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All posts by Julia Breakey

  • Instagram now lets you add polls to Stories

    Instagram Stories has quickly gained popularity over pioneer Snapchat, and it seems the platform is getting comfortable in the lead. Yesterday, Instagram announced three new features never seen on the other ephemeral photo app, perhaps proving that while it needed help with the foundation, the finishing touches are more up its alley. The biggest change comes in the form of polls, which can now be added to any user's Story. Introducing an interactive poll sticker in Instagram Stories. What will you ask your friends? https://t.co/XvkDD0l9aH pic.twitter.com/5Tbg5ozKP7 — Instagram (@instagram) October 3, 2017 The poll is essentially a fancy sticker. Just like adding a location or hashtag, a user...

  • Lifetime Oscar Pistorius movie ‘horrifies’ Steenkamp family and South Africa

    A trailer for the upcoming Lifetime film Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer has been released, and it seems neither the Steenkamps nor the Pistorius family were aware of its existence. The film will ostensibly tell of the events leading up to the fateful shooting on Valentine's Day 2013, when Paralympic athlete Pistorius killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. It will also cover the subsequent trials -- though whether the film ends at the first conviction of manslaughter or the second of murder remains yet to be seen. The Steenkamp family has issued a statement that they are "horrified" the filmmakers said it would tell the side...

  • SA’s box office: Kingsman 2 crowned no.1

    The much-anticipated Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle has unsurprisingly opened in top spot this weekend, pushing The Emoji Movie down from its one-week stint at number one. The "proper spy movie" has received lukewarm reviews -- levelling at exactly 50% on Rotten Tomatoes -- but the refreshing, fun-loving nostalgia of the first film has been enough to tide this sequel over. But how did the other films fare this weekend? (29 September - 1 October) Last week's champion The Emoji Movie couldn't hold on to the novelty of being a new kids movie for long and, in the battle against uber-hyped It, it stumbled. The animation fell two spots down to...

  • Russian propaganda ads reached 10m US Facebook users

    Facebook has revealed that 10-million US users were shown Russian propaganda ads that may have interfered with the 2016 US election -- and that may not be the final number. In a blog post connected to the company's Hard Questions series, Vice President of Policy and Communications Elliot Schrage provided more clarity on an issue that has been intentionally left murky. Schrage said that the total reach of dubious Russian ads was 10-million people, but only 44% of ad impressions (the number of times ads were displayed) were before the election. The company has not clarified user reach prior to the election. In 2016, the...

  • Last week in trailers: Natalie Portman, Owen Wilson, and is that John Travolta?

    If you were expecting an Avengers: Infinity War trailer this week, then you clearly don't follow TrailerTrack on Twitter, which was doing its utmost to let people know that Marvel was never going to let that happen. The account was right, and so I cannot offer you any Iron Man or Captain America goodness this week. But I can give you this list in the hopes that you give it the chance it deserves. Annihilation Annihilation is the latest work from the creator of Ex Machina (2015), and it seems like another eerie take on science fiction and horror. The film is based on Jeff VanderMeer's eponymous novel about a mysterious organisation...

  • SA YouTuber Kyle Olinsky’s ‘apology’ is insulting [Opinion]

    Back in July, a story broke about South African YouTuber Kyle Olinsky (better known as "BluRz") sending seemingly horrific messages to a strange woman on Instagram. These messages were both violently and sexually graphic, and in one Olinsky said that the woman couldn't say no -- pushing the messages into rape threat territory. If you're looking for any articles from July, though, you'll be hard-pressed. Most articles were taken down -- Memeburn's included -- after a legal notice claimed that the messages were posted without consent from either party involved. No one denied that they were real. Now, Olinsky is back on...

  • 4 reasons people are wary of JJ Abrams’ Your Name remake

    There are spoilers for Your Name in this article (though they are hinted at in the trailer). Proceed with caution. It was announced yesterday that JJ Abrams -- known for the likes of Lost, Star Trek, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- will be turning Your Name, the highest-grossing anime ever, into a live action film. The critically-acclaimed anime tells the story of two teenagers from separate parts of Japan who find they have the ability swap bodies -- and it is not only emotionally captivating, but visually spectacular to boot. There's no question to why Abrams -- with his fascination with complex narratives and an excessive amount of lens flares...

