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Industry News

  • Google’s Smart Compose will now suggest genderless pronouns

    According to a report, Google has removed gendered pronouns from Smart Compose. This means that words like him, her, he or she will no longer be suggested when typing in Gmail. Smart Compose is an AI feature that helps Google users complete sentences by assuming the next word or phrase. Unfortunately, the company noticed that some of these assumptions were gender biased, offering him in places where the user may be referring to a her. Speaking to Reuters, Gmail’s product manager Paul Lambert said that the company takes gender quite seriously, calling it a "a big, big thing". He also explained that after many...

  • Bitcoin was stupidly cheap this weekend, now hovering around R55k

    Bitcoin didn't have a good Thanksgiving. Whether it was the dry turkey or the grainy pumpkin pie, the cryptocurrency has lost some 40% of its value in the past two weeks, falling to below US$4000 (R52 364) on Saturday. Compare this to its high water mark of US$19 666 recorded late in 2017, and the digital currency has lost three-quarters of its value in 2018 alone. At present, Bitcoin has recovered slightly, standing at just below R55 000. Other cryptocurrencies, which also didn't fare much better during the Thanksgiving-Black Friday mayhem, have largely recovered. Ripple (XRP) -- a cryptocurrency that's fast becoming a heavy...

  • Memeburn’s top tips and tricks for winning those Black Friday specials

    Black Friday is a game. Imagine that you're Mario, the sites offering specials are Princess Peach, and everything between you and the checkout is the level. Sometimes, these levels are pretty unfair, and laced with design issues. But there are ways to improve your chances of winning the game. Here are just a few. Log in to your favourite sites beforehand Once the crush begins and servers start melting, ensuring that you're logged in well before enhances your chances of successfully purchasing items. Last year, attempting to log in to any sites after 12am was impossible. Don't make that same mistake this...

  • Black Friday: these are Cell C, MTN, Telkom and Vodacom’s data specials

    Looking for more data this Black Friday? We take a look at what South Africa's big four networks -- Cell C, MTN, Telkom, and Vodacom -- are offering consumers this year. Cell C's Black Friday specials Following the announcement of its MediaPlay contract packages earlier this year, Cell C is now "is doubling the inclusive anytime data for both MediaPlay Postpaid and MediaPlay TopUp customers who purchase a 24-month contract". In a release, the mobile network suggested that the offer is valid for any new subscribers or those upgrading, and will be valid until 6 January 2019. "The double data will last for...

  • Dolce & Gabbana offends China, then claims its Instagram was hacked

    Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana is facing a huge PR dilemma after a tone-deaf advertisement was published to social media, mated to leaked discriminatory messages from co-founder Stefano Gabbana. Let's start with the ad. On Sunday, the brand published the first of a series of #DGLovesChina marketing clips to Instagram. The clip was part of the fashion company's build up to "The Great Show", an extravaganza featuring some of China's top personalities and models. The ad, which took the form of a short Instagram video, aimed to meld Italian and Chinese culture, but largely represented the latter as basic. "Welcome to Episode...

  • Pick n Pay Smart Shoppers can now gain points for petrol at BP

    Pick n Pay Smart Shopper card owners can now swipe their plastic at BP service stations to earn points on their fuel spend. The retailer and fuel company had previously hinted that the extended partnership will be implemented before year-end. Today, the pair made it official. BP and @PicknPay have partnered up! Visit your nearest BP and swipe your Smart Shopper card to start earning 20 points per litre of fuel! pic.twitter.com/7TnLlRfuLx — BP South Africa (@BP_SouthAfrica) November 22, 2018 Those who swipe their Smart Shopper cards at BP service centres will earn 20 points per litre of fuel. The points here, unlike...

  • Standard Bank Mobile is South Africa’s latest (virtual) network

    South Africa has a new (virtual) mobile network operator in Standard Bank. The financial services provider today confirmed that it will ply its trade in the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) space with Standard Bank Mobile. The network will be supported by Cell C, which also platforms rival offering FNB Connect. While Cell C and MTN will do the heavy lifting, as an MVNO, Standard Bank Mobile offers packages on its network favouring its own banking clientele. Users who don't have a Standard Bank account cannot use the network. The network's base subscription fee is R39 per month, while voice calls are...

