• 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!

All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • This Chrome extension reverts Twitter’s character count changes

    Some people are really, really against Twitter's 280 character tweets. The list includes one Iggy Azalea, the Chrissy Teigen and a Steven King. But if you also really miss living in 2006, there's a Chrome extension that might help. "Whipped up in one night" by Slate's dev team, the aptly named 140 is a snarky, buggy solution to clipping Twitter's wings down to a more manageable and familiar length. "Install our new Chrome extension, 140, and keep the horrifying world of 280-character Twitter at bay for a bit longer," reads the extension's description. "If you’re visiting Twitter in Chrome, 140 will cut everyone’s...

  • NASA, Uber are serious about bringing flying taxis to cities by 2023

    In an unlikely partnership, NASA has sought the services of Uber to build air control software that will manage the flying taxis of the future. Yes, flying taxis. The partnership, announced today at WebSummit in Lisbon, is not beyond Uber's personal ambitions either. In April 2017, the company announced plans to launch a flying taxi programme -- dubbed UberAIR -- in Dubai and Dallas by 2020. Now Los Angeles will also be added to the roster. Uber has also previously toyed with using helicopters in Cape Town in what was more a marketing stunt than feasible city transport solution, but the aircraft Uber...

  • Instagram now lets you upload throwback photos, videos to your Story

    Do you have gigs and gigs of previously captured photos and video you just wish you could publish to your Instagram Story? Well, now you can. If you're running version 22 on iOS or version 18 on Android, you can now publish video clips and photographs that are more than 24 hours old to your Instagram Story roll. This is a stark departure to Instagram Stories' initial focus on ephemeral and live content. "Just like you normally would, swipe up from the camera to open your camera roll or tap the gallery icon. Scroll to choose your photo or video, and tap...

  • Snapchat is ‘redesigning’ its app, hits 178m daily active users

    After seeing its growth stunted by Facebook's similar products, Snapchat is pondering a number of changes to the app. In a Q3 2017 investors presentation, CEO Evan Spiegel announced a forthcoming "disruptive" change to the app that will reportedly make it simpler to use. "One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback. As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use," said Spiegel. "There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our...

  • It’s official: Twitter’s 280 character tweets are rolling out worldwide

    Christmas has come early for talkative tweeters. Starting this week, Twitter will roll out its 280 character tweet limit to all 330-million of its users. The trusty 140 character limit -- which has been in effect since Twitter's launch back in 2006 -- will now become a thing of the past for users not tweeting in Japanese, Korean or Chinese. The company decided to make the change official after a limited trial period in September. During said trial, a select number of users experienced double the number of characters available to use in a tweet. Granted, some didn't quite take it as...

  • Konnect Africa debuts SmartWiFi satellite broadband hotspot service

    Satellite broadband provider Konnect Africa has today announced its new hotspot service dubbed SmartWiFi. The announcement was made by the Eutelsat-owned company at AfricaCom 2017 in Cape Town. SmartWiFi will use Konnect Africa's satellite network to provide connectivity to the likes of hospitals, schools and retailers across South Africa. Unlike traditional access points that usually serve a small area, Konnect Africa's SmartWiFi will be "able to access the internet from a distance of several hundred meters around the hotspot". It can also be expanded further through the use of repeaters. This allows SmartWiFi to be employed in non-urban areas, explained Laurent Grimaldi, the...

  • Cape Town smoke-filled skies caused by Sir Lowry’s Pass fire

    Update, 5.17pm: Sir Lowry's Pass has been reopened to traffic closed once again. Cape Town - N2 Route: #SirLowrysPass (Update): ROAD CLOSED again over the pass - HEAVY QUEUES on the alternative R44 route via Rooiels — Rob Beezy (@TrafficSA) November 7, 2017 At least four houses have also been set alight by the blaze. First houses in Mountainside going up in smoke. Not good with wind gusting at 72kph. pic.twitter.com/OWP9elRpb9 — Gordons Bay, SA (@GordonsBaySA) November 7, 2017 Four homes destroyed by #SirLowrysPassFire, says @CityofCT. Fire ranges from N2 to Streenbras mouth. No injuries. Fire fanned by strong wind pic.twitter.com/KM2hCw3yfr — Cape Argus (@TheCapeArgus) November...

