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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Showmax celebrates 10 million views – what about user figures?

    The streaming video landscape has been heating up over the past year, as several services battle it out for supremacy in South Africa. Global king Netflix and SA's own Showmax are atop of the pile though, and now, the Naspers-backed service has revealed some interesting news. In a blog post early today, Showmax announced that it passed the ten million view mark. "Earlier this month, the cumulative number of TV shows and movies watched by ShowMax customers exceeded 10 million. In total, more than five million hours of content have been viewed, the equivalent of more than 500 years if played back-to-back," the...

  • T-Mobile giving free data for Pokemon Go, but is this a good thing?

    US mobile network T-Mobile has also decided to jump on the Pokemon bandwagon. The network has announced that from tomorrow 19 July, it'll be zero-rating Pokemon Go mobile data usage for a full year (until August 2017). This offer is available to both new and existing users, redeemable by downloading the T-Mobile Tuesdays app. The promotion will also see T-Mobile subscribers getting US$15 in Lyft credit and free Wendy's goodies to fuel their hunts. However, as good as it sounds, the promotion might be seen by some experts as a slap in the face to net neutrality. That is, having all...

  • MEERKAT discovers 1300 galaxies in one patch of sky [Image]

    South Africa's own MEERKAT radio telescope system has made headlines in the astronomy world thanks to its landmark First Light image. The radio telescope focused on a small section of sky that represented 0.01% of the "entire celestial sphere", the SKA team said in a media statement. Prior to MEERKAT, only 70 known galaxies were found in this area. The discovery is made even more notable due to the fact that only 16 of the eventual 64 dishes were used to make the discovery. All 64 dishes are expected to be online by the end of 2017. "Based on the results being shown...

  • Japan’s SoftBank to acquire chip designer ARM in $31bn deal

    Fresh off its spin-off of game developer Supercell, SoftBank Group (SBG) has announced plans to buy chip designer ARM Holdings for a gargantuan US$31-billion (R443-billion). ARM is responsible for the chip designs used in a variety of smartphones, as its designs are licensed out to the likes of Samsung, MediaTek, Qualcomm, LG, Sony and a host of other companies. In fact, Apple used to license out ARM's designs for its iPhones too, up until it launched a custom design for the iPhone 5. SoftBank's acquisition is set to be an all-cash deal, buying ARM's shares at a premium of 43%. The deal...

  • 11 Google Now voice commands worth remembering

    Voice assistants are all the rage now but, alongside Siri, Google Now has played a major role in the current trend of smart, voice-enabled apps. There are loads of commands, queries and questions you can pose Google's effort, but which ones are worth noting? We already know commands like texting/calling contacts, weather forecasts and trivia answers, but here are some more interesting ones. Find sports scores Google doesn't care about the sports I like (MMA, Formula 1), but did you know you can ask it about scores/results for more traditional fare? "Who won Euro 2016?" or "what's the score between England and Pakistan?" will serve up...

  • 10 examples of Pokemon Go going way too far on Twitter

    We're starting to get a little Drowzee tired of Pokemon Go news in the office this week, as people go to ridiculous lengths to play the game and make non-stop posts. Just how ridiculous can it get though? Well, Twitter users have done a good job capturing the world's obsession with the mobile title. So this Just happened... #PokemonGO pic.twitter.com/PWZRxXHtcv — Ismail Amen (@bigish41) July 14, 2016 The world in 2016 #PokemonGO pic.twitter.com/vEYMx0gpTA — Geoff D. ⭐ (@Geoffdx) July 13, 2016 Pokémon Go user playing while driving successfully catches a tree https://t.co/iFnyuzeGhN pic.twitter.com/TbjhubdCWy — Jalopnik (@Jalopnik) July 13, 2016 Ha! Just saw this over I-43 in Milwaukee. #PokemonGO...

  • More celestial goodness as Juno delivers landmark Jupiter snap

    NASA marked a rather huge milestone a few weeks ago when it's Juno probe successfully entered into orbit around Jupiter on 4 July. The probe also carries a tiny camera, for the main purpose of letting the public go for a "ride" to the Jovian system. Now, the first photo has been beamed back to Earth, showing the gas giant from orbit. The photo was taken six days after Juno's rendezvous, being roughly 4.3-million kilometres away from the planet, on the outbound leg of its initial orbit, NASA explained. The space agency added that better quality snaps were still a few weeks away, with the...

