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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • This is how Snapchat’s UI will change come December [Update]

    Update, 30 Nov: Snapchat has officially announced its redesign that will work to "separate social from media". The company also announced "a more sophisticated Best Friends algorithm" that will ostensibly order your friends list by whom you chat with most. Original article: Snapchat's app redesign, first announced by CEO Evan Spiegel earlier this week, will debut on 4 December according to a report by Business Insider's Alex Heath. Quoting sources "familiar with the matter", the publication claims that Snap employees were notified internally regarding the planned release date. Along with said date, details of the actual redesign of Snapchat's app have also been outed. On the...

  • Cape Town water crisis: above-average rainfall hit by huge usage spike

    November has been a rather wet month for some areas of the Western Cape, but that doesn't mean Cape Town's dam levels have benefited entirely. Due to a spike in water consumption and warmer temperatures, dam storage remains flat this week according to the City of Cape Town's dam level report (pdf). Total storage capacity now stands at 36.1%, down from 36.2% the previous week. Digging deeper into the report, the City notes that four of the six dams in the Western Cape Water Storage System gained capacity this week. The Berg River Dam added just 0.1% to its coffers, and is...

  • ‘Death by Pokémon GO’ reveals how deadly the mobile game really is

    Remember June 2016? We sure do. Pokémon GO launched like a blazing comet across our skies, tuning smartphones into mini-gaming machines, and our lives into an adventure across the Johto Region. But even with those splendid memories, the app has had negative side-effects too. According to a study conducted by Purdue University, Pokémon GO has resulted in an increase in road traffic incidents in a county in Indiana. "We examine nearly 12 000 detailed police accident reports for Tippecanoe County, Indiana, over the period of March 1, 2015, through November 30, 2016," the study reads. "The reports give, among other information, the date...

  • Takealot hits record highs despite Black Friday downtime

    Although Takealot was inaccessible for a majority of shoppers on Black Friday 2017, the sales day became the biggest in its history based on visits. The Cape Town-based etailer recorded 2.2-million visits to the website and app on 24 November. That's a 280% increase in visits compared to Black Friday 2016. Those visits, at least those recorded within the first hour of its sale, generated in excess of R6-million in gross merchandising value. This jumped to R12-million in the next two hours, and ultimately R87-million at the end of Black Friday. In total, more than 52 000 orders were placed on the...

  • Black Friday 2017 was the biggest ever in US history, stats suggest

    Singles' Day may have become Alibaba's biggest one-day sales period raking in some US$25-billion, but Black Friday is still a force in the western world. According to Adobe Digital Insights, more than US$5-billion was spent in the United States on Black Friday 2017. Two-fifths of that was spent using a mobile device. Overall, that's a jump of nearly 17% over the previous Black Friday. The company analyses around 80% of transactions conducted online, from 100 of the States' largest online retailers. But Adobe wasn't the only company watching shoppers (a tad creepy, agreed). Salesforce's owls saw a jump of 24% in digital...

  • City of Cape Town using ‘wagon-wheel’ to survey Cape Flats aquifer

    If you happen to see a helicopter flying overhead with a UFO-like "wagon-wheel attached to the underside of it", don't worry, that's just the City of Cape Town this week surveying the Cape Flats aquifer. In a statement published to the City of Cape Town's media portal, mayor Patricia De Lille outlined the process that will map the aquifer. This is another step in the City's groundwater extraction plan. "These airborne surveys will be conducted using a helicopter, like the one used today, that has a measuring device in the shape of a wagon-wheel attached to the underside of it," De Lille...

  • One Bitcoin is now worth over R133 000

    While you may be smarting over the current Dollar/Rand or Euro/Rand exchange rate, spare a thought for those wanting to purchase a single Bitcoin. The price of the digital cryptocurrency has this weekend surged to US$9602 -- or just under R133 800 at the time of writing. That means that a single Bitcoin could buy a small family hatchback, around 130 return flights between London and Cape Town, or a Big Mac meal for every meal of the day for nearly three years. The latest record-high price comes after the currency gained more than 17% this week, after it broke the US$9000...

  • This Indian airport handled close to 1000 flights in a single day

    We're not sure what you were up to Friday night, but an airport in India had no time for partying. In fact, Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport this weekend broke the record for the most number of flights handled in a single day by a single airport. That new record stands at 969. The number includes both landings and take-offs within a 24 hour period recorded between 5.30am on Friday and 5.30am on Saturday. Overall, the airport processed more than 40 flights per hour, besting its own previous record of 935 in 24 hours. And more impressive still is the record in spite of the airport's layout....

