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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).
  • 5 Netflix originals coming to South Africa this May

    We're five months into 2017, and time has shown no sign of just, like, slowing down for a little bit. As the great @horse_ebooks once said: "Everything happens so much." But luckily for us, "everything" includes the good. And that means that Netflix happens so much, too. So why not forget about the passing of time this month by binging the latest Netflix originals? 5 May: Sense8 From the creators of The Matrix, Sense8 tells the story of eight strangers from around the globe who develop an intense internal connection. On 5 May, the cluster is back for a second season, ready to explore the themes of love,...

  • Wikipedia’s new crowdfunded newspaper ‘can fix news’

    Today, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launched Wikitribune -- an online crowdfunded newspaper looking to combat "fake news." According to Wales, media's move to the internet broke news reporting. Whereas before people paid newspapers to give them the truth, now readers expect content for free, forcing publications to rely on ad revenue. Wales argues that this has derailed news media's role as truth-tellers. He also criticises how social media algorithms spoon-feed users what they want to hear to "keep clicking at all costs." His remedy is a publication that hires professional journalists to work "side by side as equals" with the community. This team will author, fact-check, and verify...

  • Last week in trailers: Kingsman, Kimmy Schmidt and criminal Catholics

    The Catholic Church took a beating from the film industry last week, as two severely different films worked to criticise it as an institution. From a comedy on horny historical nuns to a documentary accusing a priest of sex crimes and murder, it just couldn't catch a break. But first, spies. Kingsman: The Golden Circle The trailer for the second instalment in the Kingsman franchise comes at you in a blur that's hard to follow even at 0.25 speed. There's a lot happening, but most important is the inclusion of Julianne Moore as a villain and Channing Tatum as a cowboy. Oh, and the promise...

  • Netflix’s Hot Girls Wanted ‘outs’ sex workers sans permission

    Netflix's latest documentary series on the porn industry, Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, has been accused of using footage of cam girls without their knowledge or consent. Twitter user @_autumnkayy reportedly direct messaged the film's official Twitter account after noticing her cam girl footage in the show. She was hit back with a somewhat patronising response about fair use. @AspenFoxxx@hotgirlswanted Not even an apology for the possibility of outting us. pic.twitter.com/v5SBvHUxVN — △⃒⃘McGanjagall (@_autumnkayy) April 22, 2017 The series is a six-part anthology series from the creators of the 2015 documentary Hot Girls Wanted. It is being marketed as an insight into the taboo work of sex workers. "This unflinchingly...

  • YouTube puts LGBTQ+ content back on Restricted Mode

    Last month, YouTube's family-friendly Restricted Mode caused an uproar after YouTubers realised it was blocking LGBTQ+ content. The mode is meant to be used as an option for schools, libraries and parents who don't want children accessing "mature content." But YouTube's algorithm blocked out makeup tutorials by trans-women, and period education by bisexual women. On Friday, YouTube put those videos back in Restricted Mode's good graces -- along with 12-million others. "We were unintentionally filtering content from Restricted Mode that shouldn't have been," VP of product management Johanna Wright writes in a blog post. "On the engineering side, we fixed an issue that was...

  • Through Neuralink, this is what Elon Musk wants to do to your brain

    Last month, Elon Musk revealed Neuralink, his next venture that involves merging the brain and AI. And now he's letting us know exactly how. Musk, who is taking on the role of CEO, contacted Wait But Why, a self-proclaimed procrastination website, to flesh out the idea -- starting with the history of the brain from the very first nerve and ending at Musk's ideal future. Essentially, Musk sees human communication as a limiting experience. When we want to tell someone about an emotion or concept in our brain, that idea has to be shaped into the mould of language, pushed out and into someone...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #104: Huffington Post SA, Xiaomi Mi 6 & more

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week sees all hands on deck as Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker, Stephen Timm and Matthew Alexander in studio. Stephen Timm opens the floor, revealing what he learned at Cape Town's Fuckup Night. The event saw entrepreneurs discussing their biggest failures, and Stephen describes that of Nigerian entrepreneur Dayo Elegbe, who "couldn't sleep for three years." Next, Hadlee and Andy discuss the Xiaomi Mi 6, which is following the "disturbing trend" of removing the audio jack, but does seem to have...

