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All posts by Julia Breakey

  • Reinvented toothbrush crushes Kickstarter crowdfunding goal

    In 1498, the bristle toothbrush was invented by the Chinese. Back then, the bristles were hog's hair and the handles bone or bamboo. It took another 440 years for nylon to be introduced and the toothbrush as we know it to be born. Fast forward another 79 years, and European company Amabrush wants to change the way you clean your teeth yet again. Over on Kickstarter, the company is boasting a denture-like device that cleans your teeth in ten seconds -- and it's already pulled in €173 514 (R2.6-million) -- triple its goal -- with 29 days still to go. So how does...

  • Cape Town Cash Crusaders held hostage, Twitter provides commentary

    A Cape Town Cash Crusaders was held hostage Wednesday afternoon, resulting in a Hollywood-esque standoff that had Twitter enraptured. "Strand Street" was trending in Cape Town by 2.18pm as images, videos and updates flooded the platform. Police take aim in Strand Street following a robbery at Cash Crusaders, hostage situation. @IOL @TheCapeArgus pic.twitter.com/1XdP5Rdmrd — Cape Times (@CapeTimesSA) July 5, 2017 Specialized security force leaves cash crusaders, fire fighters enter. Store appears to have been cleared. #CTrobbery pic.twitter.com/ykiDDvxmps — James de Villiers (@pejames) July 5, 2017 #CBDRobbery and Cash Crusaders also made their way into the discourse. Police confirm the #ArmedRobbery situation is over. Hostages unharmed, two...

  • Ed Sheeran leaves Twitter, Lady Gaga asks her fans to calm down

    Ed Sheeran has "come off Twitter completely," after trolls and hateful comments became too much to bear. "Twitter's a platform ," he told The Sun in an interview. "One comment ruins your day." Many of these comments came from Lady Gaga fans who assumed he was talking about her when he said in an interview that he did "not want to be the kind of artist who has had two successful albums and then feels invincible". "The smartest thing to do is listen to people who know I do not want to do the Super Bowl years later,...

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming review: a perfect Peter Parker?

    In the last decade, the world has seen so many Peter Parkers on screen that we would all be justified in turning our backs on Spider-Man: Homecoming in protest for something new. But that isn't going to happen -- and thank goodness for it. The latest in Marvel's cinematic universe is a fun film that tells of post-Uncle Ben Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as he fights crime, does good and survives high school. Semi-mentored by Iron Man Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) -- and by that I mean not at all -- Peter attempts to take on a group of...

  • Twitter memes girl who cleaned Donald Trump’s Hollywood star

    When Makenna from Wyoming visited California, she made sure to stop by US President Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to clean and polish it. The star was filled with scribbles, and Makenna didn't approve. She had her friend take pictures of her while she cleaned it, and posted them to Twitter claiming she was "#RaisedRight." Stopped to clean @realDonaldTrump Hollywood Star. Nothing but respect for MY President. #RaisedRight pic.twitter.com/jL4sqx4rlh — Makenna (@makenna_mg) June 28, 2017 "Nothing but respect for MY president," she wrote. Naturally, the tweet picked up traction. The first to respond was Alexa, who posted a picture of herself after...

  • South Africa’s box office: Despicable Me 3 gets 15 seconds of fame

    If I copied last week's report and pasted it here, I would have to change very little for it to be factual. It's the curse of US summer (and, yes, the curse also includes the damage to our wallets). This week's new Big Budget is Despicable Me 3, the animated sequel to the film that introduced minions to the world. The film unsurprisingly topped the charts in its debut (it competed against far smaller newcomers), but don't expect it to stay there for long: Spider-Man: Homecoming is on its way this Friday and is sure to knock it down to second. But how did the other...

  • Last week in trailers: Rick and Morty, Jumanji, Marvel’s Inhumans

    The world is confusing as it is. Does Hollywood really need another Chucky film? A Jumanji reboot? A Bad Moms sequel? What did we, the human race, do to deserve this? (You know, besides climate change and letting The Big Bang Theory last as long as it has.) Many a confusing trailer was released last week, and I was encouraged into thoroughly researching the necessity of each film and show. Below are my findings. A Bad Mom's Christmas Pros: Mila Kunis. Kristen Bell. Moms getting their due justice. Cons: Christmas movie. Kids as brunt of sex jokes. First film was barely tolerable. As necessary as: those crowns you wear on Christmas Day that are...

