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  • RCS: introducing the successor to SMS

    It's been in the pipeline for a few years now, but RCS (Rich Communication Services) is slowly making its way around the world, being billed as the successor of sorts to SMS. But how exactly is the service better than traditional SMS? What do you need to take advantage of the service? We got some answers from David O'Byrne, RCS lead at the GSMA, the organisation at the helm of the standard. For starters, O'Byrne outlines the platform's capabilities. Effectively the draw card is that RCS hopes to be as seamless as placing a call or creating an SMS -- no extra apps needed....

  • Interstellar object seen in solar system for first time

    Astronomers around the world have rushed to observe the first confirmed interstellar object in our solar system, taking the form of a cigar-shaped asteroid. The object, dubbed 'Oumuamua (Hawaiian for "messenger from afar, arriving first"), measures up to 400 metres long and could be up to ten times longer than it is wide, NASA wrote on its website. "That aspect ratio is greater than that of any asteroid or comet observed in our solar system to date. While its elongated shape is quite surprising, and unlike asteroids seen in our solar system, it may provide new clues into how other solar systems...

  • 4 International Emmy Awards nominees available on Netflix South Africa

    The International Emmy Awards are here, and if it's leaving you feeling out of the global loop, then why not branch out and try some of these more easily accessible shows? These are are the four nominees available on Netflix South Africa. You can find the full list of nominees here. *Note: Neither of the two South African nominees are on Netflix. Thuso Mbedu is nominated for Best Actress for her work on Is'thunzi. You can find show clips on Mzanzi Magic's YouTube. Disney Cookabout is nominated for Kids' Non-Scripted Entertainment. You can catch that show on DStv's Disney Channel Saturdays and Sundays at 9.25am. Clips can be found...

  • #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...

  • Takealot CEO Kim Reid chats Black Friday, the ‘War Room’ and fidget spinners

    "I think it's grown over time" is how Takealot CEO Kim Reid describes Black Friday. And he's not wrong. In November 2016, South African retailers saw a 10% increase in sales over the same period in 2015, this due to the increase in popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, Takealot itself is forecasting gains of nearly R80-million over last year's haul of R56-million for the Black Friday weekend. But for the Cape Town-based etailer, that forecast stems from years of planning. We recently sat down with Reid to discuss the formidable day, the business's operations as a whole, and...

  • 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,...

  • Last week in trailers: Incredibles 2, Deadpool 2, Tali’s Wedding Diary & more

    This week we have major blockbusters, highly-anticipated animations, YouTubers breaking out, and Godzilla-like gorillas, wolves and crocs because Hollywood can. What more could you ask for? Here are the notable trailers released in the last week. Incredibles 2 I may be the only person on the planet content with keeping the wonderful The Incredibles as a standalone film -- but, hey, if anyone can shake off Sequel Syndrome it's Disney Pixar. So here's the trailer that the web has been screaming for for the last 13 years. Enjoy. The Incredibles 2 hits South African shores 15 June 2018. Deadpool 2 Watch Ryan Reynolds embrace his inner Bob Ross in this...

  • The Future of Manufacturing event: SingularityU to host SA’s makers and more [Sponsored]

    SingularityU Cape Town Chapter in collaboration with Kato will host "The Future of Manufacturing" on 6 December 2017. The event will feature some of South Africa's pioneering forces in the maker movement and additive manufacturing, including Rob Steltman (co-founder of Barracuda Holdings), Samuel Ginsberg (co-founder of Lumkani) and David Bullock (co-founder of Rapid 3D). The three panelists discuss how exponential technologies are disrupting and democratising global manufacturing, broadening the reach of the maker movement. The event will take place at the V&A Waterfront's Workshop 17 in Cape Town on 6 December, beginning at 6pm. Tickets are available from Quicket for R150. Memeburn is SingularityU...

  • DStv launches VOOV’s ‘world first’ live streaming social channel

    A new channel heading to DStv aims to meld social media, live-streaming and traditional television. Dubbed #VOOVTV, the channel will let users to send self-made content to stream on the channel. This process will be powered by the video streaming platform VOOV, launched in June 2017. The channel will also be available across all DStv bouquets, extending its reach as a novel marketing platform for the streaming platform. Motivation behind VOOV's move stems from the "youth segment who are looking for the next wave of social media to express themselves and interact with each other". "DStv customers can interact with the featured VJs...

  • Facebook Creator app launches on iOS

    Facebook has taken a leaf out of YouTube's book and launched an app and website specifically geared towards "creators" (people who post videos to its platform). The app is essentially a rebrand of the celebrity app Facebook Mentions, which was promoted as a better way to build communities. In fact, users will only be able to find the new Facebook Creator in the App Store when searching "Facebook Mentions", despite the actual title having changed. The app is meant to make it easier for creators to post videos, go live, and connect with their communities. It offers exclusive features like adding intros and...

  • 5 great smartphones under $200 from Gearbest [Sponsored]

    Gearbest is one of the world's most popular online retailers for smartphones, offering a wide variety of brands at affordable prices. Don't believe us? We've picked some of the best phones available from the website for under US$200. Blackview BV7000 Pro (US$166) Looking for a smartphone that can withstand a dunking in water? Then Blackview's BV7000 Pro is for you, coming in below US$200. For your money, you're getting an IP68 design, octacore processor (MT6750), 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 5-inch full HD screen. Other features include a fingerprint scanner, 13MP main camera and 8MP front camera. Buy the BV7000 Pro here. Oukitel...

  • SpaceX won’t launch Zuma into space tonight

    SpaceX's secretive Zuma payload will not be sent into space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket tonight, the company tweeted. "Standing down on Zuma mission to take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer," the company wrote around 1am SAST Friday. Standing down on Zuma mission to take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer. — SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 16, 2017 The payload, which isn't a hat-tip to the president of South Africa, was commissioned by Northrop Grumman, a US defence technology company. What said payload actually includes remains a mystery. Nevertheless, no new launch...

  • TWR #130: SA Black Friday deals, Silicon Valley, Battlefront 2, and more

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, where we discuss the latest in tech and startup news. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Stephen Timm, Andy Walker, and Julia Breakey. Stephen kicks off the week by discussing the Silvertree founder who criticised the Silicon Valley model of glorifying the pitching of ideas, rather than helping entrepreneurs to better execute on these ideas. We then move on to the lighter topic of Justice League, the latest superhero movie to hit the big screens. While Julia says it should win the hearts of fans, it may not be enough to convince non-believers that superhero films are worth the time. Moving...

  • Twitter updates verification process after verifying Nazi

    Twitter landed itself in hot water last week after verifying a known US white supremacist -- and now it's trying (again) to allay criticisms of its complicity in the rise of global nationalism. Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon — Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 9, 2017 Twitter's first response was that it didn't realise verification status was being used as an...

  • 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...