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All posts by Andy Walker: Editor

  • Apple showcases Table Mountain, Muizenberg in iPhone 7 tutorial videos

    As smartphones become more complicated, manufacturers are finding novel ways to educate their consumers. Apple's new video campaign does just that, shedding light on some of the basic ways to shoot with an iPhone 7. But there's something particularly noticeable about some of these videos. Especially for South Africans. Available to view on Apple's official site and on YouTube, the video series showcases a few landmarks that Cape Town residents would instantly recognise. One is undeniably Table Mountain, looking across from Lion's Head. Another is of Muizenberg Beach's famous colourful changing huts. While those two are definitely filmed on South African soil, we...

  • #BowWowChallenge: you just can’t fool the internet, even if you’re Bow Wow

    Social media challenges are seemingly a genre of memes unto their own, but throw hip-hop artist Bow Wow into the mix, and you have yourself a viral fad. Posting a flashy Instagram snap to his timeline this week, the rapper whose real name is Shad Moss, seemingly lined up a charter flight on a jet, fit with Maybach in tow for a trip to New York. "Travel day. NYC press run for Growing Up Hip Hop. Lets gooo. I promise to bring yall the hottest show EVER," he writes on the post. But that was all just an illusion of reality. Travel day....

  • #RIPKarabo: missing woman found slain and ‘burned’, Twitter erupts

    On Tuesday 9 May, a tweet was published by a user dubbed Steph and began circulating on social media. "My friend has been missing since about the 28th April. If you have seen her please let me know," it read, asking users for more information regarding Karabo Mokoena, who had been declared missing in Johannesburg two weeks prior. Prominent tweeters including EFF leader Julius Malema, and City Press journalist Andi Makinana retweeted the post, helping to propel it trending status with over 10 000 retweets accrued in just over 48 hours. My friend has been missing since about the 28th April. If...

  • Sorry Cape Town, the Kruger National Park is SA’s most Instagrammed destination

    Here's a turn up for the books. If you were expecting Cape Town's Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront or Johannesburg's Sandton City to be the most Instagrammed place in the land, you've got it all wrong. According to Dutch travel company TravelBird, the Kruger National Park takes the honour of South Africa's most Instagram-famous destination. In fact, the country's largest national park is the only South African venue to feature in the world's top 400, ranking at number 49 in TravelBird's survey, and beating the likes of Boston's Fenway Park, Stonehenge and Mount Rushmore. As for the most Instagrammed place on the planet,...

  • A tweet about chicken nuggets just broke Twitter’s all-time retweet record

    It's not often Twitter users see more than 1000 retweets for a single tweet, let alone 3.5-million, but that's what internet famous nugget-loving teenager Carter Wilkerson achieved this week. Ousting previous record holder Ellen DeGeneres for posting the most retweeted tweet of all time, Wilkerson has single-handedly turned the humble chicken nugget into a meme. HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3 — Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017 In total, his tweet now boasts over 3.5-million retweets, compared that 2014 Oscar selfie with 3.4-million retweets. While he's still nowhere near that 18-million retweet milestone Wendy's set for "a year of free...

  • Opera’s nifty new browser caters for WhatsApp and Messenger addicts

    Opera's desktop browser is known for pushing the envelope of browser design. It was the first to offer the tabs, a speed dial pane and the pop-up blocker experience now standard on most browsers today. But it's latest innovation is aimed directly at those who love to chat. Following a mild visual redesign based on its "Reborn" project, Opera has now given its desktop browser users access to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp directly from the browser's side bar. While that doesn't sound like much of an innovation, it's particularly useful for those who use these services on a daily basis for...

  • Apple’s now valued $270bn more than Microsoft, $145bn more than Alphabet

    While its latest quarterly figures were less than impressive, Apple's persistent market growth remains undoubted. The Cupertino-based technology company is the first in the United States to smash though the US$800-billion market cap barrier, sitting at US$802.8-billion at the time of writing. That fatter market cap is primarily thanks to its strong performance during Tuesday's trading, with shares gaining 0.6% in value to end the day at US$153. That number might not sound large, but multiply that by its 5.21-billion shares... More impressively though is when the company hit this figure. Apple's US$800-billion market cap cements its place as the world's valuable publicly-traded...

