Author: Brett Venter

Apple’s gone ahead and announced the second generation of its own in-house silicon. It has also revealed the first machines to get M2; a MacBook Air and a 13in Macbook Pro. But that’s never going to be enough for our benevolent tech overlord, is it? So it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s a batch of other M2 hardware on the horizon. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who spends an awful lot of time knowing things in advance, has details of what’s coming up. Taking the M2 It shouldn’t be surprising at all that Apple’s launching M2 versions of most of its product…

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If you were paying attention to streaming news over the weekend, you might have seen Multichoice calling for stronger regulation in the streaming space. Specifically, the broadcaster is looking to force its largest competitors to comply with BEE and South African tax laws. What you’re not supposed to be paying attention to is how these calls for a ‘level playing field’ coincide with Multichoice shedding large numbers of subscribers. The broadcaster is expected to lose R3 billion over the next five years. This can be laid at Netflix and Disney+’s door — even though the latter just got here. But…

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If you want an idea of how wild the last few years have been for… everyone… then look no further than the American military. The Pentagon recently confirmed that some instances of UFOs — or ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ — cannot be explained. And barely anyone blinked. Now, NASA has thrown its extremely scientific hat into the investigation ring. Unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, is the new term for unexplained airborne objects. This is at least partly because ‘UFO’ is closely tied with Will Smith snarling ‘Welcome to Earth’ before smoking a cigar. NASA… intends to be a touch more scientific.…

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If you take a look at the television services in South Africa, some are better than others. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will net you 4K video streams, but basically nobody else will. That might change, at least a little. Multichoice reckons it’ll be ready to offer broadcasts in 4K by November this year. South Africa’s main paid TV service currently airs content at a maximum resolution of 1080i. This hardly makes the most of that lovely new 4K TV in your lounge. But the company has plans to show at least some 4K content in the near future. Spoilt…

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If you thought you were getting away with dodging price increases just because you’re a Telkom subscriber, think again. Following MTN and Vodacom upping pricing earlier in the year, Telkom’s about to do the same. But, at least, there is a few more months’ grace before the increase kicks in. 1 August is the big day, so you’ve got plenty of time to watch the petrol price climb even higher before your Telkom account starts to cost more. The tariff increases will affect all of the telecoms provider’s fixed-line and broadband customers, as well as a selection of mobile services.…

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Is R40,000 too much to pay for a 75in TV? The Hisense U9G doesn’t think so. But then, if all you’re after is a super-large screen, you can get that for less. Samsung’s got a few models, one as cheap as R25,000. Heck, if you’ll willing to lose five inches, you can grab a 70in TV for R16,000. Nobody even knows how long five inches is anyway, right? But with this sort of price gap in the market, the Hisense U9G has a lot to prove. Why is it worth dropping an extra R15,000 on Hisense’s panel over Samsung’s screens?…

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Everyone’s third-favourite¹ information-harvesting app, WhatsApp, is getting yet another update in the coming weeks. This time around, there are changes afoot for how the app’s backups work. Specifically, it’ll let you export them from Google Drive. About bloody time, too. Late last year, the app rolled out encryption for backups. This one’s a little different. See, your WhatsApp backups are stored on Google Drive. And, presently, they don’t count towards your backup total. So if you’ve got 15GB of storage (the standard for a free account) and have 3GB of data belonging to Meta’s app on the service, you’ve still got…

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If Tesla can do it, Toyota can do it too. That’s at least partly the thinking behind the Japanese auto-maker launching its very own home-based battery storage system. You know, the sort of thing we all need in our homes to avoid load shedding? But, unlike the Powerwall, it’s not bound to turn up in South Africa any time soon. The O-Uchi Kyuden System, as Toyota calls it, is designed to run your home on battery power in case of emergencies. All of the bits and pieces that make it up, though, are a product of the company’s EV tech.…

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And now for something completely dystopian. Discovery has launched a new service in Johannesburg that is nothing more or less than a private firefighting service. Called Fire Force, the service runs in conjunction with Advanced Emergency Management Services (Advanced EMS). Because where is Discovery going to store a fire truck? It’s not something that you just sign up for. The medical insurer offers the service to Discovery Insure customers who live within a specific radius of Johannesburg. It doesn’t seem like qualifying Insure customers need to do anything except phone the relevant phone number if a fire happens. Quite the…

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If the only thing stopping you from jumping on the Apple bandwagon was having to buy it from the iStore, then things have changed. Nedbank’s Avo app now has Apple products on its platforms. It’s easier to buy, since, being backed by a bank, Avo knows just what you can afford. The month of June sees the launch of the popular American brands’ products on the platform, so of course there are discounts. There are three main deals — One for iPad, one for MacBook, and one for the iPhone 13 Pro Max. All three are bundles and all three…

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