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  • YouTube Red and Google Play Music to merge into one streaming service

    YouTube's head of music Lyor Cohen has confirmed that YouTube Red and Google Play Music will be merging into one streaming service, according to a report from The Verge. Speaking at a panel in New York, Cohen acknowledged that the services provide similar offerings and that it was important to combine them. YouTube's streaming services are complicated. YouTube Red costs US$9.99 a month, and includes an ad-free experience, offline watching, and access to original Red content. It also provides access to Google Play Music. Google Play Music offers ad-free music streaming, the ability to make playlists, and offline listening. It costs the same, and a...

  • SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy set for November, but will it even leave launchpad?

    The Falcon Heavy is SpaceX's next big rocket, but it's been a long time coming. It was set to be launched late last year, but a Falcon 9 launchpad explosion resulted in several delays and pushbacks across SpaceX's missions. Now, company founder Elon Musk has confirmed a new date for the heavyweight launch. "Falcon Heavy maiden launch this November," Musk simply wrote on Instagram. It's one of the most ambitious space endeavours yet, as the new rocket is expected to carry a bigger payload to orbit than the now-retired Space Shuttle. And the ambition isn't lost on Musk. The Falcon Heavy has received a...

  • Weekly Roundup Podcast #116: New phones for SA, tech giants’ Q2 results

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker and Stephen Timm in studio. We start off on Memeburn's side as Andy talks tech giants' financial quarters. Facebook beat Alphabet for the first time ever, but only because the latter was slapped with a US$2.7-billion fine by the EU. Running far behind them is Twitter, which saw no increase in users this quarter. Stephen then talks about how a tax exemption for grants to small businesses has yet to take off two years after taking effect. Sars spokesperson...

  • Dunkirk movie review: made of the Reich stuff

    The early months of World War Two were known as the phoney war for good reason, as Germany took Poland without Warsaw's allies (Britain and France) committing much in the way of troops on the ground. But the invasion of France in May 1940 finally drew the major allies into the war, as Britain committed her troops to the French. It was an ill-fated move that saw the Allies driven into a small strip of coastline at Dunkirk, France, awaiting evacuation under heavy German bombardment. It's against this backdrop that Christopher Nolan's eponymous take on the evacuation takes place -- and...

  • Disruptive technology: which poses the biggest risk to businesses?

    There’s a great deal of discussion about disruptive technologies today. From 3D printing to block chain to self-driving, autonomous cars and trucks, we’re seeing a world going digital. Thirteen disruptive technologies are commonly in use today, including: Sensors Internet of Things (IoT) devices Telematics Smart buildings Fintech Drones 3D printing Advanced robotics Wearables Blockchain Artificial intelligence It’s not at all hard to find panicked descriptions of the digital world or dire predictions of a world where all knowledge -- even the frightening things that should be kept private -- will be connected to all of the people. We are hearing vast predictions of dangers...

  • Twitter still has 328m users as growth flatlines

    Twitter's brief positive run of earning results and user growth came to an abrupt halt this quarter. The social messaging company today released its Q2 2017 earnings results, and the numbers definitely aren't steeped in optimism. While its contemporaries continue to experience growth surges -- Facebook's WhatsApp recently topped a billion daily active users, for instance -- Twitter's user base still stands at 328-million monthly active users (MAUs). It failed to match the meekest of estimates too, which predicted a growth of a million users in the quarter. Twitter's positive run of earning results and user growth came to an abrupt halt this...

  • Lupita Nyong’o disguised herself at Comic-Con (but she isn’t the first)

    Lupita Nyong'o has raked in tens of thousands of likes and retweets on Twitter after posting a video of her running and dancing around San Diego Comic-Con dressed as a somewhat distorted Power Ranger. As an actress in both the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Marvel's Black Panther, Nyong'o has massive geek pull, and likely wanted to experience the convention without attracting a crowd. Did you see me at Comic Con?! #SDCC2017pic.twitter.com/9Vnx4ss96d — Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) July 26, 2017 But Nyong'o isn't alone in her wish for privacy. So here's a list of other celebs who disguised themselves so they, too, could geek out on the...

