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  • What will Orion astronauts eat for breakfast?

    Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have over 200 food items choose from, thanks to constant resupply missions and ample storage. Those travelling on future Orion missions will have limited space though, resulting in different food requirements. To that end, NASA has been working on the most important meal of the day, in the form of breakfast bars for future crews. "Because flights to deep space will not rely on resupply spacecraft to deliver what astronauts need and dispose of trash, the Orion crew will have to take everything they need with them and bring it all back home," the space agency explained. "Given...

  • US consumers blow $3.34bn on Black Friday, break mobile shopping record

    It was an extremely healthy Black Friday for US retailers according to new data released by Adobe. The company this week published its 2016 online shopping report covering Black Friday and Thanksgiving, and the numbers represent a positive trend over 2015. Adobe's report is based on "aggregated and anonymous data from 22.6-billion visits to retail websites" and covers approximately 80% of the US's top 100 retailers. Adobe notes that buyers in the US blew more than US$5.2-billion at the end of Friday. This marks a 17.7% increase over 2015. "Black Friday set a new record by surpassing the three-billion-dollar mark for the...

  • Reddit’s Joel Meek on challenges facing digital publishing

    Joel Meek has been VP of Operations at Reddit for over a year. In his role, Joel oversees Reddit’s Community, Trust and Safety, Finance, Media Partnerships, and Business Development teams. Previously, he managed the Community and Partnership teams at Pinterest, supporting and growing the company's communities and helping small- to mid-sized businesses advertise on the platform. Joel also worked on building the Sales and Support teams for Google Apps. Ahead of his presentation at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit this December 5-6 in San Francisco, we sat down with Joel to talk all things digital publishing. What are the key challenges posed by having user-generated...

  • VLC preview offers 360 photo/video support

    360 videos and photos are becoming one of the more popular formats out there, but there are still significant challenges to be had. Playback is one of these obstacles, but a new app from the VLC crew (VideoLAN) shows a lot of promise. VideoLAN has released the VLC 360 tech preview, allowing you to play 360 photos/videos on Windows 7 and later or MacOS 10.10 and later. As for capabilities, the 360 tech preview supports 360 video playback using the "Spatial Video spec", as well as 360 photo/panorama support via the "spherical spec". Either way, you can swipe through content using...

  • Black Friday: Takealot disabled mobile website due to load

    Between the photos of chaos at Checkers and websites going down, it's clear that retailers have been overwhelmed on Black Friday. In fact, Takealot announced earlier today that it disabled its mobile website to cope with the massive spike in visitors. "We planned for the expected increase in site visits over our Blue Dot Sale weekend, but the interest in the sale has far exceeded our expectations," the company wrote in a Facebook post. "In order to accommodate more visitors on our website and app we'll be deactivating the mobile site until further notice. We're sorry for any frustration caused, our engineering team...

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (right here)

    The new addition to JK Rowling's repertoire, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, gives Harry Potter fans that much-needed dose of fantasy and magic. The film, directed by David Yates, is based on the novel of the same name, following the adventures of writer and magizoologist Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne. The story follows Newt on his journey to Arizona with his magical case, stopping off at New York City, when he's interrupted by the head of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, Mary Lou Barebone. The New Salem Philanthropic Society is a fanatical anti-magic society with the aim of exposing and...

  • Canada a step closer to cancelling F-35 fighter deal

    The F-35 fighter jet has been beset by problems over the past few years, from numerous delays to issues with target tracking and weapon firing. In fact, the Canadian government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly vowed to cancel the purchase of the controversial fighter jet. Now, the country has announced plans to purchase 18 older Super Hornet fighter jets as an "interim measure", CBC reports, putting the country closer to officially cancelling the order. The country's defence ministry has also called for an "open and transparent" competition to select a replacement for the CF-18 jets. According to Popular Mechanics, the...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #86: Axl Rose, ZTE, naughty Reddit & Black Friday

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation, and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons plays host to Andy Walker and Graham Van Der Made. In this edition of the Weekly Round Up, the team talks about Axl Rose's meme, that has left his lawyers a little unhappy with us. We also touch on some great ZTE and Huawei news for South Africa, straight out of AfricaCom. In more political news, we chat about Reddit CEO Steve Huffman's comment tampering. And to conclude the team talks Black Friday, the good and the...

