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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Falcon Heavy: SpaceX’s rocket will outlift Space Shuttle

    Elon Musk's private space company, SpaceX, has been making waves in recent years -- and for good reason. The company has successfully delivered supplies to the International Space Station, landed several first stage boosters and is currently fighting Boeing to win NASA's astronaut contract. But we're just a few months away from another significant milestone in the company's lifespan, as it readies a beast of a rocket, dubbed the Falcon Heavy. The most powerful rocket in operation The rocket is set to carry a bigger payload to orbit than the Space Shuttle. That's 54.4 tonnes as opposed to the Shuttle's 24 tonnes. Only the Apollo-era Saturn V...

  • Twitter debuts ‘quality filter’, but what does it do?

    Twitter has been hard at work over the past few months, delivering everything from bigger GIFs and Snapchat-style stickers to 140-second videos and better harrassment reporting tools. Now, the company has zeroed in on notifications, launching two new features in this regard. The first feature allows you to only get notifications for people you follow, while the second option brings a "quality filter" into the fray. "Don't want to see notifications from everyone? Starting today, everyone will have the ability to limit notifications to only people they follow on mobile and on twitter.com. Simply turn it on if you want to give it...

  • Telkom offering R500k reward after countrywide ‘senseless sabotage’

    Telkom is offering a R500 000 reward for information after its facilities were "targeted in a series of acts of sabotage". The communications network said that its facilities in Midrand, Silverton, Pretoria West, Pinetown, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Makhado and Messina were sabotaged. "This is not vandalism, the criminals who damaged our property knew what they were doing. Cables have been cut to cause maximum damage. Entire street distribution cabinets, which are located in neighbourhoods to serve multiple streets at a time, have been ripped apart and in a few instances yesterday, set on fire," said Jacqui O'Sullivan, Telkom's group executive for communication, in...

  • Don’t share it! Spot fake news and images with these tips

    The internet has largely delivered on its promise to revolutionise the way we access information and news in general. Unfortunately, we've also seen the rise of fake news websites, as people share these stories without question. It doesn't have to be this way though, as there are a few things to keep in mind before sharing that article... Google! Publications live and die by their exclusives of course, but it's worth Googling the story for other websites saying the same thing. This is especially true for no-name websites reporting the original news, as opposed to the likes of News24, Forbes, M&G and other prominent publications. Also make sure that...

  • 12 important space missions, events to look forward to in 2017

    The year has already seen a variety of landmark space missions taking place. There were the Falcon 9's successful first stage landings, the Juno probe's Jupiter rendezvous and the longest stay at the International Space Station. Next year promises to be another bumper year for unmanned and manned spaceflight, so what should we expect? We listed 12 space missions and major events to watch out for in 2017. Boeing to test its manned capsule Boeing is hard at work on its CST-100 Starliner capsule, hoping to beat SpaceX to the manned mission punch. The CST-100 Starliner capsule can lift up to seven astronauts to orbit...

  • Former Rovio CEO to lead Nokia brand’s return to market

    Earlier this year, it was announced that new firm HMD Global would be bringing the Nokia name back to the smartphone world. At the time, HMD Global said it would be using the Nokia name for smartphones and tablets and that these devices would be running Android. The company already has several high-profile executives, but you can add another one to the list, in the form of ex-Rovio Entertainment CEO Pekka Rantala. The executive, who was also a senior vice-president of global marketing at Nokia, is now the chief marketing officer at HMD Global, the company announced. Rantala has 17-years of experience at Nokia, before...

  • SpaceX is getting pretty good at this rocket landing thing

    Private space firm SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday, delivering a commercial satellite to geostationary transfer orbit. But, as usual, it was the company's Earth-based endeavours that attracted more attention... The company managed to successfully land the rocket's first stage on a drone barge, marking the fourth successful landing at sea. However, the landing was even tougher than normal due to the orbit needed, resulting in the first stage being subjected to "extreme velocities and re-entry heating", SpaceX wrote. Geostationary orbit occurs at an altitude of over 30 000 kilometres, being the preferred orbit for many satellites. On the other hand, missions to the International Space Station take...