  • YouTube has made it harder for creators to use Patreon

    YouTube has made it more difficult to use crowdsourced-funding platforms like Patreon with a recent out-of-the-blue update. The update forces creators to become part of its partnership program -- which lets users monetise their videos -- if they want to embed external links like Patreon to videos. The update was not announced on YouTube's official creator blog, and has many users upset with the potential tampering of their revenue. Youtube has just withdrawn the ability to post links to Patreon unless you monetise? You are fucking kidding me! — chinnyhill10 (@chinnyhill10) September 28, 2017 The news creates a few stumbling blocks for creators. The first is...

  • Twitter addresses Russian bots as Zuck faces the web’s wrath

    Twitter has finally broken its silence on the role its platform played in enabling Russian interference in the 2016 US election, but it's staying tight-lipped on the nitty-gritty. In a blog post that mostly addresses bots in general, the company announced that yesterday its VP for public policy Colin Crowell had met up with staff from Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss the way Russian-owned accounts advertised on its platform. Twitter revealed that of the roughly 450 accounts Facebook removed earlier this year in relation to the debacle, 22 had related Twitter accounts -- all of which had "already been or immediately were...

  • 5 Netflix exclusives coming to South Africa this October

    It's almost October, which means longer days, hayfever, and an existential dread at how quickly time passes. But it also means spooky scary series on Netflix, so, hey, at least there's that to look forward to. Here's just five of the exclusives heading our way this month. 6 October: The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson Kicking off the month on the first Friday is The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson -- a documentary about the legendary trans woman oft credited for igniting the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Johnson was an outspoken activist for many major LGBT+ issues before she was found dead in the Hudson River after...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #123: Twitter, FNB & more

    Welcome to The Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, holidaying Hadlee Simons is back to host Andy Walker and Daniel Mpala in studio. The first topic on the table is Twitter's controversial move to 280-character tweets. Andy questions whether it's a bid to keep users interested in the platform, while Hadlee predicts that the move will bring in even less engagement than before. Up next is Uber's fourth anniversary on the continent, which brought with it the interesting story of a 3000km+ Uber road trip and one man's quest to...

  • SA’s box office: Meh. Emoji Movie overtakes It

    If there's one type of film you do not want to compete with at the South African box office, it's the first animated kids film to open at cinemas in over a month. Here's proof: The Emoji Movie -- armed with terrible reviews, an awful trailer, and a lack of heart -- has rocketed into top spot, pushing the much-hyped It (now the highest-grossing horror film ever) out of first after only one week at the top. The Emoji Movie has now made US$185-million from a US$50-million budget. I hope we're all proud of ourselves. But were the others on the chart spared its wrath this...

  • Google Doodles is looking for an International Junior Doodler

    Ever spent hours doodling the letter G on some random famous person's birthday? Google may have a job for you all the way in San Francisco, USA. Google Doodles is looking for an International Junior Doodle Artist to join its team and provide some insights into non-US cultural experiences. The team says it would prefer applicants from South or Southeast Asia and the Middle East, but it will be accepting applications from around the world. The #GoogleDoodles team is looking for a Jr. Doodler w/ international experience to join our team! 👀 details → https://t.co/6YS1Zedj7k pic.twitter.com/pnnTaSzX41 — Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 28, 2017 Advertised on none other...

  • Your pocket guide to the 2017 Streamy Award winners

    The 2017 Streamy Awards last night honoured YouTube's best and brightest -- but if you're feeling out of the loop, here's a quick guide to the evening's winners. Show of the Year: Sugar Pine 7 Steven Suptic used to create Minecraft videos. He was then a host on Sourcefed, before the rug was ripped from under the company and all employees were given short notice of their retrenchment. Suptic began vlogging -- but it wasn't your regular point, shoot, and talk to the camera. He used freeze frames and voice overs to blend real-life with scripted comedy and improv. The style evolved...

  • Last week in trailers: Tomb Raider, Pitch Perfect, Maze Runner & more

    This week in our roundup we have a healthy blend of high-budget, polished trailers and low-budgets that use egregious fonts -- so whether you're feeling artsy or in the mood for trash, you're bound to get something out of it. Here's the list. Tomb Raider Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) is Lara Croft in the upcoming reboot of Tomb Raider, and fans are already displeased. "Last message from father cliche, saving world with dead dad cliche, badass hero fight countless men with machine guns cliche," wrote one YouTube commenter -- which is valid. A whole host of other comments commented on the size...