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News

  • Charlottesville: Twitter slams Trump’s response, lauds Obama and Clinton’s

    It has been a landmark weekend for the United States. On Saturday at a "Unite the White" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a car ploughed into a group of counterprotestors, killing one woman and injuring at least 34 people. A slew of messages, views and comments flooded social media regarding the white supremacist rally itself and the aforementioned incident. The most notable of these messages stemmed from three particularly powerful political figures: former US President Barack Obama, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current US President Donald Trump. The latter led with this tweet: "What is vital now is...

  • Rain and LTE-A congestion: here’s what you can expect…

    Rain's LTE-A network has made headlines in the local tech space lately, as ISPs offer wireless data packages via the service (in conjunction with Internet Solutions). With prices ranging from R549 a month for 55GB to R1599 for 330GB, it doesn't seem like a bad deal at all if you lack ADSL or fibre in your area. However, the one major concern with wireless networks is congestion -- and it's not without precedent. When Cell C launched its HSPA+ network back in 2010, the first few months were speedy, followed by big speed and reliability issues owing to over-subscribed towers. Then there's Telkom Mobile, which also...

  • Opera: Women in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya use more data than men

    How do women in Africa use the internet? This is what a study conducted by Opera and Worldreader aimed to answer. The study took the form of a poll, and surveyed 1500 women aged 14 to 44 from South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. The results were then compared to Worldreader's database of 50 000 app users in these countries. And overall, they shed light on a few interesting differences in internet usage habits between the continent's men and women. For one, women seemingly use more data than men. In Kenya, "nearly half" of women spend over US$9.62 on mobile megabytes. Just a third...

  • Bonang’s book is so full of typos Exclusive Books is offering refunds

    Exclusive Books is offering full refunds to readers dissatisfied with socialite Bonang Matheba's book From A to B. The book was allegedly full of grammatical errors, and a reedited version should be on the shelves soon. In the meantime, Exclusive Books is so keen on saving its image its not even asking for receipts in exchange for refunds. All customers please take note of the following. pic.twitter.com/dFypasaKbx — Exclusive Books (@ExclusiveBooks) August 8, 2017 It has also cancelled all signings and events. In the two weeks since its release, From A to B has rocketed to the top of the store's bestselling list. Bonang's rapper boyfriend AKA tweeted...

  • Here’s how to follow South Africa’s No Confidence Day online

    It's a big day for South Africa (and not just because it's a public holiday tomorrow). It's No Confidence Day, as some political parties are labelling it, and that could signal a shift in political power in the country. But you might not be able to follow proceedings from the comfort of your television or AM/FM radio. Instead, you're probably at work slaving away over a hot keyboard. If that's the case, don't worry. This article aims to highlight the various ways to follow the No Confidence motion as it happens in Parliament, and beyond. Some must-bookmark information first: The voting procedure...

  • Cape Town dams now at 29%, water usage remains ‘far too high’

    It's been a good week for Cape Town's water crisis. First, the City debuted its new water calculator to help consumers better understand their water usage habits. Now, the latest dam levels are in, and they're looking positive. Overall levels across the six largest dams in the Western Cape system are up by 1.5% over last week. They now stand just 0.6% below the 30% barrier (pdf). Most impressive is the Berg River Dam, which is now 44.8% full after languishing at 41% last week. This still pales in comparison to August 2016's 62% marker. Steenbras Upper Dam saw a 5% jump,...

  • Baleka Mbete declares secret ballot: the Twitter before and after

    South Africa's Speaker of the House Baleka Mbete has announced that tomorrow's vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma will be held under a secret ballot. This comes after an announcement made in Parliament's Goodhope Chambers on Monday. While the news is welcoming for opposition parties and a test of strength for South Africa's Constitution, it's Twitter that saw the most remarkable change Monday. Prior to the announcement, tweets were marred by a foreboding and defeatist tone, with many predicting that Baleka Mbete would declare an open ballot. "She won't! She will not do it!" one user exclaims. She won't! She will not...