  • iOS update allows you to use Google Assistant through Siri

    A new update to the iOS version of Google Assistant now allows users to add Google shortcuts to Siri. This means that the two voice assistants can work together, and users can access Google Assistant features such as “Hey Google” via Siri. Previously, Apple users would have to choose between the two virtual assistant options. With the addition of Assistant shortcuts for Siri however, Google is growing its prevalence on iOS devices. Feature image: Appstore

  • Netflix’s iOS app update adds a gaggle of Android features

    Streaming platform Netflix has updated its iOS app to include a few simple features that are already standard with the Android version. Apple users will now have access to the 10 second forward/rewind feature, as well as the “Next Episode” button. “Enjoy bigger controls like play/pause, with labels to quickly select Episodes or turn on Audio & Subtitles,” the company also adds in a media update. The Netflix update requires devices running iOS 11.0 or newer. Feature image: Netflix

  • BlackBerry drops $1.4bn on cybersecurity firm Cylance

    BlackBerry -- yes, that BlackBerry -- is now the owner of American cybersecurity firm Cylance. The company paid US$1.4-billion in cash, in addition to the "assumption of unvested employee incentive awards" to snap up the Californian firm. Although BlackBerry has long marketed itself as a security leader in the smartphone and business worlds, the acquisition is the first real showcase of its repositioning from a smartphone maker and business software vendor to a cybersecurity firm. According to a press release issued by BlackBerry, Cylance uses "artificial intelligence, algorithmic science, and machine learning" in its security software to predict and prevent "known and...

  • You can now view the messages sent to businesses in Google Maps

    Google has revealed a new tool that will allow users to view messages in Google Maps. The feature will display conversations people have had with Business Profiles on Google. “Sending messages to businesses gives you the opportunity to ask questions without having to make a phone call,” says the company. “Now you’ll see your messages with the businesses you connect with via Business Profiles within the Google Maps app.” If you have contacted any business online via Google, you will now be able to view these chat threads in your Maps app. Originally the ability to messages Business Profiles on Google was...

  • 3 Android load shedding apps for South Africa

    Load shedding was a buzzword, albeit a much maligned one, during the early years of this decade. But according to every South Africa's favourite provider of electricity, Eskom, it may make a sudden return. A report by Moneyweb on Monday revealed that a number of Eskom's coal power stations have just 10 days of reserve stock remaining. "In the meantime, the power utility is using costly diesel plants to supplement the power generated by its coal-fired fleet," the report by Antoinette Slabbert continued, further suggesting that loadshedding may come sooner rather than later. Because it's always better to be prepared (someone please...

  • Gboard now uses AI to suggest the perfect emoji

    If all you ever wanted from a mobile keyboard is, well, a mobile keyboard, you're going to hate Gboard's latest update. Google's keyboard, from today, will now suggest GIFs, emoji and stickers to users during your conversations using AI. "This makes it faster and easier to share your #feelings and your glowing personality with whoever you’re chatting with," wrote Angana Ghosh, Gboard's product lead, on Google's Keyword blog. The suggestion feature is triggered when keywords are typed into conversation. This can include overused single words like "awesome" or multiple common phrases like "I'm sleepy". The feature uses Google's AI engine, but it emphasises...

  • Google Chrome 71 could ad block your entire website

    Google has revealed a new plan further to protect Chrome users against abusive ad content. “Starting in December 2018, Chrome 71 will remove all ads on the small number of sites with persistent abusive experiences,” says the company on its blog. This means that entire sites could have their ads blocked if Google flags them for containing abusive ad content. Google notes that harmful ads still affects users despite its current efforts to block ads that have bad intentions, with over half of the offensive online content still slipping through. “These ads trick users into clicking on them by pretending to be system...

  • Pick n Pay launches ‘early’ online Black Friday deals

    Pick n Pay has announced its first wave of Black Friday deals, more than two weeks before the actual day itself. In a smart marketing play, the retailer's offering visitors to its online site a number of deals on groceries and household products. Deals will be refreshed once every week from today until 25 November 2018 -- two days after Black Friday. To purchase deals, users will need to create a Pick n Pay account online, including delivery details. Shoppers will also need to book a delivery slot, arrange for a "Click n Collect" which allows users to grab the items from...