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  • Chatbots are the future, but safety and security has to be a priority

    Customer communication is evolving faster than ever. Where paper-based communications sent through the mail were once the norm, almost everything is now done electronically across a range of channels. Two technologies that are set to have a particularly big impact going forward are chatbots and machine learning. That makes a great deal of sense. Both of these technologies allow for communications that are far more immediate and personalised, at a much lower cost than many of the current alternatives. As with all forms of customer communication, however, it’s vital that both the organisation and customers can use these technologies safely. Evolving chatbots Chatbots are,...

  • The Clanwilliam Dam becomes an unlikely social media star

    The Clanwilliam Dam, north of Cape Town, is an unlikely social media star this week, after the reservoir's sluice gates were opened and dramatic videos were the result. The dam, which holds 121 000 megalitres used for irrigation, was 99.4% full as of 17 September according to the Western Cape Government. However, it's likely that recent rains have pushed the dam's level beyond the 100% mark, because it's now releasing water back into the Olifants River. Videos and pictures on Twitter and Instagram have been posted of the dam's improved state this week. For comparison, it was just 38.4% in September 2017. This video...

  • How do you follow Cape Town’s new mayor on social media? You can’t

    It's official: Cape Town's next mayor will be former mayor Dan Plato, the DA confirmed on Tuesday. He will take over the reins from outgoing mayor Patricia De Lille from 1 November. This week the party also announced that Alan Winde will be the DA's candidate for Premier of the Western Cape, and confirmed that Mmusi Maimane -- who was running against Winde -- will remain the party leader. But while Winde is active on social media, De Lille boasts a big online following, and Maimane has an undoubted and established presence on Twitter, Dan Plato is the outlier. His personal...

  • YouTube Gaming will be evicted March 2019, move back in with parents

    After launching YouTube Gaming in 2015, YouTube is now reintegrating it into the proper YouTube experience in the form of a channel. Simply called Gaming, the new channel also spells the end of the old YouTube Gaming hub, which is set to join Google Inbox shuttering next March. “We have a strong and vibrant audience on the YouTube Gaming app, but the amount of gamers we are able to reach is far bigger on YouTube,”the company revealed. Moving the Gaming channel into YouTube proper does have its merits though. “YouTube is where the world watches gaming. More than 200-million of you come to...

  • Captain Marvel rediscovers her past in the movie’s first trailer

    When was the last time you saw non-pirate Nick Fury? Is Captain Marvel auditioning for the next Spider-Man movie? How on Earth is Captain Marvel going to fit into the larger cinematic universe? All this and more was answered in Marvel's first Captain Marvel trailer, which debuted on Tuesday. The trailer, which provides little backstory and lots of hype, largely explores the notion that Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) thinks she had a life on Earth. The trailer's framed around this idea, with Danvers seemingly exploring her own origin story in the upcoming flick. This, for all intents and purposes, would be...

  • Video: Hey Cape Town, it’s officially snowing on Table Mountain right now

    Well, here's something you don't see often, let alone in September. On Wednesday morning, the Table Mountain Cableway on Instagram reported that snow had begun falling at the Upper Station near the mountain's summit. A video was also included for non-believers, and those experiencing immense FOMO. "Christmas has come early at the #Cableway ... it's 2 degrees at the summit of #tablemountain and it's snowing," the company wrote in the post, published around 11am Wednesday. View this post on Instagram Christmas has come early at the #Cableway ... it's 2 degrees at the summit of #tablemountain and it's snowing 😎 A post shared by...

  • 6 flagship features on the affordable Nokia 6.1 [Sponsored]

    There are a wide range of smartphones available at a mid-range price, but it's difficult choosing one among them. But now that Nokia Android smartphones are available in South Africa, this decision has been made a whole lot easier. At R3999, here's six reasons why the Nokia 6.1 should be your next smartphone. Hardy but beautiful Scratch-resistant glass was a feature consumers could only dream of in the lower smartphone tiers, but the Nokia 6.1 is bringing this flagship feature to this affordable price bracket. This means the Nokia 6.1's screen can brush off taps and scrapes from errant keys or the...

