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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.
  • Yes, YouTube is ‘experimenting’ with users’ subscriptions feed

    Hold onto your hats, folks. Google's fixing what isn't broken again. Facebook did it. Instagram followed. Even Twitter's done it to an extent. So it was seemingly only a matter of time until Google gave YouTube the algorithm treatment. In a tweet this week, Team YouTube revealed that the company's "experimenting" with a non-chronological order for a select number of users' subscription feeds. "We are currently experimenting with how to show content in the subs feed," the company began. "We find that some viewers are able to more easily find the videos they want to watch when we order the subs feed in...

  • After 16 years, StumbleUpon’s pioneering service is coming to an end

    StumbleUpon, the content discovery service aiding procrastinators at work and kids at homework since 2001, is finally bidding farewell. The service, which allows users to visit page after page of related content on the web based on a subject picked by the user, made searching for high school research projects a breeze, or catching up on the latest Scottish Terrier sweater trend a complete joy. In a solemn but reverent blog post, co-founder StumbleUpon Garett Camp revealed the company's roadmap, and took a moment to reflect on the impact StumbleUpon has had on the internet. "StumbleUpon pioneered content discovery on the web,...

  • It’s 2018, and fake Facebook sites are still fooling people online

    People are still falling for fake sites pretending to be Facebook, research from Kaspersky Labs suggests. In 2018 thus far, the Russian security company blocked "3.7 million attempts to visit fraudulent social network pages". Notably, 58.7% of these attacks were attempting to direct users to fake FB pages. That's a pretty substantial slice of the pie, considering that VKontakte -- Russia's version of Facebook -- was responsible for 20.8%, and LinkedIn 12.9%. "At the beginning of the year, Facebook was the most popular social networking brand for fraudsters to abuse, and Facebook pages were frequently faked by cybercriminals to try and steal...

  • Here’s why Google thinks doubters will love YouTube Music

    Google's taking a big gamble with its new YouTube Music streaming project. The company's lumping Google Play Music with YouTube's wealth of music in a new product aimed at Spotify and Apple Music. But many aren't happy with the news. (As a Google Play Music user, I certainly am not.) The company's wholly aware of this sentiment though, and on Tuesday published a list of features that will hopefully win over doubters. For one, it suggests that the library -- thanks to YouTube's wealth of music videos -- will be enormous. Users will have access to "official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers...

  • Twitter kills three apps, adorns others with new features

    A slew of Twitter's swanky primary app features are finally hitting Twitter Lite, Twitter for Windows, and the mobile website. This week, the company's set to bring night mode, real time updates on parameters, and an updated tweet composition box to the above platforms. Each will bolster the user experience across the company's less important platforms. We are rolling out the following features to https://t.co/AIUgyCj4rs, Twitter Lite, and Twitter for Windows to provide more consistency across platforms. See what’s new. 👇 ✔️ night mode ✔️ real time updates on reply, Retweet, and like counts ✔️ updated Tweet compose box — Twitter (@Twitter) May 22, 2018 "Night owl?...

  • You can now ‘Mute’ that annoying, trendy friend on Instagram

    Great news, everyone. You can now mute your annoying Instagram friend vested in the art of smoothie making and selfie taking (sometimes together), after the social network introduced a new feature Tuesday. "The new feature lets you hide posts in feed from certain accounts, without unfollowing them. With this change, you can make your feed even more personalized to what matters to you," the company writes in its blog, dodging the entire reason this problem exists: its algorithm. Nevertheless, users who want to mute others on the social network can now do so via the three-dot menu button on posts themselves. Tap...

  • Africa Check’s Promise Tracker reveals how little your government has done

    Governments, like potential Bumble matches, will say anything to get you to swipe right on that election ballot paper. And often, those promises made during the campaign trail are never kept. Fact-checking website Africa Check today unveiled a tool to help voters keep track of their ruling parties' promises. It's aptly dubbed the Promises Tracker. "They campaigned and promised to change your life for the better. You voted for them. But have they kept their word?" asks Africa Check. "We have picked out 10 key promises made by governments in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya and are tracking progress on them." "Our tracker...

