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      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
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BurnCast

  • MiniMeme Podcast: How a social media detox changed our daily lives

    Last week, Julia Breakey and Daniel Mpala challenged themselves to a week-long social media detox. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no YouTube. They set out to see if it could be done, what it was like, and who exactly they were without the frenzy of social media. The week proved fruitful, and in this week's episode of MiniMeme, they discuss the pros and cons of a life away from news feeds, timelines, likes and retweets. Listen to their experience here. Additional listening: MiniMeme #10: The sombre sides of social media

  • TWR #130: SA Black Friday deals, Silicon Valley, Battlefront 2, and more

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, where we discuss the latest in tech and startup news. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Stephen Timm, Andy Walker, and Julia Breakey. Stephen kicks off the week by discussing the Silvertree founder who criticised the Silicon Valley model of glorifying the pitching of ideas, rather than helping entrepreneurs to better execute on these ideas. We then move on to the lighter topic of Justice League, the latest superhero movie to hit the big screens. While Julia says it should win the hearts of fans, it may not be enough to convince non-believers that superhero films are worth the time. Moving...

  • The Weekly Roundup Podcast: SA Mate 10 prices, Google’s Launchpad Africa accelerator & more

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, where we talk the week in tech and startup news. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Julia Breakey and Stephen Timm. First on the agenda is Google's Launchpad Africa Accelerator, which is now accepting its first cohort of applications. The tech giant will take on 10 startups in the programme’s first cohort, set to start early next year in Lagos, Nigeria — from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The team then moves to Twitter's latest rules update that, while including some welcome new additions like prohibiting child sexual exploitation and unwanted sexual advances, poses some worrying questions about...

  • MiniMeme Podcast #10: The sombre sides of social media

    Welcome to MiniMeme, the biweekly podcast about anything that tickles the Burn Media junior staff's fancy! On today's episode, Julia Breakey and Daniel Mpala sit down and talk the sombre sides of social media -- including the psychological manipulation, distraction techniques, and the ways it forces you to stay logged in. But, like, in a chipper way. Recommended reading: 'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia How Facebook rewards polarising political ads Facebook told advertisers it can identify teens feeling 'insecure' and 'worthless'

  • TWR Podcast: SA responds to Henri van Breda, Panayiotou & other stories

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week our editor Andy Walker teams up with Julia Breakey and Stephen Timm in studio. First up on the agenda is the dispiriting story of South Africa's bump down the World Bank's list in terms of ease of business. This drop is in spite of a booming venture capital sector that saw 134% growth of VC investments. The team then moves on to the Facebook-owned platforms that are trouncing competitors in terms of user numbers. Fun fact: Facebook has more duplicate...

  • TWR Podcast: Cape Town’s water rationing, Pixel 2 XL’s screen burn-in & more

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons is joined by Andy Walker and Daniel Mpala in studio. Daniel opens the floor by discussing the 15 South African tech startups that have concluded deals valued at over $137.7-million so far this year -- 12 of which are Cape Town-based. We then move over to Gearburn, where Hadlee discusses the Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone, which has been experiencing screen burn-in after only days of personal use. Could it result in a product recall? Sticking to smartphones, we...

  • TWR Podcast: Netflix SA event, #MeToo, and the latest South African Uber rival

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, host Hadlee Simons is joined by Julia Breakey and Stephen Timm. Kicking off the episode, Hadlee talks the Huawei Mate 10 coming to South Africa in November. The Mate 10 packs a Kirin 970 processor with a neural processing unit for AI, but what does that mean for consumers? On the agenda: Huawei Mate 10, Netflix SA, a local startup looking to take on Uber, and #MeToo Over on Ventureburn, Stephen details the local startup Scoop a Cab, set to take on Uber....

