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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 and game reviews over on Gearburn.
  • ‘Disaster’ Fyre Festival likened to ‘that alien movie in South Africa’ on social media

    If you pay US$12 000 for a ticket to a music festival, you'd probably expect... well, a music festival, right? That's not what attendees to Ja Rule's Fyre Festival experienced this weekend. The new luxury music extravaganza, which was supposed to kick off in the Bahamas this weekend, was met with a cascading comedy of errors. According to reports by attendees on Twitter and Instagram, festival goers arrived in the island country to find a "a disaster tent city". "So Fyre Fest is a complete disaster. Mass chaos. No organization. No one knows where to go," tweets William N. Finley, who's documenting...

  • What has Donald Trump tweeted about most in his first 100 days?

    Even though Donald Trump is now president of a global superpower, he still has plenty of time to throw a tweet or two out there. In light of this, and as his first 100 days in office draw to an end, Twitter Data took a look at the US President's time in office thus far. Here's what the social network's data miners found. #MAGA, #USA and all the patriotism These are the top Tweeted hashtags used by @realdonaldtrump during #Trump100Days: pic.twitter.com/LB9UjRNBsH — Twitter Data (@TwitterData) April 28, 2017 Among Trump's most commonly tweeted hashtags, #MAGA (Make America Great Again), #AmericaFirst and #USA featured prominently since...

  • Reddit briefly down across the world after maintenance

    Websites, like people, often need a little lie down from time to time. But when its unscheduled and one of the most trafficked sites on the internet, people get worried. And that's exactly what happened with Reddit today. The social aggregation network was due to perform scheduled maintenance today which involved "swapping out three databases". But after the "short" maintenance period ended around 7am SAST, the site remained inaccessible. This morning, users who visited the site's front page or subreddits were still greeted by the above maintenance page. "We're working on the errors," the company acknowledged on its status page around 7.30am...

  • Instagram now has a 700-million-strong user army

    Not letting Twitter get all the positive news today, Facebook-owned Instagram announced on its blog that it has reached a new milestone of its own. "We’re thrilled to announce that our community has grown to more than 700 million Instagrammers. And the last 100 million of you joined faster than ever," the company exclaims in a thank you note to users. And yeah, those 100-million monthly active users did join faster than ever. After it's 2010 launch, it took over three years to gain its first 100-million users. And considering that the company announced that it reached the 600-million user mark in...

  • Twitter now boasts 328m users, bests investor estimates

    Although Twitter is an integral member of social media's biggest hitters culturally, it's lacking an impact financially. Still, the company enjoyed a better than expected Q1 2017 according to its latest investor letter (pdf). While the service continues to be a less than sound investment, there are positives that emerged from the latest results. User growth is slow, but positive For one, Twitter beat investor estimates, claiming an additional nine million new users worldwide. That takes it's total monthly active user figure up to 328-million. That figure however still places it behind the likes of LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. As for daily active users,...

  • #SAAStrike: 32 flights grounded as SAA trends once again

    If you're travelling to or from South Africa today on a South African Airways (SAA) flight, you're one of the lucky few it seems. The majority of the national airline's in-flight staff are on strike today, demanding more money to spend on food when flying abroad. According to reports, SAA and the association that represents the SAA cabin workers, SACCA, were not able to come to an agreement Tuesday night. The impact of this is widespread. 32 flights have been cancelled today -- one international, three regional and 28 due to depart and land within South Africa's borders. As a result, passengers have...

  • Samsung’s Wemogee app uses emoji to bridge language gap

    Samsung's latest app puts the world's love affair with emoji to good use. And no, not just for the memes either. Dubbed Wemogee, the app is specifically developed for those suffering from aphasia -- the inability to understand written language or speech -- to better converse with loved ones. Because of this language and communication barrier, conversing with aphasia sufferers isn't an easy task. But that's exactly what Wemogee is trying to change. Wemogee uses a logical string of emoji that can be understood as a sentence On the surface, the app displays a logical string of emoji that can be understood as...

  • 3 penguins from pop culture that waddled right into our hearts

    It's World Penguin Day today, folks, and that means we pay tribute to the flightless, tuxedo-wearing shore dwellers we know and love. Cape Town is particularly important in this regard, hosting one of the world's few African penguin populations. But beyond the city's shores, penguins have their own special place in pop culture. Today, we take a look at the moments these lovable critters waddled into our hearts. DC's The Penguin: from laughing stock to best DC villain Okay... maybe not waddled... The most ominous and possibly evil example of a penguin is of course The Penguin. Perhaps most famously portrayed to modern audiences by...

