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  • Twitter debuts ‘quality filter’, but what does it do?

    Twitter has been hard at work over the past few months, delivering everything from bigger GIFs and Snapchat-style stickers to 140-second videos and better harrassment reporting tools. Now, the company has zeroed in on notifications, launching two new features in this regard. The first feature allows you to only get notifications for people you follow, while the second option brings a "quality filter" into the fray. "Don't want to see notifications from everyone? Starting today, everyone will have the ability to limit notifications to only people they follow on mobile and on twitter.com. Simply turn it on if you want to give it...

  • Update: Gawker.com will shut down next week

    Update 2, 18 August 2016, 10.44pm: Univision plans to integrate Gawker's assets into its own pop culture website platform Fusion, according to a tweet. This leaves the future of the company's other websites, including the likes of Lifehacker, Gizmodo and Kotaku, in doubt. .@Univision to acquire brands from @Gawker Media + integrate into @FusionMedia Group https://t.co/TTfgIYQywJ pic.twitter.com/maLC3nONXe — Fusion Media Group (@FusionMedia) August 18, 2016 Update 1, 18 August 2016, 10.20pm: In light of Univision's purchase of the Gawker network, Gawker.com announced some industry-changing news on its front page this evening. The flagship site announced that it will end operations next week. Nick...

  • South African Post Office now has its very own Android, iOS app

    The South African Post Office is now the proud owner of its own official app. Available on Android and iOS devices, the app lets users track the location and status of a parcel, scan tracking numbers using the device's camera, and even get notifications when a parcel has been delivered. Developed by Fuse IT, the app was launched this week to fairly favourable (but scant) reviews on the Google Play Store, boasting a 4.2/5 score from six reviews. Yeah, you can't read much into that, but the app's definitely a step in the right direction for the embattled parastatal. "The app works well,...

  • Telkom offering R500k reward after countrywide ‘senseless sabotage’

    Telkom is offering a R500 000 reward for information after its facilities were "targeted in a series of acts of sabotage". The communications network said that its facilities in Midrand, Silverton, Pretoria West, Pinetown, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Makhado and Messina were sabotaged. "This is not vandalism, the criminals who damaged our property knew what they were doing. Cables have been cut to cause maximum damage. Entire street distribution cabinets, which are located in neighbourhoods to serve multiple streets at a time, have been ripped apart and in a few instances yesterday, set on fire," said Jacqui O'Sullivan, Telkom's group executive for communication, in...

  • Don’t share it! Spot fake news and images with these tips

    The internet has largely delivered on its promise to revolutionise the way we access information and news in general. Unfortunately, we've also seen the rise of fake news websites, as people share these stories without question. It doesn't have to be this way though, as there are a few things to keep in mind before sharing that article... Google! Publications live and die by their exclusives of course, but it's worth Googling the story for other websites saying the same thing. This is especially true for no-name websites reporting the original news, as opposed to the likes of News24, Forbes, M&G and other prominent publications. Also make sure that...

  • Instagram ‘Events Channel’ lets you explore concerts, the Olympics through video

    Instagram's had quite a month. From Justin Bieber leaving the platform thanks to fan abuse, to the company borrowing Snapchat's stories feature without even changing its name. But the newly announced addition to the social network returns some shine to the service. The company announced in a new blog post that users can now "experience events as they happen around the world with a new video channel on Explore". "This channel collects the best videos from concerts, sporting events and more so you can feel like you’re in the front row. Like the rest of Explore, this new channel is personalized...

  • Kanye West ‘Life of Pablo’ store coming to Cape Town this weekend

    Kanye West is coming to Cape Town this weekend... okay, at least in spirit, that is. The hip-hop superstar announced in a tweet that a Life of Pablo pop-up store will be hosted in Cape Town this weekend -- a first for the African continent. Okay sure, Yeezy himself won't be playing retail assistant for the store itself, but Cape Town does get the honour of hosting the only store in Africa, and one of four in the Southern Hemisphere. 20 other stores will be dotted around the globe this weekend, including the likes of Melbourne, London, Singapore and Toronto. 21...

