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  • Weekly Round Up #49: Startup news from SA, new iPhone, Facebook and Apple earnings

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week on BurnCast, Senior Reporter Stuart Thomas talks to Gearburn Editor Andy Walker and Reporters Jacques Coetzee and Graham Van De Made. The team talks about South African serial entrepreneur Vinny Lingham raising US$2.75-million in seed funding for his startup, Civic, rumours about the new iPhone, Facebook record breaking fourth quarter results and Apple's first quarter results which recorded the company's first saturation level. The team speaks about what they are watching, reading and listening to. And the Tweet of the week...

  • This app lets you make free calls without an internet connection

    Hush. No one tell South Africa's mobile networks about this. Swedish mobile communications service Rebtel this week announced a new in-app feature that allows users to make free international calls without an internet connection. The service, which costs US$1 a month, works by hijacking local phone lines and, according to Rebtel, the call quality is as clear as it would be with a conventional landline call. The new feature adds to Rebtel's existing offerings, which allow people to make unlimited app to phone calls, app to app calls, and the ability to call any phone in the world via...

  • Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell’s awkward holiday video features Toto, is better than your’s

    So you're one of comedy's power couples. How do you make sure you'll never forget your final vacation before having kids? Well, if you're Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell, the answer involves turning the whole thing into a musical tribute to Toto's 'Africa'. Filmed on a trip they took to the Serengeti a couple of years ago (their first child was born in 2013), the video was released earlier this week and already has more than a million views. Read more: Meet Penny Sparrow’s ‘wonderful, thoughtful’ black friends "This was our last trip before having kids. Our sole objective...

  • Jack Dorsey gives a pep talk to keep the fire burning at Twitter

    Things appear pretty salty over at Twitter right now, no thanks to the recent exodus of high-ranking executives. This was the second round of Twitter employees leaving the company in the space of six months. It comes as no surprise then that Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, gave a pep talk to fire up the troops at Twitter headquarters. During the biweekly meeting at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters, Jack Dorsey gave a talk that inspired, or terrified, employees to tweet about how much they love -- and are committed to -- the company using the #oneteam hashtag. While the content of his address is...

  • IDC: people are still buying smartphones in their billions

    The rate at which smartphones ship is incredible. And with more and more people joining the list of smartphone owners, the shipment of phones is going to grow. Not only that but it appears it is influencing the invention of cheaper handsets with manufacturers casting their nets wider instead of making only premium models. In the latest preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 399.5-million units during the fourth quarter of 2015, recording a 5.7% year-on-year growth. In the year 2015, according to the IDC, a total of...

  • 2016: the year of multimedia convergence

    It’s about that time of the year where digital marketing experts and industry leaders pen their thoughts on what we can expect over the course of 2016. Granted, the end of 2015 saw our screens layered with tab after tab of blogs and articles, all opened in the hopes that we’d catch onto the trends before we rang in the New Year. What we didn’t account for were the ideas and statistics that have only come to light within the first month of 2016 and so, we’ve seen a number of new predications, new ideas and new concepts...

  • GoPro and Periscope integrate and extreme sports fans are now in heaven

    So you thought that things couldn’t get more intense than watching GoPro footage of a base jumper soaring through canyons before landing in the snow? Turns out you were wrong. Soon, you can watch it live as well, with all the added tension of a live unfolding drama. In a mouth-watering move, live-streaming app Periscope and action-camera maker GoPro have announced a partnership which means that GoPro users “can now broadcast their daring adventures live through Twitter’s Periscope app, opening the door to a whole new dimension of real-time video sharing”, according to the Guardian newspaper. This collaboration...

  • Battleborn: here’s everything we know so far

    Battleborn is an upcoming first-person Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) title currently in development at Gearbox Software, the same people who brought us the brilliantly twisted Borderlands series, and is set be released on 3 May of this year. It's the first IP from Gearbox since the Borderlands series, so it's a pretty big deal. Through the duration of this article I will explore the various facts and clues I have discovered in my multiple excursions into the internet in the hopes of shedding as much light as possible on this highly anticipated title. Read more on Gearburn.

