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All posts by Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter

Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter
Nur is an enigma with a passion for creating words. He recently entered a love affair with technology and chorizo sausages. He travels a lot -- you catch him, if you can, at a Silicon Cape event every now and again.
  • Foxconn replaces 60 000 workers with robots in China

    Foxconn, the manufacturing company behind the likes of the iPhone and PlayStation 4, has replaced 60 000 of its workers with robots, according to a new report. "The Foxconn factory has reduced its employee strength from 110 000 to 50 000, thanks to the introduction of robots. It has tasted success in reduction of labour costs," a government official told the South China Post. That effectively means that a workforce equivalent to the population of Knysna has been replaced by machines. In response to a BBC query, Foxconn stated that robots were implemented to complete the repetitive tasks, and that now its...

  • Family car in Kruger National Park smashed by stampeding buffalo

    South Africa's famous Kruger National Park can be navigated using personal vehicles, which makes impromptu animal sightings a fairly frequent occurrence. Although these tw0 YouTube videos depict a little more than a simple "sighting." The initial video was filmed by the car behind's dash cam, and shows a Volkswagen Polo sedan slowing to a stop to let a herd of buffalo cross the road. After the buffalo passed the car, it trundles forward slightly, which was probably the worst decision in hindsight. Spooked by two male lions, the herd storms back across the road and into the car, now parked in...

  • This new online tool helps you find your local ward counciller

    With local elections coming up in August, it's become even more important for voters to know who their local counciller is. But how do you actually find that out, and how do you go about contacting them once you have? Well one solution is to take a look at the new features on the People’s Assembly website. The site, which is also accessible via mobile, allows you to find out who your MP or Ward Councillor is, where your nearest constituency office is located, and provide feedback on whether your constituency office is actually working well. This means that...

  • Naspers Ventures unit opens new offices in San Francisco

    Naspers wants to become a Silicon Valley stalwart, and has subsequently set up new offices in San Francisco. The Cape Town-based media giant announced the move today, suggesting that it wishes to sink its roots into the area's deep startup culture. The new unit, dubbed Naspers Ventures, is what the company's CEO Bob van Dijk believes will begin its "next phase of growth." Naspers definitely isn't afraid of splashing spare change, with the company investing over US$1.5-billion in other companies in 2015, with investments as far reaching as Russia. "We believe we can utilize our deep knowledge of consumer internet and international markets to...

  • Google wants women to also be professionally represented with emojis

    Google's on a mission to makes emojis more inclusive, and that starts with a new set of proposed Unicode emojis representing women in the workplace. According to the proposal, "Google wants to increase the representation of women in emoji and would like to propose that Unicode implementers do the same. "Our proposal is to create a new set of emoji that represents a wide range of professions for women and men with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere." The new emojis will include the likes of female chefs, rock 'n rollers, scientists, doctors and even...

  • Mobile phones don’t cause brain cancer, massive 30-year Australian study finds

    Good news, selfie addicts. A new study published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology suggests that mobile phones, or excessive use of the critters, don't cause brain cancer, or cause a marked rise in new cases. For 30 years, researchers in Australia (the University of Sydney, to be exact) examined nearly 20 000 men and 14 222 women diagnosed with brain cancer between 1982 and 2012, and compared this to Australia's mobile phone usage data from 1987 to 2012, noting the spike in the latter. Essentially, the researchers couldn't find a correlation between the booming mobile phone usage rate in Australia...

  • Joburgers can now order electric Ubers

    If you're in Johannesburg, your next Uber ride could be in an electric car. That's thanks to a partnership between the private ride-hailing service, BMW, and Nissan aimed at reducing carbon emissions. Called UberGREEN, the pilot project will take place between 9 May and 3 June. During the pilot, riders will be able to request a BMW i3 or Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, operated by Uber driver-partners in Johannesburg at uberX prices, helping provide a more sustainable trip at an affordable price. Woolworths WRewards members also stand to gain from the partnership as they'll be among the first to...

