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News

  • Obama warns against the perils of social media

    Former US President Barack Obama has warned against the perils of consuming news only through social media at a conference in New Delhi, India. Speaking to a group of young Indian leaders, Obama recognised that "instead of deep analysis and evaluation", users on platforms like Twitter were instead "skimming the surface", according to Time Magazine. The former president has been vocal about his qualms with social media before -- he warned of how dangerous a recorded past could be earlier this year -- but his comments are well-timed to criticise US President Donald Trump who recently retweeted incendiary videos from a far-right party in the UK. The...

  • Brett Herron live-tweets ‘horrific’ Metrorail journey across Cape Town

    How difficult is it to take a train from Khayelitsha to Cape Town on a Thursday morning? Very. At least that's what MayCo member for transport Brett Herron discovered today. Live-tweeting his morning fact-finding commute to understand the conditions travellers face on Metrorail's trains, Herron was left "horrified & angry". The day began well enough. #TrainStories starting my day at Nolungile. Train delayed. Commuters abandoning train and heading for taxis “ayikho”! #Metrorail pic.twitter.com/6nf8LO0dPZ — Brett Herron (@brettherron) November 30, 2017 But the mood soon changed. "Commuters telling me to be prepared to cling onto the roof of the train it will be so overcrowded," Herron...

  • Cape Town water crisis: above-average rainfall hit by huge usage spike

    November has been a rather wet month for some areas of the Western Cape, but that doesn't mean Cape Town's dam levels have benefited entirely. Due to a spike in water consumption and warmer temperatures, dam storage remains flat this week according to the City of Cape Town's dam level report (pdf). Total storage capacity now stands at 36.1%, down from 36.2% the previous week. Digging deeper into the report, the City notes that four of the six dams in the Western Cape Water Storage System gained capacity this week. The Berg River Dam added just 0.1% to its coffers, and is...

  • ‘Death by Pokémon GO’ reveals how deadly the mobile game really is

    Remember June 2016? We sure do. Pokémon GO launched like a blazing comet across our skies, tuning smartphones into mini-gaming machines, and our lives into an adventure across the Johto Region. But even with those splendid memories, the app has had negative side-effects too. According to a study conducted by Purdue University, Pokémon GO has resulted in an increase in road traffic incidents in a county in Indiana. "We examine nearly 12 000 detailed police accident reports for Tippecanoe County, Indiana, over the period of March 1, 2015, through November 30, 2016," the study reads. "The reports give, among other information, the date...

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: South Africa loves itself a Royal Wedding

    Kensington Palace today announced the engagement of Prince Harry and Suits actress Meghan Markle -- and even South Africans have joined in on the excitement. The couple, who have been dating for 16 months, will wed in spring -- which will be early 2018 in the UK. Since news of the announcement, Meghan Markle has been trending top spot nationwide. So my mother and I are over the moon that @meghanmarkle is engaged #ourfavsuitactress💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼 — Carmy (@carmenpillay) November 27, 2017 South Africans on Twitter seemed mostly excited about the prospect of another royal wedding -- and likely the last for a while, considering Prince William's eldest son is...

  • City of Cape Town using ‘wagon-wheel’ to survey Cape Flats aquifer

    If you happen to see a helicopter flying overhead with a UFO-like "wagon-wheel attached to the underside of it", don't worry, that's just the City of Cape Town this week surveying the Cape Flats aquifer. In a statement published to the City of Cape Town's media portal, mayor Patricia De Lille outlined the process that will map the aquifer. This is another step in the City's groundwater extraction plan. "These airborne surveys will be conducted using a helicopter, like the one used today, that has a measuring device in the shape of a wagon-wheel attached to the underside of it," De Lille...

  • Miss South Africa crowned Miss Universe, SA split

    Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe Sunday night, beating out runners-up from Colombia and Jamaica. The 22-year-old from the Western Cape is only the second South African to win the title, following Margaret Gardiner's win in 1978. Despite the victory, Nel-Peters wasn't too popular with South Africans on Twitter -- namely for the July debacle in which photos emerged of her wearing gloves when posing with black children but not white. The very same Miss SA we are congratulating.. wasn't she the one treating Black and White kids differently? White kids with bare hands and Black kids with gloves for hygiene purposes?#MissUniverse2017#MissSouthAfrica#MissUniversepic.twitter.com/BqB7tCBAxM —...

  • Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 13 years in jail, SA responds

    Judge Willie Seriti announced today that a unanimous judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal will see Oscar Pistorius' six year jail sentence replaced with 13 years and 5 months. The moment Judge Seriti hands down the #OscarPistorius judgment. Courtesy #DStv403pic.twitter.com/01LO7CKmJa — eNCA (@eNCA) November 24, 2017 The judgment overturned that of Judge Thokozile Masipa, who failed to put forward substantial reasons for her initial lenient sentencing, Prosecutor Andrea Johnson told the court this month. Pistorius was found guilty of murder when he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. The case sent the nation reeling, and the ensuing trials, convictions, and sentences left many South Africans angry...

