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All posts by Julia Breakey

  • American Horror Story season seven now has a title

    Ryan Murphy has announced the title of the next American Horror Story season: Cult. AHS: CULT — Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) July 21, 2017 Murphy has kept relatively quiet about plot details, but mentioned in an interview February that the season was going to be about the 2016 US election. Ryan Murphy Reveals the Theme for Season 7 of American Horror Story pic.twitter.com/ZsGW0PmOql — AmericanHorrorStory (@AHS7CuIt) February 16, 2017 The title announcement also came with a website (only available to the US, or to those with sneaky VPNs), a teaser video and a release date: 5 September. American Horror Story: Cult Announcement! #AHS7pic.twitter.com/iWhXCaxJiZ — AmericanHorrorStory (@AHSFXCult) July 21, 2017 The video features...

  • Death and social media: how the internet has redefined mortality

    I was scrolling through Instagram one day when a dog account I followed posted a picture of the dog next to a tombstone. "RIP Dad," the caption read. He was only 23. Immediately I found myself searching for his page, for his girlfriend's page, for any sign of life -- and any warning of death to come. I wanted to know the ins and outs of their lives: how they met, when they got a dog, how in love they were, how his loved ones were coping. I wanted to know how he died. I stared at his last post, wondering if...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #115: SA drones, new WhatsApp features & more

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons plays host to Andy Walker and Daniel Mpala. Daniel kicks off the agenda discussing the drone startups taking South Africa by storm. Some, like Aerobotics and DroneClouds, help South African farmers, while others like Ranmarine help clean up ports and canals. Over on Memeburn, Andy talks the latest in WhatsApp news. Facebook's last bastion in China, the app has been blocked from sending images or video from the app. In more exciting news, though, it seems the app will soon allow...

  • Christopher Nolan labels Netflix ‘mindless’, the internet responds

    Christopher Nolan has come out in defense of theatrical distributions ahead of his latest film Dunkirk's release. In an interview with IndieWire, the director called Netflix's distribution policy "mindless" in that it requires content to be simultaneously released on digital and in theatres. "I think they're missing a huge opportunity," he said. "You can see that Amazon is very clearly happy to not make that same mistake. The theaters have a 90-day window. It’s a perfectly usable model. It’s terrific." Christopher Nolan had a few choice words about streaming service Netflix this week, calling it 'mindless' Nolan is famous for his determination to shoot on film, and works to optimise...

  • South Africa’s Box Office: Despicable Me 3 climbs over Spider-Man to first

    In the summer of blockbusters, you win or you die. And Spider-Man: Homecoming did not win. It was the move that shocked the nation: after allowing the Marvel film a week of glory, Despicable Me 3 rose from second to take back its rightful seat on the throne. Not only did the animation topple its biggest competition, but it also pulled in R10-million in its third weekend, furthering its lead as highest life-to-date grosser with just over R30.5-million in total sales. The move was likely aided by school holidays, but to say Spider-Man wouldn't benefit from that would be a lie -- so we offer nothing but...

  • New Google Feed will delve even deeper into your data

    Google has taken control of its knowledge of you to personalise its mobile app even further with the launch of the new Google Feed. Replacing what was once Google Now, Google Feed will use even more complicated algorithms to present users with news it thinks they will enjoy. These algorithms know which of your interests you've cultivated for years, and which are passing phases. "For example, if you’re a photography enthusiast but just casually interested in fitness, your feed will show that," engineering VP Shashi Thakur writes. The interface will remain much the same -- the few changes include articles being headed by their...

  • MiniMeme Podcast #4: Internet privacy & what our phones reveal about us

    Julia Breakey welcomes Daniel Mpala to the MiniMeme podcast by inviting him to talk on what he is most passionate about: internet privacy. Daniel talks through the necessity of protecting your private information in the digital space -- and just how at risk we all are from losing it. Then, to get better acquainted, the two take part in a segment called Friendship APPtitude in which they go through their phones that reveal who they are as people. Finally, in their broke people form of a Rant Wheel, Daniel and Julia vent about everything from dumb tweets to WhatsApp broadcasts to Game...

  • Why don’t South Africans create their own GIFs for memes?