  • Pranking YouTube family ‘DaddyOFive’ accused of child abuse

    YouTube channel DaddyOFive has deleted all its videos after accusations of child abuse. The channel, headed by dad Mike Martin, consisted of videos in which the parents "pranked" their five children -- often pushing them to the point of mental breakdown. It accrued 765 800 subscribers. In the most talked-about video, Martin and his wife spilled invisible ink and accused Cody, their son, of doing it. Cody grew visibly upset as his parents screamed and cursed at him, until his face was bright red and he screamed at them to stop. Only once he'd calmed down did Martin let him know it...

  • [Updated] Here’s what went down at the Huffington Post SA this weekend

    Update, 20 April: The Huffington Post has revealed Marius Roodt, a white man from Johannesburg, as the man behind the blog. Roodt says he was concerned with "the lack of fact-checking in South African journalism" and used the blog to prove a point. He had also submitted it to The Daily Maverick, who didn't respond. Roodt asserts he did not mean to target anyone, and doesn't think "white men are under attack." His mission was merely to see how far he could push South African journalism. "I didn't want it to cause the storm that it did," he said. Original article: There are a ton of...

  • Table 19 movie review: cute, but misses the emotional mark

    It's often hard to tell why a film doesn't make you feel the way you thought it would. Sometimes it's because the characters on screen feel like echoes of other fictional characters, and not like real human beings. Sometimes, in the midst of too much plot, a writer feels the need to throw in an ad-hoc attempt at emotional sincerity. And sometimes the pacing is off only ever so slightly, and you're never allowed to feel before being pulled to something else. In Table 19's case, the problem is all three. The premise is your standard "strangers thrust into an...

  • Snapchat debuts dope new lenses for rear-facing camera

    Snapchat is here to fight everyone who still thinks its platform is just for selfies and disappearing nudes. It's a cool, interesting way to communicate the world around you and it's just launched a new feature to prove it. Dubbed "World Lenses," the feature consists of 3D animations for the rear-facing camera to bring the extra to an ordinary world. Users using the rear camera need only tap on the screen once and the familiar menu of filters appears. As of writing, filters include a discoing mushroom, 3D phrases of the "meh," "YOLO," and "STFU" calibre, an emoji rainbow and rain cloud,...

  • Last Week in Trailers: Star Wars Thors our icy hearts

    So apparently there were trailers other than Star Wars: The Last Jedi released this week. I'm as shocked as you are. Here they are in an easily-consumed listicle form. Star Wars: The Last Jedi Let's just get this one out the way. On Friday, Star Wars: The Last Jedi's official teaser was released and everyone lost their damn minds. Stocked with throwback soundbites (0:46, 0:51, 0:53, 0:59) and one-liners to make you grip your face in anticipation, the trailer promises a film as engrossing as its predecessor. Catch your favourites radically upending the Jediarchy on Christmas this year. Thor: Ragnarok Chris Hemsworth in gladiator gear and short hair? Count me the heck in. The...

  • Google Earth’s new facelift lets you explore the planet from your couch

    Google has redesigned Google Earth for Chrome and Android, with features meant to inspire you about humanity's "shared home." "Google Maps is about finding your way, Google Earth is about getting lost," a Google representative said. And it's not hard to see why. The most astonishing of the new features is Google Earth's 3D function. Whereas before views were restricted to aerial and street, now Google offers a full 360 degree view of any place on the map. This imagery is created by combining data from satellites, planes and depth maps to put together realistic 3D renderings. Another of the new features is the educational tool Voyager. Teaming up with...

  • April the giraffe finally gives birth and the internet loses its mind

    On 10 February, educational animal park Animal Adventure began a livestream of its pregnant giraffe. It soon went viral as viewers from all around the world tuned in, hoping for a glimpse at the glorious miracle of life. While the stream spawned theories of an April Fool's hoax (Animal Adventure were pulling in a lot of cash and also no good thing in 2017 is to be trusted), it turns out our worries were for naught. On Saturday, April gave birth to a healthy baby boy -- with more than a million people watching. It all started on Friday when April began pacing,...

  • US man who killed someone on Facebook still at large

    Update, 19 April 8.43am: Police have confirmed that Steve Stephens took his own life during a car chase in Pennsylvania yesterday. Original article: Ohio police are still searching for alleged murderer Steve Stephens after he shot an elderly man on Sunday and posted a video of it to Facebook. The video, originally reported as live but later found to be previously recorded, depicted Stephens shooting 74-year-old Robert Goodwin Sr as he was picking up aluminium cans. Stephens told Goodwin that a woman (whose name has been kept private) was the reason for his death. Goodwin was forced to say her name before asserting he didn't know who she was....