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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Chelsea Manning: WikiLeaks whistleblower to be released in May

    US President Barack Obama has commuted military whistleblower and Wikileaks source Chelsea Manning's prison sentence, marking the most notable commutation of his administration. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after exposing potential war crimes and human rights abuses in the USA's war with Iraq. Arguably the most high-profile leak was 'Collateral Murder', being video footage of US Apache helicopter pilots gunning down war correspondents and other civilians. Manning's appellate lawyers Nancy Hollander and Vince Ward welcomed the news of her commutation. "Ms Manning is the longest serving whistleblower in the history of the United States," the two said in a statement...

  • 6 alternative YouTube apps you should check out

    The YouTube Android app has come a long way since the dismal app of the Froyo days. It's not perfect now, but it definitely gets the job done well enough. In any event, for those wanting something a little different, here are a few alternative YouTube apps worth looking at. TubeMate One of the most popular apps not available on the Play Store, TubeMate is effectively a wrapper for the mobile website. Hardly a reason to download the app, then. But its best feature is the ability to download videos via the app, with the ability to choose from various quality options. Yes, YouTube does...

  • FibreTiger: find fibre deals with this handy tool

    A new website, dubbed FibreTiger, now allows South Africans to find the best bang for their fibre buck. FibreTiger was launched last month and lets users compare fibre pricing and other details, making for a rather practical tool. The website features sliders for desired pricing and minimum line speed, as well as toggles for uncapped/capped data, desired ISPs and networks. Founder Jacques du Rand told Memeburn that the website started out as a side-project, being borne out of the frustration of comparing various fibre services. But it's seen a lot of attention already, he added. "Our traffic has more than doubled week on week and the...

  • Watch: SpaceX returns to space with Iridium-1 launch

    SpaceX has successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket, several months after one of its rockets exploded on the launchpad. The rocket was carrying ten communication satellites on Saturday, scheduled to be the first of up to 70 satellites for the Iridium company. In what's quickly becoming a regular part of Falcon 9 missions, the rocket's first stage successfully landed on the barge, called 'Just Read the Instructions'. In fact, the landing was almost perfect, the first stage coming down smoothly and on target. "Mission looks good. Started deploying the 10 Iridium satellites. Rocket is stable on the droneship," Musk tweeted on Saturday, shortly after...

  • Does Trump actually want the F35 programme or not?

    A few weeks ago, US president-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to blast Lockheed-Martin's F35 fighter jet programme. The programme was slammed for cost overruns and failing to deliver in a few areas, causing Lockheed-Martin's stock to briefly drop. Now, Trump's pick for defense secretary, James Mattis, has said that the president-elect actually supports the programme. According to Defense News, Mattis said Trump just wants "more bang for his buck". "It's not my role to comment on the president-elect's statements except to say that it shows he's serious about getting the best bang for the dollar when it comes to defense dollars, and...

  • Fitbit, out to kill smartwatch rivals, buys Vector

    Fresh from acquiring and effectively dismantling Pebble, Fitbit has bought another smartwatch company in the form of Vector. The Vector Watch stood out on the market thanks to its touted 30 day battery life, app support, notification mirroring and support for all three major mobile platforms (Android, iOS, Windows Phone). In a post on the Vector website, the smaller firm announced the deal. "Today, we are happy to announce that the Vector Watch team and our software platform are joining Fitbit, the leader in the connected health and fitness market!" Vector wrote. Fitbit continues its quest to snuff out competition in the smartwatch...

  • Watch: Tom Hanks roasts Sony at CES 2009

    The annual Consumer Electronics Show is easily one of the biggest if not the biggest tech expo in the world. As a result, companies spend a ton of cash on stands, speakers and marketing in general. In fact, the 2009 running saw actor Tom Hanks take to the stage for Sony, who then went on to rake the Japanese firm over the coals in a manner only he could do. "I have to confess that I'm not here to promote that movie (pointing to the banner in the background) or to curry favour with executives at Sony. Oh no, I'm here...

  • Pornhub 2016 stats: most popular devices, platforms revealed

    Pornhub's 2016 year in review has revealed a ton of interesting data, including the most popular devices, browsers and operating systems for adult streaming. The streaming network found that, when it came to traffic by device type, smartphones were continuing to grab more marketshare at the expense of desktop. Interestingly enough, tablets saw a slight drop as well. In terms of traffic by operating system, Windows was still on top, accounting for 80% of the pie. But Linux and Mac OS saw notable growth, at the expense of the "other" category. As for mobile platforms? Android gained the lion's share of traffic, at...

