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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • Is TrackOFF the internet security service you’ve been sorely missing?

    With so much talk about hacking, identity theft and online fraud floating around in 2017, we'll totally understand if you never want to switch on a computer ever again. Luckily, there are ways to make your online journey a little safer. Browser add-ons, anti-virus programs and common sense are just some of the ways you can filter out -- and avoid -- the gunk from online pages you visit everyday. But some companies believe this isn't quite enough. That's where TrackOFF comes into play. The Baltimore-based security company claims to build the "best in class tools to secure users' identities and personal...

  • Tonight’s Premier League Deadline Day will be livestreamed on Twitter

    Transfer deadline day is one that football fans across the world love dearly, and a day Premier League managers hate. But another company eagerly rubbing its hands in anticipation is, perhaps surprisingly, Twitter. The microblogging platform has signed a deal with UK broadcaster Sky Sports that will see it host live broadcasts of Sky's deadline day coverage. It's a great coup for Twitter, and an even bigger one for fans. Effectively, you can catch the last minute signings and deals without the need of a subscription, or a television. "The heart of Deadline Day is the fantastic reporting team and a...

  • Dropbox Paper is for creatives with too many files

    Cloud storage service Dropbox is hoping to modify its company description slightly with its latest product. It's called Dropbox Paper, and it's effectively the company's Google Docs competitor. While, yes, it is yet another online office collaboration tool, the company's Todd Jackson claims that it's so much more than that. "More than a doc, Dropbox Paper is a flexible workspace that brings people and ideas together," he explains. "With Paper, teams can create, review, revise, manage, and organise -- all in shared documents." Google Docs, but for creatives? Largely based on the principle that one basket is good enough for all your office's creative...

  • WhatsApp location tracking is coming, according to latest betas

    According to new beta builds of WhatsApp's mobile apps, users may soon be able to track others' location in real-time. Spotted by beta-sniffing Twitter account @WABetaInfo, the feature will let users switch on location tracking within the app, allowing those in their contact list to see their current location, and effectively track their movements. 2.17.3.28 iOS | 2.16.399+ Android: Live Location feature, that tracks the live location of other group participants (DISABLED BY DEFAULT). pic.twitter.com/pYEXT1nxyR — WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) January 26, 2017 Although that seems scary, location tracking in mobile apps isn't a new feature at all. In fact, some apps specifically exist for...

  • Trump Hotels slammed on Twitter in wake of #MuslimBan

    If you happen to use Twitter on a daily basis, there's one thing you should always remember: the moment you hit send, that tweet is on the internet for all to see. Yes, even aliens. That's what Trump Hotels' Twitter staff found out this weekend. In the wake of the #MuslimBan outlined by President Trump this weekend, Twitter users have found a Trump Hotels tweet from October 2011 that is now a focus of their outcry. And it's eerily relevant. "Tell us your favorite travel memory - was it a picture, a souvenir, a sunset? We'd love to hear it!", the tweet...

  • You can now log in to Facebook using a special USB or NFC key

    Facebook just can't stop announcing things this week. With Facebook Stories revealed for its mobile app, and tweaks also heading to its Facebook Trending system, the company is now turning to a largely forgotten area -- privacy and security. This week, FB announced a number of new privacy tools that will be heading to user profiles on 28 January. The revamped Privacy Basics page will allow users to better understand privacy management of their account. It takes the form of an interactive FAQ, and will be available in 44 languages. Overall, there are 32 guides focusing on a number of privacy-minded...

  • Cash Me Outside: this 13-year-old girl is now a meme

    It's barely the end of January and already 2017 has been a stellar year for memes. With the likes of #SaltBae sprinkling some much needed vigour into the internet's various forums, it was only a matter of time until something else popped up. And that something else is "Cash Me Outside". Okay, this one is going to need some explaining. "Cash me outside, howbah dah", to give it its full name, became this year's latest phrase to utter to your friends on Facebook, and stems from the, uh, heartland of memes -- the Dr. Phil Show. A brief history In September 2016, 13-year-old...

