• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

News

  • Fitbit to slay 110 employees in midst of buying spree

    Wearables company Fitbit may have gone on a spending spree recently, but the firm is beginning to feel the pinch thanks to lower than expected sales of its gadgets. "Based upon preliminary financial information, Fitbit expects to report 6.5 million devices sold and revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 to be in the range of $572-million to $580-million, compared to the company's previously announced guidance range of $725-million to $750-million," read an excerpt of the firm's financial report. As a result, Fitbit will conduct a "reduction in force, that will impact approximately 110 employees, constituting approximately 6% of the company's global...

  • #MuslimBan: Uber, Lyft, Airbnb take different approaches

    Uber and Lyft have both reacted to the so-called #MuslimBan enacted by US president Donald Trump -- albeit in very different ways. The ban sees citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) not being allowed entry to the USA for 90 or more days. The ban crucially affects legal residents of the USA that are not naturalised citizens. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sent an email to drivers, announcing that the company was opposed to the ban. He also confirmed that Uber would be financially compensating drivers who are affected by the ban. "This order has far broader implications as it...

  • Oculus: Hugo Barra’s next move revealed

    It was only a few days ago that Xiaomi Global vice-president Hugo Barra announced he was leaving the Chinese smartphone conglomerate. The former Googler said at the time that he was returning to Silicon Valley, giving no clue as to what he'd actually be doing. Now, it's been announced that Barra will be joining Facebook and Oculus -- and not just in any old role. In fact, he'll be the vice-president of VR, leading Oculus and Facebook's VR efforts in general. "I'm excited that Hugo Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team," Zuckerberg wrote on the social network. Hugo...

  • South Africans can repay houses faster using Airbnb, study finds

    If you're struggling to pay off your house in South Africa, there might be an alternative solution. Its name is Airbnb. London-based property agency Nested has this week published its latest Property ROI Index, which suggests that South Africans using Airbnb could experience quicker house value recuperation when compared to traditional rental schemes. "For 75 international cities, we researched thousands of properties sold in the last 12 months or currently on the market to find the average price of a three-bedroom property," Nested explains. "For each market, we calculated exactly how long it would take you, in months, to recoup the property...

  • Gang rape of Swedish woman broadcast live on Facebook

    According to a grim tabloid report from Sweden, three men on Monday recorded and broadcast an alleged gang rape using Facebook Live -- the social network's live video streaming service. The incident, which took place in Sweden's fourth largest city Uppsala, is currently undergoing a "preliminary investigation", according to police officials. Police were alerted by a concerned member of the closed Facebook group in which the video was being broadcast. According to a member of the group, around 200 people were watching the broadcast simultaneously. Reports also suggest that there might be two videos currently circulating on Facebook. Police, in a press...

  • Scientists reveal fake news ‘vaccine’ that doesn’t involve needles

    Fake news is pretty much everywhere now (thanks US Elections), but "inoculating" yourself might be simpler than first thought. Treating the scourge as a "virus", scientists from University of Cambridge, Yale and George Mason have formulated a method that can effectively prevent subjects from internalising and believing fake news. No, it doesn't involve any pricks or psychotic drugs, but it does rely on a simple conditioning technique. When subjects are presented with both a climate change study and a bundle of fake material purporting to be factual, the two pieces of information form an internal conflict. Effectively, this explains why fake...

  • Hugo Barra has announced departure from Xiaomi

    When Hugo Barra announced that he was leaving Google for Xiaomi back in 2013, there were many people questioning the move. But after overseeing the company's international expansion, it's hard to argue with the decision. Now, Barra has announced his departure from the Chinese smartphone firm, using an open letter on Facebook to reveal the news. "When Lei Jun and Bin Lin came to me nearly four years ago with the opportunity to help turn a young rockstar startup into a global player, I embarked on what has been the greatest and most challenging adventure of my...

  • LIVE: watch and follow Donald Trump’s inauguration here

    The day is finally here. After countless polls, a gruelling campaign and the eventual elections, Donald Trump will tonight be inaugurated in Washington DC, becoming the United States' 45th president. Sure, it's a massive event for the country, but people around the world will also be following the proceedings -- and the four years to come -- with bated breath. While the world gives outgoing President Barack Obama a final send off (using the hashtag #ThankYouObama on Twitter), tonight marks a new era in American politics. With that said, can you afford not to watch the big event? Thanks to social media...

