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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • SONA 2018 build up: Memeburn revisits the SONAs of the past

    While it may be the political highlight of the year, the State of he Nation Address (or SONA) is also a social media event not to be missed. Memeburn has covered the social side of SONA for seven long years, and today we take a look at some of the items we've added to the scrapbook. *wipes away the cobwebs* In 2011, a drinking game became the best way to completely forget that Jacob Zuma was your president, courtesy of then 5FM DJ Gareth Cliff. That same year, the Presidency asked South Africans on the budding social network dubbed Twitter for...

  • Global social media partially freaks out after Jacob Zuma’s exit

    Step aside Cape Town water crisis. South Africa has a new big international story that's gracing the home pages of world media websites. According to numbers released by analytics firm Meltwater, more than 20 000 articles focussing on the resignation of President Jacob Zuma's have been penned within the past 24 hours. The United States -- currently processing pressing political issues of its own, including the DACA bill and government spending -- has seen three times as many pieces published on by its own media outlets when compared to that of South Africa's. "The massive online response we’ve seen is no doubt...

  • Cyril Ramaphosa is South Africa’s new president

    Former Deputy President and current ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa is now South Africa's new leader after he was sworn in by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at a special Parliamentary sitting on Thursday. This comes after former South African President Jacob Zuma announced his resignation Wednesday evening, after the ANC's national executive committee recalled him. "I'd like to thank all the members of this Assembly. I want to thank you for the honour you bestow on me for electing me in this position," Ramaphosa told the House in a brief speech. #PresidentRamaphosa began trending across South Africa soon after he was put forward...

  • Bug or business? Facebook joins the SMS spamming game [Update]

    Update: According to a note published on Friday by Facebook's Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, it was indeed a bug. "When we heard about this, we looked into it right away," he began. "Two-factor authentication is an important security feature that has helped a lot of people mitigate the risk of phishing attempts and helps protect people from having their accounts compromised. We also give people control over their notifications, and the last thing we want is for people to avoid helpful security features because they fear they will receive unrelated notifications." He continued that it was "not our intention to send non-security-related...

  • Tinder’s future feature will let women decide who makes the first move

    Tinder has gone through a number of changes in its six-years as the dating app your parents know you use. And according to the company's new boss, it's about to undergo a big one. Looking over its shoulder at its younger, yellower rival Bumble, Ginsberg announced that the company would add a setting to exclusively allow women to make the first move. This is Bumble's unique selling point. #LoveEquals no 🍆 pics. — Bumble (@bumble) February 15, 2018 "Often, women don’t really want the pressure of kicking off the conversation, but if they want it, that’s great," noted Mandy Ginsberg, the chief exec of...

  • Jacob Zuma resigns as South Africa’s president

    South African President Jacob Zuma has officially resigned. The head of state for nine years announced his intentions to step down as leader of the country at a press conference in Pretoria late Wednesday evening. Quite the Valentine's Day present, too. This also comes after the ANC announced its intention to recall the President. "I have come to the decision to resign as president with immediate effect," he told the nation. At the time of writing #ZumaResigns is trending worldwide on Twitter. And everyone seems really, really happy. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!!! 🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦💐💐💐😘😘😘 #ZumaResigns — Boity Thulo (@Boity) February 14, 2018 Best Valentine's present a country could...

  • Watch: Jacob Zuma responds to resignation calls in SABC interview

    It's been a confusing few weeks in South African politics, but today President Jacob Zuma finally shed some light on the speculation surrounding his future. The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) -- the party's highest decision making bracket -- agreed Tuesday that the party would recall Zuma as leader of the nation after a marathon meeting Monday. "The decision by the NEC to recall its deployee was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country, the ANC and the functioning of government," wrote ANC secretary general Ace Magashule in a...

  • Cape Town deputy mayor applauds ‘record low’ water usage

    526-million litres per day: that's how much water Cape Town used last week. And the city's deputy mayor  Ian Neilson believes that's a cause for (moderate) praise. "This is the first time that the weekly average usage has remained under 550-million litres due to the City’s pressure management interventions and the efforts by our residents to use as little water as possible," he writes in a press release. "A year ago, the average water demand was 830-million litres per day and the weekly change in dam levels was 1.9%." Last week, dam levels dropped just 0.6%. In 2016, the rate of decrease...

