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      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
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  • Naspers Ventures unit opens new offices in San Francisco

    Naspers wants to become a Silicon Valley stalwart, and has subsequently set up new offices in San Francisco. The Cape Town-based media giant announced the move today, suggesting that it wishes to sink its roots into the area's deep startup culture. The new unit, dubbed Naspers Ventures, is what the company's CEO Bob van Dijk believes will begin its "next phase of growth." Naspers definitely isn't afraid of splashing spare change, with the company investing over US$1.5-billion in other companies in 2015, with investments as far reaching as Russia. "We believe we can utilize our deep knowledge of consumer internet and international markets to...

  • WhatsApp finally releases proper desktop app

    Whatsapp has dabbled in desktop waters before, but now, the world's most popular mobile instant messenger seems to be going all-in. Yes, after years of user requests, the Facebook-owned company has finally launched a proper desktop app for Windows and Mac computers. It's not the first time that WhatsApp has brought the platform to desktop, launching the WhatsApp Web service last year. This earlier browser-based service used a QR code system to mirror your phone's WhatsApp data. The desktop app works in a similar way, effectively mirroring your phone's WhatsApp messages, chats and contacts. In other words, it's not a standalone offering as...

  • Google wants women to also be professionally represented with emojis

    Google's on a mission to makes emojis more inclusive, and that starts with a new set of proposed Unicode emojis representing women in the workplace. According to the proposal, "Google wants to increase the representation of women in emoji and would like to propose that Unicode implementers do the same. "Our proposal is to create a new set of emoji that represents a wide range of professions for women and men with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere." The new emojis will include the likes of female chefs, rock 'n rollers, scientists, doctors and even...

  • The Uber Era: using innovative cloud solutions to avoid disruption

    The advent of the ‘Uber era’ has traditional businesses running scared. While business disruption isn’t new, the world is now seeing a perfect storm of accelerated technology innovation and rapidly changing consumer expectations that’s bringing unprecedented disruption and threatening established players across all markets. Very often one finds that the fear of the unknown or a reliance on ‘the way it has always been done’ are factors preventing organisations from challenging the status quo. This outdated thinking is dangerous in business today, where virtually overnight, organisations find themselves competing against newly formed, extremely agile competitors with the means to provide the...

  • Engaging with the quitting generation — retaining Millennials in the workplace

    Twenty-somethings are notoriously hard to retain as employees. They can become disengaged and disaffected, waiting for their next performance bonus so that they can quit and do something – anything – else. The workplace challenge is for managers to retain skilled teams and provide the opportunity for professional development. One effective way to do this is to speak to them in their own language. The message they carry with them is one that can sabotage their own success story. They’ve been told “you can be anything you want to”, and while a few make it through the minefield of business...

  • 7 really simple hacks to speed up your website and increase conversions

    As part of its drive to ensure optimal user experience, Google continuously adjusts its search algorithm in favor of websites that perform well. This means that a really slow website can harmful to your brand or business, in terms of online visibility. Sadly enough, it is completely ignored by many publishers and digital entrepreneurs. Google takes into account user experience in its search algorithm as John Mueller points out: "We do say we have a small factor in there for pages that are really slow to load where we take that into account." Maile Ohye, likewise from Google suggests “ seconds...

  • Is the R2000 Samsung Gear VR worth buying?

    Virtual reality has been around for ages, but the current wave of VR is nothing like the efforts of years gone by. Instead, we have elaborate graphics, sharp displays and proper head-tracking in place, nothing like the Virtual Boy of yore. And you don't need to spend US$600 on an Oculus Rift or US$800 for the HTC Vive to get a taste either, because there are cheaper experiences around, such as the Samsung Gear VR. Read more on Gearburn.

  • The man in black fled across the desert and started filming in Cape Town

    The big screen adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower has started filming in Cape Town. Yes, our very own coastal city of wineries is playing host to one of the greatest stories in literature (according to this writer). This comes after the series spent years in production hell and in various forms as well. As first reported on Channel24, actress Kathryn Winnick, who stars in an unknown role in the movie, has been posting some scenes of Cape Town to her Instagram profile. Shooting underway for #DarkTower. Shhh..character still under wraps 😉#StephenKing #IdrisElba #matthewmcconaughey #CapeTown #SouthAfrica A photo posted by Katheryn Winnick (@katherynwinnick)...

