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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • 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...

  • Imizamo Yethu: Uber will ferry your donations to fire victims

    The Hout Bay and Imizamo Yethu fires have seen numerous organisations and citizens step up to deliver goods and services. Now,Uber has joined the party, launching a two-day initiative that sees Uber drivers serving as couriers for donations. "Uber is working with the Cape Town Disaster Management Team and has created a temporary vehicle view called UberCOMMUNITY, that will allow Cape Town riders to request a vehicle, at no cost, that will collect donations," the smart cab service said in an emailed statement. The service will be available on Tuesday (14 March) and Wednesday (15 March), between 10am and 3pm. Users can't...

  • 15% of Twitter users are actually bots, study claims

    It's common knowledge that Twitter is home to more than a few bot accounts, be it for spam, promotions or political purposes. Now, a new study (via CBS) has found that up to 15% of Twitter accounts are actually bots. If one of the more recent Twitter statistics of 319 million active users is taken into account, then that means that over 47-million users are bots. The study, by researchers from Indiana University and the University of Southern California, saw a framework for bot detection being created. The result? "Our models yield high accuracy and agreement with each other and can detect bots of...

  • 13% of South Africans use ad-blocking – study

    A new report by Effective Measure has found that 13% of South Africans use ad-blocking software. The study saw 2987 respondents being surveyed from December 2016 to January 2017, Effective Measure wrote in an emailed release to Memeburn. As for the reasons why people use ad-blockers? Well, there aren't any surprises here... "The report reveals that the top reasons why ad blockers are used by consumers are because of the disruptive, annoying and overwhelming number of advertisements. Security and speed were also common concerns." How does South Africa's figure compare to ad-blocker usage in the USA and Australia? Well, 26% of people...

  • Wikileaks reveals CIA malware for Android, iOS, Samsung TVs

    Whistleblowing organisation Wikileaks has published its latest cache of documents, revealing CIA malware that focuses on Android, iOS devices and smart TVs. Additionally, the documents also show that the CIA has its sights set on vehicle control systems. According to a summary by Wikileaks, Apple's mobile platform was a massive target for the agency. "Despite iPhone's minority share (14.5%) of the global smart phone market in 2016, a specialised unit in the CIA's Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads. CIA's arsenal includes numerous local and remote 'zero days' developed...

  • Scientists propose man-made magnetic field for Mars

    Mars is an inhospitable world with an atmosphere that has been stripped away over billions of years. However, scientists at a recent conference have proposed the introduction of a man-made magnetosphere to greatly improve matters. According to Universe Today, NASA's planetary sciences division held the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop last week, to talk about the future of planetary exploration. The workshop saw one presentation which proposed that a man-made magnetic field be used on the Red Planet. "Today, Mars is an arid and cold world with a very thin atmosphere that has significant frozen and underground water resources. The thin atmosphere both prevents liquid...

  • To reveal Tor hack or drop child porn charges?

    The US Department of Justice has asked a court to drop a case against a child pornography website. The reason? The department refuses to reveal details of a hack used to identify visitors. According to ZDNet, legal representatives for the Justice Department are requesting that charges be dropped in the case against dark web child porn site Playpen. "The government must now choose between disclosure of classified information and dismissal of its indictment. Disclosure is not currently an option," read an excerpt of the filing, according to the publication. The team is however calling for the case to be reopened when the hack...

  • Google Assistant hits Android 6.0, 7.0 devices

    The Google Assistant is essentially a supercharged take on Google Now, delivering reminders, answers to more specific questions and more. It was initially limited to the Pixel handsets, Android Wear 2.0 and Google's speakers, but now, Google has launched the tool for recent Android smartphones. As of yesterday (2 March), Google has been pushing the service to devices with Marshmallow or Nougat, the web colossus confirmed on its blog. "Your Google Assistant helps you get more done, in your world. And starting today, it's rolling out to Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow devices with Google Play Services. To get started, touch...