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  • Happy Death Day review: a fun, trashy comedy-thriller

    Most people are afraid of death. Most people would tell you they don't want to be murdered. Not by anyone, but especially not by some unknown human in a creepy baby mask. And especially not on your birthday. So imagine your disdain if you were forced to relive the day of your murder again and again until you figured out how to stop dying. And there you have the entire plot of Happy Death Day. You may think that can't be all there is, but no: Theresa is a terrible college student with many an enemy, who, after waking up hungover...

  • Russian trolls studied House of Cards to sow discontent

    There are plenty of shows that centre on the US government: The West Wing, Commander in Chief, Veep, Madam Secretary, even Parks and Recreation. But when it came to learning about how to foster civilian mistrust of the government, Russian trolls decided instead to study Netflix's House of Cards. In an interview with independent Russian TV station Rain, a former member of the "troll factory" formerly known as the Internet Research Agency revealed that the elite English department used the show to learn the biggest issues plaguing Americans. The TV station was able to verify that "Maksim" had worked at the troll factory until the end of 2015, when only three seasons...

  • Netflix really wants to make ‘binge racing’ a thing

    You've heard of binge watching. Now get ready for Netflix's manipulation of your competitive side with a term it's super eager to coin: binge racing. Binge racing is the act of completing a season of a TV show within 24 hours of its release -- and, as of September, over 8.4 million users have participated in inhaling their favourite shows. It's easy to understand why Netflix would encourage this behaviour: binge racing ensures users will watch the entirety of a show despite its content, allowing even the most anticlimactic shows like Marvel's The Defenders a chance at the big time. And users? Well, they get bragging rights and...

  • The 9 best sitcoms of the decade

    The nature of sitcoms means that, like soap operas, most can continue on and on until they've lost all hope and heart and humour. And oftentimes studios are okay with this. Look at Modern Family: the show's structure is a mess (is it a mockumentary or not?), the characters have barely developed from season one, and it relies on stale jokes that feel familiar even when watching for the first time. It doesn't matter, though, because the show is still super popular: its eighth season, despite being the show's least-watched season, averaged 8.79-million viewers an episode. That's Game of Thrones season...

  • Got a cheap phone? Google now brings faster search to Africa

    Between the AMP project and data-saving features in Chrome, Google is providing a few solid solutions to data and speed constraints. Now, the search colossus announced the local availability of yet another solution in this regard. It announced that a faster Google Search experience is now available for most of the continent. It explains that nearly 40% of Android device owners on the continent could have a "slow or delayed" connection due to using devices with low RAM. So what does the solution entail, then? "Now for most of Africa, when you search on Google with a low RAM device via the Google...

  • Keywords have fallen from grace, but they’re nowhere near dead

    The tattered rags hanging off the broken frame. The nervous sidle into the corner of the eye. The virtual arms reaching out for a crumb of recognition. Keywords have fallen from SEO grace, misused and abused by those who wanted to shoot to the top of Google’s rankings at any cost. A cost too high for even the keyword to carry as bulging pages stuffed with repeated words and so-called experts pretending to claim the ultimate insider knowledge ripped at its foundations. In short, bad service providers, fake SEO experts and a lack of understanding around their impact and capability...

  • 10 things we learnt at Netflix South Africa event

    Netflix has been available in South Africa since January 2016, as part of a wider expansion on the part of the service. So we were pleasantly surprised when the company's EMEA executives decided to fly down for a local media roundtable event, signalling the start of a bigger push. So what did we learn at the event then? From South African content to most popular shows in the market, here's what we found out. South Africa's library has apparently tripled When Netflix launched locally back in 2016, it had a sparse library, to be fair. But Yenia Zaba, the firm's manager for European...

  • Everyone is making fun of the Han Solo movie title

    It's inevitable that if you drag something out long enough and don't deliver the goods, people are going to be left unsatisfied -- and that's just what director Ron Howard did when he revealed the title of the standalone Han Solo film. Hey #Twitterville we just wrapped production so here's a special message #StarWars pic.twitter.com/8QJqN5BGxr — Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) October 17, 2017 Solo: A Star Wars Film is not only a very anticlimactic title, but it was also guessed by fans months ago when they found pictures of the crew's merchandise. I guess those #SOLO crew shirts that popped up online in June WERE real, just the logo design was very...

