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All posts by Andy Walker

  • Bionic biospleen uses nanotechnology to eradicate bloodborne diseases

    Bionic organs and 3d-printed bones are nothing new, but researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute have developed a synthetic "biospleen" that can filter the body's blood and thus rid it of infections, and possibly, nullify diseases like Ebola. The spleen, at least naturally, is the primary blood-filtering organ, removing old or tainted blood cells, recycling iron and creating white blood cells -- the soldiers of the body. The study, recently published in Nature Medicine journal, lauds the new technology, suggesting that it can filter potentially-killer diseases like Ebola. Even when not challenged by a life-threatening illness, it paves the way for treatment...

  • Vodacom Smart Kicka review: tiny phone, big value

    We have yet another "budget smartphone" on our testing table. While the big manufacturers squabble among themselves to fit unnecessarily detailed screens and wildlife photography-capable cameras into 5" bars of soap, the other half of the industry is hell-bent on producing that killer yet extremely cheap smartphone. The recent spate of low cost devices haven't set hearts aflutter, but they have opened new possibilities for first time smartphone buyers looking to access the internet's Giving Tree. Vodacom, one of South Africa's cellular networks, has launched the Vodacom Smart Kicka -- the latest minnow device hitting the South African market -- and...

  • SanDisk’s new 512GB SD card is ‘world’s highest capacity’ but costs $800

    Just a few years ago, a 1GB SD card was considered large. Recently, 256GBGB SD cards were shown to the world and lauded, but now it's safe to say it's nowhere near the largest capacity available for the form factor. SanDisk, the American flash-memory manufacturer has announced a card offering the user 512GB of unadulterated storage. The latest addition to the "Extreme Pro" SDXC grade can top speeds of 95MB/s -- which is quite dim considering other products, but unlike those, the card offers double the storage previously conceived. And on that note, the conceivable limit of these cards is...

  • Microsoft’s Windows 9 Technical Preview leaked in bevy of screenshots

    Update: As if this couldn't get any better. The same site that leaked the pile of purported screenshots has just leaked a video of the OS in action. We wondered how the start tiles would operate alongside the returning start menu, and it seems "Pin to Start" functionality will overlap quite a bit. Additionally, the new animations are crisp and swift, which should benefit underpowered machines. But we have vastly polarised opinions in the office about the fledgeling OS, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments. The world may be one step closer to knowing what's going...

  • Is Microsoft about to buy Mojang, Minecraft for $2-billion?

    The last thing Microsoft bought didn't exactly work out too well. The company found itself in a massive spiral of loss which resulted in cutting numerous services and jobs from its payroll. Perhaps this is why Redmond is lining up a US$2-billion move for Minecraft creator Mojang AB. The deal, according to WSJ at least, "could be signed as early as this week", quoting sources familiar with the matter. With Microsoft's extensive gaming reach thanks to its Xbox boquet, gaming consoles and exclusive titles, the move seems a promising one, especially considering that the company will likely see the opportunity to...

  • Western Digital’s helium-filled 10TB HD and ‘Cold Storage’ drive sneak into view

    There's a new technology war brewing, but it's not on the console or mobile phone front. Hilariously, just two weeks after Seagate announced its "world first" 8TB HDD and made such a massive fuss about it, Western Digital has announced a hermetically-sealed, helium-filled 10TB drive that puts Seagate's offering to shame. Western Digital subsidiary, HGST, is responsible for the breakthrough which uses "Shingled Magnetic Recording" technology to increase capacity. Here's Seagate's simplified definition of the tech: SMR achieves higher areal densities by squeezing tracks closer together. Tracks overlap one another, like shingles on a roof, allowing more data to be written...

  • Apple’s next iPhone: before the launch, everything you need to know

    A few months ago, we all wondered what exactly the iPhone 6 would embody, what specifications it would boast, and what new groundbreaking ideas it would bring to life. So the questions floating around the internet for the past few months have been to the tune of this: What could Apple possibly do to improve the iPhone 5s? How could a brand that relied so much on the vision of Steve Jobs build another successful device without him? And, would the iPhone 6 be an evolution or revolution? Well, we're about to find out. With just over a day before the biggest...

  • It’s never enough: Intel releases new 18-core, DDR4-ready Xeon E5 range

    Intel's promising some enormous performance gains from its new Xeon E5 CPUs. Launched at yesterday's Developers Forum, the company is claiming "27 new performance records" for the chips and probably another 27 for the price alone. The Xeon range is largely marketed as server or workstation-grade CPUs and is the flagpole atop of Intel's performance massif, so any refresh or newly released batch of Xeon make some much welcomed noise. In the case of the Core i7 and Core i5 refreshes earlier this year, we received a new manufacturing process and clockspeed boost, but not much else. Haswell-E, of course,...

  • Google Glass finally available on Play Store but remains overpriced

    Google Glass, the wearable everyone loves to hate, is now available to purchase via the Google Play Store. But it should be noted that the US$1500 gadget will only be available for those in the US and a few other countries. South Africans, you'll have to wait a little longer. Previously, Glass hopefuls had to apply for "Explorer" (or beta) status, and were then handed the glorious gadget but now it's available to all, Explorer, developer or not. Those hoping that Google would slash the price to appease the peasants will be unhappy to know that this is not the...

  • Motorola family welcomes Moto X, G, 360 plus ‘near invisible’ Bluetooth earpiece for funsies

    Samsung, Sony and now Motorola is next in the month of continuous launches. The former Google-owned brand has increased its mobile family by three, adding the X, the G and (finally) the Moto 360 to its stable. Alongside the important additions, the company has also unveiled a Bluetooth earpiece (yes, one of those things) and a mini-power brick -- which works like any other external power brick.   But to the interesting hardware we go. The Moto X is by far the most exciting prospect. Slathering the phone in wood or leather is part of the customer's choice, but something one cannot...