  • 5 lesser-known spots in Cape Town to Instagram this December

    Now that Wally's Cave has been ripped from Cape Town's Instagram roster, the social network has been largely devoid of artsy cliff-side yoga. This December, though, we predict that hunting for the new, hip Instagram rock or beachfront will be an adventure many a Cape Town clique will be enjoying. But no fear. If you have no clue where to begin, we take a look at five spots that could take Wally's Cave's place atop the hashtag charts in South Africa's trendiest city. Muizenberg Window With only nine images hashtagged on Instagram -- and a view to kill your hamstrings for -- Muizenberg Window...

  • These are MTN’s Black Friday data deals for 2017

    There are so many deals hitting consumers on Black Friday, that it's hard to keep track. (Sidenote: Gearburn's doing an excellent job in this regard). But what if you aren't looking for hardware? What if you're looking for data? MTN will be offering a number of data deals it's calling "Mega Deals" on Black Friday, appealing to those of us who send one too many high-resolution moon moon GIFs. "MTN will be offering all customers on MTN Zone and MTN Muziq price plans, a guaranteed discount of 95%, during the HAPPY HOUR timeslot from 15:00 – 15:59 daily" between 24 and...

  • MTN data services down across South Africa

    MTN's data services are down for scores of users across South Africa's major cities after an "unsuccessful" network upgrade. "MTN undertook an upgrade on a section of its network last night," the company wrote in a tweet Thursday. "The upgrade was unfortunately unsuccessful and has resulted in a data fault on the network serving Randburg and parts of Cape Town. Only the data service is affected, voice systems remain fully functional." According to additional reports from users on Twitter, the network's customers have been experiencing issues since 7am Thursday morning. The company notes that users across Cape Town and Randburg are experiencing issues,...

  • Cape Town water report: usage spikes, dam levels drop & aquifer project begins

    Dam levels or both major and minor reservoirs across Cape Town have once again taken a hit, this according to the City's latest water report (pdf). Last week, dam levels fell below the 37% mark, to 36.8%. This week sees the third consecutive drop, with levels now just above the 36% mark. The Berg River Dam lost 1.4% of its storage capacity this week, shedding around 1.82-billion litres. The other two large dams in the system -- the Theewaterskloof and the Voëlvlei -- followed suit, dropping 0.9% and 0.4% respectively. The remaining three reservoirs however bucked the trend. Wemmershoek Dam saw small gains...

  • Grey Saturday: the safest shopping day of the Black Friday weekend

    What is the safest day to shop online during the sales season? That's a question many a budget hunter should be asking over the Black Friday weekend. Cybersecurity company Kaspersky believes that it has the answer. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there's a lesser known shopping day dubbed Grey Saturday. And yes, it's name isn't quite as catchy. It does however hold one particular distinction. According to Kaspersky's data, Grey Saturday is the safest day to shop online during the Black Friday weekend. The company recorded a dip in reported phishing attacks through 2015 and 2016 when compared to the likes of...

  • Takealot CEO Kim Reid chats Black Friday, the ‘War Room’ and fidget spinners

    "I think it's grown over time" is how Takealot CEO Kim Reid describes Black Friday. And he's not wrong. In November 2016, South African retailers saw a 10% increase in sales over the same period in 2015, this due to the increase in popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, Takealot itself is forecasting gains of nearly R80-million over last year's haul of R56-million for the Black Friday weekend. But for the Cape Town-based etailer, that forecast stems from years of planning. We recently sat down with Reid to discuss the formidable day, the business's operations as a whole, and...

  • DStv launches VOOV’s ‘world first’ live streaming social channel

    A new channel heading to DStv aims to meld social media, live-streaming and traditional television. Dubbed #VOOVTV, the channel will let users to send self-made content to stream on the channel. This process will be powered by the video streaming platform VOOV, launched in June 2017. The channel will also be available across all DStv bouquets, extending its reach as a novel marketing platform for the streaming platform. Motivation behind VOOV's move stems from the "youth segment who are looking for the next wave of social media to express themselves and interact with each other". "DStv customers can interact with the featured VJs...