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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

Andy Walker: Editor
Camper by day, run-and-gunner by night, Andy prefers his toast like his coffee -- dark and crunchy. Specialising in spotting the next big Instagram cat star, Andy also dabbles in smartphone, gadget and game reviews over on Gearburn.
  • The internet just loved last night’s ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’ eclipse

    Now that's quite the mouthful. On Monday morning, the first full moon of 2019 coincided with a total lunar eclipse that many across the western and northern corners of globe could afford to witness. It was named the Super Blood Wolf Moon, because it was just that fabulous. In South Africa, we have to settle for coverage on social media, but at least users' images don't disappoint. Early on Monday, #eclipse began trending across the United States, and with it, a flood of snaps emerged. https://twitter.com/jcfphotog/status/1087215627725549569 https://twitter.com/paix120/status/1087209946301771776 https://twitter.com/azarely/status/1087218550060863488 https://twitter.com/joangrande/status/1087211586681520128 https://twitter.com/Mikel_Jollett/status/1087214536346615808 https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1087224401223856128 And for those of you who prefer video, the AFP's got you covered. https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1087251862611406848 Pretty, yes. But why is this particular...

  • China’s pioneering cotton seedlings are dead after lunar night freeze

    A few days ago, we were excited to report that cotton seeds had sprouted on China's Chang'e 4 spacecraft, currently stationed on the dark side of the Moon. But the glee was short lived. The sprouts have now withered away and died, announced Chongqing University, the academics responsible for the experiment. It's not because the spacecraft is a terrible gardener either. The Moon just isn't a great place to grow cotton -- or anything -- apparently. Unlike Earth, the satellite doesn't have a dense atmosphere to support life, and as a result has practically no temperature regulation. Even though the cotton, together with...

  • WhatsApp’s working on a fingerprint security feature for iOS, Android

    A future version of WhatsApp may be secured, locked and unlocked by your fingerprint, according to data mined by WABetaInfo. The WhatsApp enthusiast blog in early January revealed that the Facebook-owned company is looking to use Android's authentication system to better secure the app. Users will enroll their fingerprint to their device, check a box that will activate the feature, and touch the sensor with that same finger to "unlock" the app. Read more: The WhatsApp questions you were too embarrassed to ask, answered According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is also working on an authentication method that uses Apple's Face ID and Touch ID...

  • Zimbabwe’s ISP Econet confirms government ordered internet shutdown

    Zimbabwe's largest internet services provider Econet on Wednesday confirmed that it had halted users' internet access on government orders. This comes after protests erupted across the country this week after a record fuel price increase was announced on Saturday. Read more: #ShutdownZimbabwe: internet access disrupted amid protests "We are obliged to act when directed to do so," the company told its customers. Additionally, a screenshot of a now-deleted Facebook post made by Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa, spotted by Zimbabwean publication Techweez, confirmed that "failure to comply would result in three years imprisonment of local management". Media watchdog MISA Zimbabwe also confirmed that Econet was...

  • Netflix raises prices in the US, but South Africa remains unaffected

    Nearly half of Netflix's global user base will be paying a little bit more within the next three months, this after the streaming service announced a price increase in the US. Its 58-million users within the country will now pay $1 more for its basic package, and $2 more for its HD and UHD streaming plans. The cheapest package will now cost $9, with the other two priced at $13 and $16, respectively. The price increase will also affect countries which are billed in US dollars, AP reports. It's the first time since October 2017 that Netflix reviewed its pricing scheme in the...

  • Twitter for Android has a new reverse chronological feed button

    In its neverending quest to stay relevant while pleasing its users at the same time, Twitter on Tuesday announced the addition of a new button to its Android app. Said button, located in the top right hand corner (essentially, the star cluster emoji), switches between the social network's two distinct feed styles: reverse chronological, and algorithmic. https://twitter.com/Twitter/status/1085265146644058112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw The feature was first added to iOS in mid-December, but has now made its way to Google's platform. As for the community reception of the new feature? In a case of "that's still not good enough for me", some users wanted the company to scrap its algorithmic...

  • China’s cotton seedlings are now sprouting on the Moon

    When China landed its Chang'e 4 spacecraft on the far side of the Moon earlier this month, the country wasn't only set on planting its flag on the surface. Instead, it's interested in planting actual plants too. On Tuesday, the Chinese National Space Administration announced that it has successfully sprouted a cotton seedling on the Moon's surface, this according to a South China Morning Post report. It's the first time vegetation has grown on the natural satellite orbiting our planet. There are a few things to point out though. For starters, the Chang'e 4 didn't dig a hole on the Moon, drop...

