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General

  • Google launches new voice control app for Android

    Google has launched a new accessibility app for Android devices called Voice Access. The app “provides a hands-free experience for Android, letting people navigate through apps, compose and edit text, and talk to the Google Assistant,” Google said in the announcement. This means that you will now be able to use your voice to control and command your Android device. This accessibility does not only provide ease-of-access for all, but also helps those with physical disabilities have more autonomy when using their tech devices. In fact, Google’s Accessibility team includes impaired individuals who help test and develop products such as Voice Access. The company...

  • Google Drive gets a much prettier, refreshed user interface

    Hot on the heels of Gmail's redesign, Google Drive is also getting its share of UI updates. The Mountain View company on Wednesday announced changes that will smooth out the service's currently clunky layout, and add some material design flair to the visuals. "There’s no change in functionality, but some icons and buttons have moved, and there’s a range of visual tweaks to align with Google’s latest material design principles," Google explains in a press release. With that said, specific design tweaks include changing the position of company logos, a settings icon placed alongside the search bar, a repositioned Help Centre icon...

  • Today at Memeburn: why the site was temporarily down

    On 20 September, you may have noticed that Memeburn was inaccessible. On Monday, you also may have noticed a spike in CPU usage when visiting any of the site's pages. Upon deeper inspection by our developers, we discovered a script that used our visitor’s CPU power to mine cryptocurrency. The script was injected into a segment of our website's source code. Said script was from Coinhive -- a service that allows site admins to embed a line of Javascript in their websites to secretly mine a cryptocurrency called Monero. The Pirate Bay also sported a similar line of code in a covert test...

  • Facebook removes ads targeting ‘Jew haters’

    Facebook profiles can be obnoxious. With no vetting procedures on the information provided for education or employment, friends can say they attended Hogwarts or that they work at NASA despite failing high school maths. But while some have been using these self-reporting fields to make harmless jokes, others have been using them to spew hatred -- and it's been revealed that advertisers could have specifically targeted these individuals. On Thursday, a report by Propublica revealed that advertisers, who have the ability to select which demographic they'd like to target, have been able to select the likes of "Jew hater", "how to burn Jews", and "history of...

  • Humans of New York is getting a Facebook TV series

    Popular Facebook page "Humans of New York" is releasing a 12-episode documentary series to Facebook's recently announced Watch tab. The 30-minute series has been filmed over the last four years and features the candid and sincere interviews for which the page is known. Creator Brandon Stanton told The Hollywood Reporter that he interviewed over 1200 people once it became clear that film was the natural evolution for the project. In the seven years since its creation, the page has garnered over 18-million followers -- two-thirds of which is from outside the United States. Stanton has released two New York Times bestselling books based on...

  • YouTube to launch comment topics so you can skip the boring stuff

    I'm a simple woman: I see YouTube is letting me filter out annoying, tired jokes and I click. YouTube announced Saturday that it is working on a feature dubbed 'comment topics' that will allow viewers to filter comments using popular phrases. Say you're watching a popular vlogger visit your hometown and you want to see what people are saying about it. Just above the comments section will be a list of popular phrases used in the comments -- all you have to do is click on your town's name and browse away. If you hate-watch YouTubers, though, the feature may not give you what...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Is artificial intelligence making the data analyst redundant?

    It is all too apparent that every industry is being radically impacted upon and even deeply disrupted by, digitalisation, while existing and familiar roles are being transformed, making way for new opportunities to emerge. One such role that is being challenged to prove its worth, is the analyst, in no small part due to Big Data, analytics, and the most exciting, cutting edge development at the moment, artificial intelligence. This convergence of forces begs the question: Are analysts no longer needed? Arguing in the affirmative is the fact that machines can process data at speeds that far surpass human capability, and...

  • SingularityU’s Southern Africa Global Impact Challenge entries close 18 April [Sponsored]

    Singularity University, better known as SingularityU, has announced that entries to its Global Impact Challenge (GIC) competition for Southern Africa will close on Tuesday 18 April. The GIC, now in its second year, is open to "innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists and technologists," and aims to develop technologies and solutions to problems that will impact the lives of a billion people within ten years. "This year, we are looking for talented women and men who have the skills and passion to develop and launch a startup company around a moonshot idea that addresses climate change, although we will also accept outstanding applicants who...

  • Google hits back after gender discrimination accusations

    Google has released its pay methodology after being accused of discrimination by the US Department of Labour. "It’s very important to us that men and women who join Google in the same role are compensated on a level playing field, when they start and throughout their careers here," Eileen Naughton, VP of people operations, writes in a blog post. Naughton asserts that the company's method of determining pay is "blind to gender." She says that an employee's compensation (including salary and benefits) is suggested based on their role, job level, location and recent performance ratings. Once compensation has been decided, Google's pay...

  • YouTube creators need 10k channel views before earning ad revenue

    Over the past year, YouTube has been struggling to maintain an amicable relationship with its content creators -- and it's working hard to change that. In a bid to keep advertisers and creators happy, the platform has announced that new YouTubers will need a total of 10 000 views across all their videos before applying as a YouTube partner. This change is meant to serve as protection for advertisers who have recently pulled their ads after it was reported that antisemitic and racist videos were being endorsed by major brands. "This new threshold gives us enough information to determine the validity of a channel," its...

  • The Future of Health event: SingularityU to host SA changemakers [Sponsored]

    Are you interested in learning more about the Future of Health? Well, you're in luck. SingularityU's Cape Town and Johannesburg Chapters will this week host the first events in its Future Of Series, focussing on the wellbeing of humankind. SingularityU Cape Town and Johannesburg Chapters are a non-profit organisation, run by South African-based alumni, that strive to build a community in South Africa. The Future of Health Cape Town event will see Discovery's deputy CEO Dr Ryan Noach, synthetic biologist Dr Musa Mhlanga, and CEO of Next Biosciences Kim Hulett talk about the phenomenal power of exponential technologies in the health industry, and how...

  • Game of Thrones season 7 release date and teaser is here

    Game of Thrones fans rejoice: the great war is here. Yesterday, the Game of Thrones Twitter announced the much-awaited release date on a live stream with Jaime Lannister actor Nikolai Coster-Waldau. The date -- 16 July 2017 -- was hidden behind ice that was melted as watchers commented "fire" or "dracarys". After the date was revealed, a teaser was posted to Twitter. The great war is here. #GoTS7 premieres 7.16. pic.twitter.com/1Jna10kNuQ — Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) March 9, 2017 The teaser features sound bites from previous seasons over a menacing statue of the House animals, which eventually crumbles to the ground. "Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell, they're all just spokes...

  • The Circle: Hermione Granger, Finn FN-2187 star in creepy trailer

    Harry Potter's Emma Watson, Star Wars: The Force Awaken's John Boyega, Doctor Who's Karen Gillan and just straight-up Tom Hanks all star in James Ponsoldt's The Circle, and a trailer is finally here. The Circle, set for release on 28 April, is based on the eponymous novel by Dave Eggers that follows Mae (Emma Watson), a recent college graduate who gets offered a job at The Circle -- a leading tech company headed by Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks). As the company releases surveillance technology that would have George Orwell rolling in his grave, Mae is forced to choose between the values of her company, her...