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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Twitter goes gaga for first Starbucks store in SA

    Depending on who you speak to, Starbucks is either the greatest gift America gave the world or muck masquerading as coffee. Anyway, the first store has finally launched in South Africa this morning at Rosebank Mall and everyone had something to say about it. Many were ecstatic, having queued for hours to be among the first in line.   Having my name spelled wrong on a Starbucks cup on home soil is a dream come true. #StarbucksSouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/5ah6SOHhA1 — Nicolaas vd Walt (@nicolaasvdw_) April 20, 2016 #StarbucksSouthAfrica #MeetMeAtStarbucks queuing since 12:30 this morning! pic.twitter.com/Zeu8Uv1fDn — Starbucks_SA (@Starbucks_SA) April 21, 2016 Talk about #FOMO. Fans have been waiting...

  • Intel announces ‘restructuring’, 12 000 jobs to be cut

    Intel has announced a restructuring plan to "speed its transition to a company that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices". Unfortunately, this plan will result in roughly 11% of the global workforce, or 12 000 employees, being laid off by the middle of 2017. "The majority of these actions will be communicated to affected employees over the next 60 days with some actions spanning in to 2017," the company said in a press release. "Intel expects the program to deliver US$750-million in savings this year and annual run rate savings of US$1.4-billion by mid-2017. The company will record a...

  • YouTube now supports 360 live video. Is this VR’s killer app?

    Between the Gear VR and PC-based headsets, virtual reality is slowly gaining steam. But the technology needs all the content it can get to have staying power. So we're glad to see YouTube step up its VR offering, announcing support for live 360 video streams this week. "We first launched support for 360-degree videos back in March 2015. From musicians to athletes to brands, creators have done some incredible things with this technology. Now, they'll be able to do even more to bring fans directly into their world, with 360-degree live streaming. And after years of live streaming Coachella for fans around...

  • Cell C CEO in hot water over ‘bitch switch’ comments

    Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos has come under fire for his remarks on women in the workplace. The Cell C CEO explained that roughly 42 percent of staff were female when he started. "Today, we're just over 60 ," he said during an interview on CliffCentral, citing female empowerment policies at the network. "We have good-looking women, we have clever women, we have smart women, and that's created a different environment," Dos Santos continued. The network head said that he hopes for a female CEO to replace him when he steps down. "We no longer live in the society of, you know, the woman stays at home...

  • Vumatel gets big backing, to spend R3bn on home fibre

    Vumatel is one of the most prominent players in South Africa's fibre internet market. Now, it's received some significant financial muscle courtesy of a deal with Standard Bank. The service provider has announced a deal with the bank which is "likely to be one of the largest debt capital raising-based deals of its kind in the fibre-to-household industry", it said in a statement. The move comes after it launched its first residential fibre network to residents of Parkhurst, Johannesburg in August 2014. "Since its launch less than 18 months ago, Vumatel, as a supplier of high-speed fibre connectivity to homes, has become one of...

  • 7 seriously innovative ways brands are using VR

    Aside from games and movies, what else is possible with virtual reality? Well, there are actually quite a few innovative and mind-blowing ways we're seeing VR being used. Between vehicle test drives and public speaking sims, these are some of the more notable applications of the technology by brands. Buying tickets? Check the view first! The USA's StubHub came up with a rather smart idea for VR, using it to show event attendees what their seat will look like. The company used it for tickets to an NBA event, giving customers a full 360 degree view of the arena with the aid of Gear VR or Google...

  • 5 must-have virtual reality games for your Samsung Gear VR

    Samsung and Facebook are pushing virtual reality in a big way this year. The companies are giving away Gear VR headsets at events and customers could even get one as a bonus for preordering the Galaxy S7. So if you've got the headset or are thinking about getting one, you'll want to try out these games. Ocean Rift You'll be exploring the depths in this simple game (it's more of an experience though), which has you marvelling at all sorts of marine life floating around you. Read more on Gearburn.

  • ‘Pepper spray’ university spent fortune trying to hide search results

    American university UC Davis spent US$175 000 on trying to alter search results related to a controversial pepper-spray incident, only for the Streisand Effect to kick in. Footage and images of a police officer pepper-spraying peaceful protesters made headlines around the world in 2011. Last week however, the Sacramento Bee reported that the university spent a fortune on trying to "scrub the internet" of "venomous rhetoric". UC Davis has responded to the report, denying that it tried to "scrub" the negative press from the internet. "We recognise that it is not even possible to remove content from the internet, and that was not our intention," the...

  • 5 emerging Chinese smartphone brands you should know

    Huawei has pretty much become a household name across the continent, while Xiaomi is catching up in this department too. There’s more to the Chinese smartphone industry than these two companies though. Here are several more mobile manufacturers you should put on your watchlist.

  • Google brings more specific traffic alerts to SA

    Checking your smartphone for commute times has become the norm for millions of people around the world. Google pioneered this function with Google Now, but Apple and Microsoft were quick to copy the feature for their respective platforms. The Mountain View company stepped its game up in November last year, moving beyond generic "25 minutes to work" alerts. Instead, the company delivered specific traffic notifications in Google Maps, offering spoken alerts and notifications about traffic conditions. Now, South Africans, Nigerians and Kenyans can get in on the action too, the company announced. "Just in time for you to hit the road, we're updating Google Maps with new traffic alerts to...

  • Facebook will let users save external web pages to read later

    Facebook's save button is one of the more useful features on the social network, allowing users to effectively bookmark an article for later reading. In fact, the social network revealed that over 250-million people have used the feature since its inception back in 2014. The function has its limits though, as you can only save articles that were shared on Facebook. So if you were browsing the web and came across a great article, you'd need to either bookmark it or use a third-party service like Pocket to save it for later. Save articles on other websites Now, the social network has announced save button support for external websites...

  • Three motorsport championships that every geek should watch

    "Argh, motorsport? It's just cars going in circles." It's a response that enthusiasts almost inevitably hear when the topic is brought up. But there are tons of various motorsport disciplines out there, and while they might not be for everyone, these are the disciplines that might just convert fellow geek friends. Formula One It's supposed to be "the pinnacle of motorsport" but if you ignore the blatant mismanagement and heavy-handed copyright police, Formula 1 makes a good case for just that. Read more on Motorburn.

  • Here are your mobile gaming picks of the week

    We're back for a second running of our mobile gaming picks feature, where we choose some of the more notable and entertaining mobile titles of the week. It's a healthy variety of games in this edition, with something for almost everyone, so check them all out below! Space Marshals (free as part of promotion) It's been out for a fair while now, but isometric cover-shooter Space Marshals has gone free on iOS, from its original $5 price. And it's worth a download, it must be said. Read more on Gearburn.

  • Google promises to train one million Africans in digital skills

    There's no doubting that internet penetration, digital skills and economic growth are closely entwined. So it comes as no surprise to hear that Google has announced a "commitment" to train one million Africans in digital skills in the space of a year. Google confirmed the news in a blog post and a press statement, saying it is supporting non-profit Livity Africa to run two free digital skills programmes in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. "A group of 65 Googlers from nine different countries have helped Livity develop content, provide mentorship and, in some cases, deliver the training," it added. "The internet is at the heart of...

  • 8 SA companies using the Uber business model to disrupt their industries

    Whether you like it or not, Uber’s on-demand business model has resulted in a flood of companies using a similar strategy. There are Uber-like services for rival taxi companies, doctors, massages and even dagga, showing that the business model is here to stay. What about South African services that use this strategy?