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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • Mayor: Cape Town to source 20% of energy from renewables by 2020

    Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille today took to Twitter in an hour-long update regarding key issues affecting the City of Cape Town, including the ongoing water crisis, the superblocking in Imizamo Yethu, and climate change. The speech itself was delivered at a city council meeting, but livetweeted from her account before the full speech was published Thursday afternoon. Cape Town's water crisis continues "Let me start with the water crisis and yes despite the recent rains, we are still in a drought," she began, shedding light on the City's plans to combat the low dam levels and drier-than-normal winter. She also lambasted...

  • Foxconn announces $10bn investment in new US-based factory

    Foxconn -- the manufacturer responsible for bolting together most of Apple's products -- is planning to build a factory on US soil, reports the New York Times. The company's move comes after US President Donald Trump's call for companies to build their products in America, with the plant set to be built in Wisconsin. It could be as large as three Pentagons. Yeah, that Pentagon. Numbers quoted includes at least 3000 jobs created by the project, and US$10-billion worth of investment forked into the US by the company. And that's pretty big for the country's waning manufacturing industry. Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn will...

  • Black Coffee will host his own show on Apple’s Beats 1

    South Africans are slowly taking over the US entertainment industry. First Trevor Noah's big gig on The Daily Show, and now Apple's Beats 1 has recruited Black Coffee to host a radio show on its platform. The news broke early Wednesday, but only began impacting South Africans later that evening when the DJ formally announced the move on Twitter. Subsequently the hashtag (and name of the upcoming show) #Beats1BlackCoffee began trending. He becomes the first South African to host a show on Apple's live streaming radio service which launched in mid-2015. I'm the newest @Beats1 host. Hear the sounds of global underground...

  • Those droplets though: Instagram gets artsy as rain falls in Cape Town

    If you hadn't yet stuck your head out of the window and simply checked any of the numerous social networks, you'd know the exact state of the weather above Cape Town this morning. Yes, it's raining. And when it does, it seems that social media users can't help but don those artist hats and snap off those lens caps. To get technical (and depressing) for a moment: Cape Town's dam levels are still critically low (pdf). Sitting this week at 27.4%, it does mark a 1% improvement over the previous week. But that's still a lot lower than the levels we...

  • Alphabet shrugs off $2.7bn fine, still makes stacks of money this quarter

    Google's parent company Alphabet isn't having the smoothest year on record thus far, but that hasn't stopped it from making even more money this quarter. The company today revealed its latest quarterly financial figures for Q2 2017, a quarter that has seen another marked increase in numbers behind dollar signs. "With revenues of $26 billion, up 21% versus the second quarter of 2016 and 23% on a constant currency basis, we're delivering strong growth with great underlying momentum, while continuing to make focused investments in new revenue streams," the company's CFO Ruth Porat told investors in a letter. For comparison, the company...

  • Cape Town stars on Lonely Planet’s weekend Instagram takeover

    Travel company Lonely Planet has a good 1.4-million followers on Instagram, and this past weekend they all got a scrumptious taste of Cape Town thanks to an impromptu takeover. Piloted by travel blogger Monica Suma, Lonely Planet's Instagram photo log briefly turned into a carousel of Cape Town's landscapes and landmarks. Reception was positive too. The five uploaded images -- featuring Chapman's Peak Drive, Camps Bay's Twelve Apostles, Hout Bay, Long Street and the newly opened Silo Hotel at the V&A Waterfront -- racked up a combined 54 000 likes. 'Aside from being a landscape paradise, Cape Town is also one of the...

  • Remember Amy Winehouse with this epic 46-track YouTube playlist

    Even if you weren't held by her eclectic charm, raspy voice and larger-than-life hairdos, there was probably an Amy Winehouse track that you've heard and hummed along to. 23 July marked six years since the English songstress died, and the world of music is still feeling her loss. And in a week that has seen two other great musicians part us -- South African jazz great Ray Phiri and Linkin Park's Chester Bennington -- it's only fitting to remember these greats for their influence. Thankfully, the internet has largely memorialised their works in glorious high-def video and audio. For Amy Winehouse, this means...