  • Apple’s latest acquisition monitors the things you do in bed

    Smart tracking technology has taken off in recent years, with wearables and internet of things gadgets featuring more prominently in homes across the world. One of the companies better placed in this space than most is Apple. Recently hitting its fattest market cap figures ever, the Cupertino-based tech giant has reportedly acquired sleep tracking company Beddit for an undisclosed fee. First reported by CNBC, the acquisition was innocuously announced by Beddit itself in a subtle change to its on-site privacy page. "Beddit has been acquired by Apple. Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy...

  • Climate changers: these are the 5 Singularity U Global Impact Challenge finalists

    Singularity University's Global Impact Challenge (GIC) Southern Africa edition, a competition that encourages innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs from the continent to formulate solutions to some of the world's biggest problems, is nearing its final phase. Final pitches addressing the GIC judges will take place on Wednesday 10 May, and will see five individuals and teams punting their change-making, climate change-beating technologies, innovations and developments. But who are these five finalists? And what makes them, and their innovations, stand out? We take a look at these possible GIC Southern Africa winners in more detail below. Jonathan Lun: mining asteroids for asteroid-sourced rocket fuel Not many...

  • Homo naledi might’ve roamed Earth alongside us, new findings suggest

    Homo naledi, an extinct species of homonim, was woken from her long slumber in September 2015, but a breakthrough at the same Cradle Of Humankind site suggests that her story is only just beginning. Back in 2015, scientists extracted over 1550 fossil specimens from the Rising Star cave system, but no one could accurately suggest the age of these. Estimates varied. Some suggested that the fossils were beyond a million years old. But those responsible for the discovery, alongside a slew of worldwide scientists and institutions, have now formulated a method to date the fossils, effectively shining a light on Homo...

  • ‘Sunflower worth more than a human life’: #Coligny trends in South Africa as accused granted bail

    #Coligny is the hashtag currently dominating Twitter in South Africa, not #MondayMotivation. The farming town in the North West has for the latter weeks of April, and the early days of May been embroiled in a simmering cultural, racial and judicial showdown. Two farmers, who were accused of killing a 16-year-old boy caught stealing sunflowers from their farm, were granted bail in the region's magistrates court Monday. The boy, who the farmers were reportedly transporting to the police station, allegedly jumped from the bakkie they were travelling in, and broke his neck. Eyewitnesses however suggest that the boy was pushed. The incident...

  • 15+ SA journalists you should follow on Twitter [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. Twitter, although not exactly lucrative for its creators, is a fantastic tool for journalists. From sourcing stories to tweeting their final copies for all to read, Twitter has become an essential tool in the journalist's tote bag. But the social network is actually changing the face of journalism and story-telling itself. How, I hear you ask? Twitter has become...

  • Ellen DeGeneres, Katy Perry and other stars debuting free YouTube shows

    YouTube, seemingly reinvigorated by its website's visual refresh and the ridiculous advertising potential of its platform, has announced a slew of "exclusive" shows with pop culture's top brass. "We’re thrilled to announce that beginning later this year, some of the biggest YouTube creators and Hollywood names will be featured in seven new series on YouTube -- bringing more can't-get-enough-of and can't-find-anywhere-else shows to everyone, everywhere," explains Robert Kyncl, YouTube's chief business officer. The company's planning an initial run of seven series, starring cultural superstars, people you might've heard of, or Katy Perry. Ellen DeGeneres will host a "twice-a-week series built just for...

  • Award-winning Oculus Story Studio is shutting down

    Oculus Story Studio, the Facebook-owned company's first foray into virtual reality filmmaking, is shutting down. Launched two years ago, the Story Studio aimed to accelerate the growth of virtual reality movies for traditional filmmakers. Critically, it did just that, with the likes of Dear Angelica -- a story of a teenage girl told through a multi-dimensional series of paintings. It was billed by many as the work that virtual reality movies needed. Its previous project, the Elijah Wood-narrated Henry, also won the Emmy Award in 2016 for Outstanding Original Interactive Program. But Oculus believes virtual reality movies no longer need its Studio....

  • Cassini’s latest fly-by captures Saturn’s creepy but fascinating surface

    NASA has this week published new images of Saturn's surface taken by its Cassini spacecraft in April. The decade-old craft, embarking on the first stage of it final mission, dipped between the planet's cloudbase and its ring network. Tracking with its wide-angle camera across Saturn's surface, Cassini captured the odd lines and blotches on the gas giant from its north pole to equator. According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the craft captured over an hour of footage. Cassini flew within 7000km of Saturn's cloudbase, capturing the angular lines of its 'hexagon', and its creepy north pole And judging by that footage, Saturn...