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News

  • AlwaysOn, Uber testing WiFi for UberBLACK rides

    The ever-popular and controversial passenger transport company, Uber, is partnering with AlwaysOn to offer South Africans Wifi in select UberBlack rides. In a newsletter today, the popular WiFi hotspot provider AlwaysOn announced this new partnership with Uber. You may have already used AlwaysOn as they supply most shopping malls, takeaway outlets -- such as KFC and McDonalds, Vida Cafe, as well as partnering with Samsung to give away free data to its users. This new offering is currently in the testing phase but sounds rather interesting. Read more: Desperate for free Wi-Fi? Try taking a ride in a South African minibus taxi According to the...

  • Ashley Madison user data now leaks online, possibly includes 175k South Africans

    A few weeks back, we reported that popular infidelity website Ashely Madison had been hacked. Hacker group Impact Team, threatened to release user data it had acquired if the website wasn't taken down by parent company, Avid Life Media. All user details have now been leaked. The account details of an estimated 32-million users of the social networking site have been dumped online for the world to see. The data leak includes information of the estimated 175 000 South Africans, who are probably not having a great week with their spouses. The file is 9.7GB in size and was dumped to the...

  • Tshwane citizens can now make calls, download movies using free WiFi

    If you live in Tshwane, you'll be pleased to learn that you can now use the city's free WiFi offering to make phone calls and download movies. The city, thanks largely to a partnership with non-profit Project Isizwe, has offered free WiFi some time now. Executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa today announced that three new services, WiFi Voice, Drive In and WiFi Chat will be added from today. WiFi Chat is a web-based platform for information and feedback, as well as a new service delivery mechanism where users can log queries and complaints. With Wi-Fi Voice users connected to the Tshwane...

  • First Bitcoin academy launches in Africa to teach people about digital currency, blockchain

    The Bitcoin Academy is the first of its kind in Africa. The new company will focus on bitcoin and blockchain development courses, and is located at the Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock, Cape Town. The aim of Bitcoin Academy is to educate those wanting to know more about Bitcoin, blockchains, as well as developers wanting to integrate the exciting technology. The organisation is founded by Sonya Kuhnel, who's the founder of Bitcoin Payments and Bitcoin Events. Kuhnel says there has been much resistance towards the digital currency: When I first started in the bitcoin space, I encountered significant resistance towards digital currencies from...

  • These South African kids rock Adobe, Microsoft Office like no one’s business

    Did you know that there were global championships for the Adobe software suite and for Microsoft Office? And did you know that South African teenagers medalled at both? No? It's okay, neither did we. But it's true. Tiffany Onderstall, a 19-year-old student at Inscape Education Group, beat 88 000 worldwide competitors and more than 30 finalists to win second place in the 2015 Adobe Certified Associate World Championship. Samantha Knupp, a student at Elkanah House High School, beat 600 000 worldwide competitors to win third place in the 2015 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship. Both competitions were hosted by...

  • Loeries 2015: All the digital and interactive winners

    While digital may be playing an increasingly important part at The Loeries, South Africa's premiere awards showcase, the big awards are still going to big agencies. That much was evident on Saturday night when the winners in the digital and interactive categories were announced. Overall 33 awards were handed out in the digital and interactive categories, with Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg walking away with the only Grand Prix for the night. The industry giant won for its KFC SoundBite campaign, which comprised a music platform that turns the restaurant’s regular tables into interactive audio tables which they can use...

  • Pick n Pay shows the world how not to deal with online criticism [Update]

    In a week that's seen South African brands take a beating on Twitter, Pick n Pay should probably have known better than to ask someone to remove a tweet linking to a blog post that criticised a new sale campaign by the company. The post in question, written by Celeste Barlow of the Reluctant Mom blog, takes particular issue with a promotional gift the retailer recently started giving out for purchases over R150. In the post, Barlow complains that the introduction of Stickeez toys as a purchase reward (which are small plastic figurines attached to suction cups) mean that she can...