  • Have no idea what ‘curling’ is? This YouTube video explains all

    You know the Winter Olympics is happening when "curling" is one of the most searched for sports in South Africa. Apart from the disappointing cricket yesterday, this week South Africans are trying to figure out what this sport involving a stone, an ice rink and a bunch of people with broom-like prods is all about. Thankfully, we've found a video that does just that. With 13 000 subscribers, Curling Canada is probably not a YouTube channel you'd subscribe to immediately, but it does a splendid job making the sport itself interesting. Who knew curling could be so fun to watch? And it's not...

  • Cape Town’s dams are just 29.4% full, but we’re using a lot less water

    Cape Town is getting drier, but you probably didn't need me to tell you that. Instead, let's look at the City's latest dam report. Dated 12 February, this report isn't steeped in positive information. In fact, you have to drill deep down to find some semblance of comfort. You will be happy to know, Cape Town, that average daily water consumption has plummeted yet again. Water drawn from the "Big Six" dams decreased once again, this time below the 500-million litres per day mark to 493-million. Overall, consumption from the City's 14 dams amounts to 526-million litres per day -- another new...

  • Cape Town sees weekend rainfall, but #DayZero continues to draw near

    Cape Town may as well be in the middle of the Sahara desert right now. Actually, probably not. Because even the Sahara has seen some precipitation this year. Many citizens rejoiced on social media upon hearing the news that a cold front -- usually the weather phenomenon that brings rain to the area -- was to brush through the Western Cape this past weekend. Even the BBC reported on the rainfall due to hit the city. And yes, it did rain. It's raining in Cape Town ☔🌧#DayZero #CapeTownWaterCrisis pic.twitter.com/kluYLuGiGt — Conscious Caracal (@ConCaracal) February 9, 2018 In a restaurant in Cape Town and suddenly the...

  • Twitter celebrates #YearOfTheDog with a shiba inu emoji

    As one of the integral parts of some of our favourite internet GIFs and a member of the Chinese Zodiac, its only fitting that the dog gets its own Twitter emoji to celebrate the Chinese New Year, and the Year of the Dog. If you're just waking up, don't worry, you hadn't just missed 1 January. And although the Chinese New Year doesn't coincide with the Gregorian calendar's idea of New Year, it is nonetheless special to the most populous nation on Earth, and a slew of others across the world. As a result, Twitter has seen it fit to craft...

  • Bobsleigh is South Africa’s favourite winter olympic sport

    South Africa isn't known for memorable performances in the Winter Olympics. You likely won't see Wayde van Niekerk take up curling in years to come either. But apparently, the country isn't opposed to winter sports entirely. According to Google Search data, which tallied the most popular sport by the number of YouTube videos viewed within the past 12 months, South Africa's favourite winter olympic sport is bobsleigh. SA does have one representative in the Winter Olympics 2018, but Connor Wilson will be competing in the slalom skiing events, and definitely won't be doing that while controlling an aerodynamic tube hurtling down...

  • Memeburn is looking for a brand new intern: apply here

    Do you follow the ebbs and flows of technology, social trends and internet culture? Do you boast the unique ability to craft letters into words, and words into factual works of art? Are you currently on the hunt for a job at a media institution in Cape Town? If you answered yes to all three questions, you might just be the intern Memeburn is looking for. Memeburn is seeking two talented and driven full time paid writing interns who are especially interested in social media, technology at large and other facets of the internet culture. You’ll also work for us between...

  • Twitter posts a profit for the first time, users remain at 330m

    Don't look now, but Twitter just made money. In its 12 year existence the microblogging social network had yet to record a green revenue figure, but this all changed drastically in the company's latest financial report. Its Q4 2017 highlights suggests that it made a profit of US$91-million, this coming after a loss of US$167-million in the same quarter last year. The gains stem from "strong engagement growth, improved revenue features, improved ROI, and better sales execution," it told investors in a report. But that's fluff really. Cost-cutting was the main driver of profit here. Expenses for "General and administrative, research and development,...