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  • Third-party fact checking for Facebook South Africa

    Facebook has announced the implementation of third-party fact checking for news and information in South Africa. This new security feature is meant to “help assess the accuracy of news in South Africa, and reduce the spread of misinformation, whilst improving the quality of news people find” on the social media platform, the company explains in an announcement. The company is working alongside certified fact-checking organisations AfricaCheck and AFP. “Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of our fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its...

  • Sick of selfies? 5 alternative ways to use Instagram

    Instagram now has over a billion users. That's a seventh of the human beings alive on planet Earth today. But while some (nay, probably a majority) use the social network to peacock their wares, hate-like their rivals weekend getaways, or get to know someone before they embarrass themselves on their first Tinder date, Instagram has a number of other use cases. For example... Understand our planet Use it to learn more about this weird rock we live on. Want to learn more about South Africa? Want to be able to name different planes simply by looking at them? Want to understand how to make...

  • Netflix to produce The Chronicles of Narnia series and films

    Netflix has announced that it will be developing both series and movies based on The Chronicles of Narnia. The streaming service entered into a deal with The C.S Lewis Company for the rights to produce content based on the children’s books. According to the official statement, “all series and films produced through the deal will be Netflix productions”. The company also confirmed Douglas Gresham and Vincent Sieber as executive producers. Chief Content Officer of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, said that "families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan and the entire world of Narnia, and we’re thrilled to be their home for years...

  • Google Assistant has a new look

    Google has given its Assistant app a makeover. “With a new makeover to the Assistant on phones, we’re making it even easier to get things done regardless of whether you prefer to use your hands, your voice, or combination of the two,” said the company in an announcement. Google claims that this redesign is a mix of “text and talk” meant to provide accurate information on demand. The new look includes “bigger visuals”, “new controls and sliders” and “interactive messaging”. These changes are meant to make navigating the app easier, with the latter allowing you to use touch to edit messages. On Android...

  • 3 Twitter apps for Android that use less data

    Now that the glorious days of MTN's Free Twitter are over, and we're done mourning, you're probably intent on saving all the data you possibly can. Even if you're one of the fortunate few on an unlimited plan, saving data is still good practice. But did you know that there are alternative Twitter apps that you can customise to use much less data? Here are three primed for use on cheaper phones and slower networks for data-deprived users. Twidere Twidere is an open-source and extremely lightweight Twitter app, with additional support for Mastodon. Aesthetically, it's quite fetching, as users can customise colours and themes. It...

  • 3 Improvements coming to Facebook’s Marketplace

    Facebook has revealed new features for its Marketplace as it celebrates being around for two years. “Marketplace was introduced in 2016 as a place for people to buy and sell within their local communities,” said the company on their website, which also notes that the space has evolved into a platform for users to discover products and services globally. Now Marketplace is receiving some updates and features to improve its service. Improved AI abilities According to Facebook, artificial intelligence is the key to making its Marketplace as efficient as possible. While currently AI helps personalise the quality of your user experience, new updates will...

  • Instagram went down on Mean Girls Day

    Today is not just a Wednesday, it is also October 3rd, more commonly known as Mean Girls Day. Many fans of the pop culture teen movie took to social media to celebrate, but soon the hashtags #MeanGirlsDay and #October3rd were out shadowed by another hashtag -- #instagramdown. At some point in the late morning, Instagram went down and caused a slight panic on Twitter. me coming to twitter to see if anyone else is having instagram struggles #instagramdown pic.twitter.com/y44VInCO8M — nevada ;) (@nevadaross7) October 3, 2018 I’d like to welcome everyone who’s here because Instagrams down. Here have a cup of tea ☕️ you’ll...

  • Google launches new voice control app for Android

    Google has launched a new accessibility app for Android devices called Voice Access. The app “provides a hands-free experience for Android, letting people navigate through apps, compose and edit text, and talk to the Google Assistant,” Google said in the announcement. This means that you will now be able to use your voice to control and command your Android device. This accessibility does not only provide ease-of-access for all, but also helps those with physical disabilities have more autonomy when using their tech devices. In fact, Google’s Accessibility team includes impaired individuals who help test and develop products such as Voice Access. The company...

