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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.
  • Early-warning asthma prediction device secures top spot at SA Innovation Summit

    The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) Inventors Garage competition awarded PhD student Moses Kebalepile for his prototype, called the Asthma Grid, at the SA Innovation Summit. Kebalepile walked away with R25 000, incubation support from Standard Bank and an iPad for his early-warning device that predict asthma attacks. “I was surprised to win! There were so many good projects showcased at the TIA Inventors Garage; it just goes to show the incredible potential and talent that we as South Africans have. I think the work that we do locally is as good as what comes from the West, if not more inspired,”...

  • Do you live in one of Joburg’s six new ‘fibrehoods’?

    Fibre to the home provider Vumatel has announced that it will be rolling out its offering in six new Johannesburg suburbs. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, the residents' associations of Hurlingham, Glenadrienne, Hyde Park, Northcliff, Sharonlea and Olivedale are the latest to opt for the company's offering. Those suburbs join the likes Saxonwold, Parkwood, Riviera and Killarney, where installations are currently underway, and in Victory Park, Linden, Bryanston South and Blairgowrie, where installations are set to begin in October. Read more: Liquid Telecom secures $150m funding for Africa-wide fiber network expansion “With these new suburbs we will...

  • Can this website make a dent in South Africa’s rampant corruption rates?

    There's no doubt that corruption is a massive problem in South Africa. According to the 2014 Transparency International Corruption Index, the country ranks 67th below the likes of Dominica, Lithuania, and Latvia. At times it can seem like an insurmountable problem, but a new platform is trying to change that. The platform, called Expose It, is the brainchild on the Justice Alliance of South Africa (JASA), an NGO composed of lawyers working to advance justice in South Africa. Expose It is a website and USSD phone app aimed at fighting corruption on every level within public service organisations including;...

  • Student hackers figure out how to stop gym cheats

    If you're one of those people who checks into gym, has a cup of coffee, and leaves just to get your medical aid points, you might want to start altering your behaviour. A group of Johannesburg-based hackers have figured out a way to show exactly how much exercise people do while they're at the gym. According to press release sent to Memeburn, five young hackers have demonstrated how exercise machines can "tell" a gym goer’s mobile phone just how much exercise really happened in-between gym entry and exit. The mobile phone then "tells" the wellness programme’s computers what is...

  • Google holds first ever South African developer summit

    Google yesterday held its first South African Developer Summit. The event, which was the latest in its series of Sub-Saharan African developer events, was designed to bring developers from around the country up-to-date with the latest Google developer tools. According to Google, the developer summits are an opportunity for Google to assist developers across the world to build better web and Android applications. The Developer Summit in Cape Town was the last leg of a three-city African tour. Developer Summits were also held in Lagos, Nigeria on 19 August, and Nairobi, Kenya on 22 August. The summit featured Google employees...

  • We’re about to start using wireless mobile chargers in a big way

    It's been a while since a mobile manufacturer made a big deal about wireless chargers, but apparently they're about to become a lot more common. In fact, according to a new report from Juniper Research, nearly 40% of households in the US and over 20% in Europe will use wireless charging by 2020. Households won't be the only places driving the growth of wireless charging though. According to Juniper Research, with more devices now implementing wireless charging (smartphones, tablets, wearables and soon laptops), infrastructure providers are starting to roll out support for the technology, in a way similar to public...

  • Mobile, online transactions to reach 125bn annually by 2018

    The world is set to see an explosion in the number of mobile and online transactions, growing to 125-billion in 2018, an increase of 60% from this year's total. That's according to a new report from Juniper Research, which says that medium term growth would be driven by a variety of factors including a rise in “commuter commerce” (on-the-go purchases) which would itself be fuelled by greater deployments of Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity on public transport. The report also observed that digital transaction volumes would be further bolstered with the continued transition from physical formats (such as DVDs and...

  • Beyond the hype: what tech trends should Africa really be excited about

    There are very few players in the tech space who don't have their eyes on Africa. With its fast-growing economies and reputation for adapting existing new technologies in new and innovative ways, that's hardly surprising. But what technologies should people actually be getting excited about? And which ones are are simply over-hyped? A fairly good indicator can be found in Gartner's African Hype Cycle. While the technology research company does note that companies trying to grow their business operations throughout the continent must understand the local market conditions within each country, it does highlight some interesting points of commonality....

