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Industry News

  • 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...

  • This Google Doodle lets you create calming musical animations

    Today would have been Oskar Fischinger's 117th birthday, and Google is using its latest doodle to celebrate his abstract animations. The German-American was notable for his abstract musical animations long before computer graphics and the concept of music videos came into play. In 1936, Fischinger and his wife fled Germany when it became clear he could not pursue his art under Hitler's regime. When he arrived in the US, Paramount Pictures offered him a job. He went on to animate sequences for Disney's Fantasia and Pinocchio. The artist's work was largely created between the 1920s and 1940s -- and the lack of digital technology meant he often spent...

  • Snapchat now makes it easier to stalk friends using ‘Snap Map’

    Snapchat has added a new feature that allows you to see where your friends -- and other featured stories -- are on a map. The Snap Map is accessed by pinching the screen to zoom out, and adds another layer to Snap's already complex interface. Once on the map, the user can choose who can see their location, with the options of all friends, select friends and Ghost Mode (no one but them.) If their friends have chosen to make themselves visible, users can view where they are and the stories that go along with that location. Along with their friends are other...

  • 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...

  • 8 apps addressing some of South Africa’s pressing problems [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. South Africa is a unique country with unique challenges, but technology (and innovative solutions using technology) is attempting to solve these issues, or at least reduce their impact on society. With the commonality of smartphones across all income levels of society, running the likes of Android, iOS and Windows, apps have become one of the more essential change...

  • Here’s how Facebook and Google plan to fight terrorism

    Both Facebook and Google have revealed how they are countering terrorist activity on their respective blogs this past week. These posts come after UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticised the internet for providing a safe space for terrorists to communicate -- and after Facebook itself dodged a lawsuit that claimed it was the reason Palestinian terrorists were able to kill numerous Israelis. Facebook revealed it is looking specifically at how artificial and human intelligence can work together, as well as partnering with other companies, NGOs and governments to bring an end to terror. The company is working on software that identifies when a user...

  • Cape Town brands look to profit off hashtags #CapeStorm and #KnysnaFire

    With every tragedy comes an outpouring of love and support from social media. Thoughts, prayers and tangible help are all offered to those in need. But with the good comes the bad too, and businesses and social media opportunists often look to cash in on destruction with profit and likes. These users take a hashtag, which others can view for information on events or for calls to action, and use it for their own personal gain, disregarding lives lost or homes destroyed. Take, for instance, this Instagram post using the topical #CapeStorm. Happy Thursday!!! Hope you have a good one and that...

  • Uk’shona Kwelanga review: if only it weren’t an ad

    With the rise of digital media comes a host of interesting ways for storytellers to express themselves. We've seen the likes of movies told exclusively on Snapchat, and television shows enriched by the fictional social media lives of their characters. And now we've seen a WhatsApp drama. Uk'shona Kwelanga (or Death of Langa) is an innovative ad campaign by Sanlam about a family dealing with the loss of its patriarch. Told entirely as if the viewer is part of the family's group chat, Uk'shona places you front and center for the drama that a family death inevitably brings. Unfortunately, what is an intriguing and exciting concept...

  • Tornadoes and Katrina: the totally fake news from Cape Town’s storm

    If you're reading this piece, good for you. It means that you're actively searching for the truth among the steaming pile of manure that is "fact" on social media. There have been a number of fake images and videos circulating on social media during the intense cold front currently lashing Cape Town and surrounds. Thanks to swelling public interactions, they've also gone viral. And that's not a good thing. Considering the severity of the storm -- the fact that people are now homeless in the likes of Imizamo Yethu, Khayelitsha and Mfuleni -- should be more than enough reason for people...

  • Track Cape Town’s storm in realtime with these 3 free resources

    You might've heard passing reports about Cape Town's inclement weather forecast today. These reports suggest that the oncoming cold front will be one of the fiercest the city has seen in quite some time. While you'll likely need an umbrella before leaving the house tomorrow, you can also track the progress of the front as it sweeps across the peninsula. Cape Town’s winter storm coverage: Cape Town storm: what’s running, delayed or cancelled in the city #StormHelen: Twitter names Cape Town’s storm after Helen Zille Alerts ring across Twitter as Cape Town’s Wednesday storm bears closer Much like hurricanes and other weather systems, cold fronts...

  • Subscription-based ERP software becoming more relevant during SA’s economic toils

    In light of South Africa’s recent economic upheaval, local enterprises are under more financial pressure than ever before, with many sacrificing critical business management tools so as to protect their all-important cash flow. Enterprise Resource Planning software, or ERP as it’s commonly known, is one of many key business tools entrepreneurs have historically steered clear of, deterred by the financial implications such an investment might have on business. Traditionally thought of as a big business tool, ERP software enables business owners to enjoy a 360 degree view of their operation, improving transparency and collaboration, and in many cases, significantly reducing operational...

  • Coconuts: Cape Town entrepreneurs feud on Facebook after ‘blatant’ foul play

    We've been giving avocados stick this month on Memeburn, but today, we're looking at two coconut-orientated Cape Town startups locked in a social and legal battle. A piece published on blog Fury Marketing this week details the story of Jenna Leigh Smuts -- the owner of small Cape Town business Coconut Connection. Smuts is accusing Heather Cheung -- her former business partner -- of stealing her business. Cheung refutes these claims, suggesting that Smuts registered the business as sole shareholder without her consent. Cheung currently owns the competing business dubbed Coconut Connect. The maelstrom While the original business is three years old, it...

  • Sanlam debuts SA’s first WhatsApp drama in novel marketing campaign

    We've seen social media used extensively as the vehicle for performance art, but what about less image-heavy services like WhatsApp? Arriving via a clever marketing campaign by Sanlam, South African drama series Uk’shona Kwelanga (or The Death of Langa) is set to debut on the Facebook-owned chat app next month. Yes, a drama series made exclusively for WhatsApp. According to the press release, the show "tells the tale of a South African family struggling to deal with the emotional and financial ramifications of loss while planning their father's funeral". The screenplay is penned by Bongi Ndaba (previous head writer of Generations) while a...

  • South Africa: here’s how to get four free months on Google Play Music

    Google Play Music now offers a four-month free trial for those subscribing to its service. The streaming music platform headed by the Mountain View company houses over 30-million tracks, and allows users to upload their own to the cloud, usually comes with a two- or three-month trial. But Google's seemingly feeling a bit generous this week. First spotted by Android Police last week, the deal is still ongoing at the time of writing. And yes, it's available to those within South Africa's borders too. Interestingly, it seems that the deal comes in tow with South Africa's addition to Google Play promo codes supported...