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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Sewage documentary: City of Cape Town hits back

    The City of Cape Town has responded after a documentary, uploaded to YouTube, went viral. The video, titled Bay of Sewage, examines the city's practice of pumping effluent into the sea. The documentary alleges that the practice is creating "serious and growing problems" for marine life and humans. However, the city has hit back against the documentary, saying it showcases "evidence in a selective and sensationalised" fashion. "The city is confident that effluent from the outfall is not affecting inshore water quality. All available evidence contradicts the video's assertions," it wrote in a press release. How does it work? The City of Cape Town claims that the...

  • The 10 biggest tech deals and acquisitions of 2016

    It wasn't just a crazy year for prominent people dying, as 2016 played host to some rather noteworthy tech deals and acquisitions as well. We take a look at some of the notable acquisitions to be announced in 2016. Have we missed any big tech acquisitions announced in 2016? Let us know in the comments below. AT&T set for Time Warner acquisition (US$85-billion) One of the most high-profile announcements of 2016 was the news that AT&T would be acquiring fellow telecommunications giant Time Warner. The figure? A cool US$85-billion. There has been widespread opposition to the acquisition, so it's not quite a certainty that the...

  • Tinder hits Apple TV: get gran to find matches for you

    Tinder is a rather private experience for many people, but the hookup/dating app is now available on Apple TV, if you can believe that. What's the logic behind this move, though? "We decided that the goal of our Apple TV integration should be two-fold: 1) to serve our end users by providing a new use case -- the 'party' swipe, a fun activity with friends and 2) to create a lightweight, modern app that would serve as an experiment field for new architecture proposals," the developer wrote on their blog. Apple TV users will need to use their remote's touchpad to swipe, but...

  • Netflix: this tool tracks which VPNs are blocked

    Many Netflix users are familiar with hopping through VPNs and DNS tools in a bid to access foreign versions of the service. But it can be a rather infuriating process, as Netflix and VPN/DNS providers play 'whack a mole' with each other. Fortunately, a new tool has popped up recently, showing users which VPNs are able to access the US version of Netflix. Dubbed CheckFlix, the tool attempts to keep an up-to-date list of working and blocked VPNs. "Our proprietary software does a complete check of each VPN every hour; giving you up-to-date, accurate information on which VPN you should use to get...

  • Amazon Prime Video is officially in South Africa

    The Amazon Prime Video streaming service has officially gone global, launching in South Africa as well. "Amazon today announced that Amazon Prime Video is now available to customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe," the company announced in a press statement. "Customers can sign up for a Prime Video membership at PrimeVideo.com and watch on Android and iOS phones and tablets, Fire Tablets and popular LG and Samsung smart TVs," the company explained. The service is available to new regions at an "introductory price" of US$2.99 (or €2.99) per month for the first six months. Thereafter, users can...

  • Google South Africa reveals top searches for 2016

    From the US elections and Donald Trump to Pokemon Go and the Olympics, 2016 has been another crazy year for Google searches. Now, the Mountain View firm has revealed South Africa's top queries for the year, ranging from overall searches to celebrities and more. "This year's overall trending searches from South Africa have a decidedly global feel. Where last year's top searches -- loadshedding and xenophobia -- were distinctly local issues, this year's top searches show South African eyes are turned to the world at large, not just at home," the company explained in a statement. Check out the results below... Top trending overall...

  • Project Murphy: a bot that answers ‘what if’ questions

    2016 has truly been a year for bots, as AI and machine learning combine to do some astounding things. Now, Microsoft has revealed a new bot, dubbed Project Murphy. The purpose of the bot though? Well, it's akin to Futurama's "what if" machine, coming up with imaginative image-based answers to your hypothetical "what if" question. For instance, asking "what if Donald Trump wore a dress?" yielded this result. You can even ask questions like "what if Barack Obama was Bernie Sanders?", with the bot spitting out a relevant image. Like what you see? Then you can reply with a smiley face to get...

  • Donald Trump to cancel F-35 fighter programme?

    US president-elect Donald Trump has slammed numerous companies and people, but defense firms haven't been in his crosshairs too often. However, this week saw Trump slam Lockheed-Martin for the horribly expensive, much delayed F-35 fighter jet programme. "The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th," the president-elect tweeted on Monday. The tweet saw Lockheed-Martin's shares dip by over 4% before closing down by 2.47%. The F-35 programme has courted a ton of negative publicity Lockheed Martin's fighter jet has been hit with numerous cost overruns and delays. In...