  • Linkin Park’s lead singer Chester Bennington commits suicide

    Chester Bennington, the lead singer of nu-metal band Linkin Park, has died in an apparent suicide at his home in Los Angeles. News broke Thursday evening SAST, just a few hours after Linkin Park's latest music video "Talking To Myself" debuted on YouTube. Bennington, who led Linkin Park's vocal ensemble for much of his career, helped the band to 70-million album sales and two Grammy Awards. He also formed the electronic rock ensemble Dead By Sunrise in 2005. Mike Shinoda, Linkin Park's chief songwriter, took to Twitter to confirm the news. Shocked and heartbroken, but it's true. An official statement will come out...

  • Viral video: British Airways recruits celebs for its latest in-flight safety clip

    The safety demonstration video on flights is usually the most boring element of air travel, but what if said safety video included some of the world's most articulate celebrities? That's what British Airways believes will encourage people to strap in, and actually take heed during these important announcements. "We hope you enjoy our new safety video, which we’ve created in collaboration with Comic Relief and some famous faces you’ll probably recognise," British writes on the video's description. "Celebrities are seen auditioning in humorous sketches in front of comedian Asim Chaudhry, as Chabuddy G, for a coveted part in British Airways’ new safety...

  • WhatsApp becomes a file sharing service with new feature

    WhatsApp is no longer just a messaging app: it's now a file sharing service too. A new feature added to the chat app this week allows users to send a bevy of file formats to any user including app files, music files, compressed zip files and even Windows executables. The latter might be quite helpful if you're using the Desktop version. Previously, users could only send PDFs to each other (because that's exactly what social media users send to one another on a daily basis). There's one caveat though: the file you intend to send will need to be smaller than 100MB. If that...

  • Worldwide IT expenditure set to increase by 4.5% in 2017

    Yesterday Memeburn reported positive news for the South African IT space, an industry predicted to experience solid growth in 2017. Today research firm IDC has published its findings on global IT expenditure. This year's worldwide IT spend is set to increase to US$2.1-trillion, an increase of 4.5% over 2016. This after 2016 experienced a year-on-year growth spurt of 2.5%. IDC suggests that infrastructure hardware, mobile hardware and enterprise software are leading the gains. Expenditure on data centres and server hardware is set to balloon by 4% in 2017, while Infrastructure-as-a-Service spending is set to exceed US$25-billion. This increase, IDC claims, is due to...

  • PhishNet sends mock-phishing emails to employees for the greater good

    Telecommunications company Internet Solutions (IS) has debuted a new service that allows security teams in companies to launch authentic phishing attacks on their colleagues, scaring them stiff and teaching them valuable lessons about cyber security. Dubbed PhishNet, the service aims to educate staffers about the nature, mechanics and calling cards of a phishing attack while providing the companies with data on their security practices and infrastructure. PhishNet's debut comes at a time when cyber security is paramount in media and mainstream conversation, following the recent WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks. WannaCry in particular -- which infected more than 250 000 computers...

  • South Africa’s IT spend to total R266bn in 2017

    According to a report by research giant Gartner, South Africa's total IT spend is set to hit R266.1-billion by year-end -- a 2.4% increase over 2016. "South Africa has traditionally underinvested in IT," Gartner's VP John-David Lovelock notes, but did suggest that expenditure is slowly rising due to a keen focus on specific areas. "South African organisations continue to prioritise investments in software, as software spending is the means by which they will catch up with the rest of the world." Notably, there is a vast spending differential between hardware, software and services. Gartner suggests that software is the sector experiencing the biggest growth...

  • #MissSAChallenge: Miss South Africa subverts hashtag to issue her own challenge

    Yesterday #MissSAChallenge became South Africa's latest passing social media fad thanks to images of Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters wearing gloves at a soup kitchen in Soweto. Quizzing the pageant winner for her choice of attire, Twitter also grabbed hold of the hashtag to post ironic images of themselves preparing food, putting on makeup or handling household items wearing gloves. Sometimes candy wrappers too. But Miss South Africa wasn't having any of it. Late last night, Nel-Peters -- after explaining why she wore the gloves and issuing an apology for offending users -- once again took to the social network to post...

  • Jay Z’s 4:44 no longer a Tidal exclusive as Kanye West ditches service

    Jay Z's first album in four years, 4:44, launched as a Tidal and Sprint exclusive earlier this week. Today though, the album is available to listen to on Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon Music. Although many online suggested that the album would likely arrive on the other music streaming services before long, neither Roc Nation nor Jay Z confirmed this. Today though it is official. Jay Z's 4:44 is now available on Apple Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Music... but not Spotify Incidentally, if you're a Spotify user, you'll still be left out in the cold. The album isn't yet available...