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News

  • Hurricane Maria is following in Irma’s footsteps (and she’s strengthening)

    As if the Caribbean islands haven't had enough wind and rain from Hurricane Irma, there's a new storm about to batter the region. Dubbed Hurricane Maria, the storm formed on 16 September and is currently a category 2 hurricane. Moving NNW and churning just east of the Leeward Islands, she's expected to strengthen into a category 4 storm before directly striking Puerto Rico. At present, Maria is one of five named cyclones currently churning in the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic. Hurricane Jose continues to survive just East of the United States' eastern coastline. Tropical Depression Lee is set to fizzle out during...

  • #TaxiStrike: violence erupts across Cape Town as taxi operators strike

    Update: The taxi strike has reportedly been suspended. BREAKING: Taxi operations to resume by 1pm lunch time. Strike has been suspended #TaxiStrike pic.twitter.com/dGIL0IQ4Wf — Athi Mtongana (@Artii_M) September 18, 2017 Original article: #TaxiStrike has usurped #MondayMotivation as today's the top trending hashtag as taxi violence erupted across the Cape Town metropole. Taxi operators are reportedly requesting assistance from the Western Cape MEC of transport to address the recent increase in impounded taxis and the region's taxi associations' leadership structures. MUST READ: Cape Town Taxi Strike: get realtime traffic data with this nifty map News of the strike first surfaced on Sunday, but the hashtag #TaxiStrike...

  • Women file pay discrimination lawsuit against Google

    Three women have filed a lawsuit against Google claiming systemic pay discrimination, according to The Guardian. The former employees claim the company consistently pays men more for doing similar work as women in similar conditions. They also allege that Google denies women opportunities for advancement. The class-action complaint, filed on behalf of all women employed by the company in California in the last four years, could see more employees stepping up as it continues. Leading the charge is former employee Kelly Ellis, who has provided detailed evidence of Google's alleged pay gap. Ellis says that when she was first hired, Google placed her in a "Level 3" job, typically reserved for...

  • Donald Trump calls for terrorists’ internet to be ‘cut off’ after London explosion

    US President Donald Trump has tweeted that terrorists' internet should be "cut off" and "use better" in the wake of an explosion in London that saw dozens injured. Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner.The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017 "The internet is main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!" he tweeted. A homemade explosive caught fire in a tube station Friday morning, injuring 18 people who were taken to hospital in non-critical condition. We have taken 18 patients...

  • Facebook removes ads targeting ‘Jew haters’

    Facebook profiles can be obnoxious. With no vetting procedures on the information provided for education or employment, friends can say they attended Hogwarts or that they work at NASA despite failing high school maths. But while some have been using these self-reporting fields to make harmless jokes, others have been using them to spew hatred -- and it's been revealed that advertisers could have specifically targeted these individuals. On Thursday, a report by Propublica revealed that advertisers, who have the ability to select which demographic they'd like to target, have been able to select the likes of "Jew hater", "how to burn Jews", and "history of...

  • Watch: NASA captures Hurricane Irma’s conception and demise in stunning GIF

    Hurricane Irma is now no more, but the data gained from the storm is only just being collated and studied. This week, NASA's Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (or SPoRT) compiled 10 days of imagery taken by the  GOES-16 weather satellite into a 96 second GIF. And yes, it's as incredible as it sounds. Although the video is a bit slower than its first attempt, NASA SPoRT's GIF nonetheless tells the story of Irma -- from her birth from a tropical wave, to her final hours as a tropical depression over the southeastern United States. As Category 5 Irma churns away...

  • Cape Town dam report: we’re at 37% full, but massively overusing water

    It's been a while since we've published an updated Cape Town dam level report, but rest assured, the situation hasn't exactly seen a marked improvement. Although August was among the wettest months of the year, the second weekend in September saw the city's combined dam storage tip the 37% mark (pdf). That's a 2.1% increase over the previous week. Star performers include the Berg River Dam -- at 61.1% full -- which is now just over 9% emptier than at the same point last year. The upper Steenbras Dam is 102.3% full -- around 5% more than at the same point last...

  • #AnotherKZNSchool: video of KZN teacher brutally beating students goes viral

    Another school violence video is tonight trending across South Africa's social media timelines, but this time its origin isn't Gauteng. Instead a KwaZulu-Natal school -- believed to be Mdlamfe High in Richards Bay -- is in hot water after a video of an educator violently beating two girls went viral on Twitter. In the video, the educator is seen repetitively lashing the girls with what appears to be a cane, as other students laugh in the background. The second student, who receives markedly more lashings, can also be heard crying in the 88 second long clip. It's unclear what prompted the educator...

