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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • 5 everyday things that didn’t need a smart version [Native]

    The internet of things (IoT) promises all manner of connected devices, but there are some things that don't need to be connected to the internet or slapped with a chip. Yep, for every connected TV, printer, light bulb or refrigerator, there are gadgets or appliances that don't need to be smart in the first place. Here are a few noteworthy examples. Smart water pitcher Because even the simple act of consuming water needs to have the "smart" label attached to it. Yes, the Brita smart water pitcher exists. According to Engadget, the pitcher is equipped with WiFi and automatically orders more filters from...

  • These are the nominees for 2017 Google Play Awards

    The first Google Play Awards took place last year, highlighting a number of innovative and/or popular games and apps. So we're glad to see the event come back this year, with Google announcing its list of nominees this week. Who are the nominees then? Check out the full list below -- you might find a few gems. Standout Indie - Reigns, Kingdom: New Lands, Mars: Mars, Causality, Mushroom 11. Standout Startup - Hooked: Chat Stories, Discord: Chat for Gamers, Castbox: Free Podcast and Audio, Simple Habit Meditation. Best Android Wear - Lifesum: Healthy lifestyle app, Runtastic Running and Fitness, Foursquare City Guide, Bring!...

  • From 100m users to Adam Sandler love, here’s Netflix’s big numbers

    Netflix has seen some solid growth since its massive expansion, and now, the company is on track to pass the 100 million user mark in the second quarter of 2017. The streaming colossus saw its users jump from 81.5 million in Q1 2016 to 98.75 million in Q1 2017, its investor report showed. To be fair, the number includes both paid and non-paid users. "We expect to cross the 100 million member mark this weekend. It's a good start," the service added. It's also worth noting that the company's international user additions saw a notable year-on-year drop. "International net additions decreased 22% year over...

  • Naspers ploughs R960m into Takealot, becomes majority shareholder

    Naspers has invested R960-million in Takealot, the online retailer announced today. It's not the first time Naspers has conducted a major deal with the online retailer either, having merged its Kalahari online store with Takealot back in 2015. The deal saw Naspers gain a 46.5% interest in the combined retail powerhouse. In a joint statement on the latest deal, the duo wrote that SA's online retail sector still accounts for "less than 2% of the non-grocery retail market and less than 1% of the total retail market". It added that, as a result, there was a lot of potential for the sector. "We...

  • Telkom keeps S&P Global credit rating, but…

    Ratings agency S&P Global has maintained Telkom's BBB- credit rating, but has revised its outlook to negative in the wake of South Africa's political upheaval and subsequent credit rating downgrade. The decision means that Telkom's credit rating still sits at one grade above the so-called "junk" level. S&P said that South Africa's overall downgrade and potentially worsening economic conditions "implies increased risks" to Telkom. "We are therefore revising our outlook on Telkom SA to negative from stable and affirming our 'BBB-' long-term ratings on the company," the agency wrote. However, it's also explained its reasoning behind the outlook. "We limit the differential to...

  • EFC, Samsung team up to film 360 degree MMA fights

    Samsung and local mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation EFC have announced a technological partnership that will also see Gear 360 cameras being used to film events. "Samsung has signed a partnership with EFC as the official mobile phone, virtual reality and wearable technology partner of the EFC South Africa," the South Korean tech brand confirmed in a press statement. "We are really excited about this partnership with Samsung, a global leader and brand," said EFC president Cairo Howarth in the release. "The handsets, VR technology and Gear Fit devices are truly amazing, we have been blown away by the experience, quality...

  • 15 South African politicians worth 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. Social media has evolved rapidly over the past 15 years, becoming an essential tool for many rather than a mere curio. In fact, Twitter has gained a reputation as the leading news and entertainment source for many around the world. With that (and our current political climate) in mind, we take a look at some of the South...

