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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • 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...

  • Fitbit to slay 110 employees in midst of buying spree

    Wearables company Fitbit may have gone on a spending spree recently, but the firm is beginning to feel the pinch thanks to lower than expected sales of its gadgets. "Based upon preliminary financial information, Fitbit expects to report 6.5 million devices sold and revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 to be in the range of $572-million to $580-million, compared to the company's previously announced guidance range of $725-million to $750-million," read an excerpt of the firm's financial report. As a result, Fitbit will conduct a "reduction in force, that will impact approximately 110 employees, constituting approximately 6% of the company's global...

  • Twitter to launch new anti-harassment features

    Twitter has been waging a lengthy war with online bullies and trolls, introducing several key features over the past year or two. Between filing multiple tweets in a single report and the ability share a list of blocked users, it's definitely gone some way to fight harassment. But Ed Ho, vice-president of engineering at Twitter, says the firm still has a long journey ahead. "We'll be rolling out a number of product changes in the days ahead. Some changes will be visible and some will be less so," he tweeted. "This week, we'll tackle long overdue fixes to mute/block and stopping repeat offenders from creating new accounts," the VP...

  • #MuslimBan: Uber, Lyft, Airbnb take different approaches

    Uber and Lyft have both reacted to the so-called #MuslimBan enacted by US president Donald Trump -- albeit in very different ways. The ban sees citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) not being allowed entry to the USA for 90 or more days. The ban crucially affects legal residents of the USA that are not naturalised citizens. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sent an email to drivers, announcing that the company was opposed to the ban. He also confirmed that Uber would be financially compensating drivers who are affected by the ban. "This order has far broader implications as it...

  • UberEATS’s David Kitley on expansion plans and more

    UberEATS launched in Cape Town this week, offering a trendy food delivery service to take on the likes of OrderIn and Mr Delivery. What should you expect from the service? Are there any plans for expansion? We interviewed David Kitley of UberEATS South Africa at the Cape Town launch event. UberEATS will launch in the city centre, Atlantic Seaboard, Woodstock and Observatory, but Kitley says that there are plans to expand. "Southern Suburbs is a priority of ours, we're actually working on that at the moment. And then hopefully even expanding to other areas, you know... obviously Constantia... and even looking as...

  • UberEATS Cape Town: 4 things you should know

    UberEATS launched in Cape Town on Thursday, bringing another food delivery service to the city. The service hopes to service a "foodie" niche by teaming up with trendy eateries and restaurants to offer food delivery. At R20 for delivery (there's no minimum spend either, the firm claims), it seems rather reasonably priced, but what else should you know about the service? Here are a few things to keep in mind. Supported areas The service is currently available in the CBD, Atlantic Seaboard, Woodstock and Observatory, but UberEATS's David Kitley says that they are looking to expand. In fact, Kitley told Memeburn that the...

  • 5 Netflix exclusives coming to South Africa this February

    Netflix doesn't stand still when it comes to content, with new movies and TV shows hitting the streaming service all the time (content also leaves the service, but that's another article). There are services telling us what to expect for next month, but finding SA-bound content can be tricky. So with that in mind, we sifted through the Netflix website to find exclusive content SA viewers can expect next month. 3 February: Santa Clarita Diet The first week of February sees 10-episode series Santa Clarita Diet making its way to the service, starring Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore. "Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and Sheila (Drew Barrymore)...

  • UberEATS finally launches in Cape Town

    UberEATS has been available in Johannesburg for a while now, bringing a Mr Delivery-style food service to smartphone users. Now, Capetonians can see what all the fuss is about as the service hits the city. "Cape Town couldn't be a better place for us to bring UberEATS with over 100 of the best local restaurants in the city partnering with Uber to deliver their food to you faster, and more reliably than ever before," the company wrote on its website. The service, which launches today (26 January), is available on Android and iOS. UberEATS originally launched in Johannesburg in September, with Cape Town launching today Partners...