  • Facebook Messenger’s bots can now send you advertisements

    A lot has been said about Facebook and its advertising mentality this month, but this week the company announced that's change its advertising policies to help Facebook Messenger bots sell you things. While bots are still allowed to give recommendations (not advertisements) based on user input though a subscription system, Facebook has slightly tweaked the rules. If you happen to be subscribed to a Messenger bot and reply to recommendation sent on said channel within 24 hours, the bot can then send users advertisements and promotional material. Replies need to take the form of an "eligible action" as well (Facebook gives...

  • 12 important space missions, events to look forward to in 2017

    The year has already seen a variety of landmark space missions taking place. There were the Falcon 9's successful first stage landings, the Juno probe's Jupiter rendezvous and the longest stay at the International Space Station. Next year promises to be another bumper year for unmanned and manned spaceflight, so what should we expect? We listed 12 space missions and major events to watch out for in 2017. Boeing to test its manned capsule Boeing is hard at work on its CST-100 Starliner capsule, hoping to beat SpaceX to the manned mission punch. The CST-100 Starliner capsule can lift up to seven astronauts to orbit...

  • South Africa’s weekend box office: Finding Dory loses her way [2016/08/17]

    Even with low review scores and the fans decrying reviewers, Suicide Squad is still holding first place in the South African movie charts. What other movies have SA audiences lapped up over the past weekend? (12 to 14 August) Coming in at number two is the terrible-looking comedy, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, with Pete's Dragon entering at third position. Jason Bourne has slipped down two positions to number four, while the all-female version of Ghostbusters has dropped two spaces from three to five, and Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson's Central Intelligence now sitting at number eight from six. The two-space drop trend...

  • Beyond the traffic: 3 ways to engage an online audience

    The "Field of Dreams" principle generally doesn’t apply to web traffic. You can’t just build a website and expect that people will come. It can take some heavy lifting to draw visitors. But there’s a problem here, too: Focusing on traffic and clicks doesn’t always mean more sales. Instead of thinking about visitors in terms of stats, start thinking about them as your  audience. Imagine your website is a town on a busy interstate. Building a fast-food restaurant at the exit ramp will bring lots of traffic and visits, but it won’t do anything to boost the town’s economy. Drivers are...

  • Google Hangouts will be punted for business use, company exec explains

    Google, after I/O 2016, vehemently denied it will be killing Hangouts after it announced two new chat apps, but the company has been mum on what that meant for the service. Thanks to new remarks from Google's Nick Fox, we can now prepare to see Hangouts rebranded as a business-orientated service. Speaking to Engadget's Nathan Ingraham, the VP of communications Fox explains that Google's two new chat apps -- video calling service Duo, and search-enhanced chat app Allo -- will pilot the company's consumer messaging division. On Gearburn: Google I/O 2016: Allo and Duo apps revealed Hangouts will be refocused as a...

  • Warning: build for a swift, responsive website or risk being left behind

    The digitalisation of business is inevitable and companies that resist the change, risk losing customers, revenue and potentially, even their reputation. The stakes are even higher for companies whose websites are the first and only place interested customers visit. In reality, a website only has seconds to make a good first impression. A responsive site is essential. The latest Ericsson Mobility Report states that smartphone subscriptions continue to increase and that the number will surpass those for basic phone subscriptions during the third quarter of 2016. According to the report, the growth will continue, especially in markets such as Africa and...

  • Former Rovio CEO to lead Nokia brand’s return to market

    Earlier this year, it was announced that new firm HMD Global would be bringing the Nokia name back to the smartphone world. At the time, HMD Global said it would be using the Nokia name for smartphones and tablets and that these devices would be running Android. The company already has several high-profile executives, but you can add another one to the list, in the form of ex-Rovio Entertainment CEO Pekka Rantala. The executive, who was also a senior vice-president of global marketing at Nokia, is now the chief marketing officer at HMD Global, the company announced. Rantala has 17-years of experience at Nokia, before...

  • Street-front businesses win with Pokemon Go, different story for those indoors

    I’ll admit: I’ve got to catch them all. And in all probability you do too. The last few weeks I’ve been reading the various takes on how businesses can capitalize on the Pokemon Go craze. Marketing media in particular seem to be trying to help brands and agencies understand the opportunities for them in the fastest growing mobile game of all time. Do you try to get your brand in Pokemon Go by working directly with Niantic? Do you buy hundreds of “lure modules” and tell players that the Pokemon in your outlets are for paying customers only? Do you offer...