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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Here’s why Apple spent $1-billion on Chinese cab service Didi

    Apple has made headlines this morning after it announced a US$1-billion investment in smart cab service Didi. The investment thus pits Apple directly against current cab king Uber in China, with the latter being backed by Google and Chinese web giant Baidu. Aside from Apple, Didi already has heavyweight backing in the form of Tencent and Alibaba. Why would Apple invest in the service though? Well, aside from the expected financial return, the Cupertino firm's explanation was a tad vague... A focus on services instead? "We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the...

  • 5 stellar budget camera phones for Instagram lovers

    You’re pretty much guaranteed to have a great camera experience on your high-end, R12 000 smartphone. Budget phones are a different matter though, as the camera is usually the first department to be affected. It doesn’t have to be that way though, because we chose several budget-minded phones that don’t compromise on the camera.

  • At least Daniil Kvyat isn’t one of these rejected Red Bull driver

    It must come as a bitter blow for Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat to hear that he would be swapping race seats with Dutch teenager Max Verstappen from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards. The news broke just a few days after a disastrous Russian GP for Kvyat, that saw him collide with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel twice on the first lap. Of course, no-one remembers that the Russian scored a podium in the previous race…

  • Viking Horde is the latest malware on Google Play

    App stores aren't immune to malware by any means, and now it's Google's turn to experience some nastiness. The latest malware, dubbed Viking Horde, creates a botnet to carry out ad fraud, effectively using proxied IP addresses to conduct ad clicks. In turn, this provides revenue for the attacker, Check Point Research explained in a press statement. The botnet affects rooted and non-rooted devices alike. Check Point added that at least five cases of Viking Horde have passed through Google Play scans undetected so far. In fact, the most popular instance of Viking Horde stems from a game, dubbed Viking Jump, which...

  • Facebook will turn your neglected panoramas into 360 photos for VR

    Let's be brutally honest for a second. Panorama shots don't get as much love as they should. It could be argued that social media platforms and websites deserve some of the blame, often delivering a clunky way to view them. But they do make for inherently awkward viewing on most platforms anyway. Fortunately, Facebook and Oculus are doing something about this, as the two announced that your panoramas can now be viewed with virtual reality headsets. The duo revealed that this functionality should hit news feeds and Gear VR headsets "in the coming weeks". Got a Gear VR? Then you should visit the Oculus 360 Photos app to...

  • 4 apps that’ll make face-swapping adventures even funnier

    The past few months have seen face-swapping applications explode in popularity, making for some entertaining (and freaky) moments. Which ones are worth downloading though? We picked several face-swap apps that are worth a look. Snapchat Okay, so it's not a dedicated face-swap app, but Snapchat's augmented reality effects include a face-swapping option in it. All you have to do is hold anywhere on the screen and then swipe to the face-swap mode - make sure a friend is right next to you, of course. Snapchat is free to download on Android and iOS.

  • WhatsApp finally releases proper desktop app

    Whatsapp has dabbled in desktop waters before, but now, the world's most popular mobile instant messenger seems to be going all-in. Yes, after years of user requests, the Facebook-owned company has finally launched a proper desktop app for Windows and Mac computers. It's not the first time that WhatsApp has brought the platform to desktop, launching the WhatsApp Web service last year. This earlier browser-based service used a QR code system to mirror your phone's WhatsApp data. The desktop app works in a similar way, effectively mirroring your phone's WhatsApp messages, chats and contacts. In other words, it's not a standalone offering as...

  • Is the R2000 Samsung Gear VR worth buying?

    Virtual reality has been around for ages, but the current wave of VR is nothing like the efforts of years gone by. Instead, we have elaborate graphics, sharp displays and proper head-tracking in place, nothing like the Virtual Boy of yore. And you don't need to spend US$600 on an Oculus Rift or US$800 for the HTC Vive to get a taste either, because there are cheaper experiences around, such as the Samsung Gear VR. Read more on Gearburn.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review: meaningful evolution

    Unarguably the most popular high-end Android phone of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is pretty much guaranteed to sell by the bucket load. On paper, this year's edition looks like the equivalent of an "iPhone Xs"; that is, it's an evolution of last year's design as opposed to an all-new approach to the formula. Are the phones worthy of a purchase though or did Samsung just play it too safe? Read more on Gearburn.

  • 7 quirky, alternative smartphones we’d love to own

    The mobile industry might seem like a uniform world of generic designs, but if you look hard enough, you'll find some interesting devices out there. And believe it or not, but some of them are actually rather enticing. Here are a few quirky smartphones we wouldn't mind getting at all. YotaPhone 2 Image: Maurizio Pesce via Flickr Russian company Yota launched the first-generation YotaPhone a few years ago, but last year's YotaPhone 2 upped the company's game in a massive way. Read more on Gearburn.

  • They got these 5 video games to run on the Xbox 360?

    The Xbox 360 was a veritable beast upon its launch in late 2005. Featuring 512MB of RAM, an advanced (for its time) ATI Xenos graphics chip and a powerful tri-core Xenon processor, it compared very favourably to the PS3 and gaming PCs of the time. Gaming tech moves at a fast pace though, so after several years, developers had to utilise all sorts of crazy tricks to get their games running on the last-generation Xbox. Here are a few notable titles that somehow managed to run on the Xbox 360. Read more on Gearburn.

  • Watch the first trailer for Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’

    NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's story is just begging for a biopic of sorts. A former intelligence operative on the run from a vengeful government and hiding in Russia? What's not to like? Anyway, the first official trailer for Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' has been released, and it definitely has a healthy dose of Hollywood. From big bad government types and sex scenes to drone footage, it's all accounted for here. There's even an appearance by Nicholas Cage, imploring Snowden to "find the terrorist in the internet haystack". The whistleblower is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who manages to convincingly nail Snowden's voice for the most part. The trailer charts...

  • Twitter continues harassment fight with new tool

    Twitter has already gone a long way to helping users battle cyber-bullying and harassment. Now, the company is continuing this trend with a much-needed update. Making a report for each offending tweet can be a tedious process, but users now have the ability to file multiple dodgy tweets in one report. In other words, you don't have to submit a report for each of the 500 threats you might receive. Seriously, this sort of thing is kind of a problem. "This update makes it easier for you to provide us with more information about the extent of abuse and reduces the time it takes to do so....

  • SA rounds out top ten for Game of Thrones piracy

    The season premiere of Game of Thrones has finally aired, and predictably there's been huge demand for illegal streaming and downloading the episode. In fact, Torrent Freak reported that the most popular torrent had over 200 000 users and counting sharing the file. After inspecting the locations of users downloading the file over 12 hours, the website found some interesting results. For one, South Africa was in the top ten when it came to illegally getting in on the action. "The show is particularly popular in Australia (12.5%), India (9.7%), United States (8.5%) and the United Kingdom (6.9%)," Torrent Freak noted. "The top 10 is completed...

  • Cell C launches super-fast LTE-Advanced in SA

    It's fair to say that Cell C had a reputation for years as the network with decent prices but terrible coverage, but things have been changing somewhat over the past few months. The company launched LTE connectivity late last year, delivering much better speeds and coverage for users - albeit several years after MTN and Vodacom. The carrier has wasted no time though, launching the much faster LTE-Advanced network in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria this week. "Cell C has become the leading innovator in the South African mobile telecommunications industry.  We were the first and only provider to embrace over-the-top services, like Facebook...