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  • Japanese slugger hits baseball (quite literally) through the roof

    Baseball is as big a sport in Japan as rugby is in South Africa, so when a player does something special, you're bound to hear all about it on Japanese social media. This was the case with Shohei Ohtani's piece of ridiculous skill and good-fortune. The Japanese slugger was facing fast balls from a tenacious and slightly wayward Dutch pitcher in the Tokyo Dome, when he decided to swing. And swing he did. Ohtani's remarkable baseball belter wasn't awarded a home run -- a grave injustice He caught the ball flush, it spiralled up into the air and into a 60cm gap in...

  • Did fake news on Facebook contribute to US election?

    Some have questioned whether fake news and hoax articles have contributed to Donald Trump emerging victorious in the US elections last week. After all, the social network has seemingly seen a rise in fake news trending after it fired human editors. However, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has denied that these stories influenced results, taking to (surprise!) Facebook over the weekend to share his thoughts. "After the election, many people are asking whether fake news contributed to the result, and what our responsibility is to prevent fake news from spreading. These are very important questions and I care deeply about getting them right. I...

  • Here’s how Google Play is using AI to improve search

    Trying to find an app on the Google Play Store can be an exercise in frustration, especially if it's an eagerly anticipated app or new release. Things don't get much better for mega-popular apps, as the search results are often cluttered with irrelevant results. Fortunately, Google is working on a solution, using machine learning to get better results. The company detailed its efforts on the Google Research Blog. "Searches by topic require more than simply indexing apps by query terms; they require an understanding of the topics associated with an app," the team of software engineers wrote. The work required machine-learning...

  • Unified communications: the new holy grail for SMEs?

    Unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) promise mobility, productivity and scalability, but why should business owners and IT managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) care and what are the real business benefits to them right now? One of the biggest efficiency challenges faced by businesses today is scattered communications. Ineffective meetings and fragmented workflows are causing productivity to drop as staff switch between multiple applications, tasks and devices. This is where unified communications (UC) steps in. The term describes the integration of real-time enterprise communication services such as instant messaging, presence, voice, video and data sharing with non-real-time communication services such...

  • Gamification begins at home: the algorithms changing our everyday lives

    Reality: it's the worst game ever. The landscape of our lived experience is one that becomes so familiar over time that it disappears into oblivion. We walk the hallways of our offices, down the aisles of the grocery store and into different rooms of our apartments and homes, scarcely noticing them, lost in thought -- or, as is more common now, our cellular phones. Video games were once perceived by mainstream society as an escapist diversion, much like rock and roll and television were upon their introduction. But just as these cultural elements were eventually embraced and understood to be...

  • WeFix ‘investigating’ profiling incident at Northgate branch

    Update: WeFix has issued an update on the matter, saying the employee will not be suspended as "she followed procedure by requesting proof of purchase". The company claimed that proof of purchase was needed for Huawei phones under warranty. Original article: Independent mobile repair service WeFix has defended itself after a Twitter user made a claim of profiling. According to Twitter user Craig Rodney, his housekeeper took her smartphone to the Northgate store for repairs. However, Rodney says she was refused help unless she could prove the device wasn't stolen. The Twitter user claims that when he took the phone in to be repaired, it...

  • WTF are Snapchat Spectacles?

    If you haven't a clue what Snapchat Spectacles are, don't worry. We had a similar debate in the office whether to publish this piece on Gearburn or Memeburn. But luckily, the social outweighed the gadgetry. We also imagine that this is exactly what Snapchat (or its parent company, now known as Snap) wanted too. Debuting on 10 November 2016 (just in time for people to get over the US Elections), Snapchat Spectacles is the company's jovial answer to smart wearables like Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens. But it's much simpler than those devices. In fact, these US$130 sunglasses do two things...

