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All posts by Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Keen to take over the world, one word at a time, he has always been interested in both politics and development and studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University. With an interest in innovation and social change, he seeks to tell the inspiring stories that highlight socio-environmental and economic impact.
  • Broken phone diaries: a journey through iFix’s repair shop

    It happens to the best of us. A few months ago I was preparing for a night out on the town with friends and a few drinks. While waiting for my Uber, I idiotically balanced my phone on the sink while freshening up. Naturally, I knocked the device off onto the cold, cold tile floor. Silly me. The Samsung’s display was now completely black -- with only one tiny crack in the LCD. The Uber arrived nonetheless and heading back home, well, required hailing a cab like they did in the heydays. Needless to say, this was only one of the many...

  • Boston Dynamic’s creepy humanoid robot spectacularly slouches through forest

    US-based engineering and robotics design company Boston Dynamics continues to turn heads with yet another showcase of its robotic prowess. This time round, it's not a robotic dog that can easily withstand a kick to its side. It's a humanoid, slouching around in a forest. It's even creepier than MIT's cheetah-like machine that can autonomously run and jump. At a FAB 11 Conference at MIT, the founder of Boston Dynamics, Marc Raibert, demonstrated the latest of what the company is up to these days. For starters, Spot -- the famous four-legged canine-like robot -- has undergone some modifications. It now has a...

  • Darth Vader-inspired PlayStation 4 unleashes the force this November

    In prelude to the release of the Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens and Star Wars Battlefront later this year, the force has never really been this strong, and brands know this. PlayStation just revealed a Darth Vader-inspired PlayStation 4 console (CUH-1200 series) which comes with 500GB of memory, a customised DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller as well as a pretty curious bundle of games. The customised console is sold alongside the Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe Edition as well as four digital copies of the old jedi-jammin' classics; Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter and...

  • Robotic lawn mowers soon to graze US lawns

    Automated lawn mowers are more and more becoming a reality around the globe. While these sheep-replacers have started cropping up all over in Europe within the last few years, iRobot from the US has just received the go-ahead from regulators to release a hands-free, grass-cutting machine on home soil. An NASDAQ-listed company, iRobot is popularly known for its range of Roomba vacuum cleaners, which are flat, automated dust collectors that crawl around your homestead doing what they do best. They are also an excellent source of transportation and play things for cats. The company has also recently received a nice, fat US$9.8-million...

  • Reports suggest iPad mini 4 could get split-view app support, super-thin design

    When Apple debuted the iPad Air 2 in October last year, the device woefully overshadowed the humble iPad mini 3, which received a few minor updates over its predecessor. New reports, however, suggest that the iPad mini 4 could support split-view app functionality, suggesting a stronger focus on the tablet's performance going forward. Alleged leaks further suggest that the tablet will feature a super-thin design. If 9to5Mac's reports are anything to go by, an update for OS X El Capitan’s Safari 9 browser illustrates split-screen support for the iPad mini. Due to processing limitations of running two apps alongside each other simultaneously, the...

  • Microsoft officially releases Windows 10 IoT tools for Raspberry Pi 2, Minnowboard Max

    For all Windows 10 related views, breaking stories and deeper analysis, visit our comprehensive Windows 10 Hub before and after Microsoft’s big launch. Microsoft has a serious world-domination plan with Windows 10. Since the OS was officially launched last week, it's already taken over 3.5% of the global market. But as impressive that figure may be, it is only limited to desktop computers. Microsoft also wants Windows to become the go-to OS for mobile devices, it's Xbox One console, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT) -- one OS to rule them all, if you will. While it's been available in...

  • Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana is coming to your iPhone, Android

    Microsoft is on a mission to create the most device-friendly operating system to date. Native Windows 10 apps like Cortana, the Phone Companion App, and Xbox Music are all going to be available to download on iPhones and Android devices. In competition with Apple's Siri and Android's Google Now, Cortana is a digital assistant that helps you set reminders, do search queries, check flights or weather information on your smartphone. In a blog post announcement, Microsoft explains that all changes made in Cortana’s notebook will be reflected across all your devices. These changes include tasks like taking photos, creating playlists, and so...

  • This ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ trailer wants us all to man-up [video]

    The latest trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight could easily be confused with the Gotham TV series. The first minute jumps between a couple of Gothamites, each suffering their own form of social challenges in the dark, dark city. That's until they all decide to man-up and take on their oppressors. #BeTheBatman, the hashtag reads. PlayStation.Blog writes: It’s the moments when we are all tested that we explore in our new live-action trailer: times of trial, and how we can rise above them. Selflessness, determination, and courage are all traits that we share with the Dark Knight, and so in many ways we...

  • Look out Raspberry Pi: CHIP is the world’s first $9 hackable computer

    We here at Gearburn are avid Raspberry Pi and cheap, hackable, small computer stuff fans, so no wonder that the CHIP (or awkwardly dubbed the C.H.I.P) quickly popped up on our radars. Currently running a Kickstarter campaign, the little device claims to be the world's first US$9 computer, and yes, it can do a bit more than your age-old pocket calculator. According to the product page, you can use it to play games, tap away at documents, and so on. But that's all the boring stuff. We all know that where the real fun lies is when it comes down to hacking...

  • Android Wear updates finally make using apps as simple as checking the time

    Google has rolled out a bunch of features to make your Android smartwatch a bit more hands-off, with a whole new range of gestures and touch shortcuts. In what seems to be the first major update to Android Wear since it was unleashed onto people's wrists about a year ago, Google's focusing more on what it dubs being "fashionable" as well as "functionable". Android Wear watches have always had an always-on-screen -- that battery munching feature that doubles up as a safety light for nighttime cyclists. With this new update, you can extend this feature to your apps so they can stay...