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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Everyone in Cape Town is a closet meteorologist, Facebook thread reveals

    Cape Town's citizens just love talking about the weather, and that's no more apparent than in this Facebook comment thread. Popular snow forecast and monitoring site Snow Report's Facebook page is laced with comments about Cape Town's current winter storm after it asked people to send in reports of the current conditions of their suburb. And Facebook users naturally obliged. Read more: Memeburn's ongoing coverage of Cape Town's winter storm The post received around 700 comments to date, with a further 200 shares and 570 reactions, with some users also posting images and videos of their surrounds during the storm. Cape Town's winter storm...

  • Rewatch Ariana Grande’s #OneLoveManchester concert on YouTube

    Update, 5 June, 12pm: if you missed last night's concert in Manchester, it's now available in its entirety on Ariana Grande's YouTube channel, embedded below. The full concert's around 210 minutes long, so you might want to take an extra-long lunch break for this one. Original article: Just over two weeks since a suicide bombing after her Manchester concert claimed the lives of 22 people, Floridian singer Ariana Grande will tonight perform a benefit concert at Old Trafford cricket ground. The concert will also be livestreamed to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and iHeartRadio. In a statement issued soon after the 22 May incident,...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #108: Covfefe & water from fog

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker, Stephen Timm and Julia Breakey. Andy Walker opens the floor by elaborating on viral word "covfefe" -- the result of an unfinished tweet from US President Donald Trump. The tweet has since been deleted, but not before creating a stir on social media. Over on Ventureburn, Stephen tells of a former "beach bum," Grant Vanderwagen, who looks to end Cape Town's water crisis by turning fog into water. Investors have not yet latched on to...

  • Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios continues his love affair with aliens

    Neill Blomkamp has a weird obsession with aliens. The South African director is however pushing the envelope in another way. An experimental short film series created by his new venture Oats Studios is set to debut on game distribution platform Steam in the coming months. Back in April, Blomkamp first teased the idea on Twitter, asking followers for their thoughts. If I sold experimental short films on @steam_games as tests for potential full feature films, would people watch them? — Neill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) April 9, 2017 Users took to the idea like a duck to water. I would! — William Gibson (@GreatDismal) April 9, 2017 YES. —...

  • Starbucks is coming to Cape Town before the end of 2017

    Starbucks is coming to Cape Town and Durban, according to a financial statement published by rights holder Taste Holdings. The news comes just over a year after Starbucks entered South Africa, with its first establishment rooted in Johannesburg's Rosebank. Three stores then followed dotted around Gauteng. "We plan on opening eight to ten outlets this year, including expansion to Cape Town and Durban, a format located in a corporate office and ideally a drive thru format as well," it explains. While a timeline for the arrival of Cape Town and Durban's branches wasn't specified in the statement, the company does confirm that 2017...

  • Hikers, T-rex throw impromptu dance party on Lion’s Head

    With the taps running ever drier in the city, it seems that a select number of Cape Town residents have finally lost their minds. A group of fun-loving people decided that a great way to spend a Thursday morning would be to hike Lion's Head and have a mild party at the summit. Featuring an orchestrating human in a colourful leotard, an endangered tyrannosaurus rex, and a number of people Beyonce might think twice about hiring for her latest video, the top of the 600m peak was for but a brief moment a dancefloor. Lion's Head is one of the more popular...

  • Twitter adds 230+ new emoji for your enjoyment

    Twitter's 300-million strong user base can look forward to a treat today. The social network's UX designer Bryan Haggarty announced this week that users can look forward to seeing and using a slew of new emoji on the social network. 69 new Emoji 5.0 icons are now usable on Twitter for those who have supported platforms, and if you include the variations of these emoji, the number rises to 239. 🆕 🤩 We've just added all the new emojis to https://t.co/LOTAlBvtUR and updated our Twemoji open source repo 🥡 https://t.co/lD0IvE7ifj — Bryan Haggerty 🤩 (@bhaggs) May 23, 2017 If you use Twitter's website regularly,...

  • Catchy ‘Under The Sea’ parody teaches Cape Town how to save water

    You might think Katy Perry's Swish Swish is catchy, and when you throw Backpack Kid into the performance it sure is difficult to shed that jam from your psyche. But let's be real: does Perry's track help Cape Town citizens save water? No. No, it doesn't. But this gem of a jingle does. Written and performed by teacher, rock band member and Capetonian Emma Engers, this parody of Under The Sea from Disney's The Little Mermaid teaches residents how easy it is to save water. Cape Town, seriously now, don't flush when you pee Although it's a parody, it does pack some pertinent...

