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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • 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...

  • Unforgiving Monaco: F1’s crown jewel

    Easily the most unforgiving Formula 1 circuit of the year, Monaco presents a stiff challenge for drivers thanks to its slippery surface and tight, narrow corners. Unlike modern F1 circuits, there are no runoff areas here either, as the track is lined with Armco barriers, leading to many an early retirement. But to win here is to truly stamp your name in the sport’s history books, joining the likes of Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps as a true test of driver and machine.

  • Netflix to be ‘exclusive US pay TV home’ for Disney, Marvel and more

    Netflix has announced an exclusive partnership with Disney, Marvel, Pixar and LucasFilm in the United States. The partnership will see Netflix host the latest movies from these big-name studios later this year. "From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar," the company said in a press release. The company has also revealed its refreshed summer lineup of content - so what can US subscribers (and those using proxy services) expect? June is highlighted by the first three Jurassic Park movies and Spotlight, July will see the Back to the Future and...

  • Norway’s consumer council reads app terms in live-stream

    Norway's consumer watchdog has decided to protest lengthy app terms and conditions by reading these policies out in a live-stream. The live-stream, which has been going on for almost two hours as of publication, will see policies for 33 apps being read as part of an #appfail campaign. The figure represents the average number of apps installed on a Norwegian's phone, the Norwegian Consumer Council explained in a press statement. The council said that to use apps you often have to waive your "fundamental" privacy, accept that the app will track you when it's not being used and that your personally identifiable data can be resold....

  • Standard Bank’s horrible Monday continues on Twitter

    Standard Bank has endured a rather torrid week already, having revealed that it was the victim of a R300-million credit card scam in Japan. You can catch up on the original story here. If the bank was expecting sympathy from South Africans, there was none to be had, as SA Twitter users lambasted the institution or had fun at its expense. Social media users had a little field day following the news... *Standard Bank calls JP police* 👮: “For mass bank fraud please press 1…” SB: pic.twitter.com/xkehOwp97m — Pawel Janiak (@cynicalgrinch) May 23, 2016 Somewhere, the Standard Bank CEOs be like pic.twitter.com/4D4uB9eBhY — Gugulethu Mhlungu (@GugsM) May 23,...

  • South Africa’s Brad Binder wins third Moto3 race in a row

    Brad Binder’s Moto3 season just keeps getting better and better, as the South African won his third race in a row this weekend. Binder’s latest victory came at the sweeping Mugello circuit in Italy, following a seesaw battle between the top group of riders. The race routinely saw riders go from outside the podium to first and vice-versa over the course of a lap, the long main straight delivering ideal conditions for slipstreaming and late braking.