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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.
  • 2017’s best news bloopers in one compilation

    News bloopers are ideal fodder for YouTube, aren't they? Between the famous grape stomping lady and Nhlanhla Nene's dodgy chair, there have been plenty of memorable bloopers over the years. So what stood out in 2017? News Be Funny has the answer in the form of a 15-minute compilation, covering all the major flubs of the year. Check it out below.

  • Netflix now supports HDR on Windows 10, but not so fast…

    Netflix has supported HDR videos for a while, as long as you've got a compatible TV, streaming device or (lately) smartphone. But PC users have been left in the lurch up until now. Fortunately, the streaming firm has decided to bring HDR videos to Windows 10 this week, albeit with a few hardware and software requirements. Hardware specs In the hardware department, you'll need a seventh generation or higher Intel Core series CPU (i3, i5, or i7 7xxx or 7Yxx). Those using the integrated GPU will also need version 4708 of the graphics drivers or better. Got a dedicated graphics card? Then you...

  • Still using BBM? You can now request an Uber via platform

    BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has seen far better days in emerging markets, as WhatsApp usurps it as the favoured instant messaging platform. That hasn't stopped a major announcement this week, as BBM operator Creative Media Works announces that you can now request an Uber via the IM service. The move will let BBM users on Android and iOS book Uber trips via the IM app's Discover tab, an emailed press statement reads. The partnership sees BBM harness the m.uber.com portal to book rides. "When launched from the Discover menu, the new Uber service asks riders to sign in with their mobile number or...

  • Google Maps Go is the latest lightweight Android app

    We've seen quite a few lightweight versions of popular apps this year and now, it's time for Google Maps to join the party, in the form of Google Maps Go. Spotted on r/android, Google Maps Go is meant to be a more data-efficient, resource-friendly take on the standard Google Maps experience. "Designed to run smoothly on devices with limited memory and on unreliable networks without compromising speed to provide your location, real-time traffic updates, directions, and train, bus, and city transit information," reads an excerpt from the Play Store listing. As for actual features, expect the usual real-time traffic information, point of...

  • RCS: introducing the successor to SMS

    It's been in the pipeline for a few years now, but RCS (Rich Communication Services) is slowly making its way around the world, being billed as the successor of sorts to SMS. But how exactly is the service better than traditional SMS? What do you need to take advantage of the service? We got some answers from David O'Byrne, RCS lead at the GSMA, the organisation at the helm of the standard. For starters, O'Byrne outlines the platform's capabilities. Effectively the draw card is that RCS hopes to be as seamless as placing a call or creating an SMS -- no extra apps needed....

  • Interstellar object seen in solar system for first time

    Astronomers around the world have rushed to observe the first confirmed interstellar object in our solar system, taking the form of a cigar-shaped asteroid. The object, dubbed 'Oumuamua (Hawaiian for "messenger from afar, arriving first"), measures up to 400 metres long and could be up to ten times longer than it is wide, NASA wrote on its website. "That aspect ratio is greater than that of any asteroid or comet observed in our solar system to date. While its elongated shape is quite surprising, and unlike asteroids seen in our solar system, it may provide new clues into how other solar systems...

  • 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...