  • Facebook takes a stand on link spam, and your racist aunt’s clickbait

    Facebook knows you have family members who routinely share links about how the country has gone to the dogs, and it wants you to know it sympathises. In an announcement posted Friday, the company asserted that it was "deprioritising" posts shared by users who spam others' news feeds on a regular basis. According to the social network, there is a "tiny" group of people on Facebook who post a "vast" amount of shared articles per day -- though considering nearly every user on the network has one family member they've muted for this very reason, that "tiny" seems suspicious. The company's research has proven that...

  • Germany to fine Facebook, other networks for not removing hate speech

    Germany has passed a law that could see social media networks like Facebook and Twitter paying up to €50-million for failing to remove hate speech within 24 hours. The Network Enforcement Act was drafted to tackle hate speech and fake news. It requires social networks to delete and block unlawful content. Germany, like South Africa, takes a tough stance on hate speech in part due to its history. It has cracked down in recent years after the refugee crisis saw many taking strong anti-immigrant stances. The new law will require networks to delete illegal content within 24 hours. Failing to comply will...

  • Sense8 fans get Netflix to bring it back for finale

    Hell hath no fury like a fandom scorned. Last night, in a twist Game of Thrones would be proud of, Netflix announced it was bringing back original series Sense8 for a two-hour finale. Nearly a month ago, the company culled the expensive show without much in the way of explanation, and it sent fans into a furore. Petitions were made, hashtags were born, and a resistance was formed. Twitter accounts like @Global_Cluster put together daily schedules that included voting for the show for awards, getting the cast onto magazine covers, and pestering Amazon on Twitter and via email to #PickUpSense8. OKAY GUYS. THIS IS TODAY'S TASK. Yesterday we brought back...

  • Uber hits 5 billion trips milestone

    It's the week of milestones and today it's Uber's turn: the company has reached five billion trips. Uber hit one billion trips in late 2015 -- five years after launching -- and in less than two years it has quintupled its intake. On 20 May, 156 riders simultaneously pushed Uber over the milestone, and the company is rewarding each of the drivers with US$500. 5 billion rides, 6 continents, 76 countries—thank you to the riders and drivers who powered this journey. pic.twitter.com/9cFN7YESTX — Uber (@Uber) June 29, 2017 To put the number into perspective: if one trip was called every second, it would have take...

  • #Ham4All: Celebs take to Twitter to sing Hamilton, raise money for charity

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Broadway smash hit Hamilton, has challenged Twitter to sing and donate to charity in a bid to win tickets to the LA opening of the show -- and the celeb responses have come pouring in. HelloHelloHello Introducing our biggest @Prizeo contest yet & the #Ham4All Challenge! Donate at https://t.co/ENfeupTPL5! Sing! Oh, I ❤️ you. pic.twitter.com/7jCb1unwVo — Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 26, 2017 One of the first to take part in the #Ham4All challenge was TV writer and producer Shonda Rhimes -- best known for creating the likes of Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. I challenge @scottkfoley, @KatieQLowes & @JasonWGeorge to make a donation and...

  • Young man killed by pregnant girlfriend in failed YouTube stunt

    Pedro Ruiz, 22, was shot and killed by his girlfriend Monalisa Perez, 19, during a YouTube stunt gone wrong. The duo, who had a following of around 2100 subscribers, were filming a video in which Perez fired a gun through a book that Ruiz was holding in front of his chest. According to a criminal complaint provided to Buzzfeed, Ruiz had convinced Perez to shoot him by providing her with another book that had stopped the bullet. Perez now faces a charge of second-degree manslaughter, which could see her serving a maximum of ten years in jail. She is currently released on bail. Perez had...

  • South Africa’s box office: unTransformed

    It's blockbuster season and every week is bringing in a new number one for South Africa to feast its eyes on. This week's tribute was Transformers: The Last Knight -- Michael Bay's (hopefully) last go at the franchise that had critics wishing Optimus Prime would just end the world already. But which other blocks got busted this week? (23 to 25 June) The answer: Pretty much none of them. Transformers nudged the top six all down one in a truly undramatic fashion. Cars 3 was ousted from first; Wonder Woman dropped to third. The Mummy, Baywatch, Rough Night and Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge saw themselves placing between fourth and seventh respectively. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol....

  • Google News redesign unsurprisingly angers everyone

    Google News has been redesigned, and its interface is sleek, clean, customisable and universally hated. One of the main features Google News is touting is news from "diverse perspectives" -- meaning that related articles will now feature news from both sides of the aisle. These articles are then grouped together in a card format. How do I know something has changed? Google News is usually 100% #NeverTrump. Today, not one negative article. https://t.co/MEXO3SuNWq — Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) June 25, 2017 But it seems this isn't the biggest gripe users have with the change: many think the layout is slow, wastes space, and makes it more...