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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Lady Gaga is the coolest substitute teacher you’ll ever have

    Getting a pleasant substitute teacher in for the day is one of primary school's greatest moments. But what if that substitute teacher was in fact Lady Gaga? The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter popped into a classroom in the States to bring some joy to a few kids, and to plug supplies company Staples's new student programme. "We’re donating $2 million to DonorsChoose.org and Born This Way Foundation to promote kindness in schools and ensure teachers and students have the resources they need for successful learning in classrooms," the company writes on the video. But come on, you aren't here for that. What you are here...

  • The Weekend Social Trends Report: #MTNIsTrash, the Durban July and more

    We know how much you enjoy living your life beyond the confines of your smartphone screen. But come Monday, you still want to hear about the social media highlights from the weekend, right? Well look no further than South Africa's Weekend Social Trends Report, compiled for you by us, and fuelled by the country's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram community. Edition #1, 1-2 July 2017. Jaden Smith tweets some wisdom on Jay Z's lyrics We've heard plenty said about Jay Z's new album from Twitter's unverified accounts and celebs alike. But one always ready to educate the world one tweet at a time...

  • Weekly Round Up: Petya ‘ransomware’, SNES Classic & 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 podcast, Andy talks through the world's latest cyber-attack. Petya, or NotPetya, reappeared in Ukraine this week after dying down last year. The attack targeted machines running Windows, and spread as far as Chernobyl, Mumbai and a chocolate factory in Tasmania. Next up, Stephen talks of the Savca report revealing that South African private equity capital returns to investors were up 123.2% last year to R18.3-billion — up from R8.2-billion in 2015. We...

  • Wayde van Niekerk makes smashing a 17-year-old world record look easy

    The remarkable rise of Wayde van Niekerk is far, far from over. Setting the 400m World Record at the Rio Olympics last year, some doubters perhaps thought that the South African sprinter's career had peaked. That is until tonight. At the Ostrava Golden Spike meet in the Czech Republic, where non-standard distances are commonly run, van Niekerk became the fastest human being over 300 metres breaking the previous record set by American Michael Johnson in 2000 by 0.04 seconds. Sure, that might seem like a narrow margin, but this additional stat makes the performance -- and van Niekerk's overall recent form --...

  • Google will no longer scan your Gmail emails

    Great news for those vested in Google products. The company has announced it will no longer be creepy and scan consumers' Gmail email account content for its advertising purposes. "G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalisation, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service," Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud confirmed in a blog post. "Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalisation after this change." This move is to better align the consumer Gmail offering with the already scan-free business offering and other...

  • WannaCry ransomware now affecting Australia’s traffic cameras

    Remember WannaCry? The fearsome ransomware package that infected over 250 000 computers in 150 countries earlier this year? Well, it's back, but not in the way you might've been expecting. According to a report by The Guardian, around 55 traffic cameras in the Australian state of Victoria have been affected by the virus. While the cameras have been operating normally, notes the Victorian department of justice, those found to have been handed incorrect fines, they will be scratched from the system. How nice. In May 2017, WannaCry ripped through the world's unpatched Windows machines, locking users out of their devices and forcing them to...

  • Google’s adorable Doodle celebrates the summer (and winter) solstice

    Google's doodlers really know how to capture a moment in an adorable GIF. And what might the latest moment be, you ask? The summer and winter solstice, of course. Depending on which side of the equator you're on, you'll today experience the longest day of the year (north) or the longest night of the year (south). Much like these two mice in Google's GIF. Celebrating the new season—in both hemispheres!—with a #GoogleDoodle for summer and winter solstices. https://t.co/ioInwGI6Fv pic.twitter.com/cZvjSOE0os — Google (@Google) June 21, 2017 "Today’s Doodle celebrates the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere," Google explains. "As the longest day of the year, solstice...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #110: E3, young millionaires & SuzelleDIY

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker and Stephen Timm as they detail the week's top news from the Burn Media family of sites. Hadlee opens the floor with the Electronic Entertainment Expo (better known as E3). All the major gaming studios like Sony, Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft gathered to talk about their upcoming projects, but what stood out to Andy was the Xbox One X. Over on Venturburn, Stephen talks about a young man from Pretoria who became a millionaire at 22. Albert Van...

