Industry News

How the smartphone affected an entire generation of kids

As someone who researches generational differences, I find one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is “What generation am I in?” If you were born before 1980, that’s a relatively easy question to answer: the Silent Generation was born between 1925 and 1945; baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964; Gen X followed (born between 1965 and 1979). Next come millennials, born after 1980. But wh...[Read More]

Popularity of latest ‘honesty app’ Sarahah shows how much we desire validation, whatever the cost

A new app called Sarahah (which is Arabic for “honesty”) launched its English-language version this summer, promising an anonymous way of offering supportive criticism for teams in the workplace. It has since attracted 300m users and reached the top of Apple’s App Store download charts in more than 30 countries, but already users say they are receiving harassing and obscene messages. Sarahah’s des...[Read More]

Google’s newest feed — the search giant is trying a new look for its most iconic service

The most famous page on the internet is about to lose its minimalist status. Google last week announced its famously blank main page – launched in 1996 – is going to give up its white space. Instead it will get a Facebook-like news feed, much like the mobile version which has been suggesting stories based on your search history. This functionality has been available for quite a while and tends to ...[Read More]

The internet never forgets

There’s a fascinating ethical debate unfolding in Europe as EU lawmakers are tackling Google about the so-called “right to be forgotten”. If you did something in life that was picked up by a search engine and the circumstances have now changed, European law allows you to request those search results to be deleted. Like all such ethical laws, there are specific terms and condition...[Read More]

Vertu, maker of massively expensive smartphones, is closing down

We’ve seen more than a few smartphones by Vertu and we’ve even handled a few but the first reaction we have is almost always “Who the heck buys these things?” And the answer, at least now, is “Fewer people”. That’s because Vertu is going away and it is taking its insanely overpriced phones (and around 200 jobs) with it. Despite high-end partnerships and ha...[Read More]

Chinese researchers take the first steps towards making teleportation a reality

It’s not quite frikkin’ lasers, genuine hover boards or time travel, but BBC News reported yesterday that Chinese researchers have “teleported a photon from the Gobi desert to a satellite orbiting five hundred kilometres above the earth”. How did they manage this feat of sci-fi wonderment? Through something called quantum entanglement, “a process where two particles r...[Read More]

BBM wants to promote local urban music with Stage360

BBM has launched a new music-discovery and artist-promotion service within BBM Discover called Stage360 Music. BBM Discover is a content platform, and the Stage360 Music portion of it will allow musicians and bands to upload their own content and interact with fans using BBM’s chat functionality. Stage 360 Music will see big-name local artists like Skwatta Kamp’s Slikour and fans talen...[Read More]

Meet Joox, South Africa’s newest music streaming service

Tencent, the Chinese company that owns WeChat and in which Naspers holds a sizeable stake, has launched its music streaming service called Joox in South Africa. The ad-supported, free version of the app limits users to pre-defined radio stations, but the subscription model offers the sorts of features you’d expect from a streaming service: on-demand access to the entire Joox library of 3 mil...[Read More]

Alternative currencies are the future: why it matters for development

When I began to teach in 2012, I decided to start my course with an analysis of how money affects social order. What my students found particularly fascinating was the then-nascent world of cryptocurrencies, which I described at length as a crucial feature in the future of money. Some colleagues criticised my approach. They accused me of indirectly encouraging students to invest in what they saw a...[Read More]

The years-long DTT scandal seems to have a Gupta link, denying SA better broadband and TV

This is about government policy, so you’re going to have to bear with me. Last week, the previous communications minister (Faith Muthambi) won her Constitutional Court case against the policies of her predecessor (Yunus Carrim) and of her own party. This final legal step might lead to a conclusion to this epic, ten-year saga, you might foolishly believe. But this is the ANC government and we are w...[Read More]

Showmax has started creating its own content

Netflix does it, Amazon Prime Video does it, and now homegrown video-on-demand service Showmax does it, too. What is it? Why original content, of course, under the self-explanatory banner of Showmax Originals. It’s first production? A mockumentary series starring Julia Anastasopoulos of SuzelleDIY fame. The series will consist of eight, 20-minute episodes that’ll go live on Showmax in ...[Read More]

The iMac Pro is Apple’s most beastly Mac ever

iMac users have been waiting for an update to their beloved all-in-one, and boy did Apple deliver at WWDC 2017. Cupertino’s first new desktop computer since 2009, the iMac Pro, is an unadulterated, no-holds-barred beast of a machine that should make professional video and graphics users salivate like puppies in a butchery. Spec options include a 5K display, an all-new AMD Radeon Vega graphic...[Read More]

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