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Big Tech

  • Google to announce merchant support on SA Play Store? [Update: yes]

    Update: It didn't take place on Monday, but Google nevertheless announced support on Thursday, issuing a press release. "Starting today, developers in South Africa can sell paid applications, in-app products, and subscriptions in Google Play, with monthly payouts to their local bank accounts," read an excerpt of the release. Original article: The Google Play Store might be popular in South Africa, but it's lacking one major feature in the form of merchant support for local developers. The lack of merchant account support means South African developers can't publish paid apps directly onto the Play Store. But that could change as soon as...

  • 10 things we learnt at #GoogleAfrica10

    It seems like Google has been around forever, but the company actually marked its tenth anniversary of opening an African office last week. The firm held the #GoogleAfrica10 event in Johannesburg to celebrate, while we also used the opportunity to interview country manager Luke Mckend. Here are a few details we managed to glean from it all. We have 170 new places on Street View in SA Today sees Google launching 170 new SA places on Street View, says Mich Atagana. #GoogleAfrica10 pic.twitter.com/HYQcfqQsjJ — memeburn (@memeburn) November 2, 2017 The company used #GoogleAfrica10 to announce that it's added 170 new places to Street View in South...

  • More of South Africa’s national parks, tourist hotspots available on Google Street View

    You can now explore even more of South Africa's famous landmarks, national parks and tourist attractions courtesy of Google's Street View and Drive South Africa. The two companies have captured "over 232 points of interest" across all 19 national parks and 17 nature reserves. Some reserves Google labelled as previously "untrekked". According to the company, over 200 volunteers trekked more than 900km across the country's wilderness areas with Street View cameras, officially named "Trekkers", fastened to their backs. "The Trekker camera is a 22kg custom-made backpack fitted with 15 cameras pointing in all directions," explained Andre Van Kets, one of Google South...

  • Google Trends uncovers America’s fascination with Halloween

    It's nearly Halloween, the time of year that dentists must absolutely love, and neighbourhood watch organisations absolutely hate. After all, how do you know if a criminal is dressing up for Halloween? Beyond these tough questions, the world -- and particularly the United States -- just loves preparing for the final day of October. The day has become as important as Thanksgiving and Christmas in the States (see below graph), and this year, Google Trends is shedding some interesting and spooky light onto people's habits taken from 3 October to the present. trends.embed.renderExploreWidget("TIMESERIES", {"comparisonItem":[{"keyword":"/m/03lq2","geo":"US","time":"today...

  • ‘Pay with Google’ simplifies mobile payments on Android

    Filling out forms completely suck, and even more so on mobiles. This is especially true when you just can't wait to part with your hard earned cash for that oh so cheesy pizza. But Google hopes to make this quarrelsome system a little simpler. Its "Pay with Google" service, previewed in May, is now live in the United States. The service should also be live in countries that support Google's Android Pay infrastructure. Replacing forms altogether, Pay with Google lists the credit and debit cards you've connected to your Google Account, or via its other services like Google Play or YouTube. During...

  • Google Play Store adding Instant Apps, more in upcoming update

    A number of changes are coming to the Google Play Store its parent company announced Thursday. Usually the unchanged bastion of the Google ecosystem, the Play Store will finally receive a much needed nip and tuck. As for an implementation timeline, the company remained as mum as ever. Nevertheless, sifting through the latest Google Developers Blog post, here are three standout interface and functionality tweaks heading to the Play Store sometime before the world ends. Revamped Editor's Choice Vineet Buch, author of the post and Google Play's director of product management, noted that a revamped version of Editor's Choice is now live in...

  • Got a cheap phone? Google now brings faster search to Africa

    Between the AMP project and data-saving features in Chrome, Google is providing a few solid solutions to data and speed constraints. Now, the search colossus announced the local availability of yet another solution in this regard. It announced that a faster Google Search experience is now available for most of the continent. It explains that nearly 40% of Android device owners on the continent could have a "slow or delayed" connection due to using devices with low RAM. So what does the solution entail, then? "Now for most of Africa, when you search on Google with a low RAM device via the Google...

  • Microsoft Edge hits Android, iOS because people asked for it (lol)

    Microsoft Edge represents a big improvement over the much-maligned Internet Explorer, but it's still a long way from threatening the likes of Chrome and Firefox (both critically and commercially). So colour us surprised to hear that Microsoft is bringing Edge to Android and iOS. And they're apparently not just doing it to test the waters, but because people wanted it. "One of the most common requests we hear from people who use Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 PCs is 'we want our browser experience to move to our phones'. You spoke, we listened," read an excerpt from an official blog post. As for...

