• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • Zuckerberg forces sale of Hawaiian native land

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ran into some trouble when purchasing land for his US$100-million family sanctuary. Much of the land purchased by Zuckerberg is owned by Kama'aina families, who have rights to the land. This unexpected turn of events has backed Zuckerberg into a corner, so much so that he's now trying to force the sale of the land rights, as first mentioned in a Hawaiian publication. Using what's known as the "quiet title and partition", which challenges the individual's claim to the land, Zuckerberg aims to put the land up for public auction. Donald Eby, a real-estate attorney who isn't involved in the case, explained how...

  • Power Rangers: it’s almost morphin’ time [Video]

    Since the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series kicked off in the early 90s, the franchise has been a household brand. Almost every kid I knew was into the over-the-top ridiculousness of the show. And who can blame them? It was awesome. The first movie to follow the series was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie back in 1995. Now, 22-years later, they're back with all-new rangers to take the role in the next instalment of the franchise, simply titled Power Rangers. The cast chosen to take on the title of "Ranger" aren't very familiar faces, but collectively have a large amount of acting experience,...

  • Stockholm ambulances to alert motorists via radio

    Researchers at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed an early warning system for motorists in the path of oncoming emergency vehicles. Ambulances in the Swedish capital will soon be sporting the new warning system, titled EVAM, which interrupts any audio playing through the car's audio system to broadcast an early warning message. This means that any in-car audio will stop immediately to broadcast a warning that an emergency vehicle is heading in their direction. This is made possible by using radio transmissions from the EMS vehicle to hijack the nearest FM tuner signals. According to one of the three students...

  • X-Ray vision reveals supermassive blackholes nearby

    Astronomers at the Southampton University have used "X-ray vision" to reveal supermassive blackholes which were hidden behind thick interstellar gas near our galaxy. The discovery was led by PhD researcher Peter Boorman and Dr Poshak Gandhi as well as associate professor Ernest Rutherford. "Every large galaxy in the universe is believed to host a supermassive black hole at their centre, millions of times the mass of our Sun," said Boorman in a press release. "These systems can devour vast quantities of matter due to their extreme gravitational pull, making the black holes grow. The in-falling matter then emits radiation across the full electromagnetic...

  • This 5D imaging technology can digitally scan living tissue

    Researchers from USC Dornsife and USC Viterbi School of Engineering have developed new technology that allows for 5D imaging of animals and human beings. According to the developers, Francesco Cutrale, Prof. Scott Fraser and the late Prof. Elizabeth Garrett, their implementation of 5D imaging -- dubbed Hyper-Spectral Phasor analysis (HySP) -- is cheaper, faster and more accurate than other imaging methods available. 5D imaging technology is useful in detecting important biological molecules, especially signs of disease, being crucial to understanding how diseases interact within a living organism. The HySP uses fluorescent imaging to locate proteins as well as other molecules situated...

  • Watch as Joe Biden receives highest honor, touching hug from Obama

    Will there ever be a bromance as everlasting and endearing as US Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama? Probably not. As President-elect Donald Trump casts his shadow over the White House, the internet is enjoying its last few days of Biden and Obama's epic bromance. And yesterday, that undeniable mutual respect was taken a step further. In a press conference, President Obama surprised Joe Biden with the country's highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Biden tries valiantly to hold back the tears (and so do we), but to no avail. It's an absolutely beautiful moment. Part of the...

  • Scientists believe the Milky Way is a cosmic thief, home-wrecker

    Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics have determined that half of the 11 furthest known stars in the Milky Way were ripped from another galaxy known as the Sagittarius Dwarf. "The star streams that have been mapped so far are like creeks compared to the giant river of stars we predict will be observed eventually," said the lead author, Marion Dierickx, a graduate student at Harvard University in a press release. According to the research, the Sagittarius Dwarf -- just one of the dozens of mini-galaxies that surrounds our Milky Way -- made its way around our galaxy at a point in...

