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  • Stats SA: over 30.4m South Africans live below poverty line

    Statistics South Africa is today publishing its second poverty trends report, shedding light on the country's wealth brackets. It's also posting snippets of the report to Twitter, allowing a larger portion of South Africans to access and absorb the figures. Notably, the first report was published in 2014, with the country outlining three distinct poverty lines a year later. These three include the food-poverty line -- the "absolute deprivation" threshold which marks the cash required to purchase the minimum daily energy intake -- and the lower-bound poverty line -- the point at which people are forced to "choose between food and important...

  • Update: Vodacom’s nightmare data fiasco fuels social media fire

    Update: Vodacom South Africa has issued the follow update to media Tuesday afternoon: Vodacom confirms that it has reimbursed customers affected by last night’s billing issue and remains committed to ensuring that all customers are refunded in full. We thank customers for their patience while the matter was being resolved and reiterate our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused. Customers that may have outstanding queries are kindly requested to contact our call centre for resolution on 111. The issue was caused by a configuration change on our prepaid and top up billing system that was problematic. We were able to...

  • What should we expect from successor to stealthy F-22 fighter?

    The F-22 fighter jet is one of the most ambitious military aircraft ever built, packing a stealthy airframe and cutting-edge software and hardware. But the rest of the world isn't standing still, as Russia and China develop their own stealth fighters and counter-tactics. The US military is indeed working on a successor to the aircraft, it confirmed last year, but Aviation Week (registration required) has shed light on what we might see in the new plane. The air force's General Mike Holmes told the publication that range and increased stealthiness are just two of the key focus areas. Longer range means that a future fighter...

  • How to give your customers a true omnichannel experience

    Two years ago I wrote an article, “Why South African brands really should adopt an omni-channel model” where I outlined that while omnichannel is a frequently used term, very few South African brands truly understood how to execute on a true omnichannel strategy. My findings then were that many brands, while thinking they were on the omnichannel path, were actually executing fragmented multi-channel experiences that often left the consumer with a disconnected experience. Fast forward two years and unfortunately there still seems to be confusion about what omnichannel really means. With so many buzzwords being thrown around, omnichannel amongst them, it seems...

  • Solar Eclipse 2017: America’s doggos prepare on Instagram

    In a few minutes, the Earth's Moon will begin its rude obstruction of the Sun, covering much of the central United States in darkness for just a few seconds. Yes, today's the day of the first total solar eclipse to affect the US mainland in over a century, with the next expected in 2024. And the hype is real. It's a big occasion, for scientists wishing to study the Sun's atmosphere, and the common astronomer just wishing to snap a picture or two or to simply say that "they were there". Among the latter, it seems, are America's dogs. In preparation of the...

  • ‘Joke of the century’: South Africa responds to ANN7, The New Age sale

    Gupta-owned Oakbay has announced the sale of its two media companies -- ANN7 and The New Age -- for R450-million. Purchasing the duo is Lodidox -- a company owned by businessman and former ANC cabinet spokesperson Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi. "The sale is part of Oakbay's commitment to preserve jobs and provide certainty to over 7500 hard-working employees throughout the group and to safeguard the inherent value of the businesses in which they work," Oakbay said in a statement. "Under a new majority shareholder, Oakbay believes that both businesses and their employees will have the bright and prosperous future they deserve. The sale...

  • Miss the old Google News? This website could be the answer

    Judging by this article's comments section, people are really, really not warming to Google News's redesign. But don't ditch the service just yet. There is hope if you prefer the old layout. A website dubbed "The Old G News" is seemingly reviving the old version of Mountain View's news aggregation tool. And it's almost as though nothing as changed. According to a Reddit post by a user claiming to be the site's owner, the service is "more like a http proxy" than a complete Google News remaster. "I get your request and I forward it and give it back to you. No...

