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All posts by Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter is the stranger in the fog, the wanderer of the wasteland, the most beloved author at Memeburn.
  • Cape Town’s drought makes international news on CNN and Facebook

    If you live in Cape Town, chances are you forgot what rain actually is. With the city still battling one of the worst droughts this generation has seen, Cape Town's water reserves are now dangerously low. Just 11% of the water left in the city's six largest dams are usable, while no rain is seemingly forecast for the rest of the week. Someone who finds this all rather alarming (other than Cape Town's other four-million residents) is meteorologist Derek Van Dam. Previously of eNCA, Van Dam is now one of CNN's meteorologists. With his heart clearly still in Cape Town, he took...

  • WordPress debuts new TV ads in limited trial run

    Content publishing platform WordPress has this week debuted its first television advertisements. This is the first push in the company's larger marketing budget for 2017. WordPress co-founder and CEO of Automattic Matt Mullenweg noted that the company will be increasing its public advertising, presumably to compete against the likes of Wix and Squarespace. On his personal blog, he also explained that the company still has "lots to learn" in the television advertising space. "There is lots to learn and much to follow, but we have our first TV ads up in six markets to test. Each shares a story of a business...

  • ShowMax and Polish mobile operator strike deal

    Three months after ShowMax announced that it will offer its service in Poland, the South African video streaming company is now partnering with one of the country's chief mobile operators. Play, the operator at the centre of the deal, will now offer ShowMax to its eight-million contract customers. Those with mid- to upper-tier contracts -- the majority -- will receive ShowMax services for free for 12 months. Those in the lower contract brackets will receive one month free. ShowMax will be free to Play's contract subscribers for 12 months "The level of interest in Showmax since our launch in Poland earlier this year...

  • Airbnb adds R2.4bn to SA economy in 2016, hosts 400 000 visitors

    Airbnb has this week published its annual economic report, which sheds some light on the home sharing platform's economic impact on various global economies. South Africa happens to be one of these economies. Publishing its effect on South Africa's economy just prior to the Tourism Indaba taking place in Durban in May, the company makes some notable claims. For one, it suggest that it generated around R2.4-billion for the South African economy in 2016, considering the expenditure of guests and the income accrued by the 16 000 hosts last year. R817-million of that income was earned by local households. The company also notes...

  • WannaCry ransomware infects a quarter million computers in 150 countries

    WannaCry wins 2017's prize for most ominously named ransomware, and it has seemingly lived up to its name. A worldwide attack involving the ransomware swept through personal computers, companies and government institutions beginning on Friday 12 May. By Sunday, over 230 000 computers in more than 150 countries, including South Africa, were infected. Straight out of an episode of Mr. Robot, WannaCry (Wcry, WannaCrypt, WanaCrypt0r 2.0, or Wanna Decryptor) is a malicious software package that infects computers running Microsoft Windows. It's spread using an exploit developed by the NSA called EternalBlue which was leaked by a hacker collective in April. While Microsoft...

  • Feeling chilly, South Africa? Snow reported at Afriski, Tiffindell & Sani Pass

    Update #3, 15 May, 12pm: Snow continued to fall across South Africa's Drakensberg and Lesotho's Maloti mountains. Have a good weekend? Bet it wasn't as 'cool' as @drakensbergcanopytour's though: they had their first snow of 2017! 🌨☃️🌨 A post shared by Canopy Tour South Africa (@canopytoursa) on May 15, 2017 at 2:35am PDT First snow of 2017 #drakensberg #snow #2017 #winter #winterton #snowhunting #nature A post shared by Kirst (@kirst_tsrik) on May 14, 2017 at 11:53am PDT Descent into Rockeries pass. #mnwenimarathon #trailrunning #drakensberg #lovesouthafrica A post shared by Matthew Smith (@matthewshawsmith) on May 14, 2017 at 8:10am PDT Snow in the Drakensberg! This pic was...

  • Fidget spinners are surprisingly good guitar picks, viral video suggests

    South Africa hasn't yet been infected by the global fidget spinner craze. Although you can purchase the distraction device at a number of stores, I've yet to see humans in the country playing with one out on the street. But that doesn't mean they aren't any less cool. Of course, these gadgets have also been given a bad rap, and dubbed a fad by many. But some have clearly taken up the challenge to make the fidget spinner, developed in the 1990s by Catherine Hettinger, publicly acceptable. Yes, you can also use a fidget spinner for things that don't quite involve fidgeting Take...

