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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.
  • South Africa’s politicians react to Secret Ballot ruling with subtweets

    The Secret Ballot (or #SecretBallot) ruling has come and gone but the reaction from politicians are only now filtering through social media. To clarify, Chief Justice Mogoeng has ruled that Baleka Mbete does in fact have power to declare a secret ballot during the motion of no confidence against President Zuma. Previously she cited the law as a limiting factor. For some, this is a clear win for South Africa's justice system, but it also now puts emphasis on Mbete -- she can now declare a secret ballot, or choose not to. As for South Africa's other politicians, the ruling was a...

  • #SecretBallot: SA’s ConCourt ruling becomes a worldwide Twitter trend

    Yesterday might've been the darkest, longest night of the year for South Africans, but today is surely one of the brightest. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng today ruled that the Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete does have the power to declare a secret ballot during the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma. Previously, Mbete stated that she did not have the power to declare a secret ballot. #SecretBallot began trending Thursday prior to Justice Mogoeng's ruling, and hit Twitter's worldwide trend list too In the ruling passed at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, the Chief Justice also stated that members are Parliament...

  • Explaining Feenix: the Standard Bank-backed solution to #FeesMustFall

    There’s been a lot said about #FeesMustFall — at least in terms of the hashtag and the social movement it propelled. But in its wake, not many solutions have been penned by private institutions or government. That is until now. Feenix isn't known to many in South Africa, even if the initiative was making itself known across universities as early as July 2016. But this week it officially launched to the wider public, backed by an industry heavyweight in Standard Bank. Having some trouble understanding what we do? Here is a step-by-step guide to your future! pic.twitter.com/zGS2h1XxTv — Feenix.org (@Feenix_org) July 6, 2016 What...

  • #SocialMediaBlackOut ironically trends on Twitter in South Africa

    Yesterday we wrote about #SocialMediaBlackOut -- a hashtag that trended on South Africa's Twitter timeline for much of the week. Today it culminate in a 24-hour boycott of all social media activities. But judging by my timeline, some users aren't playing ball. The hashtag, which appeared on Monday as a spinoff of #DataMustFall -- aims to lurch people into taking action against steep data prices in South Africa. As a campaign, the blackout centres on two notions. Firstly, if users refrain from purchasing data, it affects telecommunication companies' bottom line. Secondly, not camping on social media for a day renders social...

  • Cape Town dams 23% full, CoCT ponders ‘reverse osmosis, desalination’ plants

    The good news continues this week, Cape Town. Dam levels have increased for the second week in a row, signalling the start of winter... albeit in the middle of winter. The largest three dams in the system experienced sizeable gains. The Theewaterskloof Dam is now 17.3% full, up by 2% week-over-week. The Berg River Dam is also up by 2% to 34.2%. The Voelvlei Dam is up by 1.4% to 18%. Both Steenbras dams saw a slight increase in its storage, while Wemmershoek remained steady. Overall, Cape Town's dams are now a combined 23.1% full, up from 21.2% last week. The City of Cape...

  • #SocialMediaBlackOut: South Africa, here’s everything you need to know

    If you were scrolling through your Twitter timeline Monday, you might've noticed the hashtag #SocialMediaBlackOut out the corner of your eye. Don't worry though. It isn't some death knell for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- they're probably still function as per normal come Wednesday. But there might be considerably fewer users from South Africa on them if the hashtag's primary narrative is to be believed. What is #SocialMediaBlackOut? The thought of one might strike fear into amateur breakfast photographers, but the content isn't the reason for the campaign. It's largely how South Africans access said content. #SocialMediaBlackOut can be seen as a spinoff...

  • Katy Perry hits 100m Twitter followers, but are they all human?

    It's taken a while, but a Twitter user has finally broken the 100-million followers barrier. And no, it's not Justin Bieber, Donald Trump or the Pope. It's Katy Perry. The recording artist, known for hits like Kissed A Girl and most recently Swish Swish, cracked the previously uncharted milestone this past weekend. It's been a long time coming though. Perry gained around 1.8-million followers in May 2017 alone, largely thanks to Backpack Kid no doubt. That swathe of new minions helped the star to break the 100-million ceiling, beating second placed Justin Bieber (96.8-million followers) and third placed Barack Obama (90.9-million) in...

  • 8 apps addressing some of South Africa’s pressing problems [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. South Africa is a unique country with unique challenges, but technology (and innovative solutions using technology) is attempting to solve these issues, or at least reduce their impact on society. With the commonality of smartphones across all income levels of society, running the likes of Android, iOS and Windows, apps have become one of the more essential change...

