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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Rosetta space probe spots Philae lander on comet

    November 2014 saw the Rosetta space probe orbiting a comet, dubbed Comet 67P Churmukov Gerasimenko, then dropping a tiny lander on it in a landmark moment. The lander, dubbed Philae, endured a tough landing, bouncing several times before finally coming to rest on the celestial object. Now, Rosetta has managed to snap another image of the comet and, if you look very closely in the shadow on the right-hand side, you'll find the Philae lander resting on it. Still don't see it? The European Space Agency (ESA) zoomed in on the snap... "The images were taken on 2 September by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera as the...

  • Instagram, LinkedIn strong performers in SA – survey

    Instagram and LinkedIn are showing strong growth in South Africa, despite claims of "social media fatigue" by some, a new survey has revealed. The Social Media Landscape 2017 Survey has revealed some interesting preliminary insights ahead of its full reveal later this month, starting with Instagram. The Facebook-owned platform "Instagram has experienced a massive increase in SA users, although not quite in the triple digits like the year before," said Ornico research consultant Michal Wronski. The survey suggested that the network was growing up as well. "The top 25 most followed people are similar to the year before, indicating a maturing of the network as audiences have consolidated." LinkedIn taking the...

  • First Apollo computer discovered by South African

    The first Apollo computer has been tracked down and "unboxed" by a South African computer engineer. According to Gadget.co.za, Tshwane computer engineer Francois Rautenbach managed to track down the first Guidance and Navigation Control computer, used for a test flight of the Saturn 1B rocket in 1966. Gadget reported that this was the same computer model used on Apollo 11. "On 25th August 1966, a very special computer was launched into space onboard (sic) Apollo flight AS-202," reads the intro for the first video. "This was the first computer to use integrated circuits and the first release of the computer that took the astronauts...

  • It’s not just SpaceX: 6 more crazy rocket explosions

    The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket "anomaly" isn't the first time we've seen a rocket explosion. Be it on the launchpad or in flight, these incidents have happened before. From China to the USA, we looked at six prominent examples of RUD involving rockets over the years. China's Long March explosion One of the most controversial space incidents, a Chinese Long March rocket veered off-course during a 1996 launch, crashing into a village in the process. The 2014 Antares explosion Orbital ATK's Antares rocket and Cygnus capsule exploded less than 30 seconds after launch in October 2014. Russia's catastrophic Proton rocket failure in 2013 The July 2013 failure of a Proton rocket a...

  • Say goodbye to outdated, abandoned App Store apps

    Apple has quietly announced plans to remove certain apps from its App Store. The company issued new guidelines on its developer section this week, revealing that it will pull apps that don't meet requirements. "To make it easier for customers to find great apps that fit their needs, we want to ensure that apps available on the App Store are functional and up-to-date," the company explained. "We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated." The Cupertino company said that the new process will begin on 7...

  • Mysterious SETI signal probably came from Earth

    The quest to find extraterrestrial life was given a short-lived boost this week when the SETI Institute (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) announced the discovery of an interesting signal. According to the institute, Russian astronomers operating the RATAN-600 radio telescope detected a radio signal from a star system 94 light years away. The system, called HD164595, is a few billion years older than our own, but has a star of comparable brightness and size, the institute explained. And there is indeed at least one planet orbiting the star. "This system is known to have one planet, a Neptune-sized world in a very tight orbit, making...

  • European Commission finds Apple guilty of tax evasion

    The European Commission this week has found Apple guilty of receiving undue tax benefits from Ireland worth up to €13-billion. "Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies -- this is illegal under EU state aid rules. The Commission's investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years. In fact, this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014," ruled Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. It was now up...

  • NASA’s Juno space probe kisses Jupiter’s atmosphere

    NASA's Juno space craft has succeeded in making the first of 36 orbital flybys of Jupiter. The first flyby, which is also the closest Juno will come to Jupiter, took place on Saturday -- the probe passed by at an altitude of just 4200km. "Early post-flyby telemetry indicates that everything worked as planned and Juno is firing on all cylinders," said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, according to the space agency. The flyby marked the first time that the probe had all its scientific instruments enabled. NASA's Juno is in an orbit nobody has ever been in before The probe's JunoCam also took...

