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  • Gboard: Google’s new keyboard finally hits Android

    Earlier this year, Google revealed Gboard, being a rather cool virtual keyboard for smartphones. In a rather bizarre twist, the keyboard was released as an iOS-exclusive. Fortunately, Google has come to its senses, releasing the app on Android over the weekend. Or rather, it's updated the existing Google Keyboard to become Gboard. "Gboard has all the things you love about your old Google Keyboard -- speed and accuracy, Glide Typing and voice typing..." the company wrote in a blog post. What makes the keyboard stand out though, is its support for integrated Google search functionality. This allows you to search and send results...

  • Watch video ads to get train ticket in Dusseldorf

    Mobile gamers are accustomed to the experience of watching video ads in exchange for lives. Now, a new app in a German city allows people to earn a train or bus ticket by watching video ads. According to The Local, the Welect app in Dusseldorf allows users to watch four promotional videos, each being 20 seconds long. Users can choose their desired ads as well. The app's team predicted that only 1000 tickets would be redeemed by the end of the year, but over 20 000 people have downloaded the app already. In fact, a test run of the app saw...

  • Donald Trump tweets get browser add-on for accuracy

    We all know that US president-elect Donald Trump isn't exactly a beacon of truth, having won Politifact's lie of the year in 2015. So it's no surprise to hear there's a browser add-on to warn people about his statements. The Washington Post has issued the RealDonaldContext extension for Chrome, which adds clarity and fact-checking to selected tweets. "The Washington Post's Fix team has decided to help ensure that the public receives the most accurate possible information by creating this extension, which will add more context or corrections to things that Trump tweets," read an excerpt of the extension's description. Once you've installed the...

  • Real-time interaction management: how can it benefit you?

    The ability to interact with consumers in real time was once the stuff of science fiction. Having the capability to see what customers are doing on a site or in an app at any given moment, or having a timestamp on when an email was opened (or deleted), is fairly technical but fascinating stuff. The technology to reach out and actually connect in real-time with consumers offers an even greater opportunity above and beyond delayed analytics for effective sales. This real-time interaction has the power to make a sale where one may have been abandoned in the past. So what is...

  • Alternative electrolytes could stop exploding smartphones

    Researchers have identified dozens of electrolytes that could be alternative solutions to volatile liquids used in smartphones. Researchers at Stanford University used machine learning and AI involvement to find suitable electrolytes. Their findings were published in the Energy & Environmental Science journal. These new electrolytes could replace liquids used in batteries which power smartphones, laptops as well as other electronic devices. Lead author of the paper Austin Sendek, a doctoral candidate in applied physics, commented on the findings in a press release. "Electrolytes shuttle lithium ions back and forth between the battery's positive and negative electrodes," he explained. "Liquid electrolytes are cheap and...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #89: Rogue One, Grand Tour & more

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest news from the past few days. This week, Hadlee Simons plays host to Graham van de Made. In this edition of the Weekly Round Up, the team talks about the new addition to the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One, and what Graham thought of the press screening. The team also discussed a survey done by the IESA which summed up the gaming industry in SA. The duo also discussed Amazon Prime Video coming to more than 200 countries along with hit series Grand Tour (the launch includes South Africa). Graham also discusses...

  • Sewage documentary: City of Cape Town hits back

    The City of Cape Town has responded after a documentary, uploaded to YouTube, went viral. The video, titled Bay of Sewage, examines the city's practice of pumping effluent into the sea. The documentary alleges that the practice is creating "serious and growing problems" for marine life and humans. However, the city has hit back against the documentary, saying it showcases "evidence in a selective and sensationalised" fashion. "The city is confident that effluent from the outfall is not affecting inshore water quality. All available evidence contradicts the video's assertions," it wrote in a press release. How does it work? The City of Cape Town claims that the...

  • The 10 biggest tech deals and acquisitions of 2016

    It wasn't just a crazy year for prominent people dying, as 2016 played host to some rather noteworthy tech deals and acquisitions as well. We take a look at some of the notable acquisitions to be announced in 2016. Have we missed any big tech acquisitions announced in 2016? Let us know in the comments below. AT&T set for Time Warner acquisition (US$85-billion) One of the most high-profile announcements of 2016 was the news that AT&T would be acquiring fellow telecommunications giant Time Warner. The figure? A cool US$85-billion. There has been widespread opposition to the acquisition, so it's not quite a certainty that the...

