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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Snapchat-inspired Stickers coming to Twitter photos

    Between longer videos, Twitter Engage and targeted advertising for emojis, Twitter has been very busy over the past few weeks. Now, the company has unveiled another new feature in the form of Stickers. Twitter's implementation of Stickers lets you simply place one of hundreds of stickers onto your photo, being a "fun new way to add creativity" to your pictures, the service said. "Soon, you can browse our rotating sets of stickers to join in on real-time conversations, and select from the library of hundreds of accessories, emoji, and props to make your photos more fun. Use them to share what you’re doing or...

  • South African students win supercomputing competition in Germany

    Six South African students have won a major supercomputing competition in Germany this week, beating 11 other teams to claim top honours. The team was made up of four Wits students and two Stellenbosch University students, Wits University said in an emailed statement. The six students are Craig Bester, Sabeehah Ismail, Andries Bingani, Avi Bank, Ashley Naúde and Leanne Johnson. "The South African team is the only team that enters a brand new team each year. This is done to give as many students as possible exposure to the international HPC community," the CHPC said in a statement. The team, put together by the Centre for...

  • Smile Vector bot adds creepy grins, frowns to Twitter celebs

    Neural networks to manipulate photos are all the rage these days, such as Google's Deep Dream initiative. While Google's effort creates trippy art out of your images, the latest neural network-enabled project is rather silly. Twitter bot Smile Vector was created to merely add or remove smiles to photos, using a neural network for help. Created by lecturer Tom White, the bot uses a "generative neural net" to smartly edit photos it finds in the wild, posting the end-result in the form of a video. The results have been refined over time as the neural network receives more data, but it's still rather creepy. Some celebs given digital plastic surgery...

  • Acting SABC CEO Jimi Matthews announces resignation on Twitter

    Acting SABC CEO Jimi Matthews has taken to Twitter to publicly announce his resignation, uploading the letter in question as well. Matthews posted the resignation letter to Twitter, along with a brief message saying "I have quit the SABC". In the letter, directed to the chair of the broadcasting corportation's board, Matthews said it was with "great sadness" that he has to tender his resignation. "For many months I have compromised the values that I hold dear under the mistaken belief that I could be more effective inside the SABC than outside, passing comment from the side-lines," he elaborated. "In the process, the prevailing...

  • Confirmed: Tencent acquires majority stake in Supercell

    Tencent has acquired a majority stake in Supercell, creator of the popular Clash of Clans mobile title, in a deal valuing the studio at US$10.2-billion. The deal will see Tencent acquire up to 84% of the company, a press release stated. "Following the transaction, Supercell will be owned by the consortium (led by Tencent) and by Supercell's employees," it added. "Every employee will take part in a new long-term incentive plan, and will be able to sell their vested shares annually to Tencent." The agreement will also see Supercell continuing to operate independently, retaining their Helsinki headquarters and existing team. The deal is expected...

  • I had fuck-you money and didn’t care – Minecraft creator

    Marcus 'Notch' Persson has been in hot water recently over various comments made on Twitter. Last month, the Minecraft creator took umbrage (to say the least) with the term "mansplaining" and called a fellow user the C-word. Now, in a Reddit post titled "what's up with Notch on Twitter?", Persson himself popped up to give a quick rundown. "Once I realised I had fuck-you money and didn't care about my public image any more because it didn't affect my day to day life in any way, I started speaking out against things I personally thing (sic) are wrong," Persson wrote. Notch said that people privately thanked him but told...

  • Scared policemen, Irish songbirds and virtual coasters: this week’s must-watch viral videos

    Welcome to a new feature at Memeburn, where we take a look at videos worth watching this past week. Whether they're viral, funny, amazing or just plain interesting, we've got you covered. As for our first week's favourites? Well, a South African cop's reaction to a snake, and a VR-enabled rollercoaster are just two picks worth watching -- scroll down for all of them. A police officer lets out a huge scream when he discovers what the dog found... Irish football fans softly sing lullabies to a baby on the train. What happens when you combine rollercoasters and VR? Arguably the fastest F1 pit stop in history...

  • Spotted: Mark Zuckerberg covers up MacBook webcam with tape?

    Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know that the US government has sophisticated ways of spying on people through their gadgets. We also know that Facebook is no stranger to veering on the wrong side of the privacy line. So when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a photo to celebrate Instagram's 500 million user milestone, people were rather surprised to see what was done to a nearby MacBook... In case you can't make it out, the MacBook's web camera is taped up, as Twitter user Chris Olson first pointed out. 3 things about this photo of Zuck: Camera covered with tape Mic jack covered with tape Email client is...

