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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Nokia study reveals reasons why consumers switch mobile networks

    A new study by Nokia has revealed the main reasons for people choosing their current mobile network. Of course, price was the number one reason, but there are a number of interesting trends nonetheless. Nokia's 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study polled over 20 000 users in 14 countries (including South Africa), covering both "mature" and "transition" markets. Why are people on their current network? The study unsurprisingly found pricing to be the main factor, with 45% of users choosing this as the number one reason for joining their carrier. It was a tight race for second place, as best network coverage/quality (26%), best geographical network coverage...

  • Beyond Windows & BlackBerry: 4 niche mobile OSes that still exist

    It’s hard to ignore the marketplace dominance of Apple and Google, as their iOS and Android platforms consume over 90% of the mobile platform market. Unfortunately, this dominance has largely come at the expense of other mobile operating systems — and we’re not talking about BlackBerry 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. Instead, we’re looking at mobile platforms that are less prominent than even the likes of BlackBerry and Microsoft’s offerings.

  • Google Play Music gets contextually active with Concierge in SA

    Google Play Music has officially launched its Concierge service in South Africa, bringing automatically generated, contextual playlists to the country. Play Music subscribers will receive playlists based on the time of day, mood or activity when they update the app on their Android or iOS device. "Choose an activity to get options for several music stations to make whatever you're doing even better -- whether it's a station for a morning workout, songs to relieve stress during traffic, or the right mix for cooking with friends," the company said in a press statement. Other possible contextual playlists include one for Monday morning, a...

  • Snapchat acquires 3D photo app Seene, expect 3D selfies

    Snapchat is growing at a stellar rate, having surpassed Twitter in user numbers according to a new report, for one. Now, TechCrunch reports that Snapchat has stealthily bought 3D photo startup Seene. Seene's work involves capturing 3D models with a simple smartphone camera - no specialised hardware needed at all. This approach is a different one to the likes of Microsoft's Kinect and Google's Project Tango, which requires infrared cameras and/or multiple cameras. What does Seene do? In fact, Seene has an Android and iOS app out for a while now (the former chalking up between 100 000 and 500 000 downloads), giving users the ability to create 3D selfies, 3D...

  • Facebook teams up with Blizzard for streaming on Facebook Live

    Facebook has teamed up with mega-popular gaming studio Blizzard to stream games via the Facebook Live platform, the two announced. The partnership will first see Facebook Login being implemented for Blizzard's titles such as World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Diablo III, StarCraft II, and Overwatch., allowing gamers to register and sign in with their Facebook accounts. "Adding Facebook Login will pave the way for new social functionality in Blizzard games while highlighting Facebook's capabilities as a platform for sharing, viewing, and discussing AAA game content. As an example, Blizzard is in the process of incorporating Facebook's Live API in order to...

  • 4 Xiaomi mobile devices we’d like to see in South Africa

    You can’t deny that the Xiaomi brand has made quite a splash in South Africa since it landed late last year. The Redmi 2 and Mi 4 (review) smartphones provide excellent value for money, coming in at just under R2000 and R4000 respectively. Local distributor MIA Group hasn’t stopped here either, bringing in the R2999 Redmi Note 2 (review) and the R7999 Mi 5 flagship recently as well. Still, there are a few more Xiaomi phones and tablets we’d like to see on the African continent…

  • What Streisand Effect? Axl Rose tries to remove ‘fat’ photo from web

    We've all had disappointing photos taken of ourselves and published on Facebook, featuring a double chin, red eyes or a bit of a boep. Kicking up a fuss only seems to make things worse, right? Well, someone better tell that to Axl Rose, who probably hasn't heard of the Streisand Effect. According to Torrent Freak, the singer has issued a DMCA takedown notice to Google, demanding that a certain unflattering photo be removed from various blog websites. The publication tracked down original photographer Boris Minkevich of Winnipeg Free Press, who had no idea that his photos were rehosted or that Rose was trying to...