  • Siri thought ‘Despacito’ was Bulgaria’s national anthem

    For a brief moment on Wednesday, Apple's voice assistant Siri thought that the national anthem of Bulgaria was "Despacito". When asked "What is the national anthem of Bulgaria?" Siri responded with an info page for the Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee song, and the definitive answer: "The national anthem of Bulgaria is Despacito". The Verge's Tom Warren was among the first to notice the issue. Siri’s switch to Google went well then... pic.twitter.com/bbG5hI9hQA — Tom Warren (@tomwarren) October 4, 2017 While Siri wouldn't be far off judging by the song's viral popularity -- the video does boast over 3.9-billion views at the time of...

  • ‘All Yahoo user accounts’ were affected by 2013 hack

    When Yahoo announced that a billion users were affected by its 2013 hack, the internet weathered a collective cold sweat. But the story isn't quite done yet. The internet company's parent firm Oath today released "new intelligence" regarding the breach. "Subsequent to Yahoo's acquisition by Verizon, and during integration, the company recently obtained new intelligence and now believes, following an investigation with the assistance of outside forensic experts, that all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the August 2013 theft," Oath, also a subsidiary of Verizon, confirmed in a press release. That's three-billion users. While Oath confirmed that the orchestrators of the hack...

  • Google Doodles is looking for an International Junior Doodler

    Ever spent hours doodling the letter G on some random famous person's birthday? Google may have a job for you all the way in San Francisco, USA. Google Doodles is looking for an International Junior Doodle Artist to join its team and provide some insights into non-US cultural experiences. The team says it would prefer applicants from South or Southeast Asia and the Middle East, but it will be accepting applications from around the world. The #GoogleDoodles team is looking for a Jr. Doodler w/ international experience to join our team! 👀 details → https://t.co/6YS1Zedj7k pic.twitter.com/pnnTaSzX41 — Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 28, 2017 Advertised on none other...

  • Google celebrates its 19th birthday with a glorious time-wasting Doodle

    Today is Google's 19th birthday. I bet you're probably feeling really old right now. But like the first season of Friends, the company only gets better with age. That is especially true if you're considering its Google Doodles. Rolling back all 19 years into one novel Doodle, the company is today debuting its Birthday Surprise Spinner. Open the page, and the spinner begins its whirring. When it stops, it'll give you the option to open one of 19 games or activities from previous Doodles. This includes golden oldies like its Pac-Man Google Maps mashup, and its Which animal are you? Earth Day quiz....

  • Women file pay discrimination lawsuit against Google

    Three women have filed a lawsuit against Google claiming systemic pay discrimination, according to The Guardian. The former employees claim the company consistently pays men more for doing similar work as women in similar conditions. They also allege that Google denies women opportunities for advancement. The class-action complaint, filed on behalf of all women employed by the company in California in the last four years, could see more employees stepping up as it continues. Leading the charge is former employee Kelly Ellis, who has provided detailed evidence of Google's alleged pay gap. Ellis says that when she was first hired, Google placed her in a "Level 3" job, typically reserved for...

  • #AppleEvent: the highs, the lows and the memes from Apple’s iPhone X launch

    Today at its headquarters in Cupertino, Apple announced a refreshed product lineup including a number of new iPhones, a new Apple TV and a shiny new Apple Watch, and Twitter users were (sure enough) reporting live from their armchairs. For all the technical specifications and more, you might want to visit our sister site Gearburn. But over here, we took a deeper, introspective look at social media's reaction to Apple's launch event, from start to finish. Sit back, and enjoy the memes, joy and jibes from the bleachers. The buildup... The hype pre-event was palpable, with many readying getting those stacks of dollars. #AppleEvent Tim...

  • Apple Watch Series 3 brings Apple Music streaming to the wrist

    At its first product launch event at the new Steve Jobs Theatre, Apple debuted a slew of new devices. One of them was the Apple Watch Series 3. But while you can catch all the technical specs of the Watch over on Gearburn, on Memeburn we're more concerned by one particular detail: Apple Music will be available on the device. Apple punted its music service's 40-million tracks, which will all be streamable from the wrist, thanks to the Watch's new electronic SIM system, that can connect to cellular networks. While the electronic SIM was only demoed using an AT&T network, this is...