  • Google’s YouTube Music and YouTube Premium are now official

    If something's not broken and doesn't need fixing, trust Google to provide a solution. The firm did this with its messaging services -- now boasting more than five actual messaging apps -- and now, Google Play Music is seemingly suffering the same fate. The company on Thursday announced a new music service, the free-but-ad-supported YouTube Music that lumps in music streaming and YouTube's host of videos and bespoke audio tracks. There's also a paid tier, which costs US$9.99, and gives users access to ad-free YouTube Music. For US$2 more, you can add ad-free "YouTube Premium" on top of that too, for...

  • Deadpool 2 movie review: cleaning up the timeline

    If you thought 2016's Deadpool was a tad too short and lacked a stocky cast list, you'll smile wryly at its sequel. Deadpool 2 has seen some of the more annoying marketing antics in the lead up to a movie for quite some time, but thankfully the film lives up to its predecessor's hilarious hype. Ryan Reynolds reprises the role he was made for, bringing to life a character usually maligned for crass, sexual humour with deft moments of sweeping emotion. He remains a smart cracking wise ass loaded with pop culture quips and a love for Barbra Striesand, sure,...

  • These are WhatsApp’s shiny new Group Chat features

    In a not-all-that-exciting update, WhatsApp has tweaked the way groups work on its platform. There are five distinct changes outlined by the company on its blog. Firstly, group descriptions are now more verbose, allowing users to set "the purpose, guidelines or topics for the group". (Good luck sticking to them though.) "When a new person joins a group, the description will show up at the top of the chat," the company highlights. Secondly, group admins can now determine "who can change the group's subject, icon, and description" through the group settings menu. "Admins can now remove admin permissions of other group participants, and group...

  • Two US teens kill opossum mother and babies on Snapchat

    Snapchat is seemingly the new social network to join if you're into watching people brutally murdering animals. Two US teenagers were charged with animal cruelty after filming their killing of an opossum mother and her babies on Snapchat. The teenagers from Kennesaw, Georgia, reportedly used a baseball bat to kill the opossum mother, and then "allegedly used a chemical mixture that included bleach and ammonia to kill three other babies", a local news report gruesomely read. While the incident occurred early April, the adult assailant appeared in court last week. The story's this week trending across the internet, with users on Reddit...

  • Report: yet another Facebook app leaked personal info of 3m people

    Are you still taking personality tests on Facebook? Stop. Actually, throw your computer out the window and set it on fire, because you should really know better. After Cambridge Analytica's data reaping antics were exposed in March and Facebook shamed, you may have thought that your information was safe on the internet. But it's not. According to a new report by New Scientist, at least three million users have had "intimate" data about themselves, and their psychological state, shared online. According to the report, some six million people completed a questionnaire app dubbed myPersonality. Half offered to share the information with the...

  • Google One lets families share up to 30TB of cloud storage

    If you pay for Google Drive storage, take note. The company this week announced "a simple plan for expanded storage that includes extra benefits" dubbed Google One. Coming to all paying customers of Google's cloud storage service, Google One sees an upgraded offering from 100GB to 30TB if you really, really have a lot of cat pictures to store. This however plays into Google's new family sharing scheme, allowing up to five members to use the wad of storage under a single account. And said family members will also be given a private slice of that storage pie too. Google One will...

  • Avengers bids Black Panther farewell from SA’s weekend movie chart

    After spending more than three months perched on its upper slopes, Black Panther has finally said its goodbyes to Southern Africa's movie charts. The film, after grossing more than R106-million at the box office, finally tumbled off the chart from last week's seventh spot. But don't fret Marvel fans; Avengers: Infinity War is spending its third weekend (11-13 May 2018) at the top of the charts. It has already grossed more than R60-million. Not only tasked with defending those infinity stones, the flick also guards the top spot from fart-joke laden animated comedy Sherlock Gnomes debuting in second place. It, in...

  • ‘Around 200’ apps banned thus far in Facebook’s massive app audit

    Earlier this year and in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested that a host of apps prior to the company's policy reforms in 2014 had access to users' data. He promised in a March 2018 post that the company will investigate these apps, and ban those that do not play nice with users' data. Today, the firm gave the internet an update on this audit currently underway. "The investigation process is in full swing, and it has two phases," revealed Ime Archibong, the company's VP of product partnerships. "First, a comprehensive review to identify every app that...