  • MiniMeme Podcast: Disaster Shark and other internet hoaxes

    Welcome to MiniMeme, Burn Media's podcast helmed by the junior staff where they talk about any topic that tickles their fancy. This week, it's all about internet hoaxes, big and small, that have shaped the way people use the internet (or just made us laugh, if we're honest). We talk: Disaster Shark, libertarian time traveller John Titor, Cole Sprouse's Tumblr experiment, and how "fake news" has made it all a lot less fun. Catch the full podcast here: Additional reading: GUIDE: How to spot fakes and hoaxes online | Africa Check

  • TWR #125: The Last Jedi trailer, Harvey Weinstein & RIP Windows 10 Mobile

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker, Julia Breakey, and Daniel Mpala in studio. Kicking off the agenda, the team talk the much-awaited Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer. Promising another technically beautiful film, the trailer also hints at themes yet to be explored in this generation of the franchise. We then move on to the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which saw the powerful Hollywood producer outed for covering up decades of sexual harassment allegations. The story has a offered a dark look into the predatory...

  • TWR #124: ‘horrifying’ Oscar Pistorius movie, Google Pixel 2 & more

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, where we talk the past week's news in all things tech and startups. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker, Daniel Mpala and Julia Breakey in studio. Daniel kicks things off by detailing Ventureburn's currently-running Startup Survey. The survey aims to get a firmer grasp of the South African startup scene by examining its challenges, founders and funders. We then move on to Memeburn, where Julia tells us about the Lifetime Oscar Pistorius movie, which seemingly tells the prosecution's side of the story. The Steenkamps have issued a statement that they are horrified at the film, and the...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #123: Twitter, FNB & more

    Welcome to The Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, holidaying Hadlee Simons is back to host Andy Walker and Daniel Mpala in studio. The first topic on the table is Twitter's controversial move to 280-character tweets. Andy questions whether it's a bid to keep users interested in the platform, while Hadlee predicts that the move will bring in even less engagement than before. Up next is Uber's fourth anniversary on the continent, which brought with it the interesting story of a 3000km+ Uber road trip and one man's quest to...

  • The Weekly Roundup Podcast #122: Russian Facebook, killing Bixby & more

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Andy Walker hosts Julia Breakey and Stephen Timm in studio. We kick off the episode by laying out what we know about the cryptocurrency mining issue that saw our site temporarily disabled this week. We then move on to a Ventureburn story about ICOs and the emerging popularity of the cryptocurrency scene in South Africa. Over on Memeburn, Julia talks how Facebook enabled the Russian tampering of the 2016 US election. Receiving over US$100 000 in ad sales from the propaganda, the...

  • The Weekly Roundup Podcast #121: Water from air, Ted Cruz porn & the Apple launch

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Andy Walker hosts Stephen Timm and Julia Breakey in studio. We kick off the episode with a Ventureburn story about a Durban man's endeavour to solve Cape Town's water crisis with machines that turn air into water. The snag? They run on electricity that is created by using tons more water than what will be produced. Over on Memeburn, Andy talks us through how one US Senator got caught liking porn on Twitter. Immediately inciting a trend for the "Zodiac killer"...

  • MiniMeme Podcast #8: Should we take the likes of Jake Paul and PewDiePie more seriously?

    Traditional media (and the general population) have a tendency to dismiss YouTubers as silly and not worth taking seriously -- but they are entertainers connecting with massive audiences and what they do matters. In today's podcast, Julia Breakey and Daniel Mpala discuss why and how YouTube should be considered with the gravity it deserves. Take a listen in the latest episode of MiniMeme. Additional reading: Social media is real life Cybercrimes and cybersecurity bill YouTube's community guidelines MiniMeme Podcast #5: Should Dunkirk have been more diverse?

  • Weekly Roundup Podcast #120: Nokia 8 in SA, ICOs and more

    Welcome to the Weekly Roundup, 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 in studio. Stephen opens the floor with a Ventureburn story on the SA Reserve Bank and its unwillingness to protect initial coin offerings (ICOs). The stance comes as China bans use altogether, renewing concerns on the use of cryptocurrencies. Over on Memeburn, Andy talks his favourite subject of the week: weather. Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Katia are currently threatening life in the Caribbean, US and Mexico and each of their paths can be traced via...