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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.
  • Opera 51 browser for Android debuts with free VPN

    Web browser Opera's latest version now comes with a virtual private network (VPN) built in to its Android app. Version 51, which debuted in South Africa on Wednesday, features a free VPN which requires no sign-in, is unlimited, and can be activated within the browser on any network. When enabled, the VPN will create a "private and encrypted connection between mobile devices and a remote VPN server, using strong 256-bit encryption algorithms," the company explains in a release. It's similar to Opera's desktop browser VPN system. Opera's SVP for Android Peter Wallman suggests that South Africans are particularly interested in remaining anonymous...

  • Eskom chooses the worst font to relay serious Stage 5, Stage 6 load shedding statement

    Well, it's not a good time to be using anything other than Arial in your press releases, Eskom. The ailing power utility on Tuesday night issued a brief clarification on Twitter to suggestions that Stage 5 and Stage 6 load shedding schedules will soon be implemented. #Loadshedding stage 5 and 6 explained:@eNCA@ewnupdates @IOL @SABCNewsOnline @SowetanLIVE @News24 @mailandguardian @Moneyweb @TheCitizen_News @CityPowerJhb @City_Ekurhuleni @CityTshwane @CityofCT @eThekwiniM @centlecutility @MangaungCity pic.twitter.com/RQQ2NGjYnr— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) March 19, 2019 But while the release was certainly informative, suggesting that "contingency planning is in place" should South Africa dig an even larger hole for itself, Twitter just couldn't...

  • The chilling facts and numbers behind Eskom’s deepening power crisis

    Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and Eskom's head staffers on Tuesday held a joint press conference in Johannesburg detailing the reasons for the current load shedding crisis. South Africans have endured Stage 4 load shedding since Saturday, but the worst of our problems are seemingly far from over. While Gordhan did suggest that solutions to the current crisis will be made more concrete before he end of the month, the current situation in South Africa will remain bleak for quite some time. Only 56% of Eskom's installed capacity is available Gordhan noted that only 27 000 megawatts is available for use at...

  • Project management will include more AI, possibly fewer humans by 2030

    Project management may be an entirely dead job description by 2030, new data by Gartner suggests. The data and analytics firm suggests that artificial intelligence (AI) is set to automate a slew of processes performed by project managers. "The market will focus first on providing incremental user experience benefits to individual professionals, and later will help them to become better planners and managers," it penned in a release. But by 2023, this is set to change as "technology providers focused on AI, virtual reality (VR) and digital platforms will disrupt the PPM market and cause a clear response by traditional...

  • Cyril Ramaphosa’s train campaign highlights the worst of South Africa’s transport system

    South Africa's public rail system is in crisis. Commuters know this, and endure its plethora of problems daily. But one important citizen who experienced this first hand was the President. President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday embarked on a train-powered election campaign across Pretoria. Sounds simple enough, but it was far from smooth. The train took off at 6.40am, but arrived nearly four hours later. https://twitter.com/MYANC/status/1107564086135533569 And once he boarded, the train halted at a number of stations, effectively stranding South Africa's leader. https://twitter.com/MYANC/status/1107556135530348544 On Twitter, the hashtag #PresidentStuckOnATrain began trending on Monday, largely thanks to the below tweet, as citizens discussed the President's journey. https://twitter.com/AldrinSampear/status/1107560956274663424 Snark was...

  • Enjoy Eskom’s growing load shedding crisis visualised by Google

    You're probably sick to death of hearing about Eskom's woes and load shedding, the government's floundering attempts to fix the ailing enterprise, and what is fast becoming our phrase of the year, "stage 4." But beyond the impact felt by every South African over the past few days, Google Trends has documented the growing crisis that is our national electricity provider. In fact, it's been documenting the crisis since 2008. Using the search terms "Eskom", "Stage 4", "load shedding" and "loadshedding" -- because there's no clear way of how else to spell "rolling blackouts" -- we can see just how heavily...

  • Update: Eskom continues Stage 2 load shedding into Friday 15 March

    Update, Friday 15 March, 8am: Just when you thought your weekend will be load shedding-free, Eskom on Friday announced that Stage 2 load shedding will commence from 8am to 11pm. https://twitter.com/Eskom_SA/status/1106408305725972481 Update, Thursday 14 March, 1pm: Eskom has announced that it will upgrade today's load shedding level to Stage 2 from 3pm. https://twitter.com/KhuluPhasiwe/status/1106170726959247360 Original article: After a run of a few load shedding free days, Eskom has today announced that Stage 1 load shedding will be implemented on Thursday from 11am to 11pm. "This is due to plant breakdowns, resulting in an imbalance between supply and demand," tweeted spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe Thursday morning. https://twitter.com/KhuluPhasiwe/status/1106107181743697922 Phasiwe failed...