  • NASA’s Juno to conduct closest ever pass of Jupiter

    NASA's Juno space probe has only recently gone into orbit around Jupiter, but the space agency is preparing for a major milestone this weekend. The probe will make its closest scheduled pass of Jupiter at 5.51am PDT on Saturday (2.51pm SAST), being just 4200km above the gas giant. "There are 35 more close flybys of Jupiter scheduled during its prime mission (scheduled to end in February of 2018). The August 27 flyby will be the first time Juno will have its entire suite of science instruments activated and looking at the giant planet as the spacecraft zooms past," the space agency explained. This...

  • Apple reportedly working on a Snapchat clone

    We've already seen Instagram copy Snapchat by implementing Instagram Stories (a take on Snapchat Stories), while Line's developer released a Snapchat-like platform of its own. The next company to get on the ephemeral photo/video bandwagon? Well, it could be Apple... According to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, the Cupertino company is working on a video sharing and editing application for its iOS devices. Bloomberg adds that the new app will let users record video clips and add drawings and filters to them -- sound familiar? From here, they can either be sent to contacts or to your timeline on existing social media platforms. Apple's Snapchat clone will...

  • ShowMax continues data crusade with new ‘bandwidth calculator’

    Say what you want to about the ShowMax library but the company is absolutely killing it when it comes to data-saving features. With the ability to download content for offline viewing, the service is doing a great job of catering to bandwidth-starved users. Now, the Naspers-owned streaming service has announced the launch of a bandwidth calculator (accessible here), allowing users to figure out just how much data they need on a weekly and monthly basis. "Simply choose the required video quality/bandwidth capping level and the number of hours watched per week, and the calculator gives an estimate of weekly and monthly data usage," ShowMax explained in...

  • Quirk’s Justin Spratt set to join Uber in key role

    Prominent marketing executive Justin Spratt will join Uber from 1 September, TechCentral has reported. Spratt will reportedly lead business development for sub-Saharan Africa and will be based in Johannesburg. The executive told TechCentral that he would be reporting to Alon Lits, Uber's general manager for sub-Saharan Africa. Justin Spratt, once of Quirk, will join Uber in a business development role for sub-Saharan Africa Spratt joins the smart cab service from a prominent role at digital agency Quirk, where he most recently served as chief growth officer. He had previously served as managing director of Quirk Africa. Read more: Businesses can now arrange Uber rides with UberCentral The...

  • South Africa’s CLEVVA is making AI-powered virtual advisors a thing

    Artificial intelligence is impressing us more everyday, as the technology demonstrates amazing learning capabilities and flexibility. It's not just the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft working on AI though, as South African firm CLEVVA has a rather innovative application for the technology. The company, founded in 2011, has crafted virtual advisors, powered by AI and used in sales fields (among others) to train and guide sales representatives. Just how does this service work? Could the average SME easily get to grips with it? What will future of AI look like? Will it take our jobs? We interviewed CLEVVA CEO Ryan Falkenberg... A 'GPS'...

  • Telkom ‘sabotage’: Over 13 000 customers affected

    Telkom has revealed more details on what it calls wide-scale sabotage of its network, saying that 13 200 customers were affected by the outages. On Friday, Telkom announced a R500 000 reward for information related to "a series of acts of sabotage" across its network. At the time, it said that facilities in Midrand, Silverton, Pretoria West, Pinetown, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Makhado and Messina were all affected. Related: Telkom offering R500k reward after countrywide ‘senseless sabotage’ The network has issued an update on the matter, revealing the scale of damage and repairs. "A total of 85 street distribution cabinets (SDCs) have been damaged in...

  • Arrival trailer and fashionable chickens: 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. Looking for some entertaining videos? We've scoured the internet for this week's stand-out clips -- check them out below. Personally, I enjoyed the Legend of Zelda clip as well as the trailer for sci-fi movie Arrival. That 360 swing gets a motor What happens if you add a motor to an already terrifying 360 swing? Bring fresh underwear if you have a fear of heights... A chicken wearing pants Why would a chicken...