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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • Facebook Safety Check will let you be a mini-hero during disasters

    Facebook's Safety Check system has been one of the company's more notable additions to the site in 2016. The system -- which triggers when disasters are mentioned on the site, and allows users to mark themselves as "safe" -- now allows those who can to do their bit to help others affected by disasters. We're not saying that Facebook wants to make a super hero out of you, but it does want to "empower the community to help one another," according to its VP of social good, Naomi Gliet The new addition, called Community Help, will let "people find and give help...

  • #SONA2017: Govt plans to drop data costs for South Africa’s youth

    Amidst a bevy of chaos, President Jacob Zuma eventually got his State of the Nation Address across to the seated members of Parliament and South Africa at large. Although many points regarding South Africa's future for 2017 were made (including land claims, black business growth and agriculture), one in particular stood out for us. And that's the cost of data. President Zuma announced that the government will ensure that dropping the cost of data will be one of its most important focus points in 2017. He emphasised the youth in particular. President Zuma: We assure the youth that the lowering of the...

  • #FearFokol is trending on Twitter thanks to Julius Malema

    Twitter is going to be the mouthpiece of many South Africans tonight, as President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation Address. For one particular EFF member dubbed Julius Malema, this especially rings true. Malema, the leader of the second-biggest opposition party in SA, tweeted a short but rather quaint hashtag earlier today, reading simply as #FearFokol. This translates from Afrikaans slang to "fear nothing". While Malema hasn't clarified exactly what he is referring to, we could make a few postulations. For one, around 440 troops will be deployed around Parliament today in Cape Town, during Zuma's address. Many believe that...

  • ShowMax Select is now available in South Africa

    ShowMax, on the back of its SEACOM announcement last month, has today revealed a new partnership with Vodacom. The company, alongside the telecoms giant, is bringing its mobile-centric ShowMax Select service to South Africa. The service, which focused on distributing local content to mobile devices, debuted in Kenya last year. "Available exclusively to Vodacom customers on an add-to-bill basis, ShowMax Select is a new internet TV service designed for use on smartphones and tablets," the company explains in a press release. ShowMax Select is the company's mobile-first, hyper-local streaming offering that debuted in Kenya in 2016 The service will be charged as an...

  • UberEATS expands to five more Cape Town suburbs

    UberEATS, after launching in Cape Town's central business district and surrounds in late January, has now announced its expansion into the city's Southern Suburbs. Initially serving only the Atlantic Seaboard, the city centre and the city's eastern edge, the company will today expand into five new suburbs. Newlands, Rondebosch, Claremont, Bishopscourt and Mowbray will now be serviced by UberEATS, the company revealed in a newsletter. This is obviously a welcome move for both Uber and its potential customers in this area, as it can also now be regarded as a Mr D Food and OrderIn competitor. Mr D Food, which also relaunched in...

  • President Jacob Zuma can’t wait for SONA 2017 tonight

    South Africa's annual State of the Nation Address, or SONA, will be given by the country's president Jacob Zuma in Cape Town later today. For Capetonians, that means awful traffic congestion leading out of the city. For South Africans, this means an annual update on the government's countrywide plans. Regarding the latter, it seems that President Zuma just can't wait to talk to his citizens. The South African Government's official Twitter account posted an update earlier today, featuring a 16 second clip of Zuma expressing his excitement to address the nation. "Today we are looking forward to the State of the Nation...

  • Over 200m people are now using Facebook Lite

    Around 1.8-billion people now use Facebook on a monthly basis, but what about Facebook Lite? The social media giant has today announced that over 200-million people are using the Lite version of the app monthly, which aims to cater for lower-bandwidth areas of the globe on cheaper, less powerful devices. "While we continue to make all Facebook apps a great experience, we heard from people they want an even more lightweight option," the company states in a press release. Facebook Lite is only available for Android devices at present "To help make sure everyone can have a great Facebook experience regardless of where...

