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  • Superbalist accused of ‘large-scale design theft’ [Update]

    Update: In an emailed response to Memeburn, Superbalist said it had a "zero-tolerance policy towards plagiarism or copyright infringement" of items. "On immediate inspection, it appears that we may have some issues in this regard. The items in question have been pulled from the site and we will deal with any substantiated claims arising therefrom swiftly and fairly," it concluded. Original article: E-commerce website Superbalist has been accused of stealing scores of designs from artists and creative types. The platform's actions came to light after Twitter user Karmen Wessels (@spotfishy) accused Superbalist of copying a mug design from British artist Gemma Correll. The e-commerce...

  • Snow in Sahara: satellite image shows beautiful landscape

    The last time it snowed in the Sahara Desert was in 1979, but the desert has seen another rare dusting this week. The snow fell on the Algerian town of Aïn Séfra, sitting on the edges of the desert and with a population of over 30 000 people. It only lasted a day before melting though, so tourists wanting to see it in person are out of luck. Fortunately, the Landsat-7 satellite acquired a rather striking image of the snow, showing dunes covered in the stuff. The snow was even captured by local citizen Karim Bouchetata, being uploaded to his Facebook account. Featured image: Landsat-7/NASA...

  • Not over yet: Nokia in new patent fight against Apple

    Nokia has announced that it is restarting its patent battle against Apple, covering several continents in the process. The Finnish telecommunications icon first took Apple to court several years ago, with the Cupertino company agreeing to license some patents in 2011. But Nokia says that Apple has refused subsequent offers to license other patents. "Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today's mobile devices, including Apple products. After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple's use of these patents, we are now taking action...

  • Machine learning can predict food crises, crop yields

    A mere two hundred years ago, our planet was home to less than one billion people. Today, the Earth's population count stands at over seven billion. To further put this rapid growth into perspective, 6.5% of all people ever born are alive at this very moment. With Earth's rapidly increasing population, the growing need for food is becoming a serious concern. According to the World Bank, the human population will hit a staggering nine billion people by 2050. That means that to keep sustaining human life on Earth, the world will need to produce fifty percent more food, which is a...

  • Going to the beach? Download these apps first

    We're pretty much in the thick of it as far as summer holiday madness goes. And if you live on the coast, chances are good that you'll be visiting the beach at least once. But before you make your way to Clifton or Muizenberg, you might want to download a few of these apps... Shark Spotters (free - Android, iOS) Sure, there is a flag system in place at major beaches, courtesy of the Shark Spotters team, but they have an app as well. The Shark Spotters app delivers updates on shark sightings (as well as a recent history of shark sightings) for a number of...

  • Paper-based battery to power small electronics?

    Researchers at Binghamton University have created a working bacteria-powered battery which can be used to power small or disposable electronic devices. What makes this creation even more impressive is that it was made on a single sheet of paper. The bio-battery's design could reduce fabrication time as well as bring down the cost of production. Assistant professor Seokheun Choi, part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, commented on the invention in a press release. "Papertronics have recently emerged as a simple and low-cost way to power disposable point-of-care diagnostic sensors," said...

  • Russia tests ‘anti-satellite’ missile

    Russia has conducted a successful test of an anti-satellite missile, it has been reported. According to the Washington Free Beacon, it was the third successful test of the PL-19 Nudol missile out of five tests in total. The missile was launched from a base in central Russia on 16 December and was monitored by the USA, the publication added. According to CNN, US intelligence didn't track any debris, suggesting that a target wasn't destroyed during the test. Russia purportedly says that the missile is intended for defence against ballistic missiles. An anti-satellite missile could wreak havoc on a military's capabilities, targeting communications and spy satellites as well...

