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  • Facebook deletes journalist’s account after exposé of corruption

    Pulitzer-winning Malta journalist, Matthew Caruana Galizia, has had his Facebook account suspended after posting allegations of corruption against Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his associates. Caruana Galizia took to Facebook on 7 May after accepting that print journalism was not reaching the youth of Malta. In a series of four posts, coupled with the hashtags #FattiKorrotti and #CorruptionFacts, he alleged that the Prime Minister and his wife were receiving payments from an offshore shell company. The posts were a hit, and were shared more than 1000 times (Malta's population sits around 431 333). But just three days later, Muscat threatened to sue for libel, and...

  • BBM CEO: we can be ‘one of the two’ top chat apps in South Africa

    Remember BBM? That once iconic acronym stood for BlackBerry Messenger, one of the world's most used chat apps. But that legacy has long since come and gone. During BlackBerry's torrid few years in the early 2010s, the company sold the app's development rights to Indonesian-based company Creative Media Works (owned by Emtek). It's a complicated situation for the non-informed consumer still plodding away on older BlackBerry devices, but essentially, the new Android and iOS app is not the BBM you once knew. That doesn't mean much has changed though. It's still a chat app, and BBM CEO Matthew Talbot is adamant that the...

  • Uber’s ‘route-based pricing’ system is charging riders more for popular routes

    Uber is charging riders in 14 US cities more for taking popular routes, reports from Bloomberg and Business Insider have found. The majority of UberX's trips are priced on mileage, time and general demand in the area, but some guinea pigs in areas with its carpooling service UberPOOL have found they are being charged more for specific routes. Uber has confirmed this silent test, dubbed 'route-based pricing', claiming that it's separating time-sensitive users (those who use UberX) and price-sensitive users (UberPOOL riders). Whereas the former willingly choose to pay higher rates for private rides directly to their destination, the latter are more concerned with cheaper...

  • Facebook to compete with Twitch as it signs deal with ESL

    Facebook has landed a major deal with the Electronic Sports League (ESL) which will see 5 500 hours of events and original content added to the platform, The Wall Street Journal reports. A report by Digiday earlier this year suggested that Facebook was looking to secure deals with major pro sports leagues, but it seems the company is sticking to digital for now. The deal with ESL comes after the company secured deals with five esport teams (including G2 Esports, Echo Fox, and Team Dignitas) who will broadcast their practices and competitions exclusively to the site. Facebook has been making the move towards producing original content for a...

  • Twitter knows an awful lot about you, it reveals in new privacy policy

    Tweet often? If so, there's a fat chance that Twitter knows an awful lot about you, your interests and even your lofty aspirations. This revelation comes after the company announced an upcoming revision to its privacy policy, which allows it to siphon more data about you from the web, and gives users more agency in their privacy options. If you're a mobile app user, you would've seen a pop up notifying you about this change. Heading to Twitter's blog though, the company outlined a more granular point-form summary of the changes heading to the platform in the coming weeks. In case you didn't...

  • Facebook didn’t cause Palestinian uprising, court rules

    A US court has dismissed a lawsuit set to implicate Facebook in a Palestinian uprising in 2015. Dubbed the "Facebook Intifada," the spate of violence saw ostensibly apolitical Palestinian men attack and kill a number of Israelis in outrage over Israeli occupation. Much like the Arab Spring, the men were largely assembled and incited via social media -- in this case, Twitter and Facebook. The lawsuit's plaintiffs consist of 20 000 Israeli individuals who claim they are in direct threat of Palestinian terrorists who continue to use Facebook as a tool for communication. They also consist of victims and surviving family members...

  • Zomato hacked, 17m users’ personal data leaked to the dark web

    If you frequent the India-based restaurant and food review app Zomato, you should probably change your password immediately. That's the message conveyed in a blog post by the company on Thursday, after it announced that more than 10% of the company's user records were stolen by a hacker. "The reason you're reading this blog post is because of a recent discovery by our security team - about 17 million user records from our database were stolen. The stolen information has user email addresses and hashed passwords," it noted, adding over 120-million people visit Zomato monthly. For those who had their user information stolen,...