  • #Uber: South Africans take to Twitter to support attacked Sandton drivers

    Three cars were torched in Sandton Thursday evening in a suspected protest between metered taxi drivers and Uber. According to provincial spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo, preliminary investigations showed two of the cars belonged to Uber, and the third was a metered taxi. No one was harmed. Images and videos of the incident poured onto Twitter as #Uber hit top trending spot nationally. .@TimesLIVE richest square km in Africa (Sandton) is burning as metered and uber drivers set each others vehicles alight pic.twitter.com/GtpJw9FKSV — Graeme Hosken (@GraemeHosken) September 7, 2017 Sitting in Sandton watching the chaos.Getting ugly. #uber drivers fighting back.chased away all metre taxi drivers from...

  • Google Maps sees Florida’s road traffic spike as Irma draws closer

    Google Maps' traffic overlay is reporting abnormally high traffic movements in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina for a Thursday as residents prepare for Hurricane Irma's imminent landfall. Current forecasts suggest that the storm will strike Miami, and skirt along Florida's spine into Georgia. This has also prompted Florida authorities to issue evacuation orders for certain areas. Georgian authorities have today announced mandatory evacuation in effect from Saturday morning. MUST READ: Memeburn's extensive coverage of Hurricane Irma Traffic movements are heaviest on the interstates' right-hand side suggesting an exodus. Movements around Atlanta, Charleston and Jacksonville are markedly heavier than normal. ows Interstate-75 (upper left),...

  • Hurricane Irma, Jose and Katia now have personal Twitter accounts

    Twitter has become an important tool in disseminating news of the Atlantic's current bout of extreme weather, but some aren't using the social network for as serious purposes. All three hurricanes --Irma, Jose and now Katia -- now have personal "official" Twitter accounts, tweeting the daily thoughts of a storm hurtling towards land. Katia and Jose were upgraded in the early hours of Thursday morning, while Irma has been a category 5 storm for over 24 hours now -- a record in itself. Irma's first tweet appropriately used the #NewProfilePic trope, but it became a novel way to showcase the power of...

  • Facebook may have earned $150k from US election-hacking ads

    Facebook has divulged that it could have earned up to US$150 000 from Russian ads that targeted the 2016 United States election. The company studied ads bought between June 2015 and May 2017 and found 3000 that were connected to 470 accounts promoting content that violated its policies. These ads were all "likely operated out of Russia", and brought in US$100 000. Another study looked at a broader range of ads that could have Russian origin, including those with US IP addresses and the language set to Russian. This search found around 2200 politically-related ads. They accounted for another US$50 000. Many of the...

  • Here’s how municipalities should do free WiFi – Project Isizwe

    Project Isizwe's Tshwane Free WiFi Project is probably the standout free WiFi initiative in the country today. Featuring relatively generous data caps and loads of zero-rated content, there's no doubt that it's been a game-changer for many citizens. We've also seen the Western Cape Free WiFi project and a few other similar initiatives pop up. But other regions in South Africa have been a little slow to get the ball rolling. Now, Project Isizwe has published a blog post by CEO Dudu Mkhwanazi, comprehensively outlining ways that municipalities can create sustainable free WiFi projects. "The critical importance of connecting citizens both now...

  • Irma, Harvey and Google: analysing the hurricanes’ search impact

    Tropical weather is seemingly all social media users in the western hemisphere can talk about this week. With three named storms currently swirling in various regions of the Atlantic Ocean, it's unsurprising really. But how are the various regions and countries reacting to these storms in terms of search and online activity? To satisfy our curiosity, we hit up Google Trends, the company's extensive digest of how its users search for information online. We compared search requests between "Harvey", "Irma", "Tropical Storm Jose" and "Tropical Storm Katia" in a number of countries over a period of 30 days, a week and...

  • LIVE: webcams document Hurricane Irma’s driving rain, intense wind

    When Katrina struck southern United States back in 2005, the social media age only just started gaining momentum. Facebook was two years old, Twitter was a budding concept in the mind of Jack Dorsey, and tiny YouTube was about to be bought by Google. Now that Irma is barrelling through the Caribbean, these social networks are playing a major part in telling the developing story. Don't believe me? I bring proof: webcams. Location of above webcam Usually capturing idyllic scenes of blue water and sunshine, a number of webcams are stationed across the Caribbean are livestreaming the conditions beneath Irma's anger. These webcams...