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All posts by Julia Breakey

  • ‘It’ movie review: more comedy than horror

    The worst part of suspense is when you have no idea what's coming. Watching characters fumble and fall as they flee what could be a ghost, a demon, or even a murderous human being is made all the more terrifying when they have no idea how to fight whatever it is. Horror movie reboots (or adaptations), then, have to work even harder to keep an audience on the edge of their seats. Having been familiar with these villains and monsters for years -- sometimes even decades -- filmmakers need to implement new techniques to keep them as scary as when...

  • Last week in trailers: Fifty Shades of Oscar buzz

    There were plenty trailers released last week, so to make your weekly catch-up simpler I've split them up into very formal categories for you to peruse. Let's get to it. The mainstreams Fifty Shades Freed It feels like Fifty Shades Darker came out yesterday, but the films were shot back-to-back last year and I guess they're looking to cash in before everyone forgets who Mr Grey even is. This teaser doesn't do much more than let you know they're married and that Christian Grey thinks he respects Ana. It's a naivete that's neither cute nor deplorable. The trilogy ends Valentine's Day next year. The Current War With every invention that threatens to upend society...

  • Is Tinder a completely different app for men and women?

    I've never had Tinder, but it was always something that fascinated me, and whenever I met someone who used it I found myself asking a barrage of questions. From the beginning, I picked up on the discrepancy between my straight dude friends who hated the experience and the straight girls who loved it. I was around when two women created their accounts -- within weeks, both had got exactly what they wanted out of the app. From casual dates to long-term boyfriends, it seemed the app was teeming with men for any kind of woman. For straight men? Not so much. My...

  • #Uber: South Africans take to Twitter to support attacked Sandton drivers

    Three cars were torched in Sandton Thursday evening in a suspected protest between metered taxi drivers and Uber. According to provincial spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo, preliminary investigations showed two of the cars belonged to Uber, and the third was a metered taxi. No one was harmed. Images and videos of the incident poured onto Twitter as #Uber hit top trending spot nationally. .@TimesLIVE richest square km in Africa (Sandton) is burning as metered and uber drivers set each others vehicles alight pic.twitter.com/GtpJw9FKSV — Graeme Hosken (@GraemeHosken) September 7, 2017 Sitting in Sandton watching the chaos.Getting ugly. #uber drivers fighting back.chased away all metre taxi drivers from...

  • Weekly Roundup Podcast #120: Nokia 8 in SA, ICOs and more

    Welcome to the Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker and Stephen Timm in studio. Stephen opens the floor with a Ventureburn story on the SA Reserve Bank and its unwillingness to protect initial coin offerings (ICOs). The stance comes as China bans use altogether, renewing concerns on the use of cryptocurrencies. Over on Memeburn, Andy talks his favourite subject of the week: weather. Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Katia are currently threatening life in the Caribbean, US and Mexico and each of their paths can be traced via...

  • Kenny Kunene unfazed by Twitter criticism of shooting

    Businessman Kenny Kunene found himself the target of online scorn this past week after rumours that he survived being shot at by 21 bullets -- but he's told News24 that he doesn't let the criticism get to him. A rare picture of Kenny Kunene just minding his own business ., who knew 😁😁😂 #KennyKunene pic.twitter.com/cj73Cfx5VR — Issa Hotep™ (@N01Skelm) September 6, 2017 Kunene says he was travelling Tuesday evening in a BMW when he was approached by four men who opened fire on him and the woman he was with. The two quickly drove away, and neither were harmed. The car was allegedly hit by...

  • Facebook may have earned $150k from US election-hacking ads

    Facebook has divulged that it could have earned up to US$150 000 from Russian ads that targeted the 2016 United States election. The company studied ads bought between June 2015 and May 2017 and found 3000 that were connected to 470 accounts promoting content that violated its policies. These ads were all "likely operated out of Russia", and brought in US$100 000. Another study looked at a broader range of ads that could have Russian origin, including those with US IP addresses and the language set to Russian. This search found around 2200 politically-related ads. They accounted for another US$50 000. Many of the...

  • Bafana Bafana disappoints South Africans yet again

    South Africa's 2018 World Cup dreams have been shattered as Bafana Bafana lost the third round of the World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde last night -- and Twitter did not let it happen quietly. By Wednesday morning, the team was trending in the top spot on Twitter, with Cape Verde in sixth, as South Africans cracked jokes to mask their pain. Bafana Bafana is by far the most emotionally abusive relationship I will ever get myself into — Siya Sowati (@Siya705) September 5, 2017 Many made the connection between the under-performing team and the South African government. Are #Bafana bafana players like government...

