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All posts by Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch).
  • This Google Doodle lets you create calming musical animations

    Today would have been Oskar Fischinger's 117th birthday, and Google is using its latest doodle to celebrate his abstract animations. The German-American was notable for his abstract musical animations long before computer graphics and the concept of music videos came into play. In 1936, Fischinger and his wife fled Germany when it became clear he could not pursue his art under Hitler's regime. When he arrived in the US, Paramount Pictures offered him a job. He went on to animate sequences for Disney's Fantasia and Pinocchio. The artist's work was largely created between the 1920s and 1940s -- and the lack of digital technology meant he often spent...

  • Snapchat now makes it easier to stalk friends using ‘Snap Map’

    Snapchat has added a new feature that allows you to see where your friends -- and other featured stories -- are on a map. The Snap Map is accessed by pinching the screen to zoom out, and adds another layer to Snap's already complex interface. Once on the map, the user can choose who can see their location, with the options of all friends, select friends and Ghost Mode (no one but them.) If their friends have chosen to make themselves visible, users can view where they are and the stories that go along with that location. Along with their friends are other...

  • Everything, Everything movie review: a serious Bubble Boy

    Everything, Everything is every bit your typical teen romance about a sick girl and the boy who loves her. The film is cheesy. It loves love and rejects reality. In other words: it's exactly what you expect it to be. But what sets Everything, Everything apart from other teen romances is that the film is also somehow Bubble Boy (2001). Nearly every beat it hits mirrors that of the ridiculous sixteen-year-old comedy. In Everything, Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) is an 18-year-old suffering from SCID, an immunodeficiency that keeps her locked up in her stringently sterilised house. In Bubble Boy, Jimmy is born without an...

  • MiniMeme Podcast #2: Films that inspire us (the youth)

    Welcome to MiniMeme, the podcast brought to you by Burn Media’s junior staff as they tackle the topics that tickle their fancy. This week Julia Breakey and Matthew Alexander use Youth Day as a reason to discuss films that inspire them, the mouthpieces of South African youth. Matthew comes to terms with his obsession with Will Smith, and the fact that the Taken actor's name is, in fact, Liam Neeson. Julia discusses films that have inspired her both as a woman and an aspiring filmmaker. The team touches on the idea of identity, the depiction of mental health in film and TV, and...

  • Uber promises drivers tipping, paid wait times & more

    Just before news of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's resignation surfaced, the company was trying to grab attention in a more positive light -- with promises to its drivers. The company sent out an email to its drivers yesterday announcing the launch of its 180 Days of Change. The email detailed the "meaningful changes and improvements" it was bringing to drivers' experiences with the app. The campaign appears to be a six month project that reveals a new improvement every month. The first month, Uber assured, was dedicated to earnings. The biggest improvement it focused on was tipping -- "the feature asked for most." Only...

  • South Africa’s box office: Cars 3 buries The Mummy

    Lightning McQueen had one last chance -- one last dream -- and South Africa refused to let him do it alone. If there's one thing we understand, it's loyalty -- and not allowing Tom Cruise to thrive. This weekend saw Cars 3 debut at number one, pushing The Mummy down to third place after just one week at the top. I guess the rebooted franchise... ran out of fuel? Got a flat tire? Look, I don't know a thing about cars, but I do know about movies -- and here's how the others fared in the top ten this weekend. (16 to 18 June) Wonder Woman clung...

  • YouTube updates Restricted Mode to include LGBTQ content

    YouTube has taken advantage of Pride Month to update its Restricted Mode policies that back in March saw innocent LGBTQ content blocked. The company acknowledged that this mode, intended for schools and libraries, was unfairly targeting videos featuring the likes of same-sex kisses at weddings or "personal accounts of difficult events". ALL 3 OF MY RECENT VIDEOS (ABOUT ME BEING TRANS) ARE GONE AFTER YOU TURN ON HE AGE RESTRICTION FILTER I'M SO UPSET. 😡 https://t.co/IpVnL7zfph — Seaine (@SeaineLove) March 17, 2017 YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki asserts that she has personally spoken to teens and creators alike on the importance of sharing this content, and...

