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  • Jonathan Lun wins Singularity U’s Global Impact Challenge Southern Africa

    Jonathan Lun, a Wits and Stellenbosch University alum, has been named the winner of Singularity University's Global Impact Challenge Southern Africa 2017. Lun, 32, was last night (10 May) given the honour at a Johannesburg pitching event hosted by Singularity University. "I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured to be offered this life-changing experience. The support from friends, family and colleagues has been astounding and I hope to make them proud," he tells Memeburn. Climate change was the central theme of this year's challenge, with other entrants focussing on recycling and transport among other novel solutions. But Lun's ambitious asteroid metal-fueled rocket solution was...

  • A tweet about chicken nuggets just broke Twitter’s all-time retweet record

    It's not often Twitter users see more than 1000 retweets for a single tweet, let alone 3.5-million, but that's what internet famous nugget-loving teenager Carter Wilkerson achieved this week. Ousting previous record holder Ellen DeGeneres for posting the most retweeted tweet of all time, Wilkerson has single-handedly turned the humble chicken nugget into a meme. HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3 — Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017 In total, his tweet now boasts over 3.5-million retweets, compared that 2014 Oscar selfie with 3.4-million retweets. While he's still nowhere near that 18-million retweet milestone Wendy's set for "a year of free...

  • Theewaterskloof Dam is now just 15% full, vlog captures its sickly shape

    Like Lion's Head at sunset or Camps Bay on a Saturday, Cape Town's largest dam, the Theewaterskloof, is seemingly the new hottest spot in the city for vloggers. We've covered a fair few vlogs and clips from YouTube and Instagram documenting the state of Cape Town's drought. And thanks to hot, dry weather we've been experiencing recent months, each video is seemingly more dire than the next. Self-proclaimed "wannabe vlogger" Adam Spires is the latest to take a walk alongside the dam, reminiscing with his viewers about his years spent jumping into its now mostly evaporated lake. The City of Cape Town...

  • Opera’s nifty new browser caters for WhatsApp and Messenger addicts

    Opera's desktop browser is known for pushing the envelope of browser design. It was the first to offer the tabs, a speed dial pane and the pop-up blocker experience now standard on most browsers today. But it's latest innovation is aimed directly at those who love to chat. Following a mild visual redesign based on its "Reborn" project, Opera has now given its desktop browser users access to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp directly from the browser's side bar. While that doesn't sound like much of an innovation, it's particularly useful for those who use these services on a daily basis for...

  • Apple’s now valued $270bn more than Microsoft, $145bn more than Alphabet

    While its latest quarterly figures were less than impressive, Apple's persistent market growth remains undoubted. The Cupertino-based technology company is the first in the United States to smash though the US$800-billion market cap barrier, sitting at US$802.8-billion at the time of writing. That fatter market cap is primarily thanks to its strong performance during Tuesday's trading, with shares gaining 0.6% in value to end the day at US$153. That number might not sound large, but multiply that by its 5.21-billion shares... More impressively though is when the company hit this figure. Apple's US$800-billion market cap cements its place as the world's valuable publicly-traded...

  • Apple’s latest acquisition monitors the things you do in bed

    Smart tracking technology has taken off in recent years, with wearables and internet of things gadgets featuring more prominently in homes across the world. One of the companies better placed in this space than most is Apple. Recently hitting its fattest market cap figures ever, the Cupertino-based tech giant has reportedly acquired sleep tracking company Beddit for an undisclosed fee. First reported by CNBC, the acquisition was innocuously announced by Beddit itself in a subtle change to its on-site privacy page. "Beddit has been acquired by Apple. Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy...

  • Climate changers: these are the 5 Singularity U Global Impact Challenge finalists

    Singularity University's Global Impact Challenge (GIC) Southern Africa edition, a competition that encourages innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs from the continent to formulate solutions to some of the world's biggest problems, is nearing its final phase. Final pitches addressing the GIC judges will take place on Wednesday 10 May, and will see five individuals and teams punting their change-making, climate change-beating technologies, innovations and developments. But who are these five finalists? And what makes them, and their innovations, stand out? We take a look at these possible GIC Southern Africa winners in more detail below. Jonathan Lun: mining asteroids for asteroid-sourced rocket fuel Not many...