  • Facebook partners with Airtel to launch Free Basics in Nigeria

    Bharti Airtel Africa, a leading telecommunications service provider, has announced that it has partnered with Facebook and to launch Free Basics in Nigeria. In 2015, Facebook promised to bring Free Basics to 17 African countries. Free Basics is a service that gives users free access to a number of platforms where users can access information about health, education, jobs, communications and local content services at no cost. Facebook estimates that it has, through the project, brought more than 25 million people online. Chris Daniels, Vice President of Internet.org at Facebook, said: “Bharti Airtel Africa has been an important partner in...

  • Periscope introduces new features, broadcast search and drone integration

    Periscope today upped its rivalry with Facebook Live Video by introducing a host of new features. The new features follow last week's release of a beta version that include a feature that allows users to save broadcasts for longer than 24 hours. The new features include broadcast search and an integration with DJI drones. Users can now search for broadcasts by title or topic by using the Global list search button. Users will then be able to see a list of recommended topics with topics like travel, music, food, and others. Searching for titles also work in the same...

  • Mercury is currently photo-bombing the Sun (watch the livestream here)

    Mercury, the Solar System's smallest planet, is currently making its rare and seriously cool journey across the face of the Sun, dubbed the Mercury Transition by astronomers. It's an event that only happens 13 times each century, and allows astronomers to better study the tiny, swelteringly hot planet. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun at just over 35-million miles from the star, and takes just 88 days to lap the huge flaming ball of gas. However, it's quite rare for Earth to be facing the Sun while Mercury is visible. To put this into perspective, this phenomenon last happened...

  • Opera VPN app launches exclusively for iPhone and iPad

    Opera, the Norwegian based technology company, has been churning out new product after product this year. After fitting its desktop browser with a new VPN service, updated its Opera Mini browser with build-in ad-blocking facilities, and polished its Opera Max data reduction service, its now looking exclusively at iOS. The company has now launched a VPN app exclusively for the likes of the iPhone and iPad, in a bid to win over Apple's faithful. But how is this different to the VPN service within Opera desktop browser? For one, the VPN app is now device-wide, encompassing all traffic, unlike its browser-only cousin. The...

  • Burson-Marsteller’s A-Generation Study sheds light on Africa’s youth

    Burson-Marsteller Africa, a strategic communications and PR firm, has today unveiled an interesting list of what it believes are the six key trends that "reflect the mind set and changing priorities of African youth in 2016." The company explains that the study is "result of intensive workshops facilitated by Burson-Marsteller Africa’s partners in north, west, central, east and southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands," with participants mostly featuring in the Millennials age category. Namely, the countries included in this study are South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Mauritius. Robyn de Villiers, the company's CEO and...

  • Mobile phones don’t cause brain cancer, massive 30-year Australian study finds

    Good news, selfie addicts. A new study published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology suggests that mobile phones, or excessive use of the critters, don't cause brain cancer, or cause a marked rise in new cases. For 30 years, researchers in Australia (the University of Sydney, to be exact) examined nearly 20 000 men and 14 222 women diagnosed with brain cancer between 1982 and 2012, and compared this to Australia's mobile phone usage data from 1987 to 2012, noting the spike in the latter. Essentially, the researchers couldn't find a correlation between the booming mobile phone usage rate in Australia...

  • A look at FanCon’s debut event: the stalls, the queues, the excitement

    Slowly but surely, Cape Town is getting its own range of geek and technology events for the mass market. This week saw the debut of FanCon, which is an evolution of Free Comic Book Day (FCBD), hosted at V&A's The Lookout. Memeburn had the opportunity to attend and it was quite an event. Some fan goers compared it to this year's debut of rAge Cape Town, but the two events are vastly different. For one, rAge focuses on digital entertainment as its core focus. That said, FanCon did have a much better vibe to it. Read more: rAge Cape Town promises to...