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All posts by Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter

  • SA set for 4G explosion and 14 other mindblowing mobile stats

    Between the country's largest network announcing plans to hike voice and data rates and finding out that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will be bafflingly expensive, there hasn't been much for South African mobile users to celebrate of late. They may however take a little solace in the prediction that they're a lot more likely to have 4G coverage in the next five years. According to Cisco, the ongoing adoption of more powerful devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections may see 3G surpassing 2G as the top cellular technology, based on connection share, by 2016. 4G will meanwhile account for 56.1%...

  • SMS, Facebook dominate mobile activity in 5 of Africa’s biggest economies

    People speak about Africa as "the mobile continent" so frequently that it's become a cliche. People throw the phrase around as if it explains everything, without ever really interrogating exactly what it is Africans do with their mobile devices. One attempt to change that comes courtesy of technology research outfit World Wide Worx, which has published the results of its survey of 3 500 mobile phone users in five of Africa’s major markets, namely South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda. The survey reveals somewhat unsurprisingly, that there's been a rise of internet access via phones, the potential demise of...

  • City of Cape Town bans selfies at tourist hotspots, will impose hefty fines [update]

    It seems like the world is finally starting to crack down on selfies. Following a series of bans from the Smithsonian museum in Washington, DC to Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum, the City of Cape Town has recently banned selfies and selfie sticks after a series of misdemeanours and hefty fines this South African summer. "People taking selfies with their smartphones are often reckless," said Cape Town's councillor for Tourism, Events & Marketing Abraham Disimynami in a statement to Memeburn. "Tourists are the main perpetrators in this instance." He explained that in January this year an Australian couple managed to injure themselves...

  • Turns out that viral game ranger video was a Careers 24 ad

    In the last week or so, you've probably seen this video floating around on your social timelines. It shows a game ranger taking a tour group on a walking safari. After repeated attempts to get one member of the group to stay quiet, the ranger eventually gets the "hell-in" and abandons the group. It's racked up more than 271 000 views since going live and, it now turns out, is an advert for Careers 24. According to Nadia Boucher Coombe, Head of Marketing for Careers24, the idea sprang from the insight that everyone looks for a career that is...

  • New Santam app lets family, friends know you’re safe when you’re out on the road

    South African insurance provider Santam has released a new smartphone app. In and of itself, that's not particularly interesting (it's far from the first to do so). Some of the features on the app are however pretty innovative. Alongside the usual insurance stuff, which allows you to report, document and submit an accident or incident report directly to your insurer, there are a few additional features designed to make the process easier. You can, for instance, scan the barcode of your vehicle licence disc (and those of other vehicles involved), record audio statements, take and store incident photos, find...

  • 5m people will use Bitcoin by 2019

    While even people in the technology space might not entirely understand crypto-currency Bitcoin, you can't ignore its rapid growth. It's not about to slow down either. Right now there are around 1.3-million Bitcoin users around the globe and, according to Juniper Research, that number is set to grow to 5-million by the end of 2019. Even with that kind of growth though, the research company argues that Bitcoin usage will be dominated by exchange trading, with retail adoption largely restricted to relatively niche demographics. Despite the fact that a number of retailers now accept Bitcoin and startups are looking to...

  • Facebook announces new ad product aimed at expats

    Facebook today announced a new advertising product aimed at people whose current country of residence is different from their home country. According to Facebook, the service is aimed at providing relevant ads to the social network's 92-million or so expats. People in marketing, it says, can now connect with expats living within a given country (like expats living in Brazil) and expats originating from a specific country (like people born in Brazil living abroad). Nationality-specific targeting is currently available for people from Brazil, Indonesia, China, South Africa and India. Read more: Facebook’s had to adapt its plans to...

  • 800m tweets sent in Cricket World Cup group stages, India tops rankings

    The ICC Cricket World Cup is heading into its knockout phases and, in countries where the game is popular, people are feeling a mix of nerves and anticipation. And if the group stages were anything to go by, there should be plenty of action on Twitter too. According to the social media network, some 800-million tweets were sent during the tournament's opening matches. The match which saw the most action was India's victory over Pakistan, with tweets during the match window viewed more than 118-million times. In fact, India featured in three of the most tweeted matches. Given its...