  • VAST, Showmax lets you download shows at the mall for free

    Showmax users can now download and stream content for free through one of 83 VAST WiFi hotspots across South Africa, the company today announced. This comes after a partnership was struck to zero-rate Showmax data on VAST's networks, set to last for a three-month period. "Thanks to the downloads feature on Showmax, this zero-rated data means much more than just having something to watch while you're at the mall," explains Chris Savides, head of Showmax Africa. "Once you log onto one of the VAST WiFi sites, download up to 25 TV shows or movies and the data won't cost you a cent....

  • 7 Android apps that seriously need a ‘lite’ version

    Earlier this week, we got word that Google has revealed Search Lite, a lightweight (duh) version of its iconic web search tool. Offering the usual search functionality, as well as a host of other features, the app stands out thanks to its small install size and emphasis on data saving. It's not the first Lite app we've seen though, with Facebook, Messenger, Skype and even YouTube (in a limited fashion) seeing tiny apps being launched. But what about other services in need of a Lite version? Twitter Yes yes, Twitter Lite is actually a thing, but it's merely a lightweight website rather...

  • Violent viral videos spark social media storm around Kempton Park school

    Another school in South Africa has this week gone viral on social media for all the wrong reasons. Norkem Park High School, located in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, is at the centre of online furore following a number of violent videos posted to Facebook. Said videos depict a number of the school's students facing off in physical confrontations. An accompanying image also shows one person seemingly bearing a firearm. "This is what it has been happening at Norkem Park High since yesterday until today. Student fights which lead to some of them calling their friend/families to come with Guns to school to help...

  • 10 women in SA tech you should be following on Twitter [Digital All-Stars]

    Digital All-Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. Twitter has become one of the best ways to stay up to date with the latest trends. And this is especially apparent than in the fast-moving technology field. So with that in mind, we take a look at a few women you should be following in the South African tech sector. Note: You can follow all the below mentioned through this Twitter...

  • Instagram wants you to reply to friends’ photos with their own photos

    Instagram is about to give its 700-million users another way to annoy one another through visual replies. According to a blog post, the Facebook-owned social network is tweaking its direct messaging system, allowing users to now "reply with a photo or video to specific photos, videos, and reshared posts". Previously, direct messaging on Instagram was a simple text-and-GIF based affair. The company has allowed users to reply to Instagram Stories using visual media since July 2017, but Instagram hopes the update to direct messaging will encourage more "visual communication" between friends. But here's the kicker. Instagram: you can now reply with a photo or...

  • Reddit’s video upload feature is now ready for primetime

    Some Reddit users will no longer have to rely on third-party services to upload videos to the platform. The social link aggregator and self-proclaimed "front page of the internet" announced that users on a select number of subreddits can now upload videos to the site directly. The feature has been in beta for a while, but will now be rolled out to a larger audience on mobile and desktop. "This launch is a giant step forward in our efforts to bring rich content to Reddit, following last year's release of native image hosting and our introduction of native video ads earlier this year,"...

  • How location data can send your campaign in the right direction

    From the largest biodiversity database in the world that maps over 1.7-million species in participating countries, to the company that promises to deliver your parcel to exactly where you are in real time, geo-location technologies are already being put through their paces in South Africa. In particular, a host of industries -- although definitely not any wildlife -- stand to benefit from the location data created by connected devices. Its range of applications include everything from hyper-convenient parcel delivery services to helping marketers reach on-the-go consumers in the era of mobile. Here’s how. Mapping your audiences Location data is one of many important...

  • MiniMeme Podcast #6: Is the AI-pocalypse upon us?

    Welcome to MiniMeme, the podcast brought to you by Burn Media’s junior staff as they tackle the topics that tickle their fancy. This week Julia Breakey and Daniel Mpala talk artificial intelligence, its pros and cons, and what Elon Musk wants to do to our brains. Will robots effectively become slaves? Will they see us their God? Will they want to kill us? Mark Zuckerberg says no, Musk says yes, and we say: Let us know if you agree, disagree, or want to punch us in the face here or over on Twitter. Music by BenSound. Recommended reading: AI Open Letter -- Future of Life Institute Through Neuralink,...