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  • Helen Zille infuriates Twitter after defending colonialism

    Helen Zille may have been on Twitter for a while, but she still hasn't acquired the skill of knowing when to put the phone down and go back to bed. On Thursday morning, the Premier of the Western Cape took to Twitter to let everyone know that not everything about colonialism was bad. For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc. — Helen Zille (@helenzille) March 16, 2017 Zille has been in politics a long time. She surely understands the dangers of professing that west is best. She could also do a quick...

  • WhatsApp flaw lets hackers take over accounts in seconds

    WhatsApp and Telegram's online platforms had a bug that allowed hackers to take full control of anyone's account by sending a simple image to a user. Check Point Software researchers revealed in a blog post yesterday that if hackers had exploited the hack, they would have been in control of all the victims' conversations, photos, files and contact lists. "This means that attackers could potentially download your photos and or post them online, send messages on your behalf, demand ransom, and even take over your friends’ accounts," the blog reads. According to Check Point, the source of the issue was the end-to-end encryption...

  • Cape Town’s Berg River Dam is now one giant puddle

    I'm not sure how many more articles I can kick off with the words "Cape Town's in the midst of a water crisis", but I think I can squeeze it one last time. Cape Town is in the midst of a water crisis. Dams are drying up, and there's no genuine winter rainfall forecast until mid-July -- much later than what the region is used to. And with our reservoirs languishing at the low 30% full mark, everyone is about to get a lot thirstier . But numbers don't tell the real story. Cape Town vlogger Dean Tucker (better known...

  • Google Family Link lets you monitor kids’ mobile usage

    Apple's Family Sharing functionality has been one of the better features for parents, allowing them to approve family members' purchases and more. Now, Google has stepped things up in a big way thanks to the Family Link app. The app, targeted at children under the age of 13, allows you to monitor their app usage (which apps they're using most and for how long), create an app whitelist and lock the phone at specific times (e.g. sleep or study time). Google does note however that certain background apps, such as music and messaging apps, won't be fully tracked. The Family Link app...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #98: WikiLeaks vs CIA, SA vs ad-blocking & more

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This time, the ever-present Hadlee Simons plays host to Andy Walker and Graham van der Made. The three regulars discuss the new Wikileaks deep-dive into CIA's spying scandal. We also take a look at an Effective Measure study about South Africans and ad-blocking (we really hate ads). We also discuss the booming success of Zelda and the dismal failure of its community being unable to take criticism. We also look at the Switch and see if it's worth the price or worth skipping...

  • Verified Twitter accounts post swastikas in Turkish hack

    Last week, the Netherlands barred two Turkish ministers from speaking to expatriates ahead of a national memorandum. On 16 April, Turkey will be voting whether or not to allow Turkish President Erdogan to stay in power until 2029. And the president did not take the slight well: according to Fortune.com, Turkey warned that it would retaliate in the "harshest ways." Apparently these ways include Twitter hacks. Last night, Turkish hackers targeted verified accounts to spew Erdogan propaganda across the platform. Rough translation: “#NaziGermany👌#NaziNetherlands, a little👋#OTTOMAN SLAP for you, see you on #April16th. Can’t read it🇹🇷LEARN Turkish #RT” — Alex Hern (@alexhern) March 15, 2017 Hundreds of accounts were...

  • The Matrix reboot is the nail in the coffin for original cinema

    All around the world, there are young filmmakers trying to raise the minimum amount of money to make their films. They receive little to no salary for their work, and often pay their team below minimum wage. They’re working other jobs, doing things they barely like -- all in the name of passionate creation. And when they finally make something they’re proud of? No one wants to distribute. So their films show at a few festivals (that all cost money to submit), and they win back maybe 1/20th of what they spent. And yet, here I am today to announce that...

  • Q&A: Google’s Bunmi Banjo chats Africa’s digital skills growth

    Google's African operations have had a week to celebrate, following the news that they've hit their goal of training one million Africans. The training sees citizens using Google's Digital Skills Programme, covering everything from social media marketing/strategy to analytics, advertising and online video. Bunmi Banjo has been at the forefront of the initiative, being Google's Growth Engine and Brand Lead for Sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a Q&A with Banjo, focusing on the programme, entrepreneurship in general and more. Memeburn: You recently held an AfricaCom talk titled, 'Why technology providers and OEMs should be the strongest contributors to initiating new start-up businesses in tech and...

