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  • Last week in trailers: Black Panther, Jean-Claude Van Damme & more

    You may have missed it, but last week happened. There was a Monday, in which many were upset about the state of their lives, a Wednesday, in which we all tolerated overuse of the word "hump", and even a Friday, in which I got tipsy off some Moscow mules and ate too much Indian food. There were also some trailers. Here they are. Black Panther The official Black Panther trailer is here, and what a blessing for our eyeballs. Starring Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Martin Freeman, and Andy Serkis, Marvel's latest solo endeavour looks to be one of the coolest in its cinematic universe. Catch it in...

  • ‘Pay with Google’ simplifies mobile payments on Android

    Filling out forms completely suck, and even more so on mobiles. This is especially true when you just can't wait to part with your hard earned cash for that oh so cheesy pizza. But Google hopes to make this quarrelsome system a little simpler. Its "Pay with Google" service, previewed in May, is now live in the United States. The service should also be live in countries that support Google's Android Pay infrastructure. Replacing forms altogether, Pay with Google lists the credit and debit cards you've connected to your Google Account, or via its other services like Google Play or YouTube. During...

  • Tinder now lets you swipe right from your web browser

    Tinder users looking for that perfect match, just a fun night out or specifically people above 1.72m, can now browse prospective dates and future friends on its web platform. While this is a move to improve Tinder's convenience factor, it does note that it's also targeting users with unreliable internet connections. "Let’s face it: not all places on earth have 4G. Some people can’t get bundled services, while others don’t have enough memory to support Tinder on their mobile phones," it wrote in a March update. "For all those who’ve ever been stuck in a lecture hall or had to endure an...

  • Social accounts to follow during Cape Town’s wildfire season [Digital All Stars]

    Cape Town's fire season is off to an early start this year. On Wednesday 11 October, a blaze broke out on the 12 Apostles mountain range between Camps Bay and Llandudno on the city's Atlantic Seaboard. A few days later, another fire was reported on Signal Hill. That same day, a veld fire broke out along the N2. The second week of October was not a good one for firefighters. Said firefighters from a number of different organisations were called to battle the flames. And notably, social media once again became one of the mediums used to disseminate information to citizens through...

  • Mastercard opens its blockchain APIs for B2B payment solutions

    Blockchain technology is all the rage right now, but slowly it's becoming less of a fad and a more commonplace solution for big technology and financial firms. The latest to adopt it wholeheartedly is Mastercard. Already using the technology in-house, the company today announced that it will open up its blockchain APIs to developers looking to build solutions on top of its product. "Mastercard's blockchain solution provides a new way for consumers, businesses and banks to transact and is key to the company's strategy to provide payment solutions that meet every need of financial institutions and their end-customers," the company noted...

  • Google Play Store adding Instant Apps, more in upcoming update

    A number of changes are coming to the Google Play Store its parent company announced Thursday. Usually the unchanged bastion of the Google ecosystem, the Play Store will finally receive a much needed nip and tuck. As for an implementation timeline, the company remained as mum as ever. Nevertheless, sifting through the latest Google Developers Blog post, here are three standout interface and functionality tweaks heading to the Play Store sometime before the world ends. Revamped Editor's Choice Vineet Buch, author of the post and Google Play's director of product management, noted that a revamped version of Editor's Choice is now live in...

  • Twitter’s year-end calendar outlines steps to make it safer

    The year I stopped getting advent calendars in December was a sad one. Not only did it mean I was getting old, but the joy of going to sleep every night knowing a chocolate was waiting for me the next day was a feeling I'd sorely miss. But now there's a new calendar in town as we creep towards the Christmas season: one not filled with chocolates, but rather Twitter's updates on its safety work. And really, who can say which one is better? In a blog post Thursday, the company wrote that it had "far too often in the past said ...

  • TWR Podcast: Netflix SA event, #MeToo, and the latest South African Uber rival

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, host Hadlee Simons is joined by Julia Breakey and Stephen Timm. Kicking off the episode, Hadlee talks the Huawei Mate 10 coming to South Africa in November. The Mate 10 packs a Kirin 970 processor with a neural processing unit for AI, but what does that mean for consumers? On the agenda: Huawei Mate 10, Netflix SA, a local startup looking to take on Uber, and #MeToo Over on Ventureburn, Stephen details the local startup Scoop a Cab, set to take on Uber....

  • 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...