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  • Cape Town’s dam levels drop again, even after Wednesday’s storms

    Even after the sound and the fury that was Cape Town's skies last week Wednesday, the city's dam levels experienced yet another drop. The City of Cape Town today published its updated dam storage levels (pdf), but the new numbers offer little comfort for the city's inhabitants. Although only losing 0.5% capacity over the previous week, Cape Town's six largest dams hold just 22.8% of their possible storage capacity. That's nearly 8% less than the same time last year. The City also suggests that "the last 10% of a dam's water is difficult to use" so the effective levels are closer to...

  • #MetGala: Rihanna ignites social media with fandangle frock

    Rihanna can be a divisive figure in the music and fashion industries, but there's no denying her power to create almost instantaneous social media trends in the blink of an eye. Or perhaps in this case, a flash of a frock? At last night's #MetGala, the annual celebrity shindig that sees stars from Famousville descend on New York City for a night of charity and dress up, the Barbadian singer-songwriter left Twitter wondering why anyone else even bothered to dress up. Donning a gown comprised of flakes of brightly coloured, flower-imprinted fabric, Riri was more the vehicle for a piece of...

  • Where’s the dust? Cassini non-discovery puzzles NASA

    NASA's Cassini space probe has started its Grand Finale, diving between Saturn's rings before crashing into the gas giant later this year. However, the first plunge has perplexed scientists, who were expecting to encounter a ton of cosmic dust. Instead, the probe found a low level of dust, the space agency explained. "The region between the rings and Saturn is 'the big empty,' apparently," said Cassini Project Manager Earl Maize of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "Cassini will stay the course, while the scientists work on the mystery of why the dust level is much lower than expected." Prior to the...

  • Facebook knows when teens are vulnerable, then targets them with ads

    "Don't be evil" is a common phrase uttered by Google executives, but we can't help but think Facebook should perhaps adopt it too. A 23-page document, which sheds some light on Facebook's more sinister algorithm and advertising practices, was leaked Monday and obtained by online paper The Australian (paywall). Later picked up by news.com.au, the document reveals how Facebook Australia and New Zealand employed the hive of user data it gathers to help advertisers better promote campaigns. And no, it's not just talking about age, location or preference in pizza toppings. The document notes that the social network can target teenagers as...

  • ‘Pinned chats’ are coming to WhatsApp for your most important contacts

    Few things are more annoying than hunting for your bae, mom or BFF in the WhatsApp contact list. And while the app does boast a search function for finding them, it's by no means efficient. But that will soon be a problem of the past. The company's latest pre-release version of the Android app features "pinned chats" which allows users to pin three primary contacts to the top of the chat list. You'll soon be able to pin your most important WhatsApp chats to the top of the chats page This means that even if your distant relative or that person you used...

  • Thanks to Merriam-Webster, you can now officially call Apple fans ‘sheeple’

    You might've used the word sheeple to describe a certain population of buyers who regularly indulge in the likes of the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. You might've been ridiculed for doing just that too. But thankfully, Merriam-Webster now gives you license to call Apple fanboys "sheeple". Wake up! 'Sheeple' is in the dictionary now. https://t.co/pbXVADEoBm — Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 27, 2017 The near two-century-old company added the term to its online dictionary this weekend, defined as "people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced" or "likened to sheep". But it's the example the company gives is what's really setting tongues a-wagging. Quoting CNN journalist...

  • ‘Disaster’ Fyre Festival likened to ‘that alien movie in South Africa’ on social media

    If you pay US$12 000 for a ticket to a music festival, you'd probably expect... well, a music festival, right? That's not what attendees to Ja Rule's Fyre Festival experienced this weekend. The new luxury music extravaganza, which was supposed to kick off in the Bahamas this weekend, was met with a cascading comedy of errors. According to reports by attendees on Twitter and Instagram, festival goers arrived in the island country to find a "a disaster tent city". "So Fyre Fest is a complete disaster. Mass chaos. No organization. No one knows where to go," tweets William N. Finley, who's documenting...

  • What has Donald Trump tweeted about most in his first 100 days?

    Even though Donald Trump is now president of a global superpower, he still has plenty of time to throw a tweet or two out there. In light of this, and as his first 100 days in office draw to an end, Twitter Data took a look at the US President's time in office thus far. Here's what the social network's data miners found. #MAGA, #USA and all the patriotism These are the top Tweeted hashtags used by @realdonaldtrump during #Trump100Days: pic.twitter.com/LB9UjRNBsH — Twitter Data (@TwitterData) April 28, 2017 Among Trump's most commonly tweeted hashtags, #MAGA (Make America Great Again), #AmericaFirst and #USA featured prominently since...