  • YouTuber Austin Jones admits to soliciting child pornography from fans

    YouTuber Austin Jones, known for his acapella scene covers, has admitted to soliciting sexually explicit videos from underage fans. The 24-year-old has been released from a Chicago federal court on a US$100 000 bond. He has been ordered to stay in his mother's home at all times until his trial. According to a document released by CBS Chicago, Jones admitted to using Facebook to engage in sexually explicit conversations with some of his followers. "He directed them to make videos of themselves dancing in a sexually explicit way and instructed them on what to wear, say, and do in the videos, including...

  • Last week in trailers: Flatliners sequel & a Groundhog Day horror

    It's the week of the psychological thrillers and comedies, because 2017 is nothing if not an emotional rollercoaster that never seems to end. Please keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Here's a few trailers that premiered last week. Welcome to the trip. Flatliners Last week brought us the much-anticipated sequel to the 1990 film Flatliners -- and while it doesn't star Kevin Bacon, it does see Kiefer Sutherland reprise his role, and welcomes newcomers Ellen Page, Nina Dobrev, and Diego Luna. The psychological thriller tells of a group of medical students who stop their hearts to experience the afterlife, but when past tragedies come back...

  • Here’s how Facebook and Google plan to fight terrorism

    Both Facebook and Google have revealed how they are countering terrorist activity on their respective blogs this past week. These posts come after UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticised the internet for providing a safe space for terrorists to communicate -- and after Facebook itself dodged a lawsuit that claimed it was the reason Palestinian terrorists were able to kill numerous Israelis. Facebook revealed it is looking specifically at how artificial and human intelligence can work together, as well as partnering with other companies, NGOs and governments to bring an end to terror. The company is working on software that identifies when a user...

  • Happy birthday to the GIF: 30 iconic GIFs for 30 years

    It's difficult to imagine a world of communication without the wonder of GIFs, but that's how people had to live just 30 years ago. Today, 15 June, is the 30th birthday of the GIF and we thought it an apt time to pool together some of the most iconic looped images in celebration. It's party time. Dancing Banana Dancing banana came from web classic Peanut Butter Jelly Time and we owe so much of "random xD" culture to it. A blessing and a curse, but today we love you, banana. Perfectly looped rap battle This beautiful GIF feels like its been around since the world's existence, but somehow...

  • Donald Trump’s birthday on Twitter is surreal hell

    If you were interested in reading the US President's statements on a shooting involving US Congressmen yesterday, chances are you went to Twitter first. Of course, you likely got just what you'd expected: a half-hearted tweet by Donald Trump that promised only 'thoughts and prayers' followed by a barrage of partisan views chucking useless words at a brick wall. This activity -- of checking, of regretting, of burying your phone beside an old oak tree -- has become near routine. It's like a recurring nightmare or a stint in a hell -- except this time, Satan has upped the ante. Because yesterday...

  • Twitter cracks down on bots, but not ‘fake news’

    Twitter has announced that it is deepening its efforts to eradicate bots on its platform, but is letting its users figure out what is or isn't "fake news." The company is expanding its team and resources when it comes to spam so that bots can no longer clutter the search feature or manipulate trending topics. It is also building new tools and processes to help counter their efforts. VP of Public Policy Colin Crowell writes that it is necessary to detect "spammy behaviours" at the source. This includes looking for accounts who post numerous tweets at once. Accounts that are put under investigation have their visibility reduced, and are...

  • South Africa’s box office: Wonder Woman is mummified

    Despite its record-breaking opening weekend, Wonder Woman has been ousted from number one by none other than critic-underdog The Mummy. The DC blockbuster was only allowed one short week at the top before the Mummy franchise rose from the dead to declare itself pharaoh -- proving that if anyone is living in the Dark Universe, it's us. But were any other successes as ominous this week? (9 to 11 June) Yes, yes, they were. Much like how the youth vote changed the outcome of the UK general election last week, so did it at South Africa's box office. Ozzy, the animated film in which a dog is...

  • JK Rowling’s Twitter persona is weirdly fake

    In 2015, Noma Dumezweni was cast as Hermione in the then-upcoming Cursed Child. Harry Potter fans, who had long been asserting that black Hermione made more narrative sense, were ecstatic. So, too, it seemed was JK Rowling. Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione 😘 https://t.co/5fKX4InjTH — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 21, 2015 The Twitterverse went crazy, retweeting Rowling 77 000 times, lauding the author for her progressive stance. But for many, the tweet didn't make sense. She was taking credit for being progressive without acknowledging where she went wrong in the first...