  • Get 4 Magnums (the ice cream) delivered via Uber for R100

    Just when you thought you were getting some respite from Uber promotions, the company has announced a partnership with Magnum. The partnership will see Uber customers able to order four Magnum ice creams for R100 via the smart cab service on Friday 15 July. The offer takes place between 11am and 3pm and is available to users in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban. How to take part It's by no means a local-only deal though, as the company confirmed that South Africa is one of 30 nations taking part in this promotion. Other participating countries include the UK, India, New Zealand,...

  • 6 takeaways from Dr Werner Vogels’ Amazon Summit keynote

    Amazon held its Amazon Web Service (AWS) Summit in Cape Town this week, aimed squarely at developers and enterprises looking to learn more about their cloud offerings. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be something to pique my interest, but the presence of Dr Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon and cloud pioneer, made for an interesting keynote. Amazon's cloud efforts have an SA link It might not come as news to some, but did you know that Amazon's EC2 cloud computing offering was actually developed in South Africa for the most part. An Amazon executive said that EC2 effectively started at "a small office in Constantia"...

  • What more can be done to deliver fibre connectivity across South Africa?

    It seems like we hear news of fibre developments every other week, as the likes of MTN, Vodacom, Vumatel and Telkom announce suburbs and projects. There's no denying that many projects take place in affluent suburbs, but even living in a well-off suburb isn't a guarantee of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity. What can be done to ensure that fibre connectivity reaches more areas though? We interviewed Dominic Cull, regulatory advisor for the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA), and asked for his thoughts on the matter. This is why fibre isn't available in more suburbs First of all, Cull outlined a host of reasons for fibre connectivity not being available...

  • South African travellers connect to unsecured WiFi at any cost – study

    A new study by Kaspersky has found that many South African travellers connect to unsecured WiFi networks in no time flat, shedding light on their reasons for doing so. The study saw 11 850 people around the world polled, but when focusing on local results, Kaspersky found that over half of all South Africans (55%) are already online when they leave the airport. Additionally, 81% of SA travellers hopped online to notify loved ones of their safe arrival, while 38% used the internet access to download travel information. "Pressure from work (42%) is also a strong factor, as is the desire to get up to...

  • Magic tricks gone wrong and awkward Jonah Hill: 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. We're looking at some of the more entertaining web videos again, featuring a ridiculously awkward and low-budget Jonah Hill commercial, CD players in space and a magic trick gone painfully wrong. Someone decided to kayak down dunes in Namibia. CD players do weird things in space. A Kruger tourist almost crashes into a baby elephant. A magic trick goes horribly wrong for this TV presenter (slightly NSFW). We've heard these tired business terms...

  • Get free WiFi access in South Africa by viewing ads first

    WiFi hotspots might be everywhere in South Africa, but actually accessing them is another story entirely. Aside from initiatives like Project Isizwe and the Western Cape Free WiFi Project, hotspot access is generally expensive or requires you to be a customer on a partner network. Now, a new project, dubbed view4mahala, claims to deliver "ad-funded free WiFi" access to South Africans. How does it work? Users are able to browse the internet via these hotspots, but are subjected to ads between page views and upon logging on to the hotspot, view4mahala operations director Sagie Naidu said. "Two full-screen ads come up upon login and lasts between two and...

  • First Vumatel fibre home goes live in Cape Town

    Fibre provider Vumatel has been on a roll in recent months, as it teamed up with Telkom and Standard Bank threw its weight behind the company. Now, the company has marked another milestone with its first home fibre connection in Cape Town going live, being situated in the Tamboerskloof area. "TBK Watch is very excited to be Vumatel's first community to get connected in Cape Town. We have been working together with Vumatel for the past six months to plan and get the community ready for the rollout, and now we are live. The rest of the community can't wait to get connected," said the TBK Watch group,...

  • AVG gets acquired for Avast amount of money (heh)

    Avast and AVG have long stood as two of the most prominent anti-virus firms on the market, having both been founded in the Czech Republic over two decades ago. Now, the two have announced that Avast is acquiring AVG in a deal worth US$1.3-billion. Avast will buy AVG's outstanding ordinary shares at US$25 a pop, representing a 33% premium over its 6 July closing price. "Avast is pursuing this acquisition to gain scale, technological depth and geographical breadth so that the new organisation can be in a position to take advantage of emerging growth opportunities in Internet Security as well as organisational...