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All posts by Julia Breakey

  • In Loving Memeory: Tumblr CEO David Karp steps down

    In Loving Memeory is a series that pays tribute to memes that are no longer with us. They may be gone, but they should never be forgotten. It's a sad day for Tumblr users still living in 2012. Founder and CEO David Karp is resigning from the company, marking the end of an era for the social blogging platform. Letter I just sent to my team ♥️ https://t.co/3Vsv3ROuhf — David Karp (@davidkarp) November 27, 2017 Karp's resignation is particularly dispiriting when considering the strange and sometimes wonderful impact he had on Tumblr's users over the years. So here's three moments we'll never forget about David Karp,...

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: South Africa loves itself a Royal Wedding

    Kensington Palace today announced the engagement of Prince Harry and Suits actress Meghan Markle -- and even South Africans have joined in on the excitement. The couple, who have been dating for 16 months, will wed in spring -- which will be early 2018 in the UK. Since news of the announcement, Meghan Markle has been trending top spot nationwide. So my mother and I are over the moon that @meghanmarkle is engaged #ourfavsuitactress💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼 — Carmy (@carmenpillay) November 27, 2017 South Africans on Twitter seemed mostly excited about the prospect of another royal wedding -- and likely the last for a while, considering Prince William's eldest son is...

  • Last week in trailers: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Day-Lewis, Barack Obama

    Sometimes, all the blockbuster trailers come out at once and you have no idea where to start. Other times, you're left with watching the second trailers of small indie films, only some of which look remarkable. This is one of the latter weeks. 12 Strong 12 Strong is an overly patriotic American film, helmed by a Danish director and Australian actor, that seems to glorify the war on terror, which is exactly what the world needs right now. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, and Trevante Rhodes. It's director Nicolai Fuglsig's first feature. 12 Strong comes to South Africa 9 February 2018. Peter Rabbit If you want...

  • Miss South Africa crowned Miss Universe, SA split

    Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe Sunday night, beating out runners-up from Colombia and Jamaica. The 22-year-old from the Western Cape is only the second South African to win the title, following Margaret Gardiner's win in 1978. Despite the victory, Nel-Peters wasn't too popular with South Africans on Twitter -- namely for the July debacle in which photos emerged of her wearing gloves when posing with black children but not white. The very same Miss SA we are congratulating.. wasn't she the one treating Black and White kids differently? White kids with bare hands and Black kids with gloves for hygiene purposes?#MissUniverse2017#MissSouthAfrica#MissUniversepic.twitter.com/BqB7tCBAxM —...

  • Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 13 years in jail, SA responds

    Judge Willie Seriti announced today that a unanimous judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal will see Oscar Pistorius' six year jail sentence replaced with 13 years and 5 months. The moment Judge Seriti hands down the #OscarPistorius judgment. Courtesy #DStv403pic.twitter.com/01LO7CKmJa — eNCA (@eNCA) November 24, 2017 The judgment overturned that of Judge Thokozile Masipa, who failed to put forward substantial reasons for her initial lenient sentencing, Prosecutor Andrea Johnson told the court this month. Pistorius was found guilty of murder when he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. The case sent the nation reeling, and the ensuing trials, convictions, and sentences left many South Africans angry...

  • Takealot struggles minutes into Black Friday

    Takealot buckled under the pressure of Black Friday just minutes after midnight -- and by 8.30am, the site was still turning shoppers away. At 12.22am Friday morning -- 22 minutes after opening its Blue Dot sale -- the company issued an apology to an unhappy customer, stating that it was working on "stabilising the site". Thanks for staying up Steve & sorry for the troubles. As you’ve probably noticed a lot of other shoppers have done the same, but we’re working on steadying stabilizing the site and hope to restore full access to the site & App ASAP. — takealot (@TAKEALOT) November...

  • TWR #131: Ventureburn startup survey, Uber’s data breach & iPhone 8 Plus

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, where we talk the biggest in tech and startup news over the past seven days. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker and Stephen Timm in studio. First on the agenda is the Ventureburn startup survey that examined the South Africa's startup scene. The results noted a surge in black entrepreneurs since 2015, as well as a rise in startups finding homes in Gauteng, among others. Over on Memeburn, Andy and Hadlee talk the data breach affecting 57-million users that Uber kept under wraps for over a year. The company allegedly paid a US$100 000 ransom to compensate...

