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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • South Africa’s Orange Store is shutting down online

    Update #2, 1 December, 9.11am: Orange also noted that its brick and mortar stores will also be shuttered, and will be "utilized for other purposes by the owner of the property". Update #1, 1 December, 7.30am: The Orange Store has issued a statement on the SA version of its storefront, adding that CTDI will step in for service-related issues. "We leave you in the good hands of our trusted partner CTDI (formerly Regenersis) who will assist with any warranty and/or return queries from the 1st of December 2016. CTDI is one of the largest repair providers with over 70 locations around...

  • Netflix movies, series are now available as offline downloads

    Netflix users can now download films and movies to their mobile devices via the app, the streaming service announced. Eddy Wu, the company's director of product innovation, explains that it was numerous user suggestions that prompted the feature's inclusion. "While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where internet is expensive or limited," he explains. Netflix users in the States can now download series and movies for offline viewing As for the feature itself, it's reminiscent of ShowMax's offline downloading service. Simply head to your favourite series or...

  • Forget Trump: your cat can now own an eco-friendly White House

    Although we do love technology here at Memeburn, we can't turn our heads when a clever piece of simple design walks by. Especially if said design is a range of eco-friendly cardboard houses for cats. Poopy Cat, a pet accessory company based in Amsterdam, began life 2013 and crafts sustainable play houses for our furry friends. And the company's latest line takes inspiration from a few of the political happenings the world has endured in 2016. The White House is now available in sustainable cardboard form for your cats The company first began retailing biodegradable litter boxes, but took to Kickstarter a...

  • Vodacom reportedly down in north Johannesburg [Update]

    Update #2, 30 November, 12pm: Vodacom has confirmed that the issue "has been resolved". Update #1, 29 November, 5.30pm: Lexi Ball, Vodacom media relations specialist, in an email to Memeburn explains that the company is currently "aware of the outage". "Vodacom is aware of the outage that some of our customers are experiencing in the northern parts of Johannesburg. Our technicians are working on resolving the matter as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconveinence that this may have caused," she adds. Vodacom has yet to provide an approximate time of repair, or when the network will be fully functional. Original article:...

  • US consumers blow $3.34bn on Black Friday, break mobile shopping record

    It was an extremely healthy Black Friday for US retailers according to new data released by Adobe. The company this week published its 2016 online shopping report covering Black Friday and Thanksgiving, and the numbers represent a positive trend over 2015. Adobe's report is based on "aggregated and anonymous data from 22.6-billion visits to retail websites" and covers approximately 80% of the US's top 100 retailers. Adobe notes that buyers in the US blew more than US$5.2-billion at the end of Friday. This marks a 17.7% increase over 2015. "Black Friday set a new record by surpassing the three-billion-dollar mark for the...

  • Reddit CEO tampered with comments on Donald Trump subreddit

    Social aggregation site Reddit is known as a democratic platform. There are moderators, but they're generally called into action only when subreddit rules are broken. But the latest revelation from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman goes against this wholeheartedly. Huffman, under the Reddit name of /u/spez, has admitted to changing users' comments, replacing mentions of his username with those of mods from the 300 000-strong Donald Trump subreddit. "Yep. I messed with the 'fuck u/spez' comments, replacing 'spez' with r/the_donald mods for about an hour," he admitted on a thread. "It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff," Huffman adds. Comment...

  • Here’s what’s possible with Tesla, SolarCity technology

    Is it possible to power an entire island using nothing but the sun? Well, yes. Just ask Tesla and SolarCity. After the two companies' fresh union, SolarCity has detailed a rather ambitious project involving a slew of batteries, solar panels and an island in American Samoa. The project, funded by the American Samoa Economic and Development Authority, the EPA and the Department of Interior, has allowed the entire island of Ta'u to be powered almost entirely by solar rays. The island previously used diesel generators to provide electricity to its hospital, schools and government institutions. But the solar array has largely made these...

  • Oracle buys DNS services provider Dyn

    Enterprise services company Oracle has purchased DNS and internet services provider Dyn. The financial details of the purchase was not made public, but former Fortune writer Dan Primack believes it could be "north of US$600-million." According to Oracle's product development president, Thomas Kurian, Dyn is "the leading cloud-based Internet Performance and DNS provider that monitors, controls, and optimizes Internet applications and cloud services to deliver faster access, reduced page load times, and higher end-user satisfaction." Among internet users though, Dyn has become a bit of an infamous name this year. Last month's DDoS on its services left sites and services like Twitter,...