  • Google hits one million mark in training Africans

    Google has announced that it has reached its goal of training one million Africans as part of its Digital Skills programme. The Mountain View company said it reached its goal a month early, having committed to training one million Africans within a year on 16 April 2016. The company has added that it's set a new target. The tech company also revealed that it will provide offline versions of its training materials to people and businesses in areas of low access where it's not possible to hold physical training sessions. "Additionally, Google will provide offline versions of the content in languages like Swahili,...

  • Netflix picks up Orson Welles’ last unfinished film

    Citizen Kane director Orson Welles died before he could complete his swan song The Other Side of the Wind. The film -- produced from 1970 to 1976 -- hit many obstacles during its creation. Welles incurred his first speed bump when the Iranian Shah who helped fund the film was overthrown. After his death in 1985, his daughter pushed for the rights to all his films, unfinished or otherwise. Battles waged for decades, but fans will finally be able to see The Other Side of the Wind -- thanks, in some part, to Netflix. In 2014, producers promised that they were going to screen the film the next...

  • Lancewood cheeses Facebook Messenger bots to bring you novel recipes

    Humans have been sending other humans emoji for thousands of years now, so it's only right that the system should be used by brands. Speaking of which, South African cheese brand Lancewood has announced a nifty little marketing campaign relating to its Ultimate Braai Master partnership. Dubbed Lancewood Emoji Meals, the company's using a Facebook Messenger bot and your choice of emoji to receive related recipes featuring one of the company's products. "By sending a food Emoji to LANCEWOOD®’s Facebook page via private message, the Bot instantly responds with a recipe or tip related to the Emoji. As an example, Clarissa...

  • South Africa’s box office: Kong is King

    Kong: Skull Island (review) has made itself known with bangs to the chest and a number one debut in South Africa's box office this weekend. The remake of the Hollywood classic may have received mediocre reviews from critics, but when has that ever stopped South Africans from going to watch the latest blockbuster (spoiler alert: never)? So how did the other films do this weekend (10 to 12 March 2017)? Kong's triumphant debut meant that Logan (review), Hugh Jackman's Wolverine swan song, was pushed down to second place after only one week at the top. Fifty Shades Darker, which dominated the top spot for three weeks before falling...

  • AI-powered service wants to make manual transcription a thing of the past

    Baidu Research Labs announced yesterday that it is launching SwiftScribe, its first AI-powered transcription software. SwiftScribe aims to make the job easier for professional transcribers who spend hours manually transcribing audio. By pairing speech recognition software with a simple editing suite, the service claims to increase productivity and streamline workflow. The software takes Baidu's speech recognition engine, Deep Speech 2, and joins it with editing features that tackle the "biggest obstacles users face when transcribing". "We designed intuitive shortcut keys and innovative human-computer interaction to solve the problem of discontinuity," writes Tian Wu, SwiftScribe's project manager. The software's biggest asset is its ability to link text with audio,...

  • Ster-Kinekor website leaked millions of users’ private data

    Ster-Kinekor's old website allowed anyone with know-how to retrieve the profile details of every user on the site. This information included phone numbers, addresses and plaintext passwords. Software developer Matt Cavanagh revealed the bug in a blog post on Thursday, after disclosing it to Ster Kinekor last year. "They took the high-road of admitting they were at fault, and didn't try pass the blame off. I appreciate that," Cavanagh told Memeburn of their response to his report. According to the developer, the bug in the backend API was found via the website's Flash bits. He admits he didn't have substantial knowledge of Flash, but...

  • Intel to buy Mobileye in $15bn deal

    Intel has announced that it will be acquiring Israeli automotive tech firm Mobileye in a deal worth just over US$15.3-billion. Thhe company produces smart vision technology for cars, being used for collision avoidance and other driver assistance functions. "Under the terms of the agreement, a subsidiary of Intel will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye for $63.54 per share in cash, representing a fully-diluted equity value of approximately $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion," Intel wrote in a press statement. The move signals Intel's strong intention to position itself within the...