  • Murder on the Orient Express review: an injustice to Christie’s classic

    Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express is an exciting novel because it offers the reader a puzzle with which to play. Each chapter is set up to provide evidence, and her famous protagonist Hercule Poirot is constantly working over clues to ask the reader one important question: have you figured it out yet? Christie's work is methodical and precise, and she does not rely on sentimentality or emotional overtures to sell her story. Unfortunately, director Kenneth Branagh cannot say the same. The latest Christie adaptation takes everything that makes Murder so engaging and warps it into a cloying, sentimental mess...

  • MiniMeme Podcast: How a social media detox changed our daily lives

    Last week, Julia Breakey and Daniel Mpala challenged themselves to a week-long social media detox. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no YouTube. They set out to see if it could be done, what it was like, and who exactly they were without the frenzy of social media. The week proved fruitful, and in this week's episode of MiniMeme, they discuss the pros and cons of a life away from news feeds, timelines, likes and retweets. Listen to their experience here. Additional listening: MiniMeme #10: The sombre sides of social media

  • New Facebook tool will tell if you liked Russian propaganda

    Now that Facebook has acquiesced to the demands of US Congress and handed over its data, the company is focussing on helping those who were tricked by Russian propaganda in the first place. By the end of the year, a tool on Facebook's Help Centre will allow users to see which pages they liked or followed between January 2016 and August 2017 are run by Internet Research Agency, a known Russian troll factory. The results will include Instagram accounts. The tool will mark the first step the company takes to actively help the individuals misled during the US 2016 elections. So far, it has...

  • 5 reasons to watch Disney’s ‘Coco’ (and one reason not to)

    Disney's Coco tells the story of young Miguel, who, on Mexico's Day of the Dead, finds himself transported to the Land of the Dead. Refusing to accept his family's blessing home on the condition that he never plays music again, Miguel heads out to find his famous great-great-grandfather who left his wife and daughter to pursue his music career. If you're still on the fence on whether to see it, here are five reasons to watch Coco, and one perhaps to stay away. + Learn about Mexican customs For Mexicans, the film might offer pride and nostalgia for customs long celebrated, but for the...

  • #MugabeResigns sends Twitter into celebratory meltdown

    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who ruled the country for 37 years, resigned Tuesday evening after a week-long pressure from the military -- and the web is rejoicing. On Twitter, #MugabeResigns was trending in top spot in South Africa hours after the leader tendered his resignation. Trends for Zimbabwe aren't made available by the platform, but it's safe to assume the hashtag was exploding locally as well. What a time to be alive!!! 🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼 The People are the Power!!#MugabeResigns — Boity Thulo (@Boity) November 21, 2017 While some expressed disappointment at the 93-year-old's departure, they were drowned out by the celebration of the majority. They still flockin into this...

  • Uber covered up major 2016 data breach, paid hefty ransom

    E-hailing company Uber hushed up a data breach that affected 57-million drivers and riders' personal information for over a year, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has disclosed. The company paid a US$100 000 ransom to the two hackers who said they would delete their copies of the data -- a decision made by the company's chief security officer Joe Sullivan and founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, according to The New York Times. Sullivan, who previously worked for Facebook, has been fired. Kalanick resigned as CEO in June, though he remains on the company's board. The stolen information included names, email addresses, and phone numbers. For US drivers, it included driver's...

  • Twitter’s flawed notion of news and public interest could kill us all [Opinion]

    In September this year, North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho claimed that the US had declared war on the country because of something US President Donald Trump had tweeted. "If echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!" Trump wrote. Twitter users were outraged, declaring the tweet in clear violation of the platform's rule against threatening violence. North Korea interpreted it in the same way. Twitter's response? That the tweet was newsworthy and in the public interest, and therefore deserved to stay up. Now, two months later, Twitter is doubling down on this position by elaborating on...

  • Netflix World TV Day stats make a case for humans as the cutest species

    In celebration of the silly and unnecessary World TV Day (What does it mean? Why does it matter?), Netflix has released some interesting stats about its users' viewing habits -- and they offer a surprisingly endearing look at human psychology. The stats examine which times of day Netflix users consume different genres -- and it turns out we're a pretty cute species. Exhibit A: Netflix users start their days with comedies. "6am members are 34% more likely to watch comedy compared to the rest of the day," the company wrote in a press release. While we could attribute this to the early morning grogginess that renders...