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News

  • Cape Town water crisis: water usage drops, but so does dam levels

    There's some good news and bad news this week, Cape Town. The good news is that consumption is down across the city. The bad news is that this hasn't had an impact on dwindling dam levels. Latest figures issued by the City of Cape Town paints another bleak picture. (See last week's figures here). Overall storage is down by 0.4% to 37.4%, even though water consumption dropped by 10-million litres per day (pdf). Consumption though remains 100-million litres per day above the City's target. While good rains fells on 14 and 15 October, few dams benefitted. The Berg River Dam remained at 66.6%...

  • #Ophelia: Ireland prepares for storm by posting memes on Twitter

    The remnants of Hurricane Ophelia is currently battering the south-western coastline of Ireland, but much of the country doesn't seem to be taking it very seriously. #Ophelia is currently trending worldwide on Twitter at present, and obviously in Ireland. But while that hashtag does include updates on the storm, alerts and citizen reports, it also includes a healthy dosage of memes. The snarky comments emanating from the emerald isle is as humourous as it is worrying, considering that Ex-Ophelia (as the UK Met Office is calling her) is still packing wind gusts in excess of 170km/h. This must be a the strongest...

  • Cape Town firefighters: don’t fly drones around the #12ApostlesFire

    Volunteer Wildfire Services, better known as VWS, has asked Cape Town residents and visitors to guard against flying drones near the 12 Apostles fire. The fire, which flared up on Wednesday, continues to burn behind the 12 Apostles Hotel between Llandudno and Camps Bay. "A #wildfire is a #NoDroneZone," it tweeted. "Do NOT fly drones near fires. There's already been drone spotted this morning which is a danger to choppers." A #wildfire is a #NoDroneZone. Do NOT fly drones near fires. There's already been drone spotted this morning which is a danger to choppers. pic.twitter.com/ta9AtaPjNd — VWS Wildfires (@vwsfires) October 13, 2017 The organisations currently...

  • Updating: #12ApostlesFire trends in Cape Town as mountain slopes burn

    Update, 13 Oct, 9.30am: The fire between Camps Bay and Llandudno on Cape Town's 12 Apostles mountain range is still burning, this according to reports from firefighters and eyewitnesses. The blaze, fanned by strong winds, was at its most intense Thursday evening. #12ApostlesFire Crews working hard to contain the runaway flank. Good luck out there. @NCCwildfires @vwsfires @TableMountainNP @wo_fire pic.twitter.com/OG9CSwwW4T — Sullivan Photography (@Sullphotography) October 12, 2017 Friday morning paints a slightly different picture. As first aerial resources get to work, we get a better idea of the real #12ApostlesFire size and challenges. Photo from @wo_fire Spotter. pic.twitter.com/1k77Rd4e93 — VWS Wildfires (@vwsfires) October 13, 2017 #CTFire...

  • Netflix in South Africa: fastest ISPs revealed for September [Update]

    Netflix launched in South Africa more than a year ago, officially supporting the region with TV shows and movies. But the streaming service has also recently added South Africa to its monthly ISP Speed Index. Now, for the month of September, the service has revealed its top ten ISPs in the country. Fibre-based ISP CoolIdeas was in the top spot, at 3.80Mbps, followed by Vodacom and Vox Telecom (3.19Mbps each). MTN and Cell C rounded out the top five, at 3.18Mbps and 3.08Mbps respectively. Check out the full rundown below. "The Netflix ISP Speed Index lists the average prime time bitrate for...

  • Cape Town dam levels: the city’s water consumption woes continue

    The City of Cape Town has issued its second dam level report for October, but little improvement was observed over the previous week. Total dam storage in the City's six largest dams, in addition to its eight small reservoirs, increased a mere 0.2% overall. Said storage level now stands at 37.8% (pdf). The Theewaterskloof Dam remained at 28.3%, largely due to 4mm of rain which fell in the dam's catchment area, the City notes. Read more: Cape Town: calculate your daily water usage here The Berg River Dam continued to see gains, and is now at 66.6% full -- an increase of 1.6%....

  • #DurbanStorm: Durban floods as city is lashed by storm

    Update 3.20pm: The South African Weather Service has issued another update regarding the Durban storm on Twitter. "Cut-off low to the east of KZN. Heavy rain, flooding + strong winds will become less severe from the evening. Please be safe and take care," it wrote. Cut-off low to the east of KZN. Heavy rain, flooding + strong winds will become less severe from the evening. Please be safe and take care. pic.twitter.com/i0wJ3Wyqn6 — SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) October 10, 2017 Update: 2.40pm: Two people have died after a storm lashed Durban early Tuesday morning. The cut-off low responsible for the unstable weather is now...