  • Homo naledi might’ve roamed Earth alongside us, new findings suggest

    Homo naledi, an extinct species of homonim, was woken from her long slumber in September 2015, but a breakthrough at the same Cradle Of Humankind site suggests that her story is only just beginning. Back in 2015, scientists extracted over 1550 fossil specimens from the Rising Star cave system, but no one could accurately suggest the age of these. Estimates varied. Some suggested that the fossils were beyond a million years old. But those responsible for the discovery, alongside a slew of worldwide scientists and institutions, have now formulated a method to date the fossils, effectively shining a light on Homo...

  • ‘Sunflower worth more than a human life’: #Coligny trends in South Africa as accused granted bail

    #Coligny is the hashtag currently dominating Twitter in South Africa, not #MondayMotivation. The farming town in the North West has for the latter weeks of April, and the early days of May been embroiled in a simmering cultural, racial and judicial showdown. Two farmers, who were accused of killing a 16-year-old boy caught stealing sunflowers from their farm, were granted bail in the region's magistrates court Monday. The boy, who the farmers were reportedly transporting to the police station, allegedly jumped from the bakkie they were travelling in, and broke his neck. Eyewitnesses however suggest that the boy was pushed. The incident...

  • 15+ SA journalists you should follow on Twitter [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. Twitter, although not exactly lucrative for its creators, is a fantastic tool for journalists. From sourcing stories to tweeting their final copies for all to read, Twitter has become an essential tool in the journalist's tote bag. But the social network is actually changing the face of journalism and story-telling itself. How, I hear you ask? Twitter has become...

  • Trevor Noah bags MTV Movie & TV Award as Daily Show host, thanks Trump

    Trevor Noah won the Best Host award at the newly rebranded MTV Movie and TV Awards in Los Angeles this weekend. The comedian, now known as the face of The Daily Show after taking over from Jon Stewart in 2015, was up against the likes of cultural heavyweights Ellen DeGeneres and John Oliver. "Thank you thank you thank you thank you. Wow," Noah later commented on Instagram, after he was handed the award by Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. Wow A post shared by Trevor Noah (@trevornoah) on May 7, 2017 at 8:02pm PDT He also...

  • 5 savage horror movies set to ruin your dreams in 2017

    From entering another Stephen King saga to the return of Pennywise the Dancing (utterly demented) Clown, it seems 2017 will be a year filled with fear, tears and relentless terror. So gather your courage, go for your psychological check-up and prepare yourself for this year’s fright fest. Here’s a list of some of 2017’s most notable horror movie releases… The Dark Tower Release date: 28 July Director: Nikolaj Arcel Based on a series of Stephen King novels of the same name, The Dark Tower follows the story of Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), a boy who discovers an alternate dimension called “Mid-World”. Here he meets...

  • Ellen DeGeneres, Katy Perry and other stars debuting free YouTube shows

    YouTube, seemingly reinvigorated by its website's visual refresh and the ridiculous advertising potential of its platform, has announced a slew of "exclusive" shows with pop culture's top brass. "We’re thrilled to announce that beginning later this year, some of the biggest YouTube creators and Hollywood names will be featured in seven new series on YouTube -- bringing more can't-get-enough-of and can't-find-anywhere-else shows to everyone, everywhere," explains Robert Kyncl, YouTube's chief business officer. The company's planning an initial run of seven series, starring cultural superstars, people you might've heard of, or Katy Perry. Ellen DeGeneres will host a "twice-a-week series built just for...

  • Award-winning Oculus Story Studio is shutting down

    Oculus Story Studio, the Facebook-owned company's first foray into virtual reality filmmaking, is shutting down. Launched two years ago, the Story Studio aimed to accelerate the growth of virtual reality movies for traditional filmmakers. Critically, it did just that, with the likes of Dear Angelica -- a story of a teenage girl told through a multi-dimensional series of paintings. It was billed by many as the work that virtual reality movies needed. Its previous project, the Elijah Wood-narrated Henry, also won the Emmy Award in 2016 for Outstanding Original Interactive Program. But Oculus believes virtual reality movies no longer need its Studio....

  • California wants to tax spaceflight, based on distance

    Florida is widely seen as the state of choice for spaceflight in the USA, but California also plays host to its fair share of launches. Now, the state is investigating taxes on spaceflight, being based on distance travelled. According to the San Francisco Chronicle (via Ars Technica), California's Franchise Tax Board is seeking public comments on its space tax proposal. But what does the proposal entail? It would see taxes being applied to any company operating in the state that generates at least half its cash from space transportation. The taxes would kick in when flights travel above the Karman line...