  • High IQ equals low piracy rate, study finds, but SA bucks trend

    A new study has found "strong support" that a high national IQ often results in low piracy rates. The study, titled 'Intelligence and Crime: A novel evidence for software piracy', used IQ and piracy data from 2011 for 102 countries. So what did the researchers find? "Our findings offer strong support for the assertion that intelligence is inversely related to the software piracy rates," read an excerpt of the paper. "After controlling for the potential effect of outlier nations in the sample, software piracy rate declines by about 5.3 percentage points if national IQ increases by 10 points." Who are these "outlier" nations though?...

  • Instagram reaches 500m user milestone, posts celebratory video

    Instagram has just crossed the 500-million user mark, with 300-million people using the platform daily, the Facebook-owned service announced. "Our community also continues to become even more global, with more than 80 percent living outside of the United States," Instagram said in a blog post. "Thank you for your creativity, your openness and your passion for sharing your worlds with one another. We can't wait to see what you create next." Instagram hit the 400-million mark in September 2015, crossed 300-million users in December 2014 and hit 200-million users in March 2014. Today, we’re excited to announce our community has grown to more than...

  • Huawei P9, P9 Lite to double SA marketshare?

    Huawei has revealed some interesting numbers for its P9 and P9 Plus, announcing that the phones have sold 2.6-million units globally in its first six weeks. The Chinese manufacturer said this equated to a 130% increase over the P8 for the same period of time. The company added that its global marketshare was sitting at 8.5%, "supported by aggressive growth in the South African market". Charlene Munilal, the general manager for Huawei's Consumer Business Group in South Africa, said that sales of both the flagship and P9 Lite were ahead of expectations. Read more: Huawei P9 trio launched in SA, but more devices to come? "P9...

  • African VOD landscape heats up as TRACE buys Buni.tv

    Local content is a big plus for many video platforms, with pan-African video-on-demand (VOD) service Buni.tv being one of the more notable offerings on the continent. Now, as it prepares for the launch of its own video platform later this year, French broadcaster TRACE TV has announced that it acquired Buni.tv. Buni.tv was launched in 2012 and stands out as one of the three largest VOD platforms in Africa, along with Iroko TV and ShowMax, TRACE claimed in a press statement. "TRACE and Buni.tv share the same strategic vision in that we believe that VOD is the future of television," said TRACE CEO Olivier Laouchez. "We...

  • #TshwaneUnrest: Twitter users react to violent protests

    The unrest in Tshwane has quickly become the number one Twitter topic in South Africa, as citizens and journalists alike report on the ongoing violent protests. The protests took place shortly after Thoko Didiza was announced as the ANC's mayoral candidate for Tshwane. Political leaders/groups lead the charge against the unrest. We condemn in the strongest terms the outbreak of violence and destruction of property which has occurred during #TshwaneUnrest — South African Gov (@GovernmentZA) June 21, 2016 Perpetrators of the #TshwaneUnrest will face the full might of the law. — South African Gov (@GovernmentZA) June 21, 2016 #Duarte: ANC has noted & is deeply disturbed by...

  • Father’s Day sees a spike in ‘daddy’ searches, Pornhub finds

    Where there's a need for adult entertainment, Pornhub is there to virtually deliver it. And where there's a need for some fascinating insights, the company's Insights blog delivers it as well. And for Father's Day 2016, Pornhub Insights shed light on viewer habits for last year's Father's Day. Interestingly enough, the adult network found that searches for "dad" or "daddy" spiked by an impressive 1361%. What were the most popular dad-related searches though? "The most popular search is 'step dad and daughter', followed by simply 'daddy'. We also found confirmation that 'dad bod' is indeed sexy, along with 'black daddy', 'big daddy' and 'hairy daddy'. Even 'DILF'...

  • 10 incredibly cool Google Chrome keyboard shortcuts you should know

    There are more people using a touchscreen to surf the web than those using a traditional keyboard and mouse setup. But that doesn't mean that the older combination is useless -- far from it. For one, here are some cool shortcuts for Google Chrome that will improve your desktop browsing experience with a keyboard and mouse. 1. Quickly go Incognito with Ctrl+Shift+N Need to "buy some gifts online" and don't want the next computer user to see? Well, you could either right-click on the Google Chrome taskbar shortcut and choose "new incognito window" or you can use the aforementioned keyboard shortcut. Don't have anything...