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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • Zapper hits one million downloads since launch

    Zapper, a South African mobile QR scanner app, has hit one million downloads. The app allows its merchants to receive payments from customers by means of scanning a generated QR code. Customers can also use it to pay bills sporting a Zapper QR code, or to register and login to any website using the code scanner. This achievement comes just three years after the company made its way onto the South African restaurant circuit. The app managed to reach this benchmark through strategic expansion across verticals such as the hospitality industry, retail, billing as well as ecommerce. It also managed to expand into...

  • Power Rangers movie review: goofy, fun but flawed

    Power Rangers aims to reboot the franchise many of us grew to know and love. Much like its predecessor, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, the 2017 instalment is incredibly goofy, fun and laden with cheesy nostalgia. However, unlike the first film, Power Rangers sees the new team taking on Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) who, in this reboot, once formed part of the old Ranger team as the Green Ranger. Her lust for power leads her to betray her former team to summon a powerful entity made of gold dubbed, uh, Goldar (yeah, I kid you not). Directed by Dean Israelite, the new flick introduces audiences to...

  • John Wick Chapter 2 movie review: gun-fu at its finest

    This second instalment in the John Wick franchise will have a lot of people questioning the protagonist's motives. John Wick Chapter 2 continues just a few days after the first film when Wick is dragged back into the bloody life he left behind. Rather fittingly this took the form of a blood oath, an oath John made with a "friend" to be able to complete the impossible task that set him free from his life as an assassin. The antagonist confronts Wick to cash in this oath and, according to the assassins network known as the "Continental, an oath can never be denied. Compared to...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #98: WikiLeaks vs CIA, SA vs ad-blocking & more

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This time, the ever-present Hadlee Simons plays host to Andy Walker and Graham van der Made. The three regulars discuss the new Wikileaks deep-dive into CIA's spying scandal. We also take a look at an Effective Measure study about South Africans and ad-blocking (we really hate ads). We also discuss the booming success of Zelda and the dismal failure of its community being unable to take criticism. We also look at the Switch and see if it's worth the price or worth skipping...

  • Kong: Skull Island movie review: you won’t go bananas for it

    Kong: Skull Island, the latest movie to feature the giant gorilla, sees a group of scientists driven to discover the untouched island of Primal Eden. Escorted by badass tracker James Conrad (played by Tom Hiddleston) and "anti-war" photographer Mason Weaver (played by Brie Larson), the group wakes an ancient enemy... something fiercer than a big ape. When you first meet Kong you're introduced to the primate's incredible presence with a gorgeous overlooking shot of his kingdom. The movie does well to make you feel the immense difference in size between humans and him. Kong has come a long way from his 1933...

  • Logan movie review: a tale of a broken man redeemed

    Logan is the story of Wolverine post X-Men when the world no longer needs heroes and mutants are a thing of the past. This Western-style film was written by Scott Frank and James Mangold, with the latter also claiming a director credit. Mangold had previously directed The Wolverine so he's no stranger to the character. He's also directed the critically acclaimed western 3:10 to Yuma which explains why this instalment to the Wolverine franchise feels much like an adage to old Westerns. In fact, it feels pretty close to the Old Man Logan comics, the aesthetic and general tone of the movie...

  • LEGO Batman Movie review: colourful, frantic, hilarious

    The LEGO Batman Movie follows the success of The LEGO Movie quite well, so much so that it surpasses it. Will Arnette's comedic delivery combined with the methodical and humorous script writing kept the entire audience in hysterical laughter. In this new offering, Batman is forced to come to terms with his greatest enemy -- his family. The LEGO Batman Movie, directed by Chris McKay who's known for his work on Robot Chicken, created a great way of not only visually telling a compelling story but also an emotional one. After Arnette's performance in the first LEGO movie, I was curious...

  • 7 must-see movie trailers from January

    So you want to know more about some of the movies debuting this month? Well, you've come to the right place. In this new monthly series, we take a look back at some of the biggest trailers to debut in the previous month. And well, obviously, it's January's turn. Power Rangers The announcement of a new Power Rangers movie was met with mixed feelings. Some thought it best to leave the franchise be, while others undoubtedly rejoiced. Since the trailer has dropped though, its view count has skyrocketed to over 22-million and over 120 000 likes. Power Rangers will follow the lives of...

