• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Industry News

  • 8+ portable apps you should keep on your flash drive

    Portable apps are one of the coolest things ever, allowing you to run PC apps off your flash drive without having to install them on the host PC. There are loads of supported apps out there, so we chose a few that you should slap on your flash drive. Google Chrome Maybe you're using a friend or loved one's PC. Maybe you're at an internet cafe. Maybe you're travelling and using a hotel computer. Either way, why use Edge or Internet Explorer when Chrome will do better? The portable app means that you can use Google's browser on another machine, complete with your...

  • The YouTube app now has a DM tab

    Google has added yet another messaging feature to its repertoire -- and this time it's on the YouTube app. Dubbed the "Shared" tab, the feature allows you to send videos and chat with friends directly in YouTube. These friends are anyone you connect with via email, phone number or an invitation link. That's right -- anyone to whom you've ever sent an email will now have your channel sitting in their shared tab for whenever they get nosy. With the click of a button, your university tutors, your colleagues, that friend you stopped speaking to years ago: they'll know every video...

  • SA election simulator game: you ANC’n nothing yet

    We've seen quite a few politically orientated games come out over the years, such as Democracy and Realpolitiks, but what about a local take on the theme? A group of university students are indeed working on an SA election simulator of sorts, due for release next month. The web-based game (actually called ECivix Election Simulator) is part of a youth empowerment project to "enhance and develop civic engagement and constitutional literacy", says Daniel Eloff, one of the people behind the project. The idea was conceived by a group of law, actuarial and economics students at the University of Pretoria, according to...

  • Google employee’s anti-diversity memo targets women’s ‘biology’

    A Google employee has come under fire for releasing a ten-page-long document on why diversity in the workplace is dangerous. The document, which was first reported by Motherboard, was circulated internally at Google before being released publicly by Gizmodo. In it, the author outlines how men and women differ biologically -- and how the company's diversity efforts should be examined in regards to its "costs and benefits". They argue that women are more people-oriented, anxiety-prone and less ambitious, and conclude that the workplace should not be made more comfortable for them because male employees would suffer. The document also claims that there are notable IQ differences between different groups of people...

  • Google Play Store will no longer suggest ‘lower quality’ apps in search

    Google Play Store has made it easier for users to spot the "lower quality" apps on its platform from the genuinely useful. According to a new blog post, the company is actively focussing on privileging apps that exhibit stellar stability, and penalising those that show "excessive battery usage, slow render times, and crashes". "As part of our continued effort to deliver the best possible Google Play experience, we recently enhanced our search and discovery algorithms to reflect app quality," Google Play's product manager Andrew Ahn explains. Google Play rewards well-built apps by pushing them further up search listings "This results in higher quality apps...

  • VSCO gains video editing features, but there’s a premium catch

    Popular photo editing suite VSCO has long let users on iOS and Android edit their fancy photographs. But a new update finally lets users tinker with videos. "Although VSCO has long been home to storytelling through photography, we also recognise and celebrate different mediums of creative expression like DSCOs, design, poetry, and videography," the company writes on its blog. There is of course a catch. The video editing tools are only available on iOS for now, and only accessible to VSCO X members -- the app's premium membership tier. The subscription service also gives paying customers access to a bevy of additional...

  • YouTube Red and Google Play Music to merge into one streaming service

    YouTube's head of music Lyor Cohen has confirmed that YouTube Red and Google Play Music will be merging into one streaming service, according to a report from The Verge. Speaking at a panel in New York, Cohen acknowledged that the services provide similar offerings and that it was important to combine them. YouTube's streaming services are complicated. YouTube Red costs US$9.99 a month, and includes an ad-free experience, offline watching, and access to original Red content. It also provides access to Google Play Music. Google Play Music offers ad-free music streaming, the ability to make playlists, and offline listening. It costs the same, and a...

  • Disruptive technology: which poses the biggest risk to businesses?

    There’s a great deal of discussion about disruptive technologies today. From 3D printing to block chain to self-driving, autonomous cars and trucks, we’re seeing a world going digital. Thirteen disruptive technologies are commonly in use today, including: Sensors Internet of Things (IoT) devices Telematics Smart buildings Fintech Drones 3D printing Advanced robotics Wearables Blockchain Artificial intelligence It’s not at all hard to find panicked descriptions of the digital world or dire predictions of a world where all knowledge -- even the frightening things that should be kept private -- will be connected to all of the people. We are hearing vast predictions of dangers...

