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All posts by Julia Breakey

  • Mark ‘Zucker-Duck’ Zuckerberg is trolled hard by Harvard hacker

    Mark Zuckerberg famously dropped out of the prestigious Harvard University to work on his small indie project Facebook, and while Harvard may forgive the students never forget. 12 years after leaving the school, the CEO was called back to campus to receive an honorary degree and give a speech -- but not before hackers got in a good deal of mocking. Mere hours before Zuckerberg was meant to take the stage, the university's daily newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, was taken over by a mysterious hacker with a personal vendetta. "Mark Zoinkerberg at it again," read one of their headlines. "OP-ED: I DID NOT STEAL FAKEBOOK...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #107: Cape Town’s water crisis & JUMO

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Andy Walker hosts Julia Breakey and Stephen Timm as Hadlee Simons parties it up at a work event. The team's main focus today is on the Cape Town water crisis, as we discuss ways we personally are doing our bit, how Derek Van Dam has put us in the international spotlight, and how one startup wants to solve the crisis with fog. Over on Gearburn, we talk about waterproof cellphones, and how much Julia thoroughly despised the Hisense C-30 Rock (whose...

  • Facebook will pay up to $250k for original content from Buzzfeed and Vox

    Facebook has signed a deal with entertainment creators Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to create original video content for the platform, and is paying willing to pay up. The deal will bring scripted and unscripted content to the platform, in a bid to compete with premium content creators like YouTube Red and Snap. The scripted shows are intended to last between 20 and 30 minutes (and will include ad breaks), while the unscripted shows will average between five and ten minutes. According to Reuters, Facebook will pay up to US$250 000 for the scripted shows, which will also grant it full ownership...

  • Will Game of Thrones’ season 7 survive its writers’ egos?

    In the beginning, there were Dan Benioff and D.B. Weiss, two men eager to turn George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire into an epic TV show. They won over the author with their answer to the question "Who is Jon Snow's mother?" and sold the concept to HBO. It was intended for each novel (of which there were four at the time) to create content for a season's worth of episodes. And it started well. A Game of Thrones was turned into Game of Thrones' first season, and was met with high ratings and critical acclaim. But the...

  • Facebook doesn’t want you to know its censorship policies

    Facebook still won't tell the world what its censorship policies are, despite receiving a slew of criticism from experts and users alike for its ambiguity. While the controversy of what Facebook allows on its site has been around its entire existence, the criticism turned to uproar last year when the platform censored an iconic picture from the Vietnam war. It subsequently defended its decision, declaring it in line with its policy on nudity. Eventually, Facebook acknowledged that graphic images for the service of public interest are important enough to remain on the platform. This amended policy came into play last month, when videos of dying...

  • Zack Snyder steps down from Justice League after tragedy

    Director Zack Snyder has backed away from DC's Justice League as it enters its final stages of post-production to spend time with family. His wife, Deborah, a producer on the film, has also pulled out of the project. Tragedy struck the Snyder family in March when their daughter, 20-year-old Autumn, took her own life. The film took a two-week-long hiatus for the Snyders to mourn, but the director told The Hollywood Reporter that he initially wanted to keep working. "In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was the way through it," he said. But when...

  • That Rihanna, Lupita Nyong’o heist film is happening

    A movie based on a tweet based on a Tumblr post has been bought at Cannes Film Festival, and it's the news 2017 needed. It all started in 2015, when Roxy Macdonald reblogged a Tumblr post of Lupita Nyong'o and Rihanna at a Miu Miu fashion event. http://elizabitchtaylor.tumblr.com/post/90856351997/they-look-like-theyre-in-a-heist-movie-with Two years later, Twitter user @1800SADGAl took up the concept and posted it to Twitter -- this time adding that the two look as if they don't just scam anyone, but rich white men to boot. Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and lupita is the computer smart best friend that helps plan the scans...

  • South Africa’s box office: Guardians of the Top Spot Vol. 3

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has held on to the coveted number one spot for its third week in a row, refusing to move an inch for newcomer Alien: Covenant. It's no surprise: Chris Pratt, baby Groot and some fun-loving superhero action is all South Africa needs to be sold, with warm reviews just the cherry on top. Alien never really stood a chance. But how did the other blockbusters fare this weekend? (19 to 21 May) Unsurprisingly, Alien, the biggest newcomer of the week, didn't even crack top three. Megahit Fast and Furious 8 has held on to second place for the third week in a row, after...