  • WhatsApp introduces live location sharing feature

    WhatsApp will soon introduce a live location tracking feature, the company announced this week. "Whether you're meeting up with friends, letting loved ones know you're safe, or sharing your commute, Live Location is a simple and secure way to let people know where you are," the company explains in a blog post. As its name would suggest, the addition allows users and groups in your contact list to see your realtime location. Traditional location sharing in the "attach" menu within chat screens will now feature a "share live location" option. Users can also adjust how long they'd like their location to...

  • #AirportShooting in Cape Town leaves Twitter users in shock

    A shooting at Cape Town International Airport this morning has reportedly left two wounded and many in shock. The shooting appears to be gang related, and EWN has reported that one of the victims is alleged gang leader Jerome Booysen. Police have yet to confirm his identity. The victim has been taken to hospital with minor wounds to his upper body. The airport's official Twitter account confirmed the shooting, and assured that all other operations were to continue as usual. @capetownint there was an incident where someone got shot. Airport operations are ongoing. — Cape Town Airport (@capetownint) October 18, 2017 Some at the airport took to Twitter...

  • #CabinetShuffle: axed Blade Nzimande, nuclear deals and President Zuma memes

    Oh, but it's a busy news day in South Africa folks. President Jacob Zuma, on the back of appointing a new board for the SABC, has reshuffled his cabinet once again. The news broke Tuesday morning after the Presidency issued a brief press release. Ministry of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande was one of the more notable scalps, replaced by David Mahlobo The presser is copied in below: After careful consideration, I have decided to make the following changes to the National Executive; Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize is the Minister of Higher Education and Training Ms Ayanda Dlodlo is the Minister of...

  • Cape Town water crisis: water usage drops, but so does dam levels

    There's some good news and bad news this week, Cape Town. The good news is that consumption is down across the city. The bad news is that this hasn't had an impact on dwindling dam levels. Latest figures issued by the City of Cape Town paints another bleak picture. (See last week's figures here). Overall storage is down by 0.4% to 37.4%, even though water consumption dropped by 10-million litres per day (pdf). Consumption though remains 100-million litres per day above the City's target. While good rains fells on 14 and 15 October, few dams benefitted. The Berg River Dam remained at 66.6%...

  • #MeToo trends in SA as women share stories of sexual harassment

    Over the weekend, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged women to tweet the hashtag #MeToo if they had ever been sexually harassed, assaulted, or abused -- and by Tuesday morning it was trending in the top spot in South Africa. Just finished reading #Khwezi and decided to come detox on these streets. Then I see #MeToo. Women are going through the most 😭😭😭 — Thabi Pebane (@Thabip) October 16, 2017 The hashtag is in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal that revealed Hollywood's deep sexual harassment problem. Weinstein, one of the most influential producers in the industry, was found by The New York Times to have...

  • SA’s box office: Blade Runner 2049, and some movie facts

    You know that relatable feeling where you have to write about something because it's a series and a thing you do every week but this week there's legitimately nothing to say and you have no idea how you're going to hit that word count so your editor will feel okay publishing your story? Same. This week at South Africa's box office nothing happened. Sure, Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle jumped one up to two as Emoji Movie dropped to three, and, sure, The Snowman opened in fourth, and maybe Victoria & Abdul hopped one up to ninth, but other than that? Nothing remotely exciting. So instead here are some "fun" facts...

  • 7 found-footage horrors to watch on Halloween

    With Halloween just around the corner, I decided to brave the terrifying landscape of “found-footage” horror films so that you, the reader, can truly learn what fear is. If you have the desire for a terror-filled All Hallows’ Eve, or just like soiling yourself in the general pants area, this piece has been specially tailored for you. This article contains vivid description of violence, pure evil, and unfathomable insanity. Please enjoy. Disclaimer: One of the entries in this article has been removed due to the unprincipled practices used in the film's production. The Blair Witch Project The Blair Witch Project tells the story of...