  • #TaxiStrike: Johannesburg, Pretoria traffic disrupted by striking taxi operators

    If you're in Johannesburg, Pretoria or surrounds today, you might want to stay at home. Or at the very least, avoid major highways. Santaco (South African National Taxi Council) members have hit the roads with strike action in mind. From as early as 3.30am Thursday morning, members parked their vehicles in key intersections on major arterial routes across the province. The strike's reportedly in response to high interest rates and steep repayments taxi operators are required to pay to the SA Taxi Finance company. Some of the routes most affected includes the N1 in Midrand and the R21 in Kempton Park leading...

  • Uber CEO Travis Kalanick takes indefinite leave of absence

    Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has announced that he will take an indefinite leave of absence after the company's tumultuous past year. The announcement comes after a slew of issues regarding policy, leadership and prejudice plaguing the transport company in 2017. "For the last eight years my life has always been about Uber," Kalanick wrote in a letter to employees, announcing his move. "Recent events have brought home for me that people are more important than work, and that I need to take some time off of the day-to-day to grieve my mother, whom I buried on Friday, to reflect, to work on...

  • SuzelleDIY creators, ShowMax team up for service’s first original show

    Julia Anastasopoulos of SuzelleDIY fame is joining forces with ShowMax in its first original production, the company today announced. The streaming service revealed that filming for the show, dubbed Tali's Wedding Diary, is currently underway in Cape Town. The eight-part show will take the form of a mockumentary, with Anastasopoulos starring as titular character Tali. "Building on the phenomenal success of her SuzelleDIY character, Anastasopoulos stars as Tali, a self-obsessed Sandton princess who’s moved to Cape Town and has hired a documentary crew to film the build-up to her wedding to property-agent fiancé Darren," reads ShowMax's press release. Julia Anastasopoulos and Ari Kruger...

  • Winter in the Western Cape: Instagram laced with weekend snow pictures

    Last week's cold front brought some extreme weather to South Africa's Western Cape. Along with driving rain and gale-force winds in Cape Town, it also drove hot berg winds to the Garden Route, which fuelled the catastrophic Knysna fire. While the latter is now largely under control, there was another weather phenomenon that some took the time to capture with their smartphones and upload online -- snow. People are uploading their weekend snow adventure pictures in the Western Cape on Instagram The Western Cape's higher peaks this weekend -- including the Matroosberg, the Hottentots-Holland and the Hex River Mountains -- were laced...

  • YouTube videos capture devastation of Cape Town storm, Knysna fire

    We use the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook extensively when covering stories across South Africa, but when the Cape Town storm rolled across the peninsula this week, citizens took to YouTube to upload their clips. Although some of the videos were hoaxes, clearly edited to incite viral reactions from those all too eager to hit like and retweet buttons, other videos were genuine. And genuinely scary. At the time of writing, nine of the top 12 trending videos on YouTube in South Africa is related to the Cape Town storm or Knysna fires. Read more: Memeburn's in-depth coverage of the #CapeStorm and...

  • Knysna Fire: another Western Cape disaster trends on social media

    Knysna, a town situated on the Garden Route approximately 420km east of Cape Town, is battling a huge blaze sweeping across dense indigenous forest. The fire escalated in the early hours of Wednesday, largely fueled by gale force winds ahead of Cape Town's current storm system. Read more: Memeburn's ongoing coverage of Cape Town's winter storm As a result of the blaze, national roads have been closed with three deaths also reported in the region. Knysna's Eden District Municipality declared that "various fires are out of control" in a statement on Wednesday. While Twitter for much of today featured #CapeStorm as the top trending...

  • Cape Town storm: what’s running, delayed or cancelled in the city

    You've probably heard the numerous warnings on social media about the weather set to rock Cape Town on Wednesday, but if you haven't, it's going to rain. More than 50mm is expected in certain areas within 24 hours, with wind gusts pushing 90km/h in some parts of the peninsula too. Cape Town's winter storm coverage: Alerts ring across Twitter as Cape Town’s Wednesday storm bears closer Track Cape Town’s storm in realtime with these 3 free resources #StormHelen: Twitter names Cape Town's storm after Helen Zille Naturally, some people are going to work from home, and thanks to the internet that's possible in 2017. Others...