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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.
  • 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...

  • Showmax finally gets Xbox One app, but what about PS4 version?

    At R99 a month, Showmax seems to offer plenty of bang for your buck, owing to its deals with big-name studios. However, those wanting to watch on their gaming console have been out of luck, until now. The Naspers-owned service announced that "as of today", the Xbox One version of the Showmax app is available to download. "The addition of the Xbox One app is the latest step in the continued development of Showmax," the company wrote in an emailed press statement. To grab the app, you'll need to visit the Store tab on the Xbox One, use the search field to...

  • Bare-metal servers provisioned in one hour, 24/7 [Sponsored]

    Uptime is crucial. Most online businesses don't keep office hours, so when you need a dedicated server for that important project, you can't afford to wait for business hours. Hetzner understands this need and we now supply standard builds of our powerful range of Self-Managed servers within an hour of the order being placed, 24/7/365. Custom orders take slightly longer. Automated provisioning Our automated provisioning process enables us to offer the power and security of a bare-metal server, provisioned with high performance server specs and installed with the OS of your choice (including Windows Server) delivered in under 60 minutes. To achieve this,...

  • Telkom LIT: zero-rated streaming on FreeMe packages

    Telkom has announced Telkom LIT (don't say "fam"), an initiative to zero-rate streaming services on selected FreeMe mobile data packages. The company confirmed that free music streaming on Google Play Music, Apple Music and Simfy Africa would apply to 2GB FreeMe packages and above. Want zero-rated video streaming too? Then you'll want a 5GB FreeMe package or better. Zero-rated video streaming applies to Showmax, Netflix, YouTube and Google Play. In case you forgot, Telkom's 2GB FreeMe deal costs R149, while the 5GB deal will set you back R299. Unfortunately, the 1GB FreeMe package isn't included in the zero-rated malarkey. Meanwhile, the network has...

  • Cassini takes deepest dip into Saturn before crashing

    NASA's Cassini space probe is less than a month away from crashing into Saturn as part of its Grand Finale, but this week will see the probe take its closest look at the ringed world yet. The Grand Finale portion of Cassini's mission started on 22 April and sees the probe complete 21 orbits around Saturn before plunging into the gas giant on the 22nd orbit (set for 15 September). Now, the space agency has confirmed that the probe has started its 20th orbit, set to be its lowest orbit before the final one. We’ve begun #GrandFinale orbit #20, which will include the deepest...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • To go with Rain’s LTE-A or not: a few questions to ask yourself

    A general rule of thumb is that fixed-line internet connections are more reliable than wireless connectivity. But here in South Africa, fixed-line connections are anything but a certainty. ADSL from Telkom isn't a guarantee, owing to widespread copper theft. And even though Telkom and several other players are deploying fibre across the country, these are often restricted to wealthier suburbs. So we're glad to see LTE-A actually rolling out across the country, courtesy of wholesale provider Rain and Internet Solutions. As a result of the network, quite a few ISPs have hopped on the bandwagon and started offering near-identical LTE-A packages,...

  • Rain and LTE-A congestion: here’s what you can expect…

    Rain's LTE-A network has made headlines in the local tech space lately, as ISPs offer wireless data packages via the service (in conjunction with Internet Solutions). With prices ranging from R549 a month for 55GB to R1599 for 330GB, it doesn't seem like a bad deal at all if you lack ADSL or fibre in your area. However, the one major concern with wireless networks is congestion -- and it's not without precedent. When Cell C launched its HSPA+ network back in 2010, the first few months were speedy, followed by big speed and reliability issues owing to over-subscribed towers. Then there's Telkom Mobile, which also...

  • 8+ portable apps you should keep on your flash drive

    Portable apps are one of the coolest things ever, allowing you to run PC apps off your flash drive without having to install them on the host PC. There are loads of supported apps out there, so we chose a few that you should slap on your flash drive. Google Chrome Maybe you're using a friend or loved one's PC. Maybe you're at an internet cafe. Maybe you're travelling and using a hotel computer. Either way, why use Edge or Internet Explorer when Chrome will do better? The portable app means that you can use Google's browser on another machine, complete with your...