  • Mayor: Cape Town to source 20% of energy from renewables by 2020

    Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille today took to Twitter in an hour-long update regarding key issues affecting the City of Cape Town, including the ongoing water crisis, the superblocking in Imizamo Yethu, and climate change. The speech itself was delivered at a city council meeting, but livetweeted from her account before the full speech was published Thursday afternoon. Cape Town's water crisis continues "Let me start with the water crisis and yes despite the recent rains, we are still in a drought," she began, shedding light on the City's plans to combat the low dam levels and drier-than-normal winter. She also lambasted...

  • Foxconn announces $10bn investment in new US-based factory

    Foxconn -- the manufacturer responsible for bolting together most of Apple's products -- is planning to build a factory on US soil, reports the New York Times. The company's move comes after US President Donald Trump's call for companies to build their products in America, with the plant set to be built in Wisconsin. It could be as large as three Pentagons. Yeah, that Pentagon. Numbers quoted includes at least 3000 jobs created by the project, and US$10-billion worth of investment forked into the US by the company. And that's pretty big for the country's waning manufacturing industry. Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn will...

  • Facebook makes more cash than Google in Q2, but revenue slows

    Facebook has brought in a higher net income than Google's parent company Alphabet for the first time in history -- though this has more to do with the massive US$2.7-billion fine the EU slapped on the latter than anything else. The company made US$3.8-billion over the last three months, seeing a 71% year-on-year increase, while Google made just over US$3.5-billion. The moment isn't all sunshine and beating Google, though. Facebook has seen a steady decline in its revenue growth over the past year as it runs out of space for ads on its News Feed. A year ago, it's year-over-year change was 59%; that number has...

  • Black Coffee will host his own show on Apple’s Beats 1

    South Africans are slowly taking over the US entertainment industry. First Trevor Noah's big gig on The Daily Show, and now Apple's Beats 1 has recruited Black Coffee to host a radio show on its platform. The news broke early Wednesday, but only began impacting South Africans later that evening when the DJ formally announced the move on Twitter. Subsequently the hashtag (and name of the upcoming show) #Beats1BlackCoffee began trending. He becomes the first South African to host a show on Apple's live streaming radio service which launched in mid-2015. I'm the newest @Beats1 host. Hear the sounds of global underground...

  • ‘You can’t say no’: SA YouTuber BluRz allegedly sexually harasses woman online

    Update, 28 July 2017: We've edited the headline and body to reflect the fact that Olinsky has not been found guilty of sexual harassment. Original article: SA YouTuber Kyle Olinsky -- AKA BluRz -- allegedly sent private messages to a young woman threatening rape and propositioning other sexual activities. In a message attained by W24, Olinsky cold DMed the woman, asking if she wanted to have sex. He apparently followed with, "You can't say no. Because I'm stronger than you." When she expressed her bewilderment, he allegedly offered more graphic sexual activities involving fists and faeces. "Why are you still reading this?" he apparently asked, to which she...

  • Kempton Park school sparks new #racism debate over ‘inappropriate hair’

    In August 2016, we reported on an incident at Pretoria Girls High in which staff instructed a number of girls to straighten their hair. This week, another Gauteng school has come under fire for expelling a group of students on Monday for inappropriate hairstyles. Windsor House Academy, based in Kempton Park, deemed that the 20 pupils it expelled did not wear their hair in accordance with the school's code of conduct. #Racism These are the young black girls kicked out of Windsor House Academy because they braided their hair #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/jOaoazJGnD — Chriselda Lewis (@Chriseldalewis) July 25, 2017 The above tweet from senior...

  • Google implements SOS alerts for nearby crises

    Google has launched SOS Alert for search that provides information on ongoing emergencies. The SOS Alerts pop up whenever someone searches for the name of an event or location. It provides information like maps of the damage, top stories, and even statements from local authorities when available. If the user is close by, the Alert will provide emergency numbers. Users may even be sent a notification if their Google app is up-to-date and location is on. For those removed from the situation, information on where to donate might be provided. Google says that both natural and human-caused emergencies will be included The feature has also been implemented...

  • Unsure about fibre coverage in South Africa? This map will help

    Fibre-based service provider Otel is busy laying out its own infrastructure, but it also sells data packages on other open-access fibre networks. There are quite a few of these networks though, so the service provider has created a network-agnostic coverage map for end-users. The map, available at fibre2thehome.co.za, allows you to simply browse a map or search for your area to quickly find out whether your area has fibre coverage in general. There doesn't appear to be any differentiation between fibre networks though. Otel told Memeburn that this was an intentional approach as other coverage maps "confuse clients by giving 12 different...