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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • This video of Cape Town’s dams shows just how bad the water crisis really is

    Cape Town is running out of water, there's no denying that fact. This week, the City of Cape Town announced that dam levels are just over 35%, of which around 25% is usable. It sounds incredibly dire, and that's largely because it is. But words and numbers scantly do justice to the problem. Somerset West Drone pilot NicRed, noted this and took to the skies above four of the city's six largest dams -- Steenbras Upper, Voelvlei , the Berg River and Theewaterskloof -- to capture footage of the leaking water stores. "I have been collecting this footage over the last 20...

  • ShowMax expands to Europe, with Poland its first destination

    Africa seems to be just a tad too small for growing South African streaming company ShowMax. The Naspers-owned video-on-demand company today announced that it has infiltrated Europe, with a new service launched in Poland. This is ShowMax's first big foray into Europe, after it initially offered Afrikaans channel KykNET to Europeans, North Americans, Australians, and New Zealanders. To be fair, though, ShowMax's Polish move is a substantial jump from its KykNET offering. "This is a big deal for us, especially coming just 18 months after we launched ShowMax," explains ShowMax head John Kotsaftis. "With more than seven million people paying for online...

  • Disable Facebook autoplay videos on all platforms: a how-to guide

    Few things are more annoying than runaway videos on your devices thanks to Facebook autoplay. You can be mindlessly scrolling through your timeline one minute, and the next, some rando in a chicken suit starts dancing on your screen. No one wants that. Thankfully, this system, along with audio accompaniment, is coming to mobile devices too! But did you know that you can switch off the Facebook autoplay system entirely? Absolutely. And here's how you can do just that on Desktop, Android, and iOS. Desktop On Facebook's desktop website, you'll need to navigate to the top right of the site's headline bar and click...

  • Amazon wants to take over the boardroom, silence Skype with Chime

    Internet behemoth Amazon has announced a new workplace messaging and conferencing facility. Dubbed Chime, the product is billed as a "communications service that transforms online meetings with a secure, easy-to-use application that you can trust". According to the company, the Skype-rival works across multiple devices, much like the service its going up against. "You can use Amazon Chime for online meetings, video conferencing, calls, chat, and to share content, both inside and outside your organization," Amazon adds. The company claims that a number of features makes its offering unique, including a meeting facility that calls you when a meeting begins. There's also...

  • Donald Trump to call Jacob Zuma today? Here’s what Twitter thinks

    Donald Trump just can't stay out of world news. Jacob Zuma just can't stay out of South African news. A match made in heaven? It seems like it, especially in light of new details that emerged Monday. According to the South African Government's official Twitter account, President Trump wants to ring President Zuma today, continuing the American president's diplomatic olive-branching spanning his first 100 days. The Presidency confirms a request from the White House for a telecon between President Zuma and President Trump this afternoon, 13/2/17 — PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) February 13, 2017 While it's not exactly out of the ordinary for a president...

  • Pangolin love: Google’s Valentines Day Doodle is utterly adorable

    While you might be planning an intricate dinner, a beach getaway, or perhaps even a Netflix and chill session this Valentines Day, spare a thought for the poor endangered pangolin. That's at least what Google wants you to do. In its latest Google Doodle celebrating the 14th of February, the company has gone to impressive lengths to highlight the scaley mammalian's flight for survival using a novel mobile-like browser game. "On a sunny morning in Ghana, the ingredients for pangolin love are falling into place," Google explains its Doodle. "Don’t let its hard outer scales fool you: inside, our friend Pangolin is...

  • China’s Weibo is now worth more than Twitter

    Twitter is just not having a good end to the decade. After disappointing Q4 2016 financial results marred the platform's active role in the US Elections, a new report now suggests that Twitter is valued less than its Chinese rival Weibo. Weibo, now boasting a market capitalisation of US$11.13-billion, shades its American rival by just under a billion dollars. Twitter's cap is around US$10.57-billion at the time of writing. Although this isn't a huge blow to Twitter -- after all, it's blocked in China where Weibo is strongest -- it does put into perspective just how far the company has fallen. Image:...