  • Reddit briefly down across the world after maintenance

    Websites, like people, often need a little lie down from time to time. But when its unscheduled and one of the most trafficked sites on the internet, people get worried. And that's exactly what happened with Reddit today. The social aggregation network was due to perform scheduled maintenance today which involved "swapping out three databases". But after the "short" maintenance period ended around 7am SAST, the site remained inaccessible. This morning, users who visited the site's front page or subreddits were still greeted by the above maintenance page. "We're working on the errors," the company acknowledged on its status page around 7.30am...

  • 5 everyday things that didn’t need a smart version [Native]

    The internet of things (IoT) promises all manner of connected devices, but there are some things that don't need to be connected to the internet or slapped with a chip. Yep, for every connected TV, printer, light bulb or refrigerator, there are gadgets or appliances that don't need to be smart in the first place. Here are a few noteworthy examples. Smart water pitcher Because even the simple act of consuming water needs to have the "smart" label attached to it. Yes, the Brita smart water pitcher exists. According to Engadget, the pitcher is equipped with WiFi and automatically orders more filters from...

  • Instagram now has a 700-million-strong user army

    Not letting Twitter get all the positive news today, Facebook-owned Instagram announced on its blog that it has reached a new milestone of its own. "We’re thrilled to announce that our community has grown to more than 700 million Instagrammers. And the last 100 million of you joined faster than ever," the company exclaims in a thank you note to users. And yeah, those 100-million monthly active users did join faster than ever. After it's 2010 launch, it took over three years to gain its first 100-million users. And considering that the company announced that it reached the 600-million user mark in...

  • Twitter now boasts 328m users, bests investor estimates

    Although Twitter is an integral member of social media's biggest hitters culturally, it's lacking an impact financially. Still, the company enjoyed a better than expected Q1 2017 according to its latest investor letter (pdf). While the service continues to be a less than sound investment, there are positives that emerged from the latest results. User growth is slow, but positive For one, Twitter beat investor estimates, claiming an additional nine million new users worldwide. That takes it's total monthly active user figure up to 328-million. That figure however still places it behind the likes of LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. As for daily active users,...

  • #SAAStrike: 32 flights grounded as SAA trends once again

    If you're travelling to or from South Africa today on a South African Airways (SAA) flight, you're one of the lucky few it seems. The majority of the national airline's in-flight staff are on strike today, demanding more money to spend on food when flying abroad. According to reports, SAA and the association that represents the SAA cabin workers, SACCA, were not able to come to an agreement Tuesday night. The impact of this is widespread. 32 flights have been cancelled today -- one international, three regional and 28 due to depart and land within South Africa's borders. As a result, passengers have...

  • [Update] Cape Town’s Twitter and Insta users celebrate the stormy weather

    Update #2: 1.40pm: Because Cape Town is, well, Cape Town, #rain is now among the top trending hashtags in the city and the country at present. Update #1, 1.15pm: Although today's weather is a welcome respite from the heat wave experienced last week, lightning and driving rain has been wreaking havoc across the peninsula. In West Beach, a palm tree was set alight by lightning. Cape Town - #STORM Lightning Strike in West Beach pic.twitter.com/InHD0Xc725 — TrafficSA (@TrafficSA) April 26, 2017 Areas in the Cape's northern suburbs and western coastline are experiencing mild floods. Neil Williams - Brackenfell Cape Town @venter_annette @huisgenoot @eNCAWeather @JoelGuy_ pic.twitter.com/XCKWyK0CWc —...

  • These are the nominees for 2017 Google Play Awards

    The first Google Play Awards took place last year, highlighting a number of innovative and/or popular games and apps. So we're glad to see the event come back this year, with Google announcing its list of nominees this week. Who are the nominees then? Check out the full list below -- you might find a few gems. Standout Indie - Reigns, Kingdom: New Lands, Mars: Mars, Causality, Mushroom 11. Standout Startup - Hooked: Chat Stories, Discord: Chat for Gamers, Castbox: Free Podcast and Audio, Simple Habit Meditation. Best Android Wear - Lifesum: Healthy lifestyle app, Runtastic Running and Fitness, Foursquare City Guide, Bring!...