  • Michael Bay-like motorcycle explosion from China caught on tape, goes viral

    Usually its Russia that's on the receiving end of bad driving memes and videos, but last Saturday it was a Chinese motorcyclist who made all the wrong headlines. In Nanchang, China, a motorcyclist collided with a truck attempting to turn into a three-lane road. The bike, caught between the truck's cockpit and dump tray, then exploded, setting the motorcyclist on fire. It all looked a lot like a set-piece in a Michael Bay movie. A motorcyclist in China escaped with his life, and a few more Instagram views, after his fiery crash went viral Remarkably, the motorcyclist didn't sustain any "life-threatening injuries" after...

  • Jonathan Lun wins Singularity U’s Global Impact Challenge Southern Africa

    Jonathan Lun, a Wits and Stellenbosch University alum, has been named the winner of Singularity University's Global Impact Challenge Southern Africa 2017. Lun, 32, was last night (10 May) given the honour at a Johannesburg pitching event hosted by Singularity University. "I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured to be offered this life-changing experience. The support from friends, family and colleagues has been astounding and I hope to make them proud," he tells Memeburn. Climate change was the central theme of this year's challenge, with other entrants focussing on recycling and transport among other novel solutions. But Lun's ambitious asteroid metal-fueled rocket solution was...

  • Theewaterskloof Dam is now just 15% full, vlog captures its sickly shape

    Like Lion's Head at sunset or Camps Bay on a Saturday, Cape Town's largest dam, the Theewaterskloof, is seemingly the new hottest spot in the city for vloggers. We've covered a fair few vlogs and clips from YouTube and Instagram documenting the state of Cape Town's drought. And thanks to hot, dry weather we've been experiencing recent months, each video is seemingly more dire than the next. Self-proclaimed "wannabe vlogger" Adam Spires is the latest to take a walk alongside the dam, reminiscing with his viewers about his years spent jumping into its now mostly evaporated lake. The City of Cape Town...

  • Trevor Noah bags MTV Movie & TV Award as Daily Show host, thanks Trump

    Trevor Noah won the Best Host award at the newly rebranded MTV Movie and TV Awards in Los Angeles this weekend. The comedian, now known as the face of The Daily Show after taking over from Jon Stewart in 2015, was up against the likes of cultural heavyweights Ellen DeGeneres and John Oliver. "Thank you thank you thank you thank you. Wow," Noah later commented on Instagram, after he was handed the award by Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. Wow A post shared by Trevor Noah (@trevornoah) on May 7, 2017 at 8:02pm PDT He also...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #105: WhatsApp’s blackout, Windows 10 S & more

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week sees Hadlee Simons hosting Andy Walker and Stephen Timm. Kicking off the show, we detail one of SA's biggest business deals this decade: the US$100-million sales of GetSmarter, a South African ed-tech startup, to a US company. Hadlee and Andy discuss Windows 10 S as well as the Microsoft Surface Laptop, which were both unveiled this week. With both Microsoft products having their ups and downs, the duo explores what makes them great and what makes them somewhat disappointing. WhatsApp was...

  • 3 hilarious (but scary) printer security stories from the internet [Native]

    Printers might seem like innocuous little office gadgets that do one job and one job alone, but they've become more vulnerable thanks to the internet. While human beings' reliance on the web expands, so does the ability for baddies to crack their security protocols. With that in mind, here are three previous moments in history that printers were the victims of rather comical, if not potentially catastrophic, security stories. -> YOUR PRINTER HAS BEEN PWNED <- In February 2017, a hacker using the alias Stackoverflowin took control of over 150 000 printers across the globe to probe a point. And to distribute memes. Although...

  • 15 classic Star Wars GIFs to use this #MayTheFourth

    We know the pressure you're under today. While mashing away at your keyboard trying to get those reports and submissions prepared, you're also trying to find that perfect Star Wars GIF to use on Twitter or Facebook for #MayTheFourth. But no need to worry. We've got you covered. Trawling the length and breadth of GIF repository Giphy, we've listed some of the most iconic moments in the Star Wars saga captured in pure rolling-image format magic. These's are some of the classic GIFs you should probably think about using today. It's a trap via GIPHY Sensual Yoda via GIPHY Angrykin Skywalker via GIPHY Toodles, Lando via GIPHY Deal with it,...

  • Apple’s Siri saves three men from drowning off Florida coast

    Apple's Siri, the voice assistant that commands many of the company's devices, reportedly saved three boatmen from drowning this weekend. The men, according to a Fox 4 news report published Monday, were around six kilometres off the coast of Florida when they encountered choppy water. The conditions soon overwhelmed the little boat, forcing the men to don life jackets as the vessel took on water. This is where Siri comes into play. Police suggest that the fishermen were unable to use the device's screen because of cold hands, but the "Hey Siri" voice command was still available as on option. Boaters that ran into...