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All posts by Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter

  • #MatthewTheunissen apologises for racist Facebook post, Twitter doesn’t buy it

    In an interview with AM radio station Cape Talk, Cape Town native Matthew Theunissen has apologised for a recently published racist Facebook post. The post, which Theunissen wrote in response to Sports Minister Fikile Mbulula's announcement that three of South Africa's major sporting codes would be banned from hosting international sporting events until they met their transformation targets. In the now deleted post, Theunissen labels Mbalula and his government colleagues "kaffirs" -- a derogatory term used against black South African -- and "cunts". In the interview, the Noordhoek resident admits that he typed the words in a rage, but...

  • Media24 changes ad policies to kill agency commission

    Correction: This article originally stated that The SpaceStation is a media buying agency. It has been amended to reflect the fact that it is a media sales agency. Media 24 on Friday announced that, as of 1 May, its rate cards will no longer reflect the long-established 16.5% early settlement or agency discount fee. The fee, which has long been a bone of contention in the media buying space, essentially allows media buying agencies to take a portion of the fee for placing an ad with a publisher. Building system into their own offerings has allowed media to...

  • Ford Focus B Max EcoBoost: get your dad on

    I am, at the time of this article going live, 28-years-old and have no children. I do, however, listen to talk radio and tell incredibly lame jokes. And that means I'm reasonably qualified to review the Ford Focus B Max EcoBoost: a dad car with an impressive sting in the tail. Make no mistake, no one's going to think you're the coolest dad in the school-yard if you pull up in this mini-people carrier. Once you've explained to everyone why it's such a "sensible" choice though, Ford's clever 1.0l EcoBoost engine means you'll be able to burn them as...

  • Facebook beats a bad quarter for tech, boasts 1.6bn users

    It hasn't been the best week for the world's biggest tech players. But while almost everyone else has fallen short of market expectations, things could hardly be better for Facebook right now. The world's largest social network on Wednesday released its Q1 earnings report and, if you're a shareholder, it makes for very good reading indeed. Alongside continued user growth, the company revealed that it's gotten even better at making money and that there may soon be a new class of share for people to invest in. Making it rain Facebook's revenues for the quarter were US$5.38-billion, with its net...

  • MoveThisStuff: the startup helping you find the right mover for your budget

    Moving, whether it's down the road or to the other side of the country, can be pretty damn stressful. Quite aside from the pain of leaving somewhere you may have come to regard as your home, there's the hassle of finding movers who'll treat your stuff with respect. One company trying to make the second of those things a little easier is MoveThisStuff. Headquartered in Johannesburg, the startup helps people find movers based on factors including how far they're moving, what kind of stuff they're looking to move, and what kind of movers they're looking for. Once they've put...

  • #IAmMuslim: powerful social campaign aims a blow at Islamaphobia

    Every week seems to bring with it new incidences of Islamaphobia. Spurred by a growing migrant crisis and the recent terror attacks in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, intolerance directed at the Muslim community is higher than ever. In response to this, Native VML and People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP) have teamed up for a social media campaign that aims to address this situation by confronting people's prejudices. It does so by posting photos of Muslim women wearing a traditional Islamic hijab, fashioned after the flag of their home country. “Juxtaposing these two symbols...

  • Prince is dead: the social media numbers behind the grief

    Prince Rogers Nelson, known by his mononym Prince, is dead aged 57. The singer, producer, actor, and all-round entertainer passed away on Thursday after being hospitalised with flu last week. Unsurprisingly, fans around the world took to social media to express their grief at the loss of the global mega star. And they have done so in incredible numbers. “In the hours since the announcement there has been an outpouring of support, respect and heartbreak over the news - totalling over 3.5-million social media responses. Or, said otherwise, 60 a second," said Kelvin Jonck, MD of YouKnow Digital....