  • Watch: Trump demonstrates the most efficient way of feeding koi

    It's not often that a wordless tweet goes viral, but when it involves Donald Trump, Japanese President Shinzo Abe and a koi pond, anything is seemingly possible. The tweet, or more importantly the picture within said tweet, depicted the US President at a koi feeding ceremony during his current visit to Japan. Sources suggest that he lost patience with delicately spooning the food into the pond below, and instead, dumped the remainder haphazardly into the pool below. pic.twitter.com/6u28ZYAJd9 — Alex Pfeiffer (@PfeifferDC) November 6, 2017 US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Abe both look puzzled, while a woman standing ahead of Tillerson tries...

  • WhatsApp down worldwide

    Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp experienced a brief outage Friday morning. Users, voicing concerns on Facebook and Twitter, were reportedly unable to send or receive messages. According to DownDetector, central Europe, Indonesia, the west coast of India and China were most vocal regarding the outage, which also affected South Africa. When twitter confirms #WhatsApp is down 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/ppI1gGkXMs — Jack Marian (@JackMarian2) November 3, 2017 It's not known what caused the outage. The latest issue also comes after May 2017's global WhatsApp blackout, which struck in the early hours of the morning. The service is reportedly returning to normal for some. This is a developing story... Feature image: Memeburn

  • #ZumaQandA: DA walks out of Parliament after verbal scuffle

    South Africa may have expected a relatively smooth question and answer session between President Jacob Zuma and the rest of Parliament today, after the EFF's absence from the House. But, nope. The Q&A session, conducted Thursday afternoon, required the president to answer a number of questions posed by member of the House, including rising poverty, the appointment of a SAPS national commissioner, and climate change. President Jacob #Zuma is at the National Assembly to field oral questions. #ZumaQandA Questions to the President: pic.twitter.com/WkmOaZU5Cd — SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) November 2, 2017 But DA leader Mmusi Maimane had another question in mind. Posing a query regarding...

  • WhatsApp Status, Instagram Stories both top 300m users

    On the back of its quarterly financial statement and clarification of its user numbers, Facebook this week announced the figures behind its two other flagship social products: Instagram and WhatsApp. Both services, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed, will be at the forefront of the company's drive in the video sharing space. And it's clear that users are gravitating towards both. In an earnings call to investors on Wednesday, Zuckerberg revealed that both Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status -- two Snapchat clones in their own right -- topped 300-million users each. Yes. Each. Both Stories and Status boasted 250-million users in Q2 2017. That's...

  • Facebook has more duplicate accounts than Snapchat has users

    Facebook's userbase is a curious number. Not only is it the largest of any social network on the planet at 2.07-billion users per month, it also has more duplicate accounts than Snapchat has users. The company's earning report, released Wednesday, announced a spike of over 60-million users in Q3 2017. Daily active users are also up, now tipping the 1.4-billion mark. But lurking within these numbers are some 207-million duplicate accounts. "This quarter, we implemented a new methodology to help identify duplicate accounts," noted CFO David Wehner in an earnings call. "As a result, we increased our estimates for duplicate accounts to approximately...

  • Cape Town dams at 38.5%, desalination timeline remains unclear

    Last week, Cape Town welcomed a weak cold front that brought some 30mm of rain in some areas of the city. But this hasn't done much to bolster dam storage according to the City's latest report. Total storage in the six major dams supplying Cape Town is down by 0.1% to 38.5% (pdf). That's a loss of around 519-million litres -- slightly less than the average day's consumption in the city. Cape Town's dam levels Leading the decrease was everyone's favourite underperforming dam -- the Theewaterskloof. The largest reservoir in the Western Cape again struggled to hold its level, dropping from 27.8% last...

  • Uber Driver app adds ‘no thanks’ button, rating protection & more

    Uber has been in the news a fair bit recently, from protests involving metered taxis to UberEATS finally launched in Durban. But the company's latest set of tweaks is aimed at improving operations for drivers. It today announced a number of features heading to the Uber Driver app, which the company claims will "make it even easier for driver-partners across South Africa to choose when, where, and how they drive". "Over the last few months, we’ve spent a lot of time listening to and engaging with over 12 000 driver-partners across South Africa, hearing what they care about when using the...

  • You can soon ‘unsend’ embarrassing, erroneous messages on WhatsApp

    WhatsApp is finally rolling out a feature that will let users to retract and delete messages they've already sent. Although it doesn't seem to be live worldwide just yet, a brief tutorial is available on WhatsApp's FAQ. "Deleting messages for everyone allows you to delete specific messages you have sent to either a group or an individual chat. This is particularly useful if you sent a message to the wrong chat or if the message you sent contains a mistake," it reads. Yes. That means you can now delete an erroneous, embarrassing or awkward message from your device and the recipient's device. Here's...