  • Make black and white photos blush again with this AI-powered tool

    Do you have a black and white photograph you just wished was in full colour? Well, this clever neural network tool from Waseda University academics might be just what you're looking for. The tool uses machine learning to intelligently (or, as intelligently as possible) shade a black and while image with appropriate hues, shades and tints. It effectively re-colours a black and while photograph based on features found within it. For instance, golf courses, hills and trees will naturally contain greens, while abbeys, arches and statues likely won't. The tool takes this information, and through best learned guess, adds colour. Using machine...

  • Airbnb Trips: is it the future of travel and tourism?

    Travel and accommodation company Airbnb has announced a new program that sees the company take a massive leap into the tourism market. Dubbed Trips, Airbnb will no longer just allow people to search for boarding on the web, but now aims to make trips "easy and magical". Airbnb Trips launches on the company's app with three key focuses -- experiences, places and home. The company notes that a "flights" section will also be launched in the future. Users can browse what is effectively different travel packages posted by various hosts, complete with itinerary and a cute little video reel of what you...

  • ‘Vodacom On Demand’ video service to debut in 2017

    Vodacom has had an interesting Monday. After the company announced relatively unchanged half-year earnings, it also unveiled something a bit novel. The company today revealed plans for its video-on-demand platform, Vodacom On Demand. The company will partner with DStv parent company Multichoice and Naspers' streaming darling ShowMax to bring mobile streaming to its customers. According to TechCentral, the company's move is a bid to inject some life into its fibre and mobile traffic offerings. While Vodacom does have limited fibre systems in the country's major metros, the entire network was declared 4G ready back in September 2014. This move also comes after...

  • FriendFinder Networks: 412m accounts hacked in 2016’s biggest breach

    Another adult dating company has been hacked, but this time it's FriendFinder. According to breach notification portal LeakedSource, details of around 412-million accounts have made their way into the darkest parts of the web. Notably, the sites affected include AdultFriendFinder (with around 300-million accounts), Cams.com (with another 60-million), and other accounts from the likes of Penthouse and Stripshow. In total, a quite ridiculous 412 214 295 accounts have been compromised, making this the biggest hack of the year so far. Warning signs Notably, warning signs of a possible breach emerged in October 2016 from an anonymous security researcher. FriendFinder Network's VP noted that the company...

  • Mannequin Challenge: standing still has never been trendier

    Internet fads tend to remain fresh for but a few weeks (we're not talking about those evergreen Joe Biden memes though). The Ice Bucket challenge is a good example, the Harlem Shake perhaps an even better one. But a new trend that's sweeping the internet's video platforms is the Mannequin Challenge. No, this isn't like Lars and the Real Girl. Instead, it involves people seemingly turning into inanimate mannequins themselves. This could mean an entire classroom sitting still while the video recorder circles around them, or an entire football team seemingly stuck to the turf. If you need a previous popular culture...

  • WTF are Snapchat Spectacles?

    If you haven't a clue what Snapchat Spectacles are, don't worry. We had a similar debate in the office whether to publish this piece on Gearburn or Memeburn. But luckily, the social outweighed the gadgetry. We also imagine that this is exactly what Snapchat (or its parent company, now known as Snap) wanted too. Debuting on 10 November 2016 (just in time for people to get over the US Elections), Snapchat Spectacles is the company's jovial answer to smart wearables like Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens. But it's much simpler than those devices. In fact, these US$130 sunglasses do two things...

  • Africa’s mobile growth: Opera publishes its State of Mobile report

    Norwegian internet company Opera isn't quite as well known in the desktop browser space, at least in terms of usage figures. Globally, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer still command the lion's share of users' internet tabs. When it comes to mobile browsers though, the firm has historically had a huge following in Africa. The company this week published its State of Mobile Web Report for Africa 2016, and with it, a slew of insights into Africa's voracious mobile device and web usage using its software and services as a lens. So, what are some of the key takeaways? More...