  • Takealot struggles minutes into Black Friday

    Takealot buckled under the pressure of Black Friday just minutes after midnight -- and by 8.30am, the site was still turning shoppers away. At 12.22am Friday morning -- 22 minutes after opening its Blue Dot sale -- the company issued an apology to an unhappy customer, stating that it was working on "stabilising the site". Thanks for staying up Steve & sorry for the troubles. As you’ve probably noticed a lot of other shoppers have done the same, but we’re working on steadying stabilizing the site and hope to restore full access to the site & App ASAP. — takealot (@TAKEALOT) November...

  • Uber covered up major 2016 data breach, paid hefty ransom

    E-hailing company Uber hushed up a data breach that affected 57-million drivers and riders' personal information for over a year, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has disclosed. The company paid a US$100 000 ransom to the two hackers who said they would delete their copies of the data -- a decision made by the company's chief security officer Joe Sullivan and founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, according to The New York Times. Sullivan, who previously worked for Facebook, has been fired. Kalanick resigned as CEO in June, though he remains on the company's board. The stolen information included names, email addresses, and phone numbers. For US drivers, it included driver's...

  • Cape Town water report: usage spikes, dam levels drop & aquifer project begins

    Dam levels or both major and minor reservoirs across Cape Town have once again taken a hit, this according to the City's latest water report (pdf). Last week, dam levels fell below the 37% mark, to 36.8%. This week sees the third consecutive drop, with levels now just above the 36% mark. The Berg River Dam lost 1.4% of its storage capacity this week, shedding around 1.82-billion litres. The other two large dams in the system -- the Theewaterskloof and the Voëlvlei -- followed suit, dropping 0.9% and 0.4% respectively. The remaining three reservoirs however bucked the trend. Wemmershoek Dam saw small gains...

  • #IdolsSA winner Paxton Fielies also wins Cape Town’s, Twitter’s heart

    17-year-old Paxton Fielies on Sunday won the 13th season of popular South African talent competition Idols at Carnival City, Johannesburg. Competing against fellow hopeful, 25-year-old Mthokozisi Ndaba, the duo received over 30-million votes in the final week. But with the majority, Fielies becomes the youngest ever winner of the competition. "I worked very hard to be where I am," Fielies said, reported TimesLIVE. "I celebrated every performance knowing how hard I worked. I did receive criticism sometimes but I didn't let it get me down." After a record-breaking, 30 MIILLION votes in the last week alone, your WINNER for #IdolsSA Season 13 is...

  • South Africa responds to Charles Manson’s death on Twitter

    Charles Manson, one of the US's most notorious murderers in living memory, died of natural causes on Sunday at the age of 83 -- and the responses to his death prove the cult leader's global impact. By 11.21am Monday, Manson was trending number one worldwide, and even worked his way into South Africa's trends behind #IdolsSA and "Mugabe", among others. Manson orchestrated the infamous murders of heavily pregnant Sharon Tate and four others in an attempt to thwart what he claimed to be an impending race war. Many refused to wish him a peaceful rest. Charles Manson at the gates of hell. pic.twitter.com/y0cuDnPMYJ — Daniella Naomi🥀 (@Danideutsch) November 20,...

  • 150k Russian Twitter accounts targeted Brexit referendum

    More than 150 000 Twitter accounts -- previously only tweeting about the conflict in Ukraine -- turned their focus to Brexit in the days leading up to the June 2016 vote, data scientists from Swansea University and the University of California, Berkeley have revealed. The researchers looked at accounts that tweeted in English, but had their language set to Russian. These accounts, which posted 1000 tweets a day before the vote, amped their activity up to 45 000 in the last two days, and 39 000 on the day of the election. It is unclear whether these accounts were pushing for...

  • #ZimbabweCoup: follow the developing ‘bloodless transition’ on Twitter

    #Zimbabwe, #ZimbabweCoup and "Mugabe" were all trending topics on Twitter across the world this morning. And there's no real surprise as to why. The country's president Robert Mugabe has been overthrown by the military, with former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly instated as temporary leader. It's a rapidly moving story, changing from minute to minute. And that's probably why social media is your best bet for keeping abreast of the ever-breaking news. Below you'll find a number of accounts live-tweeting news and opinion, owned by politicians, parties and news organisations, with their bios below. ZANU PF (@ZANUPF_Official) The #Official #ZANUPF Twitter handle. #ZANUPF is a product of the Unity...