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News

  • Cape Town dev team’s widget wins it SA leg of BBC development studio challenge

    Building a simple widget that allows people to listen to BBC content online, a team of Cape Town developers has been selected as part of the BBC development studio challenge. The RLabs Catchup team was chosen from a group of 12 competing South African teams which took part in the BBC development studio in South Africa in April. The teams participating in the two-day event worked with various technologies exploring new ways of delivering audio in a cost-efficient way to reach younger audiences. The selected idea from RLabs is based on a digital widget that can be easily placed...

  • Google Chrome unleashes The Great Suspender

    Chrome has introduced an extension that sounds like a film title with Denzel Washington and his definitive walk playing the lead. The Great Suspender is here and it will sort out your problem. The Great Suspender is a lightweight chrome extension to help reduce Chrome's memory footprint for users who like to have more than one tab open at the same time. It replaces the URL, with a simple screen that says "Tab suspended, click to reload” and opens whenever the user is ready to do so. A tab can be restored by clicking anywhere on the page when it...

  • Could South Africa’s new drone regulations kill businesses, innovation?

    The South African Civil Aviation Authority has released the new regulations for flying drones in public. Drone usage has become an important part of journalism, filmmaking and even security. These are not in effect yet but will be from 1 July 2015. It is only a matter of waiting now as the regulations have already been signed by Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters. Poppy Khoza, Director of Civil Aviation, clarified in a press release what constitutes a drone. “Remotely piloted aircraft systems are aircraft that can fly without a pilot on board. These aircraft come in various shapes and sizes...

  • The first trailer for Michael Fassbender’s Steve Jobs is out

    Universal Studios has finally released the first trailer for its Steve Jobs biopic. The controversy surrounding this film has built as much interest about it as the person it depicts. It is anticipated to be a better stab at Steve Jobs’ life than Jobs, in which Ashton Kutcher manages to look like Steve Jobs and not much else. The film is based on Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple co-founder. Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter, appears to have unleashed some jams on the script too (as he did on The Social Network). “The musicians play the instruments, I play the orchestra”...

  • Uber, Discovery Health brings SA on-demand flu vaccinations for the winter

    What do you get when you add on-demand lifting app Uber and South African insurance company Discovery Health? Free flu vaccines on 22 May 2015! Just kidding. They won't be free but now that I have your attention, door-to-door flu vaccines and big Vitality points are a promise. On this chosen day (and only this day), Uber will run these deliveries with Discovery Health, allowing you -- the awesomely lazy or busy bunch -- to hunker down in your home until rescue arrives. How to get your flu shot on demand: Between 10am and 4pm on 22 May only, you will...

  • Facebook launches Internet.org in Malawi

    The Internet.org project by Facebook is now available in Malawi through the TNM and Airtel Malawi. The project is an initiative by Facebook to bring together technology leaders, non-profits and local communities  with the goal of connecting the two thirds of the world that don't have internet access. Only one out of every three people can access the web, Internet.org says, and this is its plan change this. “Giving people free access is the right thing to do. We will keep connecting more people and more countries, and we won’t stop until every person in the world can connect to the Internet,”...

  • Sunrise calendar introduces Meet, the fastest way to schedule a one-to-one

    Gone are the days of diaries and scheduling things with a pen. Let's face it, a calendar that sends you a notification when your event is close is better than one that does not. Sunrise, the calendar app acquired by Microsoft in early February, has released a new feature called Meet. Meet is a keyboard for Android and iOS that lets users select available time slots in their Sunrise calendar without leaving the app they are in. After setting an event, users can email the link to someone else. Meet is a fast way to schedule one-to-one meetings. Meet is meant...

  • Google Fit receives an update, now estimates distance and calories burned

    Google Fit has received an update and can now estimate distance and calories burned. The LG Health has this feature so Google Fit is playing catch up and not innovating new things. Tracking one's exercise, be it the mere walking of everyday, running, hiking or cycling, has become a prominent feature in tech. Google notes that this feature is to enable its Google Fit users to have the tools to check on their progress. The update needs extra information to be functional. Users have to update their profile and include gender, height and weight. Users will also now have...