  • Instagram launches its shopping experience, but it’s not what we first thought

    Instagram has introduced a new online shopping experience to consumers, but it’s not the standalone app we expected. Instead, you can shop inside Instagram Stories and from a new Shopping channel in your explore feed. “We began testing Shopping in Stories in June, and today we’re rolling it out globally and expanding it to businesses in 46 countries,” the company said on its blog. So now, when viewing Stories posted by brands and stores, you can click on shop-linking stickers to see more about the products. “Topic channels, which launched in June, allow you to browse across your interests and go deeper on...

  • Private cannabis use is now legal in South Africa (and Twitter is loving it)

    On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court decriminalized the private use of cannabis in South Africa. The ruling comes a year after the Western Cape High Court found that some of our previous laws regarding cannabis were unconstitutional. So yes, as an adult in this country, you can now legally grow and consume cannabis privately. But no, you shouldn’t be buying or selling it just yet, and Parliament must still decide exactly how much you can legally use before a police officer decides to arrest you. All the hazy specifics aside though, if you’re over 18 and know how to grow some green then...

  • Cannabis in Coca Cola may be the future of wellness drinks

    Coca Cola has confirmed that it's not ruling out the use of cannabis in its future wellness products. More specifically a substance contained in cannabis called Cannabidiol (CBD) which said to relieve pain but not produce the high that many associate with weed, could be added to a wellness drink. "Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world," Coca Cola spokesperson Kent Landers said in a statement to Bloomberg. "The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time." Notably, the...

  • Cape Town’s dams up to 70% but Theewaterskloof lags behind

    Cape Town's dams are now 70% full, this according to the City's latest dam levels report. That an increase of just 0.9% over the previous week. Still, it's the first time this milestone has been reached in September since 2015. That may seem sufficient, but the largest dam in the system that holds nearly 54% of Cape Town's surface water, the Theewaterskloof Dam, remains just 52.5% full. It did however gain 1.1% over the previous week. Other dams however are all above 80% full. The Berg River Dam is 97.6% full, but fell by 0.8% over the previous week. The Voëlvlei Dam...

  • SpaceX will fly a Japanese billionaire around the moon for art

    Elon Musk's SpaceX has announced the first private space tourist to venture to the Moon's orbit will be Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. Maezawa, founder of Japanese fashion firm Zozo and art aficionado, will hand pick "a painter, musician, film director, fashion designer..." and some of the "Earth's greatest talents" to join him on the mission. "During the week-long spaceflight, what will they see? What will they feel? What will they create," quips a totally cringe line on the mission's web page. Looks like that BA degree might come in handy after all. Although the party won't land on the Moon's surface, it will...

  • Someone’s sticking needles in Australia’s strawberries, and no one knows why

    Australia's dealing with a rather odd crisis at present. Sewing needles have been found lodged in strawberries and bananas across the country, in what some are calling "commercial terrorism". Last week, a man was taken to hospital after swallowing a strawberry that contained a needle. This week, the issue has escalated, with six of the country's territories all reporting incidents. Incredibly, at least six brands are also afflicted. The country's minister for health Greg Hunt has ordered the "Food Standards Australia New Zealand to investigate the handling of strawberry contamination," he tweeted. "I urge all Australians be vigilant for potential contaminants." I have ordered...

  • Watch: Typhoon Mangkhut wreaks havoc in Hong Kong

    Last week, at least seven cyclonic storms were active in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. While all the news focused on Hurricane Florence which clattered into the US east coast, fiercest storm was making landfall just south of Hong Kong. When Super Typhoon Mangkhut finally struck China, it lashed Hong Kong with 180km/h wind and driving rain. Can't quite wrap your head around that number? That's more than enough power to rip a crane from a building in Tai Kok Tsui, Hong Kong. Scaffolding collapse at a building site in Kowloon pic.twitter.com/O69ILlXOJr — 高地柏啲 (香港) (@HighlandPaddyHK) September 16, 2018 This video was viewed over 1.4-million...

  • Canadian college offers new qualification in growing cannabis

    You can soon leave college in Canada with a qualification in growing cannabis. Yes Elon, weed. Ontario's Niagara College, CBC reports, recently debuted its cannabis programme which teaches students the fundamentals of cultivating and caring for the versatile herb. "Students will get intensive hands-on training in growing pot with classes that focus on topics like plant nutrition, climate control, pest control and plant selection," the report adds. Courses about Canada's cannabis legislation are also taught. Even with the prospect of sitting through boring legal chatter, the course as a whole is proving extremely popular. Reportedly only 24 spots are available, but more than 300 people...