  • Kitten rescued from Tesla’s bumper, adorable viral videos emerge

    If you're a kitten living life to the fullest on the weekend, what do you do? This particular fluffball thought spending it inside a Tesla would be a great idea. A Tesla Model X owner woke Saturday to find faint meows coming from the car's rear bumper. Because the internet loves cats, he swiftly uploaded a video to YouTube. Adorable right? Tesla CEO Elon Musk also thought so. Probably picking up on the news from feline-loving staffers, he tweeted the video on Saturday which seemingly put the story on the map. Within minutes, the tweet accrued over 600 retweets and 2000 likes. Tesla service...

  • Twitter’s huge UI update ditches old reply button, adds realtime stats

    Twitter has today unveiled its brand new user interface for mobile devices and desktop. The subtle update comes after the company refreshed its brand and mission statement back in July 2016. So fresh. So clean. So live. Check out our new look. 👀👇https://t.co/ClWbwi8CEH pic.twitter.com/nR27POQkEi — Twitter (@Twitter) June 15, 2017 "Today, with lots of feedback and ideas from you, we’re refreshing our product too and making it feel lighter, faster, and easier to use. We listened closely and kept what you love. And for the things you didn’t, we took a new approach to fix and make better," notes Grace Kim, Twitter's VP of...

  • Cape Town dam levels rise after storm, but nowhere near enough

    Great news, Cape Town. Your major dam levels have finally seen an increase week-over-week, albeit a tiny one. After Wednesday's punchy cold front and the weekend's steady rainfall experienced across the city, water levels in all six major dams have seen a slight buff. The Theewaterskloof Dam for instance -- the city's biggest reservoir -- is now at 15.3% capacity, up from last week's 13.6%. The Berg River Dam is up from 30.4% to 32.2%. Additionally, the Voelvlei Dam's level showed an increase too, but only by 0.4% to 16.6%. Image: City of Cape Town Weekly Water Dashboard report, 12 June 2017 Both Steenbras reservoirs...

  • Update: London suffers another disaster as #GrenfellTower burns

    Update, 12.40pm SAST: London's Metropolitan Police has confirmed that at least six people have died in the blaze that swept through North Kensington's Grenfell Tower Wednesday morning. "I can confirm six fatalities at this time but this figure is likely to rise during what is a complex recovery operation over a number of days," commander Stuart Cundy explains in a press release. Latest statement re fire at #GrenfellTower. Call Casualty Bureau if concerned about a loved one or if they've been found safe 0800 0961 233 pic.twitter.com/UvM41bFiuO — Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) June 14, 2017 Original article: Hashtags #LondonFire, #GrenfellTower and #NorthKensington were trending...

  • Cape Town Railway Station trends on Twitter after riot, train fire

    Update #2, 10.40pm: Cape Town's Metrorail service again took to Twitter suggesting that it cannot at present confirm how the train fire will affect Tuesday's commute. "Too early to predict service changes. MorningPeak service advisory at 04:30 tomorrow morning," it wrote. Too early to predict service changes. MorningPeak service advisory at 04:30 tomorrow morning — Metrorail W/Cape (@CapeTownTrains) June 12, 2017 Update #1, 10pm: Cape Town's Metrorail service has now issued an update via the Metrorail Western Cape Twitter account. "Problems with Metrorail electrical power feeds were responsible for major delays experienced this afternoon," reads the statement. "Teams if technicians are currently working across the...

  • GoFundMe campaign for Knysna Fire relief smashes crowdfunding goal

    A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign created to help the victims of the Knysna fires has raised three-times its goal amount in a single day. The fund, started by Knysna resident Natalie Grundlingh, was initially set with a £5 000 goal on the crowdfunding site, but in less than 36 hours more than £15 000 has been raised from around 300 donations. GoFundMe has also marked the campaign as "trending". Read more: Memeburn's coverage of the #CapeStorm and #KnysnaFire The Knysna Fire swept through the Southern Cape district on Wednesday, ahead of the intense cold front that lashed Cape Town, killing five people and...

  • Spree adds AI-powered image search to iOS app

    Online retailer Spree has today announced an app feature that allows users to find clothing items that are similar to uploaded images. Available now on the iOS app version, the retailer says it's the first in Africa to offer the feature that employs "the latest artificial intelligence technologies". The move, Spree explains, is a bid to remain ahead of disruptive trends in the retail industry. "Searching for items with photos and images saves consumers from having to type keyword combinations, which is especially challenging on mobile devices," Spree's head of customer experience Sven Schoof, explains. "In a world where words are commonly replaced...