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  • WordPress debuts new TV ads in limited trial run

    Content publishing platform WordPress has this week debuted its first television advertisements. This is the first push in the company's larger marketing budget for 2017. WordPress co-founder and CEO of Automattic Matt Mullenweg noted that the company will be increasing its public advertising, presumably to compete against the likes of Wix and Squarespace. On his personal blog, he also explained that the company still has "lots to learn" in the television advertising space. "There is lots to learn and much to follow, but we have our first TV ads up in six markets to test. Each shares a story of a business...

  • This gorgeous novel was illustrated using good ol’ Microsoft Paint

    My proficiency in Microsoft Paint is unquestionable, especially when I whip out those uncanny two-dimensional stick figures. But while most of us might not use Windows' default drawing application for any serious Banksy-esque creations, this man did. Pat Hines has a decade's worth of experience using Microsoft's drawing app and put that expertise to good use in his graphic novel, Camp Redblood And The Essential Revenge. The novel is illustrated exclusively using Microsoft Paint. And at this point you're probably thinking "uncanny two-dimensional stick figures" again, but nope. Hines' work is laced with gorgeous shading, vibrant colours and faces purveying tangible emotion. Illustrated...

  • Instagram copies Snapchat again, internet doesn’t let it go quietly

    Snapcha... sorry, I mean Instagram today announced a brand new feature coming to its Stories feature -- face filters. "Today, we’re introducing face filters in the camera, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining," the company announced on its blog. Users posting pics or videos of themselves to Instagram Stories can now adorn themselves with furry koala ears, nerd glasses, ice-queen crowns and other things deemed to be "dope af". Today, we’re introducing face filters, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining. Whether you’re sitting on the couch at home...

  • ShowMax and Polish mobile operator strike deal

    Three months after ShowMax announced that it will offer its service in Poland, the South African video streaming company is now partnering with one of the country's chief mobile operators. Play, the operator at the centre of the deal, will now offer ShowMax to its eight-million contract customers. Those with mid- to upper-tier contracts -- the majority -- will receive ShowMax services for free for 12 months. Those in the lower contract brackets will receive one month free. ShowMax will be free to Play's contract subscribers for 12 months "The level of interest in Showmax since our launch in Poland earlier this year...

  • Airbnb adds R2.4bn to SA economy in 2016, hosts 400 000 visitors

    Airbnb has this week published its annual economic report, which sheds some light on the home sharing platform's economic impact on various global economies. South Africa happens to be one of these economies. Publishing its effect on South Africa's economy just prior to the Tourism Indaba taking place in Durban in May, the company makes some notable claims. For one, it suggest that it generated around R2.4-billion for the South African economy in 2016, considering the expenditure of guests and the income accrued by the 16 000 hosts last year. R817-million of that income was earned by local households. The company also notes...

  • Could WannaCry ransomware be linked to North Korea?

    WannaCry, the ransomware package that wreaked havoc across the world's Windows machinery this past weekend, might have links to North Korea, security experts revealed. The ransomware swept across the world last Friday, infecting over a quarter-million Windows machines across 150 countries. It remains a threat, but infection rates have somewhat slowed. According to a report published by Reuters, South Korean security researchers found coding similarities in WannaCry's earlier versions, and a different malware used by the Lazarus Group -- a hacking collective with ties to North Korea. These findings have also been noted by Google security researcher Neel Mehta, Symantec and Kaspersky. Shared...

  • WannaCry ransomware infects a quarter million computers in 150 countries

    WannaCry wins 2017's prize for most ominously named ransomware, and it has seemingly lived up to its name. A worldwide attack involving the ransomware swept through personal computers, companies and government institutions beginning on Friday 12 May. By Sunday, over 230 000 computers in more than 150 countries, including South Africa, were infected. Straight out of an episode of Mr. Robot, WannaCry (Wcry, WannaCrypt, WanaCrypt0r 2.0, or Wanna Decryptor) is a malicious software package that infects computers running Microsoft Windows. It's spread using an exploit developed by the NSA called EternalBlue which was leaked by a hacker collective in April. While Microsoft...