  • Black Coffee will host his own show on Apple’s Beats 1

    South Africans are slowly taking over the US entertainment industry. First Trevor Noah's big gig on The Daily Show, and now Apple's Beats 1 has recruited Black Coffee to host a radio show on its platform. The news broke early Wednesday, but only began impacting South Africans later that evening when the DJ formally announced the move on Twitter. Subsequently the hashtag (and name of the upcoming show) #Beats1BlackCoffee began trending. He becomes the first South African to host a show on Apple's live streaming radio service which launched in mid-2015. I'm the newest @Beats1 host. Hear the sounds of global underground...

  • Google implements SOS alerts for nearby crises

    Google has launched SOS Alert for search that provides information on ongoing emergencies. The SOS Alerts pop up whenever someone searches for the name of an event or location. It provides information like maps of the damage, top stories, and even statements from local authorities when available. If the user is close by, the Alert will provide emergency numbers. Users may even be sent a notification if their Google app is up-to-date and location is on. For those removed from the situation, information on where to donate might be provided. Google says that both natural and human-caused emergencies will be included The feature has also been implemented...

  • Alphabet shrugs off $2.7bn fine, still makes stacks of money this quarter

    Google's parent company Alphabet isn't having the smoothest year on record thus far, but that hasn't stopped it from making even more money this quarter. The company today revealed its latest quarterly financial figures for Q2 2017, a quarter that has seen another marked increase in numbers behind dollar signs. "With revenues of $26 billion, up 21% versus the second quarter of 2016 and 23% on a constant currency basis, we're delivering strong growth with great underlying momentum, while continuing to make focused investments in new revenue streams," the company's CFO Ruth Porat told investors in a letter. For comparison, the company...

  • LinkedIn Lite joins the lite app bandwagon

    We've seen quite a few "Lite" versions of popular social networking apps in recent years, now it's time for LinkedIn to jump on the bandwagon with LinkedIn Lite. Yep, the professional network has released LinkedIn Lite for Android in India, TechCrunch reports. So what's actually "lite" about it? The publication says that the new app is 1MB in size, making it ideal for low-end smartphones that have a tiny amount of storage. It's also claimed that the app is optimised for slower connections, with pages loading in under five seconds, "even on a 2G network". That doesn't mean that you've got significantly...

  • Telegram adds self-destructing media, swanky CDN system

    Chat app Telegram has added a number of new features to its latest version, including self-destructing photographs and videos. "If you set a timer, the countdown starts the moment your recipient opens the photo or video you sent," the company reveals in a blog post. "After the time runs out, the photo/video will disappear forever, just like in Secret Chats." If the recipient attempts to screenshot your self-destructing media, you'll receive a notification. Other quality of life improvements include the ability to set a biography for your profile, post and receive larger obnoxious stickers and quicker downloads thanks to an improved content delivery...

  • Personalised marketing: Minority Report might not be so farfetched after all

    Steven Spielberg’s 2002 science-fiction film Minority Report imagines a world in 2054 where every aspect of life is monitored by personalised digital information, including shopping fueled by personalised marketing. The movie’s protagonist, played by Tom Cruise, walks into a mall and is immediately engaged by screens and audio offering him clothing in his size and tailored to his established fashion preferences. Though movies aren’t a reliable source of future trends, integrated real-world and digital experiences are becoming increasingly possible. With the development of devices that can send personalised information, and constantly improving data collection that lets companies aim their product messages accurately, the...

  • New Google Feed will delve even deeper into your data

    Google has taken control of its knowledge of you to personalise its mobile app even further with the launch of the new Google Feed. Replacing what was once Google Now, Google Feed will use even more complicated algorithms to present users with news it thinks they will enjoy. These algorithms know which of your interests you've cultivated for years, and which are passing phases. "For example, if you’re a photography enthusiast but just casually interested in fitness, your feed will show that," engineering VP Shashi Thakur writes. The interface will remain much the same -- the few changes include articles being headed by their...