  • These are South Africa’s Marvel-inspired Super Rugby jerseys

    For many youngsters, their sporting icons are super heroes in their impressionable eyes. But it seems that the 2019 South African Super Rugby roster has taken that statement quite literally. On Tuesday, SuperSport, Vodacom, Disney and SA Rugby unveiled Marvel-inspired super hero jerseys that will clad the Bulls, Lions, Sharks, and Stormers in this year's tournament. https://twitter.com/VodacomRugga/status/1085121917781200896 Each team is backed by a different hero. The Bulls will wear a Captain America style shirt (which looks pretty dope). The Lions will be supported by Spider-Man (which is a strange combination). The Sharks don a Black Panther suit complete with necklace. And finally, the...

  • #ShutdownZimbabwe: internet access disrupted amid protests

    According to multiple reports, internet access across Zimbabwe has been disrupted amid ongoing protests that erupted after Saturday's record fuel price hike. Last weekend, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa more than doubled the price of petroleum and diesel, making it the most expensive place in the world to purchase fuel. This was in a bid to address fuel shortages and illegal trading, reported the BBC. However, the move has since fueled heated protests within the country's largest cities. On Tuesday, a swathe of Zimbabweans reported disruptions to their internet access, with Facebook and WhatsApp inaccessible. Twitter was also affected. https://twitter.com/misazimbabwe/status/1085018519241216000 https://twitter.com/tawmug/status/1085096994312519680 https://twitter.com/theBlackZw/status/1085086040015204353 According to a report by...

  • South Africa is the world’s fifth most Instagrammable country

    South Africa is the world's fifth most Instagrammable country according to travel publication Big Seven Travel. Ranking 192 countries based on hashtags, geolocations, reader input, and votes by "a panel of experts", South Africa was bested only by Australia, Hong Kong, Canada and Indonesia. But unlike losing in the quarter final of a sporting competition, South Africa can draw encouragement from the notable travel destinations it has outranked. This includes the Maldives (6th), Thailand (14th), Japan (15th) and Spain (18th). While Big Seven only lists Cape Town's most Instagrammable landmarks (I mean, for good reason), what about South Africa's other large cities and...

  • Trump serves McDonald’s at the White House amid government shutdown

    The US government shutdown continues into its 25th day, but that seemingly hasn't impacted the White House's dinner plans too badly. On Monday, President Donald Trump welcomed the NCAA football champions Clemson Tigers to his lodging, where a banquet of sorts was held. https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1085028803762622466 "Great American food," as Trump calls it, was fed to the players to celebrate the team's triumph against Atlanta last week. But the athletes didn't seem too keen on the idea. "I thought this was a joke," mouths one of the players as others heaped Big Macs, pizzas, French fries, and McNuggets onto plates that were far too small. "The...

  • Aquaman is now DC Comics’ biggest movie in South Africa, ever

    2016 was a dark year for DC movies. Suicide Squad was as riveting as a cold bowl of oats, and Batman v Superman is the reason why I now hate the name Martha. 2017 wasn't much better, with Justice League receiving a vaguely waggled hand by our reviewers. Later though, Wonder Woman presented an upward trend, and as December 2018 rolled around, the company's fortunes had changed. Massively. Aquaman is now South Africa's biggest DC Comics movie ever, eclipsing all but two Marvel movies -- Black Panther and Infinity War -- to now rank as the third biggest superhero movie in the...

  • This record-breaking egg has more than 24m likes on Instagram

    Just when you thought you've heard it all, a picture of an egg now holds the record for the most liked picture on Instagram. In today's "that's enough internet for me" news, a photograph of a plain chicken egg uploaded by @world_record_egg has claimed the coveted trophy previously held by Kylie Jenner. Jenner's post, which chronicles the birth of her baby with Travis Scott, was liked more than 18-million times. The snap of the egg, uploaded 10 days ago, now holds more than 24.7-million likes. https://www.instagram.com/p/BsOGulcndj- "Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world...

  • Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters tops US Google Search after Tebow engagement

    On Thursday former NFL player Tim Tebow announced his engagement to South Africa's former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Tebow broke the news on Instagram in a series of snaps that have since racked up more than 430 000 likes. But it seems that Nel-Peters is stealing the limelight from Tebow on Google Search. According to the search giant's Trends portal, which monitors and charts patterns in global search habits, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has received more than 500 000 search queries on Thursday in the US. The number's also likely to climb as the Western hemisphere wakes from its slumber. Surprisingly, Tim Tebow is among the...

  • Explore Data Science Academy launches course for high-school learners

    The Explore Data Science Academy has announced that it will offer a new programme specifically for high school learners in 2019. The Cape Town-based academy will open the course to students from Grade 10 through to 12. The course will teach "fundamentals of data science and exposes students to Python programming, data visualisation and some basic machine learning algorithms," the academy announced in a release. Beginning on 11 February, the course will be exclusively online, and "involve between five and seven hours of self-study a week," said the academy co-founder Shaun Dippnall. "As an Academy we’re concerned that vital future skills...