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All posts by Shereesa Moodley

  • Instagram adds features for the visually impaired

    Instagram has revealed a new set of features to help make the platform more accessible to visually impaired users. “With more than 285-million people in the world who have visual impairments, we know there are many people who could benefit from a more accessible Instagram,” the company said on its blog. To make Instagram more accessible in this regard, the two new features work through screen readers. These are programmes that read information on screens out loud to users who cannot see well. The 'automatic alternative text' feature "uses object recognition technology to generate a description of photos for screen readers,” Instagram...

  • Roald Dahl’s works are coming to Netflix in 2019

    Netflix is teaming up with the Roald Dahl Story Company to produce animated series based on the author's works. “Netflix is extending the Roald Dahl universe of stories for global family audiences with an exclusive new slate of original animated event series,” the company revealed in a press release. Stories such as "The Twits", "The BFG", "Matilda" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" have been confirmed. While the tales will be reimagined and expanded, Netflix claims it will remain “faithful” to the originals. “Our mission, which is purposefully lofty, is for as many children as possible around the world to experience the unique...

  • Google’s Smart Compose will now suggest genderless pronouns

    According to a report, Google has removed gendered pronouns from Smart Compose. This means that words like him, her, he or she will no longer be suggested when typing in Gmail. Smart Compose is an AI feature that helps Google users complete sentences by assuming the next word or phrase. Unfortunately, the company noticed that some of these assumptions were gender biased, offering him in places where the user may be referring to a her. Speaking to Reuters, Gmail’s product manager Paul Lambert said that the company takes gender quite seriously, calling it a "a big, big thing". He also explained that after many...

  • You can now host a ‘Watch Party’ from your Facebook profile, page

    Watch Party, a feature on Facebook that allows users to share and discuss video content in real time, is being expanded on Facebook. The feature will now be accessible from Pages and common Facebook profiles, where it was once only available for Groups. “We've heard from Page admins that the ability to host Watch Parties from their Pages would enable them to reach and engage a broader audience around videos,” Facebook says on its media blog. Watch Party will also include a few new features that Facebook is testing. “We're adding the ability for Pages and Groups to schedule a Watch Party, helping...

  • Netflix’s Criminal won’t leave the interrogation room

    Netflix is producing a new crime drama series called Criminal, but the 12 episode show is not the general crime show narrative we all know. “Criminal is a police procedural with a unique premise: it takes place exclusively within the confines of a police interview suite,” the company explains on its website. This means no running with guns, and no shootouts. Just the crook, the cops, and the interrogation room. “This stripped down, cat-and-mouse drama will focus on the intense mental conflict between the police officer and the suspect in question.” The show will be set in four countries, and each country will...

  • Dead Facebook Messenger posts briefly came back to life

    If you thought deleting a conversation that you’d rather not remember would get rid of it for ever, think again. Earlier today, Facebook users complained that old Messenger chats were popping up again out of the blue. According to The Verge, which first reported the issue, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that old messages were indeed coming back to life to makes its users' lives miserable. “We are aware of the issue and are actively working to resolve it in as soon as possible,” the spokesperson reportedly said, apologising for the inconvenience. Though its worrying that years-worth of chatting is still backed up somewhere...

  • The internet really doesn’t like Instagram’s profile page redesign

    Last week Instagram announced that it has begun making design changes to users' profiles pages on the platform. “Your profile is where you share who you are on Instagram, so starting today we’re testing ways you can better express yourself,” the company explained in a blog post. The company said that features would be “rearranged” and “icons, buttons and the way you navigate between tabs” will also be updated. The upcoming changes are also meant to help you connect with follows and friends better by displaying information in a more accessible way, according to the social network. The changes will be tested in...