  • Apple loses exclusive rights to ‘iPhone’ name in China

    This has to be one of the strangest legal battles of the year, but Apple has now lost a case against a company in China selling its products using the iPhone name. No, these products aren't smartphones in the same vein as Apple's, but rather a range of quite fetching smartphone cases, bags, wallets, and other leather products. Chinese company Xintong Tiandi was awarded the rights to use the name IPHONE on its products back in 2010. As Apple couldn't prove that it was an established brand in the Chinese market prior to Xintong Tlandi's reservation of the name (it only began...

  • Kung fu joins CG animation in the coolest thing we’ve seen today [video]

    Kung Fu is one of those mythical and extremely spiritual things that us human beings can do, along with singing in the shower, roughly kneading dough and creating gorgeous stop-motion computer-generated visualisations. It's the former and latter than come together in this frigidly cool video. Numbers-loving artist Tobias Gremmler decided to take the human (and very mathematically-based) motions of kung fu and translate that into a range of visualisations using a fabric-like sweep of pixels across the screen. It's quite remarkable how gorgeous the interpretation really is. Published on Vimeo two weeks ago, the video has since racked up an impressive 292...

  • UJ students use tech to strike a blow against tender corruption

    A group of four University of Johannesburg (UJ) students have struck a blow against corruption in the tender space with an app developed as part of the South African leg of global student software development challenge, the 2016 Microsoft Imagine Cup. The four, all Honours students at the UJ Academy of Computer Science and Software Engineering (ACSSE), hail from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. According to team leader Chukwudi Obodoekwe, from Anambra State in Nigeria, the drive to design this system initially came from his uncle (who is also his guardian): "When he heard we are entering for the challenge,...

  • SA publishers join up to create digital co-operative

    Like it or not, programmatic advertising is going to play an increasingly large role in the digital publishing landscape. South Africa is not immune to that, with a number of local publishing houses already involved in co-operatives exploiting the technology and new ones forming all the time. The latest such co-operative, called AdJoin, is a joint effort between Us-based online advertising firm Rubicon Project, local programmatic buying house MaxAxion, and Kagiso Media. Launching in April 2016, AdJoin is a bid to serve local campaigns and global buyers looking to reach the African marketplace at scale, bringing together both its...

  • The world is finally learning not to trust the internet

    For most of the internet's recent history, people have been more than happy to share their personal information online. But thanks to numerous hacks, breaches, and government spy scandals, that's all starting to change. According to the results of a new survey commissioned by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and conducted by global research company Ipsos, people are increasingly worried about their online privacy and security, especially when it comes to ‎how their personal data is handled by private corporations and governments. Conducted across 24 countries around the globe, the survey found that a majority...

  • Shuttleworth Foundation on the hunt for social innovators

    The Shuttleworth Foundation is on the hunt for social innovators to join its 2016 Fellowship intake. This year, the foundation says, it's particularly interested in "ideas at the intersection between technology, knowledge and learning, with openness being the key requirement". Founded by South African tech icon Mark Shuttleworth, the Foundation funds people from all over the world regardless of gender, age, nationality or experience. Since 2000, it has promoted African education in Maths, Science and Technology, as well as innovative ideas for social change. The aim of the fellowship grant is to multiply the money they put into their own...

  • SA developers, creatives invited to take part in NASA Space Apps Challenge

    Space is cool. That's a simple statement of fact. And even though we can't all be astronauts, we can all play a part in fostering innovation around challenges affecting us at home and in space. At least that's the message behind NASA's Space Apps Challenge, a 48 hour global hackathon aimed at bringing together engineers, coders, makers, artists and storytellers to connect over mission-related challenges. While there is capacity to work on the challenge remotely, Cape Town-based participants can come together at Workshop 17 in the V&A Waterfront to collaborate and work on their ideas. Hosted by MLab South Africa,...

  • This free workshop will help you get to grips with social video

    When it comes to social video, there are people doing it incredibly well, and others doing it incredibly badly. In the case of the latter, it's largely because the people running the accounts know they need to have a presence, but aren't exactly sure what to do with it. In a bid to remedy that, the Red and Yellow school of advertising is hosting a free workshop on 20 April 2016 in Cape Town aimed at developing participants' social video skills. The school has partnered with cinematographer Stephan Hambsch for the event, which it says will address the fundamentals...