  • Facebook blocks Russia’s RT prior to Trump inauguration

    Both Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg aren't having the best of weeks. While Zuck is out in Hawaii settling land disputes, Facebook has looked due East, blocking an influential Russian media network. Kremlin-funded RT revealed yesterday that it was briefly blocked from posting multimedia and articles to Facebook. "RT has been blocked from posting content to its Facebook page," the network announced on its website. "The ban, according to the Facebook bot, will last until Saturday 10:55pm Moscow time (2:55pm EST) and will extend across US president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration." According to the company, a live stream rights issue caused the ban...

  • Chelsea Manning: WikiLeaks whistleblower to be released in May

    US President Barack Obama has commuted military whistleblower and Wikileaks source Chelsea Manning's prison sentence, marking the most notable commutation of his administration. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after exposing potential war crimes and human rights abuses in the USA's war with Iraq. Arguably the most high-profile leak was 'Collateral Murder', being video footage of US Apache helicopter pilots gunning down war correspondents and other civilians. Manning's appellate lawyers Nancy Hollander and Vince Ward welcomed the news of her commutation. "Ms Manning is the longest serving whistleblower in the history of the United States," the two said in a statement...

  • [Update] Cape Town’s burning, again: #DeerParkFire trends on social media

    Update: 17 January, 9am SAST: Last night's #DeerParkFire is all but extinguished on Devil's Peak, after firefighters worked throughout the night to quell the blaze. Residents this morning could see choppers water-bombing areas of the mountain, behind Disa Park. Capetonians also woke to thick smoke and, closer to the affected area, a thick film of ash and soot. Everything's dirty and stinks so bad but we are safe and that's all that matters 🙏🏻 #DeerParkFire pic.twitter.com/mH6rUyAGnl — Leandri (@Leandriii) January 17, 2017 After very hard night, crew of #VWS volunteers stands down from the #DeerParkFire and head to their day jobs. #ThankYou. @KFMza...

  • FibreTiger: find fibre deals with this handy tool

    A new website, dubbed FibreTiger, now allows South Africans to find the best bang for their fibre buck. FibreTiger was launched last month and lets users compare fibre pricing and other details, making for a rather practical tool. The website features sliders for desired pricing and minimum line speed, as well as toggles for uncapped/capped data, desired ISPs and networks. Founder Jacques du Rand told Memeburn that the website started out as a side-project, being borne out of the frustration of comparing various fibre services. But it's seen a lot of attention already, he added. "Our traffic has more than doubled week on week and the...

  • Update: Well Cape Town, now Signal Hill’s on fire

    Update: the fire on Signal Hill has now been contained. It's just been an awful week for nature conservationists, fire fighters and anyone who happens to live near mountainous vegetation. After the huge blaze that tore through much of the deep south, another fire has flared up on Cape Town's Signal Hill. The 350m hill, only a few steps away from the city's central business district, was seen smoldering just before sunset on Friday evening. At present, much of the hill's eastern face is on fire. As a result, Cape Town's citizens have been uploading images of the blaze to the likes...

  • Zimbabwe U-turns on steep data, voice tariff hikes

    Zimbabwe isn't having the best of starts to 2017. The country has faced floods, water shortages and even gold falling from the sky, but the latest issue setting netizens' tongues a-wag is the government's data and voice tariff hikes. The country's local telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, issued new minimum price floors to all data providers, which markedly increased the price of all data packages in the country. The increase was initially aimed at addressing the "under-pricing of voice and data services," POTRAZ noted. But thanks to public outcry and social media onslaught, the regulator has gone back on the decision. "I have directed...

  • Cape Town’s latest veld fire blankets social media in smoke

    Just when Cape Town thought it saw the last of the fire season last week, Mother Nature has returned with more red hot anger. Veld fires have flared up across the Peninsula this week, including Paarl, the Helderberg and even Rondebosch Common late last night. But a fire which flared up on Simon's Town's Red Hill early Wednesday, has become the latest flare up at the centre of Cape Town's social media attention. Instagram and Twitter have been inundated by users snapping stills and videos of the blaze, which Volunteer Wildfire Services notes has spanned "across the South Peninsula". Simon's Town disappearing behind...