  • Facebook Stories will soon let you ‘Snapchat’ from your Facebook app

    Facebook has already implemented a rehashed version of Snapchat Stories on Instagram. But it hasn't yet bolted on the feature to its flaship app. Until now, that is. The social network has announced that Facebook Stories is now a thing on its Android and iOS app, and yes, it works almost exactly like Snapchat and Instagram Stories (pictured). Users can scroll through a horizontal list of Stories located at the top of the app's screen (just below the notifications and search bar). It's almost visually identical to Instagram Stories too, and will let users share ephemeral videos and snaps that will...

  • Facebook Trending updates, now adds context to network’s hot topics

    In its new-found bid to highlight genuine news on its network, Facebook has announced updates to its Trending feature. Trending, a feature added to the social network in 2014, shows users "popular topics being discussed on Facebook that they might not see in their News Feed" based on algorithms and reviewed by a company team. It's a lot like Twitter's trending hashtag system, and allows users to gauge what's currently hot on the social network. But this doesn't always mean that what's hot is actually relevant, or even factual. According to Facebook's product management VP, Will Cathcart, the company will be making...

  • Twitter desperately needs its own fact-checking system, and fast [Opinion]

    Whether you believe climate change is a human-fuelled condition or simple planet dynamics scantly matters at this point. Speaking as a South African currently experiencing one of the "biggest drought events in living memory", climate change is very much a reality. But some don't seem to think so. South Dakota's Badlands National Park was caught with ink-stained hands this week after the park's Twitter account blurted out a few climate change facts. But it seems the plot is a bit thicker than that. The tweets were not from the park itself. Fact or alternative fact? According to Buzzfeed's Claudia Koerner speaking to a...

  • Your Android Pattern Lock isn’t secure at all, research suggests

    Modern Android devices give users a number of authentication methods. From fingerprints to PIN codes, there are a slew of options to unlock your dear device. But some people still rely on the ancient Pattern Lock. Researchers from Britain's universities of Bath and Lancaster, and China's Northwest University, suggest that sliding your thumb seemingly uniquely across nine equidistant dots on a screen isn't as secure as you may have thought. The researchers noted that by using a recorded "video and computer vision algorithm software" -- effectively recording the motion of the hand over the screen -- the Pattern Lock can be...

  • South Africans can repay houses faster using Airbnb, study finds

    If you're struggling to pay off your house in South Africa, there might be an alternative solution. Its name is Airbnb. London-based property agency Nested has this week published its latest Property ROI Index, which suggests that South Africans using Airbnb could experience quicker house value recuperation when compared to traditional rental schemes. "For 75 international cities, we researched thousands of properties sold in the last 12 months or currently on the market to find the average price of a three-bedroom property," Nested explains. "For each market, we calculated exactly how long it would take you, in months, to recoup the property...

  • Snapchat joins Facebook, Google in purging fake news from its network

    Snapchat is the latest social network to take a stand against fake news, clickbait and "sensitive content", according to a new report by the New York Times. The social network, which updated its guidelines Monday, now forbids companies enrolled to its Discover programme to post questionable content to their channels. This includes clickbait, "overtly sexualised" content, and profanity. The network's Discover programme currently houses channels from the likes of National Geographic, People, Yahoo! and MTV. Snapchat's new guidelines also guard against Discover channels from "including reports or links to outside websites that could be considered fake news". Ultimately, the changes are in a...

  • Gang rape of Swedish woman broadcast live on Facebook

    According to a grim tabloid report from Sweden, three men on Monday recorded and broadcast an alleged gang rape using Facebook Live -- the social network's live video streaming service. The incident, which took place in Sweden's fourth largest city Uppsala, is currently undergoing a "preliminary investigation", according to police officials. Police were alerted by a concerned member of the closed Facebook group in which the video was being broadcast. According to a member of the group, around 200 people were watching the broadcast simultaneously. Reports also suggest that there might be two videos currently circulating on Facebook. Police, in a press...

  • Here’s what would happen if Instagram renamed world subway stations

    New York and London are two cities renowned for their intricate rail networks, but many would argue that they're quite confusing for foreigners. With that said, a project is trying to make world subway systems a little more personal and navigable for citizens and foreigners alike, using crowdsourced information from Instagram. @TagsAndTheCity is a project that envisions gobal rail systems as an Instagram network. Instead of using station names as markers, the service samples the most commonly used hashtags in and around terminals and stations, renaming them accordingly. What if Capetonians renamed our rail stations using Instagram hashtags? "We rename subway stations...