  • Oculus: Hugo Barra’s next move revealed

    It was only a few days ago that Xiaomi Global vice-president Hugo Barra announced he was leaving the Chinese smartphone conglomerate. The former Googler said at the time that he was returning to Silicon Valley, giving no clue as to what he'd actually be doing. Now, it's been announced that Barra will be joining Facebook and Oculus -- and not just in any old role. In fact, he'll be the vice-president of VR, leading Oculus and Facebook's VR efforts in general. "I'm excited that Hugo Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team," Zuckerberg wrote on the social network. Hugo...

  • Netflix now supports microSD cards for downloads

    It may have been a little delayed, but we were glad to see Netflix introduce download functionality late last year. Following in the footsteps of rivals Amazon Prime Video and Showmax, the downloads feature allowed users to (surprise) store movies and TV episodes for offline viewing. And in a cool move, you could download as much content as your storage allowed. The biggest downside though? Well, that would have to be the lack of support for microSD expansion, leaving you with internal storage only. Netflix is slowly catching up to rivals when it comes to offline functionality, with microSD support being the latest...

  • WorldStarHipHop founder Lee O’Denat dies at 43

    The WorldStarHipHop website grew from a place for music to a viral video phenomenon in the mid 2000s. In fact, its influence is still keenly being felt, as the website successfully transitioned to the social media era, covering African American and pop culture in general. Unfortunately, the website is left a little poorer this week with the news that founder Lee O'Denat died on Monday as a result of a heart attack. The news was first reported by TMZ overnight and confirmed by the hip-hop website in a statement across its social media accounts. "With profound sadness, WorldStarHipHop and its employees, state that Lee...

  • Watch ‘alt-right’ figure Richard Spencer get punched to music

    This past weekend saw footage of "alt-right" (or Neo-Nazi, as some would say) figure Richard Spencer getting sucker-punched by a protester during an interview. The incident has sparked a debate of sorts online, with some questioning whether violence is okay if used against an extremist. But a rather entertaining meme has sparked, in the form of music being added to the footage in question. And leading the charge is the @PunchedToMusic Twitter account, creating and retweeting footage of Spencer getting punched... to music. Songs featured in the clips include Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe, Blur's Song 2, Aaron Carter's That's How...

  • Hugo Barra has announced departure from Xiaomi

    When Hugo Barra announced that he was leaving Google for Xiaomi back in 2013, there were many people questioning the move. But after overseeing the company's international expansion, it's hard to argue with the decision. Now, Barra has announced his departure from the Chinese smartphone firm, using an open letter on Facebook to reveal the news. "When Lei Jun and Bin Lin came to me nearly four years ago with the opportunity to help turn a young rockstar startup into a global player, I embarked on what has been the greatest and most challenging adventure of my...

  • Microsoft to cut 700 jobs this week – report

    Microsoft is expected to cut 700 jobs this week, being part of a group of 2850 cuts announced last year, it has been reported. According to Business Insider, citing "someone familiar with the matter", Microsoft will conduct the layoffs when it reports its quarterly results on 26 January. The website's source said that most of the 2850 cuts have already been made, adding that it won't be limited to any specific group. Cuts are apparently set to affect divisions such as human resources, engineering, finance, marketing and more. Business Insider also reports that the cuts were made to "update skills" rather than with the...

  • Think twice before grabbing popular photo app Meitu

    Meitu, an app which allows users to gussy up their faces in an anime style, has quickly gone viral, but reports suggest that it represents a privacy threat. The app allows users to beautify their faces, delivering larger irises, smoother skin and a host of other changes. But several reports found that the app (especially the Android version), like many, requires a notable privacy trade-off. For starters, its Google Play Store listing reveals permissions such as location, running at startup, device and phone ID, and viewing WiFi connections. Not super crazy, but definitely concerning -- especially the ability to access your device/phone IDs...