• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Review — Verbatim Bluetooth Audio Cube

    Verbatim’s Bluetooth Audio Cube is utter tosh. It’s too bulky, the buttons are too fiddly and it needs 4 AA batteries to run if you want a cord free music experience. But, it sounds decent. Stuff the positives. Let’s tear it apart I say. Boxy sound For roughly US$35, the Audio Cube pumps out 2 Watts of pure portable power. Whether corded, connected to your laptop or mobile phone via the A2DP Bluetooth standards, the Audio Cube smoothly rubs out audio, pumps bass and generally behaves rather well, that is until you max the sound out.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Turn a Twitter feed in toilet paper? Sounds…cathartic actually

    Ah, your Twitter feed. It amuses, angers, and sometimes even inspires you. Surely there should be a way for the tweets on it to live on beyond the time you spend reading them. Well there is. Sort of. It comes in the form a brand new service from a company called "Shitter" that turns "one or more feeds from your Twitter account" into four rolls of toilet paper, delivered straight to your door. Given the product’s blunt name, it’s probably unsurprising that the guys behind it appear to be proud Aussies, having previously worked on a digital tribute to...

  • Draw something: The latest smartphone craze [Infographic]

    The recent purchase of new mobile game, Draw Something, by social game giant Zynga shows just how much of a sensation this game, launched earlier this year, really is. Draw Something creator OMGPOP is rumoured to have sold to Zynga for between US$180-210-million in cash and employee retention payments. That is a lot of change for a game only two months on the market. Then again it is a sensation. The game has been downloaded 37-million times since going live. It has more than one-billion drawings so far, so of course Zynga was willing to drop some significant moolah...

  • YouTube goes wild for Anchorman sequel announcement [Video]

    Quick, what’s the most anticipated sequel of 2012? A few days ago titles such as The Dark Knight Rises and The Bourne Legacy would've been the obvious answers. That all changed last night with the announcement of Anchorman 2. Will Ferrell made the announcement in full Ron Burgundy mode on Conan O'Brien's talk show. YouTube’s hit counter is stuck on 883 views, but the 10 000 plus likes suggest the video is a hell of a lot more popular than that. Burgundy’s jazz flute skills alone make the video well worth watching. The news also trended globally on Twitter,...

  • Indie darling Fez drops onto XBLA 13 April

    We've harped on about Fez before on Gearburn. Simply put, it's one of the most exciting independent games ever made. On 13 April, Fez will launch on Xbox Live (XBLA) for the price of 800 Microsoft Points, or US$10. No other platforms have been considered, for now. Fez is all about the Zen-like trip through three-dimensions. The adorable pixel art plays to the strengths of Fez, letting the player rotate the 2D world on a 3D axis to solve intricate puzzles. For well over five years, Fez has been locked inside development hell. Announced in April 2007, it is...

  • Google puts blind man behind the wheel of its self-driving car [Video]

    Google’s self-driving car. Is it really worthwhile, or is it an example of one of the products that should have been axed in Larry Page’s “more wood behind fewer arrows” purge? Whatever your feelings on the project, Google claims it’s now travelled some 200 000 miles (321 868.8 km ). To celebrate that milestone, the company has released a video showing off one experiment it conducted with the car. The experiment centres around a man called Steve who joined Google “for a special drive on a carefully programmed route to experience being behind the wheel in a whole new...

  • Nando’s offers Helen Zille a tastier alternative to a foot in the mouth

    If anyone shows how easy it is to go from the highest of highs on Twitter to the lowest of lows, it’s Helen Zille. Late last year, people were talking about how well she used the medium. Some even suggested she could be an example to everyone from major brands to Kim Kardashian. How things have changed. Zille’s seemingly uncensored rants, troll feeding and lobbed insults are a far cry from the tweets she was sending out in 2011. In fact, Zille has now reached the point where she's become the punchline in a Nando's campaign. If you’re wondering...

