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General

  • Twitter’s 140 character stretch begins today

    Great news, Twitter users. From today, the social network will no longer count certain types of content towards the arbitrary 140-character limit. First announced in May 2016, the move will allow tweeters to get more written content into their tweets, regardless of how many images or @names they have included. Previously, these were counted towards the limit. Twitter did ponder pushing that limit to 10 000 characters back in January Polls, videos, GIFs, images, @names and practically any other embedded media won't be counted as one of the 140 characters. Say more about what's happening! Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and...

  • Mysterious SETI signal probably came from Earth

    The quest to find extraterrestrial life was given a short-lived boost this week when the SETI Institute (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) announced the discovery of an interesting signal. According to the institute, Russian astronomers operating the RATAN-600 radio telescope detected a radio signal from a star system 94 light years away. The system, called HD164595, is a few billion years older than our own, but has a star of comparable brightness and size, the institute explained. And there is indeed at least one planet orbiting the star. "This system is known to have one planet, a Neptune-sized world in a very tight orbit, making...

  • Good Buy Jo aims to unify South Africa’s messy online retail space

    If you think of price comparison websites or product directories, you'll likely think of PriceCheck. But PriceCheck is getting a new competitor in the form of Good Buy Jo. The site, which sounds like the perfect name for a folk indie band, "offers consumers a place where they can search for things they want across multiple online stores in one location," according to a press release. "It is where customers begin their online shopping journey, where they have choice, browsing power in one central place and access to deals and promotions, based on their unique interests." The site lists merchandise from the...

  • Uber drivers share the ‘deepest’ passenger secrets they’ve heard

    Social news site Reddit frequently serves up some lovely content, with AskReddit in particular making for some entertaining reading. So when user IamHaiseSasaki asked Uber drivers about the deepest secrets they overheard, you just know it's going to be interesting. Of course, the internet being what it is, you have to take some of the stories with a pinch of salt. But I want to believe... User westport76 claimed that they picked up an "absolutely hammered" girl who asked to simply be driven around for a while and apologised for being drunk. The girl then said she had terminal brain cancer and chemotherapy wasn't an option. "She told...

  • Microsoft to buy LinkedIn in $26bn deal

    Microsoft has announced plans to buy business-focused social network LinkedIn, in a deal worth US$26.2-billion (R398-billion). The Redmond company will acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share, with the transaction expected to close by the end of the year. "LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft," Microsoft said in a press statement. "The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred on connecting the world's professionals," Nadella said. "Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to...

  • 5 constructive ways to waste time on the internet

    If I could quantify the hours I've spent browsing superfluous websites on the internet, I'd be father time. But I'm not. All I know is that the internet's a wormhole of information, that may or may not be relevant at the time, but definitely makes for some great conversation starters. And that's exactly why it's advantageous. If you have a spare moment trapped in a boredom bubble -- perhaps Monday is going to the dogs, or you're two hours out from the Friday bell -- the internet can help you out by teaching you a thing or two. With that said, here...

  • The IAB wants to know how much digital adspend there is in SA

    Getting a realistic gauge on how much money is spent on digital advertising in South Africa is no easy task. Aside from some people on both client and agency side occasionally refusing to share numbers, digital's encroachment into every sphere of advertising means it's become increasingly difficult to know where to draw the line. But it's also an important one. It allows the local industry to gauge its growth against the rest of the world. It's worth noting then that IAB SA, in collaboration with PwC, has launched its third study on digital adspend in South Africa. “As the...

  • What Streisand Effect? Axl Rose tries to remove ‘fat’ photo from web

    We've all had disappointing photos taken of ourselves and published on Facebook, featuring a double chin, red eyes or a bit of a boep. Kicking up a fuss only seems to make things worse, right? Well, someone better tell that to Axl Rose, who probably hasn't heard of the Streisand Effect. According to Torrent Freak, the singer has issued a DMCA takedown notice to Google, demanding that a certain unflattering photo be removed from various blog websites. The publication tracked down original photographer Boris Minkevich of Winnipeg Free Press, who had no idea that his photos were rehosted or that Rose was trying to...

  • The 12 steps to starting the ecommerce store you want

    Even though ecommerce only makes up one percent of retail sales in South Africa, it’s still a big and booming industry. You may want to start selling your wares online, or have a great idea for a store. Question is, where do you even get started? Starting an online store is actually quite easy, but maintaining it is another beast altogether. It’s not just about slapping a plug-in onto a WordPress site and going for it. As is the case with any company, there are a few more steps to take into account when making your dream store.

  • 1 in 3 people value their smartphones above their friends, study finds

    There's this hunk of plastic and silicon sitting on my desk right now that I'd hike a mountain to find signal for. Yes, it's my smartphone. It's such an integral part of my life, that if I lost it, I'd be pretty damn lost myself. Security company Kaspersky, in a rather fitting study, noted that one out of three consumers feel the same, and are "willing to ditch their friends for their smartphone." The study was conducted at the universities of Würzburg and Nottingham Trent on behalf of Kaspersky. So the results are from people who likely know a thing or...

  • Two essential tools for your business toolkit

    Organising two important areas of your business can be made a lot easier by using a couple of simple but powerful tools. Effective Leads Management and Project Management are as essential to many small businesses as they are to large corporations. Fortunately, great brains and expertise have been roped in to develop a couple of tools that make these facets of business easy to do. Sales people will tell you that it’s not enough that you market your product or service effectively if that doesn’t result in quality sales. But the sales also don’t just happen. Successful sales is a...

  • Google wins landmark legal battle against Oracle

    After almost four years of legal wrangling, a US jury has ruled in favour of Google in its long-running dispute with Oracle. The jury unanimously ruled that Google's use of Java APIs to create Android was indeed fair use. Oracle had reportedly been seeking $9-billion in damages. Oracle has indicated that it will appeal the decision however. "We strongly believe that Google developed Android by illegally copying core Java technology to rush into the mobile device market. Oracle brought this lawsuit to put a stop to Google's illegal behaviour. We believe there are numerous grounds for appeal and we plan to bring this case...

  • Former Konga VP Gabriel Gab-Umoden on his latest venture, Legend.ng

    Gabriel Gab-Umoden isn’t new in Nigeria’s tech space. Having served as a Vice President at ecommerce company Konga, Gabriel knew what the potentials of the ecommerce sector in Nigeria are but he surprised the industry when his next venture had absolutely nothing to do about ecommerce and was opposed to the norm in the ecosystem in Nigeria where tech companies start in Lagos before going elsewhere.

  • Netflix to be ‘exclusive US pay TV home’ for Disney, Marvel and more

    Netflix has announced an exclusive partnership with Disney, Marvel, Pixar and LucasFilm in the United States. The partnership will see Netflix host the latest movies from these big-name studios later this year. "From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar," the company said in a press release. The company has also revealed its refreshed summer lineup of content - so what can US subscribers (and those using proxy services) expect? June is highlighted by the first three Jurassic Park movies and Spotlight, July will see the Back to the Future and...

  • Security management builds on integration

    Navigating the landscape of enterprise security can be daunting – the threats typically fly under the radar, and the broad array of malware, hacks and data theft shows real innovation. Worse, the level of malicious sophistication is also on the upswing. In tandem, corporate users enjoy communicating, computing and transacting business on a variety of wired and wireless networks – using multiple devices. And the threat vectors continue to grow, exponentially. Consequently, IT departments are turning to policy management platforms that give them visibility into who and what is connecting to their networks, with ways to measure and predict. They...