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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • Malusi Gigaba is caught in South Africa’s latest sex tape fiasco

    South Africa's minister of home affairs Malusi Gigaba is at the centre of the internet's and the country's latest sex tape scandal, the politician confirmed on Sunday. In a thread, Gigaba acknowledged that a video (which quite literally portrays him with his pants down) doing the rounds online was genuine, and "publicly apologised" to the nation and his family. My wife and I have learned, with regret and sadness, that a video containing material of a sexual nature, meant for our eyes only, which was stolen when my communication got illegally intercepted/my phone got hacked, in 2016/17, is circulating among certain political figures... — Malusi Gigaba...

  • Fans love the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but hate the ‘blurry’ shots

    The moment you've been waiting all October for is finally here, 90s kids: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is on Netflix, in its first season entirety. Starring Kiernan Shipka (as Sabrina), Ross Lynch (as her BF Harvey), Lucy Davis (as British Auntie Linda, and Miranda Otto (as the take-no-bullshit Auntie Zelda), the show has already received a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Yes, people are loving the darker, slightly camp version of 'Brina. But while there are modern themes, spooky moments an an enjoyable Stranger Things-like aesthetic, there is one thing that's seemingly pissing off everyone: the weird fish eye lens-like frame...

  • Rain announces plans for ‘ultra-broadband’ 5G service in South Africa

    Get ready to hear about 5G a lot more in the coming months. The latest company to make use of the term is data-only network Rain. The company today announced  that it will launch a 5G wireless network in South Africa, this after it launched its 4G data service to consumers in June. 5G is a blanket term to describe the fifth generation of mobile communications, and includes lower latency, faster transfer speeds, and the ability to "differentiate between fixed and mobile devices" and adjust internet connection requirements accordingly. The service, which will demonstrate its network in Cape Town in November, will...

  • This famous handprint of Nelson Mandela sold for R460k

    A lithograph of former South African president Nelson Mandela's hand has been sold at a charity auction in Hong Kong for R462 000. The piece, known as Impressions of Africa, features the handprint of the former leader flanked by ten other prints from South African children who were living with Aids. While 500 examples of the lithograph exist globally -- with some of those belonging to Prince Charles, Oprah and David Beckham -- this particular example belonged to the Mandela family before it was sold. More Mandela memorability will be auctioned at the Mandela 100 Centenary celebration in Johannesburg in December. Feature image:...

  • Halloween’s favourite boy band, the Slashstreet Boys, are back

    Halloween is just a few days away, and if you were thinking of dressing as one of the Backstreet Boys, you might want to reconsider that decision. Don't get me wrong. The world's best boy band from the 1990s can still rock a karaoke bar like nothing else, but this parody may have just murdered them. "I'll Kill You That Way" is what happens when Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Ghostface, Freddy Krueger and Leatherface cover the boy band's "I Want It That Way". They're known in the industry as the Slashstreet Boys. Complete with autotune, the boy band music video tropes you'd expect,...

  • This almost perfect rectangular iceberg is a social media star

    Planet Earth usually doesn't like right angles or draw in straight lines. Mountains are rarely perfectly vertical or horizontal, flat areas of land has its nooks and crannies, and the idea of an iceberg is traditionally imagined as a weird mirrored pyramid. But this block of ice is proving this notion false. NASA's IceBridge project, which monitors the shelves across the Antarctic, last week tweeted an image of a rectangular iceberg during a flyby of the continent's northern Peninsula area. NASA's official account retweeted it on Wednesday. From yesterday's #IceBridge flight: A tabular iceberg can be seen on the right, floating among...

  • Huawei Pay’s South African launch date remains a 2019 mystery

    The question of "when is Huawei Pay coming to South Africa" has become something of a meme for local journalists. We were last told late 2018, but this date has seemingly been pushed back. The Chinese firm's contactless payments system, which is operational in some European markets and China, is set to compete against the likes of Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay in South Africa. But it can't, because it's not yet available here. Last night, at the firm's launch of its Mate 20 Pro in Kyalami, the question was asked yet again. Akhram Mohamed, Huawei South Africa's CTO, answered the...

