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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • South Africa’s nSight1 nanosatellite makes history 300km above the Earth

    South Africa's first privately-owned nanosatellite dubbed the nSight1 has been successfully launched into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS). The nSight1 began its journey to the space station on 18 April 2017 from Florida, aboard a Cygnus cargo spacecraft powered by an Atlus-5 rocket. It joined 28 other nanosatellites from 23 countries on its journey. South Africa's government news agency suggests that the satellite weighs in at just 2.5kg, and is the first privately-owned nanosatellite launched by the country. "The satellite is an important milestone, demonstrating the outcome of the capability established through the Department of Science and Technology's ongoing investment...

  • Coconuts: Cape Town entrepreneurs feud on Facebook after ‘blatant’ foul play

    We've been giving avocados stick this month on Memeburn, but today, we're looking at two coconut-orientated Cape Town startups locked in a social and legal battle. A piece published on blog Fury Marketing this week details the story of Jenna Leigh Smuts -- the owner of small Cape Town business Coconut Connection. Smuts is accusing Heather Cheung -- her former business partner -- of stealing her business. Cheung refutes these claims, suggesting that Smuts registered the business as sole shareholder without her consent. Cheung currently owns the competing business dubbed Coconut Connect. The maelstrom While the original business is three years old, it...

  • Ukraine, Russia fight on Twitter using Benedict Cumberbatch, Simpsons GIFs

    Before the internet, countries took to the battlefield to settle differences. While Russia and Ukraine are actively sparring over details of their territories, both countries have this week extended that conflict to Twitter. The two countries' verified accounts had a standoff regarding one particular detail of history: the origins of French monarch Anna Yaroslavna of Kiev who was born in the area considered to be modern day Kiev -- the capital of Ukraine. The argument was the result of a remark made by Russian president Vladimir Putin in a press conference with French president Emmanuel Macron earlier this week, calling Anna...

  • Sanlam debuts SA’s first WhatsApp drama in novel marketing campaign

    We've seen social media used extensively as the vehicle for performance art, but what about less image-heavy services like WhatsApp? Arriving via a clever marketing campaign by Sanlam, South African drama series Uk’shona Kwelanga (or The Death of Langa) is set to debut on the Facebook-owned chat app next month. Yes, a drama series made exclusively for WhatsApp. According to the press release, the show "tells the tale of a South African family struggling to deal with the emotional and financial ramifications of loss while planning their father's funeral". The screenplay is penned by Bongi Ndaba (previous head writer of Generations) while a...

  • South Africa: here’s how to get four free months on Google Play Music

    Google Play Music now offers a four-month free trial for those subscribing to its service. The streaming music platform headed by the Mountain View company houses over 30-million tracks, and allows users to upload their own to the cloud, usually comes with a two- or three-month trial. But Google's seemingly feeling a bit generous this week. First spotted by Android Police last week, the deal is still ongoing at the time of writing. And yes, it's available to those within South Africa's borders too. Interestingly, it seems that the deal comes in tow with South Africa's addition to Google Play promo codes supported...

  • Cape Town’s Koeberg nuclear power station to get mini-desalination plant

    Cape Town's nuclear power plant Koeberg is turning to desalination as the drought deepens, Eskom reveals. A column written this week by Koeberg's power station manager Velaphi Ntuli and published on Engineering News explains that the move is part of Eskom's "robust risk management process" to safeguard the city's power supply. "Koeberg currently uses about 1 300 kilolitres of fresh water per day," Ntuli writes. "In light of the current drought situation, Koeberg is driving various water saving initiatives to reduce potable water consumption by at least a third in the short term." While the power plant itself is cooled by the Atlantic Ocean,...

  • Cape Town boasts ‘highest quality of life’ in Africa, Twitter disagrees

    Great news, Cape Town. According to a report (pdf) by Deutsche Bank, the city ranks 17th out of 47 major cities in terms of quality of life. The survey conducted by the German financial institution using crowdsourced data from cost index aggregator Numbeo looked at indices including the likes of purchasing power, healthcare, cost of living, property to income ratio, traffic, pollution, climate and safety. The city ranked highly in terms of climate and property prices, propelling it to a position above Johannesburg. That also makes it the highest ranked city in Africa on the survey. 'The highest quality of life for whom?...