  • Google owns the lion’s share of SA online advertising space, mobile still tiny

    The South African online advertising space is growing, bringing in revenues of more than R1.3-billion a year. That's good, but before any agency owners go making expansion plans remember: Google takes in more than half of that figure. That much was today confirmed in an inaugural Internet Advertising Revenue Report, prepared by PwC SA and released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) South Africa. The study, which takes into account revenues reported up until 31 December 2013, also revealed that online advertising revenues excluding search and mobile amounted to R452-million in 2013. Despite the fact that smartphone penetration rates have...

  • M-Pesa users can now send money between Kenya and Tanzania

    Mobile money service M-Pesa is usually one of the first names mentioned when it comes to revolutionary African mobile products. It has however been largely restricted to use within the individual countries it operates in. Until now, that is. M-Pesa customers in Kenya and Tanzania can now send and receive money from each other at the same cost as sending it locally. Speaking in Dar es Salaam, Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director Rene Meza said that the large amounts of money flowing between the two countries was evidence of a market for the cross-border service. “Statistics from the World Bank,...

  • SA online media could soon get code of ethics, regulatory system

    The Interactive Advertising Bureau South Africa (IAB), a voluntary non-profit body which represents the interests of the South African digital industry, has announced that it will be spearheading efforts aimed at creating a cross-platform news media code of ethics. The body, which was previously known as the DMMA, today announced that it has entered into discussions with the South African Press Council to explore the viability of the code as well as a voluntary editorial content regulatory system. The envisaged code, it says, will apply to news content across both print and online publications. With traditional and new media outlets...

  • New Santam ad shows what foreigners think of ‘one of a kind’ South Africa

    Ever wondered what foreign tourists talk about when they return home after a visit to South Africa? Is it the country's people, its wildlife or its stunning landscapes? Well, if a new advert from insurance provider Santam is to be believed, those aren't the things that make the country unique. Load shedding, baboon visits, car guards and traffic signs of hippos crossing are some of the quirky South Africanisms that are featured in the ad. According to the team behind it, "the commercial is filmed through the eyes of foreigners and gives an outsider's perspective on the uniqueness...

  • 24.com steps into the SAPA void, launches news agency

    24.com, the digital arm of Media 24, has announced the launch of its own news agency. The new service, which is set to launch in April, will be called News24Wire. And if the press release marking the announcement is to be believed, its aim is to fill the void left by the South African Press Agency (SAPA), which closed down in early February. The agency will comprise a 16-strong, national reporting team being built by veteran editor and News24 editor-in-chief Andrew Trench. Leading the team however will be Sapa’s news editor Fienie Grobler. While News24Wire's goals are certainly lofty,...

  • Ultra hi-res photo illustrates destructive beauty of #MuizenbergFire

    Plenty of people have been sharing photos of the wild fire that's been sweeping through the Cape's Southern peninsula since the early hours of Sunday morning. Few though capture the destructive beauty of the blaze as powerfully as this ultra hi-res photo from Tuesday night. Taken by astrophysicist Carolina Ödman, the photo gives you an idea of both the scale and intensity of the blaze. Ödman took the 0.13 Gigapixel (129 megapixels) photo from the roof of her house. Check it out: var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • This time-lapse of the #MuizenbergFire shows how quickly it spread in just two hours

    The massive fire which has been raging across Cape Town's Southern peninsula since the early hours of Sunday morning has consumed massive tracts of vegetation, seen homes damaged and evacuated and some awe-inspiring photography. In order to truly appreciate how large the area affected by the blaze is and -- fanned by strong winds -- how quickly it has spread, it's worth watching this time-lapse video produced by Cape Town cameraman Jason Aldridge. The video covers the fire's spread from around 7:39 pm to 9:32 pm on Sunday Evening. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");