  • iOS update allows you to use Google Assistant through Siri

    A new update to the iOS version of Google Assistant now allows users to add Google shortcuts to Siri. This means that the two voice assistants can work together, and users can access Google Assistant features such as “Hey Google” via Siri. Previously, Apple users would have to choose between the two virtual assistant options. With the addition of Assistant shortcuts for Siri however, Google is growing its prevalence on iOS devices. Feature image: Appstore

  • Netflix’s iOS app update adds a gaggle of Android features

    Streaming platform Netflix has updated its iOS app to include a few simple features that are already standard with the Android version. Apple users will now have access to the 10 second forward/rewind feature, as well as the “Next Episode” button. “Enjoy bigger controls like play/pause, with labels to quickly select Episodes or turn on Audio & Subtitles,” the company also adds in a media update. The Netflix update requires devices running iOS 11.0 or newer. Feature image: Netflix

  • Instagram will start removing fake likes and followers

    Instagram has announced that it will begin to remove fake likes and followers on its platform’s accounts. The company believes that the move will allow for a more genuine experience of Instagram, particularly affecting those who have bought followers and likes. “Every day people come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions. It is our responsibility to ensure these experiences aren’t disrupted by inauthentic activity,” says the social network in a blog post. The company explains that it will use machine learning to pick out which accounts buy likes, followers and comments, and remove the activity. Seemingly, Instagram will not be...

  • Monopoly for Millennials called ‘stereotypical and wrong’ on Twitter

    Last week Hasbro, the toy-making company that makes the Monopoly board game in its many forms, sold a new version of the game aimed at Millennials. Called Monopoly for Millennials, the game went on sale exclusively at Walmart. “Money doesn't always buy a great time, but experiences, whether they're good -- or weird -- last forever. The Monopoly for Millennials game celebrates just that,” described Hasbro on Walmart’s website. The game is all about travelling and collecting experiences, “from your Friend's Couch, to the Vegan Bistro, to a Week-Long Meditation Retreat” and removes the traditional hunt for real estate. “Adulting is hard;...

  • You can now view the messages sent to businesses in Google Maps

    Google has revealed a new tool that will allow users to view messages in Google Maps. The feature will display conversations people have had with Business Profiles on Google. “Sending messages to businesses gives you the opportunity to ask questions without having to make a phone call,” says the company. “Now you’ll see your messages with the businesses you connect with via Business Profiles within the Google Maps app.” If you have contacted any business online via Google, you will now be able to view these chat threads in your Maps app. Originally the ability to messages Business Profiles on Google was...

  • Netflix South Africa’s ‘Ultra’ package now available to some

    Netflix South Africa has launched a fourth tier to its current list of streaming packages in the form of an "Ultra" option. The option, which seems exactly the same as Netflix’s R169 Premium option but with added support for better audio quality, will be available for R239. According to an interview with MyBroadband, Netflix has noted that the additional tier is merely a test. “Not everyone will see the test, and we may not ever offer the specific price points or features beyond this test,” the streaming told the publication. Though the test is only now coming to South Africa, the Ultra package...

  • Game of Thrones teases fans with season 8 trailer

    Late on Tuesday, Game of Thrones' social media accounts posted a short teaser video, announcing the highly anticipated release date for the show's eighth season. The video depicts a mash-up of game changing scenes of previous seasons, allowing fans the chance to "revisit every scheme, scar, and sacrifice from the first seven seasons", according to the show's website. Though no specific date was given, the end of the trailer confirms that the series conclusion will come in April 2019. After actors shared their feelings about the end of Game of Thrones via an Entertainment Weekly cover special a few weeks ago, many...

  • ‘Learn with Facebook’ is the company’s new online learning portal

    Facebook has launched a new website dedicated to helping people build digital skills for the modern working world Dubbed Learn with Facebook, the company describes the platform as “a career development site that provides an introduction to both the hard and soft skills people need to advance in today’s digital workforce”. The lessons, which feature “case studies, insider tips and resources from industry experts”, are free to access online and include topics such as Ace Your Interview and Manage Your Content Marketing. While lessons are also conducted online and seem to be available globally, Facebook is further partnering with Goodwill Community Forum...