  • Exoskeletons are fast becoming more fact than fiction for US soldiers

    Think exoskeletons in the military and you probably think of sci-fi movies and video games, granting characters almost super-human abilities in the process. But military colossus Lockheed-Martin is actually making the technology a reality, in a sense. The company has revealed the FORTIS Knee Stress Release Device (K-SRD), which hopes to make a soldier's life a little bit easier. So what does it actually do? "It boosts leg capacity for physically demanding tasks that require repetitive or continuous kneeling or squatting, or lifting, dragging, carrying or climbing with heavy loads," read a release on the contractor's website. It's more than just a mechanical...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #106: Google I/O & WannaCry ransomware

    This week, the trusty Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker and Stephen Timm. To start us off, Andy talks about WannaCry, the worldwide attack involving ransomware that targeted over 230 000 computers. The Windows attack even managed to hit the UK's National Health Service. The team then discuss General Motors pulling out of South Africa, and other international locations. Isuzu will be taking over GM’s light commercial vehicle manufacturing facilities in Port Elizabeth. Over on Ventureburn, Stephen talks about the GEM report that significantly fewer South Africans believe they have either the opportunity or the capability to start their own business. The report also...

  • Renewed or cancelled: which of your favourite premiere shows are still alive?

    It takes courage to fall in love with a show as it makes its debut on TV. The world of television is fickle, and the Studio Gods are capable of culling without mercy. So if you went ahead and defiantly placed your heart in one of the 2016-2017 seasonal debuts anyway, you made an admirable choice. But was it worth it? Here's a list of shows that have been renewed or cancelled after just one season. Renewed 13 Reasons Why Netflix's 13 Reasons Why was never meant to have a second season. Based on the standalone book by Jay Asher, the show details...

  • Microsoft Azure, data centres coming to Cape Town and Johannesburg in 2018

    Microsoft South Africa today announced its Azure Cloud servers and services are finally heading to the country. Previously, African companies relied on data centres beyond the continent's landmass to use the cloud, but the new servers -- which will be located in Cape Town and Johannesburg -- will be a much shorter digital trip for cloud traffic. "Microsoft will deliver cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365," the company states in a blog post. While the company's marketing towards businesses and economic growth are clear, the company didn't mention gaming in its announcement. Sorry Crackdown fans. Microsoft instead explains that...

  • Internet Solutions buys MWEB, teases ‘new consumer products and experiences’

    African telecoms company Internet Solutions has today announced it has concluded its purchase of MWEB. Internet Solutions, owned by telecoms giant Dimension Data, initially announced an interest in purchasing the ISP in December 2016 but was granted approval by the SA Competition Commission earlier this month. With the acquisition of MWEB, Internet Solutions now bolsters its presence in the consumer sector of South Africa, adding to its notable presence in business and wholesale spheres. "The acquisition presents IS with exciting opportunities for growth through MWEB’s established customer base, respected brand, and experience as a consumer-facing ISP," the company adds in a press...

  • McDonald’s ‘Dad’ ad trends on YouTube again after global backlash

    When Pepsi suggested that its product could solve the world's problems with the help of Kendall Jenner, you might've thought it would be the most ridiculed brand of the year. But nope. McDonald's just joined that competition. The global fast food company this week pulled an advertisement it first aired on 12 May, featuring a boy and his mother chatting about the former's dead father. Although the ad is well filmed, adequately paced and genuinely touching, McDonald's too makes the mistake Pepsi made, suggesting that a Happy Meal (or in this case, a filet-o-fish) can help you forget about dead loved...

  • Openserve IPC rate cut could mean more data for your buck [Update]

    Telkom's wholesale company, Openserve, has announced an IP Connect price cut of up to 32%. "Depending on the IPC capacity purchased, ISPs can now benefit from price reductions of up to 32%, effective from 1 June 2017," the wholesale division wrote in a statement. "We are committed to our journey of making broadband more affordable in South Africa. We firmly believe that by stimulating the growth of fixed broadband in South Africa, we are contributing to economic growth," said sales and marketing chief Prenesh Padayachee. The Openserve IP connect price cut of up to 32% should filter down to consumers in the...

  • Android O is killing Google’s blob emoji (and replacing that adorable kitty)

    Google might've announced a slew of updates to its products yesterday, but its most important development was mostly swept under the rug. The company's derpy emoji, which featured anthropomorphous blobs wearing emotionless faces, will finally be replaced by more expressive figures. This is all part of Android O's -- Google's upcoming mobile operating system -- support of Emoji 5.0, part of Unicode 10.0. According to Emojipedia, there are also a number of new emoji heading to the OS, including a mage, a face that's enjoying a good vomit, and of course a face with a hand over its mouth. If those...