  • YouTube Live debuts ‘ultra-low’ latency and inline chat moderation

    YouTube has announced a few updates to Live that make it "faster, easier and more accessible". The biggest change comes in the form of ultra-low latency that sees chat messages and streams working with a shorter delay than ever before. For both creators and viewers, this means enjoying more natural conversations with those participating in the stream. The feature doesn't need software or external encoders to work, and can be activated in 'Stream now' options. Mobile will always optimise for ultra-low latency. Of course, the option does have its drawbacks, and will substitute quality with latency. A lower chat latency means less read-ahead buffer,...

  • The global piracy crackdown won’t change much [Opinion]

    If you're in the business of pirating your favourite TV shows, you've probably found it increasingly difficult to do so. Around the world, governments, ISPs and tech giants have been cracking down on sites allowing for the downloading and streaming of illicit material. Popular streaming and torrent sites have either died and fallen prey to lesser-than copycats (like Putlocker) or have simply lost all functionality (isoHunt). Former trusty servers like GorillaVid have fallen to the wayside, and every day new (and seemingly slower) ones are cropping up. Other manners of copyright infringement have also been falling: the web's most popular stream...

  • SA box office: American Made in Hitman’s shade

    Hitman's Bodyguard has held on to the top spot for the third weekend in a row after a relatively boring week at the movies. Competing with newcomer American Made (starring Tom Cruise as a commercial pilot recruited by the CIA and later by a drug cartel), the comedy needed only Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Reynolds' star power to sell itself to South Africans for yet another week. But did anything remotely interesting happen this weekend? (1 - 3 September) Surprisingly, yes. The little-indie-animation-that-could Son of Bigfoot has entered its fourth week in third place, where it debuted last month. The Belgian feature could just outdo Keeping Up with the...

  • YouTube-MP3 to shut down after record label lawsuit

    The web's biggest stream ripping site YouTube-MP3.org has agreed to shut down as part of a settlement in a copyright infringement lawsuit, according to TorrentFreak. Though no court documents have yet been signed, a recent filing shows YouTube-MP3 is willing to take the blame on all counts of infringement. The complaints were filed last year by a coalition of record labels represented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It said that the stream ripping site used the promise of free (illegal) music to bring in its own ad revenue. It also accused it of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by circumventing...

  • The internet welcomes third #royalbaby by ribbing Prince William

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate, are expecting their third child, and Twitter has welcomed the new addition to the British royal family with open arms and similar jokes. Back in 2013, the arrival of Prince George set the world's heart aflutter, but two kids later (Princess Charlotte was born in 2015), the novelty and subsequent enthusiasm has worn off. Read the press release in full ↓ pic.twitter.com/vDTgGD2aGF — Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 4, 2017 The Duchess is currently less than twelve weeks pregnant, but made the announcement early when cancelling a planned engagement due to morning sickness. The hashtag #royalbaby...

  • Last week in trailers: Mr Robot, bald Vince Vaughn, and talking hormones

    The last week in trailers promoted a bald and serious Vince Vaughn, a cartoon about anthropomorphic hormones and a drama about shrinking humans to solve overpopulation. For someone who's been demanding original content, it's been a bittersweet week. Here's what you missed on Glee. Mr Robot Emmy-winning series Mr Robot is coming back for its third season, promising symbolic photos falling off shelves and Rami Malek's phenomenal face. The latter, for those who watched season two, may function as a spoiler -- but this show is known to screw with viewers' minds and I'm not taking anything at face value. Mr Robot is back in the US on...

  • 5 Netflix exclusives coming to South Africa this September

    It's (sort of) spring, and what better way to celebrate the beautiful weather than by staying indoors and catching up on all the wonders Netflix has in store this month? If you feel yourself growing bored of Netflix's current offerings, fear not: a host of new original content is coming to SA. Here's a list of the most intriguing: 1 September: Narcos Everyone's favourite sweater-wearing drug kingpins are back for a third season, filled to the brim with action, accents, and anticipation. This season sees the continuation of the Colombian cocaine cartels after that fateful season-two twist. The official synopsis (edited to remove...