  • YouTube mobile livestreaming coming to your phone ‘soon’

    Following in Facebook and Twitter's stead, Google's video behemoth YouTube has announced that it has begun rolling out mobile livestreaming to select creators. It's a big move for the company, which hasn't really focusedĀ on the mobile broadcasting space, a space in which it's constantly losing ground to the likes of Facebook Live and Twitter's Periscope. The company notes that YouTube mobile livestreaming will be built into the mobile app itself, negating the need to install two different apps. An in-app capture button will be used to kick off the livestreaming process. YouTube notes that these livestreamed clips will also have the "same...

  • This Cape Town taxi map shows how beautiful big data can be

    Cape Town is a large, complex city, with a mountain in the middle of it, and an ocean encompassing it. As a result, travelling from point A to point B isn't always as simple as it should be. With a number of different transport options, citizens are often tasked with finding the fastest way home on their own, and this WhereIsMyTransport (WIMT) saw as a massive problem. Noting the lack information regarding the city's informal mini bus taxi routes, the company has mapped the previously undocumented taxi route landscape of the city. Making the informal formal through big data, maps Dubbed the Cape...

  • This Skittles-sorting machine is 2017’s most important invention

    As a kid, I'd often spend a few minutes after cracking open a box of candy to sort the colours individually, but thankfully, my children won't have to go through that turmoil. As luck and technology would have it, the world now has a Skittles-sorting machine of the highest degree, thanks to YouTuber and tinkerer Willem Pennings. Spotted by TechCrunch, the machine rather efficiently sorts through the various colours of Skittles (or M&Ms), plopping each distinct colour into their own little bowls. No human intervention is required. Never will your Skittles or M&Ms be jumbled again, thanks to this invention According to...

  • Google, H&M wants your phone to design your next dress

    While our favourite garments aren't as unique as we believe them to be, how we combine these pieces defines our individual style. But can style be determined by the likes of technology? That's what Google and H&M hope to discover. The Android app, designed by both Mountain View and H&M's Ivyrevel fashion house, wants to use your daily habits to design a bespoke dress for your needs. At the heart of the app is Google's Awareness API, which "enables apps to be aware of all aspects of a user's environment" through a device's available sensors. Google and H&M's new Android app will...

  • Joost van der Westhuizen has died

    According to multiple reports, former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen has died. The 45-year-old former Blue Bulls rugby player lost his battle with motor neuron disease this afternoon (6 February), an ailment he has been fighting since 2011. According to Sport24, who broke the story, Blue Bulls CEO Barend van Graan confirmed van der Westhuizen's passing Monday afternoon. "If there's one thing we can learn from Joost it was his passion for life. That we will never forget," Sport24 quotes van Graan as saying. This was later confirmed by the J9 Foundation. He has been described by peers and fans as a champion,...

  • Facebook’s fake news tools coming to France ahead of elections

    According to a report, Facebook will implement fake news checking systems in France ahead of the country's elections. The move is in a bid to quell and expel fake news from Facebook's network, and prevent the backlash the company faced in light of Donald Trump's US Presidential win in late 2016. Many believe that fake news on the social network aided Trump in his campaign and during the elections. To prevent a similar story in France, the network has announced that it will partner with eight of the country's media outlets, including the likes of the AFP, BFM, and Le Monde,...

  • Joost: Twitter sends well wishes to former Springbok star

    Twitter took a break from complaining about politics, the terribly dry weather and celebrity fallouts this weekend, as former Springbok rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen was rushed to hospital. The 45-year-old former Blue Bulls captain was diagnosed with a form of motor neuron disease (ALS) in 2011, and has since been confined to a wheelchair. But that hasn't stopped him from taking part in ALS research and drives. Joost's J9 Foundation: 'Thank you for the continued support for him and his family' This weekend though, Twitter was noticeably shocked by the news that Joost was in critical condition. Still, users of...

  • Lady Gaga slays Superbowl halftime show with disco-drones

    One reason to watch the NFL's Superbowl -- even if you have no idea how American Football is -- is the halftime show. This Sunday, Houston hosted the 51st edition of this prestigious sporting spectacle, oh, and the small matter of a Lady Gaga concert too. Although it only lasted a quarter of an hour, the Manhattan-born singer-songwriter performed a pretty damn incredible medley of her most famous hits, including Just Dance, Poker Face, Born This Way and Million Reasons. Mind, Million Reasons -- a slow piano-driven ballad -- was performed after running around the stage, jumping off pedestals and flying...