  • Opera to spend $100m to ‘grow African digital economy’

    Opera Software is a mainstay of the African mobile scene, with its Opera Mini browser being used by people across the continent thanks to data-saving features. Now, the company has announced that it plans to spend US$100-million to "grow the African digital economy". "The company will use the investment to speed up internet adoption in Africa and strengthen the internet ecosystem with local partners," read a press release sent to Memeburn. So what does that actually mean? An AI-driven recommendation engine Well, the company has decided to build an AI-powered recommendation engine into its mobile browser. "Opera users in Africa will get fully personalised and...

  • 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...

  • Watch live: astronauts repair the ISS during historic 200th spacewalk

    Two NASA astronauts are about to embark on the 200th spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS). Peggy Whitson and Jack Fisher are the two lucky Americans who will venture out into the vacuous void to repair a few problems on the ISS's exterior and swap out a few parts. LIVE NOW: @AstroPeggy and @Astro2Fish prepare to venture outside @Space_Station for 6.5 hour #spacewalk. Watch: https://t.co/mzKW5uDsTi pic.twitter.com/4jldGpDMNK — NASA (@NASA) May 12, 2017 For Fisher, it will be his first ever time walking through space, but for 57-year-old Whitson, it's just another day at the office. She broke the record for most days...

  • Feeling chilly, South Africa? Snow reported at Afriski, Tiffindell & Sani Pass

    Update #3, 15 May, 12pm: Snow continued to fall across South Africa's Drakensberg and Lesotho's Maloti mountains. Have a good weekend? Bet it wasn't as 'cool' as @drakensbergcanopytour's though: they had their first snow of 2017! 🌨☃️🌨 A post shared by Canopy Tour South Africa (@canopytoursa) on May 15, 2017 at 2:35am PDT First snow of 2017 #drakensberg #snow #2017 #winter #winterton #snowhunting #nature A post shared by Kirst (@kirst_tsrik) on May 14, 2017 at 11:53am PDT Descent into Rockeries pass. #mnwenimarathon #trailrunning #drakensberg #lovesouthafrica A post shared by Matthew Smith (@matthewshawsmith) on May 14, 2017 at 8:10am PDT Snow in the Drakensberg! This pic was...

  • Apple showcases Table Mountain, Muizenberg in iPhone 7 tutorial videos

    As smartphones become more complicated, manufacturers are finding novel ways to educate their consumers. Apple's new video campaign does just that, shedding light on some of the basic ways to shoot with an iPhone 7. But there's something particularly noticeable about some of these videos. Especially for South Africans. Available to view on Apple's official site and on YouTube, the video series showcases a few landmarks that Cape Town residents would instantly recognise. One is undeniably Table Mountain, looking across from Lion's Head. Another is of Muizenberg Beach's famous colourful changing huts. While those two are definitely filmed on South African soil, we...

  • Fidget spinners are surprisingly good guitar picks, viral video suggests

    South Africa hasn't yet been infected by the global fidget spinner craze. Although you can purchase the distraction device at a number of stores, I've yet to see humans in the country playing with one out on the street. But that doesn't mean they aren't any less cool. Of course, these gadgets have also been given a bad rap, and dubbed a fad by many. But some have clearly taken up the challenge to make the fidget spinner, developed in the 1990s by Catherine Hettinger, publicly acceptable. Yes, you can also use a fidget spinner for things that don't quite involve fidgeting Take...

  • #BowWowChallenge: you just can’t fool the internet, even if you’re Bow Wow

    Social media challenges are seemingly a genre of memes unto their own, but throw hip-hop artist Bow Wow into the mix, and you have yourself a viral fad. Posting a flashy Instagram snap to his timeline this week, the rapper whose real name is Shad Moss, seemingly lined up a charter flight on a jet, fit with Maybach in tow for a trip to New York. "Travel day. NYC press run for Growing Up Hip Hop. Lets gooo. I promise to bring yall the hottest show EVER," he writes on the post. But that was all just an illusion of reality. Travel day....

  • #RIPKarabo: missing woman found slain and ‘burned’, Twitter erupts

    On Tuesday 9 May, a tweet was published by a user dubbed Steph and began circulating on social media. "My friend has been missing since about the 28th April. If you have seen her please let me know," it read, asking users for more information regarding Karabo Mokoena, who had been declared missing in Johannesburg two weeks prior. Prominent tweeters including EFF leader Julius Malema, and City Press journalist Andi Makinana retweeted the post, helping to propel it trending status with over 10 000 retweets accrued in just over 48 hours. My friend has been missing since about the 28th April. If...