  • How to make your chatbot clever

    Given the incredible advances in natural language understanding (NLU), one would be forgiven for thinking that this is what artificial intelligence is all about. Try asking Alexa or Siri for an Indian restaurant near you, and you will most likely be given the right answer. Or try having a text-driven conversation with one of the many amazing Facebook Messenger powered chatbots, and you will be amazed at how it seems to ‘understand you’. I tried recently with my bank’s virtual assistant, and loved the way it could respond so accurately to my request for my latest balance, or for help to...

  • Black Mirror’s getting a little more interactive next season

    According to a report by Bloomberg, Netflix will be bringing interactive TV to Black Mirror in its upcoming season. This means that, as a viewer, you will be able to choose your path and the eventual outcome of the episode right from the comfort of your couch. Bloomberg, which claims that the information comes from people “familiar with the matter”, said that Black Mirror won’t be the only interactive show coming to the streaming service either. Interactive TV has already been used by the company. In kid’s shows such as Puss In Book you, or your kids, can choose what characters do. How...

  • Watch this painted elephant ‘fly’ across a billboard

    Billboards can be obnoxious pimples on the picturesque face of South Africa's beautiful landscape, but this example is perhaps an exception to the rule. Cape Town-based street artist Falko recently spent five separate days painting and repainting a "moving" image of an elephant on a billboard in Cape Town. The artist -- who is well known for his elephant and other artwork -- was commissioned by ISP WebAfrica, to give his portrayal of the company's mascot Rocket Ellie. Yes, that would be a rocket-wearing elephant with a knack for inter-planetary travel. "Over a period of six weeks, Falko updated the billboard five times...

  • Cape Town dam report: wet September brings big improvements

    As the City of Cape Town relaxed water restrictions, and a wetter than normal September draws to an end, the city's dam levels have breached the three-quarter mark for the first time this year. Collectively, Cape Town's dams now hold 75.9% of their total capacity, increasing by 1.9% during the previous week. The Berg River Dam is again over the 100% full mark. The Voëlvlei Dam gained 4.6%, and is now just 5% of its total capacity, while the Wemmershoek too is at 95.8% full. The Steenbras Lower and Upper dams are both above the 91% mark, while the Theewaterskloof Dam gained 2%...

  • Instagram’s new boss is Adam Mosseri

    Instagram has a new "head" in the form of its vice president of product, Adam Mosseri. The company’s co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who resigned last week, made the announcement in a blog post. “We are thrilled to hand over the reins to a product leader with a strong design background and a focus on craft and simplicity -- as well as a deep understanding of the importance of community,” the duo said. Mosseri was originally a Facebook employee and only recently became a part of the Instagram team. "Adam began his career as a designer, managed his own design consultancy, and...

  • What’s hot and spooky on Netflix and Showmax this October?

    We know. Finding something to watch on streaming services is a nightmare (and even more so as an undead ghoul). The likes of Netflix and Showmax give users a wealth of choices, but picking the ripest apple (or deepest grave) is always a case of turning over the entire basket. But fear not, because we’re taking a look at the new content coming to South Africa’s streaming platforms in October: Halloween edition. Starting with… What’s on Netflix in October? Big Mouth S2 Available from 3 October 2018. If you thought the first season of Big Mouth was horrifically awkward, we challenge you to watch this...

  • Google Maps’ new updates makes commuting across your city much easier

    Google Maps is this week getting another update, specifically for people who travel across their city. The app will now feature a new "Commute" tab on the lower navigation menu, which "provides one-tap access to live traffic and transit information tailored to your commute". Said tailored info includes the average journey duration along your normal route, route deviations if there are obstructions, and notifications if there are disruptions to your normal commute. Google Maps doesn't just cater for drivers though. The company revealed that public transit modes are now also supported. "You can see helpful information about when to leave, and for each...