  • Love pours in for 22 killed in Manchester after Ariana Grande concert bombing

    A bomb was detonated outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last night, leaving 22 dead and 59 injured. The attack came as concert-goers were leaving the venue around 10.30pm local time. Police say that emergency services were called by more than 240 people. Police are treating the attack as terrorism, and believe it was a suicide bomber who was working alone. Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena @CCIanHopkins pic.twitter.com/LDG1wgX2sT — G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017 "We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised device which he detonated causing this atrocity," they write. The majority of Grande's fan base are young women, and police...

  • Last week in trailers: more like The ENOji Movie

    It's been three whole weeks since I've done a Last Week in Trailers, and I've missed plenty of important ones, but now is not the time to reminisce on what might have been. There is no time like the present. If we look back we are lost. It does not matter how slow we go so long as we do not stop. So here's what happened last week in the world of trailers. The Emoji Movie I could try to ease you in to the suffering that will occur with this trailer, but there is no trailer this week that is half...

  • ‘What a bright young man he was’: South Africa mourns Mikhail Hendricks passing

    Mikhail Hendricks, a Stellenbosch University student who found Internet fame in 2013, has unexpectedly passed away at 22. In June 2013, Hendricks stood behind then-US President Barack Obama during his speech at the University of Cape Town when he won hearts with his massive smile and enthusiasm to be there. Hendricks was an immediate hit, and Twitter welcomed him with open arms. @katierazz what a lovely guy Mikhail. Hope he achieves his dreams. Made my day #redtieguy — Red (@Pebble8) July 1, 2013 I LOVE the #redtieguy ~ all the best Mikhail! Nice to see table mountain as well. — Candace Brooke (@cbw179) July 1, 2013 Ah...

  • Facebook deletes journalist’s account after exposé of corruption

    Pulitzer-winning Malta journalist, Matthew Caruana Galizia, has had his Facebook account suspended after posting allegations of corruption against Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his associates. Caruana Galizia took to Facebook on 7 May after accepting that print journalism was not reaching the youth of Malta. In a series of four posts, coupled with the hashtags #FattiKorrotti and #CorruptionFacts, he alleged that the Prime Minister and his wife were receiving payments from an offshore shell company. The posts were a hit, and were shared more than 1000 times (Malta's population sits around 431 333). But just three days later, Muscat threatened to sue for libel, and...

  • Uber’s ‘route-based pricing’ system is charging riders more for popular routes

    Uber is charging riders in 14 US cities more for taking popular routes, reports from Bloomberg and Business Insider have found. The majority of UberX's trips are priced on mileage, time and general demand in the area, but some guinea pigs in areas with its carpooling service UberPOOL have found they are being charged more for specific routes. Uber has confirmed this silent test, dubbed 'route-based pricing', claiming that it's separating time-sensitive users (those who use UberX) and price-sensitive users (UberPOOL riders). Whereas the former willingly choose to pay higher rates for private rides directly to their destination, the latter are more concerned with cheaper...

  • Facebook to compete with Twitch as it signs deal with ESL

    Facebook has landed a major deal with the Electronic Sports League (ESL) which will see 5 500 hours of events and original content added to the platform, The Wall Street Journal reports. A report by Digiday earlier this year suggested that Facebook was looking to secure deals with major pro sports leagues, but it seems the company is sticking to digital for now. The deal with ESL comes after the company secured deals with five esport teams (including G2 Esports, Echo Fox, and Team Dignitas) who will broadcast their practices and competitions exclusively to the site. Facebook has been making the move towards producing original content for a...

  • Facebook didn’t cause Palestinian uprising, court rules

    A US court has dismissed a lawsuit set to implicate Facebook in a Palestinian uprising in 2015. Dubbed the "Facebook Intifada," the spate of violence saw ostensibly apolitical Palestinian men attack and kill a number of Israelis in outrage over Israeli occupation. Much like the Arab Spring, the men were largely assembled and incited via social media -- in this case, Twitter and Facebook. The lawsuit's plaintiffs consist of 20 000 Israeli individuals who claim they are in direct threat of Palestinian terrorists who continue to use Facebook as a tool for communication. They also consist of victims and surviving family members...