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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Rural skateboarding and SA tornadoes: this past 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. Another week has gone by, which means it's time to scour the internet for some entertaining and/or viral videos. My favourites? Well, there are otters trying to catch a butterfly and a mini-documentary on the Indigo Skate Camp in KwaZulu-Natal. Why should you fasten your oxygen mask before helping others? Conan O'Brien gets a badass Comic-Con costume made 3D printing plus vacuum sealing equals...? A family of otters trying to catch a butterfly That...

  • Is a VPN crackdown behind Netflix’s drop in user growth?

    Netflix has seen slower than anticipated user growth in its most recent forecast, but why is this the case? If you ask the streaming service, it's largely due to many subscribers being "ungrandfathered" (moved to the new price plans). However, NordVPN has a slightly different take on the issue... The VPN service cited feedback from its customers, revealing three big trends behind recent Netflix and VPN usage. The first trend was that people are unsubscribing from Netflix rather than from their VPN service, saying the customers chose "privacy over streaming". In a March 2016 blog post, NordVPN explained why people might drop Netflix instead. "Netflix is now in...

  • Businesses can now arrange Uber rides with UberCentral

    Uber has been making quite a few moves to cater for businesses, such as the ability to use company credit cards and the introduction of the Uber for Business platform. Now, the smart cab service has announced UberCentral, effectively being a dashboard that allows businesses to request, manage and pay for their customers' Uber rides. The service allows you to make and track multiple rides on one account, complete with billing/reporting in one place. Customers simply receive an SMS with their details, as well as a link to a map with live tracking. UberCentral allows patients to get to and from their appointments Uber...

  • Google Play Family Library is now a thing – but not in SA

    Apple's iTunes makes sharing purchases with loved ones rather easy, but Google-toting users can get in on the action now as well. The Google Play Family Library feature allows up to six family members to share purchases, the company announced in a blog post. "When you buy an eligible app, game, movie, TV show, or book in the Play Store, you can now share it with your family -- across devices -- with no additional sign-up fee," the company elaborated. Android devices have access to all shared content, while movies, TV shows and books can be shared via iOS devices and the web...

  • 6 terrible, terrible places to use Pokemon Go Lures

    One of the coolest Pokemon Go-related things we've seen are businesses using the lure module item to attract people to their premises. The item attracts rare Pokemon to the area for a period of time, allowing players to catch them in the process. Let's face it though: there are some businesses and premises that shouldn't use these items -- we picked a few. Adult stores No matter your opinion on sex shops, placing a Lure Module to attract customers to Adult World might just result in some under-age people wondering into the store. Not exactly legal. Or imagine the conversation when a child tries dragging...

  • Stop charging import duties on mobile phones – WASPA

    The Wireless Application Services Providers' Association (WASPA) has called on the government to stop charging import duties on smartphones, saying that they aren't a luxury. The association said that mobile use needs to be encouraged, because of the relationship between mobile data usage and GDP growth. It cited a GSMA study, which found that doubling mobile data usage resulted in the GDP growing by 0.5%. "Unfortunately, while cellphone handsets enable this GDP-boosting data usage, smartphones attract ad valorem duty, plus 14% VAT, when imported into the country," WASPA explained in a statement. Read more: Telkom reveals FreeMe - six rather attractive mobile data plans "WASPA...

  • Leave the 3D glasses at home with this new cinema screen

    If there's one major annoyance about watching 3D movies at the cinema, it's that you require 3D glasses to actually watch them. But what if you could leave the glasses behind? A team from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science have come up with a cinema screen that doesn't require 3D spectacles. The so-called "Cinema 3D" screen makes use of 50 sets of lenses and mirrors to get the job done, allowing viewers to watch the glasses-free 3D action from any seat. "Existing approaches to glasses-free 3D require screens whose resolution requirements are so enormous that...

  • Yahoo sale to Verizon confirmed, but is it doomed to fail?

