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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • ICYMI: here are the Bookmarks finalists for 2017

    The IAB Bookmark Awards takes place on 16 March, but judges have recently narrowed down their shortlist to finalists. "We are thrilled with the response to the IAB Bookmark Awards this year. Each entry tells a unique story of how digital can be used to achieve relevant, lasting results in multiple sectors," said Josephine Buys, CEO of IAB SA, in a statement. "A greater breadth of judging categories has been introduced in 2017. This list reflects the shifting disciplines and technologies within the digital industry. We look forward to recognising the pioneering work in these fields," Buys added. The Bookmarks, in its ninth...

  • WhatsApp Status has landed in South Africa [Photos]

    True to co-founder Jan Koum's words, WhatsApp Status has landed on Friday (24 February), delivering Snapchat Stories-style functionality to the messaging platform. So what should you know then? Well, it's an overhaul of the text-based status feature ("I'm busy", "I'm at the gym" etc). The overhaul lets you post photos and videos as a general status update, much like Snapchat Stories. These updates all expire after 24 hours, again, like Snapchat's effort. It's worth noting though that WhatsApp does keep track of how many people viewed your update -- simply tap on the ellipsis next to "my status" to get a view-count...

  • NASA finds seven Earth-like exoplanets in one system

    In what is a landmark moment in the search for exoplanets and a possible future second home, NASA has announced the discovery of seven Earth-like exoplanets in one solar system. "Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water," NASA said on its website. The agency used the Spitzer space telescope to make the discovery, adding that it was the largest batch of habitable zone exoplanets it's ever found. "This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments,...

  • Here’s how to request TV shows, movies for Netflix [Update]

    Netflix is arguably the most popular subscription-based video streaming service around, owing to its substantial library and homegrown content. Not all locales are as well-stocked with content though, forcing many to use region-hopping services. But what if your desired content isn't on Netflix at all? You might not know this, but the streaming service actually has a page that lets you request movies and TV shows to be added to the platform. What happens after you've hit the "submit suggestion" button, then? "If you've already submitted a request for a title, you can sit back and relax -- we've received your feedback and there's...

  • WhatsApp Status: will it be a Snapchat clone?

    Who knew that WhatsApp originally started out as a way to leave status messages, so others knew what you were up to? Well, it looks like that feature is finally receiving an overhaul this week. "The original idea behind the project was to build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you're up to . This was months before we added messaging," said WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum in a blog post. Koum explained that the team had always wanted to updating and "evolving" the feature. Who knew that this evolution might be rather similar...

  • 15 must-have Android apps under 15MB [Tech Savvy SA]

    Tech Savvy SA is a series of articles on Gearburn and Memeburn that aim to deliver useful, locally relevant advice to the average South African. Mobile data isn't super cheap in South Africa, but that doesn't mean you should skimp out on quality app downloads though. We've sifted through the Google Play Store, delivering 15 useful Android apps that weigh in at 15MBs or under. Pocket Weighing in at roughly 12MBs, Pocket (formerly Read It later) is arguably the best solution of its kind on the Google Play Store. The app allows users to save articles for later reading, delivering offline reading functionality in the process....

  • Deloitte outlines its 7 big tech trends for 2017 and beyond

    What does 2017 and beyond hold for the technology sector? Well, according to Deloitte, you can expect "dark analytics" and "everything-as-a-service" to join the likes of Blockchain. The multinational firm listed the aforementioned trends as part of its Tech Trends 2017 report. So what should you know, then? Dark Analytics Starting with this term, Deloitte expects previously unstructured and unanalysed archives of data to be a hefty resource in the next 12 to 24 months. The company cites examples such as image, audio and video files, machine and sensor information from the Internet of Things and data from the deep web as some...

  • Thought #SONA2017 was bad? Watch these international political brawls

    Viewers across South Africa endured what is quickly becoming an annual (yet dramatic) farce in the form of last night's #SONA2017 State of the Nation Address. From a heavy security presence by the ruling party to the EFF's hectoring of President Jacob Zuma, things only went downhill from there. The low point of the night was marked by the EFF's removal from the chamber, making for shocking scenes on television. But, believe it or not, this sort of violence takes place around the world as well -- we look at a few notable videos. Also, be sure to find the bulk...

  • South Africa in last place for ‘digital civility’ – study

    A new study conducted by technology giant Microsoft, marking Safer Internet Day (7 February), found that South Africa was ranked last out of 14 countries for so-called digital civility. The study is part of a Microsoft challenge for people to embrace digital civility, or treating each other "with respect and dignity online". Microsoft conducted the study last year in order to gauge the degree of civility across online interactions. So what did it find? "South Africa ranked in 14th place in the Digital Civility Index, making it the country with the highest online risk exposure and lowest degree of digital civility out of...

  • 20 SA game development personalities to follow 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. You wouldn't think this was the case as an outsider, but South Africa has a vibrant game development community. Between high-profile releases, experimental fare and everything in between, South Africa's game developers are a force to be reckoned with. But just who are the standout people you should follow on Twitter? We gathered a few notable personalities/developers you...

  • Snapchat IPO: 6 more things you should know

    Snap Inc's IPO filing was made public overnight, revealing a variety of details surrounding Snapchat's operations. For one, we know that the firm hasn't made a profit in 2015 and 2016 (although it's quickly catching up), then there's the claim of 158 million daily active users. But what else do the documents tell us? Yes, Snapchat's prioritising iOS Many Android users have long held that Snapchat didn't pay enough attention to the Google platform -- something the company admitted in the filing. "The majority of our user engagement is on smartphones with iOS operating systems. As a result, although our products work with...

  • Snapchat IPO: the key figures revealed

    Snap Inc. filed a confidential initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission last year, leaving many to wonder about the details. But now, the house of Snapchat has raised the curtain on aspects of the deal. The IPO could value the company at up to US$25-billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. "Snap Inc. is a camera company. We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate," read an excerpt of founder Evan Spiegel's letter in the filing. "Our products empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about...

  • Zenimax wins $500m in Oculus VR verdict

    A Dallas jury has awarded US$500-million to Zenimax Media after it took legal action against Facebook-owned Oculus. The gaming publisher claimed that it was responsible for the key technology used in the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The case focused on former Zenimax employee and game development icon John Carmack, who joined Oculus in 2013. Carmack told the court that he took email records, including VR-related code, when he left, Bloomberg reported. The jury found against Zenimax's claims of trade secret theft. However, it ordered Oculus to pay US$200-million for a non-disclosure agreement violation, US$50-million for improper use of Zenimax trademarks and...

  • Apple sells 78m iPhones in quarter, record revenue in tow

    Apple didn't have the greatest fourth quarter results last year, but the new iPhone has done massive business for the brand. "The company posted all-time record quarterly revenue of $78.4-billion and all-time record quarterly earnings per diluted share of $3.36. These results compare to revenue of $75.9-billion and earnings per diluted share of $3.28 in the year-ago quarter," read an excerpt of the Q1 fiscal year earnings report. The firm added that 64% of their revenue came from international markets. "We're thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple's highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way....

  • Cassini beams back unprecedented views of Saturn’s rings

    NASA's venerable Cassini spacecraft is currently grazing Saturn's rings, beaming some astounding images back to Earth in the process. The images, published on NASA's website, effectively show twice the level of detail as previous imagery of the area. "The new images resolve details as small as 0.3 miles (550 metres), which is on the scale of Earth's tallest buildings," the agency added, giving you a sense of how close Cassini is to the gas giant. Saturn's outer B ring. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute "As the person who planned those initial orbit-insertion ring images -- which remained our most detailed...