  • More research reveals why birds are toothless

    Researchers over at the George Washington University have discovered a new species of toothless dinosaurs which could explain the reason why birds have beaks. The dinosaur they observed was  Limusaurus inextricabilis, which forms part of the theropod group of dinosaurs, which are evolutionary ancestors of birds. These dinosaurs lost their teeth during their adolescent phase and didn't grow another set when they got older. James Clark, a Ronald Weintraub Professor of Biology at the George Washington University's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, was a co-author of the paper, published in Current Biology. The team studied 19 Limusaurus skeletons which were discovered in the Xinjiang province of China...

  • Paper-based battery to power small electronics?

    Researchers at Binghamton University have created a working bacteria-powered battery which can be used to power small or disposable electronic devices. What makes this creation even more impressive is that it was made on a single sheet of paper. The bio-battery's design could reduce fabrication time as well as bring down the cost of production. Assistant professor Seokheun Choi, part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, commented on the invention in a press release. "Papertronics have recently emerged as a simple and low-cost way to power disposable point-of-care diagnostic sensors," said...

  • Instagram Stories gets holiday stickers and more

    Instagram just got festive with more features for Instagram Stories. "Since last month's update, we've loved seeing how you've (users) used Boomerang and mentions to make your stories even more fun. Now you have new ways to turn any moment into something you want to share with your friends and followers," said Instagram on their blog. New to their offering will be the option to add stickers. Once you've taken your photo or video, you'll notice a sticker button next to your drawing tools, delivering stickers based on the weather, time and your location. Adding a location sticker works in the same...

  • Monopoly: You’re playing it wrong

    Capitalism simulator, Monopoly will undoubtedly have many families huddled around the table this year frantically arguing about the rules of the game. According to the video below, a study conducted by Hasbro found that out of all the study's participants, 68% never read the rules of the game. They also found that 30% of players made up their own rules. For example, nowhere in the rulebook does it state that during the first round of any game you cannot purchase any properties. This prompted Hasbro to introduce house rules which include stacking any fine or tax money in the centre of the...

  • Alternative electrolytes could stop exploding smartphones

    Researchers have identified dozens of electrolytes that could be alternative solutions to volatile liquids used in smartphones. Researchers at Stanford University used machine learning and AI involvement to find suitable electrolytes. Their findings were published in the Energy & Environmental Science journal. These new electrolytes could replace liquids used in batteries which power smartphones, laptops as well as other electronic devices. Lead author of the paper Austin Sendek, a doctoral candidate in applied physics, commented on the findings in a press release. "Electrolytes shuttle lithium ions back and forth between the battery's positive and negative electrodes," he explained. "Liquid electrolytes are cheap and...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #89: Rogue One, Grand Tour & more

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest news from the past few days. This week, Hadlee Simons plays host to Graham van de Made. In this edition of the Weekly Round Up, the team talks about the new addition to the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One, and what Graham thought of the press screening. The team also discussed a survey done by the IESA which summed up the gaming industry in SA. The duo also discussed Amazon Prime Video coming to more than 200 countries along with hit series Grand Tour (the launch includes South Africa). Graham also discusses...

  • Robotic hands are getting more touchy-feely

    A group of scientists at Cornell University have created a way for soft robotic hands to feel their surroundings internally, much like we do. The group was led by the assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and principal investigator of Organic Robotics Lab, Robert Shepherd. Their paper detailed how stretchable optical waveguides can act as sensors in a soft robotic hand. The paper, titled Optoelectronically Innervated Soft Prosthetic Hand via Stretchable Optical Waveguides, was featured in an edition of Science Robotics. Lead author of the paper Huichan Zhao commented on his findings in a blog post. "Most robots today have sensors on the outside of the...

  • Your body: the ultimate time-keeper

    How do we tell time? Looking at your watch or the clock can merely tell you what the measurement of time is and the relation to that measurement. So what exactly is time? More importantly, how does our brain know what time it is? Simply put, there is no complete answer, according to professor of neurobiology and psychology at UCLA, Dean Bounomano. Who also happens to be a member of the Brain Research Institute (BRI). "The circadian clock is probably the best understood of the brain's timekeepers. And truth be told, organisms don't even need a brain to anticipate the earth's daily rhythms....