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General Tech

  • What needs to happen to make 2016 Fintech’s breakout year?

    It’s that time of year again: the crystal balls come out, and everyone becomes a seer. Predictions are made about the forthcoming year, and 2016 is being billed as everything from the year of virtual technology, to the year of biltong. But no one seems to ask what would make these trends possible. Is it simply fashion that will make 2016 the year of the smart machine, or are there more concrete reasons? I want 2016 to be the year fintech finally breaks out into the mainstream. Rather than make predictions about what will happen, I will ask what...

  • 10 Memeburn articles you went crazy for in 2015

    With just a few days left to go in 2015, it's time to sit back and reflect on a year which has seen rapid evolution in the roles technology and social media play in our daily lives. Perhaps the biggest shift to happen this year is the rate at which people in previously underserved markets are coming online. With more than 3-billion internet users around the globe, every event now happens online as well as in the real world. That this is increasingly true of South Africa where around half the population has internet access, is evident when you...

  • 10 books that accurately predicted modern technology

    Historically, hunter-gatherers spent their days tirelessly on the search for their next meal. Today, we are tirelessly on the hunt for the next innovative idea. But where do these ideas come from? Are they brilliant ways to fulfill the needs of our ever changing lives or are they the products of innovation catching up to the brilliant minds of science-fiction authors? Here are 15 books that accurately predicted today’s technology. 1. Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984) - The Web Seven years before the world wide web became popular, Gibson predicted a global network of millions...

  • This is why the internet really needs green energy

    The physical realities of data are far from popular conceptions of the internet as a vapourless “cloud.” Online services, especially for streaming video content, consume vast amounts of power. Greenpeace has in fact noted that if the internet were a country, its electricity usage would rank sixth globally. We once built steel mills near energy sources, but now that’s where we construct data centres -- the factories of the digital economy. The virtual cloud starts with coal, which provides much-needed electricity as well as the greenhouse gases which greatly contribute to global warming. The consequences of warming world are...

  • ‘Old people are just slower’: how ageism has taken over the tech industry

    "If you work in Silicon Valley, you'll be unemployed by middle age," reads the byline of tech writer Ted Rall's Silicon Valley ageism report. "Years of experience, plenty of talent, completely obsolete," echoes a New Republic article on the same subject. Sound familiar? It should. Silicon Valley's "biggest dirty secret" isn't limited to San Francisco. Instead, rampant ageism has become the norm in digital and computing companies across the globe, and South Africa is no exception. This is problematic for several reasons. Not only is age-based discrimination illegal (according to the Employment Equity Act) and an affront to...

  • Game based learning and gamification are not the same thing: here’s why

    Gaming based learning (GBL) is gaining popular trend in modern corporate learning. Organisations are serious about imparting continuous learning within their working space. Despite the fact, that benefit of gaming in the corporate circle are clear in both learning and training, gamification and GBL are two different things that cannot be used interchangeably. It is important to realise that though they have overlapping features, they have a defining characteristic that apply to each. Serious game or GBL refers to simulation or unique game that is created specifically to cater to the evident need for a group. They are designed with...

  • Digital transformation: the key contact centre focus

    Customer experience is the last source of sustainable differentiation in a battle for the next generation digital consumer, and the only way for contact centres to rise to this challenge is through digital transformation. Digital technology is impacting everything, including the contact centre. Global research shows that digital is impacting every facet of life and work. The next generation of digital consumer – Gen D – is emerging fast, with new demands and expectations of what organisations can deliver and how they will engage with consumers. Digital encompasses more than just mobile, social media, big data and cloud. IDC says...

  • #UFOSA, disrupting banks, and 2001: A Space Odyssey: 5 Memeburn articles you loved this week

    It's been a long week, close to the end of a very long year, and you're probably completely wrecked from trying to wrap all your projects up before the end of the year. It's understandable then that you might not have been able to spend as much time on Memeburn as you would've liked. That's cool, we've got your back. Here are the five most popular stories published on Memeburn this week. 5. Is your bank really about to experience Uber-style disruption? To the average person on the street, Uber is amazing and has done more to change the face...

  • How IBM is building a smarter planet with the cloud

    Most people have heard of Watson -- IBM’s smart computer that famously beat the quiz show Jeopardy! back in 2011. Fewer know that Watson is only one of tens-of-thousands of IBM solutions distributed across the globe. Not only do IBM's computers have the capacity to perform complex tasks like playing a rather intense game of Jeopardy!, they're also used to cut costs when it comes to running business infrastructures. From insurance to banking, IBM's zEnterprize mainframe (or System Z) is touted as being the world's heavyweight champ when it comes to crunching the numbers behind the scenes. Memeburn spoke with IBM's...

  • Excel is about to get sexy again: here’s why

    This autumn in the US, Excel will be 30 years old. It’s difficult to imagine a business world without the spreadsheet, which first appeared as VisiCalc on the Apple II in 1979. Excel’s birthday came six years later. Since then it has become the world’s most widely used spreadsheet software programme. More than 1.2 billion people (one in every seven on the planet) use Office today, of which Excel is a key package. Excel is often considered the ugly stepsister of Business Intelligence (BI). But, that’s no longer true. It’s all grown up and a long way from the old...

  • Is the Dark Web really the cesspit of the internet?

    The Dark Web. The term was recently nominated for word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries, only to be beaten by an emoji, yes you heard that right. AN EMOJI. Jokes aside, the dark web is not an urban myth as some believe, but frighteningly real. Not to be confused with the deep web, the dark web forms a part of the world wide web where content is not indexed by search engines and is stored on secret servers and overlay networks. Such content is not particularly difficult to find, but hide the servers and IP addresses that...

  • So you’ve managed to direct more traffic to your website. What now?

    With more than a million registered South African websites, it is hardly surprising that grabbing the attention of visitors looking for local content is a challenge. Here are a few tips to help keep your audience engaged with your site once they access it. 1. First impressions count When someone gets to your website, you have a split second to grab their attention. It is essential to have a core message that brings across what your value proposition is instantly. This proposition should be specific and unique. An example of this could be "We restore and sell old VW...

  • True or false: the basics of backup, restore, and DR

    In this modern age, technology regarding digital internet data has greatly increased, and along with its growth has come many falsehoods. Everyone seems to have their own device on hand, and thus, the ability to fabricate IT urban legends is that much easier. We want to help you learn to discern what is true and what is false when it comes to backups and disaster recovery processes. This ability to decipher truth from falsehood will in turn equip you to be able to better manage the environment of your data protection system. True or False:...

  • Books, Paris attacks, and SEO: 5 Memeburn articles you loved this week

    Have you ever wondered why some people just prefer physical books? Or are you curious about the social media reaction to Saturday's terror attacks on Paris? Perhaps you're considering getting a Chromecast or have always wondered what sets genius apart. You might not be interested in all of those things, but as a Memeburn reader, chances are you're interested in at least one of them. At least, that's what a look at the five most read Memeburn articles for the week suggests. Check them out: 5. Beyond Einstein’s brain: the anatomy of genius When Albert Einstein died in 1955, his...

  • Technology: added value or added admin?

    In a world where Digital is the new playground, has the industry lost focus on what is truly important? Organisations are chasing the digital dream, building mobile applications and responsive websites with advanced functionality, improving their customer touch points, operations, logistics, and the supply chain. Understandable though this Digital journey may be, a question that must be asked is, are we chasing the technology and letting technology dictate the way business is being run, or are we using technology as an enabler to do business better? A recent experience caused me to think about our Digital endeavours. In an attempt to...