  • Ford Fusion 1.5L EcoBoost: sensibility with a sting in the tail

    A few weeks ago, on this very site, I revealed that I wasn't a fan of automatics. The car I reviewed in that article, the Volvo XC90 failed to convert me. But after a week with the Ford Fusion, I'm starting to think I could live without a clutch pedal. Of course there's plenty of other stuff to say about the latest Fusion, a car which was only launched in South Africa in 2015 -- some three years after it made its debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in 2012. And we'll get to all the...

  • Can a CV builder help fix South Africa’s unemployment problem?

    If you've ever been involved in processing job applications, you'll know that it can be a pretty dire process. Every time you open up a position, you'll be hit with a litany of badly-written CVs with spelling and grammar errors, awkward fonts, and completely irrelevant information. In a bid to help fix that, skincare brand Clere for Men has launched a CV builder to at least give job applicants a better chance at getting a foot in the door. The CV builder, as well as the revamped Clere for Men site, is a collaboration between Retroviral and boutique...

  • Chat bots, drones, AI: Facebook’s grand plan for the next decade

    At Facebook's F8 developer conference on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the social network's plans for the next decade and, if you're even remotely afraid of where tech's going, they're unlikely to go down that well. Having built an ecosystem containing a number of products, it's fairly clear that Facebook is moving into the technologies section of its life-cycle. Followers of the social network will already be familiar with some of those technologies, including Facebook's efforts at using drones and planes to provide internet to underserved areas of the world. They'll also be aware that the big blue social network...

  • You can remove Zuma…from your browser

    Despite the best efforts from South Africans of all walks of life and political leanings, Jacob Zuma remains president of the country. It's tough, but it's reality. Luckily though, you can take some power back. Thanks to a new Chrome extension you can have a Zuma-free browsing experience. Okay, he'll still be president but at least you'll be a lot less angry during your work day. Built by designer and digital artist Mitch Said, the extension simply scans any page you're on and removes all mentions of Zuma. Even better is that you can actually see all the mentions...

  • Drone smashes through CT entrepreneur’s window, hits him in the head

    Cape Town has a reputation for bad drivers, but if this video is anything to go by, the city's drone pilots might not be much better. The video was posted by internet entrepreneur David Perel, who was the unfortunate victim of the rogue drone. According to Perel, the drone smashed through his fifth floor window and hit him in the head. "While sitting at my desk I head what sounded like a missile followed by a huge bang and glass all over me," he writes in the video's YouTube description. Fortunately, Perel was uninjured but it's pretty clear...

  • Knott-Craig’s secret plan to fix Mxit, and why it failed

    When serial tech entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jr took to the NetProphet stage on Thursday, it was ostensibly to talk about Project Isizwe -- the non-profit WiFi initiative he now runs. But there was also a tasty tit-bit for anyone who's kept an eye on Mxit over the past five years. While describing his journey to Project Isizwe, Knott-Craig revealed what his grand vision for Mxit actually was after he acquired it in 2011 and why his investors turned their backs on him. According to Knott-Craig, the mobile social network had been in discussions with South Africa's mobile operators to become a...

  • Big-name activist throws weight behind WEF internet initiative

    Education activist and co-founder of the academic support non-profit Olico, Andrew Barrett has thrown his weight behind an initiative from the World Economic Forum's global shpers programme to bring internet access to all in Africa. Called #internet4all, the campaign was announced on Thursday and will officially launch at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2016 that takes place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 11 to 13 May. The campaign follows a call from Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa and Member of the Executive Committee for the World Economic Forum, for the internet to become a basic right in Africa. “Technology...

  • Online still accounts for just 1% of total SA retail

    The South African ecommerce space is growing seriously fast -- more than 26% in 2015 alone -- but it still accounts for just one percent of the country's total retail spend. That's according to the latest Online Retail in South Africa 2016 report, released on Wednesday by World Wide Worx. According to the report, ecommerce has maintained a higher than 20% growth since the turn of the century and in 2015 was worth R7.5-billion. While the rate of growth is expected to slow down a little in 2016, the report says that growth in Rand terms is expected to...