  • Rogue One trailer and No Man’s Sky: 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've scoured the internet for some of the most entertaining and viral videos of the week, coming up with six gems in the process. As for standout picks? I'm partial to the Chinese lady reprimanding Chinese tourists, as well as that Rogue One trailer... A slightly NSFW No Man's Sky review Prominent YouTuber videogamedunkey gives us his take on No Man's Sky. A rant against Chinese tourists A Chinese woman in Thailand rails against...

  • That was fast! Adblock Plus gets one over Facebook again

    Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it would sidestep ad-blocking software in order to serve ads to users. The social network justified the move by claiming it now offered better ad designs and more advanced ad controls. "We've designed our ad formats, ad performance and controls to address the underlying reasons people have turned to ad blocking software. When we asked people about why they used ad blocking software, the primary reason we heard was to stop annoying, disruptive ads. As we offer people more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software,"...

  • Space mining a step closer: private firm announces mission to asteroid

    Private space mining firm Deep Space Industries has announced the first commercial mission to an asteroid. The Prospector-1 mission is expected to launch before the end of the decade, with the aim of landing on a near-Earth asteroid, the company wrote in a press statement. "DSI is developing Prospector-1 both for its own asteroid mining ambitions, as well as to bring an extremely low-cost, yet high-performance exploration capability to the market. We hope to enable both existing and new public and private organisations to explore the inner solar system using this affordable platform," said DSI's chief engineer Grant Bonin. Weighing just 50-kilograms when fully...

  • AdBlock Plus: Facebook’s ad-block sidestep is ‘anti-user’

    Popular advertising filtering service AdBlock Plus has criticised Facebook after the social media firm announced plans to sidestep ad-blocking software. In a blog post earlier this week, Facebook said that its new ad controls and designs "address the underlying reasons" for people turning to ad-blockers. "As we offer people more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software," Facebook elaborated. Now, AdBlock Plus has reacted, calling it an "unfortunate move, because it takes a dark path against user choice". The ad-blocker said there was no reason to overreact however, as "cat-and-mouse" games have existed in...

  • Facebook to circumvent ad-blocking software on desktop, because ‘choice’

    Whether it's due to aesthetics, data usage or horrible ads in general, ad-blocking software is only gaining steam these days. The trend has however seen loads of websites ask their users to disable ad-blockers. Now, Facebook is taking a somewhat drastic approach to the software. In a blog post, the social media juggernaut said that ads can be useful if they're relevant and well-made. "But because ads don't always work this way, many people have started avoiding certain websites or apps, or using ad blocking software, to stop seeing bad ads. These have been the best options to date," the blog post read. "We've...

  • Dunkirk and an epic ramen ad: 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. Put your feet up, because we've got six entertaining and/or popular videos lined up for you this week. An epic ramen ad, a new Christopher Nolan movie and Pokemon's theme song sung in 20 styles are some of the better picks in this edition. Who knew ramen ads were this epic? A guy accidentally gets shot with an arrow on America's Got Talent (1min50secs) A wind turbine catches fire and creates cool...

  • How successful is Apple every second? This website breaks it down

    We all know that Apple is swimming in an embarrassment of riches, as evident by numerous reports and their most recent earnings. How do you better illustrate their success though? How about a pie chart? Or what about a breakdown of all their devices sold to date? Nah, those won't do... The Every Second website shows you just how successful they are every single second. The website illustrates how many iPhones, iPads, Macs and more the company is selling each second, complete with a live ticker keeping track. For instance, leaving the website open for just ten seconds shows the following stats... The website also outlines several...

  • Uber China to merge with Didi, creating $35bn business – report

    Uber's Chinese operations will merge with Chinese smart cab service Didi Chuxing, it has been reported. The deal will result in a company worth US$35-billion and also sees Uber China investors get 20% of Didi, Bloomberg claimed. However, Uber China will continue to operate as its own separate business for now. Didi will also invest US$1-billion in Uber China, the publication reports, citing "people familiar with the matter". "As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that being successful is about listening to your head as well as following your heart," said Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, in a blog post obtained by Bloomberg. "I have no doubt that...