  • 34 hilarious Tweets from Mmusi Maimane’s #AskMmusi Twitter Town Hall

    Update: The author of this piece has reconsidered his views and written a piece explaining why. Read more: #AskMmusi: was Mmusi Maimane’s Twitter town hall actually a triumph? Opening yourself up to Twitter is a risky business at the best of times. But when you're a recently elected South African political leader dealing with one of the most cynical Twitter communities on the planet, then things can go very badly wrong. That's the lesson DA leader Mmusi Maimane's had to find out the hard way today. Viewed by many as the opposition party's attempt to replicate the rapid rise of...

  • Tweeting emoji will help save endangered animals

    We all love emojis. They're as simple as they are efficient. But we all too often take the tiny digital critters for granted. That's until now as the World Wide Fund for Nature just launching an online campaign to help raise awareness and donations for 17 emoji animals that are endangered. Running with the hashtag #EndangeredEmoji, every cute, cuddly emoji animal you tweet will donate €00.10 / £00.10. If you're using a Mac, simply click the Twitter tweet box then press ALT-CMD-T for a list of emojis. Windows users need to right-click on the taskbar and choose “Touch Keyboard” inside the Toolbars section. A new...

  • Facebook is now a publisher, launches Instant Articles

    It's official, Facebook is now a publisher. Instant Articles, a new product for publishers to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook, officially launched yesterday. It has been in discussion and planning since a few months ago. For now, Facebook is working with nine launch partners for Instant Articles: The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild. “Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook” said Chris Cox, Facebook Chief Product Officer. There's no doubt that people share plenty of articles on Facebook....

  • Apple turns manufacturing process green with WWF China partnership

    Apple is partnering with the World Wildlife Fund to help protect as much as 1 million acres of forests responsible for pulp, paper and wood products in China. This is part of the tech conglomerate's mission to take all its global operations off-the-grid. Although as 87% of Apple’s global operations is already run on renewable energy, which include its offices, data centres and stores, the multinational  is now looking to green up its manufacturing processes as well. "We’ve set an example by greening our data centres, retail stores and corporate offices, and we’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon...

  • Sony Mobile, 5FM relaunch Xperia Mashlab project

    Sony Mobile and 5FM, one of the country's top radio stations, are relaunching the Xperia Mashlab project, a mesh between South African music and technology that will be run by the fans, for the fans. The Mashlab brand began in 2013 by current 5FM DJ John Savage and aimed to provide with public with fan-driven, unique tracks from select artists. Ultimately, it's "a unique adventure allowing fans to form a part of a musical journey where they drive the production process to form a unique, proudly South African song," notes the press release. In essence, fans decide the collaborations they'd like...

  • Dropbox for iOS updates with file comments and more

    A while ago Dropbox and Microsoft formed a partnership to bolster cross-platform integration, and now this relationships is beginning to bear fruit. In a Dropbox iOS update, the company has added new features, including the likes of file commenting and recent tabs. The commenting feature allows users to add comments on files via the Dropbox website. Users can gather feedback or respond to discussions even when on the go. This social media like feature is taken a step further by introducing notifications: “If someone mentions you in a comment or weighs in on a file where you’re already part of the...

  • Stephen Hawking’s daughter slams UK journo for Ed Miliband ‘spectrum’ tweets

    Lucy Hawking, the daughter of acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking has written an emotional open letter to Sun columnist Katie Hopkins, slamming the way she talks about the disabled. The letter was sparked by a series of tweets in which Hopkins described Labour leader Ed Miliband as looking like someone "on the spectrum". ED STOP LOOKING AT US. You are weird. Look at people not a machine. Try and act off the spectrum #leadersdebate— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) April 2, 2015 Published on The Guardian's website, the letter calls on Hopkins to help end disability discrimination. "I hoped that now no disabled person...