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All posts by Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat.
  • Google to announce merchant support on SA Play Store? [Update: yes]

    Update: It didn't take place on Monday, but Google nevertheless announced support on Thursday, issuing a press release. "Starting today, developers in South Africa can sell paid applications, in-app products, and subscriptions in Google Play, with monthly payouts to their local bank accounts," read an excerpt of the release. Original article: The Google Play Store might be popular in South Africa, but it's lacking one major feature in the form of merchant support for local developers. The lack of merchant account support means South African developers can't publish paid apps directly onto the Play Store. But that could change as soon as...

  • 10 things we learnt at #GoogleAfrica10

    It seems like Google has been around forever, but the company actually marked its tenth anniversary of opening an African office last week. The firm held the #GoogleAfrica10 event in Johannesburg to celebrate, while we also used the opportunity to interview country manager Luke Mckend. Here are a few details we managed to glean from it all. We have 170 new places on Street View in SA Today sees Google launching 170 new SA places on Street View, says Mich Atagana. #GoogleAfrica10 pic.twitter.com/HYQcfqQsjJ — memeburn (@memeburn) November 2, 2017 The company used #GoogleAfrica10 to announce that it's added 170 new places to Street View in South...

  • Use genre codes to access oddly specific genres on Netflix

    From original TV shows to blockbuster movies, Netflix has a solid variety of content. But what if you're looking for something more specific? Sure, you can drill down by categories or use the search functionality... Or if you're feeling adventurous, you can try the old genre code trick. Not following me? Well, every Netflix genre page ends in a sequence of numbers. So the URL for the comedy section ends in "6548" (www.netflix.com/browse/genre/6548). But what if you fancy critically acclaimed violent independent crime movies? Then change the four digits to "8121" (thus giving you the following URL: www.netflix.com/browse/genre/8121). On the hunt for Japanese sci-fi and...

  • Infographic shows North Korea’s scary nuclear capabilities

    North Korea's ballistic missile programme has stepped up in a big way under leader Kim Jong-un, as tensions between it and the United States continue to boil. It would be foolish to suggest the hermit kingdom has an arsenal equal to the USA and Russia, but it would be equally foolish to dismiss their capabilities. Now, we've come across a rather fascinating infographic by ABC, showing us what it could (and can) be capable of. North Korea's short-range ballistic missiles are its most reliable category, capable of targeting all of South Korea and Osaka, Japan, for starters (as seen in the featured...

  • Got a cheap phone? Google now brings faster search to Africa

    Between the AMP project and data-saving features in Chrome, Google is providing a few solid solutions to data and speed constraints. Now, the search colossus announced the local availability of yet another solution in this regard. It announced that a faster Google Search experience is now available for most of the continent. It explains that nearly 40% of Android device owners on the continent could have a "slow or delayed" connection due to using devices with low RAM. So what does the solution entail, then? "Now for most of Africa, when you search on Google with a low RAM device via the Google...

  • 10 things we learnt at Netflix South Africa event

    Netflix has been available in South Africa since January 2016, as part of a wider expansion on the part of the service. So we were pleasantly surprised when the company's EMEA executives decided to fly down for a local media roundtable event, signalling the start of a bigger push. So what did we learn at the event then? From South African content to most popular shows in the market, here's what we found out. South Africa's library has apparently tripled When Netflix launched locally back in 2016, it had a sparse library, to be fair. But Yenia Zaba, the firm's manager for European...

  • Netflix announces pricing in rand for South Africa [Update]

    Update, 18 October 2017: Netflix has since clarified the pricing in an interview with Memeburn, saying that they are indeed transitioning to local currency. "We're working on it. It should come... hopefully very shortly," the company's Yann Lafargue said. "With Kwese... we have it in rands..." But are the below prices accurate then? We posed this to the representative during a separate roundtable discussion. "I don't know, we have to check." Original article: Streaming colossus Netflix has quietly confirmed pricing in South African rand for its offering. The company traditionally offers three subscription tiers, in the form of a US$7.99 tier, US$9.99 category and...

  • 5 great space apps you should grab right now

    One of my favourite early Android experiences was using Google Sky Map for the first time, being a revelation for stargazers. Since those heady days, we've seen a variety of space-based apps being released on mobile devices. So we picked a few worth downloading. Google Sky Map (free - Android) Let's start with the original augmented reality app in many ways, Google Sky Map overlays a map of celestial objects on your phone. The app also relies on your phone's gyroscope and other sensors, so it'll accurately show you stars, planets and other objects, depending on where you're pointing your phone camera. Sky Map...