  • TeamViewer confirms compromised accounts, blames other services

    TeamViewer has confirmed that an unspecified number of accounts on the remote desktop support service have been compromised. In a blog post discussing new security features, the company included an open letter to TeamViewer users, informing them of the news. The company pinned the blame on compromised services elsewhere though. "As you have probably heard, there have been unprecedented large scale data thefts on popular social media platforms and other web service providers. Unfortunately, credentials stolen in these external breaches have been used to access TeamViewer accounts, as well as other services," the firm explained. Read more: 427m leaked passwords surface from enormous 2013 MySpace...

  • Twitter’s the top social network for diplomacy, new study finds

    A new study has revealed what some may have already suspected: Twitter is the top choice for diplomats compared to other social media platforms. The 2016 Twiplomacy study by communications firm Burson-Marsteller found that Twitter was used by world leaders or governments in 173 nations - equal to 90% of all UN member states. By comparison, Facebook just missed out on the top spot, being used by 169 governments (87%). Rounding out the top four was Twitter (78%) and Instagram (70%). The study added that governments with large social media teams were also dipping their toes into Snapchat and Vine's waters. "Governments that do not have...

  • Watch the weekend’s major motorsport crashes here

    It was a big weekend for motorsport, as Formula 1 hosted the Monaco Grand Prix and the IndyCar Series held the 100th running of the Indy 500. Only care for the crashes and mishaps? Well, we’ve got you covered you filthy casual, so check out some of the bigger shunts below.

  • Astra, Crashing Season and Brothers: this week’s top mobile games

    Welcome to Gearburn’s Mobile Game Picks of the Week, a weekly series in which Hadlee takes a look at the latest, most entertaining, or time-consuming mobile games on portable screens. We're over the midweek hump, which means it's time for us to pick some great mobile games! It's a bumper edition this week too, as we've got five titles featured. Our favourites this week include Crashing Season, a port of an indie classic and the weird and atmospheric Astra.

  • Vox Telecom continues ADSL power play with cap increases

    Vox Telecom made tech headlines in South Africa last year with its capped ADSL promotions. The ISP delivered several affordable capped "Fat Pipe" offerings at the time, including 100GB of data for just R164 a month (which has since been bumped to 150GB). Now, in the wake of Telkom's IP Connect discount to service providers (which takes effect as of today), Vox has revealed larger caps for its Fat Pipe packages. So what can you expect for your cash then? The entry-level 75GB/R189 a month option has been bumped up to 100GB, the 100GB/R249 a month option is increased to 150GB, while the top-end 1TB/R1899 a month...

  • Xiaomi: the latest Android manufacturer to shake hands with Microsoft

    Xiaomi has become the latest Android manufacturer to reach a patent agreement with Microsoft. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but Xiaomi executive Hugo Barra and Microsoft confirmed that the deal includes a cross-license and patent transfer agreement. How will Xiaomi users be affected by this deal? The agreement will see Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype come preinstalled on Xiaomi phones and tablets, starting in September 2016. Xiaomi devices set to receive the apps include the Mi Max, Mi 5, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3 and the Redmi 3. Microsoft noted that this wasn't the first time it has worked with Xiaomi, saying that its Azure technology powers the Mi...

  • Joy and (some) confusion: Twitter reacts to Alexander Rossi’s Indy 500 win

    Winning the Indy 500 is a milestone achievement for any racing driver, being part of the Triple Crown of motorsport. Winning the 100th running of the event though? That’s a surefire way to go down in the history books, as Alexander Rossi did, competing in his first Indy 500. The American, who previously raced in F1 for Manor and Caterham and is currently Manor’s test driver, managed to coast across the line in sensational fashion. While rival racers opted for a splash and dash pit stop several laps from the end, Rossi managed to save fuel by coasting at every opportunity.

  • Vega School will offer a degree in game design from 2017

    South African institutions are steadily embracing video game design courses, and Vega has stepped up to the plate by offering a degree in game design. In a press statement emailed to Memeburn, Vega said that there has been a growing need for formal training in the field. "Heeding calls from industry to fulfill this need, Vega School, a division of The Independent Institute of Education, has announced that it will introduce a Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Game Design and Development into its 2017 academic calendar, making it one of the first degrees of its kind in South Africa," the...