  • One year on, Cincinnati Zoo still hated by the internet for Harambe’s death

    It's been one whole year without Harambe, internet. Sunday marked 365 days since the silverback gorilla was shot at the Cincinnati Zoo after a four-year-old fell into its enclosure. The incident has become an iconic moment in pop culture, drawing criticism from both sides of the argument. While some blame the child's parents, others believe it was right to shoot the gorilla. A swathe of others believed that the Zoo should bear the brunt of the legal charges. But the internet doesn't forget, especially when Harambe is the topic of conversation. One Year Ago Today: We lost a great one. RIP Harambe pic.twitter.com/loTqPM2VGO — Gentleman's...

  • ‘Judy’ malware found on Google Play Store puts 36.5m users at risk

    Just when you thought that WannaCry would be the last of the big malware attacks to plague 2017, a new breed of nasty has appeared on the Google Play Store. And its name is Judy. According to a report published by security company CheckPoint, Judy "is an auto-clicking adware which was found on 41 apps developed by a Korean company". The malware gets its name from the usual (and rather adorable) protagonist of the games fronting the malware. In one particular case, users can "create delicious food with Judy". Sounds yum. Cleverly bypassing Google Play's security measures by masquerading behind a legitimate app,...

  • 5 inspirational quotes from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard speech

    If you could attend a lecture from anyone on earth (besides Shia LeBeouf), who would you want most? For Harvard students this week, they didn't have a choice, but they did get Mark Zuckerberg. The little known Facebook CEO, whose company worth is beyond the US$450-billion mark, returned to his old university after dropping out in 2005. It was a moment that he'll probably never forget, joking in the speech that his speech was the first time he completed anything at Harvard. But it's probably a speech many a student won't forget either. Reading through his speech, we've picked...

  • Uber, Snapchat giving custom filters to riders in African markets

    Great news for you antisocial riders who never bother chatting to your Uber drivers. The transportation company has today announced a collaboration with Snapchat, which allows riders to "personalize their riding experience" using a number of custom filters. "Riders will be able to have a little extra fun by unlocking custom Snapchat filters so they can Snap while they ride," the press release continues. These custom filters include ETA filters, a number of custom Uber ride filters and a mystery filter for an "added surprise". 'Riders will be able to have a little extra fun by unlocking custom Snapchat filters so they can...

  • Afrihost cuts price of fibre packages in wake of Openserve announcement

    South African internet service provider (ISP) Afrihost has today announced that it will cut the prices of its fibre packages. This moves comes after the recent reduction in IPC costs announced by Telkom's Openserve division. "Depending on the IPC capacity purchased, ISPs can now benefit from price reductions of up to 32%, effective from 1 June 2017," Openserve wrote in a release issued earlier this month. Afrihost is one of the first ISPs to adopt the decreased costs, and plans to reduce the "monthly costs of all Openserve fibre packages to pass this saving onto all current and future clients," the...

  • Snapchat introduces group sharing feature for Stories

    Social sharing platform Snapchat has today debuted a nifty group sharing mechanic to its Stories feature. "Today we’re announcing a new way to create custom Stories – about anything, with any of your friends, even for a specific location! It's perfect for a trip, a birthday party, or a new baby story just for the family," it writes on its blog. Heading to a gig with friends? Going to the big game on the weekend with chums? Or heading to your local canyon for some paddling with your besties? Snapchat now lets users create custom Stories to capture the moment with...

  • Donald Trump and the Western Wall star in an unlikely Twitter meme

    Donald Trump staring longingly into the Western Wall might just be the meme 2017 needs. On his state trip to Israel this week, the president of the United States visited the sacred Jewish site along with daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. But while it should've been a moment of reverence, Twitter just couldn't help but turn it into an ironic meme. Because, you know, Trump's obsession with walls. "'Who paid for you?" he whispered. But the old wall keeps her secrets," the viral tweet read, posted on Monday. "Who paid for you?" he whispered. But the old wall keeps her secrets. pic.twitter.com/xplQhXvzQ3 —...

  • Sir Roger Moore dead at 89 after battle with cancer

    Sir Roger Moore, the British actor best known for his role as James Bond, has died aged 89. Moore's family took to Twitter to announce the news around midday on Tuesday 23 May. With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg — Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017 "It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer," the tweet's attached obituary, written by his...