  • ALYSIA: an AI that writes melodies for your lyrics

    Have you ever written your own lyrics but struggled to find the perfect melody to accompany it? Well, the great gods of technology and music might have heard your plea. Margareta Ackerman, an assistant professor at Florida State University, together with David Loker from the technology advisory firm Orbitwerks, has developed an artificial intelligence that uses machine learning to write a melody for your lyrics. "I was studying singing while I was doing my PhD in computer science," Ackerman was quoted as saying by NewScientist. "Over time, I started to think of computers as creative partners instead of tools, which could...

  • Instagram Stories gets holiday stickers and more

    Instagram just got festive with more features for Instagram Stories. "Since last month's update, we've loved seeing how you've (users) used Boomerang and mentions to make your stories even more fun. Now you have new ways to turn any moment into something you want to share with your friends and followers," said Instagram on their blog. New to their offering will be the option to add stickers. Once you've taken your photo or video, you'll notice a sticker button next to your drawing tools, delivering stickers based on the weather, time and your location. Adding a location sticker works in the same...

  • Webfluential: influencer firm to shutter agency operations

    Influencer marketing company Webfluential has confirmed that it will be shutting down its local agency operations, Memeburn has learnt. The news comes after Webfluential announced that it would be "increasing its local partnerships" in 2017. The company said that it would be offering a self-service platform for brands to manage campaigns. It added that for more complex campaigns, it has recruited "strategic partners". Webfluential also said that its existing account managers would be working from within these partners. However, a source has contacted Memeburn to dispute the claims. "As for their account managers that will be 'working from within the partners', they have told their whole...

  • Watch: part one of FailArmy’s best fails of 2016

    YouTube was pretty much designed for fail videos, with FailArmy being one of the most popular channels around. Now, the channel has uploaded part one of its "ultimate" fails of the year, showcasing some of the funniest and most ridiculous fails of 2016. Check out the full, 17-minute video below, which has already garnered over six million views. FailArmy says part two will be released on Friday (24 December).

  • A face(book) for radio: social network gets Live Audio

    Live video streams have been something of a hit on Facebook since its introduction earlier this year, but the network isn't stopping there. Now, it's introduced live audio streaming functionality as well. Facebook's Live Audio functionality is pretty self-explanatory, allowing streamers who prefer audio to ditch bandwidth-intensive video. "We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video. We’ve even seen some Pages find creative ways to go live and reach audiences with audio only by using the Facebook Live API or by adding a still image to accompany their audio broadcast," the social...

  • Monopoly: You’re playing it wrong

    Capitalism simulator, Monopoly will undoubtedly have many families huddled around the table this year frantically arguing about the rules of the game. According to the video below, a study conducted by Hasbro found that out of all the study's participants, 68% never read the rules of the game. They also found that 30% of players made up their own rules. For example, nowhere in the rulebook does it state that during the first round of any game you cannot purchase any properties. This prompted Hasbro to introduce house rules which include stacking any fine or tax money in the centre of the...

  • Assassin’s Creed movie review: a leap of faith Ubisoft shouldn’t take

    Once video game franchises reach a certain point in popularity, it's inevitable that Hollywood will want to cash in on the licence. To be honest, it's a little shocking that Assassin's Creed didn't receive the full-blown cinematic treatment earlier. Now, after more games than appendages on a Human Centipede, is Assassin's Creed the movie to watch this holiday season? Firstly, the movie does take a lot of liberties. No matter how cinematic a game may be, there's never going to be a perfect big screen adaptation of it. In knowing this, let's get stuck into the review. Assassin's Creed starts its...

  • Sewage documentary: blue flag rep objected to City

    The City of Cape Town has disputed claims made in a documentary on its sewage disposal processes. However, a South African environmental body and local blue flag operator expressed its concerns to the municipality over a year ago, it has emerged. In a letter obtained and verified by Memeburn and addressed to the City of Cape Town in July 2015, the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) expressed concerns over the city's practice. The city makes use of three major marine outfall systems to pump sewage into the ocean. "WESSA is deeply concerned about the continuing impact of the discharge of...