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News

  • iOS users can now download their favourite ShowMax shows

    People accessing ShowMax from Android devices have been able to download content for offline viewing since December last year. Now their iOS-using counterparts can join in on the fun. The Naspers-owned video-on-demand (VoD) service on Tuesday announced downloads for its iPhone and iPad apps, aiming to both address the cost of internet connectivity in South Africa and to help people use the service while on the move. “The internet connection is the challenge for many South Africans” said ShowMax South Africa General Manager, John Kotsaftis. Read more: ShowMax introduces download functionality for offline viewing “Not everyone has fast internet access throughout...

  • Uber to improve driver/rider ratings by collecting data using smartphone technology

    A large part of the appeal of Uber is that riders and drivers alike can rate the treatment and behaviour of each other. More often than not Uber is quick to respond to reviews, quickly refunding trips and dealing with drivers. Ill-disciplined riders have been dealt with as well. This process has always had its flaws and Uber wants to solve this. The company wants to make the rating system far more conclusive by using smartphone technology to gather data on rides. Uber announced today that it has been running a pilot project that uses smartphone technology to gather data...

  • Uber adds yet another payment option in Nigeria

    Just a few days after it confirmed it is introducing cash payment feature in Nigeria, taxi hailing app Uber has entered into another partnership to introduce another payment feature. This time, Uber is working with Nigerian cashless payment startup Paga. Paga made the announcement adding that the partnership will broaden Uber’s reach across Nigeria by making its services accessible to all commuters, irrespective of how they choose to pay. It added that the partnership will ensure that the Uber customer experience remains unaffected by local preferences and regulations. “The partnership between Paga and Uber gives riders the option to pay...

  • Deloitte Digital gobbles up Fintech agency Jinja Interactive

    Deloitte Digital has made another raid into the specialist agency space. On Monday, the full services consultancy announced its acquisition of Jinja Interactive -- a Cape Town-based strategy, design and app development agency. In a press release sent to Memeburn, Deloitte Digital said it sees the acquisition as part of its strategy to build a fully-integrated digital transformation business, providing digital innovation and customer-centric engagement solutions to its rapidly growing list of clients across Africa. According to the release, Jinja Interactive will be particularly useful bolstering its offerings around digital financial services and fintech innovation. Read more: 2014: the...

  • ISPA weighs in on OTT regulation, tells networks to innovate

    It's been a long time since South Africa's seen a tech issue as contentious as the bid by the country's mobile network operators to regulate over the top (OTT) apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype. The networks' argument is that these apps, which allow people to make calls and send text messages, have eaten their traditional revenue streams without spending any money on infrastructure. Everyone else's argument is that the people using theses services spend ridiculous amounts of money on data, all of which goes into the operators' bank accounts. The latest part to weigh in on the...

  • Publicis snaps up Popimedia in R350m+ deal

    Publicis' South African buying spree shows no signs of slowing down. On Wednesday, the French agency network announced that it had completed an outright acquisition of Johannesburg-based ad tech company Popimedia in a deal which industry insiders say is worth more than R350-million. Founded in 2007 by Daniel Levy, Ryan Silberman and Gil Sperling, Popimedia works predominantly in the social space, with the aim of helping clients maximise the value of their effort and spend within the social realm. The acquisition comes just months after Publicis confirmed its acquisition of The Creative Counsel, a stakeholder in Popimedia, in...

  • Netflix releases fourth quarter earnings, lays out ambitious plans for 2016

    Netflix has released its fourth quarter earnings for the year ending 2016. The company reported a massive revenue of US$1.82-billion and earnings per share of 10 cents. The results are not far off from what analysts had estimated for the company. Netflix beat the estimates where it matters most though: profit. While analysts were expecting the company to report a revenue of US$1.83-billion, it reported US$1.82-billion in revenue. When it came to its profits, Netflix did a lot better than the earnings per share of two cents estimated by analysts. The earnings sent the stock up more than eight percent in...