  • Are Google’s tax chickens coming home to roost?

    A couple of years ago, a furore arose across the European Union and Great Britain in particular. The leaders of these countries, you see, had found out that some of the world's biggest tech companies -- including Amazon, Google, and Apple -- were paying tiny amounts of tax on incredibly large sums of revenue. In the UK, for instance, it emerged that it had paid just £6-million on £2.5-billion worth of sales in the country. That in turn led to a hearing in which a UK parliamentarian called Google “devious”, “unethical” and “evil”. A former Google UK executive...

  • Does my startup need a health and safety guy? Yes. Yes, it does

    When first starting out in business, the temptation can be to run headlong into making your product and your brand as popular as possible and just hoping that the "non-business" issues (such as safety) will iron themselves out. As a result, it is far too often the case that some startups forget about workplace safety altogether. This is surprising when you consider that startups don't tend to have many employees so implementing safety protocols should be easier. However, it is not surprising when you consider that a person's motivation for starting a business is rarely "to make the world's...

  • Is the Hyundai Ioniq the hybrid to finally topple the Toyota Prius?

    The hybrid is no longer an unusual automobile. But, interestingly, the vast majority of the world’s modern examples are based on existing, conventionally fuelled models. Yes, these days, you can have a hybrid version of everything from a BMW X5 or Volvo XC90 to a Ford Fusion or even a Toyota Yaris. Indeed, what’s rather more rare is a hybrid that takes the form of a standalone model. Honda tried it with the Insight, which lasted a couple of generations. Chevrolet is still trying with the Volt, which does things a little differently by treating its petrol engine as...

  • Does your corporate blog need an editorial calendar?

    As you’ll soon discover when you start a blog for your company, the first few weeks and months of blogging are the easiest. When you’re just starting out, the ideas seem to flow freely, the posts come together quickly, and everything seems to run without much effort. You’re still excited about this whole blog thing, and it’s easy for you to build momentum and publish posts. Then the slump comes along. After a few months, it will seem like you’ve exhausted all your ideas—especially if the team tasked with writing and managing the blog is small. You’ll have a tough...

  • Facebook Q4 and full year 2015 results are on fleek, 1.59bn MAU, 100m hours of video watched a day

    Facebook reported its fourth quarter results, ending 31 December 2015, and full year 2015 earnings today. Nobody really expected Facebook to do badly but the manner in which it has smashed expert estimations is beyond impressive. Facebook hit 1.59-billion monthly active users on average in the fourth quarter, up from 1.55 billion in Q3 and an increase of 14% year-over-year. Facebook's daily active users increased to 1.04-billion for December 2015, an increase of 17% year-over-year, compared to Q3's 1.01-billion DAU. The company completely obliterated expert estimates of US$5.37-billion and US$0.68 eranings per share with a US$5.841-billion in revenue and...

  • WorldRemit users can now send money to MTN mobile money wallets in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia

    International remittance service WorldRemit on Thursday announced that it had inked a deal with the MTN Group, allowing its customers to send money to MTN Mobile Money wallets in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, the launch follows the signing of a global partnership agreement earlier this year, to enable WorldRemit customers all over the world to send international remittances to MTN’s Mobile Money customers. “This partnership makes sense for both companies, as WorldRemit and MTN share a disruptive approach to innovation and bring impactful services to our customers. Together, we are now providing an...

  • Apple’s Q1 results: smartphone market maturity finally hits Cupertino’s finest

    Make no mistake, Apple had a very good Q1 , just not as good as many were expecting it to be. And according to analysts, that's because it's finally been affected by the same smartphone market maturity that's hit everyone else. The quarter saw Apple sell 74.8-million units. It's a record, but its only one percent up from the 74.5-million units it sold in the first quarter in the year 2015. And when it comes to Apple, people just expect more. It's worth noting however that the fact that Apple managed to increase iPhone sales at the same time...