Technology News

Facebook tops 2 billion monthly users, has designs on rest of world

Facebook has been posting some very Dr Evil-like numbers of late and their newest is also their largest yet. The social network is very pleased with itself, announcing that it has topped 2 billion monthly active users for the first time. That’s a decent jump over February this year and adds up to an awful lot of data being voluntarily shared around the world, with the company drilling down i...[Read More]

Tech firms want to detect your emotions and expressions, but people don’t like it

As revealed in a patent filing, Facebook is interested in using webcams and smartphone cameras to read our emotions, and track expressions and reactions. The idea is that by understanding emotional behaviour, Facebook can show us more of what we react positively to in our Facebook news feeds and less of what we do not – whether that’s friends’ holiday photos, or advertisements. This might appear i...[Read More]

Now let us tell you about this Bluetooth-connected fidget spinner…

Like the Gremlins, one day there was nothing and then suddenly they were everywhere. No it’s not a vermin infestation, it’s the fidget spinner craze that seems to have popped up out of nowhere. Now normally Stuff wouldn’t be anywhere near something like this but someone’s gone and decided to add Bluetooth to one of these pointless rotating toys. So… Meet the BlueSpin....[Read More]

Should robot artists be given copyright protection?

When a group of museums and researchers in the Netherlands unveiled a portrait entitled The Next Rembrandt, it was something of a tease to the art world. It wasn’t a long lost painting but a new artwork generated by a computer that had analysed thousands of works by the 17th-century Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. The computer used something called machine learning to analyse and repr...[Read More]

Steam Summer Sale 2017: the discount games you need to buy

Ah, the Steam Summer Sale. A way for South Africans to get a slight taste of Northern Hemisphere summers, even while we freeze our collective bits off in our local winter. We still call it the Summer Sale, because reasons. It’s back, running until the 5th of July, and once more Valve’s digital gaming store is filled with huge reductions on thousands of titles. Whether your interactive tastes run t...[Read More]

How to help kids navigate fake news and misinformation online

Young people get a huge amount of their news from social media feeds, where false, exaggerated or sponsored content is often prevalent. With the right tools, caregivers can give kids the knowledge they need to assess credible information for themselves. Being able to identify the trustworthiness of information is an important concern for everyone. Yet the sheer volume of material online and the sp...[Read More]

How bad can it get for Uber — the ride-hailing service keeps making absurd mistakes

The only company experiencing worse bad press than Eskom, or any related to the Guptas, is rail-hailing app Uber. The world’s most valuable start-up at US$69bn has undergone a slew of disastrous revelations about its executives’ conduct, corporate culture including pervasive sexual harassment, and intellectual property theft for its autonomous car project. Then there’s the ongoin...[Read More]

Explainer: how malware gets inside your apps

Malicious software on popular mobile platforms such as iOS and Android is at best a nuisance and at worst a security threat to individuals and businesses. Known as malware, some perpetrators use it to infect apps and get inside your smartphone. Why do they do it? Money, mostly. The recent Judy malware, for example, was reportedly found in 41 apps in the Google Play store. It seems to have made mon...[Read More]

Elon Musk releases details of plan to colonise Mars – here’s what a planetary expert thinks

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, has released new details of his vision to colonise parts of the solar system, including Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus. His gung ho plans – designed to make humans a multi-planetary species in case civilisation collapses – include launching flights to Mars as early as 2023. The details, just published in the journal New Space, ar...[Read More]

Five ways virtual reality is improving healthcare

Virtual reality is much more than just a new form of entertainment, it is increasingly being used in a wide range of medical applications, from treatments to training. Here are a few of them. 1. Pain management There is good scientific evidence that virtual reality (VR) can help relieve pain. The parts of the brain that are linked to pain – the somatosensory cortex and the insula – are less active...[Read More]

Social media is nothing like drugs, despite all the horror stories

Letting your child use social media is like giving them cocaine, alcohol and cigarettes – all at once, or so we’re told. If you have been following recent press reports about the effects of social media on young people, you may well believe this. But there is no scientific evidence to support such extreme claims. The real story is far more complex. It is very difficult to predict how social media ...[Read More]

A brief visit to the ICON Comics & Games Convention 2017

This past weekend turned into an unexpected journey for Stuff, who paid a visit (for the very first time) to ICON 2017, an event which took place at Gallagher Convention Centre over three days on this long weekend. At this point many of you may be going “ICON who?” The ICON Comics and Games Convention is a long-running celebration (the event is in its 25th year, making it older than ma...[Read More]

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