• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

All posts by Julia Breakey

  • 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...

  • Last week in trailers: Black Panther & more Tom Cruise

    Last week saw few new trailers released, and it's probably for the best because what we got was hardly of a high standard. So if you're looking to immerse yourself in the wonders of upcoming films, you can sit this one out. But if you're keen to revel in the terror that is the unending tide of Tom Cruise films, then welcome aboard. Let's get started. Black Panther We'll start with the good: The first trailer for Marvel's first ever black superhero film is out, and it looks fun. What won't be fun is sitting through any more of what is presumably that Afrikaans accent, but,...

  • Corbyn vs May vs Twitter: UK elects a hung parliament, the internet reacts

    Yesterday, the United Kingdom voted in their snap election called for by Prime Minister Theresa May. May, who was hoping to increase her Conservative Party's majority in the House of Commons, has seen the opposite take effect and the UK are now looking at a hung parliament. Their biggest opposition, the Labour Party, has gained 29 seats, assuring that the Conservatives do not have a house majority despite their lead. This could lead to May's resignation. Naturally, the liberal-leaning Twittersphere took to this news quite well. When the Brexit clock is ticking, you blow £143000000 of taxpayer money on a snap election after years of austerity,...

  • Katy Perry, Taylor Swift’s latest tiff spills over onto Spotify and Twitter

    Taylor Swift has caused quite a stir after releasing her discography to Spotify years after claiming she never would -- and just in time to coincide with the release of Katy Perry's new album. Swift has had beef with Spotify's free tier in the past, claiming that musicians didn't work hard just to give their music away for free. Her official fan Instagram claimed that this derision had been set aside to celebrate 1989's 10-million worldwide sales. In celebration of 1989 selling over 10 Million Albums Worldwide and the RIAA's 100 Million Song Certification announcement, Taylor wants to thank her fans by making...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #109: Cape storm, Knysna fire & WWDC

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker, Stephen Timm and Matthew Alexander in studio. The team opens the floor with a discussion on the Cape Storm that rocked the Mother City this week. Along with the storm came the spreading of fake photos (either photoshopped or pulled from other natural disasters) and Andy Walker talks us through how to differentiate between the truth and the lies. Hadlee then talks about Haven Night Shelter's Buy A Bed campaign that allows people to donate R60...

  • Cape Town brands look to profit off hashtags #CapeStorm and #KnysnaFire

    With every tragedy comes an outpouring of love and support from social media. Thoughts, prayers and tangible help are all offered to those in need. But with the good comes the bad too, and businesses and social media opportunists often look to cash in on destruction with profit and likes. These users take a hashtag, which others can view for information on events or for calls to action, and use it for their own personal gain, disregarding lives lost or homes destroyed. Take, for instance, this Instagram post using the topical #CapeStorm. Happy Thursday!!! Hope you have a good one and that...

  • 10 Wonder Woman facts you might not have known

    Wonder Woman has been out for less than a week, but already it has audiences everywhere weak in the knees. But considering it's the character's first foray into the world of solo features, you may not know that much about her. If you're looking for a few facts to throw at your friends as you wait for the theatre lights to dim, then I've got you covered. Here we go. Creator William Moulton Marston invented part of the lie detector Image: Lwp Kommunikáció via Flickr (CC 2.0) William Moulton Marston was not only a writer: he was also an inventor...

  • Uk’shona Kwelanga review: if only it weren’t an ad

    With the rise of digital media comes a host of interesting ways for storytellers to express themselves. We've seen the likes of movies told exclusively on Snapchat, and television shows enriched by the fictional social media lives of their characters. And now we've seen a WhatsApp drama. Uk'shona Kwelanga (or Death of Langa) is an innovative ad campaign by Sanlam about a family dealing with the loss of its patriarch. Told entirely as if the viewer is part of the family's group chat, Uk'shona places you front and center for the drama that a family death inevitably brings. Unfortunately, what is an intriguing and exciting concept...

  • Trump may face legal action for blocking people on Twitter

    US attorneys have sent US President Donald Trump a letter claiming that by blocking his citizens on Twitter he is violating their First Amendment right to free speech. The letter accuses Trump of blocking people because they either mocked or disagreed with him, which the Knight First Amendment Institute deems unconstitutional. "This Twitter account operates as a 'designated public forum' for First Amendment purposes, and accordingly the viewpoint-based blocking of our clients is unconstitutional. We ask that you unblock them and any others who have been blocked for similar reasons," the letter reads. One of The Knight First Amendment Institute's clients...

  • Watch them all: the big winners at the 2017 Golden Trailer Awards

    If you're into film and TV but don't have the time to sit down and watch as much as you would like, then you, like me, are probably a trailer fan. There's no shame in sitting down for half an hour and watching everything YouTube recommends for you, and you can be validated in the fact that others agree with you. In fact, some agree so vehemently that they created an awards ceremony purely for trailers, and on Tuesday night the Golden Trailer Awards hosted its 18th annual ceremony. The Awards includes a staggering 115 categories -- including the likes of...

  • MiniMeme Podcast #1: why does Netflix kill its good shows?

    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 sit down to discuss this season's TV renewals and cancellations. Netflix has cancelled Sense8, but why has Supernatural lasted more than ten seasons? Julia opens the floor to rant about the loss of Sense8 (thanks Netflix) despite the renewal of shows that have no more story to tell like 13 Reasons Why. We then examine why solid shows may end and others like Supernatural have managed 13-season runs. Will the Winchesters ever be set free? Finally, we find ourselves meandering through Charmed nostalgia, Percy Jackson disappointment, dream...

  • 13 reasons why Sense8 should’ve been renewed

    I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. Thursday night, Netflix crept into my house, ate all my food, and punched a hole through my heart. Last night, Netflix cancelled Sense8. My love for this show runs deep and proud and true. It is, objectively, the greatest television show of our time. But instead of renewing a show with heaps of potential, Netflix has decided to fund a self-congratulatory show with no more story left to tell, a bunch of Adam Sandler films, and a second season of Miranda Sings' Haters Back Off. So...

  • Russian govt hacked US voting infrastructure days before election

    Classified documents recently acquired by the US National Security Agency (NSA) show that the Russian government attempted to hack US voting infrastructure and software just days before the November election, a report by The Intercept reveals. The documents, allegedly leaked by federal contractor Reality Winner, detail how Russian military intelligence embarked on a spear-phishing campaign to acquire information from an unnamed voting software company. In one instance, the hackers disguised themselves as Google and attempted to get login credentials. In another, they posed as e-voting vendors and sent MS Word documents that hid malicious code. Just days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the government's engagement...