  • Root is Standard Bank, OfferZen’s new ‘programmable’ bank account

    Developer job platform OfferZen has teamed up with Standard Bank to introduce Root -- a "programmable" bank account for software developers. Root features full API access for developers, allowing their code to interact with transactions in real-time. So what kind of apps can be crafted with it, then? "Beta users of Root have already written some great RootCode apps including sending their transaction data to a personal Google Sheet in real-time, to make budgeting easy; limiting the days on which they can buy fast food, as part of a diet plan and creating a dedicated card and budget for Uber rides," read...

  • Fake followers are a massive problem, as SA duo proves

    It's almost become an unspoken fact over the years that social media has a major problem with fake followers. Now, two writers have brought the problem into the open by running a dummy Instagram account and buying fake followers in the process. Lipgloss is My Life editor Leigh van den Berg and Candice-Lee Kannemeyer, the editor of In My Bag, created the Instagram account to find out how easy it was to buy followers in the first place. So @CandiceLeeKan and I have just done an experiment. We set up a crappy instagram account in a bid to see how easy...

  • Are printers now ‘worst’ for enterprise security? [Native]

    This is a native advertising article. To find out more, read our guide to native advertising versus sponsored content. Printers might not be the flashiest gadgets in the office, but recent research reveals that they're still being ignored when it comes to security. Many printers today feature internet connectivity, allowing users to wirelessly print documents and more. Of course, any time a gadget has an internet connection, chances are high that it'll be targeted by someone… In fact, a BitDefender researcher told The Register that printers are now the dodgiest connected devices around. "The router is no longer the worst device on the internet. It's...

  • NASA used AI to capture lava lakes from orbit

    AI might be all the rage now, but NASA has been using an AI system for over a decade to quickly direct satellites to capture disasters. In a post on NASA's website, the space agency detailed how its Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment (ASE) AI system was able to quickly capture a volcano's changing lava lake. "On 21 January, a fissure opened at the top of Ethiopia's Erta Ale volcano -- one of the few in the world with an active lava lake in its caldera. Volcanologists sent out requests for NASA's Earth Observing 1 (EO-1) spacecraft to image the eruption, which was large...

  • Google Family Link lets you monitor kids’ mobile usage

    Apple's Family Sharing functionality has been one of the better features for parents, allowing them to approve family members' purchases and more. Now, Google has stepped things up in a big way thanks to the Family Link app. The app, targeted at children under the age of 13, allows you to monitor their app usage (which apps they're using most and for how long), create an app whitelist and lock the phone at specific times (e.g. sleep or study time). Google does note however that certain background apps, such as music and messaging apps, won't be fully tracked. The Family Link app...

  • Q&A: Google’s Bunmi Banjo chats Africa’s digital skills growth

    Google's African operations have had a week to celebrate, following the news that they've hit their goal of training one million Africans. The training sees citizens using Google's Digital Skills Programme, covering everything from social media marketing/strategy to analytics, advertising and online video. Bunmi Banjo has been at the forefront of the initiative, being Google's Growth Engine and Brand Lead for Sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a Q&A with Banjo, focusing on the programme, entrepreneurship in general and more. Memeburn: You recently held an AfricaCom talk titled, 'Why technology providers and OEMs should be the strongest contributors to initiating new start-up businesses in tech and...

  • Google hits one million mark in training Africans

    Google has announced that it has reached its goal of training one million Africans as part of its Digital Skills programme. The Mountain View company said it reached its goal a month early, having committed to training one million Africans within a year on 16 April 2016. The company has added that it's set a new target. The tech company also revealed that it will provide offline versions of its training materials to people and businesses in areas of low access where it's not possible to hold physical training sessions. "Additionally, Google will provide offline versions of the content in languages like Swahili,...

  • Intel to buy Mobileye in $15bn deal

    Intel has announced that it will be acquiring Israeli automotive tech firm Mobileye in a deal worth just over US$15.3-billion. Thhe company produces smart vision technology for cars, being used for collision avoidance and other driver assistance functions. "Under the terms of the agreement, a subsidiary of Intel will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye for $63.54 per share in cash, representing a fully-diluted equity value of approximately $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion," Intel wrote in a press statement. The move signals Intel's strong intention to position itself within the...