  • Netflix in South Africa: fastest ISPs revealed for September [Update]

    Netflix launched in South Africa more than a year ago, officially supporting the region with TV shows and movies. But the streaming service has also recently added South Africa to its monthly ISP Speed Index. Now, for the month of September, the service has revealed its top ten ISPs in the country. Fibre-based ISP CoolIdeas was in the top spot, at 3.80Mbps, followed by Vodacom and Vox Telecom (3.19Mbps each). MTN and Cell C rounded out the top five, at 3.18Mbps and 3.08Mbps respectively. Check out the full rundown below. "The Netflix ISP Speed Index lists the average prime time bitrate for...

  • Microsoft Edge hits Android, iOS because people asked for it (lol)

    Microsoft Edge represents a big improvement over the much-maligned Internet Explorer, but it's still a long way from threatening the likes of Chrome and Firefox (both critically and commercially). So colour us surprised to hear that Microsoft is bringing Edge to Android and iOS. And they're apparently not just doing it to test the waters, but because people wanted it. "One of the most common requests we hear from people who use Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 PCs is 'we want our browser experience to move to our phones'. You spoke, we listened," read an excerpt from an official blog post. As for...

  • Vumatel explains planned R89/month fibre internet in Alexandra

    Fibre provider Vumatel made headlines in local tech publications last week when it revealed plans to deliver 100Mbps fibre internet to residents of Alexandra for just R89 a month. The move elicited skepticism from some, especially when you consider that fibre internet in wealthier suburbs has a much higher price. Vumatel marketing head Kirsten Eddey told Memeburn that it indeed started at R89 a month for "up to 100Mbps". So how did the provider come up with the concept? "With the recent surge in 'data must fall' conversations, we decided to look at how we could contribute to the movement. We realised...

  • Here’s how municipalities should do free WiFi – Project Isizwe

    Project Isizwe's Tshwane Free WiFi Project is probably the standout free WiFi initiative in the country today. Featuring relatively generous data caps and loads of zero-rated content, there's no doubt that it's been a game-changer for many citizens. We've also seen the Western Cape Free WiFi project and a few other similar initiatives pop up. But other regions in South Africa have been a little slow to get the ball rolling. Now, Project Isizwe has published a blog post by CEO Dudu Mkhwanazi, comprehensively outlining ways that municipalities can create sustainable free WiFi projects. "The critical importance of connecting citizens both now...

  • Hubble delivers hints of water in Earth-like TRAPPIST-1 system

    Earlier this year, NASA announced the discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star, called TRAPPIST-1. The find meant that TRAPPIST-1 was among the star systems with the largest number of Earth-sized planets. Now, an international team has used the Hubble space telescope to estimate the chances of water on the planets -- and the results are encouraging. "The results suggest that the outer planets of the system might still harbour substantial amounts of water. This includes the three planets within the habitable zone of the star, lending further weight to the possibility that they may indeed be habitable," read a...

  • Behind Digital All-Stars: interviewing our blockchain, cryptocurrency picks

    Our blockchain and cryptocurrency-themed Digital All-Stars piece went live some time back, as we chose several South Africans who are making a name for themselves in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. How did they become interested in the scene though? What about their business interests? From the Bitcoin Foundation's Llew Claasen to The Sun Exchange's Abraham Cambridge, we interview some of our more prominent Digital All-Stars picks. Michael Deon The brainchild of Michael Deon (left) and Kyle Haffenden (right), Augmentors garnered attention after being backed via the Shark Tank TV show. The game, a turn-based creature battling title, stands out thanks to its use of...

  • Whoppercoin: Burger King launches its own cryptocurrency

    Ever wanted to eat fast food and invest in cryptocurrency at one place? No? What's wrong with you? Anyway, Burger King has announced the formation of a new cryptocurrency in Russia, dubbed Whoppercoin. Based on the Waves platform, Whoppercoin "will be used to reward customers for their purchases, and can be used to buy burgers in return when enough have been accrued", read an excerpt on the Waves Community website. It seems like just another rewards system at first glance. One billion Whoppercoins have been issued, with consumers receiving one for every rouble spent. Want a Whopper burger? It'll set you...