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  • Why you should approach IT like you’re ordering from a menu

    Ordering from a menu at a restaurant is an experience that most of us can identify with. You look at the menu, select an item that you want, review the price and place your order—expecting to receive the item you have ordered and to pay the displayed price. Similarly, why should dealing with your IT department be any different? An IT department is often viewed as necessary to deal with the complex technology which no-one else in the business understands. Yet a fundamental shift in thinking is required to understand that IT exists to service internal and external customers. For...

  • 10 steps for protecting yourself from ransomware

    If you’ve been listening to the news at all the past couple of weeks, you have undoubtedly heard of a number of companies being affected by ransomware. The recent surge in this form of cyber attack has many organizations and users understandably concerned. And you should be. Ransomware is nasty stuff. But with some careful preparation, you can significantly lower your risk of being infected, and reduce the impact on you or your organization should you get hit. What is Ransomware? Ransomware is a form of malware that infects devices, networks, and data centres and prevents them from being used...

  • You aren’t good enough: what I learned from defying average

    “You aren’t good enough”. That’s the message that’s been drilled into the majority of our heads from the day we started school. Every report card, every teacher instilling the fear of failure, and every student number doing exactly that - stating that you’re just a number. At school every report I received confirmed that I was average. I was always two percent above or below the grade average. Without fail, my teachers would put how average I am into writing: “Jacques can do better… I’m disappointed in him”. I even had teachers tell me how much I’m not like...

  • 5 emerging Chinese smartphone brands you should know

    Huawei has pretty much become a household name across the continent, while Xiaomi is catching up in this department too. There’s more to the Chinese smartphone industry than these two companies though. Here are several more mobile manufacturers you should put on your watchlist.

  • Microsoft releases Visual Studio Code 1.0 code editor

    Tech giant Microsoft has released version 1.0 of its browser-based code editor Visual Studio Code (VS Code). This comes after its initial Public Preview in May last year, and the Beta Open Source in November. The announcement was posted on the Visual Studio website. Since its initial launch last year, over two million developers have installed the software. The VS Code community has also created over 1000 community extensions, such as support for PHP and C++. The company has worked with its community in order to improve the product with bug fixes and stability improvements. It now also supports nine different languages,...

  • Visual IVR — Creating a more engaging customer service environment

    Anybody who has ever had to phone a call centre knows the frustration of listening to numerous menu options before eventually being able to speak to an agent. But thanks to the emergence of visual interactive response technology, this no longer needs to be the case. Whether it is an insurer, a bank, or even a pay TV provider, consumers can easily get lost in the complicated hierarchical menu structure of a traditional interactive voice response (IVR) system. These are often poorly designed and can be incredibly frustrating to customers. Just think of how many times you have to enter...

  • Table Mountain Cableway now boasts a WiFi Lounge at the summit of Cape Town

    Table Mountain undoubtedly has an unrivaled view from its summit, but now visitors to the top of the Cableway will soon be able to access the internet too. The new Table Mountain Cableway Wifi Lounge now allows users to "get connected in the clouds above the Mother City," providing internet access to those who just can't not post a Cape Town selfie on their adventure. Situated on the Upper Cableway Station, the Lounge features plug and USB ports for device charging, comfortable chairs and of course, wireless internet. "Through the launch of the Wi-Fi Lounge the Cableway is able to remain a...

  • Weekly Round Up #58: smartphone launches, mobile games, Facebook F8 and geeky cars

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation, and news from the last few days. This week on BurnCast, Gearburn editor Andy Walker plays host and talks to Reporter Graham van der Made and the new guy Reporter Hadlee Simons. The team discusses all the phone launches, from Huawei to HTC, the arrival of the iPhone SE in South Africa, Facebook F8, mobile games, geeky car races, and Dark Souls 3. In a new feature, Weird News of the week, a man is whacked in his head by a drone that smashed through his window. The team also talks...

  • Facebook announces new systems to improve the quality of internet connectivity around the world

    Cost effective and fast internet access is still a dream for many even as it becomes increasingly ubiquitous for many living in cities. At its F8 developer conference, the tech company announced two new terrestrial systems that are focused on improving the speed, efficiency, and quality of internet connectivity around the world. The two projects are Terragraph and Project Aries (Antenna Radio Integration for Efficiency in Spectrum). Facebook reckons that WiFi and LTE infrastructure is unable to keep up with the fast increase in the consumption of photos and videos and the high resolutions like 4K and 8K at...

  • Google brings more specific traffic alerts to SA

    Checking your smartphone for commute times has become the norm for millions of people around the world. Google pioneered this function with Google Now, but Apple and Microsoft were quick to copy the feature for their respective platforms. The Mountain View company stepped its game up in November last year, moving beyond generic "25 minutes to work" alerts. Instead, the company delivered specific traffic notifications in Google Maps, offering spoken alerts and notifications about traffic conditions. Now, South Africans, Nigerians and Kenyans can get in on the action too, the company announced. "Just in time for you to hit the road, we're updating Google Maps with new traffic alerts to...

  • Card-free SIMs are vital to an Open IoT Ecosystem

    Ultimately, the Internet of Things (IoT) will only reach its full potential if it benefits consumers and makes life more convenient on a worldwide scale. Coming home to an apartment in New York at the right temperature with an oven that is pre-heated and lights that turn on ten minutes before you arrive is no longer a dream. Thanks to smartphone apps, it’s a reality. But the benefits of IoT extend far beyond household appliances. Smart connected trucks can be tracked by fleet managers in real time. Vending machines in Chicago directly alert vending machine distributors when stocks...

  • The fintech revolution is here and disrupting banking, Bitcoin not so much…

    I have just returned from Money2020 in Copenhagen, effectively Disneyland for anyone interested in the fintech space. Themed "The Centre of the Revolution", the conference brought together the leading lights of the financial service industry, VC funds and also technological innovators. Just under 4 000 delegates from 70 Countries heard from 422 speakers including leading lights such as Sir Michael Morris, Chairman of Sequoia Capital, Carlos Torres Villa CEO, BBVA, Nicolas Huss, CEO Visa Europe, Blythe Masters CEO Digital Asset holdings as well as the head of Mastercard, the VP of Amazon payments, the CEO of Visa, The COO of...

  • Here’s where you can get the iPhone SE in South Africa

    Today's a big day if you've been waiting for a small phone. The 4.0-inch iPhone SE will hit stores tomorrow, 15 April, and stores will undoubtedly be crammed with Apple fans just itching to touch its smooth metal face. But before we wax lyrical about Cupertino's latest handset, we round up the list of stockists where you can get hold of one and do it yourself. We'll be sure to regularly update this piece as more information is made available, and as more stores stock the device. Read more on Gearburn.

  • SSL: The unchecked security blind spot

    When changing lanes on the highway, you would first indicate to make other drivers aware of your intentions and then check your blind spot to make sure it was safe to switch lanes. Those safety measures, which only take a few seconds, could be the difference between arriving at your destination safely and causing a massive pile-up with potentially fatal consequences. Yet we see this recklessness all the time – on the information superhighway, that is. We’re facing a bit of a conundrum in the security industry. In order to effectively protect company networks, we need full visibility of the network...

  • Autonomous weapons a real concern says ‘Campaign to Stop Killer Robots’

    Killer robots and their ability to think have been a staple of science fiction for decades now. Discussions around HAL9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Skynet from the Terminator franchise are often on everybody's lips when joking about the subject. These science fiction stories may be closer to reality than you think. On 11 April, the subject has once again been brought up at the United Nations discussion in Geneva, Switzerland, by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, one of the aims of these talks is to start negotiating a pre-emptive ban on...