  • From Bic to Harry Potter: 5 Memeburn stories you loved this week

    There are few things the internet loves better than a social media fail. The South African division of international pen maker Bic learned that the hard way this week, with its botched attempt at celebrating Women's Day even making it onto international sites such as Mashable and The Guardian. Hardly surprising then that it our take on it was the most read story on Memeburn over the past seven days. But there was also plenty to be positive about. For instance, many of found solace in a description of digital depression and the difference sometimes "just switching off" can make....

  • Code for Africa gets $4.7m boost from Bill and Melinda Gates foundation

    Data journalism and civic technology organisation Code for Africa has received a US$4.7-million investment from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. According to a blog post written by Code for Africa head Justin Arenstein, the funding will be used to help the organisation's civic technologists work with newsrooms around the continent. "The three-year programme at Code for Africa (CfAfrica) initially targets newsrooms in three regional ‘hub’ nations, in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa,"Arenstein writes. "It will expand to include Tanzania in 2016, and will also tap into CfAfrica’s digital experimentation in newsrooms elsewhere in Africa". A part of the grant...

  • Naspers’ Netflix competitor to be called ShowMax

    Naspers' soon-to-be-launched video-on-demand service has a name: ShowMax. That's according to a story published today on the Naspers-owned Channel24 website. The offering is believed to have been in the works for some time now, with the acquisition of Dubai-based streaming service Icflix, which services a number of countries including Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia. John Kotsaftis, who became the CEO of DStv Digital Media after the merger of DStv Online and DStv Mobile, will reportedly head up the Naspers VOD venture from Dubai. Read more: Naspers reportedly working on Netflix competitor According to TechCentral,...

  • Amazon set for big South African hiring spree

    Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud-computing division is set to go on a big hiring spree in South Africa. The ecommerce and internet giant today announced that it has opened a Johannesburg office, with plans to hire more than 250 engineers over the next 12 months. The new office joins the established Amazon Development Center Cape Town, which has been in operation since 2004 and develops technology for several Amazon businesses, including Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to a press release sent to Memeburn, the office is already open and operational. Read more: Amazon’s very busy 2014: more than five-billion...

  • Google launches Android Experiments to showcase app creativity

    If nothing else, it appears that apps are going to make us magicians who can flatten landscapes with a tap on our device screens. This is only seems like a far-fetched idea if you have not seen what the new Android Experiments launched by Google yesterday look like. The apps feature are not at all new but they are a blueprint of what apps can become. Android Experiments is a platform to celebrate the creative, experimental Android work of developers everywhere. It is also a way to inspire more developers to get creative with technology and code. Read more: Wits...

  • Twitter officially removes 140 character limit from DMs

    Twitter has officially culled the 140 character limit in its Direct Messaging service. The move, announced in an official blog post, means that DMs take on far more of an instant messaging role than they did previously. According to Twitter product manager Sachin Agarwal, the update was made because "each of the hundreds of millions of Tweets sent across Twitter every day is an opportunity for you to spark a conversation about what’s happening in your world". Read more: Twitter now allows users to send direct messages to anyone "Today’s change is another big step towards making the private side...

  • Accenture partners with TEDxCapeTown to help foster innovation

    Renowned conference TEDxCapeTown will be taking place in the Mother City this coming weekend. Dedicated to the wider TED slogan "Ideas worth spreading", tech consulting multinational Accenture has announced that it's partnering with the event this year. The theme of this year's TEDxCapeTown is "Open Access Ctrl". This resonates with Accenture's vision of encouraging innovation around the globe. The company emphasises that these kind of forward-thinking initiatives are important to help level the global playing field: We now see that South African companies are beginning to apply innovation to their businesses more over the business-as-usual requirement for entrepreneurship, especially as they recognise that...

  • Facebook revamps its ad formats, now sells video ads inside other apps

    Facebook has announced an expansion to its ad types and formats that are available on Audience Network, allowing developers and publishers to bring the autoplay video ads experience from Facebook directly to their apps. Facebook launched Audience Network in 2014 with the sole function of improving the relevance of adverts inside mobile apps by allowing advertisers to use the user data Facebook has to target ads. With the new update, publishers who already use Audience Network's full screen interstitials will be eligible to deliver three types of ads; dynamic product ads, carousel ads and click to play video without...