  • Google wants to make annoying mobile interstitials a thing of the past

    Google has announced that it will soon revamp its mobile search functionality to better aid users on their journey through the web. This improvement comes in two major forms. Firstly, the company announced that it will shed its "mobile-friendly" label from websites altogether, thanks to the steady growth of mobile web traffic. The company notes that it found "85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria". The removal of the label serves to reduce clutter, but will remain as a ranking signal. Secondly, and perhaps the change with the the biggest update, is its treatment of websites...

  • 20 of South Africa’s biggest YouTube personalities by the numbers [Digital All-Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. Sure, data might be expensive and smartphones haven't reached everyone just yet, but that hasn't stopped South Africans from taking to video in a massive way over the past several years. We aren't just a nation of YouTube viewers though, because we also play host to a fascinating variety of South African YouTubers. So who are the biggest players in South...

  • Reddit CEO tampered with comments on Donald Trump subreddit

    Social aggregation site Reddit is known as a democratic platform. There are moderators, but they're generally called into action only when subreddit rules are broken. But the latest revelation from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman goes against this wholeheartedly. Huffman, under the Reddit name of /u/spez, has admitted to changing users' comments, replacing mentions of his username with those of mods from the 300 000-strong Donald Trump subreddit. "Yep. I messed with the 'fuck u/spez' comments, replacing 'spez' with r/the_donald mods for about an hour," he admitted on a thread. "It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff," Huffman adds. Comment...

  • Trump offers Apple ‘large’ tax cuts for US manufacturing return

    US president-elect Donald Trump held a phone call with Apple CEO Tim Cook, offering the tech firm "very large" tax cuts to return manufacturing to the USA. In an interview with the New York Times, Trump said that he received calls from Bill Gates and Tim Cook. "I was honoured yesterday, I got a call from Bill Gates, great call, we had a great conversation, I got a call from Tim Cook at Apple, and I said, 'Tim, you know one of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big...

  • Axl Rose sends legal letter to Memeburn over ‘fat’ pics [Update]

    Update 2: Legal representatives for Memeburn have called on the site's hosting provider, Hetzner, to back down. "Use of the images of Axl Rose in the news article at URL http://memeburn.com/2016/06/axl-rose- tries-remove-unflattering-photo-web/ is considered fair dealing as contemplated in section 12(1)(c) read with section 15(4) of the Copyright Act 98 of 1978 in that the images were reproduced '...for the purpose of reporting current events in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical...'" read an excerpt of the email to Hetzner. "The article in question examined the actions of Axl Rose in attempting to prevent publication of the images in question, with particular...

  • Here’s what’s possible with Tesla, SolarCity technology

    Is it possible to power an entire island using nothing but the sun? Well, yes. Just ask Tesla and SolarCity. After the two companies' fresh union, SolarCity has detailed a rather ambitious project involving a slew of batteries, solar panels and an island in American Samoa. The project, funded by the American Samoa Economic and Development Authority, the EPA and the Department of Interior, has allowed the entire island of Ta'u to be powered almost entirely by solar rays. The island previously used diesel generators to provide electricity to its hospital, schools and government institutions. But the solar array has largely made these...

  • Netflix 4K streams are now exclusive to Windows 10, Edge

    Netflix has had a 4K streaming option for a while now, being part of its highest pricing tier. In fact, the company was one of the first major services to roll out 4K support. But in a rather surprising move, the streaming colossus and Microsoft have announced that 4K content will be exclusive to Windows 10 machines. "4K content from Netflix is now available exclusively for compatible PCs and 2-in-1 devices with Windows 10, including the new Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, premiering November 25th," the Redmond company announced on its blog. Have a Windows 10 device and want to...