    After reports earlier today, Verizon has confirmed that it's acquiring ailing internet company Yahoo in a deal worth US$4.8-billion. The joint statement confirms that the sale won't include Yahoo's cash, Yahoo Japan, Alibaba and 3000 patents. "These assets will continue to be held by Yahoo, which will change its name at closing and become a registered, publicly traded investment company," Yahoo confirmed. Verizon says that the move will help contribute to its goal of becoming a top media operation, as Yahoo will be integrated into AOL. "Just over a year ago we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection...

  • Verizon to buy Yahoo core business for $4.8bn – report

    Yahoo's publishing and advertising business has seen much better days, being viewed as an ailing internet icon by many. Now, the New York Times has reported that US network Verizon is stepping in to acquire the core business for roughly US$4.8-billion. The publication, citing "people briefed on the matter", said that Yahoo's shareholders would retain over US$41-billion in investments. These investments include the company's Japanese operations, 3000 patents and the Alibaba internet conglomerate. The sale announcement is expected to take place later today (Monday). Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer won't be retaining the helm, the publication reported, and will most likely receive a severance...

  • Apple still gets it first, but Prisma app gets Android port

    Android and iOS apps tend to get released at the same time these days, but there are still a few notable exceptions. Whether it's because there are fewer devices to target or a perception that Apple fans are more likely to pay for in-app purchases, the practice of releasing an app on iOS first is nothing new. One of these high-profile apps is Prisma, a popular photo tool that turns your snaps into works of art. It's been exclusively available on iPhones for a few weeks -- until now, that is. The team behind the arty app have released Prisma on Android, allowing the...

  • Funny magicians and crazy graphics: last 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 searched the web and found some of the more entertaining videos of the week. Let's get on with it, then. Standout clips this time include a charming magician and classic videogame deaths in stop-motion. Popular YouTuber videogamedunkey with his take on Pokemon Go A socially awkward magician tries to fool Penn and Teller Stephen Colbert heads to the Republican National Convention The Unreal Engine 4 was used to make this life-like video A...

  • Telkom reveals FreeMe: 6 rather attractive mobile data plans

    Telkom Mobile has announced the launch of its FreeMe mobile plan, offering six tiers of pricing. The pricing itself seems reasonable, but there are a number of surprising perks as well. All plans include free SMS messages (limited to 50 per day), zero-rated WhatsApp/Viber/BBM calls (2GB fair usage policy) and free access to over 6000 WiFi hotspots. The two most expensive plans (20GB and unlimited data) also include free calls to any network - albeit limited to only 1500 and 3000 minutes respectively. The other plans feature free on-network calls only, with a fair usage policy of 3000 minutes. Interestingly enough, the plans...

  • Netflix sees drop in user growth, a sign of things to come?

    Streaming colossus Netflix has announced its earnings for the second quarter of 2016, revealing user growth below expectations. In a letter to shareholders, the company confirmed that it wasn't growing as fast as it wanted to. "We grew by 1.7 million members in Q2 finishing with over 83 million members. This is below our forecast of 2.5 million net new members and our prior year Q2 net additions of 3.3 million," the company wrote. Netflix largely blamed the loss on moving so-called grandfathered users (subscribers who were still on older, cheaper price plans) to the updated plans. "We think some members perceived the news...

  • So much yes: ever see someone do a ‘backflip quadruple tailwhip’?

    I remember playing games like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX and laughing at the absurdity of some tricks. "Yeah, right. Like a 720 double backflip is remotely possible!" I'd say. Well, the inaugural Nitro World Games event saw a ton of ridiculous tricks being pulled off, including a backflip quadruple tailwhip by Kurtis Downs. For the uninitiated, this means a backflip (of course) and during said backflip, the bike's rotated around the handlebars four times. All this in mid-air. Back flip 4 whip! Other ridiculous tricks include a double frontflip on a dirt bike and some ridiculous stuff on BMX bikes...

  • 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...