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All posts by Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in New Media in her final year. She later joined Memeburn, where she worked as a reporter-slash-social media manager-slash-internet cat tracker, before heading to the WWF to do her bit for the planet. She's also a Masters in Media Theory and Practice graduate, after battling a dissertation focusing on Twitter and journalism at the University of Cape Town. She thinks gadgets look better in pink and has a slight infatuation with HTC.
  • TwoDots review: beautiful frustration

    What do you look for in a casual game? Something quick and sweet to entertain you while you queue? Or something so addictive and potentially frustrating you’ll become numb to what’s going on around you, miss your bus stop while intensely sliding across your screen or throw your phone across whatever room you’re in? Having just come back from making myself a cup of hot chocolate to calm down (after sending the Gearburn editor an eloquent and descriptive message reading “KILL IT”), I can safely attest that TwoDots falls into the later category. The sequel to mega hipster Tetris puzzler...

  • Prepare your face: this Kickstarter gadget lets you 3D print icing and Nutella

    Ever thought your icing gun was just not enough? Wished for more precise placings in your Nutella art? Well, you can now dream bigger — thanks to a new extruder attachment, it’ll be easier than ever to print paste-like substances. It’s called the Discov3ry and it’s a universal extruder that will fit with existing desktop 3D printers on the market (like the popular Makerbot) and allow them to print materials like silicon, icing, Nutella, wood filler, ceramics and polyurethane. It’s currently raising funds over on Kickstarter, where it has already passed its 30 000 Canadian dollar goal by more than...

  • Alcatel Idol S review: the budget Android phone that surprised me

    When the Alcatel One Touch Idol S landed in my vicinity, I glanced at its curved edges with mixed feelings. I’ve spent quite a lot of time with budget Androids in the last few years — I’d even reviewed its older cousin, the cryptically named One Touch 997 Ultra. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this device to sneak out of my pocket and smack me in the face with its awesomeness… but I’d like to apologise for my early delusions. There were reasons for my misgivings though. Alcatel isn’t a name you usually associate with smartphones (the space is...

  • Monster Diamond Tears headphones review: beauty and the pain

    What do you look for in a headset? A not-so-subtly placed logo, which informs onlookers that you’ve got the latest trend in audio? A quirky colour and sleek style to make you smile every time you loop them over your skull? Or nothing less than the best in clarity and depth to present your favourite songs the way the artist intended? These are the questions I was left asking myself after a few weeks with Monster’s Diamond Tears headphones. The on-ear accessory is a concoction of a popular brand, some star quality style and cushioned sound – but whether you’ll...

  • Meet Nokia’s new flagship (and budget) Lumias… and Windows 8.1

    Boom! There’s a new Lumia in the world. Well, three actually. Nokia announced the new phones at Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference, unveiling not only a new flagship device (the Lumia 930), but two new budget options — the dual-sim Lumia 630 and the 4G capable Lumia 635. It also offered a glimpse of the mystical Windows 8.1, which will run on all three of its new phones, and will also be available to any Lumia currently running Windows 8. So, what were the highlights? The Lumia 930 Nokia’s gone big with its new flagship — no, I don’t mean it’s...

  • Fitbit Flex review: the smart fitness tracker that will get you off the couch

    Today, I walked. I left my car at home and opted for the bus so I could sneak in some extra steps before work. When I was faced with the choice of the stairs or the escalator, I took the long way up. Last week, instead of faceplanting into the comforting embrace of YouTube and my couch, I opted for a walk along the beach front. There is just one thing to blame for this change in my routine: it’s called the Fitbit Flex. One of the most talked about fitness trackers riding the Internet of Things wave, the Flex...

  • Take that, Nokia: Oppo teases a 50MP camera on its new phone

    Nokia’s been king of the smartphone cameras with its 41MP PureView creation for a while now… but it seems Chinese manufacturer Oppo wants to change that. In the run up to the launch of its Find 7 smartphone, the company has shared a test shot to show off the phone’s camera — and it’s quite an image. While the subject matter isn’t as impressive as the type of aerial shots Nokia took to showcase the Lumia 1020’s abilities, it is a massive 8160×6120 pixels. The original photo, which Oppo shared on its official Sina Weibo account, has caused quite a...

  • Samsung Galaxy Gear review: before its time

    It was a typical Wednesday afternoon, except for the fact that my arm was ringing. No, I wasn’t holding my phone – it was happily charging in another room. In one of those moments that makes you think you’re stepping into the future (or at least acting out a part in a sci-fi film), I tapped my wrist and began to talk to the caller. “Hello? Oh my gosh, this is insane.” “What?” “I’m speaking to you on my watch.” Of course, if Samsung has its way, scenes like that will be commonplace as the roll-out of its Galaxy Gear continues. Hey, it’s...

  • Goodbye iPhone, hello BlackBerry: my week with the Z10

    The day my iPhone left me, it rained. I appreciated the dramatic emphasis provided by the storm outside as I stood clutching the phone’s chamfered edges and postponing the moment I had to hand it over. I tried not to be an incarnation of the first world problems meme as I swapped out the SIM card, clicked its tiny plastic edges into an adapter and slotted it into its new home. I squeezed the Z10’s power button and it came to life in a swirl of blue. I was officially a BlackBerry user. Again. The phone I held in...

  • Fitbug Orb: the cute, cheap fitness tracker with serious guts

    Getting fit used to be an endeavour that involved you, a pair of running shoes and an open stretch of road. Perhaps, if you were more into channelling your frustrations into carefully aimed kicks and jabs, you’d need a punching bag. Maybe a small MP3 player if you preferred musical accompaniment while lifting weights, or a giant inflatable ball while you focused on your core. Then came the smart devices and the wearable tech trend. Now, you’re able to check in at the gym on Foursquare, login to RunKeeper to broadcast your route and time to Facebook, monitor your weight...

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