  • SA election simulator game: you ANC’n nothing yet

    We've seen quite a few politically orientated games come out over the years, such as Democracy and Realpolitiks, but what about a local take on the theme? A group of university students are indeed working on an SA election simulator of sorts, due for release next month. The web-based game (actually called ECivix Election Simulator) is part of a youth empowerment project to "enhance and develop civic engagement and constitutional literacy", says Daniel Eloff, one of the people behind the project. The idea was conceived by a group of law, actuarial and economics students at the University of Pretoria, according to...

  • [Update] Mduduzi Manana: minister called ‘trash’ after assault video goes viral

    Update #2, 3.20pm: The Presidency is the latest governmental department to issue a statement on Nduduzi Manana. "President Jacob Zuma has learned with great concern and is disturbed by the allegations of assault on a woman patron at a nightclub in Johannesburg reported by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana," reads the statement, published to Twitter. "The South African Government has made violence against women a priority crime," President Jacob Zuma states in the release. "Women have a right to safety and security and must not be attacked or abused by anyone, anywhere in the country, regardless...

  • Cape Town: calculate your daily water usage here

    How much water do you consume daily? Considering that the City of Cape Town wants its citizens to use less than 87 litres per day, you may be wondering just that. Thankfully the City of Cape Town has launched a tool that allows users -- albeit rather roughly -- to estimate their daily water consumption, and make changes to their lifestyle and usage habits. The tool itself is extremely simple. It's located on a quick-to-load, single-use website and features a number of daily activities involving water consumption to some degree. This includes showering, washing dishes, washing your hands and face and filling...

  • Firefox Send: Mozilla debuts experimental file sharing service

    The Firefox name is lending itself to yet another product that isn't a web browser. After WhatsApp in July debuted its buffed file sharing service supporting up to 100MB files, the Mozilla-built browser has now one-upped the Facebook-owned chat giant. Located in its Test Pilot service -- in which Mozilla allows the community to test a number of pre-release experiments and features -- Firefox Send allows internet users to kite files of up to 1GB to anyone anywhere in the world. Additionally, said file and link will disappear within 24 hours, or be destroyed after it has been downloaded once. Oh, and...

  • Prisoners use peanut butter to escape Alabama slammer

    All the great prison breaks of history and popular culture involved some degree of cunning and invention. But peanut butter? CNN this week reported on what could be one of the strangest prison breaks on record, when 12 inmates of an Alabama prison used the nutty spread to star in the latest season of Prison Break. Now, you might be thinking that they somehow squeezed through the cell bars covered in the slippery spread. But no, the story is even stranger than that. 'Hope they manage to figure out a peanut butter proof way of numbering doors' A comedy of errors, a new...

  • How many days of water does Cape Town have left? This website tells you

    Mentioning the weather is anything but small talk in Cape Town nowadays. For many reasons it should be among the most important conversations you have with your neighbours on a daily basis. According to How many days of water does Cape Town have left? -- a purple gradient single-serving website -- our taps could be running dry as early as the end of September. The site itself is not a novel idea, but does serve its visitors with the most critical of numbers. While megalitres, millimetres and percentages are all vital for understanding the larger water usage picture  in Cape Town, the number...

  • #StJohnsCollege: South Africans react to racist teacher

    Joburg's prestigious St Johns College has found the ire of South African Twitter after failing to remove a teacher found guilty of racist misconduct. Geography teacher Keith Arlow underwent an internal investigation where he was found to have consistently undermined black students' intelligence, labelled Indian students "Nawab" and called Greek students "dirty". He was punished with a final written warning. Parents of the discriminated students told Huffington Post (which broke the story) that they are unhappy with the how the school dealt with the issue and want more than just a promise of "healing". Twitter believes much the same. Just a few hours after the...

  • Telkom overhauls uncapped plans – free landline calls, mobile data included

    Telkom has announced a substantial overhaul of its uncapped internet packages, in the form of 'Unlimited Home Internet' deals. The plans see Telkom dramatically increasing their fair usage policy, depending on the package you take, while also delivering free Telkom to Telkom calls at any time. Additionally, the provider is throwing in between 1GB and 3GB of mobile data, depending on the package. Telkom group communications executive Gugulethu Maqetuka told Memeburn that the price for the plans also included ADSL and phone line rentals. The packages start at R599 a month for 4Mbps uncapped, including a fair usage policy of 360GBs. The...