  • Philips launches search for the #nextbigidea in SA healthcare

    South Africans reckon they're pretty innovative. In fact, a good percentage of people in the country reckon they're sitting on "the next big thing". That's according to a recent survey conducted by Dutch electronics giant Philips. According to the survey, 60% of South Africans consider themselves to be innovators, with 20% expressing the belief that they are not reliant on others to create solutions. Innovation is also deeply rooted in people who are educated, independent in their businesses or hold senior positions in companies. Interestingly, KwaZulu-Natal is the province with the highest number of people who consider themselves innovators....

  • Online gambling on the rise: one in 10 adults to take part by 2019

    Online gambling is set to explode in the next five years, thanks largely to increasingly liberal legislation in the US and Europe. In fact, a new report from Juniper Research suggests that as many as one in 10 adults will engage in some form of mobile or online gambling by 2019. Of course, some countries will see higher rates of gambling than others. Nearly half of adults in the UK and Italy for instance will be involved in some form of online gambling by 2019. As well as increasingly liberal laws, Juniper does note that the migration from traditional...

  • These South African kids rock Adobe, Microsoft Office like no one’s business

    Did you know that there were global championships for the Adobe software suite and for Microsoft Office? And did you know that South African teenagers medalled at both? No? It's okay, neither did we. But it's true. Tiffany Onderstall, a 19-year-old student at Inscape Education Group, beat 88 000 worldwide competitors and more than 30 finalists to win second place in the 2015 Adobe Certified Associate World Championship. Samantha Knupp, a student at Elkanah House High School, beat 600 000 worldwide competitors to win third place in the 2015 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship. Both competitions were hosted by...

  • Code for Africa gets $4.7m boost from Bill and Melinda Gates foundation

    Data journalism and civic technology organisation Code for Africa has received a US$4.7-million investment from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. According to a blog post written by Code for Africa head Justin Arenstein, the funding will be used to help the organisation's civic technologists work with newsrooms around the continent. "The three-year programme at Code for Africa (CfAfrica) initially targets newsrooms in three regional ‘hub’ nations, in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa,"Arenstein writes. "It will expand to include Tanzania in 2016, and will also tap into CfAfrica’s digital experimentation in newsrooms elsewhere in Africa". A part of the grant...

  • Wits launches challenge for better student apps

    The University of the Witwatersrand has launched an app development challenge aimed at adding to its existing suite of student-focused apps. The Student App Challenge, conducted in partnership with iAfrikan, is open to students and non-students alike and will run over two weekends this August. The challenge, which takes place at the university's new Digital Innovation Zone (DIZ) in Johannesburg, will kick off with an Ideathon on the first weekend (15/16 August 2015) and followed by a Hackathon the following weekend (22/23 August 2015). The challenge requires participants to create new Apps that will add on to the existing suite...

  • Opera acquires Latin American app discovery service Bemobi

    Scandinavian software giant Opera has acquired Bemobi, a Latin-American app discovery service. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, Bemobi operates on a “Netflix-style” subscription service for premium Android apps. By subscribing to the service, users apparently get unlimited use of premium mobile apps for a small weekly fee. Users pay for this service through their mobile operator billing systems, making the service highly effective in emerging markets, where credit-card and debit-card penetration is low. According to the press release, the idea behind the acquisition is to use Opera's global footprint to take Bemobi global. The company says that...

  • Nutrition, barcode-scanning app rates packaged food for South Africans

    In partnership with George Institute for Global Health and Discovery Vitality, nutrition app called HealthyFood Switch has just launched in South Africa. The mobile app lets you scan the barcode of a packaged-food item and provides nutritional information on the energy, total fat, saturated fat, sugar, fibre, sodium and calcium of the product. An algorithm rates the nutrient composition using a star rating system. The user is also shown healthier alternatives within the same food category, allowing them to make a switch to a healthier product before they head to the check-out counter. Discovery Insurance isn't shying away from hooking onto the...