behaviour. We believe there are numerous grounds for appeal and we plan to bring this case...

  • Why spend R159 per month on Xbox Live when you can do this?

    News of Microsoft increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold in South Africa has not been received positively. Then again, when do price hikes ever get a good reaction? Anyway… the increase from R50 a month to R159 a month has seen many lash out at Microsoft – and rightfully so. Sure, the pricing ostensibly brings us in line with the exchange rate, but when the competition is much cheaper, it’s cause for alarm. With that in mind, I wondered what else you could get for R159 a month…

  • Microsoft cuts 1850 jobs in mobile unit, takes $950m hit

    Microsoft's mobile division has endured a torrid time in recent years, seeing lay-offs, mergers and spin-offs. Unfortunately, the company has announced another round of job cuts. The Redmond company plans to "streamline" its smartphone hardware division, affecting up to 1850 jobs in the process, it announced in a press statement. "As a result, the company will record an impairment and restructuring charge of approximately $950-million, of which approximately $200-million will relate to severance payments," the company explained. Read more: Microsoft sells its feature phone unit for $350m, Nokia devices coming "We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation - with enterprises that value security,...

  • 7 niche dating apps for Android & iOS that actually exist

    Many people are familiar with the likes of Tinder and OkCupid, but what if your needs are more specific than a mere dating/hookup app? Fortunately, there are quite a few alternative and niche apps around, whether you're into the BDSM scene, cannabis, threesomes or more. 3nder (free - iOS) Always wanted to try a threesome but not sure how to find willing partners? Then consider trying 3nder, branded as Tinder for threesomes. Anyway, the app is available for couples and singles, while passcode and fingerprint authentication is supported to keep nosey people out of the app. 3nder also supports photos and group chats, naturally. In...