  • Zuckerberg forces sale of Hawaiian native land

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ran into some trouble when purchasing land for his US$100-million family sanctuary. Much of the land purchased by Zuckerberg is owned by Kama'aina families, who have rights to the land. This unexpected turn of events has backed Zuckerberg into a corner, so much so that he's now trying to force the sale of the land rights, as first mentioned in a Hawaiian publication. Using what's known as the "quiet title and partition", which challenges the individual's claim to the land, Zuckerberg aims to put the land up for public auction. Donald Eby, a real-estate attorney who isn't involved in the case, explained how...

  • Power Rangers: it’s almost morphin’ time [Video]

    Since the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series kicked off in the early 90s, the franchise has been a household brand. Almost every kid I knew was into the over-the-top ridiculousness of the show. And who can blame them? It was awesome. The first movie to follow the series was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie back in 1995. Now, 22-years later, they're back with all-new rangers to take the role in the next instalment of the franchise, simply titled Power Rangers. The cast chosen to take on the title of "Ranger" aren't very familiar faces, but collectively have a large amount of acting experience,...

  • Stockholm ambulances to alert motorists via radio

    Researchers at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed an early warning system for motorists in the path of oncoming emergency vehicles. Ambulances in the Swedish capital will soon be sporting the new warning system, titled EVAM, which interrupts any audio playing through the car's audio system to broadcast an early warning message. This means that any in-car audio will stop immediately to broadcast a warning that an emergency vehicle is heading in their direction. This is made possible by using radio transmissions from the EMS vehicle to hijack the nearest FM tuner signals. According to one of the three students...

  • X-Ray vision reveals supermassive blackholes nearby

    Astronomers at the Southampton University have used "X-ray vision" to reveal supermassive blackholes which were hidden behind thick interstellar gas near our galaxy. The discovery was led by PhD researcher Peter Boorman and Dr Poshak Gandhi as well as associate professor Ernest Rutherford. "Every large galaxy in the universe is believed to host a supermassive black hole at their centre, millions of times the mass of our Sun," said Boorman in a press release. "These systems can devour vast quantities of matter due to their extreme gravitational pull, making the black holes grow. The in-falling matter then emits radiation across the full electromagnetic...

  • This 5D imaging technology can digitally scan living tissue

    Researchers from USC Dornsife and USC Viterbi School of Engineering have developed new technology that allows for 5D imaging of animals and human beings. According to the developers, Francesco Cutrale, Prof. Scott Fraser and the late Prof. Elizabeth Garrett, their implementation of 5D imaging -- dubbed Hyper-Spectral Phasor analysis (HySP) -- is cheaper, faster and more accurate than other imaging methods available. 5D imaging technology is useful in detecting important biological molecules, especially signs of disease, being crucial to understanding how diseases interact within a living organism. The HySP uses fluorescent imaging to locate proteins as well as other molecules situated...

  • Watch as Joe Biden receives highest honor, touching hug from Obama

    Will there ever be a bromance as everlasting and endearing as US Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama? Probably not. As President-elect Donald Trump casts his shadow over the White House, the internet is enjoying its last few days of Biden and Obama's epic bromance. And yesterday, that undeniable mutual respect was taken a step further. In a press conference, President Obama surprised Joe Biden with the country's highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Biden tries valiantly to hold back the tears (and so do we), but to no avail. It's an absolutely beautiful moment. Part of the...

  • Scientists believe the Milky Way is a cosmic thief, home-wrecker

    Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics have determined that half of the 11 furthest known stars in the Milky Way were ripped from another galaxy known as the Sagittarius Dwarf. "The star streams that have been mapped so far are like creeks compared to the giant river of stars we predict will be observed eventually," said the lead author, Marion Dierickx, a graduate student at Harvard University in a press release. According to the research, the Sagittarius Dwarf -- just one of the dozens of mini-galaxies that surrounds our Milky Way -- made its way around our galaxy at a point in...