  • Africa’s mobile growth: Opera publishes its State of Mobile report

    Norwegian internet company Opera isn't quite as well known in the desktop browser space, at least in terms of usage figures. Globally, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer still command the lion's share of users' internet tabs. When it comes to mobile browsers though, the firm has historically had a huge following in Africa. The company this week published its State of Mobile Web Report for Africa 2016, and with it, a slew of insights into Africa's voracious mobile device and web usage using its software and services as a lens. So, what are some of the key takeaways? More...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #85: US Elections, Samsung Gear Fit 2 & more

    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 Matthew Alexander. In this edition of the Weekly Round Up, the team talks the newly-reviewed Samsung Gear Fit 2, and WWE 2K17. In light of the US Elections, we also talk the social impact of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on Twitter, Facebook and Netflix. The US Elections caused massive traffic spikes for Facebook and Twitter, but overall bandwidth usage drops in North America With the Supermoon due on Monday, we also mentioned...

  • Kansas City Diaries: the 3 new rules for social video

    Kansas City Diaries is an exclusive article series by Natalie Pool as she goes undercover at VML’s global agency headquarters in Kansas City, USA, to find out how organic search, Snapchat and other technologies are changing the advertising and marketing industry. Just when you get comfortable with social video, the rules change. Here are three that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Don’t sacrifice quality for speed “There is an expectation of the quality of work a brand puts out,” says Director of Integrated Production, Scott Stone, who heads up VML’s internal production team, Vault. “Regardless of the channel it goes on, video should...

  • Instagram Stories: Boomerang now included, but is live video next?

    Facebook-owned social network Instagram is reportedly trialing live video on its Instagram Stories feature, similar to Twitter's Periscope and Facebook Live. The company also officially announced that the likes of Boomerang, mentions and links are all coming to Instagram Stories, which aims to "make your story even more fun". What's confirmed Firstly, Boomerang can be used in Instagram Stories much like with traditional posted images. "Swipe right from your feed to open the stories camera. A new format picker under the record button lets you select “Boomerang” mode. Tap record and the camera will stitch together a burst of photos into a mini...

  • Showmax: a legal way to download movies, series [Sponsored]

    What is the best show available on ShowMax right now? Sign up for ShowMax and let us know in the comments and you could win a 3 month voucher. This is open to new and existing ShowMax subscribers in South Africa. That’s what you get for only R99 per month with ShowMax -- 100% legit, guilt-free downloads of the binge-worthy series and movies you've been meaning to see. ShowMax's download feature is only available on smartphones and tablets, ideal for flights and long car journeys where you can't or wouldn’t want to chow your data bundle. When you're at home you've...

  • US Elections helps Twitter, Facebook to big traffic spikes

    Although Donald Trump won the electoral vote Wednesday, it seems that Twitter and Facebook were the real winners. The two social networks saw a massive spike in traffic thanks to US Elections coverage, this according to a new report by Sandvine's Internet Phenomena blog. The social elections According to Twitter, the social network saw a billion tweets about the elections since August 2015, with tweets about Clinton and Trump gradually growing and spiking more often since. Image: Twitter Top tweeted policy issues also included "Foreign Affairs" with 50-million tweets, "Terrorism" with just under 30-million and the "US Economy" at 25-million. But those stats were...

  • Johannesburg floods: here’s what Twitter and Instagram captured

    South Africa plays victim to comparatively few natural disasters, but when they do strike, they make their presence known. This was the case in Eastern Johannesburg this week, as heavy rains resulted in flash floods. The floods, which struck on Wednesday, flooded the basement of OR Tambo International Airport subsequently delaying flights, and left many of the city's motorways also under water. This included the heavily-trafficked N3, N12 and R24 freeways. According to News24, at least seven people are also currently missing. Flash floods hit Johannesburg Wednesday, plunging the city's motorways into chaos On Twitter, the hashtag #Floods is trending in South Africa...

  • Supermoon: NASA photographer gives shooting tips

    One of the biggest supermoons ever is set to take place on Monday 14 November. In fact, NASA says it'll be the closest supermoon to Earth in almost 70 years. Now, NASA photographer Bill Ingalls has revealed several tips to shoot the supermoon, starting with references. "Don't make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself with no reference to anything," NASA quoted him as saying. "I've certainly done it myself, but everyone will get that shot. Instead, think of how to make the image creative -- that means tying it into some land-based object. It can be a local landmark or...