  • Twitter mourns feminist poet Adrienne Rich

    News of the death of American poet Adrienne Rich reverberated across Twitter, becoming a top globally trending topic just moments after it was first tweeted. The news broke on Twitter before it was published by any mainstream media. My deepest bows to Adrienne Rich, 4the power of her life, her presence, her words. May we all work toward her "dream of a common language."—T Tempest Williams (@TempestWilliams) March 28, 2012 Just got very sad news: the poet Adrienne Rich has died.— John McMurtrie (@McMurtrieSF) March 28, 2012 Given Twitter’s propensity for killing off high-profile people on regular occasions, it’s hardly surprising...

  • ‘Pull to refresh’ — Yep, Twitter is patenting that

    No? Seriously? I was just reading Sarah Perez's latest column over at TechCrunch and it seems Twitter wants to patent "pull to refresh". You know that thing your official Twitter client does when you need to refresh your feed? Yep, Twitter is getting a lock down on that. I never really noticed that you couldn't do it with other apps, especially core iOS or Android ones. As Perez points out, however, none of these companies can actually implement this while Twitter is in the middle of a patent application. The application is titled: "User Interface Mechanics" and the inventor...

  • Konza Technology City: Does Kenya really need it?

    Konza Technology City, better known simply as, “Konza City”, is a multi-billion dollar totem of Kenya’s vision of a “Silicon Savannah”, a hat tip to the legendary Silicon Valley in the US. It’s an ambitious 20 year, 2 000 hectare, US$14.5-billion new town project endorsed by the Kenyan government which aims to make Kenya a middle-income country by 2030. The city will be built 64 kilometers South of Nairobi, in Konza, Machakos county and will feature a technology park, science park, university campus, international business district as well as space for other commercial and residential properties. Konza City and the technology...

  • 4 Reasons someone should get Helen Zille away from Twitter

    Last year I wrote a piece for Memeburn about ways I felt Helen Zille was using Twitter well. She was controversial even back then, but I liked her for four reasons: She was responsive She was unscripted She was active and She had a sense of humour Overall, I loved the fact that she was both accessible and real. No PR gloss: you got Helen pretty much undiluted. I didn’t mind the sarcasm; somehow it lent her a certain appealing authenticity. A year later and Helen Zille is still all of those things, but something has changed. From being appealingly frank,...

  • 10 Reasons mobile coupons are here to stay

    People want mobile coupons. Although vouchers are already very popular online, the overflow into mobile has now grown rapidly. In part due to mobile’s convenience and the global recession’s after-effects but mostly because everyone loves a bargain. The appeal of having a bargain specifically targeted to you, and delivered to your own mobile phone when and where you need it, and even when you didn’t know you need it is very powerful. Brands are now able to appeal to people’s need to engage and their desire to have unique, personalised experiences. Here are some of the reasons mobile coupons are...

  • HTML5, smartphones will change the way we interact with companies

    HTML5, together with massive growth in smartphone penetration, could see a lot more people interacting with companies using their mobile devices. Many companies -- such as banks and telcos -- already enjoy major business benefits by allowing customers to transact with them, perform routine service tasks, manage their own accounts and conduct research through Web-based Self-Service systems. Up until now, self-service has largely been limited to internet-connected desktop users. The rise of the smartphone is about to change all that. The new, richer, apps will give people the flexibility and convenience to interact with companies wherever they are,...

  • Pair: The cutesy social network for couples that looks set to go big

    Less than a week after going live, a new social network called Pair has been downloaded over 50 000 times and seen more than a million messages sent. Here’s the thing, it doesn’t connect with everyone you’ve ever known. It isn’t even a great professional networking tool. In fact, the only person it connects you with is your significant other. Geez, the only way you could stretch the definition of a social network any further is if you made one for the voices in my head. Anyway, Pair has been getting attention from a couple of big-name Silicon Valley investors. Perhaps...

  • What if you could have more Twitter followers than Lady Gaga?

    What if you could have a million Twitter followers for a day? What would you do? Well, you might just have the chance to find out. A new site, called Fame, selects a winner from the pool of people who’ve connected to it via Twitter every day. Everyone on the site is then automatically followed to the daily winner before being automatically unfollowed the next day. It’s a pretty nifty idea. If you’re the daily winner, and people like your tweets, chances are at least some of them will stick around and keep following you. If you’re one of...