  • [Update] Uber passengers ‘threatened’ at Centurion Gautrain station

    Update, 11.40am: In light of the incidents in Sandton and Centurion and a request for comment, Uber South Africa explains that it is "engaging with all relevant stakeholders and are taking all of the necessary steps to ensure riders" are safe around Johannesburg. Read the full statement below. We take any situation where driver safety is compromised extremely seriously. Driver-partners have access to a 24/7 emergency line in the event they feel unsafe in any way. Threats and intimidation against those who want to use Uber to boost their income is unacceptable. Violence only underlines why people are increasingly choosing safe, reliable...

  • LinkedIn now boasts more users than Twitter and Snapchat combined

    LinkedIn, the business-orientated social network now owned by Microsoft, has hit the 500-million user landmark. "We recently crossed an important and exciting milestone," the company teases in its blog. "We now have half a billion members in 200 countries connecting, and engaging with one another in professional conversations and finding opportunities through these connections on LinkedIn." While much of the remaining post explains why you should be using LinkedIn, the company also sheds some light on who uses its service. Who uses LinkedIn for what? London, Amsterdam and San Francisco are the three most "connected places" using the service, while the United Arab Emirates,...

  • Twitter mourns victims of Bronkhorstspruit taxi crash

    A crash near Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng has today claimed the lives of at least 20, most of whom were children. The incident, which involved a collision between a truck and a taxi, took place Friday afternoon It was first reported by ER24 EMS via its Twitter account, and quickly spread to major news outlets across South Africa. - Fatalities on the R25 collision has risen to 17 children. @ewnupdates @eNCA @_ArriveAlive @JacaNews @SABCNewsroom pic.twitter.com/AumRsLrjFC — ER24 EMS (Pty) Ltd. (@ER24EMS) April 21, 2017 "Approximately 13 children had been killed and several other injured this afternoon when a taxi and truck collided head-od on...

  • Snapchat takes big step towards protecting its ‘Geofilters’ from Facebook

    Snapchat has taken a large step in its war against Facebook's encroachment. The company's owner Snap Inc, has reportedly bought a patent that covers its geofilters system. This according to a TechCrunch screen grab of an internal company email, explaining the nature and valuation of the deal with internal staff. The patent was previously filed by Mobli in 2012, an Israeli company that attracted investment from the likes of Serena Williams, and was the initial brainchild of the geofilters system. Snapchat's sponsored geofilters is a key revenue stream for the service's owner, Snap Inc "In continuation with our email below," the mail reads,...

  • Facebook’s plan to connect the world includes this record-breaking tech

    It's difficult to keep up with Facebook's slew of announcements from its F8 conference this week. But at least it plans to make it easier in the future. The company updated developers and consumers on its connectivity plans going forward -- a sphere of Facebook's development model that's perhaps one of its more exciting. And no, not entirely because it's geeky as hell. New developments in its MMW radio tech means that citizens of Earth might soon be able to bury the word "buffer" in the future. Facebook pushes 80Gbps through its radio network Alongside improvements to its inner city internet connectivity trials...

  • Google doesn’t want you using adblockers, so its building its own

    Google's wildly popular Chrome browser could soon feature its own adblocker, according to sources quoted by the WSJ. "People familiar with the company's plans" suggest that this adblocker, built by Google itself, won't function entirely like uBlock or AdBlock Plus which allows users to block all ads on demand. Instead, it will filter ads that don't meet Google's specific criteria. The criteria, outlined in the Initial Better Ads Standards, deem around 12 current advertising systems and techniques to be unsuitable and downright annoying for users. Pre-content pop-ups, ads that just won't stop playing or shutting up, or ads that stick to...

  • Facebook Messenger is changing: here’s what you should know

    Having a large userbase might seem like a blessing, but it also surfaces a problem for social networks: monetisation. Twitter's experiencing this right now, and Facebook is seemingly just beginning its trials. To prevent itself from becoming the latest victim of the 140-character effect, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage at the company's F8 developers conference, and rang the changes. But no, we're not talking about Facebook proper. We're talking about Messenger. Facebook Messenger now has over 1.2-billion users, a figure four times greater than Twitter, and double that of Instagram. And with all those users available, Facebook smells massive...