  • Cape Town’s drought makes international news on CNN and Facebook

    If you live in Cape Town, chances are you forgot what rain actually is. With the city still battling one of the worst droughts this generation has seen, Cape Town's water reserves are now dangerously low. Just 11% of the water left in the city's six largest dams are usable, while no rain is seemingly forecast for the rest of the week. Someone who finds this all rather alarming (other than Cape Town's other four-million residents) is meteorologist Derek Van Dam. Previously of eNCA, Van Dam is now one of CNN's meteorologists. With his heart clearly still in Cape Town, he took...

  • WordPress debuts new TV ads in limited trial run

    Content publishing platform WordPress has this week debuted its first television advertisements. This is the first push in the company's larger marketing budget for 2017. WordPress co-founder and CEO of Automattic Matt Mullenweg noted that the company will be increasing its public advertising, presumably to compete against the likes of Wix and Squarespace. On his personal blog, he also explained that the company still has "lots to learn" in the television advertising space. "There is lots to learn and much to follow, but we have our first TV ads up in six markets to test. Each shares a story of a business...

  • ShowMax and Polish mobile operator strike deal

    Three months after ShowMax announced that it will offer its service in Poland, the South African video streaming company is now partnering with one of the country's chief mobile operators. Play, the operator at the centre of the deal, will now offer ShowMax to its eight-million contract customers. Those with mid- to upper-tier contracts -- the majority -- will receive ShowMax services for free for 12 months. Those in the lower contract brackets will receive one month free. ShowMax will be free to Play's contract subscribers for 12 months "The level of interest in Showmax since our launch in Poland earlier this year...

  • Airbnb adds R2.4bn to SA economy in 2016, hosts 400 000 visitors

    Airbnb has this week published its annual economic report, which sheds some light on the home sharing platform's economic impact on various global economies. South Africa happens to be one of these economies. Publishing its effect on South Africa's economy just prior to the Tourism Indaba taking place in Durban in May, the company makes some notable claims. For one, it suggest that it generated around R2.4-billion for the South African economy in 2016, considering the expenditure of guests and the income accrued by the 16 000 hosts last year. R817-million of that income was earned by local households. The company also notes...

  • WannaCry ransomware infects a quarter million computers in 150 countries

    WannaCry wins 2017's prize for most ominously named ransomware, and it has seemingly lived up to its name. A worldwide attack involving the ransomware swept through personal computers, companies and government institutions beginning on Friday 12 May. By Sunday, over 230 000 computers in more than 150 countries, including South Africa, were infected. Straight out of an episode of Mr. Robot, WannaCry (Wcry, WannaCrypt, WanaCrypt0r 2.0, or Wanna Decryptor) is a malicious software package that infects computers running Microsoft Windows. It's spread using an exploit developed by the NSA called EternalBlue which was leaked by a hacker collective in April. While Microsoft...

  • Feeling chilly, South Africa? Snow reported at Afriski, Tiffindell & Sani Pass

    Update #3, 15 May, 12pm: Snow continued to fall across South Africa's Drakensberg and Lesotho's Maloti mountains. Have a good weekend? Bet it wasn't as 'cool' as @drakensbergcanopytour's though: they had their first snow of 2017! 🌨☃️🌨 A post shared by Canopy Tour South Africa (@canopytoursa) on May 15, 2017 at 2:35am PDT First snow of 2017 #drakensberg #snow #2017 #winter #winterton #snowhunting #nature A post shared by Kirst (@kirst_tsrik) on May 14, 2017 at 11:53am PDT Descent into Rockeries pass. #mnwenimarathon #trailrunning #drakensberg #lovesouthafrica A post shared by Matthew Smith (@matthewshawsmith) on May 14, 2017 at 8:10am PDT Snow in the Drakensberg! This pic was...

  • Fidget spinners are surprisingly good guitar picks, viral video suggests

    South Africa hasn't yet been infected by the global fidget spinner craze. Although you can purchase the distraction device at a number of stores, I've yet to see humans in the country playing with one out on the street. But that doesn't mean they aren't any less cool. Of course, these gadgets have also been given a bad rap, and dubbed a fad by many. But some have clearly taken up the challenge to make the fidget spinner, developed in the 1990s by Catherine Hettinger, publicly acceptable. Yes, you can also use a fidget spinner for things that don't quite involve fidgeting Take...