  • Tinder hits Apple TV: get gran to find matches for you

    Tinder is a rather private experience for many people, but the hookup/dating app is now available on Apple TV, if you can believe that. What's the logic behind this move, though? "We decided that the goal of our Apple TV integration should be two-fold: 1) to serve our end users by providing a new use case -- the 'party' swipe, a fun activity with friends and 2) to create a lightweight, modern app that would serve as an experiment field for new architecture proposals," the developer wrote on their blog. Apple TV users will need to use their remote's touchpad to swipe, but...

  • Netflix: this tool tracks which VPNs are blocked

    Many Netflix users are familiar with hopping through VPNs and DNS tools in a bid to access foreign versions of the service. But it can be a rather infuriating process, as Netflix and VPN/DNS providers play 'whack a mole' with each other. Fortunately, a new tool has popped up recently, showing users which VPNs are able to access the US version of Netflix. Dubbed CheckFlix, the tool attempts to keep an up-to-date list of working and blocked VPNs. "Our proprietary software does a complete check of each VPN every hour; giving you up-to-date, accurate information on which VPN you should use to get...

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie review: return of the blue milk

    Disney is pushing full force with their Star Wars movies. Not only have they started a brand new trilogy with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but they're intent on filling in 'gaps' within the saga. Rogue One is the first of these filler movies, but is it a necessity for fans and non-fans alike? The movie takes place after Revenge of the Sith and just before A New Hope. It details the struggle for the Rebel Alliance in securing the plans for the first Death Star. Remember how that was only mentioned in the fourth movie (A New Hope)? Well, Disney...

  • Amazon Prime Video is officially in South Africa

    The Amazon Prime Video streaming service has officially gone global, launching in South Africa as well. "Amazon today announced that Amazon Prime Video is now available to customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe," the company announced in a press statement. "Customers can sign up for a Prime Video membership at PrimeVideo.com and watch on Android and iOS phones and tablets, Fire Tablets and popular LG and Samsung smart TVs," the company explained. The service is available to new regions at an "introductory price" of US$2.99 (or €2.99) per month for the first six months. Thereafter, users can...

  • Google South Africa reveals top searches for 2016

    From the US elections and Donald Trump to Pokemon Go and the Olympics, 2016 has been another crazy year for Google searches. Now, the Mountain View firm has revealed South Africa's top queries for the year, ranging from overall searches to celebrities and more. "This year's overall trending searches from South Africa have a decidedly global feel. Where last year's top searches -- loadshedding and xenophobia -- were distinctly local issues, this year's top searches show South African eyes are turned to the world at large, not just at home," the company explained in a statement. Check out the results below... Top trending overall...

  • Project Murphy: a bot that answers ‘what if’ questions

    2016 has truly been a year for bots, as AI and machine learning combine to do some astounding things. Now, Microsoft has revealed a new bot, dubbed Project Murphy. The purpose of the bot though? Well, it's akin to Futurama's "what if" machine, coming up with imaginative image-based answers to your hypothetical "what if" question. For instance, asking "what if Donald Trump wore a dress?" yielded this result. You can even ask questions like "what if Barack Obama was Bernie Sanders?", with the bot spitting out a relevant image. Like what you see? Then you can reply with a smiley face to get...

  • Robotic hands are getting more touchy-feely

    A group of scientists at Cornell University have created a way for soft robotic hands to feel their surroundings internally, much like we do. The group was led by the assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and principal investigator of Organic Robotics Lab, Robert Shepherd. Their paper detailed how stretchable optical waveguides can act as sensors in a soft robotic hand. The paper, titled Optoelectronically Innervated Soft Prosthetic Hand via Stretchable Optical Waveguides, was featured in an edition of Science Robotics. Lead author of the paper Huichan Zhao commented on his findings in a blog post. "Most robots today have sensors on the outside of the...