  • Microsoft enjoyed ‘best month ever’ for Surface line

    Microsoft made quite a splash when it revealed its Surface Studio desktop a few months ago. But the Surface line in general has been doing fantastic numbers for the firm, the company says. In fact, November was the best month ever for Surface sales, Microsoft wrote on its blog. "November was our best month ever for consumer Surface sales. The Best Buy-exclusive Surface bundle sold out on the first day. The momentum was seen worldwide. In the UK, we had the best single week for Surface ever and in Germany the Surface Pen became the best seller in PC Accessories on Amazon.com...

  • The shape of South Africa’s game dev landscape

    The Interactive Entertainment South Africa group has launched a third industry survey (and the first not held under the Make Games SA banner), revealing plenty of insights into the local landscape. 31 active game development studios in the country responded to the survey, with these firms having directly created 255 jobs, the study found. The number of permanent jobs has seen a 16% increase, from 152 to 176 positions. The value of these gaming studios was pegged at R100-million in 2015, making for an 85.6% jump over 2014. The study also found that these studios released 103 games in 2015. In terms of...

  • Cape Town restaurant slammed over ‘racist’ incident

    Popular Cape Town restaurant/bar Clarke's has been hit with a slate of poor reviews on social media after an alleged racist incident took place on Friday. According to patron Nicholas Vries, a "random white lady" sat down at his table and insulted his group of friends, calling them "common coloured and just being full on racist". After repeated requests to management to have the person removed, Vries said his group was told to leave instead and the person was allowed to stay. A second person, Lee Sophia Piedt, ostensibly part of Vries's group, corroborated the story in a post on the Clarke's Facebook page. "The...

  • Grand Tour is most pirated show of all time – report

    Amazon's The Grand Tour, featuring the Top Gear trio, is the most pirated show of all time, surpassing Game of Thrones, according to a new report. The first episode of the series was downloaded 7.9 million times, the second was downloaded 6.4 million times and the third episode saw 4.6 million downloads, the Daily Mail reported, citing data from analytics firm MUSO. British viewers were the top culprits, the publication reported, accounting for 13.7% of downloads. MUSO claims that Amazon lost potential revenue of £3.2-million on episode one. It's unclear how the analytics firm arrived at this figure though. The first episode of...

  • 5 ways to reduce your WhatsApp mobile data usage

    Pretty much everyone and their grandmother is on WhatsApp these days, with the Facebook-owned IM app accruing one billion users earlier this year. We've already covered some nifty tips and tricks for the service, but what about reducing mobile data usage? We've got a few pointers for you. Disable auto-download of videos WhatsApp allows you to automatically download videos, photos, voice notes and documents over WiFi or mobile data. WiFi isn't a problem, but you'll want to save your precious mobile data, so visit the settings menu, then choose "data usage". From here, you'll want to scroll to the "media auto-download" field and tap...

  • New ransomware unlocks your PC – if you infect friends

    A new form of ransomware has emerged online that promises to unlock your PC if you infect your friends with said ransomware. Dubbed Popcorn Time, the malware lets you pay a ransom to unlock your PC. But if you'd rather not spend cash, you can send Popcorn Time to at least two other friends and have them pay a ransom. If the friends pay a ransom, then your PC will be unlocked as well, Bleeping Computer and MalwareHunterTeam reports. The new ransomware makes for rather astounding news, thanks to its friend-sharing "incentive" It also appears that Popcorn Time has "unfinished code", suggesting that entering...

  • Feathered dinosaur tail found in amber

    In what must rank as one of the coolest discoveries ever made in palaeontology, scientists have found a feathered dinosaur tail, preserved in amber. The tail includes vertabrae, feathers, soft tissue, while the amber also plays host to a prehistoric ant and plant matter, National Geographic reported. The dinosaur tail, found in northern Myanmar, was described in a Current Biology study as being about 1.4-inches long (just over 35cm), with brown and pale/white feathers. Analysis of the tail also revealed that it had eight vertabrae, the publication added. In a rather interesting spot of information, the sample was found at an amber market,...