  • Marissa Mayer to step down from Yahoo board

    Yahoo is shaking up its board and name several months after Verizon agreed to buy parts of it. The company is selling off much of its operations to Verizon, but the sale won't include its cash pile, Yahoo Japan operations, Alibaba or its 3000 patents. Now, a regulatory filing has revealed that the remaining company will be called Altaba Inc. Yahoo CEO and president Marissa Mayer will be among several people stepping down from the board, the filing also revealed. A name change and board shakeup is set for Yahoo, following its deal with Verizon "In light of the fact that following the closing...

  • Uber Movement: service to offer traffic data to cities

    Uber has announced a new initiative, dubbed Uber Movement, which will see the smart cab service sharing traffic data with city planners, researchers and more. The service said it launched the initiative after numerous requests from cities for access to the data. "Making our cities move more efficiently matters to us all. That's why we're providing access to anonymized data from over two billion trips to help improve urban planning around the world," the company wrote on the Uber Movement website. Uber says that the service will allow city planners to measure the impact of infrastructure improvements and major events, as well as...

  • Listen: Mark Hamill takes on Trump tweets as the Joker

    When you think about his utterances and tweets, US president-elect Donald Trump really does seem like a sort of super-villain. It's an observation that wasn't lost on writer and actor Matt Oswalt, who urged Mark Hamill to put on his best Joker impression and read a Donald Trump tweet. The result is a rather maniacal and nefarious soundbite posted to the voice actor's Twitter account. Now, if we could get a weekly series of Hamill's Joker reading Trump tweets, I'd be so happy. The Trumpster quote #1#ANewJeersToast https://t.co/qZQEGU18r6 — Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 8, 2017

  • Pornhub 2016 stats: how does South Africa fare? [Slightly NSFW]

    Adult streaming website Pornhub has enjoyed a bumper year, according to its 2016 year in review. The network revealed that it used 3100 petabytes of bandwidth last year, equivalent to 99GB per second or six terabytes a minute. It said that this data would fill 194 million USB flash drives and, if laid end-to-end, would be 11 000 kilometres long. Pornhub also revealed that users watched almost 4.6 billion hours of porn -- or 524 641 years. As for the top nations by traffic, South Africa managed to climb four positions since 2015 to land at number 20 for the first time. Otherwise, the...

  • Did Snapchat inflate its user numbers for IPO?

    A former Snapchat employee has claimed that the company lied about its user growth figures in a bid to boost its valuation. Anthony Pompliano filed a lawsuit (h/t: Yahoo) against Snapchat parent company Snap for wrongful termination, having lasted just three weeks at the company. Pompliano's legal representatives claim that the company was "falsely representing" user growth statistics to investors and trading partners, going so far as to call it an "institutional pandemic". The ex-employee says that he informed several key figures, including Drew Boller (Snapchat's vice-president of finance), Jill Hazelbaker (vice-president of communications) and Brian Theisen (director of business operations). "These efforts, which should...

  • NASA announces two ambitious missions to asteroids

    NASA has just approved two missions to explore asteroids, with the aim of learning more about the early solar system. The two missions, dubbed Lucy and Psyche, are tentatively scheduled to launch in 2021 and 2023 respectively, the space agency announced on its website. "Lucy will visit a target-rich environment of Jupiter's mysterious Trojan asteroids, while Psyche will study a unique metal asteroid that's never been visited before," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, was quoted as saying. Lucy is slated to launch in October 2021, arriving at a "main belt" asteroid in 2025. From 2027 until 2033, it...

  • IM-only SIM provider ChatSim to launch in airports

    ChatSim is one of the more intriguing mobile offerings around, allowing users to pay a R220 yearly fee for unlimited access to mobile messaging platforms anywhere in the world. The service supports WhatsApp, Telegram, BBM, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and several other notable messaging apps. However, the one catch is that, while you have the ability to send/receive unlimited texts and emoji, it uses a credit system for photos, video and VoIP calls. Nevertheless, it's a rather convenient and cost-effective option for frequent travellers wanting to avoid roaming charges. ChatSim was launched in 2015, allowing users to send and receive texts in over 150...