  • Beyonce sued for sampling Messy Mya: the YouTube legalities explained

    Both YouTube and Beyonce have had a busy start to the month. That trend is seemingly set to continue, at least for the latter. While just a few days ago she was celebrated on Instagram, Beyonce is reportedly being sued for using vocal samples from a deceased YouTuber in her track Formation without permission. Voice clips from social media celebrity Messy Mya's video, Booking The Hoes From New Wildin, is used within the first ten seconds of the Lemonade track by producer Mike WiLL and Queen B. Another sample of another Mya clip can be heard around the minute mark. The three-times...

  • Watch: Twitter captures ugly Sundowns, Pirates fracas

    We've seen some violent scenes in South Africa this weekend largely thanks to the State of the Nation fracas on Thursday night. But when Mamelodi Sundowns took on Orlando Pirates in Tshwane today, no one thought it would end up like this. Sundowns put six goals past Pirates in the first 80 minutes of the game. Yes, six. This didn't seem to sit well with some in the stadium. With some Sundowns fans looking on from the stands, a number of other spectators flooded the pitch, overwhelming Premier Soccer League security, forcing the players back into the dressing room, and...

  • WhatsApp’s two-step verification: here’s how to enable it

    Without much fanfare, Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has rolled out its two-step verification system for users on both Android and iOS. But what does that mean? Well, for one, it brings WhatsApp's security in line with the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft -- three companies who already support the system on their services and devices. Moreover, it will also be a lot harder for baddies to gain access to your account. WhatsApp explains that it will remain an optional feature, that users can switch on if they so desire. But we recommend you do. How to enable WhatsApp's two-step verification system It...

  • Facebook Safety Check will let you be a mini-hero during disasters

    Facebook's Safety Check system has been one of the company's more notable additions to the site in 2016. The system -- which triggers when disasters are mentioned on the site, and allows users to mark themselves as "safe" -- now allows those who can to do their bit to help others affected by disasters. We're not saying that Facebook wants to make a super hero out of you, but it does want to "empower the community to help one another," according to its VP of social good, Naomi Gliet The new addition, called Community Help, will let "people find and give help...

  • #SONA2017: Govt plans to drop data costs for South Africa’s youth

    Amidst a bevy of chaos, President Jacob Zuma eventually got his State of the Nation Address across to the seated members of Parliament and South Africa at large. Although many points regarding South Africa's future for 2017 were made (including land claims, black business growth and agriculture), one in particular stood out for us. And that's the cost of data. President Zuma announced that the government will ensure that dropping the cost of data will be one of its most important focus points in 2017. He emphasised the youth in particular. President Zuma: We assure the youth that the lowering of the...

  • #FearFokol is trending on Twitter thanks to Julius Malema

    Twitter is going to be the mouthpiece of many South Africans tonight, as President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation Address. For one particular EFF member dubbed Julius Malema, this especially rings true. Malema, the leader of the second-biggest opposition party in SA, tweeted a short but rather quaint hashtag earlier today, reading simply as #FearFokol. This translates from Afrikaans slang to "fear nothing". While Malema hasn't clarified exactly what he is referring to, we could make a few postulations. For one, around 440 troops will be deployed around Parliament today in Cape Town, during Zuma's address. Many believe that...

  • ShowMax Select is now available in South Africa

    ShowMax, on the back of its SEACOM announcement last month, has today revealed a new partnership with Vodacom. The company, alongside the telecoms giant, is bringing its mobile-centric ShowMax Select service to South Africa. The service, which focused on distributing local content to mobile devices, debuted in Kenya last year. "Available exclusively to Vodacom customers on an add-to-bill basis, ShowMax Select is a new internet TV service designed for use on smartphones and tablets," the company explains in a press release. ShowMax Select is the company's mobile-first, hyper-local streaming offering that debuted in Kenya in 2016 The service will be charged as an...

  • UberEATS expands to five more Cape Town suburbs

    UberEATS, after launching in Cape Town's central business district and surrounds in late January, has now announced its expansion into the city's Southern Suburbs. Initially serving only the Atlantic Seaboard, the city centre and the city's eastern edge, the company will today expand into five new suburbs. Newlands, Rondebosch, Claremont, Bishopscourt and Mowbray will now be serviced by UberEATS, the company revealed in a newsletter. This is obviously a welcome move for both Uber and its potential customers in this area, as it can also now be regarded as a Mr D Food and OrderIn competitor. Mr D Food, which also relaunched in...