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  • In graphs: we chart Cape Town’s rainfall in May, June and July 2018

    May has come, and July has gone. And just like that, winter is nearly over in Cape Town. In a few months' time, it'll be spring and we'll all be hearing that term we love so dearly: "Day Zero". Thankfully, according to data from the City of Cape Town, May and June were extremely wet months across Cape Town and may just be enough to ward off those two scary words. Looking at six weather stations in particular dotted around the metropol; namely Newlands, Steenbras, Table Mountain's Woodhead, Theewaterskloof, Voëlvlei and Wemmershoek; we visualised just how much rain the city has...

  • [Update] Cape Town #taxistrike may affect MyCiTi, Golden Arrow on Tuesday

    Update: The taxi strike affecting Cape Town and surrounds was suspended late on Monday. Cape Town's MyCiTi and Golden Arrow bus services may not operate in certain regions of the city tomorrow, as the provincial taxi strike is set to continue. On Monday, commuters were left stranded as trains and buses were late or suspended, and taxis refused to operate. Two buses were set alight in Khayelitsha, south east of Cape Town's city centre. Late Monday, MyCiTi failed to confirm that its service to the area -- namely its D01 and D02 service -- will be reinstated on Tuesday. "The City of Cape...

  • Google Maps now shows the Earth as a globe

    Google has likely offended scores of flatearthers this past week after the company added a new update to Maps that displays planet Earth as a globe. Previously the app displayed the planet much like a massive map on its Maps interface. Now, when users zoom out, they'll be greeted by a bulbous ball in space. Why the change? For Google, it believes that it's a better way to represent relative sizes of countries and continents. While Greenland may look the same size as Africa on a flat map, on a globe, its much smaller. Thank you for showing the real size of Africa....

  • 6 gut-wrenching videos of the Lombok earthquake aftermath

    At least 91 people have died after a series of earthquakes struck the small island of Lombok, Indonesia late on Sunday. USGS recorded at least 10 quakes within a 100km radius, the largest of which measured 6.9 magnitude. According to the institution, tremors were felt as far as Bali to the West, and Sumbawa too the East. The region is massively popular among tourists. Sutopo Purwo, head of information at the BNPB Information and Public Relations Center, documented the chaos from Lombok on Twitter. This video was taken from within the Karangasem Hospital in Bali. Kerusakan bangunan RSUD Karangasem Bali akibat gempa 7 SR...

  • Western Cape taxi strike adds to Cape Town’s public transport woes

    Today Capetonians woke to rain, gridlocked highways, late trains, buses on fire, and a taxi strike. Yes, yet another taxi strike began in the early hours of Monday morning across the Western Cape. According to a News24 report, the strike is the result of a leadership dispute within the South African National Taxi Council. As a side effect, commuters who use taxis to travel across the province were left stranded on Monday. Folks gonna be expected to take "alternative" transport to work. Alternative being a code word for teleportation. #TaxiStrike — Sarkastik Observer 🦈🔱 (@Sindelo_) August 6, 2018 Some commuters who braved the strike...

  • How machine learning will revive radio in South Africa and beyond

    Over the past decade, the dazzling rise of digitally-driven technologies has had a profound effect on almost every industry. Within the broad sphere of media and advertising, new technology has been hailed as both hero and villain. Print media, for example, has faced a catastrophic decline in readership as audiences turn to online platforms. Similarly, broadcast media has been challenged to find growth in advertising revenue as digital platforms become more widely used. One of the oldest and most beloved of media platforms -- radio -- has also been under threat. Yet in the case of radio, and more specifically, radio...

  • 400m people now use Instagram Stories every day

    It’s been two years since Instagram first released Instagram Stories, an interactive photo sharing feature that can be found on its main app. In August 2016, Stories gained 100-million users per day within the first two months of its release, 250-million in a year, and passed the 300-million user mark in late 2017. Now, it has over 400-million daily users. This comes as Snapchat itself struggles to keep pace with the Facebook-owned service. It's only used by 191-million users daily. Although initially slated for copying Snapchat, Instagram Stories had added a few novel features. Additions like Boomerang, camera effects, a multitude of...