  • Cape Town just can’t stop tweeting about this heatwave

    After months of rain, it seems that Cape Town has jumped from the depths of winter straight into the clay oven of summer. The city this week is pretty damn hot. Actually, that itself is probably a bit of an understatement. On Monday, the mercury in the Mother City topped the mid-30s. Tuesday was just as bad. Wednesday, I'm writing this sprawled across the floor, largely melted. The hot weather is also expected to last through the weekend, making many Capetonians question if it's worth braving the surface of Crematoria. "Can this Cape Town weather please protect me from itself?!" one user wrote. 6am...

  • Uber rides in London will be hit by a ‘clean air’ tax

    As the world becomes smoggier, companies that rely on gas guzzling vehicles become more responsible for the future of clean air, and the planet as a whole. The latest firm to feel the heat is Uber. According to a report by Engadget, the company will introduce a "clean air" tax on rides taking place in London. But it's not going to combating global warming directly, or reducing the city's growing pollution issues. Instead, the 15 pence per mile tax, which Uber believes will be enough to raise some US$260-million, will go towards helping drivers purchase electric cars. This forms part of the company's...

  • You can now buy Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, doctoral thesis, and more

    You can now buy Stephen Hawking's iconic wheelchair if it just so happened to be on your Christmas shopping list. An auction will be held online for 22 of Hawking's most iconic works and items, including his doctoral thesis, scientific papers, and his script from The Simpsons. The items won't come cheap though, according to the AP exclusive, the doctoral thesis carries a price of more than US$130 000. One of his wheelchairs is valued at US$13 000. But it's not for personal gain, at least not according to the auctioneers. Proceeds will be given to two charities, the Stephen Hawking Foundation,...

  • Google recruits Will Smith to flaunt the Pixel 3’s selfie mode

    Google hasn't really done much to market its Pixel devices. But after the Pixel 3 launched earlier this month, the company's seemingly all in. After an Eminem performance at the Empire State Building was part-filmed using a Pixel 3, Will Smith is the latest celeb to parade the phone. Taking to Instagram, the Fresh Prince posted a selfie from the upper floors of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. While the snap is pretty impressive, the caption is 100% cringe. "A thousand years from now, humans are gonna look at the Burj Khalifa the Same way we look at the Pyramids... like...

  • Twitter now tells you if your tweet breaks its rules

    When you report a tweet for breaching Twitter's rules, or when the company takes actions on one, it requires the offending user to delete the tweet before they can publish another. But, the company claims that users aren't always aware that this is the case. Now, Twitter will add overlay offending tweets with a notice alerting the authors of tweets. "Once we've required a Tweet to be deleted, we will display a notice stating that the Tweet is unavailable because it violated the Twitter Rules along with a link to the Rules and an article that provides more detail on how we...

  • Spotify’s first Wear OS app is coming to your smartwatch

    Spotify is finally launching a standalone app for Wear OS, Google's smartwatch operating system. Announced by the Scandanavian firm on Wednesday, it confirmed that the app will feature most of the bells and whistles of the Android app. This concludes scrolling playlists, the ability to cast via Spotify Connect, and the like button. "We’re excited to bring improved on-the-go-access to your favorite music and podcasts to millions of Spotify users on Wear OS by Google smartwatches," said Mikael Ericsson, the firm's senior product director. "Being able to easily access, control, and connect music directly from your wrist opens up a world of new...

  • Vodacom improves its VoLTE service with new audio codec

    Vodacom launched VoLTE (Voice over LTE) a little over three years ago now. Today, it announced that it's further tuning this offering. The company is replacing the old AMR codec, with the higher bandwidth EVS codec, or Enhanced Voice Services. While AMR has a relatively limited audio bandwidth of up to 7kHz, EVS allows for bandwidth of up to 20kHz, increasing the overall quality of the service. This, Vodacom claims, brings CD-like audio quality to its VoLTE offering. "Vodacom is always looking to improve the experience customers have on our network," said Siyabonga Zulu, Vodacom's exec for radio network engineering. "Deploying Enhanced Voice...

  • Winamp revival to challenge the streaming music elite in 2019

    It's a tough time to be a traditional desktop media player. While video spinners like VLC can still live in harmony alongside Netflix and co, audio players like Winamp have faded into obscurity thanks to streaming music services like Spotify. But that's seemingly about to change. Winamp's owner Radionomy is set to totally overhaul the program in 2019, transforming it from a single-use audio player into a podcasting, streaming and radio platform, etcetera. "There will be a completely new version next year, with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience," Alexandre Saboundijian, Radionomy CEO, told TechCrunch. "People want one...