  • Pictures: Fierce hail storm lashes Johannesburg

    Areas in Johannesburg were this afternoon laced by a hail storm that pelted cars, and reportedly damaged a mall in Krugersdorp. The South African Weather Service issued a warning around 3pm, suggesting that a storm is moving across Randfontein and Krugersdorp bringing with it "damaging winds, large hail and heavy downpours". Warning:09 Oct 2017 Severe TS obs over S Magaliesberg move to Randfontein + Krugersdorp area, damaging winds, large hail and heavy downpours — SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) October 9, 2017 Images of the storm began hitting social media channels -- including Twitter and Facebook -- around 3.30pm Many of the images showcased the...

  • Stats SA: fuel, toasters and cell phones all cheaper in 2017

    If you love eating pineapples while browsing the internet on your smartphone, you'll love the latest batch of statistics from Stats SA. The latest Consumer Price Index report suggests that South Africans are paying less for fruit, telecommunications services and telecommunications equipment when comparing January 2017's prices to those from August 2017. "Postal and telecommunication services, recreational equipment, fuel (petrol and diesel), hotels and appliances all experienced slight price decreases," Stats SA wrote in a release. Stats SA: telecommunications equipment prices have fallen by 36% since January 2014 "If you prefer using 93 octane petrol and you live inland, filling a 45 litre...

  • UberEATS reveals strangest orders after its first year in South Africa

    UberEATS has officially been in South Africa for a year, and, to celebrate, the company has revealed some weird statistics that will both affirm and mar your faith in humanity. For instance: the smallest UberEATS order this year was a single Dolce Kiss, which costs R4.50. One poor soul wanted a chocolate truffle so badly, they thought it worth the service delivery fee of R20, the extra bank charges, and a 33-minute wait, which UberEATs says is its average delivery time. One order probably took longer, though, and that was the delivery service's biggest meal of the year: 39 cheeseburgers, 16 fried chicken burgers, 21 Cokes, 22 Creme Sodas,...

  • Cape Town’s temporary desalination plants will be online by ‘February 2018’

    After yesterday's rains across the metropole, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille briefed media, and Twitter, on updates regarding its water resilience scheme. The scheme aims to "avoid a time when users do not have access to municipal drinking water", de Lille explained. "In terms of our Water Resilience Plan to augment supply with schemes, we are expecting the first water to come online by Dec 2017 /Jan 2018," she tweeted. The plan intends to add an additional 500-million litres per day to Cape Town's water supply by using natural springs, aquifers, and desalination. The latter, however, won't be ready this year. "ater...

  • ‘All Yahoo user accounts’ were affected by 2013 hack

    When Yahoo announced that a billion users were affected by its 2013 hack, the internet weathered a collective cold sweat. But the story isn't quite done yet. The internet company's parent firm Oath today released "new intelligence" regarding the breach. "Subsequent to Yahoo's acquisition by Verizon, and during integration, the company recently obtained new intelligence and now believes, following an investigation with the assistance of outside forensic experts, that all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the August 2013 theft," Oath, also a subsidiary of Verizon, confirmed in a press release. That's three-billion users. While Oath confirmed that the orchestrators of the hack...

  • Lifetime Oscar Pistorius movie ‘horrifies’ Steenkamp family and South Africa

    A trailer for the upcoming Lifetime film Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer has been released, and it seems neither the Steenkamps nor the Pistorius family were aware of its existence. The film will ostensibly tell of the events leading up to the fateful shooting on Valentine's Day 2013, when Paralympic athlete Pistorius killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. It will also cover the subsequent trials -- though whether the film ends at the first conviction of manslaughter or the second of murder remains yet to be seen. The Steenkamp family has issued a statement that they are "horrified" the filmmakers said it would tell the side...

  • Cape Town dam levels: September sees below average rainfall

    The City of Cape Town today published its latest dam storage report, but it makes for bleak reading. Although no massive drops have been reported, no substantial increases can be noted either (pdf). And Cape Town needs a substantial increase. Note: see last week's dam levels report here. The largest dam in the system -- the Theewaterskloof -- continued its negative trend this week, dropping 0.1% to 28.3% capacity. Following suit was the Steenbras Lower Dam, now just 45.5% full, down from 46.3% a week earlier. But gains have been made by some of the other stores. The Franschhoek's Berg River Dam, for one,...

  • Russian propaganda ads reached 10m US Facebook users

    Facebook has revealed that 10-million US users were shown Russian propaganda ads that may have interfered with the 2016 US election -- and that may not be the final number. In a blog post connected to the company's Hard Questions series, Vice President of Policy and Communications Elliot Schrage provided more clarity on an issue that has been intentionally left murky. Schrage said that the total reach of dubious Russian ads was 10-million people, but only 44% of ad impressions (the number of times ads were displayed) were before the election. The company has not clarified user reach prior to the election. In 2016, the...