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News

  • SA developers, creatives invited to take part in NASA Space Apps Challenge

    Space is cool. That's a simple statement of fact. And even though we can't all be astronauts, we can all play a part in fostering innovation around challenges affecting us at home and in space. At least that's the message behind NASA's Space Apps Challenge, a 48 hour global hackathon aimed at bringing together engineers, coders, makers, artists and storytellers to connect over mission-related challenges. While there is capacity to work on the challenge remotely, Cape Town-based participants can come together at Workshop 17 in the V&A Waterfront to collaborate and work on their ideas. Hosted by MLab South Africa,...

  • Reddit improves ‘block user’ feature to help deal with trolls

    Reddit, and almost every other message board on the net, has an issue with trolls. You know, those few internet users who enjoy aggressively smashing any scintilla of common sense or order for the lulz. Well, today the company has announced a new set of tools to address trolls on its message boards, and first and foremost is a more widely active private user blocking system. Redditors can now filter and block trolls from within their own inboxes and beyond. The company notes that this system will now also apply to comment replies. "Simply click the “Block User” button while viewing the...

  • This free workshop will help you get to grips with social video

    When it comes to social video, there are people doing it incredibly well, and others doing it incredibly badly. In the case of the latter, it's largely because the people running the accounts know they need to have a presence, but aren't exactly sure what to do with it. In a bid to remedy that, the Red and Yellow school of advertising is hosting a free workshop on 20 April 2016 in Cape Town aimed at developing participants' social video skills. The school has partnered with cinematographer Stephan Hambsch for the event, which it says will address the fundamentals...

  • AP Styleguide strips the ‘internet’ of its proper noun status

    The AP Stylebook -- an influential media style guide that shaped online writing styles the world over -- has announced on Twitter that it will no longer refer to the internet as a proper noun, using a lower case I instead. The change will come into effect when the 2016 version of the Stylebook launches, and also marks a change in the way the world sees the internet. As the internet grows, it becomes a more "decentralised", ubiquitous web of communication and information, Thus referring to it as a proper noun, or a single, defined entity, doesn't quite make sense. Oh, and...

  • Search traffic spikes in South Africa after Nkandla #ConCourt ruling

    South Africa's Constitutional Court -- the highest court in the land -- has today ruled that President Jacob Zuma and the National Assembly acted against the Constitution, and has thus been ordered to pay back some of the public money spent on his Nkandla homestead. President Zuma's Nkandla homestead has been under considerable scrutiny by opposition parties and the public protector after it was revealed that R246-million of the national budget was used for upgrades -- some of which Zuma will have to pay back within 45 days of today's judgement. Following the ruling, South Africans are taking to search engines...

  • Uber South Africa created 4000 jobs, travelled over 93m kilometres since launch

    Uber has been in South Africa for a good two-and-a-half years now, and is available in five cities, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Pretoria. Over this period, the ride hailing service has had its fare share of trying times but in a data released yesterday, the company has seen plenty of positives as well. In a blog post, Uber South Africa claims to have moved over 500 000 users across the country in February 2016 alone, and has covered 93-million kilometres since its launch in 2013. The company also claims that the average estimated time of arrival in...

  • Alibaba sold goods worth $476bn in fiscal year 2015

    For the fiscal year ending 30 March 2016, Alibaba's China retail marketplace platforms sold goods worth more than 3 trillion yuan, about US$476-billion. This is according to Alibaba's Group Executive Vice Chairman, Joe Tsai. Writing on Alizila, the company's blog, Tsai claimed that the company has seen a growth of about 23% in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) from the previous year, 2015. The growth, according to Tsai, is not only reflective of an impressive year by Alibaba but a shift in China's economy trend. Tsai proposes that Alibaba is seeing the emergence of a new economy, one driven by...

  • Intel co-founder Andy Grove dies, aged 79

    "Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive". Those are the words that have been most commonly used as the tech world gathers to remember Intel co-founder Andy Grove, who died on 21 March, aged 79. A Hungarian immigrant, Grove is credited with being one of the driving forces who helped grow Intel into the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors. He's also been called the "guy who drove the growth phase" of Silicon Valley. Grove was born to a middle-class family in Budapest, Hungary in 1936, the son of Maria and George Gróf. His early childhood years...

  • FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi is now Huawei’s global brand ambassador

    Huawei has announced that it has appointed FC Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi as its Global Brand Ambassador. Huawei is a Chinese global leading company in ICT and telecommunication solutions and Lionel Messi is an Argentinian born dribbling and scoring wizzard who is currently based in Spain. The appointment comes as Huawei gears up for the launch of the Huawei P9 on 6 April 2016. Speaking about the partnership, Kevin Ho, President, Handset Business, Huawei Consumer BG, suggested that Messi's image is synonymous with "greatness": Lionel Messi will help our brand to encourage people to focus, persevere and breakthrough; to connect with...

  • BidorBuy, BitX partner to offer Bitcoin as payment method

    South African online marketplace BidorBuy will now be offering Bitcoin as a payment option for customers. The service is offered in partnership with Bitcoin payment platform, BitX. "Bitcoins are convenient and easy to use and although relatively new, the virtual currency has a lot of growth potential. Our partnership with BitX is an integral part of our efforts to always offer the latest, innovative solutions to our users," says Bidorbuy CEO, Jaco Jonker. When checking out, customers will be presented with the option to pay with Bitcoin. BitX will then provide the customer with a unique Bitcoin wallet address and a real-time exchange rate,...

  • You can now boost video quality on Opera Mini for Android

    Opera Mini has long been an important tool for bringing mobile web access to people in markets where data is expensive. Thing is, until now, it hasn't been able to do much about video. But as people seek out more video content, its become increasingly necessary for it to come up with a solution. After all, a 2015 study by Conviva showed that viewers have little patience for video interruptions: 75% of viewers abandon poor-quality video in four minutes or less, and 33% within 30 seconds. Interactive Advertising Bureau research meanwhile found that buffering/speed is among the top-three most...

  • Nomanini vendors in Mozambique can now top up using MPesa

    This is interesting. Enterprise payment platform provider Nomanini has integrated with M-Pesa in Mozambique enabled via its local country partner, Mozambique Mobile Solutions (MMS), to allow its merchants to use mobile money agents as a means of topping up their virtual vending accounts on Nomanini terminals. Designed especially for informal markets, Nomanini's mobile payment terminals allow vendors to sell everything from prepaid airtime to electricity and insurance in the form of vouchers. Integration with Vodacom’s M-Pesa service in Mozambique allows merchants to deposit cash with M-Pesa agents in order to top-up their terminals. This new method of merchant cash-in is already...

  • Founder of 4Chan joins Google+ team to build communities

    Christopher Poole, founder of the image-based bulletin board 4Chan has announced his new position at Google. Poole made the announcement in a post on Tumblr. Poole's responsibilities have not been explicitly laid out, but the post hints at that he will be involved in building communities. "I can’t wait to contribute my own experience from a dozen years of building online communities, and to begin the next chapter of my career at such an incredible company," writes Poole. In September last year, on the verge of its 12th birthday, Poole sold 4Chan to the founder of Japanese site 2channel, Hiroyuki Nishimura. Poole founded 4Chan in 2003 when...

  • Gawker Media signs union contract with its employees, the first at a digital media company

    Gawker Media, a New York based online media company and blog network, founded and owned by Nick Denton, has announced that it has struck a three year deal with a union, a deal that sets working conditions and payment rates for its employees. Gawker Media owns the sites Deadspin, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Jalopnik, and Jezebel. Tech and digital based companies often function outside of the criterion of labour laws, circumventing the laws and not adhering to any regulations. This is how tech companies like Uber have or are getting away with not adhering to any employee regulations that are...

  • FitKey users can now earn Multiply points

    Insurance and healthcare providers are desperate for their customers to be fit and healthy. It makes sense too, the healthier those customers are, the less they end up needing their insurers. Small wonder then that they're looking for increasingly innovative ways to reward them for being healthy and are looking to tech for ways of doing so. The latest example of this comes from Momentum, which now allows its customers to earn rewards points through gym membership app FitKey. Multiply members can also get a 25% off their monthly FitKey membership. The app, which gives users access to...