  • Updates: What you need to know about Tropical Cyclone Idai, set to strike Mozambique this week

    Update, 14 March, 6pm: Just hours away from Tropical Cyclone Idai's landfall, we detail how and where to track the storm online using social media, official sources, and nifty tools. Update, 14 March, 10am: MeteoFrance based on Reunion has issued an update on the wind speed and location of Tropical Storm Idai, which has regained its "Intense" moniker. As of 10am Reunion time, the storm packed a sustained wind speeds of 175km/h, with gusts of up to 250km/h. That makes it an equivalent Category 3 hurricane. It's positioned at approximately -19.8 degrees south, 37.1 degrees east, moving west at around 15km/h. The cyclone...

  • From Twitter to Reddit: how and where to follow Tropical Cyclone Idai online

    Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai is now just a few hours away from slamming into the eastern coastline of Mozambique. While we've been covering the storm with daily updates over here, we're not meteorologists, nor are we on the ground in Mozambique. But we know some people who are. Thanks to modern technology and social media, you can track the developing story that is Cyclone Idai through the various sources below. On Twitter We've found two Twitter users who are located in Mozambique tweeting about the conditions, namely Duarte Gouveia and Ben VW. https://twitter.com/duarteg0uveia/status/1106096838808088576 https://twitter.com/vw_ben/status/1106162725145796608 Bloemfontein-based StormReportSA is also publishing videos and images from its "correspondents" living...

  • Update: the Boeing 737 MAX 8 is now effectively grounded worldwide

    Update, 13 March 10pm: The FAA on Wednesday "ordered the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft" -- that's the 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 -- backtracking on its previous stance that the plane is in fact "airworthy". https://twitter.com/faanews/status/1105914855754813440 "The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today. This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision," the FAA continued in a statement. This effectively means that these planes are not allowed to operate, regardless...

  • Cyclone Idai: the latest GIFs, pictures of Mozambique’s impending storm

    Tropical Cyclone Idai is currently posing a massive risk for the population of Mozambique as it slowly swirls its way towards the country's eastern coastline. Read more: What you need to know about Tropical Cyclone Idai, set to strike Mozambique this week At last count by MeteoFrance, the storm has sustained winds of just under 150km/h radiating some 56km from its core. To put this storm's power into perspective, meteorologists and weather enthusiasts have taken to Twitter with animations, stills, and satellite imagery of the storm. These are the latest: #Tropical #Indian_Ocean #18S #Idai ECMWF animation 13/0001UTC data pic.twitter.com/ZXTyx8qafQ— Mike Trigger (@T2mike) March...

  • YouTube Music is now available in South Africa for R59pm

    YouTube Music is now available in South Africa, this after Google confirmed the news in a press release late Tuesday. The service was first teased in late 2017, when it was dubbed "Remix". It officially launched in May 2018 under its current moniker, but failed to debut in any African countries. YouTube Music is the company's latest answer to Spotify, offering a free ad-supported tier and "hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube". And like its green Scandinavian rival, YouTube Music also has a Premium tier, which allows users "background listening, downloads and an ad-free experience". This will fetch R59.99 per...

  • South Africa’s Comair grounds the country’s only Boeing 737 MAX 8

    Comair, the operator of Kulula and British Airways in South Africa, on Monday announced that it's temporarily grounding its only Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The company notes that while "neither regulatory authorities nor the manufacturer has required it to do so" it will nonetheless removed the plane from service. "While Comair has done extensive preparatory work prior to the introduction of the first 737 MAX 8 into its fleet and remains confident in the inherent safety of the aircraft, it has decided temporarily not to schedule the aircraft while it consults with other operators, Boeing and technical experts," it...

  • Donald Trump called Tim Cook ‘Tim Apple’ to ‘save time and words’

    Late last week during a meeting of business executives at the White House, US President Donald Trump referred to Tim Cook -- Apple's CEO -- as Tim Apple. Of course, the internet just couldn't deal with the leader of the free world's latest gaffe, and a slew of beautiful memes were born. Hell, even Tim Cook himself joined in on the fun, changing his Twitter name to Tim Apple in jest. But on Monday, Donald Trump suggested that he knew Tim Cook's actual name, and decided to rename the head of the technology firm to "save time & words". "At a recent...

  • What plane are you flying on? Here’s how to find out

    On Sunday morning, a passenger plane carrying 157 people crashed shortly after takeoff just outside the Ethiopian capital of Addis Abada. The Ethiopian Airlines plane was performing a scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya. All on board were killed. https://twitter.com/flyethiopian/status/1104672110994210816 The cause of the incident is not yet clear, but people are drawing a straight line between this incident and another in October 2018. Lion Air Flight 610, carrying 189 people, crashed into the Java Sea just 12 minutes after takeoff. There were no survivors. The common denominator? The Boeing 737 MAX 8. The American aircraft maker's latest narrowbody commercial aircraft has this week...