  • FNB lets South Africans pay for groceries with their watch

    Fitbit Pay is now available in South Africa. The wireless payments service which works through Fitbit's range of wearable devices is now compatible with FNB and RMB VISA bank cards. "Customers will now be able to make secure payments on the go, directly from their wrist wherever contactless payments are accepted — adding convenience and freedom to leave their smartphone and wallet at home," writes Fitbit in a statement. Fitbit Pay is only available on two of the company's watches, namely the Versa and the Ionic. To use the service, consumers are required to connect their cards to the Fitbit app on their...

  • Instagram and Facebook launch new activity monitoring tools

    Instagram and Facebook have released new activity tools that will help you understand and control the amount of time you spend using their apps. You will soon be able to access an activity dashboard on both platforms, where you will find daily limit and reminder tools too. These tools will allow you to see how much time you spend per day, per device, and on the apps, respectively. You can also limit your time, or your push notifications, and even set daily reminders for yourself to assist with time management. You can access these new features in your “settings”. On Instagram the features...

  • Unsure where to start with digital transformation? Follow your customers’ lead

    Most organisations today recognise that digital transformation has become a business imperative. Indeed, Gartner predicts that digital business will represent 36% of a business’s overall revenue by 2020. And with businesses that are digitally transformed being 26% more profitable than those that aren’t, there are serious implications to being left behind. Unfortunately, many organisations simply aren’t sure where to start when it comes to kicking off their digital transformation efforts. That’s understandable. If you’ve been doing business a certain way for decades, someone coming in and telling you to change everything can be pretty scary. Even if the senior leadership inside the...

  • #Unemployment trends in South Africa as jobless rate rises

    South Africa's unemployment rate has increased by 0.5% to 27.2% between April and June 2018, according to Stats SA's latest report. More than 100 000 jobs were lost during this three month period. Additionally, some 6.1-million South Africans between the ages of 15 and 64 do not have a job. South Africa’s #unemployment rate was 27,2% in Q2:2018, up from 26,7% in Q1:2018 6,1m people of working age in SA were #unemployed #StatsSA https://t.co/srPxmTL6WA pic.twitter.com/UyQv8kKACY — Stats SA (@StatsSA) July 31, 2018 The worst performing province was the Free State with an unemployment rate of 34.4%. While the Eastern Cape reduced its unemployment rate by...

  • YouTube’s web player now auto adjusts for vertical video (but users hate it)

    Vertical video is making quite the comeback in 2018. After Instagram launched its IGTV platform, YouTube's now accommodating users who upload and watch video in portrait mode. The company's web player now adapting to videos' aspect ratio automatically. According to a forum post unearthed by Android Police, the company released the update to the web to better mirror the experience on mobile. "Historically, for non wide-screen videos (not 16:9) like vertical and square videos, we would show black bars alongside the video, making the video really small," an official community manager's post reads. "This update moves away from the need for black bars....

  • Group voice and video calling is now live on WhatsApp

    WhatsApp on Monday announced that video and voice calling for groups is rolling out globally. Competing against the likes of Apple's FaceTime and Microsoft's Skype, Facebook-owned chat service will allow groups of up to four to engage in voice or video chats "anytime and anywhere". "Just start a one-on-one voice or video call and tap the new 'add participant' button in the top right corner to add more contacts to the call," the company explains in a blog post. For South Africans and others in low-quality internet markets, WhatsApp stresses that the service is designed to "work reliably around the world in...

  • Cape Town’s dam storage levels end July at 56.8% full

    July may not have seen as much rain as June, but Cape Town's dam levels finish the month 8.5% higher than last. This comes after gains of just 0.4% were noted by the City of Cape Town in its latest dam levels report. At present, levels of the metropole's six major dams stand at 56.8% -- more than double the levels measured in 2017. Looking at individual dams, some have had a much better week than others. Notably, the Voëlvlei Dam continues to be the City's top performer. It gained 1.5% over the previous week, and is now just below the 60%...

  • The #InMyFeelingsChallenge is getting people really, really hurt

    It seems that when the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, isn't investigating downed aircraft, it's begging people not to jump out of their cars while they're moving. Even if it is for the #InMyFeelingsChallenge. "Here’s a reminder we thought we’d never have to give: Don’t jump out of a moving vehicle to dance in the street," the board tells participants of the internet's latest dance challenge. Said challenge was started on Instagram by comedian @TheShiggyShow who published a clip of himself dancing along to Drake's latest hit "In My Feelings". While the song itself is a Drake cut -- one of...