    Citizens of South Africa are no strangers to creating their own memes -- from cheeky hashtags to images that ire Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, they know how to start a trend. But despite the amount of original content, there is one thing South Africans do not have control over: the GIFs they use. Sure, GIFs are still a big part of South African Twitter, but they aren't locally made and often make use of American content. Hlaudi - "I don't want to respond to the wind." 😂😂💩#CountryDutypic.twitter.com/3CLTMqKstx — SnoopyBez (@SnoopyBez) July 18, 2017 There are few reasons why South Africa may still rely on internationally...

  • YouTuber Jake Paul ires neighbours, uses two-year-old memes

    YouTuber Jake Paul has fallen under the scrutiny of his local community, who say he has made their street in West Hollywood a living hell. Local news outlet KTLA aired a piece on the social media star's antics, corroborating neighbours' claims that Paul is a nuisance to the public. In the clip, journalist Chris Wolfe describes how Paul has set furniture alight in an empty pool, attracts dozens of fans to his street daily, and obstructs traffic for the thrill of it. "It used to be a really nice, quiet street," a neighbour said. "Now we're just this, like, war zone. We're...

  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets review: empty, colourful fun

    Details around Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets have been kept so secretive you'd be mistaken for thinking it was the next Star Wars flick. When questioned about the quiet that surrounds this film, actress Cara Delevingne said simply: "This is gonna be the best movie of all time." Unfortunately, it isn't. Valerian is a colourful and refreshing addition to the sci-fi genre, but the story lacks the substance and development that the first of a franchise needs to keep momentum. The film offers several minutes of exposition for the City of a Thousand planets, the space station that houses...

  • Lots of people stopped watching porn for Game of Thrones’ season premiere

    Game of Thrones aired its season premiere Sunday night to a record 10.1-million viewers, stealing PornHub visitors away from their usual Sunday night me-time. The company reported that traffic was down 4.5% in the US during the live showing as opposed to a regular Sunday -- but this isn't even the most significant dip during an episode of HBO's hit show. Back in 2016, the season six finale robbed 5.2% of US viewers away from the popular pornography site. Another notable shift happened during the fourth episode of season six, in which Sansa Stark and Jon Snow reunited. Turns out family sometimes is more important. This may...

  • How to survive Game of Thrones season as an ex-fan

    Back in 2011, Game of Thrones and I got on swimmingly. But as the seasons went on, we slowly drifted apart. I can't say if it was the unnecessary violence against women, the destruction of Sansa Stark's character or the heroisation of Tyrion Lannister -- but, as in many relationships, by the fifth year we were unrecognisable to each other. Our parting was not amicable. While I had turned my back on Thrones, though, my friends, family, and seemingly the entire world maintained their love for it. And so every year, for ten long weeks, I have to be reminded of the love I...

  • Twitter reacts to first female Doctor Who

    Jodie Whittaker has been named the first female Doctor in popular British series Doctor Who, and people have opinions about it. From "this alien can't possibly morph into anything but a white man" to "women will ruin everything you love," these opinions highlight the greater need for everyone to step away from their screens and go for a walk in the crisp winter air. Meet the Thirteenth Doctor #DoctorWho #Doctor13 pic.twitter.com/txHGz9tJEe — Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) July 16, 2017 Many (male) fans were upset that the new series wouldn't represent them, despite having 36 seasons they can return to should they feel the need. Imagine one...

  • Last week in trailers: A Wrinkle in Time, The Dark Tower & Mary Poppins Returns

    Disney's D23 expo last week meant a ton of content for convention-goers' eyes only (that included an Incredibles 2 teaser and Avengers: Infinity War footage). But patience is a virtue, and those of us unable to attend will have to sate our trailer appetites with what was released to the public this week. I know. Life sucks. A Wrinkle in Time We'll start with what was released at D23: the first trailer for Ava Duvernay's A Wrinkle in Time. The adaptation of classic 1963 novel features an all-star cast of Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mindy Kaling, Zach Galifianakis and Chris Pine. The much-anticipated trailer racked up over 2.5-million views in two days,...

  • The Emmys consistently celebrates boring television: a 2017 list

    Every year I hold my breath, expecting the television academy -- those responsible for the Emmys -- to make right its errors of the past. Every year, I think that maybe this time they'll award clever, original shows with heart and life. And every year, I end up drowning my sorrows in red wine and Nik Naks. Let me refresh your memory: last year, Game of Thrones won best drama for the second year in a row. Sherlock won best TV movie. The Voice won best reality competition. All of those have been running for a really long time. Sure, there were some...