  • PayU appoints ex-PayPal exec as CEO

    Naspers-owned payment services provider PayU on Tuesday announced the appointment of ex-PayPal Europe VP Laurent Le Moal as CEO. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, Le Moal's role as CEO sees him join the Naspers management team to lead its payments business, reporting directly to Naspers’ Group CEO, Bob Van Dijk. At the pinnacle of his 11-year career at PayPal, Le Moal was VP for Continental Europe, Russia, Middle-East and Africa, leading the growth of its consumer franchise across diverse geographies. Le Moal will reportedly lead PayU’s strategy and growth, building on the company’s position in high growth...

  • Twitter slowly returns to life after worldwide downtime [Update]

    Update #6: : Twitter.com is now accessible. nearly two full hours after it first went down. If it's still down in your area, drop us a comment in the section below. Update #4: It seems that Twitter is slowly creeping back into life. The Twitter mobile app on Android seems to be working for us at the...

  • Al Jazeera’s AJ+ launches Apple TV app

    Al Jazeera's maverick online news and current events channel AJ+ has announced the launch of its Apple TV app, bringing its offering to TVs for the first time. The new tvOS App allows users to consume and engage with AJ+ content and, according to Al Jazeera, features "unique emoji reactions feature that replaces the classic star rating system used by many publishers". Read more: Al Jazeera wants you to help make storytelling better using apps This, it says, not only "allows users to express themselves more emotively" but is also channeled back to the newsroom to allow producers to gauge...

  • Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield pays tribute to Dr. King on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    On the third Monday of January each year, Americans observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The day is observed around Dr King's birthday, which is on the 15th of January. Ahead of the day, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield shared a touching note with Slack employees. In the note, Butterfield shares his thoughts on the importance of Martin Luther King Jr. He further tells Slack employees to take the day off. According to Bloomberg BNA Annual Survey, only 37% of employees in the US have a day off on Martin Luther King Jr Day. Butterfield initially sent the memo to...

  • WhatsApp ditches annual subscription, promises to stay ad free

    WhatsApp on Monday announced plans to drop its annual subscription fees as it looks for alternative revenue models. In an official blog post, the massively popular instant messaging service, announced that the decision had been made after it realised that many of its users "don't have a debit or credit card number." and "worried they'd lose access to their friends and family after their first year". "Over the next several weeks," its says "we'll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service". In the same post it sought to address...

  • Falcon 9 rocket fails to nail drone boat landing, explodes spectacularly

    SpaceX may be in a good place when it comes to landing its Falcon 9 rockets on dry land -- and thus allowing them to be reused -- but the same cannot be said for its attempts to land on drone ships out at sea. The latest attempt, shared by Elon Musk om Instagram, shows a Falcon 9 attempting to land on one of SpaceX's drone ships. All appears to be going well until the rocket tips over and explodes spectacularly. Falcon lands on droneship, but the lockout collet doesn't latch on one the four...

  • Netflix renews commitment to cracking down on VPN users, including South Africans

    Netflix has renewed its commitment to cracking down on subscribers using VPNs and proxy services to access its full international library. In an official blog post, the video on demand (VoD) service says that while it hopes to eventually bring its full library to the whole world, it will continue "respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location". And for now that means doing everything it can to prevent people using these services. And that in turn means that in the coming weeks "those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where...

  • Petition launched to save WhatsApp from OTT regulations

    On Thursday, we told you about how proposed attempts to regulate over the top (OTT) players could fast become ludicrous. It's a sentiment widely shared in the tech space and which is rapidly spreading to South African population as a whole. Further evidence of antipathy towards regulating OTTs has emerged in the shape of an online poll on All4Women.co.za, urging government to leave the services such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Google Hangouts alone. "Mobile monopolies Vodacom and MTN have petitioned the South African government to 'regulate' free phone and message providers such as WhatsApp and Skype," the petition says. "They...